Archive for May, 2010

Let’s Wrestle, Male Bonding, Blood Red Shoes, Ted Leo + The Pharmacists

I’m placing Let’s Wrestle in my self-made genre of Smarmy British Pop-Punk.  Along the lines of Art Brut, they bring a sarcastic sense of humor to their music, but Let’s Wrestle’s angle is more youthful and playful.  And though it’s lo-fi sounding punk with off-key vocals, a quick pace, and pedestrian lyrics about going to the ‘job centre’, the end results are well crafted songs you can’t get out of your head.  Best example is We Are The Men You Will Grow To Love

Male Bonding are a three-piece from the UK that blend the noise of No Age and the indie-rock of Surfer Blood perfectly.   Fast, punk, noise offset by some real catchy hooks.  Their new album Nothing Hurts is a great listen all the way through, with some songs leaning to the noisier punk side (Years Not Long) while others lean to the catchier side (Franklin) – both can be heard on their myspace page.  The song Weird Feelings hits both sides dead on.

Blood Red Shoes are a duo from Brighton, UK.  Laura-Mary Carter plays guitar, Steven Ansell drums, and they share vocal duties.  Don’t Ask, the lead single from their most recent release reminds me of Sons and Daughters (a band that has shown up on some past djeddieo and buzz biscuits comps).

The Onion’s AV Club has been hosting a weekly covers session where they’ve compiled a list of songs they want covered, and bands come in and pick from the remaining songs.  The first, and in my book the best so far, is Ted Leo and the Pharmacists covering Everybody Wants to Rule the World.  I don’t have the same nostalgia for this song that most people my age seem to, but this is one of the best suited covers I’ve heard in a while.

P.S.  Their new album, The Brutalist Bricks, is excellent.


songs you may have missed…I know I did!!

I just discovered some new (to me) internet radio stations (see new links to your right), and have heard a bunch of new songs, except they’re not so new. I should know better than to put my new music eggs in so few baskets. Anyway, it’s quite possible that many visitors to this site are very familiar with these artists and titles, but I’m gonna assume my core audience—my subscribers—are not. Please correct me by commenting if I’m wrong.
First up, Hockey, a Portland, Oregon quartet. Though their debut LP has only been out since September 2009, the single “Too Fake” was released in mid-March, but I don’t recall hearing it anywhere. That despite it hitting #25 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs, being an iTunes free single of the week, and being featured in a remix version on a JCPenny commercial.
Oft compared to The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem, I hear more Arctic Monkeys and The Bravery. Website/MySpace for Hockey.

The Hoosiers

The Hoosiers

The Hoosiers (f/k/a The Hoosier Complex) have been around since mid-2007. “Cops And Robbers” was on their first album from October of that year, and it has eluded me well ever since. Had I been a player of Grand Theft Auto IV, I might be more aware. The Cure is cited as an influence, and this track smacks of “Lovecats”, maybe with a Freddie Mercury guest vocal.
From England and Sweden (via University of Indianapolis, hence Hoosier), the trio has a new album due in October called Illusion Of Safety. Single “Choices” should precede it in July. MySpace/Website for The Hoosiers (check out my second choice, “Goodbye Mr. A”

Eight Legs

Eight Legs hail from Shakespeare’s ‘hood: Stratford-upon-Avon. Their first release was back in 2006, when none of them was as old as my favorite Hugo Boss suit, which I still wear proudly! “These Grey Days” is from late 2007 and was featured on an advert called “Alcohol: Know Your Limits” in 2008. I never heard it then, and I confess I haven’t paid very close attention to the lyrics or message, but maybe it will still have a positive subliminal effect! I hear the non-“Lovecats” Cure sound here….you?
MySpace/website for Eight Legs.

Cut Copy

Cut Copy started as a Melbourne graphic designer’s DJ project in 2001. Now a bona fide trio, they released In Ghost Colours in early 2008 but I’ve not heard “Lights and Music” till this past week. The opening drum beat could be a sample from the 1982 Disco hit “Let It Whip” by Dazz Band, then into a bass line that evokes The Pretenders’ “Mystery Achievement”….when the vocals and synth riffs come in I’m reminded of Human League and Thompson Twins. Do I have your attention yet?
MySpace/website for Cut Copy.

Little Man Tate

Little Man Tate broke up a year ago, after four years together. The song that recently caught my ear, “Sexy In Latin”, was released in January 2007, when it made #20 on the UK Singles Chart, their best. A fun, Fratellis-like cheekiness evidently wasn’t enough to sustain them, but the song is right at home on my iPod shuffle.

Also check their MySpace/website for more clever observations from Little Man Tate, including “Man I Hate Your Band”.

Chet JR White and Cris Owens of Girls

Girls is a San Fran quintet since 2007, and their first single “Lust For Life” (NOT an Iggy Pop cover) was released in July 2008, then again in September 2009 on their debut album, creatively titled Album. The New York Times compared the band’s sound to Elvis Costello, Buddy Holly, and the Beach Boys; I can hear the influence of those acts, but Girls does not sound like any of them, IMHO. When I read that lead singer Chris Owens is a former Children of God member, I figured that was a band (I evidently am not up on evengelist Christian cults). Seek out the NSFW version of the video (unless you’re my daughter GD) to see how that worked out for his evangelist parents. MySpace/Website for Girls. Official video below:

The Teenagers

Not since “hey hey we’re The Monkees” have I so enjoyed a self-promoting pop song as much as The Teenagers’ “Feeling Better”. The lifted guitar riff from New Order’s “Ceremony” lends a nice assist. From their 2008 LP Reality Check, the track features droll, simply read vocals, reminiscent of The Nails (remember “88 lines About 44 Women”?). Listen with the understanding that this French trio originally started the band as a joke, then go seek out the track that got them some attention in 2007, the filthy-mouthed “Homecoming”.
MySpace/website for The Teenagers.

Scotland's The View

…and perhaps my favorite song of this post, “Shock Horror” is a February 2009 release from Scottish (Scotch?) band The View, who I lauded on these pages back in January 2007 for “Same Jeans”. I have a bad habit of hearing something I like, seeing it’s from a band I’ve “discovered” before, and shrugging it off as “oh yeah, I know them”. This screaming rocker from the 2009 LP Which Bitch will hopefully serve to remind me not to do that again. MySpace/website for The View.