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Singles Bar: March 2007

We've listed singles/EPs/demos in order of star rating. Best first.

BREED 77 Look At Me Now

The band's new single is their ballad from last year's excellent album 'In My Blood'. The release coincides with a UK tour plus the release of a new album sung in their native Spanish, 'Un Encuentro'. Also on this single are a cover of the Cranberries 'Zombie' which fair blows the original out of the water!

There are two Spanish vocal versions on here as well, 'La Ultima Hora' and 'Petroleo', both of which rock like a mutha!

Breed 77 are one of the best metal bands tom emerge in years and can switch from brutal riffs to gentle, acoustic guitar backed melodies with ease. Go buy their album for further proof. ****½

Review by Jason Ritchie


Highly rated Saosin are playing UK dates at the end of April/early May and in June play the second stage at Download.

They'll almost certainly swell their fanbase, and this track from their excellent debut CD will do no harm either.

It is perfectly suited to larger audiences, to which they will be playing in the future. Their brand of emo-rock is chorus and stadium-friendly and has drawn comparisons with My Chemical Romance and Alexis On Fire with whom they appear at the forthcoming Earls Court and Birmingham NIA shows. ****

Review by David Randall

KILA & OKI H'Aon Do (Kila Records)

This is an infectious blend of Irish and Japanese traditional music. I know, that could be a recipe for Michael Flatley mixed with Sushi and therefore somewhat disastrous.

The repetitive motifs will hold your interest throughout. Using traditional Japanese instruments and western guitars , I'd like to hear their album. ****

Review by David Randall

ELEANOR MCEVOY Suffer So Well/Mercy Mercy Me (Mosco)

For those of you out there who haven't picked up on Eleanor McEvoy yet, this double A side release is the perfect taster for her stunning Out There album.

Suffer So Well is an alt-country/folk number about those who take a perverse pleasure in their own suffering, while Mercy Mercy Me is a stunning laid back and stripped down version of the Marvin Gaye classic that allows the intensity of the song to shine through.

As always with Eleanor McEvoy records the playing, vocal performance and production are exemplary. Watch out for Eleanor on tour in May. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

BEN REEL BAND Waitin' For You

The Ben Reel Band have been around for a while now, attracting a growing legion of fans in their native Ireland. Taken from their forthcoming 4th album New Horizon, Waitin' For You is a piece of quality soft melodic rock.

With distinct Van Morrison overtones in both structure and delivery it's a classy number that can only enhance the band's reputation and if New Horizon is this good, I'll be in the queue to buy it. ****

Review by Pete Whalley


The Dials were recently winners in the Fopp unsigned bands competition and rightly so! They evoke the 60's psychedelic sound and the harmony filled bands like the Byrds and CSN. The latter even form the basis of the third track on this EP 'CSN', a very lad back and mellow piece. 'The Coracle' is simply top stuff, lovely harmony and a real 60's sound albeit with modern production. 'Hernandez' is the middle track on this three song CD and again the band maintain their high standards.

A very enjoyable CD and I urge fans of the Byrds and CSN to buy/download 'The Coracle' as it is too good to miss out on. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

BUCKCHERRY Next 2 You (Atlantic)

New single from the band's excellent '15' album to coincide with a short UK tour. Their last single 'Crazy Bitch' generated lots of coverage mainly over the video and its string of err scantily clad ladies.

'Next 2 You' is classic Buckherry - cracking guitar solos, sex fuelled lyrics and a chorus that won't leave your head. Great band, great single. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE TREWS Out Of The Past, Into The Dark (EP)

A four track sampler CD mailed out to 'Classic Rock' magazine subscribers, the Trews release their debut album in April via AFM Records. They must have something about them as the producer is Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, John Lennon, Cheap Trick et al).

All four songs on here are very strong indeed, with 'Montebello Park' featuring Beatles like harmonies and arrangements, this one has single written all over it. 'So She's Leaving' is a jaunty rocker that Black Crowes fans will love and 'Tired Of Waiting' reminded me of the very underrated Collective Soul, melodic rock but with a sharp edged sound. Finally 'Got Myself To Blame' is the weakest track on here as it just lacks the killer touches found on the other three songs but it is still very listenable.

