Archive for June 29th, 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

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