It has to be said that one of the nice things I’ve become accustomed to during my time with drownedinsound is getting parcels through the post. It’s like Christmas once or twice a week. I especially like it when they have lots of tack in them – like stickers of bands I’ve never heard of, or used train tickets – just because it’s fun to get the stuff out and see what goodies Dave the postman has brought for me today.
This package hasn’t got any stickers or random bands in it; just a CD and a few pieces of paper. It’s tempting to return it to the sender and request that they re-send it once they’ve got their act together, but I manage to refrain. Today’s package is from the oh-so-controversial mini-label, Dental Records. Judging from past reviews, there’s a bit of a love/hate thing going on with DiS staff members and Dental. Some of us worship every act Dental have ever even considered signing, whereas some of us think they must be a bunch of tone-deaf morons, judging by some of the pap they consider worthy of signing. As yet, it is undecided where I stand on this.
So anyway, inside the package is Dental’s latest compilation cd, boasting, in their words, “five of the best guitar bands the UK has to offer” all nicely presented with a very pretty inlay and interestingly titled, ‘Rock Will Eat Itself’. Will it indeed?! So, inevitably, I decide to give it a spin on the ol’ decks and see what “Rock” likes for lunch.
It would seem that, on this occasion, “Rock” would like to start with something a bit tangy, zesty and light on the taste buds, something a bit sweet and fruity and generally fun. The first helping of this CD goes by the name of ‘Going After The Demotivator’ by Yes Yes Harry Bonanza. It’s a rather chirpy little guitar-pop song with a melody that is strangely reminiscent of the Postman Pat theme tune. And hey, who doesn’t love Postman Pat?!
The second course of today’s luxury five-course meal is something a bit heavier, more intensely flavoured and is nice and meaty. Antihero serve up a rather succulent affair with some seriously scrumptious riffs and a biting retro edge. Descending arpeggios borrowed from the early 90’s compliment rough and husky vocals, which despite being somewhat flat in places are overall really rather palatable. Since their move to Integrity records, ‘Dying To Meet You’ is Antihero’s last appearance on the Dental menu, which is a shame for Dental because from this little selection, they seem to be somewhat of a speciality.
Spyamp, however, rather let down the side. Whilst ‘Little Lost’ may look and smell fairly appealing, once the vocals kick in and the song is underway, it’s becomes clear that this is really nothing special, different or that hasn’t been sampled a hundred times before. As with your grandmothers homemade apple pie, many bands try to “re-do” the delights of Idlewild, but really, no one can do it better so you have to wonder why they even bother. Spyamp have got all the right ingredients but really, really need to work on their own secret recipe if they want to make this a main course worth finishing.
Desert today is of the chocolate fudge variety, y’know, really, very appetising, but you can only eat so much of it before it begins to disagree with you. I’ve reviewed this exact recording of Sufferkiss’ ‘Alone In The Rain With A Gun’ before and my opinion hasn’t really changed. It’s a scrumptious little devil, but could be faaaar more edible if the flavourings (vocals) were a little subtler.
So… after all that, dear old ‘Rock’ should be pretty much bursting at the seams, but of course, no meal would be complete with a shot of caffeine to finish it off. And that’s exactly what ‘This Is Real’ by Circusact is! It’s an aromatic, chaotic blast of energy that picks you up, throws your head around and leaves you feeling rather awake, if to some extent abused!
On the subject of DiS staff divide, I’ve decided to make my own category. I wouldn’t say I “worship” any of these acts, but I quite like the majority. I have to say, there’s some delectable treats on the ‘Rock Will Eat Itself’ menu. A bit chewy in places and the vocals on the majority of the tracks aren’t quite up to standard. But overall, it’s not far short of gourmet.
My compliments to the chef!
7Kate Price's Score