Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Lucky Calvin Savostanos
Lucky Luke mix 70s type folk rock á la Fairport Convention with a Velvet Underground approach to intensity to produce a sort of psycheCeltic folk, if you will. Calvin, on the other hand, are usually easier to describe, being a straight ahead no nonsense pop songwriting combo. Here, however, they choose to bleep out with an extraordinary array of noises adorning the main melody. And then, we have the simple pleasures of Terry, real name Ewan, (don't ask) with one of his simple but effective acoustic numbers. Obviously Belle and Sebastian/ballboy influenced, but don't mention Paul Simon.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Lee Otterley Nobody
Lee Patterson has a great gruff bluesy voice and spits out some rough, tough, gutsy music, along with no nonsense lyrics, e.g. "I sometimes think I'm wasting time but time is wasting me" (it sounds better sung, believe me). Otterley are kind of like a mixture of Idlewild meet Cocteau Twins with sunny Africanesque chiming guitars. No, really. It's a cool wee song this. Then Nobody Jones with a stomping little witty number containing the marvellously lewd sounding line, "I want to take you up the Pentland Hills".
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Ross Rowell Rock
I'm in a rush and I cannae be arsed waxing lyrical, so here's a sublime slice of acoustica from Fionna Ross, a classy piece of funkery from Nick and Stuart and the incredibly unsubtle rockery of We Rock Like etc....
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Ocean Sawmill Rico
mellow swirling soundscapes from The Ocean Floor to start with and some
pretty scary lyrics, eg. "you spill your guts, kick at your belly,
kick and cry." Gulp. There's a lovely wee guitar motif running through
the Buddhas track and a nifty pianah too. From the way this guy's singing
you can tell he's wearing a hat. Rico, not the ska trombonist, is a tad
gothicky and industrial but fetching nevertheless. There's also a bit in
it reminiscent of the Osmonds' Crazy Horses weeeee sound. These critiques
are brought to you courtesy of the Fat Boab School of Musical Appreciation.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Raar Lynsey Attack
the Black Isle and apparently "melting down old school heavy metal
riffs with psychedelic surf guitar, 70’s glam rock magic and new wave backwoods
harmony" Raar aren't quite The Darkness but the way they sing "Red
rivaaaa" makes me laugh. I don't know if you're supposed to, but...
I saw Lynsey Hutchinson last night and she really is a classy act. Her obsession
with the 19th century is...well... obsessive and here she sings the hangman's
praises. Well, not praises, but...right I'll shut up now. Meanwhile, over
at the Park Attack website they're "kicking no wave into the realms
of fantasy". Well, they've clearly listened to far too much Pere Ubu
(just like the Franz boys).
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Bunny Radley Cinema
and deep pounding a go go from the Bunny Boilers. It may sound like a million
other things, but there is a certain naive charm about it. Then some perfect
picking and smooth vocalising from one of the Edinburgh Sound Collective's
persistently groovy performers in traditional singer/songwriter mode. Lastly,
a breezy wee number from Glasgow's Cinematics, the title of which has absolutely
nothing to do with the godlike genius of Mark E Smith and chums.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Uncle Graeme Cosmic
I saw Uncle John & Whitelock supporting The Fall the other week and mighty fine they were too, even though they occasionally sounded very Fallesque themselves at times, but then many do...and fail. This track, though has more than a hint of The Cramps about it. Which is no bad thing I suppose. Graeme Mearns is an amazing guitarist who makes it all look so effortless. An entertaining performer too. Here's one of his live tracks. Rounding off with some heavy riffing and shouting from Glaswegian exponents of car crash music, Macrocosmica, who include some refugees from Teenage Fanclub and Mogwai.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Josephine Mars West
I just love the laugh at the start of this Josephine track and how it fits in to the rhythm and the singer sounds like he's about to burst out laughing on the hook line too. Oh, and the music's pretty nifty too. And then...former Vera Cruisers Summer of Mars proving that that old heavy Wire sound can be blended with more traditional grunge riffage to produce, well, this sort of thing. And because we all love contrast, here's a lovely song from the gorgeous tonsils of Lindsay West - a regular on the Edinburgh acoustic scene.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Car Driver Colin
A bit of bleeping and some galloping cowboy-like drumming from Luxury Car in this catchy wee number which bumps along amiably enough. And a lot of high drama generated by the strings in the menacing pop of this Driverdown track which just builds and twists and turns into something quite captivating. Then, a completely unique performer, Mr Colin Donati, with a stunningly simple and beautiful acoustic number. Colin's stuff is always different and always compelling. This wee ditty is a gem.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Gray Leven Heron
Many thanks to Mr N. Lamont for today's selections and blurb. I haven't seen Graystar live but Norman tells me he was knocked out at their musicianship when they all looked barely 13. This a splendiferous track from their CD single. Then, the legendary Jackie Leven from a live limited edition called 'Man Bleeds in Glasgow'. I saw his band Doll by Doll way way back and you couldn't help but be struck by his intensity. In 1970ish Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band abandoned folkish warblings and dark mysteries and made an album with lots of session people including John Cale (who plays viola on this track), Dudu Pukwana, Richard Thompson, Pete Townshend, Keith Moon and Ronnie Lane. This is the best Who track the Who never made! Oh, and by the way, if you're in the area, be sure to check out Edinburgh's latest supergroup, Whyte and Mackay, at Leith Market tomorrow noon. See Daily Reckless for details.
