Outkast’s Andre 3000, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Blur’s Damon Albarn are all in one room. Genius ensues yes? Need I write more? Yes. It would be rude not too.
‘Do Ya Thing’ is upbeat and full of quirkiness. No, it’s not a ‘Clint Eastwood’ or a ‘Dare’, it’s more of a ‘Stylo’ (review here) in my eyes. No, it hasn’t got Bobby Womack in his immense coolness, but it has got a rhythm that will have your toes tapping at an alarming rate. “You wanna do it / but you don’t know what you doin’ baby / A-a-a-a-aha / you wanna feel it / but you don’t know what you’re feeling tonight!” What an epitomization of the wild party that Gorillaz seem to be post-‘Plastic Beach’, with Andre 3000 giving an extremely Outkast touch to the proceeding with his ridiculously quick lyrics.
The synths are classic Gorillaz: they manage to be exciting without being exciting in the slightest. However, the level of effort seems to be low at best. It’s as if the three of them just sat in a room, got a repeated beat and did their thing (excuse the pun.)
Not anything special by any stretch of the imagination, but something to be cherished seeing as it is Gorillaz and a pair of other A-listers.
This song is available free for download from this Converse link. Oddly, this song appears to be directly linked to a campaign for a Gorillaz-themed, limited edition series of Converse Chuck Taylor trainers (see more here).
The three noisy sons of Wakefield who comprise the Cribs are back with a new album entitled ‘In the Belly of the Brazen Bull’ in May. By way of appetiser, Zane Lowe favourite ‘Chi-Town’ is available to stream in advance and as a free download. Despite being Yorkshire lads, the Jarmans seem to know their way around the Windy City, with a particular fondness for the suburb of Logan Square. In actual fact, this shouty slice of neo-punk has “Suburban USA” written right through it like a watermark.
Rough as sandpaper, all clanging drums and wrung-out guitars, it carries the ultimate rock signature in the engineering credit of ATP favourite Steve Albini, the man who, amongst many prolific collaborations, finally managed to do justice to Kurt Cobain’s sub-surface angst with his primal recording techniques on Nirvana‘s ‘In Utero’. Albini undertakes a similar public duty here; it’s difficult to imagine a rawer recording of this straight-forward song, and in its simplicity lies its power. Shorn of Johnny Marr, the band are free to ply a simpler, more direct sound: the perfect anti-Morrissey. If the rest of the album sounds like this, fans of loud guitars and modern punk rock are in for a real treat.
The Cribs’ next album, ‘In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull’, will be released on the 7th of May on Wichita Recordings. They have also announced a UK tour for May (tickets on sale now) with dates as follows:
Monday 7th May 2012 – Nottingham Rock City
Tuesday 8th May 2012 – London Troxy
Wednesday 9th May 2012 – Bristol O2 Academy
Friday 11th May 2012 – Glasgow Barrowlands
Saturday 12th May 2012 – Manchester Academy
Sunday 13th May 2012 – Eastbourne Winter Gardens
By CoCo Wong on Monday, 20th February 2012 at 12:00 pm
‘Sometimes’ is the latest music video from Liverpool’s Sound of Guns. The video has a very defined storyline, featuring some acts of violence and more action scenes. This was the first time of my encountering and listening to Sound of Guns, and to be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed by the song. My ears recognised the style as ‘generic guitar music’ and just left it there. In short: it isn’t gripping. It feels like this genre has been explored far too many times before and that you could easily pinpoint many a band blindfolded and find them playing music sharing the same style.
Though having said so, I can see why fans will adore this song, it features the classic rock n’ roll drum patterns and also somewhat coarse (again, rather commonplace rock ‘n’ roll) vocals. It might be the cup of tea of some but certainly not mine.
The video is definitely for fans of action movies. The music fits the video very well and it feels like watching a movie trailer more than a music video, which is a good thing, because I think the video-and-song combination is much better than the track itself.
‘Sometimes’ is taken from the band’s upcoming album ‘Angles And Enemies’, out on 5th March via Distiller Records.
Jack Penate has a weird obsession with death. His debut album closer ‘When We Die’ and second album ‘Everything is New’ closers ‘Let’s All Die’ and ‘Body Down’ are perfect examples of this. They mix his wordsmithing with serene vocal lines whilst maintaining a definitive sound that could only come from this man’s voice.
