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Singles Bar: May 2010

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


What do you do when you're a hard rockin' support act to the likes of The Black Crows? The answer is easy - make the most of your assets, and take a tilt at the main prize.

In the case of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - a Vermont based band that have been paying their dues since 2004, their main asset is fairly obvious - the lady herself who has a soulful blues based voice that would put most of the competition to shame.

So with the lead single off their third studio based album, they've crossed the line to the commercial side - well, they've at least put one cowboy booted foot over it.

As a result, the first three quarters of Tiny Light is in sultry Joss Stone territory before the lady shifts effortlessly up a gear into Janis Joplin mode and the band kick into the final furlong with an ass kicking swagger.

It's a quite superb effort, but the single radio edit fades out way, way too early bringing the number to a premature end and culling the highlight - the rock out finale.

It's like having sex when the door bell goes: whoever cropped it should be disembowelled. In the meantime, bring on the band's new eponymous album and say 'hello' to what will undoubtedly be one of the names of 2010. ****½

Review by Pete Whalley

LUCY'S DIARY Not Your Type At All (Blang 18)

Lucy's Diary's 'Not Your Type At All' is a sparkling slice of contemporary post punk pop. 'Not Your Type at All' is an explosion of spite filled alliteration.

It's a painful reflection on being dumped, sung in sort of mock cockney style dialect that skips along and bursts out over a simple but catchy, snappy chorus before finishing with a primal scream.

Perfectly described by her PR people as 'smooth as Sandy Shaw but with the venom of Courtney Love, this is angst ridden, autobiographical, hard bitten uncompromising vitriol, but shaped with a commercial craft and a poppy inner core that makes for a potent single.

Track two impressively makes its mark on less than two minutes. And on the back of a big guitar line and thrashed drumming from producer Ian Button (Death in Vegas) it sounds like a different mix of the lead track as it builds up a head of steam and explodes into a slightly different but equally catchy chorus. This young lady has her eye firmly on the charts.  ****

Review by Pete Feenstra


Proving that the Midlands is still keeping up the long tradition of churning out top-notch British rock bands, Birmingham based four-piece Kinn are about to release their self-titled debut EP.

The band has a heavy, yet melodic sound that is in a similar vein to Voodoo Six, in fact there is also a healthy dose of both Velvet Revolver and Iron Maiden in there too.

Opening track 'Want Me, Need Me' certainly packs a punch, whilst 'Hole World Down' is a heavier tune that gives way to the more melodic 'All Alone '- the latter being a track to watch as this could easily have been released by a more established and better known band.

Kinn were formed just over a year ago and a good mix of solid vocals, heavy riffs and big choruses is bound to win over audiences during the bands run of forthcoming gigs. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS Between The Lines (Atlantic)

New single from this alternative rock band, that takes a slight rock'n'roll angle. It's a good riff/tune, but does get a little repetitive. Relatively bright and breezy though. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin


Although plugged as anthemic rock, this is more guitar pop a la Killers / Kings Of Leon / Scouting For Girls et al. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

FELL ON BLACK DAYS Bring Out Your Days

Here's an oxymoron for you: an brutal extreme metal album with vocals that verge on grunts, and the press relelase calls the band tunesmiths.

Brutal it certainly is, with powerful riffs, bludgeoning rhythms, shreds, the works.

Odd nods to Iron Maiden get lost on the cement mixer.

It's OK, just too much for me, especially the vocals. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

GOODNESS Rights & Wrongs

A Bristol based indie 5 piece endorsed by Animal Clothing.

A throwback to the eighties, but given a makeover for the MySpace generation. Steve Preston's lead vocals sound like a Phil Oakey attempt at emulating Tony Hadley, and while Right's & Wrongs is the most likely track with 'hit' potential with plenty of hooks, it's begging for a decent production job.

In days of yore, it's easy to imagine that a TOTP slot would have pushed Goodness into the charts. But the world's changed, and in the current climate it's difficult to see what unique selling point they might have to raise them above the rest.

Should I buy? Judge for yourself - all 4 tracks can be heard on the band's MySpace page. **½

Review by Pete Whalley


Former Quickserv Johnny singer Matthew Glenn Thompson releases his 2nd solo single 'Ordinary Girl' shortly. The track musically starts off with an almost Stereophonics feel to it, however, this soon gives way to a cross between a middle of the road jangly, almost Britpop sound and the blander end of Squeeze. A point worth making though is how English the US singer/songwriter manages to make the track sound.

'Ordinary Girl' is not a bad song, it may even feature in the UK charts upon its release - but, for me, it is just a bit too safe and a bit too predictable. **

Review by Nikk Gunns


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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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