Thursday, 29 January 2009

Esser – Work It Out

A little more downbeat than his previous singles, but no less full of absolutely sublime pop music, Esser has shifted style on every song so far. This one is all about the music; oscillating synths provide a backdrop for vocodered vocals and almost psychedelic “oo”s and rhythmic guitars push the song along. Bloody brilliant.

Review by Joe Skrebels

The Fray

This first song from The Fray’s new album begins in a similar fashion to how you may remember them, but it soon heads in a rockier direction than their older material. Isaac Slade’s voice is still distinctive and, as always, is the centrepiece for the song, soaring over the pounding drumbeat and swirling stadium rock guitars.

Review by Joe Skrebles

Remedy – Slow Fast Now

With Rock nowadays being split into several sub genres of their own, Remedy are a band that aim to take rock back to its 70s roots. With bands like Led Zeppelin as core influence Remedy produces a debut album that definitely achieves its purpose. The opening number, Last Demand, is a catchy little rock tune however occasionally the vocals are eclipsed by the instrumentals whereas at other times it’s just inconvenient.
At times the bands inexperience does show, in the song ‘Priests & Preachers’ one riff that is repeated one too many times and is not that good anyway. Other influences are extremely evident throughout the album the track entitled ‘Desire’ could count as a cover of AFI’s miss murder. However the band do maintain a consistent vibe that is easy to listen to and enjoy. ‘Learn to speak’ and ‘Scarred deep inside’ are both songs that a little less fast paced but more original and interesting.
At the end of the day this band has a lot of potential and sticks to its sound. With a little bit of knowledgeable guidance this band could make it beyond local battle of the bands competitions.

Review by James Fairfield

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Marmaduke Duke – Kid Gloves

So, the story goes something like this: a little-known but highly praised Scottish post-hardcore outfit release three rather fine albums to little success. Their frontman, perhaps a little jaded by their lack of commercial advancement, forms a bizarre side-project based around a fictional duke whose debut album flits from brain-crushing insanity to acoustic loveliness at whiplash-inducing speed – so far, so good. Then, however, the first band finally achieves some well-earned success, only for their music to go…well, pretty shit in fact. Their frontman reacts by reviving his old side-project, hoping perhaps to revitalise his song writing.
In case you hadn’t guessed, the band I’m referring to here is one Biffy Clyro, and it’s Simon Neil’s Marmaduke Duke side-project (formed with JP Reid of Sucioperro) that’s come out of suspended animation with their new single ‘Kid Gloves’. But has Simon’s music found a new lease of life with this track? Well, swapping crunching guitars for chiming synths and funk rhythms just show a man realising that his old tricks have lead to something of a dead-end, but ‘Kid Gloves’ never moves beyond initial promise. The song seems content to hit autopilot as soon as the first chorus has been and gone (and given that it’s a chorus that sounds suspiciously like ‘Folding Stars’ on a cheap Casio, that’s an even more damning failure), and when compared to the gleeful experiments of earlier Marmaduke Duke material, ‘Kid Gloves’ sounds anaemic to say the least. It’d be foolish to write off Simon Neil and his band(s) just yet, but after several disappointing singles from the Biffy, ‘Kid Gloves’ suggests a man whose inspiration is running out.

Review by Mark Corcoran-Lettice

Pain - Cynic Paradise

The multi-talented Peter TÃĪgtgren, is back as Metal Industrial band Pain, Peter plays with both synthesizers/electronics, sharp guitars, and he designs an interesting style of industrial metal music. The Album Cynic Paradise certainly paints a 19th century picture containing gothic medieval warriors going into battle with B.C. Rich Guitars and techno blasting in a barren wasteland. The first song taken from the album is I’m going in, it opens with a gothic choir busting into fast paced heavy metal music. Like most metal music the lyrics are just about audible (but that’s what we want to hear) while managing to included a nice synthesized piece at the end. Probably one of the best songs on the album is dubbed Follow Me, keeping the music fairly similar in style, tone and structure however bringing in a female backing singer which makes the chorus more harmonised and giving the song that extra kick to make you flesh into gear and get those glow sticks out. Similar to most industry most like MSI and Nine Inch Nails this band has a lot more to offer as they can apply to cyber-punks while still letting metal fans bang their heads away. No One Knows a song which I found myself repeating quiet often due to its catchy lyrics and fantastic fast drum placed rhythm. The album on a whole is a new experience which will be a portal for people who are beginning to get into industry music just like pendulum is to drum and bass or Metallica to heavy metal. Overall this band and album is a building block for newbie cyber-punks and metal industrialists everywhere.

