Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Little Indie Roundtable Review - w/e March 3 2017

This week our three guest reviewers take on another five new tracks and give them a spin through the headphones before they then air their opinion on each.

This week's panel: Aled Schell, head of independent label My Little Empire Records; Simon Bailey, live promoter at Future Perfect; Josh Sellers, bassist with Manchester band False Advertising.

Dundee four-piece share first single (out on March 10 on Assai Records) from their forthcoming Record Store Day (April 22) EP, ‘Show The World’.

Aled Schell: The verses kinda pass me by as a bit indie-by-numbers, but the chorus really kicks with a huge wall of sound. It’s big, anthemic indie rock which I could see filling some big venues in the venture. 3.5/5

Simon Bailey: This is memorable, but maybe not for all the right reasons. Kind of catchy, but kind of a bit boring. Like they’re reaching for that big pop hook but just falling slightly short. I think this band needs a bit more time to develop their own sound. 2/5

Josh Sellers: It’s well crafted for the radio and you can’t deny the sing-along factor here. That chorus and ending soars with a ‘cinematic flashback montage’ feeling. The twists each verse offers brings freshness to a much saturated genre. 2.5/5

Total score: 8/15

Latest single sees the Liverpool four-piece move away from the synth-pop vibes of their debut to bring some upbeat indie pop vibes on this Sam Winfield (The Amazons, Amber Run, Fickle Friends) latest, where vocalist Evan Torrente ponders modern dating.

AS: I’m keen on the angular guitars and they definitely have that Two Door Cinema Club kind of sound down. For me, it’s let down slightly by the Tinder themes interlude section. 3.5/5

SB: Like the Strokes/Tokyo Police Club vibes on this one. Feel-good summer vibes, making me look forward to the summer. 3/5

JS: This is total feel-good, very summery. Brilliant little intro on this too, its rare to hear a drum intro so catchy these days. This song could so easily have been a bit overkill, but its sits back in just the right places waiting to pounce on that chorus. The production nerd in me is getting excited too, kudos to Sam Winfield here – really pristine. Time to get ya shorts and shades out. 3/5

Total score: 9.5/15

Released February 24 on Siluh Records, new alt-rockgaze single from Berlin/Vienna-based five-piece, following debut album 'In The Meantime', and who we first heard last year with 'Vacation'.

AS: Some nice, dreamy production and good interplay between reverb lead and more chunky rhythm guitars. Could maybe do with a few more musical flourishes and variations to take that step up to the next level. 3/5

SB: This is more my cup of the old proverbial personally. Nice guitar sounds, evokes a bit of Ride, The Horrors and the softer side of BRMC for me. 4/5

JS: I’m really into this. The duelling melodies casually weaving in and out are a bit like a modern Smiths-esque shoegaze. I feel I could get a lot of stuff done listening to it without being distracted or annoyed. It takes its time, unassumingly going where it wants at its own pace. That minor skulk is a stroke of genius too. Yeah, I’m a fan. 4/5

Total score: 11/15

Debut dreamy surf-pop single from Liverpool-based four-piece jangle-boppers, which came out last week (February 20).

AS: This finds a nice middle ground between shoegaze and indie pop with sonic elements of rambling, reverbed musicianship, but with an upbeat bouncy feel. The production isn’t quite there at times for me, but a strong track nonetheless. 3.5/5

SB: Nice tune but I can’t help feeling like I’ve heard this before - just with better vocals. The outro saved it, lovely stuff! 3/5

JS: There's a really engaging vocal rhythm to this, keeping me hanging on just on the edge of every word. Big love for the bassline too, really adding shape to the calm yet cosmic guitar. Speaking of guitar, there’s some delightful David Gilmour style hooks in the there I’m really enjoying. 4/5

Total score: 10.5/15

From upcoming album 'Three Mothers Part 2', out in April, the London-based sextet (comprising cello, violin, viola, bass, drums) ruminate on suicide on this single cut of distorted bass, lush strings and deep resonating vocals, released March 17 via Ciao Ketchup Recordings.

AS: There’s a nice dark groove to the track which plays off well with the lighter strings and the rich baritone vocal which is uttering some macabre lyrics. It’s reminiscent of The Divine Comedy and the softer moments in Nick Cave’s back catalogue. 4/5

SB: Like the chunky guitar riff. Reminds me a bit of The Divine Comedy too, plus Roxy Music and even Sufjan Stevens. Definitely the most original and interesting of all the tracks. Look forward to hearing more from these. Pick of the bunch! 4.5/5

JS: Stripped back, dry and dirty, with vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Iggy Pop album. Its minimal fuzz bass and stoic drums had me anticipating a blues punk ruckus but I was kept on my toes and pleasantly proved wrong. 3.5/5

Total score: 12/15

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