Scissor Sisters: Night Work
The New York pop group return with their third album of 70s and 80s inspired glam disco music. It’s unadulterated frivolous fun, and lots of it.
Jammed with dance/pop tunes, funky baselines, disco strings and high pitched vocals and perfectly blended harmonies; they are in top form here. Its mostly all about sex, but is so shamelessly flamboyant and outrageously camp, that is utterly excusable. And it is after all, The Scissor Sisters.
Vastly known for their annoying irritating formulas and progressions, the band don’t mess around too much on this record. The stand out track for me is ‘Skin This Cat’. In its entirety, it’s a disco filled affair. Entertaining as hell and its music to get you dancing. If your young free and single, buy this album, if your not young free and single, buy this album, because you should be dancing either way- its summer and the sun is out!
Villagers: Becoming A Jackal
The highly-anticipated album by Conor O’Brien’s Villagers has been critically helmed as Godlike.
A huge achievement? Or does it the answer lie in the fact that having such an adamant PR/Label backing the hell out of it, getting you onto Jools Holland, leave no other choice but to have the media lap it up lavishly and hail it as an accomplishment. I mean getting a massive TV music show like Jools is an accomplishment, but this album, is one I didn’t enjoy. And I love Elliott Smith, Morrissey, Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Vega and all the greats that have come before him, but when there is the likes of Ed Harcourt out there, you have to wonder about the mechanisms and inner workings behind an acts platform that catapult them to regions far beyond their capacity.
Having said that, he is quite a brilliant song writer. And some of this glory is great for an Irish lad doing excellently well on the scene right now. O’Brien’s musical evolvement in such a short space of time is remarkable though, so well done to him on that note, as for the album, I’ll have to pass. I just don’t like it. I dislike his voice. I find it gnawingly annoying. And for this purpose I just couldn’t get past the first few songs. I applaud his counterparts, such as Cathy Davey and formative band The Immediate, but as for Villagers…. I for one feel like Conor O’Brien is the GaGa of the Songwriter scene, being thrown at us from all directions. And I don’t like being force fed anything.
If you want to, forget what you’ve read here, leave all preconceptions and hyped up success of a well marketing campaign at the door. The simple fact is that music as a whole is a vast collection of words and music, and is entirely up to you to like or dislike. So as a ‘word’ album this reads like a masterpiece. Musically I don’t like it. Is it deserving of all the glory.. I shall leave that up to you to decide.
Jester: See Saw (digital release)
First up is Jester, WELL EQUIPPED with this toe tapping tight indie track, SEE SAW. (I recently heard them on the radio while driving to Waterford and thought oh I like this) It’s upbeat, powerful and although its not quite as commercially viable as perhaps it should be (it’s a little too indie), the chorus is extremely catchy. The more I listened the more I wanted to hear what else they have to offer. If this is a taster for what’s to come from this band, its showing of much potential and possibly a cracking album.
Relief: Maria (digital release)
Secondly we have Relief with a track called Marie, which is a melodic rock pop track. I hate the name of this band and when you Google them all you get is relief of pain, and anadin tablets…who thought of this name! Anyway, this band minus the awful name are brilliant. Infact they are one of the best bands I have heard in some time. They even bagged a support to BUSH front man Gavin Rossdale in the US. If they can bag something similar in Ireland and play to ready made audiences, the sky is the limit. They have the songs, looks and image in place. They look like they are keeping busy too and I have heard them on the radio a few times, so who knows, perhaps this is the year for the rise of the indies.
The Riptide Movement: Hard to Explain. (digital release)
Finally I was left with about 6 other singles from bands that all merged into the same sound, but the absolute stand out band for me was The Riptide Movement with a track called Hard to Explain. Ireland’s alternative to a blend between Seasick Steve and Mundy. I want to hear more. Raucous, hard core, gritty and totally unique- they do what so many Roots’ Irish bands (like the last tycoons etc) are trying to do, and do it better and with more passion and hype.