|Singles Reviews: June 2002|
Gerling - Dust Me Selecta (Infectious)
Recorded in their native Sydney, you couldn't get further away from their previous single "The Deer In You" if you sat them in a confined room for 50 years with only a bag of golf clubs and a pot noodle. Whereas its predecessor had a distinctly more rocky, grungy feel, this is more akin to the Avalanches, but do they do it as well as them?
N: There's nothing like a band pigeonholing themselves is there? (That was irony incidentally).
T: It's quite a good track actually, but perhaps a little TOO much like their Antipodean counterparts.
N: Once I got over the shock of what I was hearing, I did learn to accept this. As a dance tune it's pretty good, but I'm not sure of a band switching their colours quite so radically.
T: Not much else to say about it really. 7/10 web site
The Saw Doctors - This Is Me (Shamtown Records)
What can you say about this band? They've been around nearly as long as the Queen Mum was, had the all time best selling single in Ireland with "I Useta Lover", have a massive following, but mention them to your average street bod over here and you'll get "Weren't they the ones who had that "Two Princes" single a few years ago. Then again, singer Davy Carton admitted he was quite pleased about that when we interviewed them in these pages, as they picked up a number of live fans who thought they were going to see the Spin Doctors and never looked back.
T: Personally I think "This Is Me" was one of the better tracks on their acclaimed "Villains" album, certainly nodding towards Canada's Spirit Of The West. Hell, it could have even been a track on their own "Go Figure" album in the early nineties.
N: I regret to say this doesn't exactly rock my world, but appreciate their musicianship. A fairly inoffensive tune that I'm sure will find an audience, but to be honest, they probably already have the band's albums anyway.
T: One thing to point out though is that, should you attend a Saw Doctors gig you're guaranteed a great (and very drunken) night. 6/10
Muse - Dead Star / In Your World (Mushroom)
Probably one of the current crop of bands most likely to achieve superstardom status, following in the steps of Radiohead and their ilk. Oh come on, you don't need any more of an intro than that.
N: On the opening notes of this song, you'd be forgiven for assuming, or mistaking these as some of yesterday's rock Gods, but tread a little further and it's Muse through and through. A group who have definitely learnt how to stamp their mark on each and every product they release.
T: Hang on. Weren't you the same Nick James who gave their "Unintended" nought in an earlier edition of this very magazine?
N: Probably, but doesn't the term "flogging a dead horse" come to mind? They released five singles from the first album and I just got fed up with that.
T: Point taken. Anyway I can see where you're coming from with your assessment of this single. It reminded me of Faith No More in the middle. But yes, distinctly Muse without a doubt. 7/10 web site
Lambchop - Is A Woman (City Slang/Virgin)
Hardly causing a commotion in any shape or form, this band always seem to be nominated for some award or another, so they must be pretty highly regarded with the upper echelons of the music world at least. How do they fare with us?
T: Bloody hell. I thought Nick Drake was dead.
N: Not a lot there is there?
T: It sounds like the late maudlin star set to a backdrop of Jimmy Cliff's music. Sadly though, for me, Cliff (no not THAT Cliff) brought his own style and sound to his music, whereas this just trundles along. I'm sure if you're doing something dull like ironing next day's work shirt or watching Trisha on morning TV it would suit your mood, but otherwise it's not really my jug of cream. 6/10
The Burn - The Smiling Face (Hut Recordings)
T: This begins as though it's going to be an amalgamation of Dion's "The Wanderer", Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit In The Sky" and any one of a number of progressive rock bands of the seventies. Although they've completely buggered up any chance of getting on the Radio One playlist by choosing to open the song with the line "Your smiling face is gonna fuck me over"....
N: Don't you think this reminds you of the Verve in some ways?
T: Yes, especially on track two, "Silver" which, frustratingly has its predecessor for breakfast with tomatoes. As does track three.
N: But returning to your earlier comments regarding the radio one playlist, I don't think these lads had any intention of getting onto it in releasing it. 7/10 web site
Seafood / Jetplane Landing - Pleasurehead / What The Argument Has Changed (Infectious)
The meteoric rise to cult stardom of both of these bands has been well documented within these pages, as both have become firm favourites with the Atomicduster staff over the last year or so. Therefore it was a delight to learn that Seafood had chosen to release a split-single with the stunning Anglo-Irish band Jetplane Landing, who are surely in line for at least the Best Album prize from this magazine by the end of the year.
T: Interesting. My very favourite Jetplane Landing track, and one of my very favourite Seafood tracks from their "When Do We Start Fighting?" album.
N: I hope that people will not be accusing us of nepotism following the gushing comments that we have had a tendency to make, certainly of the latter of these two bands, but the fact that these were not just rubbing shoulders, but practically copulating on a single of this nature is not surprising. The versions of their songs that Seafood have used are great, stripped down and raw, - does the fact that they have not used originals suggest that a new album is on its way?
