Single Reviews: November 2007


Good Shoes - Small Town Girl (Brille Records) 26/11/2007

T: I had the pleasure of reviewing the Good Shoes album earlier this year by myself, so Nick may not be as familiar with it as I am, but it was a bunch of brilliantly observed lyrical gems with beautifully constructed, singalong tunes that ought to be the envy of the top 40 by now. This track's very mid-eighties if you ask me, all jangly guitars and a superb piece of pop.

N: I take on board what you've said; however it's obvious to me that this band have an ability, and the hooks, to latch even the most "green" of listeners. I feel this will even translate into tunes of a memorable nature, fast paced and ripe for bouncing around the room to. 9/10

web site - myspace



Bonde Do Role - Marina Gasolina (Domino) 26/11/2007

T: I'd forgotten all about this band, and looking at the sleeve I thought it was going to be a cliche ridden eighties "rawk" sort of thing, but now things have been stirred in my mind, it's a Latin booted tune that reminds me of Daddy Yankee's "Gasolina", and not only because of its title. Listenable, but unlikely to make much of a mark on my CD player, sadly.

N: All I have to say is what is she doing with the "vaseline"?

T: Only the same as you do...

N: First off I should just clarify that the vocalist makes some vague references within her delivery, one of these being "Maria vaselina", the other something about "Africa Bambaata", before any of those tuning in completely mistake my wayward colleague's remark and secondly - I've lost where it was going with this one, so I'll have to leave it there. Just to say this comes across like an adenaline fuelled samba, where The Prodigy have got themselves on the guestlist.

T: I'm ready when you are.

N: Er... (looks worried)

T: To mark it I mean!

N: Oh. I knew that. 7/10

web site - myspace



Wild Beasts - Assembly (Domino) 26/11/2007

N: What was that you just said, "different, even if it does sound like Mika"?

T: Well yes, I did say that, but there are clearer orchestral overtones on the Wild Beasts output. I'm not so sure about this falsettoing that's currently in vogue, probably because it always reminds me of something Floella Benjamin would have done on "Play School" when I was growing up in

N: You've not stopped taking that medication have you? But the fact you even mentioned the artist put a great brick wall in the way of accepting this tune. Come the B-side though, I was finding it possible to navigate this obstacle.

T: I agree with you there. The flipside is far better, though clearly not as commercially accessible as the lead. 6/10

web site - myspace



Arctic Monkeys - Teddy Picker (Domino) 26/11/2007

T: It wasn't unexpected that an Arctic Monkeys backlash would have begun by now. AFter all, it happened so quickly for them that there was always going to be an onslaught of bands who sounded just like them to emerge and piss all over the pixie party. After all, they get lumped in with all those copycat bands now when people speak of them, and I think this is a little unfair. They've basically become victims of their own success. Which is a pity because this was by far one of the best tracks on "Favourite Worst Nightmare", yet I can see it faltering. I hope I'm wrong, but anyway it's full of cracking riffs, quality lyrical content and is an immensely likeable, danceable melody throughout. Great single.

N: As you say, this band were original, and nobody can take that away from them, and in agreement to what you have already said, great number. 8/10

web site - myspace



Johnny Foreigner - Arcs Across The City (Best Before Records) 26/11/2007

N: Well, I'll be honest I wasn't expecting the way in whih this number announced itself. Brash and more than in your face, are these guitars or industrial engineering?

T: It's a wildly exciting opening, I'll grant you that, and entertains throughout, but I won't pretend that the beginning isn't the best bit of it. Anyway, in a kind of This Et Al way, Johnny Foreigner make thoughtful music that's infinitely listenable.

N: What's more, you'd have to hear qualities familiar to Elle Milano.

T: Very true, which is part of their appeal I guess. 8/10


Buy: CD


Young Husband - Could They Be Jealous? (Culturedeluxe Records) 26/11/2007

T: I can only describe this as sounding like Joel Potts, slightly the worse for wear on a boat in the middle of nowhere.

