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Singles Bar: October 2006

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

RADIO 4 Packing Things Up On The Scene EMI

One of the choice tracks from their album Enemies Like This, Packing Things Up On The Scene - inspired by Eno, Bowie and Talking Heads - adds a slice of funk to sound of Brooklyn based Radio 4.

If you're a disciple of the early U2 / Clash rock sound then this is for you. An excellent single from an excellent band. And for your pennies you get new tracks Pretty Good Lie and Take Anything. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

MEEKY ROSIE Nobody Gets Away

Meeky Rosie's debut single Forever was a piece of quality pop. This their follow up, finds the five piece, formed while studying at Plymouth University, on steroids with a frenetic guitar number inspired by the likes of RadioHead and My Bloody Valentine.

Intelligent pop rock of the highest quality. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

CALLAGHAN - Road To Elmersville

A simply gorgeous four-track ep from London based Callaghan - a female singer songwriter influenced by artists such as Carole King, Jewel and Sarah McLachlan.. Her songs are melodic pop, folk and country and her vocals pure and effortless.

The song Road to Elmersville celebrates the Elmer family's journey from early pioneers to the present day, with the profits going to the Salvation Army charity.

A lovely record from a huge talent. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

LOSTALONE Unleash the Sand of All Time Scorpia Records

Three piece band from Derby, UK who sound like a UK version of Green Day! Mind you having said that they do have a more melodic vocalist and less 'shouty' than Green Day.

The title track and the very melodic 'Execute' the stand outs, both having catchy choruses and razor sharp guitar riffs.

The band's debut album is out early next year and based on these three tunes one to look out for. ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie

VOICST Acts Of Fire Duurtlang Records

New single from this Dutch trio with a hard pop / rock'n'roll guitar sound, with nods towards U2 and Rolling Stones.

For the guitar pop that's popular now this is far better than most, interesting bass line, chords and notes that play a tune.

I hope it does well as it knocks all the samey guitar boybands for six. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

DARTZ! St Petersburg Xtra Mile Recordings

Northern trio playing punk pop, a succinct punchy track with a nice change of pace halfway through. Released on 7" too which is a bonus.

The B-side is "X-Ray Bex" which is a better track, more punk attitude and a riff too. Party punk pop and fun too. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

MOISTBOYZ That's What Rock'n'Roll Can DoSchnitzel Records

3 versions of the lead track, it's a modern dirty rock'n'roll track mixing rough vocals, a decent riff and some good soloing too.

Changes of pace work well, the slower segments nod at some of Spinal Tap's better (and more seriously musical) moments. Thoroughly enjoyable, and well worth checking out. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

KOOPA The Three In A Bed With Bobby George EP

Three piece band form the UK who have roped in former darts star turned commentator Bobby George (he of blingy tops and lots of jewellery) for the CD cover and video.

Musically they are the UK's answer to Blink 182 and Bowling For Soup. Very catchy tunes with a UK slant on the lyrics and the band take a sideways pop at similar bands in 'Pop Rock Factory'.

Koopa will never win awards for their lyrical depth but they know how to craft catchy tunes and make the most of airplay. One for all you pop punk fans out there. ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie

BEN LEE TYLER Not My Fault Ivolution / Universal

Guitar pop with rock'n'roll overtones - touches of Rolling Stones and Crowded House / Counting Crows in equal measure.

Just when the sound is getting a tad too MOR a solid guitar comes in. Upbeat and catchy with a few decent hard riffs. The better end of guitar pop. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

TRIVIUM Anthem (We Are The Fire) Roadrunner

Now I must admit I was one of the ones who didn't get Trivium. A boy band playing at metal, there recorded output has been poor to say the least. But it might be words eating time for this is a ragingly good single.

