Singles & Downloads


Without the right tunes, a buff set of pipes are about as much use as a pair of boxfresh Nikes to a landmine victim. For proof, check out London’s latest supposedly hot-prospect Bobby Kray’s ‘Silly Games’ (V2) ** – four minutes of rangy vocal acrobatics over the top of what sounds like a Shaggy B-side. Try, instead, ‘One More Chance’ (Deltasonic) **** by Liverpool lovely Candie Payne; a girl who was evidently front of the queue when the big man upstairs was giving out the singing skills, and smart enough to turn it to such sweeping Northern Soulful nuggets as this.

Little Man Tate were apparently back of the queue when said deity was dishing out original thought. ‘European Lover’ (V2) ** has them continuing to follow in Artic Monkeys’ wake like a bunch of regional accented dimwit seagulls. Killers-impersonating Glasgow euphoric indie scallywags The Dykeenies’ ‘Stitches’ (Lavolta) ** for all its effort, hardly pushes the envelope either.

It’s the Happy Mondays that Birmingham’s The Twang are most often compared to, although in the case of agreeably jangly ballad ‘Two Lovers’ (B-Unique) *** it’s evidently The Smiths who are their Manc band of the week. The Shins’ ‘Turn On Me’ (Sub Pop) *** also jingles, albeit in a less lairy, more joyously upbeat, melodic fashion. Double A-side ‘Control Yourself/Wasted on the Radio’ **** (Black Spring) by Edinburgh/London ‘schemie prog’ collective Clean George IV is concerned with no such fey things meanwhile – the latter tune sounding like an angry Alex Harvey taking on Jimmy Page in a screwdriver fight behind the bookies.

What could possibly top that? Voxtrot’s ‘Firecracker’ (Play Louder) ***** of course. The quietly auspicious Texans have produced the belter they’ve long promised: a svelte, sturdy, slightly sexy indie-rocker with a chorus catchier than the common cold. It’s Single of the Fortnight. (Malcolm Jack)

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