Singles & Downloads
Nothing draws a groan of predictably quite like finding a new Oasis shortplayer on top of the singles pile, so we’ll keep this brief. ‘Shock of the Lightning’ (Big Brother) •• is another bit of drony fluff Noel Gallagher probably found down the back of the sofa while looking for his long lost mojo. Surprised? No? We’ll move on then.
CSS have frustratingly lost all the quirks that made them such fun first time round, but judged on its own merit ‘Move’ (Warners) ••• is a decent enough wad of electro dance-pop. Having released almost all of the half decent first ten minutes of their album, The Ting Tings are now rifling its anaemic back end for singles, amongst which new-wavey snooze ‘Be the One’ (Columbia) •• is a particularly pallid offender.
For colour, try M.I.A’s dreamy, kaleidoscopic rap collage ‘Paper Planes’ (XL) •••• which samples gunshots, cash registers and The Clash (‘Straight to Hell’) to dazzling effect. Controversial ex-CIA operative ‘Valerie Plame’ (Rough Trade) ••• is the subject of The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy’s latest grandiloquent folk strum and history essay in one. Does anybody else think that he sounds uncomfortably like Professor Frink off The Simpsons? No? We’ll move on then.
It’s all about the locals from hereon in, right up the proverbial jewel in this half-month’s short-playing crown. Stonehaven’s Copy Haho twang and jangle joyfully (is there any other way?) on ‘You Are My Coalmine’ (Teenage Lust) ••• while ‘You’re Really Quite The Catch’ (Fence) ••• finds Edinburgh ‘bleep-hop’ experimentalists Found rattling like a pure shandied-up King Creosote, and ‘Wendy’ (Island) ••• sees Glasgow’s Attic Lights harmonise epically over a long lost love in a breezy west coast pop style.
And so to Single of the Fortnight: crashing post-hardcore Glasgow sextet Dananananaykroyd’s face-slappingly catchy ‘Pink Sabbath’ (Best Before) •••••. If early Idlewild were “the sound of a flight of stairs falling down a flight of stairs”, the ‘naykroyds must be the sound of a flight of stairs falling up a flight of stairs, knocking over Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye and Steve Albini in the process before chucking itself out of an 11th storey window into a skip full of broken crockery. Yes: that good.