Archive for May, 2006

May 31, 2006

LILY ALLEN – Smile (CD Promo)

Smile Promo CoverRegal LILY002: May 2006
1. Smile
“I couldn’t stop laughin’, no I just couldn’t help myself, see it messed up my mental health, I was quite unwell”
2. Smile (Instrumental)

Hey Lily Allen fans, you can now get a new promo for ‘Smile’ if you look on Ebay (It’s going for about £10, from my last look). Unlike the ‘LDN’ promo 7″, this time it’s on CD, but the packaging is designed to look like a 45. It’s great to hear this pop gem in it’s full glory, rather than the tinny mp3 that’s been kicking around. Sadly it’s a radio version, so the hilarious line “But you we’re fuckin’ that girl next door” has been snipped out in a less than subtle way. It isn’t her strongest track, but if you’re already a Lily fan you’ll know it’s got some pretty stiff competition. Even so, I’m sure the least of Lily’s tracks are destined for chart glory.

You’ll need this CD for the ‘Instrumental’ version, in case it isn’t on the full release. Without Lily’s wonderful vocals captivating your attention, you’re left to fully appreciate the music. It’s all about the subtle production flourishes, like the mellow Double Bass, the Procal Harum Organ and the Jazz Piano tinkling away. Every time I listen I spot something new, quietly making it’s contribution in the background.

Check MusicLikeDirt for loads of Lily links and downloads

You can also get 10 Lily Allen demos from LimeWire (With her blessing I understand)

Lily Allen MySpace Page

May 30, 2006


Matthew Image1. Prince Sings 'Hey'
"Must be a devil between us, or whores in my head"
2. The Beach Boys Sing 'Levitate Me'
"Give me help, give me help, you can… levitate me"
3. Frank Sinatra Sings 'Monkey Gone To Heaven'
"From New York and New Jersey, this Monkey's gone to heaven"
4. Bob Marley Sings 'Mr. Grieves'
"I 'ope everyting is alright, 'ope everyting is alright"
5. Elvis Sings 'No. 13 Baby'
"Stripes in her eyes, when she walks slow, but her face falls down, when she go, go, go"
6. Tina Turner Sings 'River Euphrates'
"Ride the tiger down the River Euphrates, ride the tiger down"
7. Jimi Hendrix Sings 'Vamos'
"They'll come and play, their friends will say, your daddy's rich, your mamma's a pretty thing"
8. The Beegees Sing 'Wave Of Mutilation'
"I've kissed mermaids, rode the El Nino, walked the sand with the crustaceans"

My brother (MusicLikeDirt) sent me an E-mail with links to a crazy guy called Matthew, who's done covers of the Pixies in the style of some of the worlds greatest artists. They are fantastic!

Some work very well, but some are indistinguishable from the real thing. On 'Vamos' it's like he went back in time and handed Hendrix a copy of 'Surfer Rosa' and a couple of sick bags. When he's doing the Joey Santiago freak out in the middle he plays The Simpson’s theme! They work so well because he's obviously matched the artists to the songs that would suit them, with great care. Like spotting that 'No. 13 Baby' has a "Go, go, go" bit, or that 'Levitate Me' has a heavenly "Higher Plain" line.

The attention to detail is amazing, Frank Sinatra talks to the audience, Brian Wilson preps his band and Hendrix does the famous "Fuckin' die" speech. It's these moments that make you feel like you're not just listening to joke covers, but long lost recordings by musical legends. At their best they make you ask why you didn't spot the Reggae influences of 'Mr. Grieves' or The Beach Boys sound of 'Levitate Me' before. Also it's just great to here Elvis singing "Tattooed tit".

Here is a quote from his MySpace Page "New celebrity Pixies covers in the pipeline: Where is my mind by Queen, Debaser by The Beastie Boys and a James Brown special surprise!"

Click on the links above to download these eight covers. Unfortunately the Bit-Rates vary a lot.

Matthew's MySpace page

May 30, 2006

THE HIT PARADE – My Stupid Band (7″ Single)

My Stupid Band CoverJSH Records JSH9: 22nd May 2006
1. My Stupid Band
"If Mattster played his drums then we'd rock tonight, but he lost the urge since he became a Lighting Engineer"
2. Twenty Per Cent
"I'd like to say it's unexpected, and how the gesture surprised me"

'My Stupid Band' is the best song about being in a band since 'Heard About Your Band' or even 'Formed A Band'.  Apparently they've been around for years, and the song sums up all the frustrations, the disappointments and above all the helpless love for performing music.  It's a thrilling mix of Guitars and Ennio Morricone Harmonicas.  Julian Henry sings in a similar way to Bobby Conn.  Pete Doherty would probably benefit from hearing the lyrics "He's playing just to keep himself in gear".  'Twenty Per Cent' sounds like a it's a lost song by 90's Pop band, Space.  It's pretty good, but it's overshadowed by the killer A-side.

