Singles round-up (07/04/08)
- 65daysofstatic »
- Muscles »
- Clocks »
- Free Blood »
- Black Kids »
- Grammatics »
- Royal Treatment Plant »
- Future Of The Left »
- Holy Fuck »
- Blood Red Shoes »
- Semifinalists »
- ¡Forward Russia! »
- M83 »
- The Corrections »
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
65daysofstatic – ‘The Distant And Mechanised Glow Of Eastern European Dance Parties’ (Monotreme)
Perhaps it was just me, but something about Sheffield glitch-punks 65daysofstatic’s last LP The Destruction Of Small Ideas didn’t smell right. The adrenaline rush never came, felt prickling the skin on the preceding long-play pair; the air about it was musty, certain trademark tricks sounding a little tired. Live, the band could still kill it, night after night, but album three never truly clicked. This EP – four tracks – completely makes personal amends, recalculating one of its parent LP’s standouts into a dizzying brace full of bombastic rave beats and glo-stick colours, spiralling synths and pulsating organic percussion. This release – like its makers’ tour itinerary – is incessant, relentless, completely overpowering. It’s the sound of 65days rediscovering a spark they’d neglected for a while, preoccupied with slaying arenas above progressing their recorded output. This: several blistering steps forward. It’s good to feel the buzz again, guys.
ALSO OUT TODAY
Royal Treatment Plant – ‘Get Played’ (Light Music)
A-side: the sound of Operator Please playing synth-grunge in a garage. B-side: sounds like The Cardigans. London gal-fronted sorts Royal Treatment Plant’s failure to suss exactly what sort of band they wanna be renders them masters of no particular approach, and as a result there’s little to remember here.
Clocks – ‘Old Valve Radio’ (Island)
Harmless strum-along indie-pop from Britpop-recalling Clocks, sure to appeal to anyone missing Travis and possessing an appreciation of The Hoosiers (they’re soon to support Scouting For Girls, too). Completely wet then, as edgy as a piece of sodden toilet paper, but ultimately okay given it doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t.
Black Kids – ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’ (Mercury)
Single of the week material until 65days’ assault on the senses sent this writer into convulsions, this debut single proper from super-buzzed Florida five-piece Black Kids is a shameless rip-off of The Cure’s poppiest standalones (no bad thing) as re-imagined by Tilly And The Wall, kissed with sunshine and perfectly packaged for daytime radio rotation. In a truly wonderful world this would be number one come Sunday (this week's winner is a limited-run release), it’s that good, that instantly engaging… so long as you can take your syrupy hits without barfing rainbows everywhere.
Video: ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend…’
The Corrections – ‘Barcode’ (EMI)
Earnest indie-rock oversold as something really special by the characters promoting its release – if there’s any Wire or Brainiac in this single it passed me by – this first single from The Corrections’ debut album Repeat After Me has its place in a post-Arctics indie scene for sure, but precisely where is puzzling: it’s too slow to fire-up dancefloors, but too perky to sink into an armchair to after a stressful day’s slog (plus it has a serious(ly) B&W promo, here). Perhaps the album will clear up this confusion. Right now: jury’s out.
Holy Fuck – ‘Lovely Allen’ (Young Turks)
It’s the one made for trailers on the telly, for car ads where the shiny five-door’s rocketing through an expansive alpine landscape; also, for comedowns and fry-ups, first-borns and funeral wakes. Something for everyone and not a single word in earshot – Holy Fuck might have one of the least radio/parent-friendly monikers of all time, but they sure know their way around a lush pop instrumental bursting with universal appeal. ‘Lovely Allen’ is another contender this week, its chances dented only through indecent levels of over-exposure.
Forward Russia – ‘Breaking Standing’ (CookingVinyl)
Already established, at DiS anyway, as one of 2008’s more ambitious comeback LPs, Forward Russia’s Life Processes is an album that improves with each listen in these ears. ‘Breaking Standing’ isn’t the most acerbic of its varied tracks, but it is a neatly arranged pop-hooked offerings that’ll serve as a reminder to fans that the band have deconstructed their past and created something sometimes startlingly brilliant with the constituent pieces. As impressive a lead single for a much-scrutinised second record as ‘The Prayer’, its only awkward access obstacle still those vocals. Like Marmite innit, et cetera.
