Archive for October, 2006

October 30, 2006

PATRICK WOLF – Accident & Emergency (CD, Download & 7″ Singles)

Loog 1707539 / 7Digital / 1707540: 30th October 2006
1. Accident & Emergency
“So what happens when you loose everything, you just carry on and with a grin, sing for all that low life has to bring, and just get yourself back into the ring”
2. Underworld
“You wake up at night, and see the light in the basement, through the crack in the floor”
3. Adder
“And the friends have all gone away, and it feels so good to be alone”
4. Ari’s Song
“Let the rain wash away your cloudy days, sail away into a dream, let the wind send you a fantasy, the ancient silver sea”
5. The Childcatcher (Live)
“You gave me shoes and pretty clothes, and I gave you what I had between my legs”

Ever since I fell in love with Patrick Wolf’s first EP back in 2002, I’ve greeted his new releases with levels of excitement and anticipation that I just don’t have for any other artist. I think it’s because a Patrick Wolf record could sound like anything, because the lyrics could say anything and because it’s certain to be even better than his last. You know he’s someone different when the sleeve notes to this single read “Ambulance recorded on Lafayette street, New York, USA” and “Naughty children recorded at Pisa Airport, Italy”.

The beautiful Piano laments aside, Patrick Wolf’s songs usually break down into two categories, incredible Electro-Folk songs (‘Bloodbeat’, ‘The Libertine’) or visceral assaults on the senses (‘The Childcatcher’, ‘Tristan’). His new single ‘Accident & Emergency’ manages to perfectly meld both sides, the crazy mix of noises should be a cacophony, but instead it’s one of the most brilliantly realised and bizarre Pop songs in a long time. It sounds like a brass-band playing one last tune while trapped in a burning digital-watch factory. This ability to marshal any sound into line behind his piper’s tune shows he’s at the peak of his powers. ‘Accident & Emergency’ is a hugely uplifting song and he effectively reviews it with the last line, “Accident and emergency, bringing out the best in me”.

The B-sides are more low-key Piano based songs but are no less rewarding. ‘Underworld’ was written by Patrick’s friend Eva Eden and it’s like Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ with words. ‘Adder’ is like a Kate Bush like song with Patrick’s vocals gliding along in a graceful falsetto. ‘Ari’s Song’ gently rises and falls like a boat on the ocean that the lyrics describe. The live version of ‘The Childcatcher’ is played entirely on the Piano but is no less brutal and harrowing for the lack of instrumentation. I wouldn’t want to have been that Piano; he beats the hell out of it.

Click here to read Patrick Wolf’s review of six other singles jockeying for position with his own on the Guardian’s Website.

Below are links to download two tracks that where only available on the first sold-out EP, including one of my all time favourite songs, ‘Pumpkin Soup’.

Empress mp3
Pumpkin Soup mp3

Here are links to watch videos for ‘To The Lighthouse’, ‘Teignmouth’, ‘The Libertine’, ‘Wind In The Wires’, ‘Souvenirs’, ‘Tristan’, ‘Accident & Emergency’ and ‘Bluebells’ on YouTube.

Patrick Wolf Website / Patrick Wolf MySpace Page
Spanish Fansite / Unofficial Forum / Media Archive

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October 29, 2006

MR HUDSON & THE LIBRARY – Bread + Roses (CD EP)

Deal Real 1709726: 23rd October 2006
1. Bread + Roses
“Only bread and roses will you find, on my table”
2. Brave The Cold (Live)
“The night is on freeze-frame, and double-brandies triple-glaze the cold, from my soul”
3. Everything Happens To Me
“I’ve emailed and I’ve phoned, sent a text message or two, you told me to piss off, for that respect is due”
4. Bread + Roses (Mr Hudson Vs DJ Wonder)
“So what you gonna do with all that cash, it must get boring, being so flash”

‘Bread + Roses’ is built from little else than cut-up Acoustic-Guitars, Bass Guitars and Drums. But those elements are so deftly and economically used that it seems whole orchestras are going on in the background. It’s the kind of efficient Pop that characterised early-to-mid-period Beatles. The lyrics are asking people to be a little less selfish and perhaps as frugal as the music. The ‘Mr Hudson Vs DJ Wonder’ version is a nice mix of squelching beats and massed sighs.

