Greetings, readers drinking Rice Juice (fairtrade, natch!) and biting on that Slutty Rutty Butty you blagged from the Rutland Arms while the boss tries his Billy Bellend Tour 2012 t-shirt.
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. Mahalo.
This week’s singles come courtesy of B.S Johnson’s books and the letter Ch. Because when I was a kid, the nuns said it was a letter. So it is.
Ah, singles, right:
King Porter Stomp – Let it all out
‘Let it all out’ is a great single by King Porter Stomp. It’s a song based on a very smooth rhythm in which you feel the ska beats and trumpets flowing so you want to dance and listen, move yourself to the music.
The most representative in the song for me was the vocals, it’s a very strong voice even if it’s not loud, but the pitch is determinant, totally expressive, so you can’t help feeling the song is conveying an important message, a message that could be understood in many different ways. In my opinion I interpret it as a piece of advice to oneself in order to move on, even if our experiences haven’t been the best of a life time; comprehending the learning is there and the courage to continue is the ultimate motivation.
It’s the kind of song that makes you fly, fly away while you analyze your life and the importance of carrying on, while you dance and feel the beat growing inside you, as if a light is illuminating your whole body. A really beautiful song with a non conventional beauty. –LaLaUsagi
The Savage Nomads – What the angel said
Fun becomes music and it is loaded with riffs of good blues enriched with interesting vocals that at some points of the song converge exquisitely by the end of some verses, as the meeting places of the band in music.
This is again a canvas where the band members follow their own wills as the build strong foundations through iterative riffs, but then giving twists in swirls, as a to-and-fro in this tide.
Elegant, experimental, free will, these are the factors you’ll really love at this point of the equation.
Birdeatsbaby – Feast of Hammers / The Sailor’s Wife
‘Feast of hammers’. It has been always said that the simplest thing is always the hardest to achieve, as it becomes even more complicated to do it, and this is indeed a proof that simple is better. Without much ado, the song starts with a song that seems made out of suede, accompanied by a guitar distorted but producing a soft sound. After a little explosion, piano and violin are incorporated. Riffs develop like the natural current of a river but feels somewhat hindered in the bridge, and then comes back to normal flawlessly.
The minimalistic atmosphere hosts lyrics that truly follow the gothic school, creating images that become somewhat unspeakable. The lyrics / music contrast becomes a delight, choosing the flat notes to create always a downward sensation. The quiet threat of a hurricane with words that remind me of Poe’s literature: it will always depict your greatest fears, giving words to your quiet nightmares and unthinkable scenarios (I mean it in the good sense).
‘The Sailor’s wife’ is an acoustic scene telling a rather sad story, assimilating more to those little surprises destiny has prepared for us, and we know we are aware we can’t hide from it. There’s again this dialectic motion between music and lyrics, as this can be mistaken with a lullaby if no attention is paid to the words stringed in this song.
One piano and two voices, times 2, that result in 2 perfect sharp and 2 deep sounds. The story unfolds and is linked between episodes through figures that remind me of baroque structures and silences, and even when this includes a piano only. Enough suspense is conveyed.
To conclude, you have then two intangible products for the price of one: a story and a song. Excellent!
Mazzy Star – Common Burn / Lay myself down
After too many years of being away from our ears, Mazzy Star comes back with this dreamy and delightful pair of songs. ‘Common burn’ is minimalistic in approach, letting the silence be another instrument (of understatement) while the very quiet guitar playing dances in the darkness, lulled into happiness by Hope Sandoval‘s wonderful, dreamy vocals. The muffled cries of the guitar sliding join a playful harmonica that never misses a stroke.
‘Lay myself down’ is slightly more peppy, with a strummy guitar and that lovable tambourine that’s part of their signature sound. Love the lap steel back in action, another part that makes it like an alt-country dream come true. Both songs are pretty strong.
Ms. Hope Sandoval never stayed away from the airwaves, though. If you can spare the time to listen to 2009’s Through the devil’s softly, do so. It’s rewarding. But, yeah, welcome back, Mazzy Star. Please make more. – Sam.
And that’s it! See you next week, I’m Orestes Xistos and I rule this dump. Remember to cover up as it’s lurgy season. Lotsa kisses and (((sholay))) (((hugs))). I just wrote that to remind you I have no original thought left in my head, just like the people of Marvel when they created Onslaught.