domenica 30 maggio 2010

Melting Pop e Heineken Jammin Festival: Biglietti omaggio!

Giovedì 3 giungo e giovedì 10 giugno, nel mio programma Melting Pop su Radio Popolare Verona saranno messi in palio 12 biglietti per le 4 serate dell'Heineken Jammin Festival 2010.
Per la precisione giovedì 3 ci sono in palio 2 biglietti per la prima giornata e 2 biglietti per la seconda giornata, mentre giovedì 10 metterò 4 biglietti in palio per la terza giornata e 4 biglietti per la quarta e ultima giornata del festival...non male insomma!
Segnatevi questo appuntamento sulla vostra agenda preferita: Melting Pop, dalle ore 21.
Vi invito quindi a seguire le puntate, e se non ce la fate alla radio, perchè lontano da Verona, beh, c'è lo streaming dal sito di radio popolare verona:
RADIO POPOLARE VERONA

Vi aspetto allora! Buon ascolto e buona fortuna!
Ciao. Ricky

Medium 21 "Killings From the Dial"



Discreto giro di etichette per questo gruppo, che attivo già dal 1999 arriva al pregevole esordio solo al 2003. Paragonati spesso a Flaming Lips o agli Echo And The Bunnymen, sapevano creare ottime melodie ma anche atmosfere molto intense. La fine della corsa è arrivata poco dopo la pubblicazione di questo lavoro. Peccato. (2003 Temptation)


Possibly the finest export from Northampton since Bauhaus, Medium 21 come blessed with a similar predilection for the darker side of life. Yet their overall sound is packed to the gills with the same sense of euphoria in miserablism that made Echo And The Bunnymen such a tantalising prospect between 1983 and 1984. Turning their hand to anthems ('The Plight Of Losing Out', 'Junctions In Our Sleep', 'Black And White Summer') and the heads-down new wave/punk ('Daybreak Vs Pride', 'Acting Like A Mirror') with invariably riveting results they manage to make post-punk sound exciting rather than merely regurgitating the past. In Jon Clough they have a vocalist whose unhinged, demented phrasing is similar to British Sea Power's Yan, perhaps their closest rivals especially on the slower 'The Wrong Road'. Whilst the latter probably have the stronger image brand, Medium 21 could well prove to be the more satisfying proposition in the long-term. (http://www.leonardslair.co.uk/)

Hull based Medium 21 release the first album on Temptation Records, which is a new partnership between Fierce Panda and Island Records. They released a single on Fierce Panda last year and created a buzz by touring with Ed Hardcourt and are now the lucky debutees on this label, with all the clout and money behind them from Island.
They might deserve this heavyweight backing though, as this debut album appears to be a fitting entrance to launch a new label, with front person John Clough not afraid of the grand gesture and quintessential Englishness that makes British indie sometimes worth the hype.
The first track The Plight of Loosing Out yells single and hit single at that. It starts morose and languid, heavy with twang guitar and tempts you with a pop rise to pull you into the verse, and then vocals begin, Clough's unusual voice, low and slow, reminiscent of Ian Curtis, morphed with Edwin Collins and Kevin Ayres dragging you into Medium 21's world immediately.
Junctions in our Sleep oozes in gently and then, heavy with 80's bass sound whooshes you out of slumber, into another kind of slumber, a pop sleep, lazy but exciting, catchy. Daybreak vs. Pride twitches in, early Echo and the Bunnymen, onto a hook, and you're there on the line with them.
Nearly half of the songs on this LP are under three minutes long and they're structured in a way to jumpstart your toes into tapping. It's the essence of good songwriting, it's not particularly unusual, but a good tune catches and keeps you. Poisoned Postcards however doesn't have that immediacy.
The Wrong Road offers another direction. Folky acoustic guitars start and simple melody catches you with lyrical lovelies such as 'the wrong road is the beautiful road'. But it's a false catch, as Clough seems tempted to veer off into Jarvis Cocker largesse, but he resists and it's delectable, teasing but never delivering the full-blown roar.The Cable and the Cars is a harder tune, rockier, with punk interspersed with Boomtown Rats reminiscences. Catalyst disappoints, it plods, as does By my Side, but Black and White Summer is the beauty of the LP, lush with strings, romantic and longing. The Best Part lushes it up even more with harmonies not heard on the rest of the album, but it's a good sound, and could be utilized more, especially with the strings bolstering the wall of sound.
Medium 21 are an fine amalgamation, essences of Mercury Rev and Dinosaur Jr and a harking back to 1982 is not unwelcome as the sounds feel better this time around. Punk and new wave held supreme in the early 80's, but bands like Orange Juice and the Bunnymen were seminal and its nice to hear they live on. But it's the voice in Medium 21 that grabs and holds, Clough's deep trawl vocal relishes its English theatrical confusion and we will certainly hear more of Medium 21. (Claire Colley - http://www.musicomh.com/)

- The Plight Of Losing Out
- Junctions In Our Sleep
- Daybreak Vs Pride
- Poisoned Postcards
- The Wrong Road
- The Cable And The Cars
- Catalyst R.U.N.
- By My Side
- Black And White Summer
- Acting Like A Mirror
- Albert Ross
- The Best Part
- We Were The Ones


MEDIUM 21

Cecil "Subtitles"




Indie guitar rock pregevole, ben fatto e con tute le carte in regola per meritare tanto di più. Sanno essere sensibili e acustici ma le chitarre non mancano di certo. Questo è il secondo disco per questo gruppo di Liverpool, e non merita di certo di finire nel dimenticatoio. (1998 Parlophone)

This first full-length release from Liverpool's Cecil doesn't make it abundantly clear why the band failed to accompany labelmates such as Radiohead, Supergrass, and Mansun into music fans' vernacular. After three years with Parlophone, Cecil had successfully been nurtured from energetic teenage noise-makers to marketable talent, and despite the backing of a promotional team renown in British alternative music, the release upon which it all hinged only made minimal impact. As critics would argue, success, or lack thereof, does not detract from quality, and it's with the 11 tracks on Subtitles that the band can gain pride in having a release that is likely to mature with age. Vocalist and lyricist Ste Williams is the typical frontman who hurls a Scouse sneer over a tirade of throttled guitars and careening basslines and a more delicate approach on intercut acoustic themes. Such energetic efforts as "The Most Tiring Day," "Hostage in a Frock," and "Love Tooth 14" would be considered loud if it weren't for crisp, sleek production but at least consistency is observed. Lyrically however each song is an enigma, and a closer inspection would leave you none the wiser. To quote "Hostage in a Frock," "We'll travel on the dinted moth/To see the statue of the frock/And we will hang with a sloth onto no care." If the objective is to avoid simplicity in favor of listener intrigue, it certainly works. It won't take more than a couple of listens to become familiar with a lot of the lyrics though, and structurally the album is as solid as its driving rhythm section. Likening the band to Island's Puressence or London's Marion would merely be an acknowledgment that Cecil are the finished article and worthy of much more than the outfit that were frozen out by a very competitive scene. (Owen Guthrie-Jones, All Music Guide)


- Larger Than A Mountain To The Ant
- Zips For Lips
- The Most Tiring Day
- Red Wine At Dead Time
- Full Stop
- Acres
- Hostage In A Frock
- Measured
- Love Tooth 14
- Charm Wrestling
- In This Day & Aged


CECIL

venerdì 28 maggio 2010

Last Days Of April "Rainmaker"



