Monday, 15 December 2008

Kaiser Chiefs- Good Days/Bad Days

It is starting to feel like another day, another Kaiser Chief single- these boy’s arms must have fallen off by now surely?
This up-tempo number is ticking all the Kaiser Chief single boxes- bouncy drum rhythm and general optimism. It makes you wonder if the Kaiser Chiefs live on Earth because as the world collapses they still churn out positive noises. However it does sound slightly like they are going through the motions on this but it will sell.
The Kaiser Chiefs are unshakably commercial and this song will further cement their place as one of the most marketable bands in Britain.

Review by Alan George McSorley

Snow Patrol – Crack The Shutter

I loved Snow Patrol’s last album, Eyes Open, so I jumped at the chance to review their new single Crack The Shutters, and I was not disappointed. Crack The Shutters perfectly exemplified what I like about Snow Patrol, delivering a mix of thoughtful lyrics and great musical aptitude. I expect that Crack The Shutters will be a big hit.

Review by Chris Render December

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Charli XCX – Emelline/Art Bitch

When I was first presented with Charli XCX’s new double A-sided single I took a somewhat narrow-minded approach in predicting that it would be a stereotypical example of a sixteen-year-old girl making awful music in a bid to look original. Unfortunately, ‘Emelline’ seemed to confirm my fears. ‘Art Bitch’ however is a completely different story. Running on a brilliant mixture of soft vocals, catchy keyboards and cute, honest lyrics, it goes someway to show that we can maybe still expect big things from the young Miss XCX. Dropping all the remixes however would be a good idea…

Review by Daniel Whyley

Geo Da Silva- Do It Like A Truck

The British clubber is a drunken lout who loves either a fight or one nightstand, which give them a variety of problems the next morning which ever option they choice. This summer Club Euro dance song will take you straight back to that hedonistic time.
For the song expect the classic drum loops, crescendos of keyboards and daft lyrics that you chant on the way home. Its like Falariki, Magluf and Ibiza getting it on in a trashy hotel room. Its replays your summer experiences like a graphic novel.
With thumping, drum loops and hooters blaring the start of the Megastylez remix hit you like neon green vodka cocktail- you know you have had one! It continues at quite a pace and will get the dance floor hotter than the inside of truck exhaust- you have probably been there too!
Its probably has the IQ of a truck this song, however when out on the disco dancing scene of British club land you will not care one bit because you will be doing it like a truck.

Review by George McSorley

Monday, 8 December 2008

Sportsday Megaphone - Meet Me In The Middle

The first time I heard about Sportsday Megaphone, they were being compared to Hellogoodbye. Please, for your own good, for the world of music and for Sportsday Megaphone, banish such a damning comparison straight away. SM are original, fresh and exciting, treading the line between alternative, dance and drum and bass to some effect. ‘Meet Me In The Middle’ is a glorious explosion of DIY-style synths and beats, that stops just before its get annoying but pounds away just enough to make sure it stays firmly in your head. Sportsday Megaphone are a very exciting new prospect and ‘Meet Me In The Middle’ is a perfect way to get to know them.

Review by Rob Sellars

Monday, 1 December 2008

White Denim - Let's Talk About It

It’s dirty, its raucous, and it’s everything White Denim are about. ‘Let’s Talk About It’ sees White Denim in fine, chaotic mood, thrashing their instruments to the extreme. Sounding like it was recorded in someone’s garage on a cassette player, and with the vocals apparently coming from a different room just adds to the songs charm. Its raw and powerful, and it’s a whole lot of fun.

Review by Rob Sellars

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Random Conflict- Escapism (Glasstone records)

"Are You Watching closely?"

Random Conflict formed in 2006 and within 2 years are ready to set the British metal scene alight with their debut album 'Escapism'.
Not since the release of Avenged Sevenfold's 'Sounding the Seventh trumpet album' have I enjoyed a band's debut album as much as I have 'Escapism'.

With 100's of small metal bands in Birmingham and the black country it was only a matter of time before one of them left the likes of the Barfly, JB's and the rock cafe
and set about moving onto bigger and better venues and im sure Random Conflict will be that band.

The debut album 'Escapism' is everything any metal fan dreams of creating it's fast, fluid and absolutley brutal. From the carnival intro in 'the pledge' to the carnival outro
in 'Escapism' it's pure metal brilliance. The sort of album that you will never get sick of hearing, listening time and time again. Straight from the second track 'My devil danced
with his demon'. You'll feel the need to throw yourself in a pit and get your head kicked in. That's the feeling you'll get in your stomach from begging to the end of this album. It's
the feeling that every metal fan wants and that's what they get.

So many metal bands have appeared and disappeared over the past 5 years. However 'Random Conflict' are deffinatly here to stay. So many bands concentrate on one aspect of
their music, where as 'Random conflict' have crafted each piece of their music into a piece of art. Using only one guitarist and two vocalists it becomes easier to pick a part the different sections
of music compared to so many other metal bands where the music just becomes noise. The use of this makes each part become clearer forming an artistic sound. A sound that gives the listener a
sense of actually hearing them live.

