Profile for Crawton Leek > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Crawton Leek
Top Reviewer Ranking: 12,796
Helpful Votes: 336

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Crawton Leek "Swan In Mystery Garment" (The Lesser Newcastle, England)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
pixel
Late Developer
Late Developer
Price: 18.02

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting development, 22 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Late Developer (Audio CD)
Suzanne Rhatigan first appeared on the music scene as an Irish chanteuse much in the same mould as Kirsty MacColl, creating an album of rather pleasant tunes in the early nineties. After the record label folded, she re-emerged a couple of years later, in the midst of the alternative rock boom, backed up with a raw image and a raucous new sound.

One would be forgiven for raising a sceptical eyebrow at this point, were it not for the fact that 'Late Developer' side-stepped the expected try-hard me-too-isms and proved Rhatigan - both woman and band alike - to be highly adept and full of surprises.

This is not a perfect album by any means - some of the tracks begin to sound a little samey, and the band sometimes give in to the temptation to make noise for noise's sake - but when they get the formula right, the results are magnificent. 'Only Joking' is darkly amusing, 'Traffic' is sneering and ominous, and in 'Not Your Girlfriend' they created one of the decade's great lost anthems. Similarities to early PJ Harvey can easily be found, and Rhatigan stand up well in the comparison.

If female-fronted alternative rock is your bag, and you feel the need to add a little something different to your collection, you would be well advised to pick this up.


Night Life
Night Life
Price: 11.94

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget about real life..., 21 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Night Life (Audio CD)
Erase Errata are one of those bands that inspire devoted loyalty amongst a select few, whilst being roundly ignored by the wider musical world. No surprise, perhaps, when their first two albums were sub-30 minute exercises in jarring no-wave rattle: thrilling to the right ears, but never destined for mainstream attention.

'Nightlife' is a noticeably different beast, containing some moments that could almost be described as 'pop'. Granted, this is 'pop' through a filter of punk noise and politicised fury, but that does not change the fact that there are melodies, even choruses to be found herein, and parts that are very nearly danceable. Just listen to the choppy guitars and bouncing bass of 'Giant Hans' for proof.

The harsher edges of old Errata are still present, most notably in the closing title track and the shredding album highlight 'Another Genius Idea From Our Government', but the majority of the tracks sit between the no-wave angles of the first two records and this newfound sense of musical fun. Tunes such as 'Cruising' and 'Tax Dollar' (which changes direction several times but still comes out as catchy) embody this meeting of styles best, and the album as a whole benefits from leaving out a little noise and letting in a little joy.

'Nightlife' won't make the mainstream sit up and take notice - it certainly hasn't so far - but at the very least it gives we dedicated few an extra-special addition to our fem-punk collection, and the knowledge that it is our gain and their loss.


Songs From The Edge Of The Wing
Songs From The Edge Of The Wing
Price: 13.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating curio, 20 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is odd to think that this album was released on Relapse, the home of chug and grunt, stable to the masters of genres that end in '-core'. Odd because, though there is a darkness to this album, it is subtle and wavering. Whilst their labelmates revelled in pitch blackness, 27 preferred to cavort at the edges of the shadows.

This record is not, as you might rightly expect, metal. There are guitars, yes, but nothing that is traditionally heavy, and certainly no sub-two-minute thrashes or gargantuan doom beasts. There is something almost folky about the songs here - especially in the female vocals - or even, in the case of album highlight 'Warm Hands, Cold Heart', jazzy, albeit in a subtly brooding fashion.

27 are at their best when doing something a little different. The aforementioned track is sparse and affecting, whilst 'The Lone Mariachi' and its discordant intro grasp the attention expertly. However, this does mean that, when they mine a less experimental vein, they risk sounding a little ordinary. Never outright 'bad' - nothing on this album truly offends the ears - but one may wish they had pushed the envelope a little further.

Rather like a sandwich, this album has its tastiest stuff in the middle, but the overall experience is perfectly palatable. The band moved on to different, more electronic sounds with the music they produced for Undergroove, so it is best to enjoy this what for what it is - a thoroughly enjoyable diversion, if not the outstanding work it could have been.


