Monday, 23 February 2009



Earthy and acoustic, Emmy The Great on this occasion feels very much the antithesis of Kate Nash and all those other ballsy young teenage girls that like to sniff out any kind of weakness available at their disposal in order to exploit and manipulate before getting daddy to pay to bail them out. Perhaps and maybe.

I don’t think Emmy The Great will be too impressed to hear that of anybody else in music this reminds me most of Lisa Loeb. And that Hallelujah refrain – it’s just playing into people’s hands! Leave that kind of shit to the wonder lips on the face of Alexandra Burke as she attempts to butt fuck Leona Lewis (Lennox Lewis’ drag persona) out of the stratosphere. Leona of course will be all right, her music industry dad will see to it.

So what is really wrong with Emmy The Great? You sense she sees and hears herself as some kind of Beth Orton talent when really you the impression that she is some twee bitch they dug up out of the compost heap. “Piss on your grave” indeed.

Given a second hearing I flip the seven inch to hear the opposite offering which turns out to be a cover version of “Burn Baby Burn” by Ash. I don’t know what to say about this version of the song; I didn’t really like the original so it is unlikely that I am going to appreciate a floppy cover of it.

These fucking kids.

Thesaurus moment: wet.

Emmy The Great
Close Harbour

Wednesday, 18 February 2009



When I first play this single scarily it is at the wrong speed and immediately I hate it for its pretensions and druid feel. After such a keen cover and artwork featuring lavish packaging my gut instinct is that it just does not match up. I revert to what I think and hope is the correct (normal) speed for the single and begin to judge again.

Even with the change of speed I am not convinced that this is a good move as I am faced with a set of vocals that resembles the Wicker Man soundtrack crossed with The Cranberries with a touch of Circulus. This is not a good thing.

In the court of King Arthur this may have cut the mustard but in the modern world and such crisis as terrorism and the credit crunch I truly cannot see how this song, record, band and/or music improves our environment any.

Flipping to the b-side and hoping for something better I find myself faced with more of the same, yet another stupidly conceived piece of tat complete with electronic beats born from song kind of unnecessary remix.

Knowing nothing about this band I enquire further and discover it is the dude from Simple Machines hooking/shacking up with two twins he met at an Interpol concert. That’s not a good thing either.

Interestingly though the original School Of Seven Bells is a mythical South American pickpocket training academy.

I don’t get it.

Thesaurus moment: somnolent.

School Of Seven Bells
Full Time Hobby

Monday, 16 February 2009



There is a subtle amount of responsibility that comes with reviewing music that no one else is willing to touch. To heavily criticise such a piece of music and slag it off at ground zero is a heinous act akin to kicking the crutches away from a cripple. Sometimes however it feels like a necessary evil.

This two track CD single (I think) is released to coincide with the most frightful of Hallmark holidays (along with the commercialisation of Eid) “Valentine” is a tepid and gloomy offering confusing the most quizzical parts of my brain (if I have one) and causing me to stroke my chin and wonder just who is going to listen to this.

For such a commercially orientated release, the sound really stands out as being muddy and cheap sounding. There is no bite or purpose to this record it just sounds like grown ups trying to play music they don’t understand from a tab book purchased in a bad music shop.

Referring to the press release, the boast of “full on percussion” really is not the most salient of points and where the “harmonious venom” just quite is, is something of a Baker Street mystery to me, Baker Street that would probably actually embrace this release for all its big ties (major label distribution apparently) and business acumen. It is all built on sand.

I have to concede at this point that when I was sent the email asking me if I wanted a copy I was drunk.

Thesaurus moment: devoid.

Chapter xiii
Levelsound Music

Tuesday, 10 February 2009



Morrissey circa 2009 is becoming something of a revelation as takes his rightful spot as elder statesman of indie with the kind of personality and charisma that nobody else appears to possess in this day and age of tepid and too willing to please alternative music.

Complete with irksome inner sleeve featuring the man and his band covering their cocks with seven inch singles (who’d have thought Morrissey a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan sharing such lowbrow common ground) there is plenty to turn a normal person off with this packaging but you persist anyway.

The single begins with the igniting of an energy and within seconds of this opening gesture Morrissey is already flopping around expounding his declarations towards Paris. These are truly confusing sentiments as I had never had Mozza down as being much of a fan of the French.

