domenica 28 febbraio 2010

Menswear "Stardust"



Il mio singolo preferito dei Menswear, con una b-side favolosa come Satellite che veniva anche eseguita dal vivo! Yeah!! (1995 Laurel)



- Stardust
- Back In The Bar
- Satellite
- Day Dreamer (Dubdreamer)


MENSWEAR

Menswear "Sleeping In"



E se questo non è Brit Pop, beh, ditemelo voi cos'è!!! (1995 Laurel)

- Sleeping In
- Sunday Driver
- Now Is The Hour
- 26 Years


MENSWEAR

Menswear "I'll Manage Somehow"




Parlavamo di classici o sbaglio? (1995 Laurel)

- I'll Manage Somehow
- Secondhand


MENSWEAR

Menswear" Daydreamer"




Si parlava di classici...(1995 Laurel)

- Daydreamer
- Gentleman Jim
- Around You Again - live

MENSWEAR

Menswear "Being Brave"





Ripeschiamoci questo classico dai...(1996 Laurel)

- Being Brave
- Sunlight On The Moon
- This Will Be Our Year
- Public Image


MENSWEAR

martedì 23 febbraio 2010

Mr. Baker "Mr. Baker"








Beh, questa è proprio una chicca e non posso ringraziare il buon Ricci che me l'ha presa. I Mr. Baker sono il gruppo di Gary Prosser dopo lo scioglimento dei Ballroom. In realtà l'unica cosa uscita fu questo 7" di pregevole fattura. Due canzoni che lasciavano ben sperare per il futuro, indie pop melodico e intenso. Peccato che non ci sia altro. Ben vengano comunque anche i filmati dell'esibizione acustica proprio di questi 2 pezzi. Dai Gary, torna in pista, ci manchi!! (1999 Blue Dog Records)

- Mr. Baker
- The Leaving Song

MR. BAKER

Belly "King"






Mi convince un pò meno questo album rispetto all'esordio, anche se è giusto dire che le melodie di alcuni pezzi sono da 10 e lode, ma il gioco sembra non funzionare al cento per cento, però la voce di Tanya mi fa passare sopra a certe cosette che non mi piacciono. Eh, che volete farci? Alle fanciulle proprio non riesco a dire di no! (1995 4AD)

Il tonfo di King (Sire, 1995) e' del tutto inaspettato. L'album e' desolatamente insipido, con Donelly nascosta dietro il trio che l'accompagna, saldamente controllato dal chitarrista Thomas Gorman. Purtroppo il loro sound e' generico: abolite le distorsioni, non sa costruirsi un'identita' al di la' di quella che avrebbero degli umili "session men". La voce di Donelly, piu' robusta, portata ad innalzarsi nel registro di vibrato, salva canzoni come Seal My Fate, che altrimenti sarebbero del tutto anonime. I Belly puntano al largo ascolto con melodie sonnolente in lieve crescendo come quella a passo di valzer in Silverfish o quella sottovoce in Bees che compie qualche evoluzione degna di Sinead O'Connor, o quella confessionale alla Juliana Hatfield di Puberty. La piu' convincente e' Now They'll Sleep, l'unica con una parvenza dell'esuberanza adolescenziale che aveva fatto grande il primo disco, seguita da Red, un "lento" redento da un marziale singhiozzo "messicano", e da Untitled And Unsung, che procede con il mistero dei primi Doors. Il gruppo ritrova un minimo di grinta nella title-track ma questa volta mancano le melodie. Uscita dal rock alternativo, Donelly si propone nelle vesti di cantante pop. (Piero Scaruffi - http://www.scaruffi.com/)


- Puberty
- Seal My Fate
- Red
- Silverfish
- Super-Connected
- Bees
- King
- Now They'll Sleep
- Untitled and Unsung
- L'il Ennino
- Judas My Heart


BELLY

Belly "Star"












Beh, come non fare un post dedicato al gruppo della carissima Tanya?
Un disco che profuma di indie rock amercano anni 90, ma che racchiude perle melodiche magnifiche, con un sound che spazia dal power pop, alla psichedelia, alla ballata malinconica. Insomma, un disco da avere! (1993 4AD)


