Friday, 30 September 2011

LISTEN: Melksham:Music - Show #3 - 30/09/11

Melksham Community Radio just wouldn't be complete without an outlet for Melksham's homegrown bands and artists. You'll hear tunes from the latest local acts, sounds from Melksham's impressive musical history as well as the gig guide, local music news and occasionally artists from the surrounding Wiltshire areas too. This edition features new stuff from the excellent Thought Forms, Liveo, Jordan Whatley and Big Giant Head as well as some old stuff from The Mental and No Manifesto. Plus Melksham's very own tribute to the Fab Four, All You Need Is The Beatles and another track from Home Taping Is Killing Music And It's Illegal....

SONG FOR TODAY : Asian Dub Foundation - Buzzin'

It was probably due to my love of Primal Scream that I ended up coming across this band. Bobby gillespie would rave about this Asian Dub Foundation band in the music press, the Scream had remixed their 'Free Satpal Ram' single (an awesome protest song) and I was led to buy their 1998 album 'Rafi's Revenge', which went Top 20 here in the UK.

Doyle And The Fourfathers - Welcome to Austerity

Brand new track from the excellent Doyle And The Fourfathers, following their brilliant debut album 'Man Made' earlier this year. The band posted: "'Welcome to Austerity' and another track 'L'Enfant Terrible' will be available in the next month or two. We're planning another video to come out before then as well, as well as much more gigs and fun stuff in the coming weeks so stay tuned"

Thursday, 29 September 2011

MOJO magazine - Issue 216 Nov 2011

After over a month with no MOJO (and after I managed to buy three issues in the space of a month and a half) the new edition is on the shelves now. This time round it features ANOTHER Beatles-related cover as well as plenty more stuff including the verdict on Noel Gallagher's debut solo album and the new one from Coldplay.... As always well worth the £4.50 per month and a bargain when you consider how good the free CD always is....


FREE CD! HARRISON COVERED: MOJO presents an exclusive tribute to George starring Show Of Hands, Richie Havens, Ron Sexsmith, The Felice Brothers, Yim Yames, Emmy The Great, Jonathan Wilson featuring Graham Nash, The Webb Sisters & more!

GEORGE HARRISON: As the 10th anniversary of his death approaches, MOJO celebrates the life and music of “the quiet Beatle”. Michael Simmons talks to Paul, Ringo, Pattie, Olivia, Tom Petty, and many more to cast new light on the man that millions adored but few truly knew.

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT: “Scared” kid, college drop-out and “new Dylan”, America’s king of confessional song opens up to Phil Sutcliffe and talks life, sex, death. Oh, and about Rufus and Martha too...

BJÖRK: Can Iceland’s mad-eyed screamer save the entire record industry with Biophilia, her new album-cum-app? “All the old rules, they don’t work any more,” she tells Mark Paytress.

JEFF BRIDGES: The Dude recruits his old pal T Bone Burnett to produce his first album for Blue Note. “Music is in me,” he tells Sylvie Simmons as she joins the Oscar-winner on the road.

BEIRUT: How did an archetypal bedroom musician become the leader of the hottest band in the indie-rock blogosphere? David Sheppard hears Zach Condon’s unlikely tale of sonic adventure and emotional turmoil.

THE WATERBOYS: The self-styled architect of Big Music faced down the ‘80s stadium rock challenge, then withdrew to Ireland. “I started to see gods in people’s faces,” Mike Scott tells James McNair.

PUBLIC IMAGE LTD: What happens when John Lydon teams up with Cream’s ex-drummer, former Zappa “stunt” guitarist Steve Vai and jazz legend Miles Davis? Keith Cameron on the making of one of the most complex, bracing rock LPs of modern times...

REVIEWED: Tom Waits / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds / Coldplay / Radiohead / Tori Amos / Merle Haggard / Jackie DeShannon / Real Estate / Phil Spector / The Jesus and Mary Chain / Nirvana / The Smiths / Jimi Hendrix / Little Feat / Elvis Presley and many more!

