Palmstruck – Stupid Future EP
The current Stupid Future EP sees the return of Palmstruck and we can only apologise for taking our sweet time in getting round to the review, our only excuse being a rather hectic summer of festivals.
Opening track ‘This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ builds round a groove not out of place on a Bloc Party track and like all present on this offering have a certain symphonic quality you may associate with Radiohead’s Paranoid Android period. The carefully constructed soundscapes that allow Rigg’s vocals to ghost through hollows and caress peaks are the mainstay and whilst short on immediacy, given time they will slowly burrow under your skin. In short, if you like you mathy swirls, building guitars, sweeping keys and certain pomp, it’s well worth a visit. If you listen carefully and peel back some of those protective layers, you’ll find at least a couple of seductive songs lay at the heart of this 4 track release.
If we have a criticism it would be that we’d flip the track listing on its head, our preference being for the latter ‘Signs & Wonders’ and ‘Don’t Try’. We’d certainly like to catch the band live in the near future, as it will be interesting to see how it stacks up outside of the studio.
Rawcuss - Feelings (single/EP)
The busy Longevity records are back with another release in the shape of label favourites Rawcuss and their new single ‘Feelings’. For our money this is the best from the Manchester three-piece in a while. A straight down the middle slice of post punk new wave pop (or should that be old wave these days) that tips its hat to the Buzzcocks but in truth is a little more early Young Knives. There’s no smoke and mirrors or sleight of hand here as simplicity rules the day. Built around a looping bassline and stabbing guitar, singer Gareth Wandless even raises a smile as his mockney drawl just about allows him to rhyme ‘each other’ with ‘The Cure’. Though where he got that accent when hailing from Newbury in Berkshire is anyone’s guess, the boy should sound like a farmer. Nevertheless it’s infectious enough if you can overlook its passing resemblance to Miles Cain’s ‘Inhaler’ that is.
If we’re to have a moan and we often do, the drum filled instrumental section out-stays its welcome somewhat, and at over 40 seconds in length could do with being cut by half at least. It just has the feeling (if you can excuse the pun) of a song that should wade in at under three minutes. We’ll let you judge for yourselves.
Loor A Los Heroes – Forever EP
Four young indie troubadours they may be but LALH are still a work in progress, and in that opening statement lays both the joy and the anguish of writing about music in these times. With just the click of a mouse it’s possible to stumble across something that excites and galvanises but likewise, you‘re only a click away from something that’s underdone, flatters to deceive , in short not ready for public consumption.
LALH have the building blocks in place but it seems to us that they are still painting by numbers rather than making their own mark. There is evidence of The View, Libertines and Courteeners amongst many more, but nothing that defines them as individuals. Sure they’re not the first band to ape their peers and if the songs were strong enough we’d have little problem, the trouble is they’re not. The hooks lack definition, the delivery punch, and at times the execution is found a tad wanting.
I have no doubt that LALH will get better, I have little doubt they will be twice the band they are a year from now. I just wished they’d have put the work in before sticking their heads above the parapet.