Singles Reviews: February 2001

 

Human Nature - He Don’t Love You

The same whiney voices, the same pretty boy looks, the same annoying karaoke background as utilised by all boy bands of the last three years. This is as bad, and possibly even worse than any of the vomit inducing parasites that have infected today’s youth with a brain numbing illness. 0/5 Tone E



 

B.O.N. - Boys

Not quite as bad as the Human Nature single, but slightly better owing to the comedy value of the video. That said, the comedy value of the "boy band attempts mean rap" when you know full well you could probably knock the guy out by flicking his ear makes this infinitely more bearable. Plus the fact that he has teeth like Gary Busey. 2/5 Tone E


 

28 Days - Rip It Up (Mushroom)

It would be a shame if this band failed to make an impression on the nation given the strength of this single and their last, "Kid Indestructible" because they just make you want to jump around the room every time you hear them. I just think the sad fact is that they may be overshadowed commercially by Fred Durst and co and I’m not sure the media have time for two bands of such a similar ilk. Great single though. 4/5 Tone E



 

Llama Farmers - Note On The Door (Beggars Banquet)

Beautifully restrained chorus, preceeded by a kind of Teenage Fanclub meets Sugar orchestration. All to the good of course and the Llamas seem to have somehow fashioned out of this their own unique style. I have to admit though I’m more partial to track two, "Little Bugs" than the title tune itself and it’s thanks to ths song that the extra half point has been given. 3.5/5 Tone E



 

Dusted - Always Remember To Respect And Honour Your Mother (Go Beat)

Good advice if ever there was any. This begins by frightening you into believing that squeaky clean one time choirboy Aled Jones has made a comeback. Once you get past the initial fear you realise this is an Air-esque relaxation experiment that wouldn’t sound out of place on Jeff Wayne’s "War Of The Worlds" given the Richard Burton like overtones. 4/5 Tone E



 

Ash - Shining Light (Infected)

If you are an ardent Ash fan from yesteryear it’s quite possible that you won’t be too keen on their latest offering, being the most commercial thing the now quartet have come up with to date. However for the rest of us we can just bask in its summer like qualities (surely that’s when it should have been released) and enjoy the lyrical genius that is "Warmer Than Fire". Very satisfying. 4/5 Tone E



 

My Vitriol - Always (Infectious)

Every now and again, a single comes along that knocks you for six and you just have to keep playing it over and over again to make sure it really WAS that good. This is just beautiful - the guitars heaving like trees in a forest on a particularly windy day, and the vocals...oh the vocals...they tug at your heart strings gently and make your hair stand on end from start to finish. Quite simply this is the best single I have heard and about three years. 6/5 Tone E


 

Easyworld - Hundredweight

It was difficult to tell at the beginning of this song whether the relentless clicking at the start of the disc was meant to be part of the song or not. I figured out a little later that it was the sticker (which had come half off) flicking against the office CD player as it spun. Don’t go overboard with the expenses lads will you now? Not a bad single by all accounts but it sounds like Longpigs B-side. 3/5 Tone E


 

Spooks - Things I’ve Seen

I thought this was going to be one of those horrible "I Love My Voice" type things judging by the cover but thankfully it’s not. This may sound a strange description but it’s an eerie, funky, rappy song with half decent lyrics for a change. Should be destined for the higher echelons of the charts if the public has a shred of human decency left. 4/5 Tone E



 

Muse - Plug In Baby (Mushroom)

That really is a killer riff and, whilst this is a mildly appealing Muse-by-numbers single, you can’t help feeling that perhaps they could have done more with this. But the riff really holds the thing together, and really it’s a good jobb that it’s been put down on a single and not let loose in the public domain as it would just be far too dangerous to approach. Actually I think maybe the thing is so strong it just sends the rest of the song into medicre obscurity. 3/5 Tone E


 

Shivaree - Goodnight Moon (Capitol)

I could have sworn this was the half of Shakespeare’s Sister that wasn’t "that one out of Bananarama" when I first heard it...and in places it sounds like Sheryl Crow. Great bassline at the intro and what emerges is a bluesy, toe tapping ditty with a kind of country feel. 3/5 Tone E


 

Terrorvision - D’ya Wanna Go Faster (Total Vegas)

Terrorvision have appeared to make but nothing but comedy pop records of late, with "Tequila" being the most obvious of examples, but prepare yourselves..."D’ya Wanna Go Faster" is probably the best thing they’ve put out in years. A rip roaring kick to the nether regions, this is furious paced rock with shades on. Supercool. 4/5 Tone E



 

Kraftwerk - Expo Remix (EMI)

Seems a bit strange, releasing a remix of what was originally "Expo ‘97". I know this kind of music is pretty popular these days but there doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason to release this at all. I mean it’s ok and all that, but you already know that ‘cause you’ve already heard it. Main track is the Orbital mix and is quite atmospheric but like I said I Think it’s more than a little pointless. 2/5 Tone E


