Archive for June, 2006

June 29, 2006

YEAH YEAH YEAHS – Turn Into (CD Single)

Turn Into CoverPolydor 1700277: 19th June 2006
1. Turn Into
“Can’t say why I kept this from you, my those quiet eyes become you”
2. Turn Into (Nick Zinner Remix)
“I know, what I know, I know, on the car ride down, I hear it in my head real low”
3. Maps (Live At Roseland Ballroom, 2nd May 2006)
“Made off, don’t stray, my kind’s your kind, I’ll stay the same”

After buying Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ thrilling live DVD that featured five or six new songs (Only ‘Cheated Hearts’ was eventually included on the album) I had high expectations. So when ‘Show Your Bones’ was released I must confess that I was disappointed, but maybe it’s a grower. Every review I’ve read of the album, whether positive or negative, said that the last track ‘Turn Into’ was a masterpiece.

‘Turn Into’ is a real grower, once I got over my expectations I came to love this song (And even whistle along to it). It really takes off when the powerful Piano comes in and that’s then followed by Nick Zinner’s squealing Guitar solo. He’s made his Guitar sound like a Theramin, and you might just have to whip out your own air-Guitar and play along. As usual Karen O’s voice is magical, like on ‘Maps’ her voice slowly builds in intensity. You never hear where she gets louder, harsher, more sorrowful or angry, it’s just seamless. The ‘Nick Zinner Remix’ introduces heavier Drums right from the start. As a result the slow rising power of the song is diminished and it no longer matches Karen O’s voice.

The last track is a delicate live version of ‘Maps’ (Undeniably, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ best song). Nick plays the riff for two minutes before Karen starts singing, so the audience is going crazy with excitement. The moment where the crowd all sing “They don’t love you, like I love you” is spine-tingling. I would love to have been there, it reminded me of when Jack White stood in a single spotlight and played a spellbinding version of ‘Five String Serenade’ at the Brixton Academy (I wish I could get a bootleg of that, I’ve searched everywhere).

I loved album opener ‘Gold Lion’ and now I adore album closer ‘Turn Into’. I’ll have to give the songs in-between another chance.

Here are links to watch the videos for ‘Turn Into’, ‘Maps’ acoustic Radio session and the live version of ‘Maps’ on YouTube.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Website / Yeah Yeah Yeahs MySpace Page
Bang Fansite / Rockers To Swallow Fansite

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June 29, 2006

STICKBOY – Stickboy (CD Album)

Stickboy AlbumSelf-Released STICK003: 16th June 2006
1. Now It’s All Gone
“The sea tasted salty, but you sank like a boat, down, down.”
2. Pills For The Pain
“They scattered flowers for the sadness, they took pills for the pain, they saw their tears as a weakness, so they covered them with rain”
3. Seasons Change
“And how come I have those pictures in my mind, I remember better times, we had so much to say”
4. Green Eyes
“It’s 5 o’clock in the evenin’, these colours fill up my eyes, there’s beauty I never believed in”
5. The Riots
“She said the riots had started the fires, but I saw you with a match in your hand”
6. My Weakness
“I can’t predict the future, or see which way to go, for my life has drawn a circle, against the gentle flow”
7. The Hurt
“And it’s getting late now, I wish that I could leave, is this hurt worth the love that we receive”
8. Today
“Who can you trust when your shadows been cheating, making shapes of unfamiliar people”
9. You Know No More
“Head into the city, where the traffic seems so pretty in the day, buy yourself an old guitar, learn some chords to earn your pay”
10. Out Of Your Reach
“If you’re down and needing a friend, keep me out of you’re reach”
11. Fighting A Battle
“Let’s dig our own grave, then all go to work, the green light’s gone out, we’re on red alert”
12. Hidden Instrumental

Is this an album or a demo CD, from the quality I’d say it’s a full-blown album. It’s certainly the longest release so far, from Manchester’s Stickboy aka Craig Edmondson. I’ve loved his songs since I heard 2004’s ‘Odd Little Moments’ CD. Since then he’s released the ‘Empty Pages’ mini-LP, and then the stupidly limited ‘EP1’. It was limited to a ridiculous 25 copies. When I protested he kindly sent me a CD-R with the tracks on (What a nice guy). If he’s as big as his talent deserves and if you we’re lucky enough to get a copy, you could find you’ve got one of the most sought after records ever. I saw a copy on Ebay once, but it was quickly taken down again, he probably realised it was worth hanging on to. A guy on the Stickboy forum found one a while ago, hidden in the S racks in Piccadilly records, git, git, git!

