Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Single of the Week (26/09/05)

Single of the Week:
The Go! Team - 'Bottle Rocket'
Bottle RocketThe webmaster of a certain site was to be found earlier this week posting many, many near-incomprehensible messages on MSN that looked something like 'bottlerocketbottlerocket'...and rightly so. It's a re-release, I think, but it's still the most innovative, interesting and, most importantly, good single out this week. It's funky, quirky, danceable, and irritatingly unclassifiable, but still brilliant. Unfortunately the people in my college common room didn't think so, and changed the channel when the video was played some time last week. Some people have no taste. Anyway, all I will say is that the music speaks for itself - get hold of a copy immediately, and let's see if it can make the top 40...

Other Notable Releases:
Basement Jaxx - 'Do Your Thing'
Do Your ThingAllow me introduce a track that belongs to a very special shortlist - songs guaranteed to make Hannah want to dance. I'll leave you to decide whether this is essentially a good or a bad thing. However, this latest single from Felix Buxton and co. comes complete with lots of brass, a funky piano riff, layered vocals and crazy sound effects. It's by no means the best thing The Jaxx have done, and verges on being too repetitive, but it's still pretty darn good.

tATu - 'All About Us'
The return of everybody's favourite 'lesbians' - I feel I may come under physical harm from certain parties (notably the Julia and Jessica campaign to make Hannah love pop) if I don't mention this, because, actually, it isn't that bad and is a pleasant three minute piece of pop. The video is another thing entirely, apparently. It still possesses the rather annoying high-pitched-chanting-type chorus that grates a little on your eardrums, but the verses are pretty cool.
Somehow I don't think that sounded particularly convincing...

All Releases: (ones I've heard in bold)
Alexis Strum - Bad Haircut, Andy Bell - Crazy, Annie - Always Too Late/Helpless Fool For Love [12" only], Art Brut - Good Weekend, Avenged Sevenfold - Bat Country, Basement Jaxx - Do Your Thing, Beach & Tia - Suntan, Bedouin Soundclash - When The Night Feels My Song, Bobby Valentino - Tell Me, Bodyrockers - Round And Round, Boy Least Likely To - Papercuts [7” only], Chalets - No Style, Charlotte Church - Call My Name, David Ford - State Of The Union, Dieffenbach - Glorious, Dualers - Truly, Madly, Deeply, Editors - Bullets, The Faders - Better Off Dead [Download Only], The Fall - I Can Hear The Grass Grow/Clasp Hands [7” only], Film School - On & On, Flat Pack - Sweet Child O Mine, The Go! Team - Bottle Rocket, Hanky Park vs. Peter Hook - We’ll Never Die, Honeymoon Machine - Faith In People, I Wayne - Can’t Satisfy Her, Imogen Heap - Hide And Seek [7” only], Infadels - Jagger 67 [Ltd Ed], Jo O'Meara - What Hurts The Most, Johnny Panic - Automatic Healer, Joseph Arthur - Even Tho, Kathryn Williams - Beachy Head [7” only], King Biscuit Time - CIM15 [Ltd Ed], LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations, Liberty X Ft Rev Run - Song 4 Lovers, Luka - To Nem Ai, Minotaur Shock - Muesli EP [12” only], Missy Elliott - Teary Eyed, Ms Dynamite - Judgement Day/Father, Nate James - The Message, New Order - Waiting For The Siren’s Call [7” only], Nickelback - Photograph, The Noise Next Door - Miss U, Objects - Fifi Brown, Paul Weller - Come On Let’s Go, Phats & Small - Its A Beautiful Day [12" only], Presets - Girls & The Sea EP, Red Organ Serpent Sound - In Search Of Orgasmuz, Royksopp - 49%, Sebastien Tellier - La Ritournelle, Simple Plan - Untitled [7” only], Soul Purpose - Salsa House, Stereo Mcs - Paradise, Story One - Disposable EP, Sugababes - Push The Button, tATu - All About Us, Tiesto - Ur/Tear It In The Open [12" only], Ultrasonic - High Energy/Staying Underground, X-Press 2 - Give It

What's your single of the week?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hannah's Single of the Week (19/09/05)

So, firstly it should be noted that this week there are TWO single of the week posts, one from me and one from Fish, which you can find by scrolling down a little. It's really nice to have her back, I must say. What it is also WONDERFUL to have back is a proper computer. Some readers might know that for the last six months I've been working from an awful Windows ME laptop with no speakers and that doesn't like me using the blogger template. A mouse feels like a luxury. Anyway, onto the singles...

