Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Little Indie Roundtable Review - w/e January 13 2017
In our new feature for 2017, each week we will take five new tracks, and ask our three guest reviewers to give them a few spins and then air their opinions as to whether they deserve a big walloping Yes, or just a big fat No from them.
This week's panel: Jess Sharrock, Litte Indie contributor; record producer Gavin Monaghan; Bradley Lennard, vocalist with the Hartlepool band Plaza.
DESPERATE JOURNALIST - RESOLUTION
North London alt-goth rocksters Desperate Journalist follow up November's 'Hollow' with this jangly pop-rock single of big guitar-driven power chords, and the standout vocals of Jo Bevan, taken from 'Grow Up', their second album out March 24 via Fierce Panda.
Jess Sharrock: It took a few listens, but it's not too bad. It's not really the kind of thing I would usually listen to, but it's pretty catchy. 3.5/5
Gavin Monaghan: I thoroughly enjoyed this. A bit of an 80s feel with the arrangement and the singer sounds like Kate Bush; not ghost whisperer Kate, more like end of 'Running Up That Hill' Kate. Or the bit in the middle of 'Hounds of Love' Kate. I almost worked with them last year and listening to this, I wish I had, as in my humble opinion I reckon I would have smashed it. 4/5
Bradley Lennard: The vocal melodies in the track are really great, they fit perfectly with the pop-punk vibe. This genre of music wouldn’t be one that I normally listen to, but I’m glad I have came across this band. 3/5
Total score: 10.5/15
BLEACH GIRLS - HELL NO
Taken from the debut EP 'Hi!' (which was released late last year), the Byron Bay, Australia, beach/garage-punk two-piece, Fi Fi Bleach and Mickey Bleach, belt out distorted, wailing guitar riffs, hard-hitting drums, wailing guitar, and ferocious vocals.
JS: Again, not really something I would listen too, but it's fun and full of energy. 3/5
GM: I'm very partial to a bit of surfy garage and spring reverb. This is pretty good, but some of the stylised yelpy vocals become a bit annoying after a while. I'd definitely watch out for more from them though as they sound good and I think they might be capable of better. The song did inexplicably make me want a barbecue. 3/5
BL: A fast-paced track which had me grabbed from the start! I love how both members in the duo are contributing to the vocals, the contrast works very well. 4/5
Total score: 10/15
AMBER RUN - FICKLE GAME
Gearing up for the release of their second album ‘For A Moment, I Was Lost' on February 10, Amber Run reveal the record's lead single. Says frontman Joe Keogh: “'Fickle Game' is about self-reflection in the music industry - how being in a band can, if you let it, stop being spontaneous and easy and instead become overly political and eventually exhausting.”
JS: I'm a pretty big fan of this band, and this song doesn't disappoint. I'm excited to hear their second album. 4/5
GM: This dude has a case of the "famous voice": he sounds like a bunch of really famous people all at once, but not any of them specifically. Bit of Athlete, bit of Coldplay, bit of Starsailor. Certainly not a criticism. Nice song too, very earnest, I could have handled a bit more energy though. 3.5/5
BL: I have been an Amber Run fan for a long time: this new track completely does it for me. A very strong single, with Joe’s vocals leading the track alongside a very solid build up before dropping back out, ending the track with the emotional hook ‘fickle game’. The dynamics of this track are amazing. 5/5
Total score: 12.5/15
YOUNGSMITH - I WILL NOT FORGET
Released just before Christmas, Brisbane musician Dan Smith shares his new single. Edging on into stadium rock with catchy hooks and beats that augment lyrics speaking of personal demons: “The starting lyrics ‘My demons, are chasing me, it takes all my will to keep my feet’ always felt like a metaphor for life. Everyone has something that bothers them and it takes effort not to lose your way. The more I remember both the good and the bad, the more I can be grateful for the moment.”
JS: I'd never really heard much about Youngsmith, but I really like this. The song has got a great vibe, it reminds me a little of Kings of Leon. I will definitely be checking out more from him. 4.5/5
GM: I really like this, too. Interpol vibe fronted by what sounds like the singer from the New Radicals with a bit of Lee Mavers thrown in . Came in a little long for a song of this type, and watch out for using too much melodyne - it's like superglue, one drop holds a ton, but spill it and you'll never get your bastard hands apart. 4/5
BL: I agree with Jess that this does have a kind of old KOL style. I really enjoyed it, the hooks are very catchy and the lyrics have a deep meaning. 4/5
Total score: 12.5/15
LOOSE TOOTH - GARLIC SOUP
New from the Philadelphia four-piece after their 2015 debut, 'Easy Easy East'. Lead single from their Spring album, 'Big Day' (released on April 7 through Father/Daughter Records/Lame-O Records), it kicks a noise-rock line of jagged guitars and muddy vocals.
JS: I quite like the sound, but some of the vocals are a little too 'shouty' for my liking! 3/5
GM: I'm a fan of Shellac, Slint, Fugazi, Pavement and Sebadoh - and by the sound of it, this lot are too, or they might be too young to have heard any of it, in which case well done! I like the voice on the choruses when it opens up, proper racket! If I had one criticism, it would be that I would have liked louder feedback, but less of it. 3.5/5
BL: I really enjoyed this track. The heavy/grungey chorus fits perfectly with the slower verses. The song has great dynamics and I’m looking forward to see what else this band have to offer. 4/5
Total score: 10.5/15