Get With It With Debbie Hurry
“Hurry up, hurry up and wait. I stay away all week and still I wait. I got the blues. Please come see, what your lovin means to me” – “Sunday Girl”
Pip pip, trakMARXists, Debbie Hurry here. Apparently, Encoule was so chuffed with my last stash of contribs – as ‘we’ in the tMx loop call them – ahem – he’s decided to give me my own page. Whoopee!
He dropped a bunch of ‘suitable’ material off for me just the other day - and I’ve been beavering away reviewing them all for you – with help from Le Franc, le chat. Hope you like them – ‘cos apparently the punishment for failure round these parts is being killed by death - & I wouldn’t like that. Would you?
Luxembourg - "Front" (Dog Box)
Dog Box tell me that these guys are "probably the best underground pop band in London, hell, probably the whole world"
Course I hate to be TOLD anything.... well....I'm an independent thinker and I like to make my own mind up....also, I just don't believe in best or better.....so that's not a great start is it ?
I slapped it in the player anyway...listened to the single 'Sick of DIY'....heard the first three or four bars, then hit pause, rushed to the wardrobe, pulled out my nylon slacks and my charity shop tank top, lost 8lbs and struck myself a pompous, twisted pose....why?...well...because they sound like Pulp. Pulp do Roxy Music! Which I guess isn't a bad thing...it's just not my thing.
This stuff is confident and knowing. A whole bunch of declamatory dramas of the kitchen sink variety with plenty of humour and honest human sentiment. These tunes are hugely orchestrated and lushly layered. Expertly produced too, if not a little over produced for my ears, such as they are (small and feminine by the way)
'Mishandled' has to be my favourite track, with its swooping, soaring vocals, strident guitars and moody synths.
But ultimately as I slip into a vodka jelly induced comma I realise that 'Luxembourg' have driven me to it, and much as wish them all the best - I just can't take any more.
Cansei De Ser Sexy – “Cansei De Ser Sexy” (sub pop)
Cansei de ser sexy means 'I'm tired of being sexy'...(so I am reliably informed by my beautiful Portuguese friend Mario)...however... much as they may tire of it, these Brazilian babes just can't help themselves and what we have here is hot-hot electro new-wave - sweet, sassy and sharp!
I loved it...I really couldn't help myself...and as a woman of a certain age...I didn't feel alienated by their youthful exuberance - but happily and surprisingly infected by it.
I actually felt 10-years younger after the first play - and by the second I was queuing at a backstage door hoping for an autograph or possibly even a snog from the drummer...the only male member of this sextet (sorry guys, that really is the collective for a 6 person band)
'Lets make Love and Listen Death From Above' takes me right back to Blondie's Heart of Glass with it's infectious bass, and 'Fuck off is not The Only Thing You Have to Show' is all drum machines, synths and vocoders, like Kraftwerk - only without the German stuff..and that's gotta be good!
'Musk is my Hot Hot Sex' and 'This Month, Day 10' are infused with cool quirky broken-English-teenage-bedroom-angst lyrics which made me smile....made some other people smile too...... when I had them on my mp3 player and I was singing along on my way round Sainsburys!
Tilly and the Wall - "Bottoms of Barrels" (Moshi Moshi)
You might be forgiven for thinking that you're in for a folk-soaked post-pioneering ride when u hear the first up on this, the second offering from, from our Nebraska collective TILLY AND THE WALL, cause 'Patience, Babe' sounds like the kind of song you'd sing if you were panning for gold or huddling round the campfire after a hard days wagon-painting. It's not, I might add, typical, but then there's not much here that is......I mean....hey.....they got a tap dancer instead of a drummer (I'm sure they got a drum machine too...but the PR doesn't mention that, so I won't argue)
Yep, there's definitely some sweetly sounding stuff here, not least of which is 'Lost Girls', the tale of American-reclusive-janitor-artist, Henry Darger, whose prolific life’s works were only discovered after his death in 1975, but then again don't let that fool you, this isn't dower or retrospective, it's upbeat, sweet and sharp like lemon meringue pie, girly garage-band poppity-pop.
They're not a girl band, though - two fifths of TILLY AND THE WALL are blokes, one of whom, Derek (or is it Stig – Ed), I think, leads up the vocals for the lovely 'Love Song' amongst others, my favourite being 'Coughing Up Colours'...sorry I mean 'Colors' (tsh...Americans!)
Fortunately for us, whichever way they spell it or string it together: boy on girl, girl on boy, boy on girl on girl on girl on boy - they sound good, and I have to say that, sweet as it was, I thoroughly enjoyed my slice....I had it with a cup of tea!