 

Feeder - Buck Rogers (The Echo Label)

What the Eels would sound like if they got louder. "Buck Rogers" will be the first indie single of the year to mount an assault on the UK’s top five sometime in January. The reason? Lovely power chords, uplifting chorus, nice croaky vocals, and it’s the perfect antidote to yoour Westlifes and your Craig Davids. If MTV ever screen an episode of "Celebrity Deathmatch" between Feeder and Westlife I’ll be purchasing front row tickets. 4/5 Tone E



 

Mirwais - Naive Song (Epic)

Although this is a pretty funky dance track complete with seemingly ripped off bass riff from Blur’s "Girls And Boys", it is occasionally in danger of crossing the novelty record crossover line that encompasses Eiffel 65 and to a lesser extent ATB. That said, I personally think this French synth wizard’s stab at updating post modern eighties throwback music is quite endearing. 4/5 Tone E



 

Thievery Corporation - Shadows Of Ourselves (4AD)

Quite why we English seem to be embracing all things French at the moment is startling to say the least. Road blockades, hairy armpits and annoyingly talented footballers invade the privacy of our own homes on a regular basis in a manner of cultural education not seen since the goofed out splendour of Madchester. However, 4AD know a good chill out tune when they hear it. Ou est le Boulangerie anyone? 4/5 Tone E



 

Tindersticks - What Is A Man?

This, I believe, is an old Four Tops song, and had Gene Pitney got hold of it first you could just imagine the warbling dwarf taking the nation by storm by teaming up with some cream of the moment leftfield pop icon and having a smash hit. Or is that Tom Jones? Anyway, Tindersticks remain relatively unknown, despite currently working on their fifth studio album at present. It fills a gap. 3/5 Tone E



 

Lowfinger - Go Go Me A Big Pop (Elemental)

Whether Lowfinger would be overly chuffed that all and sundry by way of the "intelligent music press" have labelled them as a novelty pop band I don’t know. One thing I do know though is that they couldn’t possibly plead not guilty to the charge. They sound, on this single, rather like Terrorvision on the waltzers at a teenage funfair. Entertaining. 4/5 Tone E



 
Alpinestars - Interlaken (Faith & Hope)

Aah. We’re all grown up now in a dance music respect so we listen to the Alpinestars, the Crosby or Sinatra of the genration. Might sound a little strange that, given that the band are by and large an instrumental outfit, but listen and you’ll see what I mean. Pure as snow and totally inoffensive. 3/5 Tone E



 

The Vegastones - Drag Queen Eyes (V2)

This Aussie outfit have no doubt listened to The The circa "The Beat(en) Generation" or "infected" eras. Not that it’s a problem . This is a number that drifts almost effortlessly along somehow implanting itsinfectious hook in your brain until it hollers at you while you’re in the bath and you have to run naked through the streets singing it at the top of your voice! Ahem. I’ll get over it, honest. 4/5 Tone E



 

The Beautiful South - The River / Just Checkin’ (Go! Discs)

I think we’re all old and wise enough to know by now that we’re not going to be surprised by anything Heaton and co bring out these days. It’s very pleasant by all accounts and your mum would like it, but the best track by a mile (and best title) is the charmingly named "Valentine’s Day Wank". Hmmm. Wonder why THAT doesn’t get a mention on the front cover credits! 3/5 Tone E



 

Saint Etienne - Boy Is Crying (Mantra)

I’m very fond of Saint Etienne. They’ve always been innovative ("Wilbur"), fun ("I Was Born On Christmas Day"), cutting ("You’re In A Bad Way") and above all entertaining. Added to that Sarah Cracknell has always been a sexy little minx. Still, the lyrics to this new single are pushing the boundaries of credibility just a tad (I’m not singing / My eyes are stinging). Thankfully the mellow melody pulls it through. Just. 3/5 Tone E


 

Soulwax - Conversation Intercom (PIAS)

Somehow the delayed drum sound of the intro draws you into this hypnotic single and keeps you in that state throughout. A very enjoyable cut but Soulwax will have to be careful they don’t end up sounding like Jesus Jones if they want to establish a long term relationship with the big cheeses. After all it can’t be much fun in the "reduced to clear" basket. 4/5 Tone E



 

JJ72 - Snow (Lakota)

By the time you’ve read this you will have heard this a million times on the radio as it seems, thankfully, to be high on Radio One’s playlist. If you’re new to the Irish three piece it may take you some time to adjust to lead singer Mark’s high pitched observations but when you do, you realise that this is potentially the biggest indie band we have seen in some time. Rousing, moving and beautiful. 5/5 Tone E


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