The Truth That Hurts
THE MIGHTY ROARS- Sellotape
"Sellotape" is two minutes of no-holds-barred musical kickboxing that it is essential that you hear. Released through One Little Indian, and mixed by the bloke responsible for Foo Fighters, it's about commanding a man to stick your broken rock bitch limbs back together again with said sticky adhesive (after perhaps a catfight, involving heavyweight handbags, with Karen O or Joan Jett) and then karate chopping him with your new found strength- and not just any karate chop but a karate chop only matched by the "crane" move performed by Daniel Son at the end of the first "Karate Kid" flick. Yes, finally here is a band are THAT chuffing brilliant. Purely amazingly powerful punk rock and roll, yet with an angry bleach-blonde adulteress "woo-ooh" of such punch rarely seen since Blur's "Song 2"(but with more testicles), this one girl/two guy combo have a debut album entitled "Swine and cockerel" out in January which will, according to this anyway, be so good that YOU will need THEIR attention.
GO AND BUY THIS on 11th December, 2006- EVEN FOR YOUR GRANNY FOR CHRISTMAS! She's bound to thank you for it.
THE MACCABEES- First love (album sampler)
Oh dear. More swaggering yet spiky guitar-based pants from London town. How much more can one girl stand? As Johnny Rotten once famously said "ever feel like you're being cheated?" He may well have also been predicting the state of the British music scene in years to come. Produced by Stephen Street, most notably associated with Blur and the man Coxon, this is nevertheless something of a rather standard Jam rip-off, the vocal being annoying enough to perhaps guarantee them a part in The Futureheads hall-of-fame, though mixed with the unmistakable chug and grand gestures of romanticism best reserved for bands like Dirty Pretty Things (and we all know they were just a poor excuse to give Carl Barat something to do for the time being). So, apart from the title track on this taste of things to come, which is, I'll grant you, merely a great pop track, I honestly don't rate anything else I've heard yet; the lack of imagination and variety found here is simply shocking, even for my ears. Dubbed "the best new band in Britain", apparently they are amazing live and their show will be unforgettable. But will you be humming any of their tunes afterwards? I think not. Regardless, another band that will make it big in 2007, despite being a big old pair of bollocks.
This was released on 13th November, 2006. Which was, more interestingly, my friend's 27th birthday.
+44- When your heart stops beating
I watched a film the other day about a particularly well-known Kazikstahni journalist who makes his way around America, showing most citizens he meets to be rather vile. One such scene involves him hitching a ride with three frighteningly idiotic fraternity brothers who, it appears, hate women but no doubt believe that listening to this kind of music will make them appear sensitive enough to get laid by girls who think McFly also "rock", though retain their manliness through the pounding bass drum and the heavy guitar riffs.
And so, picking up where Blink 182 left off, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker (you may also remember him as the stupid one in programmes such as MTV's "Meet the Barkers") proudly present more whining, over-pronounced Americana pop-punk-bordering-on-emo. The variety of sound is, as you might expect, not very varied, the songs based mainly around things that "she said", and, though perhaps not quite as cheesy as what they've previously come up with, the phrase "more money than sense" still springs to mind. Because, yes- these two have a lot of cash and have produced music for every Tom, Dick and Harry here, there and everywhere; it's just a shame they don't put as much effort into their song-writing. Only the admittedly catchy single "When your heart stops beating" and instrumental "Interlude" (thank goodness for small mercies) made me shake an arse cheek each. Not to mention opening track "Lycanthrope" in which Hopus implores his subject "you can just stop talking- I get it". Indeed.
This was released on 13th November, 2006. Not that anyone over the age of fifteen cared less.
For a band with such a rubbish name, and one that is set to perform in libraries up and down the British Isles, Mr Hudson and The Library are surprisingly cool (actually, performing in libraries nationwide is, in my opinion, pretty cool but nevertheless not very rock and roll). Recently signed to Mercury Records, finally here are another five people from London who aren't noisily going on about the crapper side of life, instead doing it quietly and with a certain amount of class. And wit- yes! Wit! Layering steel drums and piano with a fiercely proud hip-hop and reggae-based rhythm section and a man wearing a bloody trilby singing rather cynical lyrics over Bowie-inspired melodies, and you get a blend of something which sounds like pop, though shouldn't work at all, but will have you humming along before you can say "commercial radio station". Topped with a "banging remix" of said title track, whilst I am without doubt that they have more interesting songs up their sleeves, this release grabs the attention enough not to make you reach for a book instead (arf, arf).
