State thought singles were dead but nobody seems to have told the music industry. Before we consign singles to the 21st century curiosity pile, we had a listen.
This Week: Speedmarket Avenue, David Holmes,Guggenheim Grotto, The Red Labels, New Kids On The Block, Innerpartysystem and Flotbots .
Single of the Week: Speedmarket Avenue – Way Better Now
This debut single from the latest FIFA Records signing oozes youthful exuberance. The Swedish six-piece band closely follow the modus operandi of Welsh band Los Campesinos of male/female vocal sparring and high-energy songs, except played by Belle And Sebastian’s younger brothers and sisters. From the moment, it kicks in with the organ and drum crash, it’s two and a half minutes of pure, frivolous indie-pop. Actually, State got slightly annoyed when we realised they were clearly older than they sound but no matter. The band have been playing together since 2001 and are due to release the album Way Better Now in September with an Irish tour to follow. [Myspace]
Guggenheim Grotto – Fee Da Da Dee
A wistful summer-pop tune from a band who have been around a while and slowly getting some recognition in the form of song placements in US TV shows like Brothers and Sisters, One Tree Hill, constant gigging and acclaim across the pond (The band are signed to NYC label United for Opportunity). ‘Fee Da Da Dee’ features Jenny Lindfors on backing vocals. Watch out for the forthcoming album Happy The Man on the 5th of September. Seriously, we would gladly take 1000 Guggenheim Grottos over most of the twaddle that passes morning radio playlists around the country. [Website]
David Holmes – I Heard Wonders
The first taster from David Holmes’ forthcoming album proper The Holy Pictures, finds David taking on vocal duties himself. It’s a lot more straightforward than you would expect from Holmes as it’s filled with guitar and synths. It’s suitably epic for his return but in a shoegazing kind of way. The chorus actually sounds a lot like Dublin band Channel One. The digital single is out on August 22nd backed with an Andrew Weatherall vocal mix. An interview and album review will feature in State issue 06 out next week. [Myspace]
The Red Labels – Fire
Any band who list their influences as the standard issue combination of The Libertines, The Strokes, Kings of Leon, The Raconteurs, Muse, Oasis, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic and Monkeys has got us worried from the start. So it comes to pass, that ‘Fire’ sounds like an amalgamation of all of the above with very little originality on offer. Full marks for the production which blazes out of the speakers. It’s a decent song with a proficient delivery but it’s only adding to indie-landfill knocking around at the moment. Many people will love it but it doesn’t inspire us. Proficient doesn’t cut it round here folks. The less said about the Arctic Monkey’s aping (no pun intended) ‘All Night’, the better. [Myspace]
New Kids On The Block – Summer Time
NKOTB return and their hobbies now include a love of autotune! The vocal delivery sounds like piss on glass, the song is basically one hip-hop beat and a farting synth. The autotune is too good to miss though. New Kids on the Block reminisce about an imaginary girl on Jones Beach 1988. “Do you remember / I’ll never forget / Touchin’ your body all soakin’ wet / The water was cool/ The feelin’ was hot/ Kissin’ on you while the ocean rocked”. These dudes KNOW their target market consists of former 80s teenage girls all grown up and willing to indulge in a bit of radio-friendly nostalgia. Unfortunately, NKOTB end up sounding like deluded denizens of a city where perving on the youngsters is only publicly acceptable when digitally enhanced over a pop beat.
Innerpartysystem – Die Tonight Live Forever
A electro-rock band from Pennsylvania, USA is not something you hear every day. Maybe there’s a reason. If Jared Leto turned his back on emo and went down an electro route, it might sound like this. Alternatively, this could easily soundtrack a shit club scene from CSI: Miama where writhing bodies collide with David Caruso’s character hindering his pursuit of a killer. [Myspace]
Flobots – MayDay!!!
It’s been a while since we’ve been subjected to rap-rock. Say it out loud and you start to see Fred Durst on a tall building screeching anemically about “breaking your fucking face tonight”. This is rap-rock but it’s not aggressive and not awful. It’s a nuanced marriage of the two with a violin filling the gaps. Actually, it sounds vaguely like Aesop Rock. This lot play Whelans on the 21st of September. [Official Site]