Non aspettatevi le vette compositive del tezo disco, in questo secondo lavoro si piantano i primi semi che saranno poi raccolti successivamente. Piacevole il college rock degli svedesi, che si lascia apprezzare pur senza grossi sussulti. Eppure come non percepire la genuinità e le nascenti idee che poi diventeranno magia sonora? (1998 Straight Up)


- Deepest Care, The
- Somehow
- All Those Kisses
- Wedding, The
- This Place
- Same Old Song
- Tomorrow
- Rainmaker
- Love to Trust
- Last Days of April


LAST DAYS OF APRIL

A "Teen Dance Ordinance"







Forse si lasciano un pò troppo prendere la mano i ragazzi in qesto disco...troppi muscoli per i miei gusti. E guarda caso si arriva al capolinea, anche se so che ultimamente hanno ricominciato a suonare insieme sempre con il nome di A. (2005 London)

Perhaps it is the recording destination of Seattle that has provided the lively and fun punks; A with a darker, more mature and biting direction for their new album? Jason Perry howls out with his prevalent piercing vocals about the frightening nature of relationships and suffering in the cutting previous single ‘Rush Song’. The self loathing follow up and next single ‘Better Off With Him’, marks an endearing return to their old friend that is the anthemic pop punk category.
The album title is taken from a Seattle & Washington state law that forbade 15-18 year olds from attending gigs unaccompanied sees the guys grabbing the political mantle, and then tearing into it with the insight of Elvis Costello. Grunge, post rock, Psychobilly and good old fashioned pop punk trickle through this offering like blood down a wall, as A get emotional and angry about a range of issues with the slower and haunting ‘Die Tonight’ epitomising this. The psychedelic punk of ‘Black Hole’ adds a bit of vehemence and spice to this broad collection, while ‘Hey’ is a simple and effective crasher about independence and self belief. This sincere quintet makes great advocates on behalf of those who hold dear to their hearts the latter two human qualities. (David Adair - http://www.contactmusic.com/)


On their fourth album, Teen Dance Ordinance, A have undergone yet another transmogrification, mutating from the Sting that it’s alright to mosh to into a thrashy, hard-rock band of furious energy and impressive capability. Kicking off with the explosive "Rush Song" – which sees frontman Jason Perry shrieking about "shitting bricks" and sneering "Hey! This is a love song/Hands up if you feel it", while it so very clearly isn’t – this is a record that comfortably runs rings round most of the heavy-rock competition, the likes of "The Art Of Making Sense" and "2nd Coming" meshing buzzsaw guitars and Adam Perry’s frenetic, on-point drumming with a nagging tunefulness (since day one, something of an A trump-card).
The lack of chirpiness could be down to several things: the influence of producer Terry Richardson, known for his work with Pantera, the Deftones and Soundgarden; or the recording locale, Seattle’s Studio X, which has previously hosted the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Whatever, it suits A, and Teen Dance Ordinance is testament to the virtue of being the sort of band that just can’t sit still (Louis Pattison - http://www.amazon.co.uk/)


- Rush Song
- Better Off With Him
- The Art Of Making Sense
- Someone Else (Album Version)
- Die Tonight
- 2nd Coming
- Wake Up
- Black Hole
- Hey
- Worst Thing That Can Happen
- Afterburner
- Wisdom


A

giovedì 27 maggio 2010

A "Hi-Fi Serious"









Disco micidiale. Di quelli dove tutto fila via alla perfezione. Si sono caricati nei lavori precedenti, hanno mostrato più di una volta di avere le carte in regola ed ora eccolo qui il colpaccio. Va alla grande l'indie pop rock degli A, che tra rimandi al pop punk americano e uno sguardo ai Police (con gli steroidi!) piazzano melodie vincenti inserite in chitarre rumorose ma perennemente pronte a spingerti a cantare e a saltare. Ritornelli immediati, linee melodiche facili, un pò di (finta) cattiveria che non fa mai male...e il gioco è fatto! (2002 London)


Great pop-punk records are actually a fairly rare creature in the overall picture of alternative rock. Despite the high volume of releases, whole years go by without a significant or exciting album being made in the genre. That is why the blissfully sweet Hi-Fi Serious is such a wonderful surprise. Whereas in the past A always showed potential, on this record they took that step forward that so many of their contemporaries are afraid to take. And what a step forward it is; gorgeous hooks, excellent production, and anthemic choruses that border on hair metal at times all add up to an irresistible sound that should appeal to any fan of the genre. By cutting away the snotty Green Day worship that makes so many of these groups obnoxiously coy, the group can explore other genres without any concern over sounding too ironic or goofy. They have definitely moved in a more commercial direction on this record, adding elements like synthesizers and heavily processed backup vocals that might damage their credibility, but make their music just that much better. The booty-shaking title track may be the best pop song the group has ever crafted, moving from the tense and driving verses to a swaggering chorus with such ease that it's a wonder they never displayed this sort of songwriting talent before. The fantastic "Nothing" feels like it could burst apart at any moment, but instead it holds together with a chorus that burns its way into your brain and refuses to leave. "Took It Away" feels like it's breaking apart toward the middle, then it makes a dramatic turn into a breezy Southern California section that brings the song to the next level. "Starbucks" is almost too catchy to be likable, but they manage to turn the song into a cutesy-but-endearing pop nugget by the end. And "The Distance" is either a pleasantly unique punk-pop anthem or the best hair metal song written since Poison's "Ride the Wind," and that is really the only way to describe it. Any fan of this genre who isn't afraid of a little experimentation should find themselves highly rewarded by giving this a shot. In a genre that is hideously oversaturated, it is a genuine relief to hear albums like this. It reminds the listener of how good this genre has the potential to be when in the hands of musicians that aren't afraid to be poppy first and punk second. (Bradley Torreano - All Music Guide)

If you were unfamiliar with A's pre-'Hi-Fi Serious' CV (and there's quite a few of you) you'd be forgiven for concluding that Britain's answer to the US rock invasion were nothing more than a cynical marketing ploy. Not so.
We've only got ourselves to blame for largely ignoring them first and second time around ('How Ace Are Buildings' and 'Monkey Kong'). We exiled them to sunnier climes and who would blame them for staying away after being roundly snubbed at home despite a fervent if niche following. Third time lucky and you'd be a fool to ignore this early candidate for rock album of the year.
So what's changed? Rock is pretty popular if you hadn't noticed but there's more to it than that. Fundamentally A have toned down their buffoonery (to a degree) and produced their most honed and powerful album to date.
The supersonic paced, rocket-fuelled romp of 'Hi-Fi Serious' surely exceeds its EU quota of riffs, harmonies and melodies. They're also spoiling us with 12 potential singles that ricochet around your skull.
'Something's Going On', '6 O'clock', 'Took It Away' and the title track let rip with blow after blow. 'Starbucks' will surely do for A what 'Buck Rodgers' did for Feeder last year and 'Shut Yer Face' makes some hilarious genre comments while simultaneously cramming all your air guitar needs into one handy track. 'Took It Away' takes a sly dig at mediocrity while featuring some schizophrenic electronic effects. Even the slowie, 'The Springs', is bravely promoted rather than being anonymously buried.
'Hi-Fi Serious' is far more than a US rock pastiche or one-dimensional rock album. A have evolved into an English Blink 182 or The Police with a preference for power chords fronted by a raspy voiced hyperactive loon. More importantly though, A are an English rock band not afraid to take risks or their maintain self-belief. It's a gamble that's paid off.
A are about to explode on a global scale. And that includes their home country this time! (Chris Heath - http://uk.launch.yahoo.com)