PLUS! New Order reunite...sort of / Introducing The Stepkids / In the studio with Kiss / Jeffrey Lewis delivers his Self-Portrait / Lindsey Buckingham speaks / In Toronto with Feist / Farewell, Jerry Leiber...

AND FINALLY... Martin Scorsese’s new, epic George Harrison documentary – the verdict is in! 

Clock Opera - Lesson No. 7

SONG FOR TODAY : Richard Ashcroft - A Song For The Lovers

When The Verve broke up in 1999 everyone knew Richard Ashcroft would soon launch a solo career. When the album 'Alone With Everybody' was released most critics dismissed it as bland and unimaginative. Indeed, some of it was but at least back then he was still trying to write great songs (unlike on the atrocious 'United Nations Of Sound' album he released last year) and this was probably the best. Classy.

Bloc Party confirm they will be auditioning new singers

Photo: Photo: Andy WilsherBloc Party have confirmed that they will be recording without singer Kele Okereke and will be auditioning new vocalists.

Last week, Okereke revealed to NME that he had spotted guitarist Russell Lissack, bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong outside a rehearsal studio in New York and not only was he not invited to take part in the sessions, he was unaware they were happening at all.

Speaking to NME, Russell Lissack confirmed that the band were making music again and would be looking for a new singer.

He said:" It's not really a secret because Kele's been pretty busy doing solo stuff and it looks like he's going to be doing that a bit longer. The other three of us wanted to meet up and make music. We were talking about just doing an instrumental thing, but now we might get a singer as well, to properly put some music out and play some shows."

Lissack denied that there was bad blood between the band and Okereke, but confirmed they hadn't spoken for a couple of months.

He added: "I haven't spoken to Kele for a couple of months, I guess since the festivals when I was doing stuff with Ash. But there's no bad vibes."

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Marion reform

Marion are to reform, singer Jaime Harding has announced.

The bulk of the original line-up, including former members Phil Cunningham, Anthony Grantham and Julian Phillips, are back along with new member and former Haven drummer Jack Mitchell.

This is the first time virtually the full line-up have come together since they split in the late 1990s. Harding and guitarist Cunningham did briefly reform under the band's name in 2006 with a series of musicians from Bath but it came to an end when Harding had to undergo open heart surgery.

He told the band's official website "I was in hospital for most of 2007 and I wasn't sure if I'd ever be able to sing again, which would have been beyond my comprehension."
He added: "I did gradually recover and in 2008 I moved to London. Now Marion are starting the next chapter and we are ready to reclaim the most exciting live group title for good. This original line-up is sounding seriously clever, and Anthony and Jules have filled the gap that was missing in 2006 stunningly making the whole sound complete."

The band released two albums 'This World And Body' and 'The Program' in the '90s and scored two top 40 hits – 'Let's All Go Together' and 'Time'. 

"If you (like me) need that Marion fix of style, glamour and violently beautiful songs, then we should meet soon on a dark night and i will tell you my story," Harding added. "You can tell all the doubters who listen to todays bland and passionless music I TOLD YOU SO!!!!Marion are tops!!!"

SONG FOR TODAY : Louis Armstrong - We Have All The Time In The World

There were many songs by this great man I could have picked today.... I first got into 'Satchmo' during the late 90's when I was going through a jazz phase, and a £5.99 Best Of CD taught me as much as I needed to know at the time. This (also a Bond theme) is my favourite of Armstrong's moments.....

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : Arctic Monkeys - She's Thunderstorms

It's insane that I haven't featured the Arctic Monkeys as my Song For Today yet. Rather than going for one of the obvious tracks from the debut album here is the opener from this year's 'Suck It And See', an album that sounds better every time I hear it.

Monday, 26 September 2011

REVIEW: Frenzy - 'In The Blood' - LISTEN

In a world crippled by war, depression, paranoia, chaos and greed, you'd expect the public to be wanting to hear era-defining music that reflects the times instead of the bland mediocrity that fills the radio and television in 2010. Here, after over 3 years in the making is an album that not only defines the times, but brings us the joyously chaotic, raucous rock n roll soundtrack to lift us all through these dark days.