T: I hope so. I believe Jetplane Landing's isn't far around the corner either, so we should be having a damned good summer! 10/10
The Space Cowboy - I Would Die 4 U (Southern Fried Records)
T: Is this the old Prince song?
N: Yep. And I love it! Surprisingly a fine rendition of His Royal Purpleness's original. But it doesn't last too long...
T: I know the feeling. Anyway, have a guess as to whether I like it or not?
N: I think you're going to say that you hate it.
T: Ha ha. I'm glad I'm still unpredictable. I actually liked it a lot. Had a really up summery feel but also had gonads the size of tennis balls.
N: I wish they hadn't messed with their initial version though, as in my opinion, the remixes really do nothing more for the song. In fact they do less for it. 8/10
The Libertines - I Get Along (Rough Trade)
N: Well this is not getting on the Radio One playlist either is it?
T: Sounds a lot like Boomtown Rats circa "She's So Modern" and "Mary Of The Fourth Form".
N: But has it added to the original feel of the sound?
T: I'd say there was certainly a fuller sound now, giving the vast advancement of our modern technology where music has been concerned. I do quite like it, to be honest but I don't think it's anything new. 6/10
DJ Tiesto ft Suzanne Palmer- 643 (Love's On Fire) (Black Hole Recordings)
T: Interesting soundscape, but I think her vocals leave a lot to be deserved.
T: She'd get further than YOU on Pop Idol.
N: Nuff said.
T: I think I prefer her voice this way than if she'd been one of those squealy voiced second division players that are normally seconded to add their personal touch to average dance records.
N: I think that comment might have just added to its score. 5/10 web site
Lenny Kravitz - Believe In Me (Virgin)
T: Can we forgive someone who has had his wicked way with both Vanessa Paradis and Natalie Imbruglia? More to the point, can I? Especially seeing as they'd probably both make my list if I had to make one of my all time top ten babes.
N: You're married. Steady on there.
T: I think Angela would prefer we to make top ten lists of them than go around clocking up notches on my bedpost1
N: that you'd even stand a chance mate! But seriously, is this anywhere near the quality of his earlier work? Nice vocals, but it just doesn't rock.
T: But then, did "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" rock? Although I can see what you're saying. It's not really on a par is it? And the fact that it sounds like Let Loose doesn't help it either!
N: Dull and rather lifeless in my opinion. 4/10 web site
The Crescent - On The Run (Hut Recordings)
T: Take Liam Gallaghers DNA and mix it together with John Lydon and we're someway toward establishing how this band sounds.
N: We seem to be encountering a plethora of bands that put the spirit of the late sixties into a blender, add a few words and the minimum of imagination and hey presto! You've got yourselves a record deal! I don't want to cast aspersions on this group's no doubt long term love, but really, give my granny a six string and I'm sure that some media mogul will pick her up.
T: I'm sure they will. She's a demon, your granny and I'm a very big fan of her music. No, you are making a valid point, and I have to say, having heard quite a lot of the stuff that's been signed recently, I reckon it gives my own band hope anyway! 5/10 web site
Gomez - Sound Of Sounds (Hut Recordings)
T: One of the more inventive bands to have come through the industry meatgrinder with a relatively unblemished track record, Gomez have returned with a slower number that sounds like Dodgy.
N: I can't make the link there mate. It's definitley Gomez, and what you said in your opening statement, I cannot disagree with. The fact somebody had the foresight to sign them was a stroke of genius.
T: Just for clarification, dig out and listen to Dodgy's most successful album "Free Peace Sweet", playing tracks like "If You're Thinking Of Me" and the other slowies and then tell me otherwise. 7/10 web site
Original Bedroom Rockers - Tone In (Discrete Records)
Intereseting line up, this one. Steve Hellier of Death In Vegas fame joins forces with Manchester DJ Rob Park, and ropes in Steve Dub, who produced the Chemical Brothers albums to work his own magic spell on their own stuff.
T: This works for me anyway.
N: Perhaps one of the biggest surprises this month. From the opening bars, kicking like a surgical enema, this partnership have got it right. Wow! I defy anyone not to take this with the most serious of intent.
T: I think Dub has stamped his authority all over this masterfully, but the skills of Park and Hellier shine through like stars too.
N: A debut album, "Under The Floor", is apparently due out in September, but before this a UK tour as the band prepare to take this summer's festivals by storm. 9/10
Paul Oakenfold - Southern Sun / Ready Steady Go (Perfecto)
If you want an introduction to this legend's stuff, look no further than Nick's piece in the Interviews and Articles section in this month's edition.