Sull'album Star (Sire, 1993), che comprende l'EP, la leader puo` sfoderare la sua personalita` istrionica e sfaccettata, ora tenera e delicata, ora maschia e fatale; sbizzarrirsi in canzoni composite e suggestive, in armonie che sposano l'esotico al lisergico, che annegano una melodia maestosa in un'atmosfera da incubo. Fra i capolavori di questo genere e` senz'altro Angel, un carnevale "indiano" alla Paint It Black (Rolling Stones), ovvero propulso da un ritmo-vertigine e un ipnotico riff da raga, sul quale Donelly innesta i suoi gorgheggi spaziali, con effetti devastanti. L'album trionfa anche nel carillon pop di Gepetto, una filastrocca tenerissima, canticchiata su una cadenza festosa e incalzante, da lunapark. In queste gioviali sarabande trionfa la poetica positiva di Donelly.
Tutta l'opera e` percorsa da una forma subdola di primitivismo, da un rinnegare continuo le proprie innovazioni, da un prendere con leggerezza la propria gravita`, da un sovrapporsi di segni discordanti, da un confondere trasparenza e opacita` fino a rimettere in discussione l'esistenza stessa della luce. Prendono allora forma la triste elegia classicheggiante di Someone To Die For cantata con il tono di una ragazzina, e il sortilegio di Witch, con accompagnamento altrettanto spartano, la ballata allegorica Feed The Tree, soprattutto la dolcissima ninnananna di Every Word.
E cosi` alla fine non si sa piu` se meste riflessioni come Untogether e Stay, di nuovo affidate soltanto ai trepidi rintocchi delle chitarre e alle tenui fantasmagorie del suo canto, siano sagge o infantili, presuntuose o inesperte; e forse sono soltanto auto-serenate che fanno l'amore alla propria malinconia. Sono certamente molto diverse da Gepetto e Angel, quasi un altro complesso.
Fragile, umorale, onirico, magico, fiabesco, migliore di qualsiasi cosa abbiano fatto i Throwing Muses, il disco catapulta Donelly, diventata donna in un complesso rock, all'avanguardia del nuovo pop-rock.
In questo genere di pop intimista Donelly e` seconda soltanto a Juliana Hatfield, ma annovera anche una sensibilita` musicale coltissima, degna in realta` di una Kate Bush, anche se poi le sue canzoncine non hanno nulla dell'eccentricita` e del sinfonismo della maestra britannica. (Piero Scaruffi - http://www.scaruffi.com/)

Originally formed in 1991, Belly were essentially the vehicle for ex-Throwing Muses, one-time Breeder and something of an indie-boy pin-up, Tanya Donelly. Along with Fred Abong, and ex-Verbal Assault brothers Tom and Chris Gorman, Belly managed to go the places where Throwing Muses hadn't really gone before, and at the time, were almost as pop as it got for legendary old artfest 4AD. Their happy/sad sugar coated indie sat well with the lighter areas - such as Lemonheads, Pond, Buffalo Tom etc - of the American rock dominance of the early nineties: the sweeter end of the gritty old flannel of grunge.
Released in January 1993, Star leapt straight into the top three, mainly due to the quality of the tunes that preceded it. Tracks such as Gepetto and Feed The Tree were indie disco floorfillers, wielding melody with a bittersweet jangle, and bought Belly a passport to Top Of The Pops. The gentle echoes of psychedelia woozing through Angel, Dusted, Stay and the beautiful Full Moon Empty Heart were equally at the heart of the Belly experience, adding shards of refraction through the stream of consciousness lyrics.
Over in the states, it went gold and found itself nominated for a pair of Grammys. Unsurprising, as Donelly's ear for a more abstract, starstruck and enlightened subject matter made it radio friendlier than perhaps those of the Muses, towards a spookier Bangles. This was pretty much the template that the likes of Liz Phair or Alanis Morrisette picked up and started spouting her million-selling guff about irony over.16 years on, Star has aged very well. If you want a more angelic Breeders or a sugar crafted REM, and to pinpoint perhaps a forgotten, yet significant contribution to female alternative rock legacy, than Donelly, Belly and Star are it. (Ian Wade - http://www.bbc.co.uk/)



- Some To Die For
- Angel
- Dusted
- Every Word
- Gepetto
- Witch
- Slow Dog
- Low Red Moon
- Feed The Tree
- Full Moon, Empty Heart
- White Belly
- Untogether
- Star
- Sad Dress
- Stay


BELLY

sabato 20 febbraio 2010

Patrick Duff "Luxury Problems"







Nel suo lavoro solista Patrick lascia poco spazio ai ricordi o ai rimandi al suono degli Strangelove, ne nasce così un disco sincero, dove si mette in gioco anche musicalmente e, a mio avviso, si perde in più di un punto, ma, come dire, a lui riesco a perdonare tutto! (2005 Harvest)

