Archive for April 13th, 2006

April 13, 2006

THE MACCABEES – Latchmere (CD Single)

Latchmere CoverFierce Panda NING180CD: 10th April 2006
1. Latchmere
"Came out of the changing rooms and absolutely sod all had changed"
2. Bicycles
"The quickest route to Paradise, is a short commute to Paradise"
3. Happy Slap
"I'd have a happy slap, I'd have a heart attack"

'Latchmere' is an ode to swimming pools, which is quite an odd subject to tackle. With shouts of "Stay in your lanes" it's also about rebelling against authority. The shouts of "Latchmere's got a wave machine!" sound like joyous calls to throw off the shackles of oppression and go have a splash around. Musically it sounds similar to Bloc Party but with more of a pop touch. This is truly bizarre and all the better for it.

'Bicycles' has been available for a while under the title 'Bicycle Rush' (I've added a link above). It's about people being disillusioned with a poor Train service and switching to Bicycles. Again it's another weird and wonderful pop gem.

'Happy Slap' isn't as good by a mile, it's just fairly bog standard art-rock. However, the other two are fantastic and with their seemingly mundane subject choices they've turned lead into gold.

Colour It In
X-Ray
Lego

The Maccabees Website / The Maccabees MySpace Page

April 13, 2006

THE HOLLOWAYS – Happiness & Penniless (CD Single)

Happiness & Penniless CoverSensible SENSIBLE002CD: 10th April 2006
1. Happiness & Penniless
"And now he's unemployed, he lives on milk and bread, his graduates account is so far in the red"
2. What's The Difference?
"What's the difference between you and me, your faults and your flaws, you fail to see"

The lyrics to 'Happiness & Penniless' are brilliant.  They're nothing earth shatteringly profound, they just list the various pains of life, when you're strapped for cash.  The words just come thick and fast and demand you to sing along.  The sound is the usual Clash thing but you'll be humming the tune for ages.

'What's The Difference?' has a bouncy Reggae-Rock sound with an almost Billy Bragg like vocal.  It has a great guitar solo in the middle that reminded me of the one from 'Let It Be'.  I also love when he sings "Sympathy-e-e".  This could have easily been a double A-Side.  I'd been wondering if they had any other tunes to match the amazing 'Generator'.  Thankfully they do.

Fuck Ups
Generator
Great Britain
Re-Invent Myself?

The Holloways Website / The Holloways MySpace Page

April 13, 2006

ISLANDS – Rough Gem (CD Single)

Rough Gem CoverRough Trade RTRADSCD311: 10th April 2006
1. Rough Gem
"They want me raw, but smooth like glass"
2. Big Bluff
"Over looking stuff, feels good, eyes closed, big bluff"
3. Rough Gem (Remix)
"I'm straight like denim, laid out like venom, just cut from a rough gem"

'Rough Gem' sounds like a fantastic Indie version of Dire Straits' 'Walk Of Life'.  Like Kanye West's 'Diamonds From Sierra Leone', the lyrics never really get to grips with the subject of the Diamond Trade.  The lyrics to this are more concerned with the general metaphor of a 'Rough Diamond'.  The little touches of the Harp are amazing and the Recorders sound far removed from the usual School days din.  The front artwork is a lovely comic strip made from the songs lyrics in Robert Crumb style.

'Big Bluff' builds like The Velvet Underground’s 'Heroin', it surfers badly in comparison.  The Remix of 'Rough Gem' has a completely new vocal provided by an unnamed frenetically fast rapper.  It's not entirely successful but it's certainly an interesting move for a b-side to an Indie single.  So the b-sides aren't as good as the a-side, but never mind it's available to download above.

Islands Website