LISTENING TO SILLY INDIE BANDS SO YOU THAT DONT HAVE TO...
Rakennus Ash takes the bullet.
HONEY RYDER- Numb
First things first, Honey Ryder have an ace name which is important.
Cant be doing with your Foals and your The Views. Its a
promising start and Honey Ryder and I are ready to make friends. Unfortunately,
they then proceed to spoil everything by making wretched Dido style
complaint pop only with slightly heavier guitars. They also see fit
to use their bio to tell us, in what I can only describe as tedious
detail, their intention to fund their recording career via a share issue
on all future profits.
VIOLET VIOLET- Bring! Bring! The Morn And Bike Till Dawn
Now this is much more like it. Lovely spiky punk rock made by three
girls who share the surname Violet. Like The Ramones. Fabulous, obviously.
Going back a wee bit, this lot remind me of Chicks, another all girl
3-piece who supported the Manics about ten years ago, were tipped for
stardom and then promptly disappeared off the face of the earth. Violet
Violet are, however, made of sterner stuff-all fizzy guitars and gorgeous
harmonies. In Twin On Twin with its call and response chorus they
have a classic in the making.
ROSALITA- Manga Girl
When reviewing Rosalita its compulsory to mention that they won
the Road to V competition last year. Rosalita won the Road to V competition
At the risk of showing my age though, I have to say they leave me cold. Yeah, its all good clean fun but wheres the soul? They dont seem to be saying anything at all and for a band as clearly talented as this, to let themselves down with such cretinous lyrics (listen to Art Attack and wince) is a damn shame.
SPARKADIA- Morning Light
This pretty little ditty starts off sounding a bit like Roxanne which
sets the alarm bells racing. Luckily it settles down fairly quickly
Good tune though so I shant hold it against him and neither should you.
JACK McMANUS- You Think I Dont Care
Good Christ almighty, the last thing the world needs is another terrifyingly middle of the road English singer-songwriter. Is there a factory somewhere churning these fuckers out? Is it not time to get Stella-ed up, assemble a mob-pitchforks, burning sticks and the like-and close that bad boy down before it does any more damage?
This guy sounds like Toploader. Toploader!
XX TEENS- Only You
If any of you lot know how to say this bands name, please write
to me. Is it like a long XXXX or do you actually have to
say both the Xs? Its
Hmm I like this. Its exciting and breathless and a little like snogging someone for the first time when youre still not 100% sure if they like you or not. I dont sleep anymore and Im too tired to eat sings Rich Cash (I hope to God thats his real name) and you find yourself believing him. The driving guitars and frantic vocals bring to mind The Killers before they climbed aboard the Good Ship Springsteen and the band earn themselves extra brownie points by managing to polish the song off at around the two and a half minute mark.
Nice work fellas. Always remember that brevity is next to Godliness.
TRIPWIRES- Just So You Know
This is ace. Absolutely ace. When I was about sixteen I was firmly
of the opinion that all music should sound like this-shouty chorus,
On their website, the band describe themselves as alternative rock. Bollocks to that Tripwires are a pop band and a damn special one at that.
ORPHAN BOY- Stilletos
And so crashing back down to Earth we come to Grimsby rabble Orphan Boy. Anyone familiar with The Arctic Monkeys mileau (everybody) will know what this horrible song sounds like. We have the loud, jerky guitars, the lyrics that aspire to urban poetry but are more like a 5 year old writing a school essay entitled What I Saw Today and the ridiculously accented vocals. Youre still messing abaht with all the wrong uns they shout. Are there many cockneys in Grimsby do you think? They probably imagine theyre gritty.
THE MARCHES- Album Sampler (Loaded Records)
Now this is an odd little thing. The Marches is not, as the name implies, a silly Indie band but rather a chap named Rich Lane who, after spending years as an underground dance music producer, has decided to branch out into singer-songwriter territory. Opener Disco Sucks surprises the hell out of me by being an absolutely scorching disco track. Bee Gees 1978 scorching. Im loving it and am dancing around the living room like a pint sized Travolta, thinking that Lane is some kind of genius.