Patrick Duff was the lead singer and songwriter in Strangelove. I never cared for Strangelove, they always seemed like a adolescent Bad Seeds in search of a Nick Cave. Patrick's songs and mannerisms borrowed from more talented others and the band never got close to transcending their influences. They were a ballet of indie rock moves lacking centre or soul.
I hoped that a period of time in the musical wilderness, six years plus in fact since Strangelove's last LP, may have stained his muse and twisted his psyche into producing something that screamed from the speakers. Music that had Patrick's stamp on it, that was original, seething and bleeding. I hoped in vain.
From the trite observations of the opening Married With Kids, it's clear that Patrick seems to have nothing new to say and no new way of saying it. The Xeroxed Rolling Stones lite backing is much closer to the Dandy Warhols' Bohemian Like You than the gritty, debauched originals. The lyrics are spitefully lacking empathy and insight, like Martin Amis' cruel and clichéd characterisations of the working class.
There are a clutch of tracks that are loosely blues based, My Junkie Clothes, Early Morning Birds, DJ Yoga and Refrigerator. These songs stick to a basic formula: that of a repeated riff, either on an electric or acoustic guitars, and barked vocals. The vocals are so mannered in places that they come across like a Shakespearian ham reciting the lyrics to a Nick Cave B-side.
I understand that Patrick is a keen student of the blues but these songs fail to gel. Where the White Stripes or Jon Spencer can conjure musical alchemy from base metal, unfortunately here we are left with just a third hand history lesson. Elephant Bills' attempt to relocate the blues into modern day Bristol fails miserably. It's so bad that it could be a joke but I don't think it is.
There is one pearl amongst the swine. Mother Nature's Refugee is a gentle swoon. Duff's voice is unadorned and tender. Backed by little more than his acoustic guitar and the barest of drums brushes he connects. It's a beautiful moment. It's a pity that there just aren't anymore of them on this record.
Burn Mother Nature's Refugee and forget the rest. (Tony Heywood - http://www.musicomh.com/)

Patrick Duff first made an impact in the 1990s with the West Country’s finest innovative twisted indie band Strangelove. They created three albums of real dark majesty; and even allegedly influenced a young Radiohead who once supported them. Songwriter and vocalist Patrick Duff developed a reputation as a performer of extreme intensity and spontaneity. Since the break up of Strangelove, Patrick was accused at times losing his way (the aborted Moon project is one such example) taking seven years to finally allow the songs to flow that would make up his debut solo offering “Luxury Problems.”
Despite all of the time that’s passed, Luxury Problems is a minor triumph, an emotional, individual, and idiosyncratic record that not only looks back on the past with a wry eye but looks at the present in a humorous, personal and twisted way. This album is not without it’s songs that misfire, but what it does have is a beating heart, and a thirst for diversity and musical exploration. The album was recorded in the West Country over the last two years with an impressive list of collaborators including Alex Lee (ex-Strangelove, Suede) and Adrian Utley (Portishead), together with a hand-picked group of musicians including guitarist Mike Mooney and drummer Damon Reece.
Opener ‘Married with Kids’ resembles a Lou Reed influenced west country rocker and contains a myriad of clever images and words creating a world of kitchen sink drama, and screwed up people: “Six hours later he's going to work/She's crashed out on the bed wearing only a smirk/ She was Adolf Hitler/He was Eva Braun/Screwed up in the bunker with the gas turned on".
Second track ‘Mirror Man’ is a 60’s tinged psychedelic riot, while the Dylan-ish beat of ‘Junkies Clothes’ replete with harmonica handclaps, acoustic strum and a bag full of worries is a pleasure. There are problems here though; some of the songs don’t quite work for me. ‘Early Morning Birds’ is a surreal poetic mess until the Monty Python-esque lyrics of “here comes another day over the hill with big black boots on” raise a smile, while ‘Elephant Bill’ is so lyrically clumsy a character song, that I wonder if it’s a joke - for example a line like “Shares a Needle with Jimmy Saville/Coz he’s bad” in the words of McEnroe “cant be serious”. But this is why people love Patrick. He is an eccentric songwriter who produces songs that hint at genius and madness in equal measure.
It’s in the quieter moments that Duff really excels; as he always has. ‘F*cked’ is a gorgeously melancholic ballad that echo’s the best moments of Strangelove’s more sedate offerings and ‘The King of the Underworld’ is a twisted, introspective, chiming, medieval folk song, while album closer ‘The Lion and the hawthorn tree’ is such a preciously delicate song it could bring a grown man to tears.
This is album is a curious beast. Its good moments are fabulous, its bad moments are jarring, but Patrick Duff is nothing if not a deeply individual songwriter and the impact of these songs will be felt given time to grow with fans. Maybe eventually they will embrace his first solo album, the way they fell in love with Strangelove. Maybe there’s still a place for Patrick Duff in our hearts. (Bill Cummings - http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/)

- Married With Kids
- Mirror Man
- Fucked
- In My Junkie Clothes
- Song To America
- Early Morning Birds
- DJ Yoga
- King Of The Underworld
- Refrigerator
- Mother Nature's Refugee
- Elephant Bill
- The Lion And The Hawthorne Tree



PATRICK DUFF

Strangelove "Strangelove"



Freak. Una canzone durissima a mio avviso. Una canzone che solo Patrick poteva cantare con quella sfacciataccine, quel piglio, quella personalità. Ne rimasi sconvolto. Una canzone che ha segnato la mia vita e che mi ha condizionato pesantemente in un periodo della mia vita che, appunto, definii "Strangeloviano". Questo per dire quanto reputi fondamentale questo disco: ipnotico, magnetico, melodrammatico ed eclettico nelle sue forme, nei suoi colori e umori mutevoli. L'ultimo lavoro per una formazione che meriterebbe di stare su tutti i libri di storia della musica. (1997 Food)


