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Song reviews

 

  Dark Danceroom Floor by Denham Reed and Rosenthal



Dark Danceroom Floor cover art


Three piece pop group from Cardiff

Bloody hell! Actual songs with melodies!  And from Wales too! “Dark Danceroom Floor” turned out to be classic jaunty pop in the style of John Sebastian meets Glenn Tilbrook and, furthering the pop  music history lesson,  “I’ll make It Right” is English Britpop meets Chinn and Chapman.  All this trio need is a decent song about a girl (well you’ve got to, haven’t you?) and they would be complete. They have and its called “Eliza”. Dr Who is made in Wales these days so that might explain the time travelling influences but, hey, it works!


  A Song by Breaking Of Dawn



A Song cover art


Rock band from Baltimore, Maryland

A bit mean and moody this one even that sounds like it should be a part of the soundtrack to an Argento film from the seventies.  It’s got that kind of European prog rock feel like Goblin would have had back then and, as if to further prove its retro credentials, it’s even got tape hiss.  Assuming the retro feel is deliberate, this sounds more of a homage than a copy and the male lead vocals do a pretty decent of selling the song. I’ve certainly heard a lot worse than this.


Review date:  June 11, 2010
  www.myspace.com

  Music Revolution by No Direction Home



Music Revolution cover art


Blues rock band from Illinois

Not so much blues rock as southern rock meets stadium rock. While “Music Revolution” does drag on a bit, I’m still impressed with the confident lead vocals. “This Train” looks backwards in time but is more disciplined and there are welcome hints of Greg Allman in “Meaningless War”. Admittedly, the lead guitarist doesn’t pull out any surprises whatsoever – I reckon that I can guess his influences without breaking sweat – which is a bit of a problem for a rock band, but equally there is no doubting that they have a proper front man in their singer.


Review date:  June 11, 2010
  www.myspace.com/ndhmusic

  Somebody Up There Likes Me by We Are Jawbone



Somebody Up There Likes Me cover art


Intelligent and dramatic Glasgow rock band

There are plenty of shite rock bands in Glasgow but We Are Jawbone certainly aren’t one of them.  No dumb rehashes of the past here as “Somebody Up There Likes Me” reeks of an intelligent fusion of punk and hard rock infused with that back to the eighties retro feel.  More  reflective and indeed theatrical is “I’m Falling”. Their bio mentions comparisons with the SAHB and for once I’m happy that is a fair one. Think I want to see what they can do live now.  Two thumbs up!


Review date:  June 5, 2010
  www.myspace.com/466568574

  Don't Go Please Stay by Sunday Morning Service



Don't Go Please Stay cover art


London based trio with mainstream rock ambitions

More demos from Sunday Morning Service. First on is "Don't Go Please Stay" which is a slice of rather pedestrian mid-paced rock guaranteed to bring joy to the hearts of housewives throughout the world. Vocalist Nick Tate then goes a bit Ronan Keating in "Rock" but you can't argue with the confident delivery of this ballad. Altogether dirtier - and giving the band an opportunity to show their rock chops - is "Why Was I Bothered Anyway". Whilst not treading new ground, the band do what they do well.


  Troublesome by John DeRoo



Troublesome cover art


John DeRoo writes folk-blues story-songs

Reckon it must be the sound quality that makes this a demo. John DeRoo does a perfectly decent job on these songs going just a bit over the top – which is good - on “Such A Wrong”.  “Troublesome” adds on the emotional troubles to near breaking point but that’s what folk blues is all about. It would be nice to hear these songs recorded properly.


Review date:  May 22, 2010
  www.myspace.com/johnderoo

  Weird Weather by The Recovery Club



Weird Weather cover art


Elegant and atmospheric Glasgow trio

We’re at the classy end of the market with this band. “Weird Weather” is an elegant and understated piano driven ballad with a curiously warming male vocal. Sort of the musical equivalent of stroking a cat. “DNA” intertwines male and female vocals in a song that would make any self respecting folk revivalist proud and the end result is simply beautiful.


Review date:  May 22, 2010
  www.myspace.com/therecoveryclub

  Animals by Turning Plates



Animals cover art


Pioneers of the gay ambient genre?

"Animals"- Lo-fi part acoustic, part prog rock, part Radiohead that sounds like it got lost on its way home from sixties' San Francisco. "Sleeping Trojans" gets a bit more aggressive but once more does the lo-fi reverb thing only this time like C86 on low end urban drugs while watching some German silent movie. "The Tin Man" - didn't even notice that this was a different song. Need to sum this one up quickly. Got it. Pass the bong.


Review date:  May 10, 2010
  www.myspace.com/turningplates

  Monsters by Sunday Morning Service



Monsters cover art


London based trio looking at the stars

"Figured Out By Now" wasn't the most promising of starts sounding, as it does, like something the soulless son of Ricky Ross would do. "Monsters" was rather more interesting with mellow, melancholic guitars nicely complementing the words in this mainstream ballad. "Easy Street" turned out to be the strongest track showing a lot more character and individuality with Nick Tate's growling drawl of a voice finding its rightful place on the rock stage. "Blame it on the whisky" go the lyrics. Damn right you can.


  Pray by Miscued Vein



Pray cover art


New rock band from Carluke

Two songs here. "Pray" turns out to be a pretty directionless rock song that just keeps going and going without ever actually getting anywhere. A serious bit of editing would improve it however and, almost as if to prove the point, "Triplet of Ugly Sisters" is shorter, tighter and consequently a (metric) tonne better. It's nice to be able to say something nice about anything from Lanarkshire and this time I can.


Review date:  May 9, 2010
  www.miscuedvein.com

  Broken Man by Kris Tennant



Broken Man cover art


Young Glasgow singer songwriter.

If he is actually from Glasgow and is young then he speaks the whole truth for he is clearly both a singer and songwriter on the evidence of these three songs. “Broken Man” and “You Deserve Better” are well written rock songs but the standout track is “Where Did It All Go Wrong”. A very commercial song with some class lyrics like “ignorance is bliss when you are a miss with three babies”, it marks Kris Tennant out as one to watch out for.


Review date:  May 1, 2010
  www.myspace.com/kristennant

  Years by Martin Docherty



Years cover art


Singer songwriter from Cambuslang

Three songs lacking in musical discipline (“Years”, “Holy Water” and “No More”) – all of them take an age to start and go on well past their sell by date. “Years” hits a remarkable 6 minutes and 40 seconds relying solely on repetition to get there. Neither a poet nor a storyteller, Mr Docherty really should grasp that less is sometimes more. “No More”, curiously enough, was exactly what I was thinking while I was listening to it.



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