Jamie T’s second album in two years is a punk, rap, pop and hardcore tour de force
The Little Ones: Dublin Castle, London, Tuesday, January 30
It’s cold outside but in here it’s one big sunny, Californian love carnival
Bursting with the jubilance of a death cult on Mothership Day into new single ‘Oh, MJ!’ they’re immediately out surfing Hammond organs on Collegepop Beach, gradually bubbling to a crescendo of warped psychedelia like Grandaddy spontaneously combusting. ‘Cha Cha Cha’ is Kings Of Leon’s ‘The Bucket’ if said bucket had been full of industrial grade uppers and ‘Lovers Who Uncover’ is so splattered in joyous “Ey-ooooo!”s and “YeahyeahyeahYEAH!!”s that it lures you into its flower-painted fun bus and bundles you off to a reprogramming centre for ‘induction’. They’re a veritable Sesame Street of scintillating pop hugability, brought to you today (you suspect) by the letters M, D and A.
So far, sniff the cynics, so Clap Your Hands Say ‘Mandy’!, but while The Little Ones slot effortlessly into the grand tradition of ’60s-smattered US guitar pop they do it better than any band in… ooh, a good 15 years. And, off-roading from their stupendous ‘Sing Song’ mini-album, singer Ed Reyes beckons us into darker, more tangled territory: ‘Gregory’s Chant’ is a shape-shifting spectre of a Zombies tune, opening like ‘Strawberry Fields’ going to the circus, before the stop-start jerk-pop in the middle and an ending that sounds like someone hitting a dog with a robot. But then we might have hallucinated it, overdosing on these wondersongs being projected on to our primal brain stem. Cuddly yes, wuddly certainly, but for such Little Ones they pack a mighty pop wallop.
Character studies and ready melodies abound in the latest record by the Oxford quartet
A battle-like record where fear and dread rule
Another gripping Pedro Almodóvar mystery, full of vibrant visuals and emotional revelations
The Californian succeeds, once again, in exposing the ugliness of mankind. It’ll get under your skin