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Single reviews: May 2012

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

Reviews by Jason Ritchie, David Wilson

LISBEE STAINTON Sidekick (Western Songs)

Lisbee Stainton has released a couple of enjoyable singles to date and this latest one is no exception. She has a light, summery vocal and this song you could see on future TV shows needing a summer tune. Lovely harmonies on the mid-section and this song deserves to be a hit. A nice ray of sunshine in these dark times...****½

Review by Jason Ritchie

THESE REIGNING DAYS - Living It Up (Ecco Recordings)

The band's debut single 'Changes' was very good indeed, reminding me of the mighty Muse. This new song though sees the band go for a highly catchy indie rock song, with a nod the 80's in the guitar and the Ultravox approved synth riff.

I am sure I can hear some pomptastic church organ towards the end of the song. Based on these two songs alone their debut album due in the summer is shaping up to be one of the year's listening highlights. ****½

Review by Jason Ritchie

JAMIE HARTMAN Before I Close My Eyes/Buddha Allah Jesus Jones (Flat Cap Records)

Third single lifted from his excellent new album 'III', which has already been album of the week on BBC Radio 2. This double A side single has the mellow refrain 'Before I Close My Eyes' and the more upbeat 'Buddha Allah Jesus Jones', a tune perfect for a summer's day. Do check Jamie Hartman out as he is a superb singer and has pop rock tunes to die for. ****½

Review by Jason Ritchie


'Beast Burnt Down' is a slice of indie tinged folk that sounds like the Waterboys, especially the vocals, I had to check it wasn't Mike Scott on guest vocals. Infused with fiddle and banjo, this is a pleasant enough track that suggests that The Lucky Strikes may be worth further investigation when their new album, of which this is the title track, is released. ***

Review by David Wilson


This three track EP is an introduction to the happy, bouncy world of Benson. They produce excellent indie rock, drawing together a rocky Springsteen like sound with a healthy dose of SKA. Mixed together they create a unique sound driven along on a sea of brass, this would be a blast live. Best of the bunch is the SKA heavy 'Don't Wannabe You' which would have you dancing and sweating in equal measures. A fun EP from a fun band. ***½

Review by David Wilson

GRAHAM GOULDMAN Daylight (Rosala Records)

10CC's Graham Gouldman is a busy man, fronting 10CC on their 40th anniversary tour and releasing a new solo album entitled 'Love & Work' due for release in August.

This is the lead single and dedicated to the late Andrew Gold, who Gouldman worked with in Wax best remembered for the hist single 'Building A Bridge To Your Heart'). In fact the album is dedicated to Andrew Gold as well.

It is a pleasant tune - perfect daytime fodder for BBC Radio 2 - nothing special but fine to listen too. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie


The band's second single, following on from 'Family' which had rave reviews from various BBC Radio 1 DJ's. It isn't bad but sounds like many other indie pop bands out there and can't say I'd play it again. **½

Review by Jason Ritchie

FIST FULL OF LIES If It Wasn't For This I'd Still Have Everything

Fist Full Of Lies are billed as 'an aspiring punk quartet' which sounded quite promising, what they are though is another twin vocal, nu metal/hardcore outfit. The 4 tracks on this, their debut EP, are not too bad, especially the snappily titled ' I Am Jack's Lingering Regret', but there is nothing here that stands out particularly

As debuts go, I have come across worse, but FFOL will need to up their game to take things further. **

Review by David Wilson

BEN CALVERT & THE SWIFTS Valpolicella Girl

This is a new single from Ben Calvert and co which was inspired by a sunny afternoon drinking wine from the Valpolicella region of Italy with a circus girl from Bath. It is a whimsical, lightweight folk tinged track reminiscent of The Kinks and Belle and Sebastian. This is a song for a summer fete on the village green with Pimms on ice. **

Review by David Wilson

BROKEN BROADCAST Good Afternoon Mr Moon

Americana can take many forms, some upbeat and happy with jangly guitars and others, like this example, are lo-fi, angst ridden slices of joyless music.

Listening to music should be an enjoyable pastime, but listening to this was a life draining experience not to be repeated or recommended.

It takes allsorts to make the world and someone must like this, possibly the band's mothers, I however, would rather stick my jam covered hand in a wasp's nest rather than listen to this again, it would be less painful. *

Review by David Wilson

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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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