Only one new track has been added since my last post, so let's start with that.
MARK CARROLL is a singer songwriter who has entered ".mp3 People". It's from his album 1 Simple Man. He is a great songwriter and a good pianist but as a singer, he sounds too humdrum and everyday for my taste. If he wrote a song for most of the bands who have entered this year, he'd have a couple of hundred hits on his hands. I'd also like to see him write the music for a West End Stage show. He is that good but I can't see this track as a hit unless he gets someone else (such as Ruthie Henshall, who has also sung a couple of his songs) to sing it.
THE DIRTY DISCO have entered "White Room", which, sadly, I can't find on their myspace page but with a little detective work, I tacked it down to Last fm, where it's available as a free track (surely some mistake here Wes?). It's a good solid foottapper with some great (and very funny lyrics) over something that sounds like Stomu Yamash'ta on happy pills. This is not quite top twenty but it's close, and if this is not the track they meant to enter, then I'll listen to the other as well.
SECRET CINEMA BAND are an experimental rock band but their song "Official Neck for the Rope" sounds like Neil Young until the reggae guitars come in after a while, and the singer, reasonable to that point slips into delicious hysteria. I can hear what they're trying to do with this track and it's a magnificent adventure which sadly, doesn't arrive where it needs to. They'll get there though and if they haven't been signed by a big label, I hope they try again next year.
PARALLEL ANIMALS sound more jazzy than the alternative/indie label they attach to themselves on their website. They bring to mind Lou Reed, circa Coney Island Baby, playing along to the Tommy Dorsey band. "Like a Couple Of Virgins" has hooks, it's catchy, why it's positively barbed. I love it. It's in my top twenty albeit at number 19 so Revere are the new number 20 and the one to beat.
I've heard quite a lot about COURTEOUS THIEF from Colwyn Bay. "Don't Look Down" is great, but not as great as I expected. This could easily be a hit regardless of my disappointment. It just makes my top twenty and Revere drop out.
GRAND CENTRAL are an okay rock band. "Take My Hand" is very good. The thing is though, I've heard better. It's AOR if we still use that term. Sorry lads, the spark seems to be missing.
SLEEPING WITH GIANTS have entered "Kings and Queens". The production values are awful and, while I imagine they could be great with proper production, like a folky version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, it's not somethign I can overlook in the light of so many brilliant and brilliantly produced tracks from so many other bands.
BYRON NIKO from Birmingham plays Disco House Music. If "My Pedestal" is anything to go by, he doesn't do it very well. That said, the words of the song are absolutely brilliant. As a singer, he's a brilliant poet.
THE HYSTERICAL INJURY on the other hand, are [expletive deleted] awesome. It's hard to characterise them, distorted bass, killer rhythms, hysterical singer, they rock. "Three" is my new number 1, which means Courteous Thief drop out and Parallel Animals are the team to beat.
HEAVY LOAD are a punk band. The singer sounds a little like Steve Ignorant. But I can't imagine Crass would be interested in doing a song about "Bruce Forsyth" and a bunch of other older celbrities. It has a really nice bass line though. That's all.
BLACK SHADES begin "Feed The Junkie" with some Enoesque ambient noise that lasts long enough to get on my nerves before the beat comes in. It's a good beat, danceable, but I find myself waiting too long for interesting stuff to happen. I've played in bands like this and it's a lot of fun but this sounds like it was recorded live with no thought going into production. I know what they're trying to do here but it doesn't work on this showing.