The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Entries for 'Anna Murray'

15

Autamata, Sounds Of System Breakdown and Robotnik live at HWCH Day 3

RobotnikReview Snapshot: Despite the inclement weather, Sunday’s HWCH drew the best performances from the artists and the biggest crowds from their fans.

The Cluas Verdict? 7.5 out of 10

Full Review:

Going into the last night of the HWCH festival ’08, I calculated that out of the ten or so acts I had so far seen, there were only two that I would have no interest in checking out a second time. Thinking this a good statistic so far, I held a lot of hope for the final tally.

Unfortunately, the first hour began pushing up the score of the uninteresting, and “technical difficulties” seemed to haunt the night. My Brother Woody, who released the pleasant and summery It’s A Long Way From That Sort of Thing You Were Raised earlier this year, opened the night in The Academy 2 to an scant audience and presented a set that matched the album perfectly: tight, warm, bouncy, just a little throwaway and most of all safe. As a friend described it: “a perfect present for a niece you don’t know very well – safe, and they’re guaranteed at the very least not to hate it.” My Brother Woody were followed closely by Not Men But Giants, whose sloppiness, repetitiveness and stop-start rhythms left no real impression apart from a jerky buzzing like some sort of unsteady but persistent bee.

The Academy 2’s straits considerably improved with the crowds that accompanied Robotnik’s shambles of a gig. Losing ten minutes in getting his equipment organized – and more time one song in when it broke down again – his energetic antics lost a little of their impact. Yet, when Robotnik managed to carve his way through three high-density songs before time was called, the crowd cried out for more: Robotnik, despite his awkwardness and frustration, has exactly what both the previous bands lacked. The short set pounded with imagination, spontaneity and verve. It could be argued that his rolling on the floor with a SuperSoaker during Puddlestarter was a little much, but try telling that to Chris Morrin, a man to whom the divide between stage and audience means little. As Key Notes will attest, Robotnik's stood out as one of the best, if most cursed, performances of the weekend.

Next to Eamonn Doran’s and Sounds of System Breakdown, a man (plus friends) whose set showed how both man and machine can let you down in times of need. After an average first track, the aptly named guitarist suffered from a severe bout of programming flu; and then to exacerbate matters, once the sampled beats were back up and running, was forced to spend another few minutes educating his drummer, who appeared unable to find the downbeats. After this dubious and embarrassing start, Sounds Like System Breakdown proceeded to throw everything he had into what remained of his set, turning what could have been a fairly ordinary few songs into a tour de force of rhythmic experimentation and sonic adventure. Seeing Sweet Jane traipse in, lugging their gear from the rain-flooded Meeting House Square, caused both confusion and the warm glow of the knowledge that you were right after all to stay indoors. Whether Sweet Jane’s set was in fact cancelled has yet to be ascertained. 

Autamata, the sweet pop/electro-heads of the Irish scene, came as one of the biggest system shocks of the whole weekend. To any (including myself) who had until tonight only known the recorded Autamata sound, this Button Factory gig could have been nothing else. Pounding with a feral bass and sexy aggression, Autamata lose all their innocence when put on a stage, with producer and guiding force Ken McHugh jumping up and down, and one of the most unusual voices in the Irish circuit soaring and growling. Unfortunately, Autamata, possibly most good-natured band in Ireland, appeared to bring with them an entourage of posing scenesters, leaving me stuck behind a trio of extremely intoxicated dancers, who were totally feeling the beats, man.

So at the end of the final round the scores are Uninteresting: 4, Decent Enough: 15. While the Hard Working Class Heroes weekend had its faults, it certainly made its point.

Anna Murray

In addition to Steven O'Rourke's Festival Diary for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of HWCH 2008, check out the following CLUAS reviews of bands who played the festival:


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Gig Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
14

Crayonsmith, The Parks and A Lazarus Soul at HWCH Day 2

The ParksReview Snapshot: After a little timetable confusion, Day 2 of HWCH '08 proved a slight disappointment after yesterday, but with a few outstanding performances

The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10

Full Review:

Strange things have been happening at this festival: between some serious organisational miscommunications, poor sound and last night’s timetable mix-up. Having turned up at the supposed starting time of Hybrasil’s set in the Button Factory (7.45 according the HWCH schedule booklet) and waiting a twenty minutes before heading, a little let-down and confused, toward Andrew’s Lane and Grand Pocket Orchestra, I was more than a little annoyed this morning to double check the online schedule and discover that Hybrasil’s set was in fact timetabled to start at 8.15.

