A Different Kind of Love
THE STATIKS - THIS KIND OF LOVE
It sort of sounds like The Smiths with something else...a flavour I'm not familiar with. You know those times when you feel like you've heard or seen something before but you can't quite place it? That's what this generally conveys. Vocally, it's got elements of Morrissey but with some more contemporary vocalists like Paul Banks and that bloke from the cynical marketting move band, The Editors whatever his name is. It all sounds the bloody same anyway. There's certainly some interesting ideas cracking off on this miniature release, in particular the drums (which I always have a listen out for. Nothing worse than a boring arse drummer) which are prone to spontaneous outbursts of tempo change and sprawling journeys across the kit but all the time, remaining tighter than a twelve year old boy in lycra. It all chugs along quite nicely indeed with guitars scything through the heavy bass. I tell you what, it sounds like Radiohead as well. Early Radiohead. Think 'My Iron Lung' era b-sides...yeah, I like it. I think the band name ruins the feel though. Y'know, sort of name you'd get from a band playing songs like 'Isn't Bin Laden Gay?' and 'Oi!'
Fabulous band name and an even better E.P title. Trying to describe the sound in itself is slightly more complicated. Like a quieter Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster but with Biffy Clyro weird clinky clonky guitars but then again not at the same time. It's a bit of shocker. They're the sort of band I'd love to sit with during one of their practices just to see what kind of thought process they go through. Myself, I'm fairly bland when it comes to trying to write something and I'd give my right bollock to be able to approach a song in the way this band seems to. It's not going to be to everyone's taste and thank fuck for that. The first track 'Death's Head March' travels in a way very much akin to how I imagine a cold turkey nightmare must do and given that it's far too expensive for me to start a heroin habit, I'm thankful for bands like this who give my imagination all the stimulation it needs. It has somewhat bittersweet yet violent side to it, typified by 'Lights Out' but also a melancholic sensitivity which is show to us briefly on the untitled third track and then leading into the starkly titled song 'The Room'. Generally, this record is the sound of boredom mixed with an unhealthy obsession with comedy funerals or indeed, a serious funeral where someone has spraypainted 'massive cock otter' on the side of the coffin. The fun thing to do of course is imagine someone's funeral soundtracked by this record and given that I generally find funerals somewhat amusing anyway, this would have me sent directly to hell. I'd keep an eye on this band. They'd no doubt be a John Peel favourite if the crazy bastard was still around to appreciate them. The cover art is pretty impressive as well. Always a bonus.
No doubt, they've been described as a very summery band or a very country and western influenced band. I'm going to attempt to avoid those comparisons. I won't lie, it DOES have that sort of sound to it but that's nothing to be ashamed of nor is it to be feared, hunted down in the middle of the night, attached to a stake and burnt in the village square. Having recently discovered the beautiful Jenny Lewis record, 'Rabbit Fur Coat' Homespun have caught me at a good juncture. It's sweet, contemplative and melancholic yet gently uplifting and emotive all at the same time. A good example of this can be heard on the third and final track 'Lonely Together'. It's very much a short and straight to the point record which is disappointing on the whole because I am curious to hear more. With only three tracks to play with, I'm left with the feeling that there could well be a lot more to this band but to the untrained ear, the interest could have been lost already which would be a shame for the band.
Bloody hell, we're three bands in and I've not had to vent myself at anyone yet.
POPULAR WORKSHOP - ALL ABOUT VIKKI DEMO
The good thing about this band is that they don't seem to be scared. Which is good. Scared artists make me want to vomit. I like repetition of two notes. It's mesmeric and it lends a hand to building up a state of euphoria much better than winsome stop/start breaks in songs which leave the crowd doing half the band's work for them. Controlled feedback, nasty chords and yet...Christ on a bike, a tune! A less boring version of '...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead' and I've just got my love of three piece bands back. I'm always impressed by the wonderful noises they can very often make and Popular Workshop do not disappoint me in any way. I can't possibly do this record anymore justice. I might remove parts of my body out of jealous rage that I'm not in this band. Also, just as The Furious Sleep will never really be that popular, I'm proud to announce that neither will Popular Workshop and that is in no way a condemnation of their record. I think it's the best thing they could possibly hope for. This is the band that Art Brut were promised to be like to me but where Art Brut failed and collapsed in a puddle of their own self important wank, Popular Workshop are the kind of deranged, musically minded psychopaths I love to see releasing records and offending self righteous muso twats. Brilliant stuff.
