Singles Reviews: Feb 2002


Way Out West - Mind Circus (Distinctive Breaks)

N: Way Out West have returned with a stunning new release, “Mind Circus”, taken from last year’s “Intensify” album, featuring the vocal talents of Tricia Lee Kelshall.

T: It sounds to me like Sarah Cracknell singing at 2am in a jazz cafe...

N: That said, surely you have to admit that this is simply stunning.

T: I think it’s very good. Not wishing to be drawn too much, that’s as far as I will go with it. It will gain a favourable review however. Nice and chilled and dreamy is just about how I will sum it up.

N: OK if that’s the best I can do, I’ll have to accept it. I think they could have stopped at the radio edit though. 8/10



Llorca featuring Nicole Graham - Indigo Blues (F Communications)

N: I don’t know about jazz cafe, but this surely is samba night down at the legion, with Sade’s alter ego guesting on vocals maybe.

T: It wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cafe Del Mar album either, just to mention the word “Cafe” once more. Unbelievably laid back.

N: I don’t know whether I’ve had too much excitement for one day (I think it was The Company Of Snakes that did that), but my attention span is waning.

T: I think it’s quite a nice tune and I wouldn’t kick it out of bed, but neither would I put up with it if it farted. 7/10



Spek - Smell The Coffee (Echo)

T: I’m a big fan of “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”, Spek’s 2001 album release, but to be fair, I’ve always regarded this track as the weakest one on it. Not that I don’t like it. It fills a gap so to speak.

N: I think it’s quite funky, and with hair like that, you’ve got to give credit to the guy.

T: I just prefer the laid back, mellow rap he produces on the rest of the album. As is often the case, my favourite track, “Going To N.Y.C.”, remains unreleased. 7/10



Clinic - Walking With Thee (Domino)

N: Do we even need to play this? I think I know how you’re going to mark it.

T: Do you really think I’m that predictable?

N: I don’t know, but I suppose your wife could give me an answer to that!

T: Well, ok. I admit, this is a brilliant single, but if I’m honest, again it’s far from my favourite track on it. Still, it’s ballsy, short and sweet, and above all innovative. 8/10



Timo Maas - To Get Down (Perfecto)

T: Now I could say the same about you....

N: Not necessarily. With six mixes, including the album version, I think that’s a bit of an overkill. I’d save your pennies for the album, but this is not being sold to the casual buyer, it’s more for the dance connoissuer. But yeah it’s a pretty good single, if not a bit repetitive. Surely Utah Saints have had some sort of involvement here...

T: I agree, but I think it’s a great single. Really funky and pleasing to the ear.

N: Yeah and I’ve heard worse remixes. 8/10



Psychedelic Waltons - Wonderland (Echo)

T: Yes I know it’s already been in the charts, but I’ve only just heard it, and I like it, so there.

N: The name, Psychedelic Waltons, fantastic imagery - Jimbob and grandma off on trips, but with vocals from Roisin Murphy, I’m quite impressed. And a nice looping melody.

T: It’s very much LIKE Moloko’s most recent offering, and all to the good really. Well worth investing your money in. 7/10



Jimmy Eat World - The Middle (Dreamworks)

T: One of the current crop of “ones to watch”, stemming from those bands that have been labelled as “Emo”. If there really IS an emo explosion affecting our charts, I for one will be in my element. It’s big, it’s joyous, and it’ll pull your pigtails affectionately in the playground. As you will be aware, “emo” stands for “emotional rock”, and generally means big power chords and catchy choruses. Beautiful.

J: I like this song. It’s brilliant.

N: I think I prefer the depth of the second track though. I think this proves this band have got a lot to offer. 9/10



Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Love Burns (Virgin)

N: They look like an early Primal Scream on the cover.

(CD plays)

N: They SOUND like an early Primal Scream as well.

T: I thought early Jesus and Mary Chain myself.

N: The more it progresses, the greater my opinion of it. I’m glad that major labels are still pumping money into this kind of music. I wish them well. 9/10


Mull Historical Society - Watching Xanadu (Blanco Y Negro)

N: We’ve just been talking about JAMC and funnily enough, this is on the same label, but I’m sorry. Sadly it falls short.

T: Personally I think it’s great but what frightens me is that it sometimes sounds like the Bay City Rollers after an evening on mind expanding drugs.

N: What’s that then? Tizer and Sherbert Dips?

T: Probably. I’ll have to try that one. Great chorus though. 7/10



Lo Fidelity All Stars - Sleeping Faster (Skint)

T: Those lazy hazy days are here again, and, although Johnny (aka The Slammer) assured me that the next album was going to be a lot brighter than the beauitfully dark “How To Operate With A Blown Mind”, this single, whilst being relatively upbeat and cheery sounding, still seems to mask a rather sinister interior. Well good! That was a major part of the appeal last time around and would be best kept that way. Anyway guys, nice to hear from you again - I mean it’s ONLY BEEN ABOUT 600 YEARS!!

