Greg Belton's Content

Singles Round Up: 8th December 2014

Singles Round Up: 8th December 2014

First to annoy is ‘Chase you Down’, an irritatingly twee piece of jangly indie pop from <b>Joelpeter</b>, that would be too insipid even for the indiest of indie disco. Only slightly better is ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ by bafflingly popular synth poppers <b>OK Go</b> who despite having many fans here at TDF Towers leave me cold. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/u1ZB_rGFyeU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>First to the plate for the garage-y stuff are <b>Fans</b> who eschew any type of originality on ‘Another Way’, a tune that is a deeply uninteresting replica of the Jesus & Mary Chain fuzziness. <B>The Garden Twins</B> are aiming for an increasingly crowded duo rock market and, accomplished though ‘Surprise!’ may appear, it is nothing you haven’t heard a hundred times before. It is mercifully short though. Another duo, Chelmsford’s <b>The Midnight Barbers</b> fare a little better on ‘Business’ by lifting the riff from the Dead Kennedy’s version of Viva Las Vegas on an otherwise enjoyable raucous slice of garage rock/blues. <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/178882459&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe> <p>Bringing things down even more are gloomy goths <b>The Vultures</b> whose double A-sider ‘Cancer/Vlad’ is just plain dull and lacking any of the sinister rumblings that marks out the best of the genre. <p>The psychedelic surf stylings of Aussie rockers <b>Money for Rope</b> are a bit more joyous than everything that has gone by so far but at nigh on five minutes ‘Easy Way Out’ overstays its welcome by a good couple of minutes. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yWprbS2yCOI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>Just as I thought there was no redeeming feature this week I tuned in to ‘Every Age’ by <b>José González </b> and what a revelation it turned out to be. The gloriously mournful guitar picking proving to be by far and away the best thing available this week. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/I_iY2RQWNzM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>

Singles Round Up: 20th October 2014

Singles Round Up: 20th October 2014

First up is Glaswegian fuzzy pop quartet <b>Sharptooth</b> with ‘Sister’, a slow burning and downbeat rocker that, although maybe a little too obviously influenced by 90s era PJ Harvey & Hole does bode well for the future. Also wearing his influences on his sleeve is <b>John J. Presley</b> with his electrifying blues clearly channelling Jack White but with ‘Honeybee’ being so damned noisy and menacing, it is easily forgiven.<p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/167088051&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe> <p>The fuzziness continues albeit with the far more straight ahead indie pop of ‘Dippin’ Toes’ from Dublin’s <b>Jet Setter</b> that is catchy as hell and at a mere two minutes doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. ‘Lizard Cuts’ from <b>Bat & Ball</b> is aimed more at the fey indie market and, despite being a little meandering does enough to keep you interested throughout.<iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/171325711&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/166024674&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe><p>The only real duffer this week comes from <b>Salt Ashes</b>, aka 2 Veiga Sanchez who, although having a fabulous voice is stymied by the dire 80s synth pop arrangement that is far too irritating to even contemplate a second listen. <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/165749385&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe><p><b><u><center>Single of the Week</b></u></center><p>Although <b>Sharptooth</b> put up a valiant challenge the debut from Italy’s <b>Rev Rev Rev</b> takes away this week’s prize. ‘Catching A Buzz’ is a three minute aural assault of fuzzy, psychedelia laced, retro shoe gazing that provides one of the finest and noisiest debuts I’ve heard all year. A mighty fine way to start anyone’s week.<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_D1wD_5oPGk?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Pere Ubu - Carnival of Souls

Pere Ubu - Carnival of Souls

The moon, monkeys and sinster rumblings make for a majestically oddball ride.

