Song reviews

  Spirit of the Rain by Ivan Verrastro

Spirit of the Rain cover art

New age guitar man

“Spirit of the Rain” is to be part of a concept album – so it says here – and, perhaps unsurprisingly, sounds like it is a small part of something bigger. It’s an instrumental too with our Mr Verrasto’s guitar quite rightly to the fore in best soft rock style whilst he makes a sterling effort to stop the song being dragged into the abyss of background music by the rather leaden backing track.

  Polaroid by Carmen Smith

Polaroid cover art

Soulful Australian

“Polaroid” is one of those mid paced songs that sounds just right. The backing is understated and Carmen Smith simply runs the show balancing confidence and passion with a polished professionalism in her vocals. In days gone by, this song would have been classed as radio friendly but nowadays, it is more likely to have soundtrack to a major movie stamped upon it. Credit is duly given to a song well done.

Review date:  July 30 2012

  Girls Are Fun Again by Dreamstealer

Girls Are Fun Again cover art

Busker goes straight

Not much to comment on here as "Girls Are Fun Again" is little more than a lot of looping and uninspired laptop trickery. Duller than Aberdeen, in other words.

Review date:  July 23 2012

  Bullshit Love by Scott Rudd

Bullshit Love cover art

NYC songwriter

Lo-fi NYC songwriter  Scott Rudd sets his guitar and bare bones backing to stun in this short, angst ridden and angular journey into the trials and tribulations of relationships.  Ok, so "Bullshit Love" is a messy demo but, with a bit more effort, it could make for a very respectable bit of album filler.

Review date:  July 8 2012

  Bird's Nest by Jo Schornikow

Bird's Nest cover art

Acoustically sensitive

Wholesome sounding female singer loads up on the melodic metaphors and sets sails to a land of sensitive poetry and deeper meaning. There are many like her but nonetheless there is something positively endearing about Jo Schornikow’s wistful voice that keeps you listening to "Bird's Nest".

Review date:  July 8 2012

  Goran Ivanisevic by We Are The Physics

Goran Ivanisevic cover art

Glasgow electro rockers

With a beep and a chant, Glasgow’s We Are The Physics once more rock the Ikea decorated house with “Goran Ivanisevic”.  The song rattles along at a fair old dramatic pace and, for reasons verging on unknown, I was left with the impression that this is what Queen would have sounded like if they had done a Depeche Mode style change of direction. Thunderbirds are go and all that.

Review date:  July 8 2012

  The Thursday Millionaire by The Skunnered

The Thursday Millionaire cover art

Glasgow does Darts

What’s the phrase I’m looking for? That’s right – delicately retro. The Skunnered are delicately retro with "The Thursday Millionaire" having the sonic signature of a sixties’ Cliff Richard record. Nothing to scare your auntie then but I don’t suppose that was the point and I have to admit that I liked the shoo-be-doo backing vocals.

  Big Tin Heart by Eliza Jaye

Big Tin Heart cover art

Girl with guitar

Girls with guitars always go down well with me and Eliza Jaye is no exception. “Big Tin Heart” treads the commercial rock path with surefootedness and a well developed sense of what counts as an influence as opposed to what counts as reinventing the past.  Just the thing to play in the car, I would say.

Review date:  July 1 2012

  Dead Rabbits by Seething Akira

Dead Rabbits cover art

Rocking hoppers

Drawing heavily from Rage Against The Machine, Portsmouth hip hoppers throw in the riffs and rock beats to season their lively rhymes. “Dead Rabbits” does indeed sound like a RAGE clone but underneath it all is a very British sense of humour and that makes this song more interesting than you might have expected.

  Correction Number Three by Superneutral

Correction Number Three cover art

Deliberately difficult?

OK, this one is downright weird. I’d even go as far as to say that “Correction Number Three” walks past the wild side, sprints past avant-garde and ends up in some sort of parallel universe where minimalism has imprisoned melody. The song even manages to sound familiar – too much classical music in my youth often leads to this conclusion – whilst still being weird. I suspect there may be a truly twisted mind behind this one.

Review date:  June 24 2012

  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!

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