Where's The Rock'n'Roll?
Chris Chinchilla gets a bit down with an abundance of random noise…

The Maccabees, ULU
ULU is full of sweat, teenage hormones and casual day time radio listeners, Jingle jangle and the kids all dance, "Uh Oh" and the kids all chant, but there's something fundamentally important missing, where are the songs? The Maccabees set is like one long yawn, lots of nice sounding chords all strung together, where are the verses, the choruses, the hooks, the ups, the downs? Where's the stage show, the presence? Where's the Rock & Roll?

The Dykeenies - Waiting for Go
Out now on Lavolta Records
Despite a name influenced by wondrous family fantasy romp, 'Willow' the band are yet another overproduced slab of boring American influenced trite. I barely noticed the tracks change from one to the other, I was just glad when it was all over.

Rose Kemp - A Hand full of Hurricane
Out 15th Jan on One little Indian
Rose Kemp's Live shows are phenomenal, such an expression filled and fuelled singer coupled with a tight proficient band make for a blistering combination. Rose Kemp's Debut single, 'Violence' was a particular favourite of mine, a brooding builder it was one of my favourite singles of last year. 'A Hand Full of Hurricane' contains some incredible tracks; Rose Kemp's voice soars in Rock Majesty and drops into serene heart felt moments. The music cleverly arranged, played and produced with skill and thought. The songs are raw, open and honest, about feelings and emotions, good and bad, but deeply personal and every word meant. There is a but to this review, although it's a small one. A few tracks are a little self indulgent, in that the songs are too long and some unnecessary, they feel like padding, with Rose's vocal trickery rather overshadowing the feelings of the song. Overall an impressive debut from a talented artist who exceeds all expectations and assumptions.


Mira Calix - Eyes Set Against The Sky
Out 15th Jan on Warp
Mira Calix makes no excuse at this being an Art Installation of sorts, an experiment in musical boundaries rather than song writing. Whilst it's all very interesting, I hate to sound narrow minded but I'm old fashion, I like songs, verses, choruses and bits that you want to whistle, an hour of noise is not my idea of fun. There is the occasional beautiful moment, but there's too much fiddling around, too much indulgence and lack of structure for my tastes.


Ellis Island Sound - The Good Seed
Out 12th Feb on Peacefrog
I seem to have been sent an abundance of random noise albums recently, I don't quite understand the point of recording an album of meandering melodies that don't really go anywhere. All very nice and pleasant, and a smattering of pretty melodies, but all to no avail.

Duke Garwood - Emerald Palace
Out 5th March on Butterfly Recordings
With a name like Duke Garwood I was hoping for some low down dirty blood, guts and spit blues, which this release is to a certain extent, but with an off-kilter, lo-fi edge. However too many times on the album you're left wanting tunes with direction and more of Duke's soulful, gritty voice and less meandering music that sounds mostly improvised, it all starts to drag after a few tracks


Dive Dive - The Revenge of the Mechanical Dog
Out January 15th on Land Speed Records
Despite a promising album name and some splendid song titles such as "Let the Blind lead the Blind" and "Talentless Fuck" this album on the whole pretty is terrible. There is too much Emo crap at the moment and far too much Disco beat nonsense (I keep saying this over and over again, I feel like I'm repeating myself far too much!) so why the hell combine the two! Commercial success I guess…


Orphan Boy - Trophies of Love
Out now on Concrete Recordings
Elements of Orphan Boy sound similar to many other bands currently on the bandwagon, some elements are even cringingly similar. Thankfully there seems to be a little more to the band. Firstly they poses an aggressive rawness presently lacking in so many bands, frantic, shouted lyrics on the Dull mundanity of life, great crashing guitar chords and driving instrumentals. If only more bands of this genre could be as imaginative.


Dartz! - Once, Twice Again
Out 22nd January on Xtra Mile Recordings
When I first listened to this CD I wanted to slate it completely, sounding like a horrendous hash of all my least favourite current musical genres, including Emo, disco-beat shit, Jingle-Jangle Indie Fop and obligatory Northern accents (not that there's anything wrong with that, it just seems that the Industry is almost looking for them…). Whilst there is a little too much of all of the aforementioned genres in Dartz!'s sound I'm glad I gave it a second listen as beneath all the spine chilling scene chasing are some good melodies, lyrics and musicmanship, boys, get original, you can do it!


Chris Chinchilla