Clearlake release ‘Can’t Feel A Thing’

Press Release

Clearlake release ‘Can’t Feel A Thing’ on 10th November 2003


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Clearlake release a third single from their acclaimed second album ‘Cedars’, on Domino on 10th November. Live favourite ‘Can’t Feel A Thing’ has been re-recorded with Benn Hillier (Blur, Elbow, Clinic) in order to capture it’s rawness and spontaneity. Saluted by amongst others Jarvis Cocker, REM and the late Elliot Smith, Clearlake have ascended to become one of the most important and self-defining bands around, combining superb song-writing with pin-drop delicacy and experimental sonic attack. The band’s new drummer, Toby, makes his first recorded appearance here.

Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her – Red Talk

Label : Arrivederci Baby and Cherry Red Records
Release Date : Out Now
Website : www.cherryred.co.uk

Tracklisting

  • Sentimental Journey
  • Pink Soda
  • No Luck
  • A Shotgun and Me
  • Angel
  • Pretty In Pink
  • Chik Chik A.A.
  • Grapefruit
  • Asking For It
  • A Guitar for Me and Milk for Her
  • Count 0 Number 1
  • Psycho Melody
  • She
  • Sister Sister
  • 8
  • Mo’ Mo’ Gimi’ Mo’
  • As Long as We’re Together
  • If I Happen To Fall Down (In Your Arms)


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With a name like Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her it will come as no great surprise to hear that they are from Japan. They are two, Ahia Higurashi (vocals, guitar, piano and keyboards) and Nao Koyama (bass, keyboards, drums and backing vocals), and have been hailed as the greatest ever Japanese guitar band. Bizzarly, for a group more most easily described as ‘The Japanese Breeders‘, SSKHKH are proteg�s of Japans premiere knob twiddler and DJ Cornelius. Red Talk is the first release by SSKHKH outside Japan. It is a best of collection from their four previous albums.

They can veer from punk to pop to indie to electronica – sometimes in the same song, but the majority of these songs are indie punk wonders. They blend all these elements with skill and ease. If you didn’t know they were from Japan you would be forgiven for thinking they are veterans of the US college circuit or New York rockers.

It’s easy to see why they have been getting rave write ups recently. They are infectious, effortlessly cool and demand you to be listened to at full volume. There are stand out tracks like Angel, Chik Chik A.A. and Grapefruit could easily be from different groups but always work.

Courtney Love thinks they are great. Make of that what you will. I have to agree with her.

The Walkmen – Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone

The Walkmen are the lazarus like re-emergance of NYC’s Jonathan Fire*Eater (No, I have never heard of them either. Apparently they made some big waves in New York and collapsed after a few years like flan out of the oven). They are a five piece comprising Walter Martin (Organ, Backing Vocals, Tape Loops), Paul Maroon (Guitar/Keyboards) and Matt Barrick (Drums), all ex Jonathan Fire*Eaters along with Hamilton Leithauser (Vocals) and Peter Bauer (Bass) of the Recoys.

From the background information I have got – their listed influences include U2, The Cure, Bjork, Joy Division, New Order, Bruce Springsteen and The Pogues. To me they sound very much like Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine. Where they got Bruce Springsteen or The Pogues from I can’t imagine. Still, no matter, this is a great listen. What strikes you straight away is Hamilton’s voice over the full rich and embracing backing. It’s soft and pleading, ironic and defiant and a lot like Ian Curtis or Tim Booth.


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Kicking off with They’re Winning, a short burst of what is to come, demanding attention from the start. A slow pounding beat heralds Wake Up which is oddly like Flowered Up or The Happy Mondays with its strained and curiously Mancunian inflections. From all the other reviews I have seen the title track comes highly recommended – Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone. From the first note it brings back thoughts of early New Order or late Power of Dreams . I am compelled to agree with all those other reviewers Everyone… is just brilliant.

It’s the subtle variety in this album which makes it such top listening. From the superbly titled Revenge Wears No Wristwatch could easily be mistaken for The Strokes given an old skool indie twist. For The Blizzard Of ’96 we are treated to what sounds like an eerie fairground caliope as the backdrop to sweeping vocals not unlike early James. Then from the seductive and engrosing French Vacation we have Stop Talking and We’ve Been Had leaving you with the feeling that if The Walkmen had been cursed with more pomposity and dark pretentions they could have so easily decended into Nick Cave-lite cod goth hell. However, they pull it off with charm and style. These simple tracks grow on you so quickly that you lose and doubts. There are more upbeat numbers like Roll Down The Line and That’s The Punch Line. That’s upbeat in tempo not lyrics. There is a soulful realism throughout. This isn’t a happy album, but nor does it have you reaching for those sleeping pills or razor blades. Saying that, the funeral march tone to It Should Take A While with it’s guitars chiming in like church bells laying misery upon misery onto this excellent, yet despair ridden, number could get you there if you were off that disposition. I had been struggling to make sense of the persistant U2 comparisons I had seen mention of until I heard Rue The Day. It’s intro like an air raid siren in the background before exploding with stacato piano and drums. Finally, I’m Never Bored lends itself easily to be The Cure except that fat Bob and the gang never had such restraint.