As Hi-Fi Serious so ably demonstrates, sometimes it's just a matter of waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with you. Round about the time of their second album Monkey Kong, A were pegged as perfunctory Brit-rock chancers, a poor substitute for their angst-heavy Stateside peers. Come their third album, though, A sound every bit the globe-straddling international rock band.
Marking out the crucial mid-point between the impassioned emo-pop of Jimmy Eat World and the dumb-assed gross-out punk splatter of Blink 182, Hi-Fi Serious is a cackling, cartoonish descent into fearlessly tuneful power-pop larkery. It's saturated in an obvious love for beach-bum Americana: "It's an endless summer/ It's the summer forever" breezes the bronzed power-punk of "Pacific Ocean Blue". And while the five are frighteningly eager to dally like playful puppies through all rock's cheesiest cliches--just check out guitarist Mark Chapman's Eddie Van Halen-style fretwork on "The Distance"--it's always performed with enough charm to win the day. Think the Brits can't do rock? Crank up Hi-Fi Serious and let A put a smile back on your face. (Louis Pattison - http://www.amazon.co.uk/)


- Nothing
- Something's Going On
- Six O'clock On A Tube Stop
- Going Down
- Took It Away
- Starbucks
- Springs
- Shut Yer Face
- Pacific Ocean Blue
- Distance
- WDYCAI
- Hi Fi Serious


A

mercoledì 26 maggio 2010

3 Colours Red "The Union Of Souls"






Scioltisi e riformatisi i 3CR realizzano il terzo disco della loro carriera che sarà anche l'ultimo. Un più che disgnitoso saluto a mio avviso. (Mighty Atom Records 2004)

Anyone remember Alan McGee - he who ran the once groundbreaking Creation record label, home to The Jesus And Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Oasis and, our subject of choice, 3 Colours Red?
Back in the mid-'90s, Mr McGee, one who was not averse to teensy bit of hyperbole, proclaimed that 3 Colours Red were the second-best band in Britain (after Oasis). He went on to add that: "Our aim is to sell 100,000 records now, but by the second or third record we'll sell five million. I'm serious."
Well, here we are with 3CR's third album. Is it going to sell five million? Er, is the Pope Greek Orthodox? That'll be a no then.
You see, a few things happened in the years between Mcgee's mindless exaggeration and today's harsh reality. Creation got swallowed and shut down by the corporate behemoth that is Sony and 3CR may have scored two UK Top 20 albums and eight Top 40 singles but the musically unadventurous British public was never going to get their collective pants too wet over what was, essentially, a punk band.
Which is a shame. Because if 3CR had been allowed to develop naturally instead of having the pressure of how to be The Next Big Thing, then maybe they wouldn't have split up back in 1999 and then reformed a few years later with many of their fans gone and most of the momentum lost.
So what of The Union Of Souls? Given that it's 3CR's first album in years one might have expected them to crash through the sonic landscape, all guns blazing, with a loud statement of intent to the effect of: "We're back!" Instead, they choose to whisper their reappearance with the opening number, and title track, which features gentle guitar picking, distant strings and sounds not dissimilar to Simple Minds circa Belfast Child. And yes, I know they'll hate me for saying that.
Following track, Repeat To Fade, is more like it, however. Boasting some storming heavy metal riffage, on a par with those heard on Paralyse years ago, the lads show that they haven't lost their ability to rock or to pen a pop hook, judging by the amply-sized chorus.
The rest of the album follows the slightly inconsistent theme of the first two songs. 3CR appear to be at their best when cheesed off and channelling their frustrations accordingly. Counterfeit Jesus is all punked-up with Pete Vuckovic sounding for all the world like Johnny Rotten as he sneers, "You're just so vacuous." Made In Indonesia is also catchy, crunchy pop-punk, while Land Of Debris has big guitars, big drums, a big chorus, and yes, big anger too.
On the flip-side, Desensitise veers to close to indie schmindie-ness; the slowie Ceasefire washes over rather than being particularly engaging; FCKU's chant of "FCKU!" shouted playground style is juvenile in the extreme; and closing track Lullaby, while far from being bad, is more of a slow fizz of a way to finish than a bubbling effervescence.
All in all, The Union Of Souls is a sometimes superb, but more often average comeback from what was once one of the UK's leading rock bands. 3CR could clearly still teach today's upstarts a thing or two but their fire seems to be flickering stubbornly rather than burning brightly. (Vik Bansal - http://www.musicomh.com/)



- The Union Of Souls
- Repeat To Fade
- The World Is Yours
- Desensitise
- Counterfeit Jesus
- Ceasefire
- Made In Indonesia
- Land Of Debris
- FCKU
- Lullaby


3 COLOURS RED

lunedì 24 maggio 2010

Last Days Of April "Angel Youth"





Un disco bellissimo. Non starò qui a usare parole assurde come emo o cose simili. No, dico solo che l'intensità, le melodie, la passione, la malinconia, la grazia e le sensazioni di questo disco raramente le trovo in prodotti simili.
Svedesi, terzo disco per loro e a mio avviso il punto più alto di una comunque più che dignitosa carriera. Ma qui lo splendore si tocca con 1 dito. (2000 Bad Taste)

Never heard of Last Days of April? Well, me either, until I got their new album, Angel Youth in the mail the other day. The Stockholm, Sweden band is making a rise in the United States indie scene. After touring in Europe with the likes of At the Drive In and the Promise Ring, and getting distributed by American label Deep Elm, they're becoming more recognized in the United States.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm always skeptical of bands that have been classified as emo, as Last Days of April has. I mean, what defines emo music anyway? The term has been used liberally, to the point that it really has no concrete meaning. From what I've observed music is called emo because of the way it projects emotion. The similar characteristics of bands labeled emo seem to include a somewhat distraught, uncontrolled and innocent sounding lead vocal part. The singer is usually ranting about bitter breakups and lost youth. The music has what may be described as a poppy-punk edge to it (ala late '90s commercial "punk"), but is often combined with sweet melodies. In Last Days of April's case this means string interludes.
Now that I've let you know my skepticism about emo music, I'll let you know that Last Days of April is certainly better than much of the emo I've heard. I wouldn't say it ranks up there with Rainer Maria or Dashboard Confessional, but the sound they create is not merely stereotypical emo.
The album was obviously well produced (by Fireside's Pelle Gunnerfeildt), and maybe that's a flaw. Over-production seems to contradict the whole idea of raw emotion that is supposed to come out in emo. But, the production isn't too much of a hindrance. Beautiful orchestrations of strings hover above and then suddenly sweep into the melody. Guitar and voice parts are filtered to create intricate atmospheres.
One word that characterizes the album in entirety is energy. The band knows how to keep the momentum going throughout the recording. It's that kind of momentum that makes terrible '80s songs actually seem fun. These songs recreate the feeling of when I was a kid and I spun around and around until I couldn't anymore and flopped to the ground. That's the kind of momentum many of the songs have.
Perhaps the best illustration of this is the song "Aspirins and Alcohol". Destined to be the most-played song by the band, it really is the best. The song starts with a repetitive driven guitar and classic emo voice. The song quickly interludes to a chorus of strings and then the beat speeds up to pick up the momentum again. This song is oozing with young passion, which can also be illustrated by the lyrics, in which the chorus is: "Will aspirins and alcohol some way decrease the ache from knowing that you will do to him the same you did to me?" The whole song is written in freeform prose with no defined breaks, which creates a feel of both chaos and sloppy youth.
Another song with similar momentum is "Two Hands and Ten Fingers". This one however seems more melancholic. The song begins in a minor key, violins weep and strain to high notes as the cello and bass morn in deep resonant tones. The drum line is always there to keep the song pacing forward. Lead singer Karl Larsson belts out the lyrics -- "It seems like it all comes crashing you will not hurt me no more how can your two hands and ten fingers move nine planets?" The song doesn't stay so bittersweet though. The chorus suddenly seems cheerful.
There are other good, solid songs on the album, but those two certainly stick out as the gems. If only for those two songs, Angel Youth is worth buying. Overall, the album is one catchy, orchestral emo recording. Not only do they use violins, cellos, violas and organ -- they also use mandolin, harpsichord and accordion. The instrumentation is layered and intricate.Though the whole album is decent, I find myself returning to "Aspirins and Alcohol" and "Two Hands and Ten Fingers". These two songs have perfect pop hooks that rage with pure emotion. And, after listening to the album many times, it grows on me. For all those emo fans out there, Angel Youth is a sure investment. And for all those skeptics like me, it's a good emo pick to add diversity to your collection. (Katy Widder - http://www.popmatters.com)

