Sunday, December 18th, 2005
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 17
Two EPs today. That is all. And that’ll pretty much round out the year.
|Isobel Campbell / Ramblin’ Man (V2)
Isobel Campbell’s first solo efforts, concurrent with and following her tenure in Belle & Sebastian, were pretty much what everyone expected – ultra twee, whispy folk pop. Pleasant, unsubstantial and generally forgettable. But since then, she seems to have actually developed some musical personality, and interestingly so. Now working with Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees and Queens Of The Stone Age fame, she’s investigating western styles, playing Nancy Sinatra to Lanegan’s Lee Hazlewood. The title track of this EP, a teaser for their full-length Ballad Of The Broken Seas, due January 30, is a cover of a Hank Williams tune with Lanegan taking lead vocals and Campbell offering whispery backing vocals. Two more originals and a traditional tune round out this single, and overall it’s quite an odd blend of voices and styles, certainly not without its charm but maybe not enough depth to really impress. Campbell’s songwriting still hasn’t quite grown into the sound she’s aspiring to, but it’s getting there.
Stream the EP here.
|The Walkup / The Walls Have Ears (independent)
The bio was not promising. A band hailing from Williamsburg, Brooklyn citing influences like Gang Of Four, The Clash and The Cure? Is it not time for a backlash yet? Please? Thankfully, I’m happy to report that the Walkup’s debut EP did not make me want to smash my stereo or fight Andy Gill. Yeah, there are some stuttery disco-fied drum patterns, Anglo vocal affectations and requisite stabby guitars, but the five tracks here retain a solid melodic sense and a decent hook and are never overwhelmed by their declared influences. It doesn’t manage to sound especially original, but that’s better than sounding stale. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but there most certainly is an audience out there for The Walkup to find.
np – Archers Of Loaf / Vee Vee