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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Cokelat - Yang Tersisa

Track Review
Released: 2003
Download (5.6Mb)

Stop - start steps in my head. Lucky it's hanging down.
Great drumming rolls this song along. Cokelat surprised me, I was expecting a typical pop synthetic sugarfest to rot me to my core. It is that, but a in a slightly different way, this candy has rocks in it. Bigger rocks than some "rock" acts i've heard.
Whatever, stop reading this shit and listen to it.

7/10

Barbara Morgenstern & Robert Lippok - Gammelpop

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It (3.2MB)

Electro-acoustic-piano-ambient track by 2 germans.

6/10

Monday, May 30, 2005

Superman Is Dead - Bad Bad Bad

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (5Mb)

Yeah, I bought their first album. It was shit. Kuta Rock City was alright I guess but nothing about these balinese punk rockers really grabbed me.

Still, I liked their energy and I had to support my fellow countrymen, so I bought their latest offering. Yeah, they're comin up alright. The songs are tighter, they're a little catchier and "Bad Bad Bad" is not a bad little blast of pop / punk.

Great repeated simple riff backed up by the stomping punk drums will have you pogo-ing around in your room. Huh? That was lame? Go listen to some coldplay then.

6/10

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Comeback Kid - Wake The Dead

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (4.7Mb)

Head snapping at 100Mph, screaming like an idiot, body wracked with seemingly involuntary convulsions. Are you over it?

Are you down? Then pick yourself the fuck up.
Are you sad? So is everyone else.
Do you care? Nobody else does.

I liked the bandname when I saw it on some guys audioscrobbler list. The video is good. Accessible hardcore-ish stuff but with enough melody to keep me satisfied. Shouty band / crowd parts and a nice little run at 2:22 makes this a solid track.

Yeah sure, they look like fags, but so do you.

6/10

Friday, May 27, 2005

Queen - We Are The Champions

Track Review
Released: 1977
Download it (2.8 Mb)
Buy it (Amazon)

Stevie is the champion

A new day breaks and suddenly everything seems possible. Welcome to the Rafa-lution.

Vitaminsforyou - No Cars Go

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It

Nice warm synthed-up version of Arcade Fire's hazy "no cars go" from their original EP.

If you don't like this track, I'll fucken glass you without a second thought.

The rage is building.

6/10

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Limp Bizkit - The Truth

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (7.5Mb)

Okay. Wes Borland is back. Results May Vary and Duke Lion Fights The Terror!! are behind us.

Time to rock this mutherfucker out, right?

Yeah, sorta. This track does get your head bobbing, but only as a sort of automatic reaction, because while it's not shit, it's not that good either.

Limp Bizkit covers Rage Against the Machine but without any limp bizkit build ups or hooks.

Whatever.

5/10

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Spiritualized - Broken Heart (Live At The Royal Albert Hall)

Track Review
Released: 1998
Download It (6.9 Mb)
Buy It (Amazon)

The centrepiece of what is (for me) the best album of the 90s, recast live. It’s Mr Spaceman at his most indulgent, Royal Albert Hall, a gospel choir and a 76 piece orchestra, in addition to the ‘normal’ Spiritualized line up of however many.

Luckily for us, Spaceman is at his best when he is at his most indulgent. This is a stunningly beautiful, aching composition which sounds even more magnificent with these completely over the top orchestral parts & choir. Yet it still retains the fragility of the original version.

I fucken love this.

10/10

Tofu - Hidup Cuma Sekali

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It (6Mb)

Indonesian hip hop flavoured r'n'b, or r'n'b flavoured hip hop, whatever.

A steady, pulsing beat keeps your head nodding and a rousing outro ends things nicely.

It's like choc chip vanilla flavoured ice cream, different enough from normal vanilla to keep you interested but not so different as to offend.

"Hidup Cuma Sekali" means "you only live once", they're right, it's only choc chip vanilla, will it kill you to try some? It will? Fuck off then.