Video: ‘Breaking Standing’
Free Blood – ‘Royal Family’ / ‘Grumpy’ (ACTH)
Party-funk for modern hedonists, drugs not necessary ‘cause the music gets you there, man. New York duo Free Blood play the dirty !!!-dance well without ever truly grabbing the feet like one-‘o-two John Pugh’s former concern, toe-tap-heady freak-outs stripped of home consumption suitability. Get sweaty in a basement and this’ll drip you out, clean; rock along in your living room and expect to walk away cold.
Semifinalists – ‘Odd Situation’ (Young & Lost)
Patrick Wolf x Hot Chip + a hearty dose of ‘80s synth-pop ÷ a similarly proportioned measure of proggy overtones = something vaguely likeable but ultimately impossible to give too great a shit about right now. Accompanying blurb says something about befuddlement, entirely accurately: Semifinalists need to focus more to make a substantial impact in the future.
Future Of The Left – ‘Manchasm’ (Too Pure)
Stamp-along tomfoolery-rock from Welsh trio Future Of The Left, yapping on about very pretty pussies, as you do. Look at it one way and it’s a sort of skewwiffy genius; another and its nonsensical flow’s as interesting as the ongoing Maddie investigation. Break it down and there’s nothing but noise there to comprise cornerstones; accept it as brilliantly snarled pop-rock about a whole lot of not very much and it’s the most thrilling single of the week. Bar one, granted, but if you like your guitar t’ing stripped of pulverising electro blast-beats, this one’s fo’yo. Actual real-life cats in the video, too: bonus.
Muscles – ‘Ice Cream’ (Modular)
Clubland squelches under the weight of Aussie basslines, Muscles’ latest his – for he is one dude, dudes – most absorbingly catchy UK single yet but still some way short of the (e)motion generated by the LCDs of this world, a world with only so much room. More, better, soon, or we’re night-bussing it back to base with the smalls not yet sticky.
M83 – ‘Graveyard Girl’ (Mute)
Anthony Gonzales’ M83 drips back into the nu-gaze glare with a single that’s as indebted to Bloody sorts past as it is the current crop of revivalists muddling electro melodies with the kind of eyes-to-feet mumbling so very evident in photography students fond of graveyard shoots. Apt, then! Yet strangely shoulder-shrug of critical impression despite the odd suggestion of New Order-esque brilliance.
Grammatics – ‘D.I.L.E.M.M.A.’ (Dance To The Radio)
Leeds quartet Grammatics show Bloc Party how shit’s done should the Londoners ever get commissioned a Bond theme – epic yet weirdly claustrophobic, like Muse recording in an elevator. Gorgeous flipside ‘Polar Swelling’ alone, though a good two minutes too long for radio attentions, makes this an enticing-enough purchase for traditionalist indie sorts after a little feeling in their guitar pop. But not them, obviously. I mean, fucking hell…
Jose Gonzalez – ‘Killing For Love’ (Imperial Recordings)
Fucked-up video aside, this is as middle-road as acoustic singer-songwriter sorts get without someone pulling a gun on them for their own good. Jose Gonzalez puts not one step wrong here, picking and strumming and twanging to the tune his fans know so well, but these ears crave so much more. ‘Killing For Love’ probably sounds great driving the kids to day-care – just don’t let the spilling emotions distract you from that illicit rendezvous with your secretary, whatever you do.
Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir – ‘Know How Theme’ (Young MC) (Delicious Vinyl)
Old-school rapper Young MC gets updated for gutter kids. Sorry, Gutter kids. Is that even a proper noun? Whatevs – 1989 has never sounded so now thanks to Aaron LaCrate and his cohorts. Check out the flow, blastin’ out the past like a DMC-12, here.
Blood Red Shoes – ‘Say Something, Say Anything’ (V2/Mercury)
What is that, that riff? I’m certain I’ve heard it before, on another single, not so very long ago… Perhaps Blood Red Shoes’ number of members, and subsequent creative force, is starting to tell, or perhaps I twigged this shtick a couple of years back, but ‘Say Something, Say Anything’ feels totally dated despite its commendable racket and sing-along friendly lyrics. Loud, true, but it all rings hollow; punchy, but without the risk of being socked one right back. It’s the moment in the club where you – shadow-skulking but willing to give the DJ one more chance to draw you out – have waited two songs for a banger only to be rewarded with a final reminder you should head home.
Video: ‘Say Something, Say Anything’
Other singles are released today, but we’ve a table booked…
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