Song reviews


  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  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

  Born Near the River by Majestic Dandelion

Born Near the River cover art

Old heads on young shoulders

I’ve always liked the music of Majestic Dandelion so it no surprise to me that “Born The Near The River” is yet another of their songs that demonstrates that they have the song writing and performing maturity so often lacking in the ever growing pack of Glasgow bands. Majestic Dandelion may be folk rock in style but the key word here is style.  Sweet!

Review date:  February 24 2012

  Awe + Struck by Sun Dogs

Awe + Struck cover art

Glasgow programmers

“Awe + Struck” is looped and sequenced but not really destined for the dance floor. Nor, despite the urban electronica ambience, is it really mood music either. There is a weedy vocal lost in the mix too and the end result, whilst not unpleasant, just seems to lack purpose.

Review date:  February 17 2012

  For My Love by The Ambersons

For My Love cover art

Indie poppers with ambition

Two songs up before the firing squad this time. “For My Love” is neat and to the point with some oddly appealing plastic orchestration that suggests, of all things, ELO without actually being obviously retro. “The Circle Squared” turns up the passion and laconic humour somewhat but shows a similar attention to detail and that makes The Ambersons sound like a band of notable maturity. Too good to be shot…

Review date:  February 16 2012

  Radio Anna by Raymond Meade

Radio Anna cover art

Ronelle returns

Formerly of The Ronelles is Raymond Meade and “Radio Anna” is our Mr Meade striking out on his own. It’s a polished pop song that would be what was called in the good old days “radio friendly”. It’s got that sort of sixties feel good vibe to it too so it would make a rather fine song for the summer. If we actually get a summer, that is.

Review date:  February 16 2012

  Take it or Leave it by The Beautiful Game

Take it or Leave it cover art

Indie rock at the crossroads

Not sure about this one.  “Take It Or Leave It” sounds too close to what you would expect of an average indie rock band yet the singer throws himself at the song like a man on a mission. I also think they should have let their axeman off the leash and turned this into a proper balls to the wall rock anthem.

Review date:  February 16 2012

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