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Archive for February, 2006

5 years behind trends

Posted: February 12th, 2006, by Chris Summerlin

I don’t have MTV so I have only just seen this. It’s the best music video ever

Also, how shit are band names? Here are some genuine bands taken from the pages of Punk Planet:

Across Five Aprils
The Autumn Offering
The Autumn Project
Before Today
By The End Of Tonight
It Dies Today
Missing Autumn
Oh My God
Beneath The Falling Skies
Ruining Tomorrow
Sunday Tore Downs
A Thousand Falling Skies
Leaves Of Lothlorien
Recess Theory
The Juliana Theory
Subpoena The Past
Count The Stars

BATTANT – Jump Up EP (self released)

Posted: February 12th, 2006, by Alasdair R

I went to see Adult play Glasgow’s ABC last night and I was quite taken by the support band, Battant. For the same reason Marceline keeps telling me to stop listening to the likes of Interpol and get into Joy Divison instead, I am half sure Battant will be turn out to be fairly derivative of someone or other. While I’m listening in ignorance I have to say I fairly enjoyed their set and this, what I believe to be a self published EP I bought after the gig.

While on stage I noticed that I was mainly liking the songs they introduced their new ones. My favourite being ‘Jump Up’, the first track on this EP. It is an acid sharp heavy electric number with disaffected noisy vocals from singer Chloe Raunet. To be honest I can’t really make out what she is singing about but unusually for me that doesn’t matter here.

There is something enjoyably awkward about Battant. Despite the cut glass electronica, or perhaps because of it, there is a solemn, scratchy texture that intrigues and entertains. Battant make music that is dark, sinister and easy to get swept away with.


NEON PLASTIX – Prick Tease / Neon Invasion (Blow Up)

Posted: February 12th, 2006, by Alasdair R

This is pretty dumb. But in a good way.

On this, their debut double A-side single, Neon Plastix make what is in many ways modern indie pop by numbers. Slightly affected posh vocal? Check. Angular guitars? Check. Nifty electro-synths? Absolutely. Dance floor influenced drum sounds? Of course. Any good? I think so.

Ok, even if they do sound a little like The Killers, The Faint, Franz Ferdinand and others, they have found a neat line in choruses and base lines. Neon Plastix are one of many bands that we’ll no doubt see this year making sparky electro pop despite hipsters proclaiming the death of ‘electro-clash’.

If they keep coming up with stuff as fun as ‘Prick Tease’ the Neon Plastix could add up to being a band to be reckoned with.

The Neon Plastix
BlowUp Records

Glaswegians! Get a bus to ATP

Posted: February 11th, 2006, by Marceline Smith

I’m not going to ATP, I’m going to Japan, but if you are, and you’re going to the second weekend (the one with Lightning Bolt, Boredoms and Magik Markers) and you live somewhere near Glasgow then GOOD NEWS! Instead of spending over £100 getting 4 trains and a bus to Camber Sands you could go on a coach with some other people who like great music. If this sounds like a good idea then give Gary Thoms a mail at gary dot thoms at gmail dot com to find out more. And send us a postcard.

THE BLACK WATCH – The Hypnotizing Sea (Pink Hedgehog)

Posted: February 7th, 2006, by Dave Stockwell

I would hope that anyone who listens to music a lot must fantasise about playing God and getting bands to tweak their sound so that it is even more musically satisfying to their ears. It’s what I do all the time anyway. And it’s rare that I come across a band that has a sound that I would consider perfect. The only two that spring to my mind right now are Neu! and Shellac, for hugely contrasting reasons. But anyway.

The first ten seconds of this CD got me into a real lather – someone was making some guitar vomit something akin to those amazing seasick sounds Kevin Shields coaxed out on “Isn’t Anything”, and it looked like they were going to harness them to make some great vague indie pop in the process. Unfortunately, from then on the proceedings became increasingly staid, with more ‘proper indie’ songwriting and sounds dominating. Aside from the occasional interesting textural flourish, Black Watch otherwise only mark themselves out as a very competent band playing some competent songs that are unfortunately bereft of any real melodic or catchy hooks to really catch your attention. And those flourishes diminish as the album goes on and on, getting duller as it gets increasingly singer-songwritery. It’s a shame because those blurry guitars are ultimately filler on a few tracks, disappointingly underutilised – normally to underline a part already played by another guitar in an altogether less interesting fashion. The whole thing just seems a little unambitious after a very promising start.

My personal advice would be: Pile on the effects, and get some hooks going on. Then the Black Watch would really be onto something special and ears would really prick up. That’s not to say this band could be another My Bloody Valentine clone; there is obviously talent at work here, and they could give those guitars a whole new setting with some decent rhythmic drive and songwriting. It’s just my opinion. Black Watch are not there yet, and maybe they don’t even want to be. I just wish they would, so they could properly escape that horrible label of being Just Another Indie Band.


YSN – More (Wrath Records)

Posted: February 3rd, 2006, by Alasdair R

I have never been to Leeds, and until recently I had no desire to. I worked with a guy from Leeds and I could hardly understand a word he said. I had to nod in agreement whenever he paused after asking ‘innit?’. I’ve heard good things about the city: a busy arts scene, half decent shops, and nice buildings. I hadn’t heard much about its music scene though but if YSN are anything to go by, I may have been missing out.

YSN do many things I enjoy: on first hearing forthcoming single ‘More’ my heart skipped I was so excited.

They are camp in the best possible way – witty, articulate, sharp and sexy. ‘More’ has a timeless retro-futurism, it sounds like it could have been made by robots from a future that people used to dream about in the 70s. It boasts sophisticated synths and arch guitar hooks alongside wonderfully theatrical vocals and tight song writing. On b-side ‘At The Club’ the vocals take center stage as the boys come over like a barber shop quartet gone bad performing to a half empty candle lit cabaret club.

YSN display more than enough wit and charm to convince me that Leeds could be easily be filled with articulate and well dressed gentlemen, frequenting once decadent, but still alluring, back street gin joints.

The single is out on the 13th of February and are touring the UK throughout the month. I think I may be exploring Leeds in March.

YSN at myspace
YSN’s Website

Smash Hits RIP

Posted: February 3rd, 2006, by Marceline Smith

Yes yes, none of us getting upset about Smash Hits folding have read it for years but that shouldn’t stop us mourning the greatest magazine that ever existed. My sister and I read Smash Hits obsessively from the mid-eighties to the late nineties and loved it for their enthusiasm and ridiculing and the secret language of hilarious catchphrases. Thankfully all this continues in the safe hands of Popjustice, Simon Amstell (I had a momentary regression into teen pop sulkiness the other week when my dad made me stop watching Popworld to go visit my granny) and the Pet Shop Boys. You’ll also find a large number of questions on diskant that are nicked directly from my Smash Hits yearbooks. I will now go dig out my ‘Smash Hits: more tune for your “bob”‘ badge and remember the good old days.

Smash Hits Forever
Down The Dumper! – Alexis Petridis at the Guardian

Also good on the Guardian today – the London Underground map of music.