Archive for February, 2008

Under Pressure

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2008 by tomstanford

Elbow are a band who’ve always been close to my heart. Their previous three albums, Asleep In The Back, Cast of Thousands, and Leaders of the Free World, have remained in the ‘go to’ section of my music collection (when i can’t be bothered to think about what to listen too) for ages. Not many bands make it into this imaginary section. Elbow do. So, I was hugely excited about hearing their new single ‘Grounds For Divorce’, yet I wasn’t ready for the huge impact this single was going to make. It’s superb. Simply superb. Instant and infecting. The guitar riff, which at first catches you by surprise, leaves you yearning to hear it again and again. It generally starts like many Elbow songs (certainly no bad thing!) with Guy Garvey’s gritty vocals, simple drums and plodding piano, then it kicks in…  

Elbow – Grounds For Divorce

Art Brut are a band who I’ve enjoyed live on numerous occasions, but I’ve always found their records a little difficult to listen to. Their new single ‘Pump Up The Volume’, which the band didn’t even realise was being released, is extremely different however as I can’t stop listening to it. Again a mighty guitar riff is key to this track, and responsible for my thorough enjoyment. Eddie Argos’ clever witty lyrics are a draw to, delivered in his usual deadpan style. My favourite line being the chorus… “i know i shouldn’t, is it so wrong, to break from your kiss, to turn up a pop song”.

Art Brut – Pump Up The Volume

art brut

Born Ruffians are a band I really liked when their initial EP was released through XL last year. It seemed as if I was the only one though, as they quickly disapeared from the scene and failed to pick up a contract with XL for a full length. Now they’re back though with ‘Hummingbird’, a great little number which is coming out on Warp. More tender vocals, backed with Smiths-inspired guitar lines and great bass hooks, and more ideas per track then The Maccabees managed on a whole album. A second treat of theirs is also below (perhaps a better song too) which was sent to me recently. Ace. Both tracks feature on the forthcoming LP ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’ (great cover, crap title).

Born Ruffians – Hummingbird

Born Ruffians – Barnacle Goose

Blow Up Records are back with a new band, Silvery. Paul Tunkin’s Blow Up, famous for it’s club night at the Metro, (arguably) helping create Britpop and it’s series of genius compilations, have a great band on their hands here. It’s another indie pop gem and at under 2 minutes should be squeezed into most Indie DJ’s setlist.

Silvery – Horrors

Never been a massive fan of The Kills but their new single is ace. Just relentless bass. Brilliant.

The Kills – Cheap and Cheerful

Good to see The B52’s back. Even if they’re looking a bit too old for it now, they’ve still come up with a great single…

The B52’s – Funplex


Finally, still listening to a lot of David Bowie. Do you think Noel Gallagher ever heard this track?

David Bowie – Cracked Actor

The Bears Are Coming. Definitely.

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2008 by tomstanford

The Bears Are Coming. Quite what this song is about is anyone’s guess. What is evident is that Late of the Pier are here for the long run. This is their new Erol Alkan-produced single, lifted from their soon-to-be-released debut album. I first got into the band through the C90’s remix of their track ‘Space and the Woods’. I didn’t particularly like the original, and was further won over by their second, Moshi Moshi released, single ‘Bathroom Gurgle’. That track narrowly missed my best tracks of 2007, in fact I’m not sure why it did? Ah well… Whilst Bathroom Gurgle was like a modern indie Bohemiam Rhapsody, ‘The Bears Are Coming’ (released through EMI) is more a straight forward song, whilst the sounds are anything but. I can’t begin to guess what type of guitar/synth/keyboard is producing most of them and how as a band, you can, not just come up with such a dazzling array of sounds, but fit them all into one track and still make it work. This single has pop sensibility and I feel it’s the type of music Radio One should be embracing to their bosom like an over-protective mother, but alas, they continue to support One Night Only and Scouting For Girls. Oh the shame. Radio One is essentially using the tax payer’s money to help the careers of these hideously mediocre bands, it would be nice to see them take a pot shot on an interesting, but obscure, band like Late of the Pier once in awhile.

Late of the Pier – The Bears Are Coming

Sorry. Short rant over. Someone Radio One are supporting is Foals. I think this is because there was already such a massive groundswell of support, not to mention NME cover stars in the first week of the year, that they couldn’t ignore them. Cassius is their new single and it follows in a similar vein to previous singles Balloons, Mathletics and Hummer. Having seen them live numerous times, I’m pleased such an exciting outfit are doing so well. I’m a touch sceptical about the lack of their first two singles on the album, and whether their LP will match my expectations. I’m worried that it will either be, all at a similar tempo/style and struggle to be interesting enough over the course of an album or that if they’ve changed these things, whether they’ll be any good at it… I hope to be proved wrong as I love this band. In the meantime, Cassius is another slice of delicious angular guitars brought together with tight drums and spot-on vocals,whilst being slightly more catchy in the ‘chorus’ then their other tracks. A band on top form.

Foals – Cassius


Here’s a tune sent to me by a friend which comes from the ‘New York Noise: Sounds from the New York Underground 1978-1982’ album. It’s by Glenn Branca and is coming from a completely different place to Foals, but follows similar aesthetics. The way it builds and takes hold of you is the key. You need to allow it to break into the 3+ minute stage, with the introduction of strings, where it really gets going and you cannot escape the tune. If not by then, after a few cymbal crashes and the bass coming to the fore towards the 5 minute mark, you’ll be hooked. Absolute genius. It also sounds massively like it was the inspiration behind LCD Soundsystem’s superb ‘All My Friends’. Got to love the title too.

Glenn Branca – Lesson No.1


A final little gem is this. A track I don’t know much about (get sent so much, plus downloading… I often forget where things come from). I looked online, and couldn’t find any information anywhere on Peppers either, so if anyone knows….. It also reminds me of the theme tune to ‘The Rockford Files’ which myself and a friend were addicted to for ages, and actually used to listen too before exams at University to inspire us. Strange. Anyway….

Peppers – Pepper Box

….and if you’re after something to send to your loved one for Valentine’s, depending on the type of person you are, here’s a couple to choose from…

Sam Cooke – Cupid

The Smiths – There’s A Light That Never Goes Out