Single Reviews: October 2005

 

Various - Wrath Super Sevens #30 & #31 (Wrath Records) October 2005

Another installment of the Wrath Super Sevens 7" singles club, with 4 more artists seeking notoriety from the foundations of this small, but secure club. How did we view this latest release? Read on...

T: Sounding remarkably like Wire jamming with Public Image ltd, Piskie Sits deliver an entertaining and ever so slightly deranged tune called "Props", while The Old House's "Relationships Hooray" makes up the other half of Supersevens #9 coming across like Pavement trying on Flaming Lips' clothing. Then we have instalment number 2 - or Wrath £10 rather - whereupon we are greeted with Championship Boxer's downbeat "Thinking", which could be a particularly gloomy Clearlake, perhaps drowning their sorrows in a dusty bar with Richard Thompson. The absolute pinnacle of the October Singles Club then follows, in the shape of The Interiors' "She's In Japan". The latter track's lovely distorted guitars and pulsatingly catchy melody is reminiscent of The Ramones, but this time using Art Brut's "Formed a Band" as their template before attaching rockets to their roller boots.

Finally, we are greeted with Chuck's "Kill 'Em All", which is alarmingly like Atomicduster babies Elle Milano at times, but hey, who's complaining about THAT?

N: These 2 Sevens may just reach the ascendancy of indie-heaven in their very make-up, but as I think Tone would agree, don't they always. Kicking off with The Piskie Sits, a somewhat disjointed number which might just meet the ears like a 2-bar fire on a cold day. Moving on to The Old House, these lads would apparently worship at the church of the great Mozzer, this especially becomes apparent when they start screaming his name and lyrical slices. Steady on guy's, the Mrs will begin to suspect. Onto Super Seven #10 and this is even more so a value packed number in that it manages to squeeze 3 sides onto one 7", but here we hear as has been previously recorded, Champion Kickboxer, whose foot tapping number packs in a parochial theme, with layered distortion and electronic undertones to boot. The Interiors do a fine job when it comes to recreating The `Jesus and Marychain in 'Speed Of Sound' mood, good 'ole fashioned rock'n'roll, with the added benefit of Lucrecia Borgia offering backing vocals. To round off this installment, Chuck tells us to 'Kill 'Em All' and whilst refusing to quote those metal heads Metallica, does tend to come over like a Tarrantino screenplay.

What else can we say, 5 bands showing fine form and making these 2 seven's just superb value and excellent listening. 10/10

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Suffrajets – Everything You Do (Tough Cookie) 31/10/2005

Not a bad tune, but one that sounds like any number of local support bands from the early nineties when I was actually able to get more than 20 people to my own band’s gigs! The guitar work is pleasing here, yet the vocal and melody seems to lack that vital ingredient to move it onto the next level. The more I listen to this, the more I think they’ve missed out by ten years – they would have been well suited to the Britpop and grunge phenomenon that happened all those years ago.

The second track here reminds me somewhat of L7, and is actually miles better than “Everything You Do” but hey, don’t listen to me – you decide for yourselves, but I don’t think you’ll be able to deny it. 5/10

Tone E

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The Shakes – Goodbye New York (Tough Cookie) 31/10/2005

A traditional tune in the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus respect, and it’s actually extremely pleasing to the ears. It feels like the equivalent of Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell writing songs for The Strokes but being produced by Andrew Loog Oldham.

What else is there to say? This is just a fine release by a band that will surely be nestling happily in the top 20 by this time next year. 8/10

Tone E

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The Kills – No Wow (Domino) 31/10/2005

Title track from the excellent album from earlier this year. It’s a scuzzed up, muddy and sordid sounding song which is bizarrely made to sound like Republica on the Mstrkrft remix. Other mixes here include one by Tigo of “The Good Ones” but to be honest I’m not sure that The Kills’ dance crossover attempts work all that well. I’d rather have one or two new tracks than 4 remixes but then maybe I’m just displaying my cardigan wearing tendencies by saying that!

The Backstage Sluts’ version of the latter single sounds like a Bodyrockers B-side and Chicken Lips’ attempts at rehashing “No Wow” makes you feel like you’re at Quincy Jones’s Halloween ball.

