Song reviews

  Mourir Pour La Pop by Garçon d'Argent

Mourir Pour La Pop cover art

French death pop

If I were to say that “Mourir Pour La Pop” is a moody and dark indie pop song from French band Garçon d'Argent, you might groan and reach for another cigarette. However, they are French and can therefore throw more style into the musical equation than seems possible so you end up standing in the shadows just so you can sing along.

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  62 by End of Neil

62 cover art

A Stirling Scot

After a long and meandering start, “62” eventually provides End of Neil with an opportunity to do it in a sentimental and melancholy style.  Unfortunately, his voice, as yet, isn’t quite up to the challenge and the song meanders, eventually, out of earshot and out of mind.

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  Promise by You Left, End of Story

Promise cover art

Welsh bedsit troubadour

“Promise” is pretty much what you would expect of a bedsit troubadour who has heard a Coldplay album or two. The thing is, and it is the important thing, Karl Andrews – for it is his voice – actually sounds like he means every word he sings.  In a perfect world, that would be more than enough to guarantee success.

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  Keeping Up With The Jones' by Soulfire

Keeping Up With The Jones' cover art

Aberdeen soul show

Despite the lacklustre playing and the rough around the edges sound, Soulfire demonstrate a fair amount of both attitude and humour in “Keeping Up with The Jones”. Singer Sarah Elizabeth Roberts plays with the lyrics in an appropriately forceful manner and, let’s be honest here, you have to admire a band that can squeeze in a line like “fur coat and no knickers” into one of their songs.

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  What a Feeling by The Baboon Show

What a Feeling cover art

Rock not punk

Actually a solid piece of American style rock music from Sweden’s The Baboon Show, the press release for “What A Feeling” claims this song is punk rock. Despite the riffing guitars on overdrive, “What A feeling” is so radio friendly that it will make you smile and sing along whilst you wait at the traffic lights of life.

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  Rise Brother Rise by Soulnaturals

Rise Brother Rise cover art

British soul

Whilst admittedly pretty much what you expect of a British soul band, “Rise Brother Rise” nonetheless provides more than adequate proof that the Soulnaturals have a bit of class. The delightfully named Lotus D easily makes her mark selling a song short on lyrics but high on that late night, big city groove.

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  Velvet Rock by Origami Horses

Velvet Rock cover art

Boys making some noise

Now a single on Magnetic Eye Recordings, Origami Horses gallop on by with “Velvet Rock” having a distinctly acceptable mix of runaway train type impetus and a rough round the edges cargo of cigarette butts and empty beer cans. It’s enough to make a man drop his kebab on the way home and sing along.

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  Chance by Kenny Love

Chance cover art

Jazz funk in a plastic box

“Chance” does sound a bit dated and the song has the feel of being dragged along by the eighties dead on the click robotic sequencing. On the plus side, the male vocals have a confident, easy going edge to them even if they do sound like they were recorded in the cupboard under the stairs. If a bit of cash were to be spent then perhaps, perhaps perhaps.

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  Torture by The Pale Faces

Torture cover art

Leicester collective

Despite being nearly overcome by an over the top desire to be simultaneously theatrical and offbeat, The Pale Faces successfully take their torment out of the basement and, renaming it “Torture”, take it for a walk along the beach (in the rain, of course).. Bleak and yet curiously rewarding, it is the kind of song that annoys you for far longer than you might think.

  Three Kingdoms by Love and Radiation

Three Kingdoms cover art

Dissonant dancepop

Simple and straightforward, “Three Kingdoms” trips off the mighty sequencer in search of the outer limits of eighties synth pop and, in their endearing low budget way , Love and Radiation find it with the laconic female vocals hitting the emotional mark square on. Downbeat but not downhearted, if you like, and be assured that there is no such thing as too much mascara.

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  A song by Lanré

A song cover art

Acoustically charming

Laced with gentle acoustic undulation, “Má Gbàgbé” walks slowly in the sunshine giving Lanré plenty of time to charm your ears with her unaffected vocal talents.  Admittedly, the song doesn’t really go anywhere and would benefit from being substantially shortened but it’s a nice enough way to pass the time.

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  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.

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