Records - Singles & Downloads

SINGLES & DOWNLOADS

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(Image: Malcolm Middleton)

Think back to when you were 17 or 18. Remember the bands you enjoyed then, when music seemed like the most important thing ever? Now subtract the ones that fill you with toe-curling embarrassment and the ones that somehow don’t sound as good as they used to. What’s left is/are the band(s) of your generation, a much-abused concept that can only really be decided on when a generation is over. So that means we’ll only know in a decade or so if Arctic Monkeys - whose new single is called ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ (Domino, 4 STARS) - really are as thrillingly era-defining as they feel right now. Can you wait?

Still, I’d stick my neck out and say that Travis won’t be accepted into any heavenly canon that includes Sex Pistols, The Smiths or The Stone Roses. ‘I used to quite like a couple of their songs,’ we will tell our children, ‘like that ‘Selfish Jean’ (Independiente, 3 STARS), the one where they went a bit Good Feeling again, at long last.’

It’s questionable, though, whether The Rakes might be remembered by posterity. Their ‘The World Was a Mess But His Hair Was Perfect’ (V2, 3 STARS) has a great title, but it’s indie anthem-writing by numbers, while Good Books’ ‘Passchendaele’ (Columbia, 3 STARS) is no more memorable, despite its literate Echo and the Bunnymen bent. Both are better than the dizzyingly over-rated My Chemical Romance, however; the snotty, drab ‘Teenagers’ (Reprise, 2 STARS) is, worryingly, their best song yet.

From this fortnight’s pick, it’s the Scots who might be best remembered. ‘Mr Rock and Roll’ (Vertigo, 4 STARS) is the debut single by Glasgow troubadouress (sic?) Amy Macdonald, who is sure to be ‘the new KT Tunstall’ before she can strap on her guitar, although I’m hearing Suzanne Vega and Kirsty MacColl in this bright, tuneful ditty. Fellow high-achieving west-coasters Make Model’s ‘The LSB’ (The Biz, 4 STARS), on the other hand, dines out on crisp electro-rock riffs. Yet, it’s to old stager Malcolm Middleton (featuring Jenny Reeve) we turn for Single of the Fortnight. ‘Fight Like the Night’ (Full Time Hobby, 5 STARS) is a not-at-all-sullen indie rocker of euphoric proportions. Scotland’s next great pop star, anyone?

(David Pollock)

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