Sunday, September 3rd, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 47
|The Hourly Radio / History Will Never Hold Me (Kirtland)
The British influence on Dallas’ Hourly Radio is obvious, but what’s curious is the particular point in the timestream that they’ve elected minep. They hearken back to the late ’90s/early’00s, after Britpop had disappeared up its own nostrils but before Coldplay and Franz Ferdinand ushered in the wimp-rock and new4 wave movements that still reign today. The advantage of this is that though offering a sound that’s familiar and comforting to Anglophiles, they’re also hard to immediately pigeonhole and thus come off sounding more original. Aaron Closson’s urgent, adenoidal vocals that recall Brian Molko crossed with Mark Greaney and while that’s a combination that doesn’t necessarily tickle my eardrums, both of their respective outfits – Placebo and JJ72 – sold a record or two in their day, so combined with some solid, anthemic and danceable songs, there’s no reason to think that these guys couldn’t do the same. History Will Never Hold Me is out September 5.
|De Rosa / Mend (Chemikal Underground)
I don’t think Chemikal Underground had any choice but to sign De Rosa, on account of the fact that they sound like label founders The Delgados’ younger, slightly angstier, art-damaged younger sibling. They share the distinctly skewed, Scottish pop sensebility but work in a dose of wild-eyed, frantic edginess that creates a healthy level of tension with their innate, gentler side. The net result is a solid debut, equally consistent and diverse. It can be a bit familiar-sounding but they’re starting out in the same sonic sandbox as some other bands that have gone on to do great things. If De Rosa can fully capitalize on the creativity and talent that’s evident here, they could go on to do great things themselves. Mend is out domestically on Tuesday.
Sometimes something shows up in your inbox (or in this case, your MySpace friends requests) that out of the blue, just beguiles you. And by “you”, I mean me. It’s probably far too early to judge Liverpool’s Clockworkmargaret – after all, they look barely out of their teens (if even that old), haven’t had even a half dozen rehearsals and I think they played their first-ever gig last night. Yet they have some recorded output available on their MySpace and the one song – a cover of my possibly my favourite Elliott Smith song – is just wonderful. The sweetness of the Catherine’s voice combined with her Scouse accent suits the song’s delicate melody perfectly, imbueing the song with youthful innocence rather than Smith’s weariness. And when Jini’s harmonies come in at the very end, it’s sublime. Barely two minutes long and yet it somehow breaks my heart. The original on offer is not surprisingly a good deal rougher, but still displays a lot of potential. As I said, it’s probably still waaaaay too early to place bets but I’m definitely keen to hear what they do next.