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Physical Format-20190724

  • Published in Columns
This is being written on the last day of May, practically two months before it will be published, so who knows what may happen between now and then regards the Flying Vinyl singles I'm trying to offload? The Blinders' 'Rat In A Cage' went off to its new home this lunchtime and I'm fitting in the final five discs of this less than rewarding experiment at helping new acts, in before dinner.
Firstly, with one of the better bits of cover art the series has had in the past 18 months, are the duo Black Futures. Sigue Sigue Sputnik come to mind at the start of 'Tunnel Vision' but their pounding industrial sound has elements of NIN etc. as you'd expect at the mention of the i word. It bowls along at a good pace and, although a bit repetitive by the end, is definitely one of the better tunes I've heard whilst writing these pieces. The B side's just a remix of the A side and a boringly slow one at that. Facebook shows the duo to be currently very active.
Annabel Allum has a decent line in rocky singer-songwriter stuff on 'Be Mine'. Think Hazel O'Connor meets Joan Armatrading, or Courtney Barnett aping PJ Harvey for younger readers. 'Peachy Keen' (the second time in two months a song with that title has appeared) is a moodier piece of work but still has a pleasing weight and punch at times. A very accomplished double sider. Annabel's site shows she has a few gigs coming up.
Do Nothing look like young farmers at leisure in their booklet photo but apparently they inspire mosh-pits. 'Gangs' doesn't seem to be in any danger of doing that, sounding as it does like Gene or a similar second tier indie act from a couple of decades ago. 'Handshakes' displays some funky bass runs during it's couple of minutes and this is obviously where the LCD Soundsystem/Talking Heads mentions in the booklet are targeted. It's not bad but danceable rather than moshable, if a bit overlong. Facebook shows them to be doing gigs over the coming months.
Lacuna Common are also apparently in the mosh-pit business. A gruff-voiced Libertines is roughly what they sound like on 'Not The Same'. I expect they're fun live in a small venue. 'Under The Lamplight' pounds along in a similar jaunty manner to the A side. Resorting to Facebook again we see that the band round of a short tour at Truck Festival later this week.
Lastly, Chloe Bodur is who you're looking for if you're a Sade fan. 'Billie' features warped sounds but unfortunately it's also one of those discs which sound wonky to the extent that I have to check whether the turntable's suddenly decided to go slow. 'Glory' sounds perfectly normal, however, but it's in no way my sort of thing. Social media shows Chloe's still promoting 'Billie'.
And there you have it, 22 months of tunes written up over 22 weeks, with the overall conclusion that the £440 shelled out could have been better spent elsewhere. Ah well.

Physical Format-20190717

  • Published in Columns
Whenyoung have The Cranberries amongst their influences, so that's already got me wary. 'Never Let Go' brings Runrig to mind. As well as Eurovision. Lighters-in-the-air stadium crowds are what their anthemic sound aspires to. Good luck to them if they reach that point. 'Future' has a musical affinity with Snow Patrol and has a more propulsive beat to its indie rock formula. The band's site shows they have a number of live dates in the UK & Europe during summer and autumn.
Tusks "formulates indie fusions" says the tongue twister in the accompanying booklet. 'Be Mine' is one of those electronic tracks which are probably better experienced live but you'd maybe still have doubts before going to the show. It also stops too soon. 'Peachy Keen' (or Peen as the booklet states) starts off rather industrially then plods along in a maudlin fashion. Tusks' site shows there is now an album out & some shows booked in Germany for mid-September.
With a name like The Blinders I was expecting a lot from the next band. Much like The Killers, however, their name's harder than their sound. This has all been done so much better before. 'Rat In A Cage' plods along and then gets into second gear for the choruses. Think Black Rebel Motorcycle Club doing one of their slower numbers. 'Nuclear Love' aims for tearjerking but who cares? The good thing is you can turn it off. The band's site shows they have a pretty full live calendar at home & abroad for the rest of the year.
Hotel Lux are coming in on the coattails of Idles, Slaves and the rest of the first wave of socially conscious lad rock that's popular just now. This lot are more like Madness though on the knees-up of 'English Disease'. 'Charades' is much the same, with a smidgen of Ian Dury added in. Facebook shows the band are still active.
Lazy Day vocalist Tilly apparently has evocative warbles. 'Tell Me' certainly shows her voice off to good effect but overall the song's not memorable. The indie quartet's second track, 'Weird Cool', sounds a bit like Sleeper (a filler album track maybe) but has nothing about it to hold your attention. The band's site shows they have a few live dates coming up in the autumn.
Whew, only one more set of discs and oddly worded booklet to wade through and then that's it for me and Flying Vinyl, other than to hopefully post out the discs which sell, say goodbye to others at the flea market or try to do something constructive with the coloured ones whilst the black discs go off to become a charity shop's problem. From the above, since originally writing the bulk of the piece, the Blinders & Hotel Lux discs have brought in a few quid so there's hope for the rest yet.
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