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Singles Bar: January 2006

LITTLE FISH Revolutions EP (2005)

A UK based singer songwriter who uses minimum instrumentation - merely guitar and drums to create some very strong music. The title track reminds me of Skin the former Skunk Anansie singer, with a 'in your face' raw vocal power.

'Clock Face' is slightly gentler and features some very neat drum/percussion backing. 'Ashes' again captures Little Fish's raw and powerful vocal style - she is not as soothing as say Anna Nalick or Kate Bush but boy does she have a strong voice.

Only 'Thirst' fails to hit the mark for me but overall Little Fish, with some decent airplay could be a name to watch this year.

Review: Jason Ritchie

MIGHTY SIX NINETY Believable Kids 2006

Kids have come up with the goods again Ė another quality new band. This time Mighty Six Ninety Ė a San Diego outfit specialising in melodic rock inspired by The Smiths, Talk Talk and Depeche Mode.

Believable comes on like Morrissey singing a Blue Oyster Cult number played by A-ha. Itís raw, but polished and something of a gem. Perfect pop/rock which youíll find from March 13 on strictly limited 7Ē white vinyl and iTunes. ****1/2

Review: Pete Whalley

THE WHIP Frustration Kids (2006)

The Whip hail from Manchester and are something of a throwback to those halcyon electro days of the eighties Ė think Soft Cell, think Orchestral Manoeuvres. But with a with a hint of New Order thrown in for good measure.

The B side is an exclusive techno remix by fellow Mancunians Performance that would brighten any rave. And frankly, itís the pick of the two versions. As The Whip guitarist / vocalist Bruce Carter says Ė Ďitís about wanting to dance and not give a fuckí. ***

Review: Pete Whalley

BETH ORTON Conceived EMI 2006

Beth Orton is an artist capable of brilliance and frustration in equal measures. Insistent on following her own guiding star and ignoring the yellow brick road signposts her output tends to fall into two categories - wonderfully melodic numbers and those with quirky off the wall time signatures.

Conceived - which preludes her new fourth album 'Comfort Of Strangers', unusually falls somewhere in between and should keep all her fans happy. ***

Review: Pete Whalley

BEN LEE TYLER Not My Fault Ivolution 2006

Ben Lee Tyler is a 21-year-old singer songwriter inspired by the likes of The Beatles and The Stones. Not My Fault is his debut single previews his debut album Dreamweaverís Town.

Not My Fault is an excellent up tempo pop/rock number - commanding riffs, a catchy chorus, powerful vocal harmonies and a wonderful vocal delivery from Ben.

The promo also includes Hate My Name - an acoustic number that demonstrates both the strength of Benís song writing and his ability to deliver a number unplugged.

Young male singer songwriters are something of the vogue at the moment. And if Dreamweaverís Town lives up to the promise demonstrated here, Ben Lee Tyler could be one of the names of 2006. ****

Review: Pete Whalley

STARSAILOR This Time EMI 2006

Somehow, after a promising start Starsailor seem to have stuttered. Their debut album Love Is Here was one of the highlights of 2001. But the follow up Silence Is Easy suffered the dreaded Ďsecond albumí syndrome. As a result theyíve been left in the shadows of the likes of Keane who have continued to raise their profile despite a lack of output.

This Time is the second single from the critically acclaimed, gold selling and return to form third album On The Outside. It maintains the bandís piano driven sound but adds a harder edge, classy vocals and shimmering guitars. A sure crowd pleaser. ****

Review: Pete Whalley

JOSEPH ARTHUR Devil's Broom 14th Floor Records (2006)

Joseph Arthur Devilís Broom is taken from Arthurís critically acclaimed album Our Shadows Will Remain and itís a corker. An almost Stones type beat, Robbie Robertson vocals, wonderful guitar work and catchy as hell. Itís up there alongside the best output of the likes of Ryan Adams.

Joseph was originally Ďdiscoveredí by Peter Gabriel and was the first rock artist to sign to his Real World label. Our Shadows Will Remain is the follow up to his acclaimed 2002 debut Redemptionís Son. Both albums are well worth searching out. Be warned, this is seriously classy stuff and a talent not to be missed. *****

Review: Pete Whalley

ELENA I Want You Delicious Records (2006)

Elena were formed late 2003 and have a vaguely retro sort of feel. The thing that immediately hits you is the vocals that fall somewhere between Cerys Matthews, Shirley Manson and Marianne Faithful. Theyíre hypnotic, smokey, and dangerous.

I Want You has an almost 80ís feel - Blondie, perhaps with an almost spoken vocal. Itís catchy and itís easy to see why Elena have been receiving rave reviews. One to watch for. ****

Review: Pete Whalley

FALL OUT BOY Sugar, We're Goin' Down Mercury (2006)

This US band have been going down a storm in their homeland and look set to take the UK by storm with dates at Astoria sized venues already sold out. Judging a band by one song is hard but boy this is one catchy little power pop/punk lite number - very Butch Walker in sound. If this ainít a huge hit then I am a fan of Westlife! ****

Review: Jason Ritchie

JOFF WINKS BAND Share My Blues (2006)

Joff Winks With a name like Joff Winks itís hard to know what to expect. But with stated influences such as Neil Young, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa and Kevin Coyne, you know this is no novelty act.

And so it proves - Share My Blues is a classy piece of pop/rock with definite nods to the Dan - but at the more commercial end of their spectrum. Itís one of those numbers that grows on you, and musically with excellent vocals, guitars and hooks.

Quite what it's about is hard to fathom - the lamentable state of childrenís TV, or how a problem shared is a problem halved. But who cares? Itís a damn fine listen. So remember the name - Joff Winks - one to watch. ****

Review: Pete Whalley

MOGWAI Friend of the Night PIAS Recordings (CDS 2006)

The first single of the instrumentalistís new album ĎMr Beastí and it is an enjoyable little beats. Mogwai certainly have a big following here in the UK and judging by this you can see why. It is a mix of guitars, loops and at times almost progressive rock moments. Alan McGee (the man who started Oasis off on their rise to fame amongst others) rates this as the bandís best album yet.

Not for everyone but those who like a bit of musical variety could do worse than check this out. ***½

Review: Jason Ritchie

FALL OUT BOY Sugar, Weíre Goin' Down' Mercury (2006 CDS)

This US band have been going down a storm in their homeland and look set to take the UK by storm with dates at Astoria sized venues already sold out.

Judging a band by one song is hard but boy this is one catchy little power pop/punk lite number - very Butch walker in sound. If this ainít a huge hit then I am a fan of Westlife! ****

Review: Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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