An Adventure In Skill and Chance -
Richard Bull puts the world to rights

A jiffy bag falls through the letterbox. Boom. It lands on the floor. Tentatively I check for signs of explosives or chemical warfare. Nope it’s from R*E*P*E*A*T. However, on occasion some of the contents of these packages are far more hazardous to health that any kind of anthrax or Boom-stick. The contents are discussed as follows. I shall go from the shittest to the superb in that order. Here we go…

Sakis Gouzonis – New Earth (Logos Music, 2009)

Well, let’s start as we mean to go on shall we. Sakis Gouzonis is a one-man composer, multi instrumentalist, arranger and producer of “electronic instrumental music”. Hailing from Greece, Sakis has won a billion awards and is by far the most popular Greek artist on MySpace (it’s true, look it up). So what does it sound like? Well, do you remember Sonic the Hedgehog on the Megadrive back in the day? Well imagine listening to the background music to that but only on the really shit levels and without the enjoyment of playing the game. Or the kind of music that they used to put on CeeFax when every sane person in the world was either asleep or too drunk to care. Or the kind of music that you can imagine would be being played on the seemingly endless trip in the elevator down to hell. Basically it’s pretty terrible-namby-pamby-incidental-nothing noise that makes you go to sleep and dream about exciting shades of beige. Even more simply, it’s awful. But hey, you never know, maybe you’re into that kind of thing. I sincerely hope not.

Dilute To Taste – Roots Reggae Funk Rock Smoothie EP (2010)

The debut EP from Dilute To Taste is kind of summed up in its title. There’s a bit of reggae, some rock and a noticeable chunk of funk there (Ta da! Does exactly what it says on the tin). There are saxophones and two-tone skanking and even the odd widdly Keeeef Richards guitar solo. Musically it’s all over the shop with hints of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Specials, James Brown and Parliament. For those of you who like your funk funky, I am sure you will love it. Good summer music all around really. Personally I could throw in a famous old Morrissey quote here about reggae but I am sure I would get in far too much trouble. C’est la vie.

Wolfmother – Far away (Island, 2010)

Power ballads are great. And Wolfmother are great. But this power ballad by Wolfmother is not great at all. It finished seconds ago and I can’t remember anything about it. I think it had a guitar solo. And no Wolfmother, I am not being overly critical because you pulled out of the Download festival last month. Not in the slightest bit. No Sir-ree. And, AND whilst I’m slinging shit against the wall here, I have said it before and I will say it again: Cosmic Egg eh? Shit name for an album.

Golden Hours – Pioneering / Wash The Night Eyes (Broken Tail Records / Josaka, 2010)

Golden Hours formed from the fallout of Berkshire 5 piece The Wookies. Much in the same way as New Order formed from the fallout of Joy Division. Or Velvet Revolver from the fallout of Guns N Roses. Or All Time Low from the fallout of Busted. But without all the drama. Rethinking how to approach making records, Golden Hours have come up with this delightful double A side of a record. Sounding a cross between White Lies, The Futureheads, Interpol and the Bravery, this is perfect indie angular electro pop. First track Pioneering is an exercise in tight punchy indie with staccato vocals tinged with electro backing. Second track Wash The Night Eyes is a slow builder beginning as a sweeping soundscape in itself eventually climaxing in a Futureheads style ending (although disappointingly fading out at the end. Why? I fucking hate fade-outs). But generally it’s a lovely little record and I would recommend it to anyone. Go and listen to it.

Turncoat – An Adventure In Skill and Chance (2010)

And so, in at number one we have Brighton’s very own Turncoat. It’s been a dodgy ride for Turncoat having been signed and dropped by record labels more than any band of this calibre deserves. Turncoat write soaring songs that you feel like you’ve known all your life whilst not sounding at all unoriginal. They tell stories of heartbreak and loneliness and broken things that come across as though you are actually sat in an old time smoky bar with them getting drunk, putting the world to rights then ultimately leaving feeling jubilant and refreshed at kicking out time. In terms of sound the most striking similarity is to Canadian band The Dears (listen to them, they’re brilliant) as well as Blur, Morrissey and very very early Pulp. Currently unsigned and doing it their own way, Turncoat should be huge.

Right, that’s enough from me. Until next time… x

Richard Bull