Thursday, 25 July 2013

Gaoler's Daughter, Scouting for Girls, Shambles Miller, Crybaby Special - Singles Reviewed

Gaoler's Daughter - 'Cordelia'

Indie is surely an obsolete word these days, whether in relation to labels (most bands don’t have them) or genre, I mean where do you draw the line? I only raise the question because Gaoler’s Daughter ‘Cordelia’ would assuredly sit comfortably alongside the likes of Two Door Cinema Club or Bastille on mainstream radio; and with the gentlest of nudges that’s likely where they’re heading.

John Sterry’s vocals are easy on the ear and take little to digest, whilst the rhythm section cajole and probe in all the right places. It's Alex Mahood’s considered chiming guitar, awash with reverb and on a charm offensive that really lifts the song though. If this man is not a fan of a certain Mr Marr I will promptly buy a hat for the sole purpose of eating it.

It may not be a giant leap in musical exploration, but take a quick look in your crystal ball and you’ll probably see bigger stages and even bigger smiles for all concerned.

Scouting for Girls - Millionaire

We really thought we’d seen the last of Scouting for Girls, but just when it looked safe
to go camping again; it seems the Jamboree is back on.

The release of Millionaire is the precursor to a greatest hits album which only begs the question why? Well, money obviously and/or unfulfilled label commitments, but that’s beside the point.

So what of the song itself? As with much of SFG’s previous work it leaves us utterly unmoved. It’s an overly sentimental slice of acoustic pop that would best serve on a soundtrack of a Richard Curtis rom-com. Whether it’s a premeditated attempt to hitch a ride on a particular bandwagon or not, it still comes across like saccharin-coated Ed Sheeran or a Badly Drawn cast off left on the studio floor.
Scouting’s frontman Roy Stride has recently penned a song for teenie darlings One Direction. Perhaps had this offering emerged from their camp it may have made more sense.

Shambles Miller – Deadpool

It’s a little hard to explain, but often when you listen to a new artist you get a sense of where they’d like to be. Does their music suggest a bid for stadiums and world domination or just a need for someone, anyone to care?

If Shambles Miller were to place a personal ad in his local paper (I’m not suggesting he needs to by the way) I’m guessing it would read something like this:

Male singer songwriter seeks women/men, GSOH essential, for debates and musical soul mates, to share nights out and good times.

You see, listening to Shambles Miller’s ‘Deadpool’ there is no sense of a man desperate for pop acceptance, overreaching for the next run on the fame ladder. It’s more a feeling of a man who just needs to get it all out, and the medium he’s chosen just happens to be song.

Shambles is a troubadour in its truest sense. The acoustic lines are simple, and because they’re simple they have charm. He is a story teller, and his witty even whimsical view of life is what draws you in.

Let’s cut to the chase. Shamble’s music will not change the face of popular music or make a full blooded assault on the charts. It’s simply music for music’s sake; and for that reason alone we should probably embrace it

 Crybaby Special – ‘One Winged Bird’

Crybaby Special have been making waves, presumably by dropping a horse into their local lido. Their off kilter theatrical approach to making music will have many running for cover; but not us, we’re made of sterner stuff.

To say that Crybaby Special are uncompromising is probably an understatement. In pulling no punches the chance of mainstream radio is pie in the proverbial sky, but a shoe-in for 6 Music we’ll wager.

In ‘One Winged Bird’ they raise the stakes once more, with Jason Stafford’s vocals tortured and twisting from falsetto to gutter growl. Rhythmically, ska leanings have been exchanged for a waltz which only adds to the slightly demonic fairground feel.

In short it’s like Space and Captain Beefheart have been put in a blender, which either makes it utterly f**ked up or very clever indeed. We’ll let you decide.

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