The Coventry trio's fourth album is sometimes ham-fisted, but always heartfelt
This Weeks Single Reviews (02/04/12)
NME's Sian Rowe reviews this week's single releases
Welcome to ‘Ballid Week’ (™ Tulisa, 2011). First, here’s Theme Park’s Miles Haughton writing about a time when he couldn’t even summon one of those ridiculously jiggly quasi-Talking Heads riffs that have made them famous in London’s N1 postcode. “I was feeling a bit numb,” he’s said of ‘Two Hours’, a track about feeling glum on a night bus. I’m not sure I like it, but he’s doing a good job of bringing me down.
Tribes - 'Corner Of An English Field'
Ballids are personal things and while Tribes’ ‘Corner Of An English Field’ is obviously very close to their scrappy ickle hearts – being one of their debut’s rousing, cry-into-your-vest songs about the death of their friend Charles Haddon – this reminds me of Reading Festival 2004, when a cracky-looking man took advantage of a beery, sunset-warm crowd and tried to feel my lady parts.
Sound Of Guns - 'Sometimes'
Who did this to you, Sound Of Guns? Why did you feel the need to use Montage Piano for the first 50 seconds of ‘Sometimes’? Was it the ghost of Coldplay past? Either way, please stick to snarling things like “Gimmeee some alchohawwwwlll” and bawling “OHHHHH”, because it’s what you do best.
Black Dice - 'Pigs'
As ever, Black Dice are making sounds so mangled that they could be squashing together Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, Whitney’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ while laughing at all the poor saps trying to figure out just where they got that clip at 1.20 – which appears to be the sound of someone trying to shove a Slinky up a trumpet.
Hooray For Earth - 'No Love'
Thank God that Hooray For Earth couldn’t write a ballid even if Gary Barlow threatened to set all of Take That’s yob division on them (they’re American, they don’t even know who he is!). ‘No Love’ sees them moving into Gang Gang Dance territory with sharp electronic squalls and a bit that nods to Stereo MCs’ ‘Connected’.
Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - 'Stick Figures In Love'
Malkmus And The Jicks are a bit like your dad’s weekend band. Imagine Malkmus setting up the garage, buying in the beers, stretching his Silver Jews tee over his tiny pot and gritting his teeth because Jick Mike Clark is late again. “This is my friend Beck. He’s producing our new album,” Malkmus says. You shrug. You’re glad he’s happy. He’s making nice songs, even if the title reminds you of a sex-ed diagram.
This article originally appeared in the March 31st issue of NME
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