- Superstar
- Freak
- Someday Soon
- Wellington Road
- The Runaway Brothers
- Another Night In
- The Greatest Show On Earth
- Little Queenie
- She's On Fire
- Mona Lisa
- Jennifer's Song


STRANGELOVE

Strangelove "Love and Other Demons"



Quale demone ha guidato gli Strangelove nella realizzazione di questo capolavoro?
Quali visioni hanno sconvolto la mente di Patrick per portarlo a questo livello emotivo? Il secondo lavoro degli Strangelove vive di glam malato e coinvolgente, andando oltre un discorso iniziato dai Suede con il loro primo disco. Una perla preziosa e da custodire, un climax esaltante che spaventa in apertura con Living e che conduce nell'oblio finale di Sea Of Black. In mezzo c'è un mondo oscuro da osservare, con rispetto, attenzione e con la mente aperta, pronti a lasciarsi andare. Un magnifico disco. (1996 Food)

- Living with the Human Machines
- Beautiful Alone
- Sway
- 20th Century Cold
- She's Everywhere
- #1432
- Casualities
- Spiders and Flies
- Elin's Photograph
- The Sea of Black


STRANGELOVE

venerdì 19 febbraio 2010

Strangelove "Beautiful Alone"







Mi permetto di usare solo poche parole, ma importanti. Incanto sonoro. Visionari e vibranti gli Strangelove realizzano un singolo da brivido che su una trama filo Smiths conduce nei territori della magia sonora. Fantastici. (1996 Food)


- Beautiful Alone
- Visionary
- Zoo'd Out
- Sea

STRANGELOVE

domenica 14 febbraio 2010

Six By Seven "04"



Se fra i primi quattro album dei 6 by 7 devo trovare il meno convincente, beh, dico questo, ma lo dico sempre sottovoce e in punta di piedi e pensandoci mille volte. Però risentendolo in questi giorni ci sono alcuni punti che non mi convincono o forse che mi stancano per ripetitività o per un già sentito dal gruppo stesso, cosa che non accadeva nei precedenti lavori. Però, il livello è sempre altissimo. (2004 Saturday Night Sunday Morning)


Since a rather brilliant debut album, Nottingham's Six.By Seven have only been sporadically great. Clearly some kind of rethink was necessary in order to win back old fans and possibly draw in new ones as well. The result is '04', by some distance, their most commercial offering yet; striving to soar in the anthemic/melancholic big league which Doves started the trend for at the turn of the century. This means dense, powerful production and breast beating choruses to capture the hearts and minds of men in their 30s. In many hands this approach would seem hamfisted but Six.By Seven are older and wiser enough to make it work. The second track 'Sometimes I Feel Like' - featuring huge, pounding drums, buzzsawing guitar riffs and a defiant chorus - sets the agenda for what is to come. Perhaps the hero is Chris Olley who manages to make his vocals heard above the cacophony. 'Say That You Want Me' runs parallel to the rock and roll drone of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and is 'Catch The Rain' Six By Seven's own snarling take on Doves' 'Catch The Sun'? It's a shame that there a few moments where the noise is huge but the hook is missing and no one needs to hear 'Leave Me Alone'; basically ten minutes of pure drone. The best moment is saved for 'Bochum (Light Up My Life)', the first single and - for its immense chorus alone - it was a good choice. Sadly, the record buying public begged to differ but even though much of '04' seems second hand in comparison to previous efforts, it's also probably their second best album. (http://www.leonardslair.co.uk)

After three wonderful but undeservedly obscure albums on the Mantra label, for Six by Seven's fourth release, the now-trio went the self-released route on the Saturday Night Sunday Morning label, which bandleader Chris Olley used for his later efforts as Twelve. 04 is not quite a transitional release but acts more as a catchall, pulling together tracks from a variety of sessions that often have a rougher and more stripped-down feeling than the often majestic albums that preceded it. No question that the band's ambition remained intact, though, as the barnburning Motorik crunch "Untitled" which starts the album makes clear. Meantime, when 04

totally turns up the volume it does so full-on -- "Sometimes I Feel Like..." has instrumental breaks which could knock a wall down, while "Catch the Rain" ranks with the best of their should-have-been anthems. Flashes of non-rock touches turn up at various points, thus the sitar (or sitar-like) melody that forms the core of the excellent "Ocean," but mostly this is Six by Seven doing what they have always done so well -- demonstrating that a well-established sound and format can be as thrilling and driving as ever it was. Even when some of the songs have a slightly more pedestrian feeling, as the blues-rock chug of "Say That You Want Me" shows, something like a brilliant Olley vocal performance, yearning and sharp, turns the tide. And when Olley delivers the chorus of "Bochum (Light Up My Life)" in particular, he makes a phrase pounded into horrible death by Debby Boone turn into one of the most life-affirming things around. Sometimes that's all one needs. (Ned Raggett - http://www.cduniverse.com/)