Frenzy formed in the early 80's, fronted by show-stopping upright bassist Steve Whitehouse. They enjoyed a string of hit singles and albums during the revival of the rockabilly scene in the 1980s, but after a dark and somewhat stale period in the 1990s and various line up changes, it looked like this band might have had their day. Then in the early 2000's with psychobilly enjoying a healthy revival, and a new crop of bands influenced by Frenzy's work, the group were joined by guitarist Steve Eaton and with the album 'Dirty Little Devils' the group started developing a new Frenzy sound that was heavier, more energetic and highly infectious. The songwriting partnership of Whitehouse and Eaton progressed further on the 2006 album 'Nitro Boy', which was followed by old drummer Adam Seviour rejoining the band and cementing the group's strongest line up yet, regarded widely as the most definitive.

Over the last four years, some incredible live performances, tours and festival appearances all over the world re-established the Somerset trio as an electrifying rock n roll band, but all this time they've been keeping a major ace card up their sleeves. This album has been in the making for over 3 of those years while the band made sure the record was as good as it could be, and waited for the right record label to give the album the proper release it deserved.

If you're an old Frenzy fan, this album is the finest work they have done in all their 27 year history, and a much more consistent record than its two predecessors and in retrospect 'Dirty Little Devils' and 'Nitro Boy' sound like mere warm-ups compared to this album. And if you've never heard Frenzy before, NOW is the time. This album injects the new life into rock n roll that was needed in this day and age, while reminding us that the great bits of history are to be celebrated while the dark moments and mistakes in history are to be learned from. It's also an album that will lyrically inspire you to keep fighting against the shit of day to day life and musically energise you with a heavy shot of adrenaline.

From the opening bass slapping chaos of 'Time Machine', we already know that we're in a for a treat. Seviour's snappy drumming catches the ear straight away as lyrics about time travel remark how great it would be to revisit classic eras in time rather than live in the shithole of a world we have in 2010. And of course being central to the neo-rockabilly scene, 'In The Blood' definitely revels in the past, but at the same time has a refreshing modern bite to it.

You won't be able to sit still listening to numbers such as the highly-infectious 'Hero', where Whitehouse's upright bass playing is sharper and (no pun intended) even more frenzied than ever and where the band well and truly whip up a musical storm. On the tough heavy swing of 'Twice The Struggle', Eaton picks out simple, effective little riffs while lyrically the song gives a rightful kick in the balls to useless, talentless people who somehow get everything while doing nothing to deserve it, while hard working musicians such as Frenzy have to work their bollocks off and not even get half the recognition. Well that's how I see it anyway. On the insane 'Johnny Rocket', a song about a psychobilly highwayman from outer space (with a "hotrod rocket ship"), Eaton demonstrates part of why he was such an important addition to the band when you hear him let rip on the solo, while Adam Seviour is like a rock n roll firework behind the drums, his playing impossible to ignore.

Then we get to 'In The Blood', the incredible title track and arguably the centrepiece of the record. Snappy, heavy and dark, the track seems to get bigger and more fierce with every verse until it steps up a gear and lets rip during the last chorus. Quite possibly the most essential 5 minutes and 21 seconds of their career. After such a strong title track, on first listen 'Go Away' sounds a bit throwaway. But after a couple of plays it proves itself to be rather addictive, a catchy riff and almost an Elvis in '68 vibe backing up a song that surely must be THE most enjoyable way of telling someone to fuck off. 'Forever Ticking Clock' is essentially a lyrical and musical relative of 'One Way Taxi' (from the previous album 'Nitro Boy'), a song about the inevitability of death, which despite the grim subject matter is great fun to listen to, and reminds you that despite the fact that we're all going to die, we're still alive now.

