Saturday, 19 June 2010

The Winter Olympics – Attention All Departments/They Launched A Probe

June 14

Office Rock Records
It’s taken nearly eight years for the impression to come but The Winter Olympics have made it and are causing quite a fuss in doing so.
With this double single taken from their long awaited debut album, a message of purpose is the order of the day for this London four piece and the opening dalliances of synth are cut out by raucous guitar stomps and vocal howls of “attention all departments, attention all departments, we’re going to a party, it’s going to be amazing” before [singer] Wagstaff announces: “We’re going to get retarded on cheap champagne.”
Their big time rock has gained them admiring glances and Donald Clark (Guns N Roses) is responsible for the mix that does indeed lead you to believe that this band are further on than they actually are.
It all gets a little bizarre in ‘They Launched A Probe’ which edges towards pink leather jacket cock rockery with talk of aliens accompanied by slow synth break downs to leave question marks over what might have been.
Maybe it’s that champagne.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Introducing: Alba Lua

It may not surprise you that beneath the beguiling cultural image of Bordeaux's wineries rests a thriving music scene.

It's a city that plays host to Alba Lua, an intriguing alt folk trio that deliver heavy pop sensibilities with a rootsy prowess. Their music isn't conventional and moves from vivid soundscapes and soothing sounds to back room folk with an effortless glaze.

Their debut EP, 'The Ballad of Joseph Merrick',  is set to be released on June 28th and has been produced by New York born Dave Bianchi, described in La Vanguardia as an "unusually brilliant talent."

Definitely ones to watch.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Applicants – Escape From Kraken Castle

Released June 7
Tigertrap Records

It’s the second coming for this brat pack bunch of punk poppers.
Fed up of the regurgitated takes on songs and scenes gone by with bands apparently forgetting what punk is all about, Applicants claim to be fighting the good fight by bringing their music to the bare bones with their unruly blend of punk and game boy synth.
It’s a tall order and the teeny-bop pretence isn’t lost in the opening slapdashery of ‘Schoolchildren Of Japan’ or the teen tale of heartbreak in ‘Evelyn Waugh’ where Paul Blades (the male contingent of their dual sex vocal pairing) gushes: “I watched you walking home once and to the library, I’d have told you how I felt but the sign said quiet please,” to single handedly resurrect the spirit of ‘76 while putting them right up there with punk’s lyrical elite, not.
It certainly is one for the school days and the raucous guitar hooks try in vain to save what’s lost through poor vocal work and schizophrenic sounds that create an abundance of irritants that luckily dislodge themselves from your head at the push of a button, leaving no lasting damage.
The resplendent chug to the opening verse of ‘Obey eBay’ gives them a brief wind of composure before its chorus once again gives the game away by falling into the same derivative gutter punk that they believe sets them apart from the copy-mongers and wannabe scenesters.
It doesn’t.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Morcheeba – Blood Like Lemonade

Released June 7

Pias Records
When it was announced that Skye Edwards would be returning to the Morcheeba fold in February the most chilled ripple of anticipation fell over anybody that had previously picked up one of their records featuring the angelic singer.
Since departing because of personal reasons way back in 2002 the Godfrey brothers have reinstated their original vocalist to grand effect and ‘Blood Like Lemonade’ displays all the reasons why Morcheeba’s laid back charm has led to them becoming the multi-million selling darlings of down tempo.
Opening with ‘Crimson’s’ incandescent rays of summer sun and the soulful sounds of new single ‘Even Though’,  the homecoming of Edwards opens up new roads for Morcheeba all over again with the super chilled melodies taking over the songs once more.
Soothing bouts of harp accompanied blues give the sliding swing of ‘Mandala’ a shining prominence and the trip hop beats of ‘Easier Said Than Done’ add another dimension to the shape of an enticingly loose LP.
The headlines and talk will be of the return of Skye Edwards but nothing should be taken away from the brothers Godfrey, the production and song creation remains unequivocal and entrancing  making this one of the soundtracks to the summer.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Boy Mandeville – Christina

Released June 7
Kind Canyon Records/Voga Parochia!

This Cambridge quartet and their primitive good time pop are turning heads.
Having honed their abilities on the London and Cambridge live circuits over the last nine months in kitchens and warehouses it comes as no surprise that Boy Mandeville’s debut single has arrived.
‘Christina’ maybe in indebted to some of their clear influences but is riddled in summer fun that steers you from your seat and into the nearest field to do bad things. It’s a sweet quirky mix of sounds with snappy offbeat drums that send tingles to your dancing shoes paired with the soft under cooked vocals that sit well in an unblemished mix.
B side Raisin Snake rings with the same sensibilities that make this bunch of hotly tipped scenesters ones to watch in the coming months.