Single Reviews: February 2008


My American Heart - Boys! Grab Your Guns (bodogMUSIC) 25/02/2008

T: If only the song were as interesting as the title.

N: That's worrying, boy band rock and too convincing. I'm not sold.

T: And I doubt if this single will be either. In fact, I'm going to tweak its nose and pull down its pants in full view of everyone.

N: Now I really am worried.

T: (tweaks Nick's nose and pulls down his pants in full view of everyone) Haha! See how YOU like it!

N: That's just a repressed act of violence. You probably did the same at school, but usually it would be the girls!

T: Yes that was much more fun. And THEY didn't get a hard on.

N: It's a familiar story, When the music loses its appeal, we tend to revert to playground games. Now get down from the climbing frame the whistle was called 10 minutes ago. 2/10 [Comment]

web site - myspace



Hayseed Dixie - Bouncing Betty Boogie (Cooking Vinyl) 18/02/2008

T: Ditto what I said about the album.

N: Bluegrass blues, I'm still not convinced about this band, but I think that's more a personal note. They're good at what they do and are clearly enjoying the work, the best thing here that if I were a fan I wouldn't feel I was being cheated, in that this comes from the heart. 7/10

web site - myspace



Ste McCabe - Pink Bomb EP (Cherryade) 18/02/2008

T: Ste McCabe is Manchester's political queer pop-punkster. That's not me being homophobic; that's what it says in the press release. It's an appealing set of tunes not far removed from the idea of Plastic Bertrand performing songs by The Ramones. With an iherently gay twist of course. Highly amusing. In fact it's probably what Jilted John would have turned into if Graham Fellows had followed that persona through.

N: Makes a change from Erasure! It is probably the best thing we've heard all day (excepting of course the already familiar 'Juno' soundtrack). Steve's approach could be described as Marc Almond performs 'punk' and the lyrical content is both possibly biographical and quite refreshing for it. 8/10




The Proclaimers - New Religion/In Recognition (Universal/W14 Music) 11/02/2008

N: Recalling The Proclaimers from when they first appeared in our charts, I have to say, having heard the current album, from which this double A-sided single is taken, I'm liking what I'm hearing from this reinvigorated Scottish duo. Both tracks are crowd pleasing, rousing affairs and I'm not sure whether the lyrics sung on the latter track are biographical or not, but hey, why not?

T: Typically Reid compositions, entertaining, witty and wholly enjoyable, it's funny how the duo gets a lot more respect these days than they did when we first encountered them, but having seen them live, I can verify they most definitely deserve it. 8/10 [Comment]

web site - myspace



Dropkick Murphys - The State Of Massachusetts (Cooking Vinyl) 11/02/2008

T: Well, they've gone from sounding very much like The Pogues, to being more like a rowdier version of The Men They Couldn't Hang, or should that be The Men Who Couldn't Hang Themselves, as McGowan and co used to affectionately call them? Either way, this is a violent celebration of breakneck folk punk, which makes you want to grab your beer and raise it in the air in appreciation.

N: All of the above, and a hefty slice of 1977, acting as the cherry on the cake. 9/10 [Comment]

web site - myspace



Correcto - Do It Better (Domino) 11/02/2008

T: I really like this. It reminds me of The Bodies, but that's probably not going to mean a lot to most readers as that's one of the most obscure punk bands EVER. So I'll settle for saying it has a Buzzcocks feel about it, and is top notch. It sounds more like Jarcrew on the second track, "The Plan", though, and that's some about turn!

N: Danny Saunders appears to have taken his vocal lead from John Lydon here, but you're right, this single is like that itch you can't scratch, and as such is totally infectious for it. Featuring Franz Ferdinand's Paul Thompson on drums, and bassist Patrick Doyle, on sabbatical from The Royal We, Richard Wright fills in on guitar. Superb, and with their debut album due out later this month, well worth investigating. 9/10 [Comment]




Helen Boulding - Copenhagen (Maid In Sheffield Records) 04/02/2008

T: Although Helen clearly has an excellent voice, I've never been overly convinced by songs that are hugely overproduced and rely heavily on overblown string arrangements, giving the whole thing an air of pomposity. There's almost a cheesy key change in there too. If you're easily led, I can imagine you being sucked in though...

N: Drugstore Sheryl Crow. Unfortunately the presentation here is nothing that will leave you hot under the collar. 5/10 [Comment]

(footnote: preparing this page for publication and finding the appropriate YouTube link, I'm listing to this track once again and am having second thoughts. It's perhaps not as horrid as we first gave it credit for being. Hey, you decide? - editor)

web site - myspace

Buy: Album


Morrissey - That's How People Grow Up (Decca) 28/01/2008

T: Clearly gutted at missing out on The Beatles, Decca have made amends by signing this new, upcoming prospect for the future. Seriously though, it sounds like a Morrissey single, as you'd expect. One of his better singles as well, I ought to add. I like the fact that he almost slips back into the yodelling of yore during one moment here, and it's great to have the big man back.

N: On first hearing this single, perhaps a couple of weeks ago, my initial reaction, my VERY initial reaction, was "Moz is running to the same formula. Nothing new then". Since then, I've realised that this colossus of the music scene is utilising all he's learnt in his 25 years in the business, and has produced what is a quite colossal single, one that doesn't only contain a hook, but is evidently a grower. Hugely enjoyable. 9/10 [Comment]

(footnote: this single really does get better each time you hear it. He's lost none of his talent and just to prove it I've found a promo video link for you to sample. A little uncertain as to the credibility of the open displays of emotion though.)

web site - myspace

Buy: CD

Fatal Star - Gravy Baby (Make It Nice Records) (out now)

T: Smoooooth...

N: The Fresh Prince has come to the East Midlands...

T: Surely you're not suggesting it sounds like Will Smith?!! It sounds more like the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, which is praise indeed, or a stoned Lynyrd Skynrd...

N: No, but it can't be escaped that initially the opening song on this ep possesses an air of the show's theme tune, otherwise it's 'Blaxploitation' shifting into a funked up trip, with time on its hands. Something entirely different from musicians we've known for some time.

T: I can only describe this as like being bathed in a swathe of sunshine; like being on a permanent vacation and thoroughly enjoying it. 9/10

web site - myspace


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