Thursday, June 9, 2005
S.A.S - Who Dares Sings
that wee free show by Sons & Daughters at HMV last night was excellent
I must say. Cracking sound and good stage business from Adele and Scott,
whose jerky actions reminded me of Joe Strummer in his heyday. So no apologies
for featuring them two days in a row. This piece of song noir was the definite
standout for me. Youse really have to get their LP The Repulsion Box. And
then, something slick from Amplico, whose pikchur you're looking at there.
Lovely voice, nice song. Lastly, a stripped down liddle bidda blues from
acoustic maestro Scott Reilly.
Wednesday, June 8, 2005
Gordon Jude's Daughters
from Out of the Bedroom in Edinburgh comes this sweet track from Gordon
Mcintyre of Ballboy - a damn good group and a damn good solo performer also.
Then something altogether more sombre from St Jude's Infirmary, framed by
some soothing train noises. A real grower this one. Finally, Sons &
Daughters have a new album out at the moment - The Repulsion Box and this
is one of the stunning tracks on it. I'm a sucker for Scottish accents on
record. They'll be playing a wee free set at HMV on Princes Street tonight
at 5, so I'll definetely be heading over there.
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
MacGruer Rosa Kelly
sort of feel to today's selection. Dave MacGruer is a superb guitarist who
often mucks in with the Edinburgh Sound Collective. He's now got a CD out
with some cracking instrumentals on it which I urge you to find a copy of.
Here's a belter from it. DeRosa describe themselves as "angular punk
and post punk aggression met with the dreamlike stare of a twisted sense
of melody and straightforward pop structure". So there. They're not
sounding too angular here, though. More Talking Headsish I would say. It's
that Franz effect again! Meanwhile, some lovely moothie and banjo weaves
its way through this classy track from Eugene Kelly of BMX Bandits, The
Vaselines and Eugenius fame.
Monday, June 6, 2005
Reno Scream Fire!
couple of oddities and a classy wee song today. Le Reno Amps burst forth
with a funky wee Middle Eastern/Spaghetti Western vibe behind a tale of
the wrath of a woman scorned. Great stuff. Then, find out what happens when
Irvine Welsh meets Primal Scream in this mellow little workout. And from
1981, The Fire Engines in this rare (and reassuringly lo-fi) track from
a John Peel session. Edit - They did it first, not Heaven 17 (Thanks Tom).
Edit edit - naw they didnae.
Friday, June 3, 2005
Top 50 Scottish Albums No.1: Grand Prix - Teenage Fan Club
ta raaaan - Huzzah for The Fannies and all who sail in her. Who could have
doubted they'd be at the top of the tree? Well, they're as worthy winners
as anyone. OK, they're not pushing at the bleeding edge of experimentalism
or anything, but, damn, they know how to bung out a good chune and here's
three of the finest from the best Scottish album ever (according to readers
of Is This Music? anyway. I suppose youse know better though,eh? If you've
any better suggestions and examples thereof, do let me know). My own favourite
off this or any Fannies album is Verisimilitude. Pop perfection it is. Next
week, we'll get back to the ragbag and many splendoured joy that is Scottish
Thursday, June 2, 2005
Top 50 Scottish Albums - Bis Sensation Franz
surprise high placing for the legendary Bis, here with a live rendering
of one of their pop punk classics with more than a smidgen of Rezillosesqueness
about it. Then the even more legendary SAHB's epic Faith Healer. Goes on
a bit, but, hey, it's the early 70s - they loved a bit of overblown theatrics
then. And why not? At least it's not Prog Rock (spit). And at number two,
the ubiquitous Franz who everybody's probably sick to death of by now, but
still sound no bad. I hear they're trying to be more Dylanesque, lyric wise,
on their forthcoming platter. Sounds interesting. Or not. Who knows. Still,
number one tomorrow, kids. Bet you're all excited, eh?
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Top 50 Scottish Albums - Associate Fairyland Dogs
have already waxed lyrical about the wondrous vocal capacities of the late
great Billy Mackenzie so, suffice to say, here is the masterpiece that is
Party Fears Two. Nuff said. R.I.P. At 6, and I've no idea how they got this
high up, are the truly mediocre Peeps Into Fairyland. Am I missing something
here or is this just drop dead dull? Moving right along, and with a deservedly
high placing are the divine Dogs Die in Hot Cars. This really is a superb
album and it was supremely difficult to pick one track from it, but I settled
on the eclectic Paul Newman's Eyes which really has it all - singalong hooks,
great backing oh, oh, ohs, reverb guitar, mad instrumental bits and a smart
time change at the end. All in one handy song. Go buy the album - you'll