So this is where i find the faults and criticise sections. I just can't do it, there's nothing on this album that can be criticised it's every metal fans dream album. Great guitar riffs, amazing druming and
two amazing vocalists that work unbelievebly well togeather. So the only depressing thing is that they will never be able to break into the British charts where they belong, because as long as Simon
Cowell keeps creating his little pop idols. Real artists like 'Random Conflict' will never get the full credit they deserve. But don't worry the boys from Birmingham are deffinatly here to stay if this is what
they can create after only being formed two years ago (Axl take note), things can only go from strength to strength over the next few years.

Verdict: One of the best albums of the past 8 years. In the words of Random conflict "Lovely stuff"

Tracks to listen to:
My Devil danced with his demon- A full on metal anthem that you just want to mosh to until you can't stand up anymore.
Obsession is a young man's grace- An amazing heartfelt musical interlude, proving it's not all about full on metal riffs.
Escapism-The guitar and drum sections will put a smile on any guitarist's/drummer's face.

For fans of: Cradle of filth, 3 Inches of blood, Shadows Fall, Lamb of God, Children of bodom, and (early) Avenged Sevenfold
You won't like this if: Your a pop idol wannabe

Release Date 24th Nov (Glasstone records) A must buy for any metal fan.

Review by Joe Ellis

The Beat Poets- Staring Stars Down/G. I

With the possible exception of Snow Patrol, Northern Ireland does not always produce big hitting bands on regular bases like Wales and Scotland does. However, The Beat Poets are a mission to put this country on the map.
Both tracks are guitar driven gems, which burst with energy and panache. Opener Staring Stars Down with its story of love is laden with wonderful imagery built around a great vocal. In contrast, G. I displays a more rock and roll edge to the band. From a slow beginning, the song rackets its way up the gears and ends with a pulsation rhythm, which draws the listener in.
Look out Snow Patrol; the Beat Poets are after your crown as Northern Ireland’s number one musical export. A great edition to the indie-rock frat pack.

Review by George McSorley

Silver - Through The Storm

Does exactly what it says on the tin-Razeone are looking to exploit the gap in the uk hip-hop Market and Silver truly does have a commercial appeal about him-there is no doubt that this track would not be out of place in a club.
However, is there anything exceptionally different about this “uk version of hip-hop” and the mass imports we get from the US giants like 50 cent, ludacris, kanye west, Nas? - In the long term I can’t see Silver surviving clashes with goliaths such as the above even as good a producer ‘sermstyle’ seems to be-evidently shown from the dramatic, emotive, operatic like entrance merging with the shuddering beats in the background-I can’t help comparing this with the mammoth hit from Justin Timberlake featuring T.I. - “My Love”-produced by the commercial master-Timbaland. The difference between T.I. and Silver is the way in which the lines are delivered as T.I. comes across as a cheeky chappy he knows his lyrics aren’t raw and meaningful like Tupac or biggie-whereas silver glosses over a tough aspect of the music industry with no apparent grittiness or feeling in the lyrics admittedly there is a slight sadness emanating from the voice but I think the music carries the record.
This problem comes from silver’s background-he seems to be doing okay owns a coupla record companies and has been born into a prosperous family-“silver comes from “silver spoon”-he is one of the best drum n bass DJs in the world but i think his Bedford roots come through on this single-the most credible rapstars especially UK ones tend to have the husky harsh voice to evoke empathy but on top of that justify their record with lyrics from a real place-e.g. its hard to maintain a tough image when your using verses like:
“Wrote some dumb rhymes”
“Touch their love inside”
“I wanna be the man my mother would approve of”
I would have to say silver is nothing more than a pretender-making up a shammy rough background for himself to fit in, unfortunately he doesn’t haven’t a tag on the London grime artists who are not only lyrically blessed but have proved they can be commercial at the same time. Silver would get eaten alive by Chipmunk, shredded to bits by Kano and swept aside by Skepta.
Its reasons like this why I don’t understand what silver’s trying to do with this track-are you gonna be hip-hop/r n b and use cheesy lyrics or are you gonna rap from a real place.
Having said all this though-for what it is, it’s allright and would last a few weeks in the charts.

Review by Subhaan khan

Monday, 24 November 2008

Razmataz Lorry Excitement - The Worst Is Yet To Come

Razmataz Lorry Excitement. The name itself gets me excited! And it precisely reflects how exciting this one man party is. The Worst Is Yet To Come is his second single of 2008 and here’s the best bit...he’s from Newcastle (Way-aye!). There are two versions of this track; the ‘Play by Day’ mix has a springy, energetic feel which makes it physically impossible not to bounce along. The ‘Play by Night’ mix has a slightly dirtier, cheekier vibe equally as good but completely different. Love it.