As ever it’s all about love and the weight here appears doused and drenched upon an entire city because he is feeling in a rejected frame of mind. Is it truly his audience, his homeland or a real person that is bring on this emotional baggage and toll?

To me and many this is an abjectly beautiful song with painful sentiments that are dissolving into some kind of sense of negative contentment as the song plays out. Despite my reservations there is true pay off at the close of this song as it ends with the eternal declaration “yes you’ve made yourself plain, yes you’ve made yourself very plain” delivered and executed in the most defiant and nonchalant of manners. Even in the face of rejection the elder statesman Morrissey is able to win.

We care.

Thesaurus moment:


Monday, 9 February 2009



Musicians have to mature. If for nothing else they have to have “continued professional development” but equally if an act or songwriter continues to regurgitate the same turgid shit year after year it becomes insincere and even worse, boring. Bands that have a career (or yearn/strive for a career) tend to find their formula early (often a variation of someone else’s sound), stick with it and wind becoming stale and boring in the process. This can often carry an act through a long career as the quality of the material gets distracted by hype, personality and whole set of other elements that do not relate to the art therein. This album represents a victory against that kind of complacency and the beauty of evolution.

The two headed monster that is Yonokiero is the enduring partnership that fuelled the fire of Hirameka an indie generation ago and provided many noisy lo-fi moments and dreams rejuvenating a small circle of people and daring to brush up against some big dreams while tussling with real (professional) indie heavyweights.

At this point I have to admit I could never truly be subjective about these guys. I have lived with them, toured with them, argued with them, been sick on them but that is all in the past and with this record I am sufficiently detached and genuinely presented with something I was neither expecting nor recognise. Sure I have been hearing demos of many of these songs for a couple of years now but nothing in this form. I remember their first gig at a house party called the Green Man Roundabout Festival and how thrilling it was to witness the rebirth and reinvention.

The most noticeable transition and addition to their arsenal is the expansion of instruments and sounds. Pleasantly sedate, after all the noise and furore of Hirameka, this is very much their Unplugged In New York (especially on the intro on “Randolph Bourne”), echoing a similar direction that other heroes have taken in evolution with bands such as The Evens.

The highlight tracks amongst the Nick Drake enthused collection include “Hey Now”, one of the older songs on show full of gliding pop with an “About A Girl” feel and Larry Sanders nod in the song title. Conversely in a batch of carefully crafted tunes it is the loudest and heroically lumbering of “Rewound” with its “time for reunion” mantra coupled with beautiful disorientation in its distortion which provides a real bipolar response.

With vocals that are generally hushed in delivery, adding an air of mystery and often menace, it is difficult to decipher what is being said all of the time but for those that are clear the lyrics flow as closely coded and guarded riddles only a spectator next to the trees could fathom, a kind of antidote to the Neil Strauss way of thinking and a different take on making sense of situations. This is the work of a yo yo ego.

Its not perfection but in a world so cold you have to welcome and support such a rank contender/outsider.

Thesaurus moment: restoration.

Front And Follow

Monday, 2 February 2009



Ocean Bottom Nightmare (or rather OBN for short) find me on a fortuitous day as I desire something heavier, heavier than heaven, heavier than hell.

Hailing from Nottingham, what we have here are a hardcore snapping three piece leaning more on the metal side of hardcore as opposed to the punk.

Happily citing bands such as Mclusky and Reuben as their inspirations, here is something of an uninspired take on that sound, a sound that lacks a sense of humour that the genre so needs/requires to thrive on. If you really take life so seriously, as this EP title would suggest, soon you’ll adopt some kind of straitjacket as modelled by the latest version of the emo crowd.

On their side is a distorted bass that briefly makes the music breath and stand out but as the stern demeanour of the apparent personality of the band and its music take over and overwhelm such touches, the whole thing is inevitably lost to the ages.

In the end, this music is rock leaning towards the metal tone and taste of Kerrang readers, the music just feels too well adjusted to cause any real ripples in the grand scheme of things and you can shout as much as you like and you just will not be taken seriously. Unless of course you are good looking and goth girls want to fuck you. Are you?

Thesaurus moment: Zavvi.

Ocean Bottom Nightmare
Phat Phidelity