HOOVER MANOEUVRES- Meds
I'm not going to follow the press release and mention drugs, bedside manner, laboratories or what have you. Yes, this release is called Meds. I get it. What the scribe neglects to acknowledge is that the band is called Hoover Manoeuvres. Which will now form the basis for my review. Here is a band that suck you in (see what I did there?), going over the carpet of music-land, leaving it dust-free and clean-looking (arf, arf). The strength lying in vocals which rival the dual-action cyclone power of even the most efficient cylinder, at the very least, I was happy to hear opening track "Another high", a syooper-infectious summer club classic in the making which wouldn't be out of place in an aerobics class alongside Baby D or N-Trance. Essentially the sort of cheese that is normally strictly avoided, it is allowed on this occasion on the premise that housework does burn calories and I can't help but appreciate the energy behind a group that were finalists on ITV Talent "Unsigned". Whatever that is. To get to that point, they obviously didn't play faux funk-inspired "Don't it seem like" or "Something real", a poor imitation of Scissor Sisters (yes, poorer than Satan AKA Mika). Or the last ditty "Teach them" which would shake my bum far more much if it didn't try and have a moral message ("Teach them/While they're young/Love yourself/ Sisters and Brothers/Before they come undone"). Yuk. Apart from that, now the sun is out, when they stick to the electro-pop they can actually master they very much inspire the spring clean. Groan.
Released 5th May, 2008.
THIS ET AL: The Figure Eight EP
"Walking in a figure eight", the singer repeats. And repeats. And repeats. Perhaps this is a clever slant on stereotypical behaviour. Perhaps not. Either way, it's not a bad little track, fast and fuzzy and not quite lasting long enough for the warbling vocals to get on your tits. I have actually spent the last month or so watching a male Asiatic lion walking in his own figure of eight every day. I'll play it to him and see what he makes of it, assuming he doesn't want to mess up his mane by succumbing to a spot of head-banging. The other three songs are nowhere near as catchy so I doubt he'd like them quite so much. I hope they don't drive him to the point of anger. Having said that, they're not unlistenable. Unfortunately, they are just longer so the warbling does begin to grate. If this wasn't an issue, "Ice Age" puts me in mind of Biffy Clyro, who I very much enjoy. But they do have a better singing voices. The darkly beautiful instrumental at the end was therefore very nice. I imagine This Et Al may translate much better in a sweaty little back room somewhere than on a sunken sofa in a terraced house in sunny-yet-dreary Paignton. Shame. They could have my life a bit more interesting for a few minutes. Still, worth visiting the obligatory webpage if you so desire.
Released 28th April, 2008.
UNEXPLODED SHELLS- Hexthorpe 1
What can I tell you about Unexploded Shells? They are four people from t' North who don't have much in common and apparently their music does not have much in common with itself from one song to the next. They say that this is their strength. I cannot possibly form my own opinion as, despite trying the CD a couple of times in a few different appliances, it was totally and most definitely blank. And I a) am actually far too busy to fart around with myspace to review a band that couldn't be arsed to check whether their CD had burnt correctly and therefore b) couldn't be arsed myself to pursue the matter any further. So, it was pleasant to find that, although they pride themselves on not having anything in common with anything or anyone, in fact, we share a common trait of not giving a monkeys about very much the same thing: their music. They are lucky they got a mention at all, in fact. You can always check them out if you, yourself, can, indeed, be arsed. At least I had a free CD to burn Amy Winehouse onto, which is always appreciated from a skint student.
KUNT AND THE GANG- One last wank and one last cry album sampler
Needless to say that this is fairly offensive in the way that teenage boys (and some older boys with nothing better to do) are going to find hilarious. Using the word "front bum" is always a sure way to get the attention of your target audience. Which I don't think is me. I find it bizarre and intriguing why I am listening to a grown and, I suspect, rather sexually frustrated Essex man singing about how having pubes will make you manly (not entirely impressive but for the lyric urging that your auxillary hair should look like the Jackson Five and that Geoff Capes had a lot of pubes Couldn't help but chuckle at that one). But that's about as witty as it gets. Apparently embodying the spirit of punk, what you will find here is the filthiest lyrics around in the name of comedy recited over some cheap keyboard sounds custom-made to accompany the shock factor. With tracks entitled "I'm gonna lick you out" and "Use my arsehole as a cunt", this is not meant to charm and it doesn't. At least they have resigned themselves to their shortcomings, as is evident in the title of this album. The NME approve but then they're all wankers too. I'm off to watch "Midsomer Murders".
Released 5th May, 2008.