THE KLAXONS – Twin Flames
The Klaxons were the KLF (or The Shaman) of the 21st Century when their space-age debut album landed in our laps in 2006. However, they were thankfully much better. Sure, bits of the album sounded like they were “a bunch of very badly dressed jokers who were whinging it”, but it was a damn fine album nevertheless – especially those wonderful catchy pop singles. The new album, four years later, sadly failed to capture the record-buying public’s imagination in the same way.
This is a shame, as their new album contains some nuggets, with this being one of them. These pounding drums and dirty strung out guitars deep in the background with the old nu-rave sound is still there, but metal producer Ross Robinson has scuzzed it up slightly and left us with nu-rave distortion. The brilliant backing vocals gives the tune the traditional Klaxons weird pop-hook. Twin Flames is hot and the Klaxons are on fire…but the pop purists may get a bit of a sore head.
Rated 4 out of 5
THE ANSWERING MACHINE – Animals
Manchester’s The Answering Machine came to our attention in 2006 when they got a bit of praise in the music press for sounding like The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand, only not quite as good as either. Still, at least they showed a lot of promise https://www.tragedyinfo.com/griselda-blanco-death-obituary-griselda-blanco-cause-of-death/
We all know that when bands reach their second album they always claim to have matured. Have The Answering Machine matured? Probably not. Well, they have released a song that starts off like the Foals with great twangy bits and turns into [insert whatever band we are trying to think of but we sadly couldn’t remember] in the chorus – which lets down the side slightly. But overall the song is fun and infectious, despite a feeling of being vaguely familiar.
Rated 3 out of 5
NATALIE McCOOL – Shoot Shoot EP
Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Natalie McCool, 22, has been praised by the likes of DJ Mark Radcliffe, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and some old geezer called Paul McCartney. You have to admit that it is kinda cool for an unknown artist to get a bit of famous support.
There is a bit of a possibility that with a bit of guidance and good fortune that there may be a young PJ Harvey lurking inside her. Someone give her a copy of Polly’s Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea this Christmas and we shall all cross our fingers at Banana HQ in the hope that her record label don’t try and turn her into flippin’ KT Tunstall.
Rated 3 out of 5
LIZZIE NIGHTINGALE – Left Right Left
Glaswegian Lizzie Nightingale is a soulful-ish songstress who is signed to indie label 25 Hour Convenience Store, who are backed by The Libertines drummer Gary Powell. This girl seems destined to attempt to challenge Duffy and Adele as the modern Queen of Radio 2’s playlist and cause that Steve Wright bloke to get all excited.
Left Right Left is a nice enough debut, showcasing the distinctive and beautiful voice of the “wee young lassie”! The marching drum beat is a bit annoying though and the previously mentioned Duffy and Adele don’t really look like they risk losing their crowns quite yet.
Rated 3 out of 5
RIHANNA – Only Girl (In The World)
Firstly, she is not a girl – she is a woman. Secondly, there are around 3,291,805,000 females in the world. But it is obviously a song about how Rihanna wants to be made to feel like she is the only girl in the world…and probably not be used as a punchbag by some testosterone-filled pranny.
Anyway, this is a bouncy and breezy pop offering and lively enough to tick all the commercial radio boxes, but it just proves to be another reminder that the poor girl really hasn’t had a song that comes close to the poptastic Umbrella.
Rated 1 out of 5
JAMES BLUNT – Stay The Night
We are afraid that this latest offering from James Blunt, Stay The Night, hasn’t changed our mean standpoint on the bland artist.
What has happened to Mr Blunt here though? We expected a heart-wrenching ballad for recently dumped simpletons and your mum. However, a bright and happy little summer song pops up just to anger us as we start to crank up our boilers to keep warm. This is as annoying as you will have expected.
Rated 2 out of 5
CHERYL COLE – Promise This
Probably the luckiest girl in the history of celebrity-ism delivers her latest single. We all know the story, a common-as-muck Geordie lass with the IQ of a..well, a Geordie, joins Girls Aloud, marries (and then divorces) a footballer, and has miraculously managed to carve out a solo pop career based on the fact that some men (and Simon Cowell) find her pleasing on the eye. Yet somehow this has been confused as being “inspirational” by some people.
This dull beat and synth combo gives us as much pleasure as the removal of nasal hairs. It’s designed to become both a massive chart hit and also make appearances in nightclubs on a Saturday night, but it’s a soulless offering that has very little going for it no matter how many times you hear it.