New Releases 7th January 2008
Basshunter – Now You’re Gone
One of those already cheesy euro-dance numbers (the original was a bedroom DJ tune called Boten Anna) that gets an extra-strong cheddar topping in the form of some inane vocals. It’s great fun and will do the trick (I’m already missing living in a small town where every Saturday night was soundtracked by this kind of thing.) It’s no ‘Lola’s Theme’ or ‘Call on Me’ though, and fails to really stand out in its field. Video has requisite quota of lingerie-clad ladies, which might push sales up a little.
Bodyrox ft. Luciana – What Planet You On?
Apparently to be found on FIFA ’08, which means it will do well. The vocals have a touch of Gwen Stefani about them, which is no bad thing. Much more of a contemporary sound than the Basshunter track, the kind of low-rent mainstream electro that seems to go down well on the Radio 1 playlist. It’s a lot of fun, but lacks that killer chorus that would elevate it above the mundane.
British Sea Power – Waving Flags
I’ll come clean straight away – I’m a massive British Sea Power fan. I’m not sure if this second offering from the upcoming (and excellent) Do You Like Rock Music? is likely to win any new converts, as it ploughs roughly the same yearning, anthemic indie furrow that made previous album Open Season so endearing. The fact that it’s (very obliquely) about Eastern European immigration might sound off-putting, but lyrics about being ‘astronomical fans of alcohol’ and such will remind casual listeners why BSP are in a different league to recent chart-indie fodder. Very much in the same musical vein as career highlight single ‘Please Stand Up’ and therefore, for those who like that sort of thing, very special indeed.
Celine Dion – Eyes on Me
Restraining myself from running away screaming at the mention of the nasally well-endowed Canadian, I found this slightly more bearable than expected. But not by much. It’s an effort to get back a bit of relevance by holding back on the bombast. Ultimately, despite a touch of Shakira being brought to proceedings, it’s still relatively unloveable.
Clocks – All I Can
Jaunty indie from the school that seems to take its cues primarily from novelty early Oasis tracks like ‘Round Are Way.’ There are worse sounds to endure, it’s pleasantly breezy, but ultimately forgettable.
Daughtry – Home
Crushingly earnest rock balladry that is unsurprisingly massive in America. Fans of The Fray, and other bands seemingly designed entirely to soundtrack glossy TV shows, will lap it up. Could well be huge in 2008, which is a depressing thought.
Dave Armstrong & Redroche feat H-Boogie – Love Has Gone
Definitely the time of year to wheel out the ‘massive’ dance tunes, ready to capitalise on all those uber-classy New Year’s parties. Sounds like aural Bacardi Breezers. Entirely brilliant in its place, and perhaps deserving of a second listen when the summer comes around. Enjoyable then, but not distinctive.
DJ Jeroenski – Back Once Again
It’s a remix of the surely-already-released-enough-times Renegade Master, by the late Wildchild. Entirely unnecessary, with a few noughties electro touches failing to bring it anywhere near the requisite level of pop-ness achieved by the late 90’s Norman Cook edit.
Envy Corps – Story Problem
An American indie-rock outfit getting ready their second album for 2008. The sound is reminiscent of a transatlantic Thom Yorke guesting with Modest Mouse. There are some pretty guitars in there, and overall this is quite likeable stuff. Na-na-nas towards the end spoil the party somewhat, signalling ‘I Am Anthemic Indie-Rock’ a little too blatantly for my liking, but where Daughtry sound constipated, these guys at least have the decency to sound cute. Solid.
Hoosiers – Worst Case Scenario
My stance on the Hoosiers is pretty fixed, and this does little to change it. Entirely superficial music which plays to an impressionable young audience’s beliefs that guitars+haircuts=authenticity. Now there have been some great bands over the years who’ve successfully exploited this formula, but the Hoosiers really aren’t one of them. It sounds like an attempt at a cover of a Kooks b-side. That bad.
Jamie Scott & The Town – Standing In The Rain
‘The Town’ are Travis, minus Fran Healy. This is definitely not an adventurous side-project. Unless adventurous means slightly more acoustic guitars than the average Jamie Cullum single, and slightly less soulful (though not for excruciating want of trying) than James Morrisson. Like the equally joyless Daughtry, will probably sell depressingly well.
The Kills – U.R.A. Fever (7”)
Jamie (a.k.a. ‘Hotel’, ffs) from the Kills used to be in a band called Scarfo, who were a bit like Placebo but more interesting. Now he’s dating Kate Moss. One of these things will mean that the Kills might get a bit more attention than usual this year. New album on the way, after a couple of patchily great but mostly plodding predecessors. As usual, they’re trying far too hard to sound cool, and neglecting to include much of a tune. It’s quirky and moderately funky, but unlikely to make much of an impact on the general public, beyond a few cries of ‘that Doherty’s looking a bit older these days isn’t he?’
Maccabees – Toothpaste Kisses
This one’s been around for a while now, and will probably slip out without much fanfare. For a relatively mainstream indie act, this is quite pleasantly twee. There’s some whistling (not quite in the ‘Young Folks’ league of catchiness I’m sad to report.) There’s nothing much more to say, other than perhaps ‘Ooh.’
Matt Costa – Mr Pitiful (7”)
Sitting somewhere between Jack Johnson and The Feeling, Matt Costa is chart-friendly, jaunty yet oh-so-serious with it, and (boringly) attractive. The track is pleasant enough daytime radio fodder, of the sort that leaves you yearning for the days when daytime radio actually played pop songs rather than unsatisfying halfway-house nonsense like this.
Parka – Disco Dancer
Lots of sound and fury here, lots of flailing around in a misguided attempt to be a ‘hip’ guitar band. Pitched halfway between the wiry so-called edginess of new bands like Foals and the chorus-shouting crowd-pleasing of Kaiser Chiefs, it doesn’t really excel at either. Not my cup of tea. Bonus points for use of inflatable drumkit in the video though.
Ringo Starr – Liverpool 08
Sentimental silliness from the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine. Obviously out in celebration of Scouseland’s year as Culture Capital. A worthy effort, and quite sweet in its own way. What else can you say? It’s Ringo.
Robots In Disguise – We’re In The Music Biz
SCENE MISSING. I couldn’t find this, but they look interesting, in a ridiculous sort of way.
Turin Brakes – Something In My Eye
A real struggle to get through this one. They’ve had their occasional guilty pleasure moments in the past, but this just whines along with absolutely no saving graces, no real tune and no charm. A disappointment even to fans of the band, I’d wager.
Seek out: British Sea Power, Bodyrox ft. Luciana, Envy Corps
Avoid: Turin Brakes, Daughtry, Jamie Scott & The Town
Watch the Video: Parka, Basshunter, The Maccabees
Go AWW to: The Maccabees, Ringo!
BOSH to: Basshunter, Dave Armstrong, Bodyrox
Single of the week: British Sea Power
Likely Chart Hit of the week: Bodyrox ft. Luciana