Thursday, August 31, 2006

Vaux - 'Don't Wait' single review

The screaming emo boys from Denver are riding a bit of publicity at the moment with the launch of Beyond Virtue, Beyond Vice and are wasting no time in releasing their next single 'Don't Wait'.

This is typical single fodder. It opens with a quiet, building verse, dominant drums and light guitar with lead singer Smith’s spitfire vocal delivery. The verse gradually builds up into something anthemic, akin to Snow Patrol and all the other bands playing that game at the moment. They're a bit grittier than their UK counterparts, it's hard to imagine Chris Martin screaming his lungs out like Vaux. Other similarities can be drawn with the UK emo crowd of Hundred Reasons and Hell is For Heroes. Don't Wait is a good song, but a little forgettable and doesn't have the hook or sing-a-long nature of the rollicking 'Are You With Me'. Still it emphasises a well produced band full of determination and big nasty guitars. There's always room for more rock.

Rating :

Check out the single for yourself and leave a comment:

FREE DOWNLOAD: "Don't Wait", from the new album Beyond Virtue, Beyond Vice.

VAUX - "DON'T WAIT" (audio)

Download for realplayer
Download for windows media
Download .mov

Monday, August 28, 2006

CD Review: The Piney Gir Country Roadshow - Hold Yer Horses

I think I may have an allergy to something. I'm sneezing all the time and my nose is running. But what could it be? It can't be the dog which is now 11 years old, probably not pollen. Strange. Anyway, how about some boot-stomping country music for yer?





DOWNLOAD: The Great Divide

FOR FANS OF: Black Nielson, The Low Edges

Well pull on yer cowboy boots, and saddle up for this collection of rootin', tootin' country tunes. Yee haw! This is so authentic you can almost smell the sawdust and cheap liquor. 'Hold Yer Horses' is choc-full of heartbreaking tales of cheating boys, dusty road trips and most of all, D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

Kansas' Piney Gir's second release is the follow up to her 'Peakahokahoo' debut. She moved to London where, away from the dust and tumbleweed, she felt a need to fill the dance floors of honkey tonks everywhere. This, unashamedly grass roots country album is a diversion from her more usual electronic work. And if you have a cowboy hat gathering dust somewhere, then this is for you. From the word go Piney Gir is giving it her all on 'Greetings, Salutations, Goodbye' and barring a couple of slower numbers the album doesn't let up much. By it's nature, it won't be to everyone's taste but there is something infectiously fun about her charisma and southern twang. Country music is a bit like green vegetables, you may have an aversion to them at first, but once you give them a go, you find you quite like it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

CD review: Sergeant Buzfuz

I didn't think much of the new Sergeant Buzfuz record, but then by the law of averages you aren't going to like everything.




Rating: 2/5

Sergeant Buzfuz is an oddly-named folk/pop/rock crossover band. Behind the lyrics about the abundance of TV, urban desolation or the first millennial history of the papacy are Celtic and folk rhythms, accordions and violins. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn't. The musicians are adept, but the songwriting is below-par. The tracks seem to meander aimlessly, and the vocal melody often bears no correlation to the music.

The thorn in Sergeant Buzfuz's side is the vocals of Joe Murphy. He struggles to hold a melody and feels like a distraction from otherwise pleasant roots music. If you do manage to wade through ten mediocre tracks there is a reward for persevering listeners. 'Here come the popes part 1 (first millenium)' is an impressive history lesson containing 1000 years of church history in 6 minutes and 57 seconds. But the rest of 'The Jewelled Carriageway' is an uninspring and forgettable bunch of songs so few people will ever make it far enough to receive the education.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

CD review - M Ward : Post-War




RELEASE: 4 September (UK)

DOWNLOAD: Chinese Translation


RATING: 4.5/5

M Ward approaches his albums the way Robert De Niro does an acting role; as methodical as a brick layer he gets into their skin, and creates something so authentic, self contained and absorbing that the listener is transfixed, orbiting around the record sucked in by its gravity. M Ward's last album, 'Transistor Radio' was a homage to the golden age or radio, and 'Post-War' his fifth record is an equally timeless collection of songs, full of interesting nooks and crannies to explore over multiple listens.

