Sunday, October 16th, 2005
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 10
|Kiss Me Deadly / Misty Medley (Alien8)
Montreal’s Kiss Me Deadly advertises itself as an unlikely marriage of 90s shoegaze and DC hardcore punk, but danceable. The influence of the former is tangible, while the the latter is tenuous (excepting the deservedly hidden track, and that plays more like a joke). Maybe they pay homage by charging a $5 cover at all their shows, because their second album Misty Medley is too upbeat, textured and melodic to owe any royalties to Messrs. McKaye or Rollins. The musical bedrock draws much from 80s British new wave with disco beats and chiming guitars but somehow don’t sound much like all the 80s revivalists currently clogging up the indie scene. This is probably thanks in large part to the elastic and breathy vocals of Emily Elizabeth. Her bandmates also step up to the mic for a few tracks, but it’s her voice that gives Kiss Me Deadly most of their uniqueness and character. I was right when I said earlier this week that I had a good feeling about this disc. Bonus points for the sharp gatefold-esque packaging.
Kiss Me Deadly are at Sneaky Dee’s December 8.
|Fine China / The Jaws Of Life (Common Wall)
Someday, I’m going to review a band that sounds classically British and actually IS British. It won’t be today, however, and that band won’t be Fine China. Hailing from that last bastion of Anglophilia, Tuscon, Arizona, Fine China have got the dapper publicity photos, the lisp-like British affectation on the vocals and jingle-jangle guitars seasoned with the occasional dramatic keyboard swell. On first listen, it’s all terribly proper and pleasant, if rather bland and undistinctive. However it becomes more interesting the longer you listen – mostly because the album is heavily backloaded with the good stuff. While the limitations of Robert Withem’s voice become more evident as the album progresses, the songs themselves compensate by improving proportionately. By the end of its run, The Jaws Of Life overcomes a weak start to end up a mildly decent listen. Still, the band might do well to not make their name quite so appropriate and toughen up their sound just a touch.
Either way, full points for the cute website URL.
|Bill Ricchini (MySpace)
I have to confess to a bit of superficiality – artists who use ply their trade under their own name bug me. Not bug like annoy, but if I’m looking for something to review cold out of my inbox, say, I’m more likely to go give “Thermonuclear Wallpapper Poppets” a spin than “Milt Walters”. Come on, you’re in showbiz! Glam it up a little! That’s not a hard fast rule, though, and it’s a good thing – else I’d have probably let Bill Ricchini’s email fester in the inbox for a good long time. And in doing so, missed out on some terrific pop music. He may hail from Philadlphia, but his heart is firmly in the 60s. Selections from his second album Tonight I Burn Brightly (which features production from Bryce Goggin and percussion from former Luna drummer Lee Wall) are available to stream on his websites, and they’re uniformly excellent bits of lushly arranged, richly sung, beautifully melodic melancholy. Highly recommended.
np – Belly / Sweet Ride – The Best Of Belly