Bangers Vs. Fuckers
Bangers Vs. Fuckers
Offered by roundMediaUK
Price: 6.80

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars F***ing Banging, 20 April 2010
This review is from: Bangers Vs. Fuckers (Audio CD)
This is an album of solid garage rock played faster, louder and harder than you'd ever have thought possible. Each and every track - with the exception of the closer - whistles past in a top-speed, high-octane flurry. The music is a churning soup of guitar, keyboard and distorted vocals peppered with crisp, crunchy drum croutons. Delicious.

Some might baulk at the record's brevity - you get change back from 20 minutes - but the quality should not be doubted. There is an enhanced section for those who quibble about value for money, but the album proper is so addictive that back-to-back listens become almost inevitable.

The short sharp shock tactics make picking out a highlight almost futile, but tracks such as 'Extinguish Me' and 'Thee Alarm' set out the Coachwhips manifesto with admirable gusto as they stomp, shimmy and shake into your ears. This is a must-have item for rock 'n' rollers, punks or anyone who needs a little something to blow away the cobwebs.


Noyelle Beat
Noyelle Beat
Price: 11.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold Standard, 15 April 2010
This review is from: Noyelle Beat (Audio CD)
I saw this band in a tiny little venue in Stoke-on-Trent a year ago, and fell in love with them immediately. I obtained the split 7" they made with Slow Down Tallahassee, and over the course of the next few months played it to death and waited with decreasing patience for their debut album. Once it arrived, I was pleased and a little surprised to find that it was not crushed by the weight of my expectations, but rose to meet them with great panache.

Standard Fare are not a band looking to push the envelope of indiepop, but rather to define the genre. They know when to jingle and when to jangle, where to trade the plaintive girl vocal for the sweet boy vocal, how to balance melancholy lyrics with chirpy music - all the tricks of the genre's greats. This means that, whilst they will often remind you of every indiepop band you ever loved, they remain fresh-sounding and exciting.

Certain standout tracks - such as 'Philadelphia', 'Fifteen' and 'Dancing' - showcase their art best, along with their knack for lyrics that are at once personal and universal. That said, the quality does not dip as the album progresses, and you may find yourself keen for another run-through as the last song ends.

This is a must have for people who want to hear their beloved indiepop done better than it has been for years. Make space on your shelf and in your heart for your new favourite band.


Rough Trade Shops - Indiepop 2009
Rough Trade Shops - Indiepop 2009
Price: 11.32

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Great Rough Trade Indiepop Comp, 13 April 2010
Back in 2004, Rough Trade Shops released a spanking collection of Indiepop tunes that glittered as it dazzled as it excited. After a five year gap, they have returned with this little gem, every inch the match of its predecessor, but brought bang up to date.

There is nothing groundbreaking to be found here - each act in plainly in thrall to what has gone before, be it C86 jangle or Jesus And Mary Chain feedback - but there is genius and variety aplenty. Served up for your enjoyment is the wistful whimsy of The Boy Least Likely To, the addictive everything-but-the-kitchen-sink stomp of Los Campesinos!, the fuzzbomb catchiness of The Manhattan Love Suicides, and all points in between, with nary a weak track amongst them.

If you bought the first RTS Indiepop comp, this is purpose-built for you. If your interests lie in the twee, the fuzzy and the joyfully twangy, your attendance is also mandatory. In truth, only a heart of stone and hips of lead could not be moved by this collection of tasty treats.

Rough Trade Shops - more please!


Jj No 3
Jj No 3
Price: 8.28

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wistful Wonder, 9 April 2010
This review is from: Jj No 3 (Audio CD)
I feel very fortunate to have obtained this album (JJ's second, after their usefully-titled debut longplayer 'No. 2') a little ahead of its release date as it is the perfect soundtrack to the onset of Spring. Sunshine fills many of its nine tracks, but it is a sunshine offset by a tangible coldness, giving the overall feel an eerie aspect that cannot quite be pinned down.

It is equally difficult to give concrete influences to help describe the album, as, though there will be moments when you hear the hand of other bands at work on their sound, JJ remain resolutely themselves. There is something of Saint Etienne's 'Fox Base Alpha' in the quirky samples, but none of the peppy perkiness. Some moments called to mind Fever Ray, but less overtly experimental. Perhaps if The XX got out of the right side of the bed, trading melancholy for wistfulness, they could make something like this, but even that comparison falls short.

