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