- From Here To Anyone
- Aspirins And Alcohol
- The Days I Recall Being Wonderful
- Will The Violins Be Playing?
- Glowing Me Choking You
- Make Friends With Time
- Two Hands And Ten Fingers
- Life Companion Murphy's Law
- Down The Aisle With You
- Make Friends With Time (Instrumental)



LAST DAYS OF APRIL

sabato 22 maggio 2010

Lisp "Cycles"



E se non sbaglio ci siamo, in realtà ho fatto questo blog solo per arrivare a questo disco. E ovviamente esigo anche il commento del grande Claudio. Questo è il disco che è entrato nella storia per la recensione leggendaria di Carlo Villa, secondo lui i Lisp erano "Ben Christopher in paradiso!!". Sono in ginocchio.
In realtà sto disco a me annoiava un pò, se devo essere sincero, anche se bisogna apprezzare il tentativo di creare paesaggi sonori oscuri e non certo facili facili. Un suono che rimanda a Portishead o a Cure, miscelando pezzi al piano, parti acustiche, dub, parti più orchestrali. Insomma un disco complesso, che merita attenzione...e io ammetto di non avergliene data abbastanza. Magari rimedio in questi giorni. Forse. (2000 - Mind Horizon)


Refreshingly eschewing the commercial route of rock misery, Lisp prove on their debut album that songs prove ultimately more satisfying if they can reveal to their listener more and more on each hearing. Across nine tracks of early-80's melancholia with trip-hop effects (presumably to make it sound less like Joy Division, Comsat Angels et al) Lisp hit the mark on regular occasions. The guitars and bass are played quietly and insistently underpinning subtle melodies on the best efforts here such as 'Distance Over Time' , 'Flatspin' and 'Long Way To Climb' whereas 'Let It Go' is tinged with real sadness helped along its way by a string section. Intermingled with horror-like lyrics ("You'll be fed through a straw until your gums are red raw" and "You're so good they'll have to bury you twice") this truly is a macabre experience. 'Something Special' recalls early-period Tears For Fears (which is good, honest!) and although there are a few flaws - the unwelcome but thankfully short rap on the otherwise perfect 'Distance Over Time' and the filler at the end - Lisp can take pride in making people depressed again. (http://www.leonardslair.co.uk)

- Something Special
- So Good
- Flatspin
- Distance Over Time
- Stages
- Long Way To Climb
- Let It Go
- Cracks
- Scissor Paper Stone


LISP

venerdì 21 maggio 2010

A "Vs Monkey Kong"





Simpatici e divertenti e poi mi hanno sempre fatto venire in mente una versione più muscolosa dei Police, sto parlando degli A, che in questo secondo lavoro affinano sempre di più il loro suono che poi li porterà alle vette dei dischi a seguire. Niente male davvero. (1999 Tycoon Recordings)

Make way for the first great brother band of the 21st century. A, an economically titled Brit band featuring siblings Jason, Adam, and Giles Perry, combine the harmonic splendor of the Beach Boys with the sonic onslaught of the Buzzcocks. The band doesn't hide its influences on this, their U.S. debut: Jason's upper-register vocals evoke a more tuneful Perry Farrell on "Jason's Addiction," while "Old Folks" is the best early Police song Sting never wrote. There are even moments where A sounds like a punk rock Yes (they covered "Owner of a Lonely Heart" on an early B-side). Yet they get away with all this and more, thanks to deft craftsmanship, killer chops, and striking arrangements. Moogs, muted trumpets, and the learning toy Speak & Spells sneak into the traditional rock mix, and virtually every track comes with an intoxicating anthemic chorus. And with lyrics like, "Yeah, the trees are pretty wide / That's where Sonny Bono died / All is quiet on New Year's Day," what's not to love? (Bill Forman - http://www.amazon.com/)


- For Starters
- Monkey Kong
- "A"
- Old Folks
- Hopper Jonnus Fang
- Summer On The Underground
- Warning
- If It Ain't Broke, Fit It Anyway
- Here We Go Again (I Love Lake Tahoe)
- Don't Be Punks
- Down On The Floor
- Jason's Addiction
- Miles Away
- Getting Around


A

giovedì 20 maggio 2010

Freeheat "Back On The Water"



Jim Reid e Ben Lurie dei Jesus, più Nick Sanderson, anche lui nei J&MC con Romi Mori dei Gun Glub. Lo davamo disperso questo disco d'esordio, invece eccolo qui, benchè il gruppo si sia sciolto da tempo. Raccolta di materiale in studio e live conferma il suono degli ep precedenti. Niente di nuovo sotto il sole...a volteun suono lo capisci guardando chi lo fa, anche in questo caso è così! (2006 Planting Seeds Records)

The last time I was looking forward to anything by the Jesus and Mary Chain, I was entrenched in the labyrinthine confines of the Sony Music tower on Madison Avenue, sorting through a bevy of incandescent file folders containing publicity shots of Epic artists like Living Colour and Sun-60, and replacing them with the likes of 3T and Shudder To Think. In the midst of this spring cleaning—and this being the time just prior to the Mary Chain’s swan song, Munki, I asked a co-worker how a group like the Mary Chain managed to stay on a major for as long as they did. “They sell about 100,000 copies of every album they put out,” he said.
Besides a string of consistently thrilling records, it’s a plausible reason why these Scottish malcontents remained in the Warners Bros. stable for over a decade. But by 1999, the Reid Brothers imploded and were gone. William Reid has now all but vanished, with a few releases (most under the Lazycame moniker) and a recording or two with his sister, while brother Jim released as much with his band Freeheat, which severed ties in 2003.
So what is Back on the Water? It’s a Freeheat compilation of live and studio tracks that, at its best, is a fuzzy little trip down memory lane. The studio tracks were recorded as far back as 1997 and the album contains 10 live tracks, recorded in Amsterdam shortly before the band parted ways. All well and good, but if you are a Mary Chain fan you already know that Jim Reid has a new single out (a rockier live version of “Dead End Kids” is contained here) and all of his former band’s full lengths with Warners just got the reissue treatment. So the question is: How much do you need this record?
It depends. Water initially sounds like a natural progression from the last Mary Chain record—while projecting a more coherent and jazzy pop sensibility—but really, it’s a grab bag of sorts, a lot like the Mary Chain’s Hate Rock ‘N’ Roll. So if you were digging that mid-‘90s release, you will definitely be digging this. Elsewhere, it’s a mix between the devil-may-care torch songs that made up 1994’s Stoned & Dethroned (check out the title track or the irresistible “Don’t Look Back”) and assertive, nihilistic rock songs reminiscent of 1989’s Automatic. “Get On Home” even contains the tongue-in-cheek line: “I got pistol in my pocket / It’s gonna shoot its load … You gotta help with my pistol before my pistol explodes”. This may scream horrible metal band-era innuendo, but the end result is just so effortlessly cool. Just like ice cream sliding into a crack.
Let’s be honest. Lyrically and musically, there might be nothing new here at all. And at 17 tracks, it has some filler, including studio and live versions of two tracks. But a good portion of Water will no doubt tease your endorphin receptors the way all those great Mary Chain songs did. Go out and by all the DualDisc reissues, but don’t deny this record’s charm. (Lance Teegarden - http://www.popmatters.com/)

