Single Reviews: August 2008

 

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Glyder - Weather The Storm EP (GlyderMusic) 25/08/2008

N: We are unsure if this should be placed in our Spotlight section, but considering it's better than some of the label released product, we're giving it its chance to play with the big boys this time around.

T: Available only to those who bother showing up at Glyder's gigs and as a download, the band have continued to impress us here at Atomicduster following the release of their debut EP. Not your everyday rock band who are more concerned with how big a bulge they have showing through their leather pants or the greasiness of their hair. No, Glyder actually are skilled craftsmen whose presentation stands head and shoulders above other bands in their genre. Great stuff. 8/10

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The Screening - Not Right In The Head EP (Download) 25/08/2008

N: Breaking all the rules today, another previously deemed "Spotlight" artist, The Screening have proved sufficiently consistent enough for us consider them to now hold their own.

T: As I mentioned in this year's Summer Sundae Weekender review, Leicester has a music scene to rival any UK city at present. It's probably at its strongest point ever in terms of diversity and relevance. Right at the helm of it all are one of the most vibrant, energetic and vital bands of the decade, The Screening. With such a powerhouse on stage presence, the quartet are an outfit that really must be seen live to be properly understood. Their songs are brimming with confidence and the vigour of youth. The fact that their songs are instantly hummable after just one listen, often like The Wonder Stuff in their most inspired moments, speaks volumes for their talent. This ep, again, is tremendous fun, the highlight being the brilliant "Lighting Fires", although I have to say that I am unsure, on "Tell Me Emily", how Mr. Nurse managed to figure out that Windy Miller is actually a psycho killer. They kept that one quiet from me, and he was my favourite character too! Dramatic, frenetic and compelling. This band is close to being one of my favourite bands period, let alone one of my favourite local ones. 9/10

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David Holmes - I Heard Wonders (UMC/Mercury) 25/08/2008

T: He's always been pretty reliable, DJ Sherlock, and this is no exception. A swooning, early morning thoroughfare through cobbled streets with an antelope tied to a piece of string that dangles loosely from your gerbil's pocket.

N: What planet are you on today?

T: Damn. He. Worked. Out. That. Tone. Has. Built. A. Robot. To. Replace. Him. AFter. Lunch.

N: Not quite sure about this, or my cohorts state of mind at present. But not in my opinion as large as '97's 'Let's Get Killed', but hold on, we're 11 years in the future from that point. Perhaps all will become clear and that can of Tab will regain its fizz. As for Tone's head space, I think that's well past its sell-by.

T: It was going well, but I lost my thread and just typed whatever my fingers wanted to do. Anyway I like gerbils and I like antelope, so you can assume from this that I like the single. See? It all makes perfect sense. 8/10

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Black Tide - Shout (UMG) 25/08/2008

T: (looking at cover) Doesn't inspire much confidence, does it?

N: Yeah, I know exactly where this is coming from. Like a tin of no nails. If one of them had hair of that length, it might be acceptable, but that they've ALL got hair of that lenght would tend to suggest heavy metal circa 1980s.

T: And you'd be right. I bet they don't go for a back, sack and crack wax very often.

N: Mind you, neither do you. Do you?

T: I just pull 'em out myself. That's what REAL men do.

N: Ooh that's GOTTA hurt.

T: Almost as much as this song did. 3/10

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Nick Harrison - Oi Rude Boy (A&M Records) 25/08/2008

T: An easy listen, but having read Bill Drummond's "17" book recently, it does make me wonder whether he's actually right that "all recorded music has run its course" and that nothing is new anymore, yearning for a "year zero now". I know where he's coming from. This would appear to be a marrying of Arctic Monkeys with The Beat. Not a bad tune but definitely not groundbreaking.

N: I agree. 6/10

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Conor Oberst - Souled Out!!! (Wichita Recordings) 25/08/2008

T: Nice lazy guitar riff, great use of giggly female vocal in the background (which is actually really sexy), and a tune that reminds me bizarrely of Marc Bolan. A winning combination from Bright Eyes' musical genius.

