Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
The Mae Shi - HLLLYH
This is the fourth release from the Californians, and out in this country on the always excellent Moshi Moshi. Who with this album have added yet another fine piece of music to add to there already fantastic list of artists. The Mae Shi featured on my blog a couple of weeks ago, and at that point I’d only heard a few songs but now I have heard the full 14 songs from their album wonderfully titled “HLLLYH”. My verdict a couple of weeks ago was that I highly recommend them, my verdict now: I HIGHLY recommend them IF you like a bit screamy vocals, some electronic sounds and some hefty guitar riffs! Why wouldn’t you like that combination? Of course you bloody would, that is why you should purchase this album even if HMV is selling it for £14, the robbing bastards. Get it from Banquet Records for 4 pounds cheaper I say!
Born Ruffians – Red, Yellow and Blue
26th of May
Born Ruffians are a band I have never featured on this blog for reasons I cannot explain, however let’s just say I was never a big fan to begin with. The EP “Born Ruffians” did not do a lot for me, however new album “Red, Yellow and Blue” hits all the right buttons for my two ears. Released on May 26th according to the official website on Warp Records (!!!, Battles, Maximo Park). So far making connections with Born Ruffians and other bands I’ve found extremely difficult which is definitely testament to Born Ruffians unique sound. Tokyo Police Club comparisons are likely because they are 1. Friends and 2. They are both from Canada. “Barnacle Goose” shows off lead singer Luke’s distinct vocals where as songs such as “I Need a Life”, “Hummingbird” and “Badonkadonkey” provide us with 3 minutes or so catchy pop songs. Born Ruffians aren’t for everyone (but then who is?) however give them a try, give them a chance and you might just be surprised.
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Saved the best till last but how late is this recommendation? Very late is the answer however late publicity for a band is better than no publicity, not that this band has had none. Quite the opposite actually, BBC tipped them for success at the start of the year (although they were number 9 – still very respectful). The album is like nothing released this year, because the influences and sounds that are in each song come from all over the place. You can hear some psychedelic (“The Youth”), some Electronic (aptly named “Electric Feel”), a slice of Britpop, College Rock and the list goes on. Others songs such as “Time To Pretend”, “Kids” and “Weekend Wars” provide us with some blockbusters. Further into the album “The Handshake” is yet another example of the diversity of this band. I know when December comes this album will be somewhere in my top 10 favourite albums of the year, so what you waiting for? Go out now and buy it.
Friday, 29 February 2008
Three years later Mystery Jets return with a second album, a fresh sound and a new line up too (well not new, but now four members of MJ instead of five). I turn 20 in exactly a month’s time (how weird is having 29th of February eh?) Now, the reason I say this is because Mystery Jets new album is of course titled Twenty-One (no connection to me be 20 at all really, oh well).
I am lucky enough to have the sampler of the Mystery Jets new album which comes out in March and you should definitely buy it if you know what’s good for you. Mystery Jets are back and they are back stronger than ever, with Erol producing and Blaine singing as beautifully as ever it is the perfect combination. Although ‘Flakes’ was not released until December time it remains one of my favourite songs of 2007. Hearing that song to end a club night was electrifying and it really did feel like a moment. New single ‘Young Love’ is the best single of 2008 so far, and feels like a summer smash to me. Newly recorded ‘Half In Love With Elizabeth’ does not disappoint either, and new song ‘Girl Next Door’ adopts an 80’s feel to it and is Mystery Jets on the top of their game.
Monday, 18 February 2008
I have only heard songs from the “HLLLYH” (how is that pronounced? I always want to say “Hell Yeah!”). I have no idea how The Mae Shi sounded before 2008 but at times The Mae Shi sound like they are from the future. “Lamb and the Lion” demonstrates the bands at times futuristic sound, and at times the band’s vocals remind me much like Jesse Lacey of Brand New especially in “I Get Almost Everything”.
