cross my heart and hope to…fly…

It appears 2010 is going to be off to a smashing start just like 2009 appeared to. The Courteeners are back! Manchester’s new favourite sons following in the steps of the Smiths and the recently dearly departed Oasis are about to drop their long awaited second record entitled Falcon 22 February.  It’s a good thing too as I haven’t stopped playing the debut, 2008’s St. Jude since I first bought it.

With news of the record on the horizon, the first fruits of said record has come early in the form of what could very well be the first single Cross My Heart And Hope To Fly. A song darker in tone than what we heard previously but showcases a greater depth. Bigger drums and the use of strings certainly prove to be the highlight of the song along with Liam’s strong vocals.

Fall in love with the Courteeners all over again just like I did. Listen to your heart’s content.

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“Cross My Heart And Hope To Fly” by The Courteeners. Taken from the forthcoming Polydor release “Falcon”

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these girls fall like dominos…

“As soon as I love her it’s been too long

And I really loved breaking your heart
These silver apples will shine on I was wrong
The hardest love has the coldest end”

From London with love comes The Big Pink. A brash duo consisting of Robbie Furze (vox, guitars) and Milo Cordell (keys) who’ve arrived with their recently released debut record A Brief History Of Love (4AD) to remind us all that nothing can summon up varying degrees of emotion than love.  With their booming drums combined with a love of dance music, this duo is blowing up in a big way in the UK and it’s only a matter of time before they invade the States. While it’s a safe bet the greater masses will probably pay them no mind, those of us with a pulse and a brain will find The Big Pink to be the first big band heading into 2010.

Dominos thus far would rate as my favourite of the three singles released to date.  I simply can;t enough of the deadly combination consisting of head-pounding drums and killer fist-raising chorus. This, friends, is what you call an anthem.

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“Dominos” by The Big Pink, taken from the 4AD release, “A Brief History Of Love”

don’t look now…here come the bunnymen!

Look. This band needs no introduction. The band were a perfect blend of the Doors, Bowie and the last vestiges of punk. A lead singer who not only was cool but personified the word and gave it a new meaning and thus offering a blueprint for future frontmen to adopt and follow. A guitarist who knew very few rivals, if any. Add in one of the more underrated rhythm sections of the day and you get Echo and the Bunnymen. Beginning with the epic debut single Rescue to era-defining hits like The Cutter, The Back Of Love & Lips Like Sugar, the Bunnymen were always a band to be reckoned with.  In fact, I’ve always been of the opinion that if it wasn’t for the more important and challenging bands such as Echo, the Smiths, the Sound, etc falling by the wayside in 1987, U2 never would have become the one-eyed monster they were to become.  Echo were simply that good.

The band are back now with a new single called Think I Need It Too. It’s a slow burner but it’s a good one. It features the signature Will Seargeant guitar sound as it carries Ian McCulloch’s smoke-drenched vocals. It must be said that in his prime that very few could wail like Mac and the smokes over time have done quite a number to his vocals.  That minor complaint aside, the single is the lead track taken from the brand new record The Fountain due out next week. Play it once, play it the rest of the day and groove. This is the sound of cool.

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“Think I Need It Too” by Echo and the Bunnymen, taken from the forthcoming release, “The Fountain”


dark angels rise and cross the horizon…

“the time for revelation’s gone now
we can stand on our own feet
do you believe in power
while they march in their divisions
we’ll go dancing on their dreams
While the empires crash down”

Fresh off the release of their debut full-length Midnight Of The Century, we have the promotional film for the single Flight Of The Demoiselles. Yes, friends, it’s New York’s own Blacklist. A great video that does a great song justice. The band looks dashing, the production looks first-rate and it’s safe to say the band is well on their way. Good show, boys!

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“Flight Of The Demoiselles” by Blacklist, taken from the Wierd release, “Midnight Of The Century”

they are women, hear them roar!

Back from my near week-long sojourn into the ether, I have indeed returned, my dear friends!

Early last week, I witnessed a truly fun show put together by the members of the band, Electric Chariot to appreciate and highlight local female fronted bands. When I was told of this idea, I thought it was definitely a show that I should check out and so I did!. The show took place at Public Assembly here in Williamsburg and it was a fun time had by all who chad come down to support the bands and the concept itself.

Psychedelic Disco Angels

Leading off were the Psychedelic Disco Angels.  They are a local duo whose sound was an interesting blend of Mazzy Star and Portishead. The eye-opener during their set lay in the fact that the male guitarist seemed to have a greater role than the female bassist. Aside from that minor quip, theirs was an enjoyable set and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

Next up were a band called Audio Fiction. Theirs was a fun set if you enjoy hearing straight-forward pub rock.  I’m not saying this is a knock to the band’s sound at all as they do have the pieces intact to be a fine act and they excuted quite well. It just left me with a feeling where if one were to close their eyes, it would be feasible to imagine this sound emanating from any given band playing in any given bar in any given region at any given time.

Hank of Hank & CupcakesDSCN0237Hank & Cupcakes

Next up was my discovery for the night, a band called Hank & Cupcakes.  A bass and drums duo made up of Cupcakes on drums and vocals and Hank on the bass with help from really cool synthesizer effects.  Their set was definitely an eye-opener and so much fun as they truly had the audience eating out of their hands with the band’s brand of infectious tunes. They even threw in a great rendition of Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control for good measure. The band recently had a party this past Friday at Piano’s to celebrate the release of their EP, Pleasure Town. I regret that I was not able to attend but this is definitely a band to keep your eyes on. Remember the name…Hank & Cupcakes.

Electric ChariotElectric Chariot
Last but most certainly not least, the headliners, Electric Chariot. The alt-rock outfit is simply getting better every time they hit the stage and it’s simply a pleasure to watch them as they evolve. Led by the siren of New York rock, Victoria Schwartz, the band blistered through their set of head-bashers and even premiered a newly penned track, Cheshire Cat.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening.  Some quality tunes, some promising new talent and a good time had by all!

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”

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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”