Singles. They’re interesting things. Some, perhaps with justification, would say that in the modern era of MP3s, Itunes and Peerweb (or Apex as it’s known now apparently) the single has become all but redundant, a way for record companies to squeeze an extra penny from albums everyone’s nicking off the internet anyway. Nonetheless, they’re still being made, and thus they’re still being reviewed. Here, very belatedly (my fault entirely), are the single reviews up until 10th November. From this point on I shall make a weekly post of all the singles reviews from the previous week, but this is simply the backlog which has built up. Enjoy.
“Hole in the Earth” – Deftones
As the starter from their new album, the Deftones’s ‘Hole in the Earth’ sets a new, more mature tone in comparison with their usual catchy-rant tunes for the daring. This track combines their trademark tasteful grunge guitar sound with more poignant lyrics written over a cup of tea and a philosophy textbook. 4/5
“Lunacy” – Radar
‘Lunacy’ by old-man-Ordinary-Boys Radar, is clear evidence that the talent for funky pop to a poor reggae beat does not get better with age, even if you do sound grumpier. Great for background music, that is, on the condition
there’s something better and louder playing over the top. 1/5
“Fire!” – SixNationState
It’s always a bad sign when a song reminds you of Electric Six, and not in
the good way either. ‘Fire!’ is a camped up Elvis-meets-Indie guitars ditty
which in fact just sounds like a remixed version of a country and western
soundtrack, yes, complete with woo-woo train noises. 0.5/5
“Analyse” – Thom Yorke
The latest solo offering from Radiohead frontman Yorke doesn’t immediately grab you, but rather seeps into your brain on repeated listens. Yorke’s gently haunting vocals describe a bleak ‘OK Computer’-esque dissatisfaction, and the edgy piano and beat combine to make this a quiet but memorable gem. 4/5
“The Audience Is Listening Theme Song” / “What’s The Altitude” – Cut Chemist feat. Hymnal
Cut Chemist offers us up a re-tread of bread & butter breaks & beats, similarly to the tame leftfield hip-hop of recent Jurassic 5, all the
Chemist’s got to show is the all too obvious; scruffy beats, sinister double-bass, token vinyl crackle – pieced together it still might retain
that elusive cool, but it still makes for a pretty unadventurous cut. 2/5
‘The chance/live fast die ugly’ – Hundred Reasons
Post-hardcore so tired it could have come from those beautiful days in 2001 when emo kids had yet to discover black make-up and Topshop. 0/5
“Frontline” – Captain
London-based quintet claiming to be the antithesis of the current “fashionista” scene deliver an airy summer tune with Prefab Sprout vocal undertones. Useless instrumental version, though.3/5
“Don’t Take My Sunshine Away” – Sparklehorse
A laid-back, melodic, end-of summer track that would be right at home in a T-Mobile advert.
“Boring Lifestyles” – Twisted Charm
Upbeat, foot-tapping synth-rock topped with a manic sax solo and droning, but effective vocals.
“New York, New York” – Moby featuring Debbie Harry
Everything about this track says ‘worn out’: Moby seems to have lost all the invention that crafted the seminal ‘Play’, offering a routine electro-dance track; Debbie Harry’s vocals are heavy and dawdling and even the title has that ‘recycled’ feel. It’s lively and danceable, but uninspired. 2/5
“Headlock” – Imogen Heap
Picking up where Frou Frou left off Imogen Heap’s solo effort shares the same delicate use of layers; cascading cello, quirky percussion and electro-beats, to allow Heap’s vocals to dominate. It’s a punchy pop number that’s catchy and more about getting Imogen Heap firmly lodged in your brain than anything else. 3/5
“Don’t Fear” – Maps
In a new trend of ambient electro-classical crossovers here is a single that shows Northampton can do it (almost) as well as Reykjavik. Building from an organ-led, sometimes suspect, whispered vocal melody, to plonking pianos, glitz-synth melodies and glitch-pop beats, the crescendo is more polished than the lead up, but overall a quality track. 4/5
“Fools With Money” – Luke Toms
Luke Toms delivers an ELO-resurrection in his melody led grand pop-rock, complete with string arrangements, Elton John piano refrains, and a voice that shifts between Alex Turner and Bowie after a 40-a-day smoking habit. It’s bold, eccentric, its got a catchy line but it is a bit of a novelty. 3/5
Sunny, jangly but fairly forgettable, The Tacticians’ pleasant puree of the Kinks and the Kooks lacks the wisdom of the Ray Davis, and more importantly, the floppy hair of Luke Pritchard.
“Shoot The Runner” – Kasabian
Taken from ‘the best album since Definitely Maybe,’ (Kasabian’s words, no one else’s), “Shoot The Runner” is a glam-rock stomper with Big Ideas; even if they are all T. Rex’s. Perfectly enjoyable nonetheless, this anthem-in-embryo will surely be sung by many a beer-swilling Oasis fan this festival season.
“Liar” – Taking Back Sunday
The third single lifted from Taking Back, Sunday’s ‘Louder Now’ album, sees
the boys doing what they know best. ‘Liar’ has what you’d expect from a TBS
song: verses with harmonies and a gentle guitar line which explode into
anthemic choruses. The only problem, though, is that it sounds just like
everything else they’ve done recently. 3.5/5
“Like U Crazy” – Mates of States
The happiest, hippiest band on the planet return with a single that is utterly likeable but lacking in the energy and endearing twee of their previous material.
Reviews by the music team, including Charlotte Oliver, Luke Collins, Robert Chute, Katie Coleman, Robert Cooke, Johnathan Toon, Tom Peach and Tom Sloan