N: I agree 8/10

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International Trust - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Stunted Records) 18/08/2008

T: Sounds like Green Day covering Slade songs for someone's 21st birthday party. Insanely catchy but rather twee at the same time. They're definitely a party band anyway, there's no doubt about that. Then the second track, "There's No I In International Trust" sounds rather like these boys have been sampling old Pogues albums.

N: You forgot to mention being brutally honest. I now know that after going to college, the singer had found himself in debt. Nothing new there then. How about the third track?

T: All much of a muchness really. Not easy to have anything against, and you have to admit the tunes are very infectious, but I don't think they'll be making our end of year Best Of list. 6/10

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Anthony Reynolds - Bees Dream Of Flowers And Your Summer's Meadow Breath (Hungry Hall) 18/08/2008

First impressions, well a bit wordy and quite like nothing I might have expected. An EP where the voice on the initial track 'Just So You Know', is like that of a choir boy meeting the ears, but reading on, it's apparently the voice of co-conspirator Vashti Bunyan, on this number at least. Really not my bag I'm afraid, but hold on don't go making rash judgements Nick, because the second number here 'Like The Sun Feeds From Flowers', featuring the voice of another co-conspirator, this time Charlotte Greig, is in this case possessing rings of a traditional folk song, ummm, better.

But then Anthony turns the tables yet again, this time maybe I'm getting closer to the artist, as this is audio perversion, and the line rings out "...I like girls in the spring, I like girls with a swing, I like girls to go with everything..., but none of them surpasses girls with glasses." Now this really is bloody good, I'm thinking of the wickedness of Neil Hannon, a devilish sprite running half naked through the woods, although a dirtier Hannon and musically a weirder Hannon - perverted just doesn't do him justice. And finally in suitably backwards fashion 'Now It Begins' appears like a child knowing they've done wrong, peering around the corner to observe the spilt milk and burst flour bag spilling across the kitchen floor. Pehaps I am now at the truth of the matter, a Scott Walker figure towering above his creation. I don't remember this when we reviewed his album 'British Ballads' released at the end of last year? Half of this may've been somewhat questionable, but when it closes in such a magnificent fashion, all is forgiven. The man's a genius. 9/10

Nick James


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The Automatic - Steve McQueen (b-unique) 18/08/2008

Upfront and in my face, The Automatic bring us their latest single 'Steve McQueen'. Following a reshuffle in their ranks since the release of their double gold debut album 'Not Accepted Anywhere', this sets the stage for the follow up 'This Is A Fix' due for release later this month. Now at this point and with no immediate reference, I first studied my shelves where surely I would find the album I had vague recollections of - nothing, well maybe my iTunes library - again nothing. It would appear their previously mentioned debut was as instantly forgettable as this single.

Something it seems hasn't rubbed off is the karma of their subject matter of this song, as the chorus rings out "I was a teenage Steve McQueen...", pity the similarity stops there then. It's certainly a ballsy number with pretty good hooks and a riff that shows some promise, it's just why do they have to be like every other indie-wannabe clone stepping out these days. 6/10

(Interestingly enough, just as I'm finishing off this review, a parcel comes through the letterbox and crashes on the mat. Not that unpaid gas bill, or another electricity increase, no, more review copies, among which is the aforementioned second album. Give'em their dues, maybe this might prove more successful and after all that "...pretty good hook..." is now coursing through my head space like a dose of flu. Perhaps there is something to be said for this band after all. I'll leave it to their album before I finally incur sentence.)

Nick James

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Mark Morriss - Lay Low (Fruitcake) 11/08/2008

It will come as no surprise of this artist's talent if you have read our previous reviews and Tone's interview with the man just a few months ago. Presently working apart from his band The Bluetones, Mark continues to prove himself as a strong songwriter and this 3 minute wonder is no exception. Some might say it gives little to get pumped up or excited about? But in Mark's instance I get the feeling this is not the point, a smooth voice and a well written score, with a little help or should that be guidance from fellow composer David Arnold, seems to be the order of the day here.

What more can I say, but it was always going to prove itself, taken as it was from his debut album, Memory Muscle. 7/10

Nick James

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Late Of The Pier - Heartbeat (Zarcorp/Parlophone) 04/08/2008

T: I sincerely hope this isn't a cover of the Scouting For Girls song...

