Friday, May 31, 2013

Top 5 Records (May)

1) Reading too much into things like everything - The School
2) Rapproacher - Class Actress
3) 94 Baker St revisited - Various
4) Tunas Bangsa Simphony EP
5) Emily - Emily Bindiger

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Top Of The Pops Volume 22 (Hallmark)

The February 1972 edition of the covered hits series, i was a baby at the time but what great songs were in the charts at the time to accompany my screaming and nappy antics. "Telegram Sam" is a pretty fine cover of the T.Rex hit, honourable mentions also for The Sweet's "Poppa Joe". I also liked the cover of The Faces' "stay with me". So the glam and rock hits work really well on this edition.

Less enjoyable was "I'd like the teach the world to sing" but i don't like the original that much either. "American pie" also did not entertain me too much, Madonna has ruined that song for me perhaps...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

MV : "Boo the blackberry" by 800 Cherries

Probably not about the Q10.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hyperbubble + Manda Rin EP (Pure Pop For Now People)

Hyperbubble and Manda Rin team up on this EP released on Pure Pop For Now People, you can only expect a riot of lo-fi electronic pure pop right? In fact its death metal... no just kidding. Its light and fantastic, bleepy and breezy and most of all its fun!

The electronics are fantastic, sounding like early Depeche Mode at one stage then sounding like a microwave gone crazy the next. "Hello heaven operator" also has a real new wave 80s vibe with a  frenetic electric beat. "In the movies" at the start sounds like the boss level on a bad ass SNES game you never knew. Even a slight darkness to the electronic beat, but only slight. At the heart of every song on this EP is a pop sweetness so high your teeth would probably melt if you ate the CD. So its best to listen to it, it would be bad for your diet anyway.
"Kamikaze coma" is my favourite track on the EP, a little slinky and carefree melody wise and is a great pop song, with added electro madness. Finally we must mention the manic "Attack of the 3-D space kittens", which sounds like every video game console in the world gone crazy at the same time, due to some kind of Star Trek-esque spacial anomaly no doubt.

Its the most poptastic record you will hear for a long time. Probably the most kitsch as well (but in a good way), and as a sugar filled pop rush its pretty hard to beat.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Retro Cover : Its... Mrs Mopp's Piano Party

Before she was a famous actor Joanna Lumley was ... Mrs Mopp apparently. The mind well and truly boggles. Original taken from here.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Rosie Taylor Project - twin beds (Oddbox)

The Rosie Taylor Project's second album is melancholic and romantic. Dead pan vocals and a swish of pop beauty on "For Esme" over delicate and heart felt lyrics echoing the hope, despair and ultimate emptiness of modern life. Much of the album is a tapestry of delicate, acoustic and rich sonic tones matching the male-female vocal harmonies and interplay perfectly. The beautiful "Sleep" is a case in point.

Its a very modern pop album, the sort of stuff that should be all over the radio instead of the bland fodder that usually predominates. I guess its easier that way for the industry, while a record like "Twin beds" has layers of depth that might require a bit of effort...

Well if people are missing out on the beauty of a song like "Every morning (and for the rest of our lives)" i guess thats just their problem. The pop melodies built into this song are amazing and once they hit you it makes your life better today, and for the rest of your life... yeah!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Family Gotown - turtle EP (Vertigo)

Family Gotown are fairly obscure now, releasing just 2 EPs in the early 1990s (a review of the other EP can be found here). Their brand of hammond organ driven guitar pop was pretty good but maybe just not enough to stand out from the crowd and their career coincided with a bit of a downturn in the British indie scene after the end of shoegaze and before the rise of britpop.

They fitted into neither category really, though had the "indie re-imagined 60s psychedelia acid sound" down well. "Turtle" is an enjoyable if straight forward indie pop track. "Pick me up" with its echoey vocals and harder rock edge is a more interesting track, with a bit of work it could have been quite an anthem.

"Cheat me" is a bit of a throwaway rock thrash. Finally "Pretty things" is an acoustic ballad. Its billed as an EP but the first two tracks are far superior (and what you got on the 7" edition anyway). Well not all bands make it, and Family Gotown didn't, but their output was not bad by any means.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Retro Cover : Good Vibrations

A charming early 70s compilation LP i picked up from a charity shop a few weeks ago. The track listing veers between the obvious and the meh but is overall a decent record. The cover is a bit meh as well.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Darling Buds - crystal clear (Blond)

Another shot of 1990 indie, and again the Darling Buds were able to pull together all the things that were cool and current at the time to produce a very polished and satisfying single. State of the art commercial UK indie you could say but there is nothing wrong with that when its done well and this is.

