Thursday, 29 July 2010

Paperboy delivering the goods

Check out Eli 'Paperboy' Reid ripping up Jools Holland. Ideal stuff...

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Blabbermouth - Me And The Metronome

Hobgoblin Records

Released August 30

It’s with a whisper of excitement that Blabbermouth’s new album has arrived.

The anticipation for Steve Thompson’s long player is not without foundation either, after honing his abilities between the moments his guitar wasn’t pawned to cover rent and utilities, heads have been bowed to get a good look in on this London based singer/songwriter.

After last year’s release of the superb single ‘I Return’ it seems that Thompson has crafted himself into one of the most respected folksters in the capital with acclaimed performances at the Crawley Folk Festival while creating the stuff of You Tube legend at Sidmouth Folk Festival and getting snapped up by Hobgoblin Records to release ‘Me And The Metronome’.

Thompson starts in familiar territory, using the aforementioned ‘I Return’ (re-mixed to accentuate the more haunting and larger moments of the song) to open the album and follows with more beguiling heart-felt folk.

The likes of ‘Agoraphobia’ (“but there’s a light outside, representing all that’s right, in you, that I see, in you”) and ‘Paris’ (“it’s true, what you said, we’re better off in Paris, than dead”) accentuate all that’s right about Blabbermouth and begins to lead you to believe you’re onto something truly special before the album highlight of ‘Death Of A Songwriter’ (I’ve gone, but I live on and I’m sorry for the burden of my song”) makes you convinced of this fact.

Sadly for us, and Blabbermouth, this just isn’t the case.

It starts going horribly wrong in the pretty shit ‘My Life As A Cat’ which you can quite frankly imagine a purple dinosaur singing along to with a sickening smile that just doesn’t ever leave his face. A favoured approach for Thompson is to sing from another perspective, a ghost for example, and he seems to have taken this notion too far as he sings: “My life as a cat, that’s where it’s at, all that I need is to sleep, breed and feed,” which can’t be even be saved by the sweet sentiment: “My life as a cat, that’s where it’s at, I don’t cheat and I don’t lie and you won’t ever hear me say goodbye. Not until I die,” which isn’t true in all fairness, cats can be sneaky fuckers.

It’s not all downhill from here, ‘Don’t Wanna Go Home’ sits up there with the album’s best but there are fairly comedic moments in ‘Keith’s Been Conned Again’ where Thompson flicks between his normal singing and a cockney accent while In ‘Chicken’ he sings: “I don’t mind if it’s roasted, oven grilled or fried. I go for legs or chicken breast, wings or chicken thighs.” Madness.

Without wanting to get carried away in talks of part genius part mentalist it’s fair to say that this album is a mixed bag, with the best songs all crammed into the first third of the 15 tracks . Blabbermouth hasn’t completely missed the mark here and I want to like this more, you just can't help but feel that at least five of these tunes could be health endangering radio jingles that would be lucky to see that back of a b-side album.


Monday, 26 July 2010

Stephen Dale Petit – The Crave

Universal Music

Released July 26

After the hugely acclaimed debut of 2008’s ‘Guitararama’ Stephen Dale Petit and his innovative blend of blues are back to test the water with the more commercial offering of ‘The Crave.’

With ferocious blues assaults on classics by Robert Johnson (‘Cross Road Blues’) and Little Willie John (‘Need Your Love So Bad’) Petit is once again on fine form and backed with a band so tight you can’t see the stitching that knits them together.

While it may hold more mainstream moments (maybe trying to lure new audiences and take Petit to the world) with 2 Pac and Dr Dre’s ‘California’ being an example, there’s also more in the way of vocals, a skill of Petit’s that doesn’t shine quite as brightly as his expert fret wankery. He is however backed with the more than capable pipes of Angela Brooks who keeps the vocals vaguely on par with the highly skilled band who have created the perfect advertisement for Petit’s ‘New Blues revolution’.

With the notable guitar skills on display it’s with credit that ‘The Crave’ doesn’t get lost in endless solos and instrumental excess. The grand range of what’s on offer is endearing with the slide and hilly billy moments of ‘Lookin For Trouble’ being as welcome as the raucous ride of opener ‘3 Gun Slingers.’

The revolution continues.


Darker My Love - Alive As You Are

Dangerbird Records

Released July 26

It’s with washed out melodies and a change of direction that Darker My Love have arrived at their third album ‘Alive As You Are’.

Swapping the reverb swamped psychedelic saunter for a more direct 60s pop swing, this LA based band are turning corners with ‘Alive As You Are’. While psychedelic elements still lie in their beachy mix they turn to basement blues in‘18th Street Shuffle’ with a harnessed precision that reveals the influence and sensibilities of decades gone by.

It’s an easy listen that never strays far from its laid back rock grooves and spot on melodies that have you chirping happily along to the serenity without really realising.

As a background soundtrack it’s easy to get lost in Darker My Love’s third long player and diversity is far from abundant in the hazy rock revelry which results in a monotony and similarity that takes over the likes of ‘New America’, ‘Rain Party’ and ‘Trail The Line’ which could quite happily sit next to each other in a fuzzy summer medley.

There’s nothing wrong here, on the contrary, a lot of ‘Alive As You Are’ is packed with little harmonic treats that will indeed tickle your fancy if you miss and crave a return to a simple rock n roll spirit that doesn’t get lost in self indulgence. While the character of days gone by lives on in Darker My Love, there’s nothing fresh or new in this record to make it stand out from a crowd and it feels rather more like a tribute to an endless line bands that came before their time.


Monday, 19 July 2010

Songs on the Stereo

Apologies for the absence over the last month, I've been checking out Morocco.

Have a shifty at these mega tunes that have been ticking over on my ipod rather than stereo...

1. Old Fangs - Black Mountain -

2. Kalimba - Mr Scruff -

3. Siva - Smashing Pumpkins

4. Lying By The Side Of You - The Wallbirds -

5. All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

The newest track of the lot is from Black Mountain and is taken from their highly anticpated third album, 'Wilderness Heart', due to be released on Monday, 3rd of September. The psychedelic stoners from across the pond once again grit their teeth in a cloud of fuzzy retro rock with a hint of cannabis. It's cool and sleazy enough to convince yourself that you're going to grow long hair and a beard. 'Old Fangs' is available as a free download on the link above but if you'd rather trip your nuts off to the video then it is directly below for your viewing pleasure...