Song reviews

  After Dark by The Beautiful Game

After Dark cover art

Soft centred indie rockers

Playing to their strengths on the sensitive side of indie rock are London band The Beautiful Game. “After Dark” is a melodic and mellow song that shows more maturity than you would expect of the genre. I could see this being a crowd pleaser.

  Velvet Sunburst by Calm As The Colour

Velvet Sunburst cover art

Smiling Scottish indie popsters

“Velvet Sunburst” is the sort of song that you would expect of one of the better Scottish indie pop bands these days. It is nicely put together and draws from psychedelic influences in a successful attempt to bring light into these dull grey days. Really rather pleasant.

  C'est la vie by Taco Land

C'est la vie cover art

Mellow Texans on the move

Whatever happened to mellow, melodic folk rock? A child of seventies thought long lost? Not really if Texas band Taco Land have anything to do with it. "C'est La Vie" is an up-tempo song that rolls along the highway of life in a SUV friendly manner even it really wants to be in a '69 Dodge Charger.

Review date:  November 22 2011

  Are You Free by Haivercraft

Are You Free cover art

Guitars from Glasgow

Guitars from Glasgow pretty much sums up Haivercraft. They do rock music with less self obsession and more attitude than most which means that they might grow up to be a real rock band. The singer's mid Atlantic drawl on "Are You Free" also suggests that he has plundered his dad's classic rock record collection while the guitarist sounds like he has already taken to wearing leather trousers. A band that is getting in the tour bus mood, perhaps?

Review date:  October 27 2011

  I'm Famous by Meca

I'm Famous cover art

Urban identikit

Really, what's the point? Meca does the generic, totally plastic "urban" thing with only some dull rapping to break up the repeated chant of "I'm Famous". I kind of hope this is some sort of pastiche or at least part of some master plan to get on American Idol but, in my heart, I know it is not.

Review date:  October 27 2011

  Nobody Wants Me by New Messiahs

Nobody Wants Me cover art

Happy smiling Yorkshire lads

With a la la la and a near sociopathic affection for early seventies British pop music, Yorkshire band New Messiahs go large on the hooks and big choruses with "Nobody Wants Me".  You want more than that? Why? This is pop music like it used to be done.

Review date:  October 10 2011

  Clones by Pistolettos

Clones cover art

Indie rock with attitude

Although seemingly driven by – actually welcome -  nihilism, London band Pistolettos demonstrate a very respectable amount of style to complement the post punk ferocity of  "Clones". "Knights Suck" maintains that attitude but heads off towards hard rock territory right from the get go. A band on the way up, perhaps?

Review date:  October 8 2011

  Far Out by Visions Of

Far Out cover art

Serious Glasgwegians

Easy on the ear if somewhat anodyne, Visions Of draw heavily on the ghost of Scotland past as they merge Del Amitri, Big Country and even Franz Ferdinand into two thoughtful and serious songs. "Far Out" comes off best here as "Is This Real" suffers from over familiarity right from the opening riff.

Review date:  October 8 2011

  Alone on the Road by Sheila K Cameron

Alone on the Road cover art

Sultry songstress

The return of the torch singer continues with the blues flavoured "Alone On The Road" . On this song, Sheila K Cameron shows an almost poetic disregard for cadence and consequently pulls the songs way off towards inner torment but she gets away with it. That, my friends, is the sign of true class.

Review date:  September 29 2011

  Vancouver by Martha and The Moodies

Vancouver cover art

Urban folk

Louise Ward, formerly of Louise Against the Elements, resurfaces in a new band going by the name of Martha and the Moodies. In "Vancouver", however, she returns not to the power pop of The Elements but to the acoustic urban folk style of another one of her previous incarnations, Captain Howdie, with the result being both subtle and sultry.

Review date:  September 25 2011

  Sour Rum by Twelve Clay Feet

Sour Rum cover art

Cambridge style indie rock

Finally some proof that there is life in the indie rock genre.  Cambridge band Twelve Clay Feet turn in a thoughtful performance on "Sour Rum" that easily distinguishes them from the pack of Oasis or The View clones that otherwise pollute my ears. Jay Jeff's guitar switches between light and shade as few others do these days with the result having the mark of greatness upon it. Quality!

  The Unknown Soldier by Shotgun Kickback

The Unknown Soldier cover art

Motherwell rockers

Be nice, it says in the accompanying email. That's like saying that they only want shot in the leg. Well here goes…This Motherwell rock band sound like they have a robot drummer and are hampered by mundane lyrics but the guitars are actually interesting and the singer sounds like he only comes out at night. Fortunately for them, the latter two items are the most important things for a good rock band to have. Of the songs, "The Unknown Soldier" is easily the better but a visit from Mr Sheen could save them both.

Review date:  September 20 2011

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