Tipped for the top by, and frequent support act to, The Strokes, French Kicks and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs amonst others. If they play like they do on this CD The Walkmen live gigs should be amazing.

Its a very 80’s indie sound with echoes shoegazing, Madchester, new wave and of past greats throughout.


Label : Star Time International (US, NYC)
Release Date : Out Now, Available on Import
Website : www.thewalkmen.com

Tracklisting

  • They’re Winning
  • Wake Up
  • Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone
  • Revenge Wears No Wristwatch
  • The Blizzard Of ’96
  • French Vacation
  • Stop Talking
  • We’ve Been Had
  • Roll Down The Line
  • That’s The Punch Line
  • It Should Take A While
  • Rue The Day
  • I’m Never Bored

Philip Kane – Songs For Swinging Lovers

This whole album sounds like a compilation of the token pop ballads from 80’s pop soul acts. It’s a bit Marti Pellow, Mick Hucknall or even Terrance Trent D’arby. Not my first choice of listening. It has that late night, commercial radio, Everyone-is-in-bed graveyard session feel to it. If you secretly love this kind of thing I would recommend it heartily. At times it even strays into a Rush-esque diet prog vibe (‘Tonight’especially).


Label : Corrupt Records
Release Date : Out Now
Website : www.philipkane.com

Tracklisting

  • Me, The Ladyboy, And Gloria Estefan
  • Oh Mercy
  • Sally’s Birthday
  • The Morning After The Morning After
  • Tonight
  • Barcelona
  • After The Shipwreck
  • To Be Free
  • Pearl Necklace
  • A Million Kisses (Will Not Heal You)

Chicks On Speed – 99 cents

The Berlin based happy mentalists Chicks on Speed return with a gloriously fun and varied album of sublime electropop. On the way Chicks on Speed have been enlisted many people to help them including the Canadian queen of the perverse Peaches, Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club), Nicola (Adult), Miss Kittin and Le Tigre. All of those diverse people have managed to sit happily inside the Chicks style. You can think of ’99 cents’ as Ladytron having fun, there are all the same elements but Chicks on Speed are determined to have a laugh at the same time. Be it in the nursey rhyme chorus of ‘Wordy Rappinghood’, the simple anticapitalism of ’99 Cents’ and ‘Sell-Out’ or the more hardcore space age sounds of ‘Universal Pussy’ there is a great sense that pleasure is king (or queen). This is top notch, party time, slightly derranged and blissfully wanton album. Fantastic!


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Label : Chicks On Speed Records/Labels

Release Date : 20 October 2003

Website : www.chicksonspeed.com

Tracklisting

  • Shooting from the Hip
  • We Don’t Play Guitars (feat. Peaches)
  • Wordy Rapping Hood
  • Coventry
  • 99 Cents
  • Sell-Out
  • Culture Vulture
  • Universal Pussy
  • Love Life
  • Shick Sharing (feat. Miss Kitten)
  • Fashion Rules

SOURCElabs – 16 Classiques de 1995 –  2002 – album review

Back in 1995 Source released their first compilation album, Sourcelab 1, calling in favours from the new downtempo French artists that had come to the fore in the 90’s. Two more compilations followed, Sourcelab 2 and 3, featuring the now internationally successful laid back electronic pioneers like Air and Daft Punk. This album is the distillation of the best of those compilations.

This collection has jazz tinged sixties echoes alongside brooding urban menace, soul snippets and funk riffs, scratching and samples galore. From the sweet beginnings of ‘Espéce Funk’ through to the disco madness of Daft Punk there is a barely a common thread between the tracks, but nonetheless, the whole album manages to gel into a magnificent whole.

’16 Classiques…’ is a fine primer if you want to get into downtempo and an excellent buy if you already are. The UK version of the album also comes with an additional disk of bonus material from current Source artists.

Label : SOURCE

Release Date : 27 January 2003

Tracklisting

CD1

  • DJ Gilb’r – Especefuink

  • Air – Modulor Mix

  • Daphreephunkateerz – Nuphunk

  • Motorbass – Bad Vibes

  • La Chatte Rouge – Ecouter Fumer

  • Alex Gopher – Mandrake

  • Main Basse Sur La Ville – Hunt One Connection

  • Daft Punk – Musique (version longue)

CD2

  • Alex Gopher – Gordini Mix

  • Air – Casanova 70 (Brendan Lynch Mix)

  • Chateau Flight – Mondorama

  • I:cube – Power Sandwich

  • Scratch-Pet-Land – Post-It

  • Le Tone – Jean-Jacques Et Les Dauphins

  • Mozesli – Sunshine

  • Black Strobe – Paris Acid City