Archive for ‘Single Reviews’

October 22, 2007

DIESLER – When She Was Bad / Restless (12″ EP)

Freestyle FSR053: 1st October 2007
1. When She Was Bad
2. Restless Feat. Testament (Original / Lack Of Afro Remix / Acapella)
“Start to finish, I’ll be rippin’ it well, hit you with my old English, like the Canterbury Tales”

‘When She Was Bad’ starts off as a vibrant Latin groove before being set upon by B-boys a minute in.

‘Restless’ is blessed with an irrestisable Piano sound like a 30s house band getting it on. Restless’ has got witty rhymes to rival Roots Manuva and the flow of Akala. If the original isn’t funky enough for ya, then check out the smokin’ Remix from my new favourite purveyors of the Funk, Lack Of Afro. You won’t regret picking up a copy of this EP.

Click here to buy Diesler’s new ‘The Rhythm Station’ album from HMV.

Diesler (Feat. Carla Alexandra) – Into The Woods mp3

Click here to download the EP from Dancetracks Digital.

Diesler Website / Diesler MySpace / Testament MySpace / Lack Of Afro MySpace

October 22, 2007

MANIC STREET PREACHERS – Indian Summer (2x CD & 7″ Singles)

Columbia 88697159332/88697159322/88697159347: 1st October 2007
1. Indian Summer
“If God persists, persists in saying yes, I guess we’ll have, we’ll have to test ourselves, maybe the Summer, will come and clear our minds, and find the impulse, to love the sunshine”
2. Anorexic Rodin
“You re-ignite the Tet Offensive, it’s why you went, it’s so defensive, perfect echoes of your youth, like an anorexic Rodin”
3. Heyday Of The Blood
“We must be so indicted, so detached from all we see, so detached from all we see, in the heyday of the blood, you’re so convinced of your own worth”
4. Foggy Eyes
“I don’t know why we make each other cry, don’t know why we all got foggy eyes, I think about all the things I never do, how I’m such a disappointment to you”
5. Lady Lazarus
“You said so much more than you denied, you secretly wish to be crucified”
6. You Know It’s Going To Hurt

The singles from Manic Street Preacher’s new album ‘Send Away The Tigers’ have a tendency to sneak up on you and slowly embroider themselves on your heart. So it proves with ‘Indian Summer’ which didn’t grab me on first listen but by the 5th or 6th had totally convinced me. The chugging rhythm, crashing Drums and shimmering Guitars mix with a wonderfully carefree spirit in the vocals.

‘Indian Summer’ is backed by another generous collection of quality B-sides. ‘Anorexic Rodin’ is a tight little Guns ‘n’ Roses style rocker and ‘Heyday Of The Blood’ sounds like a cousin of classic B-side ‘Patrick Bateman’ but recorded at Sun Studios. ‘Foggy Eyes’ is a cover of a Beat Happening song (Who not un-coincidentally, also have a song called ‘Indian Summer’) and one of MSP’s best ever B-sides, which is mainly down to the fantastic twanging Guitar riff. Nicky Wire’s lead vocals are becoming a familar and welcome event, he may not have the power or frankly, the ability of James but you can truly feel the passion in his voice on ‘Lady Lazarus’. ‘You Know It’s Going To Hurt’ is a haunting and magical instrumental and not unlike the best work of iLiKETRAiNS.

Click here to buy ‘Indian Summer’ from HMV.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Indian Summer’ on YouTube.

Here are three incredible rarities from recent releases to underline how good the Manics are at the moment:

Manic Street Preachers – 1404 mp3
Manic Street Preachers – Fearless Punk Ballad mp3
Manic Street Preachers – Morning Comrades mp3

Click here to buy the new ‘Send Away The Tigers’ album from HMV for only £8.99.

Lastly, here’s the original version of ‘Foggy Eyes’:

Beat Happening – Foggy Eyes mp3

Manic Street Preachers Website / Manic Street Preachers MySpace

October 15, 2007


Record Kicks RK45011: 1st October 2007
1. The New Mastersounds – Drop It Down (B Remix)
2. Steven Perri & Zamaun – Street Scene

The New Mastersounds’ contribution to this fine 7″ is a funky Led Zeppelin riff monster with big beats and some stone cold Jimmy Smith Organ sounds remixed by DJ B (aka Barrie Gledden).  On the flip Steven Perri & Zamaun turn out some even funkier Blaxploitation style chase music (Check out the wild percussive outro).  You need this 7″ but both tracks can be found on the ‘Soulshaker Vol.4’ & ‘The New Master Sounds Re:Mixed’ Compilations respectively.

Click here to buy the 7″ direct from the Record Kicks Website.

