March of the Lonely
Anna C hands rears a kitten (and listens to some rather less inspiring CDs)

THE 69 EYES- Perfect skin

I am helping to hand rear a kitten at the moment. That's the kind of girl I am. And I am really tired. I have to get up every three hours to bottle-feed her and rub her little furry bum to make her poo. So I don't want to hear tripe like this. Is their band name supposed to be an innuendo or do they all really have 69 eyes? In which case, I would like to poke them in each one of them. The sort of rehashed 80's cock rock that should have fallen off the wagon long ago, dubbed "glam rock with a sinister vibe", this single just sounds like bad pantomime with big hair and cheap leathers. Apparently penned about Hollywood's obsession with size zero (a fact we'd all agree is boring enough), despite the vampires and strippers in the video (two areas of interest that surely go hand-in-hand- let's hope that all featured are complete lard arses) I have no idea where the gothic romance they boast of is meant to kick in but this Finnish five-piece have taken the dated rock and roll lifestyle to a whole new level. And it feels to me like rock bottom. "You've got a perfect skin/ With a devil's grin". Rubbish.

MARTIN GRECH- March of the lonely

Martin Grech will either leave you captivated by his talent or in a bored trance. I'm personally still not sure, until I listen to it a few more times, if this is enlightening or not. Because although there is a definite spiritual quality to this ex-teenage prodigy's third release, many of the tracks do start to sound like a less textured version of the ultimate Nick Drake/ Buckley tribute after a while and begin to merge into an isolated haze of contemporary-folk, it's steady pace forming a desolate, almost hopeless, sculpture of modern life through a young man's eyes. And that could get a bit depressing.
Still, if you like Jose Gonzales, Simon and Garfunkel and Kate Bush, there is also something for you here. Tellingly recorded with only firewood, food and guitars (and no major label-backing) on a remote island in the Thames of all places, from the pretty instrumentation and menacing chant of "The heritage", the beautiful vocal of "Ashes over embers" and the stunning gem "The giving hands"- during which we are treated to a glimpse of more than just string-plucking and a sweet voice, this may also be the only album to begin with someone clearing their throat. Truly au naturel, though by no means extremely original, on the other hand, no-one can argue that Mr Grech's lamentations aren't unique. It's just whether you'll see that as a good thing is debatable.

GOLDSPOT- It's getting old

The press release to this single tries to make Goldspot sound more interesting by saying that there is a bit of Bollywood methodology thrown into the mix because the lead singer grew up listening to it through his parents and was inspired by his ability to hear a strong vocal melody within. And you can hear the vocal well here but then you would expect to be able to in all forms of popular rock and roll. When I think of Bollywood, I think of colour and life, not a non-offensive but unoriginal brand of guitar-based riffage akin to The Killers and, in turn, The Smiths and The Cure. Arguably with a rather apt-title, the sort of hooky post-punk plastered all over the place of late, I don't know what the rest of Goldspot's new album "Tally of the Yes men" is like but if British guitar-pop sung by Americans is your thing, you could do worse than checking it out for yourselves.


This CD single smelt of curry. I hate curry. A cover of Bo Diddley's classic, "I'm a man" sees those otherwise successfully involved in the Paris dance scene camply swaggering around whilst their knobs are twiddled by those responsible for Bloc Party and Marilyn Manson. No, that's not a pairing I ever expected either. Basically, Black Strobe need to make up their minds what they are doing. I have been trying to flat-hunt with a French girl recently and she is the most indecisive person I have ever met, so I note that this may not be easy, but if they stuck to fabulous remixes, a la those which make up the bulk of this CD, I would gladly shimmy round the nearest pole. If they continue to lean towards the dark Depeche Mode end of the market, which is not the best move as, unlike David Gahan, their singer cannot sing for toffee, I just can't take it seriously. It starts to sound a bit like "Spirit in the sky", or is that just me? I do hope to God my new roomie's not a fan.

Anna C