tomorrow’s just a song away…

“This is believe me music, this is forget me music
This is who can love me you know, this aint no roxy music
This is new form music, this is old form music
This is i paid attention not some makes his prediction music
Oh he could let me use it”

Do you miss 80s powerpop? Do you face beam when you hear Freeze Frame or Centerfold by the J. Geils Band? Maybe a lazy day of listening to Candy-O by the Cars? If that’s your sound, let me introduce to a young quartet out of Portland that learned their lessons well in the art of early 80s American pop. Let’s play some Hockey!

Following up the debut single, the very promising Learn To Lose, the band unveils Song Away. Friends, this one hit me right in the gut. This is one of those songs that could have been played in a prom/dance scene in any of your favourite 80s American teen movies. There are hooks abound and plenty to spare. You simply can’t help but smile as you sing the lyrics and dance away… There are singles and then there are fragments of time. These fragments consist of songs that make you stop what you’re doing and listen and imagine yourself doing something else. That something else could be daydreaming, reliving a memory of some sort, just a brief excursion from what it is you were doing before this particular song came on.

That’s the vibe I get from this track and that’s why Hockey is most certainly a band to keep an eye on. Their debut record Mind Chaos is out 6 October via Capitol. Needless to say, it’s a must.

“Song Away” by Hockey taken from the forthcoming Capitol release, “Mind Chaos”

Hockey on MySpace
Hockey on Twitter

rising from the ashes of…

It was sad. Peter Hook posting on his MySpace that New Order were done, kaput and over. It was disheartening to read but at the same time, one almost felt a certain sigh of relief. Let’s be honest. The band was purely running on fumes on the last couple of records Get Ready & Waiting For The Siren’s Call. The magic never quite seemed to come back and one could argue the absence of Gillian Gilbert may have cast a pall over the band as well. Whatever the case may have been, it ended with the band going their seperate ways. Peter Hook to his DJ gigs and the supergroup, Freebass and Bernard Sumner to…Bad Lieutenant!

Bad Lieutenant is Barney’s new band featuring himself on guitar and vox, Gillian’s New Order “replacement”, Phil Cunningham (ex-Marion), Jake Evans, Tom Chapman and…Stephen Morris from…you guessed it, New Order. The band has just begun playing some preliminary UK dates to promote their forthcoming debut record Never Cry Another Tear. The first fruits of the record arrives with the debut single Sink Or Swim. A simple, somewhat mellow track that would not sound out of place on New Order’s Technique album. Think songs like Love Less or to a lesser extent, Run.

Say what you will about Bernard’s voice about having always been the weak link in New Order’s sound, he sounds in fine form here. To be honest, the song does a great job of showcasing the subtle qualities of his voice making the song a pleasure to listen to.

“Sink Or Swim” by Bad Lieutenant taken from the forthcoming Triple Echo release, “Never Cry Another Tear”

Bad Lieutenant on MySpace
Bad Lieutenant on Facebook
Bad Lieutenant on Twitter

on a (much) lesser note…

Noel Gallagher, it appears dropped the bomb earlier today by walking out on Oasis. Needless to say that without Noel, there really is no Oasis. Sorry, Liam, I love ya but let’s be honest… Noel is and always has been the creative sparkplug of the band. As a fan since Supersonic, it’s my hope that cooler heads prevail and the brothers Gallagher get back to writing quality tunes real soon.

“Married With Children” by Oasis, taken from the Creation/Epic release, “Definitely Maybe”

Here’s a mirror with your name on saying we’re gonna miss you when you’re gone”.

Rest in peace DJ AM 1973-2009

it’s the sound of the atom splitting…

One of popular music’s least prolific bands are back. The kings of the Bristol sound, Massive Attack are releasing a digital EP 5 October which will include the brand new track unleashed today called Splitting The Atom. This one is a little different if you’ve spent the last near twenty years following this crew.  While Atom does retain the tried and true dark and dirty sound that has made the band legends, it appears that the bpm has been increased allowing for a bit of booty-shaking while grooving to this track. Understand I’m talking about a slight increase in bpm, they most certainly have not gone all nu-rave on us or anything.

Two  notable things going on in this song to listen for. One? Old reliable Horace Andy is back for another cameo on Massive Attack song. His is the voice that add levity and a sense of calm amidst the calamity that is the Massive Attack soundwave. Two? No 3-D anywhere to be found in the song! While this is disappointing, it is tempered by point #3, which is the return of Daddy G who had taken a powder for 2003’s 100th Window. His sorrowful, damned delivery adds a wonderful counterpoint to Horace’s making the song a winner in this fan’s eyes.

This is a wonderful preview to what we can expect from what will be the fifth installment in the Massive Attack canon rumoured to be released in March 2010.  Rumour has it that guests on the new record include Hope Sandoval, Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio) & Guy Garvey (Elbow). Needless to say, this is one record that will be a must-have. About time, Massive Attack came back, eh?

“Splitting The Atom”, by Massive Attack, taken from the forthcoming EP

Massive Attack Website
Massive Attack on MySpace

Correction: I’ve been corrected by a reader called Matt who advised me that 3-D is indeed on this track. Some dope wasn’t listening as well as he should have!

la roux heads stateside!

Happy day! Guess who’s coming back to the States! Yup! La Roux are coming back for another round through the US, albeit a somehwat abbreviated one. With the release of the self-titled debut via Cherrytree/Interscope slated for 29 September, the duo are primed to bring their brand of analogue electronic pop to the State for real. Here are the dates! Can you tell how excited I am?!

10/18/09 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
10/19/09 Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
10/21/09 Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s Tavern
10/23/09  Toronto, ON @ The Guvernment
10/24/09  Montreal, QC @ Studio Juste Pour Rire
10/26/09 New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom
10/27/09  Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

La Roux on MySpace
La Roux on Twitter

erik hassle doesn’t want your flowers…

“When I’m gone, who are you to mourn?
No don’t touch me when I’m lying in my coffin.
Don’t stand there crying as you’re watching.
Don’t put no flowers by my final bed”

Straight out of Sweden with a bullet, it’s Erik Hassle. Never mind the fact he looks like he could play the part of Poindexter in a Revenge Of The Nerds remake, this boy’s been making some moves and been making them quickly over the last few months. Unfortunately during my brief time away, I didn’t get a chance to cover his first single Hurtful which became a success in his native Sweden as well as wave-making in the UK. We now have his first single to be released in the UK called Don’t Bring Flowers.

A song built around a simple guitar riff which upon first listen sounded similar to the main riff in the song Discotech by Young Love. Flowers comes from the school of Keep It Simple, Stupid. Start with a simple guitar that hooks you in followed by the vocals and then kill ’em with the chorus.  Lyrically, the song is pretty standard girl-doesn’t appreciate me-or-the-things-I-do-for-her fare but where the lyrics don’t say anything novel, the chorus is more than enough to convince you that this is one artist with a bright future ahead. With songs like this, it’s pretty easy to see why his star is rising so quickly.

Erik Hassle on MySpace
Erik Hassle on Twitter
Erik Hassle on Facebook

“Don’t Bring Flowers”, by Erik Hassle, taken from the forthcoming Island release, “Hassle”