The themes of the album range from wistful introspection to sun-drenched optimism. The fragile beauty this creates, reminds me of John Lennon’s ‘Plastic Ono Band’ LP. John Lennon isn’t the only legend that this album brings to mind. ‘The Riots’ is sinister Eels like pop, ‘Today’ searches like Cat Stevens, ‘You Know No More’ borrows Guitars from The Strokes, ‘Fighting A Battle’ has the anger of Dylan and ‘My Weakness’ is pure Nick Drake beauty. One influence that I only noticed after I’d listened to this CD about 4000 times is Coldplay. Listen to the shimmering Guitars on ‘Now it’s All Gone’, the anthemic Drums on ‘Pills For The Pain’ or the combination of Drums and Guitars on ‘The Riots’. It’s not immediately obvious, but it is there, just below the surface.

The star of the album is Craig’s voice. Listen to the sighs of joy on ‘Green Eyes’ or the drawn out exhales on ‘The Hurt’. Undoubtedly the best song here is ‘Pills For The Pain’ (And maybe one the finest songs ever written). They way that he sings the line “True love died” is unforgettable. The album’s prevailing emotions are sorrow and hope but on ‘Fighting A Battle’ he unleashes his vitriol to devastating effect. After this rush of soaring anger the album comes back down for the conclusion with a delicate Patrick Wolf like Instrumental. You feel like you’ve been taken on a wonderful journey, and it’s a journey I’ll be revisiting again and again.

If this isn’t a proper album, at this rate he’ll have a whole catalogue of songs to draw from when he compiles it (I’ve got 35 little gems on my hardrive so far). Every record Stickboy puts out, seems to eclipse the one before. Based on how good this album is, his next release could be the record they’ll bury me with.

You can buy this album from Piccadilly Records for only £4.99.

Visit ‘Manchester Music’ to read some reviews of other Stickboy releases.

Stickboy Website / Stickboy MySpace Page

June 26, 2006

EDITORS – Blood (Re-Issue CD & 10″ Singles)

Blood CoverKitchenware Records SKCD87 / SKX87: 19th June 2006
1. Blood (Single Version)
“There’s nothing believable, in being honest, so cover your lies up, with another promise”
2. Orange Crush
“We are agents of the free, I’ve had my fun, and now it’s time, to serve your conscience overseas, coming in fast, over me”
3. Camera (Oakenfold Remix)
“Look at us through the lens of a camera, does it remove all of our pain, if we run they’ll look in the back room, where we hide all of our feelings”
4. Road To Nowhere (Napster Live Session)
“Well we know where we’re going, but we don’t know where we’ve been, and we know what we’re knowing, but we can’t say what we’ve seen”
5. Camera (Obscured By J. Spaceman)
“Instrumental”

Because of their obvious Joy Division influences many casual listeners may dismiss Editors as purveyors of depressive Drone-Rock. But I find them to be the exact opposite, just listen to the final line of ‘Blood’, “If there’s hope in your heart, it will flow to every part”. The release schedule of Editors’ singles has been as follows, ‘Bullets’, ‘Munich’, ‘Blood’, ‘Bullets’, ‘Munich’, ‘All Sparks’ and now ‘Blood’ again. Normally when a band does this many re-releases I’d be feeding their records through a shredder (Or maybe just putting them on Ebay, for some more tolerant people to buy). But Editors have always backed their singles with B-sides of such quality that I’ve come to doubt their sanity. What sane band would put songs as good as ‘Forest Fire’ and ‘Time To Slow Down’ on the flip side? But as The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s album title reads “Thank god for mental illness”.

Ever wondered what Coldplay fronted by Ian Curtis, covering R.E.M. would sound like? Okay, probably you hadn’t, but you’ll be glad that Editors did, because their cover of ‘Orange Crush’ is great. ‘Orange Crush’ was Michael Stipe’s ode to his Dad’s days as a Chopper pilot in Vietnam. Since Iraq is fast becoming the new Vietnam, it seems well worth revisting. No one would doubt the leftfield Pop genius of Talking Heads’ ‘Road To Nowhere’. But when you fill a record with such mind bogglingly brilliant sounds, the vocal enevitalbly isn’t going to be at center stage. Editor’s version redresses this by extending the accapella intro to the whole length. Tom Smith’s incredible vocal starkly showcases the song’s haunting lyrics. Just listen to the way he drags every drop of emotion out of the word “Care”.

