Song reviews

  Hospital by Hospital Neon

Hospital cover art

Ambient post rock hybrid

“Hospital” is a moody and bleak song that walks the line between ambient and post rock quite successfully. I’m not entirely convinced by the male vocals but they fit into place nicely. It would appear that Hospital Neon is an alias for the underrated PNDC so those of you in the know will appreciate what you are getting here.

Review date:  November 11 2012

  Ithaca by Look, Stranger

Ithaca cover art

London synth poppers

“Ithaca” is a rather endearing bot of retro style synth pop that would surely have dented the charts if it had been released twenty years ago and would no doubt have put this London band on the trail of Depeche Mode if it had. Unfortunately, today is today but this song nonetheless has an appealing innocence in its favour.

Review date:  November 11 2012

  Mountains Define You by Frida Selander

Mountains Define You cover art

Sweden goes sort of country

There’s a bit of everything in “Mountains Define You”. There are smoky vocals, a Scottish indie pop jangle to the guitars, a harmonica solo and an overwhelming sense of the getting out of the dustbowl and into the city decorating the lyrics.  You could almost call it country if it were not for the knowing quirkiness of it all. I’m sold on this one.

Review date:  November 11 2012

  Dodos by Suspire

Dodos cover art

Ambitious Glasgow band

“Dodos” turns out to be a mid paced and surprisingly mainstream rocker from this Glasgow band. Not that I’m complaining as it sounds professional and radio friendly without being obviously commercial and that, my friends, is usually the mark of true quality.

Review date:  November 11 2012

  Dead Happy by Very Well

Dead Happy cover art

Melody Edinburgh style

New Edinburgh band Very Well take the Idlewild road with “Dead Happy”. What you get is a melodic, vaguely retro, song that sounds more expensive than it should and is further distinguished by Daniel Abercrombie’s confident vocal. However, I am once again forced to comment on the lack of decent guitarists in dear old Scotland even if the end result was actually easy on the ear.

Review date:  November 3 2012

  Staring At The Ground by Little Victories

Staring At The Ground cover art

Leeds indie popsters

Leeds band doing a bit of old time indie pop. Little Victories’ song “Staring at The Ground“ might not stray far from the expected but they nonetheless manage to bring both warmth and bit of subtlety to its execution with the end result being quite endearing in its own way.

Review date:  November 3 2012

  500 days by Marina Skiadaresi

500 days cover art

The beauty of perfection

When you have the voice of a tormented angel like Marina Skiadaresi has, you can’t help but soar high above the norm. “500 days” is theatrical in both intent and delivery and simply overcomes you. Marina Skiadaresi may have been around a while and she might well live in the arthouse but she is magnificent.

Review date:  October 30 2012

  Project Runaway by Rebel Rebel

Project Runaway cover art

Swedish synth pop

You can’t go wrong with a bit of dance floor oriented synth pop and that’s what Rebel Rebel, from Sweden it would seem, give us with “Project Runaway“ with the female vocals drifting in an appealingly world weary way over the solidly sequenced beat.  Grudgingly, I have to admit to quite liking this song.

  Sweeten the Deal by The Deadline Shakes

Sweeten the Deal cover art

Scots go Britpop

Scottish boys show themselves to be the jaggy bunnet wearing sons of Blur as “Sweeten The Deal” whoops it up with harmonies and, you heard it here first, an actual melody. This is a properly constructed pop song just like they used to make before the music business went power chords and unsuccessful beards. It’s enough to make you forget there is a recession.

Review date:  October 30 2012

  Bloodvessels by Juba

Bloodvessels cover art

Portuguese indie rock

Juba are from Lisbon and actually manage to make indie rock sound interesting with their song “Bloodvessels”. The pounding drums, cascading guitars and moody male vocals fall into place nicely and the end result responds well to being cranked up to full volume.

Review date:  October 30 2012

  When I'm Not Around by Senate of Prevail

When I'm Not Around cover art

Forged and lacquered

I like a bit of melodic metal as much as the next guy and “When I’m Not Around” is indeed a bit of melodic metal forged from the best hair rock that time travelling can buy. This song is a good effort with plenty of attitude but it lacks a certain something and that something is a great big guitar solo. Perhaps, underneath all the macho posturing, Senate of Prevail are actually vegetarians?

Review date:  October 23 2012

  Drop Dead Shoes by The Rhythm Sluts

Drop Dead Shoes cover art

Hardcore invisible popsters

“Drop Dead Shoes” is the kind of song that I should hate. It’s got plastic drums, power chords on overdrive and a malevolent growl substituted for vocals but it still kind of got to me. Don’t get me wrong for this song is crude stuff but it is also probably an antidote to my shit don’t stink indie rock. I feel some cautious enthusiasm coming on.

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