Single Reviews: March 2008


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The Count & Sinden - Beeper (Domino) 31/03/2008

T: What's going on? We seem to have been transported back to the embryonic stages on the 21st century, and Artful Dodger appear to have enlisted the help of Leila K for a new single. How odd. And some of the lyrics are quite rude too.

N: The band are apparently wanting to unite fans of hip hop, indie and house alike, but quite where the Count & Sinden register here, I'm unsure, but this is a perfectly good fun dance release.

T: It's a big ball of cheese.

N: That too.

T: The weird thing is, they say they're trying to unite fans of those styles of music, but let's be honest - that was done a LONG time ago. I've liked all three for some time now. 7/10

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Bauhaus - Too Much 21st Century (Cooking Vinyl) 31/03/2008

T: Seems almost futile to review this single. We've already praised Pete Murphy and his cohorts' latest long player to the hilt and singled out this as one of the strongest tracks on it (despite its obvious Bowie influences). In fact we gave the album top marks, so it's kind of a no brainer as far as I'm concerned.

N: The lead track on "Go Away White", this not only announces a remarkable album, but itself is a brilliantly raw and magical number. Nothing else to say other than quite remarkable.

T: Where did David Coleman come from? 10/10

web site - myspace



The Accidental - Wolves (Full Time Hobby) 31/03/2008

T: Hang on! They're ripping off Tunng! That was my first thought, and then went running with my tail between my legs after I read that it was indeed the former outfit's Sam Genders taking the microphone, along with a few choice friends, who make up this experimental outfit. The electro-folk feel is as resplendent as ever, feeling as rural as ever, as though they're all gathered around a camp fire in the early hours of the morning. Very nice.

N: Well, in the PR that you just read, Sam takes up the story and explains that "it's about blokes yearning for girls who seem to have magical powers, and exist on a higher plain than them..." - well we know that! What's your point Sam?

T: His point is that then the blokes go round in a pack, like wolves, to try and snare their "prey".

N: So you DID read the press release then?

T: Yes, but I'm more open minded and capable of making up my own story.

N: I was just interested in finding out a little bit more of the project. Open minded or not never came into it.

T: (high voiced) Wooo. (Holds up handbag).

N: Is that a Jane Shilton?

T: I don't know, I just picked it up from your dressing table.

N: I left myself open there...

T: Well DON'T. It's disgusting.

N: I think what we're getting at is that we quite like the single, its heritage and its ability to conjure thoughts and emotions. 8/10

N: And in the process of my putting this page together, I've had the opportunity of listening to much more of the band's output - courtesy of their MySpace link - and have found this almost an awakening. Utter brilliance, I think their forthcoming album 'There Were Wolves' may be another contender in the end of the year's run down. And like last years sister album 'Good Arrows' from Tunng, it's a case of watch this space. But in the meantime visit the link for yourselves.

web site - myspace

Buy: CD


The Sonic Hearts - To Be Someone (EM) 31/03/2008

T: Hmmm...the fact that this band have apparently just been touring with Amy MacDonald and (cringe) Scouting For Girls is already a cause for concern...

N: ...cause for concern! It's certainly a badge of dishonour, if nothing else. The Sonic Hearts...

T: ...sound like Kooks being fronted by James Skelly of The Coral. Except they're on alcopops. Inoffensive but hardly likely to be a memorable night on the town.

N: And it all started out so well. 6/10

web site - myspace

Buy: CD


Look See Proof - Do You Think It's Right? (Weekender Records) 24/03/2008

T: If the NME were ever to put out an issue that included a template for new bands, it would surely read "Aopt semi-ironic tone in vocals, write some mildly amusing lyrics, set to a join-the-dots indie guitar tune and look relatively surly in your photographs. It looks like Look See Proof have had the advance edition of this book. It's ok, but you've heard it a billion times before. You've possibly even heard it a billion times this week.