If you have ever heard Matt Ward, you will know all about that voice: part honey and cigarettes, part Nina Simone and Tom Waits. 'Post War' opens with vocals and guitar, but the whole band kicks in on the wonderful 'Right In The Head' containing the lyric, presumably about our political masters, 'I hope he's right in the head / Even if he has to wrong someone". The next song features Neko Case on the Daniel Johnton cover of 'To Go Home', a rollicking live favourite faithfully reproduced on record.

After the first few songs, the record turns to lo-fi again, and all the better for it. M Ward is a master of the hushed, delicate understatement. 'Requiem' hovers between joy and regret, Chinese Translation features a hypnotic atmospheric melody that is typical of Ward. Throughout the brief running time Ward doesn't set a foot wrong and before you know it you'll have hit the repeat button. It's a perfect album for the coming autumn days as the evenings draw in and the leaves fall Ward's hushed, weathered voice can wrap around you like a blanket.

Download MP3
"To Go Home" (Daniel Johnston Cover ft. Neko Case)
M. Ward :: Post-War
M. Ward :: Right In The Head

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stolen Tranmission records

Like I said, I arrived home yesterday from my holiday. It was a pleasant surprise to find a package awaiting me with a couple of CDs from a brand new indie label called Stolen Transmission.

According to the label, set up by a couple of big (as in influential, not in body mass) A&R guys from Island records (and of course, they signed U2): "Stolen Transmission is a trendsetting new record label and on line community built for a new generation of music thirsty kids. Combining the back-end resources of a "major label" and the DIY ethics and ambition of and indie label, Stolen Transmission offers its bands and fans the best of both worlds. Out aim is to not only discover, develop and showcase the most promising artists in the country but to also build a truly supportive, creative and (most importantly) fun community around this label and our bands."

So, the bands are called Bright Light Fever and The Oohlas (their website is much better)... both sweet rock bands. Bright Light Fever is a bit more dirty, emo rock, while The Oohlas have a female vocalist and at times sound a bit like Brendan Benson. You can check them out for yourself with these (legal) MP3s


Oohlas - "Small Parts"

"Best Stop Pop" CD is due out on September 26th

Bright Light Fever - "Broken Hands"
"The Evening Owl" coming out at the tail end of 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Aberdeen City

My brother went to university in Aberdeen. Being in Scotland it's not often referred to as Aberdeen City. I never went to visit him there. It's very far North, not easily accessible, and very cold. It has a port, the source of much of its income. The port contains the freezing atlantic ocean. This is the title of the new album by USA boys calling themselves Aberdeen City.

I've been listening to the album now for a while and it's really growing on me. It was originally released in the fall of last year through independent label Dovecote Records and immediately garnered local and national attention, including the ears of Grammy Award-winning Producer of the Year Steve Lillywhite. This quickly led to a new distribution deal with the album being reissued through Dovecote/RED INK. I'm going to write a bit of a review soon, but in the meantime, to whet your apetite, try the tracks below.

Download the single "God is Going to Get Sick of Me"

Aberdeen City - Video - "God Is Going To Get Sick Of Me"

a wee bit of Killers news

Well I'm back from my holiday in Italy. Let me tell you, I really wish I was back there. Ireland is freezing, I have my jumper on today for the first time in months. This time last week I was swimming in the Med at the Cinque Terre. Absolutely beautiful.

Anyway, The Killers sophomore album
Sam's Town will be availble for pre-order on iTunes. When you pre-order the album you automatically get the new single "When You Were Young" with a cool interactive booklet, as well as a b-side for "Where The White Boys Dance" on release date (10/3).

The Killers - "When You Were Young" (Windows media high) (Windows media low) (Real media high)