Track Reviews

Track Reviews: 22-28 October 2012

Let us just hope that Girls Aloud never form a demolition firm. “Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four… What? Oh. Really? Shit. Hmmm. Threetwoonego”.

Oh well. While apparently we can add the thrill of anticipation to the list of things killed by the Internet it is still the vessel by which we bring you the best and the brightest of all of this weeks track based happenings. So we can’t stay mad for long.

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Rejected
Now, that’s a good name for a band. One guaranteed to grab the attention of anyone who grew up in the 80s and still holds a candle for a certain Ms Kylie Minogue. All they need to do is perform a cover version of Angry Anderson‘s Suddenly to main maximum meta-points.

Australian artist Craig Dermody is the man behind Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, and Rejected is an oddly compelling slice of slacker grunge-rock. Dermody can’t particularly sing, but his voice is strangely brilliant, managing to inflect just the right amount of self-loathing and lethargy into a line like “I don’t even want to eat sausages” while his band sound like Dinosaur Jr and Pavement partaking in a particularly messy jam.

Although Dermody cites The Go-Betweens and the Velvet Underground as influences, this is mostly reminiscent of the quirky, lo-fi alt-rock that suddenly became popular in the wake of Nirvana – the likes of Girls Against Boys and Jesus Lizard. Put it this way, if Kevin Smith was to remake Clerks, then Scott & Charlene’s Wedding would fit perfectly well on the soundtrack.

Girls Aloud – Something New
Yes, indeed. They are back. So, stand down The Saturdays, put your feet up, Little Mix, The quintet behind some of the finest pop songs this century have returned. Well, for a bit anyway. Word is that as soon as the 10th Anniversary celebrations, tour and various promotional duties are done, then they’ll split for good.

Teaming up again with Xenomania, Something New is a typically frantic and slightly demented pop song, that nonetheless manages to stay unashamedly commercial. Girls Aloud best moments have always sounded like someone throwing absolutely everything into the pot and this is no exception. The structure is deliciously all over the place, the vocals are half-shouted and half-rapped, there’s a slightly cringeworthy moment where they all shout “we girls gonna run this show”, but it all comes together for a breathlessly euphoric chorus.

It’s maybe rather too influenced by Calvin Harris, but it’s still pretty staggering that after a decade together a manufactured pop act can still produce a song with this much energy.

Indians – Cakelakers
Part of the seemingly endless procession of wistful singer/songwriters from Scandinavia, Islands is actually just one man, Copenhagen resident Søren Løkke Juul. And considering he only played his first gig this February and self-released his debut single in April, then the soubriquet ‘rising star’ could genuinely be applied.

Now he’s been signed to 4AD, which is about a cast-iron guarantee of quality that you can get. Cakelakers more than lives up to the hype, a lovely, bittersweet, acoustic ballad which pulls off that peculiarly Danish trick of sounding both gloriously life-affirming and impossibly downbeat. It’s easy to see how Juul has grabbed support slots with the likes of Beirut and Perfume Genius.

With Justin Vernon recently talking about winding down Bon Iver, expect Indians to step into that particular void.

Kanye West – White Dress
Bloody hell, he just never stops does he? Whether it be touring the world with Jay Z, producing all and sundry or courting the Queen of reality TV, you’ve got to admire Kanye West’s work ethic.

White Dress is taken from the soundtrack of RZA‘s forthcoming directorial debut The Man With The Iron Fists, which is shaping up to be a compulsory purchase for all fans of hip-hop. This is a bit less hard-edged than ‘Ye’s recent work, so its a more laidback and soulful groove.

With RZA himself on production duties, it’s a bit of a throwback to The College Dropout days, which can only be a good thing. Not be as audacious and thrilling as anything on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but it’s just nice to hear West kicking back and enjoying himself for once, rather than sounding like he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Peter & Kerry – Split For The City
Well, it’s about time. Behemoths of reality television, the musical giants behind Mysterious Girl and Whole Again, the King and Queen of Heat Magazine – at last, they’re together for a joint single.

OK, we’re lying. A duet between Peter Andre and Kerry Katona would be an utterly horrific event to behold. Indeed, in the Mayan religion it’s the third sign of an impending apocalypse. But this, a song by Peter Lyons and Kerry Leatham, is a very different kettle of fish. A lilting, sad synth pop about a breakdown of a relationship, with both vocalists tugging at your heartstrings.

It may threaten to teeter over into twee territory at times, but overall this is a thoroughly lovely way to spend two and a half minutes.
King Creosote – On the Night of the Bonfire
The ridiculously prolific Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote, has released over 40 albums in the last 14 years, making Ryan Adams look a bit lethargic. On The Night Of The Bonfire originally featured on his 2010 vinyl-record That Might Be It Darling, which you’re only likely to own if you bought it at one of Anderson’s live shows at the time.

Now he’s revisiting it for the upcoming EP It Turned Out For The Best – and, if you’ve never heard any King Creosote records before, and presumed he specialised in rather morose, bleak, acoustic ballads, then On The Night Of The Bonfire may just surprise you. It skips along rather joyfully, with a funky guitar riff and some eerie electronica featuring halfway through. Anderson is in fine voice throughout, his Fife accent ringing out loud and proud, and he even finds time to slip in a little spoken-word part for good measure.

It’s another low-key release from a man who, after the unexpected success of his collaboration with Jon Hopkins, could at last find himself with the bigger audience that’s he’s deserved for a few years.

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