Song reviews


  Preachment by Six Notes

Preachment cover art

Urban renewal from Dumfries

It might be sunny in Dumfries but it seems to be shades of grey for this band.  “Preachment” sees the male singer layering in the post rock melancholy before the rather abrupt end. Similarly reflective is “Ravens” with a minimal keyboard backing leaving your attention with the effective female vocals though, again, the song just grinds to an unexpected halt. At least they left me wanting more…

Review date:  April 10, 2011

  How RU by Zeindl Autohaus

How RU cover art

Edinburgh postbox rock

Zeindl Autohaus is a good name for a band. It suggests posturing krautrock or maybe hardcore underground electro. What it doesn’t suggest is curiously mellow and harmonious vocals decorating remarkably laidback indie rock. Admittedly, “How RU” instead of rocking out like it should does sound a bit half-hearted as does “Inner Self” for that matter. However, with some attention to making their songs swagger instead of stumble, this Edinburgh band could make the right noises for a bit of the old success.

Review date:  March 23, 2011

  Notion by Dalzel

Notion cover art

Up and coming Glasgow alt-rock band

Though they struggle to escape their rather obvious influences, there is no denying that Dalzel put their heart into it. Neither “Notion” nor “I Don’t Mind” are likely to stick in your mind however but I suspect that this relatively new Glasgow band might do rather better in the live environment. Their singer stands out as the kind of guy who could do some real damage with better songs.

Review date:  March 20, 2011

  We Fell Apart by Fu King Junks

We Fell Apart cover art

Three piece Glasgow rock band

Fighting away through the murk here is (probably) a respectable song and performance but it hard to be sure as the leaden and (surprise, surprise) loud electric guitar kills any chance of anyone wanting to make it through to the end. The other track - “We Fell Apart” – certainly doesn’t lack spirit in the vocal department and accordingly could most likely be turned into a very decent rock song if it were treated with rather more care than it has been in this demo.  The guitarist really needs to remember that volume is not a substitute for skill.

Review date:  March 19, 2011

  Silk by Richard Mailey

Silk cover art

Deported from Ireland to Scotland

Richard Mailey has undoubtedly a bit of style. “Silk” is lyrically clever like Ricky Ross on a roll whilst bringing more than a bit of self loathing into the mix. “The Sandman”, on the other hand, takes a wee walk into Tom Waits territory both in words and in style.  Curiously, Mr Mailey’s voice tends towards a gruff affectation on both songs even though I’m sure that he could actually sound like himself if he wanted to.

Review date:  March 12, 2011

  Shadow by Mass Chemistry

Shadow cover art

Chicago mainstream rock

You can easily guess that Mass Chemistry is an American rock band. Only America makes rock bands like this and you can hear that this band are aiming themselves at the stadium market with both  “Shadow” and “You Know” ticking all the boxes needed to make that journey. That said, it would have been nice if the guitarist had worked a bit harder at sounding like himself rather than taking the easy route and sounding like just another sideman.

Review date:  March 5, 2011

  Hailey by IT Girl

Hailey cover art

Glasgow post punk evangelists

I’m surprised that this band hasn’t come to my attention before now but they could well be new to the scene in Glasgow. OK, so they are hauling out retro influences like Wire and the Monochrome Set but both songs here (“Hailey” and “Locust”), although rambling, never actually stumble and more than usual care has gone into making the songs sound interesting. Memo to brain – must track them down.

Review date:  March 5, 2011

  Colour of ny Mind by Freedom of the City

Colour of ny Mind cover art

Northern lads making some noise

The indie rock onslaught continues with “Colour Of My Mind” being a spirited if ultimately uninspired take on what has been done before by so many.  It would have been easy to write this band off if that had been all there was but “Song For The Underclass” showed another side to them. At a more relaxed pace, Freedom of the City even squeezed much in the way of punch into the down to earth lyrics. The potential is there but it is an each way bet at the moment as to their chances.

Review date:  February 27, 2011

  Good Morning Lassitude by Calm As The Colour

Good Morning Lassitude cover art

Alt folk from Fife

I have a somewhat vague recollection of hearing this band and this song before but no matter as “Good Morning Lassitude” is a nice, laidback example of inoffensive alt folk. It would go well with summer sunshine and a nice picnic. It would go less well with a Subaru. Basically, it’s a lack of aggression thing.

Review date:  February 27, 2011

  All You Need is Vulgarity by The Dots

All You Need is Vulgarity cover art

Glasgow indie rockers

Oh dear, more victims of the Glasgow indie rock disease. The Dots have all the symptoms – one trick pony guitarist, a drummer that seems to be playing in a different band and a vocalist doing a weak impersonation of Liam Gallagher. Remarkably, “All You Need is Vulgarity” beats the four minute mark and “Last Horse” coughs and splutters to a halt at no less than five and a half minutes.  They clearly don’t know when to quit.

Review date:  February 24, 2011

  Lazy Winter Wednesday by The Ambersons

Lazy Winter Wednesday cover art

Six good men of Warrington

Another case of retro being the new black but who really cares when you get neat, subtly psychedelic, melodies like The Ambersons have on offer with the smoke gets in your eyes and makes you happy “Lazy Winter Wednesday” or, with a nod to both Ray Davies and the Chinn/Chapman hit machine, the mellow metaphorical charms of “The Housecat”. Old style pop music, if you like.

Review date:  February 12, 2011

  Healers by The Ideal Crash

Healers cover art

Arisen from the ashes of the Ten To Five Project

I remember the Ten To Five Project as being a band who successfully walked a fine line between dry humour and tweeness. “Healers” from this new band - formed from what once was the Ten To Five Project – makes out like a homogenised version of the Ten to Five Project sound while “The Lost Ones” sounds quirky enough to be a Ten To Five Project song (which is a good thing, by the way). Wonder why they used a different name?

Review date:  January 25, 2011

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