Greetings, readers drinking Sangría Señorial (via smuggling) and eating cheese triangles. Welcome to another edition of our “reviewing releases late again” single reviews column.
This week’s singles come courtesy of a lifelong depression triggered by the final episode of ALF. Shit, that was depressing, son.
Ah, singles, right:
Psychic Twin – Strangers
Once upon a time, Psychic Twin played the tritone on a synth and travelled through time to the 80s. It brought back a Bar none box, two M.A.S.K. collectible toys and tons of dancing electronic ideas. ‘Strangers’ mixes that love of 80s synth music with a dreamy, dancey beat. It’s not nostalgia when it’s the soundtrack to your daydreams. – Sam J. “MadMartigan McGovern” Valdés López
Duncan Sheik – Lay Down your Weapons
It’s been a long time coming (possibly since the rather excellent Phantom Moon) that Duncan Sheik hightailed it from the pop sensibilities that his début album showed. Nothing wrong with well-crafted pop, but it’s this type of quiet ditties where his introspective demeanour shows. ‘Lay down your weapons’ does a swell job, mixing longing and moody hope. – Sam J. “Yonkin’ Yorty” Valdés López
Wet Nuns – Broken Teeth
“I live my life with the taste of blood in my mouth” howls Robert Graham in this track, the lead single of their upcoming EP, Broken Teeth. Sweet, crunchy riffs in a catchy song through Sheffield, Alabama’s Bayou. I heard from my co-editor the EP is handsomely evil. This one justifies the price of admission. – Orestes P. “Nefarious Nixon” Xistos
Adi Carter – Superheated
The forger of beats Adi Carter has this single out on February 11th. How does it fare? Well, ‘Superheated’ is a 7 minute dancey track with a happy beat, bouncing back and forth between the evergreens of Bingham Park and the starker parts of Attercliffe. There’s a couple of remixes too. ‘Tommy Vicari Jnr’s remix is darker and droney, think a bit Banco de Gaia but less tribal (the ‘Alternate Mix’ however, does go native). There’s a ‘5 am’ mix and just like the name would imply, it’s more relaxed and downtempo; like that magic hour before daybreak and the madness of morning traffic busts loose. – Orestes P. “Splendid Spiro” Xistos
Low Duo – Born into a spider / Winter
No! No spiders! Get back, Consuela! Anyways, minimalistic duo Low Duo always rock, even if there’s not a single distorion-creating apparatus on sight when they do their lovely sounds, a mixture of sadness and desperation that never overbears. ‘Born into a spider’ tells the tragic story of a pair of starcrossed spiders (Consuela y Pepito Rey). It might be a bit of a downer, lyrics wise, but it’s a good piece of counterprogramming for all that overproduced lovey dove stuff making the rounds. Give ’em a hug.
‘Winter’, the b-side that you can’t hear (yet) but I did because I’m a fucking reviewer, is quite stark. This might sound “business as usual” for Low Duo, but I solemnly swear this is one of the darkest shade of grey that they’ve painted. Mournful arpeggios that become desperate strums and a voice that needs to scream, but simply soothes away the pain by low whimpers and loud harmonising. – Orestes “Humpin’Humphrey” Xistos
Fear of Men – Seer
Part of their upcoming 12″ vinyl, Early Fragments, this lovely ditty by Fear Men rings a nostalgia bell in my head. That bell is labelled The Sundays. That’s the right one, oh, yes. This song hits the spot in so many ways, having a deep, rarefied atmosphere of nostalgia with hints of pent-up anger (that well placed guitar strum). Hug someone while grooving to this. – Sam J. “Lucky Lindsay” Valdés López
Madame Recamier – Luz Verde
Now that’s just lovely. As sweet as a cherry Poptart, Madame Recamier‘s ‘Luz Verde’ (green light) is a romantic ditty for those who will have a special someone in St. Valentine’s. Sadly, I won’t, but that won’t stop me from enjoying this lil’ ditty, harking back to the more sentimental waves (sine, cosine, tangent?) of 80s AM radio. I can even smell the hairspray and Barbasol. Lovely- Orestes P. “Malevolent McCloskey” Xistos
Bayoné – Prayer / Lungs
Garage punk enthusiasts Bayoné are back with this lil’ slice of grunge. If there’s one thing that always jumps from their music, is how it deftly changes from chord chugging (always a pleasure) to dreamy tapping. ‘Prayer’ is quite heavy in parts, but in others it’s as refreshing as a nice breeze in a warm day. 5 chunky minutes of mood swings for your rocking pleasure.
‘Lungs’ cranks up the tapping and the anger. There’s this part where both elements juxtapose perfectly, creating that clash of emotions that drives us, silly ol’ humans, forwards (or backwards – it’s unreliable). Chunky-sized fun. – Orestes P. “Hopeless Hospers” Xistos
Bleaklow – Leave me here
Easily one of our fave bands from Sheffield, Bleaklow tackle Cult of Luna’s ‘Leave me here’, keeping the fierceness of the original while adding their own brand of progressive metal (and maybe post rock?) to the song. It’s a solid cover and even if their output is as hard to find as Bar None chocolate, it’s just as fulfilling. Love the mid section, it’s pure Bleaklow territory. We all are welcomed. – Sam J. “Wacky Wallace” Valdés López
And that’s that. Thanks for reading us.