Track Reviews

Track Reviews: 18-24 April 2011



As you’ve probably heard elsewhere, Saturday was Record Store Day. A lot of fantastic bands decided to release a whole heap of exclusive tracks and we’ve consumed and regurgitated the best and the brightest just for you. Oh, and just so we’re clear, they will sound much better on vinyl.

So read this, get excited, and bugger off and find a record shop. Go on. Live a little. Tear yourself away from the screen. It’s easier than you think.

Arctic Monkeys Don’t Sit Down, Because I’ve Moved Your Chair

They’ve given us a bit more warning this time. And, like we said would be the case, everybody is happy. If Brick By Brick was a little underwhelming, this is completely and utterly whelming.

A twangy guitar suggests that while they were dancing around bonfires in the desert with Josh Homme and buckets of peyote, one of them was sneakily listening to Hank Marvin, while Alex Turner is back to being brilliantly surreal (go into business with a grizzly bear / just don’t sit down ’cause I’ve moved your chair) rather than worryingly straightforward.

Also, the video is an almost shot-for-shot remake of I’m Free by the Soup Dragons. Check it. It’s gold.

The View I Need That Record

Theme songs are great. Everyone – or everything – great has a theme song. Batman. Spider-Man… Um… Er… Uh… Record Store Day!

Just think how much better even terrible things in life would be if they had a theme tune. Even awful things like visits to the paternity clinic would be a lot more palatable. “I’m sorry sir” Bah-bah-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba “the child is” ba-ba-ba-bah-bah-ba-ba “yours” ba-BA-BA-BA-BA. That was the theme from Blockbusters, by the way.

You have to say, this cover of a 1980s track by The Tweeds is a pretty good fit for the event it soundtracks, capturing as it does the disappointment felt when you go down to your local vinyl emporium first thing on a Saturday morning in the pouring rain, with your last few quid, hoping to pick up Radiohead‘s new 7″ before every last copy appears on eBay, only to be presented with a really rubbish tune.

Black Mountain – Rollercoaster

Let’s face it, psych-metal belongs on vinyl. No self-respecting psych-metaller would be seen dead raising the horns to a downloaded track. Don’t care how lossless your audio format is, mate.

Black Mountain figured as much, and their RSD special, Rollercoaster, is bound to rock all the harder for its trippy journey from groove to needle to speaker to minds. Its ‘Nam sounding anti-establishment solos will incite all the better; its dueting couple will arouse all the further; its attentive listeners will drop out all the quicker.

Having said that, you’ll have to make do with a stream for the time being because we’re not about to dispatch a limited edition seven-inch to your gaff. (Not a euphemism. Ohno.)

Raphael Saadiq – Radio

Raphael Saadiq has an album out soon. It’s shaping up very nice indeed, thankyouverymuch, and bears all the hallmark funk and soul of its hard grooving, exotically-named creator. He used to be Charles Ray Wiggins, you say? Who cares, man! Get with the programme!

The single is Radio, a stylish, retro-styled party piece befitting of its vinyl release. But Raphael didn’t spurn the 21st Century entirely, and there’s a corker of a promo just itching to dazzle your eyes, tickle your ears and set your toes a-tappin’.

Sons & Daughters – Silver Spell

OK, so not strictly speaking a Record Store Day release, but… er… Hey, look over there! Wolves!

It’s a fair cop, guv’nor; you’ve got us bang to rights. But look, we’re not the ones you should be worried about. These Sons & Daughters people, they’re dangerous. In fact, by the sounds of Silver Spell, the opening track of their forthcoming fourth album, they’re bloody demented. Have a listen; would you want to be stuck in an abandoned warehouse with this lot? Us neither.

Still, it’s better to disturb than to disappoint, as the old saying goes, and this stuff isn’t content to merely grab your attention. It abducts it, demands a hefty ransom, and slaps it around a bit for good measure. Enough to give you the willies, it is. (Again… not a euphemism.)

Gaggle The Brilliant And The Dark

Um.

Have you watched it? You should. Don’t worry. We’ll wait.

So. What did you think? Yes, we know this is strange and unusual, and we know we’re supposed to be the ones offering opinions here, but frankly, we’re confused. And a little scared. OK, a lot scared.

We think we like it. There’s people who look like they’re extras from Flash Gordon, people dressed as koala bears miming being trapped in a box, machine gunny bits which sounds a bit like Portishead, and chanting and harmonising, and, and… Gulp. Help?



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