So when a new song of Penate’s appears online, it’s no surprise that there’s a somber undertone. There’s a really stripped down feel to ‘No One Lied’ that suggests a slight return to old form, and through taking notes from ’When We Die’, this really shows that Jack’s break from touring and recording has led him back to his roots:
Heaven is a place
No one lied
It’s rushing through your veins
Flooding your eyes
There’s something about the lyrics in this track that seem poignant and serene. The one-take video maintains an intimacy with the viewer and even when lying in bed, this has a kind of raw brilliance to it. It’s probably not his best, but I highly doubt it’s finished. You can hear a ‘Pull My Heart Away’ (previous Video of the Moment here) vibe in the back of your mind. You can imagine Penate shuffling across festival stages nationwide. If he remains this consistent, the sky’s the limit for the extrovert, I can practically hear the sunset calling with “we’ll be gone soon”.
There’s no word on when Jack Penate’s third album will be released, but we’ll keep an eye out and will update you as information becomes available.
By Mary Chang on Wednesday, 4th January 2012 at 12:00 pm
Last week on Christmas Eve, 2010 Mercury Prize-winning band the the xx posted online a teaser from their upcoming second album. Despite the name ‘Open Eyes’, there’s nothing particularly ‘open’ about this demo. Being a demo, it should be expected that anything muddled sounding will be cleared up by the time the second album gets its final shine. There’s the sound of something being dropped at 1.29. Jamie Smith’s role as beatmaster is nonexistent, as is Oliver Sim’s bass. All you hear is Romy Madley-Croft’s voice and a few spare notes on a guitar, then some gentle chugging of chords.
After that dropping clunk (something pressed or turned on a synth?), there’s a layer of sound that I’m guessing is a wave of surf coming in, which I find particularly interesting. I mean, come on. With their dark clothes and lack of movement onstage, the xx could never have been mistaken for an easy breezy, California surf pop type band. The spare notes of the guitar feel more obviously romantic than previous xx material, more Santo and Johnny’s ‘Sleepwalk’ (blurry video from 1959 here) than ‘VCR’, which would be a very interesting development for our shy, black-clad minimalists, to say the least. Or maybe it’s not the sound of water at all, and it’s the muffled sound of a car rounding a nearby corner? That would make more sense for a band from London, but we can’t really be sure.
What we can be sure of: the band are evidently still clinging tightly to the dream pop mantle that first brought bloggers round. This is not a bad thing. In fact, as they’ve slowed things down, there seems to be a palpable sadness in Romy Madley-Croft’s voice and the soft, nearly angelic “oohhhs” that pepper the demo. The lyrics are strong: “it’s enough / it’s too much / when I lost faith / I found love” and “you can tell / something’s wrong / I’ve been here / but I’ve been gone”. Not a lot of words, but they pack an emotional punch and somehow, they’ve managed to squeeze even more feeling out of their already minimalistic approach. If this is what the demo sounds like, I want to hear the finished product. More, please.
The xx like to be mysterious so we’ve no clue when their second album will be released. But we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for you and will post when there is news.
By Mary Chang on Friday, 14th October 2011 at 12:00 pm
We’re already collecting band names for the 10 for 2012 poll. (Vote here.) But in case you weren’t sure we were getting closer to the end of 2011, here’s something else: news of She and Him‘s ‘A Very She and Him Christmas’ album. If you have ever seen the film ‘Elf’, you will recall Zooey Deschanel’s beautiful a capella version of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ that bounces off the bathroom tiles. Thankfully, the song is one of the 12 tracks on the third album from Deschanel and her partner in crime M. Ward.
But let’s turn our attention to the album’s first teaser and opening track, ‘The Christmas Waltz’. Like the previously described Elf one-off performance, this song takes advantage of Deschanel’s clear, controlled voice and pairs it simply with spare guitar and a few notes on the piano that come in later. When you’ve got talent like that, that’s all you need, really. (How is it possible that one woman can be such a good actress and can sing well? So not fair.)
As a rule, I don’t like Christmas songs: I think they’re too sentimental and cheesy. But if you’ve got to have someone serenading you to get you in the holiday mood, I can’t imagine anyone better than Zooey Deschanel to do the honours. (I’m also guessing that if you preorder this album for your girlfriend, you’ll probably get some kind of “present” later on in the holiday season. Just saying…)
‘A Very She and Him Christmas’ will be released on the 31st of October on Domino. You can preorder yours from Domino here.