Singles & Downloads
There’s a definite sense of gloom hanging over this fortnight’s bunch, particularly from the Glaswegians. Make Model prove that misery needn’t be without a sense of humour in ‘The Was’ (EMI) ••••, whose grungy cries of ‘Comatose stoned/Softening the blow’ are mocked by outbursts of ska. Q Without U provide an uncomplicated slice of misery-rock with ‘One Piece Puzzle’ (Hot! Guts! Records!) •• but total despair is quickly averted by the plinky-plonky electro sounds of Drive-by Argument’s rocky ‘Left, Left, Walk Forward, Get on the Dragon’ (Lizard King Records) •••, and Big Face’s ‘I Wanna Be a Style Crusador’ (Kitsune) •••.
Meanwhile in Edinburgh, nobody has told The Havex that sex isn’t shocking anymore. The monotonous and slightly obnoxious ‘Don’t Think About Sex’ (Kean Audio) • dares you to do just that, but it’s more likely you’ll be thinking that you’d better run to the bar before something good comes on.
But back to our scheduled gloom and angst. Lau (Reveal Records) ••• offer up mournful folky echoes of The Decemberists and, while they lack the same glorious weirdness, Lau’s haunting sound makes them more distinctive at least than DeVotchKa, whose ‘You Love Me’ (ANTI) ••• nods in The Decemberists’ general direction, while also evoking Radiohead’s whinier moments.
Some more situation-specific misery from Editors, who try to evoke the angst of having a ‘real’ job in ‘The Racing Rats’ (Kitchenware) •• and largely fail to convince us they’ve ever done anything more spiritually taxing than croon their way through this melodramatic high-energy nonsense. Simon Breed however succeeds in capturing 9-to-5 angst almost too perfectly in ‘Finish My Book’ (Re-Action Recordings) ••••, an ode to the escape of burying yourself in a book on the morning commute while life ticks drearily past you.
Amid all this desolation, Single of the fortnight is nabbed by Bloc Party’s distinctly ungloomy ‘Flux’ (Wichita Recordings) ••••• coupling their signature urgency with a thumping new bassline. The kids might not like the crazy electro sounds and vocoder distortion, weirdly reminiscent of that Cher song, but this explosive, frantic anthem might just have them dancing in spite of themselves.