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Music - Singles of the Week - Monday, October 26, 2009

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

Biffy Clyro, Captain

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: BIFFY CLYROTHE CAPTAIN: You’ve just got to love Biffy Clyro – they keep getting better. New single The Captain is a glorious way to usher in the imminent arrival of new album, Only Revolutions, which is due to make a splash on November 9. Launching like a stomping military march before descending into a euphoric explosion of gigantic riffs, powerful pop melodies and exhilarating horns, it’s a breezy record that also boasts an impossibly catchy chorus. The comparisons with Foo Fighters are still there (but favourably so), but Biffy Clyro also remain distinct enough to be trading competently on their own merits. The Captain is the feel-good record of the autumn for rock fans!
Available in all formats
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Shinedown, If You Only Knew

SHINEDOWN – IF YOU ONLY KNEW: One of the highlights to emerge from Shinedown’s The Sound of Madness LP is this new single, If You Only Knew. Built around lush melodies, acoustic guitars and a really catchy chorus (not to mention the odd swirling string for maximum emotional manipulation), it works to tremendously (even unashamedly) inspiring effect, to create a rock track that’s genuinely radio friendly. There are comparisons with the likes of Nickelback and Pearl Jam at their most commercial, but it’s no bad thing. This is the sound of a band who continue to win fans and go from strength to strength – and it’s got genuinely sing-along quality.
Available in all formats
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Dead Weather, I Cut Like A Buffalo

THE DEAD WEATHER – I CUT LIKE A BUFFALO: The Dead Weather may have drawn a mixed, even lukewarm response to their debut album, Horehound, but there were moments to savour. And any new project from Jack White is always worth investigating. The latest single to be taken from it is, however, a classic example of why the LP was so hit and miss (in our opinion). I Cut Like A Buffalo trades a throbbing central riff with church organ lurches and a rare lead vocal from White that’s strangely reminiscent of The Stranglers. It’s volatile, edgy, dark and paranoid – but not entirely satisfying and misses out on being an album highlight. Nevertheless, it’s good to have them around and if you’re seeking some grit and darkness to offset the pop or the mainstream, then this should punch your ticket in suitably emphatic fashion.
Available in all formats
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Richard Walters

RICHARD WALTERSWEATHER SONG: Richard Walters looks to follow up the success of his album The Animal and his cover version of Daniel Johnston’s Love Will Find You In The End with the release of the equally impressive Weather Song. Built around lush, yet slightly sorrowful acoustic guitar licks, a faint whistle and Walters’ gentle falsetto, it’s an enchanting listen that continues to lay down some note-worthy credentials for this fine performer. If you like bands such as Turin Brakes, then Richard could well become your new musical best friend! And his appeal is widespread, as All At Sea, another song from the album, was recently picked for the soundtrack of hit US TV show CSI: Miami. The Animal was co-produced by David Kosten (of Bat For Lashes and Faultline fame).
Available in all formats
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, Dance The Way I Feel

OU EST LE SWIMMING POOLDANCE THE WAY I FEEL: Ou Est Le Swimming Pool are a shiny new electro- pop outfit hailing from North London, who have decided to [deservedly] re-release their superb debut single, Dance The Way I Feel. The track has already caught our intention as an infectious slice of electro-pop with a Pet Shop Boys influenced set of vocals and a catchy as hell bassline that will quite literally drag you onto the dance floor. There’s even elements of Passion Pit and MGMT in the emphasis on electronics and euphoric sounding vocals, albeit with a vibe that’s distinctly their own. The quartet have enjoyed a strong 2009 thus far, having shared stages with the likes of Sam Sparro, Mr Hudson, Cypress Hill and Reverend And The Makers as well as packing out their own gigs with their own brand of infectious pop. Dance The Way I Feel deserves to be a massive hit on the second time of trying – although I could have done without the crappy Armand Van Helden club mix.
Available in all formats
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website

