Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Single Reviews
Album Reviews
DVD Reviews
Book Reviews
Sign up for newsletter
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website

Singles Bar: November 2010

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

Reviews by Joe Geesin, Abigail Suter, Pete Whalley


Thea Gilmore is on something of a roll at present. Her latest album Murphy's Heart has found equal acclaim with fans and pundits, the opening single You're The Radio got plenty of Radio 2 air time and she's just completed a rapturously received UK tour.

Teach Me To Be Bad is one of the highlights from the album and is bound to earn her further deserved air play and exposure. For fans, the bonus is inclusion of 3 non-album tracks. And there's one thing you can guarantee from Thea Gilmore - there'll be no fillers.

The folky Favourite Absentee has a charming acoustic Tull style, Several Angels is a lament that wouldn't be out of place on Strange Communion, and Something To Sing About is an up tempo number as good as any in her canon. Purchase with confidence. ****

Review by Pete Whalley


On the back of extensive touring in America, a number 1 success in his native Ireland, and exposure via Grey's Anatomy, Dublin's James McMorrow looks set to be one the names to watch in 2011.

His eponymous UK debut EP, comprising two album tracks and two unearthed demos, precedes an album release - Early In The Morning - in the new year and the lead track - the excellent 'If I Had A Boat' is available now as a free download ( ).

The two album tracks - If I Had A Boat and This Old Dark Machine are a pair of wonderfully soulful and atmospheric numbers reflecting McMorrow's Irish roots, his love of West-Coast sounds (think, Crosby Stills and Nash), and crowned by his sweet Donny Hathaway influenced vocals. And the two early demos are things of fragile beauty with echoes of Ray LaMontagne. Exquisite. ****

Review by Pete Whalley


The second single lifted from the AngloSwedish sextet's 3rd album We Rule The World is something of a surprise. Because on the artwork, they look rather menacing. And with a penchant for 'death metal', I was expecting something more, well, 'in your face'. But My Own Life is a huge slab of melodious rock with great vocals, and a huge hook. Whether it's representative of the band's output in general I don't know, but it's damn fine single and one that should bring the band wider recognition. ****

Review by Pete Whalley


The debut single from Australian rock trio Sick Puppies is a gentle acoustic based affair which ratchets up as the song progresses and is, perhaps somewhat at odds with the band's reputation of melodious aggression. It does however stem from their band's first major label album Dressed Up For Life (2007) and already has a pedigree of US success and a You Tube / Free Hugs campaign 'down under' that received 63 million hits. Success beckons. ****

Review by Pete Whalley

VESSELS - Meatman Piano Tuner Prostitute

Just looking at the bizarre name of this single kind of withdraws my ability to take any of it seriously. I mean what sort of band combines rabble about meatmen, piano tuner's and prostitutes and maintains a serious note to their music? It muse be pure psycho crap. Or so I thought.

As I press play I am significantly surprised and instantly take back my comment about it being unserious. The gentle, dramatic, ambient melody makes you feel at ease with yourself as the lulling piano relaxes you along with the stunning falsetto vocals. Not only that but 'Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute (Featuring Stuart Warwick)' is only the first track on this elegant album.

'Meatman (Featuring Stuart Warwick)' follows the same example set by the first track and combines the same mellow vocals with the soothing piano and barely-there drumbeat. This definitely works for The Vessels as a drastic change from the heavier guitar riffs of previous hit, 'Look at That Cloud'.

'Ornafives' adds catchy guitar riffs and much weightier drum beats to the mixture although I wouldn't exactly call it heavy at any rate yet the vocals are, once again, dynamic and absolutely captivating.

The CD closes with the Avus Minty Lamb remix of Meatman (who the heck comes up with these names?!). Sounding nothing like the original, it remind you of eastern cultures and is a great finish to the glorious CD.

This single, released on the 8th of November, is almost entrancing as it throws you directly into a whirling dreamland of deep emotion which is balanced out by a contrasting light-hearted feel. Definitely worth a listen for any fans of music based around instrumental genius because the lack of vocal work will disappoint some.  ***½

Review by Abigail Suter


This single from a French five piece, fronted by the man himself (whose name is allegedly taken from Syd Barratt and a variation of [Roger] Waters) is a rather splendid little ditty. Opening with Kate Bush style piano and percussion before moving into a gentle vocal / acoustic piece with subtle hints of early Genesis, Beach Boys and Paul Simon. Rather charming. ***½

Revuiew by Pete Whalley

SENSORITES Just Because You Can

The new single from brothers Natham and Gareth a.k.a Sensorites, is the perfect soundtrack to those chilled out winter days spent at home cuddled up on the sofa. The soft, clean acoustic sounds blend together seamlessly and create a sense of ease.

Ok so it's nothing you havn't heard before but the track is as cool as a cucumber so does that really matter? The simple guitar melody is consistent throughout yet there is a slightly more gritty solo to separate the song out a bit more.

