Review Round-up | by Jo Whitby
Since accepting review submissions again we’ve been inundated with review requests. At the present time there is only my lowly self in charge of going through all the submissions so if you’ve contacted us for a review it’s likely that your music has joined part of a long ‘to do’ list. Wherever possible, if I am unable to allocate enough time for a decent review I will try to feature the music I like in one of our mixcloud mixes or via an interview feature.
For now here is a selection of highlights from the music we’ve been sent over the last few months.
Tina Veronica: Twelve Questions
The tracks that were submitted to me originally came in the form of power rock songs performed by the band This Wicked Tongue with Tina Veronica on lead vocals. I’ll be honest and say that the music didn’t really hit the spot for me. I won’t put them down though, they are all competent musicians and the production is slick but personally I just can’t get into them. However, after a follow-up email and a new entry in our soundcloud dropbox up pops a track from Tina Veronica’s solo effort. ‘Twelve Questions’ is a beautiful pop piano ballad that showcases Veronica’s voice to the fullest. It’s not competing with a full rock band which I feel makes all the difference. Here’s a link to the soundcloud page of This Wicked Tongue so you can decide for yourself. http://soundcloud.com/this-wicked-tongue
Damon Dwyer: Hot Food
‘Hot Food’ is a mainly acoustic album by Buck based songwriter and guitarist Damon Dwyer. It’s certainly a pleasant listen; each song rambles along decorated with intricate acoustic guitar and modest percussion accompaniment. The record changes pace about midway through opting for a more country and western feel, this might not be to everyone’s taste but it does show Dwyer as an adaptable songwriter. http://soundcloud.com/damon-dwyer
RM Hubbert: Thirteen Lost & Found
Some records should be deemed areas of outstanding natural beauty. RM Hubbert’s ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ is an absolute gem, stunning in every single way. It is a collaborative album featuring the likes of Alex Kapranos, Aidan Moffat, Hanna Tuulikki and many others. If I should end up on desert island I would take this beautiful album with me. I’m not going to tell you what it sounds like, watch the video above, visit his website and then give this man your money.
Moist: Temporary Arrangements
‘Temporary Arrangements’ is the work of Swedish electronica producer & songwriter Mosit a.k.a David Elfström Lilja. It is a beast of a record totalling 17 tracks and features a varied selection of what I can only describe as dark electro pop songs with some quality guest vocal performances. The production is faultless and reminds me greatly of Sepiamusic which is no bad thing. However, by track 11 my attention is starting to wane and the prospect of listening to another 6 songs has me reaching for the stop button. Perfect for listening on shuffle as part of a wider playlist but not as a whole record.
Conformist: Savages Go Modern!
The video for the Herbie Hancock song ‘Rockit’ springs to mind when listening to ‘Savages Go Modern!’ by Cardiff based cut-and-paste genius Conformist. There is something quite uneasy about the track, much like the aforementioned Hancock video – perhaps it’s the ‘post-apocalyptic’ undertone that gives me the shivers. Gyrating robots aside this is a great track that is danceable but will probably freak out your friends. That’s a win win situation in my book.
The best of the rest:
Clever Little Tramps: Bend and Break
Heartfelt bluesy and folk tinged rock from the Merseyside 3 piece.
Deadwall: Four Songs By Deadwall
Excellent EP by Leeds based group Deadwall. There’s something very 90s about them, think early Radiohead but less depressing.
Freddie Nunez: Runaway
‘Runaway’ is a record full of well-crafted dreamy songs that you’ll find difficult not to fall in love with. Sublime ‘introvert pop’ by Freddie Nunez. The best $5 you’ll ever spend.