Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mac Review Number 14

Ever woken up with the sudden urge to listen to a classic, the urge gets more desperate due to the fact you don’t actually own it. That was me, this morning. Whilst the rest of humanity sleeps, I search for the Old red eyes is back by the harmless Beautiful South, you may ask, why such a man with masterful music taste would love such a song, well lets just say it’s fate. Hurrah, The Band for the blog is back with stars “Windmill”, so is the Ones to watch featuring “I was a Cub Scout”, and if that’s not all, the first part of the best Glastonbury review. This review doesn’t cost two pound fucking ten, by the way Kula Shaker are back, more on that next week, I can hear the groans already.

Ones to Watch

I was a Cub Scout:-

With two singles gone and passed I was a Cub Scout (Oh why do I pick bands with long names) are becoming sighted, acknowledged and loved. It isn’t surprising the debut single I Hate nightclubs is a sublime slice of pop delivered in an almost despairing, yet utterly cute voice. The recent single Pink Squares develops on the predecessor, and leads with an utterly haunting yet enlighting vocal, over the top is abrasive pop at it’s best, you may have dissed that pop could be so life affirming, this is, it’s real pop then again, is it pop?

Band from the Blog


The mournful tones that hit you, the decadent feeling, and the sparse overtures that lap from the Windmill’s most recent album Puddle City Racing Lights could caress the most stone of hearts into mush. Mostly based round main protagonist Matthew Thomas Dillon (Yes, all greats share something in common), Windmill have a support cast of many on and off the road. A voice with a heart is the first cornerstone that strikes you, but Dillon with his cast, control’s a sound which is startling to hear and possibly special to watch. Much like a certain Daniel Johnston in voice, Windmill hold a higher more prestige quality, no lacklustre demo’s just beautiful searing noise.

Off The Record/On the Road

Glastonbury Friday – Pt 1:-
Wednesday passed into Thursday, and storms passed over the site, yes folks we had mud, we had bands but most of all we discovered fun for 5 days. It was Glastonbury, so we didn’t care for the most part it rained, however with over 20 bands over three blinding days this is just some of what went on.
My Glastonbury opened with the sound chimes of Reverend & the Makers, I was never willing to watch such a shower, and as on time the heavens opened, preventing myself from trekking down (this wouldn’t be the first time). The Cribs were the first band to be witnessed on the other stage, during which the rain for some oblique reason stopped, slanting but never starting to the relief of many, it would rain soon after those cheeky scamps left, a fuzzy yet completely tuneless set was still lapped up, they aren’t bad, I suppose. A rush back to the tent for the most important of items, a poncho, then across to “The Park” for the delightful cheekiness of Los Campesinos, as the rain pelted down, the summery excitement of the former one’s to watch was a delight, as the singer admitted he would even be watching Modest Mouse. A quick stroll caught a cameraman fetish featuring the delightful Mouse with guest Mr Marr on guitar, the older generation guessed it slightly weird, the younger generation told to buy wellies, this was random but funky all the same.

Bright Eyes followed in a subdued set which included many of the slower less powerful songs on his most recent album, and thus lacking the acquired power to be overly impressive, and was seen later rocking out to Super Furry Animals, but then again in the strong impressive crowd who wasn’t. With a mix of the sublime and well ridiculous, the sun appeared and everything was perfect with Gruff Rhys on top form.

The very first visit to the main stage proved to be lacklustre, though Bloc Party put a stern performance in, the crowd lacked any punch and the words boring came across my lips, certainly not a festival band, well not one on a main stage. On the way back Wainwright was ripping into a tuneful set, but tired legs needed resting and a recharge for later.

Never the biggest fan of Arcade Fire, I decided it would be time to view the majestic and harrowing live show, it was good, slightly short and some of the songs risked being lost with the poor sound. Nevertheless, I’ve been more intrigued to hear more and more I shall. Four Tet started late, and I left early, though intriguing the set came and went without much input and finally, after waiting over three years to witness, I would finally gaze upon Gravenhurst for the first and not the last time at the festival, sublime and with a crowd pleaser and firm favourite he lay bare his soul and closed Friday, on a high.

