Alternative music reviews

July 7, 2006

Tiny Knives For Tiny Minds by The Half Rabbits

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The Half Rabbits
I just opened my mail and there it was: Tiny Knives For Tiny Minds an EP by The Half Rabbits. Three tracks of very confident Indie rock. Great songs, insistent guitar work and rhythmic variation. You can hear the swagger in the singer’s voice and it really is a voice that warrants a big swagger with its power and depth. Certainly made my night.

These Rumours sounds cool and imperious and then some distorted jittery guitar ups the ante and we have an ejaculation of passion. And the next song is called Someone’s Coming so I had better leave change the type of metaphor I just started using! More in your face guitar work and some lovely vocal distortion. Playing With Fireworks continues the guitar and voice love-fest (and the rhythm unit is pretty good as well). From reading between the lines, I get the idea that The Half Rabbits have been around as a support act for a while. From the sheer quality and confidence of this release, I think they have outgrown that: this band are ready to take the main stage.

The Half Rabbits

July 4, 2006

An Immaculate Affair

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I used to get sent submissions by email with MP3 links. I resigned from it because the quality of submissions was so low. A few hundred bands and I hadn’t found anyone. I deleted all the MP3s except for one by An Immaculate Affair called Last Days. I wasn’t sure about it to begin with but there was something so addictive I couldn’t bear to part with it. Even though they are from Florida the music sounds to me like classic British Alternative music such as B-Movie, Essential Bop, The Comsat Angels and at times there’s a hint of The Sisters of Mercy. How can I put this, the singer has one of the most perfect imperfect voices. If I could sing better, then this is what I would want to sound like.

An Immaculate Affair

July 1, 2006

num and DMB

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Robert James of The Lead Balloon record label writes of a num album in a note “Thought this might be up your street, seems to fit with your other reviewed albums”. How right he is. I’ve listened to the first track, typed the track names into CDDB, and I already know that I have another great album. The sort of album that would fit into my old “Drowning In A Well of Sadness” series. A real treat

num on MySpace

I finally have a copy of the album “Boom Times” by Don’s Mobile Barbers so I can update my review page on Cool Noise with even more words about their wonderful music.

Don’s Mobile Barbers on MySpace

June 30, 2006

New CDs

Filed under: short reviews — @ 11:05 pm Comments (0)

You Can Know Danger by At Dusk

I was on At Dusk’s MySpace the other night and I saw they were bringing out a new album. I thought, I bet they don’t send one to me. After all my last review wasn’t overly complimentary – even though they wrote that they appreciated it because I did listen a lot before explaining why it didn’t work for me. But these boys are made of sterner stuff and, sure enough, the latest album arrived. Already I can hear more edge but at the same time want to shout: play less notes!

At Dusk on MySpace

Total Punk Rock by Calcaza Records

Follow up the Wait And See compilation and Gary of Calcaza records doesn’t hide his affiliations to anything punk. The spirit of ’76 lives.

Calcaza Records

Sl.ep by Lo Ego

My first listen said “Radiohead”. My second listen said “I’m a fuckwit – this is great”. Since I accused the mighty This Et Al of the same thing on their first demo, it just shows why I should keep quiet sometimes.

Lo Ego on MySpace

Hollow Angel by Nowhere Fast

Punk with anthemic melodies from Kentucky – I doubt they have heard of the Ruts but there’s some guitar work that would bear comparison.

Nowhere Fast on MySpace

June 29, 2006

North Sea Navigator

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I’m slightly confused here. I was going to introduce you to a band that uses a droning harmonium (brought back from Sri Lanka), cello and guitar. But on MySpace there is now Paul Nash with demos of a solo album as North Sea Navigator. I can’t think of anything much better than cello and harmonium for instrumentation but even without that, this is intensely atmospheric and beautiful music. The three songs currently on MySpace are the sort of songs that can affect me and change my mood completely. I’m sorry, I can’t say much more than that – I’m in the very early stages of coming to terms with this music but there is a detector in my head that is going crazy and saying “sit down, listen, listen and listen again”. This is my favourite time of listening to new music – when you find something that you weren’t looking for, but suddenly you realise you always needed.

North Sea Navigator on MySpace
North Sea Navigator live set

June 14, 2006

Bleeding Hearts

Filed under: short reviews — @ 10:35 pm Comments (0)

The band I am going to recommend are not one of my established favourites (I bet you thought I’d start with Things In Herds or Nomad 67) but a band I heard on the Hereford & Worcester BBC radio programme “The Friday Session” on last Friday’s show. They play Punk with guitars and a fiddle (and I’m a sucker for any violin playing). They have anger, energy, and a powerful vocalist. You also download a copy of their latest EP Bose Liebe (Some Kind Of Love Song) free – just click on the link on their website. Obviously ask your parents if they will let you listen to it because they express some of their passion in Anglo-Saxon words. I particularly like the EP because it is a bitter take on love, whereas normally their themes tend toward the political.

Bleeding Hearts website

Bleeding Hearts on MySpace

Here is a video of them on tour in Europe. I actually prefer some of their other songs but this is obviously a crowd pleaser and gives a good idea of the drive and quality they have. Looks like they have lots of fun touring.

June 13, 2006

A Few More CDs

Filed under: short reviews — @ 12:42 am Comments (0)

I found a few more CDs I should be reviewing:

45 Rebellion

I have to say that Everest is a great track on this Promo, lowdown guitar and vocals with tensed fists. I’m not so convinced about the other two tracks (competent but not inspiring).

45 Rebellion

Robert The Bruce’s Spider by Instant Species

Instant Species sound to me like Tex-Mex from Yorkshire – implausible but intriguing. I even hear echoes of Three Dog Night in there! The track Hombrecide was on the Dance To The Radio sampler and it still sounds brilliant hearing it again.

Instant Species

Happy Endings Make You Weak by The Mourning After

I feel sure I’ve already mentioned this band but looking through my previous posts I can’t find it. I’m not sure if I’ve ever understood what ‘Emo’ was but that word comes to mind as I listen to this EP. If it means songs with an emotional impact, then this is Emo. Very nice.

The Mourning After

Different Like Everybody Else by Cardboard Radio

On the experimental Rhythm and Blues (they say R ‘n’ B, I say Punk) fringe we have Cardboard Radio. I don’t know what to make of this yet. Constantly distorted vocals and obtuse guitar. Jesus, have I gone so soft I want a tune? All the same I hope and trust they completely ignore what I’ve just said.

Cardboard Radio

The Party Sounds Of Grandmaster Gareth

Absolutely does nothing for me and that goes to show I’m not John Peel. Beyond quirkyness.

Gradmaster Gareth

Annie’s Well by Luxury Car

I did get send an EP by Luxury Car last year but didn’t review it. Now I have an album and I like it. I’m guessing they have the same Cabaret Voltaire albums as me but they are a much more melodic combination than that. For me, they recall the better 80s synth bands but I shall listen more because there’s a certain something there.

Luxury Car

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