Little Comets, A-D-U-L-T-E-R-Y

LITTLE COMETS – A-D-U-L-T-E-R-Y: After an eventful summer full of festivals, recording and heat avoidance, Newcastle’s Little Comets are set to release their first single on Columbia Records, Adultery, and it’s a chirpy little indie rock belter. Signed in early 2009, the band released tiny debut One Night In October in February, en-gen-de-ring support from the likes of Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe and Sara Cox. Its follow-up, Adultery, exemplifies the band’s ability to juxtapose tight, sharp melodies with darker lyricism, as a winding tale of “subtext and lies” and “sullied back doors” interjects with a rhythmic and melodic optimism mining the same rich seam as acts like Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse and Black Kids. Blended with surges of Morricone from all manner of sources (kettles, sofas and peculiar percussion), the self-produced single is neatly tempered by the mixing skills of Rich Costey (Glasvegas / MGMT). It’s a really rather introduction to a band that look destined for big things.
Available in all formats
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Sound of Guns, Elementary Youth

SOUND OF GUNSELEMENTARY OF YOUTH: Sound of Guns release an EP, entitled Elementary of Youth through Distiller Records, and duly mark themselves out as a band to continue taking notice of. The EP will be available on a 7” gatefold single, which will include a CD and the band’s own fanzine Retail Rodeo and digital download. Comprising of four tracks, Elementary of Youth, Lightspeed (both mixed by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers/Idlewild), Dead Sea Scrolls and Gallantry, it’s a lively, rollicking listen from the Liverpool outfit that should please rock fans. Lead track Elementary of Youth is heavy, melodic and soars during the anthemic chorus, which contains both the stomp of Foo Fighters with the classic rock values of inspirations such as Zeppelin and The Doors. Of the other tracks, Dead Sea Scrolls is more gritty, down and dirty – and more in keeping with Queens of the Stone Age. Lightspeed, meanwhile, marks a return to the melodically rich, sonically expansive and stadium-filling chant-worthy. The Sound of Guns have truly delivered an EP with all guns blazing.
Available as 7” vinyl and digital download
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website

The Chemists, Milk & Honey

THE CHEMISTSMILK AND HONEY: The Chemists release their raucous new single Milk and Honey through Distiller Records and lay down another statement of intent with their lively riff-making. The single tells the story of a deluded man whose girlfriend left him and he can’t understand why, as he believes he’s the bees-knees, and it’s driven by an almighty melodic guitar pop hook and turbo-charged vocals. The riffs, in particular, lend the song a rousing quality that’s brilliant for playing loud! The single is available on 7” and download, with the 7” including a bonus CD featuring an extra track, Close Your Eyes (also good) and remixes of Hear Our Song by Jagz Kooner (thumpingly invigorating in a drum’n’bass meets electro-rock kind of way) and Hot In That by Dub Pistols (funky, upbeat and dancefloor-friendly). All in all, it’s a package worth investing in, on what’s proving to be an excellent week for rock releases!
Available as 7” vinyl and digital download
Rating: 4 out of 5

Website

T.I. feat Mary J Blige, Remember Me

T.I. feat MARY J BLIGEREMEMBER ME: Hip hop star T.I. releases Remember Me, his collaboration with Grammy Award winning R’n’B favourite Mary J Blige. Produced by Polow Da Don (Akon, Usher, R Kelly), the track aims to resonate with fans who are asked to remember the rapper while he serves time behind bars for weapons offences. It boasts a Timbaland-style beat and a gutsy set of vocals from Blige that provide a nice contrast to T.I.’s rap. And it’s strangely inspiring and dance-worthy. But you have to question the morality of putting out a single and making more money while simultaneously being punished for criminal offences. Maybe he should have stayed quiet and repentant… Instead, the single drops one week before the release of Paper Trail: Case Closed, a digital EP that includes Remember Me and an additional four tracks that did not appear on the rapper’s No.1 album, Paper Trail. I guess you just can’t keep a bad rapper down!
Available in all formats
Rating: 3 out of 5

