23NOV 10 ISS U E 248
CD REVIEWS KELE -
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Frank Turner should not be listened to in the cold, the new
Rock And Roll EP especially. The collection of five songs,
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released just in time for Christmas, bring to mind the summer memories of sitting in sunny pub gardens drinking cider, not the endless rain and wind of " ./ British winter. Lead track 'I Still Believe' is already a well established live song, popular with Turner's fans since he began playing it at festivals back in the summer. The sing-a -long chorus, comp lete w ith crowd participation, suggest that this is going to be his new anthem. 'Pass it Along' is a reminder that whi lst the music may be fo lk-based and gentle on the ears, Frank Turner is considered- by himself
at least- a punk artist, with a heavy dose of political lyricism and deeply passionate vocals sharpening the edge of this song . A mid -album break from the fist-pumping, audience aimed songs of the EP, 'Rock and Roll Romance' is a sweet ballad that sounds as though it was written to be whispered under bed sheets, to one person, rather than screamed out to a crowd of five thousand. it is the shortness of the track that makes it perfect. One of Frank Turner's signature moves is that he writes songs about real people, name -dropping and dedicating to his friends, which gives the listener an idea of what Frank Turner's personal life is really like. 'To Absent Friends' is no different, and the scattering of anecdotes in the song make this one of the EP's highlights. The EP ends on a melancholy note. 'The Next Round' has a mournful air, with Turner turning his attention away from politics and trying to spread some message about alcohol. The song is good, but the meaning isn't clear to the listener. One thing about Frank Turner's mu sic is obvious; it is the simplicity of the song writing that makes it so catchy and is testament to the power of "guitar and drums and desperate poetry". This EP is brilliant sample of Turn er's work, and fans w ill not be a=IE~ disappointed by the
quality of the songs.
ON THE lAM
Kele Okereke has ditched guitar-driven indie for the synths and drum machines of electro, having seized Bloc Party's indefinite hiatus as an opportunity to release his debut solo album, The Boxer. As the third single taken from Kele's solo effort, 'On The Lam' essentially demonstrates a talent that goes beyond main stream indie anthems. Elements of dubstep, drum and bass, garage and house clearly feature - but render the track difficult to categorise . Confusion is magnified by high -pitched vocal s barely distinguishable as male, let alone as Kele. The result is that 'On The Lam ' lacks a clear identity as a single and, although the electro hook ensures it will get playing time, this kind of thing has been done before, and better. lt would be a decent, if not outstanding track, were it not for the fact that fans know Kele can reach greater heights. Ultimately Okereke has laid a solid foundation to build on as a solo artist, or at least illustrated that a Bloc Party reformation cou ld yie ld somethi ng new: whicn no doubt indie kids abound will be calling for. Jordan Bright
Ell ie Kumar
liNKIN PARK - WAITING FOR THE END
BEADY EYE - BRING THE LIGHT
The time has inevitably come to ask the question- why are Linkin Park still here' After starting out as nu-metal poster boys, their latest single finds them trying to be the next U2. Unfortunately they've made a wrong turn somewhere, and have ended up writing half-arsed stadium rock for the clinically depressed . Fans of their early stuff will be waiting expectantly for something, anything to happen- a slickly-produced guitar riff, maybe? A screamed, angst-filled chorus7 Not a chance . Actually, the only positive thing to be said about 'Waiting for the End' is that it doesn't sound anything like Linkin Park. it's a clueless chant-fest with some synths thrown in, seemingly just to stay in with current trends. There are vapid echo ing voca ls and that vo ice- layering thing that bands do when they want peop le to sing along at their concerts. Seeking greater success by alienating your fan base is an interesting strategyand one that is unlikely to pay off. And yet Linkin Park are inexplicably still here, abusing the airwaves with would-be anthems like this .
Does Liam Gallagher care more about music or fashion these days 7 Will the break-up of Oasis spur Andy Bell and Gem Archer to actually write some decent tunes' Is Beady Eye the worst band name eve r7 All these questions and more are posed by the return of this new Noel -less incarnation of Oasis .
GulLTY HANDS -
Unsurprisingly, their debut single is a rock n' roll tune; however it does sound different from anything you've ever heard Liam's distinct Mancunian snarl over before . Com bining a piano riff straight out of the Jerry Lee Lewis rule book, a George Harrison guitar fill, lyrics about "taking you drinking" and an idiot simple chorus ("Baby come on I Baby hold on " ) the song sounds absurdly out of place in 20lO and takes some listening to get used to . However, once you've wound your ears back to 1964, it's actually a bit of a tune. Welcome back, Liam and co .
Slightly angular guitar pop is out of date. The addition of synths, listen up Guilty Hands, does not make it any better. it's not that the song is bad per se, it's just decidedly average. The simp le verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure and pre dictably clean cut 8os resurgence production result in an OK track, but one that could have been great if written by any number of bands 5 years ago. In t he present day, Gui lty Hands' effort ends up emulating the edgy riffs and cutting vocals of mid -noughties indie bands, but the plaudits that came as a result back then ultimately elude them. While you can forgive the outdated musical devices, the track's grating one line sample isn't so easy on the ears. The source is irrelevant and if you didn't really listen to the song it might not register, but after hearing the track multiple times, the soundbyte of "Hey Johnny, what are you rebel ling against" is possibly the most aggravating thing about 'Razor'. Vapid rebellion is so out dated it almost feels right again, note almost. Keep trying.
A lex Throssell