|Singles Reviews: April 2002|
Rock 'n' Roll Motherfucker (Infectious)
What or whom can you name that comes from New Zealand? Crowded House, yes, well done. Kiwi Fruit? Think again brainbox, that comes from Japan. It's refreshing to hear of this 4 piece trying to inject something other than cheesy pop or pomp rock into their homeland's history.
N: This group certainly have their future mapped out for them - that is in the guise of post 30something punks. In short, nothing terribly original andwith a title like this, it's certainly not radio friendly either.
T: I think it's very much in keeping with the current nod towards raw, stripped down "bands of the moment" like the Hives, The Bees, The White Stripes and The Strokes. It also reminds me of early Who material. Briefly, it's not bad, but again, I concur, it's unlikely to shake up the music critics too much.
N: In closing, two minutes of A-side eclipsed in my opinion by the second track "Running On Empty". 5/10
Garbage - Breaking Up The Girl (Mushroom)
By now, Garbage are a band on everybody's Cherry Lips. Certainly a far cry from Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, who I imagine all but a small clique can recount. The third single from the group's much acclaimed album "Beautiful Garbage" has apparently seen the group in a far more assured manner, demonstrating a considerable broadening of the group's musical palate. To be honest, this album was one where we had to disagree with the critics and buying public alike, considering an apparently vibrant album, far less edgy and creative than past offerings and maybe selling far more because it was what the public were used to.
T: I think Shirley sounds like Courtney Love at the start of this song. Oddly enough, although we were less than enamoured with the resulting album, they have managed to release what I regarded as the best track on the album ("Cherry Lips") and the second best track, this one, which is more of a flashback to the heady heyday of old.
N: I think they've lost their immediacy although I suspect this could be a grower. Currently I feel very apothetical and disappointed with what I am hearing.
T: Personally I think this is a great track. It's a shame the rest of the album didn't follow suit. 6/10
Timo Maas ft MC Chickaboo - Shifter (Perfecto)
The last single, unless you were staging your John Lennon sleep-in at the time, you will be aware was a beautiful chunk of summer funk pop. Except that it was February, not July. This, the follow up to "To Get Down" features the vocal talents of MC Chickaboo, apparently a Grace Jones for the UK garage generation.
N: Taken from an incredibly strong album, sadly this track didn't leap out at me, as I have no recollection of it. Personally, the music reminds me of eighties cult tv show "Knight Rider". I like the inclusion of the MC's lazy vocals, but maybe not the best tune from the album.
T: I would go along with that point of view. I'm not bowled away by it either. 6/10
D*Note - Shed My Skin (Channel 4 Music)
Dropped through lack of foresight by Virgin before christmas, Matt Win's D*Note have now found a home with a label not unfamiliar with all of us in one way or another, Channel 4 music. His new collaboration, it would appear, has given media creator Matt certainly an impetus in creating maybe the soundtrack for this year's summer in Ibiza.
T: It's a chillout tune really. Starts off a bit like the Pet Shop Boys initially, with that distinctive bass synthesizer they became reknowned for. Vocally, the breathiness of Anita Kelsey is very similar to the feel you got from Enigma's "Sadness part II". Actually that bass synth I was talking about sounds rather a lot like Bronski Beat.
N: An immediacy I am sure will certainly greet the listener in a simply structured tune that stands every chance of chart success. Pete Hellier and PMT have delivered fine mixes that slip well into the presentation. Expect an album, "Fuchsia Dog" at the end of April. 7/10
Dino Lenny - I Feel Stereo (Incentive)
Radio One have jumped headfirst from motorway bridges to land on the Dino Lenny bandwagon of late. The man doing most of the jumping is their resident klubbhead and DJ cheesemeister Pete Tong. Pretty good pedigree then, but how do our ears cope with it all?
T: This is obviously heavily influenced by Chaka Khan's 1984 number one "I Feel For You"....
N: Twee samples that emulate those of M/A/R/R/S, Technotronic and Paul Hardcastle, this artist has done nothing more original than raid his younger brother's record collection and pumped da bass over retro computer games.