My Stupid Band (Demo) mp3
Queen Of Mousehole mp3

The Hit Parade Website / The Hit Parade MySpace Page

May 29, 2006

PRIMAL SCREAM – Country Girl (2x CD Singles)

Country Girl CoverColumbia 82876834282 / 82876834272: 22nd May 2006
1. Country Girl
"Lost your wife, lost your son, stay out drinking ‘til the morning comes"
2. Stone Ya To The Bone
"What's this I hear about you baby? You've been a bad, bad girl"
3. Gimme Some Truth
"I've had enough of watching scenes of, Schizophrenic-ego-centric-paranoic-pria-donnas"
4. To Live Is To Fly
"Days, up and down they come, like rain on a Conga-Drum, forget most, remember some, but don't turn none away"

Some people would have you believe that after the Dance-Rock masterpiece that is the 'Screamadelica' album, Primal Scream embarked on a disastrous venture into 70s Rock. The critical roasting they received for it, meant that they retreated into an Electronic sound for the next ten years. What these people forget is that the best tracks on 'Screamadelica' we're 'Movin' On Up' and 'I'm Comin' Down', the two most traditional sounding tracks. They also forget that the follow up to 'Screamadelica' was 'Rocks', one of the greatest Rock 'n' Roll singles ever released. Now they've returned with a new single called 'Country Girl' and it doesn't make any apologetic attempts to be anything other than Rock.

'Country Girl' is so damn infectious. It's jam packed with Rock 'n' Roll clichés and all the better for it. It's got that same Cosmic-Country feel of Gram Parsons' more hell raising moments. It made me want to dance around, clap my hands and do that strange Duracell-Bunny shuffle that Jagger does in the 'Brown Sugar' Video.

'Stone Ya To The Bone' has got the same irresistible Blues power of 'Shaky Puddin' by the Soledad Brothers. After hearing its pummelling Guitar riff, you might need a neck brace (Unless you're used to Chicken impressions). The other two B-sides are covers. The first is John Lennon's 'Gimme Some Truth' which they savagely attack in the style of The Clash. I'd guess this cover is directed at the critics, especially the desperate shouts of "Truth, truth, truth" at the end. The last song is Townes Van Zandt's 'To Live Is To Fly', which they change from a gentle Folk song into a tear stained, Elton John like, Slide Guitar epic.

If you despised Primal Scream's 70's Rock period I'd suggest plugging your ears with Cotton Wool until their next album. Everyone else can down a bottle of Whiskey, strap on your Snakeskin boots, gun the engine and head out on the highway to Rock 'n' Roll oblivion!

Click here to see the video for 'Country Girl'

Primal Scream Website / Webadelica Fansite

May 27, 2006

THE BOYFRIENDS – Adult Acne (CD Single)

Adult Acne CoverBoobytrap Records BOOBREC020: 22nd May 2006
1. Adult Acne
"On a planet's surface of seven-tenths water, and I can still die of thirst, I'm told the one for me is out there somewhere, but I grow tired of the search"
2. Tears Before Bedtime
"I pray for war, famine and drought… so it'll give us something to talk about"

I've had to take a few deep breaths to restrain my excitement before getting straight down to writing this review…

Goddamnit! 'Adult Acne' is the just about the funkiest Indie single I've ever heard (Was that "Not hard" from you at the back?). I loved it as soon as the digital needle hit the digital groove. It's got the yearning emotion of Morrissey and the irresistible bounce of Happy Mondays. Now onto the B-side… well a song that has a line as good as the one quoted above has got to be worth having (I nearly fell off my chair with laughter). To quote the song's own lyrics, it's a beautiful "Lowly lullaby".

I've had a load of The Boyfriends' Demos for what seems like years, but I hadn't heard either of these before. If they're still writing new stuff as good as these two gems, the futures looking very bright for The Boyfriends. I declare they are the new Indie Messiahs, all shall worship at their feet!

Click here to buy the single as two mp3s from KarmaDownload for £1.78

Speak Less & Listen (Demo) mp3
The White Devil (Demo) mp3

The Boyfriends Website / The Boyfriends MySpace Page

May 26, 2006

PIRANHA DEATHRAY – The Rising / Your Chilling Presence (Free Download Single)

The Rising, Your Chilling Presence CoverDog Box Records BOX10: 17th April 2006
1. The Rising
"I'm drowning, my Albatross is in the sky"
2. Your Chilling Presence
"You know we just can't co-exist, no, so I'm getting an exorcist"

'The Rising' has a gloriously repetitive, thudding Guitar riff and a vocal that reminds me of an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical (For no reason that I can adequately explain).  It's like The 80's Matchbox B-Line Disaster without The Cramps fixation.  'Your Chilling Presence' is like one of those haunting epics that Pulp did so well (But with some sinister Ennio Morricone atmospherics).