- "... ... ... ..."
- Sometimes I Feel Like...
- Ready For You Now
- Ocean
- Say That You Want Me
- Lude 1
- There's A Ghost
- Catch The Rain
- Bochum (Light Up My Life)
- Lude 2
- Leave Me Alone
- Hours


SIX BY SEVEN

Daniele Groff "Variatio 22"












Daniele Groff mi sta simpatico. Sarà perchè è un trentino come me o forse perchè comunque fare un disco con in testa gli Oasis e i suoni melodici e fragranti del Brit Pop, beh, è per me qualcosa di motlo positivo...sta di fatto che ho deciso di inserire qesto suo primo disco nel blog.
E vi dirò di più. Ben venga un Daniele Groff che copia, o prende spunto (fate voi) dagli Oasis (quelli del secondo disco!), piuttosto che la marea di gruppi risibili di adesso che partono da una base pop punk filo blink 182 per scadere nel ridicolo musicale più assoluto. Certo, sarà anche segno dei tempi, sarà che ai tempi di questo esordio gli Oasis andavano a mille e ora devi invece fare il finto punk per avere un giro in giostra su MTV....ok, ma allora lasciatemi rimpiangere il passato!|
E poi questo disco e certi suoi pezzi sono tutt'ora fonte di mille risate tra me e Vanoli, tipo Everyday che ci immaginiamo proposta a S. Remo con il suo ritornello tutto in inglese.
Sta di fatto che questo è un bel disco, un piacevolissimo pop rock di matrice britannica che in alcuni pezzi, penso ad Adesso, presentata (quella si veramente) a S. Remo, tocca vette melodiche decisamente alte! Bravo Daniele. (1998 BMG)

"Variatio 22" viene presentato come "la via italiana al genere, che non prende le mosse dai superosannati Oasis, o da band di gran moda come Verve o Placebo, ma piuttosto da genialità più scontrose (e più stimolanti) come quelle dei Blur". Invece il debito del giovane artista trentino con Noel Gallagher è enorme: le sue canzoni – che in effetti sono un ottimo esperimento di pop rock "brit style" - prendono moltissimo dallo stile degli Oasis. Ma fare questa critica – e allo stesso tempo questo complimento - a Daniele Groff non sarebbe rendergli giustizia del tutto. Nel disco, le influenze sono moltissime: dai Beatles, ampiamente citati in "Lamerica", ai sapori classicheggianti e melodici del brano che dà il titolo al disco, fino alle ballate come "Un mondo da scoprire" o "Walking fly". Il suo virtuosismo arriva al punto di reinterpretare una vecchia canzone dei Blizzard, "Green in the park" cantando sulla base dei nastri 24 piste originali ritrovati nello studio proprio mentre Daniele registrava il suo album. Le sue capacità tecniche sono ottime e documentate dal blasone di musicista classico pienamente formato. Rimane da aggiungere solo che il disco è molto fresco e godibile, con momenti particolarmente felici (oltre ai due singoli "Daisy" e "Io sono Io", la fiabesca "Lamerica" e il rock pop supersonico di "Bob, Paul & Seneca"). L’ascolto è consigliato: agli appassionati di brit pop che apprezzano una sua elegante trascrizione in italiano; a chi vuole farsi accompagnare per 42 minuti da dei buoni brani pop con un robusto contributo di chitarre. Si sconsiglia invece l’ascolto a chi difende la musica italiana dalla omologazione con il modello anglosassone. Il talento di Mr. Groff è grande, ma forse ha bisogno di tempo per crescere e assumere un linguaggio più maturo e personale: lo aspettiamo alle prossime prove discografiche per capire se la sua cultura musicale (sicuramente grande), e la padronanza del mezzo gli permetteranno di diventare un autore moderno, al di fuori delle categorie e dei generi che finora ha saputo interpretare con intelligenza.
(http://www.rockol.it/)

- Daisy
- Vivere Per Sempre
- Lamerica
- Adesso
- Variatio 22
- Io Sono Io
- Un Mondo Da Scoprire
- Green In The Park
- Bob Paul & Seneca
- Everyday
- Walking Fly
- Dove Sei Stata


DANIELE GROFF

Menswear "Being Brave (Part 2)"



Edizione limitata con un pregevolissimo cartonato per questo singolo che come b-sides presenta 3 gioiellini di casa Menswear suonati live al Shepherd's Bush Empire nel 1995, esplosivi a dire poco!! (1996 Laurel)

- Being Brave
- I'll Manage Somehow - Live
- Daydreamer - Live
- Stardust - Live

MENSWEAR

lunedì 8 febbraio 2010

Biglietti omaggio per il live dei White Lies all' Alcatraz a Milano il 17 febbraio