N: I think you may be being a little harsh, it's jolly indie rock/dance wherever you wish to place them. Ripe for the freshers ball, a little late admittedly for that, but every other student event come the weekend. Ok, but it has to be said, we've heard this a squillion times before.

T: I ought to add that the other tracks included on this single piss all over the lead track and smear shit on its nose. 6/10

web site - myspace

Buy: CD


Roni Size / Reprazent - Don't Hold Back (Mercury) 24/03/2008

N: New Forms was perhaps one of the greatest drum and bass albums, ever and that this new work is being added to the 10th anniversary re-release does heap a lot of pressure on the single, but it is a fantastic tune and feature 3 great mixes here.

T: Picture a motorbike, revving furiously and being joined by a whole posse of other revellers on a fantastic voyage into the more impressive island of drum 'n' bassland. This is a top notch single that will not only hold hands and sit snugly with the other tracks on the aforementioned album, but will surely spend several hours in bed with them. A storming tune.

N: Take a listen at Roni's MySpace (link given below) and hear what you've been missing, it's out there. 9/10

web site - myspace

Buy: CD


Kate Nash - Merry Happy (Fiction) 24/03/2008

T: Kate is your new milkman.

N: No that's Kirby and West and our milkman has been on our round for years. If you're suggesting what I think you are, get a life! Last year's album was great and deserved its place in our rundown, however when we hear so many releases from one album, it does get tiresome. Last track on the album and not necessarily the best, second, third or even fourth.

T: It was only on our list because I was full of festive spirit. Mainly because you got me pissed. Then again, that wasn't as bad as when you put Rohypnol in my tea.

N: That reminds me, how are the AA meetings going? 6/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 7" 1 or 2 / CD


The Black Keys - Strange Times (V2) 24/02/2008

T: Loud and proud, like Jack White meeting Robert Plant for the first time.

N: The production here is producing a gloriously compressed sound, and cooking up a storm in the process.

T: Top band. Top tune.

N: Top hole.

T: What?

N: Should I have just said "top" then? How on earth was I going to top your pitch?

T: Moving swiftly on... 8/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 7"


Clinic - The Witch (Domino) 24/03/2008

T: Those loveable Liverpudlians have returned with a tune that echoes the former glories of "The Second Line". Always infinitely listenable, Clinic don't need putting on the jolly trolley just yet.

N: Depends what sweets are available on the jolly trolley, I suppose...

T: Er...Nick...the jolly trolley is what they wheel dead people out of the hospital on...

N: As I said, it depends what sweets are on the jolly trolley.

T: Eurgh!

N: But seriously, late sixties psychedelia comes to mind, especially those albums Pink Floyd made with Syd Barrett. This isn't your run of the mill offering; Clinic have excelled themselves. 9/10

web site

Buy: 7"


Plenty - Spinning (Surbia Records) 17/03/2008

T: Talking of retro, how about these guys? You could possibly mention them in the same breath as The Chesterfields, or The Pale Fountains, or, slightly more up to date, The Milltown Brothers. Catchy, jangly pop songs basically. Inoffensive, fairly enjoyable, but unlikely to over-excite anybody.

N: Well considering this band apparently headlined The Hacienda in 1990 and are now only releasing their second single, it looks like they may've taken too much wizz, woken hazy headed and it's now they've remembered what it was they were about to do. This is extremely authentic though, perhaps 15 years too late, but not without merit. 7/10

web site - myspace



Unkle ft Josh Homme - Restless (Surrender All) 17/03/2008

T: Well, seeing as we voted "War Stories" as one of our top 10 albums of 2007, it's pretty obvious we like this single too...

N: Listening to it now, it sounds like James Lavelle is in the same mindset as Moby, just that James hasn't strayed too close to the handbag line, instead mixing his drinks and...

T: ...striking up a friendship with the great Josh Homme and going out successfully on the prowl every night?

N: Well he's certainly got laid that's for sure.

T: While the former great looks forlornly on, alone, from the other end of the dancefloor. 9/10

web site - myspace



Moby - Alice (Mute Records) 17/03/2008

T: Mr. Moby, have you flipped? This sounds like a slightly darker version of Snow's "Informer" and THAT is worrying...