Piranha Deathray Website / Piranha Deathray MySpace Page / Dog Box Website

May 26, 2006

BIB – I Wanna Be A Better / Flowers (Free Download Single)

I Wanna Be A Better, Flowers CoverDog Box Records BOX9: 17th April 2006
1. I Wanna Be A Better
"Scrimp and save for rainy days, disappear in the haze"
2. Flowers
"My god your eyes are like flowers, I would die for eyes like that in my life"

At last the long awaited follow up to Bib's first single 'Jobs-On-Line' (One of my 'Tracks Of 2005'). 'Jobs-On-Line' had an endearingly Lo-Fi sound but these have got the thrilling Electro-Pop gloss of the Pet Shop Boys. 'I Wanna Be A Better' is a big step forward from the first single and it's got some great New Order like guitar work at the end. 'Flowers' has waves of sound that wash over you and wonderful Robert Smith style vocals.

Click here to watch the 'Victims Of Crime' Video

Bib Website / Bib MySpace Page / Dog Box Website

May 26, 2006

PET SHOP BOYS – I’m With Stupid (CD & DVD Singles)

I'm With Stupid CoverParlophone CDR6690 / DVDR6690: 22nd May 2006
1. I'm With Stupid
"You flew up all the way, like a hawk chasing a dove, I never thought that I would be, a sacrifice in love"
2. The Resurrectionist
"Our goods are dear but they're never shoddy, tell me anybody… need a body?"
3. The Resurrectionist (Goetz B. Extended Mix)
"We've all got to earn ourselves a living, all it takes is a little bit of digging"
4. Girls Don't Cry
"In the pocket by her heart is a dog-eared Polaroid, a picture of a girl with her arm round a boy who went missing"

'I'm With Stupid' is one of the Pet Shop Boys' finest singles to date, it's got the usual perfect pop music sound we've come to expect from Chris Lowe. But it deserves a place among their greatest work because of Neil Tennant's lyrics. It's about a bad relationship and it's also about Bush and Blair. Every line can be seen from either perspective, and that's its genius.

'The Resurrectionist' has a strident 'Final Countdown' type Synth line. The fun pop shine hides a dark heart like all the their best work. The lyrics are about Burke & Hare, the infamous Edinburgh body snatchers. The 'Goetz B. Extended Mix' takes this twisted tale onto the dance floor. I can see people dancing around to cheerful lines like "We saw the hanging". 'Girls Don't Cry' has an expressive fuzzy Synth soundscape. Coupled with the lyrics it's an emotional experience.

The album has yet to arrive through my letterbox, so I couldn't comment on that. But on the evidence of these tracks I'd say the Pet Shop Boys are in a new phase of creativity to rival their very best work.

Pet Shop Boys Website

May 25, 2006

TILLY & THE WALL – Nights Of The Living Dead / The Ice Storm, Big Gust & You (7″ Single)

Nights Of The Living Dead CoverMoshi Moshi MOSHI35: 15th May 2006
1. Nights Of The Living Dead
"We got a bottle of wine, a fresh pack of smokes, we're gonna end up screaming, about some midnight garage sale"
2. The Ice Storm, Big Gust & You
"So now we're at the bars, hypnotised and trying hard, oh to keep the conversation going, trying hard to ignore the silence, growing like it always does"

I'd been hearing Tilly & The Wall's name everywhere, but until now I hadn't managed to hear any of their songs… I think I've been missing out. 'Nights Of The Living Dead' sounds like Arcade Fire if they hadn't sold any records and had been forced into prostitution to pay the bills. 'The Ice Storm, Big Gust & You' has a weird folk flvour with what appears to be the sound of 200 people stamping on the studio roof. I love the music hall Piano when it dives in at 2.10 and the handclaps at the end are great.

Both these tracks are on their album, so it's probably better to just get a copy of that.

Bad Education mp3

Tilly & The Wall Website / Tilly & The Wall MySpace Page

May 25, 2006

THE VIKING MOSES – Sandstorms (7″ Single)

Sandstorms CoverPoptones MC5108S: 1st May 2006
1. Sandstorms (Demo)
"Yes I understand fear, I've got plenty of it, built up, right here"
2. I Will Always Love You
"Bitter-sweet, memories, that's all I have, that's I'm takin', with me"

From the name you might think that 'The Viking Moses' we're a loud Metal band straight from the halls of Valhalla. That couldn't be further from the truth. 'Sandstorms' has the sound of The Hidden Cameras when they do those Limited Edition acoustic albums. It's got a heartbreaking and understated Piano solo at 2.29. It says it's a Demo of a track from their forthcoming album, so it'll be interesting to see how it sounds with a Hi-Fi shine. Their delicate cover of Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You' is a good reminder of how good a song it is when it's given some respect. If you've heard James Dean Bradfield's cover of 'Bright Eyes' you know what I mean. Both these songs have such a fragile beauty that I suspect if I breathed to loudly they would be frightened away.

In Servitude mp3

The Viking Moses MySpace Page