Tag Archives: pop

THREE AND A HALF HOUR CONCERT: Waiting too long for The Cure?

2 Apr

thecure
When it comes to a professional critical review of a concert, it can be difficult to get it right.

Reviews are always going to be subjective. If you’re a huge fan of a band then chances are, you’re going to enjoy seeing them live no matter what, and you’re going to be even happier to hear the b-sides. On the other hand, if you’ve only heard them once or twice and your mate had a spare ticket, you’re going to be less pleased to barely recognise any of the songs – and that’s not taking into consideration that it could be a band like My Bloody Valentine. Not for the faint-hearted, that one.

But neither of those perspectives would be wrong.

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VIDEO: Our Ways (Brooke Sharkey)

8 Dec

 

Frequently shifting from soft melancholy to something altogether more determined and menacing, ‘Our Ways’ is one of the darker tracks from Brooke Sharkey and the video definitely reflects that. Brooke sings in a fast mixture of English and French – there’s usually something beautiful about French and Brooke twists that beauty to suit her means, facing off against a quick fire, almost Lily Allen-esque, British accent.

The pace of the song matches the rising of the waters, as Brooke and her band play on a roof top in a rising flood – and the French parts lend themselves beautifully to the more threatening shots of the band laying on rafts in the water; a la Titanic.

Speaking about her latest album One Dress – currently available – Brooke said, “One Dress came together very naturally. I had met a few of the musicians that are prominent on the album either at festivals, regular venues in London or busking at the flower market.”

Brooke  is currently preparing a full UK tour for March 2013.

CHECK IT OUT: Shouting In The Rain (Dot Dash)

8 Dec

Hi guys! It’s been a while since any updates and my apologies for that – for anyone interested, I’ve mostly been writing over here.

But that’s no excuse to neglect this, and so I’ve returned and will be once again making more regular updates, hopefully at least one a week.

With that out of the way, let’s get on with this post.

Check it out: Dot Dash’s ‘Shouting In The Rain’.

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Dot Dash are a post-punk pop band from Washington, DC, and they’ve really excelled themselves with ‘Shouting In The Rain’. There’ s an 80s anthemic stomp which is hard to resist, especially when coupled with an absolutely pounding rhythm. It brings to mind The Japandroids, although they’re a band who’d have more in common with The Jam, and either way they’re determined to get your heart racing and beat it to the finish line.

Listen to the song below:

 

http://dotdashdc.bandcamp.com/track/shouting-in-the-rain

ALBUM REVIEW: Dusk For Dawn (Cazadero)

15 Sep

Cazadero are named after a town in California, and describe themselves on their Bandcamp page as ‘dabbling in Western pop.’ It’s as good a description as any, and the California feel is definitely something that runs through the album – not in the way that brings to mind convertibles and episodes of The OC, but more in the way of gold streaked sunsets and warm summer nights.

‘Dusk For Dawn’ opens with ‘Ones I’ve Never Liked’, which is sadly the weakest song on the album. It feels disjointed and stops and starts, never quite flowing and serves only to be mildly alienating and inoffensive. There’s no real hook and the jangly guitar chords which work so well through other songs seem to be missing some sort of spark. It’s an amateur campfire song – campfire without the atmosphere needed to pull it together and give it some sort of definition.

It’s a pity, because the follow-up is ‘Roads’ – ironically the best track on the record. The lyrics are from ‘Roads Go Over On’, a JRR Tolkien poem, and the inspiration is audible even without that knowledge. ‘Roads’ is a song which needs you to lay back and listen; it’s full of promises and dusty highways and old men drinking whiskey in saloon bars. The jangly guitar works well here, creating a lovely hazy feel and the most important part aside from the atmosphere is the fact that it’s so uncomplicated. Cazadero avoid the trap that most new bands fall into of adding needless instrumentation and effects and simply let ‘Roads’ speak for itself. And it speaks of hazy, atmospheric nights and lone wandering by day.

‘Still Life’ is the next track, and one that lives up to its name yet again. It’s more relaxed and the vocals have a Tom Waits growl to them, with the female backing vocals providing a lovely contrast. Cazadero keep the lack of complication and fit the parts together neatly – it’s simple but that’s not to say it’s easy. Simple can be difficult to do, and ‘Still Life’ pulls it off with ease. ‘I will turn you inside out’ promise the lyrics, and manage to make it the kind of promise you want to be fulfilled.

While the vocals on ‘First Time’ dip a little too low at times, it serves as a testament to how well the songs manage to differ from each other, without ever becoming generic or losing the sense of cohesion in the album. There’s a lovely atmospheric feel running through the album and it creates an imagery that a lot of records don’t; a few moments listening and you’re lost in an indulgent Tolkien tinged world.

‘We’re Alright’ is the album closer, and the first fifty seconds or so feel like a practice or misstep. The song could do without them, but once they’re over it’s a lovely closer and concludes the record nicely. If you long for dusty roads and horseback rides, then you’ll struggle to do a lot better than ‘Dusk For Dawn.’

INTERVIEW: The Chevin (+ live session)

12 Jul

The Chevin are a four piece from a sleepy town in Yorkshire tasked with starting the revolution and bringing the soul back into British music.

With a live performance at T in the Park under their belt and plans to rock The David Letterman Show later this month, we caught up with lead singer Coyle Girelli to discuss his love for pop music, chasing old ladies around the Yorkshire Dales in lacy underwear, find out why he feels there’s been no good British bands since Arctic Monkeys – and film an exclusive performance of Cheryl Cole’s ‘Call My Name’…

Find the rest here.

ALBUM REVIEW: Trespassing (Adam Lambert)

6 Jul

The reality show tag is a difficult cross for any musician to bear, and very rarely can an artist break out from the label. Adam Lambert would never have gained exposure and a record deal without American Idol, runner up or not, and yet he remains forever tarred with the reality TV show contestant brush. Disappointing, because he appears to be so much more than that.

Read the rest here.

‘Call Me Maybe’ Remixes: Are we still picking up?

5 Jul

It’s getting to the point where if you’ve heard one ‘Call Me Maybe’ cover, you probably feel like you’ve heard them all. After Enter Shikari and Ben Howard have both done their own cover versions and there’s also an interesting mash-up with Third Eye Blind, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the last thing you want to hear is another musician’s take on what is, at this point, an incredibly overplayed and overused song.

Read the rest here.