Tag Archives: Review

The Lemonheads: The Leadmill, Sheffield

You just don’t know where you are with Evan Dando. One minute you’re bouncing along to Alison’s Starting to Happen, wondering how he came up with the ‘she’s the puzzle-piece behind the couch that made the sky complete’ line, the next you’re shaking your head and waving an angry fist at the man for bailing after 55 minutes because he ‘had to drive to Manchester.’

Initially billed as a solo gig, then changed to a Lemonheads gig, it was fair to say nobody really knew what they were in for; especially since Dando alienated all his new fans by not playing a single song from the last album. After crashing through the It’s a Shame About Ray album in its entirety, ED treated us to a rendition of Danzig’s Skulls (the uninitiated thinking that Evan really did want to put their head on a wall), and, I believe, a Lucinda Williams cover, during which Dando appeared to tire of our presence. A wimpy Hospital convinced me. Evan wanted to crash through his setlist and leave. And he did just that. But not before a blistering Tenderfoot.

This was my sixth Dando concert. It was never going to reach the dizzy heights of the Manchester 2001 comeback gig (Ben Lee and Ben Kweller supporting), but, after the first half hour, I thought we were in for something special. Instead, Dame Loose Cannon scurried off the stage without so much as an encore or a ‘Gimme your hands, cos you’re wonderful!’ Okay, he did give somebody a pick, but that wasn’t helping me standing at the back where real heroes are made. Odd behaviour from a man who in the same venue last year wouldn’t even let a curfew or the constant threat of the dreaded houselights stop him from playing one more tune.

Evan, we paid to see you, captain. It’s about time you started showing us some respect. I’m getting down about it. You get paid to smile. If you carry on like this, I’m going to get a ceiling fan in my spoon.

Okay. That last one didn’t work.

(Reviewer: Drew Biggin)

OFFICE – Big Bang Jump

Just a quick one today.

I’m currently putting together my xmas recommendations for this year. I’ll be posting a 10c Play Festive 50 (in honour of the late/great John Peel) towards the end of the year. Feel free to email in your 2007 favourites for inclusion or add a comment including your thoughts below.

Leading the way at the top of albums I’ve reviewed this year are OFFICE, currently on tour around the States. Follow the link to the left and read the full album review – but here I found a clip of the band fooling around with ‘Big Bang Jump’ as the soundtrack, a definite highlight from the album.

I hated the album on first listen, now I can’t stop playing it, especially this track. How often does that happen?

So listen to it a good few times. The sound quality isn’t great in this clip, but you’ll get the drift. It’s a glorious production on the album, lush and vibrant… so stop reading and run along and buy it. Play the album 5 times end to end and then post your comments here. Love to hear your thoughts on it.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all.

West Indian Girl – 4th & Wall

West Indian GirlThis album should be called 4th & Wall of Sound.

The album is produced by Illuminus – and the ultra lush and sparkly production hits you full-on. It’s a vast wall of colour, not a lot of room in the mix to squeeze in another sound. If this were a flower it would be a hybrid of a Stone Roses Mancuniensis and a Jesus & Mary Daisy Chain. The production is a very modern shake of Jim Steinman (‘This Corrosion’),  Martyn Phillips/Jon Marsh (The Beloved) and George Martin (‘Yellow Submarine’).  Full. Anthemic. Ear tickling.

The band’s name comes from a type of acid that was popular in the early 60s. The opening few bars of the first track ‘To Die In LA’ suitably remind me of a trippy Echo & The Bunnymen; very different from Wang Chung and their ‘To Live & Die in LA’ that’s for sure.

In short, it’s a kind of uptempo-psychedelic-indie-synth-pop-rock. Complete with Stone Roses’ ‘Waterfall’-esque reverses, Primitives style his/hers harmonies and Mary Chain reverb washes. ‘Sofia’ reminds me of Marillion‘s ‘Garden Party’ somehow – play them side by side, you’ll see what I mean.

Me listing these similarities is pointless though, it gives only a vague clue to the overall sound; it’s an icy fresh vibe, man. It makes a change to put an album on and really feel you’re hearing something completely unlike anything else at the current time. There’s simply nobody else making records like this. 

Wonderful summer harmonies hook you in ‘All My Friends’ – a sweet and happyhippy track founded on a tinkling acoustic guitar and Primitives style vocal layers. Gorgeous. Soothing. Melodic.

‘Indian Ocean’ again delivers a powerful production: Stone Roses meets Oasis with a touch of female vocal. Anthemic is the word that comes to mind repeatedly on this album. Who the heck is this producer? ‘Lost Children’ could be a 2007 Beloved track and some moments in a few tracks, including ‘Get Up’, remind me of Julian Cope’s solo stuff.

This is a must hear album. Not everyone will dig it, but some will find a new favourite here I suspect. 

Sadly the music market is massively over-saturated right now. In a less crowded time you’d already know West Indian Girl – and 4th & Wall would have sold millions. 

You can hear tracks on their website and also at MySpace. The video below is a photo shoot for the band with a couple of tracks edited over – they don’t have a music video ready yet for the new stuff.

More than anything I’ve played in ages this is worth a $10 gamble from your music store.

Best enjoyed in your VW bug on the way to Long Beach.

Website
MySpace

Lovechild of:

Stone Roses + The Beloved + Happy Mondays + Primitives + The La’s