The Trews debut album is definitely one to look forward to and could be this year's best debut album from a band steeped in classic rock sounds following on from last year's cracking debuts by the Answer and Glyder. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

GOOD CHARLOTTE Keep Your Hands Off My Girl (Epic Records)

Good Charlotte's 'Keep Your Hand Off My Girl' combines the band's trademark sound with dance like beats to produce a record that you can't stop playing.

There is a very 1980's feel to this track and I would be surprised if this record didn't reach the top of the singles chart.

Taken from the band's forthcoming 'Good Morning Revival' album, this track is a good indicator of what to expect from the new CD. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

THE DECOYS Songs About Girls

The Decoys come from the south coast of England (near Worthing) and have been going for three years. This is an enjoyable five track CD is upbeat pop rock with 'She Won't Wait' and 'Torn Up' well worth checking out pronto. They remind me of the rather good Undercut and Black #5 (RIP), with the band's emphasis on strong melodies and crashing guitar riffs when needed. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


Singer/songwriter Conrad Vingoe is another winner of Fopp's unsigned competition and with his mellow tunes sure to become a hit within fans of this genre. 'How Come' off the Fopp EP is a great little number, whilst 'Letter To Self' allows his voice to take the centre stage along with some wistful piano.

There are a lot of acoustic singer/songwriters out there vying for attention but I would rank Vingoe as one of the best of the new voices and certainly worthy of further investigation. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


A single from the band's debut album, 'Adam & Eve' due in the summer. Both tracks on here, the title track and 'Almost Had Me' are wonderfully constructed tunes, bitter sweet lyrics with melodic vocals and just the right amount of guitar.

The title track could be a cross between Radiohead and the Smashing Pumpkins. Given the right push this band could be huge as their music will appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands as well as Muse.

Their debut album will be one to listen to that's for sure. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

RAY LAMONTAGNE Jolene (14th Floor Records)

Jolene is the third single to be released from Ray's critically acclaimed debut album Trouble which led to a Brit nomination for Best International Breakthrough Act..

Brought up on a cocktail of Stephen Stills, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Otis Redding, Trouble album was recorded in just two weeks at Sunset Sounds in LA most of the songs being recorded live with Ray playing guitar and singing, and Ethan Jones (Ryan Adams, Kings Of Leon) later laying down the drum bass and piano parts.

Jolene is of the best tracks on the album - a soulful and troubled love song with some mournful accompaniment on fiddle courtesy of Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins.

Ray's follow-up album Till The Sun Turns Black was released Stateside late last year and will be released here in the summer. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

THE ANSWER Be What You Want (Albert Productions)

Single number three from their blindingly good debut album, "Rise", sees the boys going for the mid paced soaring rock anthem approach. Drenched in atmospheric keyboards, it's a corking track, albeit not really a 'single', whatever that is nowadays.

Available as a digidownload or proper rawk vinyl, the real reason to buy this is the full blooded assault on the Aerosmith classic, "Sweet Emotion", which The Answer give a right good kicking to.

They're back on the road in March. Go see them, for they have the power of the rawk. ***½

Review by Stuart A Hamilton

TURKU ROMANTIC MOVEMENT Rock Rhythm Revolution EP (Fading Ways Music Finland)

This six track EP kicks off with 3 new studio songs; opener 'The Classic' mixes heavy rock'n'roll with David Bowie, and there's a MOD feel (at the pop end) to 'The Pigs', a touch of Mott too.

'Techno Revolution' is uptempo too. Tracks 4,5 & 6 were recorded live at the band's debut gig and continue in the same vein. A touch of melancholy.

Should do well. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin


According to the blurb Tom Robinson plays bass on this debut from a UK four-piece. Tom's evidently an influence because Collaborator have his pop sensibilities.

Overall, this sits just a little higher above the parapet than the bulk of current contenders and it makes you want to hear their album. And the guitarist, Stevie, cites 60s and 70s heavy rock as an influence. Good man. ***½

Review by David Randall


Irreverent, UKA cock a snook at the modern indie establishment of which they are part.