Review by Marzena Dabrowska

Clinic – Tomorrow

Released to help promote their upcoming ‘Planetarium of the Soul’ tour, “Tomorrow” shows everything that’s made Clinic such a unique act, and kept them that way even a decade after their formation. Jittery, pastoral acoustic guitars subside to the psychedelic pulse that drives so many Clinic songs, while Ade Blackburn’s distinctively muffled voice vibrates with barely contained violence. It’s yet another fine song from one of Britain’s most consistent bands – and as per usual for Clinic, you can expect it to vanish without a trace commercially. Sad, really…

Review by Mark Corcoran-Lettice

Nick Harrison - Something Special

Nick Harrison clearly hasn’t been outside much lately. If it wasn’t for the minor fact that we’re currently in the middle of a dark, cold November rather than a sun-drenched August, he would undoubtedly be set to release the anthem of the summer. Packed with ska influences and brilliantly unique vocals, new single ‘Something Special’ is uplifting pop perfection. Even Sarah Palin at a Barack Obama election party would struggle not to dance to this one.

Review by Daniel Whyley

Friday, 21 November 2008

Revere- The Escape Artists

It was with the expectation I would fully hate Revere, an eight piece hailing from London and styled as the next Sigur Rós, that I reluctantly agreed to review their new single The Escape Artist.
Having smacked the CD into the player I sat eagerly ready to pick apart the musical aspirations of these young upstarts who had the audacity to compare themselves to the mighty Arcade Fire (or at least their management did).
The first two minutes of the song only increased my smugness, the slow plodding pace of the piano combined with a rather dull voice certainly lacking the desperation of Win Butler (Arcade Fire) or the fragile quality of Jónsi Birgisson (Sigur Rós) that it seemed to want to imitate. Yes, I was in my element.
However my arrogance was all at once shattered as the music suddenly changed direction, it became faster, braver, more confident and what followed can only be described as a ‘Muse style epic.’ The lyrics got sillier, the amount of instruments increased tenfold and it all went on for far too long (the album version is a full 7 minutes. Yet for all that I found my head nodding and eyes widening. I was being drawn into the song and there was nothing I could do to stop it and as the violins got louder and the choir started I had to admit to being well and truly beaten and to add insult to injury I had loved every minute of it.

Review by Katherine Greenfield

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Society Of Imaginary Friends- The Moors EP

As a bridge before the re-release of their LP Sadness Is A Bridge To Love, the Moors EP acts as a gentle reminder of what’s on offer from SOIF. What’s on offer are bundles of atmosphere and a voice so powerful that it probably could break glass. The opener The Moors is strangely moving piece built around soaring violins and a desolate landscape- a girl yearning to be part of the world. Louise Kleboe’s voice reminds the listener of Kate Bush at her Withering Heights best. The Lovely Rain continues the theme of desolate imagery- yet it is in no way a sad song. Again Kleboe’s voice shines through the gloom as an eternal beak of hope. The closer Windows is a curved ball. What starts as a voice painting an image turns into a gigantic piece of operatic music created around a crunching guitar riff and Aflie Thomas deep voice. What the band has fashioned is music so vivid you feel part of it. It would perfect music to any stunning African backdrop despite is bleakness. The Society Of Imaginary Friends might not have many imaginary friends for much longer.

Review by George McSorley

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Howling Bells - Into the Chaos

From someone who adored the first Howling Bells record, it saddens me to say that numerous plays of this taster from their new long player (arriving next February) leaves me feeling nothing but complete ambivalence. Once the aural equivalent of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (eerie, sophisticated, sexy), they now more accurately resemble a later episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (slick , sanitized, a bit directionless). New levels of artistic redundancy are plumbed with the inclusion of possibly the most bewildering lyric ever; (There’s something happening/it’s in outside).
Of course, it’s not all horrendous (hence my apathetic response as oppose to a violently negative one) Juanita’s voice is still as delicious as ever, and an atmospheric, Mazzy Star-esque chorus almost redeems the song from its state of complete inauspiciousness. However, even this seems a bit self-parodic , with the band having used this formula much more effectively on earlier songs such as Setting Sun. Not bad, then, but to be honest, I’d rather they completely jumped the shark than wallow in a puddle of mediocrity.

Review by Ben Lowes-Smith

Monday, 17 November 2008

White Denim - Shake, Shake, Shake

Raucous and chaotic, White Denim seem to be trying to soundtrack drunken nights and fist fights. The fact that any trace of vocals are kept to an absolute minimum is almost incidental, with a heavy drum beat and guitar lines that are at times mind-bending and at others just plain foot-tapping catchy. And when vocals do kick in, and I hesitate to call it singing, it is almost like a bunch of friends chanting the words of their favourite song to each other, but it sounds ideal over the frenetic music. Sound-tracking your whisky fuelled evening, and it works perfectly.

Review by Rob Sellars

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Young Rival - Young Rival EP

As Canada seems to be the now official home of indie, its unsurprising that Young Rival should hail from the land of the Maple Leaf. And with a hint of the Tokyo Police Club wave under their belts, they now come to Britain to prove their mettle. At first glance, Young Rival fit snugly into their indie cubby-hole: achingly short songs, swift riffage and swooning geek-chic vocals. Yet delve deeper and these boys show they have hair on their chests though their pencil-ties and crisp shirts. Another Nobody sneers with Black Lips debauchery, and Poisonous Moves is as gruff as the Vines’ Craig Nicholls wading through his alcohol collection. In short, Young Rival have venom, so hold on tight to your skinny jeans, you’re in for a ride.

