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Singles Bar: November 2007

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

SAL Infatuation (Casket)

A 5 track mini album from a four-piece rock/punk, female fronted band, Infatuation is Sal's follow up to their debut album Dysfunctional.

Produced by ACE (Skunk Anansie guitarist) the emphasis is very much on punchy hard-hitting semi commercial rock with some excellent vocals by Cat.

If you're a fan of female fronted rock such as Heart, Pat Benatar and the like (and I count myself very firmly in that camp) then I think you'll be impressed.

Not a million miles away in style and format from Anemo and Jynxt (at least the style on their blistering debut album and not the rap tat they're currently peddling) then Sal are well worth investigating. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

BC CAMPLIGHT Suffer For Two One Little Indian

Second single and another Brian Wilson like slice of pure pop genius. He mixes dark lyrical content with lush, upbeat melodies and harmonies. Like Jackdaw 4 jamming with the Beachboys. Turn it up and enjoy a blast of glorious music! ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

MADDING CROWD Modern Man

The band's second single following the free download single 'Turn Off Your Radio' and this song is much more instant and more likely to get your attention. It features a very catchy chorus and could be an updated version of the Kinks! 'Up For Air' hints at XTC whilst the acoustic 'Simple' is as the title suggest very simple in its sound but a strong melody nonetheless. ****

Madding Crowd should have a hit on their hands with this tune as it is very catchy and worthy of success. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

ELEANOR MCEVOY Wrong So Wrong (Moscodisc)

The third single to be lifted from her ever so classy Out There album, its a consummately understated piece - dominated by Eleanor's breathy vocals, her violin (played with an unusual 'tapping' technique and through a wah wah pedal) and wonderfully sensual bass lines.

As with any Ms McEvoy plot line, itís a tale of unrequited love, longing and perhaps just a little bit of lust. But running out at 2:09 is an absolute crime - it simply doesn't last long enough. Modern day singer-songwriters donít come with a better set of credentials than Eleanor, and they say size doesn't matter, but in this case a couple more minutes would have made for the perfect ride.

Included in the rrp comes 2 tracks lifted directly off Our There and a nice bonus video to accompany the single. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

JADE GALLAGHER Don't You Wish (Easy Money)

You'd be forgiven for expecting the worse from a girl who was once 'first reserve' when the Atomic Kitten were recruiting and has supported the likes of the Sugar Babes. But d'you know what, I like her. A lot.

OK, it's clean cut singer songwriter pop in a Katie Melua sort of a way, but thankfully not spoiled by the sugar coating applied by Mike Batt. And let's face it, anyone who works with Henry Priestman (The Christians) has to be 'cool'. Catchy and addictive, with a great voice, pop doesn't come much more attractively packaged that this. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

DERRIN NAUEDORF Shipwrecked

Three song CD with the mandolin led 'Dance Steps' the stand out song on here - lovely tune and a good beat. The title track is more country rock in sound and Derrin Nauedorf does have a vocal suited to country rock - the Americana style not the Nashville style!

My Enemy, the last song on the CD is more an acoustic singer/songwriter number and it gets lifted out of the 'okay' bracket by the vocals. A very talented singer/songwriter whose debut album promise to be a treat! ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie

SIGUR ROS Hljomalind / Staralfur (EMI)

Opening with the gentle strains of a church organ and a marching beat and aching vocals, the surprise comes a minute in when Sigur Ros begin to, well, rock out. The track builds, climaxes in U2/Coldplay fashion, before dropping back and building again to a powerful crescendo.

This limited edition double A-side features a track from each half of their forthcoming double album Hvarf-Heim that compliments their forthcoming on the road movie Heima. The album features re-recordings, half acoustic, of tracks spanning their career. And if this taster is anything to go by, it could be a corker. Moving stuff. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

DEAN BOLAND In My Corner

However, the solo EP by guitarist Dean Boland is much better and he takes a more hard rock route with the music. The title track and 'So Hard' (sounds like Boston in ballad mode!) are stand outs and worth hearing. Strangely an album release where the bonus CD EP is better than the main event! ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

NEIL MC SWEENEY A Rope To Hang

Neil's debut single Postcards was one for the better offerings this year, but this follow-up is a fairly dour affair and is the sort of song you would probably want to play if you decided to hang yourself.