N: It's called "retro".

T: Isn't retro supposed to reflect work of a considerably more respected variety?

N: Not necessarily.

T: Even so, this is definitely not one of the great man's better efforts.

N: I think it reflects the place he is currently in, a quite horrendous disco circa 1991. A decade that is still trying to find its feet in the 21st century. 5/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 12" / CD


The Secret Handshake - Gamegirl (Sixsevenine) 17/03/2008

T: I could have done with knowing a few more of girls that is.

N: I think it's a vocaliser that is used to produce the effect we are hearing. Cher used it, then Madonna used it...and it was horrible.

T: And it still is. If the previously mentioned "game girl" got me back to her place and got undressed, and then stuck this racket on, I think I'd have to only give her half the amount of time I normally go for...

N: But if she gave you "the secret handshake"?

T: Well that'd save me any effort at least.

N: On hearing the guitar solo, I'm not quite sure where this one is going...

T: It's not going anywhere mate. It's finished. Thankfully. 3/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 7" / CD


Stone Gods - Burn The Witch (PIAS) 10/03/2008

T: Ever wondered what The Darkness would sound like without Justin Hawkins? Well, here's your chance to find out, and the result, as you may have guessed, is one of blueprint eighties rock music with less of the high camp and more of the grinding guitars of the Maiden ilk. Not entirely my bag, but peronally I'd take this over the falsetto of their former frontman any day.

N: Not your bag? Wasn't it the Maiden that floated your boat as a spotty teenager?

T: Funnily enough, I'm not a spotty teenager anymore - I don't go to the penny arcades, I don't try to trick the bus driver into giving me a half fare, and I don't masturbate over page 3 of The Sun anymore. Well, not very often anyway.

N: I'd glad you clarified that at the end there, but instead of the "high camp" of The Darkness, Stone Gods do in fact come across as a very bona fide group of the rock genre. 7/10

web site - myspace

Buy: CD


Siouxsie - About To Happen (W14 Music) 10/03/2008

T: Great. That's all I have to say on the matter.

N: I wonder if she's a grandmother? Anyway if so, she must be the coolest grandmother on the block. If not, please accept my humble apologies your darkest highness, ma'am. Just the darkest pop you're likely to hear all year that doesn't even need to try. Fantastic stuff. 9/10

web site - myspace

Buy: Single


Bryan Adams - I Thought I'd Seen Everything (Polydor) 10/03/2008

N: "I thought I'd seen everything, 'till I saw you", mushy or what...

T: No Bryan. You haven't seen everything. In fact you haven't even MADE anything worthwhile for twenty odd years...

N: Well Byran, this just goes to show, you've never met Tone here, if you had your career might still be on track, but what that goes to say I'm not quite sure. Anyway not quite horrible as Tone had earlier said to me, just not quite different as anything else you've done and why are you still writing 'love songs'? Your ode for Costner's "Robin Hood" film did both your careers indelible damage.

T: Actually, I did meet him. And that's reminded me - he HAS made something worthwhile - he made a very nice cake. 3/10

web site



Late Of The Pier - The Bears Are Coming (Zarcorp) 03/03/2008

N: Certainly nothing of your teenage nightmares in this number...

T: Hmmm...perhaps I was wrong when I dismissed these as likely wannabe hair metallers after I read they were from Castle Donington. Instead we get an electro-funk workout, a relentlessly quirky tune and an almost African rhythm section which does, inexplicably, sound like a composition that Bret and Jemaine from "Flight Of The Conchords" may have come up with.

N: Something entirely creative then and not a band just trying to ride someone else's train.

T: Indeed. Great stuff. 9/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 12"


Operator Please - Get What You Want (Brille Records) 03/03/2008

T: Best track on the band's fine debut album for me, "Get What You Want" is a vibrantly exciting, charismatic number that is as sexy as it is angry.

