This Week’s Singles Reviewed – 24 January 2011

In the first of a new series, Fraser McAlpine casts a critical eye over the tracks released in the UK today – featuring The Vaccines, Beady Eye, The Wombats and The Go! Team

The Vaccines – Post Break-Up Sex
Songs about one-night stands are notoriously tricky to, er, pull off. You either come across as smug and brutal, or wet and clingy. Thankfully, the Vaccines have found a third way: honest and compassionate. This is a finished, complete, wrapped-up-with-a-bow pop song – think Editors with a tune and a point – wrapped up in the tin bucket production of The Drums and delivered with a foppish swoon. Justin Young plays the role of Jiminy Cricket to his own disgust, finding himself using intimate strangers to help get him get past a tricky breakup. It’s not a nice thing to do, nothing to be proud of, but sometimes a little bit of who you fancy does you good.
Buy from Amazon

Chase and Status ft. Liam Bailey – Blind Faith
Oh Liam Bailey, how you play havoc with the back of a person’s neck. You might be a man with a heavy heart, by MY GOLLY your mournful voice has the healing touch of a trained masseuse. Your verses promise so much, it is almost immaterial that they build to a plateau, above which the chorus cannot rise. But while we’re up here, what a view! This is the ideal soundtrack to the act of standing victoriously, arms aloft, on the top floor of a multi-storey car park as the sun comes up. Don’t ask me how I know this.
Buy from Amazon

The Go! Team – Buy Nothing Day
Good pop music should make your chest feel like it is about to burst with the battling twin opposites of euphoria and melancholy. It should prick the insides of your eyelids while tweaking the corners of your mouth and twisting your fingers into a cat’s cradle. This constantly-shifting tornado of rainy-day sunshine is good pop music.
Buy from Amazon

The Wombats – Jump Into The Fog
In which our chipper threesome explore the head-spinning delights of dead-eyed decadence and sarcastic ennui. Murph begins by dissecting the degrading ick of some late-night dalliance, but his enthusiasm has audibly curdled by the first chorus. Mine had gone long before then, truth be told. Nice My Bloody Valentine ‘workout’ in the latter third, mind.
Buy from Amazon


Devlin ft. Labrinth – Let It Go
There’s a bit, about a minute and a half into this ridiculously tense song, where Dev and Lab abandon spiralling bliss-synths, and shouting/singing about how bad a love-gone-bad can go bad (very, apparently), and suddenly become Franz Ferdinand: only for about 20 seconds, but it definitely happens, I’ve checked. The Bill and Ted widdly-widdly guitar bits can bugger off though.
Buy from Amazon

Tinchy Stryder – Gangsta?
No thanks. I’ve just put one out.
Buy from Amazon

Beady Eye – The Roller
It’s hard to know how Beady Eye could have faced the impossible expectations dumped on them by, well, everyone, and won. Their music would have to be new, and old, and different to Oasis, and the same as Oasis, and challenging, and reassuring, and above all, empirically amazing. This is half of those things: the familiar half. It’s an unimposing shuffle which carries a strong gust of Lennon in its wake, on purpose, and is held together by Liam’s still-considerable gravitational pull. It’s not amazing, but it passes the time agreeably. Whether this is what you want from music is, of course, up to you.
Buy from Amazon

This week’s new music releases, 24 January 2011

Other songs you can buy:

Blutengel – ‘Promised Land’
Danny Byrd feat. Netsky – ‘Tonight’
Elle Osbourne – ‘Good Grief’
Glasser – ‘Mirrorage’
Jamiroquai – ‘Lifeline ‘
Ke$ha – ‘We R Who We R’
Killing Joke – ‘European Super State’
Koudlam – ‘See You All’
Love Parry III – ‘Race For The Poison Chalice’
Matthew P – ‘Swimming EP’
Neon Trees – ‘Animal’
Rodeo Massacre – ‘Mama Told Me So’
Sam Attwater – ‘Breaking Boundaries’
Teddy Thompson – ‘Looking For A Girl’
Evryone – ‘Flamingos’

The Beets – ‘Time Bought Age’
Chain And The Gang – ‘Cry, Cry, Cry Over You’
Chapel Club – ‘Surfacing’
Deerhoof / Physical Forms – ‘Hoofdriver’
Exit – ‘Detroit Leaning / I Wanna Dance’
Gentleman Jesse Smith – ‘You’ve Got The Wrong Man / Stubborn Ghost’
The Girls – ‘Remote View / Lord Auch’
Harrys Gym – ‘Old Man’
Heavy Times – ‘No Plans / Ice Age’
Islington Boys’ Club – ‘Pristine / Plastic 16’
Sophia Knapp – ‘Nothing To Lose’
Koudlam – ‘See You All’
La Sera – ‘Devils Hearts Grow GoldLake – ‘You Are Alone / Higher Than Merry’
Masters In France – ‘Mad Hatter / Control’
Smoke Fairies – ‘Strange Moon Rising’
Tortured Tongues – ‘Let Me Down’

Cut Copy – ‘Take Me Over’
Brokenchord – ‘Girl Of 13 Summers / Orion’
Martyn & Mike Slott – ‘Collabs 1 EP’
Pteradactil Disco – ‘Big Ass Biscuit / Clive’s Alright’
Theophilus London – ‘Overseas / Calypso Blues’