Single Reviews: September 2007


The Donnas - Don't Wait Up For Me (Cooking Vinyl) 17/09/2007

N: Filled with the energy of eighties cock rock, this stadium air puncher is a throwback to the days of big hair, too much leather and cheesy pop tunes.

T: What alarms me is that it sounds like Avril Lavigne. I still would though... 4/10

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The Vitamins - Later Will Be Better (Red Flag) 17/09/2007

T: Sounds like a bored Belinda Carlisle. A lethargic plod through a relatively lifeless single, until the ooh aahs come into play, from which point the band starts sounding more like Belly. Still seems a tad half hearted though.

N: This London 4 piece apparently preside over sixties blues and seventies punk influences, although an alternative pop may be more reminiscent of what they're producing. 6/10

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Fightstar - We Apologise For Nothing (Institute Recordings) 17/09/2007

T: Read the album review we've done. I can't be arsed to say it all again. The general gist is that we were quite impressed.

N: Altogether the most surprising find of the day.

T: Except I wasn't that surprised because I'd heard them before. 7/10

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Prefuse 73 - Class Of 73 Bells (Warp) 17/09/2007

T: This is the band's comeback single apparently, so why have I never heard of them?

N: This number from Prefuse 73 is somewhat like a chant, like catching a group of Hare Krishnas, shaved heads and yellow robes, brushing paths on a busy street. As a 4 track CD, the first number doesn't go far and leaves the room without any substance, although the second track, "Smoking Red", possesses far more substance, starying as it does into an air of drum and bass.

T: And they'd be very strong substances indeed. Imagine those Hare Krishnas swallowing a load of helium from balloons and taking off into the air, floating there for several hours and enjoying the view. It has that kind of hallucinogenic quality.

T: Was it sugar you put in your coffee this lunchtime? Or did you find my secret stash?

T: Well I tipped the date rape drugs out.

N: As a product this has to be taken as a whole. A far greater rush is then experienced. 7/10




Ash - End Of The World (Infectious) 10/09/2007

T: After the shock and disappointment of the band's most recent single and album failing to climb any higher than number 32, Ash have decided to release what is probably the most radio friendly track on it. I was personally dismayed, as "Twilight Of The Innocents" is easily going to be in MY list of Best Albums of 2007 anyway. This one's a slower, prettier number which ought to earn them a place on playlists nationwide and hopefully back into the upper echelons of the chart. It does, after all, mark a drastic change of direction for the band where they'll be releasing only download singles from hereon. It's actually nowhere near my favourite track on the album, but hey, you can't knock a good tune and at the very least, it's still a top single from an overwhelmingly good album.

N: Like a sumptuous velvet smoking jacket, Tim and band provide a radio worthy song, and a decade or more on, they still possess the ability to knock out a killer tune. 8/10

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Emanuel - Cottonmouth (Vagrant) 10/09/2007

T: Someone give this guy an enema. He's clearly straining here. If you like screamo music with remarkably derivative tunes and over serious attitudes, this is for you. If I ever find myself reliving my angry teens, I doubt even THEN that I'd turn to this band.

N: All that and more. He's certainly overdosed on Imodium and is trying to work it off. Someone tell Matt Breen it's the normal course, and in time the effects will wear off. 3/10

web site - myspace



This City - Romantic (Fandango) 10/09/2007

N: Brighton band, formed early in 2006, apparently after having met late the previous year at a tattoo convention...

T: Terribly unoriginal, uninspiring, dull, continuation of Gang of Four copyists currently doing the rounds, irritating...

N: ...although in fairness, I'm not hearing "horrible". Cut them some slack; I can hear in this that the band could quite possibly be an exciting live prospect, and why do they have to reinvent the wheel?

T: I'm not asking them to. It would just be nice if they punctured the tyres every now and again. And I'll let you do the live review. 5/10




The Shermans - Calling It Wrong (Platform) 10/09/2007

The Shermans are "one of Scotland's most exciting new bands"; we'll see about that...

T: Don't mention the war. I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it.

N: It's the SHERMANS not the Germans. And you're hardly John Cleese; he was tall and slim.

T: Fuck off.

N: Handbags at dawn it is then...anyway on to the music, and "Calling It Wrong" is pretty nondescript...

T: I wouldn't call it nondescript, I just can't remember it...

N: The second song, "Smile Has Gone", shows more promise. It's got my feet tapping anyway.

T: That's just a nervous twitch.

N: Oh yes, so it is. My next door neighbour's called Wendy.

T: Huh? What the hell has that got to do with anything?

N: It's the third track, and pretty basic indie guitar pop.

T: We're struggling with this review aren't we? Let's just say I won't be at all surprised to see this in the bargain bucket at the local Asda...

N: I don't think it'll make it as far as Asda, shamefully. 5/10

web site - myspace



Big Arm - Sunrays (Matchbox Recordings) 10/09/2007

N: I'll start here then, the band's catchphrase - "Big Arm Sounds Good Like What Music Should". Go on then, top that?

T: You can definitely hear the Happy Mondays link here can't you? It's a tad weedy though compared to Paul Ryder's former band, even though the cheerful singalong is a fairly entertaining swagger down memory lane.

N: Much the same. There is an apparent style to this Manc dance gambit that Ryder and co shower on this number. It's as if the Ryder brothers and their Happy Mondays never left. Although in all honesty I was more certain of their earlier single, 'Flashbacks', less Mondays and more Big Arm. Nice line of artwork though. 7/10

web site - myspace



Dot Allison - Thief Of Me (Cooking Vinyl) 03/09/2007

T: It was very careless of Dot Allison to get herself stolen.

N: 'll be honest, never having heard anything from this artist previously, I was hoping for so much more. Instead I found I received All About Eve played at quarter time with a fraction of the impact.

T: You won't be joining the search for her then? I guess one bonus is that even if she HAS been stolen, she'll probably still be able to find herself. Unless they've found a particularly good hiding place. Behind the curtains? I like the woozy feel of her curtains anyway...

N: Behave. I think it does have to be mentioned that the track that followed, "In Deep Water", did display a little more interest in the texturing of her production, but otherwise I'm ultimately disappointed.

T: You're just no good at Hide and Seek. 6/10

web site - myspace



Julian Donkey-Boy - It All Means Nothing To Me (Kum Ba Yah) 30/07/2007

T: Somewhere between Blur, Eels and The Strokes, Julian Donkey-Boy are a 3 piece guitar group from Manchester whose tunes are more than palatable, if not exactly groundbreaking. What does that matter though? These are just enjoyable pop songs that demand to be played loud.

N: A breezy number in which the band introduce the content here in a home made variety of indie pop. But before you draw any unjust conclusions of this band, do visit their MySpace link and check out their 'Red Brick House', a brilliant number to my ears. And I should just mention that they have a great line in music available to download on their website, top hole lads. 7/10

web site - myspace


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