T: Yeah but Donkey Kong was a great game....
N: Yeah....once....but surely we've all become sick of that by now. 5/10
The Shining - Quicksilver (Zuma)
With a blooding that hints at the fact that Richard Ashcroft had nothing more than a lyrical contribution to the sound of The Verve, The Shining may well be described as the Original Verve. Certainly destined for the shelves of only the most die hard fans and collectors, "Quicksilver" is only released on the meagre pressing of 10,000 ten inch copies - remember those? Two tracks that among the title, also include "Dum Dum" featuring a driving rhythm reminiscent of Stone Roses' Mani. Are you getting a picture of where this is going?
T: I feel like I'm at the cinema! Must be the Pearl and Dean style beginning, albeit as performed by The Rolling Stones. Then again, once the vocals come in, it sounds like a composition by Noel or his brother Monkey Boy. Of course, you could say the beginning was like Goldbug's version of "Whole Lotta Love" that played with the big screen's familiar theme tune, but the fact that I have a sudden craving for fat bastard popcorn and a large cup of ice cubes encourages my leaning toward my original comparison.
N: This is loud and dirty, and in linking up with Duncan Baxter on vocals, Simon Jones and Tong may well have found their next Ashcroft. Give it a few plays and you won't stop. The debut album should be expected later this year.
T: Should we compare it with the Verve at all? It sounds to me like they're trying to move and do their own thing. Great as they were for their time, I think they'd like to leave it all behind now. 8/10
Clinic - Come Into Our Room (Domino)
T: Do Clinic really need an intro? Whaddya mean yes?! Read my bloody article from last month then. Huh. Call yourself a reader? Seriously though, this is an eerie sounding track full of emotion. It's even more intriguing when you realise that, stripped down, the lyrics are actually quite nice! An intricate, original and stunning piece of stonework,
N: Three albums and a fanbase surely many bands aspire to, Clinic just get better. This is not stadia rock, but has an intimacy that is refreshingly different. "Come Into Our Room" is certainly a single that encapsulates all that the current album "Walking With thee" is about. I'm still blown away!
T: Oddly enough, we seem to have been blown away to the same place. Handy enough really, considering we've got some more reviews to do. Outstanding is the only word which really sums this single and album up. 9/10
Jetplane Landing - Summer Ends (Yoga Boy distribution)
You only need to delve into this month's album reviews to see how highly we regard this Anglo-Irish three piece. Therefore the single only needs a brief synopsis.
N: Now I should start by saying how much I agree with your opening statement. However, I don't consider this to be a track worthy of its current release. An album that shines with its quality. Others are certainly going to disagree with which tracks they rate more highly, but in this case, I do not feel that "Summer Ends" is deserving of the most attention.
T: A very honest opinion there, but do me a favour, when it's nice and sunny out, put this track on in the car with your windows down, and then try telling me it doesn't invigorate you enormously. I would agree that it isn't the strongest track, but seeing as every track is a modern classic by today's standards, that's not really much to be ashamed about is it? 8/10
Ten Speed Racer - Girls And Magazines (Red Flag)
This band have received critical acclaim in the States with their debut album "Eskimo Beach Boy", also being highly regarded back home in Ireland. This ep includes 5 tracks, a powerful mixture of raw guitars and blissful melodies. What did we make of it here at Atomicduster?
N: Who does this remind you of, as the intro to "Don't Go Out" begins?
T: Not sure, but it does sound like someone...
N: Del Amitri! "Always The Last To Know"!!
T: Oh yeah it does a bit. More like "Roll To Me" I reckon. What's weird is that if you played the first track at half speed, I'm sure it would sound like a track from Radiohead's debut album "Pablo Honey"! It actually reminds me of Idlewild too.
N: I'm unsure about any shallow comparisons one might make. Even as this first track progresses, this group are definitely their own band. I'm dead impressed. Their music has the feel of a West Coast tune with all the optimism of a blazing summer.