The raw single is followed up with five equally as stunning remixes. Personally, the soothing piano of Muz's Get Down Remix brings the track to a whole new level for me however, the instrumental version emphasises just how effective simple melodies can be and reinforces the idea that not all rock music needs dirty, grimy sounds to make it a masterpiece.

The verdict: as cool as a cucumber. Although cucumbers really aren't very cool are they? Oh well, like I said, a brilliant laid-back track fitting the feel it's winter release date gives. ***½

Review by Abigail Suter

NEEDS MUST Thank You For Choosing

Well first of all I must say you can tell they're from London as soon as the vocals kick in. The husky voice of Patrick Engelbert is heavily coated with an extremely South-East accent.

The lyrics are very... well... creative to say the least. "Fast food chains are getting fatter/leaving our metabolism in a tatter" sings Patrick. I find myself wondering how on earth can you take this band seriously after these lyrics but once again my opinions are proved wrong as the track progresses into something more dramatic becoming a perfect song for the working class society with its raw guitar riffs and harshly crafted bass melody.

The B-side to this unusual single is 'Shrapnel Queen' which commences with gentle vocals from Patrick (that makes a change from the thick accent!) hastily switches back to the heavy industrial punk-rock sound which resembles that of a much more mature version of the Arctic Monkeys.

This song really draws me in during the second half where the haunting vocals and guitar riff resume before Engelbert begins to chant 'There she goes' repeatedly. It sounds like the record's stuck but instead of just being plain annoying, this creates a dramatic effect and adds to the dynamics of the tune.

This single boasts very gritty, urban sounds which will fulfil the needs of anyone who is craving something a bit more fuzzy sounding than the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Orphan Boy although it's certainly not for everybody.  ***½

Review by Abigail Suter

THE LIAISON Start From Scratch

Yet another band off the seemingly endless conveyor belt of festival friendly bands producing up tempo, big chorus, feel good factor indie pop/rock.

Personally, I blame bands like Busted, and the likes of Avril Lavigne who pretty much blueprinted the genre. Now, aside from headliners, the mainstream festival stages are carpeted wall to wall with bands whose style is virtually indistinguishable.

The Liaison, a five piece from Guilford are no exception. They're very accurately described in their PR blurb as 'explosive' and they've brought in John Mitchell (It Bites) on production to add a little gasoline to the flames.

Like their contemporaries, they're proficient (very), the songs are catchy and they'll be undoubted crowd pleasers. Yes, they're radio friendly, yes, they're fun, but it's not [classic] rock Jim, not as we know it. Beam me up Scotty. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

SWEET JAMES Multitrack Drifting EP

Young alt-rock that has influences of blues, prog and pop/rock.

The opening track 'Better For The Crime' opens in alt-pop fashion with high vocals that then builds. Decent melody but the alternative guitar work is a bit jangly and the vocals remain too high, both in pitch and volume.

'Get On Somethin' Good' has a more mature, middle of the road yet guitar-pop feel with a hint of Americana and Beach Boys.

The only track not of mainstream (Q, Mojo) fare is 'The Wonderer', which adds harmonica and picks up the blues in a more sensible fashion.

'Make 'The Wonderer' the lead track and ditch the Americana and Guitar Pop angles and you have something quite promising.  ***

Review by Joe Geesin

LAVELLION Singles 2010/11
EP /

Three new songs by this unsigned band that show a strong hard rock style.

'Believe In Me' is very 70s, solid, hard, a hint of Stray. 'Brother' is lighter, more rhythmic. 'Truth And Lies' has a good feel going, and is probably the strongest of the lot.

Some good stuff, but I'd like to see them beef up a bit, as there is a danger of falling into the guitar-pop camp (Kings of Leon, Snow Patrol et al).  ***

Review by Joe Geesin

LOTTE MULLAN Can't Find The Words

Inspired by her father's record collection containing gems from the likes of Rickie Lee Jones, Bobbie Gentry, Kirsty MacColl and The Beatles, and her own vocal style influenced by a throat problem and an enforced-singing ban, the 25 year old singer songwriter's album Plain Jane is a enchanting debut.

Rooted in folk, her wistful, Sam Brown style delivery, makes her confessional story telling an intimate and quintessentially English experience seldom heard in these Pro Tool days. This reworking of the melancholy l Can't Find The Words with Italian DJ Phonat, strips away some of the sparse fragility of the album version with the addition of a hypnotic pop beat. But for me, it's an unnecessary embellishment - Lotte had it just right first time around. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

AWOLNATION - Back From Earth EP

Opening the promo pack of US band, AWOLNATION's new EP, you find everything you'd expect. Band info sheet, album cover stating EP name and band name with track list on the back, CD also complete with these details, 3D glasses…HUH?! Umm yeah, my eyes do not deceive me, there is a pair of cardboard 3D glasses. You know, the classic red and blue ones. I'm just going to pretend that this is an absolutely normal thing to be contained in a promo pack.

Doing a bit more research makes me understand this 3D glasses thing significantly better. They have a pretty awesome 3D website - of course I knew this all along, honest! Anyway, now to find out if they're all show or not because that's the image they're giving me with all this funky, cyber 3D stuff.

