Saturday, 9 February 2013

Tribes , Exclamation Pony and Willy Moon (Singles Reviews)

Tribes – How the Other Half Live

We like Tribes here at Twister Towers and it’s safe to say that their debut album ‘Baby’ was a triumph, in particular with Mrs Twister who placed it high on her summer playlist last year. It’s with a slightly heavy heart then that we have to admit to being a tad disappointed by their latest offering.

It’s by no means without appeal, with the verses in particular delivering the melodic strength to which we have become accustomed from the Camden boys. Still, you have to ask yourself where ‘How the Other Half Live’ would have ranked as a single choice had it been up against its predecessors from the aforementioned ’Baby ‘.  After several listens we’d have to say it falls a little short of the euphoria of ‘We Were Children’, the straightforward pop bluster of ‘When My Day Comes’, and the falsetto charms of ‘Sappho’ .

Instead, the song is driven by a bluesier  guitar vogue that we’re told is part of a ‘bigger and more mature sound’, whilst in structure, ‘How the Other Half Lives’ is simplicity itself. Intro gives way to verse-chorus, verse-chorus, solo, and a Rolling Stones-esque outro that only needs a few woo woos and bongos for that ‘Sympathy’ feel.

So what’s the verdict?  Well, Tribes are far from off our Christmas card list, and as Johnny Lloyd belts  “Give-it, give-it, give-it, you gotta give it more time”, we’re more than happy to do so.. That said, if this is indicative of maturity, then a shot of puerile wouldn’t go a-miss.

Exclamation Pony – Rumours

So with the Cribs taking a break how has Ryan Jarman been filling his time? The answer it seems is Exclamation Pony, a collaboration that's seen him up sticks and move to New York to work with Jen Turner, once of Thom Yorke’s favourite Brooklyn indie kids Here We Go Magic.

The result it has to be said is not a million miles away from the Cribs. Perhaps the most obvious contrast may be Jarman’s upbeat demeanour. He fairly skips through the all-be-it barbed lyrics, supported by breezy backing vocals that suggest spring is just round the corner. One can only presume there is more to this collaboration than just mutual musical appreciation.

How long Ryan’s sabbatical from his brothers is set to last may become apparent as Exclamation Pony ride into town for some UK dates this month, but by the sound of it he’s actually enjoying himself.

Willy Moon – My Girl

Is it just me, or has the wait for Willy Moon’s debut album taken a lifetime? Currently on a month long tour of America, his return will herald the release of the single ‘My Girl’ before the album ‘Here Comes Willy Moon’ finally sees the light of day.

So what of ‘My Girl’? Willy has stated that he was trying to make ‘something really simple and stripped back, a dumb pop song’; I think we can say without fear of legal action it’s mission accomplished Willy.

'My Girl’ is sixties pop kitsch meets big breaks head-on, and dam the consequences. The lyrics are saccharin, the melody familiar to the point of déjà vu; all that’s missing are the hand-claps. It really does have the feel of a cover version, yet it’s a Moon original and I fully expect him to get away with it. In fact, I fully expect it to be playlisted just about everywhere. This is a full-blooded assault on the masses and I suspect it will succeed whether you like it or not. As the impending album title declares, ‘Here Comes Willy Moon’.

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