Singles of the Week
As the powerhouses of pop gear up for the annual Christmas No.1 bunfight the number of releases has dwindled to a trickle so there really is no excuse not to check this week's offerings.
We've got a bit of a beef about acts' names at the moment and there's certainly nothing about Alex Dingley that does much to sell the music or, indeed suggest they're anything other than a low-ranking X-Factor finalist. That's a shame because 'Cats Eyes' would find a home with anyone with a fondness for Guillemots, say.
Arrows of Love
The latest single from these East London post-punks offers a short sharp shot of riff laden fuzzed up raucousness that ticks all the right boxes for lovers of crunchy noise rock everywhere.
Warble, scream, shout, synth break, warble, scream, The End. Mix, match and repeat five times to get a debut EP under your belt. There are brief glimpses of talent but for the most part these Birmingham metallers mimic the styles of numerous other bands without grace, flair or anything remotely worth getting excited about.
'Don't You Worry' is actually from an EP, so there's more if you want it. This is a smart, modern take on jazz-tinged pop and when the dubstep beats kick in, they don't seem out of place. Hints of Will Young actually (a compliment, not a criticism).
Never been particularly convinced by Gallows but 'Cross of Lorraine' is a solid, verging on brutal, number that does its business in under three minutes. Brevity remains the name of the game.
Longtime standard bearers for the pop-prog crossover, It Bites unleash 'Cartoon Graveyard', a real highlight from this year's Map Of The Past. Thundering guitars rush headlong into soaring vocal melodies that are so pleasing to the ears of both the proggers and popster. Backed with new track 'Lighthouse' that whilst exploring the band’s soppier side, is equally uplifting.
Single of the Week
This Nashville trio's EP offers up three slices of doom laden indie rock with unrelenting pounding beats that makes a refreshing change from the cheesy Christmas tunes assaulting the ears of any sensible music fan. The feedback laced 'Dark Tongue Gel' is the clear highlight but you really can't go wrong with anything on this unexpectedly enjoyable EP of unrelenting gloominess.