Dopo aver messo in palio i biglietti per Ian Brown e Brett Anderson, è arrivato il momento dei White Lies. Il giovane gruppo, rivelazione del 2009 in Uk, sarà a Milano il 17 febbraio 2010.
Ja.La Media Activities, in collaborazione con Radio Popolare Verona e Yastaradio mettono in palio 2 biglietti per la data milanese del gruppo.
Per partecipare al concorso bisogna ascoltare la puntata del mio programam Melting Pop nella serata di giovedì 11 febbraio sul 104 FM di Radio Popolare Verona o nella replica di venerdì 12 febbraio su www.yastaradio.com, sempre dalle ore 21.
Durante la puntata sarà fatta un facile domanda sul gruppo. La risposta, completa anche di nome e cognome di chi vuole il biglietto, dovrà essere inviata entro le ore 22.30 delle due serate alla seguente mail: radiopopolarevr@libero.it
Tra tutti i vincitori, che credo saranno tanti, vista la semplicità della domanda, saranno estratti due fortunati vincitori che si vedranno White Lies gratis. Buon per loro.
Quindi orecchie aperte....buon ascolto e buona fortuna!

Marion "The Program"





Il canto degl cigno per i Marion, prima della posticcia reunion (o presunta tale) di qualche anno fa. Prodotto da Johnny Marr è decisamente di presa meno immediata rispetto all'esordio, non ci si troveranno dentro dei singoli da cantare a memoria, ma in realtà cresce decisamente bene, in virtù di un guitar rock classico ma preciso e delsolito Jaime che con la sua voce ci mette sempre qualcosa in più. Tra pezzi più grintosi e incantevoli ballate (Comeback è semplicemnte struggente) il disco scorre via decisamente bene e dispiace veramente che non vi sia stato un seguito. (1998 London)


- The Smile
- Miyako Hideaway (Full Length Mix)
- Sparkle
- Is That So?
- What Are We Waiting For?
- Strangers
- The Powder Room Plan
- The Program
- All Of These Days
- Comeback


MARION

Six By Seven "The Way I Feel Today"










A mio avviso un disco magnifico, probabilmente il più bello del gruppo che riesce magicamente a far quadrare un cerchio che, a dire il veero, rasentava già la perfezione. Ballate visionarie e salvifiche, passaggi di una melodia cristallina, assalti sonori che spaventano per brutalità e cattiveria....il mondo dei Six By Seven è sempre oscuro e cupo, ma come non riconoscere il paradiso dietro queste nuvole minacciose? (2004 Mantra)


The press release that accompanied the CD states that this is Six By Sevens continued assault against mediocrity. While it certainly isnt a mediocre album, its not one that will set 2002 alight either, but obvious influences from the likes of Radiohead, Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine have allowed Six By Seven to produce a heady mix that runs through the entire gamut of emotions.
The Way I Feel Today peaks with the hauntingly melodic "All My New Best Friends", before plunging, without warning, headlong into the Clash-esque two-minute punk blast "Flypaper For Freaks" - Chris Olleys snarled lyrics providing a marvellous wake-up call to the senses that even had the neighbours banging on the wall. And this is exactly what the album is about. You're in the arms of your lover one minute and then cast into a dark void the next.
There are the pure unadulterated declarations of love that are recent singles "So Close" and "I.O.U. Love", while the rifftastic and stand out track "Cafeteria Rats" is a scabrous attack on those who talk themselves up to hide the emptiness of their lives.
The albums title track packs an emotional punch with Olley assuring us, the way I feel today is because of you, while "American Beer" is a towering epic, underpinned by existential anger.
There are low points. I awoke with a pain in my head, screams Olley on "Speed Is In/Speed Is Out" and that is exactly what you could be left with after this and follow-up "Karen O" - one of the weaker tunes - which features an incessantly annoying bass-line.
It appears though that Six By Seven have successfully survived the loss of co-founding guitarist Sam Hampton between the release of The Closer You Get in 2000 and The Way I Feel Today and this new offering from the scaled down four-piece - their fourth - is easily their best to date. (Jack Smith - http://www.bbc.co.uk/)

