Song reviews

  Keanu Leaves by Where We Lay Our Heads

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Intelligent Glaswegians

I’m about 30 seconds in to this song and it has become plainly obvious that I am listening to one of the better educated Glasgow bands that nicely balance their indie pop and neo folk influences.  That might sound like an Admiral Fallow comparison is on the cards but the emotional sharp edges to the lyrics(and an actual vocal arrangement) allows “Keanu Leaves” to walk tall amongst the cardigan wearers.

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  Jupiter Tears by Naked Sunday

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Following that line

“Jupiter Tears” is a fair to middling song from Midlands rock band Naked Sunday. In the band’s favour are an honesty of presentation and a decent amount of musical skill but it does seem that they aren’t really developing. In other words, this song sounds pretty much identical to their last one.

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  Sexy Voodoo Party by Bundamove

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Feet movers

Endearingly gimmicky in a cheesy seventies funk kind of way, Italian/Congolese conglomeration Bundamove usher in the summer to the car radios and dance floors of Europe with their single “Sexy Voodoo Party”. It’s enough to make you get up on the good foot.

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  Crawl by Witch Hunt

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Moody peddlers

“Crawl” is a moody slice of neo-folk from Yorkshire band Witch Hunt that seems to draw more from obsession and the shadows of the soul than pixies and fishing boats over its four minute plus running time. Effective female vocals but, in truth, nothing much really happens between start and finish but I suppose it is all, as they say, in the atmosphere.

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  Roll For Me by Woodenbox

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Glasgow treasure

Eminently crowd pleasing and yet offbeat, “Roll For Me” rolls, yes rolls, along with both maturity and infectious charm driving it and this single provides yet more proof that Woodenbox is one of Glasgow’s hidden treasures. One day (soon?) they shall be worshipped.

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  Stranger I Know by Liam Singer

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Urbane indie

A damn sight cleverer than its diffident twee pop presentation would suggest, “Stranger I know” makes for a fine introduction to the introspective melancholia of Liam Singer.  The song has the simplest of sequenced melodies and yet Mr Singer manages to layer on enough heart and soul to make an admirably intelligent sonic confection.

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  All the Good Ones Are Gone by Circus Devils

All the Good Ones Are Gone cover art

Venerable and venerated

Now verging on being venerable, the Circus Devils show the benefits of maturity here with “All The Good Ones Are Gone” running along very nicely with only voice and piano as propulsion. There’s a bit of a Bowie seventies style feel to the performance in there too which is just fine by me.

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  Borstal Boy by LAC

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Earnest progenitors

“Borstal Boy” sounds less like a single than it does a songwriter demo. There’s no doubting the quality of that song writing but the male vocals are sadly lacking in impact. A finished version might well be of interest to Paul Weller fans though.

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  Ruins by Seaweed Meadows

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Swedish indie pop

Another escapee from the indie pop breeding ground that is Sweden, Seaweed Meadows run close to the middle of the road with “Ruins”. There’s a melody you can hum, there’s emotive lead vocals and there’s even a chorus and that makes the end result eminently likeable.

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  To The Sea by I Like The Go Go

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Fuzz grunge duo

Brighton band I Like The Go Go go two up two down on that classic fifties reverb and fuzz sound.  “To The Sea” stumbles, fumbles and rumbles along like a song looking for a fight, another bottle of cheap cider and a kebab before it goes home with the nearest  psycho blonde. Definitely not the British beach boys in other words.

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  Waiting by The Penny Black

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Rock faithful

Don’t know much about this band but they seem to have sprung up from the great British tradition of guitar led rock bands. “Waiting” rolls along nicely and, whilst not springing any surprises, comes across as an honest performance by an honest band with the spirited lead vocals supplying the proverbial cherry on the cake.

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  If This Rover Was Whiskey by Cornelius The Third

If This Rover Was Whiskey cover art

One man and a rap

Barring the tired sound bite serving as an intro, “If This River Was Whiskey” makes for a good introduction to Cornelius The Third. All you really get is a spirited rap over a looped bit of blues guitar but he puts his heart into to it and that makes all the difference. If our Cornelius were to get a substance abuse problem then he could potentially rival underground heroes like NNMaddox.

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