Records - Singles & Downloads

Singles & Downloads

(Herman Dune)

It’s compare and contrast week at List Towers, so first up are a brace of female singers, and there couldn’t be more contrast between Amy Winehouse and Melanie C. The former’s ‘Back to Black’ (Island, 4 Stars) is a gorgeous, melancholic Phil Spector hip-shake, while the latter’s hapless movie tie-in cover of ‘I Want Candy’ (Red Girl, 1 Star) is the hollow sound of a solo career hitting rock bottom.

Next up are Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Brianstorm’ (Domino, 3 Stars) versus ‘The Don’ (1965, 2 Stars) by the new Arctic Monkeys, namely The View. ‘The Don’ is The View at their most jaunty, which also happens to be their most irritating and least effective, all head-bobbing and comedy elbows-out dancing. ‘Brianstorm’ has a lot more edginess and bloody-minded energy, but still lacks the killer punch much of their first album displayed.

And so to heads-down rawk. Now back to the three-boys line-up, Ash’s ‘You Can’t Have It All’ (Infectious, 3 Stars) has the expected chunky riffs and a big dumb chorus, but doesn’t hang together in the way their best tunes can. In contrast, ‘Sparkle’ (Shy, 4 Stars) by Bristolian upstarts Fortune Drive has stacks of drive and a pleasantly off-kilter, ramshackle sleaziness to it.

On to electronica, and the sleaziness continues. ‘I’ll Lick Your Spine’ (Pnuma, 3 Stars) by weird dude Let’s Go Inside is an unsettling slice of clicky low-key beats with an extremely saucy vampire voiceover. More subtle is ‘The Strike Pandemonium’ (Soma, 3 Stars) by Lee Van Dowski, an insistent head-twitcher of underground techno which builds almost imperceptibly to a rather juicy climax.

And finally, it’s leftfield indie time. ‘She Can Do What She Wants’ (Memphis Industries, 3 Stars) by Field Music rattles along a treat, with some wee strange bursts of strings and plinky-plonk, which is nice enough but lacks charisma. Unlike Herman Dune, whose ‘I Wish That I Could See You Soon’ (Source Etc, 4 Stars) is Single of the Fortnight. With Mariachi horns, incessant bongos and a gloriously naïve call and response vocal, it’s like a Beach Boys surf song passed through a nu-folk filter and given a bespectacled indie-boy twist. Odd, in other words, but oddly great.

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