Secret Machines - The Road Leads Where It’s Led (679)
Remixed from last years excellent album Now Here is Nowhere. One of the Texans more pedestrian tracks, this is polished rock with a thumping bass line. Could they be the thinking man’s Kasabian?, who knows? Pressed on one sided 7” with two grooves so its pot luck which of the two tracks you get to play!
Kings of Leon - King of the Rodeo (BMG)
One of the best tracks off of the Aha Shake Heart Break album from the hairy Followill brothers. Great guitar tune but still can’t fathom what the hell he’s singing about. It seems to end with the repeated refrain “you talk to rolos” but I may be wrong!. Perhaps its the inbreeding? As my dad used to say, what these boys need is a damned good haircut and a war to sort them out! See them in Cardiff CIA on July 1st.
Hal - Play the Hits (Rough Trade)
Country-tinged Irishmen Hal’s third single. They seem to have gone Beach Boys for this one with close harmonies, jangly guitar and start-stop bass. Any song that mentions “Radio” somewhere in it is unsurprisingly usually played on the radio. Very clever and pleasant, but may they may have tried too hard with this one to rope in unsuspected record buyers. Nice purple spangly vinyl. Could be that surprise summer hit if the sun comes out.
Interpol - C’Mere (Matador)
Third single from the Antics album. Sounding like an upbeat version Joy Division or early Sisters of Mercy, Interpol know exactly what they’re doing with their post-Goth bass driven sound and imagery. Issued as two 7” singles with different B-Sides of remixes from the album.
Razorlight - Somewhere Else (Vertigo)
First new material since their classic debut last year and sadly, a disappointing return it is too. Acoustic guitar leads the track which bizarrely includes crowd noises from a London gig! Was the Producer trying to add atmosphere to a dull tune or make it sound live? The further layering of a haunting keyboard only adds to this listeners confusion of where Razorlight are heading. A dubbed-up B Side can mean one of two things, short of ideas or a complete change of direction ahead. If any other band had released this, it would be ignored. We’ll have to wait to see what the rest of the songs are like - let’s hope they are better than this..
Iron & Wine - Woman King CD EP ( Sub Pop)
Sam Beam the one-man army that is Iron & Wine releases another set of top acoustic songs (this time about ladies he’s encountered, hence the title) on the brilliant Sub Pop label. Using more instruments than on his previous releases, sparkling layers of violin, bottleneck and picking make this superb EP simply bounce along.. Worth the entry price for the track Jezebel alone. If you only buy one americana single this year, get this one..
We Are Scientists - The Wolf’s Hour CD EP(We Are Scientists)
Bought from the band when they supported the Editors (See:April 05) this is a brilliant piece of energetic guitar pop. Sounding a bit Pavement with a slither of Bloc Party thrown in for good measure. Well thought out and structured songs. Any of the 6 titles on this EP would be really strong singles in their own right, but the killer track The Great Escape is simply a classic slacker/indie song. Import, Import, Import!
The Tenderfoot - Vale Industrial CD EP(5:15)
Missed this lot when they played Newport the other month, but a number of those who made it have recommended this EP, and they’re right. Sounding like Robin Hitchcock’s younger brothers, The Tenderfoot have some clever guitar based songs with understated vocals. Glad to see that the old saying If You’ve Nothing Nice To Say Don’t Say Anything At All has finally got it’s own song! Recommended!