Review by Gordon Bruce

The Late Review - Diving in Deep

Reviewing The Late Review was no hard effort. Described as "cheeky" , the poppy, bouncy tune is perfect for an indie cindy disco. The lead singer has a lovely voice, which is layered with another equally pleasant sounding voice intermittently. Nice and inoffensive Diving in too deep is playful, especially with a rather manic chorus which I felt came from no where yet it managed to settle into the overall tune with success. However, in a time where British bands full of boys with polo shirts, singing in their home town accents are in abundance it is hard to see how The Late Review will achieve massive acknowledgement, and their longevity in this trend of "indie" joviality may be short lived as nothing amazingly novel is presented. So, in the short term The Late Review are delightful but in the long term I feel the world won't be changed by them.

Review by Aimee Bradshaw

Monday, 10 November 2008

General Fiasco - Rebel Get By

General Fiasco have achieved what very few bands do; they have managed to take their youthful passion and raw power, and have mixed it with a competence and ability far beyond their tender years. Rebel Get By thunders into life - no drawn out intros for these boys - and it rarely slows down from then on. Catchy riffs play perfectly over a powerful drum beat, all fitting nicely with lead singer Owen's vocals, a voice which sounds like it has lived through punk even while in primary school. This song will sound perfect on the airwaves and dance-floors alike, and you should expect to be hearing much more from General Fiasco.

Review by Robert Sellars

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Jeremy Warmsley – "Dancing With The Enemy

After a relentless summer of collaborating with the Mystery Jets and appearing at numerous festivals, Jeremy Warmsley returns with Dancing With The Enemy, the second single from his new album How We Became. Packed with clever lyrics, adventurous vocals and an array of highly infectious instruments and rhythm changes, Dancing With The Enemy looks set to win Warmsley a host of new fans, without damaging the originality and innovation that have earned him such a devout following over the past few years.

Review by Daniel Whyley

Monday, 3 November 2008

San Andreas - Man or Monster

I reckon if I had more music knowledge-i.e. of record development and how its put together I could criticise this album with more confidence-i think when you have to review outside your genre things get a bit more difficult-anyways:
I’d label this as screamo, I think the album gets better as you listen to it-the middle tracks are the best and then it levels out. I wouldn’t say these guys are wholly original as there are definite sounds in there that seem American but I think that being as experienced as these guys are, they’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.
Enter Shikari springs to mind when listening to these guys, however, whereas shikari tend to have that indie kid sort of appeal this is lost on San Andreas-which I don’t think is a bad thing as they seem to take their music seriously and if you can get past all the screaming the thrashing guitar and the lyrics are pretty easy to rock out to.
There are few moments where they throw you a real curve ball-like the barbershop quartet style interjection on Leave Teddy.
Overall it’s a pretty wholesome album and I’m sure they pack a punch at gigs but i just can’t seem to get away from the fact that every song seems to be sung in the same pitch and tone-which does link them all together but at the same time makes the album slightly tiresome and flat a bit like Bloc Party’s first 2 albums.

Review by Subhaan khan

Red Light Company – Sheme Eugene

Sometimes you are lucky enough to come across musical gems that instantly grab your attention and then in no time at all you’re completely smitten, playing them on repeat until you think it’s becoming a little unhealthy and have to make a conscious effort to move onto something new before people start to notice. Looming dangerously close to perfection Scheme Eugene has everything a great song needs; interesting lyrics, an immaculate musical composition and a chorus you can sing/shout along to after an alcoholic beverage or two. So don’t leave it to luck, find it, listen to it, play it on repeat and sing along to it. This song is amazing.

Review by Hannah Ransome

Monday, 20 October 2008

Cut Off Your Hands – Happy As Can Be (EP)

Cut Off Your Hands, four lads from the distant shores of New Zealand, have released this EP as a precursor to their debut album You and I, with Happy As Can Be the first single. And it has to be said, if they can replicate the ambitious and heartfelt beauty of these five songs on the album, then we should be looking forward to it with great anticipation. They manage to combine the epic with the plain catchy, mixing their signature pop hooks with an energetic and powerful edge that Arcade Fire would pride themselves on. Happy As Can Be is a feast of heartfelt and powerful lyrics, pounding drums and frenetic rhythm. These are pop songs with depth, recalling the likes of The Flaming Lips, with deceptively dark lyrics soaring over an uplifting base. The five songs sit happily together and make the album a tantalising prospect, and one everyone should hope comes as soon as possible.

