It's my birthday today. I'was born fifty years ago as of about 67 minutes ago. But like the song says, forget that I'm fifty 'cos you just got paid. And there are more songs for me to listen to, so here goes.
VASHTI says "You Are Free" and says it in three minutes with a high clear voice that sounds like Sade crossed with Lizzie from Stinky Toys if you can imagine that. As a singer she's great but to my mind, she needs a better band and the song itself is fairly mundane. I think it's a waste of a great sounding voice.
GOODBYE GOOD come from Barnsley. "Lifesize Cardboard Cutouts" sounds as I imagine "Showroom Dummies" might have sounded had Ralph and Florian been afflicted with the curse of Casiotone. They try. They have talent, but I find myself quite bored by this particular piece. I hate having to say things like that. It makes me sound like Simon Cowell.
THE UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT have an awesome myspace page. "Cause and Effect" is good. It's driven forward by an acoustic guitar that is played beautifully. The singer's voice is good, but seems to be modeled too closely on Morissey. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but now I've listened to approaching a hundred tracks by unsigned bands in the last week, it's originality that stands out. This doesn't.
GHOST IN MIRRORS begin "Ryder's Dismount" with some doomy bass playing that reminded me of the Cramps, then there was the singer's voice, a broken hysterical whine which actually fits in perfectly with the music. I've turned it way up now and am swimming in it. Then in mid track the tempo turns up and then, when it slows again, there's a moment to breathe before her voice comes back again, all tortured passion. I'm glad of this track. I was getting worried that I was turning curmudgeonly in my old age.
"Shout It Out Loud" by TEN TWENTY SIX is good old fashioned RAWK music. The singer's voice ought not to work. Objectively, she's not very good but this is one of those occasions where that just doesn't matter. The song as a whole is better than the sum of its parts. If I were writing for Sounds, I'd give it four stars.
GROOVEGRINDER start out "Yea You Rite" begins with a DJ professing 'we don't play funk' and then they go on to do exactly that. Now I have to confess, my funk appreciation began and ended with George Clinton and Bootsie Collins so I can't pontificate about it. All I can say is, this is great danceable music. Could be the dark horse in the race.
YVONNE LAKE plays folk music and says, "Let's Get Cybersexy". I gotta say, my Avatar sure wants to meet her if this song is anything to go by. She plays guitar in what sounds like a hillbilly style but her voice moves from deeper moans to higher sounds that remind me of Kate Bush. And on top of that, I love the song. Maybe not top five or however many I have in the top category, but perhaps in the second string.
POSt are "In Brief" two men and a box. The play electronic experimental music that somehow manages to sound like Can attempting to impersonate Brian Eno's ambient music. Or alternatively, perhaps like some fairly laid back Philip Glass number. "Einstein on the Beach" perhaps. Of course, this does beg the question... what do the scientists expect this experiment to tell them after it's been performed a thousand times before?
Folk artist DANIELLA MARIA beleives in playing what she feels and feeling what she plays. Whiskey Dreams feels like a Blues number from 1929 revived by one of those English Blues bands of the sixties and yet it's totally up to date and totally original. Great song, great voice and guitarplaying like the fictional Jenny Slade and her flesh guitar. I think I have a new favourite.
NEWRISING have a great drummer and a tight bass-player. They produce something solid to build the song on. The acoustic guitar's good as well. "People" is a chimeric union of Folk and Funk. It's competently done but I'm sad to say I don't feel excited by it. I think though that it would grow on me if it was in the charts.
SUBSTATIC are from Bristol. They're another Elctronic band. Not the best, but not the worst by a long chalk. The singer's okay, the beat is danceable but there's nothing wild about "wild horses".
THE GREAT ESCAPE are from Newcastle. They play Indie/Alternative so they say but I haven't a clue what that means any more. "Lost Time" is a rocking ballad over a steady, almost hypnotic beat. It sounds up to date and I can't understand why they're not on Sony already. They're good. I quite like them.