Single Reviews: June 2005

 

Leon - Be There (Candiz/Pinnacle) 27/06/2005

This single is a jolly little number from Derby 4-piece Leon. With a sound that is undoubtedly Lo-Fi, this could be said is from from the same wrapper as the Beta Band or Athlete. A debut album, Uppers and Downers is finally completed and due for release soon.

Leon maywell be one to watch in the coming months, fusing infectious pop with understated song writing. 8/10

Nick James

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Napoleon IIIrd – Anti-Patria e.p. (Dance To the Radio) 27/06/2005

Go into Leeds City Centre, grab the most drunk bloke you can find, stick him in a room with an equally inebriated Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and get them to play The Beatles’ “Wild Honey Pie” a few times and you’d end up with a CD something like this.

Really, this ought to make the thing sound horrendous, but somehow when it all comes together it shines like a brand new pair of sparkly pants, and Napoleon IIIrd doesn’t give a damn if he leaves skidmarks. 8/10

Tone E

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Narco - Worth It (Surface To Air Records) 20/06/2005

Narco mix into their sound a heavy dose of seventies rock soup and from what I heard in this their second single a smattering of 'Flash Gordon' from my youth. Nice bass runs and a lyric that begs the audience, "...was it worth it...".

Many may claim to be unaware of this band, however if you're a gamer and have played the likes of 'Driver3' and 'Getaway2', then you may already have heard them as you race around the course, as Narco provide all the non-licensed music for titles such as these. The forthcoming 'Gran Turismo4' will also feature their subtle tones. 6/10

Nick James

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Simple Plan – Welcome To My Life (Lava / Atlantic) 20/06/2005

Following the Green Day prototype they use as their yardstick, Simple Plan have released another inoffensive, fun, catchy single that is heavy on the emo side and difficult to dislike (Oh look, I KNOW I’m supposed to hate them – I just don’t, ok?

I’m not a HUGE fan of this kind of music though, to be fair, but I wouldn’t turn the radio off in a rage if it came on (I save my wrath for the likes of the Williams creature – thanks Miles for that perfect description – and Pondlife…I wonder how many dads have infuriated their brainwashed teenybop daughters by calling them that!) because it is, at the very least, tolerable. I mean, how CAN you hate this band? 7/10

Tone E

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Iain Archer - Boy Boy Boy/Worth (Pias) 20/06/2005

As a single, we reviewed this to popular applause back in April of last year and was originally taken from his taken from his 'Flood The Tanks' album. This time this has been re-worked by legendary producer Steve Osbourne who has breathed a new life to this single which as I said, was in the first place considered a winner.

Should I say more that hasn't already been said before? Only that this is the right time of year in which this single should live, it's just the second track here doesn't quite live up to the majesty of its A-lister. 8/10

Nick James

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Undercut – To Die For (Distiller) 20/06/2005

A bit like Coldplay will sound once they’ve started sprouting pubic hair.

Actually that’s a bit unfair, because I have no beef with the latter band at all; it’s just that this sounds very much like a Chris Martin penned tune as performed by the Foo Fighters. As you can imagine from that description, it’s a cleverly written, well constructed melody with a lot going on, Johnny Benn’s Grohl-like vocals lend the track a lot of depth and the whole thing has quite an epic feel about it.

Undercut are rapidly becoming one of the most important “bands to watch” of the current decade. 9/10

Tone E


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Be Your Own Pet - Fire Department (Alchemy Dubhouse) 20/06/2005

Teenage 4-piece - ßßGirl/Boy combo out of Nashville, with a tinge of the Pixies about them for me. Still at school, yes that's right "at school", these adolescents should not be dismissed or ignored, their hard edged sound posseses a maturity that is quite unnerving, this is youth taking back for themselves what has for so long been heading in the opposite direction. Class name too. 8/10

Nick James

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Melody Club - Baby (Stand Up) (Virgin) 20/06/2005

Oooo! Euro Pop oozes from this sticky sweet sub 4 minute bust of well, (Euro) trash. Pre-programmed melodies and electronic boom-boom's pack this with far to much content than would be good for any other brand of music, but for Sweden's Melody Club, well the story's been told. Obviously not everyone will feel the same as me, my other half to note just one, but their tour with Kylie might raise awareness, or just fill the time before Kylie takes to the stage. 2/10

Nick James

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Shout Out Louds – Very Loud (Bud Fox Recordings/EMI) 20/06/2005

Rather like a cross between early U2 and The Strokes, somewhat bizarrely since the band hail from Sweden. The latter band is certainly more evident in the melody, whereas Bono is there emphatically on lead singer Adam’s vocals.

Although you can’t help beat out your own imaginary drum beat on your yoghurt pot, settee arm, stomach or whatever else is to hand at any given moment, there isn’t really anything that sets it apart from its rivals enough for the band to make too many major strides. Watch them hit the top 20 now I’ve said that…6/10

Tone E


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Bird – Slowly Slowly (Ice Cream Records) 20/06/2005

The absolutely gorgeous Bird’s new single is a bit like Shirley Manson after a double strength chill pill, having fallen asleep in the midst of one of her most sensual dreams. Not that it’s a slow smoocher, but then I would imagine it’s about as slow and smoochy as the formerly mentioned flame haired Scots lass would ever get.