T: I have to admit I'm quite partial to the track too. Second song on the CD "Freewheelin'" reminds me of the Auteurs with distortion pedals attached to their feet.
N: I can't fault this band. They had me singing along with the first song only moments into it, and I love the overdrive used on track two. The press release describes a "diverse and unique sound". The further we head into this CD, the more apparent this becomes. They're the same band, but their range is immense. 9/10 web site
Hermes House Band - Whatever Will be Will Be (Annoying Records)
T: As you would expect, this starts off like the original, then goes into a cheesy crap Europop version in the most predictable manner. Does this even warrant a comment from the editor?
N: What are you talking about? 3/10
Oasis - Hindu Times (Big Brother)
T: This is supposedly a "completely different" sound from monkey boy and his brother. I must admit, I think Noel's guitar riff that runs throughout is a blinding one, but then Liam starts and it all ends up sounding just like all their other stuff. Fortunately for them however, it sounds like one of their better tracks, and therefore gets a relatively good score. 7/10
The Currymints - Like It Ocelot (Jacques Laverne Records)
This is the debut single from 'jam-meisters', The Currymints. This laid back groove is brought to us from this Anglo-Danish label and boy you'd better get out that summer attitude as this demands it, but what did our panel make of it;
N: I'm shopping for style, I'm beside the pool, I am in an open top sports car, I'm out on the town. Hey I'm goddamn stylish! (Pity fact is sometimes stranger than fiction).
T: Not half as strage as your opening gambit. Would you like some chocolate trouser press while you're walking the goldfish?
N: This has acid-jazz written all over it, but only the good bits.
J: This is lovely music.
T: Looks like I'm in a minority here then. Personally I'd rather watch repeat episodes of 'Triangle' than listen to this. I suppose it's ok if you're asleep.
N: It's just chillout music!
T: Blackout music you mean!
N: And what proportion of our lives do we spend spleeping? If your comment is to be true, the market share of the music industry that these guys should take is immense.
T: Zzzzzz. 6/10
Hundred Reasons - Silver (Sony Music)
Hot on the heels of their recent top twenty hit 'If I could', this emo band are well on the up. This new single will be released on May 6th.
N: I think you'll be taking this one home...
T: I'll be glad to, although I will admit that it's not as instant as its riproaring predecessor. And I have to be honest and say that the early Genesis keyboard noises are a tad worrying to say the least!
N: Well actually I was referring to the strange lass in the next room, but as we should be talking about the music, umm, it sounds almost blueprint to me.
T: Well it was pretty obvious to me that you weren't over keen on it anyway, as you had previosly "accidentally knocked it down the side of the filing cabinet..."
N: That'll teach me - but quite what I don't know. 7/10
British Sea Power - The Spirit Of St Louis (Rough Trade)
Recent stars of this years NME Carling shows, and having toured the UK with Clinic, this group produce solid rock, but is it 'Solid Gold Easy Action' to our ears?
N: This is almost U2 circa "Under A Blood Red Sky" with the vocals of Wayne Hussey. As a fan of both of these bands, this group are not going to go far wrong in my eyes and besides, my girlfriend likes it, so when the album comes along I might be able to play it.
T: Oh I see. We all know who wears the trousers in YOUR house then.
N: A cool breeze around my inner thighs? I wouldn't have it any other way.
T: I'll be quite honest with you. This sounds about as much like either U2 or Wayne Hussey as I look like Pauline Quirke. It sounds more like an early Bowie to me, occasionally drifting into Bryan Ferry here and there. Being a big Bowie fan I'm quite impressed.
N: Here we are obviously going to differ, but come the B-side (do owe still have them? - deputy ed), 'The Lonely', I can see where you're coming from. In my opinion this is late eighties indie rock.
T: The one late eighties indie band that springs to mind is Kitchens Of Distinction, although I suppose you can hear a bit of Wire there too.
N: Yeah. Jazz Butcher too. But around this time, they all sounded very derivative of eachother. This is a brave step that the band have taken, but I'm sure they'll find their market. Bedsit land. 8/10
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