Archive for September 13th, 2006

September 13, 2006

POP LEVI – Blue Honey (Re-Issue CD EP)

Blue Honey CoverCounter Records COUNTCD001: 4th September 2006
1. Blue Honey
“Stringray my lovechild, blue honey falling down, put me in a bag, baby, ’cause I been a bad bee now”
2. (A Style Called) Crying Chic
“She took from wealthy, took from poor, I wasn’t hungry anymore”
3. Mournin’ Light
“Oh baby baby, I long for you to steal the night, if you can keep on the groove now baby, stay until the mournin’ light”
4. Baby Again (Midnight Version)
“Then you gonna call me baby, baby again”
5. Skip Ghetto (Echo Park Version)
“A heavy letter from Leadbetter, made my darling cry, and if she want to, she’ll try to please me, but I let the lover die”

‘Blue Honey’ was one of my ‘Top 100 Tracks Of 2005’ when it was released almost exactly a year ago. Since Mr Levi has backed it with four extra tracks, I’ll forgive the fact that he hasn’t come up with a new A-side. It seems from reading the lyrics that the title ‘Blue Honey’ is about being a depressed Bee (They’re pretty strange so I could be wrong). The track revolves around a hypnotically repetitive Guitar riff with massed handclaps and all manner of strange sound effects over the top of that.

‘(A Style Called) Crying Chic’ inhabits the same strange Pop territory as Jim Noir but with Syd Barrett on vocals. ‘Mournin’ Light’ is a headbangin’ Blues rocker like an acid-tinged version of Led Zeppelin (It was also the B-side of the original release of ‘Blue Honey’). ‘Baby Again (Midnight Version)’ is a lethargic trip into the Delta-Blues that’s played comparatively straight. ‘Skip Ghetto (Echo Park Version)’ is like the missing link between Robert Johnson and The Beach Boys. It’s good, but I prefer the version that was given away on a magazine cover-mount CD I bought (I’ve included a link to get it below).

It’s the Blues Jim, but not as we know it. I’d have a hard time picking between any of the first three songs on this EP, I’ll let you decide for yourself which is the best.

Skip Ghetto (Original Version) mp3

Here are links to watch the videos for ‘Blue Honey’ and ‘Rude Kinda Love’ on YouTube.

Pop Levi MySpace Page

September 13, 2006

MYSTERY JETS – Diamonds In The Dark (CD & 7″ Singles)

Diamonds In The Dark Cover679 Recordings 679L138CD / 679L138X: 4th September 2006
1. Diamonds In The Dark (Single Version)
“And now there’s this no-mans land, between you and me, but I still wander in between, the sheets and streets, and other places we’ve been”
2. Scarecrows In The Rain
“I’d like to ride my bike, but I have troubles with my breathin’, will you please turn out my light, if you happen to be leavin'”
3. Crosswords
“Too short, hay spot, double ball, score or not, fighting, have a think, open up, take it in, wash your hand, make a sound, cross and then, form a band, ban the war, oil pin, open up, take it in”
4. A Private Place (With The Rumble Strips)
“I don’t need an explanation, where there isn’t one, wheels and cogs in motion, relentlessly rolling along”
5. Diamonds In The Dark (Kid Harpoon Version)
“Looking back now, I regret, you’re a promise that I never kept”

‘Diamonds In The Dark’ isn’t Mystery Jets’ strongest single but it’s still got its charms.  On this new version they’ve been assisted by the considerable production skills of Stephen Street.  He’s not done anything radically different to the album version, it’s just been smartened up for the charts.

For this release Mystery Jets have employed Erol Alkan to produce three brand spanking new B-sides.  ‘Scarecrows In The Rain’ has an addictive chorus of “What did I believe in, what did I believe in?”, rapid Acoustic Guitars and a Psychedelic Organ.  ‘Crosswords’ is like the twisted sound of an Art-Rock band getting their skinny ties stuck in a Fax-machine.  It’s the kind of lunatic calypso that only Mystery Jets could create and it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done.  It’s got a fantastically weird stream-of-consciousness rap that I’ve quoted above (Although I suspect that I’ve got it hideously wrong, so if anyone knows the right words, please tell me).  Mystery Jets are joined by The Rumble Strips on the great ‘A Private Place’.  They add a slice of their unmistakable Brass sound just like they did for Absentee.

Kid Harpoon’s cover of ‘Diamonds In The Dark’ is better than the original.  The lyrics are the song’s strongest point so his subtle and more heartfelt reading of the words really does sound full of regret.

Here are links to watch videos for ‘You Can’t Fool Me Dennis: One’, ‘You Can’t Fool Me Dennis: Two’ and ‘Alas Agnes’ on YouTube.

Mystery Jets Website / Mystery Jets MySpace Page
The Rumble Strips MySpace Page / Kid Harpoon MySpace Page

September 13, 2006

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO – Hugging My Grudge (Re-Issue CD & 2X 7″ Singles)

Hugging My Grudge CoverToo Young To Die TYTD7CD / TYTD7S / TYTD7PS: 4th September 2006
1. Hugging My Grudge
“I’ve always, been chasing rainbows, staring out, of classroom windows, I don’t think I’ll ever be happy, unless I’m unhappy, and hugging my grudge”
2. Monsters (Armand Van Helden Vocal Mix)
“This town is full of monsters, holding hands with other monsters”
3. Every Grubby Little Memory
“It was love, I suppose, but I felt sometimes like a snail, climbing a rose”
4. Cuddle Me
“I saw things in, the darkness that, I didn’t want to see, I hurt the things, I love because, it stops them hurting me, so cuddle me”
5. Oddballs
“We’re oddballs, revelling in our own little victories”

This is the third re-issue of ‘Hugging My Grudge’ (2003, 2005 and now 2006) but The Boy Least Likely To always back their releases with plenty of good B-sides so I’m inclined to forgive them. ‘Hugging My Grudge’ has their trademark sugar-sweet, Banjo enhanced sound with a nod towards Fred Neil’s ‘Everybody’s Talkin”. But you must have this single already, right?

The ‘Armand Van Helden Vocal Mix’ of album highlight ‘Monsters’ is unlike anything else in The Boy Least Likely To’s discography. He’s turned it into a superb Glam-Dance stomper that clocks in at over seven minutes. ‘Every Grubby Little Memory’ was the rather lovely B-side to the 2005 release of ‘Hugging My Grudge’ so it’s included here for anybody that missed it. ‘Cuddle Me’ is the highlight of this release and it has a much more serious tone than their other songs. It’s got an ethereal beauty created by the sound of gently rolling waves and seagulls soaring above which is finished off with one of those old seaside Organs playing a melancholy tune. ‘Oddballs’ returns to the usual bouncy fun, with a humable melody and catchy Banjo.

Here are links to watch the videos for ‘Be Gentle With Me’ and ‘Hugging My Grudge’ on YouTube.

Visit their MySpace Page to hear a brilliant cover of George Michael’s ‘Faith’.

The Boy Least Likely To Website / The Boy Least Likely To MySpace Page
The Girl Least Likely To Fansite