Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mac Review Number 13

Off The Record/On The Road – Strange Death of Liberal England
Strange Death of Liberal England stared out shouting, almost preaching the words to such a motley crue of wayfarers and caught in headlight strays. This is Bournemouth, home to the occasional music fan, but mostly made of scenesters who on a day like this would prefer to stay in, for the rain may destroy their brutally fashioned hair. Yet I stray, Strange Death of Liberal England don’t deserve such stray talk, for they embody what is great and what is good about music. The haunting vocals swooned across the room, and being within feet of the band, I felt the force of such idyllic tunes, entwined with such craft, such perfection, such energy, such atmospherics, such anger, such poise, such balance and such creativeness. Mozart on 33 was haunting even from the opening strums, the placards had appeared moments before, this wasn’t quite what I was expecting, yet I wasn’t sure what to expect. The name suggests intelligence, and these five from Portsmouth held that with every song, nothing sounded on repeat, no chord was wrong, yet as the set closed and as the band seemed hell bent on destruction, this became apparent, I had searched for a band like this for sometime, they had arrived, like Moses from some other religious saviour, they spoke with words and actions, with placards and with the heart, truly something different in the most different of places. I Saw Evil the set closer, ripped it’s heart out and showed the crowd, it seemed to have converted several, they certainly converted me.

O.T.W – Yo Chomsky
Something always suggests you may enjoy a band, may even love a band. There will always be an inclination, whether it be the name, the tune or the general attitude or attire, there will always be a hook that drags you in. That is certainly the case with Yo Chomsky, a five piece electro/pop troupe from the darkness outskirts of Nottingham, proclaimed by the BBC as the saviours from the metal reputation Nottingham holds, big words have been spoken. The scruffiness of the demo’s only hint at something special, but the hint is strong enough to suggest more. Whether the abrasive electroness of “Watching Thomas Dolby” or the acoustic harshness of “A Weekend in Hatfield”, they a highlight a golden spark, that they could offer more than the complete package. But they do show a wackiness and invention, a control, a youthfulness, which cannot to be kept quiet, they have a name, they have creativity and they want to make pop, cool again.

The Mac Chart –

1) Must Be The Moon - !!!
2) Hummer - Foals
3) You, Me Dancing – Los Campesinos
4) Fucking Boyfriend – The Bird & The Bee
5) Mozart on 33 – The Strange Death of Liberal England
6) The Next Untouchable – Cajun Dance Party
7) Fluorescent Lights - Windmill
8) Starman – Golden Smog9) The Northern Cobbler – Crippled Black Phoenix10) Send Away The Tigers – Manic Street Preachers

Album Reviews

Crippled Black Phoenix – A Love of Shared Disasters
This delicious piece of decadence, coated with strings and striking with the most emotional yet subtle sounds that could drag forever across a universe, seems somewhat at odds with the current climate. With a track such as “Northern Cobbler”, which revisits a time, this modern world has forgotten. Or the sheer sadness of “I’m Almost Home”, the impact that haunts these songs hook inner emotions, only felt with the passing of something, so close and yet so distant, the soundtrack to saying goodbye. 9/10

Nina Natashia & Jim White – You Follow Me
After the snooker, what was Jim to do, well his first forays into music show signs of promise, sadly this is not the legend of our Jimmy, neither is it legendary. The country tinge and the sweetness of Natashia’s vocals are occasionally haunting, But You Follow Me sounds undeveloped, it seems like a smattering of ideas on a page, never willing once to come together, as several slices of brilliance it’s creative, as one piece it’s a mess. 5/10

Single Reviews

Sky Larkin – Summit
For a single, this has no aim, no objective, it has no strategy or wit, no hook, no catch, It simply isn’t a single. However it’s good, it’s a subtle, yet rock out tune full of emotion, and has a whispery seductiveness like a cherry bakewell, a time lord would search a universe for this, and come home empty and alone. 8/10

Modest Mouse – Dashboard
Probably the most poppy slice of music from the latest long player by Modest Mouse, it includes the stylistics of Mr Johnny Marr, but you’d be hard pressed to know. Dashboard is subtle and direct, mostly a contradiction of what Modest Mouse are about, however it deserves to appear on the radio, on the dashboard of course, yeah don’t give up the comedy classes yet. 9/10

Los Campesinos – You, Me Dancing
Much like the pure pop of the debut single, You Me Dancing has the sing-along, shout-along’s, which are common with the campesino sound. Yet unlike the darker more sinister debut, this has hit written on it. From the bang bang of glockenspiel to the chirp chirp of the duel vocals, it’s summer, it’s smashing, and it’s great. 9/10

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