John Southworth - "Yosemite" (Double Dragon)
J. Southworth's P.R tells me that it's pronounced "yo-sem-it-ee".... yeah...I may well be the thickest sandwich on the plate...but for fooks sake! As if our transatlantic friends have a handle on pronunciation anyhow - last week some American asked me the way to the cas-tel!
The great divide of our English language aside...this guy gets kudos from Ron Sexsmith and that's gotta be a recommendation to be taken seriously.
I heard the first few cheering chords and was instantly transported to an earlier time...a time of innocence, beauty and endless summers.
Mr Southworth's vocals are elegant and simple with an amazingly mellow tone. I lay on the sofa, mesmerised, just drinking it in...Course, I drank some wine in too - and that sure helped some.
All of the 12-tracks on ‘Yosemite’ are cleverly constructed and sweetly produced with a definite sense of magic and whimsy. Bodhráns, fiddles, tin whistles - all you could wish for in a hippy dippy trip back to a Southworth summer of love.
Ba ba's a plenty, mucho head nodding and tres feets a tappin', this is a truly beautiful and uplifting set of ditties. Touching - and slightly touched!
"There's many ways to the sea But only one way to your heart There's an old fashioned river in me From the top of my soul it departs" – “Old Fashioned River”
Angel Tech - "Angel Tech" (Brain-Gel)
I got no P.R with this one...but it is, as the name suggests, angelic tripped out vocals hanging over jangling guitars and jarring techno beats. Well it is until track 3 - 'Compatible' - which is beautiful...really no clever stuff or flowery words to describe it, just sumptous piano, guitar, bass and fantastic lyrics:
"And Hell thinks you're trouble And Heaven hates me We're both in a limbo We're leaves on a tree" – “Compatible”There's definitely something alluring about this guy's ghostly voice floating over galloping, graceful, gradually building, ear-bending beats - and it's a surprising mixture.... like nothing I've heard for a long time...or maybe even like nothing I've ever heard before - but if I had to hazard a guess at influences I'd pick a New Ordered Joy Divided sexier Thom York with a much better sense of humour, who'd probably just call himself Tom...Er if he wasn't already called Doug.
"All your anger and frustration...stick it on a compilation" – “The Juke Box Will Tear Us Apart”
The Fleas - "Nine Track Demo" (unsigned)
I love it when I hear something that I know I'm gonna stick in my personal collection and play over and over. I love it even more when I find out, that what I thought was a whole bunch of folks, turns out to be just one guy! I really am a sucker for a musical loner....huddled over a computer in his bedroom (Er...but that's another story).
Piers (said loner) has apparently been working hard to find some more little fellows and "The Fleas", according to the P.R, are now a real four piece, currently rehearsing for London gigs in the spring.
However "Nine Track Demo" remains the work of just one guy and if you like it timeless and tuneful then you're in for a treat.
'Something or Nothing' is all acoustic guitars, plonky pianos, heartfelt sentiments, soft funky bass and sweetly harmonised vocals. Nice!
'Dreadful Blonde' is a little bit darker but despite those undertones still made me chuckle....flat mate's nightmare girlfriends being the subject - "I can't breathe with her around...she's always on my play-station...and she don't put things back where they're found"
This guy has a beautiful voice....plain and simple, fractured and fragile and framed so well in 'Downer' and 'Rain' with it's ever so slightly latinoesque rhythms.
There are some great tunes on this demo and plenty of interesting narratives to boot and I for one shall look forward to hearing what a few fleas can do as appose to just one!
I was bit...bit by the fleas....
So if you fancy getting bit too...go check them out
The Midnight Orchestra - "A Clearing" - (unsigned)
It's late...all the lead singers have gone to bed...good... who needs them and their egos anyhow! Tom and Jack are messing around with a stack of samples and making me wish I still smoked weed.
"A Clearing" is just that....it makes a space in my mind, a space ready to be stuffed full of just about every sound you got.
Cool, trippy and far out...whether you've had a bad day - or you're having a bad comedown, stick this on and I guarantee you'll be instantly soothed and gently excited.
There are loads of real instruments here, folk guitars, harps, out-of-tune pianos - and some vocals, too. I don't know which one is singing, Jack or Tom...maybe neither...it doesn't really matter.....this is a collective - and a beautiful one.
Soft funky break beats, quirky twists and turns, unexpected, gorgeous progressions, samples that surprise and chords that grow and grow on you, these are filmic soundscapes, music to die for...or to die to.
If you like the idea of Mogwai morphing into Groove Armada and back out again - then you'll definitely be in to this.
Debbie Hurry – tMx 26 – 09/06
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