Singles & Downloads


hercules and the Love affair

With Spring’s arrival comes a whole bunch of new tracks from bands who are readying an assault on 2008, and boys with guitars look set to feature just as heavily this year as in any other. Or resilient old fellas with guitars, as The Charlatans’ ‘Oh Vanity’ ( ••• provides more of the effortless indie-rock pleasantries their fans demand.

Also counting as old-stagers amidst the rapidly quickening indie rock river are Editors, whose ‘Push Your Head Towards the Air’ (Kitchenware) ••• is grand and somewhat affecting, even though Tom Smith probably carries a photo of Chris Martin in his wallet for inspiration, while Elbow’s ‘Grounds For Divorce’ (Fiction) ••• is inventive but overworked.

‘Overworked’ is not an accusation which easily levels itself at either The (now partly Glasgow-based) Futureheads’ ‘The Beginning of the Twist’ (Nul) ••• or The Kills’ uneventful ‘Cheap and Cheerful’ (Domino) •••, while new(ish) Scottish bands like The Dykeenies and Sixpeopleaway provide spiky quasi-emo and angstful lo-fi balladry with ‘Waiting for Go’ (Lavolta) ••• and the ‘Intermittent Fault EP’ (self-released) •••, respectively. So in a local sense, it’s Louise ‘A Band Called’ Quinn’s ‘DIY EP’ ( ••• which earns the praise for showing at least a bit of sass.

The lesson that should be dawning by now is just how pedestrian guitar music which doesn’t at least aspire to brilliance is. The two-tone pop of Leon Jean Marie’s ‘Bed of Nails’ (Universal) ••• (which might yet get quite irritating after more than three listens) and The Teenagers’ bright-if-cursory 80s electro-pop of ‘Love No’ (Merok) ••• are among this fortnight’s choicest works.

Undisputed heavyweight Single of the Fortnight, however, is Hercules and Love Affair’s ‘Blind’ (DFA/EMI) •••••, the Antony Hegarty-starring, Frankie Knuckles-remixed slice of urban disco which should currently be bringing a sense of excitement back to your radio.

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