Los Angeles punk crew hit a sweet spot between hedonism and poignancy on a multi-layered second album
This Week's Singles Reviewed
Vondelpark, Scum, Future Islands
Vondelpark - 'Camels'
What’s a comedown soundtrack when you’re not coming down? The music to a trailer for Luther? Just another ker-ching for Jamie xx? Probably both. ‘Camels’ is huggably gentle dubstep, but it makes us sleepy and a little paranoid, as if the vision of Washed Out lurking around the corner ready to attack us with a syringe of sodium thiopental isn’t real. Right? Right?
Belle & Sebastian - 'Come On Sister'
Oh, so we sound like this now, do we? A sort of glistening approximation of Thin Lizzy with some electronic bits which remind us of (fergoodnesssake) Sophie Ellis-Bextor tacked onto the end. If this is what becomes of the soft-hearted, jangling and knit-wearing, we’re up for spending the Glasto ‘off year’ joining an illegal fight club, watching Top Gear repeats on Dave and doing push-ups ‘for fun’.
Future Islands - 'Before The Bridge'
Future Islands, we are told, are part of Baltimore’s ‘Wham City’ scene which, we can only imagine, pairs disparate musical elements together for shits and giggles. Thus we have ‘Before The Bridge’, which mixes New Order-ish music with a vocal seemingly fashioned after a Tory MP from 1953. Or a pissed-up Baby Dee on a SingStar ’80s session, after some sarky encouragement from Antony Hegarty.
Scum - 'Amber Hands'
A gorgeous, whirring, shoegazing tune, worthy of a tip-top place on ‘Primary Colours’. Although this is an undeniable sign that great things are coming from SCUM’s debut, singer Thomas Cohen does sounds rather like Placebo’s eternally 13-year-old Brian Molko. In other news, the title makes us think of Pete Doherty, our inner Howard Hughes screaming “JUST BUY SOME BLOODY SOAP, WILL YOU?”
Tennis - 'Take Me Somewhere'
Sometimes (ie once a week), we ponder The Long Blondes: what became of them, the way their career was mismanaged, how we fell out of love with Kate after she mistook us for another Asian NME writer (oh babes…). ‘Take Me Somewhere’ is perhaps what LB would have sounded like after a couple of albums. But we’ll never know now, will we?
Glasvegas - 'Shine Like Stars'
When exactly did Glasvegas become Stereophonics? Clearly we were snoozing when they morphed from metrosexual doo-woppers into fist-pumping lad-rockers who could soundtrack a Match Of The Day montage. While we ponder this turn of events, has anyone else noticed the link between wearing white jeans and LSD (lead singer disease)? James Allan, Johnny Borrell…
This article originally appeared in the July 16th issue of NME
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