It has good female vocals, soaring guitar riffs, a bit of electro-noise distortion and a bit (though it feels a bit half-hearted) of a funky indie beat. Sure win! Actually "Crystal clear" is a good song which much to enjoy, no doubt especially after a few beers down the SU bar... yeah we can easily enter nostalgia mode.

B-sides are not much to write home, you get the title track 3 times (7" mix, extended and a remix). The only other track is "Tripped up" which is fine, though a basic, indie thrash. A-side is good though and thats all that matters.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Darling Buds - tiny machine (Blond)

Indie pop songs in 1990, you could expect jingle jangle guitars and a beat that tried to be a bit "funky drummer" to get us all dancing (or a close approximation of such) in the clubs... The Darling Buds' single "tiny machine" is all of these things and a decent song it is too, sweet vocals as you would expect especially in the chorus, a nice melody and plenty of interesting sounds including the tempo dropping at the end. Not hugely memorable but certainly not bad by any means.

For the B-sides of this CD single we have a remix of the title track which is a bit slinky but doesn't add a whole lot to the original to be honest. "Me? Satisfied?" is slow and subdued and a bit spacey with some nice razor guitar. "Sugar city" is a straight forward guitar pop song that passes the time.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Retro Cover : You Only Live Twice OST

An Italian version of 007's "You only live twice" soundtrack. James Bond of course embodies 60s cool and style and what could be more stylish than a jetliner... no doubt taking Bond to his latest swish adventure fuelled by martinis and sex. Shaken and not stirred yeah? Original from here.

Friday, May 10, 2013

MV : "What you want" by Kenny Feinstein feat Richard Buckner

Kenny Feinstein loves "Loveless" by MBV, so much infact he is going to release a cover album of it later this year. As you can see its a very different style to the noise gods (punk bluegrass folk kind of thing) and could be a pretty amazing album all on its own.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Massy Ferguson - victory & ruins (Spark & Shine)

Massy Ferguson have been described as alt. country and you can certainly hear elements of that in this, their 5th record, but thats only a part of their sound. Its rootsy, blue collar rock. Salt of the earth music you could say perhaps, the band are named after a tractor manufacturer after all...

"Hello" is an energetic opener and is a fine song though "Renegrade" which follows has more depth to it, reminding me of Southern rock even ending with a guitar solo akin to Lynyrd Skynyrd (only a lot shorter).

"2am beauty queen" sounds a bit Springsteen but is also mellow and rich in tone. "Compromised intentions" is a very country rock sounding song and is great. Like much of the rest of the album it is unpretentious, authentic and warm in tone and feel. A great album of depth and top tunes!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Glen Campbell - Galveston

Glen Campbell's 13th studio album from 1969, released at a time when Glen's star was shining bright not only as a country singer but also a cross-over pop star though this would arguably reach its peak in the mid-1970s. Anyway the title track, a chart hit in many parts of the world in 1969. Its big and bold in sound yet reflective and nostalgic in lyric. Perceived as both an anti-war and a patriotic song depending on who performs/listens to it, i've always got a homesick melancholic vibe out of it.

Thats the album's bit hit, albums from this period generally had just a couple of possible singles and plenty of filler. "Where's the playground Susie" was the album's other single and is a mellow easy listening romp with an amazing big chorus. Much of the rest of the album is fine, if maybe not that memorable, but "Take my hand for awhile" is sung lovely. So this is an alternative sound of 1969, no psychedelic swirls here and proto-heavy rock rather sweet strings and mellow melodies. Personally i've always thought Glen Campbell had one of the best singing voices around and its really to the fore here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Retro Cover : Meet Mr James

Who is Mr James? Is that Mr James? Lets hope not. Most curious, it appears to be a compilation album from 1971 though i haven't been able to find out anything else about it, tie in to something perhaps? Original image here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bandcamp : Beach Vacation - stay a while

Dufflecoat Records have now joined the digital age (at last!) and have begun to offer songs on Bandcamp for digital purchase and download such as this one, of my current faves...

Top Of The Pops Volume 24 (Hallmark)

From June 1972 we have volume 24 in the iconic covers of hit songs series. As with all of these records the strength of the album depends on the strength of the charts at the time and thus the songs which qualified to be included. This one isn't bad at all and includes a very presentable version of "Rocket man" along with decent covers of "Metal guru" and "California man".

Highlight though has to be "Little Willy" that is an infectious pop song, the immature amongst us may also find the lyrics hilarious (well i did anyway). The rest of the LP is a bit forgettable, the version of "Tumbling dice" must have hardly kept the Rolling Stones awake.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MV : "Those were the days" by Mary Hopkin

One of the earliest singles released on The Beatle's Apple Records and one of the biggest hit singles.