Review by Robert Sellars

Dear Superstar - Heartless

Before listening to this album, I’d never heard of Dear Superstar, hence I was unsure of what to expect. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. Although the Bullet For My Valentine style metal-core I was expecting (not a genre I’m really into) was undeniably present, it was competently merged with more classic metal influences. Heartless left me startled, but in a good way.
Heartless starts out strongly with Brink of Destruction, a heavy metal triumph with note worthy guitar work and an unforgettable chorus. In contrast, Dear Superstar’s metal-core influences are much more obvious on Live Love Lie with guest vocals courtesy of members of Bullet For My Valentine. Other highlights include Signposts to Bedposts, with its powerful riffs, the significantly more laid back Can’t Write A Love Song and Diseased and Distraught, arguably the best showcase of Dear Superstar’s mixed influences.
My only real criticism of Heartless is that although the album shows a degree of variety, sometimes it can sound a bit samey. However, it could be argued that this is the result of adhering to a specific musical style. All in all, I definitely enjoyed Heartless, and would recommend it to heavy metal fans everywhere.

Review by Chris Render

The Last Shadow Puppets – My Mistakes Were Made For You

It’s safe to say they’re unique in our day and age - using musical styles not unlike those from the 40’s and 50’s, and creating a completely new sound which makes them unlike any other band.
It comes as no surprise that The Last Shadow Puppets have done it again; a collaboration of two artists which already have success from their own separate bands - Alex Turner and Miles Kane come together to create something completely unlike the music they are famous for, and do it with style.
The band on the whole is incredible, they’re astonishing when playing live, and the orchestra’s talent goes beyond words.
However, as good as they actually are, My Mistakes Were Made for You is not the best song by The Last Shadow Puppets. It’s definitely good – but not as upbeat as many of their songs, and never really reaches a climax throughout.
The music is strong and emotional, and definitely what makes the song what it is; but it never really exhilarates to a point that you can completely lose yourself in the song. It could easily be a James Bond theme tune – the music is romantic and smooth, and their voices croon. The orchestra is powerful but quiet, and there are constant exciting builds of music – however, they never quite tip over the edge to create an explosion of sound.
Nevertheless, the song is enjoyable and a complete reflection of just what The Last Shadow Puppets can do – but they have done better and proved themselves more so in other songs.
I’m a big fan of the Last Shadow Puppets and believe that this song is definitely worth a few listens, especially if you have never heard them before.
I’ve found that it has grown on me a lot since the first time I heard it, and I do really like it.
The Last Shadow Puppets are an incredibly talented band, and would appeal to most people – their music is not like anything else out there at the moment, and would appeal to a variety of music tastes.
Please don’t assume because of The Arctic Monkeys and The Rascals, that this band would only appeal to an indie and popular rock audience – because their music is quite something more than that.

Review by Emma Humphreys

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

People of Santiago – Circles/Dinosaurs

I was highly impressed by the two tracks by People of Santiago. Their musical talent is fresh and the melodies extremely gripping with uncompromising vocals from the lead singer whose voice is reminiscent of Jim Adkins [Jimmy eat world]. ‘Circles’ could easily propel to a status of sing-a-long classic with its anthem-like chorus, and with the b-side of ‘Dinosaurs’; a slower and more heartfelt tune, we are left with an extremely well-rounded, satisfying release.

Review by Eliza Lomas

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Mike Whellans – Fired-up and Ready

I’m a big fan of the blues, now Mike Whellans is not up there with the greats such as Rory Gallagher or The Blues Brothers but he is still a fantastic artist. This one man band produced his new album, Fired-up and Ready containing chillaxing blues music that would be consider very easy listening. The song Fired-Up and Ready, the first of three of my favourites, brings back good old classical blues with superior harmonica tunes, captivating guitar structure and memorable lyrics, this one is for all blues lovers. The next of my favourites is a song dubbed Early in the morning, a very relaxed song unlike the others as in brings in some flavoursome piano compositions while still keeping the harmonica hot! The final song of my favourite tracks is Lonesome Road, although still a blues song it gives a good country feeling to it, with fantastic lyrics telling a story about an enraged women hunting a man down. The album on a whole is a great piece of work which I would be glad to have in my blues collection.

Review by Aron Riordan

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Team Waterpolo - So Called Summer

So Called Summer quite literally overflows with sun-filled passion bursting out amongst the darker parts of the song. It’s hard to resist the vibrant, fast-paced choruses, and the dramatic pace changes between verses work perfectly to create a sing-along anthem. The song slowly builds into a frenzy and rarely drops a gear once it has, and when it does do, it’s to dramatic effect. It’s a summer song for the wettest of English summers, and should brighten up airwaves and dance-floors alike. Listen out for Team Waterpolo bringing a little more light into your life a lot more very soon.

Review by Rob Sellars

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Sound Ex- Palomino

It is easy to see where the Geordie rockers got their former moniker, 'The Sound Explosion', from. When you hear the first chord of opener Enchantment, you'll know what I mean. The thing with the SoundEx is, you know what you're going to get. Labeled as some of the North East's most fierce live performers, with many gigs resembling riots, you would feel that most of the tracks on the album have been geared to work to their full effect live. Probably the best example of this would be 9 Mile Ride, a Foo Fighter-esque rabble rouser that is hard to listen to without imagining an entire crowd bouncing.
Yet, it is the final title track Palomino that warrants the most attention. You really can tell the influence of producer Paul Reeve, probably best known for his work with Muse, as the song is filled with crests and falls as well some more experimental layers. It is probably the biggest statement of intent on the album in its combination of high octane rock and roll and the production wizadry of Jimmy Page.
However, that's about as far as the SoundEx lean to the musical left. To quote Radio 1 DJ, Steve Lamacq, "The SoundEx, you suspect would lay down their lives for rock and roll". That's about the best evaluation you can get for these full-on rockers.

