Archive for June, 2007

June 30, 2007

SKEEWIFF – The Lost Masters EP (12″)

Jalapeno Records JAL50: 18th June 2007
1. Let’s Have Scratch For Breakfast
“This is the story of how to create a great beat, by cutting scratching, mixing and stunting”
2. The New Avengers
“Instrumental”
3. Bump Bump (Feat. Young MC)
“No doubt if yer ready, we’re gonna rock it steady, and have the party jumpin’ from here to the Serengeti, your body will be sweaty, from movin’ around, but you know it’s gonna happen when we’re puttin’ it down”
4. Mucho Mambo
“Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore, hold me close, sway me more”

Apart from the music, this EP is presented as a beautiful Pizza picture disc to commemorate Jalapeno’s 50th release. If you’ve had a few to drink, be careful not to put a 12″ Pepperoni with all the toppings onto your new turntable and conversely you wouldn’t want to loose a tooth biting into this thick slice of vinyl.

‘Let’s Have Scratch For Breakfast’ is a good-old-fashioned mix of Funk breaks, Grandmaster Flash bounce and public-information style vocal samples. The original theme from ‘The New Avengers’ is both gorgeously retro and also like some tacky supermarket music but Skeewiff has enhanced it with some baadasss Bass and funky Drums so it’s never anything less than icy-cool. ‘Bump Bump’ is the centre-piece of the EP and it’s a big summery Hip-Hop tune that cannot fail but put you in the party mood, and it’ll have you shakin’ yer booty because like Young MC says “I got the rhyme and rhythm to make the crowd jump, like Skeewiff got the bottom to make the place thump”. Rounding off the EP, ‘Mucho Mambo’ teases your ears for over two minutes with that famous “When the Rumba rhythm starts to play” sample.

Click here to buy the EP from Juno Records.

Skeewiff – Bump Bump (Feat. Young MC) mp3
Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good (Skeewiff Mix) mp3

Skeewiff Website / Skeewiff MySpace / Jalapeno Website / Jalapeno MySpace

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June 29, 2007

HARRISONS – Dear Constable (CD & 2x 7″ Singles)

Melodic MELO051CD / MELO051 / MELO051B: 18th June 2007
1. Dear Constable
“The kickin’, punchin’, trigger happy, car crashin’ kids, stink of drink, and think that is just the way life is, the problem lies behind their eyes, their young minds filled with wicked lies”
2. Allen Ginsberg Said James Dean’s A Twocker
“Snuff out the candles, it’s time to stop, it’s the end of the line and we’re shutting up shop”
3. Red Right Hand
“Take a little walk to the edge of town, go across the tracks, where the viaduct looms like a bird of doom, as it shifts and cracks”
4. Cry Through The Night
“And there’s no point in beggin’, please get up from the ground, you didn’t seem to care when you was messin’ around”

I’ve always thought that Harrisons were an above average band but nothing to go crazy about.  Imagine my surprise when I pressed play on this little beauty and found it to be one of the most thrilling Indie singles all year.  ‘Dear Constable’ is so much better than anything they’ve done before that I’m wondering if there has been a mistake at the pressing plant.  It explodes out of the gates and quickly builds up a raging Punk-Funk groove with singer Adam Taylor ranting about dead-end British life like a rejuvenated Sean Ryder.  Harrisons have just released one of the singles of the year, with one of the lyrics of the decade.

Harrisons have also upped the ante with the B-sides, with the brilliantly titled ‘Allen Ginsberg Said James Dean’s A Twocker’ and ‘Cry Through The Night’ reminding me of Paul Weller in his Jam prime.  It’s folly to even attempt to cover Nick Cave (Particularly a song like ‘Red Right Hand’) but Harrisons just about get away with it.  If Harrisons’ future singles are as good as this, then they’re gonna be huge.

Click here to watch the brilliant THX-1138 influenced video for ‘Dear Constable’ on YouTube.

Click here to buy the single from HMV.

Harrisons – Wishing Well mp3

Click here to download their debut album from Rough Trade Digital (Ahead of the physical release).

Harrisons Website / Harrisons MySpace

June 25, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Hot Club De Paris – You Can Call Me Al mp3

“I need a photo-opportunity, I want a shot at redemption, don’t want to end up a cartoon, in a cartoon graveyard”

As much as I adore the Paul Simon classic ‘You Can Call Me Al’, I realise I’ve never really listened to the lyrics. Now thanks to this spirited cover by Hot Club De Paris I have, and they are bloody good. It’s testament to Hot Club De Paris that they can take a perfect Pop-Production like ‘You Can Call Me Al’ and remake it in an Indie-Punk-Funk style and still retain all the magic. This beats The Futureheads’ cover of Kate Bush any day.

