Sounds Like Now #7: Girl Band~~~~~~~~~!

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no need for that many tildes. It’s excessive. More to the point, it’s obnoxious. Madness, really. What could possibly justify such extravagant repetition? GLAD YOU ASKED, SIR OR MADAM:

 TRACK OF THE WEEK/MONTH/MAYBE YEAR

Girl Band – ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?’

Okay, okay, Girl Band’s glorious Blawan cover is a couple of years old now but has been repurposed for their upcoming debut release under Rough Trade, the USA and Canada-only The Early Years EP. If you’ve not heard it, it’s a typically chaotic spin on the hypnotic original and another tremendous appetite-whetter for the eagerly-anticipated full-length debut proper, which should hopefully surface before the year is out. Written and directed by Bob Gallagher, the tragicomic NSFW promo will have you in stitches. Arf!

BEST OF THE REST

Public Service Broadcasting – ‘ Go!’

One of the standout tracks on The Race For Space, ‘Go!’ is a pop triumph and a superb showcase of the elements that make PSB’s second album so special.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Peasantry’ or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’ {excerpt}

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Yep, that’s an eight-minute excerpt from the opener of the surprise new Godspeed You! Black Emperor album Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress which officially lands at the end of March. Back in 2010, I caught Godspeed in the sadly-now-departed Tripod in Dublin for what turned out to be a pretty monotonous show. On the way in, some guy stumbled up to the door, can in hand, several tins in the other. The bouncers informed this post rock-loving gentleman that his beverages were unwelcome. Cue pandemonium as the men in black eventually wrestled said drinks away from the now-turned-away fellow who then proceeded to threaten to return and set one (but not both, curiously) of his antagonists “on fire”, even going as far as to comically act out what that might look like. Needless to say, the gig itself really couldn’t top this grand moment.

No Spill Blood – ‘Harsh Route’

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Well now. I mean, it’s the ‘This could work on the trailer for a really good remake of Hellraiser if such a thing ever comes off’ zig-zag synth refrain halfway through that really puts ‘Harsh Route’ over the top but you’re hooked in by its sheer aggressive determination long before that wonderful moment shows up. After that, it’s a frenetic race to the finish, expertly realised. Stunning.

Ghostpoet – ‘Shedding Skin’

[soundcl[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191962715" params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166" iframe=”true” /]Is Obaro Ejimiwe the most underrated artist in the UK right now? Well, perhaps not, he does get a fair amount of praise and press but it feels like not enough acclaim comes his way. One of the most consistent and interesting acts around, Ghostpoet gracefully ups the ante on the quietly dangerous title track to his sophomore effort with winsome assistance from Melanie De Biasio.

ALSO OUT

Markus Feehily – ‘Love is a Drug’

Guess who’s been listening to some Motown standards and Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ a fair bit? Markus Feehily, that’s who. The former Westlife crooner has gone all uptempo stomp merchant with debut single ‘Love is a Drug’. As you might expect from such a bold, ’90s-riffic declaration, it’s “a deeply personal, heartfelt lament that sees Markus coming of age as a songwriter and artist“, which, you really must admit, is highly impressive for a co-write. Emeli Sandé and Sam Smith producers Mojam provide the predictable gloss.

Blur – ‘Go Out’

I went out last week and returned home to find Twitter all-a-flutter with the confirmed news that Blur are indeed BACK with a new album and gig and song and video and Graham Coxon. Seriously, there was a point when my entire timeline was nothing but Blur. Having grown up during the supposed golden age of Britpop and very much picking Blur over Oasis – I believe I requested ‘Girls and Boys’ so many times at my sister’s 21st that the DJ told me, a 10-year-old kid (what was I doing there, anyway?) to “fuck off” – I’m surprised at just how underwhelmed I am by all the commotion. I’m that guy, I guess. As for ‘Go Out’? Yep, just not getting it. Also, why can’t I stop typing ‘Blue’ first? Christ.

Take That – ‘Let In The Sun’

Progress, despite the Robbie Williams cash-in, is a terrific pop record. It takes risks and tries new things (for Take That, at least). Aptly titled, then. III, their most recent offering, offers a simple title and straightforward songs meticulously designed to bother the charts. In that regard, ‘Let In The Sun’ is mission accomplished; bland, hollow and ‘boasting’ a chorus you’ve heard a million times before.

‘ALRIGHT FOR ABOUT 10 SECONDS’ OF THE WEEK

The Singles – ‘Candy’

[soundcloud [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/191660469" params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450" iframe=”true” /]ve never really found Scarlett Johansson all that interesting or exciting as an actress. Her go-to method is to appear like a confused narcoleptic. Granted, I’ve not seen Under The Skin and everyone raves about it and I guess her sleepy schtick could work there but like 2015 Blur, I just don’t really get it. She’s got a band now, don’tcha know? Having teamed up with the drummer from HAIM, she’s rebelling quite hard against the whole tired thing, going for an Annie-style bouncy ode to sugar-filled treats. Much like a bag of Haribo, it feels like a great idea for about 30 seconds. Listen to ‘Chewing Gum’ instead.

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