Thursday, February 26

Reviews for April's Clash Magazine

. Thursday, February 26

Jeremy Jay- 'Slow Dance'
In many ways Jeremy Jay is a performer out of time. His lounge-pop sounds fresh in 2009 but you can easily imagine him playing at an art project in the 60’s watched on by Andy Warhol. ‘Slow Dance’, Jay’s second full length effort on K Records, consists of ten Pavement esque slices of Sunday afternoon alt. lounge seeing Jay take the listener into a pleasant, if at times slightly boring, realm. ‘We Were There’ has nice synths and an almost Talking Heads delivery on it whilst symptomatic of the whole album ‘Gallop’ is effortlessly cool and nonchalantly stylish. Sadly though much of ‘Slow Dance’ descends into a blur of similarity- individual tracks may well illuminate a mix tape but collectively they sink without trace.


The Veils- 'Sun Gangs'
The Veils return for album number three with their most expansive and ambitious effort to date. Having relocated to Oklahoma after ‘Nux Vomica’ The Veils sound has matured and grown a snarling set of teeth amidst their aural beauty. Producer du jour Bernard Butler mans the desk on one track, (‘Sit Down By The Fire’) but his cinematic style is carried on throughout. ‘Sun Gangs’ excels when it gets angry like on ‘The Letter’, ‘Three Sisters’ and the visceral ‘Killed By The Boom’. There are sympathetic hands to tend the wounds however with ‘The House She Lived In’ a particularly serene moment. Towards the end of the eight minute epic ‘Larkspur’ you realise that this is a band at the height of their creative talent and you are privileged to be a part of it.


The Dø- 'A Mouthful'
The Dø met and formed when they were making soundtracks for movies. ‘A Mouthful’ has already topped the charts in their native France as has the single ‘On My Shoulders’ thanks to it featuring as the soundtrack (nice) to a stationary advert. You may think they sound like a French Ting Tings but their scope of influence and sheer eclecticism sets them apart from the crowd. Over fifteen tracks (about four too many) they cover folk, hip-hop, pop and electronica putting their own spin onto each of the traditional sounds. However they never really get a handle on any one form sufficiently to make a success of it. With more focus they could have potential but as it stands ‘A Mouthful’ is just that- too much to digest in one go.


The Chatham Singers- 'Juju Claudius'
It’s said that the term ‘chav’ derives from the town of Chatham in Kent. This is likely to be news to The Chatham Singers as they occupy a mindset of whiskey soaked bar-brawls and the sound a cowboys spit makes when it hits a bucket. ‘Juju Claudius’ is The Chatham Singers second album following their critically acclaimed debut ‘Heavens Journey’ which came out in late 2005 and is another spit and shine collection of delta-blues anthems. Wild Billy Childish sounds as war torn as ever but his wife Julie’s vocals add a spoon full of sugar to the medicine. This collection of fourteen tracks won’t win them any new fans but it will delight their existing tribe of followers. In sounding as traditional as British based blues can they have excelled themselves.


Storsveit Nix Noltes- 'Royal Family- Divorce'
Think of the weirdest genre of music you have ever heard of. Nu-Rave, emotronica whatever because it’s about to be replaced- by orchestral art-noise, yes you read that correctly. Storsveit Nix Noltes are Iceland’s premier (well only) art school folk orchestra who make entirely instrumental music that sounds like a mixture of gypsy punk and Liars style walls of feedback only created with trumpets and violins. What makes this record all the more extraordinary is that all the tracks are covers of traditional folk songs. From ambient moments of relaxation right through to fiercely angry instrumental workouts all bases are covered on this most extraordinary listen. You may not fall in love with them, you probably won’t even like it but you have to admire a band like Storsveit Nix Noltes.


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