The terrific 'Stop The World' is not a Crass or Subhumans-style political lecture, but simply addresses what's going on around us in the most direct terms possible while highlighting how it affects us all in the form of a tough, no-nonsense beast of a rock n roll tune. After these hard hitting lyrical topics, lighter relief comes in the form of 'Adrenaline' which is a complete no-brainer, a straight-forward celebration of the fun that is had at every Frenzy show as well as the satisfaction the guys get from giving it their all. And during this song you'll hear some reminders of the vintage Frenzy sound, with post-chorus interludes reminiscent of sounds from their classic 1980's LP 'Clockwork Toy'.

But it's the closing track 'Dark Winter' that is perhaps the most interesting. Like 'Stop The World', this is what some would call a 'political' track, but more of a "fuck you" to all the bankers and city people who led the world to a financial meltdown, and how their actions affected people all over the world, including the guys in Frenzy. But the big surprise comes in the middle of the song, with an accomplished-sounding and (almost) psychedelic interlude that almost brings to mind British 60's music and somehow sits perfectly in the middle of the song before it once again kicks back into the trademark Frenzy swing. A reminder that the boundaries of rock n roll music can be pushed further than some think, and (like the rest of this album) proof that the world of rockabilly has moved on from songs about pin-up girls and Cadillacs.

With an LP packed with tight rock and roll belters that provide Frenzy with the album that they can be proud to call their defining work, the old masters of psychobilly are back, and setting a new standard for the many groups that formed in their wake. Essential. 9/10

Northern Uproar - Back Of My Mind - New track

90's Manchester legends Northern Uproar are back, playing all the old classics and recording a brand new album through PledgeMusic.

The band formed in 1995 with Leon Meya (vocalist, bassist), Paul Kelly (guitarist), Jeff Fletcher (guitarist), and Keith Chadwick (drummer).

After a bidding war, the group eventually signed with Heavenly Records and in Monnow Valley Studio in Monmouth they recorded songs with Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield as producer and Dave Eringa as co-producer. The band released their first single, 'Rollercoaster', in late 1995 and appeared on Granada TV. The track peaked at #41 in the UK Singles Chart. The group's next single, 'From a Window' peaked at number 17. During this period of initial success the band made the cover of Melody Maker, and also appeared on Top of the Pops.

In April 1996, Northern Uproar's self-titled debut album was released and the group toured the United Kingdom and Japan. In 1997, they began recording their second full-length album, Yesterday Tomorrow Today which didn't quite match the success of the debut, despite the high quality of such amazing songs as 'Any Way You Look'. The band became disillusioned and issued a fittingly entitled final single,'Goodbye', before splitting up.

In 2004 Meya, and lead guitarist Fletcher, returned to the live circuit under the Northern Uproar name, with two shows in the Manchester area, performing both new and old songs. A reunion was mooted but nothing emerged in 2005. However, the band officially reformed in 2006 with Meya, Fletcher, Chris Gorman and Meya's cousin Noel on drums. A new album 'Stand and Fight' was released in July 2007 on the independent record label Tiny Rebel. Once again the group went their separate ways, but in 2011 they reformed to play series of gigs. It was then announced that the group had reformed again and along with a re-issue of 'Stand and Fight', the band would be recording a brand new album via PledgeMusic.

You can download (for free) a brand new Northern Uproar track 'Back Of My Mind' here, and use the band's PledgeMusic page to keep up to date with news on the band's new album.

Martin Rossiter - New solo album

Martin Rossiter is the former singer with 1990's indie legends Gene. The group disbanded in 2004 after a string of brilliant albums and Martin began life post-Gene.
He became the Centre Manager for ATM Studios and was also a member of the band Call Me Jolene, but now over six years without releasing any new music Martin Rossiter is preparing his debut solo album for release. His recent solo gigs have attracted a lot of praise, and his new material sounds excellent. 
Tracks that could potentially appear on the album are:

Drop Anchor
I Must Be Jesus
Darling Sorrow
Three Points On A Compass
Where There Are Pixels
I Want To Choose When I Sleep Alone
My Heart's Designed For Pumping Blood
Long Sleeves For The Summer
Sing It Out
Red, Blond And Blue

More news on the album to come soon on this blog..... In the meantime watch a selection of Martin's new tracks performed live....

