Label: Dirty Bingo Records 7/10
Words: Laura Ulanowski
After a weary and worryingly well-worn intro, it would be easy to put Shinies down as another Gaslight Anthem-style rock band. They are redeemed, however, after 26 seconds, by fuzzy, washed out harmonies – not without a nod to fellow Mancunians the Stone Roses – and an energetic, yet melancholic guitar riff to echo the title. The track is a refreshing attempt at reviving the UK’s dying guitar-based pop scene.
Madness – ‘My Girl 2’
Words: Ed Biggs
After a summer of hearing Madness’ ‘Our House’ ad infinitum at various public events, it’s somewhat surprising to discover that they’ve had plans for new material. Even more surprising is how good it is. ‘My Girl 2’, seemingly a follow-up to their 1979 classic and a taster for their upcoming 10th album, is a delightful splicing of northern soul and reggae. An energetic, unashamed throwback that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their early ‘80s output. Oy-Oy!
Reminiscent of Angels & Airwaves, LULS’ ‘Swing Low’ has a sound that is on the edge of generic but incorporates enough echoing rifts and haunting vocals to make it unique, and at times even emotional. The electric guitar, intense drumming and the repetition of the lyrics “I was always here, always here” display a certain desperate passion that turn this into one of the better indie alt singles.
Bastille – Flaws
Words: Katie Ryrie
London quartet Bastille’s newest track offers a perfect combination of glitchy pop strains and an irresistibly melodic tune. Lead singer Dan Smith’s heartfelt vocals over the track’s lulling rhythm set off the bittersweet lyrics as they glide over the music’s surface. Almost irritatingly catchy and just shy of self-indulgent in the lyrics department, this is a really well-crafted tune.
Egyptian Hip Hop- Yoro Diallo
words: Jocelyn Cheek
Egyptian Hip Hop have been going from strength to strength with their genre- defying anthems, and ‘Yoro Diallo’ is no exception. The dreamlike and almost fantastical opening progresses into a steady, syncopated beat, contrasting seamlessly with wistful, harmonised vocals. EHH experiment with rhythm, pause and layering to create an atmospheric and slick track. When a song prompts its listeners to leave comments simply saying “wow” you know you are onto something good.
Those of you, like me, who are plagued with a 12 year old girl’s passion for JLS will indisputably be dissatisfied with the foursome’s latest offering. Timberlake-esque vocals have been reincarnated from their rightful RnB-deathbed before being puked up over a repetitive strain of handclapping and beat-boxing, building to a finale that never quite arrives. The single is taken from forthcoming album ‘Evolution’, an ironic name, as this track has quite disappointingly shown the opposite.
Palma Violets – ‘Best of Friends’
Words: Same Coe
Ticking all the boxes any good Creation Records fan should sound-wise, Palma Violets aren’t anything radically new but they and we are having too good a time to care. Big guitars, a shouty chorus drunk festival goers can tunelessly sing along to sans embarassment and passion aplenty, Palma Violets announce their overhyped but enjoyably raucous intent. Bonus points for writing a song about NOT wanting to be more than friends.
Jessie Ware – ‘Night Light’
Words: Frances Black
Jessie Ware’s status as an accomplished singer-songwriter has been evident from her last three singles, which have showcased an intriguing diversity in sound, from the inspiring bombast of ‘Wildest Moments’ to the intoxicating, dreamy R’n’B of ‘110%’. However ‘Night Light’, although powerful in moments and nicely melodic, fails to impress as much. The chorus and impassioned guitar certainly pack a punch, but the mid-tempo song sadly never escapes unexciting predictability.
You Me At Six – ‘Reckless’
Words: Frances Black
Pop-punk torchbearers You Me At Six have produced a perfectly acceptable single with ‘Reckless’, their third from 2011 album Sinners Never Sleep. Upbeat, fuzzy guitars with agreeable chord changes, accompanied by the mandatory angsty, emotionally strained vocals, give us a song that ticks all the boxes. It’s sure to have you humming and your feet-tapping, just don’t expect to be blown away.
Having known Tyga for arguably one of the best hip hop tracks of this year, ‘Rack City’, obviously the bar has been set too high to compete with. This track, featuring the ‘delightful’ Chris Brown, fails to make any lasting impression, which is especially difficult when trying to review it. Ultimately, it’s cheesy, generic and pretty boring