Yes they're still ripping off Metallica and Megadeth but they're finally getting to grips with writing songs of their own instead of pale imitations. To be fair, the lead track on the album is a poor representation, but when you get into the meat of 'Vengeance' and 'Broken One', it's clear that Trivium have come on leaps and bounds. ***

Review by Stuart A Hamilton

THOMAS BROMLEY All The Things We Need

Taken from his debut album Two-Nine-Five (produced by Porl Young - Roxy Music and Nina Hagen), All The Things We Need is the most obvious choice of single to follow his debut Single Danger Ahead.

Reworked with band members Lewis Saerle, Tom Greene, Tom B and Tiffany Tremain, it's an up tempo pop/rock number and merits a listen - Thomas's soulful vocals falling squarely into David Gray / Van The Man territory.

And for your indulgence, you get new track Beaten By Defeat, a gentle solo acoustic number. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

PAUL HARTNOLL Patchwork Guilt (Kids)

One half of Orbital - one of the most influential dance acts of all time - Paul Hartnoll comes up with his first solo offering since he and his brother parted ways.

Crafted in his Brighton studio, this is a monumental slab of filmic soundscapes, and techno. And boy, will it tear your woofers out. If you like dance watch out for this and Paul's album set for release in 2007. And even if you don't like dance, this is one hell of a way of demonstrating the capabilities of your sound system. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

LIV KRISTINE Fake A Smile Roadrunner Records

Liv is the very fair maiden who lent her dulcet and soprano tones to two highly-regarded metal bands: Leaves Eyes and Theatre of Tragedy.

Her debut album is a curious mix of folksy pop rock, and 'Fake A Smile' could be the next Norwegian Eurovision entry. Didn't Norway always get 'nil points' ? ***

Review by David Randall


For some reason, this track doesn't sound as good as it did when I first heard the band's debut 'This Is Hazelville' album, probably because it has been remixed.

The first single, 'Glorious', was just that, a bass propelled slice of eighties retro pop with 'clever' Trevor Horn at the controls. If 'Hazelville' was the sound of summer (albeit 1984) it's now approaching winter and such an 'up' album seems out of synch.

If that debut album is not quite as good as others would have you believe, 'Frontline' is the obvious other single. The album version is included here and an instrumental. ***

Review by David Randall

UNTITLED MUSICAL PROJECT Beards & Drugs/Fascimile/Why Isn't Paul McCartney Dead Already?

A three piece form Stafford and Birmingham, Untitled Musical Project combine punk with brummy heavy riffs and manic vocals to deliver their own special snooty version version of energetic shit kicking.

No doubting the energy they generate, but good enough to make it? Who knows? ***

Review by Pete Whalley

THE BEAT POETS Turn It On (Pronoia Records)

Irish band The Beat Poets release this new single, high energy guitar pop with rock and punk leanings. Powerful and distinct vocals. Second track 'Shadowlands' is more anthemic with melody, and there's a touch of 80s hair metal to the vocals.

Guitar driven pop with substance. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

CHICHINO Every Little Thing (The Junk Label)

This young band play a very retro chic take on soul and funk, heavily influenced by Acid Jazz, the female vocals add to the period sound.

The rhythms work well, the vocals excellent and the odd solo cool too, it's all a groove thing. But this take on soulful acid jazz you either love or hate. Should do well though.***

Review by Joe Geesin

NEW RHODES The History Of Britain Salty Cat Records

Big sound polished pop/rock with a very late 80s / early 90s sound, and a very interesting title too; well written lyrics. Hint of U2 to the guitar work and rhythms, if a little offbeat.

Second track "There's A Chance That I Missed" has a rock'n'roll influence too, nodding at modern guitar pop singer/songwriter. Good, enjoyable if not too grabbing. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

JULIETTE AND THE LICKS Sticky Honey (Hassle Records)

Chunky hard guitar pop, with more guitar chops than licks, and female vocals that give a slight punk edge.

Catchy pop with a new wave feel and a definite rock feel. Two and a half minutes, an enjoyable burst. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

The CHARLATANS You're So Pretty, We're So Pretty (Island)

Original Madchester pop returns with a remix of 'You're So Pretty', the mix giving both new romantic and dance overtones to what is actually a decent tune.

