Thursday, April 27, 2006

Hannah's Single of the Week (24/04/06)

I completely apologise for the lack of regular posts last week. I also hope Lewis's rant made up for it! We were both VERY busy, and, if you're curious, my pick of the week was easily 'Yeah Yeah Yeah Song' by The Flaming Lips. Anyway, it's all back to normal this week, and what an exciting week it is. The Arctic Monkeys release an EP which might not be (well, at the last time of checking it wasn't) chart eligible, and NME favourites The Raconteurs and Dirty Pretty Things finally give their music a full release after months and months of hype. What's slightly less exciting is the fact there seems to be a recurring colour when it comes to cover artwork - muddy grey. Lovely.

Special Mentions:
Snow Patrol You’re All I Have (official site - includes videolink)
Ah, Snow Patrol. An example of a band who show that one song can change everything. 'Run' appeared almost out of nowhere to become a stadium anthem. The band's third album, 'Final Straw', went platinum, multiple times. But 'Run', bizarrely, is still the band's only top 20 single. So now we have 'You're All I Have' the lead single from 'Eyes Open', ready to cement Snow Patrol's reputation as one of the leading indie bands in the UK. Now, our Lewis may not like them, but I do. The problem here is that while the song begins promisingly with a jingly intro and surges into addictive 'ooohs' and Gary's vocals ring out over the guitars there is one things that annoys me about Snow Patrol. It's not the lyrics (I don't mind them at all) and the melody (that's all good) or the lead guitar line - it's the rhythm guitar chugging away in the background. It's a straight quaver rhythm, the same as 'Chocolate' and also the same as too many other songs by the Patrol. It's there all the way through. For me it sticks out like a sore thumb and puts a dampener on what could be a truly excellent track.
3.5/5
(Also, guys? If your video description says you filmed it whilst performing on a platform 120ft in the air - why not show this in the video itself?)

Dirty Pretty ThingsBang Bang You’re Dead (official site)
So, as the Pete Doherty saga gets a little tired (Pete found with drugs/Pete arrested/Pete standing trial and is let off - the story never really changes, does it?) the lesser-spotted Libertine steps into the spotlight with his 'new' band. This introductory single, 'Bang Bang You're Dead' certainly sounds like The Libertines. Lyrically, the chorus ends up sounding a little childish (the main lyric being 'bang bang, you're dead - it's hard not to) but fortunately it doesn't fall down where many of Babyshambles' singles did. The music is punchy, catchy and exhibits a charming singsong quality and chord progression that allows it to sound suspiciously like Brendan Benson's 'What I'm Lookin' For'. Speaking of Brendan Benson...
3.5/5

Singles of the Week:
The RaconteursSteady As She Goes (the band's fantastic official site - includes video)
Right from when the idea was first announced, I was very excited about 'Jack White's side-project', The Raconteurs. I'm a big Brendan Benson fan (and also quite like the White Stripes) so it was something of a dream collaboration for me. Thankfully, the music lives up to the hype. However, this track has been on heavy rotation of Xfm (my radio station of choice when it comes to waking up in the morning) since what feels like the dawn of time. In truth it's only since the inital 7" pressing was put out as a very limited release back at the end of January, but when a song has been played so often (take Kaiser Chiefs' 'I Predict A Riot', for example) something that you initially love can quickly become the most irritating thing in the universe. However, I've found it impossible to get sick of 'Steady As She Goes'. Whether it's Jack and Brendan's duelling vocals, the choppy stabs of rhythm guitar or the psychotic cows in the song's video - there's still something that gets me every time.
4.5/5

The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me (official site - video in 'videos' section)
The first I heard of The Boy Least Likely To was the high praise they got from our very own Lewis as he named their album one of his favourites of 2005. The second? The fact they were James Blunt's support act as he took on the States. Still, considering he's the hottest British name out there right now, it was an excellent move on their part. It also delayed this single's release by a couple of months, but hey - it's completely worth the wait. Coupled with an excellent video (reviewed on my last videowatch) this brilliant xylophone-led piece of indiepop is delightfully cute and summery. It's one of those tracks that's perfect to listen to while sitting on a grassy field, basking in the sunlight. The lyrics are adorable, the guitars jangly and the vocals sweet and vulnerable. Gorgeous.
4.5/5

All Releases:
General singles:
The Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me, Brian Kennedy – Every Song Is A Song For Love, Chicane feat Tom Jones – Stoned In Love, Chris Brown - Yo (Excuse Me Miss), Copyright feat Song Williamson – He Is, Demeter – Addict, Director – Reconnect, Dirty Pretty Things – Bang Bang You’re Dead, Druw & Perez feat Don E – Bonafide, Elin Ruth – When It Comes To You, Flies - Temptress, Giant Drag – This Isn’t It, HIM - Killing Loneliness, Killa Kela – Secrets, King Biscuit Time – Kwang Chow, Lynden David Hall – Day Off / Stay Faithful, Matt Costa – Cold December, Michael Jackson – Black Or White, NFD - Light My Way, Nina Simone vs Groovefinder – Ain’t Got No/I Got Life, Notorious BIG – Spit Your Game / Hold Ya Head, Primrose Hill – Shearers Magnificent 11, Raconteurs – Steady As She Goes, Ralfe Band – Women Of Japan, Silver Jews - Tennessee, Snow Patrol – You’re All I Have, Terri Walker – Alright With Me, Tiga – (Far From) Home, Ultrabeat vs Scott Brown – Elysium (I Go Crazy), Warren G feat Snoop Dogg & Ice Cube – Get U Down, Will Young – Who Am I, Wire Jesus – Intruder / Another Day

EPs/7" Only/12" only/Limited Release:
Arctic Monkeys – Who The F**k Are the Arctic Monkeys? (EP), Crazy Girl – The Rebel (12”) , Czar Creek – Get Gone, Euros Childs – Costa Rica (7”), Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Honey Child (7”), Jackson Analogue – West Of Here (EP) [Limited], Lily Allen – Knock ‘Em Out (limited 7”), Polysics – I My Me Mine (7”), Sol Seppy – Slo Fuzz (7”), Test Icicles – Pull The Lever (EP on 2x7”)