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Music - Singles of the Week - Monday, July 2

IndieLondon gleefully checks out the cream of the week’s singles. All you have to do is click on the pictures to order them…

Interpol, Heinrich

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: INTERPOLTHE HEINRICH MANOEUVRE: It’s been three years since the inventive guitar rock and taut dance rhythms of Interpol’s sophomore album Antics garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success – and provided the template for bands like Editors to follow. Well, New York’s Interpol return with a fresh batch of gloomy indie anthems with their third album Our Love To Admire. Lead single, The Heinrich Manoeuvre, kicks things off in emphatic and utterly spectacular fashion, with some driving riffs, a punchy rhythm and more thrilling vocals (all built around that memorable “how are things on the West Coast?” opening). The song is actually a bitter kiss-off to a former lover that proves you don’t have to be sentimental and angst-ridden to make your point. This one rocks and it’s a brilliant piece of songwriting.
Rating: 5 out of 5

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Smashing Pumpkins, Tarantula

SMASHING PUMPKINS – TARANTULA: It’s been a long time in coming (too long, in fact) but Smashing Pumpkins finally return with Tarantula, the first single to emerge from their eagerly-anticipated Zeitgeist LP. The good news is that it’s an instantly recognisable slab of alt-rock from them, built around a thrilling guitar piece and some trademark Billy Corgan vocals. All the components are in place, especially if you like your music to be fast, furiously delivered and packed with meaning. The only slight snag is that it fails to make as instant an impact as the band’s absolute classics, such as 1979, Tonight, Tonight and Bullet With Butterfly Wings. But whichever way you look at it, it’s great to have them back and one can only wait with baited breath for the release of Zeitgeist.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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New Young Pony Club, Ice Cream

NEW YOUNG PONY CLUBICE CREAM: Ice Cream has deservedly become an anthem for the New Young Pony Club. It’s a sparsely minimal punk funk workout that’s been slickly David Byrne and Brian Eno. The track will be known to millions following its use as part of the Intel advertising campaign – but it’s so darn infectious that you just can’t help singing along to the teasing, playful “I can give you what you want” lyrics. New Young Pony Club will follow the release of this single with their eagerly anticipated debut album Fantastic Playroom, which promises to be one of the most exciting records of the year. For anyone who doesn’t know, the band was formed by Andy and Tahita in 2005 and has since become a five-piece with additional members, Igor (bass) Lou (keyboards) and Sarah (drums). They’re certainly giving us what we want at the moment.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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The Go Team, Grip Like A Vice

GO TEAMGRIP LIKE A VICE: The Go Team were one of the bands to make a really big impression at this year’s Glastonbury and as they prepare for the release of their sophomore album, they now deliver new single Grip Like A Vice in suitably gutsy fashion. It’s an upbeat, energetic slice of dance punk that’s delivered at breakneck pace – complete with livewire organs, feel-good beats and a powerfully delivered set of vocals. You can imagine that this won’t have any problems filling the indie dance floors whenever it gets an airing throughout the summer. And it could well become an anthem for The Go Team.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Badly Drawn Boy, Promises

BADLY DRAWN BOY – PROMISES: Promises is the third single to be taken from last year’s Badly Drawn Boy album Born In The UK. A live favorite, it’s designed to be a beautiful and intelligently simplistic testament of romanticized intentions and promised vows. As such, it parallels between a story of hope and lost feeling that surges to a crescendo of self-longing. Under-scored by a moving piano chord, and driven by thoughtful, reflective vocals, it’s another strong offering from Badly Drawn Boy that sounds tailor-made to end up on the soundtrack of a British romantic comedy drama at some stage. Beautifully understated.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Passenger, Do What You Like

PASSENGER – DO WHAT YOU LIKE: Passenger’s latest single Do What You Like is a tale of unrequited love and regaining control and self respect. Built around a circular, frenetic riff adorned with electronic bleeps over a skittering beat, it’s an unpredictable track that certainly keeps you enthralled. Mike Rosenberg’s distinct vocal style lends proceedings extra edge – flitting between the likes of Brian Molko and, erm, Kate Nash, with surprising ease. It’s sure to divide people over its merits, because of how distinct the vocals are, but the lyrics are powerful and the instrumentals nicely layered, making this an interesting offering – even if it doesn’t totally sweep you away. Passenger is basically comprised of Rosenberg and his songwriting partner, guitar playing arranger and soundtrack composer Andrew Williams – and it should be interesting to keep an eye on how they develop.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Fall Out Boy

FALL OUT BOYTHE TAKE OVER THE BREAKS OVER: The third single from Fall Out Boy’s latest No.1 album, Infinity On High is the energetic foot-stomper The Take Over, The Breaks Over. Basically, it’s more punk-rock attitude, kick-ass drum bashing and loudly delivered choruses – but even though it takes a lot of its inspiration from American acts like Green Day and The All-American Rejects, it’s perfectly acceptable – if a little overworked. The guitar solo midway through is well delivered and adds a little extra something that just about elevates it above the average. The suspicion remains, however, that Fall Out Boy are generally considered to be a lot better than they really are.
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Wiley, My Mistakes