6/10

Sisterhood - Rocking Disco Santa Claus

Track Review
Released: Christmas?
Download It (2.6MB)

what. the. fuck.

is. this.

1/10

The Game (Feat. G-Unit) - Hate It Or Love It

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download it (6.6 Mb)
Buy it (Amazon)

Here Dr Dre attempts to belie the old sound engineer adage “you can’t polish a turd”.

After my longstanding beef with Fiddy I thought it would be impossible for us to kiss and make up. But then I heard this song a few times and decided that it may be possible to forgive.

Dre’s production is as flawless as it has even been. A gorgeous soul-influenced, laid back summertime beat. I also quite dug The Game’s rap.

Indeed the production is so fantastic that it prevented me from noticing the gaping sores in this song. The flaws are G-Unit. The most talentless bunch of fucking thugs ever to disgrace a recording studio.

The opening rap by Fiddy is violently awful. Here’s a typical sample of his lyrical ineptitude:

Daddy ain’t around, probably out committing felonies
My favourite rapper used to sing ‘Ch-check out my melody’

FUCK THAT PISSES ME OFF. I’m actually convinced that Fiddy is a robot powered by Microsoft technologies, if you watch the clip to this song you’ll understand why.

The good news is that you can polish a turd. The bad news is that even when you polish a turd, it’s still a stinking pile of shit.

9/10 for Dre, -6/10 -2 points for each of the current members of G-Unit

3/10

Fuck you Fiddy, I wanted this to be my song for the summer.

Monday, May 23, 2005

My Mine - Hypnotic Tango

Communal Review (track selection by Gareth)
Released: 1983
Download It (5.8MB)

Reyn
This sounds like the background music for a training montage in an 80s martial arts movie, until the chorus hits. Then it turns into the music playing in the club eddie murphy runs through whilst being chased by 2 bikers.

So synthed up and harmless it's hard to hate.

To hate this track would be akin to hating a puppy. And you would hate a puppy wouldnt you? Fascist Pig.

6/10

Dylan
I admit defeat on this one, I thought I liked it (for teh first minute) then I didn't like it, then I did, then it got really boring. By the second, it made me unwell. Like physically ill.

I don't really hate it though, but on some levels I do. I guess the analogy would be vomiting pineapple.

3/10

Gareth
I can't explain why I like this one so much. It's naff to the nth degree, and that chorus is an absolute shocker, comes out of nowhere like a sucker punch to the jaw.

However this has been on high rotation in my playlist for the last 2 months, and shows no sign of going away.

Early 80s Italian electro, I don't particulary want to hear any more of the genre ever again, but this track is unique enough to stand on its own.

8/10

Saturday, May 21, 2005

LCD Soundsystem/Franz & Shape - Daft Punk Is Playing At My House/Countach (Soulwax Remix)

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (6.8MB)

james murphy acapella + samples from 'aerodynamic', 'oh yeah', 'music sounds better with you', and plenty of other things i've missed + franz & shape backing track + police sirens & robot noises + remixed all over again into a belter of a track by soulwax.

fucken bring it on, this craps all over the orginal by lcd (and that was already ok to start with).

instant mash-up goodness, will have you gobsmacked and grinning.

9/10

Friday, May 20, 2005

Kikan - Mari Berjoget

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It (6.7Mb)

Also off the same "Tribute To Koes Plus" album as "Bunga Di Tepi Jalan" this track is a blend of traditional instruments and melodies put into a more modern context. Kikan, from the group Cokelat, lends her quavery voice to add an extra bit of piquancy.

The song rolls along, gypsy style, with violins and some kind of sitar type instrument urging you to get off the wall and "berjoget", grab the nearest girl and get your booty shakin basically. It's the last 30 seconds which make the song for me. A thumping, organic build up that resolves into a mental smile.

If you time it right, it's good music to bust off to.

