Singles Reviewed : Reverend & The Makers, Stalagmites, Fresh Snow, Macho Muchacho, Freeze the Atlantic, Doctrines, Allman Brown, Nordenfelt, MJ Hibbett

Greetings, readers who know how to do a stoppie in a tricycle without a “rajita de canela” appearing afterwards.  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 Nelly Furtado’s left eyebrow, she was great ’til she did that album with Timbaland. Same goes for Chris Cornell. What the fuck, Timbaland? Why you taking me fave artists? Who’s next, Elton John? Bastard.

Mind you, a Timbaland produced Elton John album would be great. I’m a contradiction.

Ah, singles, right:

Reverend and the Makers – The Wrestler

Not a tribute to the film with Mickey Rourke nor the honourable Mexican luchador, El Santo, but a tune about how conscience can be a bit of a burden, using a couple of movements (including la hurracarrana!) and do a number on your peace of mind. Hey, we all have been there. It’s less dancey and feel good than ‘Bassline’ but it’s catchy, so darn catchy. So go out and do a suplex on someone (no, actually don’t). Nice to hear Ryan Jenkinson doin’ his groove again too. –Orestes “P is for Empty Pockets ruled!” Xistos

Stalagmites – Zulu/Lost Bones

We talked about them before. Didn’t you listen to them back then? Well, maybe you can check them out now! Like, now! Right. Stalagmites offer for you in cupped hands ‘Zulu’, a slightly gloomy rock track with a cheeky guitar riff (and a sexier bass line). The rain in Manchester has now turned the skies darker. Thick and atmospheric, “wash it all away” is all that echoes in your soul after it’s over.

‘Lost bones’. Something about the title hooked me from the get go. The opening notes are fantastic, slightly psychedelic tendrils growing in the abandoned house at the end of the street of your mind. Love the change to slightly (just slightly) acoustic. Ending is haunting. -Sam the non-Salfordian.

Fresh Snow – BMX based tactics

Hey! We love Fresh Snow, here’s what we thought of them before. Right, you’re up to speed. This revisitation of a track that we gave you a couple of months ago (Posada mix!) is pretty psychedelic (a genre we are enjoying as of late), with many a sweep filter applied to make the proceedings resonate from back to front and from left to right. The wind section just adds an extra dimension of cool, especially on that low tempo bit that sounds like a colliery brass band having a very mournful day. Chilling.- Sam. 

Macho Muchacho – Justicia para Guido / Fugados

From Guayaquil (that’s Ecuador), comes this … what the fuck? This is not math rock! This is algebra territory! Macho Muchacho introduce themselves with a 27 second rapid fire attack (‘Justicia para Guido’) that would make the ashes of Don Caballero form a smile (but then the smile would split acrimoniously). ‘Fugados’ is your main dish here, using those dissonance tangents that make Math rock so fucking enjoyable. Time flies when you enjoy songs as good as this. Mas, por favor. – Sam the Spanish Inquisition Supporter. 

Freeze the Atlantic – Volcanoes

Tuneful rock that verges into mournful notes from time to time (complete with a ghostly response), the sound of Freeze the Atlantic is the sound of many a quiet scream, the ones growing like wild weeds in soils well fertilised with frustration. Rock on, please. New album coming out on September 17. – Sam the Spam.

Doctrines – Climbing Yggdrasil (Everybody loves Ray Kay) 

Doctrines have an upcoming EP, made up from 4 songs, clocking at 17 ,minutes. Although it’s mostly about sci fi stuff (singularities, the heat death of the universe, black currant jelly babies), it’s also about family (or so they say). What this sounds is like one piece of the puzzle, being punky, slightly manic and full of a plucky attitude that fuels a great guitar solo (seriously, enjoyable!). Ending is abrupt, so I guess it’s when it flows into the next song (sort of what Coheed & Cambria do, only less proggy). – Sam the spanner.

MJ Hibbett – The stores of not to be / Only a robot

What? Where are the fucking dinosaurs, man??? I’ve been waiting for a resolution (robots won’t do it). Oh, well. ‘The stores of not to be’ follows the traditional British sound of understated folk pop, where the voice is almost a whimper and the music is the one being the strong, older brother defending the frail but smart kid brother. Love the fuzzy, trippy guitar, quite spacey. Love the mid-rant even more! I feel for the bass player too. 500 albums!? Oh, well, there’s always drum machines and selling out in Greece. 

‘Only a robot’ is the soundtrack for Marvin. If you don’t get the reference…why the fuck are you reading this shitty website? Go immerse yourself in the magical murky madness that is Douglas Adams. Folky and warbly voiced, with a funky solo that was looped through zener diodes for your listening pleasure. Hug a robot today.- Orestes “P is for solongforallthePhish” Xistos.

Nordenfelt – Steam powered submarine / Mothers are maternal (fathers are paternal)

‘Steam powered submarine’ is…Steampunk? STEAMPUNK? If this is not steampunk related, I’m deleting this review. Ah, fuck it. Nordenfelt do some very breezy pop for your leisurely-paced drive in the evergreen landscapes of that beautiful town called Mansfield. Hey, I lived there. Short, sweet and quite dynamic (it’s noisier than you’d expect), with a sweet solo. The song packs more ideas than you’d think would fit in less than three minutes. Lovely ending.

‘Mothers are maternal (fathers are paternal)’ is a change of pace, another notch in the amplitude of Nordenfelt‘s palette. It is very quiet, with a dreamy swingy thingy that is either a lap steel or a pedal steel. I can’t tell them apart, it might even be just some masterful domain of slide, which in the right hands creates a nice atmosphere like the one crafted here, in my hands…well, there’s a reason I don’t live in Mansfield…Well done, House vs. Home. – Orestes “P is for supaPhreak!” Xistos.

Allman Brown – Woman

Oh, dear, we end with a pop tune harking back to 70s slow grooves (check the Rhodes in the opening shots – BAABBYYY!). Allman Brown‘s ‘Woman’ is extremely easy going and although it feels like it’s TOO idealising of what a woman is, there are some truths (94%) said here. One for your mix tapes, either the end of side A or the end of the affair (in all senses). –Orestes “P is for sPiteful” Xistos.

Hey, want a clue about next week’s singles? 

Carajo, I miss eating a good ol’ huarache de costilla, wish I was flying to Mexico soon.  Until next time, I’m Orestes Xistos and I am a fan of dinosaurs flying UFOs.  See ya and kisses and (((sholay))) (((hugs))).


Reverend & The Makers Website. Twitter. Facebook. Myspace.

Stalagmites FacebookBandcampMyspaceSoundcloud.

Fresh Snow.

Macho Muchacho Bandcamp. Tumblr. Facebook. Twitter

Freeze the Atlantic Facebook. Twitter. Website. Myspace.  

Doctrines Facebook. Bandcamp. Soundcloud

Allman Brown Website. Facebook. Twitter

Nordenfelt Facebook. Soundcloud.

MJ Hibbett  WebsiteFacebookMyspaceTwitter.

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