Review by Sam Lunney

Monday, 15 September 2008

VV Brown - Crying Blood [Remixes]

Crying Blood was a decent song but I don’t think that it has the same malleability, as say Cassie-me & you to justify a CD with 4 remodels on it. Contrary to the lack of potential of the track-V.V.Brown’s clearly a girl with some talent-more songs like leave demo from VV Brown would be much appreciated-even her myspace contains several remixes of which the dust boys one is the best-funnily enough not on the promo. Though the weatherall remix is the best on the promo, V.V.Brown still manages to annoy after screeching to the top of some notes. Overall, it’s fairly repetitive and lulls me into an apathetic stupor.
5 minutes of this and you’ll be begging for a disco house injection from snake-hipped Ed Mac of Friendly Fires-shoot up some shoegaze and watch those worries drift away.

Review by Subhaan Khan

Friday, 5 September 2008

Jud - "Sufferboy"

The fifth album from Jud opens at an unabating speed- thrashing guitars and pounding drum beats leaves you in no doubt what this album is about. The tracks make you feel part of the musical process- sucking you in and then spitting you out somewhere in Universal (track 3). This track is moment for the listener to catch their breathe before being whisked away again through the rest of the album at breakneck speed.
Tracks 4 and 5 are the highlights. Daylight (track4) shines through the darkness which Jud excel within. The track stays close to the grimy guitar formula. However with lyrics like “the bad days will fade away” leave the listener in no doubt that Jud might appear tortured souls they still remains a message of hope. Likewise Accelerate sees Jud at their best. The track descends from on high with a crescendo of noise giving way to a song packed with withering statements. Lyrically this is best song on the album. Yet behind the noise the song masquerades as a break-up song with moments of sorry splattered across it.
The middle tracks not as ear grapping as the opening numbers. They sail closely to Jud formula of despair tinged with hope. However this is not to say they are bad songs- both are thoughtful songs built around crunching guitar riffs and pulsating rhythms. Just compared the opening they appear a little lackluster. After this wobble, the real Jud reappear with “What are you made for”-forged with soaring guitars and heartfelt vocals of revenge. A grimy number which will surely become a live favourite. As the album heads to closer the speed picks up again. The relentless drumming driving the tracks on as hard they can. Track 11 is a temporary halt and gives the listener time to reflect on what they have heard and where the album has taken them. The second to last track reverts back to hard rocking glow which basks within the album. “Unless” has all the hallmarks of an album closer- its slightly softer sound with a slow burning brilliance controlled by a military style rhythm.
I like to believe that Jud live in a volcano and come down to shower us mere mortals with songs filled with darkness splashed with hope. Within this volcano the band forge songs out of molten lava creating music with a raw energy and passion. Jud have a zealous and fervent for the music they create which is plastered across everything they fashion.
Despite the wobbles, Sufferboy clocks in with everything- pounding rhythms, dark brooding lyrics, crescendos as well as slower moments to create an album the band can be proud of.

Review by George McSorley

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Van She - Cat & Eye

Van She have been all over the Hype Machine like that token drunk that always features at every house party. They come in, trash the place like they own it, try to lure anyone in the near vicinity with a few lewd clichés, and all you want is for them to leave as soon as possible with all their possessions preferably into exile. The exact same applies to new single Cat & Eye, which sounds like Embrace dressed up in the badly smeared slap of a few whooshes to make it “dance-crossover”. Seriously guys, just admit you come from the same school of thought as Alphabeat, and we may well like you. If you continue to take yourselves seriously, you’ll just end up a laughing stock.

Review by Gordon Bruce

Friday, 20 June 2008

Deborah Shaw – The Big Bang

While it might be easier to distribute music and get into the public domain now that MySpace has become an integral part of any act’s promotional push and the internet’s allowed for the (theoretical) democratisation of music, it has, in its way, made it harder to stand out from the crowd.
This is the problem that Newcastle based singer-songwriter Deborah Shaw faces like may others, and it’s readily apparent that her first EP ‘The Big Bang’ is very much an attempt to stand out from the crowd. Certainly, the influences that abound these five tracks – a hint of Regina Spektor here, a touch of Tori Amos there – are a welcome relief from the stifling rock canon of the Beatles, the Stones and Dylan, and her determination to try and avoid the obvious is a true relief. However, she is guilty of relying on her idols a little too much, with first track I Didn’t Catch Your Name, while catchy enough, sounding just a little too close to Spektor’s “Fidelity” for comfort. When she leans a little less heavily on such sounds though, the results are rather impressive: the melancholy, reflective ballad Fly in particular is very promising, showcasing her emotive vocals and suggesting at a much more singular creative vision. While it’s not without its faults, ‘The Big Bang’ is an intriguing and diverse debut release that’s dramatic and forceful enough to make Deborah Shaw a name to look out for.

