Spotlight issue 28a

Desert Hearts - Ocean / Robin G Shiels - Two Nights In June (Tugboat)

T: Desert Hearts open this split single at a blistering pace, and feature the vocal talents of Tanya Donnelly soundalike Roisin Stewart on a cracking single whose outro is largely reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand or David Byrne. Brilliant stuff. On the "flipside", Robyn G Shiels performs a tender little number that would be sure to impress on the folk circuit. For me though, Desert Hearts took the whole cake and ate it in one go.

N: Two artists with different presentations, if not tastes. The Desert Hearts have a very "in your face" message to get across, whereas Robin G Shiels' work is a gentle roll through a fantastic acoustic ability. It's all horses for courses as far as the music goes, and however you are feeling at the time would dictate which you chose to listen to. 9/10



Lebatol - Four By Ninety Four (Function)

Our belated review of the band's October release.

T: Musically, I can see a surprising link to British Sea Power and Husker Du. Vocally, I think lead singer Shane ought to cut down on the cigarettes!

N: Hmm, all those, but also with a little Seafood thrown in - not the cockles and shells variety, but I can definitely a mariner worthy likeness coming to the fore here!

T: And it's pretty impressive. Except when they sound like a poor man's Reef.

N: A singer that may well infuriate, but with a music section of true divinity. 8/10



Paul Waters - Goon Show (Pop Cherry Songs Ltd)

A CD made up largely of demonstration recordings from the last eighteen months since Waters returned from London.

T: This is a fairly raw rock 'n' roll record that puts me in mind of a stripped down version of Lennon and McCartney whilst the band were starting to undergo their transformation from teen pop kings to late sixties innovators.

N: I'd say Elvis Costello, or Lloyd Cole, just as a heavy dose of itching powder has been slipped down the back of his shirt. This singer's got confidence in his forthright musical approach. Great - the further you go, the more you will derive.

T: And yes, I have just discovered the odd track with a Richard Thompson twang, so you're quite right - this is the pick of the bunch from this batch of Spotlight reviews. 9/10



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