Six by Seven have been banging their heads against a wall of mainstream indifference for quite a while now. 'The Way I Feel Today' is the Nottingham band's third long-player and initially promises more of their trademark noise-infested beauty - the aural equivalent of being battered into submission by a thug who pauses occasionally to massage your bruises.
It's a heady and often abrasive mix as album opener 'So Close' demonstrates. The melody is there, but it's buried amid layers of guitars. Yet a sea change is apparent in the band's modus operandi, judging by second track 'IOU Love', which may well be the poppiest thing they've ever done and an unabashedly romantic paean.
Away from the white noise, frontman Chris Olley proves that he can do tender as well as he does anger while the shoulder-shrugging observations of 'All My New Best Friends' finds the band digesting and spitting out the machine because they don't like the taste, rather than raging against it as before.
The employment of pianos and strings perhaps best illustrate how the departure of co-founder Sam Hempton has made Six By Seven stop momentarily, reassess and embrace a bigger picture. The Pixies-style noisefest that is 'Speed Is In, Speed Is Out' and the bile-flecked riffing of 'Cafeteria Rats' show they're not about to totally reinvent themselves but these are welcome diversions rather than the whole story.
More than anything else, 'The Way I Feel Today' has an assuredness and an emotional depth so many guitar bands are currently lacking. This is the sound of a band fully on top of their game, still kicking against the pricks but from a different corner, wearing their hearts on their sleeves and making records like their next meal depends on it. If there's any justice, it will at last propel them to the fore and allow them to restore some passion and commitment into an otherwise vapid and self-obsessed mainstream. (Simon P Ward - http://uk.launch.yahoo.com/)

- So Close
- I O U Love
- All My New Best Friends
- Flypaper For Freaks
- Speed Is In, Speed Is Out
- Karen O
- American Beer
- Anyway
- The Way I Feel Today
- Cafeteria Rats
- Bad Man


SIX BY SEVEN

Six By Seven "The Closer You Get"









Visioni violente si affollano nella mia mente ascoltando questo disco: rabbioso, tenebroso eppure così seducente. Magnifico. (2000 Mantra)


Six By Seven have been annoyed before by comparisons to Radiohead, and doubtless will be again. However, it is possible that The Closer You Get, their second album, may come to be seen to have the same relationship to their 1998 debut The Things We Make as The Bends does to Radiohead's nervous and patchy opening shot Pablo Honey. The Closer You Get is an assured, confident and complete record, and sounds very much like the fruition of the fearsome promise that Six By Seven have been exhibiting for some time. Though the mood of the album hardly deviates from beginning to end--this is music as sombre, serious and intense as the shadow-laden cover portrait--Six By Seven find a commendable number of shades within the darkness. "Sawn-Off Metallica T-Shirt" and "England And A Broken Radio" more than live up to the literate biliousness of their titles, and "New Year" is a fine redemptive ballad. (Andrew Mueller - http://www.amazon.co.uk/)

For many bands, their early career goes like this: at the start, they have little money, a lot to say, and possibly just one chance to say it. Later, they are a little more secure, they have a deal, and that sense of now or never has lessened somewhat. What this translates to, in terms of albums, is that their debut will often be a howl, a distillation of what they see themselves as standing for, whereas the second will be a bit more melodic, more mature; whether you regard this as a good thing or not depends entirely on perspective.
Six by Seven, on the other hand, went the other way. Their first album was a tremendous critical success, but rather than try to explore the grander sounds, on The Closer You Get they do just the opposite. The music echoes the lyrics; more desperate, more bitter, in love and yet cynical, depressed and yet funny, a mass of musical contradictions. In keeping with this more direct approach, the album flies out of the blocks with two songs that sound a lot like rabid badgers falling down a flight of stairs, ‘Eat Junk Become Junk’, and ‘Sawn off Metallica T-Shirt’. The two songs that make up the heart of the record, ‘Ten Places to Die’ and ‘My Life is an Accident’, feature two chords. Each.
It’s the sound of the most basic things in life; yearning, paranoia, frustration, hate, desperation and love. It’s an incredible work. It’ll change the way you think about music, and it’ll make you regret not having heard it before. Or you’ll hate it. There’s no middle ground here. (http://www.examiner.com/)

On The Closer You Get (Mantra, 2000), Six By Seven's rhythm and orchestration still sounds like a revival of the "Madchester" sound, but this time around the mix is too anemic (except on the peppery Sawn Off Metallica T-Shirt). Loudness alone does not redeem the lack of direction. Their psychedelic jams drift aimlessly, despite the thick production of guitar diarrheas and organ thrombosis. The band tried to rein in the excesses of The Things We Make but ended up with a mutilated version of itself. An enormous talent is wasted. The album is virtually a concept on the theme of desperation. (Piero Scaruffi - http://www.scaruffi.com)