‘Brave The Cold (Live)’ is a Funky, Jazzy and uplifting Piano driven winter-warmer. ‘Everything Happens To Me’ is the best track on the EP and it brings to mind the best of early Tom Waits (Except Mr Hudson hasn’t been gargling with battery acid). It’s got the sound of a smoky Piano bar with rain bucketing down outside while the lyrics and voice mix depression with laugh-out-loud humour.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Bread + Roses’ on YouTube.

Mr Hudson & The Library MySpace Page

October 29, 2006

RAINBOW FAMILY – This Is Not A Circular (7″ Single)

Console CONS08: 23rd October 2006
1. This Is Not A Circular
“Is it wrong or is it right, I can’t describe what’s on my mind, you’ve been talking in my sleep, but that’s alright with me”
2. Mr Picture Perfect
“When you come down to earth, who’s gonna catch you, and will they be wearing gloves”

‘This Is Not A Circular’ starts with a haunting Manics style vocal sample but soon gives way to classic soaring Pop. The Bass line is worthy of Paul McCartney and the massive chorus is pure ELO. In fact, all the sixties legends like The Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Kinks are conjured up. ‘Mr Picture Perfect’ wouldn’t be out of place on a Divine Comedy album. The music is a little less showy but it still had me clicking my fingers and clapping my hands. Beneath the breezy music of the two songs the lyrics are about feelings of dissatisfaction with our consumer culture.

Rainbow Family MySpace Page

October 29, 2006

MONSTER BOBBY – Heaven Hides Nothing (7″ Single)

Remake/Remodel Records RRR001: 23rd October 2006
1. Heaven Hides Nothing
“But if you want to know the truth, it’s embarrassing but, oh I’m in heaven when you catch my eye, and we keep that eye line”
2. It’s Over (I Miss You)
“Lately I’ve not been much at home, but I’ve not been really going out, since you left me, I’ve been a little lost”
3. My Debts Spiral Out Of Control
“I am broke again today, I walk the streets and look for change, ATM won’t gimme no love, I try and get cash-back from a supermarket”

Last year, while trawling the net for mp3s, I came across a track called ‘I Keep On Losing Things’ by a guy called Monster Bobby. I instantly loved it and it was one of my favourite tracks last year and I hoped to hear more. Now my wish has come true with the release of his debut 7″. You might not of heard the name but you’ll have heard his music. Because between that mp3 and now, he’s been the promoter/writer/guitarist/svengali type guy behind top-30 act The Pipettes.

‘Heaven Hides Nothing’ sounds like what would have happened if Brian Wilson had wrote themes for computer games in the eighties. ‘It’s Over (I Miss You)’ has the mental Electro-Pop sound of Best Fwends but it’s been channelled into a proper tune. ‘My Debts Spiral Out Of Control’ has a wonderfully spiritual Organ sound and gorgeous vocals which bring to mind The Flaming Lips.

These are three incredible, hummable and melodic dreamy Pop songs that seem too shy and modest to show off with overly glitzy productions. I look forward to hearing Monster Bobby’s next release (A promised split single on the curiously titled Total Gaylord Records’).

I Keep On Losing Things mp3

You can order the 7″ from all the usual suspects or straight from Remake/Remodel’s MySpace Page.

Click here to read a recent interview with Monster Bobby.

