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Singles Bar: October 2008

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

AC/DC Rock N Roll Train

Thank the gods of rock because AC/DC are back with their new single Rock N Roll Train from new album ‘Black Ice' !

OK it was bound to be difficult to find quite the right words for a band so worthy of the highest appraisal possible, although energetic, brilliant, fist pumping classis rock would be a good start!

Rock N Roll Train is exactly what the charts have been lacking for the last 8 years since their last studio release. Here's a song in the superb typical style of Australian rock legends AC/DC. It is in their typical sing along manner with verses of rhyming couplets and catchy guitar riffs.

Angus and the boys are back with their winning recipe of duck walks galore, school uniforms and screaming lyrics which is nothing short of brilliant!

We can only pray to get tickets for their world tour which has been selling out in record time for their new album ‘Black Ice' due for release on October the 20th. *****

Review by Betsy Green

SAXON Live To Rock (SPV)

Few established rock bands release singles these days, it's almost down to Iron Maiden, Metallica and Saxon now. And Saxon clearly do it as well as anyone.

The intro, a pounding driving riff, is very reminiscent of their own "Solid Ball Of Rock", the track a mid paced number that runs through a number of career options, getting an education, a bit like a preachy or nagging parent, and finishing each verse with the chorus of "Live To Rock".

Saxon have come a long way since their singles heyday, it's no "Wheels Of Steel", but it's a good and memorable song. Biff Byford's voice is as strong as ever, maybe a touch huskier. There is also a great guitar solo mid song, that's well mixed too.

A pretty essential taster to the forthcoming album, gearing up for the tour with Motorhead too. Saxon have clearly stopped showing the younger bands how to do trad metal, and just got on with doing it even better themselves. ****½

Review by Joe Geesin

MAKO Unstoppable

Featuring two ex-members of Cyclefly this is a very strong single, not dissimilar to Placbeo vocally and Psychedelic Furs in sound. The other song on here is an acoustic version of 'Grace' which is also worth a listen. The band's debut album is out early next year and based on these two songs will be worth a listen. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

PAUL CARRACK I Don't Want To Hear Any More

Lead off single from his new album ‘I Know That Name' and it features two Eagle members Don Henley and Timothy B Schmidt. In fact with those two on backing vocals and given the fact that Carrack wrote a couple of songs for the last Eagles album this song sounds very much like that band - laid back with a soothing chorus.

If anything it is a bit too laid back for my personal tastes but then I am no big Eagles fan. Bound to do well on BBC Radio 2 and enough to make you want top hear the album which is one of the major aims of a single.  ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie

The ANTIX Dare I  (Universal Digital/Crash Records)

This 3 track single should do well, being at the extreme end of what Radio 1 / NME would go for.

'Dare I', with its primitive rhythm, is a sleazy indie punk number, a nod at Wire Daisies. Some great vocals from Grace Bickerton, and the guitar riff is simple, catchy and noisy.

'The Cat' is a real 70s number, given their own fiery treatment.

Well worth checking out. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

SUNFLIES Coping Strategies (EP)

3 Tracks that mix indie with rock'n'roll in a very catchy manner, with touches of Arcade Fire and Placebo. 'Sticks And Stones' you can imagine on Radio 1 in the evenings.

'High Times' starts off progressive indie and heads slightly ambient, but the burst of marching band drums works well, a little droney otherwise.

'Too Late For Hate' is more of an indie rock thrash out.  ***½

Review by Joe Geesin



Taken from Brian's new album Three Feet From Gold, Oranges sounds like Damien Rice plays pop. An up tempo ditty, Oranges is a value busting package worth adding to your album purchase. OK it may feature two album tracks, but it also has an exclusive track - the gentle acoustic Hands Wrapped Around My Heart, the video for Oranges, a 30 minute interview and pictures. Now that's what I call vfm. ***

Review by Pete Whalley


Taken from Petit's blistering 'Guitararama' album, 'A Better Answer' seems the only logical choice of track he could have released as a single as it's the only track on the album that isn't an instrumental. It's very good too, if a bit short at 2:48, with a storming blues-rock riff and intensely political lyrics.

However, good as it is, it's the song's video that really catches the attention here, where Petit has stitched together a patchwork of news clips and internet downloads which are interspersed with film of him walking around town a-la-Richard Ashcroft.

It's the content of these clips that make the video subliminally political, shocking, funny and pornographic all at the same time and certainly leaves the watcher in no doubt as to where Petit's politics lie.

Incidentally, if you fancy having a go yourself, there's a competition to produce your own video to accompany the single - check out ***

Review by Alan Jones


Taken from the band's double platinum eponymous debut album, Scouting For Girls seem able to do little wrong. Now the biggest new band of the year and second biggest selling British Band of 2008, this amusing little ditty will do nothing to dispel their success.