Released October 16th 2006.
NOISETTES- Don't give up
There was something about this single that just didn't grab me but I didn't have time to put my finger on it. Because this song only lasts about two and a half minutes; an intense cacophony of a sleazy guitarist, a hairy drummer called Jamie and London's answer to Karen O in the energetic wail of front-woman, Shingai Shoniwa, though there is no escaping the fact that this will grab you by the balls- regardless of whether you have any- this hyperactive rock and roll assault has already been toured with the likes of Babyshambles and Muse and is locked in the same stable as Razorlight and The Killers, so, regardless of how impressed I was with it, everyone thinks they're just fabulous and they are going to be worshipped by many many more by the time their "much-anticipated" album "What's the time, Mr Wolf" is released early in the New Year. Phew. If you don't mind, I'll reserve judgement until then.
This was released on 13th November, 2006. Catch them while you can.
THE OTHERS- The truth that hurts
Taken from their second LP "Inward Parts", this latest offering from London/ Brighton-based quartet The Others has indie-scene-queens up and down the country (or at least the South-east) quibbling about singer, Dominic Masters, writing songs about being a drug addict, when they almost certainly thought is was cool last time they saw Mr Doherty's pasty face in the tabloids. Apparently the debut album was slated by the mainstream music press. Which, of course, explains why the hungry minions are sticking in a well- placed toe to the testicles now. Never being one to let the NME dictate what I listen to, I personally think this is alright. At least you can understand what the hell this bloke is saying. Whether you want to or not. Of course it doesn't exactly inspire, and they may well look like twats, but the spiky riffs and fast-paced catchiness will regardless make you want to go dance-crazy, fake passion or not. By no means as shit as they will have you believe, unfortunately I still think that The Others will sink without a trace but it's good to see that they will go out kicking and screaming.
This was released on 30th October, 2006. I shouldn't think you even noticed.
TINY DANCERS- Lions and tigers and lions EP
Now, even though I am now 27-years-old, I still try not to like music my Mum wouldn't be offended by. Music like this, for example. But, there's a problem. I like Tiny Dancers. And so will my Mum. Apparently nothing to do with the Elton John classic, this Sheffield-based quintet pen simple unpretentious pop music; with a song-writing style taken from a time where melody preceded posing, their listener-friendly retro sound uses great sing-a-long harmonies and handclapping action alongside protest-song vocals (well, at least after the epic indie-fest that is opening track "20 to 9"), to create something as feel-good as, er, The Feeling. Which is why many of you won't get the point. It's simply not the done thing to like something so utterly commercial. My muso friends claim not to "get it". I don't see what there is to "get". Bands like this bring music in from out of the cold and make it jump around and stop taking itself too seriously, perhaps what the Mamas and Papas would sound like if Mama Cass hadn't choked on that ham sandwich. Of course, a little cheesy at times, from the Beatles-influenced "Hemsworth Hallway" to the slightly country "Sun goes down", produced by John Leckie- the man responsible for many great bands and a few gone past that you would never admit to having liked now (remember Kula Shaker and Cast?)- make sure Tiny Dancers are added to your list. They may not be around for the long haul but you should be happy to tap your toe to them while they're here.
This was released on 20th November, 2006. Shoo-wop.
THE RAPTURE- W.A.Y.U.H (People don't dance no more)
Wow! What a great antidote to the rather bland misery that is the majority of stuff I've heard out of the postbag recently. An out and out disco-licious romp through the streets of New York, the latest single from a band that people seem to love to hate right now is infectious, insistent and carefree- everything that a good record should be, in my opinion. Robotic chanting rides on the crest of a huge afro wigs worth of funky guitar and rhythm, fixing what they came here for in the sexiest yet geekiest way possible. Which is making sure buttocks are shaking from the polar ice caps to the little rockhopper penguins, the tighter the slacks the better. Though not knowingly ever heard anything by this band before, I suspect this is typical of their sound. In which case I am definitely going to check out more of their stuff. I urge you to do the same. Can I get an "uh huh"?
This was released on 27th November, 2006
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