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Song reviews

 

  Through the Door by The Barrels



Through the Door cover art


West Lothian independents

Although the musicianship is distinctly rough around the edges, The Barrels show  promise with both “Through The Door” and “Blind” being closer to Britpop in feel than the justifiably much maligned indie rock so beloved  of West Lothian bands. Practice might just make them perfect if they follow that musical course.


  A Une Amie by Lilia Scandurra



A Une Amie cover art


Sensitive Italian songstress

An Italian singer singing her songs in French just has to be classy and Lilia Scandurra does not disappoint on that front. There is an understated elegance to both “A Une Amie” and “Parapluie” that suggests both repressed emotion and retro chic simultaneously. The mark of quality is clearly stamped upon her.


Review date:  January 27, 2012
  www.liliamusica.com

  Somebody to Blame by Matt Johnston



Somebody to Blame cover art


Busker with ambition

On the lam from the band Haivercraft, Matt Johnston moves his style towards more conventional Scottish rock (Idlewild and perhaps even The Big Dish) with these two songs. “Somebody To Blame” strolls right down the middle of the road but is still a decent song. “Pacemaker” shows more spirit and style but our Mr Johnston’s delivery of both songs is a touch too polite to make that all important lasting impact on your ears.


Review date:  January 25, 2012
  www.mattjohnston.co.uk

  Like you Always Knew by Dirty/Clean



Like you Always Knew cover art


Identikit rockers

For a rock band claiming to be from the rougher parts of Scotland, Dirty/Clean seem rather tame with “Like You Always Knew” failing to escape from the combined shadows of Oasis and The Stone Roses. “Nothing” is a better song but the performances are again lacking in the sort of spark that might perhaps one day make a fire.


  Electric Rooster by Death By Ambition



Electric Rooster cover art


Glasgow extended rockers

From the primordial pool of Glasgow rock bands comes Death By Ambition. “Electric Rooster” flies the flag well for that sort of thing although the song stops just when it was getting interesting.  “Mirror Signal Manoeuvre” , on the other hand, is rather less successful with weak lyrics and an insipid male vocal dragging the song down.


Review date:  January 14, 2012
  www.facebook.com/deathbyambition

  Made Up Stories by Craig White



Made Up Stories cover art


Another sensitive soul

Light and meaningful in the way of young, thoughtful, singer songwriters, Craig White does a pleasant enough job of his song “Made Up Stories” but I have to observe that he really needs to man up if he is to stand out from what is a very large crowd of similarly sensitive souls.


Review date:  January 14, 2012
  www.facebook.com/craigwhitesolo

  Good God I'm on Fire by Haivercraft



Good God I'm on Fire cover art


Glasgow rockers grow hair

“Good God (I’m On Fire)” has that eighties bombastic feel that you would expect of an American hair rock band aiming at the pop charts. There’s a big guitar solo, as you would expect, but the spotlight shines most brightly on the singer’s robust yet simultaneously camp delivery. Safe to say that Haivercraft got it just about right with this one.  “I Want You” shows a sensitive side to the band but that song is ultimately destined to be forever a flipside.


Review date:  January 8, 2012
  www.haivercraft.co.uk

  Garden of Eden by JapanFour



Garden of Eden cover art


Thoughtful indie rockers

A bit of a surprise here as JapanFour neatly escape the limitations of being a West Lothian band with “Garden of Eden”. Decorating the song with some sharp lyrics and a solid Britpop on the rampage groove lets the band stand tall over their geographic contemporaries.


Review date:  January 8, 2012
  www.japanfour.co.uk

  All I Ever Wanted by Minor Delilah



All I Ever Wanted cover art


Mellow Lanarkshire Boys

What’s this? A band from Lanarkshire that isn’t doing the three power chord thing? Apparently so, as “All I Ever Wanted” shows Minor Delilah to be a band with a sensitive side and a perhaps unhealthy interest in Coldplay. That said, with a bit of work on developing their individuality, they could be interesting.


Review date:  December 26, 2011
  www.facebook.com/minordelilah

  The BIg Bad Man by Quixote



The BIg Bad Man cover art


Dispossessed Londoners on the make

Mop my fevered brow for it is time for some stomping, tub thumping and downright raucous piano driven alt-rock that draws as a much from the blues for its redemptive spirit as it does from twisted showtunes for its dramatic impact. “The Big Bad Man” is the song and it hits the mark dead on.


Review date:  December 17, 2011
  www.myspace.com/quixoteonline

  After Dark by The Beautiful Game



After Dark cover art


Soft centred indie rockers

Playing to their strengths on the sensitive side of indie rock are London band The Beautiful Game. “After Dark” is a melodic and mellow song that shows more maturity than you would expect of the genre. I could see this being a crowd pleaser.


Review date:  December 17, 2011
  www.facebook.com/wearethebeautifulgame

  Velvet Sunburst by Calm As The Colour



Velvet Sunburst cover art


Smiling Scottish indie popsters

“Velvet Sunburst” is the sort of song that you would expect of one of the better Scottish indie pop bands these days. It is nicely put together and draws from psychedelic influences in a successful attempt to bring light into these dull grey days. Really rather pleasant.



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