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Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Short and Skinny I

Ok kids, I've formulated a new feature in which I aim to give voice to the more concise side of music- EP's, Mini Albums, B-Sides- which are I feel are too often overlooked in favour of bigger, meatier albums. So, let's get down to it, shall we?

1. WE ARE SCIENTISTS- RULES DON'T STOPRaise a cheer, We Are Scientists are back in town. They bring with them this single, which is pretty much everything we've come to know and love from the California trio- a stomping indie dancefloor hit, that you'll be humming for weeks. The B-Side, Down the Hall, largely follows suit, with a slightly more intimate vocal. But the inclusion of an acoustic version of 'Rule Don't Stop' adds another dimension. This isn't a throwaway, careless guy-and-guitar reworking with little else added to the mix- it's an ambient piece that stands up as a song in its own right. Overall, this single and B-side is short and sweet, but definitely worth a listen.
MP3: Rules Don't Stop (Acoustic)

2. THE ROYAL CHAINS- BEAR ISLANDPinning down the nature of this EP is a puzzle in itself- straddling the lines between indie, pop and rock, and throwing in a few lo-fi and retro riffs for good measure, 'Bear Island' can be savoured on most musical palettes. Confused? You won't be. This band offer something innovative that still gives a nod to their musical predecessors- and boy, does it sound good. Some of the tracks- such as the standout, 'The Wolf'- have a polished edge to them that you simply wouldn't expect from a band as new as this. Watch this space- I have a feeling you're going to be hearing about 'The Royal Chains' alot more in the future.
MP3: The Wolf

3. BOYS WITH X RAY EYES- OH MY! HOW WE TERRIFYWhen you click play, prepare for a riotous, electric barrage of noise delivered with equal parts aggression and youthful exuberance. There's little here that deviates from a tried-and-tested hardcore format- explosive guitar riffs, heavy drums, and a snappy beat- but it does make for good, gory fun. There is of course room for improvement- for me, the balance between singing and screaming hasn't yet been struck- but a highly impressive listen, from a group who are definitely going places.
MP3: Electro the Human Lightning Bolt

4. SASHA IS ACOUSTIC- WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOWFor an album played entirely on a guitar and a drum machine, this is pretty good stuff. What can be deciphered almost immediately is that this young London-based boy is a dreamer, penning songs about lost loves and human will. Such ideas are expressed in some rather eloquent touching lyrics- in 'This Year', he goes from 'sending my head to sweet decay' to contemplating the bigger questions: 'Have you ever thought this was all a test?' Something sweet and simple just in time for summer.
MP3: Celia

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