Dark and moody, a haunting keyboard sound and plenty of interesting layers.

If you had any interest in the band, you'll love this. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

THE MAYBES? Rock'n'Roll Extra Mile Recordings

The opening track says it all, a nod at Led Zep over an uptempo dance rhythm, and at 2 minutes it's as short as it is punchy. But if it was any longer it could easily go from catchy to annoying.

The other tracks here also feature a modern take on a retro sound, if a little sleazy. Almost Bowie-ish in places with a modern guitar/pop attitude. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

PROTEST THE HERO Heretics And Killers (Vagrant)

Taken from the debut album Kezia, this is a brutal thunderous noisy affair with occasional bursts of acoustic. The guitars and shouts (vocals) are a wall of noise, with odd 5-10 seconds of acoustic strumming you'd find in a progressive folk track.

The noise itself is a brutal form of punk/guitar pop that's popular right now; and interesting mixture. Fun too. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

THE HOLD STEADY Chips Ahoy (Vagrant)

Released as a 7" and taken from their new album Boys And Girls In America, on the surface it sounds like fairly ordinary guitar pop, but a neatly layered (hidden) keyboard does add an extra dimension.

When the keyboards break out, it's a breath of fresh air. A very retro sounding organ, shame the guitar work is just so cliché of the moment. **½

Review by Joe Geesin


Six-piece band from Wales who mix punk pop riffs with some modern metal riffery. They have some catchy hooks and a screamer on the choruses but they sound like Lostprophets wannabes and the aforementioned band do it so much better. That said 'Hard Slammin' and the melodic refrains of 'It's High Tide Baby' are worth grabbing.

Some will like it but doubt anyone will be playing it in a couple or more year's time! **½

Review by Jason Ritchie

MEAT LOAF feat. Marion Raven It's All Coming Back To Me Now

I have a problem with this record and it's not the one you might think. For this song is one of my all time favourite songs. Ever. Pompous, overblown, grandiose, melancholy, dramatic - it could have been written just for me! But I fell in love with the original version which appeared on one of rocks great follies - 'Original Sin' by Pandora's Box - where the genius that is Jim Steinman finally got to run riot. With predicatably disasterous consequences.

I even managed to live with the Celine Dion cover which was actually a note for note re-recording, produced by Lord Steinman, which was fine by me. But now on version three, I have a problem. And that is Meat Loaf. He's lost his voice. The Emperor is wearing no clothes. Which may be why the gorgeous and talented Marion Raven has been brought in to prop things up.

I really, really wanted to love this but it's not to be. The song is still the benchmark against which rock epics should be measured but poor Mr Loaf sounds fit for the knackers yard. **

Review by Stuart A Hamilton

LECUBE 45 Tours No 1 Shoot The Nanny / Creatures (Megaphone Music)

The first of a series of single releases from Frenchman Julien 'Lecube' Barbagallo that will eventually be released as an album in 2007. A collection of songs of women he'd love to meet and men he'd love to be.

Simple in a Jack Johnson sort of way and sounding horribly homemade, you have to query why anyone would want to release this sort of thing. And will anyone buy it? I severely doubt it. **

Review by Pete Whalley

NEMO Life Span Deepsee Records

'Life Span' is a 3 track electronic punk pop debut single that is an edgier sounding Kaiser Chiefs- especially on the title track,

5 Min. Heroes has an 80's feel to it whilst Truth or Die is overly electronic.

Certainly worthy of chart entry and a band that would be good to catch live. **

Review by Nikk Gunns


About as storm-trooper as an underage Mum pushing a pram. Poppy and The Jezebels are a 14-15 aged girl group out of Birmingham who apparently nod their young heads to The Slits, New York Dolls and The Raincoats.

In fact, it sounds more like the grooming of someone in a raincoat. Using a poor version of the Jean Genie riff and frankly pathetic vocals, the name of the label Kiss Of Death just about sums it up.

Awful, plain awful, but a star for having the balls to release it. *

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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