WILEY – MY MISTAKES: Fresh from releasing his critically acclaimed album Playtime Is Over, Wiley drops the explosive My Mistakes, a personal favourite from the artist who mentored Dizzee Rascal and turned down a deal with Mike Skinner. Needless to say, he’s cut from the same cloth – hard-hitting grime rhythms and instrumentals with brash lyrics that reflect the singer’s life experiences. Emerging producer Bless Beats has come up with some gigantic, booming beats, some digital finger snaps and an orchestral cut-up to lend the song a cinematic feel, while Wiley rips through the verses with the help of Manga (Roll Deep) and Little Dee (Eskibeat Recordings). It’s pretty incendiary stuff if you’re digging the whole grime scene.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Bobby, Anonymous

BOBBY – ANONYMOUS: Proof positive that not everything Timbaland touches turns to gold, Bobby Valentino’s first single to be taken from his sophomore album Special Occasion is a pretty anonymous effort called, tellingly, Anonymous. It’s a smooth groove R’n’B number that follows a tried and tested formula without doing anything different. Bobby’s smooth vocals pine for some mysterious beauty but it’s a fairly torturous listen for anyone else. As well as providing the beats to the track, Timbaland also makes an appearance in the song alongside King Logan – but neither add anything worthwhile to the mix on this occasion.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Natasha Bedingfield, Soulmate

NATASHA BEDINGFIELD – SOULMATE: Grammy-nominated Natasha Bedingfield looks to follow up her top 10 smash I Wanna Have Your Babies with the next cut from her critically acclaimed sophomore album N.B. The song continues the main theme of searching for Mr Right that’s rife throughout the album and is passionately delivered, if slightly desperate. With lines like “most relationships seem so transitory” and “somebody tell me why I’m on my own if there’s a soulmate for everyone”, it could well become an anthem for the lonely hearted – but it’s far too sentimental and down on its luck for anyone who likes to operate on hope. Bedingfield undoubtedly has a great voice – but she should be putting it to better use.
Rating: 2 out of 5

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Avril Lavigne

AVRIL LAVIGNEWHEN YOU’RE GONE: Canada’s Avril Lavigne returns with When You’re Gone, the second single to be taken from her latest album, The Best Damn Thing. Co-written by her and produced by US rocker Butch Walker, When You’re Gone is an emphatic power-ballad that flits between tender piano chords and harder choruses. Alas, what might have worked wonders for some artists feels a little laboured under Lavigne’s delivery and the song is a pretty generic offering for this kind of thing. It’s similarly ‘dramatic’ video is intended to add to the passion of the lyrics but it did very little for me and isn’t a particularly fine example of Lavigne’s work. She’s capable of much better.
Rating: 2 out of 5

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Mesh-29

MESH-29 – OVER THE BARRICADE: Formed by Peterborough-based Adam Mezzatesta and Anthony Shiels at the tender age of just 13, the boys of Mesh-29 attempt to showcase their maturity by putting out this earnest, piano-based ballad (complete with strings for extra dramatic effect). It’s passionate, for sure, but the lyrics are pretty bland (“we’ve got to get out of this”, etc), and the vocals didn’t really do that much for me. The inclusion of strings just feels a little manipulative – just in case we didn’t get how much they mean it. The band are another to have benefited from the MySpace music revolution but have since decided to go it alone by buying the rights to their own album and setting up their own record label, Media Addiction Records. You have to admire their endeavour at the very least, if not their music thus far.
Rating: 2 out of 5

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Alibi, Sexual Healing

ALIBI VS ROCKEFELLERSEXUAL HEALING: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Another turgid dance record that exists seemingly to provide video makers a chance to put more scantily clad women on screen for the delectation of spotty teenagers everywhere. This time, it’s three girls in nurses outfits and couloured panties gyrating on chairs. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, why does the song that accompanies it have to be so damn crap. It is, of course, a lightweight cover of the Marvin Gaye classic that’s been murdered vocally and utterly slaughtered by a cheesy disco beat. It deserves to end up in Eli Roth’s slaughterhouse for the Hostel movies.
Rating: 1 out of 5

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Josh Pyke

JOSH PYKEPRIVATE EDUCATION: Excellent Australian singer-songwriter Josh Pyke continues to impress with Private Education, the second single to emerge from his brilliant Memories & Dust LP. It’s a crafted, honed song that reveals new layers with each listen and which is slightly more straight-forwardly rocking than Middle Of The Hill, its cracking predecessor. Pyke’s vocal style is easily engaging and his ability to tell a story within a song utterly enthralling – while his acoustic strums are certain to appeal to anyone with an appreciation of band’s like REM, The Shins and Elliott Smith. Memories & Dust is one of the debut albums of the year and Private Education is compelling proof of why. It’s well worth entering Pyke’s classroom. The track is available digitally for a week from July 2 before being physically released in stores on July 9.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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El-P

EL-POVERLY DRAMATIC TRUTH: Following the recent release of his highly-praised second solo album, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, El-P unveils new single The Overly Dramatic Truth. It’s a heavy-hitter in every sense, featuring Glassjaw and Head Automatica founder and frontman Darryl Palumbo on guest vocals and some bewitching piano to underscore the beats and lyrical flow. What’s more, it comes backed with new remixes that unite two talented, up and coming producers from either side of the Atlantic. London dwelling pioneer of the dubstep scene, Bass Clef, mans the dials for Everything Must Go, while New Yorker Cassettes Won’t Listen steps into the cockpit for Flyentology, which also features the mighty vocals of Mr Trent Reznor – another of the album’s firm highlights. At a time when hip hop is firmly divided into bland and generic (50 Cent and co), or inventive and exciting (Kanye, Pharoahe, etc), El-P firmly falls in the second category. Check him out…
Rating: 4 out of 5

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