Singles and downloads - 9th March 2010

Singles and downloads - 9th March 2010

Withered Hand

Perhaps it’s the cold weather making the world outside the duvet seem even less appealing, but the singles world seems to be very much of a collective one-track mind at the moment, with the latest offering from Arctic Monkeys setting a suitably filthy precedent. Producer Josh Homme’s promiscuous paws are all over ‘My Propeller’ ●●●●, which sees Alex Turner doing a fine imitation of the QUOTSA man's most smouldering moments in an insistent come-on of a track which must have Alexa blushing into her It Bag.

Meanwhile across the Pennines, Marmite-voiced Hayden Thorpe is warbling of illicit encounters on Wild Beasts’ ‘We Still Got the Taste Dancing on Our Tongues’ ●●●, a track which musically never quite matches the titillation of its lyrical matter. Sophie’s Pigeons have a nice line in voraciously suggestive frenzied yelping on ‘It’s Gonna Bite’ ●●●; it's just a shame that, at four minutes, it lasts twice as long as a punch-packing pop song like this needs to.

Elsewhere, things are more wholesome, as Over the Wall deliver a busy sounding, pleasingly original plea for domestic bliss in ‘Settle Down’ ●●●, and filth couldn't be further from the minds of bouncy chaps Scouting for Girls, whose ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’ ● is typically sterile fare in which earnest gent Roy Stride reacts to his lady-friend's departure with such lines as 'I'm a bloody big mess inside', with such blustering middle-class angst you can almost see him shaking his fist. Time was, Tim Wheeler of Ash set many a teenage girl’s hormones a-racing with those cheekbones and pop hooks, but those days are well and truly gone with the turgid, Keane-esque yawnfest that is ‘War With Me’ ●●.

Local acts come top of the class though, with lovely shimmery bleeps and whirrs from Glasgow's Miaoux Miaoux on the ‘Blooms’ EP ●●● and gorgeously sedate folk jams on 'Retaliate' ●●●● from Edinburgh-based Icelander Benni Hemm Hemm. The Twilight Sad’s ‘The Room’ ●●●● is all epic thumping Arcade Fire pianos and drums hit with such palpable bitterness that you hardly need the lyrics to tell of the strife that’s gone into this epic, brooding, unmistakeably Scottish beast of a song. Single of the Fortnight though, is without doubt the blissfully jaded ‘No Cigarettes’ ●●●●● from Withered Hand. Simple and yet otherworldly, it manages to be plaintive and uplifting at the same time, full of shivers-down-the-spine, aching beauty, and there's a marvellously shoegazey techno-pop remix by Swimmer One one the B-side.

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