Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Little Indie Roundtable Review - w/e November 17 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: Josh Falconer, vocalist with emerging indie band Rental Wives; Braden Fletcher, promoter, InFireworks Music; Little Indie contributor, Davey Blade.
THE DUNTS - DIMITRI
Produced by Johnny Madden (of Baby Strange) and Chris Marshall, this is the follow up to ‘Coalition Of Chaos’ from the Glasgow band. Taken from their upcoming EP ‘Not Working Is Class’, due for release via Pulling Teeth Records on November 24, they exude a burst of punchy punk, frantic guitars, and pummeled vocals.
Josh Falconer: A high energy recording and I can imagine they've closely captured their live sound. The singer's vocal cuts through that garage wall of sound nicely. Felt the lyrics could've been defined more and weren't in focus enough for me, but enjoyed it. 3/5
Braden Fletcher: There’s a sense of immediacy with this band that hits you in a similar way that The Vaccines or Royal Blood does. Whilst I’m not a big fan of either of those bands, the energy brought to the table on what would otherwise be a pretty run-in-the-mill two and a half minutes elevates it to being a pretty interesting listen that you go back to. 3/5
Davey Blade: An exciting powerful guitar driven song that is reminiscent of Libertines, with echoes of Kaiser Chiefs pop sensibilities. It has a great production that enhances the melody and expresses the rush of exhilaration expressed in the lyrics. 4/5
Total score: 10/15
EASY LIFE - POCKETS
Infectious debut - released last week on Chess Club Records - from Leicester five-piece who describe this as a "93 BPM head-nodder born out of the need to give a middle finger to those people who don't believe in simplicity, and are only concerned with material wealth and all other vices that have made modern living that little bit less sweet. It essentially documents that terrible sinking feeling of realising you can't quite afford to pay this month's rent due to your own stupidity; an unsettling emotion that is unshakable, too familiar and hangs over us like a dead albatross."
JF: This gripped me immediately. I like the textures, it was really colourful and whacky, but held together by the vocal line. Coherent explosions into different parts of the song. Good flow. 4/5
BF: There’s a growing trend of bands making this kind of music, almost as if everyone wants to be Jamie T with a King Krule vibe. For now, I’m on board with it, especially as this has a nice vibe to it and a bit of brass is very welcomed, but I’m sure that over time, it’ll be hard to distinguish one band from another. Again though, it’s a decent track and a promising start, but there’s nothing new to excite me. 3/5
DB: Catchy lyrical narrative mixing samples with a funky beat and horns, reminiscent of Big Audio Dynamite in places in the way it combines social commentary with soulful beat. The chorus doesn’t really go anywhere, although It has a great vibe and danceable beat. 3/5
Total score: 10/15
FACE - CRY
London-via-Glasgow newcomers release their debut EP ‘yesplease’ on November 24 via AOA/Warners, preceded by this lead single. An optimistic guitar pop tune about ignoring the haters. Vocalist David Arthur says of the track: “I guess you could say ‘Cry’ is our 'fuck you' song to all the people in the world near and far who judge you, criticise you, pull you down or who try to hold power over you in any way. We wrote this in a perpetual state of fed up-ness at the world around us. We are served daily offerings of corruption and darkness straight onto our TV screens and smart phones to keep us from thinking for ourselves. Time is up. We’ve had enough. Power to the people, people."
JF: Very anthemic. Like how they've combined post-punk influences with a more funky sound. Always a fan of the deeper melancholic vocal and it contrasts nicely here. High production and a strange video to go with. 4/5
BF: The video followed a nice simple trajectory. The old ‘band plays a talent show’ trope always proves an easy and aesthetically pleasing few minutes. That the track also followed on generic lines of how every indie song goes though, was pretty boring. Even the festival singalong bridge felt unoriginal. 1.5/5
DB: Has a familiar 80s electro feel, very danceable and catchy chorus with rhythmic West African beats, not too dissimilar to Bombay Bicycle Club. I am sure it will do well in the dance clubs but it doesn’t really push any new boundaries for me. 2/5
Total score: 7.5/15
LUNA BAY - LITTLE AMSTERDAM
Hailing from different parts of the country and meeting at college in London, Luna Bay are lead singer and guitarist Connor O’Mara (London), bassist Sammy Penniston (Bucks), guitarist Rye Milligan (Cardigan Bay) and drummer Alex Ross (Suffolk), this latest cut from the band comes with big hooks and even bigger choruses and follows their summer single ‘Hometown’ which has passed 1 million streams on Spotify alone.
JF: Catchy riffs and nice harmonies, they've got a polished sound. But stylistically its not for me - a bit pop-punk. 3/5
BF: In many ways, Luna Bay run the risk of being as generic as the last track, but for a reason I can’t place a finger on, there’s something you want to listen to again. Perhaps its the uptempo chorus, or just a well put together combination of tones from guitarists; either way it’s going in some playlists. 4/5
DB: This is a splendid song with everything in all the right places. Has a great production that has the band forging their own distinctive sound, with a rousing chorus creating a great pop tune. These guys are onto something, and I can see this doing really well at the festivals. 4/5
Total score: 11/15
HEADCLOUDS - SEEN IT BEFORE
A Little Indie Hot Pick back in August with their debut single 'Flowers', the Newcastle five-piece follow up with this second track lifted from their forthcoming EP 'Pure Honey', which was premiered on BBC Radio 1 by Phil Taggart. A blend of blissful, 60s surf harmonies with fuzzy, lo-fi guitar jangles.
JF: Love the vocal hook and the rhythms. Nice backing vocals and nice dynamics to the song in general. They strike me as a band that know when to stop playing and it can be as effective as playing. Also, they've got those 90s slacker influences, that stuff was cool first time round and works great with their new take on it. Enjoyed this one the most this week. To sum it up, it was just cool as f**k. 5/5
BF: This flowery style of fuzzy pop has really grown on me in the last few months. The school of bands who wanted to make something interesting behind all the pedals has really grown out of 60s surf mixed with Sonic Youth and become a genre in which each band brings something slightly new to the table. This is the first I’ve heard of Headclouds and I very much doubt it will be the last. 4/5
DB: Dreampop, with fuzzy guitar and repetitive Beach Boys-like chorus. For me, the song peaks rather too early with the chorus which doesn’t allow the rest of the song to fully develop. Some interesting guitar in the mid-section which has a retro Buffalo Springfield sound quality which I’d like to have heard more of. 2/5
Total score: 11/15