N: I sincerely hope not, otherwise I'm going to see if I can make the road - some 50 yards away - by throwing it through the open window.

T: Fortunately, it's not, for the sake of your wallet, as litigation comes all to easily these days. I've heard you know all about coming too quickly as well.

N: What's THAT got to do with it? Not that I'm saying it's true. Anyway, it's a good single from a great album.

T: We haven't actually told our readers what it sounds like, so let me just point them in the direction of our Album Review - 8/10

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The Rivers - Got Something On Me (NoCarbon Records) 04/08/2008

T: What does Miles Hunt call these types of band? Indie Schmindie isn't it? I think that fits here quite well.

N: Alright, someone's got to mention the obvious - why are NoCarbon Records releasing these singles on plastic CDs in sleeves derived from cardboard?

T: Because they're not called NoCardboard records. 4/10

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The Verve - Love Is Noise (Parlophone) 03/08/2008

N: Well, in the hope this Brtisih band with a pedigree bring some order to the day, and quality "noise" in that respect, this single from The Verve has been ten years in the making.

T: But was it worth it? I'll be honest, as much as I like The Verve, this new track is lifeless and sounds like Texas.

N: Despite having ripped off Sharleen Spiteri and co....actually...there's not a lot left to say! 5/10

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Brigade - Sink, Sink, Swim/Stunning (Caned & Able Recordings) 04/08/2008

T: If you like whiny voies and formulaic rock songs, this is the band for you.

N: Leading the rock renaissance, British band Brigade make a noise...

T: ...well that's true. 5/10

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Kong - Blood Of The Dove (Brew Records) 28/07/2008

Like King Kong, this single bore an interest that grew in me before its contents met my ears. From an independant label with a pedigree, this was not going to be your average, run-of-the-mill contribution. Finally a band who were doing something a little out of the ordinary, as screams pierced the rumble that otherwise passed as music, Kong where making a friend pretty quickly it has to be said.

Discordant notes rang out above the unholy cries that made no sense to the ordinary man, but was this a call to arms for the otherwise indoctrinated? Highly unlikely to make it into any kind of popular charts, but with that comes half the fun. 10/10

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Midnight Man (Mute) 28/07/2008

A familiar tone will meet the ears from the moment this number starts up and it could even be said a welcome one too. From Nick's dark and brouding vocal to the Manzarek'esque Hammond organ that plays throughout, 'Midnight Man' holds within all that the title promises. 9/10

Nick James

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You Me At Six - Gossip (Slam Dunk Records) 28/07/2008

Remaining in control of their "art", London band You Me At Six, release their debut for independant label Slam Dunk Records. As I found whilst working on this review, "Gossip" is certainly a foot tapping number, and might be described on the harder edge of Pop, although the lighter side of Rock.

I'll be honest, these young pretenders are like a lot of their counterparts currently doing the rounds. So nothing new then, but with an album due for release later this year, we shall see what else they have to offer. 7/10

Nick James

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The Pigeon Detectives - Everybody Wants Me (Dance To The Radio) 28/07/2008

Lifted from 'Emergency', the bands second abum, released earlier this year was one where its contents grew like a "leper colony" in Tone's brain, and for me when taken in bite size chunks like this, wasn't half bad too.

Not necessarily the most anthem'esque of numbers on the album, although certainly radio-friendly and Tone's comment concerning his leper colony suddenly falls into place. Hum-tastic and I shall leave it there. 7/10

Nick James

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The Splendour - Money (Tinyclan Records) 28/07/2008

As a pre-cursor to their album, also reviewed this issue, The Splendour released this single which not surprisingly has nothing in relation to Pink Floyd's 'Money', released quite some years earlier. Although surprisingly in this context, is that their B-side offered here - 'Missus' - is in fact a great deal better and lazily features on the afore mention album, directly following the A-side here.

In short, 'Money' bears all the hall marks of an indie pop moment, whilst its B-side is a well conceived and less annoying track that might just show the way ahead for songwriter Justin Gourlay. 6/10

Nick James

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