My wife described it quite aptly as 'pretty boring'. But it may appeal to Damien Rice and Ray LaMontagne fans. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

CLAIRE TOOMEY Found

Claire Toomey has a novel idea to get her new single 'Found' out there - she has left 250 numbered copies around the world (mainly in the UK though) and if you find one let her know!

The tune itself makes for pleasant listening but with so much music out there it doesn't really grab me and have me seeking out more. Nice, melodic voice though! ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

PERSONAL SPACE INVADERS What You Want

A 5 track mini album from London based indie electro rock band PSI. Presumably the Space Invaders reference is to the irritating electro beat that pervades each track.

But to give their band their due, it's not an often-used combination, and the first 4 tracks here demonstrate why.

Rock and electro are like oil and water. But where the band play it pretty much straight on the final track, Settle, they do at least show some promise. **½

Review by Pete Whalley

RANDOM DAMAGE Human Flytrap

Random Damage were formed by ex-Annihilator drummer Ray Hartmann and their new album is pretty standard metal - nothing too flashy and bar 'Hippocritic' and 'Spineless' lacking in any real killer riffs or hooks. If you liked the band's early album then give it a go otherwise steer clear. **

Review by Jason Ritchie

TEEDO You Are My Girl

A band who play Bowie/Bolan inspired glam rock to quote one review although to be honest they sound like a second rate Scissor Sisters! There is a cheesy synth running through the tune and it is not a song you want to play again straight after you've listened to it. The other two songs on here are okay but nothing special. **

Review by Jason Ritchie

DEERHOOF Matchbook Seeks Maniac

Matchbook Seeks Maniac is the second single to be taken from San Francisco three-piece cult band Deerhoof's album of the same name.

After 13 years together and with 9 albums under their belt, it is quite a mystifying release. The band deliver a hymn-like organ centred indie pop with singer /bassist Satomi Matsuzaki deliver her lines like a spaced out Bjork. Enchanting and maniacal at the same time.

And anyone who writes songs about Sperm whales in love has to be from the summer city of love. **

Review by Pete Whalley

THE BAND OF THE EYE

Here we go again, myspace bands thinking they're the next big thing and making poor journalists suffer.

Derivative, staccato riffs, and falling somewhere between Bowie, Inxs and The Stones. Fine in a pub after a couple of beers, but as for star quality, forget it. **

Review by Pete Whalley TEEDO You Are My Girl (ICBM Records)

This 3 track CD combines the sounds of Marc Bolan and David Bowie with the more modern approach of the Scissor Sisters. The songs are catchy and full of hooks, title track 'You Are My Girl' being the highlight. I would like to hear more by the band before making an opinion though. **

KAT VIPERS Hot Air Balloon EP

This 5 track EP is a jazz/blues/punk/classical affair. Opening track, Hot Air Balloon is string led and has a bluesy vocal, as opposed to 'Just Like Jerry-Lee' which features and almost erratic vocal over crashing piano and clarinet. 'Wasting Time' is rather rhythmically repetitive. The most appealing track is 'This Is Now' with a soft vocal over haunting piano. *

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM 45:33 (EMI)

Am I missing something? Is this still a classic and progressive rock site? Good, in which case visitors will understand my despair at having to listen to such drivel. But on the bonus side at least I've done the suffering for you and if you've any sense you won't have to.

LCD Soundsystem - for some inexplicable reason big in Britain - are the musical project of James Murphy the co-founder of the dance - punk label DFA records, and their output is self indulgent electronica best suited to (and often found on) computer games.

45:33 was originally released as part of a Nike promotion for download from iTunes. The idea apparently being that it was ideal accompaniment to a morning jog. Hmmm. Well, let me tell you, many, many moons ago I used to have a BonTempi organ (or was it an early Yamaha?) - you know, one of those jobbies you could get for less than £20 from Argos - and I kid you not, I've heard my Dad - who was a tone deaf, get more of a groove going.

Now it could be that I'm a techno agnostic, after all LCD Soundsystem's Sound Of Silver album is being touted as a runner for album of the year by most of the press. So maybe I am missing something. But come on, an album without any discernable guitars? Get real. *

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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