Although I missed out catching one excellent band, I was lucky to catch another. Earlier this year, GPO released their debut EP this year – an interesting but apparently misleading work, giving the impression of a quirky, poppy, jittery and melodic group having fun. Grand Pocket Orchestra live is a totally different beast: though still undeniably jittery and quirky, it is wild, aggressive, and loud. At its heart is a girl, obviously starved for attention but with an interesting collection of instruments, and a guy, a singer who throws shapes a little like Ian Curtis, or a little like a mime artist with a geometry obsession. Although the sound was at first muddy and indistinct, making it impossible to distinguish one instrument from another, a blinding set of songs emerged from the confusion and swept the crowd along with it.

Then the frenzied rush over to A Lazarus Soul in the Button Factory. And after the band started, an equally frenzied desire to rush back out again. Not familiar with the band before last night, I have been assured by Key Notes that when not bereft of their keyboard player as they were last night, A Lazarus Soul are quite a band to behold; yet I remain unconvinced. In a world where story-telling and sentimentality in lyrics are out of fashion and obscurity and allusion are in, A Lazarus Soul write impassioned songs that read sometimes like a Roddy Doyle novel with the humour stripped away, accompanied by dull crunching rock and some very 80s synth. With that deep and arresting voice their only redeeming feature, this was performance that was more dull than you can believe.

And so I was ready to be impressed by the Parks, Ireland’s favourite new wünderkinder. Having just finished their Leaving Cert, they are unseasoned and nervous, but all the more likeable for it. The Parks are a power trio with potential, but they have yet to shake the sound of a teenage garage band. Although still a little loose around the edges, each member of the band is an excellent musician with the air of a teenage heartthrob, while singer Ciaran has a voice that is as yet young but can easily become one of the most distinctive in the Irish circuit. The Parks are good at what they do, they’re just not quite there yet.

Crayonsmith proved to be the last gig I could make: the last 66 bus of the night leaves at 11.30, leaving me with less than five minutes of Le Galaxie. Much saddened by this state of affairs, I believe Crayonsmith must have been aware of my predicament, and gave one of the best shows of HWCH 08 so far to make me feel better. Songs from this year’s excellent White Wonder album were given a new injection of life and dirtied; far from the clean sounds of the album, a greater concentration on guitars and bass gave the band crunch and power, with no sacrifice in melody or sound. Not just that, but the Crayonsmith gig proved to be the busiest and most fun gig so far, with close to a full house of obvious fans.

Anna Murray

In addition to Steven O'Rourke's Festival Diary for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of HWCH 2008, check out the following CLUAS reviews of bands who played the festival:


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Gig Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
13

Nakatomi Plaza, Half Cousin, Lines Drawing Circles (live at HWCH Day 1)

Half CousinReview Snapshot:

The first night of Hard Working Class Heroes 2008 seemed a little quiet, whether because of the poor timing of the festival the increased price of tickets, or just because of the intermittent rain. Reports so far have been mixed, but this reviewer found Day 1 to be a brilliant night.

The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review:

Most of the talk surrounding this year’s HWCH event has centred on the change of venues after last year’s concentration around the POD complex. While this brought its fair share of difficulties for the festival, I did not encounter quite so many organisational problems as another Cluas reviewer; in fact, Day 1 proved to be a great night out, where running from venue to venue added to a (probably misplaced) sense of adventure and discovery and where Meeting House Square hosted one of the most entertaining, if not necessarily best, acts of the night.

Running a little late and not wanting to face the epic journey across the river to the Academy, I opted to catch a disappointing Heartbreak Cartel at Andrew’s Lane Theatre. Playing to a mere thirty-odd people, their almost-famed stage antics – replete with in-jokes, wigs and cheap costumes – seemed nothing more than a cover-up for an as-yet underdeveloped live performance. While respect for their attempts to provide that extra entertainment factor must be given, it is obvious that it may be a while yet before their show will really involve their audience, until that germ of an idea will develop into something worth catching. Unfortunately, peel away the showmanship and you’re left with nothing memorable: each song washes past you leaving you with no definite recollections of it, only a sense of something rhythmic and bouncy and vaguely Modest Mouse-ish.

