Shake Your Backbone
Anna C gets down with the dinosaurs

THE BRUTE CHORUS- Could this be love?

I thought this was a cover of the Bob Marley classic, until I realised that I was getting confused with ‘Could you be loved?’ and ‘Is this love?’ Whoops. It couldn’t be farther from the jaunty reggae anthem anyway. The first single to be released from The Brute Chorus’ forthcoming second album, ‘How the caged bird sings’, was recorded in a freezing cold village hall for starters. And if that wasn’t enough of a contrast to laidback, tropical rasta, ‘Could this be love?’ is written following an apparently inspirational trip to a Lewisham A and E after the quartet’s drummer, Matt, was beaten up after a party, the story of a man racing towards his loved one in his mind, but actually leaving this world in his body. Very Patrick Swayze. The drummer survived, by the way, and his dominating drums throughout perfectly illustrate the dramatic life and death struggle, just over three minutes or so of tragic desperation, some dirty guitars and rock and roll vocals enough to enamour fans of new favourites, The Bookhouse Boys, and more seasoned rockabilly acts. Though, at times, The Brute Chorus possess a distinctly US garage-rock feel due to the classic simplicity of their songwriting, they nevertheless prove that there is life in the old British music scene yet. If not Jamaica’s.

Released 26th April, 2010.


BEING 747- Shake your Backbone

I reviewed Being 747’s ‘Health and safety’ some years ago now and was an instant fan of their eccentricity- quite impossible to define and too clever not to pay attention to. Always for those with a sense of the ridiculous, it is therefore no surprise that the Huddersfield trio have come up with another similarly weird science-based concept album in new release ‘Amoeba to zebra’. Inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, ‘Shake your backbone’ is the first instalment from the band’s self-proclaimed “natural history musical”, at first appearing to set the scene rather well for those listeners delving into their kitsch art-pop for the first time.


However, alongside B-side, ‘Reigning Reptiles’, it is clear that the group have moved further away from the music part of their music/science experiment since I heard them last, playing on the cabaret element of their previous offering with a ferocity only matched by the dinosaurs they seemingly champion. Sounding not unlike Boris Pickett’s ‘Monster Mash’, ‘Shake your backbone’ is more annoying than catchy and, whilst a lot of fun may be had from encouraging us to shake our bottoms, the song’s dumbed-down sentiments are backed with a tune so childish as to completely detract from the amusing, educational lyrics and punchy new-wave pop. “Everybody’s got that bone/ A tiny tail to thrash from side to side” they gleefully sing – the playful nature found here might explain why Being 747 have had praise from schools up and down the country; it also explains why, musically, they are failing to appeal to the masses. Still, if you are travelling to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer, perhaps this will make more sense with the accompanying visual stage-show. Or if you are under twelve.

Released 29th March, 2010

Anna C