Greetings, readers who went to Vive Latino 2012 and fell in love at the party pit while being showered by plastic cups containing Cerveza Sol (and if it wasn’t beer, then fúchila)! Welcome to another edition of our “off again, off again, hey it’s on again!” single reviews column. Granted, some of them aren’t singles, but I liked them and made my stupid human collaborators review ‘em. A huevo que sí.
This week’s singles come courtesy of Macabre Johnson, the conspiracy theory nutjob that lives in Weston Park, Sheffield. He keeps telling me that we are being watched with microcameras and microphones in all our gadgets and that we all are being sheepled into believing an alien invasion that is actually holograms projected in the sky. Get Scooby Doo and the gang on the case! Strangely enough, Macabre also makes a cracking cover of Muse’s ‘Dead star’ on the nose harmonica. He even gets Matt Bellamy‘s choirboy-meets-Thom Yorke tone right!
Ah, singles, right:
Maybeshewill – Red Paper Lanterns
Instrumental rock band Maybeshewill releases the fantastic ‘Red Paper Lanterns’, with its post rock elements jumping hand in hand with some cool vintage synth (very 80’s BBC Radiophonic feel there). Really the song, a good example of the sound they found and keep on developing through releases like this. The video feels sadder than it really is (specially the end). Love it. -Sam
URSS bajo el árbol – Las aves sin alas
New track from this Mexican band that seems to be finally getting some kudos from everyone and their mothers (not their mothers’ mothers, they might be listening to something else). ‘Las aves sin alas’ (the wingless birds) starts with that experimental sound that URSS bajo el árbol peddles, full of ambient noises, a very steady rhythm section and a lot of sexy sax. Excellent instrumental passages that envelop lyrics that make me think of the presagios funestos that the Aztecs had before the Spanish Conquistadores came and killed everyone (and their mothers). You can get it for free from Cerveza Indio ‘s website (good beer, good music). -Sam
Mooi – Apple
I found this band from México by pure chance. It was a random RT from someone else and I’m honestly happy for this slice of serendipity. Mooi‘s ‘Apple’ is a groovy piece of experimental electronica, sounding like an amalgamation of found sounds from several music boxes, intertwined with a splendorous voice that makes it sweet and gorgeous. More of this, compatriotas. -Sam
The Bedford Incident – The Shining City
A build-up, a continual one is what The Bedford Incident offer in ‘The Shining City’. The indie track is sunny and easy going, a spot on flowery cordial in a picnic otherwise overrun by giant ants. Hate those fuckers. Nifty drumbeat, maybe the real reason why this one is uplifiting (although the vocals might have sumthin’ to do with it). Mine’s an elderflower one (with Hendricks gin) – Orestes “P. is for Phunkinator” Xistos.
The Narrows – There are Ghosts in These Machines
Bob Arctor was a victim of the system. That doesn’t have anything to do with The Narrows‘ new track, ‘There are ghosts in these machines’…or does it? The synthetic sounds intertwining beautifully with the organic ones (lovely vocals) are a battlefield of emotions: a calm, methodical march (synths) versus the disarray of a lynch mob (guitars and vocals). Then both quarrelling factions realise both have their faces covered with the same mask. -Sam.
Spring Offensive – Worry Fill My Heart / Carrier
Woo! Math rock! ‘Worry fill my heart’ by sweater-clad Spring Offensive, who have this very cool video with choreography (the good type) for this lovely track. Love the lyrics, love the fresh, cheeky atmosphere given by that dreamy guitar that goes for the atmospheres that are like that lime zest that makes rum and coke dashingly good.
‘Carrier’ is…cute. In a good way! Like a proper good moment that neither Hallmark or the publishers of teen fiction have gotten their claws on. It’s all about how it swells up, from a little singalong ditty ’til it finds that rock motherload and explodes. Check the a capella version too, it’s pretty sweet. -Sam
Athena – Finding England
Mushy and friendly pop from Athena, ‘Finding England’ is a happy lil’ track that works well if you’re in a good mood (or looking a good mood). If you’re cross at humanity and wish for its erasing, you might wanna skip this one. Good arrangements, lovely whistling and the musical equivalent of a quick hug from those “free hugs” people roaming the streets. Maybe I need to get one. – Orestes “P for misanthroPe” Xistos
Funeral Suits – All those friendly people
Jebus almighty! This new single by the Irish lovely fellas, Funeral Suits , is quite catchy…but… daaaaaaaaaaaaamn, that video is harsh! As harsh as a Mexican marriage on its third year (we all have been there, innit, gorda?). There’s something about how the friendliness of the song clashes with the images so well and so poignant, which just goes to show you that you should always mistrust people with masks that look like plague masks and when in doubt, set something in fire. Hey, it worked in the video of ‘Karma Police’. Good song, video made me uncomfortable. Well done, lads. - Orestes “P is for P” Xistos.
Thelonius Rex – Trick of the Mind / First name, last name
Who is Thelonius Rex? Why do searching for this person yield strange results, including an anglosaxon cult that prays to epilepsy giving anime? ‘Trick of the mind’ is the strange tale of ice cream hearses, rhyming, acronyms and alliterations, all in less than 3 minutes. It might be folk, but something is odd here (although not missing, listen to it again).
B-side ‘First name, last name’ starts with a wolf howl and it’s a much better offering. Maybe it’s site consensus to be biased toward b-sides, but this song is miles above ‘Trick of the mind’, which isn’t a bad track by itself, it just pales compared to this one. Nothing wrong with the music, let’s just say one’s a hamburger without the buns, the other one is a full order with bacon and mustard. Orestes “P. for they Pay me in food” Xistos
Partly Faitful – Partly Faithful
Remember those dark, murky nights with people all wearing dark colours and aimlessly walking by the streets surrounding Nottingham ‘s Cookie Club? Those nights of goths, where the armies of the night took over the the decks… well, Partly Faithful‘s self-titled song gets the atmosphere right. Infectiously catchy and completely full of gloom and doom, “we are partly faithful” is the lament repeated at the end. Is this the end? – Sam.
Carajo, I miss Vive Latino… Until next time, I’m Orestes Xistos and I rule this dump. I’m the Lord of Darkness. See ya and kisses and (((sholay))) (((hugs))).
Thelonius Rex Bandcamp.