Review by Mark Corcoran-Lettice

Friday, 13 June 2008

Fables Last Stand - A New Breed EP

Coming to you from Newcastle, this 5 piece bands delivers a 5 star Ep, A New Breed. The Ep opens up with a catchy tune, New Breed, which will have your air guitars standing ready to rock. Head bang your life away with hardcore guitar riffs and energetic drums beats. Their next song, Stray Dog, takes things a lot slower than their first track but still keeping up with first class standards, with powerful, sing-a-long lyrics this is bound to be an end of night song in every rock bar near you. Shooting Star, their third track brings back good old rock ‘n’ roll which will be a major interest for those classical rock lovers out there, get your lighters ready. Ending the Ep with another chill back tune, Don’t Come Down (hard), will remind you why you love rock music with its mesmerising guitar and drum structure and its loveable lyrics. This Ep as a whole is a gift from the power of rock ’n’ roll to us all, so shift the pictures of Led Zeppelin to the left a little and hang this band on the wall of fame.

Review by Aron Riordan

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Julian Velard

The man with the Tiny piano will be releasing an album in mid September, featuring some very melodic music. The song ‘Jimmy Dean and Steve McQueen’ is marked by a beautiful piano track. Mr. Velard knows how to make quiet music that can accompany a fancy dinner.

Review by Solveig Werner

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Innerpartysystem – Don’t Stop

The newest single by the Pennsylvania band Innerpartysystem is ‘Don’t Stop’ and the only thing there is to say about it is that it is a real mint tune. The band truly emphasizes the electro rock style, by making this a dance song that seems to be not just a lot of repetition but also some musical depth. It is only a matter of time before it will be played on the dance floors and not just on a few radio stations. Innerpartysystem could be the next big band in electro music that is not from France or Germany.

Review by Solveig Werner

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Lightspeed Champion - Galaxy of the Lost

‘Galaxy of the Lost’ is the name of the newest single by Light Speed Champion, and it is quite a good one. The lyrics clearly reflect the feeling of being lost at certain times. One thing that makes this song particular is that it is not a song that you can listen to all the time. It is one of those that you have to be in the mood for, when you feel a bit sad that’s when it could fit well, not making you any worse. Being very melodic it has a bit the appeal of a song that could be played in a nice cozy coffee shop.

Review by Solveig Werner

Razmataz Lorry Exitement! - The Biggest Waste Of 33 Minutes

If you like electro rock then Razmataz Lorry Exitement is the artist for you. His new single ‘The Biggest Waste Of 33 Minutes’ reflects influences such along the lines of Daft Punk. If you like artists such as Thieves Like Us, Digitalism and Hot Chip then you won’t be deceived by this new song, it is not a waste of time, I’d rather say it is a lot better than a lot of things that are out on the market in the electro and dance genres today.

Review by Solveig Werner

Kenna - Out Of Control

Kenna is finally releasing his debut album in the UK, the first single of it is ‘Out of Control (State of Emotion)’. This song is very particular it sounds a lot like a dance tune hip hop sort of tune, that seems to appeal to a lot of people that like alternative rock music. It is very very catch and addictive at once.

Review by Solveig Werner

Monday, 21 April 2008

Tokyo Police Club - Tessellate

“Tessellate” is the first UK single of “Elephant Shell” the debut album by the Canadian band Tokyo Police Club. This song is even more energetic than what was released prior to it like their overwhelming EP “A Lesson In Crime” or their various other tracks that were released such as “Your English Is Good”. The sounds are getting more and more sophisticated as the band evolves. The sound of “Tessellate” makes the listener wants to get up and dance, but if you listen a bit closer to the lyrics there is a certain sadness in them, the sadness that marks everything by Tokyo Police Club, but there is nothing to worry about they are some of the happiest people around. “Tessellate” is marked by Graham’s keyboard skills and Dave’s really really good singing voice, of course the skills of Greg and Josh can’t be neglected. Like in some of the other songs the drums are important as is the clapping when only Graham’s synchs and David’s voice are in action.

They are about to announce their tour dates for the summer for the UK and the rest of Europe, and Tokyo Police Club is a great live act so definitely worth checking out.

Review by Solveig Werner

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The Black Kids - I Am Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You

The Florida Band known under the name Black Kids is finally officially releasing their single “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You” in the UK. Before this song was available as a free download which propelled them to the top of the musical world. This song is amazing it tells the story of a childhood love and deep sitting jealousy. The lyrics are bizarre at times, which makes the whole song even more fun. It is a dancy tune that can definitely rock the dance floors, remixes of it are already out there. Black Kids are a band that should be listened to, they are most likely going to be bigger than we expect them to be.