Hot Club De Paris – You Can Call Me Al mp3

Click here to buy Paul Simon’s absolutely stunning new album ‘Surprise’ from HMV for only £9.99.

Click here to watch the brilliant video for Paul Simon’s ‘You Can Call Me Al’ featuring Chevy Chase (Helping to make a sly dig at Art Garfunkel) on YouTube.

Click here to buy Hot Club De Paris’ fantastically titled ‘Drop It Till It Pops’ album from HMV for only £7.99.

Hot Club De Paris Website / Hot Club De Paris MySpace
Paul Simon Website / Paul Simon MySpace

June 21, 2007

THE WHITE STRIPES – Icky Thump (7″ Single)

XL Recordings XLS277A: 11th June 2007
1. Icky Thump
“Well, Americans, what, nothin’ better to do? Why don’t you kick yourself out, you’re an immigrant too, who’s usin’ who, what should we do, well you can’t be a pimp, and a prostitute too”
2. Baby Brother
“My little brother used to play down on the floor, but now he’s not satisfied to do it anymore, he’s got a funny habit and I don’t know why, he walks around the ceiling now steppin’ on the flies”

Hallelujah! The Whites Stripes have got a new album coming out… it feels like Christmas! I’m sure I remember Jack saying in an interview a few years back that The White Stripes were a-political (With the possible exception of ‘The Big Three Killed My Baby’). Well that’s out the window, because ‘Icky Thump’ gets stuck firmly into the anti-Mexican-immigration debate running in America with Jack delivering cutting lyrics in a raging almost Rap style. Meg’s Drums certainly “Thump” as usual and if Jack’s Guitar isn’t “Icky” it sure is filthy. It feels like the kind of riff heavy monster that you’d find on ‘De Stijl’ with an added psychedelic edge. As much as I love all of The White Stripes’ albums, I’ve never felt they captured the spirit of their live shows. Somehow ‘Icky Thump’ has done it, it’s got that feeling of Jack’s Guitar being possessed by the devil and him barely controlling it. Could this be their best song since ‘Hand Springs’?

Exclusive B-side ‘Baby Brother’ is an old-skool Rock ‘n’ Roller in the Eddie Cochran mould complete with Jack doing a Rock-a-Billy vocal. It sounds like an early Italy Records period thrasher and it’s a fevered bundle of fun. There are also other formats (A CD and two 7″s) giving tasters of the fantastic album tracks ‘Catch Hell Blues’ and ‘Rag & Bone’.

Click here to buy the new White Stripes album from HMV for only £8.99.

Here are links to watch the videos for ‘Icky Thump’ and ‘Icky Thump (Live On Later)’ via YouTube.

Click here to buy the newly re-released album that Jack recorded with The Hentchmen (Complete with bonus tracks) from HMV for only £9.99.

To celebrate the return of The White Stripes, here are 15 of the best tracks from the nearly 200 songs that the workaholic Jack’s had a hand in, as Producer, full-time band member, Guitarist, Backing Vocalist and even Bass player:

2 Star Tabernacle – Lily White Mama & Jet Black Daddy mp3
Beck – Go It Alone (With Jack White) mp3
(Kicking out a rare Bass line)
Jack White – Never Far Away mp3 (Jack’s first solo composition)
Loretta Lynn – Portland Oregon (Duet With Jack White) mp3
Mark Ronson – Here Comes The Fuzz (With Jack White) mp3 (Still unreleased)
Soledad Brothers – Sugar & Spice mp3 (Produced by Jack, Percussion by Meg)
The Go – Whatcha Doin’ mp3 (Unmistakably Jack on Lead-Guitar)
The Greenhornes – Shadow Of Grief mp3 (Rare B-side version recorded by Jack)
The Hentchmen With Jack White – Psycho Daisys mp3 (Top Yardbirds cover)
The Raconteurs – The Bane Rendition mp3 (Their finest moment)
The Upholsterers – Pain (Gimme Sympathy) mp3 (The proto-White Stripes)
The Von Bondies – Red Head Devil mp3 (Produced by Jack before the incident)
The Wildbunch – Danger! High Voltage mp3 (Jack insists he ain’t on this!)
Thee Jenerators – Mystery Man mp3 (Jack on backing vocals)
Whirlwind Heat – Purple mp3 (Produced by Jack, engineered by Brendan)

