Friday, July 31, 2015

Top 5 Records (July)

1: Class Actress - movies
2: Foster The People - supermodel
3: Chris Robinson Brotherhood - phosphorescent harvest
4: Metric - the shade
5: Echosmith - talking dreams

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Metric - the shade

Metric's new single (well new in May) and their first released song for a few years, and its amazing. Tight, driving and exciting neo-synth pop. Its effortless and also exhausting, sugary and bitter, bright and dark. Well its got some shades of grey, and many more than 50.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Nanaki - Dandelion Radio sessions

Nanaki (Postcode guitarist Mikie's solo project) presents this radio sessions album (recorded for Dandelion Radio) which revisits some of the tracks from the band's earliest days. Great stuff it is too, moody rock and punk textures galore. "January overkill" the opener is a whirlwind of razor sharp and howling guitars underpinned by a tasty bass line. "Disembyro" is moody and mysterious. "Let me close my eyes" is simple and restrained before erupted into a guitar frenzy. More about the EP can be seen here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Donovan - a gift from a flower to a garden

This collects together 2 of 60s singer songwriter legend Donovan's albums, the electric "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" and the acoustic "For Little Ones". Originally released separately and then together as one of the first rock "box sets" and only the third rock double album ever apparently fact fans.

I prefer the electric album especially on tracks like "Mad John's Escape" (who came from Birmingham apparently and ran away from Borstal and make it to Torquay). It has lots of late 60s pop feel and a healthy dose of psychedelia, some of the Eastern philosophy in the lyrics maybe sounds a little twee now but it was of its time. And was meant well, there are far worse philosophies to write lyrics using.

Musically it can be quite twee as well, which i like. The vocals are soft and chilled, its definitely an album to calm down to rather than use to try and get pumped up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

La Casa Al Mare - this astro EP

MBV have so much to answer for, and so so much of it good. Including La Casa Al Mare from Rome who no doubt were influenced by the gods of noise as well as bands like Slowdive and The Telescopes. With influences like that it can only be a good thing and its a beautiful heavenly sound they produce. Waves of distorted wailing noise wash over you on tracks like "I don't want to" and "Sunflowers".

It is the music of outer space, like you would imagine rock music from Proxima Centauri would sound like. In fact it does indeed sound like like this. Trust me. You wouldn't want it any other way.

Available from Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Chas & Dave - A's, B's and buried treasure

Buried treasure from Chas & Dave? Well yes it is, especially as it includes "Melancholy baby" one of my favourite songs, an irresistable rock and roll thrash and singalong. Though thats a fairly well known song, what is maybe more interesting on this record are the more obscure and the odd. Starting with the latter well the theme tunes of the likes of Sickness and in Health and Crackerjack are on here, which are all fun.

A couple of songs which start the album with Lonnie Donegan and Clarence Henry are good old rock and roll to start a knees-up anywhere. The album closes with a few songs recorded at Sun Studios including a nice version of "Ain't no pleasing you". The album covers familiar ground and the less familiar and some of the former are not as you quite remember. A lovely collection me old china.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Echosmith - talking dreams

Move over granddad (which in this case is anyone who remembers VHS), the kids are moving in. Echosmith are a young (teenagers indeed when this was released anyway) band with a young sound, indie pop thats very catchy and slick. Elements of 80s pop and some dancey melodies. Great melodies in fact and great songs. "Come together" is a great opener, atmospheric at the start before diving into an action packed tune with sharp guitars and edgy beats.

"Cool kids" is my favourite though, one of the best pop melodies for ages. "Lets love" is exuberant and shiny. With so many bands these days being... lets say mature shall we... its good to know there are still kids with guitars and dreams out there.

Friday, July 3, 2015

MV : "Baker Street" by Undercover

Officially the third best version of this song.

The Hit Parade - in Gunnersbury Park (Sarah)

The Hit Parade released 2 singles on Sarah, of which this was the first back in 1991 (7" single natch). The title track is a sparse but poppy song, eloquent and delicate. Its simple but beautiful music, no feedback and walls of noise, or fancy electronics, vocals and acoustic guitars and not a lot else. Just a lovely song dedicated to a public park.

The B-side "Harvey" is similarly pared back, the vocals breathy and sweet. A lovely pair of songs.