The sounds rattling round the skulls of the NME staff this week
Sleigh Bells – ‘Comeback Kid’
So Sleigh Bells made their return at the dog-end of last year as we’d expected them to, opting for the all-guns-blazing, seek-and-destroy approach, unleashing music’s very own hellfire onto unsuspecting civilians with ‘Born To Lose’. The first track out of new album ‘Reign Of Terror’’s traps was a Jonah Hill-heavy riff rampage that belied their insistence in recent interviews that they’re about to offer a more tuneful, song-based and poppy second album.
The comeback kids’ second, ‘Comeback Kid’, on the other hand? Now this is the pop hit they were banging on about. Well, kinda. It’s still stuffed full of crunchy guitars (recorded, apparently, in a massive reverberation room for added effect) and demonic thumping beats, but this time they’re growling and rumbling under and over much sweeter vocals and – dare we say it – a catchier structure. It’s as if someone put The Ting Tings on a rack, stretched them to breaking point, turned them into lurching androids equipped with sonic death rays and let them loose at a Skrillex gig. Or something. Anyway – Alexis’ increased involvement in the songwriting process has seen her add numerous pop devices to her foil Derek’s demented machinations, and the resulting tussle is captivating indeed.
Tim Chester, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
After welcoming Blue Ivy Carter to the world earlier this month, Jigga didn’t waste any time heading into the studio to wax lyrical about his and Beyoncé’s “greatest creation”. With BIC on backing vocals (of sorts) and references to previous miscarriages, it’s enough to reduce any cynic to a big pile of mush.
Rick Martin, News Editor
Brooklyn newcomer Devin sets out his stall with this hyper-energetic new single. It’s as frenetic as expected – a rock’n’roll retread of ‘Teenage Kicks’ with buzzsaw guitars nicked straight outta The Libertines’ ‘Horrorshow’ and screamy Casablancas-esque vocals.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
The meshing of Malian couple Amadou and Mariam’s sparkling harmonies with Nick Zinner’s circular, rockabilly guitar riff and Santigold’s chiming, ever-adaptable vocal style may have the touch of mash-up madness about it, but that’s exactly what makes this track so brilliant. A chuffing great masterstroke of genre-less genre mixing.
Priya Elan, Assistant Editor, NME.COM
Vivian Girls’ bassist Katy Goodman showcases her La Sera project’s forthcoming second album with a hit of cranked-up candy rock. It comes over like hair-flipping teen classic Clueless soundtracked by the legendary ‘Girls In The Garage’ ’60s shakedown compilation series: splendid stuff.
Leonie Cooper, Deputy News Editor
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Most kosmische keyboard explorers write music dealing with subjects like deserted space-stations. Not Daniel Lopatin, whose new demo – his first since 2011’s ‘Replica’ – deals conceptually with Ricky Rubio, a basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ricky must be hot shit, because ‘Rubio’’s zonked-out tropical synth oozes a sensation of splendid serenity.
Louis Pattison, writer
‘Dead Set On Living’ is probably the best album title we’ve heard since Paul McCartney’s ‘Kisses On The Bottom’. And, shortly behind this face-ripping preview track, it’s one of the main reasons why we can’t wait for Cancer Bats to slash hardcore a new bumhole when it’s out this spring.
Jamie Fullerton, Features Editor
2012: the year dance music remembered to have some silly good times again. Witness Joe from Hot Chip’s The 2 Bears side project – proper no-nonsense, positive-energy house music made by two grown men dressed as giant teddy bears – and the most banging ode to the daily grind since Dolly’s ‘9 To 5’.
Krissi Murison, Editor
These days Radiohead sound like a ZX Spectrum falling down a spiral staircase, but back in 1986 they were sixth formers with a penchant for double denim and sax solos. This recently unearthed demo finds them channeling The Smiths’ ‘Some Girls…’. Thom’s sweet vocal aside, it’s pretty dreadful. There’s hope for crap baby bands everywhere.
Luke Lewis, Editor, NME.COM
SVE’s last album, ‘Epic’, dealt with a vile ex who’d break her instruments and call her worthless. From forthcoming LP ‘Tramp’, ‘Leonard’ concerns learning to love again, her voice soaring amid thrumming drums and shuffling guitar, and ending in a gentle string swirl. Proof her ex couldn’t have been more wrong.
Laura Snapes, Assistant Reviews Editor