Empty Vessels ...
Reviews by Sheraz Qureshi
Vessels: If it came down to it
Art Zoo noise? No I did not just make a genre up - that's how empty
vessels describe their sound! I suppose I understand to an extent. Words
aren't really the focus here. What you get are lots of la la's, shrieks,
and yes - animal style noises! There is of course the occasional sound
bite thrown in - but its what it all adds up to that makes it so impressive.
Throw away the lyrics
and suddenly indie isn't left bare - but
with a more diverse range of vocal sounds to experiment with, and for
daring to embrace that, empty vessels are to be applauded.
My Visor: Sickroom Remixes EP
Mac's vocals are definitely of the PJ Harvey mould, but it's what she
finds herself singing over that's the problem. There is potential here
for sure - but its just frustrating listening to songs that sound like
they could have been so much more. If you want to delve further, download
'think of you.' Its relegated to b side status here, but its their best
moment so far. Not any easy band to like, but definitely one to watch.
Icecream Headache: Not Indestructible
Bands like this aren't supposed to exist anymore. Think the fast and
the furious, a band somewhere between the politics of sham 69 and the
diy of art brute. They can't play and they don't care. I don't even
mind that this doesn't sound particularly original - in fact, that's
part of the appeal: " our aim is to make music redundant "
remember? Of course you can only get away with that if you have something
to say, and they do: "The world is not a playground it's a building
site" - It's Debord distilled all over again...
Stillman: The Weightless EP
Hmmm lets see:
Boys with guitars?
Angst / Self hate?
Where's the X factor?
Verse / Chorus
Impossible for girls to dance to?
Indie by numbers? No - never! PS: If you are going to try and present
a skewed version of your history to your fans, then you know - go for
it, but at least don't leave a trail of evidence on your website that
undoes it all! " I wasn't born for show / no labels on my soul
" yeah right
Ricky: High Speed Silence
The problem when bands try and emulate Britpop is that the end result
ends up more 'the man who' then 'definitely maybe,' and I don't think
'new acoustic' ever really did it for anyone. Yet there are some tracks
that really stand out. " That Extra Mile" reminds me of early
Travis (but complete with a feel good brass section). "Running,"
sounds like the Coral at their best and in ' I can lead you to war '
the band even find time to comment on the dangers of mixing religion
The verdict then? Feel good indie in the vein of
the magic numbers, although slightly weighed down by JJ72 esq. vocals
BUT give it a few listens and you will be won over to.
The album is called burgers because..... " Burgers symbolise everything
that is bad for you! Instantly satisfying; not good for you in anyway,
except to stop you feeling hungry and packaged to appeal to kids. Now
place that on pop music." Interesting
and the entire album
is packaged to read like a restaurant menu, with each song being compared
to a meal description. I don't know what to make of this to be fair.
Anything with kazoos in is always going to get a sort of thumbs up,
and I like the fact that even though they are trying to say something
they realise the importance of humour in trying to get through to people.
But ultimately the album is to long (1 hour 20 minutes) and lacks the
flair of say a Tenacious D that would make this all work. Bonus points
for effort mind.
Casual Saints: Bones in the Sun
The opening sounds a bit like we are scientists... its fun and upbeat
- and on the b sides they show they can do slower stuff to. At first
I worried that they sounded to similar to everything else to really
get noticed - but then I heard their cover of East 17's ' Stay another
day ' and suddenly wasn't anywhere near as sceptical! A good band then,
just don't expect any riots
Influx: I Got Held Up
I'm sure that with the right producer these songs could come across
better, but as it is - I find this hard to recommend. "This is
messy and ramshackle, with guitars that sound on the verge of collapse
" - yeah but that's not a good thing is it? I'm reminded of a less
accomplished At the Drive in
maybe I need to see them live before
Sidearm: Don't cry until you are dead.
like the presentation, whether that's the artwork on the cd - or the
website's design. Plus if you see them live they start their shows with
pretentious poetry readings and weird backdrop screen projections! Great
stuff! Listen to this if you like Mogwai / Godspeed your emperor
it's a demo - so don't expect it to sound ' fully there ' just yet,
but considering the budget this was done on it's as fine a piece of
angst fuelled rock as any.
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