N: Certainly with the "Easy Listening" vibe at their core, this band appear to be milking a forgotten era, circa mid 60's. Nice melody and structuring, perhaps their end of year report might read "Could Do Better", which in response they might answer - "Why?", to which I would have to agree. 7?10

label - myspace



Queens Of The Stone Age - Make It Wit Chu (Interscope Records) 26/11/2007

N: Immediately as this kicks in, it simply oozes class, alright a slightly grubby and unkempt kind of class, but class all the same. Extremely addictive and most of all easy going, yeah baby, kick me one more time.

T: The odd thing is that it reminds me of Dave Edmunds at the beginning, especially around the time of "I Hear You Knocking", as well as possessing a similar vibe to "Let's Stick Together". The fact that it calls to mind the relatively obscure disco hit "I Love The Nightlife" by Alicia Bridges is a good thing too, and further proves that "Era Vulgaris" is worthy of your well earned cash and a diverse album at that. 9/10

web site - myspace



Candy Panic Attack - Candy! EP (Cherryade) 26/11/2007

T: Bow Wow Wow meets X-ray Spex with Lorraine Chase on vocals...

N: ...or Kathy Burke doing punk. Capturing the spirit of 1978, CPA encapsulate this era in a long forgotten vain.

T: Quite enjoyable, and thankfully not very long, which I guess is what punk was all about really anyway. 7/10




Operator Please - Leave It Alone (Brille Records) 19/11/2007

T: There's something a bit different about Operator Please which sets them quite apart from any other teen bands doing the rounds at the moment. They come across as slightly more alternative than most and the utilisation of a violin at the start of this track works really well. I'm assured they're vigorously entertaining live and the future looks pretty bright for them. A good, thumping tune that proves their flexibility after the bubblegum pop of "Just a Song About Ping Pong".

N: Yes. I agree. 8/10

web site - myspace



The Grid - Put Your Hands Together (Some Bizarre) 19/11/2007

T: Taken from the forthcoming album "Doppelganger", Dave Ball (Marc Almond's opposite number in Soft Cell) releases a fizzed up club anthem that sets your pulse racing and clears your mind of any logical thought. He wants to be careful though - the last band to release an album called "Doppelganger" was Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and look what happened to THEM.

N: Actually it wasn't. It was Curve.

T: Bollocks. Ok, the last but one band to release an album called "Doppelganger" then...

N: So that falls a little flat then doesn't it. So forgetting the fact that meeting your doppelganger is bad luck and that Curve's Doppelganger was a blinding album, I just have to say that we've had the new wave of New Wave, it was only a matter of time before we experienced the new wave of new Rave. So as Ball and Norris stir the sleeping torso of this dance phenomenom, as bandana's and flourensent sticks are once again dragged from the bottom drawer and over powered cars make their way to once deserted airfields in the early hours of the morning...

T: ...and it's bloody great. 9/10

web site - myspace



Maroon 5 - Won't Go Home Without You (Octone/A&M) 19/11/2007

T: This is shit.

N: We haven't even loaded the CD?!

T: Good.

N: So you're not going to give this one a first, second, third or even fourth chance. I'll start, this number contains shades of an 'Every Breath You Take' bassline, a number that posseses a poppy refrain and help me out here, I'm struggling...

T: Putting my anti-Maroon 5 bias to one side for a minute, I have to say that I haven't exactly been proved wrong. This is dull, over produced and lifeless.

N: So you like it then...

T: Oh yes I love it. In fact I'm going to make love to it right now.

N: Ok, I have no prior experience of your love maving prowess, but it's a CD, surely you learnt that much at school. CD's are for either playing audio music, or as they suggested on Tomorrow's World, using as a coffee mat, nothing about procreation.

T: You evidently didn't see the late night version. 2/10

web site - myspace



Reverend And The Makers - Open Your Window (Wall Of Sound) 19/11/2007

T: I still think they sound like Duran Duran. It was a surprisingly rigorous assault on my eardrums when I first heard the album this track calls home, and you can't help but want to dance. A strong track from a very good album.

N: Duran Duran!? I really couldn't hear that, but as of the B-side McClure did conjure in his vocal twisting an early Le Bon, but more readily Ian Brown. A good single, with consistently good tracks from start to finish, any likeness to the Brummies will do them no harm I feel. 9/10

web site - myspace



Helen Boulding - Breathe (Maid In Sheffield) 19/11/2007

T: Nice but not terribly exciting. Very full sounding single which perhaps had not only the kitchen sink thrown in but also the toilet as well.

