Blindfolds - Black Magic – (Voodoo EP)
There are reasons behind tradition and cliché; they are usually built on solid foundations, tried and tested and known to work. If a new parent declares the birth of their first child to be a life changing experience, there is little else to add. In the world of rock ‘n’ roll there is little difference. Its spirit, whether in the hands of kids tinkering with electronic gizmos or those who prefer to wield a traditional six string, is steeped in tradition, with surprises increasingly difficult to come by. All of which brings us to Glasgow rockers Blindfolds and their debut EP Voodoo.
The four track offering, all guttural guitars and sneers, resides in a dark smelly venue in which your feet stick uncomfortably to the floor, and in keeping with tradition there is little wrong with that. For references you need look no further than The Black Keys or Findlay although unlike either, blindfolds do little to push or play with boundaries. I mean, why wouldn't an EP called Voodoo open with a track called Black Magic. The opening riff is a little ‘Your Sister’ meets ‘ Spirit in the Sky’, which of course is ‘Gold On the Ceiling’, which in turn is ‘Jean Genie’, which……..
The trouble is that in truth (despite being pleasant enough) I find John O’Neil’s vocal just a touch one dimensional, when it should be grabbing me by the balls. It’s lifted somewhat by the falsetto woos which I personally would have cranked in the mix but I’m still craving a melodic left turn or a rhythmic twist. As opening sorties go it’s by no means a shocker, but it falls well short of the way we felt when first hearing the White Stripes.
Bombers - Drawing c/w Buddy’s In A Cult
The Bombers are yet another band to emerge from the so called B-Town scene, oh how I hate f**king scenes, ever since The Blow Monkeys started digging them. That said; let’s not hold it against them.
‘Drawing’ is the follow up to their ‘Film Frantic’ EP, and wading in at a little under two minutes you don’t have long to get to grips with the spikey guitars and pushy syncopated bass before this jerky disconsolate post punk workout draws to a close .
“Forget Manchester, it’s all about the B-Town scene” writes Alison King in the Independent. No little irony then that Joy Division and The Fall (sometime between ‘It’s the New Thing’ and ‘Totally Wired’) rate right up there if you’re looking to pigeonhole via relation.
As the shambolic guitar solo which will be as awkward to as many as it is charming, gives way to the final chorus, there’s just time enough time for David Duell to yelp a crowning “I can tell I’m going wrong, I’m already there” and we’re done.
So do we like it? Well yes, to a point, but it’s far from a decisive salvo and we’ll want to hear more. If they’re looking for radio support, 6 Music is their most likely ally, perhaps XFM post drive-time. Meanwhile, it looks like it’s up and down the M6 for now.
Teleman – Cristina
At first listen Cristina seems to be an unassuming little number that one could playlist with Alt J or The XX if they made pop records, but let’s not be too hasty. Give it a few listens and you’ll see it’s more like a recipe for a Hungarian Seven-Layer Cake. OK, maybe seven layers is laying it on a bit thick but you get the gist right?
The pop art drone introduction soon eases into to a simple keys sway that puts me in mind of a night spent with a They Might Be Giants accordion loop on go slow time. It’s coupled with an endearing vocal melody which is no surprise, as Teleman are in fact two thirds of Pete & and Pirates, who were never short of a hook or two themselves.
What is surprising then is that the Sanders brothers have added another influence not obvious in their work with the Pirates. In both the opening bassline and the vocal, in particular as Sanders coos “Lie down and let the music play nothing in the way now”, is the unmistakeable imprint of Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys, and that’s rarely a bad thing.
So why not follow Teleman’s advice and take a little time to get horizontal with Cristina, we believe the current term you’ll be looking for is earworm.
If there is one disappointment, it was to find that the second line wasn't “I never meant to be the fat kid”, but I guess you can’t have everything.