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Reviews Written by
Peter Hill ""yoghurtknitter"" (Waterville Ireland)
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Banco
Banco
Price: 6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars B.D.M.S, 20 Mar 2014
This review is from: Banco (Audio CD)
Technical heads-up for potential purchasers; The glowing reviews shown here relate to an earlier Manticore label released album and not the album shown above. This album is a totally different album released much later in 1983 and re-released by Sony in 2006.
I was a big prog rock fan in the early 70's and have been trying to catch up on bands i'd previously missed. This Italian band was recommended although to be fair it was their 'Darwin' album that was specifically suggested as a good starting point. I bought this instead!
Now it's not a bad album but it's certainly not what i would call prog? It's quite symphonic/electronic in nature and has a very 80's feel which hasn't dated too well.
There's very little info on the CD insert but the singer has a very good operatic voice and the album is generally keyboard heavy with some occasional bursts of guitar (i'd like to have heard more guitar).
Sung entirely in their own language (maybe some French too?) it opens well with the very catchy 'ninna nanna' which has a fine hook and the 2nd track 'lontano da' maintains the standard but after these two tracks it becomes fairly average with quite a few ballads/ more restrained offerings. It closes with an instrumental 'traccia tre' but overall left me feeling fairly underwhelmed.


If You Wait: Deluxe
If You Wait: Deluxe
Price: 9.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars To wait or not to wait...., 14 Mar 2014
This review is from: If You Wait: Deluxe (Audio CD)
I'm loathe to say anything too negative about this band and their debut album as they've really produced something quite special and different from the majority of music currently available in this genre, however the album ultimately left me disappointed.
I admit i did have very high expectations before hearing the whole album as it was purchased mostly on the strength (no pun intended!) of the outstanding track 'strong' (one of my favourite songs of 2013) and Hannah's extraordinary vocals.
She has an incredible range in her voice but i generally preferred her voice whilst she sang in a lower range and felt (rightly or wrongly) that the extremes in her voice were used in each and every song just because they could be and not necessarily because it suited that particular song?
There are some other good tracks on the album e.g 'wasting my young years', 'nightcall' and the quite haunting title track. However most of the other tracks were for me fairly uninspiring and all followed a similar vein and really needed some beefed up musical backing, whereas the whole album is musically restrained at best and relies too heavily on the vocals.
As far as the 2nd CD is concerned it is very similar to the main CD but without the best tracks already mentioned but if you like the whole of CD1 then you'll probably feel that CD2 is worth the extra cash.
It's a good debut with a few exceptional highlights but overall i feel the songwriting wasn't strong enough over the whole length of the album (and in this case 2 albums) and the songs needed more melody to fill them out and to enhance the vocals.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2014 9:27 AM GMT


Major Arcana
Major Arcana
Price: 9.43

4.0 out of 5 stars Paranormal, 13 Mar 2014
This review is from: Major Arcana (Audio CD)
An interesting American indie rock band who are an amalgam of The Faith Healers, Throwing Muses, Pavement and My Ruin i.e quiet/noisy, angular and guitar driven.
Sadie has a good albeit fragile/wavery voice, noticeably on the quieter tracks 'no below' & 'gary' (which i actually preferred), and it's often low in the mix and sometimes overshadowed by the intensity of the guitars but repeated plays do reveal a depth initially not heard.
The album opens well with the excellent 'pioneer spine' and another favourite 'cash cab' has some excellent fuzzy guitars and vocals but the album as a whole is let down by a few less strong songs e.g 'casper' & 'plough' but overall worth a listen especially if you're a fan of any of the above bands.


Hospitality
Hospitality
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 7.34

4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome....come on in, 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Hospitality (Audio CD)
The self titled debut album from this 3 piece NY band is not your typical generic indie-pop, it has an unusual quirky feel running through it especially the musical backing which is almost different on every song.
It's certainly never boring nor repetitive.
Amber has a lovely voice, particularly on the plaintiff almost spoken 'julie' and most of the tracks are very catchy although the longest track 'argonauts' is somewhat disjointed and a bit of a letdown.
For lovers of Savoir Adore, Standard Fare & Sky Larkin.


Flight Paths
Flight Paths
Price: 10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Flight of fancy, 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Flight Paths (Audio CD)
This band honed their skills and fully bloomed on their follow up album 'carousel' but this debut is still nevertheless a fine example of indie-pop.
Tales of everyday life in 'anytown', it's simple/gentle (in a good way) and very endearing although Andy's falsetto vocals and Emma's high pitched voice may not appeal to everyone.
Amongst the lovely winsome songs they've included a few bits of brass and you even get some whistling on 'skating on thin ice' but all the tracks are catchy/listenable.
If you've already got 'carousel' (and you should have it) you will love this one too but if it's your first encounter with the band try 'carousel' first.