N: A track taken from Helen's album "New Red Dress". A well executed number but I keep getting shades of one of those end of episode numbers performed by the 'Kid's From Fame', you know, when they all dance around the piano in those rolled down socks, wearing very tight leotards. Come to think of it I'll stop there...

T: Is that because you have a fetish for legwarmers?

N: Leg Warmers! Really, more a nightmare than a fetish. 6/10

web site - myspace



Kaiser Chiefs - Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning) 12/11/2007

T: Do we need to tell our audience how this sounds? They've already heard it a billion times after all. Basically it sounds like The Smiths, like most of the Kaisers recent tunes do.

N: It does sound pretty good though...

T: Well obviously. After all, it sounds like The Smiths...

N: I feel the Smiths get far too much press, what about the Jones's or the Patels, we've not heard much from them lately...

T: Well I don't know about the Patels, but let's just see: The Smiths (Mozzer, Marr, Patti) versus the Jones's (Howard, Tom...) well that's an absolute battering, wouldn't you agree?

N: I'm sorry, I feel you've lost the plot somewhere there, but Ricky Wilson does sound as if he's doing his best Julian Cope, and as for the band, well this could almost be 'St. Julian', no bad thing. Let's mark the single... 7/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 7"


Correcto - Joni (Domino) 12/11/2007

T: I'm really enjoying this, but I am completely at a loss as to why, or what to say about it. Any ideas?

N: Well, it's a stripped down guitar trick, that I agree has that X-factor. I was thinking exactly the same thing before you spoke.

T: X-factor? They wouldn't get through the first round on that, which is part of their appeal.

N: It doesn't mean that it has Sharon Osbourne's smiling face on the cover, or Simon Cowell's shit thread woven into its cloth; I'm using X-factor as it should be used, and it's actually pretty good...

T: You seem to know the names of the judges. Except for the one who's worth giving a good seeing to.

N: I think she's one of the American X-factor judges...

T: No she's not. She's on the UK one...

N: HA! Caught you! You DO watch it!

T: Oh shit. 9/10

web site - myspace



Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin' (Back Yard) 12/11/2007

T: Now this is VERY eighties.

N: Get the f*** out of here!

T: Huh? And what are those asterisks coming out of your mouth?

N: I sometimes have that problem, as I do Pointer Sisters in my collecxtion.

T: Hang on, there's nothing wrong with the Pointer Sisters...

N: It's that eighties feel you were looking for, but this does resurrect that whole vibe, more on the initial track than any of the bloated mixes that follow. But it was the cover I thought you were more interested in?

T: I want more than just a pair of legs!

N: Christmas is on the way. You don't know WHAT Santa might leave you in your stocking. More than a pair of legs I hope. You might even get a foot pump this time.

T: My feel are pumped up quite enough thank you.

N: Uh? 7/10

web site - myspace

Buy: Vinyl


Look See Proof - Local Hero (Weekender Records) 12/11/2007

T: All I need to say about this is that it sounds like everything else at the moment.

N: Alright grandad.

T: Fuck off.

N: I was gonna say you left your teeth in the bathroom.

T: Mfumck Mfoff.

N: Not getting very far with this are we?

T: Well, let's just say if you like the Arctic Kaiser Boy Kill Knives then you'll like this. 6/10

web site - myspace

Buy: CD


The Pigeon Detectives - I Found Out (Dance To The Radio) 12/11/2007

T: You don't fool me. This is a re-release, as it reached number 7 last year...

N: Ah, but this is a "new version". Can you tell?

T: Actually yes I can, just about. It seems more echoey (Is that a word?)...

N: I'd use "echo laden", personally...

T: Oh you're so cliched.

N: It sounds better.

T: What? The new version? Or your cliched phrase?

N: My cliched phrase of course. The single however, is a catchy two minute pop song...two minutes?

T: Yep. As it always has been. Note the new handclaps.

N: I have. Shall we mark it? 8/10

web site - myspace

Buy: Vinyl


Myriad Creatures - The Hero (Jackalope Recordings) 12/11/2007

N: A London band currently relocated to Berlin are attracting an underground following for their "intelligent, dirty, melodic indie-rock", drawing comparisons with The White Stripes and The Stone Roses. Can't really hear that.

