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!


cover
Buy 99 Cents from Amazon
 
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

Singles Reviews – 3 November 2003

The Blueskins – Magic Rd EP
Frenetic and jangly bluesy punk rockers The Blueskins have created a brilliant collection of seventies tinged songs in the ‘Magic Rd EP’. From the hard-edged folk-rock of ‘Ellie Meadows’ to the chaotic fun of ‘Can’t Get Down’ this EP is a treat to the ears. The ease they display in slipping between styles while keeping up the energy makes this EP stand head and shoulders above the mainstream of new rock. The echoes of Detroit and the music of 1970?s can clearly be heard but this diminishes the impact not a jot. Especially good, for my money, is the blues metal sounds of ‘Lager And Lime’ that cram powerchords and passion into a blistering two and a half minutes.

Label : Domino

Website : www.theblueskins.com

Tracklisting

Number 23

  • Can’t Get Down
  • Love My Guitar
  • Ellie Meadows
  • Lager And Lime

  • The Cornerstones – Smack Me In The Face

    This, the debut release from the west London five-piece, is not the track you might imagine from the title. I am well aware that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I was all geared up for an aural assault of speaker blowing noisecore or at least a mind boggling BPM. As you have already guessed, that didn’t happen. Instead what oozed from my stereo was more akin to Crowded House given a splash of prog rock and left to marinade nicely for 48 hours. When I had reset my expectations accordingly I found ‘Smack Me in The Face’ a pleasantly lilting experience. It was an experience that continued with the other songs on the single. The Cornerstones create a passionate yet gentle vibe that blends depth with confidence.Label : Redemption

    Website : www.thecornerstones.net

    Tracklisting

  • Smack Me In The Face
  • Standing While I’m Tired
  • The Chosen Class

  • Delays – Long Time Coming

    Being unashamedly pop and being good at it too is a rare enough thing. To do it consistently is even rarer. The Delays have managed to continue their run of sun blessed guitar pop tunes that mix the West Coast sound, eighties indie and the timelessness that good pop song writing instils. ‘Long Time Coming’ will have you singing, dancing and humming along joyfully for many moons.

    Label : Rough Trade

    Website : www.thedelays.co.uk

    SOURCElabs – 16 Classiques de 1995 –  2002

    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
  • Liars – They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top

    Hailing from New York and frequently sharing the bill with acts like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are the frantic Liars. Mixing stacatto vocals with hard throbbing guitars, great bass lines and the all important pounding drums; The Liars have a contagious spirit that you can’t ignore. Boasting some of the most intriguing song titles ever thought of they are more than just another New York garage rock band. There is an expectation you get when listening, wondering where they are going to take you next. The Liars do not dissapoint in any aspect. These guys should be great stars, and I’m sure they will be before long.

    It’s hard to think of another band that has the same disregard for convention that can so seemingly effortlessly create a record that surprises with out falling into the ‘challenging’ category of unlistenable drivel.

    A massively talented band who will blow you away. 5/5

    Label : Mute

    Release Date : Out Now

    Tracklisting

    Grown Men Don’t Fall In The River, Just Like That
    Mr Your On Fire Mr
    Loose Nuts On The Velodrome
    The Garden Was Crowded And Outside
    Tumbling Walls Buried Me In The Debris With ESG
    Nothing Is Ever Lost Or Can Be Lost My Science friend
    We Live NE Of Compton
    Why Midnight Walked But Didn’t Ring Her Bell
    The Dust Makes That Mud

    Miss Black America – God Bless Miss Black America

    I can see what Miss Black America were tying to do, they wanted to be the voice of the disaffected youth of today, sum up the mood of a million quashed teenage dreams and have the Daily Mail demonise them as inciting barely post pubescent depressives to acts of public disobedience. But where The Specials and The Jam (for example) had tapped the mood of a generation and arguably took music in new directions, MBA’s debut retreads old and dated ground.

    There is a problem with is kind of music and that is that politics and music rarely mix well. The tune or the flow of the lyrics is so often stretched to breaking point by the weight of the message. Not so much here, although the views expressed are frequently expressed by laughable analogies. Leaning by rote is equated to indoctrination in the style of NAZI propaganda. I mean, seriously, that is just absurd. Like oh-so-many agit-popsters and protest song writers, Miss Black America end up sounding like whining malcontents with not only the weight of the world on their shoulders but the oppressive mass of the huge chips they have lodged there permanently.

    Despite those problems this album is still pleasant, unobtrusive, and upbeat background music. Turned up a few notches on your stereo it has some numbers you can thrash about to (I hesitate to call the movements I make to music ‘dancing’ for fear of trading standards taking exception). The whole album would have benefited from being so much harder and up-front. God Bless Miss Black America is too much like a high fibre, low fat, and caffeine free rebellion. Too clean, too precise and way too sanitised. This album has ended up being a harmless piece of indie pop fluff rather than a riotous aural affront to the senses and the mind. It pulls back from the brink when it should soar triumphantly, and is blandly pedestrian when it should be building raw emotion.

    If you have never heard any MBA then I can tell you that they are very much like Power Of Dreams and a bit like The Police (And not just the bit of ‘Message in a Bottle’ they have nicked wholesale – sorry, it’s probably paying homage – for the opener ‘Human Punk’),

    All in all, it’s too nice. This could be down to their producers rather than the band. I have never seen them live, but don’t believe they would have the reputation they have without a far more powerful live set than this CD would have me imagine.

    They sound like they have had a forced charisma-ectomy. 2/5

    Label : Integrity Records

    Release Date : Out Now

    Website : www.missblackamerica.net

    Track listing

    Human Punk
    Strobe
    Car Crash For A Soul
    Infinate Chinese Box
    Roadkill
    Personal Politics
    Talk Hard
    Scream For Me
    Don’t Speak My Mind
    Miss Black America
    Montana

    Elf Power – Creatures

    Any band whose first release has the great title of ‘Vainly Clutching at Phantom Limbs’ has to be worth a listen. Elf Power are part of a strange collective of artists called Elephant 6 and appear to be very fond of Tolkein and Phillip K Dick.

    They are, in short, a bit odd.

    They are also very good. ‘Creatures’ is a mix of styles and genre. There is good old rock alongside alt country twangs, twee indie and pure pop. Andrew Rieger’s vocals are engaging and heartfelt. There is a easy nonchalance running through these songs despite the frequent changes in direction. Great songs like ‘Things That Should Not Be’ and ‘Everlasting Scream’ are both beautifully written and have the catchiness that marks out an unalloyed pop treat. Buy this album and you will love it’s kookiness.

    Elvish is still the king! 4/5 Thangewvermuch…

    Label : Shifty Disco

    Release Date : Out Now

    Tracklisting

    Let The Serpent Sleep
    Everlasting Scream
    The Creature
    Palace Of The Flames
    The Modern Mind
    Visions Of The Sea
    Things That Should Not Be
    Three Seeds
    The Haze
    Unseen Hand
    The Creature Part II