Single Reviews: February 2005

 

Idlewild - Love Steals Us From Loneliness (Parlophone)

Idlewild, a summer spent touring the states with Pearl Jam and we are told, re-energised as a result. Well I can't argue here, the band sound almost like a new band, well one that has grown in the space of 4 albums at least and with their 5th - 'Warnings/Promises' on the horizon. This is rock, with a grounded drone coming from Roddy Woomble to top the cake. In this drone can be heard lyrics that can certainly associate themselves with the listener and soon become familiar in a member of the family kind of way.

I've been hearing this played on the radio for some weeks now and on each repeated play, just serves to qualify this opinion. 8/10

Nick James

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David Guetta – The World is Mine (Virgin)

A good track with an eighties style vocals, a bit repetitive for me, maybe a little one dimensional, although production is good, it lacks the genius of his previous success. 7/10

Nic Caesar

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Ramstein - Keine Lust (Island/Universal)

Casting shades of a Syvian'esque 'Japan' on first encounter, the "German rock sextet" hammer out another tune lifted from their acclaimed 4th studio album 'Reise Reise'. This initial impression is soon dispelled once a hard counter force is brought in, one which casts shades of an impending doom over proceedings.

The group sing almost wholely in their native tongue, which offers a sense of enigma to this band - for an English speaking audience at least and once this audience have managed to resist the temptation to run for the safe confines of their 'Pantera' record collection, will find the onslaught that Ramstein offer here, quite unforgiving. Whilst void of any kind of melody, instead you will find 'Keine Lust' (from what I can make out; no concept of lust) offering pace and pain in ample quantity.

If anything this single (Keine Lust) and its constituents do have the air of a germanic power march, but as a collection of songs (Keine Lust/Ohne Dich/Mutter Orchesterlised - as appear on my CD single) I'm really unsure of where this is heading? The title track is as described, the second a lament, in which far too much ceremony is on offer and the third, an operatic presentation of similarly grand affair, where a night at the opera will come to mind. Fantastic in its content, but lacking in focussed presentation. 6/10

Nick James

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Mark Joseph – Lady, Lady (Floor Records)

Several years ago, do you remember John Lennon's oldest son, Julian Lennon released his debut album, 'Valotte'? Well this saw minor success follow, with the album finding its way into the top 20 (just) in November of 1984. Two more albums followed that made even less mark on the UK music scene and I'll admit to owning them all! Well on first hearing this record that may be considered mercilessly released to coincide with 'Valentines Day', 'Lady, Lady' screams of the elder son off the late, great Mr John Winston Lennon. From production, to the air in the sound stage, 'Lady, Lady' a song to whom it may concern, from a lover(?) who is begging forgiveness for a misdemeanor.

Taken from his debut album 'Scream', released in August last year and critically acclaimed by all accounts all I can say of this latest single is it's sort of nice, as was Julian's work, but this or as my better half put it - 'lovely' might be all you can level at this, as by 2' 47" this bows out with what I'd describe as more of a whimper, than anything that might leave you with a lasting impression. Certainly the most radio friendly of the 2 tracks available to me on this single, but if the artist is to give me anything more, I'd like something with a little more substance than this. 4/10

Nick James

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The Kills – The Good Ones (Domino)

AAARGH!!!

No, that’s not a scream of displeasure at the duo’s latest offering; it’s a frustrated reviewer realising that he’s going to have to resort to yet ANOTHER comparison with Patti Smith. At this rate, regular AD readers are going to think I only own about two CDs…

Still, despite my predictability I shall soldier on, and say that this is a wickedly infectious tune full of dirty, fuzzy guitar effects which leaves us with a tingling aftertaste and leaves us with a glowing optimism for what 2005 holds in store for us musically.

Most pleasing of all is that most of the folk I work with on my “day job” hate it, and that ALWAYS bodes well – being avid listeners of Fosseway radio, if they dislike something, it practically always GUARANTEES that it’s fantastic, and that would appear to be the case here! 9/10

Tone E

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Ambulance Ltd - Stay Where You Are (TVT Records)

This New York City five piece list a removal man, Placebo frontman Brian Molko and a hip NY fashion designer as major aids to the beginning of their recording career. Sounds interesting...

N: Would I be right in saying that this almost passed us by without touching the sides?

T: Well, to be fair, it's pleasant enough, but when you look at the list of influences this band cite - the fantastic My Bloody Valentine, the never less than awesome Neil Young and the soul pioneers Booker T and the MGs, you'd really expect something a lot more exciting than this. All it is, ultimately, is a "quite nice" record.

N: Interesting that you should say that. My initial thoughts were "nice enough", and although this may seem a cutting review of this band, I feel that I'd get an entirely different reaction from their live show. Same music, but like seeing Spiritualized some years ago, and if the band are anything like this, it's live that we shall see them at their best. Almost a "Beach Boys" for our time.

T: Well it's definitely summery...

N: And IN summary...

T: Aagh. Who let Richard Whiteley in here?

N: My thougts were of Ulrika Jonsson actually. But anyway, this aside, let's mark it! 6/10

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Charlotte Hatherley - Bastardo (Double Dragon)

Ash's sexy axewoman returns with a third single from her "Grey Will Fade" album.

T: A hugely entertaining slice of pop that tells the apparently true story of a disastrous one night stand our Charlotte had with a Spaniard that resulted in her waking in the morning to find all the money gone from her purse. Or so she told me...Anyway, this is meant as nothing less than a cheesy bundle of fun and it works rather nicely; however I can tell by Nick's wicked gleam in his eye that he totally disagrees with me...