Singles Round Up: 1st September 2014

Singles Round Up: 1st September 2014

I instantly regretted my decision as first up is ‘Forgive and Forget’, a risible piece of indie dance cobblers from z-division indie rubbish merchants <b>The Kooks</b>. I’ll hopefully be able to forget the time I wasted on this dross but I definitely won’t forgive. Slightly better is ‘Cloudfest’, a jaunty ditty from <b>Dexters</b> that is saved from dreary mundanity by a pleasingly frantic finale.<p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158124301&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uKHlKNfpMgc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><p>Although the PR contains some ludicrously OTT bragging, ‘Possessed’ from East London lads <b>The Howling</b>, is a meaty chunk of hard rock that should get the crowds thrashing around at the metal disco. Less interesting is the doom-laden grunge of ‘Lizard Baby’, which seems a step backwards by <b>Pulled Apart By Horses </b>. Fortunately the new album, <a href=" http://music.thedigitalfix.com/content/id/20652/pulled-apart-by-horses.html">Blood</a>, is a much more enticing prospect.<p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158124301&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/TqeTbdbd-ms?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><p>Next up are a couple of examples of dull electro-pop. First is ‘Beggin For Thread’, the latest from LA’s <b>Banks</b>. Perfectly produced and performed but underwhelming in the extreme while <b>Duke Dumont’s</b> ‘Won't Look Back’ is only saved from the same fate by its excellent vocalist. <p><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Twix375Me4Q?list=UU31UIMFMhdGC_n6oWpESq6w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kv_cwzAIOHs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>After garnering our coveted Single of the Week award with their debut single ‘Salo’, <b>Oxford Style</b> continue their fine work with ‘Halcyon Days’, another wonderfully downbeat piece of art pop. On a different, but equally impressive note, is the fuzzed up 90s style alt-indie of ‘You Come To Kill Me?!’ from <b>Happyness</b> which comes on the back of the mighty fine debut album, <i>Weird Little Birthday</i>. Ones to watch, for sure.<p><p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/p6skfZYUJk4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/159864464&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe><p><p><b><u><center>Single of the Week</b></u></center><p>Spinning away from the rest this week is ‘Spin-O-Rama’ a short, sharp and insanely catchy tune from recently revived 80s pop maestros <b> The Primitives</b>. As near a perfect example of the art of making a 7” single that you could ever wish to hear. Marvellous!<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1fDTUhlYMdc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

James Yorkston - The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society

James Yorkston - The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society

A solid slice of folk with a couple of outstanding moments.

Singles Round Up: 21st July 2014

Singles Round Up: 21st July 2014

This week’s folky contingent is led by the insanely jaunty ‘For One Night Only’ from <b>King Creosote</b> which is so catchy that you aren’t surprised to find it is taken from <i>From Scotland With Love</i>, a film created for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Less enjoyable is ‘Let Your Roots Grow’ an overwrought attempt at a Mumford & Sons style epic by <b>Tom Figgins</b> that just ends up sounding just like the other 327,000 singer/songwriters attempting to get a small piece of the same pie.<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FG-PBM7BmMQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/yP0RAd3HSNs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>Once part of the hugely successful Lostprophets, the members of <b>No Devotion</b> have a huge task ahead of them to disassociate themselves from the actions of their vile former frontman but the fuzzy, synth heavy ballad ‘Stay' is a decent if overly repetitive, first step. It is also far superior to the deathly dull, derivative and by-the-numbers emo/rocker ‘Here We Go’ from <b>Lower Than Atlantis.</b><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5S1O3D8Q7_A?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AXpdFqZt4Us?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>For this week’s biggest laugh look no further than the hideously insipid, indie kid, cod reggae rubbish ‘Rude’ by Toronto based <b>Magic!</b>. Awful in every possible respect. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PIh2xe4jnpk?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><b><center>Single of the Week</b></center>This week’s stand out single is ‘Super Rat’ from Glaswegian duo <b>Honeyblood</b>. An off kilter and darkly acerbic tale of a rather unpleasant fellow that draws you in to its lair with a disarmingly sweet vocal delivery before attacking your senses with a fuzzed up barrage of noise. Deeply thrilling. If you don’t believe me just check out Gary K’s review of their <a href="http://music.thedigitalfix.com/content/20559/honeyblood-review.html"> eponymous debut album. </a><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/154611953&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe>