7/10

Ryan Adams - Beautiful Sorta

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (5.3 Mb)
Buy It (Amazon)

If the notion of Ryan Adams singing a Crowded House song through a distortion pedal sounds appealing, and you are willing to wade through about a minute of drunken ravings and average 12 bar blues, then you should download this song.

Otherwise, stay away.

6/10

Thursday, May 19, 2005

News: New Design

Woooh - New Design.

What does everybody think?

I'm not keen on the dodgy header image, but I think it's a definite progression from the previous baby shit brown theme we had.

Battle - Isabelle

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download it (3.7 Mb)
Buy It (Amazon)

Hally & stumbled drunkenly into a gig in Manchester a couple of months ago, we saw 5 bands and these guys were by far the best. They stood out not only for their music, but also for the fact that they weren't wearing suits (slacks and shirts, but no ties or jackets), and the singer wasn't trying to be Ian Curtis. I would even describe them as pretty bloody good, or at least that's what I told this teenager I was trying to pick up. Things didn't progress as well as I hoped; the potential relationship soured when I happened to mention that I thought that Razorlight were a bunch of talentless fucks, she got the shits and ignored my amorous efforts for the remainder of the evening. But Battle were pretty damn good.

I even asked the singer if we could put a song of theirs on this site, he thought (correctly) I was a drunken fool and he said I would need to buy their single which was coming out on Fierce Panda. How Indie! I thought I better make it into the full Indie Experience so I went to Rough Trade to buy it. Ran out of indie clichés at that point.

Digressions aside, my initial reaction to this single (their debut) was 'yurgh'. After a few more listens it has started to grow on me. It's very, you know, 2005 - post punk, Joy Division type dealie but whatever. Either way I think it's pretty good for four 18 year olds from Luton.

If you do live in the UK, make an effort to check them out, they put on a pretty damn good show.

www.thisisbattle.com site also contains another mp3.

6/10

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

David Bowie - I'm Deranged

Track Review
Released: 1997
Download It(5.3MB)

Found this little gem while checking out the excellent Lost Highway soundtrack the other night.

This is from Bowie's pathetic mid-90s "i'm down with the kids" period where he turned to the then hip industrial and drum n bass sounds to energise his sound. Frankly, at the time it was plain embarrassing to see this 50-odd year old rock dinosaur flirting with the popular zeitgeist in this manner. It smacked of sheer desperation and genre-whoring.

However, Bowie being Bowie, the irony is that this layered, brooding track has probably dated better than 90% of the output from legit industrial/electronica artists of the era. (take a listen to your old NIN and Goldie albums and you'll see what I mean).

Here's saluting the chameleon with a solid ....

6/10

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

La Luna - Selepas Kau Pergi

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It (5.2Mb)

Despite initially having a similar melody to Catatonia's "For Tinkerbell", Selepas Kau Pergi (Translated : Let You Go) soon shakes of any similarities and becomes it's own song.

It's a hardboiled sweet of a song, easily forgotten, even while enjoying it. It's even tempo carries you along quite enjoyably, if you're in the mood for that sort of thing.

Until at 2:06 where a strange discordant chiming starts up in the background reminding you that everything is not rosy, everything is not sugary sweet, life doesn't work like that chump. Sometimes life stabs you in the heart and laughs at you for having a small penis.

Bangsat Loe.

6/10

Royksopp - Poor Leno (Silikon Soul Remix) / Erlend Øye - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It Password: tehurl (8.1 Mb)
Buy It (Amazon)

Norwegian Electro-Pop Geek Erlend Øye sings 'There is a light that never goes out' over the top of a nice deep grinding tech house (???) track.

The track itself sounds like something that Emerson was playing in about 2001, I don't think I could handle 8 hours of this crap any more but in isolation that's not such a bad thing.

Anyway whatever, again it works, Øye's strangely appealing voice suits Mozza's brooding lyrics, and it all mixes together quite nicely.

In fact I liked this so much that I even considered checking out the original version. But then I couldn't be bothered.

Mmm, sacrelicious.

