Alternative music reviews

August 1, 2006

The Scaramanga Six

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The Scaramanga Six
Here they come again, the crazed and glorious Scaramanga Six with their new single (on 7″ vinyl) Baggage/Vesuvius (follow the link to my review). I have decided to treat this as a double A-side because the apparent b-side Vesuvius is such a powerful song. It more than whets the appetite for the forthcoming album The Kiss Of Death.

Demonstration by onewordpoem

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There’s an ambiguity about the voice that can be compared to Placebo (or Pavlov’s Dog – gratuitious older person comment). There’s some tight instrumental work that only happens with a three piece. There’s three good songs. And this proves that there is life in Lincolnshire.


Promo by The 45 Rebellion

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Three tracks from a band who are putting themselves about a lot on the East Midlands gig circuit. Keep On Moving has a really nice groove and pop hooks in a similar vein to The Lodger. Someday is pretty normal Indie fare but not without its charm. It’s the track Everest that stands out for me with its much harder approach. Lots of jingling guitar and added distortion to the vocals make it sound much meaner than the other tracks. The added snarl, the dynamic variation, and a great chorus make it a song that takes The 45 Rebellion beyond showing promise.

The 45 Rebellion

Signal Noise by Shut Your Eyes And You’ll Burst Into Flames

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Shut Your Eyes And You'll Burst Into Flames
I think this promo was from quite a few months ago but I review at my own pace. Signal Noise is off the wall but completely enticing with experimentation and yet still demanding to be danced to. Kingdom Of Goats is a gutteral shout from a bunch of desperados. As exciting as a bungee jump from the London Eye or raising a Sunderland scarf in Elland Road.

Shut Your Eyes And You’ll Burst Into Flames

The Octopus In The Igloo by GunsLikeGirls

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At first listen this sounded like Hardcore Punk – jagged guitars and shouting just as it should be. But it really isn’t that simple. GunsLikeGirls are very melodic musically, in a rock way, and some of the vocals are anthemical in the style of modern US punk. It’s an interesting combination and ultimately satisfying. The subjects covered by the songs are not Armageddon or Death (perhaps excepting The Moore We See which has some crushingly good guitar riffs towards the end), but the lies and disappointments of life. Lyrically like a more personal Joy Division.

Maybe they will fall between two stools as regards fans: too soft for Hardcode and too hardcore for Alt Rock. If this happens then it will be unjust. GunsLikeGirls can bridge the gap between the styles by providing a more humanised music for noise lovers without the posturing. And playing them will still annoy your parents!


On High by Soundpool

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On High by Soundpool New York’s Soundpool combine Indie and Electronica. On this, their debut album, they combine the synth blanketing of a band like M83 with driving Shoegazer guitar and drums. The texture is everything, with ethereal keyboards and mostly female vocals in the dense soundscape. The total effect is similar to Little Fluffy Clouds or even Simon Dupree’s Kites (older people might remember this) over a rock rhythm unit.

It is difficult to talk about individual tracks because the whole album is very consistent in sound. Perhaps this is why I am ambivalent about the album. If I am in the right mood then I can really enjoy it as an electronic My Bloody Valentine, but if not, I find the album cloying and too much of the same sound.


Latest CDs

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Just to say I have received these CDs (one is a record – hooray!)

Broken Gold by The Distants
Refugee Blues by Chris Volpe
Orange by Firebrand Boy (7″ vinyl)
Too Proud To Practice by Duke Fame
Baggage by The Scaramanga Six
What’s The Point by Piskie Slits
Champagne Lifestyle by The Energy
The View From Above by The Sun-Ups
The Completist’s Library by Sarandon
Psychotheque By shw
A Clean Incision by The Reverse

No short previews this time because I’m just about to go into speed reviewing mode for the rest of the week.