Song reviews

  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

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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.

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  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.

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  Where You Are by Jennifer Byrd

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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

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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.

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  The Horror Show by Jack Rabbit

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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.

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  A song by Acoustic Butterfly

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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!

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  Rambling Junkie by Lemon Sole

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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?

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  Persian Eyes by Whiskey Cove

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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.

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  That's all I Really Want by Andy Robinson

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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.

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  No Regrets by Eight Feet Deep

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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.

  Time by Anna Searight

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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.

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