- Keep On Truckin'
- What Goes Around*
- Back on The Water*
- The Story So Far
- Everything
- Dead End Kids*
- Get On Home
- Facing Up To The Facts*
- Shine On Little Star
- Get On Home*
- Down
- The Two Of Us*
- The Real Deal
- Shine On Little Star*
- Don't Look Back
- K Moon*
- Baby G2*

*Recorded Live at Paradiso, Amsterdam



FREEHEAT

Fosca "Diary Of An Antibody"




Secondo disco per i Fosca e più di tante parole vale una intervista che ho trovato con loro in merito proprio a questo disco...buona lettura. (2002 - Shinkansen)

In a world where the Pop Idol rules and US bands are forced on us each week by the so called alternative music press you have to ask what happened to the genuine voice of the underground. Fosca's "Diary Of An Antibody" is the best alternative pop album of 2002, or as we like to call it pop music with a library card, and speaks out to the generations which grew up with Stephen Patrick Morrissey or Richey Edwards. We caught up with Dickon and Rachel to find out how we can join as honorary Fosca Babies.

Q: The new album "Diary Of An Antibody" is out now. I see you're not having the difficult second album syndrome. 10 slices of alternative pop in under 35 minutes and your most cohesive lyrical and musical release to date. Do you feel like a proper fop star now?
Dickon: Yes, indeed. I always was a fop star in my head, but for the first time myself and Fosca are starting to feel, how shall I put this, almost... popular. Famous for fifteen people! Doubtless I'll soon have my own Channel 5 game show by osmosis. In music press interviews about new albums, bands often talk about "musical progression", and "moving on", and "a more mature sound". Well, the only progression with Fosca is that we strive to become more and more like ourselves every day. We completely exist in our own little world and are happy to keep it that way. Comparison equals death! We are more peerless, and fearless, than ever before.

Rachel: This year i have started to feel that we are less pariah and more prized by the populace. Reviews have stopped saying 'promising' and have started to praise. we've also managed to do a gig per month (2 in July!). So, yes.

Q: I see you've returned to plain old Dickon Edwards after a time polishing your halo as Dickon Angel. So what other pseudonym's are you currently toying with the idea of undertaking?
Dickon: I'm sticking with Dickon Edwards for the duration, now. But it's good to have the alternatives (Dickon Angel, Richard Edwards, RD Edwards), just in case I'm feeling... "otherly". A bit like Chas Smash in Madness, who calls himself Carl Smyth when he feels like it. I'm currently rediscovering Madness, by the way.

Q: Carrying on with the theme of persona's and pseudonym's - "Oh Well, there's always reincarnation". Much as the idea will probably distress you, if you had a choice in what you could be reincarnated as what would it be?
Rachel: A cat, naturally.

Dickon: A fictional character. Out of copyright.

Q: We were speaking to one of your former support acts Stephen Nancy a few weeks ago, who said that Stephen Nancy and Fosca were "two different perspectives on the gay thing". Fair assumption?
Rachel: I think anyone that writes from a non macho male (or submissive female a la Britney) perspective is going to stand out. But i don't think that Fosca are an OUTrage type of band. More subversive to BE rather than campaign. Stephen Nancy were nice to play a concert with. their music wasn't my thing, but they were adorable friendly people, which always makes a gig more pleasurable.

Dickon: Much of the current gay scene is extremely.... straight. I'm more interested in deviancy of all kinds, socially more than sexually. As you know, sex is the P.E. of adult life and I have a note from my mother. But, like football, one doesn't have to do the wretched thing to be a fan of it. It's a game of two halves.

Q: There's still that sense of "living under siege from bigger seats who live to keep me in my place" throughout the whole album. Do you still feel like an outsider in the modern world?
Dickon: More than ever. I have stuck to my guns, and for this there is a price. So far this year, I have been physically attacked in the street twice for the way I look. I'm a martyr to my own being. Now I am no longer in my twenties, however, I have found that it's a lot easier to not worry about the concerns of the real world anymore. The world is made for the young. Now I am no longer young, my detachment is a lot easier, as I now already have the automatic detachment of being old. Other people of my age start to panic and do terrible things like "settling down". Like silt. I am pleased to confirm that I am more unsettled than ever.

Q: I believe you're currently organizing a burning ceremony of running shoes and are fretting about the wearing of white socks. What's the Fosca code of conduct if we want to join as honorary Fosca babies?
Dickon: Don't wear trainers, or any kind of sportswear, unless you are engaged in an actual sporting activity. White socks are sexy. Three-button suits, loafers, ties (plain or polka-dot) are all helpful. Don't spike your hair up: part it at one side. But most of all, don't look like you're trying to be something you're not. Or one of the crowd. Exaggerate yourself. If you're feminine, be ultra-feminine. If you're boyish, be super-boyish. As long as it's on purpose. There is danger in numbers. Don't get caught trying to be fashionable. Lead trends, don't follow them. If that's not possible, find out what the trends are, then make sure you're not following them. Be stylish rather than fashionable.

Q: In 2002 there aren't enough relatively mainstream icons to look up to. Take the 80s and we had Morrissey. And then the 90s with Richey. And of course in your own way we have yourself. Are you still waiting for Morrissey's latest release or are you still searching for another voice beside your own?
Dickon: I remain an ardent admirer of both Mr Morrissey and Mr Edwards, both for knowing the importance of lyrics, and for their sense of style. I like to catch the former in concert whenever he plays Londinium. So recently I queued outside the Royal Albert Hall box office, on the morning tickets for his new shows there went on sale. A couple of journalists from Q Magazine were there, doing a feature on the new Moz tour, and they took a photo of the queue. If it turns up in their magazine, and they continue to fail to cover Fosca, that really will be ironic. The only way I can get featured in Q Magazine is by queuing up for tickets to someone else's gig... And yet, out of myself and Mr Morrissey, I'm the one with a new album to promote! Needless to add, I remain my own favourite lyricist. I'd love Mr Morrissey to sing a Fosca song. I think he could really do it justice.

Rachel: I would be very upset if people compared us to the MSP. They were the most over-rated bunch of chancers ever to come out of Wales. Like The Shamen, they only got famous when one of their members died. And they looked terrible in dresses.

