Foals – ‘Inhaler’
Holy shit, Foals just got sexy. If ‘Balloons’ and ‘Cassius’ acted as the spokes for the taut, mathy spasms on 2008’s debut album ‘Antidotes’, and ‘Spanish Sahara’ heralded the expansive introduction to the wider landscapes of 2010’s follow-up ‘Total Life Forever’, then what does ‘Inhaler’ hint about the forthcoming ‘Holy Fire’? It’s dirty. It’s heavy. It’s got, as Yannis told NME earlier this year, “swampy, stinky grooves”. And above all, it’s unbelievably good. Within the five minutes of ‘Inhaler’, there are so many curveballs. It begins with intricately picked guitars and a throbbing bassline (so far, so Foals), and then: “Sticks and stones/ May break my bones/ I make believe…” Yannis’ vocal, this time, is not so much a yelp or a fragile wisp as a (still petulant) coo. Never have lyrics about claustrophobia sounded so damn come-hither. Then, just as you’re settling into Foals gone funk (well, they’re own spiky version of it), a tense wash of guitars kick in, things get heavy, and Yannis raspily screams about how he “can’t get enough space” and then, bang: RIFFS. ‘Inhaler’ is the most direct track the band has put out to date. It’s like Pulled Apart by Horses dosed up on Prince. It’s unsettling. It’ll leave you, like its subject matter, gasping for air and then drag you straight back in. Oh yeah, and it’s EXCELLENT.
Jack White – ‘Blues On Two Trees’
Jack White is a man of many talents. Incendiary guitarist, gifted pastry chef, tender and gentle lover. To his list of accomplishments we must now add ‘rapper’. He won’t be challenging Nas, Eminem or Will Smith for their crowns, but he does have an eye for a solid pun. The talking trees “bark”, you see?
Kevin EG Perry
My Chemical Romance – ‘Boy Division’
Hahahahahahahahaha, ‘Boy Division’, GREAT PUN GUYS. But seriously. ‘Boy Division’ is actually right lively, like that (briefly amazing) band The Blood Brothers injected with stadium choruses and, right at the end, a riff that screams “CIRCLE PITS”, “BLOOD” and “HEADLINING READING AND LEEDS IN 2013”.
Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs – ‘I Watch You’
Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs make New York art-punk like it’s the ’70s. Tom-Verlaine-in-Television vocals? Oh yes. Thundering riffs straight from Richard Hell And The Voidoids? Most definitely. They’ve even got haircuts to match.
Jaws – ‘Surround You’
Autumn, if the totally tropical sounds coming from B-towners Jaws are anything to go by. ‘Surround You’ comes on a bit like Yeasayer, but a Yeasayer who smile occasionally and listen to Friendly Fires all the bloody time. Absolutely scorching.
Four Tet –‘Lion’ (Jamie xx remix)
Jamie xx is a vulture. He gnaws Four Tet’s ‘Lion’ down to its bare bones, spits up some subterranean bass, and just as you think it’s all over, carries it off into the sky with a few slick and sensuous chords. Here’s hoping he’s got a busy year ahead, turning out unflappably brilliant remixes outside of The xx.
The Weeknd – ‘Enemy’
It’s interesting that The Weeknd ‘samples’ The Smiths’ ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ here. Not because Morrissey has been distorted to sound like Stephen Hawking, but because he’d probably disagree with The Weeknd’s seduction technique: “I’m just trying to make you come without a word”. Not Mozza’s style.
Sun Industries – ‘Shiver’
So the Noel Gallagher-affiliated Ignition Records have started a singles club, and here’s the first instalment. The band whose music they’re putting out, Sun Industries, are thus far shrouded in KLF-style mystery, but the falsetto-topped electro-raunch of their debut single is exciting enough to make us want to find out more.
Temples – ‘Shelter Song’
Freshly signed to Heavenly (home of Toy, among many others), Temples are London’s latest immaculately styled kids fixing their neo-psych kaleidoscope across the capital. Coming on like
a stoned version of their label mates, ‘Shelter Song’ is a magic carpet ride away to another world where the fridge is always stocked with special brownies and everyone has great hair.
Ratking – ‘Comic’
You know when you hear a band and think “woaah WTF just happened?” That’s Ratking. The siren sounds and harsh flows of ‘Comic’ bundle you into a half-lit warehouse, push you around, and leave you lost and sweating. Ouch. But good ‘ouch’.