Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Short Reviews: Deradorrian, Foot Village, Marina & The Diamonds, Maths Class, Pulled Apart By Horses, Russian Red.

I’m on a train, travelling back from Edinburgh to the Midlands. I have a lot of time on my hands but no internet connection to research any of the music I have to review. So instead I’ve decided to give short snippet reviews of the following EPs, and albums. Don’t be surprised if my enthusiasm weans as the sun gets duller and I get closer to Rugby Town. I’m already missing it and my brain is transfixed on the vegetable dim sun dumplings I had last night, yum!

Deradorrian – Mind Raft: Being a solo artist who has risen to ‘fame’ by being part of another band must be a mixed blessing. For one I wouldn’t be listening to this now if it wasn’t for the fact that I know she’s part of the Dirty Projectors touring band. However coming from one of the most inventive groups around at the moment, and trying to do something just as inventive by yourself is a pretty momentous task. This isn’t a bad EP by any means; it just isn’t as good as Dirty Projectors. It’s like going to the cinema on a date and having to watch ‘Coraline’ its perfectly enjoyable but you know you could be at home watching ‘Nightmare before Christmas’

Score: 7.1/10

For Fans of: Dirty Projectors, Bats for Lashes, Nat Baldwin

Links: Download, MySpace

Foot Village – Friendship Nation:

Man 1: “Hey what should we do with all these violent sex offenders, disturbed serial killers and aggressive manic depressives?”

Man 2: “Well jail isn’t obviously helping them, I heard music’s good for the soul”

Man 1: “Yeah me too, how about a hippie drum circle, some nice calming chanting, an all round love in?”

Man 2: “Perfect, let’s get on it straight away”

5 mins later

Man 1: “Oh my god what’s happening, this was the worst idea we’ve ever had, truly a crime against music, it’s obvious we’re the real criminals here for letting this happen”

Man 2: “There gnawing at my leg and using my shin bones as drum sticks, is that your scrotum there using as a tom skin?”

This is how I imagine ‘Friendship Nation’ by Foot village came to be. It’s horrible, I kind of like it

Score: 6.7/10

For Fans of: Black Eyes, Health, Aa

Links: Download, MySpace

Marina & the Diamonds: Obsessions: Regina Spektor’ x ‘Emmy the Great’ + Kate Nash minus the Lily Allen element, Dressed in a Bat for Lashes head band carrying an old Kate Bush Lunchbox. Sprinkled with the few crumbs of individuality that are still lying around in the bottom of the quirky piano ‘alt folksy’ ‘look at me reference popular culture’ style music barrel. I can’t listen to this without imagining one of those annoying girls you see at gigs dressed like Karen O who stare at me with contempt for even noticing their presence. Sorry Marina caught me at a bad time, that’s all a bit harsh. Be interesting to see how the album turns out, if she sticks to the interesting samples and goes down the more Kate Bush direction and not the trait ‘Lan,dan’ girly scene.

Score: 5.6/10

For Fans of: See Above

Links: Download, MySpace

Maths Class - Now This Will Take Two Hands: Remember all the scenes the cool kids have been part off over the last five years? This band have taken elements of all those genres and just thrown them into a blender and come out with ‘Now this will take….’ There’s some of the spazzy hardcore the skinny kids with tattoos were into, a large chunk of the disjointed Indie pop that gave nerdy musos with glasses the opportunity to get tasty indie girls. And a smidgen of Nu-Rave to ensure we can all have a good old time when we go see them live. It also has some of the intelligent musicianship that kind of reminds me of ‘Your codename is milo’ without actually sounding anything like them. It’s all good fun, but unfortunately just another one of those bands you’ll see supporting someone, who you’ll say were amazing but will never bother checking out further.

Score: 6.4/10

For Fans of: Johnny Foreigner, Danananackroyd,

Links: Download, MySpace

Pulled Apart By Horses - 7 Inch: Great name, plus the A side is called ‘I Punched a lion in the throat’ shame the music isn’t quite so inventive. Very similar to ‘Maths class’ above, but with a slightly heavier sound. There’s also an element of a tamer ‘Rapider than horsepower’ although that may just be down to the horse connection. I’d imagine these guys have a pretty awesome live sound. The riffs are catchy as hell, real big sounding 80’s metal style at times, that make you want to nod your head with some mild enthusiasm (Remember I’m on a train, don’t want to scare the old ladies across from me who I think may be going on a walking holiday round the Lake District). In conclusion I like this, although it’s by no means ‘great’ but it has enough about it to make me want to play it loudly when I get home

Score: 7/10

For Fans of: Danananackroyd, Johnny Foreigner

Links: Download, MySpace

Red Russian – I Love Your Glasses: Imagine if whilst at school Joanna Newsom’s music teacher said to her ‘Hey Joanna give up the harp, you’ll never get famous playing a medieval instrument, plus people will pick on you. Oh and on that subject tone your voice down a little it’s really not doing you any favors” Red Russian is what I’d expect Joanna would sound like if she took that advice on board. Yes it’s not as good as Newsom but what is. Russian Red is still a very good, haunting folk album that deserves more credit than a lazy comparison. However that’s all it’s going to get here today. Check it out though if that’s your sort of thing, has a touch of Spanish and French sounds if that helps sell it a bit more? No? Well she’s also quite pretty and called Red Russian as it’s her favorite brand of lipstick, which means she probably dresses to impress….maybe, just listen to it.

Score: 7.9/10

For Fans Of: Joanna Newsom, Marissa Nadler

Links: MySpace

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