This combines the energy of The Clash, with 'cor blimey' lyrics. They call it 'Punk Couture'. It's short, to the point, and could win them more fans. Probably best heard live. ***½

Review by David Randall

EJECTORSEAT What Do They Care? (On The Road Records)

Picked up on by the likes of Jonathan Ross and Steve Lamacq, Midlands based Ejectorseat follow up their 2006 debut Attack! Attack! Attack! With their new single What Do They Care?

With influences as diverse as Metallica and Blur the band have been hailed as the next Arctic Monkeys (who hasn't). But What Do They Care? is the polished article - an uptempo piece of modern pop influenced by the electro pop mid eighties.

Worth checking out? Find out for yourself by logging onto their myspace page. But if Monkeys, Kaisers and the NME is your cup of tea, Ejectorseat may be something you would care for. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley

MUMM-RA She's Got You High (Columbia Records)

Taken from the band's forthcoming debut album These Things Move In Threes and produced by Youth the band have recently completed the NME Awards Tour alongside The Automatic, The View and The Horrors as well as a support slot on The Killers European Tour.

Post - indie guitar tunes of the highest order with decent hooks and some lovely harmonies. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley

AIRTRAFFIC Charlotte (Tiny Consumer/EMI Records)

There's an enormous number of bands out there looking to be the next Kaisers or Monkeys. Such a plethora, that only the very best are likely to break through beyond the odd download success.

EMI have taken a punt on Airtraffic and their new single Charlotte is a decent enough indie/pop song - well played, well produced, damn catchy and with a great riff. The band have already been championed by The Times, Jools Holland, Jo Whiley, the NME so they hardly need GRTR! endorsement.

Yes, it's a great little single. But the next big thing? They could be, but the competition is murderous. There's real danger of the scene moving on from this sound, but there's enough quality on display here to suggest that Airtraffic could well remain up there with the pack. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley

RADAR War Out There (EMI)

Radar make '21st Century dub pop' and the first thing that comes to mind when you play War Out There is the Fun Boy Three. And much as that wasn't my scene, you can't deny that War Out There is an undeniably infectious piece of classic political dub pop.

And it makes a wonderfully refreshing change to the never-ending chain of wannabe Kaisers / Arctics bands. There's definitely a place on today's scene for Radar, but once again today's sound plunders yesterday's. But, as they say, what goes around comes around. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley

THE BLACK GHOSTS Anyway You Choose To Give It (Southern Fried Records)

Synth pop from duo, sounds like they could become the Wham! of Electro. This is a catchy, keyboard-frilled dance tune that should go down well with those who remember Soft Cell.***

Review by David Randall

GOODBOOKS The Illness (Columbia Records)

Formed in 2005, Kent's Goodbooks cite the likes of Kraftwerk, XTC, Pulp and Hot Chip as influences and featured in NME's list of the top 10 bands to watch out for in 2006.

Taken from the band's as yet untitled debut album, The Illness was produced by Dan Grech-Marguerat (Scissor Sisters) and it's strong melodic pop of that will appeal to those who like their pop from the Scissor Sisters school of pop/rock.

Goodbooks are on tour in April/May. ***

Review by Pete Whalley


Uptempo catchy indie rock / guitar pop with some decent vocals that have range and power compared to most such bands.

'A Matter Of Time' has a decent melody but the guitar is rather reliant on the mid range strumming. 'All On Me' is better, there is an element of beefed up U2 to the guitar.

If you could define pop metal this would come close. There is a sameness to the range and tempo of most of the songs but a couple of decent riffs. Should do well. ***

Review by Joe Geesin


In a new twist, as well as making their material freely downloadable from their web site or myspace, Warrington based Exile Parade have pressed a demo CD and are pressing it into the sweaty palms of any music journo willing to give it a listen.

If you feel so inclined you can also download their live set.

It's typical North West indie guitar rock from the five piece - somewhere between The Who and Oasis. To be fair, it's a decent set and it suggests they would pretty hot live, but there's hundreds of bands like this up and down the country. Some will make it. Some won't. But luck has as much do with that as talent. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

ROSE HILL DRIVE Showdown (Megaforce)

Rose Hill Drive have released 3 tracks- well actually the single version, live version and demo version of the track 'Showdown', of energetic blues rock.

