Monday, 8 October 2007

Singles Reviews

The low down on October's singles releases

The King Blues
Mr Music Man
The first single from this acoustic ska/reggae trio will already be familiar to regular listeners to Radio 1’s The Lock Up. Voted ‘Best Song Of 2006’ by listeners, Mr Music Man is a mellow infusion of infectious reggae beats and cheerfully simple acoustics that has enough laid back pop appeal to take the charts by storm. This is unaffected street punk repackaged for a rapacious commercial generation: the kids will love it.

The Departure
7 Year
The Departure return with 7 Years, an intensely bland and meaningless piece of emo-trash that does away with any hope that the Northampton band might have developed or encapsulated some of the angular post-punk hinted at in the first album ready for the release of their second next year. Expect nonsensical lyrics, wet killers-esque guitar hooks and plenty of noisy dissatisfaction.

Shocking Pinks
End of the World
Nick Harte (aka Shocking Pinks) finally sees his first full release on DFA in this enveloping bundle of melancholic wonderfulness. End of the World is a little symphony of heartbroken bliss that evolves from a wobbly drum break into a tension building, colourful combination of oversaturated acoustic guitars and swirling synths. It might not chart highly, but its encompassing fragile warmth is the perfect soundtrack to a rainy student Sunday.

The Thrills
The Midnight Choir
This is doubtless a highlight of The Thrills third album, released back in July: jangling melodies and a relentless banjo riff drive this second single forward over Deasy’s fragile vocals, heralding a return to the good old days of first album cheer. A clamourous little number, The Midnight Choir might not be ground breaking, but happily raucous choruses, a woeful edge of love lost, and a slice of those characteristic harmonica harmonies will keep toes-tapping and fans smiling.

The Envy Corps
Iowa four-piece The Envy Corps return to the UK with Rhinemaidens from their debut album, due for release in January 2008. The single is an uncomplicated friendly number comprising of a chattering guitar and a keyboard that seems to have time-warped straight out of the eighties. Reminiscent of early Primal Scream, this is an inoffensive piece of summery pop – nothing new, but eighties nostalgia has its charm.

Hundred Reasons
No Way Back
If you like your pop-punk to come the other side of the Atlantic you’ll love this. Power chords and heavy guitar riffs feature in abundance under jarring American vocals in No Way Back; which can be download free on iTunes from the 16th October. Lyrically juvenile and limitingly formulaic in their approach to songwriting, Hundred Reasons seem to be getting something right: the track comes from their fourth (fourth!) studio album, due out this month.

Richard Hawley
Richard Hawley of Pulp/Longpigs fame offers us another slice of his 1950s rock-a-billy pie with this upbeat little skiffly number that maps out the faultlines between loneliness and love. With so many bands churning out reinvented rubbish, this undeniably dated but perfectly put together dancehall throwback may just have you crooning along in your bedroom. If not, give it to your mum. She’ll love it.

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