Monday, 21 February 2011

Cat Matador - The Address EP

Cat Matador release their second EP on the 14th March, and while some people will undoubtedly go crazy for this, it leaves me somewhat nonplussed. It has all the shimmering riffs and grandiose gestures you would hope for from a epic rock band, and a coy style to offset any unintended bombast. It's just that I can't help feel this has been done many times before, and much better. I'm sure they have it in them to produce something great, you can sense the promise in the band, but this isn't it...yet. It's also a tad frustrating, as there are bits I find myself getting really into, but then they don't amount to anything and I feel somewhat let down. I'll stick with it though, and you may well find me posting again later about how wrong my initial thoughts were. Stay tuned. Have a listen to the EP on their Soundcloud page though please, I know many of you will love this.

Cat Matador's soundcloud page is here

The Missing Season - The Missing Season EP

Here's the perfect thing ready for spring. The Missing Season are French exponents of dream pop, bliss pop, call it what you will. The stuff made by the likes of Beach House, but more specifically Midlake and Fleet Foxes. Rather than merely aping these bands though, it sounds like they are kindred spirits, taking bands like Grandaddy as their off beat starting point. The songs blend seamlessly into each other, which under other circumstances might not be the greatest recommendation, but with the type of music The Missing Season make, it is entirely the point, hitting the nail on the head, albeit very gently and with a soft hammer. The Missing Season have made an EP that is perfect for falling asleep to on a sun dappled veranda. It's a taster for an album, due later this spring. You can listen to the EP using the player below, and click through and download it for free should you enjoy it.

Findlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers - Valentine's Day

Ok, so I may be late in posting this, but it's worth writing about nonetheless. If you were full of self pity and spite on the day of the lovers, yet still carried yourself with style and grace, this is the song for you. It's the Scottish equivalent of the Ben Folds Five track Song For The Dumped, in which the downtrodden fights back. There's a great knack to what Findlay does, writing tunes that could come across as MOR in lesser hands, but investing them with verve and vigour and more hooks than a cloakroom. With the aforementioned Mr Folds having lost his way slightly recently, it may well be time for Findlay to step up and take his place. The future of caustic radio friendly pop is in good hands.

Find Findlay on Facebook here. There's a handy player there to listen to the single.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Secret Rivals – Tonight Matthew…

Secret Rivals continue their progress with their new single Tonight Matthew… It builds on the foundations laid by previous releases, with a touch of Johnny Foreigner to this one. It has a cool, understated melody that bursts into life at points, before settling back down to a simmering intensity. It also evokes to me the less screamy/shouty side of Los Campesinos! So, while there may be nothing shockingly new about what Secret Rivals are doing, it’s a sound that is pleasing enough for us to welcome more tunes of theirs into our homes.

Tonight Matthew… is released on April 4th on Kittiwake Records

Find Secret Rivals here

The Tomatometers – Annie EP

If you’re looking for some fresh and exciting indie pop, something that sounds exhilarating and exuberant but also harks back to the glory days of Orange Juice and the more confident yet sweetly ramshackle indie bands, then you could do a lot worse than check out the new EP from The Tomatometers. Lead track Annie is especially a delight, while Cut Short is decidedly undecided as to its direction, but has a lovely languid vocal, akin to some of Graham Coxon’s solo stuff. Breathe In_Breathe Out is a gorgeous instrumental, it’s woozy shimmers bringing to mind Pale Saints Kinky Love. An acoustic version of You Don’t Know Us rounds off the EP, showing that an acoustic guitar and an open heart is sometimes all you need. The EP comes very recommended, and you can listen to it in the Bandcamp player below.

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Momeraths – Your Winter Bones EP

Remember the fresh faced days of The Beautiful South, when Welcome To was just out and they were still trading off the goodwill of the dying embers of The Housemartins? Those were memorable days, before the time when every home had Carry On Up The Charts and the flashes of brilliance started to come few and far between.

This is what The Momeraths most remind me of on their latest EP. I’m not for a minute suggesting that this is the path laid out for them, just that they have the great qualities of the early days of a much maligned band. Their new EP kicks off with Chopped Onions, a chirpy indie duet. The Observer is an end of the pier, empty ballroom, loss filled waltz. Itchy Feet is a sweet one, with the world’s first non-annoying glockenspiel. Last Time Around is perhaps the best tune, reflective and slightly mournful, a bit reminiscent of Jens Lekman.

The Momeraths Bandcamp is here. You can listen to the EP there and buy it too.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Lovely Eggs – Cob Dominos

Christ I love The Lovely Eggs. The world needs more Lovely Eggs. The world doesn’t need any more Lovely Eggs. This one is so imperfectly perfect, that they are all we’ll ever need. Take the lead single from this, their second album. Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like It) is a fantastic pop song by anyone’s standards, with it’s throbbing rhythm and infectious melody and absurdist lyrics. The lyrics concern a fascinating parade of oddball characters, with strange features such as dog dirt eyes, wheelchair hearts and sausage roll thumbs. Somewhat perfectly, the latter is played by John Shuttleworth in the video. They’re also not above some short pieces to dispense with some puerile humour. See the alley-rhyming Muhammed Ali And All His Friends, the rage laden People Are Twats and the freakily twisted ending to Alphabet Song.

Another thing I love is the way they’re multi-faceted and not afraid to show all sides to their personalities. So there are funny songs, plain weird songs, sweet songs, serious songs, beautiful songs, and type of song you want. There is a wonderful kookiness about them which, having met the band, is in no way effected. It just makes it all the more endearing.

Really, just trust me on this one. Go and get this now from Cherryade Music and while you’re at it pick up the discount bundle that includes their debut If You Were Fruit. You won’t be disappointed. It’s the kick up the arse pop music needs.

Cob Dominos is released by Cherryade Records on February 14th. Get it here.