There are a number of ways to turn a full on heavy rock song into a radio friendly pop song. This time Biffy Clyro has gone for subsidizing extra guitars for a brass ensemble and full organ giving a jolly nautical feel to the whole song which seems totally appropriate given the title of the track. The odd feeling riff at the beginning and at the very end doesn't fit in quite so well. However this is going to be track one on the new album so it’s easy to understand why they went for a heavy attention grabbing guitar riff like that at the beginning.
I must admit, Snow Patrol are not a band that fill me with much excitement. So, when the sleeve notes promised me a single inspired by “a love of electronic music“, namely LCD Soundsystem and Friendly Fires, I thought that they may have taken a step in the right direction. I thought there would be cowbells, some synthesisers and maybe a bassline you can dance to while you’re putting you’re lippy on for a night out. How wrong I was.
Along with death, love and heroin, girls undoubtedly provide one of the enduring themes of music. However, it’s a topic which is oft handled with less subtlety than a Gallagher brother on a therapist’s chaise longue. Taken from their second album Two Dancers, ‘All The King’s Men’ is the perfect antidote to Akon smacking things he probably shouldn’t and other such hideousness. Hayden Thorpe’s call forth in a stunning falsetto for ‘Girls who’ll feed me/Girls who want me/Girls who need me’, doesn’t come across nearly as horrible and clichéd as it might read.
There are few times when a venue can have been so suited to the band playing in it. It is not just the style or size of the Deaf Institute which creates the atmosphere but the intimacy it provides. From the opening riff and languid, syncopated beat of 'Intro', the audience know that they are in the right place at the right time to see a band still full of nervous, raw energy. Just under three hundred people are packed into a small room, dark but stylishly set out with a gigantic disco ball to add a semi-self-conscious ironic chic, and barely a muscle is moved or a word spoken.
8 albums in, and yet another re-invention of AFI’s image and sound. Decemberunderground was panned by fans and critics, somewhat unfairly perhaps. Medicate, the first single off AFI’s new album Crash Love, is one of the best and most energetic tracks on the album. It’s a blend of Sing the Sorrow’s up-tempo punk and the refined arena-rock of Decemberunderground. Where Decemberunderground was sometimes over-refined, this is a great balance. However, where Sing the Sorrow was a masterpiece, this is not.
Call me cynical, but when I read the phrase ‘hi-octane alt-pop’, a little shiver of dread runs down my spine. It’s not that some ‘hi-octane alt-pop’ wouldn’t go down a treat, it’s just that over the past couple of years so many have promised it and failed to deliver. Hailing from the newly proclaimed Mecca of British music Southend-on-Sea (whose recent exports include These New Puritans, The Horrors and Scroobius Pip amongst others), Baddies are a band burdened with both this heritage and the cursed, aforementioned mantle.
The Jack Peñate many knew and loved has departed. Gone are the cheerful, upbeat and simple tunes that made Matinée such a popular album. As the title of his second album suggests Everything is New. Peñate is born again, and it’s brilliant. ‘Pull My Heart Away’ is the embodiment of Jack’s metamorphosis.
In true Noah and the Whale form First Days of Spring invokes emotion that others struggle to create. Filled with heartfelt lyrics and beautiful melodies, First Days of Spring is the perfect follow-up to Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down.