The Mac Chart:-

10) Cute – Colonopenbracket
9) Kill The Director – The Wombats
8) Hummer - Foals
7) Must Be The Moon - !!!
6) Fluorescent Lights - Windmill
5) Twilight of the Innocents - Ash
4) I Hate Nightclubs - I Was a Cub Scout
3) Its Getting Boring By the Sea – Blood Red Shoes
2) I Will Survive – Art Brut
1) Just Like Peter Cook - Korova

Album Reviews

Ash – Twilight of the Innocents

The last album from the cliché ridden three piece Ash the fault lying not with the band but the fault of lazy journalism. After the lukewarm American rock of Meltdown, the sceptics, me included had mostly written off Ash. Strange, because this record papers over the past, and uses many of Ash’s strengths and delves into new avenues to produce an enjoyable and occasionally brilliant album. Twilight of The Innocents tops off a record with such a flawless and beautiful melody. Polaris is useless yet Palace of Excess is Nucleartastic. Blacklisted sounds very pumpkinesque yet holds ground, Shattered Glass is fresh and End of the World is melancholy in its nod to the rock gods. Wheeler was wrong when he said no one makes good albums anymore, for this is a return to form, which sadly will signal a swansong. 8/10

Strange Death of Liberal England – Forward March
What, an album already! Yes Strange Death of Liberal England need an impact, for they eat 5p pasta, while there records sell in small qualities (Probably not true, more like 13p). The 5 piece who the NME have dismissed as Arcade Fire wannabes (Not actually witnessed most probably), have been garnering some respectable critical acclaim and Forward March, the first album showcases many a hidden gem. Mozart on 33 is stunning in its recorded glory and the singles Oh Solitude and A Day another Day are as good on record as off. Tip it off with I Saw Evil with it’s jaggedness and desperation then you have one hell of a record, which sits well in heaven too. 9/10

Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist
They are back, well the name and at least two of them, Corgan & Chamberlain are joined by two notable no-marks, though this is no doubt, Pumpkins. Tracks such as Doomsday Clock rock out for more for the sake of it, rather than any justified reason yet the tracks such as the Zwanesque That’s the Way and the brilliant Bring The Light with and a rock out middle has you wondering if this is a good, or a really good Pumpkins record. I regret that it’s an enjoyable not the best, however it’s a return and better than anything Corgan’s been peddling for years. 7/10

Other albums:-
Air Traffic/Fractured Life – Like the Borough of Christchurch 8/10
Velvet Revolver/Liberated – Yawnathon 2/10
Ryan Adams/Easy Tiger – Back In Leather 9/10
The Enemy/We Live & Die In These Towns – With this you will 2/10
The Editors/An End Has A Start – Just Dull 2/10
Art Brut/It’s A Bit Complicated – Eddietastic 9/10

Single Reviews

Brett Anderson – Back To You
Probably Anderson’s highlight of his solo career, and yet it doesn’t appear on his most recent solo album. Anderson on this record seems stuck on an infinite quest to recover some of the credit he lost due to the earlier lacklustre album. Back to You seems very much in the mould of his self titled album, yet it’s more homely, more uncomfortable and less safe. Back to You should of spearheaded, not tail ended the album, and for this it makes the song even more special 8/10

Bright Eyes – Hot Knives
Hot Knives tells of a speculative tale of partial importance, a discovery that breaks many a heart and the realisation that we rely on just a myth, a story that was told some years after it had happened. It’s one of the spunkier tunes on Cassadaga, and proves Oberst is a man of talent, who can not only connect with his own thoughts but the thoughts of events around him, which is remarkable, poetry with power 9/10

Other Singles:-
Electric Soft Parade/Misunderstanding – Misunderstood 7/10
Hours/Ali in the Jungle – Repeat, Release, Retire 2/10
Bishops/The Only Place Is Down – Indeed 4/10
Bloc Party/Hunting for Witches – Glasnost 7/10
Travis/Selfish Jean – Sharing for all 7/10
Kings of Leon/Fans – Appalling Fans 5/10

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