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Danielle Spencer

DANIELLE SPENCERWISH I’D BEEN HERE: Danielle Spencer, the daughter of Don Spencer (a respected musician and renowned TV presenter in Britain and Australia) releases her debut UK single in the form of Wish I’d Been Here, a piano-heavy ballad that showcases a fine voice. The talented all-round (she first started to sing and learn the piano from her father at the age of four), has actually been around for some time – although you may not have noticed. Her debut album White Monkey was released through EMI Australia in 2001 to critical approval and radio support. But the singer/songwriter then chose to take a break from her burgeoning and creative musical endeavours to undertake the challenging dynamics of her new role as a wife and a mother. The whirlwind of marriage and motherhood may have carried her in a different direction than originally planned, but Danielle now feels it’s time to re-engage with her craft, newly inspired. And this breezy start is a nice listen that showcases a lovely voice and some enchanting piano skills. It’s more Radio 2 friendly than anything, but those who love a good ballad should take to the charms on show here. We’ll be interested to hear more from Spencer.
Available in all formats
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website

Housse De Racket

HOUSSE DE RACKETSYNTHETISEUR: French electro-house duo House De Racket are, according to their PR, an undiscovered talent just waiting to grab your attention. Dropping a 7” through boutique London singles label 50 Bones (who brought you Little Boots and The Virgins), Synthetiseur is a propulsive slice of electro-house that’s kind of funky, kind of fun and kind of appealing. It’s distinctly French and sounds like the product of what might happen if Air got remixed by Jean Michel-Jarre – but there’s a playful energy about it that makes it impossible not to not your head giddily along while its playing. Whether it’ll make Housse De Racket and catapult them into the UK limelight remains to be seen – but given the resurgence in electro sounds on the dance scene at the moment it definitely has a chance and a place. They’re also currently touring with Does It Offend You, Yeah? – so you may well catch them on the UK gig circuit. If it were possible, B-side Sur Le Papier is even more kitsch, Euro-focused and free-spirited – but slightly less appealing.
Available as a download
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website

Janee

JANEE & BLESS BEATS feat TINCHY STRYDERSEX IN THE CITY: Sex In The City is what you get when you chuck together the lyrics of hotly-tipped young rapper, Janee Bennett, larger than large production from UK grime king Bless Beats (already had a # 1 with Wiley’s Rolex), a sprinkling of Tinchy Stryder’s ghetto charm and one massive piano riff. Janee first came to prominence when she was originally discovered by Roll Deep, who asked her to guest vocal on their single Do Me Wrong, but the 22-year-old has now forged her own career. Sex In The City boasts plenty of playfully sassy girl attitude, a genuinely hip-shaking and toe-jamming piano sample, and a fun vibe – even though the belated presence of Stryder threatens to upset the otherwise funky balance. You can see why she used Stryder’s big name to gain attention, but she’s doing fine on her own and Sex In The City is a worthwhile introduction to her talents.
Available as a download
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website

Rodeo Massacre

RODEO MASSACREHEARTACHES AND WONDERS EP: Female-fronted three-piece (and imaginatively named) Rodeo Massacre release their Heartaches And Wonders EP and look to turn heads. This buzz band have already won over a fair few admirers in London and Paris thanks to a style that recalls a revival of 1960s psychedelia with a very chic current twist. Built around the striking lead vocals of Scandinavian lead single Izzy Lindqwister and the killer riffs of co-founder Zorba (from France), this is an emphatic rock track that drops both a contemporary vibe and a nicely retro feel. Heartaches And Wonders, in particular, stands out, but there’s not really a dud moment on the EP, with The World Has Changed emerging as another personal favourite. The mix of incendiary vocals and super-charged psychedelic guitars is one to savour – and deserves to get them noticed.
Available as a download
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Website

Canterbury, Eleven, Twelve

CANTERBURYELEVEN, TWELVE: Hampshire based quintet Canterbury were too young when they wrote the songs for debut album Thank You to tour in support of it – because of educational commitments. Fast forward a couple of years and they’re fully in the swing, supporting the likes of Enter Shikari and You, Me At Six and winning lots of friends. Their music is more commercial than those bands – more pop-rock than hard rock, but it’s melodic, lively and shows plenty of potential. The guitar work is sharp, the vocals pretty decent and there’s even a grit to suggest they can dip into heavier material if they so wish. Eleven, Twelve is epic, anthemic and a pretty useful calling card. Keep your ears peeled.
Available as a download
Rating: 3 out of 5

Website


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