31 May 2009

>>>TRACKS>>>31.05.09>>>Little Boots, Kasabian, Jamie T, Alexis Blue, The Chapman Family

Little Boots - New In Town
Apologies for reiterating the most over-used cliché concerning new music this year, but let the electro-pop battles commence! For those not in the know/living under a particularly heavy rock, Little Boots is being grouped together with La Roux and Florence & The Machine as a "Holy Trinity" of modern, hyped, female electro-pop singers. All three are being weighed down by the expectation laid on them at the beginning of the year by critics eager for bright new stars to foist into the limelight. Anyways, "New In Town" is the lead single from LB's debut album "Hands" and has "CHOON!" written all over it. It's pretty clear to say that this will be getting repeat plays all over the country during Freshers Weeks in September, and they'll be deserved. The chorus "I'm gonna take you out tonight/I'm gonna make you feel alright" is simple yet genius at the same time and puts the former Victoria Hesketh out in front against her rivals. {Watch the video for "New In Town"}

Kasabian - Fire
The Leicester loudmouths comeback single is something of a slowburner (pun intended). Starting off sounding like a psychedelic jam, "Fire" soon bounces into a bluesy stomper of a chorus and possibly the easiest thing to sing along to at this summer's festivals that isn't "Ruby" or "Chelsea Dagger" ("I'm on fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrre!" is pretty much it). As always with Kasabian's lyrics, they don't exactly mean too much, but who really cares with a something this groovy (hippy-ness not intended). It's not even the best track on their third album "West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum" but still possibly the best thing Kasabian have released. {Watch the video for "Fire"}

Jamie T - Sticks N' Stones
How Jamie T isn't as big as Arctic Monkeys will forever be a mystery to me. He's got all the lyrical wit and verve of Alex Turner, the musical eclecticism of The Clash and the likeability of Kaiser Chiefs (without actually sounding like them, which is a talent in itself). "Sticks N' Stones" is his first new material released since the fantastic debut album "Panic Prevention" and it jumps about in all the right places. For a middle-class white guy from Wimbledon, he can't half rap and can craft a tune better than almost any 'bonafide popstar' around. Once again, it'll be massive at the festivals and if it doesn't propel Mr T. (no, not that one) to a similar level as the aforementioned Kaisers then I'll eat my straw hat. {Watch the video for "Sticks N' Stones}

Alexis Blue - Tarred & Feathered
AB have returned! Any new material from them is a cause for celebration, and "Tarred & Feathered" is no different. No massive deviation from the typical AB formula, but if it ain't broke, then it doesn't need fixing. "Tarred & Feathered" sounds more focused, tighter than anything AB have produced previously and, like Jamie T up there, they should been rising faster than mercury but for some baffling reason, they remain virtually unknown. So go download their debut album (it's free) or other demos or get down to a gig. You won't regret it. {Download "Tarred & Feathered"} {Download AB's debut album for free}

The Chapman Family - Kids
I haven't got a clue whose idea it was to stick The Chapman Family on the bill of the NME Radar tour below Magistrates, Heartbreak and La Roux, but whoever it was has a wicked sense of humour. Imagine a bunch of Radio 1-obsessed kids running to the front of the venue to see La Roux and all her electro tricks and being hit with the wall of distortion and anger that the Chapmans make. Hilarious, in my mind anyway. Back on topic, "Kids" is the first single from Teeside's finest and has an unfortunately similar chorus to Maximo Park's "The Kids Are Sick Again". But, this is a world away from the slick indie-pop of Maximo. This is proper "turn-it-up-loud-and-piss-off-your-parents/neighbours" angry rock that has been missing from British music for a long while (I don't count Gallows). "Kids" should be the anthem for all pissed and pissed-off teens across the country and for those in the know, it certainly is. {Watch the video for "Kids"}
The Killers can piss off back to their Las Vegas drawing board. Franz Ferdinand will have to chuck away their newly bought Casios. The new New Order are finally here. And, somewhat unsuprisingly, they're also from Manchester. In their own words Delphic "are the future sound of Manchester mixing euphoric electronica with anthemic songs for a post dance world". Clearly they've defintiely got the typical Manc confidence and swagger which is unusual, as most electronica/dance bands are seen as either uber-nerds or hyperactive students dressed in fluorescent colours, not confident masters of euphoric pop. "Counterpoint", their debut single, is a surefire hit, if not in the charts then definitely in the 'underground'. The swirling keyboards and frantic drumming mixed with James Cook's impassioned vocals make sure the song lives up to it's billing as "anthemic" by the band. The combination of dance and pop hooks makes it easy to envisage "Counterpoint" in a club, at a gig, at a festival, even in an arena or a stadium, which is certainly not a bad thing at all.
FOR FANS OF: New Order, Bloc Party, Friendly Fires

24 May 2009

>>>LIVE!>>>Sound Of Guns>>>23.05.09
If there was any doubt about the future of Liverpool's musical legacy, then allow Sound Of Guns to lay it to rest. Arriving on stage to a fairly eerie spoken word track and looking like a Kasabian tribute band, S.O.G's music belies the leather jackets and shaggy hair. "Alcatraz" owes a fair amount to early U2 with it's chiming guitar and stadium-sized chorus. Add to this the Bono-esque stage presence of lead singer Andy Metcalfe and it's clear to see that SOG are set for the top. The band have ample talent and definitely know their way around a good melody, with the dramatic driving rock of "Backs Of Butterflies" and the latter-day Manics sounds of "Magnesium". Rattling throughout their set at a breakneck speed, Sound Of Guns' energy and confidence points towards a future on the main stages of major festivals across Britain. Should fantastic new single and set opener "Architects" gets the right amount of hype from SOGs high-profile admirers (ranging from Huw Stevens to Steve Lamacq) then those festival slots will come much quicker than anticipated.