T: Well, I can see Jack and Meg certainly, but how on earth anyone got anything resembling the self proclaimed Monkey Man's band I really don't know. They sound more like a slowed down version of the Five O'clock Heroes to me. Not a bad thing, it's an enjoyable blues soaked number that is worthy of your attention but not TOO much to get excited about. 7/10

web site - myspace



The Vincent Black Shadow - Fears In The Water (Bodog Music) 05/11/2007

T: It sounds like Pink.

N: Before we played this, you said "Sounds like rock!", how quickly you change your mind when you've had time to consider. Yes maybe a little like Pink, well the vocalist is female.

T: She DOES sound like Pink. Perhaps fronting Evanescence. It's like all my nightmares wrapped up in newspaper. Actually that's not fair, I don't actually think Pink's that bad as far as pop performers go. There's no excusing the Evanescence bit though.

N: Great analogy, I don't think I could've done any better, maybe if both put in a blender, but then again that wouldn't be a nightmare, more a release. 5/10




Animal Collective - Fireworks (Domino) 5/11/2007

T: If Brian Wilson was still off his rocker on drugs, I would fully expect him to come up with something like this.

N: Certainly one of my major revelations of 2007, AC come at the listener like a Morris dancer on acid. "Strawberry Jam" was the band's third album release and I cower under my ignorance. Animal Collective, from what I have seen on the numerous digital playbacks available online, are an extremely creative force in alternative music today, and I have to say do remind me of an artist I encountered maybe even fifteen years ago named Spooky Reuben, and vanished without a trace on my map. 8/10




Unkle - Hold My Hand (Surrender All) 29/10/2007

T: Nice and atmospheric, reminds me a little of Johnny Marr and the Healers' "The Last Ride". Mr Unkle himself, one James Lavelle, has stepped up for vocal duties on this occasion and immediately begs the question "Why has it taken him so long to do so?"; after all this is a coldly alluring single that is as good as anything I've heard in the past few months.

N: Undoubtedly one of popular music's most creative minds, this artist introduces his new work, sounding not a million miles away from that of Moby. His Area 51 figures that stood proudly on the covers of his last two albums this time appeared to be dropped in favour of two skeletal characters sporting what looks like x-rayed Afros, but then again this is only a single. 9/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 7" / 12"


The Hold Steady - Massive Nights (Vagrant) 29/10/2007

T: You know this as well as I do, because I know you've played the album to death as much as I have. It's an astonishing album as you know, and this is one of the best tracks on it. "Boys And Girls In America" is easily one of my picks of the year for 2007...even though really it's a 2006 album. Shall I carry on just gibbering inanely, or have you something to say too? All I can add is that this is stupendously brilliant, by one of the few bands I'd bother travelling a long way to see live.

N: In fact, my copy of this album doesn't exist in this time and space anymore. I've actually disproved the theory that CDs cannot be worn out...

T: That's not true, is it?

N: ...alright then, but I will confess that i was thinking about buying another copy of this album so I could listen to it on both ears, and get double the pleasure.

T: Nick, have you not heard of stereo headphones?

N: Killjoy. But it is a good album isn't it?

T: Well that's a definite ten then isn't it?

N: I don't know, because it's not necessarily my favourite track on the album.

T: Who's the killjoy now? 9/10

web site - myspace



Charlotte Hatherley - Again (Little Sister Records) 29/10/2007

T: Charlotte's most recent album, "The Deep Blue", is moody and sexy all at once, and this is one of the tracks that displays this the best. In fact, it gives me a hard on. Er...Nick...that's not the mouse you're touching...

N: I wouldn't touch yours with mine mate! Er....where were we? Oh, Charlotte Hatherley, yes. Good album, a very understated single, displaying this artist's growing confidence, ability and songwriting. Not exactly as you would expect from Charlotte, but go with it...

T: I'll happily go with her...

