Song reviews

  Zombie Baby by Iconic Tonic

Zombie Baby cover art

Living and breathing rock ‘n’ roll

From Ohio, these three guys pump out proper rock music that just cries out to be played loud.  “Zombie Baby” would make – unsurprisingly – a nice addition to a grungy B movie soundtrack while “Paramount” shows that the band can go further than mere repetition to make their musical point. Although somewhat lacking in sonic individuality, they do a decent job with these two songs.

Review date:  October 19 2010

  Tired of Being by The Dirty Keys

Tired of Being cover art

An epic piano-led pop/rock band from Glasgow

You can tell when a band has had the benefit of a musical education and The Dirty Keys sound like such a band. Urbane, civilised with the wry demeanour of a fop down on his luck about the vocals, “Tired of Being” gives the old ivories a right good tinkling here. In fact, you could see Noel Coward approving of them making it hard to believe they are from Glasgow.

Review date:  September 27 2010

  Killing Time by New Town Triptych

Killing Time cover art

A three piece acoustic band

Pleasingly classy acoustic trio strip out Frightened Rabbit’s sound to give us a 1-2-3 of “The Things That Keep Me Here”, “Killing Time” and “Don’t Want To Hear It” with male and female vocals intertwined around the very solid and wholesome musical foundations. I doubt that you will ever find them shooting up in the toilet however but points have to be awarded for the barely suppressed sense of fun on show here. Eminently likeable.

Review date:  September 23 2010

  Where You Are by Jennifer Byrd

Where You Are cover art

Singer songwriter from Reading

With delicate, hushed vocals of such gentleness that you would barely notice them as your ears are caressed, “Where You Are” could easily pass as a lullaby. Then, in a change of style, dear sweet, sensitive Jennifer goes a little bit country on the jolly “Conversations In My Head” just like Donna Hughes without the drawl. Whatever door she decides to knock on, I reckon she’ll be welcomed with open arms.

  Persian Eyes by Whiskey Cove

Persian Eyes cover art

Band formed Jon Ingemar Taylor and Karl Housley

Sometimes I wonder what indie rock would sound like if it were done right.  You know – if a song were actually to have impact for reasons other than just being loud. To my ears, “Persian Eyes” sounds just like that. It’s fast but not frenetic with plenty of space left for vocalist Jonathan Taylor to show that he has the mark of distinction.  “Promenade Du Clair De Lune” drops the pace even further and burns brightly with the intensity you would expect of someone like Ray Lamontagne.  I can see this band gaining mainstream fans.

Review date:  September 22 2010

  Rambling Junkie by Lemon Sole

Rambling Junkie cover art

Classic rock band from Stockport

Repetitive rock escapes from the confines of Stockport as “Rambling Junkie” . If you were expecting a bit of social commentary - or maybe even humour – given the title then you would be disappointed as nothing really happens to lift this band above the standard of your average big city rock band. Similarly turgid is “My My”. Maybe they are better live?

Review date:  September 22 2010

  A song by Acoustic Butterfly

A song cover art

An ever evolving, award winning Glasgow group

Ha! A ringer! No way this is a demo as it is way too slick. So slick they could be a roots version (a Scottish version, of course) of Fleetwood Mac and, with a bit of the fashionable local accents and some very neatly arranged vocals, it doesn’t take long for the nod of approval to be given to “Wild Blue” and “Down To River”. If these two songs are representative, then modern folk music has much to offer our ears. Thumbs up to Acoustic Butterfly!

Review date:  September 22 2010

  The Horror Show by Jack Rabbit

The Horror Show cover art

Producing modern sounds from a moment in time.

A tough of English quirkiness is to be found here balancing Blur and Madness on top of an honest to goodness musical cake that is made up of cheeky chappies having fun. Their good natured bounciness works well on “The Horror Show” and "S.H.E.L.L.E.Y." (even if that one does sound more than a bit like “Hotel Califiornia”). “Shout It Out”, on the other hand,  is rather more ordinary but Jack Rabbit are certainly worth a listen anyway.

Review date:  September 22 2010

  No Regrets by Eight Feet Deep

No Regrets cover art

New York rawk returns

Someone is being a bit cunning here as these songs are too well produced to be demos.  Eight Feet Deep hail from New York and feature Billy 'Pills' Fridrich  on guitars and  Mike DiMeo  on vocals charging through a homage to American rock of the nineties.  “No Regrets” would sit easily over the start (or end) titles of any movie that stars Dolph Lundgren while “Throwdown” just screams big – big riffs, big vocals, big hair etc. Mr Fridich’s guitar tends to overpower everything but that is, as I recall,  the way of that particular genre.

  That's all I Really Want by Andy Robinson

That's all I Really Want cover art

English likely lad on the loose

Take all your musical influences and put them in a blender and you’d probably get “That’s All I Really Want”. Andy Robinson belts it out like an entertainer should (and he probably has a career ahead of him on Saturday night television given the confidence of his delivery) but the song is just plain clumsy.

Review date:  August 15 2010

  Time by Anna Searight

Time cover art

Brighton based singer songwriter

Liked these two tracks (“Time” and “Left of Us”). Anna Searight’s voice echoes the traditions of English folk music and both songs show a notable delicacy that steps out from the usual woe-is-me singer songwriter material with “Time” impressing most despite its simplicity. Sometimes simple is enough when you have the talent to carry it off. Ms Searight has that talent.

  Cobbles and Robbers by Casino City

Cobbles and Robbers cover art

5 piece Scottish indie rock band turns tricks

Central Scotland is littered with sh*te indie rock bands. So much so that the government ought to fund a cull. Reckon on Casino City getting spared as they’re not sh*te.  Hiding behind Green Day influences, Stephen Henry belts it out on the bombastic cock rock that is “Sound of Demons” like he has big hair and an ego the size of a small planet. “Cobbles and Robbers” unfortunately stumbles a bit with awkward synths strolling aimlessly through the song while “Losing Streak” is probably this band’s anthem.  Smell the testosterone, baby!

Review date:  July 25 2010

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