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Dream Bitches are a New York band that have been together for five years and recently released their second album, Coke-And-Spiriters. Their sound reminds me slightly of Australian indie-punkers The Grates but Dream Bitches lack the energetic front-woman that The Grates have in the form of Patience Hodgson. Incidently, The Grates have a new single out. The reason I’ve mentioned the energetic Hodgson is that if Dream Bitches had half of her energy, then I might be more interested. The music will be perfectly approachable for fans of Tegan and Sarah and suchlike, but I think it just lacks that something-something that I like about The Grates. I didn’t actually intend for this review to be a comparison between the two, but I can’t enjoy one without thinking that they’re not as good as the other. Anyways, Dream Bitches do have some good tunes, and my fave is Bad Luck Bill. Very catchy indie-pop riffs and vocals with a hint of Kimya Dawson in there.

MP3: Dream Bitches – Bad Luck Bill

You can also download two older songs from the band’s myspace here, andyou can buy their new album here!

Enjoy. x

So the reason I hadn’t posted in a while before the Bloc Party single review below was that I’d been on holiday. To make up for the lack of new music for you in that time, here’s the two new records that I was listening to while I was away.

DananananaykroydSissy Hits

Sissy Hits is the first EP from Glaswegian “fight-pop” sextet Dananananaykroyd to be released in the UK. After their original record label went bust earlier this year, the band had to find a new label before the EP could finally be released. It was well worth the wait! Sissy Hits is a series of songs that start off like Hot Club De Paris before working their way to The Blood Brothers via yourcodenameis:milo. An unbelievably good EP, and it joins Bloc Party‘s self-titled EP and Death From Above 1979‘s Heads Up! EP as one of my three favourite EPs ever. Can’t wait to hear more from these guys. Buy it here and bag yourself a bargain. You won’t be disappointed.

My EductationBad Vibrations

I’ve never really been a massive fan of instrumental music, and most post-rock type bands can bore me at times. There are however, noteable exceptions. When I received this album in the post from the very helpful guys at Fanatic Promotion, I had my reservations, but I was pleasantly surprised. More laid back than the likes of Explosions In The Sky, the album reminded me more of Broken Social Scene‘s album You Forgot It In People because of the varied instrumentation and the sense of space in the record. A beautifully put-together album, this will appeal to fans of Broken Social Scene and also fans of the post-rock hot-shots like Explosions In The Sky and This Will Destroy You who fancy something more subtle. Mellow, altmospheric and a very rewarding listen, Bad Vibrations is an excellent showpiece of what My Education can do. You can buy it here.

MP3: Dananananaykroyd – The Greater Than Symbol And The Hash

MP3: My Education – Arch

As Bloc Party release their second single since A Weekend In The City, the jury is out again, just as it was for Flux. Mercury is yet another departure in terms of musical style and indicates a possible shift away from the genre of indie-rock that debut album Silent Alarm placed them in. The unexpected single sounds to me more like a Bloc Party remix by Phones or similar, not an original Bloc track. That said, I’ve always enjoyed Bloc Party remixes. So, is Mercury and good?

Yes and no. It has some things going for it. It as a good beat, and Kele Okereke‘s vocals are crisp and enchanting as ever, even if the distorting and chopping of the vocals is perhaps unnecessary. The trumpets are a first for Bloc, but they work well with the dark sound of the track as a whole. I suppose the main problem with the track is that it isn’t Bloc Party as we used to know them. Singer Kele Okereke has often spoken of his desire to move away from guitar-rock and explore more electronica-inspired sounds. This is almost certainly a creation mostly of Okereke origin, and overall, it’s not bad. I’m still looking forward to the third album, as yet untitled and expected in early 2009.

If you haven’t already heard it, you can listen or watch the (very strange) music video on blocparty.com and you can also pre-order the single on CD, 7″ or 12″ vinyl from there too. The video sees a weird Frankenstein’s monster/bull/lobster mutant become president of the USA and start bombing places. No really.

Mercury is released on August 11th.

Bloc Party debuted their new single Mercury on Zane Lowe’s show on Radio 1 this evening. To listen to the band’s first track since Flux and hear them talk about the track, and their forthcoming third album, you can listen back on the bbc website here. It sees the foursome move further towards the electic sound that frontman Kele Okereke is looking for, and ventures away from the indie-rock of Silent Alarm.

You can preorder the Mercury Deluxe disk set from Bloc Party’s official site here.