Next to Meeting House Square and Fred: a Cork quintet who had never before played in Dublin and who proved to be the biggest surprise of the night. After a few minutes of slightly awkward chatter with that slightly quirky Cork humour the band launched headlong into a set that rocked and bounced and jerked its way along, with a sound that was so remarkably tight and together it came as a shock. Suffering from few of the sound problems which apparently afflicted other acts at the Square (and having unfortunately to contend with an alarm going off throughout their set) Fred were entertaining, funny, extroverted and talented and are without a doubt a band to watch for the future. If nothing else they prove that the Irish Times occasionally get things wrong: “like Sly & The Family Stone in a swordfight with the Flaming Lips, refereed by Brian Wilson” is in fact almost entirely inaccurate, and any review which fails to mention the influence U2 have had over singer Joseph is an inaccurate one.

Lines Drawing Circles, also in Meeting House Square, proved to be one of the biggest disappointments. Every track appeared to have a similar structure and sound, as if they had one idea and stuck to it, but were unable to develop it properly. But what was most disappointing was that on listening to the tracks of the debut EP release in March this year, Lines Drawing Circles songs are in fact really, really good. Unfortunately their multi-layered sound seems only to suit records and possibly smaller, louder and more intimate venues.

Half Cousin, in Dame Lane, came as another surprise. Part of the Scottish invasion, Kevin Cormack has two albums and a number of EPs/singles to his name: releases which this reviewer has already ordered since seeing his awkward fumbling set. After a long soundcheck, Half Cousin began as if he didn’t want anybody to notice, and looked throughout as if he was frustrated and confused that he was unable to control his drum machine and synth, play guitar and sing at the same time. While most songs appeared to have little or no structure apart from the underlying glitchy homemade beats so that it was sometimes difficult to tell when one track ended and another began, each contained enough ingenuity and originality for an album by a lesser artist. A set in the Sugar Club can only be hoped for.

Last was Nakatomi Plaza at the Button Factory. Anthony, an ex-66e, who together with Le Galaxie (playing the same venue on Day 2) is looking to get over the giant name of that lost band…although this doesn’t stop them mentioning 66e in all their descriptions and press releases. The force behind 66e’s characteristic guitar/electronic sound, Nakatomi Plaza has turned to the heavy beats of house, but with all the dense layerings expected of an ex-66e: this set had the feel of a club, but one where you stand still and try to sift through the ear-bleedingly loud and crowded sounds. Manning a single synth and laptop, and with Predator projected onto the back of the stage behind him, Anthony’s constant smile made Nakatomi Plaza a slightly off-kilter show.

Anna Murray

In addition to Steven O'Rourke's Festival Diary for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of HWCH 2008, check out the following CLUAS reviews of bands who played the festival:


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Gig Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
06

Clinic Do It!A review of the album Do It! by Clinic

Review Snapshot:

Do It! sounds like an indie band who have gone on a bad trip and taken some vintage instruments with them, with the result that Clinic sound like a four-piece power rock group who have been placed behind a sheet of glass in the dungeon of some warped fairground (just listen to the Coda, with its vaudevillian nightmare intro). It works.

The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review:
Although my first encounter with Clinic left a decidedly unfavourable impression on me, with 'Do It!', their fifth album, I finally get it. It’s a new sound creation, floating some way above accepted style and genre, and this is a well-made demonstration of that.

It is clear from opening track Memories, that Clinic’s strength do not necessarily lie with their songwriting, but their ability to create and work with sounds. Whichever side of the natural/raw vs. production debate you might stand, you just can’t deny that the studio has done Clinic a whole lot of good. Most songs on this album are undeniably decent chugging alt / art / punk / rock / folk / eh? tracks but with often uninteresting and/or indecipherable lyrics and frankly quite strange lines from all instruments, it’s their manipulation and combination of unusual and often vintage sounds that makes them stand out from the crowd: Clinic think like an electronic band but act like old-fashioned rockers. Each and every track sees a new mix, a new guitar setting, a different organ, a vocal drone, some deeply-buried harmonica or brass. Constantly changing panning, EQ. and mix settings make each of those sounds in each track a new and distinct event.