Q: I always liked the reading lists of old which bands used to subscribe to. It should be a requirement of being in a band that they bring a list of text to explore - except in 2002 all anyone reads is Harry Potter. So Dickon, enlighten us and give us your 3 current favourite books and why? And maybe throw in a list of other recommended books for good luck.
Dickon: From A to B and Back Again - The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. His only true masterpiece.
The Assumption Of The Rogues & Rascals - Elizabeth Smart. Such beautiful, beautiful words.
Selected Poems - Anne Sexton. She always seems to hit the nail on the finger.

Rachel: Last three books read: JM Coetzee - Waiting for the barbarians. John Kennedy Toole - a confederacy of dunces . Jeff Noon - Vurt. It's very important to read a book on the commuter train in amongst the evening standards and Marion Keyes's.

Q: You've played Sweden, France and even Leeds. When can we expect a date in Manchester or are you avoiding the place like the plague for fear of townies and scally's?
Rachel: When someone pays for us to go up there and organizes the train and a nice B&B (south facing room, vegetarian breakfast). none of us drives. 2 of us have jobs. And i don't like sleeping on floors. Matt is the only person capable of organizing a tour and i think 8 years of Brighter playing to 10 people in Southampton may have put him off. people are often much more enthusiastic outside of London so it is nice to play other towns and cities. i'm very jealous of bands who know they have a following in hartlepool or norwich. My ambition would be to play to more than 20 people in my home town of Doncaster without being bottled off.

Dickon: Kate is Mancunian, so it would make sense for us to play there soon. Fosca never ask for gigs, though. We only ever play when we're invited by a third party (a band or promoter) to do so. We've managed to play in London once every calendar month since last December, purely at the invitation of others. Likewise, we only make records when we are asked to do so. That way, no one can blame us for forcing ourselves upon the world. Fosca are the world's most passive band.

Q: Finally, we know how much you love communicating your unique viewpoint with the rest of the world through your internet diaries. What are you thinking of right now?
Dickon: Sex is like football. You don't have to do it to be a fan of it. It's a game of two halves.

Rachel: Going back to bed (http://www.designermagazine.org/FoscaINT3.html)

- Secret Crush On Third Trombone
- Idiot Savant
- Director's Cut
- Oh Well There's Always Reincarnation
- Universal Gatecrasher
- Supine On The Astroturf
- I'm On Your Side
- Letter To Saint Christopher
- I Know I Have Been Happier
- Rude Esperanto

FOSCA

mercoledì 19 maggio 2010

Fosca "On Earth To Make The Numbers Up"




Dickon Edwards dopo gli Orlando non molla, anzi, rilancia. Ed eco arrivare i Fosca, ricchi di suoni synth pop e di un pregevole senso dell'umorismo. (2000 Shinkansen)


- The Agony Without The Ecstasy
- It's Going To End In Tears (All I Know)
- The Millionaire Of Your Own Hair
- Storytelling Johnny
- Assume Nothing
- Live Deliberately
- On Earth To Make The Numbers Up
- There Is Another Country



FOSCA

martedì 18 maggio 2010

Hoggboy "Or 8?"



Un bel dischetto. I ragazzi hanno carica da vendere e tra Stooges e rimandi al punk ci piazzano un buon album. Validi. E poi vengono da Sheffield, e ciò non guasta mai! (Sobriety 2002)

There's certainly a Sheffield connection going on with this band. Their first three singles were all produced by Richard Hawley, lately a sixth member of Pulp and an established solo artist in his own right. The rest of the album, Hoggboy's first, is produced by Chris Thomas, who has produced for Pulp in the past. So they're another northern guitar band, right?
Well, no, actually. If you think they're going to sound quintessentially Sheffield, the opening tracks Left & Right and Upside Down will dispel such notions in favour of positive comparisons with The Stooges and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
The reason being that they sound like they've just wrapped up the whole New York punk-rock scene and tuned it for individuality. All the singles, Shouldn't Let The Side Down and Upside Down included, have bags of energy and sound a million miles away from the world of the contrived.
And while the rest of the guitar bands, from BRMC to The Coral, all sound like they've considered a formula for success before embarking on the right poses, this lot sound like they've stuck a few leads into sockets and hoped for the best.
The production keeps hold of the raw sound the band generate throughout - not for Hoggboy are fancy ProTools audio effects, just straightforward representation of what they can do. They can get you involved in music. Dare you to listen and not love. (Michael Hubbard - http://www.musicomh.com/)


- Left And Right
- Upside Down
- Don't Get Lost
- Urgh!!
- Call Me Suck
- Gonna Take Me A While
- Death Of A Friend
- So Young
- Shouldn't Let The Side Down
- 1:10
- Mile High Club

HOGGBOY

mercoledì 12 maggio 2010

Shinkansen Compilation "Christmas EP"



Natale è passato da un pezzo, ma sul mio blog è sempre tempo di regali. Chiudete gli occhi, immaginate la neve, immaginate l'albero con le luci e il presepio...è tempodi Shinkansen. (2000 Shinkansen Recordings)


- Trembling Blue Stars - Introduction
- Pacific Radio - Pop Heart
- Cody - Ghost Shakers
- Fosca - The Millionaire of Your Own Hair
- Tompot Blenny - Found Under Blankets
- Trembling Blue Stars - Christmas & Train Trips & Things


SHINKANSEN COMPILATION

Freeheat "Retox EP"



Buon progetto di Jim Reid, a quel tempo in fuga dai Jesus e comunque accompagnato da Ben Lurie, altro collega di gruppo. Ep interessante che anticipa di..4 anni...giuro, l'uscita di un album vero e proprio. La musica? Beh...da certa gente sai sempre cosa aspettarti!!(2002 Outafocus Recordings)

This five track EP will be released on Outafocus Recordings on February 18th, the debut record from the group fronted by former Jesus & Mary Chain members Jim Reid and Ben Lurie. ‘The Two of Us’ is a true indie track, juxtaposing the male and female vocals of the band in a happy, poppy number. ‘Facing Up To The Facts’ is somewhat more chaotic, sounding like it was recorded at amateur night in the local pub, but in a truly great way. ‘Shine On Little Star’ harks back to the great days when Primal Scream and The Stone Roses ruled, sounding and feeling distinctly northern, if that’s possible, a style carried through to the semi-acoustic pseudo-whine ‘The Long Goodbye’. But the winner has to be the empowering ‘Nobody’s Gonna Trip My Wire’, a classic rant at anyone who thinks they know what’s best for you, utilising heavy, melodic distortion, and trippy programming to create a dark, liberated sound. With the roots this group has, the overall quality is not surprising, and the style deeply rooted in their past combined with a modern edge should ensure at least moderate success. (http://www.cogitata.co.uk/)


- Two Of Us
- Facing Up To The Facts
- Shine On Little Star
- Long Goodbye
- Nobody's Gonna Trip My Wire

FREEHEAT

domenica 9 maggio 2010

Die Moulinettes "Alfa Bravo Charlie"



Ma Dio benedica queste tre fanciulle tedesche, che ebbi modo di conoscere propri oqui a Verona in occasione di un loro concerto all'Interzona, che non solo erano molto carine e simpatiche, ma avevano anche una sensibilità pop davvero esuberante. Lo dimostrano in questo lavoro che fonde pop, lounge ed elettronica (pregevoli anche gli otto remix che completano il disco), andando ad essere un vero e proprio omaggio alle atmosfere italiane degli anni sessanta e settanta. Insomma un gran bel lavoro da non diemnticare! (2001 Shado)