The New Mastersounds MySpace / Steven Perri & Zamaun MySpace

October 15, 2007


Filthy Little Angels FILTHY011: 24th September 2007
1. The New Royal Family – Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive?
“Anyone fancy a chocolate digestive? No thank you, it sounds suggestive”
2. The New Royal Family – The Cornflakes Family
“When it comes to noughts you’re number one, when it comes to brains, you’ve got none, you’ve no imagination, you’re face is haggard, you’re as cardboard as a cornflakes packet”
3. Keith TOTP – I Hate Your Band
“Once in a while you could smile on stage, the world really won’t end, maybe try takin’ off your skinny tie, start a new trend, I hate your band”
4. Keith TOTP – Girl
“Girl, you fill my mind with doubt, have me doubting what I know is true, why the hell did I believe in you”

Right from the Johnny Rotten style “Hello… are you ready kids?” you know ‘Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive?’ is gonna be fun.  I raved about The New Royal Family’s song back in July when the video popped up on YouTube.  It’s a quite preposterously silly and wonderfully addictive sing along.  It comes backed with a equally catchy B-side in the shape of ‘The Cornflakes Family’.

Keith TOTP’s songs make up for what they lack in fidelity, with wit, a touch of obscenity and a certain world weary charm.  ‘I Hate Your Band’ channels The Velvet Underground into a bit of anti scenester fury.  ‘Girl’ is like Slayer covering The Beatles with a lyric that suggests Keith has been sorely wounded, ending as it does with a mumble of “Bitch”.

Visit Filthy Little to buy the EP direct (Plus they’ve got a zillion free mp3s).

Click here to watch the brilliant video for ‘Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive’ on YouTube.

The New Royal Family MySpace / Keith TOTP MySpace

October 13, 2007

NOAH & THE WHALE – 5 Years Time (7″ Single)

Young & Lost Club YALC0018: 24th September 2007
1. 5 Years Time
“Oh well in five years time, we could be walking round a zoo, with the sun shining down over me and you, and there’ll be love in the bodies of the Elephants too, and I’ll put my hands over your eyes but you’ll peak through”
2. Jocasta
“But if you turn your hand to flames, oh the light will burn the same, whether you just pass it through, or if it’s what you meant to do”

‘5 Years Time’ is a delightful concoction of quivering Violins, tinkling Xylophone and summery Hawaiian vibes and you can’t go wrong with choruses of “Fun, fun, fun” and “Love, love, love”.  ‘Jocasta’ is a singing and dancing camp-fire Folk celebration with a lovely acapella bit in the style of The Hidden Cameras.  If you like Herman Dune you’re sure to be a fan of Noah & The Whale’s brand of pixie Pop.

Click here to buy the 7″ from RoughTrade.

Click here to watch the charming video for ‘5 Years Time’ on YouTube.

Noah & The Whale MySpace / Young & Lost Club MySpace

October 4, 2007

BABYSHAMBLES – Delivery (2x CDs & 7″ Singles)

Parlophone CDR6747/CDRS6747/R6747: 17th September 2007
1. Delivery
“So here comes a delivery, straight from the heart of my misery, here comes a delivery, straight from the heart, to you”
2. A Day Out In New Brighton
“You can’t blame everything on thin air, just try, who pays for that, me I s’ppose”
3. Stone Me
“Stone me, stone me, what a life”
4. I Wish (Mik’s Vocal Version)
“Sitting alone ‘most every night, watching those trains roll out of sight”
5. Torn
“If it’s true that you reap what you sow, then I’ve got it coming, oh yeah man I Know”

‘Delivery’ is a startling near-return to the form of The Libertines from Pete Doherty.  It’s built around the cheeky theft of the riff from The Kinks’ 1964 single ‘All Day & All Of The Night’.  The lyrics literally spell out Pete’s wish that this single should “Deliver” on the promise he showed in the beginning and that it should be “The song that’ll deliver me, straight from the harshness of misery”.  It’s powerful stuff and even though the Guitar solo reminded me of Neil Innes’ hilarious axeman-ship from ‘Canyons Of Your Mind’ it couldn’t spoil the feeling of relief and elation.

Sadly the B-sides don’t keep up the same high standard.  ‘A Day Out In New Brighton’ sounds like the band warming up, as Pete wakes up, mumbling some nonsense into the microphone and it finishes with a rush of cymbals as if you’ve just heard something auspicious.  ‘Stone Me’ is a reasonable attempt at one of those Reggae songs from ‘London’s Calling’.  ‘I Wish’ is an odd mix of Rockabilly and twee twenties radio balladry while ‘Torn’ is a pleasant enough acoustic song, like a demo from ‘Forever Changes’.  Oh well, we can’t expect Pete to run before he can walk.

Click here to download mp3s of ‘Delivery’ from 7Digital.

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

Click here to buy Babyshambles’ new album ‘Shotter’s Nation’ from HMV.

Click here to get a free mp3 of new album track ‘The Lost Art Of Murder’.

Here are three immortal Pete classics:

The Libertines – Don’t Look Back Into The Sun mp3
Wolfman & Peter Doherty – For Lovers mp3
The Libertines – What Became Of The Likely Lads? mp3

Lastly click here to download a Zip (23mb) of my favourite Pete Doherty bootleg, 2004’s ‘Don’t Apologise, Acoustic Lullaby’ featuring the definitive recording of ‘Albion’ and an early version of new album track ‘UnBiloTitled’.