The White Stripes Website / The White Stripes MySpace / Triple Tremelo Fansite

June 20, 2007

THE RUMBLE STRIPS – Motorcycle (2x CD Singles)

Island 1727123 / 1727128: 11th June 2007
1. Motorcycle
“But it’s all just a dream, I’m actually moving quite slowly, the air is nice and clean, but my bicycle seat is so lonely”
2. Back To Black
“I love too much, but it wasn’t enough, you love blow, and I hate that stuff”
3. My Oh My
“I’m lookin’ at my clock, it’s tickin’ on the floor, like it’s never ticked before, like it’s tickin’ inside my head, ticks are bangin’ inside my head”
4. Pennies
“You go out drinkin’, I see you laughin’, when I’m out drinkin’ all I do is cry, I’m such an unlucky guy”

While I thought that the demo of ‘Motorcycle’ (Released a year and a half ago) was outstanding I thought that my brother’s excited review was a touch over the top (Click here to read it). But after listening to the new studio version I would not only agree but I’d say that ‘Motorcycle’ is the most perfectly produced, played and written Pop single ever released by the human race (Including anything released by that scouse band). When you listen to ‘Motorcycle’ on headphones it sounds like the band are in the room with you. The Horns, the revving Guitars and of course the spine tingling falsetto bit are all shear perfection. The only way to properly describe it is perfect… it’s ‘The Godfather’ perfect, it’s Stephen Fry perfect, it’s ‘Blackadder The Third’ perfect, it’s my recipe for Tagliatelle Carbonara perfect, it’s perfect, perfect, perfect!!

The B-sides are of course inferior to the A-side, but how could they be anything else. If you managed to get a copy of the white-label, you’ve already heard the powerful Rumble Strips’ cover of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’. ‘My Oh My’ has a supremely catchy bit involving a head-board bangin’ (You’ll have to hear it). The Spanish-Guitars on ‘Pennies’ bring to mind The Shadows and the melancholy spoken-word middle makes it one of The Rumble Strips’ best ever B-sides.

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

Here are three of The Rumble Strips’ finest B-sides:

The Rumble Strips – Girls & Weather mp3
The Rumble Strips – High Street Heaven mp3
The Rumble Strips – Sad City mp3

Click here to buy ‘Motorcycle’ from HMV.

The Rumble Strips Website / The Rumble Strips MySpace

June 18, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Huey Lewis & The News – The Power Of Love mp3

“It don’t take money, don’t take fame, don’t need no credit card to ride this train, it’s strong and it’s sudden, it can be cruel sometimes, but it might just save your life”

‘The Power Of Love’ was one of two songs that Huey Lewis recorded for the Robert Zemeckis blockbuster ‘Back To The Future’.  It was the soundtrack to every 80s kid’s dream to skateboard like Michael J. Fox.  I can’t quite remember what motivated me to dig it out this week, but I’m glad I did.  Huey sucks in influences from every great showman like James Brown, Bruce Springsteen and Prince, wraps them up in a deliciously over-driven production and spits out a song that drips with Soul, Funk and Rock ‘n’ Roll energy.

Huey Lewis & The News – The Power Of Love mp3

Click here to buy the ‘Greatest Hits’ from HMV which includes all the classics like ‘The Power Of Love’ and ‘Hip To Be Square’.

As an extra bonus this week, here’s the companion track from the same soundtrack:

Huey Lewis & The News – Back In Time mp3

Click here to watch the infamous Huey Lewis scene from ‘American Psycho’ on YouTube.

Huey Lewis & The News Website / Huey Lewis & The News MySpace

June 12, 2007

LOS CAMPESINOS! – You! Me! Dancing! (7″ Single)

Wichita WEBB138S: 4th June 2007
1. You! Me! Dancing!
“Just taking props from 90s boy-band fashions, all crop-tops and testosterone passion”
2. It Started With A Mixx
“Trying to find the perfect match between pretentious and Pop, some crappy artwork that took way, way to long to draw”

At over six minutes long ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ demonstrates that Los Campesinos! are a band with a great deal more ambition than your average Indie outfit. The epic intro brings to mind The Beatles’ ‘A Day In The Life’, the Guitar riff is monstrous and the tune evens nicks a few bits from ‘Walk Of Life’ by the terminally uncool (But secretly brilliant) Dire Straits. The shouts of “It’s you! it’s me! and it’s dancing!” demand fists to be shoved into the air like a Black Panthers disco party. If you’ve got tickets to Glastonbury later this June, Los Campesinos! are playing and I’d advise getting up close to The Park Stage because you’ll want to be there when this song goes off.

