Vibrations ‘Second Hearing’ – November 2010 Issue 15

Second Hearing

Your CD-Rs deserve a second listen. So we’ll listen twice (and twice only) and then type. 20 words per demo.

EPs

The Strangerhood – ‘The Strangerhood’

Fast vocals. Even faster basslines. Pleasant for a while. Soon becomes rather repetitive; like a monkey with a miniature cymbal.

Ajanta – Moonshine EP

Moonshine:

Hard to take too seriously, like a Spinal Tap b-side. Fun, but aptly leaves you with a sore head afterwards.

Carry Him Down:

Some interesting fret-board wizardry, does feel a little bit like ‘Greensleeves’ gone wrong at times. Ritual chanting is always creepy.

Indigo Sunshine – ‘Indigo Sunshine’

Bright and breezy summer fun. Nice acoustic beats with light vox and gentle percussion. Handclaps are too sickly sweet though.

Ben Matravers – Step One

Say:

Not as terrifying as the EP cover will have you believe. Cheerful enough, but sadly short on confidence and presence.

Step One:

Described a “Dark and aggressive” in the notes, I’d go for bleak and mild discomfort. Great sample use halfway through.

Fossil Collective – Honey Slides EP

The sum of Fleet Foxes plus Band of Horses times by Midlake. Minus the big budgets. Just as soothing though.

Ten – Lowlands EP

Technically brilliant, mellow and atmospheric. Think Sigur Ros on a comedown, minus nonsensical gibberish. Bit of a downer at times.

Dirty Urges – ‘The Bill Hicks EP’

Striking funk / metal combo. Overkill on the effects pedal. No lyrical substance. Should not use Hicks’ name in vein.

Albums

Neil McLarty – ‘ Roseville Grand’

At The Lake:

Carefully crafted Americana meets West Yorkshire. Glorious use of antique organs and lazy guitar melodies help to radiate unmistakable warmth.

Who’s Gonna Meet You Tonight:

Organ deployed to full effect. Shades of The Hold Steady’s slower tracks. One of the album’s heaviest moments by far.

Friday Night Heartbreak:

Heading dangerously into full-blown square dancing territory, but forgivable given an otherwise consistent and impressive effort. Now shake those hips.

The Dawnriders – ‘The Dawnriders’

Dawnriders:

Songs bearing the same name as the band are never good. They always come across cheesy. This is no exception.

Goldrush:

Either a brilliant a parody, or the worst take on Americana since Bon Jovi soundtracked Young Guns II. Lacking authenticity.

The Virgin & The Creep:

Much, much better. Acoustic led, with a strong narrative. Unfortunately buried at the end of the album. Worth a spin.

Daisy B – ‘This Town’

Salvation:

Upbeat melody, soulful vocals, great production and steady rhythm. Hard to dislike, but desperately lacking in the thrills department.

This Town:

Full of life from the get go. Radio-ready and could easily be mistaken for any current female singer songwriter fodder.

Dressed In Wires – ‘Demonstration Disc 2010’

Random electro noises, not to be mistaken for The Clangers. Interesting concept, but very boring and indulgent in practice. YAWN.

GHOSTS – ‘Drum Lakes’

28-minute long “collage of songs” that inevitably hits and misses between superbly atmospheric, to half-baked and incomplete. Not. Even. Scary.

Auntie Dope – Live 2010

Mind Over Matter:

The Fratellis go lo-fi. Probably written in less than a minute, but not in a good ‘flash of inspiration’ way.

U.F.O:

“Let’s go for a ride on a U.F.O., I’m all dressed up and ready to go”. Even The Ramones are cringing.

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