I suppose it’s interesting at least to hear what other artists and DJs can do with your work. For me though, it feels like a bunch of sixth-formers have gatecrashed and spoilt the party. 7/10

Tone E

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The Fallout Trust - Before The Lights Go Out (At Large) 31/10/2005

Utilising not just their own musical talents, but the talents of their art/film partners - Duckeye. A single filled with interesting musical twists in its somber outlook, with this appealing outfit making use of both music and visuals (provided by their partners Duckeye), to create the impact they are seeking. I hope when it comes to their full length release the make use of both these components as I felt it worked far better as a pairing, but perhaps that was because it was there.

Take a look (and listen) for yourself, click onto the band's website. 8/10

Nick James

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Five O’clock Heroes – White Girls (Glaze Records) 31/10/2005

Whoever the next music industry press darlings are, to follow on from the endless stream of new bands awarded major accolades far too early, Five O’clock Heroes are definitely more worthy contenders. They’ve been steadily building up their profile and I personally hope they’ll be around a lot longer than the five minute wonders we get each month or so. On the strength of their last two singles at least, this band ought to be skyrocketed into the nation’s conscience and remain there.

“White Girls” is a funky little tune that harks back to the early vocalizing of Kevin Rowland, whilst possessing a melody that Costello would have been proud of. The overall effect is that of a modern day Ramones single, which is surely no bad thing. Punchy, poppy, short and sweet, this band is right at the top of MY “ones to watch” list!

Incidentally, if this review is a load of old twaddle, blame the missus – she’s been gabbling on about nothing incessantly while I’ve been trying to write it! 9/10

Tone E

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Baby Blue - Sometimes (Base ‘n’ Rebulz) 24/10/2005

Very people friendly London rap artist Baby Blue has being doing the rounds for a while following compilation albums featuring her work. This is a class act release and if we dont see more from this young gal it will be a shame. So get out there and buy it!!. Great track and production dramatic epic sounding beats great for radio play methinks. Good remixes available too. Very Ms Dynamite but with a unique edge. 9/10

Nic Caesar

click on the following link to stream the video; low - high (Quicktime is required for these links - for mac and pc)

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My Awesome Compilation - Set To Go (Sore Point Records) 24/10/2005

Certainly a favourite with Tone here at Atomicduster, My Awesome Compilation release this, the second single from their debut long player. A band who have played support to the likes of Juilette And The Licks, Reel Big Fish, A and Fight Star among others will be flying solo for dates throughout Novemeber, calling in mostly at venues across the North of England, kicking off this 9 date jaunt in Cardiff on the 21st.

Ummm? I really can't see what Tone, The NME, Kerrang, or any of their bedfellows hear in this band? I hope that from here it gets better, as I seem to remember of this band, because this really isn't it. A fourth division Green Day at best. 3/10

Nick James

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The Glitterati – Back In Power (Atlantic) 24/10/2005

I doubt if they’d thank me for it, but I can’t help but think of Bon Jovi whenever I hear The Glitterati. Admittedly their music is a lot dirtier than the formerly poodle permed rockers and probably has more in common with their producer Mike Clink’s erstwhile associates Guns ‘n’ Roses but I just can’t shake that image of bad hair and stadium rock from my brain. This hampers my enjoyment somewhat and this, being as close as they come to a “rock ballad”, doesn’t inspire me with too much enthusiasm, to be honest.

Oh well, I’d still welcome them into the charts instead of Nelly, Robbie Williams, Westlife of bloody Sean Paul any day! 6/10

Tone E

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The Magic Numbers - Love's A Game (Heavenly) 24/10/2005

You gotta hand it to these guy's, they know how to write a song and this one is a magical number. Filled with dreamy harmonies from Romeo and sister Michele, topped off by a rythm section that comprises drummer, Sean and his sister Angela, on percussion, melodica and yet more vocals - quite a family affair. Their album, released earlier this year I scoffed at, but taken in smaller doses I begin to hear exactly what their appeal is. You can't knock true song writing, almost an Abba of an affair. 8/10

Nick James

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Morning Runner - Be All You Want Me To Be (Parlophone/Faith & Hope) 24/10/2005

This second single release see's a group who have played second fiddle to Coldplay on their UK stadium tour, grow in confidence and produce a sound that is every bit the stadium filler that their peers were destined to become. Lyrics that are filled with a definace that should see them in good stead and I am confiden that they have what it takes to fill those stadiums for themselves, go on Chris give these guys their moment in the spotlight. 7/10

Nick James

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Maximo Park – Apply Some Pressure (Warp) 24/10/2005

T: Er…we reviewed this before earlier this year…and it’s STILL great, ok?

N: Seems to me just a filler before the band release their new album. Great single and it’s all over the air-waves at the moment, but a re-release, come on!