Guitar driven and well written, tracks like this should see them given the same press as The Answer. The band tour the UK in March. ***

Review by Nikk Gunns


First of all, full marks for a lovely looking mock vinyl CD. Forgotten Sleep are a three piece from Monmouthshire who take fans on a screaming musical journey through grunge, metal, 70's rock and punk.

And you get exactly that - fast and furious, hard and heavy, brutal and bludgeoning. There's no way you'd sleep through Forgotten Sleep, although on If I Wait Too Long they do show they can have a softer side. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

THE TRIBUNES Both Eyes Blind

Political jazz. Not something you hear much of. It's like listening to mashed records - a cool jazz vibe typical of a late night watering hole, and spoken white rap/poetry of the social comment kind.

No question there's some lovely playing here, but this is not the soundtrack of discontented youth or the stuff of revolution. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

BREED The Grace Of Me (NZW Records)

Jocke Samuelson is behind Breed and hails from Sweden. There really isn't anything that makes this track stand out.

Jocke sounds like he wants to sing like Chad Kroeger but his vocal is a little too lightweight for the bustling guitar and girlie accompaniment.

Imagine if Fleetwood Mac went emo... ***

Review by David Randall

SCARLET BLONDE Electric (HyperMEDIA Recordings)

As a taster for their 2007 album Bedroom Superstars, Scarlet Blonde (Dawny Viv and Ditch GBH) release the single Electric on 2nd April. Drawing on pop melodies and 80's synth influences the band deliver a raw, underproduced sound having deliberately aimed at 'pop music how it used to be, when it was played by a bunch of musicians rather than created by a team of producers'.

The result? A violent synth beat reminiscent of those heady Sheffield days of the 1980's, a catchy chorus and decent vocals. It's uncomplicated and will go down a storm in the right clubs. The stuff that dreams are made of? Perhaps not, but endearing in strange sort of way. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

CINDERS FALL The Bridge Between EP (Hangmans Joke)

For someone whose had his musical education recently stretched by a 15 year old son at metal concerts, I think I am just about qualified to comment on this.

Unfortunately five-piece Essex band Cinders Fall offer nothing original. There's a Trivium feel to the lead track 'Army Of One' but interestingly Trivium have now moved on from metalcore vocals and become more musical and melodic.

There's no guitar flash on this album, just solid guitar harmonies that fail to excite. Maybe these tunes sound better in the mosh pit. **½

Review by David Randall

DARTZ Fantastic Apparatus/Cold Holidays

Dartz certainly get rave reviews in the music press and certainly the song ‘Fantastic Apparatus' gets the old foot tapping. But overall they fail to really move me musically despite some great guitar riffs. To my ears they sound like a poor man's Hard-Fi!

Doubtless they will become the next big thing and gain a brief moment in the spotlight but for me I'll stick to Hard-Fi. **½

Review by Jason Ritchie


This industrial nu-metal release will please fans of RATM and System Of A Down, opening track Cimarron Street providing tuneless machine gun bursts of riffs and extreme vocals.

Lots of energy, interesting changes of rhythm though. Just 2 tracks on this sampler. Extreme fans should enjoy. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

GUNNING FOR GOLIATH 4 Track Demo (download)

This 4 track demo available for download kicks off with Anaemia, a high energy trad metal with a young indie rock/guitar pop edge. 'Murder And Paradise' has an excellent metal riff, a very good song let down by the vocals. The vocals aren't actually bad, they're good, clear, but really don't suit the music. The vocals are more typical mid range guitar pop style. You can guarantee if Ozzy had sung like this Sabbath would never have got anywhere. Good change of tempo mid song though.

'Long Lost December' runs to nearly 7 minutes; the hard/soft/hard/soft gives a grunge feel. Some good touches but the song is far too long for this style, it doesn't go anywhere. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

LECUBE 45 Tours No 2 Lady Pornography/If/I've Just Seen A Face (Megaphone Music)

The second in a series of single releases from Frenchman Julien 'Lecube' Barbagallo that will eventually be released as an album in 2007.

Lady Pornography is not unpleasant in an acoustic understated way. If, is a throwback to the sixties (acoustic and harmonica), but the man sounds in pain. And as for the cover of the Lennon/McCartney I Saw Her Standing There - why? It adds nothing to the original and isn't even that good a cover. **

Review by Pete Whalley

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***** 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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