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Singles Bar: February 2006

THOMAS BROMLEY - Danger Ahead (2006)

Thomas Bromley sounds older than his tender age of 22. Danger Ahead is melodic pop/rock of the highest order. Thomas' vocals have a husky rock hue than melt into falsetto on the chorus. Produced by Porl Young (Roxy Music and Nina Hagen) Thomas' debut album 295 sees him playing guitar, piano and percussion.

The B-side Saine, also from 295, is another strong track - a tender piano based ballad with smoky vocals. The male singer-songwriter market is a tough place to be at the moment, but there's enough evidence here to suggest that Thomas Bromley could be one to watch. ****

Review: Pete Whalley

HOT CHIP - Over & Over EMI (2006)

The first single to be taken from their forthcoming album The Warning. It's a Carwash beat leading into a techno beat and electronic solos. Which is fine if you like that sort of thing. But one thing's for certain - it ain't rock n roll. **

Review: Pete Whalley

TAHITI 80 - Big Day

Big Day is the first single to be lifted from Tahiti 80's new album Fosbury. A cool, summer dance floor groove, falsetto vocals - it's quality pop of the sort not often heard since the demise of Chic. Perfect for soaking up the rays in their native France. ***

Review: Pete Whalley

SHOUT OUT LOUDS - Please Please Please EMI (2006)

From their critically acclaimed debut album Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, Stockholm's Shout Out Louds have been touring relentlessly supporting the likes of The Magic Numbers, Futureheads and Kings Of Leon.

Please Please Please is jaunty indie pop of the highest order. Shout Out Lounds play the NME Shockwaves Awards in February alongside The Magic Numbers, The Concretes and Morning Runner. ****

Review: Pete Whalley

THE MAGIC NUMBERS I See You, You See Me EMI (2006)

The Magic Numbers were a surprise smash in 2005 with their acclaimed debut album The Magic Numbers. Unfairly sniped at as a flab fighting foursome, the pure quality of their music has seen the album reach platinum status and it's well on the way to half a million sales.

'I See You, You See Me' is the fourth single to be released from the album and it's a stunningly beautiful ballad with aching vocals and sparse instrumentation that compliments their trademark vocal harmonies.

The B-side is a re-recorded 'Forever Lost' featuring a school choir, and also included are live versions of 'Crazy In Love' and 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'. ****

Review: Pete Whalley


The Fallout Trust are a London based sextet who've been packing East End warehouse gigs since 2003 with their own brand of Arcade Fire meets Super Furries hook laden anthems.

They're another band who fit neatly into that emerging genre that mixes the attitude of punk with the melodic sensibilities of earlier generations - think The Coral, The Zutons and The Arctic Monkeys. And Washout is a typically infectious jaunt - staccato rhythms, excellent vocals and a great hook.

If The Fallout Trust can deliver consistently to this standard, they'll be one of the bands to watch in 2006. ****

Review: Pete Whalley

THE RESEARCH Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same EMI (2006)

The Research are a Wakefield three-piece Russell (keyboards / vocals), Georgia (bass / vocals) and Sarah (drums / vocals). And Lonely Hearts is their 4th single release - an anti-Valentine heartbreaker taken from their debut album Breaking Up.

It's infectious light pop with an almost Blondie beat and punk simplicity with multi tracked vocals that share much with those of Joanne and Susanne from that other northern combo The Human League. ***

Review: Pete Whalley

THE VOOM BLOOMS Politics & Cigarettes (CDS 2006)

Another band who have used MySpace to launch their career having formed last year. Both songs on this debut single you can see doing well in the UK given the current success of bands like the Artic Monkeys. Not bad tunes at all - hints of the Cure in the vocals and any band that borrows a Big Country riff top open 'Thoughts of Rena' can't be bad my book! Keep an eye on the charts ****

Review byJason Ritchie

LOVEMAT Between the Lines (CDS 2006)

What a cool band name! The music ain't bad either - a mix of G 'N' R attitude with modern rock catchiness. 'Between the Lines' is a catchy little ditty that will sit in your head for days and has rocks like a mutha! 'Lost In the City' is what G'N R would sound like now if Axl had kept his head straight. Lovemat are not G'N'R clones they just possess that rock 'n' roll vibe and live I would imagine they would slay... ****

Review byJason Ritchie

THE VIBRANTS (EP 2006) (2006)

Five piece band from London who join the growing ranks of modern bands steeped in classic rock but add their own twist, like the Answer or Roadstar. Vocally you are reminded at times of Elvis Costello especially on 'Bullet', whilst 'New Way' takes a Stones like riff and gives it a whole new life.

It is great to see so many new bands coming through that have influences from 70's and 80's rock bands but add their own style and sound. Sign 'em up now Mr record label! ****

Review byJason Ritchie

BLONDIE vs THE DOORS Rapture/Riders EMI (2006) Release date 23.01.06

It's good to receive a single on 12 inch vinyl - I almost feel young again. It's just a little disappointing when you find your well-preserved Pioneer PL112(D) deck is armed with a crap needle.