‘It Started With A Mixx’ is as brief, as ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ is long and shows a different side to Los Campesinos!. A perfectly formed melody runs through this little ode to the near mythic status of releasing an Indie 45 and the lyrics worry about things like hand-written lyrics, cryptic titles and the all important artwork. I loved Los Campesinos!’s first single but this release marks them out for greatness.

Click here to buy the 7″ from Rough Trade.

Los Campesinos! – We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives mp3
Los Campesinos! – Don’t Tell Me To Do The Math(s) mp3
Los Campesinos! – Death To Los Campesinos! mp3

Here are links to watch videos for ‘We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives’, ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ and ‘You! Me! Dancing! (The best fan video ever)’ on YouTube.

Click here to visit the Los Campesinos! shop which stocks lots of lovely T-shirts.

Los Campesinos! Website / Los Campesinos! MySpace

June 11, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: The Airborne Toxic Event – Does This Mean You’re Moving On? mp3

“From the balcony you call my name, I see you standing in the rain, your words so dry, your face so wet, a broken heart, but it hasn’t happened yet”

The Airborne Toxic Event is perhaps an ill-advised moniker for this Californian band, but ‘Arctic Monkeys’ sounded pretty awful when I first heard it.  When listening to this song I get the feeling to jump around more than a Kangaroo on a pogo-stick.  The super-catchy repetition of words means the song will instantly get stuck in your head like a badly wielded dart.  The sound recalls New-Yorkers The Strokes, but this song is much more fun, which is probably down to all that L.A. sunshine.

The Airborne Toxic Event – Does This Mean You’re Moving On? mp3

You can buy the full three-track version of the ‘Does This Mean You’re Moving On?’ single on vinyl from HMV by clicking here, or download it from 7Digital by clicking here.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Does This Mean You’re Moving On?’ on YouTube.

The Airborne Toxic Event MySpace

June 9, 2007

THE HAT – Open Hearts (7″ Single)

Sunday Best SBEST46: 28th May 2007
1. Open Hearts
“Solid like a drummer’s snare, strong like Tupperware, now dancing round like Fred Astaire, and if I get it right by next year, I’ll probably be a millionaire”
2. 3am (Drunken Lullaby)
“All in all like words we stumble, round and round this floor tonight, all my fears like old men crumble”

‘Open Hearts’ is like Gogol Bordello and Eels joining forces to forge a new sub-genre in the shape of Gypsy-Hip-Hop.  It sounds like a whole asylum and a couple of DJs let loose in a recording studio with Orville the duck even spitting a few lines towards the end.  It’s rare that I hear a single that truly sounds like nothing else, weird and yet still sounding as Pop as a can of Tizer.

The title of ‘3am (Drunken Lullaby)’ nicely describes it’s pleasantly sozzled sound.  The gently sighing vocal drifts over a mellow Double-Bass with wonderfully understated Guitar solo.  It’s much more conventional than the A-side but that wouldn’t be too hard.

Click here to buy the single on vinyl or as a download, through RecordStore.

The Hat MySpace / Sunday Best Website / Sunday Best MySpace

June 7, 2007

ZOOK / COCO ELECTRIK – Blue Monday / Tainted Love (7″ Split Single)

Tummy Touch TUCH2001: 28th May 2007
1. Zook – Blue Monday
“I see a ship in the harbour, I can and shall obey, if it wasn’t for your misfortune, I’d be a heavenly person today”
2. Coco Electrik – Tainted Love
“Don’t touch me please, I cannot stand the way you tease, and I love you though you hurt me so, now I’m gonna pack my things and go”

This 7″ has a double-dose of radical re-workings of two early 80s Synth-Pop anthems. Zook have taken New Order‘s eternal anthem ‘Blue Monday’ and remade it as an atmospheric piece of Americana with gorgeously windswept Harmonica solo. The spoken vocal is like a disturbing message left on an answering-machine by a stalker. ‘Coco Electrik’ have turned ‘Tainted Love’ into a Funky-Electro Hip-Hop number that’s as different to Soft Cell‘s version, as Soft Cell’s was to the Gloria Jones original. You’ve got to have this 7″, they’re two of the best covers I’ve ever heard.

Click here to buy the 7″ from Rough Trade.

You can buy both songs as mp3s from TuneTribe. Click here to get ‘Blue Monday’ and click here to download ‘Tainted Love’.

Zook MySpace / Coco Electrik MySpace / Tummy Touch Website