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Singles Bar: April 2009

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

THE LIGHTS Low Hundreds

I've got something of a soft spot for The Lights. Both of their previous singles have been excellent and found a permanent home on my iPod. And to put that in context many singles (and a good few albums) simply end up in the recycling or wastepaper bin.

Their new single Low Hundreds brings back fond memories of the long since defunct Latin Quarter, while Formerly Yours is a gentle folk/torch song with some evocative vocals from vocalist Lizzy Keys.

The Lights may not set the world on fire, but they'll certainly brighten it up. ***½

Review by Pete Whalley


Very catchy tune, not dissimilar to Suede in musical sound or the Foo Fighters. Enough here on the single and the other song, 'Fabulous' to warrant checking out more by the band. ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie


Big ballad, big sound, swooning keys, and androgynous vocals. With the current interest in all things 80s, South African The Parlotones fit the bill perfectly.

Not what you would perhaps expect to emerge from the African continent, but hey, it's a global market place out there. Already the biggest selling band back home, the band are currently guesting on the Starsailor tour (and The Parlotones will return the favour when SS head to southern climes)

With exquisite vocals and big chorus, what's not to like? Anthemic. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

(Superball Music)

A ridiculous band name, but a fantastic new track, and the second single from the Century Of Self album. Imagine a punk indie band playing prog rock, this is alternative rock with a difference. A jangly sound that holds a melody and gripping sound rather than giving you the expected headache.

Strangely good. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

CUTAWAYS Milo Of Kroton

New single from this trio's forthcoming Earth And Earthly Things album, and this track nods at indie jangly guitar pop. It's keyboard and guitar led, and mixes cohesive and messy segments equally. It's a little shouty over the pounding rhythms. Some interesting harmonies, but fairly typical of the scene. Sounds a little homemade. ***

Review by Joe Geesin


Scouting For Girls take a twist at the fork in the road and come up with a piano based ballad that marks a bit of a departure from some of their earlier output.

While not moving entirely away from their trademark sound Keep On Walking sounds as if the band have been listening to a platter full of Del Amitri, Ricky Ross and Deacon Blue. Not a bad thing, but perhaps unexpected.

That said, like all the band's output it has an undeniable attraction. One to watch the sun go down by. Moody. ***

Review by Pete Whalley


Full on. Young Guns, a High Wycombe based quintet give it plenty on their 4 track debut EP.

Daughter Of The Seas kicks the set off in style like a modern day Def Leppard - plenty of attitude, big chorus and sing-a-long backing vocals. Having already clocked up shows alongside The Answer, the band nail their colours firmly to the classic rock mast, The Weight Of The World punching well above it's weight.

There Will Be Rain and In The Night both power along, but perhaps like The Answer, the band need to demonstrate they're capable of introducing some light and shade into their set. There's only so much 'in your face' rock that can be consumed at one sitting. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

BUCK BROTHERS When I Look At You (All I Think About Is Sex)

I think this can be described as heavy pop; guitar pop with influences of rock and punk and energy. From The Ramones to indie / new wave, yes it’s a hybrid but in terms of both honesty and energy as well as balls, not to mention a tune, it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the plethora of guitar pop around at the moment. Shallow lyrics though (you probably guessed by the title). ***

Review by Joe Geesin

X X-Aspirations (Aztec Music)

When you talk about punk, the Australian music scene won’t spring to mind for many, but X were there and recorded this hard hitting album late in 1979. Released early the following year, much of the music is centred around bassist Ian Rilen, who also brought in a rock influence.

If the name sounds familiar, Rilen was Rose Tattoo’s original bassist, co-writing their classic “Bad Boy For Love”. Here the music mixes as much Sex Pistols and The Ramones. From the outset of “Suck Suck” the music is energetic, raw, at times basic, but that’s what punk was all about.

Later on there’s the odd touch of sleaze, elsewhere it’s shouty and jangly. The bass and drums provide Neolithic rhythms while guitar and vocals both shout in bursts. “Revolution” has some neat guitar work too.

Fast furious and noisy, this shows the Ozzies could punk with the best of them, and this is a well annotated reissue with bonus cuts. ***

Review by Joe Geesin


Two time Grammy winner Ben Harper's union with Relentless 7 stems back to the late 90s when Ben listened to a demo by his taxi driver. He helped that young man - Jason Mozersky - land a deal. And when the band split after one album, Ben invited him and his chums to play on his 2006 double album Both Sides Of The Sun.

Reunited again in 2008, the pairing have come up with Harper's tenth studio album for Virgin, the single Shimmer And Shine previewing its release. With a subtle, understated heavy riff delivered in an understated lo-fi way, beneath prominent vocals with just the right degree of Americana, it perfectly emulates the current pulse of the US of A. Authentic. ***

Review by Pete Whalley


Sheffield based Silent Film Project's debut single is a big slice of summer pop. Two Days indie pop is a bright shiny number featuring chiming guitars and vocal interplay between Paul Musgrave (vocals / guitar) and Lisa O'Hara (vocal / percussion). Sadly (?) it brings the likes of Haircut 100 to mind, while the staccato rhythms and vocal delivery on the b-side Alligator are highly derivative of the Arctics and the Smiths it is, for me, the more immediate song. Both signal a potentially bright future. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

TELEGRAPHS We Dance In Slow Motion

Brighton based Telegraphs explode with a single premiering their imminent debut album We Were Ghosts.