Singles Round Up: 30th June 2014

Singles Round Up: 30th June 2014

With the Tour De France kicking off next week in sunny Leeds, it’s only fitting that this week’s motley collection of singles should feature the latest from Yorkshire’s own <b>Embrace</b>. Sadly, they won’t be riding off with the yellow jacket as ‘I Run’ is a hideously dull indie dirge that tries, and fails to hit the kind of epic beauty that Elbow are so adept at. A much better bet is the second single from Doves frontman <b>Jimi Goodwin’s</b> solo album. ‘Live Like A River’ has an atonal intro, a synth heavy, almost garage rock edginess which, combined with Goodwin’s laconic drawl and a disconcertingly sharp finish, makes for great listening. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Yw_omiDSRZs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PhfpngD_BxM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>Talking of garage rock, we have ‘Suicide’ by <b>Algernon Doll</b> a song that has its grunge influences on show but which ends up sounding like the kind of record I’d have bought 20 years ago and played two or three times. But, as retro ditties go, it could be worse as is proved by the depressingly tedious swirling shoegaze of ‘Trembling Moon’ by <b>Kult Country</b>. Amazingly it’s not the worst retro rubbish to come pumping out of the speakers this week; that honour goes to the unbelievably bad 70s AOR nonsense from <b>Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks</b>. Maybe ‘Chartjunk’ is meant to be some kind of weird homage to Billy Joel but it is just hideous on every level.<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qwidDxTdWcs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/150388388&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mjQ3F3PUnl4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>If the new Lana Del Ray album has proved as big a disappointment to you as it has to me, then we have a few offerings of stripped backed brooding melancholia that should sate your appetite. First up to the plate is Berliner <b>Miss Kenichi</b> with ‘Who Are You’, a downbeat offering that is the perfect vehicle for her dark and deadly voice that could surely stun a sweeping herd of wildebeest in to submission. Next up is the haunting <b>Agnes Obel </b> whose own delicate tones are only intensified by the sparse piano backing on the simply beautiful ‘Words Are Dead’. Holding the fort for the gents is the angelic voiced <b>Ásgeir</b> with ‘Was There Nothing’, another slice of mesmeric and spine tingling Icelandicana.<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dWa0fGAJEpQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/110916899&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false"></iframe><p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Z5XdDXCZmr4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>That just leaves us to pronounce our winner so without further ado we have<p><center><b><U>Single of the Week </center></b></U><p>Coming over like a bizarre cross between Maximo Park and The Divine Comedy, ‘Salo’, the debut single from <b>Oxford Style</b> is the kind of arty rocker that I should absolutely love, what with its almost formal vocal delivery, doomy synths and hefty guitar riffs and shift in style and tone towards the end. And you know what? I do absolutely love it. It is is just kind of well-crafted alternative pop music that can put the smile back on the face of even an old curmudgeon such as myself. Marvellous. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3585NyYFRrM?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Bushmills Live - Old Bushmills Distillery, Bushmills, Co. Antrim

Bushmills Live - Old Bushmills Distillery, Bushmills, Co. Antrim

Our man has a whale of a day of whiskey and song in the Old Bushmills Distillery.

Luke Haines - New York In The '70s

Luke Haines - New York In The '70s

A fine finale to Haines' psychedelic trilogy.

Singles Round Up: 18th May 2014

Singles Round Up: 18th May 2014

Luckily there have been very few singles sent our way this week so the chances of encountering anything unbearably hideous have been drastically reduced. Let's kick things off with the obligatory electro pop offerings.<p>First up is the latest from <b>Wild Beasts</b>, ‘A Simple Beautiful Truth’ which may be well constructed but is just too damn fluffy and unengaging for my tastes. Much better is the latest solo effort from Stereolab’s <b>Lætitia Sadier</b>, as sweet a piece of horn-driven pop beauty that you could wish for. Perfect listening for a warm spring day. Sadly, there is no video or stream available so you’ll just have to head over to iTunes to check it out yourself.<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JOIYLIgOY1Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>If you like gently meandering funky jazz noodling then the ‘Simple’ EP by Polish duo <b>Skalpel</b> will provide you with some choice cuts. I don’t, so time to move swiftly along.<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gMp7XKbP2hY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>It is with great trepidation that I entered the long ignored world of <b>James Blunt</b> but, despite the ever-looming worry of being thoroughly Twitter thrashed by Blunty himself, I ploughed straight on in and, you know what, ‘Postcards’ isn’t anywhere near as irritating as you might expect. A maudlin, piano-led intro leads in to a jangly, ukulele-powered pop song that would be welcomed with open arms by many an achingly hip hipster were it to come out of some underground singer from Red Hook, Brooklyn rather than the arena-filling Bluntmeister. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/DB7jsjt4Uec" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>Operating in roughly the same ball park is the unbelievably dull <b>Sam Smith</b> whose latest opus is only saved from the realms of total mundanity by the sparingly used gospel backing. How Smith won the BBC Voice of 2014 award is baffling. <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pB-5XG-DbAA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>And so we come to the end and what better way to finish off than with the Single of the Week. A mean, moody and magnificent take on The Knife’s ‘Pass This On’ by eclectic rockabilly punker <b>Dan Sartain</b> provides yet more evidence that less electro and more xylophone can work wonders with any song.<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nfNXgAysFd8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams

