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James Warner (London United Kingdom)

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Deluxe Kicks
Deluxe Kicks
Price: 7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirty fun, 12 Sep 2012
This review is from: Deluxe Kicks (Audio CD)
Local Girls have been threatening a full-blown album for a couple of years now, having previously released two bite-size EPs. Deluxe Kicks is a polished presentation of their trademark dirty fuzzy guitar and bass sound with cool, yet sassy vocals from Ginger Bitters. There's a playful swagger to the arrangements, even on the downbeat finale, Twigs. Before that you get wall-to-wall mayhem from the great chorus-sing-along opener, Yeah Roy, through the cutting Racist Song and strident Three Men In A Boat, plus my favourite of the newer tracks, Nursery, with it's brain-aching, stuttering finish. Local Girls are just great fun to listen to and even more fun live. Smart lyrics and raucous tunes played with gusto. Top entertainment!

Offered by inandout-distribution
Price: 18.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of sequence gem, 9 Oct 2011
This review is from: Cursed (Audio CD)
Playing a Scaramanga Six album is like going to a big theatrical production. There is drama, comedy and tragedy on a grand scale, all delivered with a knowing smile.
Cursed is the sixth album by the Scaramangas, but it was originally going to be the fifth until the tragic untimely stroke which struck down producer and Cardiacs front man Tim Smith during recording. The project was shelved and a new (and excellent) album, Songs Of Prey, was subsequently released. The Scaramangas finally decided to revisit the Cursed material and rebuild it as a tribute to Tim.
As with all The Scaramanga Six albums, there are many elements subconsciously at work. You can hear rock opera reminiscent of The Tubes, brass riffs that bring to mind Chicago's If You Leave Me Now, and a guitar riff straight out of Layla by Derek and the Dominoes (which I'm assured was entirely accidental). But this doesn't mean the music sounds derivative - far from it. It is distinctive and original because it takes inspiration from such a wide range of artists. Previous albums have included nods to Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles.
There is a wonderful sense of energy and fun with this little band from Yorkshire with the epic sound. If you don't want background music, give them a try and prepare to be floored.

Flash Fiktion
Flash Fiktion
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: 4.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flash, Bang, Wallop!, 29 Sep 2011
This review is from: Flash Fiktion (Audio CD)
This is a fine debut album from a band seemingly intent on expressing joy in the form of hyperactive electro-pop with a twist. The mostly up-tempo songs are built on buzzing keyboards, busily syncopated drumming and sequencing and whizz-bang production, but stand up melodically as well. In the more restrained numbers there is a hint of 80's band Squeeze, but mostly we are in Late Of The Pier and Clor territory. All the songs are catchy and could stand up as singles, but Leni, released a few months ago, has to be my single of the year. A band with bags of promise if they get the exposure they deserve.

Beautiful Ground
Beautiful Ground
Price: 7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An album worth waiting for, 2 Aug 2011
This review is from: Beautiful Ground (Audio CD)
I'll admit it. I've been a fan of Something Beginning With L (or SBL for short - they lose the W in abbreviation) for a few years now and having seen them live many times, greeted most of this long overdue collection of songs as old friends. Fronted by the beautiful two-part vocal harmonies of Jen Macro and Lucy Parnell, many of these tracks start out in lilting melancholy. This only serves to lull you into a false sense of security as many of them ignite into walls of firey guitar - 'Sound' and 'Mean' are both good examples of this. The lyrics tug at the heart strings and the music in turn soothes and invigorates. The vocals shifting from brooding ('Say') to vulnerable ('Hobby' - you will want to hug your stereo!) to angelic ('73'). All the guitars are played by Jen and Lucy, while Jon Clayton provides the rhythmic core on bass, keyboards and sequencers, backed up by an impressive array of guest drumming talent. SBL have produced a fine, if frustratingly overdue, debut album and I look forward with much enthusiasm to hearing what they come up with next. Time to write some more songs, Jen!

Nerve Up
Nerve Up
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 11.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LoneLady, you are not alone, 21 Feb 2010
This review is from: Nerve Up (Audio CD)
I've been waiting for this album knowing it was going to be extremely good, having heard the 8-track versions of many of the songs. Julie Campbell has developed a distinct style of spikey guitar riffs like shards of glass and a commanding vocal presence - not necessarily loud, just delivered in a way which insists that you pay attention. There are intriguing sounds lurking in these tracks. While there is no actual bass guitar on the entire album, the bass effects at times bring to mind the tolling of a great rubber bell, so play it with the low end cranked up. In a couple of cases I miss the rough-edged punchiness of the more primitive original tracks, where the guitar is more in your face due to there only a drum machine and sparse keyboards to compete with. However, I count myself fortunate to have both versions as they lend themselves to different moods. This is a fine debut album from a very talented artiste who deserves far more recognition than she is currently receiving. Hopefully this will soon change.