What we have is washes of blissful electronica, with rhythms that propel the music without jarring the gentle mood, even in the more obviously rhythmic tracks such as 'Into The Light'. The female vocals are luscious and beguiling, and, though the music relaxes body and mind, it maintains a grip that prevents it becoming simple background sound. JJ want your attention, and though they hold it with a velvet touch, it is firmly held none-the-less.

This is an album designed to be enjoyed in the gentle light of early morning or late afternoon, over coffee and croissants or a bottle of beer in the dying of the day. Above all, though, it is designed to be enjoyed, and achieves this with aplomb.


Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio
Price: 58.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funky, bouncy genius, 18 Mar 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jet Set Radio (Audio CD)
It is pretty much a given that anyone reading this review will already know what to expect from this CD. You've doubtless played Jet Set Radio, and enjoyed the perky, fun soundtrack that matches the action of the game perfectly. All that remains, then, is to point out exactly what you are getting for your hard-earned cash.

Firstly, there are a couple of tracks conspicuous in their absence. Jurassic 5's excellent 'Improvise' and Guitar Vader's 'Magical Girl' do not make an appearance here. Most of the tunes are from Hideki Naganuma, with a few others offering their wares alongside.

The omission of these two tracks is a shame, but there are still gems in abundance. 'Humming The Bassline' is funky as you like, with a hook that sticks in your head for long after; 'Sweet Soul Brother' is every bit as good as you remember; and who could forget the goth disco splendour of 'Grace And Glory'? Add on a nifty medley (as per the end of the game, for those of you that got that far) and a couple of short stings, and you have a lovely little package of joyful boogie.

All in all, this is a wonderful curio for fans of the game, well worth it if you can find it at a price that suits.


Rough Trade Shops: Counter Culture 07
Rough Trade Shops: Counter Culture 07
Price: 18.42

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compilations of continuing brilliance, 11 Mar 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Another year and - hooray! - another retrospective of the music we have just left behind us, courtesy of those splendid chaps at Rough Trade. This compilation has a lot of expectation riding on it, as last year's was truly superb. Thankfully, this one is far from a letdown.

As ever with a Rough Trade Shops Counter Culture comp, there are two discs to play with - one which could loosely be described as 'mellow', and one that is a bit nuttier. Both discs are fit to bursting with a spectacular cross-genre display of what 2007 had to offer, often plucked from the murkier corners of the market, where all but the most discerning shoppers could blithely pass by without knowing what joys lay within.

The highlights of this installment include a typically lovely Lanegan-assisted number from Soulsavers; the satisfyingly thunderous Om; an intriguing sea-shanty-meets-blues tune from Alela Diane; the cheeky 'Thou Shalt Always Kill' from Dan Le Sac; chipper rattle'n'stomp from Pete & The Pirates; a practically uncategorisable slice of Battles... The list goes on a lot further than any compliation of this scope has any right to. Precious few tracks fail to make the grade - the Glasvegas track did very little for me - and the likelihood of you finding a new favourite nestled within is great.

To summarise, if you are a music fan with a broad taste, a lover of obscurities, or someone who has found that the Now series no longer fulfills all their compilation needs, pick this up today. And while you're at it, give the earlier ones a try. You never know what new wonders await...


Any Question Answered
Any Question Answered
by AQA
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect stocking filler, 26 Dec 2007
This review is from: Any Question Answered (Paperback)
I write this a mere day after receiving this very book in my annual Christmas haul. An unassuming little package, it managed to suck in my attention for much of the rest of the day, except for the occasional moments when I would treat the people around me to an interesting nugget or two.

This is a lovely little book of facts which enters into a crowded market with two things to separate it from the competition: the cute little celebrity Q&As, and the simple fact that every single question contained within was asked, via text message, by a member of the public. Some (indeed, most) are plainly an attempt to cheat at a pub quiz; some are attempts to settle long-standing arguments (the 'who would win in a fight between...' ones being especially amusing); some are the product of late-night wandering minds; and some are the tragi-comic peeks into the lives of the bored, the lonely, and the desperate.

This human element is what, for me, makes the book better than the fact-laden likes of Ripleys or Guinness - behind every question is a person, and that person must have had a reason for asking. Taking guesses as to what that reason might have been adds a whole new element to the book, and the temptation to pose your own question is very great, especially given the chance of inclusion in the next book.

Pick this book up for the truth junkie in your life, but be prepared not to speak to them for hours after - and also to be blamed for a suddenly-increased phone bill.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6