All That Ever Mattered - Anna C reviews some summer release...
THE MORENAS- It shouldn't mata
This song is about Mata Hari, the WWI exotic dancer and convicted spy. Hence the amazing spelling of the title track. She has an inspiring story, one of seduction and international intrigue. One I would recommend that you read rather than listening to this as a single. Though the string-quartet and Buckley-like vocals add a sense of drama to the nicely melodic occasion, and re-inforce my opinion that this is definitely a grower, I still don't think that the latest offering from this London-based trio is one I will be listening to all summer long. And all because of a mis-used trumpet. Wonderfully played by chief-blower for UB40 (they were fab at Live8, weren't they? Note to self: must get "Best of" and perfect bogling technique), whilst it is claimed that this contributes a bit of funk to proceedings, I would say that the result is just a bit confusing. I wholly appreciate that they are trying to do something different but this time it just doesn't work. Which is why "Say something else" as a B-side is much better. Not only is it more catchy and powerful but it's cheeky simplicity sounds more like they are being themselves: uncomplicated and bouncy, teasingly teetering on their tiptoes and then bursting forth with a sumptuous ripple of bottom cheek. And who can go wrong with that as a formula? Yes, sirs; less pretence please, and more rock.
The Morenas release their debut album this summer so keep your eyes peeled.
CHERUBS- Uncovered by heartbeat
The debut offering from this Scandanavian five-piece can best be described
as a spiky kind of retro garage rock-pop, very much what The Strokes
would sound like if the Kaiser Chiefs chipped in with the odd riff and
were then bludgeoned over the head by aforementioned Strokes for their
efforts. And, through my idle daydreams about the Kaiser Chiefs being
mildly injured, I am pleased to add that this surprisingly works, because,
what this band lack in musical excellence, they make up for in what
many lack these days and that be charisma. In short, if you like the
odd few chords and the customary catchy bass-line, tune in. And even
if you don't, I think these guys are, regardless, set to be big anyway
(they have, for example, supported The Libertines). Because they're
here to rock. With gems like powerful debut single "Hey bunny"
and crackers like "Botox bop" and "9* out of 10",
which further have the sexual urgency, though perhaps not the mental
tendencies, of Pink Grease, whilst not being particularly new, The Cherubs
are also not trying to be anyone but themselves. For which I could kiss
their feet. Go figure.
I am currently receiving treatment for vertigo, a sensation, I'm told,
commonly caused by a disorder of the inner ear. My doctor says this
is possibly due to over-exposure to high levels of bad CDs (nooch).
This means that, amongst other things, I cannot control the co-ordination
in my hands very well. So finally I have an excuse for the mean things
I am about to write, as in "it wasn't me, it was my inner ear".
And what my inner ear thinks is that, whilst Spooky Hi-Fi describe themselves
as space-rock-slash-dream-psychedelia, what they actually translate
as is merely slow and somewhat boring guitar music, left behind from
some time in the 80's when the old hippies were fighting the age of
electronica. And losing.
FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND/ A BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
There were a whopping three support bands tonight, two of which I missed due to the age of the audience and the venue's consideration of their subsequent bedtime. Still, this can only be something of a blessing because, if chief support band Bullet For My Valentine are anything to go by, my ears would be bombarded with extremely rubbish metal. Indeed, totally hero-worshipped rubbish metal but very much still rubbish metal. However, I was forced to keep my ideas to myself for fear of being lynched by the tiny-boppers, as, dodging the metal signs and eleven year olds throwing up, I made my way to join the rest of the old folk at the back of the room.
So I was apprehensive about staying to watch Funeral For a Friend. After all, I was one of only a few people above 4'8" in the whole auditorium and was beginning to decide that if I saw another studded belt, then I would hang its owner with it. And that goes for pink lacy gloves too, though admittedly this would be more difficult. But, oh, how I laughed. Having said that, I couldn't help but be sucked in by the total atmosphere created by the adoration of the crowd (particularly the man with no neck in front of us who looked like he was going to wet his customary calf-length shorts). Credit where credit's due, the band put on a really impressive show (the lightshow was very nice), having done very well for themselves, and are blatantly having a great time. Delivering favourites like "Red is the new black" and "Amsterdam conversation", alongside recent material, FFAF remain emo hardcore at its highest potential, albeit a little Americanised since their last release but still with a pleasing blend of poignancy (read: teenage angst) and riffs large enough to knock your block off (read: piss your parents off). And if you can ignore the niggling voice in your head that screams that these portly Welshmen have sold out to their older fans, then check out their new album, "Hours", out now.
Local boys Meadowman mostly sound very much like Alice In Chains. Opening track, "Red" is full testament to this. With dirty guitar lines and truly grungy vocals from sexy vocalist, Mel, this is powerful stuff. Though at over six minutes long, I did skip to the next song after a while. Perhaps a bit too epic for me. Especially when what follows has even more potential. Other telling influences certainly include Led Zeppelin and, in turn, Soundgarden, with the rough stoner bluesy rock of early Reef or Pearl Jam thrown into the slow-moving mosh for good measure, particularly in the almost oceanic lull of "Kept", making this a band I recommend you seek out next time they hit the gig circuit. Though with caution: you will definitely get the munchies afterwards.
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