New Worlds
New Worlds
Price: 10.29

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colour me stunned!, 25 Oct 2009
This review is from: New Worlds (Audio CD)
New Worlds - Charlotte Hatherley

The first lady of British Quirky-pop with a penchant for colour metaphore is back with her third solo album and she's as sharp as ever. After the finely crafted mini-epic feel of 'The Deep Blue', Charlotte has pared things down with a more immediate, instinctive sound.
Recorded virtually as live in the studio, 'New Worlds' opens with its first two singles. First up is 'White', with it's no-nonsense stomping guitar riff counterpointed by Charlotte's chilled-out vocals leading into a dreamy chorus. This is followed by 'Alexander', a lilting ballad which explodes into triumphant pop-rock. Next up is the strident rock 'n' roll work out of 'Straight Lines', possibly the most in-your-face track on the album, followed by the title track with it's vibrant, upbeat calypso-pop and a killer arpeggio guitar riff. By now, even the newcomer to Charlotte Hatherley's music will have cottoned on to the fact that her tunes rarely go in the direction you expect. However, 'Firebird' is one hell of a curve-ball, with its retro-whimsy conjuring up images of WW2 keep-your-chin-up sing-alongs. Track six is 'Full Circle' with it's brash opening punctuated by bars of prog rock guitar, followed by the lively 'Little Sahara', with its bouncing chorus featuring 'whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh's which could be straight out of an early XTC number. Track eight is 'Colours' - a punchy slice of pop-rock excellence which, along with the title track, would be my choice for the third single. Winding down, now, we come to 'Cinnabar', the most beautiful track on the album for which I would use the words 'lilting' and 'dreamy' if I hadn't already used them earlier in this review. Even here, there is a little wake-up call near the end to keep you on your toes. Finally, there is 'Wrong Notes' a track which evokes a sense of longing and apprehension, has a chorus which gives you goosebumps and ends with some wonderfully deranged guitar in the mix.
If you like your pop music intelligent, original and full of surprises, you'd have to go a long, LONG way to beat this album.

The Deep Blue
The Deep Blue
Offered by MasterDVD
Price: 13.05

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The continuation of excellence, 23 Mar 2007
This review is from: The Deep Blue (Audio CD)
When I was broadsided by Charlotte's wonderful debut album, my only concern was can she possibly maintain this standard? I needn't have worried. After several plays in my first week of ownership, I can safely say The Deep Blue is as good as, if not better than, Grey Will Fade. The choppy chord changes are still there in the more up-tempo tracks like Very Young and I Want You To Know, but the whole feel of the album is a broadening of the palette. With the sumptuous Wounded Sky, the incredibly catchy Behave which really should have been the first full blown single release. Then there's Roll Over (Let It Go) which is a beautiful ballad which transforms into a belting rock finale and the crackling Siberia as a fitting final track (though fast forward to 7 mins 40 secs and there's a gorgeous hidden bonus track called Lost In Time). To single out tracks for praise seems unfare as there isn't a bad (or even average) one on the album.

Have I conveyed my enthusiasm sufficiently yet?! Charlotte has released this album independently due to insane lack of interest from record companies. Support the talent and buy this album. You wont be disappointed.

Grey Will Fade
Grey Will Fade
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Grey was never this colourful, 28 Sep 2004
This review is from: Grey Will Fade (Audio CD)
This is a frisky puppy of an album, with an overall feeling of fun. Some of the numbers rattle along at a breakneck pace, leaping from chord to chord like a mountain goat. I can't remember an album where I have anticipated what's coming next and been pleasantly surprised so many times. These are all good tracks each with its own little twist. The only track to be consistent in style is 'Stop', but since this broadsides you after the beautifully mellow 'Down' it is a surprise in itself. Personal favourites are 'Summer' a vibrant rock 'n' roll number and the title track, which leaves you with a warm feeling of hope. I liked this album on the first play and loved it after the second. Nice work, Charlotte!

Body Language
Body Language
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: 3.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Electric Language, 25 Nov 2003
This review is from: Body Language (Audio CD)
There certainly seems to be a split decision on this album, but I have no doubts. ‘Body Language’ is every bit as good as ‘Fever’ but with a quite different feel to it. If you like whiz-bang production and funky bass synth riffs then, like me, you will enjoy ‘Secrets’, ‘Sweet Music’ and the gloriously quirky ‘Still Standing’. The best of the slower numbers is ‘Someday’ add to these, the joyous ‘I Feel For You’ and the distinctive first single ‘Slow’ and you have six extremely good tracks which make the backbone of the album. The only average track is ‘Red Blooded Woman’, which any of today’s R & B dance divas could have come out with. The rest carries the quality mark of Kylie.

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