N: Sounding less like the B-52's, and wearing their balls on their chest...

T: I sincerely hope Taylor does not have balls on her chest...that would shatter my fantasies completely...

N: Either that or she's acting a scene in a porn flick...

T: I prefer that scenario...

N: Thought you might. I couldn't leave you with that image in your mind. But to be serious for a moment, this also features a quite whacked out, gloves off remix of the original single, certainly a band showing promise. 9/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 7" / CD


Fightstar - Floods (Institute Recordings) 03/03/2008

T: Good value for money, these guys, seeing as they've included five tracks on their latest single - albeit one being an acoustic version of the lead track, but I'd say that's pretty fan friendly anyway. Starts off a little like Muse, but then develops into a rather balladic piano piece, fairly high on emotion, but not all that memorable, if I'm totally honest.

N: Like much of what we've heard today so far, a case of musicians rehashing what either they, or others, have done previously. Nice, but I'm ultimately disappointed. 6/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 7" / CD


The Kills - Cheap And Cheerful (Domino) 03/03/2008

T: What's going on? Two albums full of cracking tunes and then all of a sudden you're a second rate version of The Gossip? I feel betrayed.

N: I feel after Spinal Tap has been raised in our off-page ramblings that it is somewhat like the band announcing to their festival audience that their new direction will be one of a jazz fusion. This really isn't their best. 4/10

web site - myspace

Buy: CD


Voodoo Six - Faith (White Knuckle Records) 03/03/2008

T: Sounds like Soundgarden, except it doesn't sound like Chris Cornell and doesn't sound like the rest of the band either. I'd rather wash my hair in your faeces than have to listen to this again.

N: Firstly, it possesses none of the weight of the garden that is sound, its sharp edges are more like slightly prickly branches, although recompense does appear to be attempted as we encounter the second track here, "Feed My Soul"; even so I can't make sense of the lyrics that appear to have been placed here...

T: I told you what the lyrics are: "Brian, I've lost my underpants"...

N: ...I was going to say for artistic impact, but even that appears to have got lost along the way. 3/10

web site - myspace



Cheap Hotel - New York (Yacht) 03/03/2008

T: Yes. It does sound like PJ Harvey Nick. I agree. And it's quite a rivetting tune too.

N: Perhaps the track "New York" is a little TOO like the aforementioned indie songstress, the riding guitars coupled with the female vocal, albeit in a half arsed fashion. When we meet the second tune here, "High", I feel the band are still trying to assert their own identity. Interesting but hardly long enough.

T: Women often say that to me. 7/10

web site - myspace




Black Francis - The Seus (Cooking Vinyl) 03/03/2008

T: Frank goes Eminem. Nice.

N: I'm thinking Fun Lovin' Criminals myself, but playfully titled "The Seus", this character is given new life within the bars of this song. I'm loving it. 9/10

web site - myspace

Buy: Album


"...Cloud 6" video

Pepe Deluxe - Forgotten Knights (Catskills) 03/03/2008

T: Not even close to being as enjoyable as "The Mischief Of Cloud 6", but the last 20 seconds were fun.

N: Like Jay Kay taking a holiday; many of the refrains are familiar to the work of Jamiroquai. Still enjoyable all the same, even with the fractured breaks that are present. 6/10

web site - myspace

Buy: Album

The Hives - We Rule The World (T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S) (Polydor) 25/02/2008

T: Getting an uber-funk workout from illustrious producer Pharrell Williams, The Hives suddenly sound like early eighties Chic, and it works pretty well, despite the fact that I think it's probably a mistake to spell the band's name out during the song, as it sounds rather like they're singing about an unpleasant disease...

N: ...well this band's name always puts me in the mind of this affliction, although I hasten to add I've never had the misfortune. But back to the single and really nothing quite like I would've expected from the band and as you have said just a moment ago " nothing else they have done." Better for it, well I'm sure this will be to everyone's own opinion, but a good single all the same from my standpoint. 7/10

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