- Love Air
- Deep Down
- Alfio Brambilla
- Immer Nie Am Meer
- Strano Mondo Di Tanti Nomi
- Like A Rubik Cube (
- Flipper Queen - Du Kannst's Am Besten
- Der Letzte Spieltag
- Flipper Queen (7 Gliders Rmx)
Remix - High Llamas, The
- Strano Mondo Di Tanti Nomi - Rmx
Remix - Stereo Total
- Love Air (Disco Futuro Rmx)
Remix - Valvola
- Alfio Brambilla (Acquarello Mix)
Remix - Maxwell Implosion Feat. VIP200, The
- Der Letzte Spieltag (Erobique Mix)
Remix - Erobique
- Immer Nie Am Meer (Studio 4 Mix)
Remix - Electric Sheep
- Like A Rubik Cube (Rubik Cube In Der Echokammer Mix)
Remix - Claudia Kaiser & Albert Poeschl
- Deep Down (Electro Mix)
Remix - DJ Medjyou

DIE MOULINETTES

mercoledì 5 maggio 2010

Sophie Ellis Bextor "B-sides"



Partiamo da questo presupposto: Sophie è una dea. Questo ci permette, più di una volta, di andare oltre a certi suoi pezzi che, diciamocelo tranquillamente, sono delle boiate. Perchè? Beh...come si fa a parlare male di lei? Come non perdonarle tutto? Come non innamorarsi di quel suo sguardo?
La carriera solista di Sophie è incentrata su un elettro pop molto easy, ballabile, saltellabile, orecchiabile, gustabile. Ma sopratutto cantato da lei.
Sapevo di non essere l'unico nel mondo a venerala, ma trovare 11 schiavo di Sophie come me tra i lettori del mio blog, beh, mi ha commosso.
Quindi perdonate questo mio post, che va decisamente un pò in là rispetto ai miei post abituali, ma dopo tante richieste esaudite in ambito indie pop, beh, ho pensato di esaudirne una in ambito...."divino".
Ecco, prese un pò di quà e un pò là, una valanga di b-sides della meravigliosa Sophie. Buon ascolto!


SOPHIE ELLIS BEXTOR B-SIDES

Ragazza Pop Compilation



L'estetica della S.H.A.D.O. viene messa in mostra con questa bella compilation che ricrea in pieno sonorità e atmosfere care a questa etichetta. La compilation giusta per la primavera! (2003 - S.H.A.D.O. Records)

"Pronto? Ah, sei tu. Sali pure, ti aspetto." Comincia così, con una voce femminile sensuale e un po' indolente, la festa di "Ragazza pop", la compilation tutta dedicata al pop in rosa compilata dalle inesauribili menti di quei ragazzacci della S.H.A.D.O. e dei Valvola. Negli intenti dei quali "Ragazza pop" dovrebbe essere anche un'etichetta tutta dedicata al pop femminile. Intanto, questa compilation internazionale fa da manifesto d'intenti ai Nostri, mettendo in luce un pop nell'accezione che il termine aveva nel pieno fiorire degli anni '60, coerentemente alla poetica retromodernista che da tempo agita la band fiorentina.
La ricetta è semplice: un po' di beat al suo massimo splendore ma con tutte le sue ingenuità e freschezza ancora intatte, una lounge jazzata ideale colonna sonora di spy-stories alla Bond, l'r&b che fu delle Ronettes, i fantasmi di Françoise Hardy e Phil Spector che aleggiano benigni, e giusto una spruzzata di country e di garage. Insomma quel periodo felice in cui il movimento beat non era ancora diventato hippy, non aveva iniziato a voler risolvere i problemi del mondo e si chiamava 'yé-yé'. Un'immaginaria bolla temporale pre-'Summer of love', sospesa in eterno tra 1965 e 1966. C'è un'ospite davvero illustre, la leggendaria Moe Tucker, batterista di quei Velvet Underground che nei loro momenti di dolcezza ("Sunday morning", una per tutti), esprimevano già il rimpianto di quel mondo onirico.Moe omaggia qui Carol King ("Will you still love me tomorrow") e Phil Spector ("To know him is to love him"), sfogando la sua rabbia garage in "I wanna". Spicca la nutrita rappresentanza giapponese, che con Instant Café Records, Plus-Tech Squeeze Box e Three Berry Icecream confezionano una particolare declinazione del pop sixties che deve molto alla lezione di Pizzicato Five e Fantastic Plastic Machine: un raffinato rosolio. Belle anche "London" delle Noonday Underground, pezzo veramente notevole e strambo, dall'arrangiamento delirante pur nella classicità della struttura, e il remix, opera dei parigini Cocosuma, di "Flashin' light (some girls like to disco)" dei Valvola, trasformata in un brano alla Sneaker Pimps del primo album.
In generale tutti i brani sono gradevoli, e stupisce l'unità stilistica che rende la compilation particolarmente piacevole all'ascolto, ottima per un viaggio in auto o una festa tra amici. E in più contiene un brano che da solo vale l'intero disco, "The sun keeps shining on me" delle Fonda: una grande canzone, che cresce strofa dopo strofa, ritornello dopo ritornello, dal bellissimo movimento. Da avere. (Renzo Stefanel - http://www.rockit.it)

Ragazza defines their label’s mission as promoting the “extraordinary female sensibility in contemporary, past and future pop music”. Thankfully, they’re much more selective than that, eschewing that apparent feminine intuition that can produce the likes of Ashanti, Britney Spears, and Kelly Clarkson. Ragazza Pop culls its tracks from the indie fringe, avoiding pop as we popularly know it, instead highlighting far more interesting female tastes. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m wholly suspect of any biologically-bound aesthetic because it’s impossible to know and in most cases dangerous speculation to dabble in. But for a pop music compilation, I can probably forego all my philosophical reservations about whether or not there is a “female” sound in the world of music. No matter how you frame it, this compilation has so much of a good thing in so many varieties, that’s its worth picking up just to have this many great tracks corralled together on one disc.

Moe Tucker covers “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, lending it an extra helping of yearning weakness as she hobbles through a rendition that is affectingly flimsy and distant, like nostalgia. Her treatment of another cover, “To Know Him Is to Love Him” similarly sounds whispered through a set of breezing gauzy curtains, but still implosively compelling. Trip-hop outfit, Valvola, contributes “Flashin’ Light (Some Girls Like to Disco)”, a grandly threatening dance floor track that could have just as easily been a Sneaker Pimps single, not necessarily a bad thing depending on how you feel about such underwonders. Die Moulinettes drop a French hybrid of the Cardigans and Pizzicato 5, with warm basslines and glittering guitar, the sort of ephemeral glamour song you’d expect to be playing in a young starlet’s convertible. Channeling the Marvelettes, the Aisler’s Set toss in “Hey Lover”, more a tribute than an indication of their usual sound, but nonetheless a catchy, brief treat of handclaps and recessed harmony.
This is one of those compilations that launched several purchases and internet searches on my part. Hearing Daisy Martey on the Noonday Underground’s track led me to one of my favorite CDs of the year. Their contribution to the compilation rips through the rest of the more shimmery numbers as Martey belts out an indictment of the times with a voice that sounds like a kiss between Grace Slick and Beth Orton. Not to mention that go-go boots backdrop of acoustic guitar and drums that sounds like incense, peppermint and probably a little weed. Though I am familiar with Phil Elvrum (of the Microphones), until this compilation, I hadn’t had the pleasure of knowing the work of one of his collaborators, Mirah. Her track, “Don’t”, sounds like a lost Ronettes song, with beautifully cascading drums and Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn’s snowfallen angel of voice. This song was yet another track that led to an ace record purchase in the form of Mirah’s Advisory Committee.
Only a few of the album’s songs fail, and usually in the most innocuous of ways. Nothing flat out sucks, but songs like Fonda’s “The Sun Keeps Shining on Me”, push the pop envelope in the direction of embarrassing cheese whiz string arrangements and vocals that would make a karaoke crowd wince. The Faraway Places, Nico-lite exhale on “Summertime” also fails to register in any meaningful way. Some songs like the Corner’s “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.” hit and run so quickly, it’s difficult to call them proper songs at all. This song would be better suited for one of those movie scenes where the protagonists are shopping wildly. Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, a Japanese sugar pop band in the vein of Pizzicato 5, tosses in “White Drops”, a song of skittering cutesy overkill that sounds like bad children’s music. But that could have much to do that I can only travel so far down the path of this kind of pop before I’m wholly annoyed by the saccharine, shiny poofyness of it.
If there’s any kind of recognizable skew in all of these artists, it might be an overrepresentation of sixties studio pop, from the girl groups, to go-go rock and roll, to Phil Spector’s noise wall wash outs, it seems that a good share of these artists made contributions with this era as a touchstone. It’s a wonderful reminder that pop music doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure, one that requires you to strangle your sense of discernment in order to enjoy. (Terry Sawyer - http://www.popmatters.com/)