Single of the Week:
Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To?
Crap cover - great song!It's not as good as 'Take Me Out', it's not as good as 'Matinee' and it's not as good as 'Michael' either. However, the first release from Franz Ferdinand's 'difficult second album' is still pretty damn good. It's a grower, and takes a while to really strike a chord, but it still combines every element required to make a great song - and contains a lead riff which really embeds itself inside your skull. The real highlight of the track, however, is the video, complete with over-the-top facial expressions, crazy dance moves, spilling lots of wine and (my personal favourite) swinging from the ceiling on bicycles. It's not Franz at their best, but they're still running rings round the competition!

Other Notable Releases:
Hard Fi - Living For The Weekend
I've been trying to resist it, but I really want to compare Hard Fi with Steps. That is, in the sense that you can sing a bit of any of their singles so far, and, if you're not a devoted fan, not be entirely sure which song it actually belongs to, since they all sound remarkably similar. This song's still an enjoyable piece of indie rock though - I just have a feeling I'm going to tire of it pretty quickly.

Kelly Clarkson - Behind These Hazel Eyes
Fish has said it all already. Kelly Clarkson is possibly the best 'rock' female pop artist going and I truly cannot help liking this song. I think I must be giving into my pop-loving side and I wouldn't be at all surprised if a pop song was single of the week within the next month. Hint. Hint.

Stereophonics - Devil
I'd quite like to question the chart eligibility of this single, since, with barely any substantial radio and video play, it's riding extremely high in the midweeks, possibly due to the pre-orders of live mp3s from each venue on the band's recent tour. (They were very good, by the way.) My argument is that having so many different live downloads available for inconclusion would mean the song exceeds some kind of 'number of formats' rule. I guess we'll just have to see. A good few chart loopholes have been exposed already, anyway. The track itself is in the same vein as 'Superman' - it's a grower, and definitely gains a bit more meaning and momentum live. It does, however, sound like a bit of a rehash of 'Jealousy' from the band's previous album. The video's a good watch for anyone who's ever fantasised about Kelly Jones...getting punched, almost drowned and then shoved into the boot of a car. Aww.

All Releases: (ones I've heard in bold)
Armand Van Helden - When The Lights Go Down, Bloodhound Gang - Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo, Bodyrockers - Round And Round, Boy Kill Boy - Civil Sin, Bullet For My Valentine - Suffocating Under Words Of Sorrow, Clipz - Start Da Car/Sticky [12” only], Damien Marley - Welcome To The Jamrock, Drill - Drill, ,The Duke Spirit - Cuts Across The Land, Emjay - MSN Global Gathering 05, Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To?, Hard Fi - Living For The Weekend, Jamie Cullum - Get Your Way, Jermaine Dupri - Gotta Getcha, Jose Gonzales - Crosses EP [7” only], Juan MacLean - Give Me Every Little Thing, Juliette & The Licks - Got Love To Kill, Katie Melua - Nine Million Bicycles, Kanye West Ft Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger, Kelly Clarkson - Behind These Hazel Eyes, K-Os - Man I Used To Be, Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch, Little Barrie - Greener Pastures [7” only], Lucky Nine - Vessel & Wine/Sweet Dreams Lilac [7” only], Magnetophone - And May Your Last Words Be A Chance To Make Things Better [7” only], Mew - Special, Northern Heightz - Saturday Love Affair, Pendulum - Slam, Plantlife - Luv Me (Til It Hurts), Players - What’s Your Problem [7” only], Rob Thomas - This Is How A Heart Breaks, Saucy Monkey - Good Day Down, Sheryl Crow - Good Is Good, Staphis L - Music 4 Girls, Stereophonics - Devil, Sway - Up Your Speed, Tracy Chapman - Change, Twisted Charm - London Scene, Ultrabeat - Feel It With Me, Vanessa Brown - Whipped

Monday, September 19, 2005

Fish does the singles again, finally (19/09/05)

After a period of intense and outrageous neglect of my duties, I am back, with a vegetable. Sorry, vengeance. Singles review. Take your pick. It’s going to have rather a negative slant on the whole, I’m afraid… but as I’m sure you’ll see, it’s totally justified. (All hail incoherence! -Hannah)

The Bloodhound GangThe Bloodhound Gang don’t annoy me quite as much as I think they should. This is somewhat worrying considering the video for Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo involves a banana car, and so many sexual innuendos it’s like overhearing a conversation between four 12 year old boys after they’ve just watched Austin Powers for the first time. But…I don’t know. It’s really quite bad. But it doesn’t annoy me intensely or make me want to cry or beat the floor with my fist wailing ‘why?!’. It’s just there, and it’s silly, and chuffs along, and yeah. If I come across it on the music channels I feel strangely compelled to watch it. I'm going to have to give it...