Babyshambles Website / Babyshambles MySpace

October 3, 2007

THE YOUNG REPUBLIC – Modern Plays (7″ Single)

End Of The Road EOTR0004: 17th September 2007
1. Modern Plays
“He won’t put politics above a sympathetic smile and blonde hair”
2. Between October & December
“Treasure the things you get to start new, I could love this girl and she might love me too”

‘Modern Plays’ is a staggering combination of finely-tuned Kinks songwriting, Nick Drake folk, Belle & Sebastian sweetness, a violent Pixies undercurrent, insane Drums and crackly old Gramophone records.  ‘Between October & December’ is a simpler affair than the A-side but no less beautiful.  The vocal is achingly beautiful, the Strings flow majestically and the gorgeous Oboe and Fuzz-Guitar solos are like warm summer breezes.  The Young Republic are clearly a band positively exploding with ideas so I await their next release with no small amount of excitement.

Click here to buy ‘Modern Plays’ from Rough Trade.

The Young Republic – Blue Skies mp3
The Young Republic – Girl In A Tree (Radio Edit) mp3

Click here to watch the video for ‘Modern Plays’ on YouTube.

The Young Republic Website / The Young Republic MySpace

September 29, 2007

VARIOUS PRODUCTION – Phortune / Limbs (7″ Single)

Various Production VARS015: 17th September 2007
1. Phortune
“There’s fortune in my name, currency in letters, if this life is just a game, I’ll try to play it better”
2. Limbs
“Sitting by the bed, I can see through her skin, she can hardly breath a word, her body is so thin”

Apparently, Various Production were commissioned to do a Remix of Emma Pollock’s (Formerly of The Delgados) ‘Limbs’ which was rejected when they replaced Emma’s music and vocal (Meaning it was basically a cover).  However, since their version of ‘Limbs’ was so good they reworked another Pollock track called ‘Fortune’ and put both productions on this beautifully packaged 7″.

‘Phortune’ is a delicious mix of Grimey beats (A touch of Re-e-wind) and sweetly sultry vocals.  ‘Limbs’ has the eerie sound of Radiohead and Massive Attack at a creepy midnight fairground.  Both tunes are totally different and totally wonderful, improving on the originals in every way.

Click here to buy the single from Rough Trade.

Various Production – Took mp3
Emma Pollock & Louise Welsh – Jesus On The Cross mp3

Click here to buy Emma Pollock’s ‘Watch The Fireworks’ album from HMV.

Various Production Website / Emma Pollock MySpace

September 25, 2007

LACK OF AFRO – When The Sun Goes Down (7″ Single)

Freestyle FSR7039: 17th September 2007
1. When The Sun Goes Down
2. Spooky

I’m a sucker for these Funk cover 45s and this is one of the best.  First up is a reworking of Arctic Monkey’s ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ (aka ‘Scummy Man’).  Lack Of Afro have turned it into thrilling chase music from a Blaxploitation film, which is bizarrely set in Sheffield.  ‘Spooky’ is a cover of the Dusty Springfield classic with crashing Mark Ronson style Drums, a gorgeous Sax solo and furious marching band madness towards the end.  Either song makes this 7″ essential.

Click here to download mp3s of the single from DanceTrackDigital.

Lack Of Afro – The Root Down mp3 (Unreleased)
Arctic Monkeys – Chun Li’s Spinning Bird Kick mp3 (There own funky instrumental)

Click here to buy Lack Of Afro’s ‘Press On’ album from HMV.

Lack Of Afro Website / Lack Of Afro MySpace / Lack of Afro Remixes MySpace

September 24, 2007

DAN LE SAC VS SCROOBIUS PIP – The Beat That My Heart Skipped (CD Single)

Lex LEX054CD: 10th September 2007
1. The Beat That My Heart Skipped (Original / Jel Remix / Yila’s Post Traumatic Soul Remix)
“Every now and then I cower, and I need to find empowerment, empowerment is paramount, to how I can begin to mount, a plan that I can implement, to make a dent on ignorance, instead of drunk belligerence, dissidence and miscreants”

The new single from Scroob and Dan Le Sac is a delirious mix of sliced-and-diced acoustic Guitars, crunching Synths and monks chanting.  Scroobius Pip’s vocal is so relentless that it’ll take a few listens to even discern the meaning, never mind notice all of his lyrical gynastics.  The two remixes on the B-side are also fantastic.  Jel’s version is a mix of swirling Electronics and grinding Industrial Metal.  Yila’s ‘Post Traumatic Soul Remix’ sounds like the soundtrack to ‘Nine Inch Nails: The Arcade Game’ (If there was such a thing).

Click here to buy ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’ from HMV.

Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Fixed mp3
Jel – To Buy A Car mp3
Yila – Ivory Tower mp3

Click here to watch the video for ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’ on YouTube.

Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip MySpace / Jel MySpace / Yila MySpace