Have you been on play.com recently? They've been offering X-Files boxsets for as little as £13.99! Imagine that! I only say this because of the little sticker which has been carefully placed over the opening flap (oooh er) to the cd case stating that I can divert the attention of the FBI by simply listening to this CD. Now, back to the business. Shit band name. I can't make that anymore plain and simple. Sorry lads. Musically though...yes. I don't know what the problem with 'signed' bands is these days. There's nothing wrong with getting the distortion pedals out and making your record sound loud, heavy and offensive which is what Zeeb have done to good effect. It's very polished. I hope this is the sound they were looking for because production can make or break a record. It's terrible really but it's true. Now, while I might not actually go out and buy this record myself, I don't have a problem at all with this band existing. It's loud, it's heavy as previously stated. It's tuneful in a Foo Fighters way without having as good singalong choruses but it's enough to keep the attention. I can imagine them turning into a band like Ash. Great singles but dubious albums however, I think it can be safely said that they have a sense of humour. Again, not a condemnation but more a fondness for the creativity (particulary the sampling and beatboxing on track three) and obvious...understanding if not liking for the genre of rap and beatboxing. have a listen, you might well like it.
It's too quiet and a bit too poncey. Ok, yes I'll jump on the 'oh, aren't they young?' bandwagon and say that as a piece of work it's oh so phenomenal for such a young group of lads and it can't be falted really in its scope and magnitude. Only though, in as much as they are just playing about at the moment at being an experimental and progressive band but in time, they'll find their own niche I'm sure. It's interesting and refreshing to know that there are members of the younger generation embracing good, solid songwriters and not just wanking on about emo and how pained they are inside. Its scary and weird and spacey and oooOooOoOOOoHHhh in places but the vocal styling does get on my tits a bit. The lad has got a good voice which in time, will also develop and mature and become a force to be reckoned with but for the time being it's all a little samey and I've already got enough whiney progressive stuff in my collection to have me slicing at myself from now until Muse finally release a new album which directs you even further up Matt Bellamy's arse cavity. This record though does have all required fields for being a 'progressive' record. Poncey bit, ethereal bit, metally RARR!!! rock bit. My main gripe is that it's just not loud enough which might well be hampering my enjoyment. By all means go and see them, buy their records. It's not offensive but therein lies the problem. It's not the sort of thing that's going to have the neighbours complaining. You might wake up one morning to find the world has been annihilated in your sleep but they won't complain. I've just worked out that the lead singer sounds like a Gregorian Monk. Hmm. At least their not emo. That's some saving grace.
Christ! This bloke means business. It's smoother than a Leukemia patient's head. I'm a complete sucker for an impressive beard, a smooth and soulful shiny tet and an earing. He OBVIOUSLY means business. A small, potted history of my musical upbringing is needed here to better explain my predicament. When I was little, my father would play classic rock (Quo, Stones) while my mother would play Motown and classical music. You may have spotted the problem I'm having here. Motown. I'm a friend of Motown and Motown is a friend of mine and because of this, R 'n' B is somewhat in my blood and has been from an early age. Its well produced, the songs are finely crafted BUT it's a touch generic as a lot of modern R 'n' B is. It's not quite Craig David but then again, it's not a bag of frog spunk either. I can't imagine for a moment that your typical R.E.P.E.A.T reader is going to rush out and buy this record so it doesn't matter really what I say about it. I'm going to be fair. It's not shit and it's good in the sense that it follows the set pattern of what you'd expect an album of this genre to sound like but we're all about being a bit weird, aren't we? We like things that you can throw petrol bombs to. Unfortunately for a lot of talented individuals pursuing a career in R 'n' B, Marvin Gaye did it first and did it with a lot of style and flair. Everything else just seems like routine. Mind you, I imagine you can shag to this just as well as you could to 'Lets Get It On' so it can't be that bad, can it?
Oh how it would be so so easy for me to mention The Charlatans here. It's folky, just as the little accompanying press kit says it is but it's not folky or even country enough to be compared to Homespun. Where Homespun were slightly detached, E.D.O.M wear their hearts on their sleeves. It's all about the emotionally obvious. There are some records which make you feel cold, some make you feel reassured etc. This band encourage you to let it all out and have a good knees up / cry / moment to yourself in the corner to the exclusion of everyone else. This is also well produced, a nice shiny pop record which would fit nicely alongside lots of Irish folk songs about how the English are all bollocks and it's constantly raining. It's going to be for a very specific group of persons, that's for sure. I can't falt it really if I was to be realistic. I have to keep stating when something just isn't my cup of tea though and this isn't something I'd kill my own family for. Good for a gentle country drive in your Renault Clio though, I'm sure.