Rory. x

This week, a host of bands announced they had bitten the musical dust. A moment of quiet reflection please for:

The only possible silver lining to this cloud of splitty-up-ness is that the remaining Shut Your Eyes And You’ll Burst Into Flames recordings should be released still, so there’s those to remember them by. 😦

Photo By Sarah Cass

Our friends at Fanatic Promotion sent me an email about this band the other day. The Terrordactyls are an Anti-Folk duo from the USA, living in Washington State and Brooklyn. Their music is unothodox; acoustic guitars are fused with kazoo solos, which apparently landed the band with a sponsorship from Kazoobie. Truly living the rockstar lifestyle then.

The Terrordactyls released an EP and album in quick succession in March of this year. The full Mike Bowers EP can be streamed here and the self-titled album can be heard in full here. If you like what you hear, you can buy both from their website here. The album features the dulcet tones of Kimya Dawson (of Moldy Peaches and Juno fame) and she compliments their sound wonderfully. These guys are the best acoustic act I’ve heard in quite a while, and I predict an explosion of popularity in 2008, as fans of the Juno soundtrack will enjoy Kimya Dawson‘s input, and The Terrordactyls’ sound will surely appeal to fans of hers and maybe people will prefer their snappy lyrics and kazoo mastery to another dissappointing Death Cab For Cutie record or something like that. I know I do.

MP3: The Terrordactyls – Overcast Summer

MP3: The Terrordactyls – Growing Old

MP3: The Terrordactyls – Fall

MP3: The Terrordactyls – Devices

(We’ve made the mp3s more manageable. Click to play them, or right click > “Save As” do download)

Rory. x

I found a video of an iForward, Russia! set on Fabchannel.com and it’s well worth watching. A fantastic live band right there. Go onto Fabchannel and click “Concerts”, then “Forward Russia!” Or click Here!

Also, Fabchannel is a very good site, with lots of live sets of bands that have played at the Amsterdam Paradiso. You can also find sets by Jimmy Eat World, Bloc Party, and hundreds of other great bands that I won’t bother listing.

Here’s the iForward, Russia! set:

  1. Thirteen
  2. Don’t Reinvent What You Don’t Understand
  3. Don’t Be A Doctor
  4. Twelve
  5. Gravity & Heat
  6. Nine
  7. Spanish Triangles

Enjoy. x

Pin Me Down (Photo by Timothy Cochraine for NME)

In a MySpace bulletin today, Pin Me Down announced that their debut single, Cryptic is out on iTunes UK today. Pin Me Down is Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack‘s side-project with singer Milena Mepris, formerly of Black Moustache. Their 80s-influenced electro-rock made it’s live debut in London recently, and we’re hoping for more UK dates soon. Lissack’s distinctive guitar licks are his contribution to the music, and whilst very recognisably Russell, it’s not Bloc Party with a different singer. The refreshing guitar pop is worthy of any indie dancefloor. The Cryptic single will also feature a Phones remix (always an exciting prospect) and more.

The Bulletin:

“That’s right. Our first single “Cryptic” is out today in the UK only on iTunes. The single features remixes by PHONES (Paul Epworth), Jamie Ellis and Russell Lissack, Dave P & Adam Sparkles, and Dubka of the Cazals. Next week May 26, the vinyl 12″ will be available. The full single will be out on June 2 on iTunes.

Check-it, check-it out,
love ya,
PMD xo”

iTunes free track of the week is rarely as good as this, so get in that music store and get this freebie right now.

Now this isn’t Santogold’s strongest track, but what do you expect from a giveaway track? It’s not as good as single L.E.S. Artistes or some of the others on the album, but it’s a good track, catchy and more energetic. Her voice on this one reminds me of Milena Mepris from Pin Me Down. The backing music isn’t provided by Russell Lissack, so Mepris wins on that one, but the two sounds are very comparable indeed. You’ll Find A Way is the best track iTunes have given away for free for a good while, (Hercules and Love Affiar was ok) so Santogold is a download must for you today!

Just a few pieces of news form around the web.

autoKratz – free mp3

you can get a free mp3 from autoKratz via their label Kitsune here

MSTRKRFT remix Usher

MSTRKRFT‘s remix of Usher’s latest hit single Love In This Club can be heard on their myspace here

Download in good band shocker

The Haze have been added to the Download Festival line-up. Listen to them here

The New Sound. x