6/10

Tone E

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Alabama 3 - The Gospel Train (OneLittleIndian) 17/10/2005

Continueing on from their Sopranos fame Alabama 3's new release is a laid back country rock gem. Its not really my bag but you cant deny the quality here. We had the pleasure of seeing them live at last years summer sundae event and it would be an underestimation to say they rocked it! Check out the epic vocals on this and all there tracks! 7/10

Nic Caesar

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Alabama 3 – The Gospel Train (One Little Indian) 17/10/2005

Another great single from one of the best albums of 2005.

Somehow, although Alabama 3’s music is often extremely laid back and easy to listen to, they always manage to sound a little fucked up - as though you’ve just eaten a little too much of that hash cake and are floating somewhere in outer space on a major high.

So there you go – once more we have a splendid single by a band that continues to be criminally overlooked by the mainstream press and general public alike. Shame. 8/10

Tone E

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Brakes - Ring A Ding Ding (Rough Trade) 17/10/2005

Following the release of their much lauded album - Give Blood, comes a single that will surely need no introduction. The first track from the album, 'Ring A Ding Ding' comes complete with the killer hook - "Ring A Ding Ding, my head's in a spin..." a line I defy anyone to hear a not have it tapping at their senses throughout the remainder of their day.

In true Brakes fashion this clocks in at 1'38", with the entire 4 track CD single just edging past 8 minutes, so they don't give the listener a chance to tire. The lead track features not only that great hook, but a cutting guitar that rips through the sub-two minute tune. Also offered are the Johnny Cash standard 'Jackson' & Camper Van Beethoven's 'Shut Us Down', before settling for another original Brakes tune to end proceedings. Value or what! 9/10

Nick James

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John Cale – Perfect (EMI) 17/10/2005

Whilst I don’t quite share the same enthusiasm for John Cale’s new material as our editor, I have to admit it’s a vast improvement on his last few releases.

To me, it sounds rather like Mr. Cale has been listening to Interpol’s “Antics” quite a lot, perhaps indulging in some British Sea Power and maybe even backtracking all the way back to the Kitchens of Distinction.

Anyway this is a fast paced, uncompromising pop song that is possibly the most commercial thing the great man has ever put out, but one thing’s for sure – it makes you feel GOOD. 8/10

Tone E

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Laura Veirs – Galaxies (Nonesuch Records inc.) 17/10/2005

This is a pleasant enough toe tapper but it does tend to plod rather too much for my liking. It’s obvious that Laura has some talent and I’ll be watching with interest to see what she comes up with in the not too distant future. Various sources describe this lady as being something of a “risk taker” where music is concerned so that’s food for thought. As for this one, like I said, it doesn’t really get going before it’s finished and as a result it seems about as pointless as the Burton on Trent tiddlywinks competition.

The fact that the second version here is barely any different - save for a mild Snoop Dogg style “rap” that really doesn’t work too well – hardly inspires much confidence either.

So, overall, although I’m far from impressed with this tune, I CAN see potential. Watch this space. 6/10

Tone E

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Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Domino) 17/10/2005

A lot of noise has been made within (and without) the music biz about this band and it’s easy to see why. The lyrics flow effortlessly with a satisfyingly cutting humour and it’s all set to a ballsy thumping backbeat. Lovely stuff.

The other track included here, “Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts” is an hilarious jangly pop tune that actually betters the main song considerably. If Arctic Monkeys don’t become huge within the next 6 months, you might as well book your seats at the Tone E Trouser Eating Contest. 7/10

Tone E

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Littl'ans featuring Pete Doherty - Their Way (Rough Trade) 17/10/2005

I'm lost when it comes to Pete Doherty, how does he manage to fit in all of the adverse exposure, addiction problems, high profile romances and still manage to make a whorthwhile musical career in the spare time in-between. Some may suggest this man's sold his soul, but whatever the answer to this question Pete make's a valid contribution here, while the band is the creation of former Add N to X frontman Andrew Aveling. I get the feeling that although enlisting Pete's vocal talent, this will over shadow Andrew's own ability. 3 tracks available here that to be honest I can't make out the Littl'ans from Mr Doherty. 7/10

Nick James

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Aberfeldy – Summer’s Gone (Rough Trade) 10/10/2005

It seems like AEONS since Aberfeldy released their “Young Forever”, and indeed it is a good six months or so, so it seems a bit of a belated single release, to be frank.

