Archive for June 4th, 2006

June 4, 2006

BLUE SKIES UP: Welcome To The New Pop Revolution (CD Compilation)

Blue Skies Up CoverDogbox Records BOX8: 15th May 2006
1. Swimmer One – We Just Make Music For Ourselves
2. Luxembourg – Not My Number
3. Planetakis – Beautiful Today
4. The Boyfriends – Remember
5. Jonny Cola – Suburban Voyager
6. The Sweethearts – Pop Machine!
7. The Schla La Las – Gotta Go
8. The Lodger – Not So Fast
9. Bib – Jobs-On-Line '06
10. Robots In Disguise – Bed Scenes
11. The Laurel Collective – International Love Affair
12. The Bridge Gang – Sarah's Brother
13. The Bleeding Hearts – Stars
14. Nakeru – Long Walks On The Beach
15. Piranha Deathray – When Can I Meet Your Parents?
16. Morton Valence – The Kiss

This is for fans of Angular's two era defining compilations. In fact Luxembourg and The Boyfriends both appeared on those two CDs. Dogbox is shaping up to be a consistently fantastic Label, not just the home of Luxembourg (One of the finest bands in Britain to not have a major record deal). It also contains great songs by other new artists that are starting to get some attention, like 'Swimmer One', The Lodger' and 'Bib'.

Luxembourg contribute an exclusive track called 'Not My Number', which is one of their best. The brilliant Lodger have just come onto my radar and 'Not So Fast' is their most fun song yet. It's great to hear Bib's classic single 'Jobs-On-Line' given a new glossy production. The Bridge Gang's song tells the angry story of a boy killed by The National Front. The line "Don't go outside if your blades are blunt" seems very current. Nakeru's 'Long Walks On The Beach' is a word-for-word lonely-hearts advert set to Elbow like music.

This compilation hangs together very well as a cohesive statement. You can tell the care that went into this CD by the way it opens with the line "We Just Make Music For Ourselves, yeah" and closes with "Goodnight, goodnight". The songs seem to have an indefinable bond that unites them. Think Pet Shop Boys, Kate Bush, Pulp, The Smiths, Britpop or Prince, in short, everything that's right about Pop music. "The New Pop Revolution" may be wishful thinking, but in a universe that made any sense it would be a wish that came true.

Visit Dogbox's site for links to these artists' own websites.

Click here to buy it with PayPal for only £8.99

DogBox Records Website / The New Pop Revolution MySpace Page

June 4, 2006

iLiKETRAiNS – Terra Nova (7″ Single)

Terra Nova CoverFierce Panda NING183: 5th June 2006
1. Terra Nova
"Great god this is an awful place, and I do not think that we can hope, for any better things now"
2. Fram
"Yours is the end, I was hoping for, a nation mourns, your tragic downfall"

The 'Terra Nova' was the ship that transported Scott's doomed expedition to Antarctica.  It records Scott's thoughts as he contemplates the guilt of leading his team to their deaths.  It's a soaring work of thunderous Drums and shimmering Guitars.

'Fram' takes its title from the ship that bore Roald Amundsen's Norwegian team towards the South Pole. It's a desolate soundscape filled with ominous Drums, mechanical sound effects and sweeping Strings.  I can't quite work out whether it's about Scott toasting Amundsen's success, or about Amundsen being envious of Scott's romanticised death.  It could be both, either way it's powerful stuff.

There will be two schools of thought about this single. Is it pretentious, plodding and miserable or is it majestic, atmospheric Doom laden Rock.  They always walk a tightrope between the two, but I fall into the latter camp.  As with most of iLiKETRAiNS music, it's something to be "Experienced" rather than simply enjoyed. 

Click here to watch the 'Terra Nova' Video

iLiKETRAiNS Website / iLiKETRAiNS MySpace

June 4, 2006

MYSTERY JETS – You Can’t Fool Me Dennis (Re-Issue CD & 7″ Singles)

You Can't Fool Me Dennis Cover679 Recordings 679L129CD / 679L129X: 22nd May 2006
1. You Can’t Fool Me Dennis
“Remember those barmy days, through Rose-tinted haze, pal, you weren’t a cypher, pal, you were a man, all the students drove a van”
2. Inside Four Walls
“I lay myself down, in the shadow of a tree, served by a toothless waiter, who sang to me for free”
3. You Can’t Fool Me Dennis (GoodBooks Version)
“In life we’re all duffers chum, of all wisdom this is the sum”
4. Under The Pews
“I feel nostalgic, when I think of the past, the Hymns you sung, in my memory last”

‘You Can’t Fool Me Dennis’ was one of my ‘Top 100 Tracks Of 2005′ and they’ve re-released it again to give it another crack at chart glory. Surely you already know its crazy mix of Drums, Cowbells and Guitars, if not… why the hell not? Although it’s credited on the sleeve as a “Remix”, the GoodBooks’ version is in fact a cover. It’s fairly close to the original in spirit, but it goes for a quieter, dreamy quality. It also makes fantastic use of a Milk bottle for percussion.

‘Inside Four Walls’ is credited as a double A-side track on the 7″, but not the CD. Whatever the case, it’s brilliant. After the abstract sloganeering of ‘You Can’t Fool Me Dennis’ the relatively straight narrative is a bit of a departure. It’s best described as Gypsy Dance-Rock and it goes all Jeff Buckley at the end. ‘Under The Pews’ sounds like a kind of sequel to ‘Eleanor Rigby’. It’s a haunting tale of a son rejecting his father’s religion, but it’s misconstrued as rejecting his love.

Be sure to check out their elaborate Flash Website (It’s a monument to “Form over function”).

Mystery Jets Website / Mystery Jets MySpace Page
GoodBooks Website / GoodBooks MySpace Page