It's a fact that nothing much in rock is original these days and if you're looking for a reference point for Telegraphs, look no further than Biffy Clyro. Staccato rhythms, some neat guitar work, a firm base of rock and some big hooks, and hey, you've got it. Massive fun. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

JOINTPOP Please Don't Tell My In-Laws (I'm An Outlaw) (Gallas Music)

Formed in Trinidad and Tobago in 1996, Jointpop recently played a number of gigs in the UK before heading off to the US.

This double A-side single features the energetic 'Please Don't Tell My In-Laws (I'm An Outlaw)' - two minutes of old style new-wave meets Soul Asylum. Second track 'Monday Morning Love Situation' is reminiscent of The Clash's 'I Fought The Law', only with some slight reggae overtones.

Easy to listen to and instantly hummable, Jointpop should do well when the single is released for download on May 18th. ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

COLOUR Unicorns

Imagine, for a moment, that The Wombats had been locked in a basement from birth and been forced to listen to nothing but the Yes back catalogue, and you begin to understand something about crimes against humanity.

Hardly any other 1970s band has divided opinion as much as Yes, but for some inexplicable reason - perhaps some Dr Who type space / time continuum shift - Colour are a modern day Yes. Jon Anderson range vocals, harmonies, staccato time signatures and tempo changes. Its NME post punk indie meeting prog head on producing something know as 'Math pop'. Someone call for International Rescue, quick! **½

Review by Pete Whalley

ALLEGRO Allegro Forever EP (ER Indoor Records)

This 4 track single kicks off with 'City Lights', a guitar pop / indie track with a catchy if monotonous rhythm and trebly shouty vocals. A nice guitar sound though. There's a 70's feel, I can't fathom if it's punk, pub rock or skiffle. The guitar work is lots of high speed chops rather than a riff or solo. Some interesting moments throughout. Fashionably messy. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

ATTICA RAGE Dark City/Overkill

Glasgow based metal band whose debut album 'Ruin Nation' this single is lifted from. Its pretty good classic metal although the drum sound is blummin' awful - sounds very underproduced and spoils the sound. They also cover the Motorhead classic 'Overkill'. Not a bad stab at this but hardly earth shattering. Live the band may cut it but judging by this single I am not rushing out to buy the album... **½

Review by Jason Ritchie

DANCE TO THE RADIO  4x12" Volume 1 or 4

To celebrate their 50th release, Dance To The Radio are releasing a series of four 12 inch singles.

Volume 1 is a bunch of strange bedfellows - Wonderswan's Strange Nature - a scuzzy discordant affair **, Broadcast Society's Behind Your Back - a throw back to Boy era U2 **½, Pulled Apart By Horses (nice name for a band) E=MC Hammer - rabid Lemmy inspired speed metal **, and Bear Hands - What a Drag, a Japan meets Neneh Cherry.  For fans only. **½

Review by Pete Whalley

SINKING CITIES Drown Out The World

Driving beats, 80's synths and with a punky feel to the vocals, Sinking Cities are coming your way some time soon from north of the border.

Glasgow based, Sinking Cities debut album Drown Out The World is a already in the can, and the boys are beginning to turn their minds to world domination and a second album.

But while Drown Out The World is reasonable rock pop, if the band have a unique selling point, I've failed to spot it. And without one, Sinking Cities are likely to do just that and sink amidst the maelstrom of bands on each and every city street corner. **

Review by Pete Whalley

THE DYKEENIES Sounds Of The City (Moustache Music)

Bright and breezy and synth orchestrated indie pop. The music is all quite mid range, it's catchy in a weird way. Far from tuneless, there is a lack of melody, the main riff relying on fluctuation between 2 notes with an underlying cello. The instrumental version severely pointless.

Rock that is programmed and synthed out beyond Radio 1.

A nice sound that does its job in 30 seconds, rendering the remaining 3 minutes passable. **

Review by Joe Geesin

ART BRUT Alcoholics Unanimous (Cooking Vinyl)

Imagine, if you will, The Talking Heads playing covers of Britpop classics, with The Pistols’ rhythm section. That just about sums up the sound of Art Brut’s new single 'Alcoholics Unanimous'.

B-side 'Just Desserts' is a fairly repetitive number that could be a special blend of a number of current more trendy British bands, the kind of track that student bars up and down the country will no doubt be loving all summer long.

The band are about to release 3rd album 'Art Brut Vs Satan' and will be touring the UK throughout April and May. **

Review by Nikk Gunns

THE BLACK BOX REVELATION Love, Love Is On My Mind (T4Tunes)

Jangly noise messy 2 piece rock'n'roll. guitar/vocals and drums – a combination I have reservations about and proved quite rightly so here. The opening screech sound is as brain melting as it is vomit inducing.

Trying is be noisy, indie, alternative, dirty sleazy bluesy guitar mess, whatever they want to call it, it's not big or clever. My ear drums feel like they've been rubbed with wire wool and then dipped in vinegar.

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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