Anyway, I’m supposed to be concentrating on Bird here aren’t I? Hmmm…let’s see…Bird…smoochy…sensual…gorgeous…er…I think I’m just going to nip to the bathroom… 8/10

Tone E

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Five O’Clock Heroes – Head Games (Glaze) 13/06/2005

Like a cross between Elvis Costello, the Gang of Four, Rocket Science and yes, I admit the press release is quite correct, Soul Rebels era Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Five O’Clock Heroes have released an infuriatingly catchy record here. And a very good one it is too, drifting in and out of Skids territory and flirting briefly with the sound of None Below Zero (remember them?!) during the course of this CD.

A promising taster for the band’s forthcoming debut album. 8/10

Tone E

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I Am Kloot – I Believe (Echo) 13/06/2005

Johnny Bramwell and his Manc friends continue their recent trend of releasing stuff that sounds like it was written by Ian Broudie when The Lightning Seeds were at the top of their game.

That’s no cruel jibe at them – this is a nice little foot tapper that sounds like it should be used in a UK equivalent to one of those American road movies. Of course, instead of the trip taking place in some flashy car or a pickup truck, the British version would have to take place in some battered old caravan whilst the storm clouds break violently throughout. But hey, everyone’s still enjoying it! 7/10

Tone E

web site

 
 

 

Ambulance Ltd - Primitive (TVT Records) 13/06/2005

New York's simply brilliant Ambulance Ltd release the gorgeous 'Primitive', the single that will announce the UK release of their debut long player a week later. A single whose dark lyric is presented in a very palatable form, will simply have audiences gorging on the efficacy of this one. "relax, don't think about, the way I treat you" - sings vocalist Marcus Congleton, who only adds to the sleazy quality present in both the music and lyric.

Love it! 9/10

Nick James

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Do Me Bad Things – Move In Stereo (Liv Ullman on Drums) 13/06/2005

One of the better moments from the mixed bag that makes up their debut album “Yes!”, and I’m glad they’ve chosen to release this one because I can actually say something positive! The fact is that there are a handful of tracks on that album that sound WAY too much like Destiny’s Child or Christina Aguilera for my liking!

This one, however, defies categorisaton to an extent. It IS rather like a seventies soul tune with an eighties club feel with a modern production.

Am I talking bollocks? Ah well, it’s not the first time…8/10

Tone E

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The Cribs – Mirror Kissers (Wichita Recordings) 13/06/2005

This band had already released one of the year’s finest singles to date with the pulsating “Hey Scenesters”, and they’ve gone one better by releasing THE best one.

A wild and sneering attack on the “hipster type”, complete with ludicrously catchy hook, bucketloads of adrenaline and a pleasing, arrogant swagger – The Cribs might well be the saviours of our music scene!

I don’t really like giving out too many “10” ratings willy-nilly, but on this occasion, the trousers fit splendidly. 10/10

Tone E

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Brakes - All Night Disco Party (Rough Trade) 13/06/2005

Preceeding the release of their forthcoming debut album, 'Give Blood', Brakes release a single I'm certain will assure the success of this primary outing for the band into long-play land. However Brakes could well be termed a supergroup of sorts, with all four members of the group coming from other outfits, Eamon (British Sea Power), Mark (Tenderfoot), with Tom and Alex joining from the lushly named - Electric Soft Parade.

'Pick Up The Phone', their first single was a brief, yet angry outing and should in no way show a road ahead for this, an altogether radio friendly tune that'll seep into your thoughts and live with you for the week ahead. I'd describe this as an almost 'uber-rock' moment, whose lyrics make no sense, but whose heart is in the right place. 8/10

Nick James

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Gratitude – Drive Away (Atlantic) 06/06/2005

They seem to be winning the praises of several music magazines for their “searing choruses (that) segue into beautiful ballads” but I have to admit, to me they sound like a watered down version of the Gigolo Aunts.

Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but this really does nothing at all for me. 4/10

Tone E

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Departure - All Mapped Out (Parlophone) 06/06/2005

A week preceeding the release of their debut album, The Departure release this, a tune possessing a new romantic tinged bass line that rides the music unashamedly, whilst an edgy guitar follows at its heals. Vocals paint the picture of youth in a style that vocalist David Jones has made all his own and is a song that certainly has a "heard that somewhere before" quality.

The more I listen to this, the more I feel these guys have certainly studied their Eighties music, this must be the revival we were promised 15 years ago, when Phil Oakey rolled out that ridiculous haircut again. 7/10

Nick James

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The Black Velvets - Glamstar (Vertigo) 30/05/2005

This has a nicer, altogether more controlled presentation than their last single, '3345' and is filled with sweet rock'n'roll. This screams oil smeared denims and regulation leather hanging in the closet. Short (even shorter than their 3345) and sweet, this won't set the road alight, but might get the tarmac on your drive sticky. 6/10

Nick James

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