Paul Oakenfold extends ‘Camera’ to 7.44 and brings in a House sound. The line “Eyes closed… beautiful” has been picked out because it would work really well in a club. Jason Pierce doesn’t extend ‘Camera’s length by much, but somehow it feels longer. It reminds me of Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s cover of “Music For A Found Harmonium”. It’s very atmospheric, but sadly it never really goes anywhere.

Click here to download some artwork I made for a B-sides collection CD.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Blood’ on YouTube.

Editors Website / Editors MySpace Page
Editors Fansite

June 26, 2006

KLAXONS – Atlantis To Interzone (Remix Competition)

Klaxons Remix CoverKlaxons have launched a competition to remix their single 'Atlantis To Interzone'.  You need to download a Zip file that contains a demo of U-Myx with the track preloaded.  Mess around with it to your hearts content then upload the mix to their site.  You can then download other people’s mixes and even rate them.  Unfortunately you can't save it as an mp3, but if it's good enough it will be the B-side to the next Klaxons single.  Have fun!

Here are links to grab the Zip files for PC or Mac (About 11mb).

Here's a link to download the 'Atlantis To Interzone (Mess-Is-Law Remix)' by my humble self.  Rate it if you like it, or rate it if you hate it.

Atlantis To Interzone (Demo) mp3
Gravity's Rainbow (Demo) mp3
The Bouncer (Demo) mp3

Klaxons Website / Klaxons MySpace Page

June 23, 2006

LUXEMBOURG – We Only Stayed Together For The Kids (CD Single)

We Only Stayed Together For The Kids CoverDogbox Records BOX11CD: 12th June 2006
1. We Only Stayed Together For The Kids
"I stuck around for you, you stuck to me like glue, turned Sandra down for you, and now I hear that you did too"
2. A Secret Public
"Keep your secrets, well secreted, if you don't they, get repeated"

This is the second new single from Luxembourg since 2004's 'Best Kept Secret' (One of the all time great debut albums, which had a subtitle that read "This is not our debut album"). If you've not heard Luxembourg, boy have you been missing out. Singer David Shah is a combination of the yearning emotion of Morrissey and the grimy wit of Jarvis Cocker. Behind him the band provide a canvas of angular Guitars and glistening Synthesisers, set to irresistible pop tunes.

The Drums on 'We Only Stayed Together For The Kids' have a heavy Phil Spector sound. It's the story of a couple struggling to stay together. Listen to the agonised way David sings "Pain" at the peak of the song. Then it all stops and the Bass guitar comes back in and it builds back up for the finish.

'A Secret Public' is a tale of paranoia that is perfectly captured in the sinister Bass line. It's like one of those whispered dramas that you can find on any of Pulp's albums. It's an incredible performance from David, he hisses "Secrets", he moans "Know" and he absolutely belts out "Gold". He must have thought a lot about how every word should sound.

How a major label hasn’t snapped up these five guys yet is beyond my powers of comprehension. Below are four free mps including 'A Little Bit More' (It has to be one of the greatest songs ever written).

Close-Cropped mp3
Success Is Never Enough (Edit) mp3
(I Need) A Little Bit More (Than You Can Give Me) mp3
Pin Me Down mp3

Click here to buy 'We Only Stayed Together For The Kids'.
Click here to buy 'Luxembourg Vs Great Britain'.
Click here to buy 'Best Kept Secret: Demos & Rarities 2001-2004'.

Luxembourg Website / Luxembourg MySpace Page
Dog Box Website / The New Pop Revolution MySpace Page

June 22, 2006

THE RUMBLE STRIPS – Hate Me You Do (7″ Single)

Hate Me You Do CoverTrangressive TRANS029A: 19th June 2006
1. Hate Me You Do
"My Television, your Television, in different rooms, oh, I can hear you laughing, can you hear me laughing too, you hate me you do"
2. Girls & Weather
"And she's smiling, so I'm smiling too, but I know that she's filing, me away, under waste of space"

'Hate Me You Do' is even better than 'Motorcycle', which is some achievement. Tom Gorbutt's Saxophone takes center stage and you won't be able to get it out of your head… "Baaaah-bah-da-da-baah-da-baaah". It's backed by marching Drums and the story of an estranged couple. Charlie Waller's vocals are the most exciting, impassioned thing since Kevin Rowland first shouted, "For God's sake, burn it down!".

'Girls & Weather' is a more downbeat song but the subject is similar. Listen to the defiant way Charlie sings "Down" so it somehow feels like "Up".

If you want more of that Rumble Strips' sound, buy a copy of Absentee's new album 'Schmotime'. It's the wonderful sound of Lambchop exploring an Indie direction and The Rumble Strips play all the Brass parts. Click here to buy it from HMV.

