Thursday, March 16, 2006

Single Reviews – Coming On 20th March

Morrissey – You Have Killed Me

So The Guvnor is back, predictably and wisely following up his unexpected 2004 breakthrough return to both artistic form and commercial success with unprecedented haste – for Morrissey at least. Unfortunately, “You Have Killed Me” sounds a little stilted, and if we’re being honest, Moz-by-numbers – certainly nothing on the barnstorming killers singles “Irish Blood, English Heart” and “First Of The Gang To Die” which so spectacularly heralded his return to fame and critical acclaim two years ago. The lyrics are punctuated with trademark Morrissey tics, (“As I live and breath”, “There is no point saying this again, I forgive you, I forgive you, always I forgive you”) but the whole thing feels a little flat somehow. A whole-hearted ho-hum then.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Gold Lion

On the other end of the scale, the world (well, the indie world anyway) has been impatiently waiting for new YYY material for what seems like an eternity. On first listen, “Gold Lion” seems like a disappointment – where early singles had your face chewed off twenty seconds in, this is a mid-tempo stomper which starts with a “We Will Rock You” drum beat and The legendary Miss Karen O burbling about the titular Gold Lion. No need to worry. This track is the very definition of a grower, and by the third or fourth listen you suddenly realise that, by the time the electric guitars chime over the acoustics, it’s a genuine multi-layered classic. More than ever, Karen’s lyrics remain entirely baffling, but this is a great single. “Ooh Ooh” indeed.

Embrace – Nature’s Law

Generally, lambasting bands like Embrace is a little unsatisfying (Shooting fish in a barrel springs to mind) but Christ this is awful. Throwing the kitchen sink at the production will never disguise the sheer inanity of lyrics, (“You should never fight your feelings / when your very bones believe them” Indeed.) though Embrace have chucked an enormous orchestra and choirs in to give it a try anyway. IGUN are by no means the members of the Coldplay-hating brigade who pepper the internet, but the fact remains that the inexplicable comeback of this awful band is entirely down to Chris Martin, who should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. The fact that they are now selling out enormo-gigs is enough to make any music fan weep.

The Holloways - Happiness and Penniless

Now this is more like it! A Britpop-tastic second single from the Holloways which starts like Parklife-era Blur and cheekily steals the chorus melody from “Bar Italia” by Pulp. It’s not earth shatteringingly original admittedly, but as of the dozens of bands who will undoubtedly be queuing up to be the next Arctic Monkeys, The Holloways have a huge head start by being, well, ace. “So what’s the point of money / if you’ve got no time to use it” they sing. Well said.

Richard Hawley – Born Under A Bad Sign

Ah, this is lovely. Ex-Longpig and sometime Pulp guitarist – as well as being a collaborator with Jarvis Cocker on the sleazy electo-odyssey that is the Relaxed Muscle album – Richard Hawley has re-invented himself as the lovelorn balladeer of Sheffield, and this is as good a place as any to fall under his spell. Think a gentler Scott Walker and you won’t be far wrong. Hawley makes what you could reasonably call easy listening music without a trace of irony and the end result is beautiful. Enjoy.

The Organ – Brother

As the likes of Boy Kill Boy and The Modern pilfer the eighties bargain bin for synth fun in this post-Killers age, The Organ are looting a different part of the same decade – namely The Cure and The Smiths. They may be five girls from Canada but these guitars physically could not sound any more like Johnny Marr. Good track though – another band who have been swimming around across the pond and are only just getting a UK release. Well worth a listen

The Strokes – Heart In A Cage

After being totally under-whelmed by all the Strokes-hype circa “Is This It” (Why everyone got so excited about the muddy likes of “New York City Cops” will always remain a mystery) this is an absolute treat. Following on from the ace “Juicebox” The Strokes again prove that they’ve found the button marked “EXCITING ROCK TRACK” on the mixing desk. Result? Killer bass track, truly Fab drums, and Julian Casablancas again realising that actually singing is at least a million times more fun than pretending to be cool and drunk. Undeniably ace.

All reviews by Matt


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