- Pop conversation (main titles)
- At the airport - a (Instant Café Records)
- Her words hang in the air (The Ladybug Transistor)
- Will you still love me tomorrow (Moe Tucker)
- The girl from U.N.C.L.E. (The Four Corners)
- Loud and laughing (The Shermans)
- Comme d'abitude (Souvenir)
- Star wacher's song (Instant café records)
- Flashin' light (some girls like to disco) [Cocosuma remix] (Valvola)
- London (Noonday Underground)
- Liebe auf dem land (Die Moulinettes)
- White drops (Plus-Tech Squeeze Box)
- Mon ange gardien (April March)
- To know him is to love him (Moe Tucker)
- Fine day (Three Berry Icecream)
- The sun keeps shining on me (Fonda)
- Free (The Mondo Crescendo)
- Hey lover (The Aislers Set)
- Don't (Mirah)
- Let drive at him (Instant Café Records)
- Summertime (The Faraway Places)
- I wanna (Moe Tucker)
- Pop conversation (end titles)


RAGAZZA POP COMPILATION

Che Records Compilation "Does the Word Duh Mean Anything to You?"



Compilation della Che Records molto interessante, ottimi gruppi e cose decisamente valide, nonchè realizzate esclusivamente per questa compilation, su tutte i due pezzi degli Urusei che si troveranno anche sull'album d'esordio, ma qui in versione demo. Si, si. Tutto molto bello. (1995 Che Records)


10 Below - Dart
Few Hours After This - Dart
F*4 - 18th Dye
Poolhouse Blue - 18th Dye
America - Magic Hour
Jonathan & Charles - Magic Hour
Powerball - Urusei Yatsura
Black Hole Love - Urusei Yatsura
Making Money - The Bardots
Skin Diving - The Bardots
Come Back - Slipstream
Do You Have an Answer? - Slipstream
Trip Fuck - Bardo Pond
Vent - Bardo Pond
Bug's Gold Tooth - Kirk Lake
English Presley the Pearly King of Rock & Roll - Kirk Lake
Bleed Clean - Disco Inferno
Glancing Away - Disco Inferno


COMPILATION CHE RECORDS

domenica 2 maggio 2010

Saint Rose "Say What You Say"



Decisamente più in palla il gruppo con questo singolo, che insiste ancora sul rock rispetto al pop, ma mi pare più ispirato e se la ballata acustica finale vive di poco o nulla, Sing To Me ritrova invece l'andature delle cose più classiche dei Jaguar con il pop che emerge trionfale. Poi di loro si sono perse le tracce. (2003 31 Recordings)

- Say What You Say
- Sing To Me (Demo)
- Your World Will Change (Acoustic)


SAINT ROSE

Saint Rose "Call For Calm"



Il cantante dei Jaguar non ci sta e così, dopo lo scioglimento di quella che a suo dire doveva essere la formazione che sarebbe diventata più famosa degli Oasis, eccolo tornare in pista con i Saint Rose. Non perde il vizio di infercire i singoli di Demo e versioni acustiche, ma, ahinoi ha perso il vizio di scrivere pezzi freschi e con grandi melodie e così tra bolsaggini rock assortite questi 3 pezzi scorrono via e non lasciano traccia. Peccato. (2003 31 Recordings)

I spotted this CD squashed in the record racks of the local disc emporium looking unloved and neglected. Four more kids with long hair and a bag full of stratospheric sounding songs, don’t you just love ‘em. ‘Call for calm’ is the debut release for the hotly tipped London based Saint Rose, (named apparently after a Saint who ‘played guitar and harmed herself’), who so far have had their fair share of bad luck nearly having had their bass guitarist deported by the Home Office, surely his playing isn’t that bad? Jokes aside a pretty neat three tracker if you like your indie rock a little more poppified. ‘Call for Calm’ is drip dried in Cathedral sized razor sharp chord sequences that soar skywards like searchlights, bleached with all manner of loud / quiet dynamics, pensive and exuberant all at once, very, very tasty if you ask me. However given the choice I quite prefer the storm chasing charm of ‘Virtual reality’ on the flip side, sounding not unlike Radiohead caught in an electrical storm, a brutish exhibition of shard flying passion pop. Equally engaging is the gently ambling ‘One long day’ that ends the set is with some gorgeous treated slide guitar which gives the whole thing a lonesome distant atmospheric sheen, quite a beautiful thing all said and done. (Mark - http://www.losingtoday.com)


- Call for Calm
- Virtual Reality (demo)
- One Long Day (acoustic)


SAINT ROSE

sabato 1 maggio 2010

Fungus "Fungusamungus"



Figurati se l'NME non criticava i miei cari Fungus. Ma cosa si aspettavano? Freschi, giovani, filo pop punk e vogliosi di chitarre. Ma ben vengano dischi così! (1999 EMI)

The Viking invasion continues. Just as second-rate football teams have tended to bolster their squads with cheap Scandinavian imports in recent years, indie pop has been reacting to recent poor performances by shipping in ersatz versions of successful indigenous talents on the P&O ferry into Hull.
Fungus, needless to say, are a chirpy punk-pop power trio from Varberg on the west coast of Sweden, and this, their debut mini-album, pitches them in the stream of indiefied heavy metal that has served the likes of Terrorvision and Ash so well. 'Fungusamungus' borrows heavily from The Replacements and The Descendents in their '80s golden age, with additional wimpy boy vocals and lyrics courtesy of singer Johan Lundgren.
Downsides include such nebulous 'fun-punk' asides as 'Lollipop' and 'Monsters From Mars', but when they can keep their feet off the irritation pedal for a couple of minutes, such cursory assaults on post-grunge pop as 'And Now He Wants A Gun' are not without their charm.
A far from offensive first effort then, but you have to ask yourself whether the world really needs another Symposium. More saliently, did we ever need the original ones? (http://www.nme.com/)


- I'd Rather Be A Doll
- Over My Head
- And Now He Wants A Gun
- Lollipop
- Astronaut
- Ease Up
- Why Me?
- Monsters From Mars


FUNGUS