Song reviews

  Ball And Chain by cLuMsy

Ball And Chain cover art

Former acoustic outfit cLuMsY go large

Yes, good old fashioned values are on show here (like proper musicianship and a song arrangement) so thumbs up to cLuMsy for that. Of the songs, “Ball and Chain” is distinctly retro like a funky recreation of the Blow Monkeys and Hipsway while  “Wrong Road” betrays a pleasing ska influence. Though the band do plod a bit like a wedding band would, these are only demos so no doubt they will pick up the pace for the finished version. Nicely impassioned male vocals hold the songs together well.

Review date:

  About a Girl by My Music Myth

About a Girl cover art

Another sensitive Glasgow singer songwriter

I even remember how this demo fell into my hands. The My Music Myth chap actually handed it to me after telling the audience that the recorded versions of his songs were better than the live renditions. He did not lie although he wasn’t exactly raising the bar very far. “About A Girl” is exactly the kind of song that gives singer songwriters a bad name – it takes 52 seconds to get going and drags it out to over 6 minutes  without the slightest sign of skill or imagination in the lyrical, vocal or guitar departments.  Equally dull is “So Won’t You”. However, the CD was surprisingly aerodynamic and hit the bin on the first try.

Review date:

  Forget About It by Kissing Lola

Forget About It cover art

Polished Californian powerpop

I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the powerpop that seems to hail from the west coast of the good old USA (ahh! – love is the Kimberly Trip!) so it was with open arms that I welcomed Kissing Lola. They hail from Los Angeles but I would indeed have guessed that from the first four bars of “Forget About It” anyway. I have to say that it did sound like the kind of song that would have been on a teen movie soundtrack from twenty years ago but, hey, retro is never out of fashion these days. “1000 years” fortunately stepped to the front as the kind of radio friendly female fronted love song that might live for, well, 1000 years.

Review date:

  The Calm Song by Modern Olympic

The Calm Song cover art

An Alternative band made up of three 14 year olds

Wouldn’t have pinned these two songs on a trio of 14 year olds as the standard of musicianship is a lot higher than you would expect. Whilst “The Calm Song” rambles along in an over studious math rock  way for over 6 minutes – didn’t think the kids of today had an attention span that long – it betrays a certain lack of adventure more than anything else.  “Reposeful” throws in some vocals that suffer from being styled in the fashion of a trendy independent band. A band with a future? I wouldn't rule that out either.

Review date:

  Muzzle by Death By Misadventure

Muzzle cover art

Laidback Glasgow four man sparkled shoegazers

Kind of a hellish hybrid of The Doors and early Nirvana, “Muzzle” is a laconic grunge-athon of a song that lumbers along whilst alternately staring at its own feet and the sky (and shows scant regard for the listener’s attention span while it is at it). A bit of editing and getting the guitarist to throw in a surprise or two should save the day for the finished version though.

  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:

  Last Goodbye by Looking For Lola

Last Goodbye cover art

New Glasgow band

“Last Goodbye” is the kind of fragile, reflective song that creeps up on you. There’s not much substance here in this demo – although that’s probably deliberate -with plaintive male and female (by Kat Orr formerly of the sadly defunct Ten To Five Project) vocals sitting angularly atop the sparsest of backings. It’s not an impact song but more the kind of song that finds you when you most need it. Really rather soothing even if there is an appealingly sharp edge to the words.

  The End of the World by Xoch

The End of the World cover art

American singer, songwriter strikes out

She’s an American singer, songwriter, model and actress and the very commercial songs that Xoch submitted to the Bluesbunny demo blood fest were “The End Of The World” and “Winter in Hollywood”. Now this should been a shooting fish in a barrel situation but it wasn’t. Respectable song writing skills are on show here but if you dig beneath the leaden sub Leanne Rhimes production, Xoch actually has an interesting voice and an expressive way with a lyric. Perhaps it is a sign of spending too much time in studios but, underneath all the vocal processing, I can hear an endearingly sweet voice.

Review date:

  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:

  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.

  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:

  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:

Page 194 of 197   ◼◀193 194 195►◼