This is a feisty and daring blend of two cultures by club remixer Mark Vidler. It may sound bizarre but it works, essentially it is Morrison's ethereal vocals against the funky pop of 'Rapture'.

A dance favourite it gives new life to Morrison's crew and it won't do Debbie H any harm either. It just begs the question: what other machinations could we summon up? How about Will Young vs Lemmy? ****

Review: David Randall

PUBLIC SYMPHONY Stronger Adage Music (2006)
Release date 03.04.06 (Website)

Public Symphony are being compared to the Arctic Monkeys in the sense that they are garnering a growing following by the viral marketing tool that is the Internet. This is chiefly due to the clever video that accompanies the release of their first single.

It's always difficult to gauge a band on the hearing of one track and whether this is typical of the forthcoming album remains to be seen.

If 'Stronger' is typical that album will be a gem.

The plaintive, piano-driven refrains of Coldplay come immediately to mind, with Floyd-esque stylings, the song has a nice hook and, really, this could be Eric Carmen for the Millennium.

If that turns you off, just remember Eric Carmen is feted by Bruce Springsteen and Courtney Love. Now there's a thought. ****

Review: David Randall

RED STAR REBELS Too Young to Care EP

Red Star Rebel have already supported the Brides of Destruction, and although they are from the UK, could easily be any number of LA's bands of the early 90s.

The outstanding track here is 'The Fast Die Young and Pretty', a whisky stained, guitar heavy number that should have been the lead track on this EP, 'Hold' is a slow moving ballad and 'Too Young to Care' is exactly as you would expect it to be.

There is also a bonus DVD featuring an intro to the band, a couple of videos and some live bits. **

Review: Nikk Gunns

MEET JOHN DOE EP Fading Ways Music FWM043 (2006)

This young band have been getting rave reviews in Metal Hammer et al, and it's easy to see why. Mixing the current trend for punky guitar pop with a raw and angry metal edge.

Opener 'Signals' grabs you well, but better is 'Increasing The Satellites' with its steadier rhythm and catchy riff.

'The Grip' is more mature, and thoroughly enjoyable too. ***

Review: Joe Geesin

SIGNIFIED Head Down (2006)

First I've heard from Signified. Starts very well with wailing guitar and vocal effects before crashing into a more than half-decent riff.

Unfortunate then, that it makes the common metal mistake of sort of losing its way in the middle a bit - 'right lads, where do we go from here?'

That said, it does manage to save itself by the end, despite veering dangerously close to death metal territory at times. Overall, a crunchingly good effort. ****

Review: Alan Jones


JAED My Way Instant Karma (2006)

This 2 track single, issued as a taster to Jaed's forthcoming album, is a quirky punk pop with an infectious if commercial sound.

"My Way" is typical spikey haired pop, without being so deliberate or forced, and a decent catchy tune too.

"Cupid" nods at the band's childhood diet of L7 and Hole.

Enjoyable, if only on the surface. Two tracks is about as much as I could take in one sitting anyway. ***

Review: Joe Geesin

Newton FAULKNER Full Fat (2006)

This 1 track sampler shows Faulkner as a new singer/guitarist. Too quirky for ordinary singer/songwriter faire, there's an element of pop to the sound, and an interesting rhythm.

Sadly it's a little tuneless and rather repetitive until the guitar solo comes in, and that won't stretch you.

My promo stopped playing after the second or third spin. Frankly, I'm not too bothered. **

Review: Joe Geesin

ROB McCULLOCH Planet Of My Own (2006)

Three tracks lifted of his 2005 album 'Thoughts Alone'. Stand out has to be the piano led 'Hard To Breathe' which really lets Rob's vocals shine.

'Planet Of My Own' is a mid-tempo track which you could see getting airplay but for me 'Hard To Breathe' is the one that could break him out to a wider audience - beats James Blunt hands down.

The acoustically strummed 'Mr Nice' is okay but nothing memorable.

Worth it for 'Hard To Breathe' - go download that track and then get the album! ***½

Review: Jason Ritchie

CITY WEEZLE EP (2006) Website

Now I don't get many CDs from the Church of Les Claypool, but this EP from our once allies, then enemies, then allies, then CAP stealing bandits across the Channel is one such EP.

It gets funky, it gets rocky, there are big fat greasy bass riffs pouring out of the speakers and if Zappa, Primus and Tomahawk are your thing, you're going to really love this. Now, I'm not a huge fan of the above but there is something rather endearing about City Weezle, especially on the heartrending tale that is "Vampire Boy". The only song of the 4 I didn't care for was "Storm" which smells like a Chris Cornell solo track too pants for even him to sing.

It's all rather delightful and worthy of your attention. And don't worry francophobes, the vocals are in English. ***

Review by Stuart A Hamilton

***** 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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