The Shins – So Says I

Having caused a storm on the US indie circuit with their debut album ‘Oh, Inverted World’ the Albuquerque foursome are primed to take on the world with their new album ‘Chutes Too Narrow'(released on the 15th March). Those of you needing a fix before that will be rushing to the shops for copies of ‘So Says I’. The Shins have a sound that is part West Coast, part indie rock that has enough pop to be as catchy as hell. They do this while also managing to create great rock. This single is backed with a couple of songs exclusive to the single. ‘Mild Child’ evokes a sixties sound, slightly folky with an eerie edge. Both of these factors combine to make a mesmeric experience. The second of the tracks unique to the single is an acoustic version of ‘Gone For Good’ that combines simple strumming with catcalls and whooping from the band. It is surprisingly sweet and amusing given its subject matter. All together, The Shins have turned up trumps with this release – It’s a great single.

The Shins are on tour in Europe from April.

  • April 1 Water Rats (London, UK)
  • April 2 All Tomorrow’s Parties
  • April 3 Paradiso (Amsterdam, Holland)
  • April 4 Vera (Groningen, Holland)
  • April 5 AB Club (Brussels)
  • April 6 Glels 22 (Munster, Germany)
  • April 7 Gebaude 9 (Köln, German)
  • April 8 Tanzhalle (Hamburg, Germany)
  • April 9 Mudd Club (Berlin, Germany)
  • April 10 Atomic Cafe (Munich, Germany)
  • April 11 Nachtleben (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • April 15 La Ginguette Pirate (Paris, France)
  • April 16 Motel Musique (Holland)
  • April 18 Cockpit (Leeds, UK)
  • April 19 UNI (Manchester, UK)
  • April 20 King Tuts (Glasgow, Scotland)
  • April 21 Rescue Rooms (Nottingham, UK)
  • April 22 Princess Charlotte (Lelcester, UK)
  • April 23 Concorde 2 (Brighton, UK)
  • April 24 Sh Bush Empire (London, UK)
  • May 22 Roseland Theater (Portland, OR)
  • May 27 Bricks (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • May 29 The Gorge (George, WA)
  • June 18 House of Blues (Chicago, IL)
  • June 19 House of Blues (Chicago, IL)

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Label : Sub Pop Records

Release Date : 1 March 2004

Website : www.darkcoupon.com | Official ‘Chutes Too Narrow’ Site

Tracklisting

  • So Says I
  • Mild Child
  • Gone For Good (alternate version)

The Shins are James Mercer, Marty Crandall, Jesse Sandoval and Dave Hernandez

The Open – Close My Eyes

The Open hail from Walsall and Birkenhead, the common factor being that they all went to Art College in Liverpool before realising that forming a band was their real calling. They have recently completed recording an album to be released this summer. If ‘Close My Eyes’ is anything to go by then the album will be an essential part of your summer.

‘Close My Eyes’ starts abruptly with an infectious energy, a comfortable ease and fantastic soaring vocals. The Open have been likened to early Stone Roses in the press (NME), but they also display a classic ‘sound of the suburbs’ vibe and a touch of the new psychedelia (The Rain Band, The Music). In ‘Shadows On The Wall’ there are flavours of My Bloody Valentine mixed in with touchingly cathartic cries to form a wonderfully gripping track. Finally, ‘Brown Paper Bag’ gives us yet another side of The Open. This last track is softly understated, little more than plucked guitars and atmospheric accompaniment circling around Stephen Bayley seemingly screaming into the wind. The Open appear to adopt styles as they please, twisting them to their desire and making them their own. Having heard a couple more of their tracks I can confirm that they are worth all their current praise and more. You must buy this single.

Label : Loog (Polydor)

Release Date : 1 March 2003

Website : www.theopenmusic.com

Tracklisting

  • Close My Eyes
  • Shadows On The Wall
  • Brown Paper Bag

The Open are Steven Bayley (Vocals/Guitar), Jim Reynolds (Bass), Jon Winter (Guitar), Scott Holland (Drums) and Alan Dutton (Keyboards).

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Hothouse Flowers – Your Love Goes On

Pop is great. Pop is a mass of ephemera thrown up by the legion of pop stars all over the world, there are some real gems created within. Sadly, this is not a bright, sparkly and beautiful jewel. It is a rather dull Eighties folk-pop number.

The Hothouse Flowers have not let time change them. If you can remember ‘Don’t Go’, or maybe even ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ and ‘Give It Up’, then you’ll know exactly what is in store. The vocals are strained and given a cod worthiness, the backing is lame and unexciting and the fact that the Dublin Gospel Choir are on backing vocals has added little to the proceedings. This is the first single to be taken from the fifth studio album by Hothouse Flowers. The album, ‘Into Your Heart’, is to be released on the 8th March.

Label : Rubyworks

Release Date : 1 March 2004

Website : www.hothouseflowers.com

Tracklisting

  • Your Love Goes On
  • Learning To Walk
  • The Making Of Us All

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