Singles and Downloads
Surely no one has really ever given a toss about Art Brut’s postmodern, self-referential, art-pop schtick? ‘DC Comics & Chocolate Milkshakes’ (Cooking Vinyl) ●● won’t change that either, but at least Frank Black’s production gives bite to the backing for their irritating blether.
And so to Sweden, where 20-year-old pop puppy Eric Hassle requests that we ‘Don’t Bring Flowers’ (Island) ●●● after he’s dead. It’s a strangely downbeat sentiment for what is a catchy slice of fizzily retro electropop, a debut which suggests a future as a one-man A-Ha awaits, if he plays his cards right.
Wasn’t Jack Penate originally shit? His second album seems to have turned things around, and ‘Pull My Heart Away’ (XL) ●●● furthers that renaissance, being a rather tasty slice of reverb-drenched soul-pop, which somehow manages to avoid the cheesiness that description implies.
All the tabloid attention tends to distract from Lily Allen’s talent, which is a shame because while ‘22’ (Regal) ●●● isn’t her finest moment, it’s still an intelligent piece of social commentary dressed up as spangly, disco-friendly pop. More power to the lady.
But by a country mile Single of the Week goes to Biffy Clyro’s ‘That Golden Rule’ (14th Floor) ●●●●●. Lead single from their forthcoming fifth album, it’s everything you might expect from the country’s finest rock band — bursting with energy, ideas, intelligence, wit and no small amount of ambition. Building to a mind-fucking climax, it’s epic and wonderful — progressive rock in the very best sense of that phrase.