Singles and downloads
Singles and downloads
An almighty Single of the Fortnight has this reviewer’s eager digits already itching to rattle off their glowing textual praise. But first credit where it’s due to some of the largely stiff short-playing competition coming your way in the next 14 days (and big rasps to the rest). Glasgow-based Unkle Bob’s ‘Put a Record On’ (Mother City - 3 stars) is a catchy three-minutes of perky acoustic pop, which, along with spiky thrash ‘Fear of Words’ (One Records - 3 stars) by fellow Glaswegians We Are The Physics, and tuneful disco rock romp ‘No Emotion’ (Sequel - 3 stars) by Edinburghers Idlewild, makes for a fine trio of cuts from the local contingent.
Actually, make that a quartet, because North Lanarkshire beatsmith Satellite Dub’s fat bass driven instrumental ‘London Has More Lights’ (demo - 3 stars) is equally as spine tingling. Unlike the not dissimilar ‘North American Scum’ (DFA - 2 stars) by New Yoik hit (and miss) master James Murphy, aka LCD Soundsystem. It’s formulaic, and a bit too clever for its own good.
Smart is something Kaiser Chiefs have at least never purported to specialise in. Their squawky radio hugging return ‘Ruby’ (B-Unique - 3 stars) is as dumb as a bag of hammers, but catchy as hell for it. Particularly when compared to some of the soft-brained indie pong currently wafting from the pages of NME: The Maccabees and Mumm-Ra, whose respective singles ‘About Your Dress’ (Fiction - 1 star) and ‘What Would Steve Do?’ (Columbia - 1 star) are about as memorable as motorway petrol stations. Must try harder.
Brazilian trendies CSS sound like they’re hardly trying at all, but ‘Off the Hook’ (Warners - 4 stars) is still a sexy slice of glam punk that proves there’s a fair helping of substance amid all that style. And, speaking of appearances, M Ward’s 7in vinyl EP ‘To Go Home’ (4AD - 4 stars), a beautifully packaged thing, which, under other circumstances, would have done enough to run off with this week’s Single of the Fortnight gong for the big, rattling and utterly brilliant Daniel Johnston cover that gives it its name. That is, were it not forced to contend with a track so smooth, soulful and clock stoppingly bittersweet it’s like having pure honey poured in your ear: Cat Power’s ‘The Greatest’ (Matador - 5 stars). She ain’t half.