Alone Or -Love
Breezy mariarchi tune from the 1967 album ‘Forever Changes’, one
of those Classic® albums that are well worth checking out.
I Love You Less And Less –Kaiser Chiefs
Slightly shambolic but sincere Generation Y Britpop from a band whose
appeal is dangerously close to being blasted away by their rather desperate
as the Next Big Thing in Britain right now. Touted as being the next Blur,
they actually sound a lot like Menswe@r. Their 2005 album ‘Employment’ is
good fun, though.
Long Time Coming –The Zutons
An enigmatic band from Liverpool whose debut album ‘Who Killed The Zutons?’ is
an enjoyable trawl through the sound of British Invasion bands. This brief
song sounds a bit like The Animals.
Nowhere Again -Secret Machines
Like Doves, or a less charismatic Interpol, Secret Machines are slightly
clinical, but their songs are intense, and their more obvious influences
interesting. This song from 2004’s ‘Now Here Is Nowhere’ has the harried
atmosphere of The Easybeat’s ‘Friday On My Mind’ as sung
by Thom Yorke with Led Zeppelin drums. Or I could be under-intellectualising
Now, I like Keane, personally, and 2004’s ‘Hopes And Fears’ is
a very good album. People complain about –well, their lack of guitars,
as if that was a necessary testosteronical requisite for bandom. I don’t
understand the Coldplay comparisons –to me, Coldplay have achieved the
U2 level of fame where their songs have to address such a general audience that
they can never write anything too specific ever again –but Keane have neater
arrangements and their fans aren’t quite so punchable.
Big Red –Frank Black
Frank Black has always had an amazing voice, and on this track from 1994’s
very long ‘Teenager Of The Year’ that voice emerges from the
murk of the verses to wiggle like a dog’s chew toy in the chorus.
Invisible Sun –The Police
I think Sting’s first solo album was okay, and The Police have several
brilliant moments, but oh dear… even after 25 years you can still tell
this the work of a Very Serious Band. From 1981’s ‘Ghost In The Machine’.
Speak Low –Billie Holiday
A twisty Kurt Weill song from the tragic singer who enjoyed a long career
but a terrible life. This song is from 1956, three years before her death.
Skip Tracer -Sonic Youth
A sardonic description of teenage scenesters from 1995’s mid-period ‘Washing
Machine’, an album which I recognise chiefly from its many T-shirts.
Come to think of it, it sounds a lot like the Secret Machines…
A Björkish track (well, it’s got a music box, on it, doesn’t it?)
from 2004’s ‘Talkie Walkie’. Something terrible and cute has
been done with computers to the lead singer that thankfully doesn’t detract
from the warm wash of the ‘I Found A Reason’-era VU backing vocals.
Silver Culture -Ghostplane
Arising from ‘90s Wellington band Dana Eclair, Ghostplane are murky
indie rock, although they wouldn't thank for me for describing them as
such. This relaxed Pixies-ish track is possibly the only song in the
world to have the chorus “Substation burning on fire”. From
the 2005 album ‘Beneath The Sleepy Lagoon’.
Dark Therapy -Echobelly
Crepuscular track from an underrated and largely forgotten
British band, now to be found on Britpop compilations next
Includes incongruous steel guitar. From their 1995 album ‘On’.
Madder -Groove Armada
Unusually strident but quality song from popular British dance
sprites. The lustre may have gone off the mainstream dance
music scene (Prodigy,
anyone?), but these things are always cyclical, aren’t they? From
their 2002 album ‘Lovebox’.
Something -The Willowz
Sounds like a raucous classic Flying Nun song from the '80s,
also referencing The Who (‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere). Featured on their 2004 mini-album
‘The Willowz’ and also on the ‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’ soundtrack, although I can’t
remember what it underlined.
Path Through The Forest -The Factory
Tannoy-vocalled psychedelic track from a Surrey band who became
cult favourites years after they split up. This 1967 track was
on the 2001 sequel to the famous ‘Nuggets’ compilation,
and sounds disturbingly contemporary.