Monster Bobby MySpace Page / Remake/Remodel MySpace Page

October 27, 2006

DAN SARTIAN – Who’s Sorry Now? (7″ Single)

Bent Rail Foundation BENT10: September 2004
1. Who’s Sorry Now?
“Well who sings the blues, yeah you got the golden touch, and you just can’t lose”
2. This Is How They Beat You Down
“They took his heart, and they beat him down”

I’ve just bought a new Dan Sartain 7″, well new to me anyway, since apparently it’s a couple of years old. If you want a copy, you can still buy it from Bent Rail Foundation’s Website. I already had ‘Who’s Sorry Now?’ because it was included as the b-side to February’s ‘Walk Among The Cobras Pt. I’ single. It’s a gently rolling number that’s stocked full of simmering menace. The tune’s built around Dan’s twanging Guitar and an ominous Organ with a solo provided by what sounds like the flapping of insect wings.

‘This Is How They Beat You Down’ is new and as far as I know this 7″ is the only place to get it. The lyrics are little more than the title but the song is more about summing up feelings of frustration through the music. Squealing Fuzz-Guitars, thudding Drums and even twinkling bells build to unbearable levels of anger at the end.

I like the way new Dan Sartain releases keep cropping up. If anybody else knows about any releases on other Indie labels, please tell me (Or even better, if anybody knows about a comprehensive Discography).

Baby’s Town mp3 (Outtake from ‘The Serpientes’ LP)
Not The Boy She Knew mp3 (Rare early song)

Here are links to order his latest album ‘Join Dan Sartain’, or his last album ‘Dan Sartain Vs The Serpientes’ from HMV for £7.99 each.

Click here to buy the limited ‘Sartain Family Legacy 1981-1998’ Compilation.

Here are links to watch videos for ‘Replacement Man’, ‘Walk Among The Cobras Pt. I’ and ‘Besa Me Mucho’ on YouTube.

Dan Sartain MySpace Page / Bent Rail Website / Cass Website
Swami Website / One Little Indian Website / Sky Bucket Website

October 26, 2006

Circuits – Say No Say Yeah / Question Marked Shaped Heart (CD Single)

Try Science TRYS003CDS: 23rd October 2006
1. Say No Say Yeah
“You’ve only got two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as hard as you speak when you are spoken to”
2. Question Marked Shaped Heart
“A cardinal sin or a golden rule, it’s hard to tell between the two”

Fantastic, a second double A-side from Circuits after June’s spectacular ‘Radio Silence / Half Read Book’ single.  ‘Say No Say Yeah’ is an instant handclap enhanced Pop-Punk anthem.  You’ll play air Guitar, air Drums, bang your head, stomp your feet and of course sing along.  When the Horns kick in at 2.19 it’s like the Rocky theme tune.  ‘Question Marked Shaped Heart’ has a Jamaican twang to the music and vocals without thankfully sounding anything like Sting.  I love the way Benny Smith rhymes “Symmetry” with “Cemetery” and his vocals have a touch of The Rapture like hysteria to them.

Circuits are creeping up on the Indie competition with nought but cracking tunes played with passion and a good deal of excitement.  Long may it continue!

Enough Rope mp3
Plan A mp3

Click here to sign up to the mailing list and you’ll get another free mp3.

Circuits Website / Circuits MySpace Page

October 26, 2006

APARTMENT – 10,000 Times (2xCD Singles)

Fleet Street Recordings FSSIN02 / FSSIN02X: 23rd October 2006
1. 10,000 Times
“In the commons, when they’re joking, don’t you know, it’s at your expense”
2. The Flood
“When it’s my stop, it’s my stop, when it’s real nice, it’s not you”
3. My Brother Chris (World Of Leather Extreme Glam Mix / Apartment V Chegoku Mix)
“I knew he’d pass us by like that, to get the toast, whip it out of the hat”

Musically ‘10,000 Times’ reminds me of the towering radio friendly Rock of Snow Patrol but vocally it’s much more fun. David Caggiari’s voice is rich and deep but it often slips into a comic tone. The bizarre way he rhymes “Forty” with “Albuquerque” is absolutely priceless. At first the lyrics seem to be advocating mass rebellion against our government but then the chorus of “Flying the flag for mutiny, etc, etc” sounds like they’re mocking the half-baked plans of the protesters.

