Alternative music reviews

June 10, 2008

New Dawn

Filed under: ramblings — @ 2:29 pm Comments (1)

I was listening to last Friday’s Friday Session and heard a band from Hereford doing a version of Joy Division’s New Dawn Fades. My bassist tells me that we used to do a better version of that song but it wasn’t the pretty good Ian Curtis impression I was interested in – it was the mixing in of another song. In the chorus the female singer mixes in “You abandoned me, love don’t live here anymore”. That was a hit for Rose Royce in 1978 so it is synchronous with New Dawn Fades and I think it fits in really well musically. At the very least it has shock value for someone like me who would assert that until now there was no point in listening to anyone’s version of this song other than the original.

New Dawn

New Dawn (clip) by Line Runners

For the next few days you will be able to hear The Line Runners from Hereford playing New Dawn on the BBC radio player. Click the link and the track is 26 minutes in (hit the jump 15 mins button and then the jump 5 minutes twice) .

BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester’s Friday Session.

June 4, 2008

Silverman

Filed under: silverman — @ 10:03 pm Comments (1)

I was going to write a post about Duos I have known. The problem was I couldn’t find my copy of the Silverman album Speed Of Life Part 2. I searched desperately but instead I found a copy for sale on Amazon Marketplace for 38p + postage! So this is the first time I have heard the album in 5 years and it still stands as one of the best CDs I’ve ever been sent. The clarity of Anna Dennis’s voice stands out and the backing of Martin Williams adds the complexity each song needs underneath.

Silverman were darlings of mp3.com and since the death of that site have kept their heads low. They organise the ‘Calmer’ nights in Cheltenham featuring other musicians but I still miss them as Silverman. There are moments of this album that make me swoon such as when the line ‘Can I have my heart back please’ comes in:

Can I have My Heart Back Please?

Can I have My Heart Back Please? (clip) by Silverman

As far as I’m aware this was the only ‘physical’ release by Silverman. The web site is well out of date but I did find some full length tracks on SoundClick – have a listen to Ctrl Alt Del from the album and September which sounds like a later track.

Silverman website

May 28, 2008

Darling Dear by Little Fish

Filed under: little fish — @ 10:20 pm Comments (0)

I was startled to say the least. I just found out that the product of the Little Fish trip to America was up on their MySpace site. I thought I’d give it a listen while the England match was just starting but I had to turn the radio off completely after just a few seconds. JuJu’s voice was different and the vibe of the song was completely different from anything they have done before. The song is similar to The Velvet Underground’s Heroin with just two chords and it speeds up/slows down. Further Velvets similarities are that the two chords are the same as I’m Waiting For The Man (just as Bowie’s Heroes was). There’s even a musical break with screaming feedback guitar that recalls Mr John Cale’s viola.

I can be the world’s harshest critic when faced with something that draws on such musical references as The Velvets or Sonic Youth but I have to say that this is a really good song and a great performance. I’m not denying my 30 years of belittling bands who sound like the Velvets (Jesus and Mary Chain etc) – just enjoying listening to a shit-hot drummer and stunning vocalist bring that original excitement back to me.

listen to it on Little Fish on MySpace

May 16, 2008

Sunsick by Death To The Ghosts

Filed under: death to the ghosts — @ 8:56 pm Comments (0)

detah to the ghostsDeath To The Ghosts (or The Ghosts as they were previously known) have the record for the fastest review ever on Cool Noise. I got their Trichroma EP on a Saturday morning and had posted a review within an hour raving about the first track Hoodoo Voodoo. The same thing almost happened with EP but I held myself back. The reason for the enthusiasm was the opening track Army Of Mice that surges along with energetic guitar and distorted vocals with a good few screams and shouts. Right up my street.

Army Of Mice

Army Of Mice by Death To The Ghosts

By holding back on the review I listened to all the tracks enough times to get a better idea of what Death To The Ghosts are really capable of. They are not just a band in the Solar Race tradition but with a deep Pop pedigree as well. Electro Boy is a sensously sung and played song of dumping someone. The final track Somni Saves is perhaps the most interesting track on the EP. Recalling The Mo-dettes with its tuneful delivery although with a much harder edge. Full of dynamic rhythms and saturated with sex and agnosticism. Death To The Ghosts are a band with real potential.

Death To The Ghosts

May 13, 2008

A solo barber

Filed under: robert dobson — @ 8:43 pm Comments (0)

Sorry to rave on about it, it’s sad – but Boom Times is a total gem. I can’t believe it’s still getting better with each listen. It’s kind of simple, but completely perfect.

Above is a quote from an email this morning from Mike I work with. He is referring to Boom Times by Don’s Mobile Barbers – an album he bought with a bit of a recommendation from me. Obviously he has managed to wrest his copy back from his wife who also loves it. He probably bought one of the last available copies of this 2006 masterpiece even though DMB had split up. I have also been driving around with Boom Times! on my car stereo and continuing my obsession with this beautiful and sad music.

For us addicted souls there is the news that Robert Dobson (one half of the Barbers) has an album ready and I received it today. First impressions are that this is a wonderful album full of the same gentle pathos that entranced me to begin with.

You Fellows Of All Souls – Robert Dobson

May 8, 2008

Coming home in my getaway car

Filed under: beat maras,tom stevens — @ 10:38 pm Comments (0)

I was going to report on the Jesse Malin gig in Oxford, possibly with pictures from my new camera. However when I got to the Academy I wasn’t on the guestlist as promised by the record company so I came straight back home.

Home by Tom StevensI’ve been listening a lot to Home by Tom Stevens recently. I wasn’t too sure what to make of it at first and it has taken a long time to get into it. Now I have the album in my car and enjoy every time it comes around. It is very American – a man with a guitar and a few songs (think Chuck Prophet or Tom Verlaine) but no histrionics or theatrics. Most of the songs are Roots Rock but one which always makes me swoon is the Countrified In The Basement. It is maudlin lyrically and musically so fits straight into my taste for a touch of reflection and regret.

In The Basement

In The Basement(clip) by Tom Stevens

I’ve just found the video to the song Getaway Car by The Beat Maras. This was on their Huaraz EP a few months ago and really impressed me with the distorted guitar and vocals.

The Beat Maras – Getaway Car

May 7, 2008

Consolers Of The Lonely by The Raconteurs

Filed under: raconteurs,reviews — @ 8:04 pm Comments (0)

Consolers Of The LonelyI got Consolers Of The Lonely by The Raconteurs on the strength of the reviews and the fact I like Jack White. It has led me to question whether I should trust reviews again. In fact the only ‘good’ review was in The Times and that said “the presiding maxim … is, when in doubt, turn it up and shout”. Now, that tells me the opposite – there will be some good tracks here. In truth there are only four tracks I like and those are pure Jack White/White Stripes sound alikes. Some of the other songs have me hitting the skip control because they sound like out-takes from a Dennis Waterman album. I’m probably being cruel but some of the lyrics and rhymes are just embarrassing.

The saving grace is the song Carolina Drama. It is a tale worthy of Nick Cave, mixing poverty, violence, and the American way of Life and Death. The mother’s boyfriend is no good and one day is seen beating up the Preacher (“that must be my daddy”) and Billy grabs the nearest thing, a milk bottle and uses it so “the boyfriend fell down dead for good”. The family is reunited and Billy proposes heading off to Tennessee. Then, the moment that will have audiences jumping and singing along, the 10 year old walks in holding the milkman’s hat and a bottle singing “La la la la, la la la la, yeah”. Bloody genius.

Carolina Drama

Carolina Drama(clip) byThe Raconteurs

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