Song reviews


  Aggressively Stupid by Slow Buildings

Aggressively Stupid cover art

Indie New Jersey style

Contrary to its title, “Aggressively Stupid” is neither a stupid nor an aggressive song and, indeed, it leaves the impression that indie music in New Jersey is quite a restrained Weezer influenced thing if Slow Buildings are to be taken as representative. I assume that this is a demo as the directionless nature of the production and arrangements causes the song to drag noticeably.

  Raintown by The Skunnered

Raintown cover art

Mature and mellow

Getting to be something of a regular on these pages are Glasgow band The Skunnered. “Raintown” highlights their smooth soft rock sound again in what might well be taken as a pastiche of that wholesome Deacon Blue approach to making adults sway in the breeze. Spark up that lighter now!

Review date:  June 19, 2012

  What Was I Thinking by Desensitised

What Was I Thinking cover art

Female fronted rockers

They might well be from Nottinghamshire but aspiring  rock band Desensitised sound altogether more American with Nirvana style riffs keeping “What I Was Thinking” from staying on this side of the pond while singer Charlotte goes all Evanescence just to reinforce that a transatlantic journey is on the cards. So, definite mainstream appeal and that might just be all they need to get by.

Review date:  June 17, 2012

  When I Saw You by Kickstart Rockers

When I Saw You cover art

Finland and Proud

Big chested rock sounds from Finnish band Kickstart Rockers.  “When I Saw You” draws from eighties rock with the sensitive start, the chopping riffs and  the big Kiss style chorus all present and correct. Originality might not be this band’s strongpoint on the evidence of this song but the lead vocals are never less than convincing.

Review date:  June 17, 2012

  Is Anybody Home by Noah T

Is Anybody Home cover art

Twee Tulsa Instrumentalist

A prelude to an album of the same name it would seem, “Is Anybody Home?” is a lightweight, sparely arranged instrumental song that could best be described as organic. Handclaps drive the acoustic mood along nicely even it is more background than foreground listening.

Review date:  June 12, 2012

  Love Grows by Vanetta Valls

Love Grows cover art

Downbeat Glaswegians

Not many smiles here with “Love Grows” reflecting on the randomness of relationships whilst pseudo Postcard guitars keep the dour vocals company. Only the drummer sounds like he – sexist assumption but I bet I am right - is a stranger to Prozac but a wee restructure by, say, making the chorus sound like it is a chorus could make all the difference to Vanetta Valls and their chances of success with this one.

Review date:  May 31, 2012

  Odio Decembre by Silvia Anglani

Odio Decembre cover art

Italian jazz funk goddess

Damn, this one is smooth. I thought that the days of cocktail jazz had long gone but not, it seems, if you are Italian. Silvia Anglani puts not a, no doubt designer shod, foot wrong throughout “Odio Decembre” with the kind of confident and eloquent vocal performance that just reeks of class. Naturally, there is sax in abundance too.

Review date:  May 27, 2012

  Cold Sweat by The Counterpoints

Cold Sweat cover art

Melodic indie rockers

“Cold Sweat” is a simple song but I suppose that it all you really need in these attention deficit days. However, this London based melodic indie rock band do sell it with some gusto but whether that is enough to make them stand out from the crowd remains to be seen.

  Bar L by The Skunnered

Bar L cover art

Riddrie country blues

Bar-L is one Her Majesty’s holiday camps, in case you were wondering, so credit is due to The Skunnered for using it as a somewhat unusual inspiration for a song. Wry lyrics that would be Americana if this were Travis County instead of dear old Glasgow town carry this song along in a way that Ray Davies would surely approve of and I have to admit that I was soon singing the Bar-L Blues myself.

  Nothing Wrong with Being Wrong by The Vibe

Nothing Wrong with Being Wrong cover art

Glasgow indie popsters

“Nothing Wrong with Being Wrong” provides adequate proof that there is nothing wrong with being a Glasgow indie popster even in these days of cardigan wearing oversupply. Although politely performed and roughly recorded, the song nonetheless has an endearing, non-threatening quality to it but it is Nicola Rainey’s here there and everywhere vocal that saves the day and lifts the song above grey mediocrity.  For once, practice is all that will be needed to make this one perfect.

  North by Movement

North cover art

Birmingham bedsit electronica

Minimalist electronic doodlings from what appears to be a one man and a laptop band from Birmingham, “North” sounds like a low budget Vangelis style soundtrack cue for the kind of movie that only ever got released on VHS and is none the worse for being that.

Review date:  May 12, 2012

  Swindling Sisters by A Winters Education

Swindling Sisters cover art

Cascading Newcastle guitars

A bit retro and more than a bit rough around the edges, A Winters Education push their song “Swindling Sisters”, probably deliberately, into sub Smiths territory.  With a bit of tidying up, they could escape mere revivalism with this one. After all, that worked for the Felt Tips.

Review date:  May 12, 2012

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