Singles for the week starting 22nd October!
Retroism, scuzz, and essential releases in this weeks singles round up!
(Howling Owl/Cartoon Records)
Towns' past two singles have been beefy, radio types. For this EP they decided to stretch out their wings a little bit, get out a strong set of songs and emerse themselves in the Bloody Valentine influences which are close to their hearts.
Large waves of guitar flood the stereo field, while tracks dip between being laid back shoegaze anthems ('Mirror Ghost') and frantic mosh moments ('Dig Your Heels'). The backbone to their music though is the melodic basslines that groove through the noisy territory.
The trick to Towns is that wherever your stylus lands on the release, you're likely to hit a chorus. And for a band who aren't taking any prisoners, this is key.
Goy Boy McIlroy
Black Glove/The Pilgrim
I’m honestly not sure what to make of a band name like Goy Boy McIlroy so instead lets pass straight onto the music which comes lurching out of the speakers like the zombified bastard child of Bauhaus and Kyuss. Wonderfully ridiculous, ‘Black Glove’ may introduce itself with a riff picked up from hanging around too many crossroads at midnight, but it’s ‘The Pilgrim’ that steals the show, a sonorous gothic western that walks tall in all its snakeskin boots and back combed majesty.
Dan Shears & The Velveteen Orkestra
Against A Sea Of Troubles EP
The variety of influences Dan Shears brings to the table on his delightful EP is one thing, merging them together and coming out on the other side with a unique style providing pleasant and easy listening is another. From The Smiths, to Dylan, to Radiohead, to Sea Shanty’s, Shears crams it all in and the combination is a winner.
Opener and single ‘In The Shadows of Better Men’ opens with an Um-pa-pa acoustic guitar and a rich vocal harmony- think Muse meets Flogging Molly, cool right!? The upbeat flow of the song is tinged with melancholia but the natural simple poetic flow of the melody ensures that this will undoubtedly be a live winner.
There is more than an incredible single. ‘Petrushka’ brings The Velveteen Orkestra to the forefront with subtle piano and a building of strings; it’s haunting and often theatrical tendencies would allow ‘Petrushka’ to sit easily on the Moulin Rouge soundtrack…in a good way! Ending with ballad ‘The Devil’s Favourite Love Story’ accordion sits with strings and the vocals nod to early Radiohead. Despite the EP concealing one of those rather irritating hidden tracks, Dan Shears has created three little gems ensuring that we can safely assume to be hearing plenty more from him for a long time to come.
We’re Supposed To Be In Love EP
The modern fascination with ‘retro’ has become rather tiring of late. If it’s not a gauloises-smoking clotheshorse pretending to be Jackie O, it’s some idiot romping around East London with portable record player. We’re not going to lie: it’s made us considerably grumpy.
With this in mind, Cry Baby’s latest EP should’ve sent us into a blind fury; a whirlwind of flailing limbs and colourful language. Only it didn’t. Because it’s surprisingly excellent.
The bittersweet, reverbed guitar stomp of ‘We’re Supposed To Be In Love’ instantly thrills, before the EP jack-knifes back into the minor-chord lament of ‘Water To Wine’ – a song that genuinely wouldn’t feel out of place on a 007 soundtrack.
Bundled up with delicious covers of Daniel Johnston’s ‘True Love Will Find You In The End’ and Billie Holiday’s ‘Gloomy Sunday’, 'We’re Supposed...' cements its place as one of those increasingly rare musical beasts: an honest, nostalgia-tinted EP that never threatens to become half-arsed pastiche of styles from yesteryear. More of this, please.