Thursday, 29 August 2013

Parquet Courts, Suzuki Method & Spector - New Releases Reviewd

Parquet Courts –‘ You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now’

When Parquet Courts dropped their debut album last year, folk were queuing to herald the new sound of rock ‘n’ roll. Of course the new sound proved to be the old sound, but there’s nothing wrong with that if you can pull it off. The reference points are still there, Pavement on fast-forward, a little Modern Lovers and of course The Strokes; so thankfully is the attitude.

Fuzzed guitars, discordant lead lines and a guitar solo that sounds like a stylophone on steroids, all delivered with the sort of easy swagger only obtainable when you just don’t  give a s**t, a skill not easy to achieve. 
Toothache's better than heartache baby, I've figured that much out
And I thought I knew a thing or two about the blues, but you've got me wonderin' now

Parquet Courts' spiritual home would surely be New York’s CBGB’s. Sadly no more, we suggest you find a dark venue where your feet stick to the floor and wait for their arrival; we have a feeling you won’t have too long to wait.

Suzuki Method – ‘Sherbet’

When Suzuki Method introduced themselves via debut release ‘Country Cousins’ back in May
there was little doubt the Salford outfit had embraced their musical heritage, and we liked it.  Five months on and the follow up ‘Sherbet’ certainly shows signs of development.

The mancunia electro and 80’s house vibes are still present and correct, but added  is a lushness in production and greater regard for dynamics. The interwoven looping guitar lines and synth are suitably delay-drenched and a real pleasure. They give way to falsetto vocals and a fully fledged chorus, where the hook, although still subtle, is a little more to the fore than its predecessors.   It has a touch of ABC (that’s 1980’s Sheffield sophisti-poppers not the Jackson 5 1970 hit) about it, all-be-it with strong dance floor leanings.  In ‘Sherbet’ Suzuki Method have taken a large stride in the right direction, but one can’t help feeling they are still one killer hook away from dance floor domination; that’s should they want it of course.

 Spector – ‘Decade of Decay’

There was a time not so long ago when Fred Macpherson’s confidence seemed to know no bounds, always something to say, always ready with a witty quip. So read into it what you will when I tell you Spector’s return sees Macpherson call for reinforcements. They come in the shape of Dev Hynes, (better known as Lightspeed Champion to you and me) to share the writing duties.

Dev has of course written for the likes of Florence and the Machine, Diana Vickers and The Chemical Brothers on their 2007 Grammy award winning album ‘We Are The Night’. So what has Mr Hynes bought to the Spector party. In truth it’s hard to say. The tune’s pleasant enough and sees Fred plumbing the depths of his lower vocal range, supported by pulsing bass, synth sweeps and the usual scratchy guitar fare. The descending ghostly backing vocals are a nice touch and as you’d expect the hooks are pretty strong. 

That said, ‘Decade of Decay just doesn’t stir my passion one way or the other. I would neither rush to change the station nor reach to crank the volume up. 

As I check to make sure the song’s abrupt ending is indeed the ending and not just a ghost in the machine, I find myself hoping for Spector’s sake that this is not a portent of things to come? 

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