Brilliantly named “Pwnd” is a song The Rapture would be proud of, and fellow “HLLLYH” album track “Run To Grave” wouldn’t look out of place on any of the three Hot Chip albums. The Mae Shi mix rock and electronic music perfectly, with a slight twist of screamo in there too.
The album which is out now is released on the excellent Moshi Moshi (another Brand New reference) and it comes highly recommended from myself.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
So okay now that is out of the way I am going to be doing a few features over the next couple of months focusing on bands returning to our ears and boy there is some great bands coming back. First up is the wonderfully quintessential Brighton-based (originally from Cumbria and West Yorkshire) foursome British Sea Power. Since ‘The Decline of British Sea Power’ dropped almost 5 years ago BSP have proved to be one of the finest live acts around. Not taking anything away from their ability on record too which is pretty spectacular.
Agreed I am one month out because the third effort from BSP came out almost one month ago – so excuse me for this sin. The reasoning behind is that I’ve only just picked up the album titled “Do You Like Rock Music?” The word “Rock” makes me cringe slightly, it reminds me of the rock hand gesture (you know the one) and long greasy hair listening to Guns of Roses. Obviously Rock music has lots of sub genres but the term “Rock” makes me feel slightly uncomfortable for some reason. However if British Sea Power is Rock music, then fuck yeah I love Rock music.
This album is brimming with potential spine chilling live songs (‘Canvey Island’ and ‘Lights Out for Darker Skies’ come to mind). Not forgetting ‘A Trip Out’, ‘Down on the Ground’ along with singles ‘Waving Flags’ and ‘No Lucifer’ as stand out tracks on the album. Yan's lead vocals are pretty special throughout the whole record and make me tremendously jealous of his vocal range and variety. It’s far too early for me to say whether or not this album betters the previous two stunning pieces of work, but either way I am very happy they are back.
British Sea Power – Canvey Island
British Sea Power – A Trip Out
British Sea Power – Waving Flags
Monday, 28 January 2008
Sons and Daughters – This Gift
28th of January
The third album from the Scottish four-piece comes out today, having heard it already it is definitely an album recommend by this blog. Sons and Daughters have never really done it for me with the previous two albums being pretty forgettable. The third album has made massive strides and impressed me a great deal after the first, second and third listening of it. Singles ‘Darling’ and ‘Gilt Complex’ provide great hooks and a lead singer with a voice that is to die for. Other songs on the album such as ‘The Bell’ and ‘House In My Head’ just as good, if not better than the two singles make this album a definite purchase for any fan of sleazy indie rock n’ roll.
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
28th of January
Debut album from the much talked about New Yorkers, many fans of the band have had the ‘Blue CD-R’ for ages and the track listing hasn’t changed much from that. The exclusion of ‘Boston’ made me sad, however the inclusion of live favourites ‘M79’ and my personal favourite ‘I Stand Corrected’ certainly made up for it. Tipped for big things by this blog this year and last year Vampire Weekend have produced an album to rival any other out at the moment. Listen to the album a few times, because you’ll be extremely happy you did and if you’re a fan of Talking Heads (which you should be) you’ll enjoy this album (there is no guarantee of course).
These New Puritans – Beat Pyramid
Angular Recordings (Part of Domino)
Domino are on fire today, two cracking albums out in the same day (albeit this one on Angular). This album being my favourite of the two Domino releases, and probably my favourite over the three albums mentioned. On first listen my reaction was “incredible” however after listening again I wasn’t so sure if my first thought was right. Several plays later my gut feeling of “incredible” was correct and These New Puritans have lived up to my high expectations of them. There is not an album out like this, and hasn’t been for a little while – this is an album not catered for everybody’s needs. Then again who cares about everybody? Certainly not me and certainly not These New Puritans. Tracks such as ‘Elvis’, ‘Colours’, ‘Numerology’, ‘Swords of Truth’ and ‘C. 16th’ stand out, although listen to the album all the way through for it’s full brilliance and impact.