The vocals to 'Burn It Down' kick in after an extremely brief drum fill and one clear question runs through my muddled up mind; are they on drugs?! I think the best comparison I can make for this psychedelic punk-rock is to either The Beastie Boys or Mindless Self Indulgence. This is a song which makes you question your own sanity as you listen to the playful yet somehow violent sounds of the weird yet wonderful AWOLNATION.

'Guilty Filthy Soul' presents a relaxing contrast after the very in your face feel of the previous track. The song is simple in terms of instrumental features yet the lyrics add dynamic to the melody and make you feel like you're on drugs again as you slowly become addicted.

The third track, 'Sail' is very synth-heavy and a little on the sludgy side with it's slow pace and lack higher pitches that the other two tracks seem to pull off so well.

I'll leave it to your very creative imagination to think what 'MF' stands for. Put it this way, keep this one away from the inquisitive ears of those pesky little kids. Even though you'd expect something with lyrics like this to be even more weighty, it's actually again rather childish and light-hearted with the feathery synths and falsetto vocals.

The 'Back From Earth' EP is rounded off with a remix of 'Burn It Down'. The Innerpartysystem remix adds even more electro to the mix (is that even possible?!) and doubles the playback time of this crazy track. It's very...let's say, colourful. That somehow feels like the best way to describe it; the ONLY way to describe it.

Odd? Unusual? Strange? Those word's don't seem to quite sum up how outlandish this EP is or what the band were thinking of while writing these songs. The thing is, you SHOULDN'T like it but soon after it's finished ripping your ears apart you gain the undeniable urge to have them ripped apart all over again.

The verdict? Give it a go whatever your music taste. you might not like it at first but I think it's a grower once you become accustomed to the full on psycho sounds of AWOLNATION.  ***

Review by Abigail Suter

INDICA Precious Dark

The latest offering from the Finnish five piece girl band's first English speaking record In Passing. Despite being discovered by Nightwish boss Tuomas Holopainen, there's no obvious metal connection and Eurovision is far more natural habitat for the band's sound. Nothing wrong with that, and Precious Dark would probably do rather well. Trois points. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

DORO Breaking The Law (live)

Perhaps not the best female vocalist on the circuit, but with a Kiss size reputation on the metal circuit, this cover of the Judas Priest classic is as much a showcase for her adoring followers as the blonde German ex Warlock front woman. It's arguable who's further up in the mix her or the crowd. Whatever, it must have been one hell of a gig and a fitting trailer for her forthcoming 2 DVD + CD set 25 Year In Rock. ***

Recview by Pete Whalley


Ollie Stewart is a London based singer songwriter influenced by 70s Psychedelic Rock, 90s Trip Hop and electronica. The opening track on his debut ep I See Love has a Tears For Fears meets Donna Summer feel, in particular with distant refrains of her classic hit I Feel Love. In general, the subtle electronica that underpins much of the set gives it an 80s retro feel, accentuated by the soearing The Tears For Fears style vocals that provide much of the melody. Pleasant enough fare even if it doesn't set the heather alight. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

THE UNION This Time Next Year

A 'benefit' single taken from the debut album of The Union a band put together by Thunder songwriter / guitarist Luke Morley and ex Winterville vocalist / guitarist Peter Shoulder. It starts well enough with strains of Mott The Hoople style guitar work but rapidly descends into a fairly cheesy sub par Elton John style gospel ballad. Ultimately uninspiring and disappointing. **½

Review by Pete Whalley


Streetcorner Prophets are an 'experimental' Philadelphia based rock band formed in 2009 by four young jazz musicians.  And between them they serve up an apocalyptic sonic soundscape that is just, bonkers.

Requiem kicks the ep off with a drum roll, discordant chords and Arthur Brown style spoken lyrics. It's followed by two completely spaced out numbers - Darkness and Nyarlathotep - both featuring off kilter rhythms, and vocals from a different plane that are neither sung or spoken.

Only The Lyricist shows signs of acceptable mainstream activity. But songs about paraplegics in wheelchairs are unlikely to draw major airplay. Which is a shame, because it hints at what Streetcorner Phrophets might become if they came down off that cloud. And that's a pretty fine, female fronted rock band.

But on the whole, weird, just weird. **½

Review by Pete Whalley

RUINS OF EARTH Ashes Of The Ocean EP

Apt name, as music like this really ruin the earth.

Extreme metal, frantic rhythms, fast guitar work, pauses, then frantic again, a decent riff here and there. So what's the problem?

Well, if it stopped there, the average extreme metal fan would love this. Well, into the cement mixer that is the mixing desk, you have to add the vocals. And it's the cliché mixture of high and low, the low an ogre's belch, or a tenor screaming too fast while underwater, the high being the oh so pleasant scream of a cat being combed by a hedge trimmer. Both equally unintelligible.

Not sure what started to bleed first, my brain or my ears. Thank the Norse gods it's just a 5 track EP, otherwise my CD player would have started bleeding too.  *** (music) * (vocals and end effect)

Review by Joe Geesin


Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group