Thing of the Day

Dutch Uncles, Lyrebirds, Taken By The Tide, Vessels, Fever Fever, Monster Island

NOVEMBER 27th 2010

A whole load of new singles. Got a pile of them here, you remember how we do it don’t you? Only the ones really worth a mention get a mention…
Here we go…

DUTCH UNCLES -  Fragrant (Memphis Industries) – Dutch UnclesManchester five-piece Dutch Uncles touch a lot of current colourful bases with their imaginative future-pop; explosive chorus bites, subtle twists, bold brush strokes, vibrant colour, current flavours, pop music, animal collectives and uplifting tunes that worm at your ears in a rather pleasant way. Lead track is neat enough, catchy tunes, delightful textures, breezy skips of delight, nice slice of indie pop with a touch of detail and a proggy undercurrent that gives it something that just makes you feel rather good about sharing space with it. The b-side, as is so often the case, is where ears really do prick up though. Lovebone is where the adventure is, the subtle progressions and the imaginative timeplay, pop progressions and rhythms that don’t quite trip you up so much as make you think just a little about where your feet are going next. Duncan Wallis adds so much personality with that rather different voice, is she a girl or is it a he or…? A rather delightfully unique voice that skips with the tunes and the hands holding things up and starting to impress ahead of their 2011 album debut….

THE LYREBIRDS – The Blondehead EP (self release) – More of the Brighton-based quartet's Bunnymening around, four big bold songs that really couldn’t be any more Echo And The Bunnymen if they tried: that McCulloch take on Leonard Cohen, those big sounds, those bold structures, they are very very very good at their Bunnymen thing. Do rather like these Lyrebirds…  

TAKEN BY THE TIDE – There’s No Such Thing As An Atheist In A Foxhole (Bad News) – We got some intensely relentless technical metal chopping and changing going down here, early moves from a Nottingham metal crew and a debut four track. Now this may not be breaking any kind of massively new ground, but hey, damn good start. The five piece are welding some rather violently intense technical metal to some brutal attitude and a bag load of the right sort of adventurous energy, they got the moves, they have the ability. Clearly a band with a little bit more ambition, a band who threaten to be a little more than just a well-played rehash of a million technical metal things you already heard, something good going down here – well played, well recorded, could maybe do without the clichéd spoken film sound-bites. Stomping, growling, monster technical metal riffing that doesn’t come over like a bag of fret-wanking egos with ponytails. Let’s be frank here, most technical metal is just tedious showing off that impresses no one - but this is relentlessly good, touch of old school Voivod around the edges, this we like… or    

VESSELS – Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute (Cuckundoo) – First fruits of next year’s second album recording sessions, and Vessels moving on again. Little hard to really get a handle on where they’re going with the lead track though, guest vocalist Stuart Warwick (singer songwriter in his on right, one time Jacob’s Stories voice) does rather take them a little too close to Thom Yorke/Radiohead for their own good… Their most accessible release yet? Have they compromised a little? Over on the b-side ( yeah, I know, download only single, we don’t have b-sides anymore, you know what I mean though, don’t get all ipod geekoid on me, singles have lead tracks and b-sides, always have, always will).. Over on this b-side you get one of their epic instrumental prog-outs, a track called Ornafives, a track that isn’t afraid to touch on real notions of prog rock and take the old in with the very very new, is it new enough though? Are we treading a little post rock water here? 65Days or what? First fruits of the second album, Halioscope, due out in 2011 and apparently recorded already… these first fruits are alive with that Vessels beauty that made the previous tastes so special, are they going to move it on a little though? We can’t really tell from this… Out as a download only right now – or  

FEVER FEVER – The Bloodless EP (Cherryade) -FeverfeverFive feisty new slices of snarling spiting spunky show me something I’ve not seen from the ever tasty spiky spitty bratty Norwich three piece. We’ve played them at you lots on the radio, we like their urgent exhilarating energy and their brattish art rock awkwardness, we like Fever Fever! Art brutes is what they are, stare at them as they walk down the road, static mouth house in a butcher’s shop window, up there for all to see in the window with the hanging hooks and the raw riffs and the shouty girl/boy voices and all the multi-voiced agitations and snarls and bites and bitchy barbs and accurate clever awkwardness of an other nature and yes once more, yes yes… or

MONSTER ISLAND – The Green Room (self release) – Awkwardly good cantankerous set of songs/words/tunes, and why does a modern hospital need a chimney anyway? Five Northern tunes that grump along in that difficult way that The Fall do – there’s a touch of Herzoga in their things to say. Out there on the pointy fringes, falling up musical stairs with their almost spoken word shambling style and their agitated post-punk rumble… The Fall, Pavement, John Cooper Clark, a very Northern thing. Sharp words, what is going on? Abstract observations of shapes gone wrong, soil tasting more of sulphur, libraries littered, why does a modern hospital need a chimney in this day and age? Pulling themselves skywards. Fashioned as rationalists and going again the grain, a day off where you won’t feel guilty, cocking their musical heads and asking how yer doing, scratching away with their angular guitars and their tales of trickle down megalomania and when we reference The Fall it is meant in the most positive of complimentary ways.. What a great job they’re doing, Are they not PlayDoh? No, they are men.. Download the EP for free from November 29th from or go explore