Archive for February, 2006

February 19, 2006

YSN – More (7″ Single)

More CoverWrath WRATH36: 13th February 2006
1. More
“Now i’m on holiday in Paradise 24, and I want… more”
2. Away From The Club (Live From Room 29)
“You and I will pack a picknick lunch just for two”

YSN have previously been known as YSN aka ‘Yellow Stripe Nine’, but for this single they seem to have dropped the full title.  This sounds like ‘Soft Cell’ musically and also because it’s so much fun.  It’s all a mix of synthesiser, jangly guitars and theatricality.  ‘Away From The Club’ has that ace ‘Housemartins’ acapella thing going on (But Paul Heaton was never this camp).  It’s a bit like some of Jobriath’s stuff. I want more!

One Look (It’s Love)

YSN Website / YSN MySpace Page

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February 19, 2006

THE WHIP – Frustration (7″ Single)

Frustration CoverKids KIDS003: 13th February 2006
1. Frustration
“It’s cold outside and it’s later than you think”
2. Frustration (Performance Remix)
“Desire!”

This sounds like a classic lost New Order single. The lyric implores you to give up your frustrations and let it go. The b-side is a remix by the excellent ‘Performance’. They’ve added some grinding guitars over the top to give it a harder edge. It’s largely instrumental (Except for repeated refrains of “Desire!”) and retains that New Order sound in places.

Sister Siam

Whip Website / Whip MySpace Page / Performance Website

February 19, 2006

ROLAND SHANKS – Cutting Teeth (7″ Single)

Cutting Teeth CoverMoshi Moshi MOSHI29: 13th February 2006
1. Cutting Teeth
“Sleep with my back to your window, keeps my thoughts inside”
2. Colours
“I don’t mind no, I’ve got time”

This is one of the best singles i’ve heard in a while and eclipses their brilliant first 7″, ‘August’. Although called ‘Cutting Teeth’ the chorus and theme of the song is ‘I Don’t Want To Lose You’. It’s a massive athemic song with lyrics infused with a certain Britishness. It also contains an excellent Futureheads style “oo-ah-oo” bit. ‘Colours’ is recorded live in the studio so it isn’t as well produced. It doesn’t seem as good but perhaps with more time it could come good.

Anniversary

Roland Shanks Website / Roland Shanks MySpace Page / Moshi Moshi Website

February 19, 2006

THE RESEARCH – Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same (CD & 2x 7″)

Lonely Hearts Beat The Same CoverAt Large Recordings FUGCD013/FUG013/FUGX013: 13th February 2006
1. Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same
“It’s not romantic, it’s just automatic”
2. Wild Horses
“Why did I not wear my favourite T-shirt?”
3. Codename: Flamingo
“I wanna break his heart with a golf club”
4. All These Feelings
“And if he thought that I wanted money then he never really knew me”

The Research are developing a habit of releasing stupidly catchy singles with brilliant b-sides. I’ve been increasingly looking forward to each one and this is their 4th.

I’m humming ‘Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same’ already. It’s got a great Beach Boys like bit at the end. There are two versions, the original female led vocal and the alternate male led ‘Inversion Version’. The artwork shows the band in hospital after what might be a suicide attempt. ‘Wild Horses’ questions why someone hasn’t come into your life earlier (And brilliantly wondering why you didn’t wear your best gear that night). ‘Codename: Flamingo’ seems to be about mental illness. ‘All These Feelings’ chronicles the ups and downs of a relationship. It’s possibly the best of these four songs.

Again this is a classic collection of songs. I hope their ability to make fantastic singles translates into a great album (It’s out on the 27th of February).

The Research Website

February 19, 2006

PRO FORMA – Lapses In Diction (7″ Single)

Lapses In Diction CoverNew NEW001: 13th February 2006
1. Lapses In Diction
“I’m well fed, I’m well read, I’m troubled by choices”
2. You Say, Repeat
“That’s where i’m hold up, that’s where i’m hold up tonight”

These two songs mine the same seam of music as ‘The Rapture’ and ‘LCD Soundsystem’. Like almost every new record out at the minute, it’s produced by Paul Epworth. ‘Lapses In Diction’ is a brilliant pulsating dance tune from the first second and builds from there.  It’s lyrics are intensly paranoid and introspective. ‘You Say, Repeat’ isn’t as insistant as the a-side and it’s subject matter is similar. I’m looking forward to further releases by this band.

