Alan Smith gets on with his reviewing duties, September 2006
Yes Boss - More Or Less / They Think It's All Over
Grime. Already a dirty word in my opinion. Rap has its benefits but
what exactly is this meant to offer as an extra? And why label yourselves,
as this act do, deliberately as a new genre? To me it sounds like a
sub-standard Streets / Mark B & Blade. I think I'm in the minority
as this duo are already picking up a fair amount of airplay, but please,
it's just adding a dull and unimaginative guitar backing to average
and repetitive rapping. The Dance To The Radio label is often the provider
of some genuinely new and innovative material, but this falls far wide
of the mark. www.dancetotheradio.com.
Bejebus - EP
That this band has no label, management, PR or anything yet is a bit
of a shock. They have managed to make some VERY Muse like songs, not
too far off quality wise from their heroes. "What You Did To Us"
is the stand out track. It rocks, sours, and has that epic space-like
feeling that Muse can conjure up. "Bound Too
" and "Watch
You Fall" have a more electronic feel. I enjoyed this CD hugely,
and am sure they'll be signed very soon and hopefully go on to much
greater things. www.myspace.com/bejebus.
Ken Parsons- Life's A Beech (2)
This is painful from the first chord. It's utterly dreary, vile, with
strummed guitars and shocking Cliff Richard meets medieval like vocals,
annoyingly enunciated with stupid lyrics about fuck all, "push
the peddle, change the key" being a delightful example of its shoddiness.
And the harp solos don't exactly help matters. How anyone could endure
all 45 minutes of this tripe I don't know. It sounds like comedy music
from a CBBC educational show. That the first song is called "Push
Your Luck" says it all. My cat has more of a grasp of what makes
good 21st century music than Ken. Promises of eclecticness through the
album may be true as I could only tolerate three songs. That he couldn't
even think of an original title for this, his second album should have
been a bit of a warning that he might just be lacking in ideas. This
is one to burn; in the olde meaning of the word as this is the most
dated CD you will ever hear. He tops it all off with an album cover
with a picture of him, but with a lovely pink filter. The inlay also
smells revolting. An unqualified disaster.
Little Joe Zero
A balls crushingly rocking effort from a new Essex band. The first track
is called "Re-peat", which instantly puts them in our good
books. They have mastered the fine art of good, in your face, straightforward
rock music. Plenty of shouting, simple riffs and general noise make
this one for your collection of music for when you're feeling angry.
Robots In Disguise - Turn It Up
This new all-girl band has just completed a tour supporting
Mighty Boosh. Genius. You may already have heard this new single ("Turn
It Up, Turn It Up, Turn It Up, Turn Me On!"), it's been on the
radio a fair bit. It's pretty good, dark and dirty, catchy and exciting,
with a surprising little electronic bit shoved into this gleeful thumping
bass heavy song. Pretty Vacant is amongst the many other songs referenced
throughout the verses making this a celebration of all music to turn
up and enjoy. It can consider itself a worthy addition to the music
which it champions.
Torpedoes - Twisted Love Song / Stop Believing
Starting out like The Phantom Of The Opera organs, in kick the guitars,
which appear to be playing "All The Small Things". No matter,
the vocals are easy on the ear whilst the band pummel on at a frenetic
pace, Despite both songs sounding like you've heard them before, when
it's actually a slight lack of originality, this band are still enjoyable
in their own right and, who knows, could progress on to make some unique
material of their own. Sadly so far they are simply walking the same
path as many before them. The lazy remix also included is definitely
a bad idea, as it blands out the song. However, with no band info provided,
I've no idea how long they've been going. The younger they are, the
more credit should be given for what is at least a solid effort. www.torpedoesuk.co.uk.
The Penguin Mafia
Presumably The Penguin Mafia are in danger of being caught by The Pigeon
Detectives? This dubious "joke" on my part is included as
I can't comment on the music, they have sent a CD which remains completely
unplayable on every CD player I possess, so if you're reading this,
make sure you stick us another copy in the post pronto.
The name and the location "Cambridge" are the only things
listed about this. Turns out it's a solo singer songwriter making gently
acoustic numbers. Just him and his guitar. Or maybe he has a band; it's
hard to tell if its several people or just himself layered over himself!
Either way, it's rather lovely, especially for a hungover soul such
as me. Simple good tunes, well written, whoever Weston is/are they is/are
pretty good, although I wonder if simply having gentle acoustic numbers
could get a little tiresome after a while. But if they learn to rock
out as well they could become rather special.
Mike Rosenberg Band - Philadelphia
This is the second single from exciting new Brighton outfit Mike Rosenberg
Band. Having enjoyed their debut, "Stray Dog", I was looking
forward to the follow up. Once again it's Mike's songwriting which makes
this gentle acoustic number with electronic tinges so enjoyable. This
is another lovely song, so fantastically honest and genuine. It's another
great sign of promise from a local (to me) band just starting out. It's
also a grower; familiarity enhancing enjoyment like so many good artists
can create. So I suggest you buy it and then make sure you listen to
it Repeatedly. www.mikerosenbergband.com.
The Little Explorer- Chair Legs
Apparently "This is the real post-hardcore deal". I'm not
sure what this meant to mean. However, what you get is an instrumental.
As a single. For the first two minutes you get some reasonable indie
music which seems to just be missing a killer song over the top. Until
they start shouting and whining. Sadly it isn't an instrumental after
all, and the vocals turn what was a pleasant if dull song into one which
is irritating and annoying. The b-side, "Air! Displace This Smoke",
is just as needless, but with a worse, pretentious, title. They wish
they were from New York City, they're from Derby. They are as forward
thinking as Barbie. On the upside, it does come packaged with a free
3" CD. On the downside this has the same songs on it as the normal
Dead IDentities - EP
This is the second time I've had a Dead IDentities CD drop through my
letterbox, and in the time between recordings they have moved on delightfully.
They make punk pop gems, with all four songs on here being catchy, unlike
there previous CD which was much more hit and miss. The impressive "Long
Way Out" keeps its place, joined by three new songs including forthcoming
debut single "Going Down". They have lost some of the nasal
qualities which had previously annoyed me, but still sound very much
American (which they are not). Whilst this still irritates me, I can
look past their desire to sing like they are from another country and
enjoy this great little EP all the same. They now sound like the finished
article and should have no trouble picking up bags of fans in the near
South - Up Close And Personal
This is the lead single from the London trio's forthcoming third album.
They have moved more upbeat and this is a very happy, summery tune.
It's more poppy than you might expect, but it's still happily some way
from sounding like a mainstream commercial success. The xylophones and
handclaps offer something different and give it its quirky nature, before
the guitars kick in and the song really gets going. "Autumn Morning"
is a very strong b-side. It's quite electronic and more in line with
their beloved New Order. Perhaps too much so, I like the single so much
because it manages to leave its influences behind and sound like a South
song. Final track "Something Or Nothing" is a much gentler
melancholic track with a gentle and charming chorus. All three tracks
on the single are very different, and each offers something unique,
and each are very very good indeed. www.south.uk.net.
By Alan Smith
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