Review by Solveig Werner

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Kill Hanna - Lips Like Morphine

The best Kill Hanna song, in my opinion, is finally getting released in the UK. It is “Lips Like Morphine” which describes a deep desire to find an overpowering girl. The lyrics describe that this girl that is longed for is meant to have lips that are strong enough to knock one out when they kiss, they have the same effects as morphine upon the person on the receiving end. The music has a dark sound to it which makes the whole idea of a Morphine lipped girl see, even more dangerous.

Review by Solveig Werner

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Art Brut - Pump Up The Volume

The crazy band known under the name Art Brut, has a new single which is most probably also about one of the ex-girlfriends Eddie Argos had. His talking over the music, and the bizarre sarcasm of the lyrics marks “Pump Up The Volume”. This song is missing something, the originality that was present in previous releases. The move to LA might have had an unexpected impact on the bands music. This single is about if it is ok to turn up the volume on a pop song while kissing, to be fair Eddie has the weirdest ideas what to make his lyrics be about.

Review by Solveig

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Eastern Conference Champions - The Box

The newest single of the Pennsylvania Eastern Conference Champions is entitled “The Box”, a term that does not even get mentioned in the lyrics. It is melodic and different from the current indie sounds that are out on the market. Lyrics wise it is a rather somber song, dealing with drug abuse, drinking, and getting three years for “just giving up”, all of this is dealt with in a more or less quiet way. The last note of the song is very beautiful, giving it a nice ending and making one want to hear the whole song over and over again.

Review by Solveig Werner

Monday, 11 February 2008

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash

The former Pavement member, Stephen Malkmus is releasing his fourth solo album with the Jicks. This album is made special by its simplicity, reminding the listener garage bands that dare to experiment with instruments and music in general. The creativity is already visible when it comes to the titles of the songs like “Elmo Delmo”, “Wicked Wanda” or “Dragonfly Pie”, whatever that means. Every song is different from the others, they all sound similar but different. What they have in common is Mr. Malkmus unique voice. The lyrics are rather random which makes them quite fun. It’s not what would be put on in a club, but to some tracks you could dance definitely some real rock ‘n’ roll on. The album has got something very original but hard to grasp and describe in words, it is definitely worth giving a listen.

Review by Solveig Werner

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Kill Hanna - Kennedy

The upcoming single by the Chicago band Kill Hanna is about the Kennedy family clan as the title “Kennedy” suggests. In more detail this song is about how great it would be to actually be a Kennedy, the prestige of the family is described in the lyrics, they come over as some sort of Gods. Musical energy is definitely present in the song, and it is not as dark as the previous release “Lips Like Morphine”, but still it is quite a similar song, the theme of wanting something impossible is still present, and kissing pretty girls. Maybe wanting the unattainable is the main motif for Kill Hanna.

Review by Solveig Werner

Monday, 4 February 2008

The Cardigans - Erase/Rewind (Kleerup Remix

Surprisingly the Cardigans song “Erase/Rewind” remixed by Kleerup sounds quite good. It is not the typical Cardigans, and with that not the music for every moment, but it might be something to consider putting on while getting ready for a night out. Proper Cardigans might not agree with this, seen that it diverts a lot from the original version of the song, but why not give it a try on the dance floor?

Review by Solveig Werner

Rivers Cuomo - Alone - The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo

Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo decided to release some more material; it is the songs that he recorded on his own time without the rest of the band being around, hence the title of his upcoming album. “Alone” features different recordings of Weezer’s released songs, but also some songs that seem to have never left Cuomo’s house before. Songs ending abruptly mark this record, this and the fact that the recordings are quite simple adds to the charm. It is a stripped down version of Weezer, which makes it sound great nonetheless.

Review by Solveig Werner

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

The All New Adventures Of Us – Best Loved Goodnight Tales

Some people are melody people. Some people are lyrics people. Some people just like noise. Well this album won’t promise you noise but it can offer an abundance of the former two. The musical compositions are dramatic but not showy and the lyrics are incredibly honest and genuine. Stand out tracks are The Art Of The High Five a song dripping with nostalgia remembering days lost whilst they demand ‘come on prove me wrong’ and ask ‘does anyone remember laughter? Does anyone remember fun?’ Perfectly Imperfect is a heartbreaking love song and with timeless lines such as ‘I know that our paths will come to an end at the same town and time. I know ‘cos your hand fits perfectly in mine’ I find myself convinced that true love does exist. A lovely record that has something for everyone (except for those who like noise!).

Review by Hannah Ransome

Manu Chao – Me Llaman Calle

A refreshing song from Manu Chao which would be quite irresistible in a Latin club! It is somewhat repetitive and perhaps would be unappreciated here; however this shouldn’t be too much of a fault because the track itself has so much life and exudes exotic happiness which cannot be ignored in any context. The atmosphere it emanates is of hot Spanish streets, which is brought to light in the video of the song where people are inclined to dance outside shops to the classic strumming and Latin beats. A different view of the song comes when informed what it is about- the city’s street women-and this adds a certain poignancy to the song and makes you appreciate it even more.

Review by Eliza Lomas