N: An artist who surely knows how to make a single, this comes with with the breath of summer sun and a breeze that's going to set floors alight, despite a rather dodgy line in eyewear, Mr.Oakenfold does it again.
T: How can a breeze set the floor alight? Anyway, yes, great track, blah blah etc. Long may he continue. "Ready Steady Go" wins the coconut from my shy though. Both tracks are likely to achieve cult status very soon anyway. 8/10 web site
Chumbawamba - Her Majesty (Free single)
Very sensibly, the band have chosen not to issue this as a single in its own right, but to distribute it as a free single available to anyone on their mailing list. I say sensibly as it's inevitable that otherwise they would have to live with the "Sex Pistols" rip off tag. Not through the music, just through the sentiment and timing of release. In doing it this way they will manage to avoid this little inconvenience.
T: This is Paul McCartney. I can hear it in my head, an abridged version can be found drawing a close to the Beatles' 1969 "Abbey Road", going by the same title.
T: I bow to your extensive knowledge O Great One. I am not worthy. Maybe we should mark it. 7/10 web site
Kelli Ali - Inferno High Love (One Little Indian)
Rather a surprising transformation for Ms Ali, especially considering her earlier catalogue with Sneaker Pimps. All more dance orientated these daya. For better or for worse?
N: That's who she is! Of course! But I think she was most successful in The Ring.
T: What? I have absolutely no idea what you're babbling on about.
N: Ali - in the ring.
T: Oh great. Why don't you belittle me a little more you sarky sod.
N: Seventies disco chic, or should that be creek? Filled with all the glitter of a spinning ball. 7/10 web site
The Shining - I Wonder How (Zuma Recordings)
T: I think you can safely say that this band have shaken off the tag of sounding exactly like the Verve anyway. This in my opinion is one of the best singles we've had this month.
N: I was going to say that even without their obvious family ties, they HAVEN'T shaken off that sheepskin coat. But even with that, I would have to agree with your initial comments. This one's a real grower.
T: And THAT guitar sound. For some reason it reminds me of being at an airport!
N: How did they do that?
T: No idea, but one thing's for sure, this is a top tune. 8/10 web site
Silt (aka Botnledga) - In Line (RAS 2)
T: They sound like a rockier version of Sparklehorse. In fact they sound more like Sparklehorse than Sparkelhorse do!
N: Fantastic. Love the guitars, and a million miles away in heart at least from the elfin princess Bjork, their Icelandic counterpart. But why is it not until now that I have heard of this band, as Damon Albarn's invite to support Blur in 1997 came amidst his comment that Silt were by far the best band he'd heard in Iceland. Was he using a touch of irony there? Surely not.
T: I wouldn't have thought so, they seem pretty good at what they do anyway, and the noise that emanates is unusually captivating. 8/10 web site
Athlete - You Got The Style (parlophone)
T: Debut single? I could have sworn we reviewed a debut single by them a couple of months ago didn't we?
N: Can't remember. Or maybe not, as the catalogue number on here is 0001.
T: Ah. In that case I sit corrected. Anyway, the single. This amuses me quite a lot actually, as it sounds like Chris Martin putting on a cockney accent until the chorus, when it starts sounding like Suggs to me.
N: I'm sure this group have had connections with the Beta Band before. I don't know where and i don't know when, but the artwork is very reminiscent. Maybe they're love children! 7/10
Alpinestars ft Brian Molko - Carbon Kid (Riverman records)
T: Brian Molko has had a rough ride in the mass music press, being regularly portrayed as an arrogant, self centred, egotistical ponce every time a new release comes out. Personally I like him, and I thought "Black Market Music" was one of the best albums of last year. I'm impressed with this track too.
N: Alpinestars certainly kick arse here, with an effigy that echoes Orwell's 1984 on the cover, to the choice of Mr.Molko on vocals. This is a most surprising release and I go along with what you've already said. Great. 9/10 web site
Miss Black America - Talk Hard (Integrity)
T: Another emo band by the sound of things, to go along with Jimmy Eat World, Easyworld, A and Sum 41, seeing as the press have lumped all that lot into that genre lately.
N: An indie band that epitomise the term "lyrical angst" with a raw musical undertoned that finds melody mincing grit in the same bars. Respect to these boys.
seeing as this type of music is the only half decent stuff to have been
charting recently. 9/10
Antihero - Rolling Stones T-shirt (Integrity)
T: This made me laugh out loud at the start of the song. I don't know why. I'm not sure whether that was to do with the track, or whether I need to take a long, hard look at myself.
N: It does nothing for me. I hated Green Day when they first came out and I still hate them.
T: I think we'll agree to differ on that one. I thought they were great, and I don't think these sound anything like them anyway!
N: Although the second track in my opinion stomps on the opener.
T: I would probably go along with that, as it's less of a novelty tune. 6/10 web site
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