Track Reviews

Track Reviews: 14-20 November 2011

We try. We do. Even as the Eurozone crumbles, Prime Ministers resign, religious institutions are occupied and Vernon Kay continues to inexplicably dominate television and radio schedules, this weekly insight into tracks that you clutch here in your virtual paws remains undeterred from its noble purpose.

Which is: To bring you the best, the brightest, the Bieberest musical moments collected over the past seven days. And, whatever else may happen, you can sleep soundly knowing that we shall not waver in our quest. Like the postal service, neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds. Ever.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t end with us up a tower with a high-powered rifle and a bag of ammunition.

Little Boots Shake

Where have you been Little Boots? It’s been ages. Were you being resoled? Chortle. Or is that just a load of cobblers? Guffaw. Tongues have been wagging. Snort. But whatever happens, we’re sure you’ve retained your brogue appeal. Hmmm. That one barely makes sense.

As our mother always used to say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, see how many footwear related puns you can crowbar into a paragraph. Which would be fine, but we do have something nice to say about Little Boots’ first single in two years.

Shake is a pumping, housey, dancefloor stomper, with VERY. DEFINITIVE. BEATS. It is rather good, even though we’re in the group of people who normally feel very stupid saying pumping, housey, dancefloor stomper.

Dot Rotten Keep It On A Low

One of grimes foremost talents, yet also one of its best-kept secrets, the ingeniously-named Dot Rotten formerly Young Dot has been dropping instrumentals for the best part of a decade, but it is with his fast-spitting latest that he might just break out.

Keep It On A Low is inspired, deftly changing tack from driven verse to impossibly addictive chorus and back again, drawing in the greenest of grime laymen with its punchy production, industrial instrumentals and Dots dextrous delivery.

2:54 Got A Hold

One of the good things about being 11.5/12ths through the year is the fact that when you start proclaiming things as being the best of the year, statistically you’ve got a much better chance of not looking like an arse.

So it’s with the greatest of pleasure we can definitively state Got A Hold as one of the best singles we’ve heard in 2011, and note there is less than two months for the massed forces of the music industry to make us look like an arse.

It’s a dark, creeping brickbat of a tune, dank and fuggy and riddled with narcotic atmosphere. 2:54’s new EP Scarlet (from whence this is from) is out this week and, if this is any indication, should be absolutely ace.

Listing Ships The 100 Gun Ship

“Good evening, Wembley! We are Listing Ships!” announce the Oxford four-piece over a deafening reception from the capacity crowd; a crowd that quickly descends into a reverent hush as the band begin. HMS Hood RMS Mauretania USS Samuel B. Roberts

Harrr! If only twere the case Instead, Listing Ships clamber up your aural gangplank and show little quarter for shivering seadogs like yourself: theirs is a brand of furious instrumental rock like The Longcut in their brief prime and in The 100 Gun Ship it is mated splendiferously with black and white naval footage, much as the Pet Shop Boys reinterpreted Battleship Potemkin with spectacular results. Land ho, and other such staples of seafaring/alt-rock crossovers!


The problem with U R 1, as with a lot of TEETH songs, is as follows: the first time you hear it, you quite like it. It’s a bit Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a bit Crystal Castles, enormous fun and hugely catchy.

But it doesn’t sustain. After a while, it begins to grate. It really begins to get on your nerves. Particularly when you realise that there’s something in the background, something repeated and insistent that sounds exactly like an Apple Mac being sick.

Once you get that image implanted in your mind, it’s impossible to get past.

Sway feat Kano Still Speedin (Remix)

Sways star is in the ascendancy not least because of a talked-about appearance in TV drama Top Boy along with co-collaborator Kano and hes right on the money with the racing references that pepper Still Speedin.

The track cruises along a hearty Black Box sample, comes to a controlled stop when Sway puts his hand on the dashboard (mixing desk), and has joined the contraflow of the information superhighway courtesy of Lewis Hamilton-based tweetage (though shouldnt our former world champ have both hands on the steering wheel?).

Our car-themed rap exploits were less successful based, as they were, on a Black Lace sample and the line: Weve had more pole positions than Nigel Mansell / Were crashing through roadside walls like Titus Bramble so were happy for Sway to take the limelight on this occasion.

Mint Julep Why Don’t We

Despite being made by a band named after the least appealing of all cocktails, Why Don’t We is not the least appealing of all singles touched upon this week.

Which, given this is a Bieber featured week, may tell us very little.

However, Why Don’t We is a haughty slice of polite electro-pop; dreamy vocals elegantly wafting along on a whole manner of synthesised blips and blops to an eminently classy conclusion.

Justin Bieber Mistletoe

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine. Children singing Christian rhyme. Not young Master Bieber, though: at his age we were happy with a bit of Lego, a Cadburys selection box and a vague concept of mangers et al, but London, Ontarios biggest heartthrob since Hume Batteries Not Included Cronyn is more concerned with late night cappuccinos, shnecking on with girls, and using words like shortie and Ima.

The Christmas singles market will remain a marketers in-joke until somebody drops some lyric-bombs about the Magis epic journey, the mysterious appearance of the Star of Bethlehem and the eventual fulfilment of the Old Testaments Messianic prophecy. Surely we cant be waiting for Cliff to step up to the plate again; the man has paid his dues, people!

Texture Like Sun Bottle

Remember when Coldplay first ventured forth with Parachutes, and they were actually pretty good? Take that increasingly-distant memory, transplant it to Australias parched landscapes, wedge in a series of tingling crescendos and season it with Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Melbournes Texture Like Sun: done, and, by the sounds of it, one to watch in 2012.

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