The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams

A welcome return to form from the New York based rockers.

Singles of the Week

Singles of the Week

To help lift my mood let’s kick off with some acoustic guitar led folkies. The best of the bunch is <b>Emma Garrett</b> whose soaring vocals and violin heavy arrangement adds a stylish dimension to the gripping ‘This Is It’, the lead off single for an EP due in May. Definitely one to watch. Something that could also be said for <b>Annie Eve</b> who delivers a blissfully ethereal folk on her new EP <i>Feversome</i> with lead off track ‘Southern’ being particularly enchanting.<p><center><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/110706542&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true"></iframe><p></center><center><iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AOjc1yDR4pE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p></center>Next up is the debut from Washington folk-rockers <b>The Deadmen</b> who dabble heavily in a post Mumford & Sons folk combined with gritty bar room rock ballads. It’s a little too samey but not bad for starters and I suspect these songs will really come in to their own when played to a sweaty and drunken live crowd.<p><center><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/123138427&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true"></iframe><p></center>Sliding down the scale we have the incredibly twee ‘James’ by <b>Sam Brookes</b> and the ‘nice' but instanatly forgettable ‘Now’ by <b>The New Union</b> so let’s move quickly on.<p><center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hSV0qXQbKfM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p></center><center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zRD5rlH7Ilo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p></center>Clearly pitching for the gloomy post-punk Interpol loving type crowd are </b> <b>Balthazar</b> and ‘Leipzig‘ is a decent enough effort but perhaps a little too upbeat for it’s own good. Better is the swirling and downbeat ‘Let It Break‘ by <b>Pusher</b> who win this particular blacker then black Gloom-Off. <p><center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XWPFvTurnTw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p></center><center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bBHIF5sEJRA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p></center>Time to get loud with the angry riot grrl noise of <b>Deathcrush</b> and the catchily titled ‘Lesson #16 for Beatmaster V / Fun’ featuring a guest appearance from the happy-go-lucky Kim-Jong Un. Nice to see him out and about. Oddly, even better is ‘Kids Again’ the latest dance floor filler from <b>Example</b> whose booming beats unexpectedly won me over. Now, where did I put those glowsticks? <p><center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uLH95_L9Efc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p></center><center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0wyoKWgy3SE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p></center><center><b><u>Single of the Week</center></b></u><p>In a surprisingly strong week gloriously ramshackle fuzzed up indie sleaze merchants <b>Damn Vandals</b> walk away with the prize. I’m not sure how they managed to get past my normally finely tuned shouting and a hollering radar. 'Twist Up And Tangle' has placed them firmly in my sights with its raucous and rollicking rock shapes. Marvellous.<p><center><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/128084519&color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true"></iframe></center>

Radkey - The Cockpit, Leeds

Radkey - The Cockpit, Leeds

Teenage punks hit Leeds!

Radkey - The Cockpit, Leeds

Radkey - The Cockpit, Leeds

Teenage punks hit Leeds.

Cheatahs

Cheatahs

An enjoyable debut of raucous, retro shoegazing.

Ensh - Belgrade EP

Ensh - Belgrade EP

A quality debut of downbeat electronica.