Im quickly proved wrong as after three minutes of disco carnage,
Rich Lane starts singing and it aint good. We dont
need pills to get our thrills, we get our kicks from rock n
roll, he murmurs in an awful weedy Lennon voice. Ahh, so its
irony you deal in, is it Mr Lane? You pretend to dislike dance music
whilst playing us a dance tune. How clever. On the other hand, just
because something is ironic doesnt stop it from being shit. Blur
taught us that with a little
The rest of this sampler is a mish-mash of different ideas. Baby Boomer is a lament for the unfulfilled promise of that generation and its inability to affect genuine social and political change, an admirable enough sentiment but one which is ruined by the Beatles aping mediocrity of Lanes arrangement. We are also treated to Electro Pop (Turn It Around), Dub (Yard Arm) and chilled wobbly electronics (Life Goes On), all of which are ruined by that awful voice. Im not against experimentation per se but this leaving no genre unturned attitude smacks a little of desperation you dont like Indie? Well dont go away, I can do Massive Attack too.
Lose the singing and stick to the disco, sir. The disco rocks.
ZEBIDEE- Planet Zebidee
Disappointingly, Zebidee is not a 300 year old Texan with a beard and
a banjo. Zebidee is Mike Nicholls, a session musician who has been in
This album is every bit as bad as the sentence world music from another world suggests. Frighteningly dull electronic noodling from a guy who really ought to be old enough to know better. Jeff Waynes War Of The Worlds this aint. War Of The Worlds had Richard Burton and Phil Lynott, and was based on a classic story by H.G. Wells. Planet Zebidee has squelchy noises.
At the end of this record I am fifty minutes older. Its better than Orphan Boy but only in the same way that its probably more pleasant to have a broken bone reset than open heart surgery.
LATE OF THE PIER- Fantasy Black Channel
FBC kicks off with a majestic wall of noise called Hot Tent Blues,
its discordant riffs a statement of intent that this is going
to be a tad different from the Rosalitas of this world. Broken is like
Franz Ferdinand in space, all spiky guitars, bass you could level planets
with and synths to die for, and previous single Space And The Woods
boasts the best glam stomp since Marilyn Manson decided he wanted to
be Bowie and made Mechanical
However, its on The Bears Are Coming that things really get weird.
Full of machine gun drumming, what I think is scratching although it
Picking highlights from Fantasy Black Channel is difficult as theres
not a duff track to be heard but Focker, a break up tune with a filthy
synth riff that makes your arse move like its pissed in a gabba
disco AND a heart (I wanna be your friend, wails singer
Samuel Dust), would be Number 1 for months in a perfect world. Add to
that closer Bathroom Gurgle which seems to
THE CORRECTIONS- Repeat After Me
Opener This Voice Is Not My Voice is built around the line If
your heart wont listen to your head you might as well be dead
and is alright in that
That familiarity is the problem The Corrections suffer all the way
through this album. Its hard to pick out anything awful here but
Ive heard this album three times now and I bet if I ever hear
one of the songs on the radio, Ill say to my girlfriend Is
this bloody Snow Patrol? Third song Full Stop with
its silly piano riff and ridiculously melodramatic lyrics could
be key study material in a uni course entitled How To Get In The
Charts With An Indie Song in 2008.
And so Repeat After Me plods along with its slower songs (An Easier
Way) and its faster ones (White Dog) and Im thinking that perhaps
its my problem
LITTLE JACKIE- The Stoop
Anyone remember Imani Coppola? She was briefly famous as a teenager
in 1997 with her Neneh Cherry influenced single Legend Of A Cowgirl
but, like so
The World Should Revolve Around Me is the first key track here. Think
Jenny From The Block, only not shit. Coppola describes it as her anthem
Throughout the album, Little Jackie show that there is another way for hip hop and r n b to go. Their beautiful minimalism really lets Coppolas lyrics come to the fore and there are some stone cold classics, Stars and Stipes is acting all sassy and crass, from Cryin For The Queen being a personal favourite. On 28 Butts, a sort of summation of a females life, Jack Kerouac gets a name check. Yeah, you heard right Jack Kerouac like what Manics fans read.
Everything about The Stoop is so far removed from what this genre has
been reduced to that its tempting to get lost in just listing
the differences. This would do Little Jackie a disservice as The Stoop
deserves to stand alone as the marvellous piece of work it is. Another
typical day in the universe, another MC spits a puny verse,
complains Coppola in 28 Butts.