N: I know he’s your mate and all that, but I have to say, the opening umpteen minutes left me cold, but yeah it warmed up...and by the time the next century came around, I’d almost been won over. 8/10



Incubus - Wish You Were Here (Sony/Epic)

N: Just as I thought, this is Mother Lovebone,Citizen Dick, Matt Dillon, Bridget Fonda and the “Singles” crowd all over again.

T: It’s another one that reminds me of Metallica at times. There seems to be have been a glut of similar titles of late. Why?

N: I’ve no idea, but what I do know is that this group are pretty good. I like what they have done with a very simple tune and set of lyrics.

T: I was a bigger fan of their last single, “Drive”, but this ones packs punches in all the right places too. Enjoy it. 9/10


The Beta Band - Squares (Regal)

T: Having heard this song, or at least versions of it umpteen billion times on the radio over the past six months, I think most of us would probably have tired of it somewhat by now. I have to confess to agreeing with the general public on this one, having made I-Monster’s adaptation the biggest hit from the piece. To me, that really was the definitive one though and it perhaps should have been left that way.

N: I agree with you there. The first thoughts that came to mind, when first hearing this today, were “Oh no. Not again.” But, played on loop, that thought gives over to “This is a bloody good track”, but I don’t think we need hear any more, do we?

T: Probably not. To be fair to the guys though, this was scheduled to be released last year, but when they learned of the I-Monster single, which they apparently knew nothing about, they reluctantly pulled the release. Shame, because this would have been a great single if it weren’t for “Daydream In Blue” beating them to the golden nugget. 7/10


Athlete - The Athlete ep (Regal)

N: Apparently, Athlete were one of those names to drop as A&R queued at their door to sign the band with few public outings and no self proclamation. At least that’s what it says on the press release. Have we heard of the band? Not before now at least.

T: What have these A&R men been putting in their coffee? This is not exactly an exciting release is it? I mean it’s very pleasant and all that, but for a start it sounds like 10cc, and secondly, they seem as though they would be better suited to a late night cabaret act than anything remotely resembling credibility or chartwise. Having said that, “Dungeness” includes some intriguingly unusual noises here and there.

N: Perhaps this band’s future will be one made from royalties on those phrases on which you comment. Pleasant enough. In answer to your coffee question, I think they’ve been dipping into their tea exactly the opposite than the panel on Pop Idol. Yeah, this’ll send them to sleep.

T: Personally I thought they’d been using bifta biscuits. 6/10


Dilated Peoples - Worst Comes To Worst (Capitol/Parlophone)

T: This is remarkably similar to Outkast. Which is a compliment really, as they have been one of the shining lights of originality in the rap world over the past few years. This is a lazy chillout tune worthy of a high chart placing so get your eardrums into comfy mode and relax to a slice of pure pop heaven. This is great.

N: Nuff said really. 8/10


Tetra Splendour - Pollen Fever (Chrysalis)

N: I saw this band last year, and they created a great impression. With keyboard pushed to the forefront of the stage, this group represented to me just why they have now signed a deal with a major label. Don’t know what you think.....

T: I think they sound a pretty cool band really. I would be lying if I said that this particular release would have me drooling at the mouth and sending me motor charged to the local record store, but I can see the appeal. Nice swirly guitars anyway.

N: I think the fact that they had me creaming over their live show and not the single we are here to review goes along with your comments. To be honest, like Dodgy before them, Tetra Splendour are very much more a live band than a studio band. 5/10


The Supernaturals - What We Did Last Summer (Kock Records)

N: Returning from a three year absence with what is described as “a truly original and well crafted single”, the band apparently have an album which will be released in May. I’ll go along with that. This single has a nice lyric and well laid sounds, but really, I think “nice” would be a fair description. No fireworks, no popping streamers, just a tapping foot.

T: I like the Oriental sounding backing vocals though. But one thing though lads - you don’t have to go on about it, because I KNOW what you did last summer. Come to think of it Nick, I know what you did too. I’m saying no more about the matter.

N: My comment there is - what you did last summer, you’ve got to live with for the rest of your life! Nothing smutty sadly, nothing depraved. He just got wed. 4/10


Grand Oral - Love The Taste (Five-45)

T: This starts like Altered Images “Happy Birthday” and then goes off on a tangent sounding like Coldplay before evolving into a basic run of the mill indie pop song.

N: Surely that’s Bono on vocals, and as the guitar crashes in, The Edge. I do like this, but that’s probably because it sounds like U2.

T: Can’t see the resemblance myself, unless you’re talking “Zooropa”.

N: I was thinking more of “The Unforgettable Fire” actually.

T: OK on second play I can see what you’re thinking. Although you would probably have to go round all our readers’ houses and explain to them how you did to me to convince them!

N: Thank you! Thank you! Well that was “Golden Shit”. Now the title track - where are we going with this one.......? Surely that’s Kurt Cobain’s ghost on vocals!

T: I can actually see tee resemblance this time. Next?

N: Next up, “Broken Dog”. I really do like this band’s attitude. I bet they can smash bricks live.

T: I bet they can shit them. Golden ones.

N: Rounding off affairs is “Yellow Girl”. Sounds like it’s going to be a little more subtle....yep...I was right.

T: Mildly appealing I reckon. Oh yes - the scoring.. 8/10

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