7/10

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Duta - Bunga Di Tepi Jalan

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It (7.2Mb)

From the Koes tribute album, Duta the lead singer from Sheila on 7 takes on vocal duties on this re-interpretation of an old indonesian classic.

It's a beautiful song even if you don't understand what it's about.

Starting off slow with an almost country twang, it soon picks up with the addition of a jaunty violin. Yeah, reading that back it sounds like shit, but it works for me. It has a sort of classic melody that the me 5 years ago would of said was "shit my dad listens to". But I like it now and thats all that really matters.

8/10

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Low - Monkey

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (6.5MB)
Buy It (amazon)

Not bad. For a band (previously) labelled as "slowcore" this sure gets the heart pumping. Nice Cure-like dirge riff, portentous drums, male/female multi-part vocals, and bit of guitar feedback thrown into the mix.

Oh, and it's about suicide and death, most probably (well, they are called "Low").

6/10

Friday, May 13, 2005

Devlins - Waiting (Tom Lord-Alge Remix)

Track Review
Released: 2002
Download It (4.4 Mb)
Buy It (Amazon)

The final season of Six Feet Under is now shooting, and I have just ordered my copy of Season 3 on DVD, so I thought it was an appropriate time to post this song (apart from the song itself – more on that later).

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, Six Feet Under is probably the best non-cartoon TV show (except maybe Oz) ever made. This song appeared in the pilot episode, and is an exceptional example of how effective soundtrack can be. The shot of Nate, with the enormity of what has just happened, crushing him, with the world continuing on all around him matches the mood of this song perfectly.

If I was to pull apart the song, there is nothing amazing going on here. Mixer to the stars Tom Lord-Alge has definitely added his polish to the mix, but again, like most good songs, it just works in no quantifiable way.

I must have listened to this song hundreds of times, I can just listen to it on loop over and over and over again. I like the way it builds up, and I like the lyrics.

I guess having felt like this a while ago, now I know someone who has been waiting in the right bars, waiting in the right shoes, waiting in a fast car, waiting in the airports, waiting for my airmiles, waiting in slow motion, coming through the turnstiles.

And if you ever change your mind,
you know I'm hard to find,
and if you ever need someone...

8/10

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight

Track Review
Released: 1986
Download It (4.5MB)
Buy It (amazon)

OK, so Blender reckons this is the 3rd worst song ever released !!?

Have they heard Evanescence?

Vengaboys?

Late-period Michael Jackson ballads, anyone?

Any emo band.

Any song off the new U2 album.

etc etc

Look, this is harmless geeky 80s fun, and it's about time we cut it some slack.

5/10

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Britney Spears - Breathe On Me (Jacques Lu Conte Mix)

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download it (11.1 Mb)
(Don't) Buy it (Amazon)

Electro house demi-god Jacques Lu Cont turns a Britney Spears song I've never heard
into an sexually charged dance floor stormer.

Don't make the same mistake as I did and listen to it at work, you will need to change your pants.

7/10

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Clit 45 - Caught In A Crack

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (2.4 MB)
Buy the album

I don't like punk. I like the attitude, but the simplicity and ugliness of the music just makes me wanna send all the dirty twats off to music school.

Apparently punk was the snotty two-finger salute to the dinosaurs of classic and prog-rock from the 60s and 70s. Did they really have to invent a genre this repellent just to send bands like The Who, Led Zep, and Yes off to an early grave? I thought they were managing quite well with that task by themselves.

Anyway, this is some LA punk bank playing the usual unimaginative dross. I have no idea how this landed in my gy-normous "miscellanous mp3s" folder (it just seems to grow and mutate of its own accord), but I thought I'd aurally abuse all of you with it today.

3/10

Monday, May 09, 2005

Caffeine - Kau T'lah Pergi

Track Review
Released: 2000
Download It (6.6Mb)

In the heart of south-central Java is a province and capital city with a tremendous multicultural and multireligious history. This is Yogyakarta, pronounced JOEG-ja-kart-a and known simply among the locals as "Jogja."