Without the vocal flourishes of the A-side, ‘The Flood’ disappoints, although the way David Caggiari sings “I fucked up” in his most serious voice is great. Music wise, it’s like an epic mix of Coldplay and iLiKETRAiNS. Last up are two remixes of last single ‘My Brother Chris’. The ‘World Of Leather Extreme Glam Mix’ is a nice mix of ice-cold Synths and robot voices but at six and a half minutes it out stays its welcome. The ‘Apartment V Chegoku Mix’ is like New Order meets Delays with an extra slice of violent noise.

Click here to watch the video for ‘10,000 Times’ on YouTube.

Apartment Website / Apartment MySpace Page

October 25, 2006

JAMIE T – If You Got The Money (CD & 2x 7″ Singles)

Virgin VSCDT1921: 16th October 2006
1. If You Got The Money (Original / Alternative Version)
“Now you’re certain ‘nuff near a man free, with a buddy holly hiccup on the karaoke, tweedle on the needle, man you adjust the thread, great granddaddy fought in Gallipoli, he’s the only of his friends not shot down dead”
2. A New England
“And I loved you then as I love you still, though I put you on a pedestal, they put you on the pill”
3. Here’s Ya Getaway
“Made enough money, shoting bobby bills and po’, he spent it all quick, sniffin’ up on the blow”

Jamie T’s previous singles have been at least twice as brilliant as the ones that preceded them. So it’s disappointing that ‘If You Got The Money’ is merely fantastic, and not an all-conquering decimation of his previous work, ‘Sheila’. The “Dee-dee-dah-dum-dum” bit will get stuck right in your head and once again, Jamie’s word play is relentlessly astounding. ‘If You Got The Money’ samples the “I’ve been watching you” shout from the gloriously cheesy Pop-Reggae tune ‘Sweat (A La La La La Long)’ by Inner Circle. The ‘Alternative Version’ of the single is almost accapella and acoustic and it’s a better showcase for Jamie’s incredible lyrics.

The release of Billy Bragg’s two career-spanning box sets seems to have been perfectly timed, since Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly and now Jamie T have recorded covers of his songs. Jamie T’s cover of ‘A New England’ is a spirited acoustic version but it doesn’t really add anything to Billy’s original (Or better Kirsty MacColl’s hit version for that matter).

‘Here’s Ya Getaway’ is a dizzy mix of the music from Lemmings, soothing Bass, woozy Organs, sirens on sedatives and what sounds like robot insects. Jamie’s voice hasn’t sounded this emotional before and it’s easily better than the A-side.

Click here to get some unreleased demos.

Check last week’s NME for an article about Jamie T’s top-five albums. Including my favourites ‘Nighthawks At The Diner’, ‘Paul’s Boutique’ and ‘London Calling’. He’s a man with good taste that Jamie.

7Digital have an exclusive new version of ‘If You Got The Money’ called ‘Ceri Caffiene’s Panic Prevention Disco Mix’. The beats are much harsher than the original and you can get it by clicking here.

Visit Billy Bragg’s site to get a series of free Podcasts with Billy talking about his history and playing some of his favourite records (He’s got some free mp3s on there too).

Jamie T Website / Jamie T MySpace Page
Billy Bragg Website / Billy Bragg MySpace Page

October 24, 2006

LUXEMBOURG – Sick Of DIY (CD Single)

Dog Box BOX15CD: 16th October 2006
1. Sick Of DIY
“It’s not flattering, I took a battering, at the back of the top of the number 31”
2. Fingers
“Don’t get that ring engraved for me dear, not me dear, and leave your armchairs where they are, they’re fine”
3. Changing Trains
“On the coastal path, and later on the beach, something kind is said, and then the subject must be changed”

At last, I hold in my hands another single from the brilliant and as yet criminally unnoticed Luxembourg. Once again it’s another spectacular display of David Shah’s searingly emotional voice. Listen to the way he lovingly croons the word “Sweet” and then the way he shivers the word “Bitter”. The Synths are like towers of shining Crystal, particularly on the epic solo, and the Drums are thrilling (They had me air-drumming anyway). The lyrics are full of the usual subtle wit, with lines like “I’m all wrong, but you are alright” and unless I’m very much mistaken they have a double meaning, as Swiss Tony once said “Hanging wallpaper is also very much like… etc”.