N: That's because you want to bear her lovechild. You'd have to admit (and I think you already have), that it's a little bit cheesy. Nice basic riff though. This girl really is a rock chick through and through. I bet you're sorry we're not in the eighties, when "rock chicks" would be seen baring a little too much to get this past your wife.

T: Actually, I never thought they showed enough...

N: And now I bet you'd be fined Photoshopping the pictures. Crap B-side in 3 minutes though. 7/10

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Corrigan - Medicine (no dancing records)

It's been quite a while since we heard Corrigan's excellent debut album "How To Hang Off a Rope", but now they're back with a vengeance, claiming they're bigger and better than before. But are they?

N: Three reasons that are rarely worth releasing a single for, one of which is that they rarely find something that is worth their hard earned cash. Well thankfully, the guys dragged themselves away from fiddling with their Playstation controllers to bring us this. This is fantastic; utterly superb. Not at all mainstream - in fact more leftfield, possessing a pang and a hungern to make this truly worthwhile.

T: I think it's great too, as indeed their last album was, but I actually prefer the second track here: "Can Out Front" is like an undistorted version of the Pixies single "Planet of Sound" and if there's one way to worm your way into MY heart, it's to sound like the Boston legends whilst at the same time maintaining their own sound. Hugely impressive.

N: Your point here is probably wholly valid, because my comments were being made as this CD single played all the way through. I still think it's brilliant, and I'm proud to announce that this single receives a fantastic score. 9/10

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Radio 4 - Transmission (Labels)

Featuring the production talents of the legendary Lee "Scratch" Perry (who lead singer Anthony even named his cat after!), this is out in mid-February.

N: The second track from their debut album "Stealing the Nation", this cuts a musical swathe but not in the same way as Ian Curtis' track of the same name. A jolly tune that pays homage, certainly in a musical sense, to the knob-cheese of the eighties. Great, but fails to leave that nasty aftertaste.

T: I think I'm going to be sick after your references there...excuse me just a moment.

(Tone leaves room presumably to hurl and returns to find Nick playing with the Lee Scratch Perry track by playing a few seconds of it, stopping it and starting again over and over again)

T: FUCKING STOP IT WILL YOU?!!

N: Interesting that the band have let the producers put three tracks that in no way associate themselves with the original. Did they not listen before agreeing to their inclusion?

T: I can;'t believe you just did a normal statement about the remixes after my outburst!

N: I'm used to it mate, you were just a difficult child. 6/10

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Kaiser Chiefs - Oh My God (b-unique)

The opening band of the 2005 NME Awards Tour hope to further make their mark on the UK singles chart with this release...but will they?

T: It's pretty obvious that this will make some kind of indentation in the charts, after all they're being pushed a bit at the moment. Certainly a catchy kind of tune, but one that almost seems like a bit of a novelty record...kind of like Franz Ferdinand playing an updated version of The Strawbs' "Part Of the Union".

N: Yeah, most certainly, and it's definitely got the humalong factor. And the chorus, well, "Oh my God, I Can't believe it", and I'd continue "s not butter", but that's the power of advertising. A jolly tune, but the bands name? Mmm, could do better.

T: Pretty decent effort though, I'm sure you'll agree. 7/10

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Ed Harcourt - Loneliness (Heavenly)

No press release for this one. Ah well, you know who he is anyway.

T: A pretty typical Harcourt number really. He's a guy I've always respected but never really been a fan of. As usual, this is a bright and breezy single that fails to make much of an impact on me.

N: Respect but fails to make an impact? Alright, it's your funeral!

T: Well thanks a bunch. What exactly is wrong with your arse by the way? It hasn't been the freshest of atmospheres to work in today after all...

N: Take your thoughts away from my arse (says homophobic Nick, through clenched teeth)

T: Hey, YOU'RE the one reviewing the Erasure DVD...

N: But seriously for a moment, Ed Harcourt is an artist who certainly commands respect. Possibly more of an album artist than anything, and this may be seen more of an avenue into the rest of this man's work. 7/10

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Doves - Black and White Town (Heavenly)

The first single to be lifted from the band's hotly anticipated third album, but was it worth the wait?

N: The Doves through and through, from the thump thump thump that greets the ear when this kicks in, to the monotone vox, there's something comfortingly familiar in anything the Doves produced. That's not to say this is anything less than we've come to expect from this band. Brilliant.

T: Interestingly enough, this didn't really grab me as much as previous releases by the band, but being the first listen, I imagine it will grow on me over the next few weeks. I certainly LIKE the single, but I'm not willing to award it the perfect "10" that you are obviously anxiously wanting to...

N: No, not at all; I'll agree that, although I deemed this "brilliant", that's nothing of a surprise from the Doves. This is a grower, but that said, not their best; it's almost as if they're treading water - if that's possible while playing an electric bass guitar. Somewhat dangerous I would think! I will mark it accordingly. 8/10

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M83 - Don't Save Us From The Flames (Gooom)

The Frenchmen return with an eerie theremin featured prominently as the centrepiece of this tune; but did it shock the ed enough?

T: I seem to remember the last single was scathingly attacked by your good self for being too wishy-washy. I suspect they may have considered this last review and exacted their revenge with this single by attempting to give you a heart attack at the beginning...

N: Funnily enough, at the onset of this single, my judgment would have been exactly that, but soon after, those thoughts were forming in my head. This single rocks out and becomes something wholly amazing. Far from scathing, this band have turned from the ugly duckling into the gracious swan.

T: Damn, I was hoping you were going to hate it so that I could blag it from you...it is a fantastic record, I concur. 9/10

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