Singles & Downloads
This issue’s singles and downloads have a distinctly local tinge, with our whirlwind tour of new Scottish bands beginning in the company of Vale’s The Casuals. ‘Confusion’ (No Carbon - 3 stars) certainly wins the prize for the most inadvertently apt title of the fortnight. Taking the listener back to the days of late-90’s guitar rock, they score points for the singer’s goblin-like vocals and penchant for meaty guitar solos. But this fails to distract from the fact that they sound uncannily like Skunk Anansie fronted by a particularly gruff member of Hanson. Probably not what they intended at all. Airspiel’s ‘I Don’t Know You’ (2 stars) suffers from a similar state of musical confusion. Having started things off with some Killers-like synths the song soon morphs into something sounding like a Pink B-side, thus ruining any of the good work they put in at the start.
Going into the singer-songwriting trade is risky business. There are riskier professions, of course, such as suicide bombing or asbestos removal, but neither of those will ever result in you waking up one day to find you sound like Ronan Keating. Craig Jeffrey sounds like a nice, sensitive fellow and on ‘Hard to Say’ (3 stars) he proves he can craft a decent tune. But unless his voice’s uncanny resemblance to Keating’s. Fellow crooner Iain Shaw’s voice, with its whiff of Daniel Johnston, is much kinder on the ear, but the cliché-ridden lyrics displayed on ‘Three Song Demo’ (3 stars) let him down.
A more original proposition comes in the form of My Tiny Robots’ ‘Some of My Best Ideas’ (Kraken Records - 4 stars). Kicking off with the type of chanting one could imagine hearing at a bizarre Masonic ceremony, their singer sounds like Morrissey’s pugnacious younger cousin and, believe me, this is a very good thing. Frightened Rabbit do a nice line in Sebadoh-like indie and ‘Be Less Rude’ (Fat Cat - 3 stars) is a pleasant summery concoction that has a far moodier lyrical undercurrent than its soft keyboards initially let on. Captain Face’s hook laden ‘100% Crad’ (Fat Hippy) is crammed with enough jittering fret work to make for a highly entertaining if not particularly inspiring three minutes. Correcto made the mistake of making ‘Joni’ (Domino - 2 stars) their lead single instead of its far superior B-side ‘Wasting Time’ (4 stars). The first track is limp and repetitive and quickly begins to amble. The second, however, is far superior in every department and almost makes the lead track appear like some sort of practical joke
Single of the Fortnight, though, goes to Glasvegas. Having already been recipients of Alan McGee-driven hype campaign, this is, in some ways, a rather predictable choice but the Mary Chain qualities of ‘Daddy’s Gone’ (Sane Man - 4 stars) see off all other competitors at a canter. (Miles Johnson)