Song reviews

  Promise by You Left, End of Story

Promise cover art

Welsh bedsit troubadour

“Promise” is pretty much what you would expect of a bedsit troubadour who has heard a Coldplay album or two. The thing is, and it is the important thing, Karl Andrews – for it is his voice – actually sounds like he means every word he sings.  In a perfect world, that would be more than enough to guarantee success.

Review date:  February 10 2013

  Keeping Up With The Jones' by Soulfire

Keeping Up With The Jones' cover art

Aberdeen soul show

Despite the lacklustre playing and the rough around the edges sound, Soulfire demonstrate a fair amount of both attitude and humour in “Keeping Up with The Jones”. Singer Sarah Elizabeth Roberts plays with the lyrics in an appropriately forceful manner and, let’s be honest here, you have to admire a band that can squeeze in a line like “fur coat and no knickers” into one of their songs.

Review date:  February 10 2013

  What a Feeling by The Baboon Show

What a Feeling cover art

Rock not punk

Actually a solid piece of American style rock music from Sweden’s The Baboon Show, the press release for “What A Feeling” claims this song is punk rock. Despite the riffing guitars on overdrive, “What A feeling” is so radio friendly that it will make you smile and sing along whilst you wait at the traffic lights of life.

Review date:  February 2 2013

  Rise Brother Rise by Soulnaturals

Rise Brother Rise cover art

British soul

Whilst admittedly pretty much what you expect of a British soul band, “Rise Brother Rise” nonetheless provides more than adequate proof that the Soulnaturals have a bit of class. The delightfully named Lotus D easily makes her mark selling a song short on lyrics but high on that late night, big city groove.

Review date:  February 2 2013

  Velvet Rock by Origami Horses

Velvet Rock cover art

Boys making some noise

Now a single on Magnetic Eye Recordings, Origami Horses gallop on by with “Velvet Rock” having a distinctly acceptable mix of runaway train type impetus and a rough round the edges cargo of cigarette butts and empty beer cans. It’s enough to make a man drop his kebab on the way home and sing along.

Review date:  February 2 2013

  Chance by Kenny Love

Chance cover art

Jazz funk in a plastic box

“Chance” does sound a bit dated and the song has the feel of being dragged along by the eighties dead on the click robotic sequencing. On the plus side, the male vocals have a confident, easy going edge to them even if they do sound like they were recorded in the cupboard under the stairs. If a bit of cash were to be spent then perhaps, perhaps perhaps.

Review date:  February 2 2013

  Torture by The Pale Faces

Torture cover art

Leicester collective

Despite being nearly overcome by an over the top desire to be simultaneously theatrical and offbeat, The Pale Faces successfully take their torment out of the basement and, renaming it “Torture”, take it for a walk along the beach (in the rain, of course).. Bleak and yet curiously rewarding, it is the kind of song that annoys you for far longer than you might think.

  Three Kingdoms by Love and Radiation

Three Kingdoms cover art

Dissonant dancepop

Simple and straightforward, “Three Kingdoms” trips off the mighty sequencer in search of the outer limits of eighties synth pop and, in their endearing low budget way , Love and Radiation find it with the laconic female vocals hitting the emotional mark square on. Downbeat but not downhearted, if you like, and be assured that there is no such thing as too much mascara.

Review date:  January 26 2013

  A song by Lanré

A song cover art

Acoustically charming

Laced with gentle acoustic undulation, “Má Gbàgbé” walks slowly in the sunshine giving Lanré plenty of time to charm your ears with her unaffected vocal talents.  Admittedly, the song doesn’t really go anywhere and would benefit from being substantially shortened but it’s a nice enough way to pass the time.

Review date:  January 26 2013

  Laura by Betamin

Laura cover art

Plugged in no-fi

Taking lo-fi into no-fi is Glasgow band Betamin. Underneath the murk and general untidiness “Laura” turns on the lovelight for those days when rock first met synth (at least I think it is a synth?) while the gruff vocals emoting words probably not meant to be understood give the song some purpose and direction. I think I’ll add them to the list for further investigation.

  My Mother by Folks

My Mother cover art

Smarter than Yogi

Positively uplifting bit of rock meets pop from Folks who use “My Mother” as a tightly focussed homage to the chart dominating talents of seventies luminaries Chinn and Chapman. We are talking commercial, we are talking clever, we are talking hummable and we are talking, by implication, about a proper song. Run it up the flag pole and salute it because you don’t hear too many like this these days.

Review date:  January 19 2013

  For You by The Merrylees

For You cover art

Scottish Americana

The Merrylees, like so many Scottish bands trying to avoid the mediocrity of indie rock, draw from a gamut of American musical influences. Unfortunately, like so many bands before them, the spark of inspiration has deserted them and “For You”, whilst easy on the ear, will not trouble your memory for long.

Review date:  January 19 2013

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