Single Song Reviews

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    Checking Out by Alan Smithee featuring Marklar

    Hippie chaps

    “Checking Out” is an eerily drifting, almost to the point of carelessness, song that highlights the ability of Livingston’s Alan Smithee to turn casual into causal with the end result being almost as hypnotic as one of those vintage lava lamps.

    Review date: Sep 18 2014
    Website: www.facebook.com/AlanSmithee.fb

    Higher by Cajsa Siik

    Swedish star

    “Higher” allows Cajsa Siik to take us on a journey into a minimalist electronic wonderland and also shows her as a more than capable alternative to Lykke Li especially if poetry is your preference. She does what she does well.

    Review date: Sep 18 2014
    Website: www.cajsasiik.com

    Chasing the Stars by Katie Raven

    Solid voice

    Katie Raven takes the big ballad style to heart and duly gives “Chasing The Stars” enough drama and restrained emotion to carry the song into the mainstream. The mainstream is a busy place, however, but I like to think that there is always room for one more on top.

    Review date: Sep 18 2014
    Website: www.facebook.com/katieravenmusic

    Rise by Cold California

    Aberdeen rock

    “Rise” is a fairly rough demo from Aberdeen band Cold California that stays well within the boundaries of what you would expect of a rock band these days. There is passion in the vocals but a certain lack of inspiration is also evident in the efforts of the rest of the band.

    Review date: Sep 13 2014
    Website: www.facebook.com/coldcalifornia

    Case of the Bends by An Old Friend

    Seventies style rock

    “Case of the Bends” is a wholesome and reverential take on the solid seventies rock sound that suggests that An Old Friend are the kind of band that should be living on a tour bus. The riffs are present and correct and Damien Biagioni’s vocals indicate that he is perfectly comfortable wearing the leather trousers.

    Review date: Sep 12 2014
    Website: www.facebook.com/anoldfriendband

    Drop Dead Cynical by Amaranthe

    Pop rivets

    Here’s a surprise – a hybrid of metal and American manufactured pop sensibilities. Swedish band Amaranthe take every cliché in both of the aforementioned musical playbooks, add in a dash of manic humour that ventures close to parody in the alternating male and female vocals and, remarkably, turn “Drop Dead Cynical” into a song that you might actually want to buy.

    Review date: Sep 9 2014
    Website: www.amaranthe.se

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