Electro pop. It's a curious thing. In the eighties, the decade that taste forgot (everyone says it was the seventies but that's bollocks. Look at Shaft, for Christ's sake) it was impossible to move for Flock Of Seagulls' haircuts and just as impossible to draw breath without inhaling hairspray. YSN invoke a curious feeling within me. It's the need to gyrate my booty and do that funny little two step dance thing that you see everyone doing in Scarface and Miami Vice (they're always looking at something on the floor...just watch them). Thank fuck it's not Scissor Sisters though. I'd rather have a band come along and sound like Duran Duran than I would a band come along and sound like a gay Bee Gee's. That's not to say that YSN sound like Duran Duran or even as distant as The Human League but rather a grand amalgamation of all things wonderful and questionable about the eighties. The b-side to the single though is a wonderful barbershop style song, with a dinner hall feel (probably down to the fact that is in noted as being a live recording) and Noel Coward vocal delivery. I want the album. It's interesting enough for me to say that which is a lot by todays standards. The lead singer is called Pete Wurlitzer. Fucking excellent. Hunt this down. Hunt anything they've released down and dance. That is a direct order.
It's retrogressive. I want to like this because the artwork is sparse which is just what I like. They have a horn section. Right, that's plus points. It's a good enough band name and a good record title. This could all come crashing down on me though. It's been built up already and I'm not so sure what to think of it musically yet. Hmm, no it's boring. I don't like it. If you're the kind of person who likes guitars with very little effects on them and you also like all your bands to sound like 50's and 60's cabaret acts then you'll most likely want to lick peanut butter out of Sarandon's bum crack. OK, well I'll do the fair thing...they're tight, the songs all do the normal thing yadda yadda. Its apparently in their ethos to produce, short pop songs because they don't need to be longer which is fair enough I suppose. It's just a shame that those short bursts aren't very good. Another great example of a band with plenty of good ideas just no talent to back it up. Next.
Now, this cd comes with the grand total of six tracks and six different artists. A showcase if you will, for the record label Wrath to show off their talent (note; YSN and Sarandon are also part of the Wrath label). I'm not going to go to town on all of them. If I'm interested, you'll know. I will now list the bands, their songs and my opinion:
SCARAMANGA SIX - I WEAR MY HEART ON MY SLEEVE
Oh, it's ok I suppose. I doubt they're going to set the world on fire but if I was drunk enough I'd dance. It's rock but no one likes being called 'just rock'. Meh, fuck 'em. I know someone who loves THE Cardiacs and Cardiacs frontman Tim Smith does all the production work on their records so it reads in the press kit. Anyone else know who THE Cardiacs are?
ME AGAINST THEM - BAD JUDGEMENT
This is better. I'd love to think it was only one person on an unholy mission to destroy everyone and everything to the soundtrack of his own twisted and violent garage rock because everything else was just 'shit'. I'd love to see this go a bit further. They did a session for John Peel. Whatever gets his vote gets mine. Lazy journalism but why bother telling you something John Peel already has?
THE PLAYMATES - DAMN GOOD
Oooh, it's all getting a bit cheeky now! It sounds like Status Quo though which is just hilarious. So I read, they're supposed to be quite lewd and shocking with their onstage antics. It doesn't quite stipulate what they do though. I doubt you could get much worse than sniffing a dead crow in a jar though. Raises the bar somewhat, doesn't it? Nah, I don't like it although it is sort of like Andrew W.K which is a guilty pleasure of mine. It lacks the good cheesey quality though. It's quite Buzzcocks at some points in the song but comedy Buzzcocks (Orgasm Addict) which could never be considered a good thing.
INSTANT SPECIES - HOMBRECIDE
A spikier version of Calexico really if I was going to strip it down to its bare bones. It has a post punk air to it in the same vein as Wire (without sounding like it. I don't want to cause a furor) which makes it interesting listening and it's good enough to want to hear some more, making it one of the stronger additions to the compilation.
FARMING INCIDENT - THE TERRORIST YOU SEEK IS IN THE MIRROR
Crap. I just hope its down to bad production more than anything else. It's like playground punk. Not big, not clever. Just crap. Good band name though.
THE TERMINALS - SCREW ME UP
Oooh, excellent! It's bubblegum pop in the best possible way!!! Problem is it's a bit like Weezer as well and all that other terrible American cock but it's better overall than that which makes it my personal favourite of the compilation. This is brilliantly bad. I love it although I can't take it seriously.
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