Mogwai - Earth Division EP - Review

Mogwai's new four track EP follows this year's terrific album 'Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will', which saw the band's sound shifting to more diverse and at times more subtle places. The four new tracks here are characterised by their heavy use of classical instrumentation, and represent perhaps the softest side of Mogwai we've seen yet. Much of 'Earth Division' sounds like a soundtrack for a very bleak movie. Opener 'Get To France' is a gloomy piano led number which is topped off by its wonderfully melancholic strings, while 'Hound Of Winter' is a sad acoustic number with cold broken vocals.

'Drunk And Crazy' is a different beast altogether, producing a spiralling chaos where a blizzard of guitar effects meets static white noise, before the strings creep in to change the musical weather of the song. The EP reaches its climax with 'Does It Always Happen Like This', built around a desolate guitar line which repeats around the string arrangement and slowly grows into a thing of wonder that makes for a nice ending. Fans of the extremely loud qualities Mogwai have produced before will perhaps find less favour with these four short classically-arranged tracks, but taking into account that this is a band always looking for new ways to do things, this EP is a natural and successful musical experiment. 8/10

GIG REVIEW: Liveo, Bean and Jordan Whatley - The Pilot, Bowerhill, 19/09/2011

What follows is possibly the weirdest gig review you will ever read on these pages....

Now due to the fact that I have become intolerant towards alcohol, seeing me down the pub is a rare thing but tonight (Friday 19th September) I am taking a short walk to The Pilot, a venue that is a few seconds away from our new place in Bowerhill. And the reason? Melksham band Liveo are about to release their debut EP 'Ride Out The Waves' and to launch the release they are playing a free gig along with two support acts. But also tonight we are providing a home for two cats, who I also have to pick up from their previous owner's house tonight. So I arrive at The Pilot about 8pm, dash off at 9pm to collect our new feline friends and then return a mere half hour later having left the cats in the capable hands of my other half Gemma.

By the time I arrive back the first act has taken to the stage in the form of the young but very promising Jordan Whatley, singing some originals and well chosen covers accompanied solely by his acoustic guitar. A very brave acapella version of Frank Turner's 'The English Curse' is delivered to a rapturous applause, and Jordan leaves the stage having gained more people to add to his increasing fanbase. Next up is the ever-enjoyable Bean, the local legend who can usually be found rocking out with the brilliant Hell Death Fury. But tonight it is just him and his trusty ukelele. Two brilliantly quirky NOFX covers 'All Outta Angst' and 'Eat The Meek' were performed just as a man singing songs from one of his favourite bands should, and Bean even manages to make an annoying Lady fucking Gaga song sound half decent. However the highlight  has to be his rousing rendition of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', which has chords perfect for hammering out on the ukelele.

Liveo are the of course the main act of the night and before they arrive on stage I had an interesting chat with their guitarist Joe, who like myself is a big fan of Cherry Ghost, a band who they count as one of their influences alongside the likes of Rage Against The Machine and irritating dickhead Eminem. I ask him how a band can be influenced by three artists so diverse and wonder how these influences have shaped the sound. I am about to find out as they take the stage and launch into their opening number... The band are comprised of a rapper who also plays keyboards, a guitarist who does the singing bits, a de-shirted bassist and a drummer who looks somewhat older than the rest of the group. By now there is an enthusiastic crowd really getting into their combination of uniquely British rap, lively riffs and emotional singalong choruses, and copies of the debut EP are being handed out for free around the venue. One of the tracks from that EP is the fantastic 'Eye For An Eye', the strongest and most vital song they have in their cannon with an intricate and ear-catching guitar hook and a powerful lyric. It displays an intelligence and depth far removed from the nu-metal nonsense that most combinations of rapping and guitars usually seem to conjure up memories of. Their original songs are a bit stronger than the covers they choose to pad their set out with, one of them is apparently a Chase And Status song. No, I have no idea who they are but some of the kids here seem to appreciate it.

