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Shy Child "Freddo" (London)

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Colour It In
Colour It In
Price: £8.69

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best debuts in a while, 15 May 2007
This review is from: Colour It In (Audio CD)
At the turn of the year, there was much to contemplate in the way of great future releases. The first three months of the year brought an album each that appeared to completely rip up the rulebook. Klaxons came hurtling along, in all of their ketamine-addled brilliance in January, getting the nation dancing with "Myths Of The Near Future". February saw the triumphant, soaring return of Bloc Party, laying bare the life of an inner city 20-something. And March saw the glorious "Neon Bible" released by Arcade Fire.

There seemed to be a beat missed in April (I don't care what you say, Favourite Worst Nightmare was a disappointment). I'm not suggesting that a new classic needs to be released every month, but April appeared distinctly lacking in anything to distinguish it from the competition.

Now, this month, we see the release of "Colour It In", the debut effort from London lot The Maccabees. The buzz band ever since their searing Reading festival appearance last August, and with two excellent single releases prior to that, the band have garnered a steady and loyal following over the past year.

Now, after the demos and the hype, the band finally get their chance to show off their clear talent. A tricky situation for Les Macs, to be sure. For one, they could go and try to beef up their off-kilter wonk pop and lose the diehard, or they could keep it simple and tender and avoid the recognition that they so clearly deserve.

In reality, they judge it perfectly. They know when to hold back (like on the minimal, waltz-time lullaby of opener "Good Old Bill") and when to show off and soar on the more heartfelt moments (the choir taking "Precious Time" from a wonderful live demo to a frightening yet tender beast).

Like the afforementioned three albums, there is not a single slip-up on Colour It In, the band twisting their old memories of love and play into their own, delicious brand of art-pop. There's recollections of terrible first dates ("About Your Dress"), trips and toys ("Lego"), going for a swim ("Latchmere") and losing an old (age pensioner) friend ("O.A.V.I.P."). They set all of their gloriously off-kilter lyrics to gloriously off-kilter wonk-pop, too. Guitars at one moment jar and sound as lyrical as a Mozart symphony. The rhythm section is frantic and at the same time perfectly controlled, while Orlando's hilarious and heartfelt yelp is the most endearing voice in music.

They manage to couple their tight combo-feel with some of the best one-liners and rhymes in a long time. At once droll and educated, they manage to sound immediately innocent and confused, especially when coupled with Orlando's young, spat delivery.

"I noticed you, you stood out like a sore ffumb, the most beautiful sore ffumb I'd ever seen."

"Came out of the changing rooms and absolutely nothing had changed, so I stayed in your lane."

"Mum said no to Disneyland."

All these disect the very fabric of the bands existence. They are here to have fun, but also to educate. To love, but also to remember past joys. I'm sure, like the albums I mentioned at the start, this will be right up there in the "best of" lists at the end of 2007.

Capture / Release
Capture / Release
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £4.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular out Franz, 11 Mar 2006
This review is from: Capture / Release (Audio CD)
When I first got the album, I found it disappointing. I found the vocals dull, and it was all a bit of a Franz rip-off. Then I heard single 22 Grand Job when my iPod was on shuffle mode. I sat up and thought "hey, these guys are rather superb". I then put on Work Work Work. Again, it's brilliant. Then I listened to Violent. Once again, I was bowled over by their sharp guitars. This continued until I had heard the whole album. It's just brilliant. Great fun to listen to, great fun to dance to. Some witty lyrics at time, a deeper melody of Donohue's voice is revealed throughout the album, especially on tracks like Binary Love. Only one dud, We Are All Animals, but apart from that, it's fantastic. Standout tracks have to be Strasbourg, Retreat, 22 Grand Job (pick of the bunch), Violent, Work Work Work and new material All Too Human. You NEED this in your record collection. Oh yeah, and they're the best live band I've seen.

Alas Agnes
Alas Agnes
Offered by AbundaTrade
Price: £0.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their brilliance is no mystery..., 25 Feb 2006
This review is from: Alas Agnes (Audio CD)
I bought this at my local independent CD shop, after seeing it get single of the week in NME. I bought it along with "When The Sung Goes Down" by those funky Monkeys, and "Twelve" by iForward, Russia!. I can safely say that this is the best of the three, even beating those brilliant Monkeys. Brilliant harmonisation, clever and thoughtful lyrics, sparkling piano, overblown guitar solos, you couldn't really ask for more in a song. Also, the case that it comes in is so good that you should get it just for that. Best new band of 2006 (along with be your own PET), beating Boy Kill Boy, Dirty Pretty Things and yes, even those flipping Monkeys. Can't wait for the album

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