Bullet For My ValentineURGH. Bullet For My Valentine. Please tell me we have no fans here. Suffocating Under Words Of Sorrow is just as appalling as Four Words (To Choke Upon), with its screaming and foolish lyrics and awful ‘METAAAL’ riffs and God they get right up my nose. So pretentious. One of Kerrang!’s little darlings and jeesh- can’t you tell: no talent, no intelligence -very loud, very stupid. Furthermore, I have observed this excuse for a band in Kerrang! magazine posing with a load of barely-clothed girls like the pseudo-macho jerks they are. I guess music really does reflect the makers. All in all, this is so bad that they get a significantly lower mark than The Bloodhound Gang. The sooner you lose your voices the better. Hang your heads in shame, BFMV.

Franz FerdinandFranz Ferdinand. We all love them, right? You have to. They can’t seem to go wrong. Do You Want To brings us more enjoyable indie/art rock antics, typical Franz riff and lyrics, and more synchronised guitar dancery in the video. What more could you ask for? Hannah will undoubtedly come up with better lingo than such a tired!Fish, but the sentiment is there. Even if the words aren't. But yes, it's marvellous, and I can assure you the new album is more of the same, having heard an advance copy. Hurrah!

Kelly ClarksonKelly Clarkson is another one I'll shamefacedly admit that I don't mind. I know she thinks she's a 'rock chick' and I know she won American Idol and I know I really, really shouldn't like Behind These Hazel Eyes nor should I have liked Since U Been Gone even more. But there's something about her that stops her irritating me in the style of, lets say, Avril Lavigne. This a power-pop/rock affair much in the vein of her previous single, so if you liked that, as me and Hannah did, you'll like this.

Single Of The Week.
Boy Kill BoyFor me there was no competition. I fell in love with Civil Sin by Boy Kill Boy on my first listen and having listened to it an unhealthy number of times following that, I’m still in love. I’ve never heard anything quite like this. Originality! It’s desperate, despaired, semi-apocalyptic, intelligent, articulated. We are lacking this kind of band. Not to mention this here choon has a pretty weird piano part. Except for that last bit, it sounds a bit like I’m describing early Manics, even though they’re nothing alike. But anyway. Don’t get me started on the guy’s voice. It’s just the best thing ever. For the time being, anyway. He wears a funny hat. The drummer pulls the oddest faces imaginable. The bass player poses like a ponce. The keyboardist looks like he’s in a trance. They’re absolutely possessed by their music (or their hair, as may be the case with the bassist). The song is as captivating as the band (but, if it were personified, much better looking, I imagine) and gets stuck in your head, repeating that frustrated ‘nobody knows anything’ over and over again until you listen and agree with them. It’s far superior to their first outing, Suzie, and hopefully a sign of things to come. Definitely a one to watch. Love it.

You can see the video for Civil Sin on the official website:

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hannah's Single of the Week (11/09/05)

For those of you fed up with the 'radio 2 type blandness' this week there's a change of pace. I promise. I'm actually going to see my singles pick live this week supporting the-band-who-shall-not-be-named (unless 'Dakota' is mentioned), thanks to Sarah giving me a ticket as a surprise 17th birthday present. Aww. I know she reads this if poked, so thank you, Sarah!!! Anyway...this week seems a bit of a slow one after the recent rush of high-profile new releases. So, am I missing any hidden gems?

Single of the Week:
The Dead 60s - 'Riot Radio'
The Dead 60s - Riot Radio'Riot Radio' is one in a long list of various re-releases that have been gracing the chart of late (the song having made number 30 in November of last year) but this time it's not worth complaining about. This punky, pogotastic, potential indie floor-filler is packed with spiky, urgent guitar riffs and a catchy chorus. It's like The Ordinary Boys, but not so rubbish, and thankfully without a dodgy rap. In fact it's snappy (at 2 minutes 30) and is a perfect rush of musical adrenalin. All that's left for me to discover is whether it cuts it live.

