Thursday, April 16

My reviews for Clash Magazine- May 2009

. Thursday, April 16

Kap Bambino



When most bands “Go pop” it tends to involve moving away from music as visceral as this. Kap Bambino’s third album is a move towards a more commercial sound however fans should not worry, ‘Blacklist’ is as aggressive as anything the French duo have made before just with an added layer of gloss. Cynics may suggest the success of Crystal Castles may have prompted this move and when listening to the glitch punk thrashings it’s hard to disagree. Imitation is a form of flattery though and the likes of ‘Dead Lazers’ and ‘Lezard’ add bouncing techno beats to the 8-bit bleeps of their Canadian counterparts. Synths and electronics thump away relentlessly throughout with ‘Blacklist’ remaining tantalisingly short and effortlessly violent.


Post War Years

The Greats And The Happenings


The problem with a band having major success one year is the stream of derivatives that follow them. Best exemplified in recent times by the post Amy Winehouse success of Duffy it’s an issue that plagues the success hungry record industry. What we’re saying in a round about way is that Post War Years sound like Foals, a lot like Foals. ‘The Greats and The Happenings’ is by no means a bad album but once you have the idea of them studying 2008’s ‘Antidotes’ from the Oxford quintet it’s hard to forget (and Foals are hardly original themselves). Demographic exploitation aside Post War Years ply an interesting line in math-pop with off kilter rhythms and gang dance vocals however you can’t help thinking this is for genre fans only.


Mika Miko

We Be Xuxa

Post Present Medium

For some, Los Angeles is a botoxed and vacuous never land of broken dreams. For others though it’s fast becoming the home of American alternative music (Brooklyn aside). Last year saw the city’s premiere DIY rock venue The Smell puncture the public conscious and a subsequent raft of Smell affiliated bands release fine debut LP’s. Mika Miko are forefathers of The Smell rather than plucky beneficiaries though and they return with their second album proper. The twelve lo-fi pop nuggets on ‘We Be Xuxa’ pack in enough charm and grit into each sub two minute gem instilling a sense of a band being an exciting, old school punk band mixed with a modern love of cross genre experimentation. LA- the city of Angels bratty teenage cousins.


The Gay Blades


Something In Construction

In terms of band names ‘The Gay Blades’ is not exactly a good one. Amazingly though it is probably the best thing about this woeful New Jersey two piece. ‘Ghosts’ is a rock album by numbers sounding in parts like a cross between The Kooks and Orson. Like the house band in a Hollywood teen movie they make songs such as ‘Hey She Say’ that sound like they could only be played by a middle aged man with one foot on his amplifier and a smug look across his face. The Gay Blades claim to be making ‘fun music, the complete opposite to Conor Oberst’ failing to see that whilst Bright Eyes might not soundtrack many parties they are talented, popular and destined for longevity. Very much unlike The Gay Blades.


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