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Song reviews

 

  Uniform by Endless Loop



Uniform cover art


Oregon electro rockers

Retro time again with heavily sequenced eighties electro rock getting resurrected by Portland band Endless Loop. “Uniform” works out pretty well for them with appealing girl (Samantha Hughes) boy (Jeff Knight) voices emoting suitably bleak and disaffected words.  The past might well be their future.


Review date:  March 28, 2012
  endlessloop.bandcamp.com

  Hellbent by Who's Edna



Hellbent cover art


Five rocky poppers

Though they appear to hail from Edinburgh, Who’s Edna sound more than a bit mainstream American reminding me here of bands like The Hush Sound.  “Hellbent” uses a piano to good effect to lift this mid paced rock song out of the mire of mediocrity and there is endearing normality – for want of a better word – to the female vocals.


Review date:  March 27, 2012
  www.myspace.com/whosedna

  The Human Connection by Sonic Templars



The Human Connection cover art


Rock band with a heart

In its favour, “The Human Connection” is a decent song and the lead vocal is convincing. That said, and this is a common failing in Scottish rock bands, Sonic Templars then trip themselves up with an unimaginative guitar player – I’d go so far as to say that he (?) sounds (badly) looped – and a lack of individuality to their sound.  They need to try harder, basically.


Review date:  March 22, 2012
  www.myspace.com/sonictemplars

  Elm Row by Ded Rabbit



Elm Row cover art


Edinburgh indie funkers

Despite being a band of actual brothers, Ded Rabbit don’t really seem to gel. That said, “Elm Row” has an endearingly funky feel to it and “We Could Be Free” is (indie) rockier but similarly good natured. The bigger problem, however, is the singer who struggles badly with the key he is trying to sing in on both these songs.


Review date:  March 11, 2012
  www.facebook.com/dedrabbit

  Always Yours by Daniel Joseph featuring Dion Rushe



Always Yours cover art


Wholesome London duo

A nice slice of non-threatening mid-paced housewife-friendly pop from a London based duo. “Always Yours” is a bit dated in its production and goes on a good minute and a half longer than it needs to but at least there is plenty of heart in the vocals.


  Anemone by The Dirty Keys



Anemone cover art


Glasgow's Tuneful Tinklers

Even the title suggests that this will be an upmarket tune and “Anemone” is indeed used as an educated rhyme for "…not your enemy”. Otherwise, this keyboard driven and somewhat world weary song reeks of smoking jackets and Noel Coward which is a good thing, by the way.


Review date:  March 8, 2012
  www.facebook.com/dirtykeys

  Matter of Time by Mindeyes



Matter of Time cover art


Finnish Pomp Rock

The affection that Finnish band Mindeyes have for that polished to perfection rock that existed in the eighties is clearly evident in "Matter of Time" with the prerequisite impassioned vocals and obligatory extended guitar solo present and correct. "Gloria" takes the band convincingly into power ballad territory and, with the inevitable aid of a time machine, could easily have made them the soundtrack to a montage in Miami Vice. Almost as cool as Crockett and Tubbs combined.


Review date:  March 3, 2012
  www.mindeyes.net

  Sometimes by Calm As The Colour



Sometimes cover art


Idle but not wild

"Sometimes" sounds just like the kind of song that a midrange Scottish band should release if it wants to court success. Driven on by guitars and inoffensively clever, Calm As The Colour have taken the safe route here but it is nonetheless a shame that they did not try a bit harder to stand out from the crowd. That said, I can see people liking this one. It's a lentil soup kind of thing.


Review date:  March 3, 2012
  www.calmasthecolour.bandcamp.com

  Chatter by Scary Shapes



Chatter cover art


Edgy indie popsters

If you follow horse racing then you know it is all in the breeding. So it is perhaps no surprise that Scary Shapes - born of The Hussys and The Ten To Five Project it would seem - drive "Chatter" onwards and upwards with melodies and the constant use of chorus. "Common Sense" seems rather more mature and substitutes a bleak lyrical sensibility for singalongability and consequently provides proof that Scary Shapes can stand out from the crowd. Now, if I were a betting man…


Review date:  March 3, 2012
  www.scaryshapes.com

  Come Down by Sadie Jemmett



Come Down cover art


Class in a glass

Another song too good to be a demo so I must assume that this got misdirected into the pile of debris that normally comprises the Demo Corner. “Come Down” is the kind of mature song that they don’t seem to write anymore and is more akin to what you expect of a band of the cusp of folk and rock way back in the seventies with Ms Jemmett’s voice mixing maturity with an endearing vulnerability. Too good to be a demo and, in all likelihood, too good for these times.


Review date:  February 29, 2012
  www.sadiejemmett.com

  Wonderful Life by Saint Max



Wonderful Life cover art


Galloway soul searcher

I’ve always wondered what a demo by Morrissey would sound like. Well, now I know. “Wonderful Life” by Saint Max is no less than acoustic Morrissey style ennui in search of a decent guitarist. I think we’ve been here before.


  Forget the Afternoon by End Of Neil



Forget the Afternoon cover art


From Stirling but not a castle

Singer songwriter time again. End of Neil – the trading name for Stirling songwriter Neil Stewart – does on occasion demonstrate a wry and laconic way with words, as he does with “Forget The Afternoon”, but otherwise founders on the sands of the inane, as with “I Was A Guitar”.  One day someone is going to explain to me why so many performers aim to be the next Mr Average.


Review date:  February 25, 2012
  soundcloud.com/endofneil

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