Clinic have restructured the musical hierarchy, removing melody from its top post and replacing it with rhythm and sound-world; harmony is still in there somewhere, although their ex-key chords make it a difficult thing to follow. Although they have mastered both subtlety and directness, it’s the former that permeates most of this album, particularly in their rhythm and barely discernible drum beats. Drum and instruments meld and progress in an organic and natural way, despite their unnatural and industrial overtones.

As an introduction to their music, 'Do It!' provides a solid base of the Clinic aesthetic; as the fifth in a line of albums, it, like its music, follows a steady path of progression which can only continue with the next.

Anna Murray

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Album Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
02

CrayonsmithCLUAS Verdict: 8 out of 10

Review Snapshot: As ever running that fine line between rock, pop, electronica, alternative, and general unclassifiable, Dublin’s Ciarán Smith has produced an album of tracks that are well-written, well produced, well orchestrated and well performed. What more could you want?

Review: Out On A Limb is close to becoming my favourite record label, indie or otherwise, and OOAL0011 - in real words Crayonsmith’s White Wonder - is even more quickly becoming one of my favourite albums. Crayonsmith’s early and possibly more familiar lo-fi sound has expanded and developed into something totally original and new to the Irish market. Subtle snatches of melody, classic if sometimes unexpected harmonic twists, droning percussive synths and charming vocals so beautifully layered and produced that you can almost imagine them standing in rows in front of you: percussion, guitars and synths in rows up each side and Ciarán standing somewhere in the middle, his voice entering and falling out of the swells of sound. Each track is nothing if not considered, containing a wealth of musical ideas that combine to create a soundworld that almost feels like a glimpse into a new world.

It’s so easy to rave about a new artist, new album or new sound, and then after touting it as the best thing since X&Y, to all too quickly lose interest, but this album has so far stood up to a week of constant listening, and still they are new things to discover. This fascination is due in part to the band’s admittedly not-totally-original concept for the album. Having pulled George Brennan on board to help out, White Wonder is a combination of sampled and electronically produced beats and sounds and live instrumentation. And what’s best about it is that you can’t tell which is which, and what appears to be a new and different sound is in fact in part made up of old sounds. Crayonsmith are just too clever for their own good.

 

In terms of tracks, the album fits so well together, it can be difficult to pick out worst and best bits. In fact, it’s sometimes difficult to tell what belongs in one song and what to another. Consistency is the keyword with this release, but a number of songs such as The Boat, the gently melodies of which move slowly but inevitably towards a hurtling crash of sparring harmonies and guitars only to be suddenly reined back in, and the crunching Anything, which is as perfect an example as any other of the melding of sampled and real, stand out. Opener White Wonder Theme and Lost in the Forest and closer We Sleep bookend the album perfectly with their complementing expansive synth sections and driving verse patterns.

 

Anna Murray


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Album Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
02

The Duke Spirit (live in The Village, Dublin)

The Duke SpiritReview Snapshot: Undaunted by less than perfect sound, the headliners delivered up to their reputation and a set that left the crowd panting, even if the supports failed to make an impression.

The Cluas Verdict?  7 out of 10

Full Review:
Each time I go to the Village, I find another reason to dislike it as a venue. Sometimes it’s the crowd; sometimes the painfully cool and smooth veneer, its attempts at looking like an underground venue while having fake-marbled, mirror-lined bathrooms. On Sunday it was the sound. While the Village has one of the better sound systems in the Dublin area venue circuit, the effect of this is too often ruined by having the volume turned up to 11: four or five instruments become smushed into one mashed-up whole with occasional words, high registers become toneless squeals and low registers become painful thumps. So while the crowd was big and enthusiastic enough to absorb the volume – and energy – generated by the Duke Spirit, the support acts suffered.

