Facebook Slider

Physical Format-20190612

  • Published in Columns
Fickle Friends are the first act in the November Flying Vinyl box. Unfortunately they aren't featured in the accompanying booklet so I've no further information about them other than that they get three tracks on their transparent green 45 - 'Broken Sleep', an upbeat slice of pop if ever there was one. A summer song released at the end of autumn. 'The Moment', more of the same. Thankfully seemingly light on the autotune (if used at all) and 'San Francisco' again with the poppy and pleasant air. Each tune deserves a bit of attention this summer if they're lucky. The internet shows the band have played the Far East but not released any new music for a while.
Secondly, on red vinyl, we have Bristolians Swimming Girls doing their bit for the '80s revival. 'Back Of Your Car' is nicely upbeat but the lyrics are nothing special and overall it's forgettable compared to the Fickle Friends songs. 'Asking For It' is slower and again nothing of note. They've not risen any in my estimation since their 2017 release. The band's site shows they've just begun playing a few festival dates in Great Britain.
Eliza Shaddad has a breathy singing voice. Not unpleasant but 'This Is My Cue' is in no way the sort of thing I'd choose to listen to. all a bit too angsty as it gets going. 'Just Goes To Show' is a bit more considered but still strives towards the anthemic at times. Well crafted and she probably deserves better attention on the back of it. Eliza's site shows she has one live date coming up.
Loners apparently have the "undertones of the anthemic early '00s indie" in their sound but all I'm getting is more '80s and Erasure on 'He Looks Like Me'. Less Erasure and more Simple Minds on 'Give Up', which I do before the halfway point. Facebook indicates it's a slow process for new music coming out.
Lucy Lu's cover for 'Adonis'/'Down For The Third Time' flatters to deceive, giving the false impression that you'll be in for some muscular jazz funk. Instead you get fairly tepid and unmemorable modern soul. Definitely not my choice for the soundtrack of my lazy Sunday morning, unless by way of encouraging me to get up so as to turn it off. No one seems to want it on Discogs either so it's into the flea market pile. The band's site shows they have one live date still to come this summer.

Physical Format-20190220

  • Published in Columns


Having finally plugged my speakers back into my amp after relocating the stereo & jettisoning the CD player (and slowly trying to flog off the discs) it’s now possible for me to play the Flying Vinyl 7”s I’ve been amassing since July 2017. I’d have heard the tunes way before now if not for the subscription label’s anti-digital stance. Not a drama as that was clear from the start. There’s something like 200 songs to be got through so let’s crack on with the first month I received.

Taking them in the order displayed on the front of the accompanying pamphlet first up is Bloody Knees with 'Not Done' and 'I Want It All' (hopefully not a cover of the Queen song). The A side actually rings a vague bell so this is probably one of the months selections which actually got a play at the time of release. 'Not Done' is well weighted, fun & crunchy with an obviously pit-inducing pace and enjoyably anthemic lyrics which are howled out for the duration. 'I Want It All' is slower & more grunge than punk so, whilst an obvious B side I can't say it pushes any buttons for me. They appear to have been quiet since the release of their You Can Have It album last October.

Next up is Mellow Gang with 'Vendetta' & 'Lagoon (Solina)'. The mention of Lana Del Ray in the booklet in relation to the vocals here is clearly apt from the off. 'Vendetta' swirls around the place in a shoegazy melange. What's being sung about? No idea. Things are even less clear on the B side, which may not actually employ full words. Reasonably pleasant but probably not quite mellow enough for successful background music. The web indicates they've had no releases in the past year.   

Bloody Knees had the first of this month's two coloured discs (translucent bottle green) and Mellow Gang's is clear. The first black vinyl showcases 'Count Me Out' and 'Heartbreaker' by Berlin's Weirdo & Co. Being unable to live without someone's love (which they would if they could) is the theme of the A side. The Pet Shop Boys have probably done this sort of thing better. Not my sort of pop. At the switch over it turns out I've played the songs in the wrong order and the A side is in fact the worse of the two. I definitely need to see if I can get anything for this either on Discogs or at the flea market at the weekend. The band's Facebook page seems to have been pretty quiet since last Spring.

The penultimate 45 from 20 months ago comes from Theo Verney, someone I've liked since first seeing him play at Long Division a few years ago. We should be on safe ground here. 'Mind Fire' doesn't have the oomph I was expecting and, whilst it's at a better than plodding pace I don't finish playing it to the end. 'Letter Down' doesn't measurably speed things up but it does have some nicely weighty guitar parts bracketing the chilled out verses. Theo also unfortunately seems to have been quiet on the release front in the past few months.

Lastly we get to Swimming GirlsCranes initially come to mind, for the first five seconds of 'Tastes Like Money' but after that it's all pretty vacuous, calling to mind the '80s in the mainly bad way that they're recalled. Off at the halfway point. '2 Kids' has a darker quality to it but it's a bore nonetheless. A look at their online biography shows they're a rather concocted group but they do have some live dates coming up this year so you can maybe make your own mind up by seeing them in the flesh.  

Subscribe to this RSS feed