Surfing Strange
Surfing Strange
Price: 9.06

5.0 out of 5 stars The new wave of mutilation, 9 Mar 2014
This review is from: Surfing Strange (Audio CD)
Released only a year after their wonderful debut but a definite progression musically whether for good or bad depends upon your point of view?
Whereas the debut was just a maelstrom of utter passion and delight, this offering is much more mature and more restrained, although still a cauldron of noise.
The main change and for me the least exciting is the fact that whereas Allison had almost all the lead vocals on the debut they are now shared out amongst 3 of the group. Allison gets 5, Kyle gets 4 and Keith is left with 2 numbers. Now don't get me wrong, the two fellows have good voices (in a fairly generic American indie style) but i really miss Allison's dulcet tones.
Musically they still sound a lot like The Pixies (a good thing of course) but the songs are more quiet/noisy in a Slint kind of way and they even throw in a fairly psychedelic number 'glare of the sun'.
It opens wonderfully with 'dust in the gold sack' highlighting Allison's Kim Deal-like vocals (i hope she doesn't mind these comparisons because they're meant as a compliment??) with a great wobbly/bendy (reverb?) guitar line and the swathes/slabs of guitar are littered throughout the whole album especially on the excellent 'mermaid', 'melanoma' & 'echo locate'.
Allison gets to sing on the unusually quiet/simple 'loretta's flowers' but the album closes on a fairly lacklustre note with 'curdled'.
I must admit i prefer the debut but this album is still great (perhaps 4.5 stars) and is certainly more varied and musically accomplished overall.


Adelphi Has To Fly
Adelphi Has To Fly
Price: 7.57

4.0 out of 5 stars Diamond Lucy, 8 Mar 2014
This review is from: Adelphi Has To Fly (Audio CD)
A fine debut album from this talented young woman. Sung with her native North East accent proudly on show, the album is mostly folk orientated with occasional forays into singer-songwriter territory e.g most noticeably on the title track and 'julia', a song suggesting forbidden love?.
5 of the songs are her own compositions, my favourite being the beautiful but sad 'Alice in the bacon box' (which could easily be mistaken as an original 19th century ditty) and the rest of the songs are more traditional in nature with her own arrangements.
Opening with the unaccompanied 'the fairy boy' highlighting her gorgeous voice, the album is a mixture of the funny 'maids when you're young' (i had to google "faloorum" & "ding doorum"!!) & 'a stitch in time' (a wonderful tale of retribution against a drunk of a husband) and the more solemn/sad songs such as 'death (rock me to sleep)', 'the unfortunate lass', 'F is for love' and the incredibly poetic/upsetting 'bricks and love'.
Musically very sparse but her voice is the highlight here and it only loses 1 star for being a bit too sombre for my tastes.


Greenies Feline Pill Pockets Chicken 1.6oz
Greenies Feline Pill Pockets Chicken 1.6oz
Offered by Times Boutique
Price: 7.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Pill popping perfection, 2 Mar 2014
We've had cats for many years and you know what it's like, you take them to the vets and they sit quietly/mesmerized on the table while the vet easily slips the tablet down their throat, only for you to get them home and when you try the same procedure yourself they either (a) foam violently at the mouth (b) tear your hand to pieces or (c) spit the pill out 10 minutes after you thought they'd swallowed it!!
We were sent these by a friend from America and i was very skeptical at first but we've just wormed all 4 of our cats and they've all took the tablets like angelic little lambs....i still can't believe it.
They do seem expensive but if they make pill giving this easy they're worth twice the price.


Ride Your Heart
Ride Your Heart
Price: 8.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Palpitations, 18 Feb 2014
This review is from: Ride Your Heart (Audio CD)
The album cover is a fair indication of what's on offer here i.e music to roll down the car window, lean out as far as you can and let your hair blow in the wind?
Fronted by sisters Jennifer & Jessie this is a fine album full of lovely 60's style harmonies over excellent jangly/rocky guitars.
Vocally reminiscent of Frankie Rose & The Dum Dum Girls and musically somewhere in Shop Assistants territory.
The opener `looking for a fight' however has a garage feel going on and `outta my mind' is more soulful (and for me therefore less interesting) but the rest of the tracks are just great indie/punk guitar beauties albeit perhaps a little too 'samey' (my only complaint).


Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
Price: 7.63

4.0 out of 5 stars For Fox Sake, 18 Feb 2014
This review is from: Fleet Foxes (Audio CD)
I'd read various reviews about this band and was sufficiently concerned (but still also intrigued) to stop me purchasing this album for some time but coming across it cheap in a charity shop I decided to take the plunge.
I can't say I actually hated it after hearing it the first time but it certainly left me cold & disinterested and at that time would only have given 2 stars.
But now having half a dozen spins behind me I must admit it's beauty (and it has a lot of it) is beginning to shine through. It certainly reveals previously unheard nuances on every additional play.
I'm still not totally smitten as I don't think it has enough out & out memorable tracks but the harmonies are impressive (almost choral or pastoral in nature) and there are enough guitars/banjos to lift the fairly restrained musical backing.
It's gentle & simple (in a good way) but also technically clever and very evocative.
Recommended if you don't mind giving your music some time to bloom.


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