Singles & downloads

With the annual Christmas bunfight over with, January always provides space for some decent songs to come to the fore. Step up Amy Winehouse featuring Ghostface Killah (now there’s a date to gooseberry) with ‘You Know I’m No Good’ (Island - 3 stars), a skanky future soul swagger which isn’t quite the equal of her awesome ‘Rehab’, but still damn fine in a lowlife kinda way.

Anthem-crapping indie monsters The Automatic pitch in with a typically catchy piece of nonsense in the shape of the re-released ‘Raoul’ (B-unique - 3 stars). It’s daft guff, to be sure, but it would be churlish to deny the band’s way with a killer chorus.

Not an accusation to be levelled at labelmates The Ordinary Boys. The insipid dross of ‘I Luv U’ (B-unique - 1 star) sees their songwriting finally catching up with their credibility (ie rock bottom) in a hapless display guaranteed to annoy.

Much better is ‘Heatseeker’ (Measured - 3 stars) by Glasgow glamourpusses The Hedrons. While it’s not quite the genius re-invention of The Runaways they think it is (for that, see The Donnas) it’s still rattling good fun with plenty of attitude and cranky guitars.

Which couldn’t be more different from the gentle, folky melancholy of ‘The State Broadcasters EP’ (Ruby - 4 stars) by The State Broadcasters. Swoonsome and touching, the Glaswegian five-piece produce a sonorous blend of Americana and Scottish folk which, although understated, will melt the stoniest heart.

Great stuff, but pipped to Single of the Fortnight by a resurgent and thoroughly invigorating Idlewild. The time away (and Roddy Woomble’s solo folk album) has clearly done heaps of good, as new single ‘If It Takes You Home’ (Sequel - 5 stars) explodes out the blocks in a fiery rage of stonewall killer riffs, insistent melodies and fearsome energy. Everything you could ask for in a two minute rock’n’roll attack.

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