All Releases: (ones I've heard in bold)
50 Cent Ft Mobb Deep - Outta Control, Alex McEwan - Make A Wave, All American Rejects - Dirty Little Secrets, Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day, Brigade - Made To Wreck, Chus & Penn - Esperanza, The Dead 60s - Riot Radio, DJ Deekline Ft Ed Solo & Darrison - Touch Your Toes, The Doves - Sky Starts Falling, Dre Allen Project Ft Dawn Robinson - Fly, Drill - Drill, Dungen - Panda, Five Star - The Slightest Touch, Her Space Holiday - A Match Made In Texas, HIM - Wings Of A Butterfly, Imperial Vipers - Kick A Hole, Jamesy P - Nookie, Jem - Wish I, Jose Gonzales - Crosses EP [7” only], Kano Ft Leo The Lion - Nite Nite, Lee Cabrera Ft Mim - I Watch You, Lene Marlin - How Would It Be?, Millionaire - I’m On A High, My Computer - Lonely, Mystery Jets - You Can’t Fool Me Dennis, Peyton - I’ll Rise A Higher Place, Pretty Ricky - Grind With Me, Sean Paul - We’ll Be Burning, Senses Fail - Rum Is For Drinking, Not For Burning [7” only], Shout Out Louds - Comeback, Sleater Kinney - Jumpers, Son Volt - Afterglow 61 EP, Spitfire - Shake It, Status Quo - Party Ain’t Over Yet, Stephen Malkmus - Baby C’mon [7” only], Stereolab - Kybernetik A Babicka (Platic Mile Interlock) [7” only], The Subways - With You, Sugashak Ft General Levy - Sunshine Daze, Tom Vek - Nothing But Green Lights [12” only], Tony Yayo - So Seductive, Unchosen - Billie Jean, Victorian English Gentlemens Club - Tales Of Hermit Marl [7” only]

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hannah's Single of the Week (05/09/05)

So this week (well, on Tuesday) it's my birthday - happy birthday to me. If you're feeling extra nice and full of birthday cheer you could click that DMA 2005 voting button in the sidebar and fill in your details. If you enjoy reading WL and think we deserve to be above some rotten Atomic Kitten fan site, that is. Anyway, onto those singles:

WL Ratings:
5 = Can't Be Beaten // 4 = Great Stuff // 3 = Good // 2 = Pretty Average // 1 = Dissapointing // 0 = Dreadful

Single of the Week:
Coldplay - 'Fix You'
Coldplay - Fix YouReleased in the same week as a single titled 'Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now' it's true that while Coldplay have their detractors, they do have a mass of fans, and whatever Athlete, Feeder and countless other bands have morphed into recently, they're still the best out of all of them. As the stand out track from X&Y (which doesn't really live up to the hype) it allows forgiveness for the pretty average 'Speed of Sound' and is an instant fan favourite, capturing the essence of everything that is Coldplay. There's the classic tear-jerking Chris Martin vocal, the simplistic start building to an overwhelming epic sound, the sentimental lyrics, the get the idea. The video, despite starting like it's an urban rehash of 'Yellow', flows into some nice live footage (I was there being filmed, after all!) and concludes with a crowd of thousands singing along, mere weeks after the album's release. It's all very satisfying - the boys have just about nailed it with this one. 5/5

Other Recommended Tunes:
Arcade Fire - 'Rebellion (Lies)' - unusual indie types beloved by Chris Martin get playlisted on Radio 1, nice! - 3.5/5
Foo Fighters - 'DOA' - addictive 360 degree rock from the unlikely Supergrass fans - 3.5/5
Goldie Lookin Chain - 'Your Missus Is A Nutter' - welsh chav rappers sporting lingerie as headgear - still stupidly hilarious, but take them seriously at your peril! - 3/5

All Known Releases: (ones heard in bold)
213 - Groupie Luv EP, Amandine - Halo [7” only], Anthony & The Johnsons - For Today I Am A Boy [Download Only], Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies), The Black Velvets - Once In A While, Braund Reynolds - Rocket [12” only], Bronz N Blak Ft Styles P - In The Ghetto, Cass - Out Of My Reach, Chevy - Hard Message, Christian Blaizer - All I Want, Coldplay - Fix You, David Grubbs’ Wingdale Community Singers - Give It A Kiss/My Les Paul [7” only], Devandra Banhart - I Feel Just Like A Child, Disturbed - Stricken, Echo & The Bunnymen - Stormy Weather, Faithless - Insomnia 2005, Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We’re Going Down, Foo Fighters - DOA, General Khaki - Good Guys & Bad Guys [7” only], Gladys Knight & The Pips - I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Goldie Lookin Chain - Your Missus Is A Nutter, Grasp - Time To Go, Ian Brown - All Ablaze, Jack Johnson - Breakdown, Johnny Panic - Automatic Healer, Mitch Benn Ft Distractions - Everything Sounds Like Coldplay Now, Mohair - Stranded In The Middle Of Nowhere, Mylo vs. Miami Sound Machine - Dr Pressure, Nerina Pallot - All Good People, Paul Van Dyk - The Other Side, Public Domain - Luv U More, Pussycat Dolls - Don’t Cha, The Rasmus - No Fear, Reuben - Keep It To Yourself, Shaggy Ft Olivia - Wild 2Nite, Simian - La Breeze, Simple Minds - Home, Superfly v Fishbowl - Let’s Get Down, Transplants - Gangsters And Thugs, Walkerman - Listen To Mama, Ying Yang Twins - Wait (Whisper Song)