Saturday, February 12th, 2005

Carnival Kids

Because it’s really starting to back up and make me feel guilty, I’m going to try and round up some of the freebies I’ve gotten from various kind folks who read this here site. That’s right, on occasion, I get sent free stuff, but not nearly as much as you might think. However, in the case that you (being everyone and anyone) want to send me stuff, my formal policy on review material is as follows:

1) I may or may not like it

2) I may or may not write about it

3) I may or may not remember that I have it

4) My opinions on your music, or lack of opinion, in no way reflects on my feelings for you as individuals and human beings. I’m sure you’re all lovely people.

Thank you. Now to business.

When The Futureheads’ self-titled debut came out last year, I admit I didn’t pay too much attention. A cursory listen and I wrote them off as another mucho-hype 80s new-wave revivalist band. Which they sort of are, but they don’t use the disco hi-hat so I give them props for that. My first impression was that they sound almost exactly like early XTC – singer Barry Hyde is an almost dead ringer for Andy Partridge – but more in-depth listening reveals they actually sound almost exactly like early XTC crossed with The Jam, equal parts spastic and soulful. That’s a good thing. The record has grown on me quite quickly and I’m sorry I won’t be able to catch them in town on February 27 but hope to see them at SxSW next month.

I am going to try and talk about Robbers On High Street’s debut record Tree City (out February 22) without mentioning Spoon.

Okay, can’t do it. The singer sounds like Britt Daniel. The songs sound like Spoon songs in arrangement and structure. It’s… I… COME ON. There’s cribbing, everyone does that, but geez. If I have to find a point of difference, it’s that ROHS’s stuff is a little less experimental and therefore more accessible than Spoon’s, but considering that Spoon is pretty damn accessible, that’s not saying much.

Joy Zipper are a husband-and-wife two piece from Long Island, their latest record is American Whip, out on the 22nd. Their ultra-laid back dreamy burbling pop is pleasant enough, but is so laid back, dreamy and burbly that it’s almost insubstantial. A couple of listens and what had been sort of nice to begin with just became completely forgettable.

LCD Soundsystem is apparently one of those ultra-hip outfits that people who read Vice like. I’ve never read a copy of Vice in my life. It’s sorta dance-y/disco-y, sorta rock, sorta jokey and quite interesting though not really my thing. I don’t know how often I’d listen to this, but now if I hear “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” when I’m out, I can nod knowingly and say, “Ah, LCD Soundsystem” and seem cooler than I am. I suspect it’s meant to be played loud and in a club rather than at modest volumes in my living room, but what can you do. The self-titled record is a two disc set but I think only one disc is the proper album, the other is a compilation of singles and whatnot. It’s in stores on Tuesday.

Judging from the large wad of PR that accompanied the debut North American EP (out February 22) from London’s Little Barrie, some folks on the other side of the Atlantic think these guys are the shit (note the definite article there, please and thank you). Blues/punk/funk saviours, etc etc. What I heard from these four tracks were some proficiently-played, fairly soulful blues-rock. My idea of funk is like, Prince, so maybe we’re coming at that facet from different directions. Little Barrie are not as funky as Prince. The production is also a little flat – there’s not enough weight in the low-end to really get grooving and not enough rawness to really leap out of the speakers. I dunno, again, what they’re doing really isn’t my thing, but Mojo likes em. They’ll be at SxSW so if any of them take exception to my opinion, they’re welcome to hunt me down and punch me out there.

Okay, that’s everything for now.

Six By Seven’s latest, :04, finally gets a North American release almost half a year after coming out in the UK. It will be available on May 3 via The First Time Recordings, the good folks who brought you the Ride box set and reissues. :04 is an excellent record, I’ve had an mp3 CD-R since last Fall but will be happy to get a proper legit copy.

Photos from Thursday’s Bettie Serveert show here. I think Carol and Peter may have had the brightest-coloured stage garb, like, EVER.

np – Ambulance LTD / LP

By : Frank Yang at 10:11 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. tankboy says:

    the futureheads KILL live. i had the same reaction of enjoying the disc butnot being wowed…and then i saw them live. awesome.