I've got a feeling 2007 could be a good year for music. I mean ... take this week's singles for example: we've got The Gossip's "as seen on tv" anthem 'Standing In The Way Of Control' and The Damned's "we woz first" 'Neat Neat Neat' as key releases. Oh, hang on....
Anyway ... it's quite apparent that LCD Soundsystem's quite frankly blistering 'North American Scum' stands head and shoulders above anything new on show this week. Lead singer Murphy demonstrates a sharp sense of comedy throughout this scratchy indie-rock track. As he sings his bittersweet tale of what it is to be from the States, he mercilessly takes the rip out of us Western European Scum - check out the sarcasm in some of the lines he delivers. A track that not only manages to be funny (although some Fat American Christians may disagree) but also highly politically charged, and doubtless sure to become an anthem of defiance. In some respects it's a shame this single is not a million miles away from the sound of the previous LCD Soundsystem album, but the wheel doesn't need changing yet. There's different delights to follow in the album anyway.
Adventures Of Loki's "Feminine Side"carries on the spirit of The Damned - punk but just the right side of being a bit too much like Nirvana's covering Shocking Blue to avoid a lawsuit. The definite overtones of the Buzzcocks don't hurt. In any other week it could well be a single of the week but it's fine stuff nonetheless and thoroughly recommended. Richard Swift's 'Kisses For The Misses' also comes recommended this week - retro 70's styling cannot hide a good song. It's a fine example of the kind of song that should be all over the media like a rash. Bear with me on this, but Take That's 'Shine' has a similar 70's styling, but in contrast sounds like ELO. This is a bad thing or a bad thing depending on what you think of That. Will be a massive hit obviously.
All Saints deserve to have a massive hit with their catchy pop tart treat 'Chick Fit'. They won't however, for despite being a well formed example of pop perfection, it's all a bit 1995. You should check out the Kissy Sell Out remix however. All Saints should have released that mix as the lead version also - the radio mix (ironically this track has famously not been playlisted by anyone! - chuckling Ed) is a bit too, well, radio to be an absolute killer but it does what it does so effortlessly it hurts. Unklejam's 'Love Ya' in contrast tries a bit too hard to be like the Neptunes. Pop enough, but by God it sounds contrived.
Which brings me nicely on to the pop punk of Alexisonfire. Whilst "Boiled Frogs" has a great title, it just doesn't grab me as being anything different from what a 1001 different bands are all trying to do just now. It washes over you like a bad dose of the Kerrangs! I've got to say that Badly Drawn Boy's 'From A To B' kind of washed over me too like just about every other Badly Drawn Boy track has ever done. The Go Team remix is cool though and there's a nice cameo from Frank Sidebottom in the video though. It's all about the media these days though and no doubt will get some airtime because of that.
The Apartment will not like me for saying that "Pressures" sounds like Editors but with more synths. A bit like the Associates (ask your parents) which is a good thing indeed. I reckon this could be a very big media thing indeed if it wasn't what sounds like certain illicit substances in the chorus. I like this however. Let's keep it our little secret just now. The Fray's 'How To Save A Life' could be a very big thing with media support - like say being featured on Grey's Anatomy. Doesn't make it save it from being any less mediocre than it is already however. Earnest and dull, and ironically enough managed only to take me 4 minutes and 24 seconds closer to my death. The Horrors meantime continue to fail to impress me. A case of all media styling and little content as far as I can hear. If 'Gloves' is the forefront of "Nu-Grave" then it needs to be aborted quickly before a perfectly good genre name is wasted.
My kids love the video for The Maccabees' "About Your Dress". I'm not entirely surprised the record company wouldn't give them a budget for the video however. Nothing good, nothing bad it's never wrong nor never right. Oddly enough the intro to Big Strides' 'Always Together' reminded me of Children's TV also. The kind of "guess who" stops and starts off promisingly but it never grows the balls to be rock 'n' roll, interesting or for that matter especially memorable. Kind of like The Killers' new track 'Read My Mind'. The rest of my review need not be printed here.
I nearly didn't bother with Idlewild's "No Emotion". I'm glad I did, however, as it's a great single. Totally unexpected from my perception of the band they've only gone and made an honest and memorable (for the right reasons) single. Refreshing.
As for this week's remakes - The Harrisons have just about re-made the Bravery's big hit 'Honest Mistake'. The mistake here is that it's always going to be compared to that. If this had been around a couple of years ago it may be different, but it's just a little too generic. Lil' Chris remakes 'Checkin' It Out'. Yes, we did 'Figure It Out'. Passable but the joke's wearing a bit thin.
And one last thing.... also recommended this week is the new cut-up funk of 'Foo!' by Poj Masta (download from iTunes). At Culture Deluxe we'll come clean by saying we do have a vested interest in this track (it's on our sister label Prank Monkey)but those of you who like your Coldcut and DJ Food especially should also check this out - it's sure to rest well among both your home stereos and sounds fantastic in the slightly leftfield (read as genuinely interesting) clubs you may frequent. You are a trendy lot after all.
Also out this week ...
Bishops – 'Breakaway' Bluetones – 'Surrendered' Brakes - 'Cease And Desist' Broken Family Band - 'Alone In The Makeout Room' Capdown – 'Surviving The Death Of A Genre' Cascada – 'Miracle' Charlotte Hatherley – 'I Want You To Know' CSS - 'Off The Hook' Draytones – 'Keep Loving Me' Gwen Stefani feat Akon - 'The Sweet Escape' Howling Bells - 'Low Happening' John Legend - 'P.D.A . (We Just Don't Care)' The Knife – 'Marble House' Los Campesinos! – 'We Throw Parties You Throw Knives' Misha Williams – 'Unexpectedly' My Device – 'Eat Lead' The Pigeon Detectives – 'Romantic Type' Polytechnic – 'Cold Hearted Business' The Race - 'Comfort Comfort' Tobias Froberg – 'God's Highway' Tracey Thorn - 'It's All True' Ville Valo & Natalie Avelon – 'Summer Wine' Voxtrot – 'Trouble'