9 October 2009

NEU!: featuring Delphic, Everything Everything, Lost Knives and Copy Haho

Neu/new in the most literal sense of the word, as the following four bands are virtually unknown outside of the indie universe. So listening is not only reccomended, it's compulsory as it's pretty likely you'll discover your new favourite band.

Manchester's great hope have already scored a brace of underground hits with the astounding New Order-esque "Counterpoint" and the slightly more restrained "This Momentary". On "Alterstate", things are taken back even more, resulting in a blissful, hypnotic, almost completely instrumental piece of electro pop. It verges on dub-step with it's pulsating bass and complex beats, coupled with barely-there vocals. Whilst it probably won't propel them into the public conciousness, "Alterstate" is likely to complete a hattrick of indie hits for the Manc foursome, especially as it's available as a free download from their site.

Currently being whispered/shouted about in the "blogosphere" as the next big thing as well as gaining places on preemptive Ones To Watch 2010 lists, EE have one of the best and most confusing pop singles of the year right here. Not pop in the way that wanky alternative bands see their songs as being, despite being as accessible as a chastity belt without having the key, actual pop; choruses, instantaseous hooks and a fantastic bassline. Alright, it's not the typical fair of yer average pop-picker, but with influences as diverse as Michael Jackson, Talking Heads, Radiohead, Dr Dre, The Beta Band, Destiny's Child and The Futureheads, they were never going to churn out JLS-type bilge. It doesn't matter that you can't even make out the lyrics throughout most of the song, since when do the majority of people listen to them anyway? Embrace another Mancunian four-piece that will definitely be going places

A hotly-anticipated fresh clutch of demos from the Steve Lamacq favourites, written to show the diversity of their canon. Whilst the change in sound isn't exactly the jump from "What Goes On" to "Tomorrow Never Knows" on Rubber Soul, there are a few noticeable differences from the first three demos. "Left Alone" is the most similar, but more focused and driven, whilst "Static" is the early Horrors transformed into an arena band...except great. However, "She's Not You" could very well be Lost Knives' breakthrough track. Fizzing with Interpol-esque guitars, drums crashing like tidal waves and a bassline that Peter Hook would love to have thought up, it slides from a menacing verse to an unexpectedly epic and uplifting chorus, that should have you singing along before the end of the song. This is one more talented Manchester band headed for the top. Bastards. What, me, jealous? No...well yeah, I'd rather have three very exciting local young bands than The Beatles Rockband. Bloody Mancs get all the fun...

The Glaswegian quartet (yes! they're not from Manchester) are friends with Los Campesinos! and Dananananaykroyd and it certainly shows on this EP. Drums crash about like they're going out of fashion whilst the guitars are the most vibrant and energetic I've heard since Arctic Monkeys' debut. But sharp Sheffieldian post-punk isn't on the menu here. Skewed indie rock is Copy Haho's dish of choice with a whole heap of melody as a side order (okay I'm dropping the food metaphor now). It's probably quite unfair to compare them to their compadres (LC!, Dana and Johnny Foreigner, The Xcerts) but it's inescapable that Haho sound like all of those bands at some point on the EP, kind of like a copycat little brother. The only time the "fight pop" formula is thrown out of the window is on "Bad Blood" which sounds something like a fuzzless, un-angsty Nirvana during the verses and, bizzarely, Oasis in the chorus ("Champagne Supernova" and "All Around The World" in particular). But maybe that's just me. This one little diversion is evidence that Copy Haho can create something that stands out and sounds great at the same time. But for now, it's a case of good songs, but has been done better before.

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