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Song reviews

 

  The Horror Show by Jack Rabbit



The Horror Show cover art


Producing modern sounds from a moment in time.

A tough of English quirkiness is to be found here balancing Blur and Madness on top of an honest to goodness musical cake that is made up of cheeky chappies having fun. Their good natured bounciness works well on “The Horror Show” and "S.H.E.L.L.E.Y." (even if that one does sound more than a bit like “Hotel Califiornia”). “Shout It Out”, on the other hand,  is rather more ordinary but Jack Rabbit are certainly worth a listen anyway.


Review date:  September 22, 2010
  www.myspace.com/thejackrabbitband

  No Regrets by Eight Feet Deep



No Regrets cover art


New York rawk returns

Someone is being a bit cunning here as these songs are too well produced to be demos.  Eight Feet Deep hail from New York and feature Billy 'Pills' Fridrich  on guitars and  Mike DiMeo  on vocals charging through a homage to American rock of the nineties.  “No Regrets” would sit easily over the start (or end) titles of any movie that stars Dolph Lundgren while “Throwdown” just screams big – big riffs, big vocals, big hair etc. Mr Fridich’s guitar tends to overpower everything but that is, as I recall,  the way of that particular genre.


Review date:  August 15, 2010
  www.myspace.com/eightfeetdeepband

  That's all I Really Want by Andy Robinson



That's all I Really Want cover art


English likely lad on the loose

Take all your musical influences and put them in a blender and you’d probably get “That’s All I Really Want”. Andy Robinson belts it out like an entertainer should (and he probably has a career ahead of him on Saturday night television given the confidence of his delivery) but the song is just plain clumsy.


Review date:  August 15, 2010
  www.myspace.com/andyrobinsons

  Time by Anna Searight



Time cover art


Brighton based singer songwriter

Liked these two tracks (“Time” and “Left of Us”). Anna Searight’s voice echoes the traditions of English folk music and both songs show a notable delicacy that steps out from the usual woe-is-me singer songwriter material with “Time” impressing most despite its simplicity. Sometimes simple is enough when you have the talent to carry it off. Ms Searight has that talent.


Review date:  August 1, 2010
  www.myspace.com/annasearightmusic

  Cobbles and Robbers by Casino City



Cobbles and Robbers cover art


5 piece Scottish indie rock band turns tricks

Central Scotland is littered with sh*te indie rock bands. So much so that the government ought to fund a cull. Reckon on Casino City getting spared as they’re not sh*te.  Hiding behind Green Day influences, Stephen Henry belts it out on the bombastic cock rock that is “Sound of Demons” like he has big hair and an ego the size of a small planet. “Cobbles and Robbers” unfortunately stumbles a bit with awkward synths strolling aimlessly through the song while “Losing Streak” is probably this band’s anthem.  Smell the testosterone, baby!


Review date:  July 25, 2010
  www.casinocityuk.com

  Somebody Do Something by James Gasson



Somebody Do Something cover art


Brighton backroom boy lays it on the line

James Gasson hails from Brighton and has apparently spent his time behind the drums or a mixing desk. He steps out front with these three songs all of which were self composed and self performed.  Apparently he lives on tea as well. The songs all run up the mainstream but are surprisingly convincing given the solo nature of their construction with “Somebody Do Something” sounding like a quirky take on the Foo Fighters and “It Must Have Been A Dream” going all moody and twisted on us.  All in all, it’s pretty clear that he takes his music seriously even if he did send this demo in an envelope decorated with cat fur.


Review date:  July 25, 2010
  www.jamesgasson.com

  6.4578 by Hello Bear



6.4578 cover art


A trio that play quirky indie pop

Three songs that run together and make the band sound like an existential version of Weezer with vague touches of Edwyn Collins about the vocals.  “6.4578” and “An Exquisite Year For Charm” have that angular indie pop sound but “Indulgence” stands out as you can imagine it scaling up to fill a stadium.  The guitars riffs are over familiar throughout but the drummer seems to want to be the hardest working man in show business so maybe it is time for the band to throw away those cardigans and buy some leather jackets instead.


Review date:  July 22, 2010
  www.myspace.com/hellobearband

  Hard Times by Soul Circus



Hard Times cover art


Glasgow rock band with a work ethic

Two songs here - “Wreckin’ Machine” and “Hard Times” – that prove to be straight down the line rock music that would prove popular interspersed with covers in any pub in this green and pleasant land on a Saturday night. The singer adds a touch of whiskey to otherwise sober and earnest performances.


Review date:  July 22, 2010
  www.myspace.com/soulcircusglasgow

  Echo by the Night by Gary Dillon and Liam Tennant



Echo by the Night cover art


This duo head off in another direction

I used to worry that my past would eventually catch up with me and it would seem that Gary Dillon and Liam Tennant have let time catch up with them (although I suspect that they weren’t even born in the time that caught up with them). Both “Echo By The Night” and “Poison Vines” show the influences of twinky plinky analogue electro pop topped with moody, somewhat nasal quasi-American vocals giving the impression of an earnest pub singer trying to make an escape to the big time. Not awful but equally it’s not obvious where these two gentlemen are trying to get to.


Review date:  July 15, 2010
  www.myspace.com/garyd1991

  Scenester by The Statler Project



Scenester cover art


Glasgow band that cranks out indie rock

The first two tracks – “Scenester” and “Been In Your Street” – are a bit rough round the edges but show off the band’s brand of intelligently danceable and somewhat frenetic indie rock quite nicely even if the songs themselves are a touch generic. There’s plenty of character in the lead vocals though and I’m sure a better mix would improve things. Oddly enough, a track from an old EP was also supplied. “Plenty” proved to be rather more eclectic and adventurous than the first two songs in a sub Prodigy kind of way.  A case of following too many trends, perhaps?


Review date:  June 27, 2010
  www.myspace.com/thestatlerproject

  9 Rue Git de Couer by Dead Sea Navigators



9 Rue Git de Couer cover art


Piano led indie/lounge band based in London

Pleasingly laconic couple of songs from the Dead Sea Navigators that echo a clean living visit to a late night basement club. Admittedly there’s a fair amount of similarity between “9 Rue Git De Coeur” and “Dr Crellin” and not quite enough gin and cigars to evoke the decadence that the band were probably aiming for but the piano playing hits the mark and is nicely counterpointed by the quirky and dramatic synths.  Not quite Amanda Palmer/Dresden Dolls then, but likeable nonetheless.


Review date:  June 20, 2010
  www.deadseanavigators.com

  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!



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