Sunday, October 9th, 2005
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 9
|The Joggers / With A Cape And A Cane (Star Time)
The Joggers don’t sound like they come from Portland. If I were none the wiser, I’d have placed their point of origin firmly across the Atlantic. With A Cape And A Cane, the title of which the band insists has nothing to do with Aleister Crowley, sounds like a mish mash of Blur and The Fall, thanks mainly to singer Ben Whiteside’s mealy-mouthed, Brit-affected vocal delivery. Musically, they trade in the sort of herky-jerky, stop-start vaguely funky brand of indie rock that’s so popular with the indie kids these days, which would account for the minor buzz that currently surrounds the band. It all sounds simultaneously interesting and not – there’s lots going on on a sonic level, but the songs don’t quite have the pop hooks to make listening enjoyable beyond the cerebral. Perhaps further listens would be more revealing, but I suspect my tolerance for Whiteside’s voice would run out before that happened.
Hear some of The Joggers at MySpace. With A Cape And A Cane came out on September 27th and they’re at Sneaky Dee’s on November 14.
|The Sharp Things / Foxes & Hounds (Bar None)
New York’s Sharp Things prove that massive musical collectives aren’t strictly a Canadian phenomenon. Boasting ten players (at least that’s how many get their pictures on the website), The Sharp Things are the brainchild of pianist Perry Serpa. Foxes & Hounds is a sprawling throwback of an album that draws heavily on the grandiose chamber pop of the ’60s, obvious touchstones being The Left Banke and Burt Bacharach, with some R&B flourishes and some decidedly modern touches like the squalling guitar solo in “The Suicide Bombers”. Serpa’s voice isn’t always quite up to the task of pulling off the range and melodies that the songs call for, but laid overtop of the sweeping string- and horn-laden arrangements, but hearing it strain that little bit actually gives it all a pleasant dose of humanity. Great Sunday listening (as I’m doing right now).
Hear some Sharp Things at MySpace.
|Heroes Of Switzerland
Heroes Of Switzerland are not a band comprised of the Ricola guys, but a new British four-piece celebrating the release of their debut album, Disposable Fiction. Some press likens them to recently departed fellow Nottingham natives Six By Seven, but while there are some similarities in the dense sheets of guitar and high energy, but favour a more in-your face attack than the twisted tension and release of 6×7. The band’s strengths definitely lie with the rhythm section – drums are thunderous and nimble and lock in nicely with the weaving bass. On the other hand, the guitars are of a rather conventional indie style, the vocals tend to be rather buried and the songwriting is not especially remarkable. All in all though, a solid if somewhat conventional effort. Check out the title track from the EP:
np – Antony And The Johnsons / I Am A Bird Now