Song reviews

  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:

  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:

  Shake It Off by Circle

Shake It Off cover art

Bleep Blop

Oddly appealing minimalism from Circle and they unleash (under cover of darkness probably) their eighties style sub electro ditty “Shake It Off”.  I must be getting mellow but this unassuming song worked for me even in the cold light of day.

Review date:

  From Angels to Enemies by The Beautiful Game

From Angels to Enemies cover art

Confident indie rockers

A confident slice of indie rock pie from London’s The Beautiful Game, “From Angels To Enemies” has more substance than style which makes for a change. Jason Crowley has the attitude to match his voice and the guitars are actually interesting (again for a change). As a band, they are maturing nicely.

Review date:

  Motorway by The Tax

Motorway cover art

Indie rocks again

Decent vocals are the icing on the cake for “Motorway” but the fact remains that The Tax sound way too similar to the hundred and one other up and coming indie bands across this sceptred isle. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if they had better songs than this waiting in the wings.

Review date:

  Taxi to Glasgow by Johnny Graham

Taxi to Glasgow cover art

Looking grey

Another day, another rough demo by an aspiring Scottish singer songwriter…the insipid “Taxi To Glasgow” ticks all the boxes to achieve mediocrity for Johnny Graham. I am tempted to say something like” must try harder” but would imply that Johnny Graham had actually tried in the first place.

  Forever on your Team by Frida Selander

Forever on your Team cover art

Swede strikes out

Relentlessly commercial even if possessed of a sledgehammer like subtlety, “Forever On Your Team” could make Frida Selander’s mark on the mainstream pop music scene with her voice sounding just bruised enough to give the necessary credibility to the lyrics. I might get to like this one.

Review date:

  Basket Press by Apricot Rail

Basket Press cover art

Instrumental Australians

“Basket Press” is about as nice an example of mellow ambient rock as you will get. Apricot Rail meander aimlessly and endearingly through the five minutes plus of this poshed up soundtrack cue but are always easy on the ear and the song leaves you in no doubt regarding this band’s musical abilities.

Review date:

  Zombies by The Deep Red Sky

Zombies cover art

East coast standard

What happened here? The Deep Red Sky that I remember was a band that knew a thing about adding sparkle to a song. The most interesting thing about “Zombies (Things Don't Stay The Same)" is the title and you will be hard pushed to distinguish this song from those of any of a dozen other insipid Edinburgh indie bands. A disappointment indeed.

Review date:

  Spaceship Swagger by RMR321Bo

Spaceship Swagger cover art

Hiphop oddity

I’m not really sure what to make of “Spaceship Swagger” by rapper on something or other RMR321Bo. It could be serious, it could be ironic or it could be the result of some substance abuse but with theremin like noises, dead beats and simplistic rhymes (me so down on the street talk, innit) it has an oddball appeal.

Review date:

  We ar All the Universe by Enemies of the State

We ar All the Universe cover art

Rocking down the right road

“We Are All The Universe” turns out to be an energetic and melodic slice of civilised rock music from what I assume is a new Glasgow band Enemies of the State.  Confident vocals from Kris Tennant – I recognise that name – and an upbeat sing-along chorus add sonic potency to the spirited guitar that drives the song along.  Promising.

Review date:

Page 178 of 197   ◼◀177 178 179►◼