The Courteeners have stormed back into the consciousness of indie fans with their impeccable second album ‘Falcon’. They’ve created a distance between the Oasis style lad-rock that was so prevalent on their debut ‘St. Jude’, which has the potential to get them a much larger audience. Like almost every indie band in the land they’ve got strings on this album, but only as a subtle addition to the foot-stomping and energetic guitars and drums which blaze throughout. If you thought ‘St. Jude’ was good, then you’ll be blown away by ‘Falcon’.
Besides the fascinating photography the CD booklet is adorned with, there’s an album of consistently interesting and attention-grabbing tracks. The aptly titled opening track ‘The Opener’ details front man Liam Fray’s love for his hometown of Manchester, while their latest single ‘You Over Did It Doll’ makes a cross over into a previously unseen side of The Courteeners, primarily due to the dance style of the song. It’s something which could easily be considered quite bizarre, but they’ve got it right on point. The whole album is collection of thoughtful and heartfelt tracks, but mainly with an upbeat tempo. ‘Falcon’ easily has the potential to be one of the best albums of 2010.
In other news the NME Awards took place in London’s Brixton Academy last week hosted by the ever affable Jarvis Cocker. As per usual there was a shortage of Irish acts getting a look-in. However, Villagers’ recent signing to the legendary Domino label may just change that. Paul Weller was awarded the ‘Godlike Genius’ award and people with mullets everywhere rejoiced at the possibility that he just might make them fashionable again. On the live performances front there was a staggering collaboration between Biffy Clyro and Marina & the Diamonds on ‘Many of Horror’. Have a look at the surprisingly suited collaboration below:
2007 - REM live in the Olympia, by Michael O'Hara. Possibly the definitive review of any of REM's performances during their 2007 Olympia residency. Even the official REM website linked to it.