Here are two links to watch the videos for 'Motorcycle' and 'Hate Me You Do'.

Motorcycle mp3
My Oh My mp3
4 Walls mp3

The Rumble Strips Website / The Rumble Strips MySpace Page

June 21, 2006

STAPLETON / DARTZ! (Split 10″ EP)

Stapleton Dartz SplitGravity Dip DIP029: 12th June 2006
1. Stapleton – Happy Homes & The Hearts That Make Them
"Birthdays as milestones make me sad, birthdays as millstones round our necks"
2. Stapleton – Northwest Corners
"Reigning champion, a crown of thorns, an awkward fit"
3. Dartz! – Prego Triangolos
"This was the one place I could hide, but now I'm left with space and lines"
4. Dartz! – Documents
"A yellow paper canvas with cells, for your conclusions, sign the dotted line, and law will make it truthful"

This is the follow up to January’s fantastic Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. & Dave House (Dave House designed the artwork for this release too) split EP from Gravity Dip records. This time, instead of two Folk influenced acts, we've got an Emo band called Stapleton (Wait, don't run away, they're actually really good) and an Art-Rock group called Dartz!.

'Happy Homes & The Hearts That Make Them' hasn't just got a long title, it's also got an enormously catchy, if slightly morbid chorus. It's got the same pulsing waves of sound that Elbow create. Musically 'Northwest Corners' reminds me of Sufjan Stevens, but the abstract lyrics are more reminiscent of At The Drive-In.

I first heard Dartz! when they featured on one of Xtra Mile Recordings' 7"s, with their brilliant song 'Fantastic Apparatus'. 'Prego Triangolos' starts off like a Franz Ferdinand stomper and then an irresistible Eastern flavoured Guitar riff crashes in. 'Documents' is a protest song railing against having to fill out forms. Next time you're asked to fill in a piece of paper, try shouting the lyrics at the person behind the counter… see what happens (Probably, security will escort you from the building).

Click here to buy the 10" straight from Gravity Dip.

Stapleton Website / Stapleton MySpace Page
Dartz! Website / Dartz! MySpace Page
Gravity Dip Website / Gravity Dip MySpace Page
Dave House Website / Dave House MySpace Page

June 19, 2006

PRIMAL SCREAM – Riot City Blues (CD Album)

Riot City Blues CoverColumbia 82876831652: 5th June 2006
1. Country Girl
"Never get too big, never get too heavy, never get too cool, that you stop payin' your dues"
2. Nitty Gritty
"City Streets, full of creeps, I'm knee deep in scum, I feel like Christ on the cross, with a loaded gun"
3. Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar
"She got her wings, givin' head to a priest, that fucker choked on his rosary beads"
4. When The Bomb Drops
"Once you were, a thief of fire, now you're just a junkie liar, what you gonna cop, when the bomb drops?"
5. Little Death
"Make me dance, make me sing, buy you a death's head, diamond ring"
6. The 99th Floor
"Birds in the sky, dogs on the ground, rats in the garbage, but my baby can't be found"
7. We're Gonna Boogie
"The atomic bomb, the golden dawn, you're the one I want"
8. Dolls (Sweet Rock & Roll)
"I searched all over town, quizzed the dudes hanging around, no one had ever seen a chick like you before"
9. Hell's Comin' Down
"Made love in the morning, we got drunk at night, when she was a-sleepin', I stabbed her with a knife"
10. Sometimes I Feel So Lonely
"You can be redeemed, boys, you can be redeemed, life is but a dream, boys"

'Riot City Blues' is a return to the Rolling Stones influences that we all know Primal Scream have been shying away from for the last decade. It positively revels in ludicrous Rock clichés like, midnight trains, leather boots, guns, junk, Jesus, the Devil, murder and salvation. Loads of the lyrics are just plain stupid if you think about them, but deep down in your gut they feel so right. I've quoted some lines above, but the best has to be "I feel like Christ on the cross, with a loaded gun".

The chorus "We're gonna get right down to the real nitty gritty" sums the album up, there are no new boundaries being pushed here, it's just the filthiest Rock 'n' Roll album since 'Appetite For Destruction' (With none of the whiney vocals). It uses every trick in the book, Guitar solos, "Na-na-nas", handclaps and even a Patti Smith style interlude. This interlude is performed by VV from The Kills, who provides extra vocals on many tracks (She's credited here by her real name, Alison Mosshart). 'Riot City Blues' shares one thing with their 1991 masterpiece 'Screamadelica'. Broadly speaking, that album had a loose structure that started with Rock/Dance, progressing into Psychedelia and then finally the comedown, and 'Riot City Blues' follows a similar path.