Released to coincide with their mostly sold out UK tour, it will no doubt attract even more new fans and be a crowd pleaser. Impossible to dislike and easy to love, despite tongues firmly in cheeks. Infectious. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

Various OPEN 24 Hours

Sampler of nearly a year's worth of new music from Manilla PR, all available for download individually free from

Tracks include:

Nephu Huzzband "Papers"
Garage metal/guitar pop influenced by gothic and U2, empty sound due to poor production.

Laurel Collective "Vuition Blues"
Edgy guitar pop/indie rock.

Modern Cliches "Exactly The Same As Always"

Garage pop with 60s guitar sound.

Guns On The Roof "Last Orders"

Youthful punk sleazy rock'n'roll, nice harmonies.

Severe Zero "Silence On The Radio"

Indie metal, slightly disjointed

History Of Guns "But I'll Be Waiting"

Hawkwind meets goth metal to great effect.

Diamond O'Meara "An Inconventional Abomination"

With electronic touches, the title says it all.

The Indigo Road "Simple"

Female lead acoustic, whimsical.

The Meds Collective "Let Me Tell You"

Bedroom electronic rock/pop

Marsha Swanson "Sentient Stardust"

Female vocals, indie offbeat 80s/90s pop/rock

Karim Fanous "On Top Of The World"

Modern guitar pop / rock

Lizzyspit "Eggbox"

An eggbox tries to do Joni Mitchell

The Lazarus Plot "Sun Shines Down"

Atmospheric rock/pop with programming.

Lana "Don't Call Me Babe (Spanish Mix)

Spanish feel to sleezy female guitar rock/pop with horns

Millimetre "Infant Schiele"

Home made pop noise.


Review by Joe Geesin

CUTAWAYS Stop Start Stop Start (EP)

Quirky and offbeat music with guitar, punchy chanting / shouting and keyboards / programming all in equal measure.

Four tracks that feature vocal harmonies with a programmed sound to the bass line that's kinda infectious but made annoying at the same time by the trebly and jangly guitar and vocals. Plenty of harmonies and grooves. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

DANIEL TSE Inner Sense album sampler / Broken Wing

One times Popstars hopeful, Daniel Tse finally delivers his debut album which has a distinctly American FM 1980's feel, not least for the single Broken Wing which features the sort of horns so successfully deployed by Phil Collins on hits like Sussudio.

It's the pick of the bunch of this 4 track sampler with a driving beat and big hooks. Crocket and Tubbs would be in their element. Elsewhere, it's frankly limp, and the 1980's connection is hardly surprising when you realise Daniel is fronting up a band featuring Gary Stephenson and Dave West of Go West, and producers Simon Lines and Barry Hindson were also veterans of the 80s scene. Dated. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

JONJO FEATHER Taxi (Dead Young Records)

The pop end of alt-metal meets indie in a haunting way. A slight stoner edge, it's quirky and scary.

Different, and enjoyable, even if it's not gripping. **½

Review by Joe Geesin


A single to promote the band's forthcoming second album, and there's no blues at all. The track is a mid to high tempo guitar pop track with a very big chorus. Like seriously dubbed and layered, almost football song like. On the surface a lot catchier that it actually is. **½

Review by Joe Geesin


These 3 tracks were recorded for an XFM live session. Opening with "Extra Strength Grandma", a frantic guitar with classic rock and disjointed noise. Some good interplay, unhinged to say the least.

Think Iron Maiden or Metallica tuning up, or having a drunken thrash, especially on "Lead Rabbit". Think 1970 King Crimson playing instrumental extreme metal!

Odd. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

The ACADEMY IS Summer Hair = Forever Young

Taken from the forthcoming album 'Fast Times At Barrington High', the track kicks off with an uplifting crash burn take on indie metal, but levels off to something that's ok but a lot less adventurous, the kind of heavy guitar pop/indie rock that's quite common these days, with a touch of U2. **½

Review by Joe Geesin


New single with a jangly guitar intro that could nod at either country or rockabilly but the track moves in a guitar/pop to indie direction.
Nice tune but a trebly sound with tinny production. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

Matt DUKE 5 Track Sampler

With 5 songs from his forthcoming Kingdom Underground, this CD is designed to introduce Philadelphia born Duke to the UK.

'The Father The Son' is a pleasant number, as behind the uptempo monotonic strumming is a decent tune from the vocals, strings and piano. There's a more whimsical edge to 'Sex And Reruns', built up with some odd effects.

There are some pleasant tunes and well written lyrics, but there is a feeling that Matt should make more of the guitar, play more of a tune on it, and rely less on the production to build things up. **½

Review by Joe Geesin


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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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