Singles of the Week
A lighter load this week to get us back into the swing of single reviewing, but change is on the horizon. More on that in the coming weeks, but for now, onwards.
Band Of Skulls
The lead single from Band Of Skulls' third album Himalayan (out March 31st), 'Asleep At The Wheel' is a thumping return for the Southampton rockers that shows all is well ahead of the new album. No one can be asleep when this lot are in full flow.
You wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of the boots pictured on Cursing The Sea's artwork; likewise, Dubliners September Girls are a no-nonsense outfit determined to capture that section of the Rough Trade racks labelled 'reverb-heavy, indie girl groups' previously occupied by the likes of Vivian Girls.Like Pins, with whom they share a mileiu, this debut full-length is a slight disappointment after the promise of earlier releases. A single, 'Heartbeats', has all the elements of minor indie disco classic, the tumbling drums combining with the sweetly coo-ed melodies into an addictive mixture of early MBV pop. These aspects are re-cycled across the rest of the album to lesser effect, resulting in a predictible confection that apes the genre without stomping much of themselves on the process. The dirty bass intro of 'Ships' and the occasional imposition of some organ offer a little variety, while the brasher 'Someone New' disguises a Pipettes sense of giddy pop behind the relentless effects, sapping much of its potential. This is a swirling, choppy affair that suggests they've yet to find their sea legs.
Ahoy! Dublin five piece sail in on a wave of reverb.
The Red Suns
If you miss Embrace, there's more than hint of their intense indie anthemics to 'Moonlit Skies'. Classy, but probably of limited wider appeal.
Single of the Week
Released to tie in with their support slot on Depeche Mode's European tour, the four-track Only One EP brings some welcome new material from Austin, Texas-based FEATHERS. There's just two newbies - 'Wild Love' and 'The Only One' - but they're such strong outings of the dark dance-pop that epitomises the four-piece's oeuvre that it'd be churlish to complain. Of the updated versions from debut album If All Here Now, 'Believe' stands out as it's somehow become filthier. Welcome back.