David Hope, acting as opener, is nothing more than a big sweet man playing big sweet songs, and as such was instantly likeable, but as quickly forgettable. Sweet Jane, suffering as their sound was from the aforementioned volume problems, were only just on the bearable side of ear-popping, although whether greater clarity of sound would have improved their performance or not is difficult to say. Not only did the Dublin band take their name from another band, but it appeared most of their music too. Obviously a little too overtaken by admiration for bands of the grungy and shoegazing past, a lacklustre set culminating with their almost superfluous female singer smashing her tambourine and writhing in what she seemed to think was a seductive manner. So rock’n’roll, man.

Despite the unsubtle excellence of their debut album Cuts Across the Land, the Duke Spirit have proven that they are undoubtedly a live band. Stripped down to bare basics, their songs are simple, but have a great depth of sound, reaching down to the bowels and up to the pinnacle of the sound spectrum. After suffering from the dreaded sophomore slump – latest album Neptune simply fails to live up to its predecessor’s edge – new songs such as Sovereign, Send A Little Love Token and My Sunken Treasure were given an energy and verve to match the darker counterparts from Cuts…, such as Red Weather Hill.

As a band, the Duke Spirit are tight, original, energetic and exciting, but collective talent aside, it is equally undeniably Liela Moss that is the heart and soul. One of the best frontpersons to be seen in a band in at least a decade, she long ago reached the poise, sexiness, confidence and sheer rock energy that the aforementioned posturing Sweet Jane frontlady, among others, strives for. Her stage presence, passion, moves and that voice all combine to make her a formidable entity, a ball of blazing energy that commands your attention, although never enough to overshadow her bandmates.

The Duke Spirit records may be good, but live they pound, they scream, they rock, and they make you move.

Anna Murray


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Gig Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
12

My Brother Woody 'It's a Long Way From That Sort of Thing You Were Raised'Review Snapshot: At its heart this is a happy album, full of innocence and charm, with some excellent songs and catchy hooks. Everything you want in a disposable summer album, but little more.

The CLUAS Verdict: 7 out of 10

Full Review: 
Cute is not a word I’d often associate with albums, but it’s one that just keeps recurring when I think about My Brother Woody’s 'It’s A Long Way from That Sort of Thing You Were Raised'. I don’t know if it is how they were raised or something they picked up along the way, but this album is all honest charm and good nature. Even the long-winded title is apt… in a totally unusual and inimitable way.

It’s all in the inescapable Irishness of this album: although gladly lacking in fiddles and faux-celtic-air melodies and although much has been made of it’s good vibrations, Californian overtones and ‘bops, oohs and aahs‘, lyrically and sentimentally, My Brother Woody’s hook-driven tracks are inescapably the product of the modern Irish humour and lifestyle.

With songs like 'Getting Old Goes With Getting Fat', 'Wish I Was a DJ 'and 'Super Serotonin Girl', this album shows a complete lack of the pretensions and self-consciousness of other musicians, while displaying a superb song-writing talent and well-developed musicianship almost hidden beneath its sweet cheer.

Anna Murray


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Album Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
23

A review of the album U.F.O.s at the Zoo by The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips U.F.O.s at the ZooReview Snapshot:
Although guilty speculations of animal cruelty creep sidelong into the back of your mind with this gig in an Oklahoma Zoo, it’s far too easy to ignore them. This is as good a recording of a gig as you’re likely to find, especially when energy and surprise are that gigs main assets; if nothing else, with this DVD The Flaming Lips again prove themselves masters of gimmickry and sheer entertainment.

The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review: 
A zoo, a UFO light-rig, giant orange balloons, confetti launchers, armies of dancers in fancy dress, little laser lights and Wayne Coyne’s now infamous plastic bubble antics are the stuff that great gigs are made of, apparently: they appear at each Flaming Lips gig – including last November in Dublin – and every Flaming Lips gig is, without a doubt, a great gig. But their effect is somewhat lost when the energy and immediacy of these shows is removed, and what normally seems quirky and on the lovable Lewis Carroll/Dr. Seuss side of fantastic now smacks just a little of desperate. Still, a Flaming Lips gig is a Flaming Lips gig, and so fans, especially those who missed out on last years gig, will be glad to see this.

