Spotlight issue 33 (September 2005)

Mach Schau - Demonstration One

T: I find it rather surprising that so far the band have been compared to The Clash and The Buzzcocks when it is abundantly clear that The Ramones have circulated higher on the Machu Schau playlist, and if the band claim otherwise, they're filthy little liars! Still, it's a lovingly crafted tribute to the days when Punk bands WERE Punk. Having said that, track two here, "Shoot the Blues", is terribly reminiscent of The Libertines. Some great tunes here, and I am in little doubt that Mach Schau would be an exciting live prospect.

N: Following the first, very competent Ramones inspired number, "Feel This Way", it came as some surprise at the arrival of the second track that this band were more than just the two dimensional outfit they could so easily have become, although by the time the closer comes around, the band have returned to their Punk sensibilities and it is clear that they are more than just pretenders to the crown. 7/10

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Julie Gribble - So Typical

This independently released album is a fine introduction to the talents of singer/songwriter Julie Gribble and clocks in at 10 solidly written tracks. Fans and industry alike are calling Julie's music 'real' and 'captivating' and her knack for storytelling is said to offer raw emotion and most importantly, in a way that relates to her audience, whatever the age. An unknown hailing from the LA underground, Atomicduster had the opportunity of auditioning Julie's album 'So Typical' and drew the following conclusions;

T: You know how Barry White's albums used to be referred to as "Music to make luuurve to"? Well, I feel a bit like that with Julie Gribble's stuff; it's got a very sexy, laid back feel to it and sounds like the musical equivalent of Viagra. She seems to stand apart from any other female singer/songwriter counterparts and bears little resemblance to any of them. In fact, given the pleasingly intelligent lyrics and big, seering choruses after dramatic build ups, I think the closest comparison I could make would be that of Tori Amos with a guitar instead of a piano. Great stuff.

N: There always seemed something that set this apart the first time I played any of this album; not tired, like a Sheryl Crow album might have become, and not just too young like Avril Lavigne might appear. I do like your reference to Tori Amos with a guitar. Although I can't find the same weight in the lyrics, musically this is quite exquisite. 9/10

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Roe Sham Bo - Serotonia (Bad Trip Records)

T: If I'm being brutally honest, the first thing I'd do with this band is get them to change that bloody awful name. Then I'd get a proper producer in, rather than leaving it to the band's drummer to pull the strings. The fact is that Roe Sham Bo can obviously play their instruments extremely well and write a pretty good tune, but where's the emotion guys? Music is supposed to reach out and touch you and this fails to do that. It's a bunch of lyrics being sung and a bunch of instruments being played. There's nothing wrong with the songs' structuring, but I feel they need to put some more passion into it.

N: Likewise, I don't feel this band are doing anything that comes across as terribly different, special or inspiring. Each song inevitably just becomes tedious.

T: But do you agree that they COULD be great with better production and more of a spark?

N: Well, this album comes across as just a bunch of ideas that are in need of far more focus to realise their true potential. As it is, this just isn't inspiring enough to maintain an audience for long. 4/10

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Q-bizm - Vivid

T: I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. Parts of it remind me of James Hardway, others remind me of Brian Eno and sometimes it sounds like the Climax Blues Band. How obscure do you want these references to be?! Still, whatever the influence, it's quite pleasing to the ear.

N: Talking Heads meets David Lynch in a smoke filled jazz cafe in the centre of Paris. 7/10

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The Distance - Stand Alone

T: Is it just me, or does this sound rather like Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chil Peppers fame singing lullabies on a swinging hammock on a sunny day?

N: Afghan Whigs with shiny shoes.

T: Hmmm...interesting answer to my question.

N: It wasn't an answer - just what I had on my mind - the latter band singing for their supper.

T: Nice laid back stuff. 8/10

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