Sexual Design
You Say, Repeat (Konx-Om-Pax Acid Mix)

Pro Forma Website / Pro Forma MySpace Page

February 19, 2006

REGINA SPEKTOR – Us (7″ Single)

Us CoverTransgressive TRANS018: 13th February 2006
1. Us (Single Version)
“They’ll name a city after us… and later say it’s all our fault
2. Scarecrow & Fungus
“He’s got enough money to buy a new father”
3. December
“Rumours have started that you’re in love again”

‘Us’ is taken from Regina’s recent compilation ‘Mary Ann Meets The Gravediggers & Other Short Stories’ (Which is worth buying for the beautiful artwork alone) but is originally a highlight from her 2004 album ‘Soviet Kitsch’.  ‘Scarecrow & Fungus’ concerns issues of money, power & parents.  ‘December’ is about being evicted from your house and defiance of the powers that be.  All three songs are the usual mixture of beautiful piano and quirky lyrics.  Like David Byrne she uses her voice as an instrument, screeching, whispering and even belching out words (Check out the way she gets the crowd to make vomiting sounds on ‘Uh-Merica (Live)’).  Her new album called ‘Begin To Hope’ is out sometime this year and lets hope it’s as good as these two new b-sides.

Regina Spektor Website / Regina Spektor MySpace Page

February 19, 2006

LEVY – On The Dance Floor (CD Single)

On The Dance Floor CoverOne Little Indian 725TP7CD: 13th February 2006
1. On The Dance Floor (Radio Mix)
“I got scared, I didn’t say yes”
2. Golden Wrapper
“I found a Golden Wrapper and broke out in laughter”

‘Rotten Love’ was one of my tunes of last year. ‘On The Dance Floor’ isn’t anywhere near as good. It sounds like Coldplay on a bad day (I love Coldplay by the way… all you Coldplay haters). ‘Golden Wrapper’ is a downbeat, mournful song about getting what you want and not what you need. It’s better than the a-side but still not as good as ‘Rotten Love’. But I think I’ll be listening to ‘Golden Wrapper’ allot in the future.

Levy Website / Levy MySpace Page / One Little Indian Site

February 19, 2006

HARRISONS – Blue Note (CD Single)

Blue Note CoverMelodic MELO036CD: 13th February 2006
1. Blue Note
“Back in the days, the days, the beautiful days”
2. Shirley’s Temple
“The rules where there to bend”

I wasn’t that struck with Harrisons’ last single but I thought i’d give them a second chance. ‘Blue Note’ builds and builds from the beginning with pounding drums. It’s mostly a big anthemic chorus about ‘beautiful days’ being gone. ‘Shirley’s Temple’ sounds suspiciously similar to ‘Spanish Bombs’ by The Clash. It suffers by comparison. They’ve gone up in my estimation with this single but they need to try harder on the third.

Harrisons Website / Harrisons MySpace Page

February 19, 2006

ENVELOPES – Freejazz (CD Single)

Freejazz CoverBrille BRILS04CD: 13th February 2006
1. Freejazz
“I see these brand new faces, I want to wear them”
2. Put On Hold
“You have been put on hold”
3. Pink Christmas
“You better start preparing for a night not like any old night”

‘Freejazz’ bounces along in a joyous and catchy way. The bizarre and interesting use of sounds and instruments bring to mind The Flaming Lips or Eels. The b-sides maintain the inventive sounds but lack the pop touch of the a-side.

Sister In Love (Live)

Envelopes Website / Envelopes MySpace Page

February 19, 2006

THE BOYFRIENDS – I Love You (7″ Single)

I Love You CoverBooby Trap Records BOOBREC0157: 13th February 2006
1. I Love You
“I’d cut my own throat for you”
2. Remember
“Remember view points that we shared, as we looked up towards the stars”

I can’t believe this is The Boyfriends’ first single. I’ve had demos by them on my hardrive since I heard them on Angular’s ‘Rip Up Your Labels’ compilation in june 2004. These two tracks are fantastic and luckily for them these aren’t even close to their best (Check out ‘Brave Little Soldiers’ and ‘No Tomorrow’). The themes of the songs suggest The Smiths (and the vocals to some extent as well). ‘I Love You’ has a savage guitar sound unlike the average Boyfriends song. To my ears ‘Remember’ is a better song than the A-Side which is good sign for a band.

Speak Less & Listen (Demo)
The White Devil (Demo)

Boyfriends Website / Boyfriends MySpace Page