I can’t say my opinion of their stuff has improved dramatically, as it all sounds just so damn twee! I mean, if you were sitting on your couch, feeling too lazy to do anything, and, say, “Barney” came on television, or even “The Tweenies”, it really would NOT surprise you if they sang this tune, such is the sugar sweet saturation.

Probably the best way I can describe “Summer’s Gone” is that it’s like the Eels before they reached puberty. 5/10

Tone E

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Four Day Hombre - 1000 Bulbs (Alamo Music) 10/10/2005

Alright so this may sound very generic, but as the press that accompanied this release suggests "If the name sounds familiar, it's because good music makes its own introductions." And that is one thing you can't argue with when it comes to this single from Four Day Hombre, if anything maybe a little invisible in its approach, but they have opened themselves to a wide audience in the sound they are producing. Fan's? Well if the names Kate Moss and Chris Martin mean anything to you, you may know where I'm coming from. 7/10

Nick James

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Mono Taxi - Kind Of Better (Play it again 7) 10/10/2005

This is not really my staple but I like it. Its got that bandy, folk music edge coupled with a real punky quirkiness. Vocals are very understated but somehow the overall feel is very punchy. Best track on this four track and video cd is 'must be the weather'. Great guitar hook, with some funky electro synths dropped in randomly somewhere along the line, nice! 8/10

Nic Caesar

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Black Dice - Smiling Off (DFA) 03/10/2005

Until now I have been a big fan of all DFA releases.This sounds like your CD player has been possessed to start with then drops in to some freaky voodoo chanting shit! This is not about musical light this is musical darkeness! To quote the press release ' think, tinnitus, think puntured ear drums'! if your in to noise influenced trippy crap this is for you! I hate it! 1/10

Nic Caesar

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Space Cowboy - Across the Sky (Tigertrax) 03/10/2005

Pop heavy dance track that is very hooky but over cheesey for my tastes. Heavy synths and rock strings samples and fast beats make it a good track but not my bag! Very catchy tune, check it out see what you think! 6/10

Nic Caesar

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The Race - Amersham Road/Hope Song (Shifty Disco) 03/10/2005

A double A-side second single from Reading outfit who have supported the likes of Supergrass, Morning Runner and Pure Reason is ultimatly listenable although you may feel doesn't contain enough to make it memorable. Get the feeling this may be a slow burner, but musically reminded me of Chapterhouse, which ain't no bad thing to a former show gazer. 7/10

Nick James

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Sevendust – Ugly (Winedark) 03/10/2005

T: Having reviewed the album already, I feel I should be exempt from having to say anything about this single, so all I WILL do is re-iterate that it sounds like Linkin Park meets Evanescence and is bleedin’ horrible.

N: How about excercising a little honesty, like manufactured rock-by-numbers? Our dear, it really does become quite grating. 'Winedark' appears to be an imprint of Roadrunner, but don't let this fool you. 2/10

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Scary Kids Scaring Kids – The Only Medicine (Immortal) 03/10/2005

The devil went down to Arizona, he was looking for a band to ruin. He was in a mood ‘cause he had no food – but he was willing to buy some prune. Then he came across this young group playing their noise, so the devil jumped up on a hickory stump and said “Ok, I’m gonna tell you boys – I guess you didn’t know it but I’m a songwriter too. Mow if you care to take a dare well I’ll make a bet with you – Well you play squawky noises but give the devil his due – I bet a bag of prunes against your tunes ‘cause your songs are a pile of poo”.

And he won. 2/10

Tone E

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King Biscuit Time - Ciam 15 (No Style Records) 26/09/2005

The Beta Band may have been put to bed, but that say's nothing for their frontman Steve Mason and his alto ego King Biscuit Time, those who may be craving their fix will find a pure source in this incarnation. Ciam 15 offers Steve's liquid vocal atop tribal beats and heavily laid down synths. Topcat is featured on this single and offers his political rhetoric in a hynotic manner that seats well with the overall feel of the single. Can't wait for the album, nearing completion we are infomed and due for release in the spring of 2006. 8/10

The web link below offers a playback of the video for this single. So to get a taste, just click.

Nick James

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Ian Brown - All Ablaze (Fiction Records) 05/09/2005

Ian Brown's precusor to his 'Best Of' collection and what a single! His word play is nothing less than poetry, the PR describes "Acid Basslines, eastern guitar and funky drums... 'All Ablaze' is not just classic Ian Brown, but classic rock and roll full stop". I'll go along with that. This artist is on fire, nuff said. 9/10

Nick James

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