Sadly by the time the band are halfway through their set I have to depart the venue before the shop next door closes, since I need to buy some food for our newly homed cats. Walking down the road on my way back home I can hear the band playing a King Blues-esque bit of hip hop ska that makes me wish I could have stayed longer. Judging by the way the crowd seemed to enjoy it, I'd say it won't be too long before Liveo are playing more gigs around the area again.

See some (very bad quality) videos of Bean and Liveo below...

Lou Reed and Metallica - The View

Cast complete recording sessions for comeback album

Cast have completed recording sessions for their first album in 10 years.

The Liverpool four-piece, who reformed for a series of live gigs including a live date in London for the 15th anniversary of their debut album 'All Change' last year, have layed down 12 tracks for their fifth studio album. "So it's all recorded, 12 tracks, from the first take of the first song to the last breath blown down the microphone on the last track," singer John Power wrote on the band's official Twitter page "Should begin mixing in the next few days, then mastered and then ready for release."

The singer revealed that he wrote a "body" of new material last year which inspired him to reform the band. At the time he told NME: I've been writing a body of work that has made me feel at peace with the stuff I've done in the past and I don’t want to think too far ahead, but I thought it would probably work for Cast. So I thought: 'Why don’t we get together?'

Sunday, 25 September 2011

SONG FOR TODAY : Air - La Femme D'Argent

Sorry for the lack of 'Song For Today' yesterday, I was in Portsmouth where our hotel was trying to charge £16 for wi-fi access, so hence no way I could have used the internet without it costing me a bomb. This song, a day late is simply awesome.....

Friday, 23 September 2011

Kasabian - Velociraptor! - Review

The release of their 2009 album 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum' did something unexpected for Kasabian: it turned them into one of Britain's best loved bands and following the demise of Oasis shortly afterwards it seemed that the baton had been passed over to Tom, Serge and co. Two years on and the band finished work on their fourth album, declaring that "It’s been 15 or 16 years since the last truly classic album, but I think we’ve done it". It's statements like this that have meant 'Velociraptor' has had to live up to a lot of promises, people will be expecting to insert the album into their CD player and be instantly blown away. The album's title is a rough translation of "swift thief", perhaps an indication that these 11 tracks will capture you on the very first listen. However this wasn't quite as immediate as I was expecting it to be on its first play, the songs still sounded great but not that special and certainly not overwhelmingly instant. On the second listen a number of tracks stood out as early favourites, by the third play the melodies begin to dig their way into your head, and by the fourth play you realise that this IS in fact an amazing album. Soon after that fourth play you'll be hooked. This record is quite possibly the ultimate grower.

Wisely what the band have done is employed a high level of quality control. For example if you took the four best tracks from each of their 3 previous albums to make one album, you would get an incredible filler-free collection of classics. Maybe they used their very best songs as the watermark that the new songs had to rise above. And 'Velociraptor!' certainly sounds like a complete album, and a consistent body of work where every minute of every song counts.

'Let's Roll Just Like We Used To' opens the album with a gong, bellowing drones and a Morricone-styled burst of horns before the cruising 60's rhythm kicks in, presented with a timeless contemporary sound. There are hints of Love's 'Forever Changes' as the band show signs of musical maturity, but throughout they manage to keep that dangerous edge to the music as it brings across a most groovy type of suspense. After hearing this one a few rimes, it becomes ridiculously catchy and is a good indication of what's to come, even though it sounds like no other track on the record. Over the course of 'Velociraptor!' the group take key ingredients from musical history and present them in a modern and vital way, complete with excellent melodies and awesome sounds.

The single 'Days Are Forgotten' takes a hint of early 90's baggy and injects it with brutal strength to create a tougher, beefier, madder and more accomplished version of what their 2004 debut album did so well. Further signs of maturity are evident on the gorgeous 'Goodbye Kiss', a sweet yearning love song that could have been an old Phil Spector production if it wasn't for the sturdy production from Dan The Automator, who manages to keep the overall sound bang up to date. For sure Kasabian have never sounded this sentimental, but they do it amazingly well and after enough plays you'll realise this one really is a superbly written classic

'La Fee Verte' builds upon 'West Ryder''s psychedelic flavours, and details the weird experiences that green absinthe can induce. The track could almost be their 'I Am The Walrus', with its steady rhythmic plod, weird lyrics ("policemen in my bed", "dogs in handbags") and the general feeling that Kasabian are taking you into some kind of demented alternative reality. The chorus is an absolute killer plus the Mellotron sounds and Spanish horns make it even more of a pleasure to listen to. Then there's the storming title track, a fierce slice of banging electro punk with a menacing bassline, vicious guitars, a mental chorus and a sound that is at times reminiscent of Primal Scream circa 2000. 