Wayne Coyne’s band – as, let’s face it, the others are quickly becoming minor parts to the Wayne Coyne/Flaming Lips experience – have yet to produce a recording that fails to capture their audience in some way, usually going for the heart straight through the imagination. With production that borders on perfect, it’s easy to wonder how a lot of their songs would translate into a live setting. However U.F.O.s at the Zoo proves how little the band really need to worry about it, for even when their performance is not perfect, that inimitable humour and light-heartedness carries each song through, from their early She Don’t Use Jelly, to Do You Realize??, to the now-infamous Yeah Yeah Yeah Song. You just wish it was easier to hate that chorus…
 
There are only two major flaws to be found in U.F.O.s at the Zoo, aside from the inevitable jealousy and unspecific animosity it evokes towards the lucky people who were there. The first is the disc itself – an MVI which stores audio, only for transferring to an MP3 player, and video which can be watched on any normal DVD player. Except that it can’t, so you’re left with a CD/DVD that can only be played on a computer. But that’s ok, because there’s enough computer-based bonus material to be found there in the form of free downloads etc to make the hassle of staring into your PCs small screen well worth it. The second problem is in the show itself: clips of the concert are interspersed with clips of fans queuing and talking about nothing very much interesting. In other words there’s a lot of material added that appears to be doing nothing much other than beefing up the time, material that would be much better suited to a bonus or making-of type disc.

Anna Murray

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Album Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
03

A review of the album Yesterday Is No Tomorrow by Stalkers

Stalkers Yesterday Is No TomorrowReview Snapshot:It is almost a prerequisite in listening to this album that you not have a problem with uncomplicated music. Stalkers are a straightforward hard rocking band who write fantastically singable rock songs: this album may not change the face of music as we know it, but it’s a lot of fun.

The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10

Full Review:

The most remarkable thing about this album is its sheer relentlessness. Stalkers don’t concern themselves too much with the finer points of harmony, melody or subtlety, but they do hammer out rough rhythms and roars of vocals, tripping over their own squealing guitar solos, chunky riffs and remarkably hooky choruses in an effort to push it through the speakers with as much power as possible. Wasting no time, the band launch into opening track Yesterday Is No Tomorrow as if there’s a giant hand pushing forward from behind, and they simply can’t help being forced forward.

What follows typifies each track on the album: you have your early rock/12-bar-blues-based riffs piled high with simple, innocent overdrive, your half-shouted vocals, and your standard driving backbeat, low in the mix but pinning everything down. Through songs like I’m Feeling Alright and Sun’s Coming Up, Stalkers create an irresistible atmosphere of joyous abandon and carefree fun with an edge of nostalgia, both lyrically with their honest and unassuming stories, and musically with some pleasantly surprising references to the guitar solos of early rockers and even the melodies of the Beach Boys. There’s even a little Frank Black in there somewhere.

Every song, whether it’s about stalking someone, having a great time, circus girls, or wanting to ‘do as we may!’ in what must be one of the most strangely grammatically correct choruses ever written, is utterly singable – albeit a little manic – and totally infectious. However, the album fails to stand up to repeated listening: there’s only so much happy, carefree rock you can listen to, without feeling a little manic yourself. This is an album for specific occasions, rather than regular rotations. With such frothy –light-hearted tunes and subjects, it’s more suited to sunny afternoons than the rain and wind of a November release. 

Anna Murray

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.


More ...

[Read more...]

Posted in: Album Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
26

Steer Clear 'No You Hang Up'

Not a perfect album, but not a bad one within the strict quality confines of uneventful teenage punk.

CLUAS Verdict: 6 out of 10

A band of the new generation, N. Irish pop-punks Steer Clear have topped Bebo music streams with thousands of online fans. But so have a lot of bands: is that a genuine reflection of a good album? Yes in some ways, no in others. A triumph of marketing and good production over musical content, No…You Hang Up is filled with angsty pop-punk of a breed common across the generational band of age 12-15. For all that, there’s some undeniably catchy choruses, clever guitar work, erudite references to classical and classic rock, punk, metal and even pop. Despite the difficulties inherent in telling any songs apart, each of them are some good tunes with decent, if not ground-breaking or even naff-free, lyrical content. 

Anna Murray

[Read more...]

Posted in: Album Reviews
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |
Page 3 of 4First   Previous   1  2  [3]  4  Next   Last   

Search Articles

Nuggets from our archive

2008 - A comprehensive guide to recording an album, written by Andy Knightly (the guide is spread over 4 parts).