Alternative music reviews

Fat Northerner Records

Volume 2 - In The City Edition Oct 2003

Pioneers - 'Counting the Days':
One of the labels' supporters is Guy Garvey of Elbow (who says of the label what a fucking stupid idea - it might just work") and, in this track, it would seem that Bury's finest seem to have had a profound effect on the Pioneers sound. The vocal carries much of Garvey's resigned majesty with a heartfelt chorus of "everything, everything you are" along with some chirpy "oh, ooh, oh, oh"s and some fine minimalist drumming.

Slims - 'Powder Burn':
Slims are apparently from the 'depths of Manchester' and, indeed, make a sound so dirty one suspects they lived next-door to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's grungy with a heavy driving riff which is accompanied by a vocal reminiscent of Chris Cornell's Led Zep operatics. Mixed that in with some more heavy riffage and some heavy drumming and you've got yourself a pretty cool package.

Earl - 'Risky Disco'
This is the gem of the lot. It is a female-vocaled track which is described as 'electro-dance with a rock edge' and carries a pulsating beat worthy of Radio 4. It is also bursting with fantastic lyrics like "Instead of taking a stance/ you go somewhere to dance". It is particularly thrilling to hear such a bitter tirade executed in such a clean cut, almost robotic (this impression most is most likely due to the beat) fashion. Also they're a band that you can listen to without hundreds of tired comparisons jumping into your head. I'll be keeping my eye on this one.

Parma Violets - 'Astronaut':
I have a theory by which any one person can only handle a certain amount of singer/songwriter types before they merely bounce off your cold, unfulfilled ears. For instance I can take artists such as the sublime Ryan Adams and the equally fantastic Nick Drake completely to heart and they can move me effortlessly. However, when an obviously capable artist like Badly Drawn Boy comes along I brush his love songs aside, completely cold and unmoved. It is a testament, therefore, to Parma Violets, who play simplistic indie songs, that the music burrows deep into my chest and shouts "take notice" - politely. Which I duly do with pleasure.

 

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