N: Always brought down to the basest of levels with you! Go on, we'd better mark it now. 8/10

web site - myspace



Eugene McGuinness - Bold Street (Double Six Records) 29/10/2007

T: Great lyrics. Tune seems a little twee initially, and somehow Christmassy, but it's all over in an instant and is fairly pleasurable, if not exactly a thunderbolt.

N: Like a ghostly breath on the back of the neck, and this single was gone. Not exactly memorable. The B-side, however, is far more upfront with its ska tinged fragrance, but perhaps better suited for thirty years ago than the beginning of the 21st century.

T: That seemed quite a scathing take on the single to me. I ought to point out that I did actually quite like it. 7/10


Buy: Vinyl


Sons And Daughters - Gilt Complex (Domino) 29/10/2007

N: I've always held a fondness for Sons and Daughters...

T: I just like daughters...

N: I'll ignore my colleague's brash interjection; I love the way in which the band seem to attack their instruments... 'pause' (I was almost expecting another gremlin to swoop onto my thought process there) this very upfront sound...

T: ...which is hugely reminiscent of that of Suggs's missus's old band Deaf School, perhaps coupled with The Slits or even an amphetamine fulled rush from Siouxsie herself. And it's bloody great...

N: Perhaps even a smoother Patti Smith, but the band's reworking of Adamski's "Killer" is really quite refreshing, perhaps even overdue. 9/10

web site - myspace



The Proclaimers - Whole Wide World (W14 Music) 29/10/2007

T: I saw Dermot Murnaghan make a complete muppet of himself on Breakfast time the other week, when he asked the band "How do you come up with a song like 'Whole Wide World'? Does it take a long time?", to which Charlie considerately replied "Well, it didn't take us long to come up with THAT one, because Wreckless Eric wrote it".

N: And do you feel they did justice to the original?

T: I don't think it's a BAD effort. They've watered it down a lot, and slowed it as much as they could without sapping the life out of it, but give me the Stiff legend's original ANY day.

N: They would be my sentiments exactly, it's almost Punk for your grandma. 6/10

web site - myspace



Siouxsie - Here Comes That Day (W14 Music) 22/10/2007

T: This is one of those bizarre moments when you realise that a musical icon has morphed momentarily into a different, more modern artist, in the shape of Amy Winehouse...

N: So what it is you are actually trying to say is that she's not Amy Winehouse?

T:'m saying that she sounds like Amy Winehouse on this song. Would you like me to get glove puppets to explain it better?

N: Seeing as I was listening to 'Back On Black' only the other day, she sounds nothing like Amy Winehouse, instrumentaion is a different matter entirely...

T: Well you should have listened to "Back TO Black", as that's the Amy Winehouse album.

N: That was just a typo...

T: Ah, I see. You meant May Whitehouse.

N: Who the *...! Anyway did we like this or not?

T: Yes. A refreshing diversion from the norm, even if it DID sound like...oh ok I won't go there...

N: About time too. 8/10

web site - myspace

Buy: 7" / 12"


The Departure - Seven Years (Parlophone) 22/10/2007

T: Highly unlikely to chart this one, seeing as it is a limited edition 7" single, of which only 500 will be available. It's nice to hear that they've changed direction a little, as their debut album "Dirty Words" sounded very much like Echo and the Bunnymen, but to be honest I preferred it when they DID sound like Ian, Will and co. Not that there's anything wrong with this tune; it still retains that Sergeant like choppy guitar, but they seem to have instilled a bit of Mark Gardener into their sound, which is also fair enough. Pretty decent tune, but I wouldn't go much further than that.

N: I think more a taster of what to expect from the band's Ed Buller produced album, due for release in 2008, so perhaps more a case of a maturing sound that we will be turning somersaults over come the release. Another track, "Chemicals", may be found at the band's Myspace. 7/10

web site - myspace



The Rifles - Talking (Free Download) 20/10/2007

T: Starts off like it's going to be a Black Sabbath or Deep Purple style rocker, but eventually just sounds a bit like Morrissey, or even the Kaiser Chiefs. Still, you can't knock 'em - this is FREE after all.

N: Catchy enough little number..

T: Sing it back to me then.

N: I'll hum it.

T: Go on then.

N: Um...mmm mmmm mmm mmmm

T: No mate, that's the Crash Test Dummies. 7/10

web site - myspace


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