Song reviews

  House of Cards by The Alibis

House of Cards cover art

Power popsters

I have little difficulty working up enthusiasm for some intelligent power pop so, despite being a rough and ready demo, “House of Cards” by Edinburgh band The Alibis just about impressed me. The drummer did sound like a machine but there was definitely heart in the vocals. Oh, and you could sing along with this song which is always a good sign.

Review date:  July 6 2013

  Set to Kill by Third Rail

Set to Kill cover art

One step above

What time is it (I hear you say)? It’s balls to the wall rock time again and Scottish band Third Rail have the volume turned to max in “Set To Kill”. The requisite riffs are there of course but it is the delinquent female vocals that are the icing on the cake for this song.

  Chosen by Twelve Ton Trouble

Chosen cover art

Guernsey rock

There was a time when bands did albums because that was what a grown up band did.  Twelve Ton Trouble – a Guernsey based rock band it would seem – are a grown up band and “Chosen” goes big on the emotion courtesy of a deeply macho whisky soaked vocal by Robert Hunter. No man bags here and that’s for certain.

Review date:  June 30 2013

  So Long by Craig Hudson

So Long cover art


Endearing and melodic, Craig Hudson has clearly put a lot of thought into how to charm people with the ornate musical construction that underpins “So Long”.  The lyrics may well be by the book but you can’t help but like this song. It is, as they say, a proper pop song.

Review date:  June 30 2013

  Guide You Home by Fluorescent Hearts

Guide You Home cover art

More indie pop

Distinctly anodyne piece of mainstream indie pop from Scottish band Fluorescent Hearts. I’m sure they have a better song somewhere but “Guide You Home” could be by just about any other indie pop band in the world.

Review date:  June 30 2013

  Everyone Expected her to dance by Liam Tennant

Everyone Expected her to dance cover art

Songwriter moving up

The mid paced “Everyone Expected Her to Dance” is unexpectedly mainstream and commercial for a Glasgow singer songwriter with Liam Tennant pulling at all the right heart strings in his search for success. The sound quality made my ears bleed but a re-recording with a suitably sweeping string arrangement could do some business.

  Fighting a Battle by Shaun Tutt

Fighting a Battle cover art

Singer songwriter

“Fighting A Battle When You’re Lost” is a competent if unexciting folk flavoured song that scores a couple of points for the earnest performance by Shaun Tutt and for some decent lyrics. On the debit side, the song does sound exactly like a song from any other better than average singer songwriter. Nice enough but unlikely to stand out from the crowd,

Review date:  June 23 2013

  Goblin's Fruit by Luna Green

Goblin's Fruit cover art

Exotic Swede

Somewhat offbeat in its edgy presentation, “Goblin’s Fruit” nonetheless captures your attention with left of centre female vocals – Bjork meets Melanie is about as close as I can get - and the sort of oblique lyrics that make you wonder what she is actually singing about. Should go down well with the better educated listener.

Review date:  June 23 2013

  We're All Dead by Folks

We're All Dead cover art

Mainstream minstrels

It is almost an insult to describe “We’re All Dead” as festival friendly fodder for cardigan wearers everywhere but that is what Folks have carefully crafted here. You can’t argue with that approach, of course, as it has worked well for Efterklang, Mumford and Sons etc etc etc

Review date:  June 23 2013

  Invent The Future by Castlestreet

Invent The Future cover art

Folk rocking Irishmen

“Invent The Future” bodes well for Irish band Castlestreet. Although the song has something of a slow start, it takes off towards the folk rock horizon at the two minute mark with some vigour. Festival friendly without a doubt.

  In The Wake by Silence The Machine

In The Wake cover art

Louisiana aloud

“In The Wake” is as hot, hard and heavy as you would expect of a band on the cusp of hard rock and metal but SilenceThe Machine don’t actually deliver anything that you haven’t heard many times before. Too safe for success? Probably.

  Forecast by Bombers

Forecast cover art

Brummie post punk

Convincing post punk with a past midnight too cool for school groove, Birmingham band Bombers throw their retro guitar powered edginess into “Forecast”. If this were 1979, record companies would be camped outside their door. Unfortunately it’s not so Bombers will most likely be blessed with only critical approval.

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