Palma Violets, Stay +, Titus Andronicus
Palma Violets – ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’
After the avalanche of hype based on not much more than six months of gigs that no-one bar their mates could get into, comes the moment of truth. As we speak, Palma Violets are pulling in to a venue quite possibly near you, and in the shops is their debut single, ‘Best Of Friends’, which is – to put it simply – one of those exciting, stirring kind of songs made for bawling along to. But if we are to use history as our guide on how to spot a truly special British guitar band, we must consult its B-side. For it is fact that every truly special British guitar band ever has had effortlessly great B-sides, from them Beatles to… oh, you know the list, don’t you? And the good and not that surprising news is that ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’ is first rate. In the best possible way, it sounds as if they’re making it up on the spot, from the Farfisa-led, Spirtualized-esque intro, through a super-simple pop song bit that sounds like the Ramones covering The Doors, into an ending that is more just a sort of collapse, with wolf howls and whispered bits of bullshit and feedback and other brilliant things. Also – from what I’ve heard live so far anyway – it’s only about their seventh best song. Believe the hype: go see them play somewhere tiny this week.
Stay + ft Queenie – ‘Crushed’
Beginning with the chimes of a track by The xx, this stunning nocturne from Stay + (Stay Positive in words) quickly veers closer to something of a Calvin Harris club belter. Look out for the single, out November 5 on ultra-hip London electronic label Black Butter.
Titus Andronicus – ‘Still Life With Hot Deuce And Silver Platter’
New Jersey crunch-rockers Titus Andronicus get better with every year (they’ve been going for SEVEN so far), and although this new album taster isn’t quite as huge as their hugest moments, it sounds like their ‘Gaslight Anthem moment’ can’t be far off.
Lower – ‘Someone’s Got It In For Me’
Post-punk is at its crushing, paranoid best on this new seven-inch from Danish punks Lower. Guitars squeal, icy drums scythe through dense gloom-bass and vocalist Adrian Toubro captures the essence of every midnight worry you’ve ever had, howling desperately “Someone! Someone’s someone’s got it in for me…”
Fidlar ft Kate Nash – ‘Awwwkwaarrrddd’
Maybe it’s the flagrant use of caps lock, the give-a-shit approach to ripping off mid-1990s perv-punks Bloodhound Gang, or the surreal bonus of Kate Nash crooning about popping prescription pills, but this puke and beer spattered track from LA heroes FIDLAR is proof they’re one of the most vital, unpredictable new bands around.
Rza & The Black Keys – ‘The Baddest Man Alive’
Over swaggering drums and blues licks, Dan Auerbach and RZA go head-to-head in the braggadocio stakes. Auerbach claims he could “take the pitchfork from the devil” but RZA tells “a great white shark to go and brush his teeth” and has a “ménage a trois with two female apes”. The baddest man alive and a nature lover too? Gotta be the RZA.
Kevin EG Perry
Girls Aloud – ‘Something New’
Who runs the world? Girls Aloud! Duhhh. That’s the message on long-awaited comeback (and charity) single ‘Something New’. The pounding Guetta beats are inevitable and not very Girls Aloud, but the message of “I don’t wanna talk, I just wanna dance” perfectly sums up why it’s great to have the girls back.
Rustie – ‘Surph’ (Acoustic)
Who knew Glasgow wunderkind Rustie could play the guitar? Here the energetic, galactic fizz of ‘Surph’ from Warp LP ‘Glass Swords’ translates into a slow, emotional ballad featuring vocals from AlunaGeorge. It’s an interesting experiment but let’s hope he’s back to making mindscrewing electronic jams soon.
Haim – ‘Don’t Save Me’
LA all-girl band HAIM follow the slinking Fleetwood Mac tinged ‘Forever’ with another ’80s indebted pop banger. Six long months in the making, it’s immaculately done with fizzy drum punches and smooth harmonies evoking ‘Hounds Of Love’-era Kate Bush and a Boss-esque swagger.
Kendrick Lamar – ‘Backseat Freestyle’
“I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower/So I can fuck the world for 72 hours”. That, chums, is what you can wish for when you’re a 25-year-old Californian whose new album ‘Good Kid, Maad City’ is a bold attempt to win hip-hop in 2012. On ‘Backseat Freestyle’ it’s Hit-Boy’s beat that’ll get ya. Makes ‘Clique’ sound kind of wishy-washy.