Review by Aron Riordann

Backyard Babies - Drool

Coming to you from Sweden……………….. Once again this country has spawned another great rock band Backyard Babies. This time supplying some powerfully amplified metal tunes with their new single Drool. Unleash the hair and rock out to this band with their powerful guitar chords structure and head bang worthy lyrics, definitely one for the rockers everywhere. Also featuring a bonus track F*©k off and Die, which is a more kick back rock tune with a guitar solo which will bring you to you knees and once again proving that rock isn’t dead.

Review by Aron Riordan

The Buizniez – Club Freaks Anthem (Part One) (Feat. Artcha James

Before I write this review I must confess that I am a long way from being a connoisseur of hip-hop music. It does seem fairly obvious to me however that ‘Club Freaks Anthem (Part One)’, the new single by hideaway producer The Buizniez and vocalist Artcha, just isn’t particularly good. For example, I can’t imagine the likes of Kanye West or Jay-Z ever thinking about rhyming ‘Niagara’ with ‘Viagra’. Still, the absence of any offensive words is sure to disappoint David Cameron, and that’s something we can all be grateful for.

Review by Daniel Whyley

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Shirley Lee- The Smack of the Pavement in Your Face

Country music is normally written by people with straw in their mouths living in the world of The Dukes of Hazards and My Name is Earl. Thankfully Shirley Lee is none of these things- mainly because he is from London.
The song is has real jiggle jangle feel to it with bouncing guitar rifts and playful bass line. Coming in at just over 3 minutes, it has all the elements of great modern take on country music. The lyrics are uplifting, witty and heartfelt, making the record a joy to listen to.

Review by George McSorley

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Lilly Allen - The Fear

A mellow and sufficiently short guitar intro teases the synthetic drum beat to life, add to this the instantly recognisable, slightly apathetic vocals of a twenty three year old Londoner, and you know that Lilly Allen is back after a three year period of absence, with the first single from her second album. ‘The Fear’, whilst it sounds like the title of an M. Night Shyamalan film, is actually a bitingly sarcastic comment on the materialistic values of modern society. Communicating its message effectively, the single forces the listener to admit to Allen’s impressive song-writing ability. A great, catchy song and a warm welcome back for Lily.

Review by Matthew Blackwell

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Fake Lazy Supernovas- Golden Boy/ That’s The Day

Golden Boy is delightful pop gem. The lyrics transport you to wonderland where the credit crunch is far flung myth and everyday the sun shines bright. It has a definite Spanish feel with its wandering guitar- this further heightens the feel good nature of the song. A great feel good song just to kick back and enjoy after a hard day.
That’s The Day is slower number built around a choir. It’s a reflective song exploring hopes and dreams. It has a late summer feel to it- just relaxing on a beach with this song on could be someone’s idea of heaven.
Overall The Fake Lazy Supernovas are creating a little piece of the sun- taking the listener far away from the cold and darkness of winter.

Review by George McSorley

Monday, 19 January 2009

White Lies – To Lose My Life

They’ve been hotly tipped by just about everyone imagine (as well as a few who aren’t), they’ve supported the likes of Crystal Castles and Glasvegas: really, is it possible for a band to be more in vogue than White Lies currently are? ‘To Lose My Life’ is only their third single, released to promote their forthcoming debut (also called ‘To Lose My Life’ – clearly hype prevents you from actually coming up with names for things), and while it may not exactly justify some of the more ecstatic praise they’ve been getting, it’s an enjoyable enough song in its own right.
Kicking off with an insistent bass hum and frontman Harry McVeigh’s darkly romantic baritone, ‘To Lose My Life’ is an arena-sized three-minute epic, with a soaring chorus that begs for vast auditoriums and vastly overpriced, piss weak lager. While they are undoubtedly another band far too in thrall with Joy Division for their own good, they’ve still got some undeniable melodies, and they manage to avoid the painfully dire lyricism of an Interpol or the plain tedium of an Editors quite capably.
Over hyped? Good God yes. But enjoyable regardless? Actually, yes to that as well.

Review by Mark Corcoran-Lettice

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Iglu & Hartly – Violent & Young

The second offering from this Los Angeles 5-piece (why don’t the other three members’ names get a mention? - maybe there’d be too many ‘&s’) steers Iglu & Hartly away from the MGMT-esque vibe of their debut single. This track takes a more Gym Class Heroes direction – incorporating rap with a catchy chorus, and it works. Even during all this rapping a jangly piano accompanies, it’s hardly ‘violent’, but it’s definitely fresh. Nice.

Review by Marzena Dabrowska

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Chasing Ora – Here and Winning

With the market full of fey, arty girls, we’ve lacked a UK equivalent to the current crop of punchy females that the US is pumping out, but if this debut single is anything to go by, Chasing Ora could well be answer to that problem. With two lead singers and an obvious ear for a bombastic chorus, Essex’s Chasing Ora are certainly setting themselves up well for mainstream success.

Review by Joe Skrebels