'Acid Turkish Bath (Shelter From The Storm)' blends excellent percussion, epic Kashmir-esque strings and incredible melodies to give the album one of its most immediate moments, and one that exhibits how intelligent and confident their songwriting has become. Another one that stands out on the first couple of listens is the superb 'I Hear Voices', where the instrumentation is more minimal and powered by some wonderful vintage synths and percussion that could have come straight from an old Depeche Mode album. Yet none of it ever sounds like imitation, as the production adds strength and new life to any noticeable influences, while the tune itself is certainly more than strong enough to become a main point of focus.

Meanwhile 'Rewired' is a hit single waiting to happen, a near relative of 'Fire' with an air-punching chorus and a smart bassline recalling 'Rumours'-era Fleetwood Mac. Like the rest of the album not one verse, bridge, chorus or in fact any part is wasted, as they ensure every song fully lives up to its potential. 'Man Of Simple Pleasures' starts by sounding a little bit like 'Clint Eastwood' by Gorillaz but then the vocals arrive and lead the song into a brilliant chorus. It is at times reminiscent of The Kinks, but without sounding at all retro. It's classic British songwriting with a uniquely modern edge. Like other tracks it doesn't sound at all special on the first play, yet after hearing it a few times it will be popping up in your head when you're not listening to the record, making you want to play it again and again. 

'Switchblade Smiles' combines a furious hip hop beat with a filthy digital bassline, demented vocal sounds and a Radiohead-style weird bit in the middle. Throughout the "boom! can you feel it coming" builds up the suspense as if something is soon about to explode, but instead of being predictable and ending the song with a major blast, it finishes in the same paranoid mood that it began. Like the previous album this one closes with a slower more introspective moment and 'Neon Noon' is surely the most tender five minutes and 20 seconds of music Kasabian have ever produced. The acoustic chords and dreamy Lennon-esque vocals are paired with a very German -sounding analogue synth hook before slipping into a weary chorus. Out of all the tracks it's this one that takes the most listens to appreciate. It's certainly no stadium-sized lad anthem, but a subtle, thoughtful and rather beautiful ending to a fantastic album.

These songs are designed for repeated listens that reveal new things every time. It's better like this, the songs are made up of so many interesting melodies, hook and sounds that after they've been in your ears a few times will creep up on you and make a huge impact when they do. Some critics have written this record off after not getting into it on the first one or two listens.... But can anyone who has heard these songs as many times as I have say that this album is in any way a disappointment? Each track is incredibly infectious and every time you give the album a spin you'll have a new favourite song.

Overall 'Velociraptor!' is as refreshingly diverse and eclectic as it is consistent, yet it shines as a cohesive body of work due to the high quality of each and every song. Album of the year? It's sure going to take some beating. 9.5

SONG FOR TODAY : Aeroplane - Superstar

From last year (2010) a wonderfully retro slice of disco from Aeroplane.... album wasn't bad either.

Radiohead - The King Of Limbs Remixes - Jamie XX, Anstam and SBTRKT

LISTEN: Mr Scott:Music - Show #6 - 23/09/2011

Mr Scott : Music - Show #6 - 23/09/11

This edition of the show is absolutely packed with brand new music... fresh tracks from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Kasabian, Airship, Manic Street Preachers, Mogwai, Brett Anderson, Coldplay, Paul Weller, Little Roy, The Living End, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Rapture, Death In Vegas, DJ Shadow and more! Plus we bid farewell to the legendary REM with a classic track.