In Jogja there is a the site of an ancient marketplace called Kraton with 2 huge trees in the middle of it. Legend has it if you walk a straight line between these trees your a wish will be granted, but theres a catch, you must navigate with your eyes closed. You are, however, allowed to have a guide who is to only let you know if you are about to walk into anything.

It was midnight, my guide, ironically, was "not girlfriend". On my first attempt, I ended up back where I started, how the fuck that happened I have no idea. On my second attempt I was determined to make it. I shut my eyes and strode forward without pause.

When I opened my eyes, I'd done it! I'd walked that path, I had walked through the darkness and now knew what I was going to wish for. Grinning I turned in triumph to "not girlfriend", but she had already lost interest and was sms'ing one of her boyfriends.

7/10

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Gloria Jones - Tainted Love

Track Review
Released: 1964
Download It (2.6MB)

No, it wasn't until recently that I stumbled upon the fact Soft Cell's early-80s stark new-romantic masterpiece is in fact a cover of a motown-inspired 60s soul hit!

Soft Cell's version being a favourite-song-ever from my childhood, listening to the original holds considerable curiosity value for me.

However, I'm forced into the strange situation of being unable to entangle the version I'm so familiar with from the original - so much so that when the lovely Gloria croons "sometimes I feel i've got to ... " I instantly crave the 80s BLOOP BLOOP noise. You know ... "run away, i've got to ... BLOOP BLOOP" keyboard noise.

But there's no BLOOP BLOOP here.

Oh - and as a lot of you may remember, Marilyn Manson also covered this tune in the late 90s. As with most things that insipid non-talent did, it blew chunks.

5/10

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Editors - Munich

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (5.2 MB)

Yep, another joy-division / new-wave rip-off band who've also apparently found time to call up The Edge from U2 and ask whether they could borrow his signature echoey-guitar sound.

And it's teh coolest!

That it even manages to rise above the facile lyrics (People are such fragile things, you should know by now / Be careful what you put them through"), just goes to show these guys have created a damn fine slice of 2005 indie pop.

7/10

Antony and the Jonsons - Hope There's Someone

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download it (6.1 Mb)
Buy It (Amazon)

Generally I am wary of bands with penis references in their names (Sex Pistols, Velvet Revolver, Van Halen etc) and with good reason. But given the amazing reviews these guys where getting on Metacritic I felt morally and ethically obliged to check them out.

Grab yourself Tilt era Scott Walker, I See A Darkness era Will Oldham, chuck 'em in a blender, and replace Scott and Will with a guy with a fairly high pitched (and in my view overly) tremulous, but oddly affecting voice and you have Hope There's Someone by Antony & The Johnsons. Kinda.

It's original, it's well done, it's engaging but I'm not sure that I enjoy listening to it.

7/10

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

INXS vs Outkast - You Need Roses

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (7.0MB)

Today's mash-up pits the 80's white-boy funk of INXS ("What You Need") vs the 00's soul-hiphop-pop of Outkast ("Roses").

It should come as no surprise that Andre 3000's smooth vocals perfectly complement Hutchence and the boys' danceable backing track.

What did come as a surprise however, was that after 2 minutes of appreciating the experiment I suddenly felt compelled to switch it off without the slightest interest in ever wanting to hear it again.

3/10

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Van McCoy - The Hustle

Track Review
Released: 1975
Download It(3.3MB)

All you need to know about the 70s is encapsulated in this track. At various moments it reminds me of The Goodies, flares, Benny Hill, platform shoes, The Good Life, and George and Mildred. In fact, I remember hearing this track at a very young age.

So I go onto the interweb to do some research to find out who exactly this "Van McCoy" character is.

Hang on - he's american? from washington dc? what the fuck? this isn't british?

Oh great, there goes my childhood, raped again. Might as well bend over and wait for George Lucas to finish it off.

8/10