'Country Girl' was their biggest hit to date but that's not the only track here. There is the Rolling Stones sleaze of 'Nitty Gritty', the Psychedelic Doors like 'Little Death', the Soledad Brothers stomp of 'The 99th Floor', the T. Rex like 'We're Gonna Boogie' and the beautiful Gospel-Country closer 'Sometimes I Feel So Lonely'. But the best track has got to be 'Dolls'. I loved it right from the first listen, it's surely going to be another smash hit for them. They've managed to create a song that's fuelled by Dance at the core, but never straying from pure Rock on the surface. Dance floors across the country will be echoing with shouts of the fist waving chorus, "Let's have a good time".

I remember watching Colin Murray's infamous interview with Primal Scream at the last Glastonbury Festival. On the same night he described them as "The Greatest Rock 'n' Roll band on the planet". Having been less than impressed with their 'Evil Heat' album, I just put that statement down to Colin Murray being a proper twat. But after I've had this album on an almost constant loop for the last week, I whole-heartedly agree. I can't remember an album that was just… so much fun!

Country Girl mp3

Click here to watch the legendary Glastonbury interview on YouTube (My favourite bit is when Bobby sings "Hey, hey, we're the junkies").

Go to the Primal Scream Website to use its amazing video player. I worship at the feet of whoever designed the thing. You just type in the name of any Primal Scream single and it plays you the video (Including the brilliant new one for 'Dolls').

Primal Scream Website / Primal Scream MySpace Page
Webadelica Fansite

June 19, 2006

THE ON OFFS – Wrong Upstairs (CD & 7″ Singles)

Wrong Upstairs CoverRegal CDREG134 / REG134: 12th June 2006
1. Wrong Upstairs
"In a perfect world, there would be no inhibitions, we'd do things, we didn't even dream"
2. Your Loss
"Hanging out the window, tryna get the girls to, notice that you cut your hair"
3. Forget Your Head
"R-E-G, R-E-T, it ain't something I really wanna live with, I wish I'd done, I wish I'd said, the list goes on, well now the list is over"

'Wrong Upstairs' is the follow up to The On Offs' great first single 'This Town / Grow Your Own'. This time they've enlisted the production talents of Bernard Butler. 'Wrong Upstairs' and 'Your Loss' are like a harder rocking version of The Jam. Both tracks are good but they don't quite match up to the expectation created by the first single. However, third track 'Forget Your Head' is fantastic. It kicks off with a slinky Bass line and then turns into The Zutons playing that old familiar riff from 'Lust For Life'. I love the way that "R-E-G-R-E-T" is spelled out in classic pop style.

Here are two links to watch the videos for 'This Town' and 'Wrong Upstairs'.

54 Hours mp3
Conversation mp3
Forget Your Head mp3
Grow Your Own mp3
This Town mp3

The On Offs Website / The On Offs MySpace Page

June 18, 2006

THE FRATELLIS – Henrietta (CD & 8″ Singles)

Henrietta CoverIsland CID938 / 8IS938: 12th June 2006
1. Henrietta
"Buy us some shoes, and maybe take us for Cola, we’ll get you there in some, filthy big Gondola"
2. Cigarello
"Won't you stay home and get drunk quick, I can wear your dress and your lipstick"
3. Three Skinny Girls
"Three skinny girls, left me on Sunday, just me in my lonely room, left me some sweet Macaroons"

'Henrietta' is loads of fun, particularly the triumphant Brass section. I also love the bit where they stop and go "Wah-wah-wow" like Fozzy Bear. But it doesn't quite match up to their first single, 'Creepin' Up The Backstairs'. But never mind because they've backed it with two absolutely killer B-sides…

From the hand-clap intro to 'Cigarello' I can only imagine how good it must be live. It's got thumping drums and all the crowd-pleasing thrills of a lost Sham 69 track. It also ends with a shout of "Fuck me, I canay believe it!", applause and howls of laughter. 'Three Skinny Girls' takes off where 'Cigarello' ended, with a toff exclaiming "I'm suitably fucked and ready to go". It's the shambolic sound of The Kinks after they've drunk the House Of Commons dry.

These are irresistible, straight up, head-banging, party tunes and yes, you read it right, 8" vinyl! (It won't fit in your 7" racks, but I'd buy it anyway).

Click here to watch the video for 'Creepin' Up The Backstairs' on YouTube.

The Fratellis Website / The Fratellis MySpace Page