MUSIC REVIEWS A weekly review of local and national releases Still flying the flag for the initial burst of post-punk poppiness that has now almost run its course, it’s actually great to see Franz Ferdinand back and deciding that, no, they don’t want to explore new musical avenues, and suddenly take their ‘art’ a little bit more serious like. No, they want to have a good time, and Tonight confirms their lust for life; a raucous, uplifting collection of dynamic indie numbers that confirm FF to be at the height of their game. English psychedelia seems to be in rude health; Robyn Hitchcock is still revered; the likes of archetypal pastoral pscyh-folksters Caravan are enjoying a resurgence; and there’s a slew of new bands mixing up leftfield stories that are seemingly inspired by drugs, with traditional instrumentation and a desire to mash-up musical styles. Such as Sergeant Buzfuz whose High Slang is a beauty of a record; from dreamy dulcimers to folk-punk rhythms, Joe Murphy and gang wring out the myriad possibilities held within one of England’s most endearing musical styles. Perhaps uniquely, there are songs that relate. It’s difficult to escape the ubiquitous shadows of Dylan, Cohen, Reed et al when one is an aspiring singer songwriter. Mike Bones (aka Mike Strallow) is making a good stab at it though; embellishing the poet lyricism of his rather self-hating songs with a musical palette that is rootsy, and a little bit downbeat and broken (perhaps influenced by his mooted drug past), but nevertheless epic in tone. A Fool For Everytone is a bit like Bobby Gillespie meets Leonard Cohen in the alley marked ‘lessons learnt the hard way’. On the local front, there’s an excellent EP from Gentleman Starkey (named after a pirate in Peter Pan), four tracks of Nick Cavesque tuneage, expertly mixed and produced at Brighton Electric, and featuring the deep and soulful voice of Joel Wells, and some spooky keys throughout. Dead of the Modern is garage-pop at its best. Big-haired Texan rockers The Mars Volta’s path from their previous incarnation, At The Drive-In, was always heading towards full-blown progressive rock territory. The band’s guitarist, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’ second solo album (following 2007’s The Apocalypse Inside Of An Orange), is perhaps his most extensive foray into prog/concept album indulgence yet. An instrumental epic borrowing heavily from the King Crimson back catalogue of other-worldly, elaborately manipulated and skull-crushing guitar, Old Money is apparently one long attack on the currently crumbling world monetary system. With enough bombast to satisfy the hardened MV fan but very little in the form of memorable tunes (but that’s really not the point of this type of music), this is perhaps too intricate and muso-friendly for the casual listener. A lot more subtle is the latest solo album from the voice of sixties pop legends The Zombies’ Colin Blunstone. Entitled The Ghost Of You And Me, this horribly sappy run-through of weakly sentimental ballads sounds like a lament to his previous song-writing success. The Zombies were responsible for some all-time classic songs, though it seems being recently reunited with his old bandmate Rod Argent and a fresh Zombies tour has done nothing for re-igniting the old creative fires.
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www.thelatest.co.uk/7/chart Brighton Latest Download Chart Top 10
★ 1 Thunk – Micromophone ★ 2 Frunt, Bak & Nutz – The Rites Of Wolf 3 Chaos Borne – Watching 4 Caramel Jack – We Could Build Skyscrapers 5 Breakinbear – Breeze 6 Freudstein – Sister Sleaze 7 Caramel Jack – Curtain 8 Stupid Kid – With You 9 Swarf – Parlour Tricks 10 Mr Resonate – All That I’m Not There’s no more punnery on the word ‘funk’ this week; just a salute to Thunk’s ‘Micromophone’ hitting the number one spot. It’s been a good week for Frunt, Bak and Nutz, too, as their classical-sampling breakbeat sound proves fruitful at two. Chaos Borne’s eighties sitcom themed (only joking) moody dance remains at three with Caramel Jack and Breakinbear at four and five. 11 Chaos Borne The Moment 12 tenek If I Should Fall 13 tenek State Of Mind 14 Mr Resonate Say what you mean 15 Lostaura Chevron 16 R21 Proved You Wrong 17 The Mojo Fins Always Now 18 Jonny Loves House Not Just In My Head 19 Amongst The Pigeons Wings Wings BeAt 20 Loc E Chemical Romance 21 Glitters From Billy Holiday 22 Sherlock Bones The Ugly Bugs Balls 23 Miss Anna Robinson Missing The Point 24 Cath O'Drae Sofageddon 25 Dear Jon. On Your Side
26 sMs I'm Sorry Dave 27 The Eric Experiment I Think It's Impossible 28 Boypatient Reckless 29 Jonny Loves House Care About Your Love 30 The Marshan From Marz So Far Remix 31 Hold Fire Emma-Louise 32 Glitters From Billy Holiday 33 XamXam Bu Ngen Munt 34 The Pulse Used In Part 35 Atalanta Blue Tears 36 The Voodoo Trombone Quartet Do It Your Own Way 37 Cath O'Drae Mugged By The System 38 The Mighty Rivals Something In My Way 39 Taboo Duet 40 Reckless Sons Animal
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