There's a thin line between riveting and boring. Generally speaking, the boredom factor increases proportionately as a song lengthens. There are some notable exceptions to this rule, but it's only the truly gifted band that can pull off an epic without sounding presumptuous or sedated. As Six by Seven proved on their last outing, the somnolent The Things We Make, they're definitely not one of those bands.
Wisely, on The Closer You Get, Six by Seven shun any epic aspirations, opting instead to streamline their sound. Gone are the interminable, lazy guitar noodling of "European Me." Petals are pressed to the floor. Guitars mimic helicopters. Drums resemble a bumpy subway ride. And frontman Chris Olley sounds positively rabid beneath the raging volume. No longer finding solace in drawn-out detachment, Six by Seven are now focused and agitated. The results are immediate, and, at the very least, demand to be heard.
From the explosive opening monolith, "Eat Junk Become Junk," Six by Seven bristle with an intensity that would have been unthinkable on their previous LP. "Sawn Off Metallica T-shirt" mines a cutthroat fearlessness, the chainsaw guitars and thumping bassline threatening to erupt at any moment. Even when the lyrics disappear altogether or become indecipherable under the layers of noise, as on "Another Love Song," the band exudes an unmistakable menace.
This newfound attitude doesn't always serve them well, though. The melodic aspirations of "Don't Wanna Stop" and "Slab Square" are swept away in a tuneless, guitar maelstrom-- surprising when considering they're two of only four tracks on The Closer We Get produced by the untouchable John Leckie. Strangely, other tracks simply fail to reach their potential for lack of production. Relying on light guitar plucking and a touch of feedback, "England and a Broken Radio" is so slight it leaves you wishing Six by Seven had parked their social commentary at the door.
All told, The Closer You Get, winds up with more bluster than substance. These guys have the roar, now they just need to temper the assault and give the melodies some breathing room. Too often they allow the noise to compensate for underdeveloped material. However, given their rapid progress and attitude change, this misstep is both understandable and forgivable. For the time being, their remarkable stylistic transition is enough for us to keep listening. (Beatty & Garret - http://pitchfork.com/)



- Eat Junk Become Junk
- Sawn Off Metallica T Shirt
- Ten Places To Die
- New Year
- One Easy Ship
- My Life's An Accident
- Don't Wanna Stop
- Slab Square
- England And A Broken Radio
- Another Love Song
- Overnight Success
- One Hundred And Something Foxhall Road

SIX BY SEVEN

venerdì 5 febbraio 2010

Boyfriend "Hairy Banjo"



Solo pochhi giorni fa, il buon Claudio mi diceva...Ma come ho fatto a cadere nella trappola Boyfriend? Eh, bella domanda. In realtà so anche la risposta, è tutta colpa di Rumore, che nel lontano 1993 lodava questo disco definendolo un capolavoro filo Teenage Fanclub, anzi, pure meglio di questi ultimi. Potevamo noi, viste tali premesse non prendere questo disco? Certo che no. Ma fu un grave errore. Disco bolso, pesante, e con melodie non certo vincenti. Dei Teenage c'è giusto l'aroma, ma lontano mille chilometri. La freschezza non abita in casa Boyfriend. (1993 Creation)


- Hey Big Star
- Summerthing
- Kojak
- Guitarist Nipple
- Rockwieller
- Searching
- Leathered
- # Two
- Don't Even Try
- Girl On My Mind
- Why Should I Pretend?
- Air You Breathe
- Sunburnt


BOYFRIEND

mercoledì 3 febbraio 2010

Six By Seven "The Things We Make"











Mi ricordo la prima volta che sentii 88-92-96, ero in estasi. Incantato, ipnotizzato davanti a quel suono, come essere cullato da note così oscure e magnetiche e non poterne fare a meno. Un disco che racchiude vibrazioni che esaltano ma che poi graffiano e fanno male alla pelle e al cuore, dai MBV, ai Joy Division, dal pop alla psichedelia visionaria...carezze che diventano violenza, luce che diventa buio. Un disco magnifico. (1998 Beggars Banquet)

The Things We Make (Interscope, 1998) offers a neurotic version of the "Madchester" sound of the Charlatans and the Stone Roses. The hazy Candlelight, the solemn For You and Brilliantly Cute are hallucinations rather than songs. The long Spy Song borders on avantgarde rock. The otherwordly counterpoint between singer Chris Olley and Keyboardist James Flower shines in Oh Dear and 88-92-96. The band has found a magic balance of sounds, halfway between Brit-pop and shoegazing, shunning the excesses of both genres. (Piero Scaruffi - http://www.scaruffi.com)

On the blissfully fatalistic opening track of The Things We Make, Six by Seven's keening vocalist, Chris Olley, spells out his band's credo: "... For goodness' sake/The things I make/Have no use/But they have the most beautiful shape." Hailing from Nottingham, England, this quintet belongs to a shrinking cadre of rock bands that can make an extended guitar peal sound as fresh as it did the first time Thurston Moore went to town on his Stratocaster. The Things We Make is a symphony of well-wrought anti-pop divided into discrete songs that translate and embellish the secret language of guitars: They whine, they wail, they rise from hushed plucking to distorted riffing to majestic crescendos. In a world where Dave Matthews reigns as guitarist supreme, jam aficionados should find some comfort in Six by Seven's dreamy aural universe. (Neva Chonin - http://www.rollingstone.com/)


- A Beautiful Shape
- European Me
- Candlelight
- For You
- Spy Song
- Something Wild
- Brilliantly Cute
- Oh! Dear
- 88-92-96
- Come Down


SIX BY SEVEN