Sunday, 12 February 2012

Wideboy Generation - Blitz - Dresden - Silver Sound Explosion - Reviewed

Wideboy Generation
Looters – Digital single (self release)

Three piece Wideboy Generation hail from in and around the M11 corridor. So, I’m guessing that ‘Looters’, a three minute slice of spikey indie sticking a finger in the eye of  Engarrland’s rioting youth, is more of a TV inspired rhetoric rather than a direct impact reaction. As far as I can recall, Bishops Stortford and the surrounding areas were pretty much unscathed by events.

Produced by John Cornfield no less (Supergrass, Oasis, Muse) the song starts well enough, punctuated by sharp guitar stabs and kit, and fizzes along at breakneck speed hitting the first chorus in around twenty seconds.

I can’t help feeling though that it’s missed a trick. It’s just not as melodically sussed as The Jam’s ‘Strange Town ‘, Greenday’s ‘Basketcase’ or Supergrass’s ‘Caught by the Fuzz’. That and it somehow feels like the middle eight-come-instrumental bridge is somewhat coerced and a little uncomfortable, a forced smile at the party if you will.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. At 19 years old the boys have time to hone their song writing, and there’s enough here to warrant continued interest in what is a fledgling career after all. So, to the verdict. The energy expelled and ‘Fresh Meat’ humor in the lyrics is to be admired but we’re some way off buying the T-shirt for now

Ordinary Life – Digital Single (self release)

This certainly is a laid back affair, as far removed from any preconceptions conjured up by the band’s name as could possibly be. The band’s facebook lists The Verve as their only influence although I have to say the comparison is very hard to hear. If I’m honest it’s more a-kin to David Grey on beta blockers and I’m not sure if that’s to be advised without a parent or guardian present.

In song writing terms I’m afraid to say it’s the equivalent of motorway driving. It gets you from A to B in the most direct way possible but is ultimately rather dull.

Cold Hands - Digital single (self release
Black Cloud - Youtube
 Dresden don’t do radio friendly intros, neatly packaged 3 minute consumables, or fashionable haircuts for that matter. In fact, they are a marketing man’s worst nightmare. I can already hear them screaming, songs too long, too old, too fat, too…. Oh f%*k it, hand me the revolver.

What they do deliver however, are epic slices of melancholic indie with a defibrillated heart and electronic soul. Caught somewhere between Elbow and Ultravox, ‘Cold Hands’ is a beautiful song that showcases Ryan Magee’s vocals alongside the band’s sense for the dramatic. From wistful beginnings the song builds to a climactic barrage of strings and guitar that demands a much bigger stage, before drifting to a close.

The use of percussion and lazy bass on the introduction of new song ‘Black Cloud’ has a touch of Massive Attack about it, with Magee’s vocals (when they finally arrive) set a little deeper in the mix and veiled with effects, think Ian Brown.  The chorus is once again anthemic and the outro of Magee’s simple yeah yeah yeah’s fighting for supremacy with reverb-laden guitars seems a suitable way to end.

All in all it’s the sort of music that needs to be heard on headphones or in arenas and probably nowhere in-between. Either way, it’s the best thing to drop into our in box for a while.


Silver Sound Explosion
Sidekicks c/w Telephone Wired – Digital single (self release)

This is Lo-Fi fuzzed up surf pop and there is no getting away from the fact.  So now we know what we’re talking about, the question remains is it any good?  Well, ‘Sidekicks’ is pleasant enough if rather predictable. The chorus is lifted by Teenage Fanclub-esqe sunny harmonies although the double tracking of the lead vocal throughout grates somewhat and adds little to proceedings. It’s either a sound they like or a lack of vocal confidence because the flipside ‘Telephone Wired’ takes the same approach, and I can’t say it’s warranted here either.  A more upbeat number, ‘Telephone Wired’ blusters along with early Marychain drums pushing things along and two finger vibrato and reverb drench guitar solos well to the fore. You have to dig a little deeper than in ‘Sidekicks’ to find the hook but that probably won’t bother the enthusiasts.

In the great scheme of things I don’t think The Drums or The Vaccines have much to be worried about. And with both songs well under the three minute mark the listening experience is over before I have time to form strong feelings either way. If you like the genre it’s probably worth a listen, but I wouldn’t put money on SSE catching a big wave anytime soon. 

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