Passing the Buck
Buck Brothers - Me (www.buckbrothers.net)
Buck Brother press release includes lots of exciting and revealing facts. Such as the fact that Daniel Radcliffe (he of nudey horse riding fame) is a big fan - he's 'addicted to the CD' apparently. That they met at a suburban Buddhist Disco, whatever one of those is. That they're the world's first Anglo-Irish-Swedish band and are going for the world record by playing 30 shows in 12 hours. That their bassist's bass was once owned by Bruce Foxton and that the drummer is cousins with Jarvis Cocker.
But what of the music? It's described as Predatory-Power-Punk-Pop, and I suppose that's right. Only it seems to lack the power implicit in that description. Maybe it's the recording technique, maybe it's the Zeitgeist that bands have to have scratchy guitar parts in, maybe it's my ears, but these songs all sound remarkably tame. That's not to say that the boys lack the knack of writing a good tune, some of these are remarkable hummable - 'One Day I'll Say It' has a top hook, while 'Gorgeously Stupid' is just that, a gorgeously stupid song that would be quite at home on a Bloodhound Gang CD.
Which maybe the problem. While aiming for Blink 182 (surely dated?) power-punk pop formula, they've actually hit on something else they're better at.
So, who's going to tell 'em, me or you?
+44 : When Your Heart Stops Beating (www.myspace.com/plus44)
Not as promising as some of these though
Kunk : Hey Hey Hey (www.myspace.com/kunk)
And here they are again, justifying all that confidence we put in them. Great slabs of riffing guitars, snarled vocals, simmering choruses and frantic drumming, Kunk sit aloof somewhere between The Foo Fighters and Pavement attending Mark E Smith's nth birthday party. While Mark would probably chuck the Foos and Pavement out of the room before the candles were lit, I feel sure the Kunk kids would be welcome to stay right til the jelly and ice cream had all been eaten and thrown around.
It's the marriage of powerful punk melodic guitars and hooks (revealing Buck Brothers for the lightweights they are) with the angular and unexpected, that appeals to me so much in Kunk.
Don't tell Daniel Radcliffe, he'll be all over them like a horse.
The Horrors : Gloves (www.myspace.com/thehorrors)
I do love The Horrors' sound; the gushing almost throwaway fairground organ which somehow manages to pack an unsettling, disturbing punch, allied to distinctive guitar work, marks The Horrors out as special. As does the image and subject matter. A bit like Nick Cave's Birthday Party going to a Garage Punk snuff movie accompanied by The Cramps, driven there by the keyboard player from The Beach Boys.
Refreshing, challenging, different.
And anyone who can annoy the fuck out of the indie emo establishment is OK by me.
Bring on the album in March and we'll really see the strength in depth of The Horrors.
The Total Drop : Your Excellency (www.myspace.com/thetotaldrop)
This is refreshing too. Quirky girl powered DIY pop from New Cross. The cooing vocals preen and pout atop of some deliciously left field beats, carefully counter-pointed bass parts and colliding keyboard lines with a chorus I'm sure I won't get out of my head all night. The flip side, Altitude, also boasts some choppy guitar which drives the track on like a good 'un. Reference points are I suppose the 80s synth pop bands, but I'm also reminded of the left field weirdness of earlier acts such as The Delta 5 and The Modettes, bands who managed to be new and challenging while still keeping a heart of pop.
Your Excellency? Yes indeed!Attila the Stockbroker /David Rovics, The Loft Cambridge, 14.2.07
If you ever think that culture is all mainstream, that the kids all
have their brains mashed by Myspace, celebrity TV and Blairite bullshit,
then you need to come to an Attila gig. Tonight, a venue in Cambridge
was packed with young (and not so young) people raging against the machine
that seeks to make us all just cogs in its money-making operation. Attila
the Stockbroker was on top form, showing why he's been able to establish
himself as an anti-establishment, widely respected and very funny rebel
voice over the past 25 years, railing against subjects as diverse as
the war, celebrity culture and the 'Donkey Sanctuary' at Cheslea Football
Club, while the slightly more reflective David Rovics articulated in
a more restrained, more melodic manner, similar sentiments, finishing
with a moving a-cappella attempt to put these manifestoes into human
form in 'Behind the Barricades'.
Johnny Panic : The Rebel (www.myspace.com/johnnypanic)
To paraphrase Jane Austen (which I do all the time), if you're sick of Johnny Panic, then you're sick of the world.
Apparently this song is available to download for 75p from The Rebel himself Mr Bill Gates via MSN music, but he wouldn't let me buy one, the big Tory meanie. Not to worry, I seem to be able to listen for free to my heart's content.
Do you really know what's on your mind?
The Might Roars : Swine and Cockerel (www.myspace.com/themightyroars)
Redundant, I'm off to leap around the room.
Care to join me?