8 Cans Yeah!
Mercury Tilt Switch - Kiprono (Pet Piranha Records)
Oh, guys. You were doing so well. The first track here is a load of slowly building, subtle ways of sound, seeming to promise an interesting and gently tuneful album. However, when things really kick in it turns out that what we actually have here is basically early Placebo with some extra rock riffs grafted onto it, and a vocal which shouts in an angry, post-rock-approximation-of-tuneful kinda way in place of Molko's singing.
And from that description, you've probably already decided whether to like them or not.
The Marble Index - The Marble Index (High Coin)
"Hmm," I thought, "I'm sure I've heard that name somewhere apart from the Nico album of the same name. I wonder in what context?" If there's any sanity in the world, that context would've been "the definitive list of up and coming bog-standard pub rock," if such a thing exists. This veers back and forth between bluesy rock and slightly choppier sounding numbers with maybe a tiny hint of ska. But whatever the slight variations, it all averages out at "Competent Local Support Band", topped off by some rather slurred vocals. A couple of tracks have a little more colour, and hint at the possibility of some more interesting developments lurking in the distant future. But for now, no go.
Matt Sery - A More Perfect Union (RiffRat Records)
It's Christian rock. And even if it wasn't Christian rock, it'd still sound like Sting.
A short while back, Oxfam Glamour Models released the mighty, mighty 'Kick Out The Grams' - but backed it with an AA-side which kinda let the side down. Sigh, we did.
This time round, however, they've released a perfectly matched double-whammy of snotty punk-upstart indie thrills. Hurrah! Let there be appropriate rejoicing!
What OGM - ah, fuck it, that's too cool a name to abbreviate - what Oxfam Glamour Models do is take the current trend for urban observation as pioneered by a multitude of monotone dullards, drench it in sneering clattering irreverent anarchy and then spew it out of your speakers at so fast a speed that the song veritably trips over itself in its rush to corrupt your eardrums. Which surely sounds like a winning scheme.
Oxfam Glamour Models are pissed off, colourful, energetic and as close
to pop as anything so chaotic can be. No, it's not new. But they do
focus on and remodel the bits of the old which actually fucking mattered,
rather than picking up and wringing dry the least appetising scrapings
of history's hype while ignoring the soul of it, and for this we applaud
them. And we hope they'll hang around for while, insulting and unsettling
their peers, striking pretentious poses - and, while they're at it,
writing some cracking tunes.
Fuzzily distorted, clanking and industrial electro scuzz noise? Why, yes please! That sounds like a fine idea! And happily - what a coincidence - it's an idea that These New Puritans have not only already had, but have carried to fruition very nicely. Now Pluvial is a fine EP indeed: one of the better of the disco-punk noises that've been emerging of late, with a satisfying dose of Wire and Fall references to temper the modern noise making machines.
TNP favour strong, insistent beats, giving their sound a mechanical edge and resulting in an almost industrial noise with lots of dull, heavy thuds and solid echoes. In case that feels a little bit too harsh and unforgiving, there're some laser noises, clicks and fairground synths to temper the clunking and make everything feel more welcoming and disco. Meanwhile, the distortion covering everything gives all the tracks a punk edge, adding a touch of out-of-control chaos to things and allowing the songs to be both smart-arsed and immediate. Chuck some sarcastic anger and the odd dose of melancholy over the top of things, and you wind up with some songs which're impressive and enjoyable enough to make this well worthy of a regular slot in the CD player.