‘Fingers’ is about pessimism and the fear of commitment, which is illustrated by lines like “I can’t help seeing the end in every beginning”. The interplay between the Strings and the Bass towards the end is so catchy. ‘Changing Trains’ has the kind of grace not heard since Antony & The Johnson’s last album. The production is stripped back to just a Piano and a Spanish Guitar and it’s one of the most haunting songs that they’ve produced so far.

Luxembourg have finally recorded their debut album proper (After 2004’s demo compilation, which would probably be in my top 10 albums of all time) and it’s called ‘Front’. You can buy it from the Dog Box site for £9.99 + P&P (Go on treat yourself).

Close-Cropped mp3
Success Is Never Enough (Edit) mp3
(I Need) A Little Bit More (Than You Can Give Me) mp3 (Essential, essential, essential!)
Pin Me Down mp3
Let Us Have It mp3
The Exhibitionist mp3
Faint Praise (Acoustic) mp3
We Are The Resistance (Acoustic) mp3 (Exclusive website download)

Luxembourg Website / Luxembourg MySpace Page
Dog Box Website / Dog Box MySpace Page

October 24, 2006

THE HOLLOWAYS – Generator (Re-Issue CD & 2x 7″ Singles)

TVT Records HOLLOCD2 / HOLLO2 / HOLLO2X: 16th October 2006
1. Generator
“When I was a young boy I got a stereo and I taped all the songs straight off the radio, the sounds that the bands made, and the melodies is all I need to make me feel free”
2. Kings Cross Cutie
“You’ve infected me, with your disease, now I can’t break free, your eyes imprison me”
3. I Should Say Something
“And would she have said yes, when wearing her white dress, if violence was included in his vows, I’m sure that she hates it, but she tolerates it, she’s married to him now”
4. All I Have To Do Is Dream
“I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine, any time, night or day, only trouble is, gee whiz, I’m dreaming my life away”
5. Pushing & Shoving
“I’m not tellin’ you how to lead your life, just respect one another, like sister and brother, I’m just tellin’ you what I see, but I’ll stop complaining, move to the country”

‘Generator’ came in at number 18 in my ‘Top 100 Tracks Of 2005’ and I said that it “Makes me feel 100% happier every time”. That’s still true and if you missed it last year this is your chance to get one of the most infectious, irresistible and life affirming songs of the past few years. ‘Generator’ is about the power of music to take you somewhere, to brighten your day and make you forget your troubles. The words about taping songs from the radio reminded me of times spent lunging for the stop-button on my tape deck before the DJ started talking. Somewhere in the loft is cassette I fondly remember recording at my auntie’s one summer with ‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John among other songs.

The Holloways last single was packed with fantastic B-sides and the four included here don’t disappoint either. ‘Kings Cross Cutie’ is a great little Brit Pop tune that you can hum. ‘I Should Say Something’ is about how easily we can all turn a blind eye to things like violence, antisocial behaviour and famine. ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ is a cover of a song written by the great Boudeleaux Bryant and made famous by The Everly Brothers. The Holloways’ version isn’t as dream like as the original but the bouncy Pop sound is perhaps a better fit for the subtly comic lyrics. Pushing & Shoving’ is like Dirty Pretty Things… but good and the lyrics are asking us all to have a little more consideration for our fellow man (Fat chance!).

Click here to buy the single and it’s B-sides from 7Digital.

Click here to pre-order The Holloways’ debut album ‘So This Is Great Britain?’ from HMV for only £8.99.

The Holloways Website / The Holloways MySpace Page