This Week's Singles Reviewed (24/1/12)
Slow Club, Polica, Eugene McGuinness
[b]Slow Club – ‘The Dog'[/b]
Sometimes a song just floors you. It clenches the jaw and moistens the eyes. This isn’t it. How could it be? It’s by underwhelmers Slow Club. It’s quite nice second time around, like ‘The Suburbs’ heard down a tin-can telephone. The first time it doesn’t register at all, like being told about somebody’s dream – your eyes glaze over and you go, “Right, so the horse was actually Trevor Nelson”, without even meaning to.
[b]Eugene McGuinness – ‘Shotgun'[/b]
This guy used to be a bit Last Shadow Puppets. That stiffed, so he’s ‘gone pop’ as a plastic-soul rockabilly dude. To drive home the point, he’s sampled ‘The Peter Gunn Theme’, putting him in a select group including Tricky, Grandmaster Flash, The Blues Brothers and thousands of others. Some may recall Jimmy Ray, who tried this sort of thing in the ’90s. Jimmy Ray is now a gun-cleaner in Missouri. Take heed, Eugene.
[b]Polica – ‘Lay Your Cards Out'[/b]
They were in Gayngs and are Bon Iver’s favourite new thing. But before you stop reading, I should say that this is the best in the bag this week. A mix of Roy Vedas’ ‘Fragments Of Life’ and Massive Attack’s ‘Safe From Harm’, it uncoils with its own sweet languor. Starting or finishing seems irrelevent; instead the song elects to roll along its solid adult contemporary groove.
[b]Chet Faker – ‘Thinking In Textures'[/b]
The lead track from the ‘Thinking In Textures’ EP, which, as any interior designer will tell you, is excellent advice. Colour? Pah. Chet knows texture’s where it’s at: there’s roomy velveteen luxury in his arch ’90s R&B. Too bad, then, that he’s a terrible lyricist. You’re not rivalling Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’ by crooning “[i]It’s not the honey/She’s on her knees/Naked in the bedroom/Whoa[/i]”. Whoa indeed. As sexy as a rusty speculum.
[b]Jamie N Commons – ‘Devil In Me'[/b]
Jamie N Commons is possibly the only One To Watch media anointee of 2012 to have based his career on 1992 chart stars The Blessing’s Number 30 hit, ‘Highway Five’. That song remains swell, and this one’s actually meatier than you’d expect. But in the nicest possible way, how much can you truly warm to someone who comes on like they’re auditioning for a new production of The Commitments?
[b]Bill Callahan – ‘Heaven Help The Child'[/b]
A 1973 ballad by Under Appreciated Genius Mickey Newbury gets a single release as part of an ongoing reissue campaign. The cover on the B-side comes courtesy of Smog’s Bill Callahan, who makes a decent fist of giving Newbury’s soft country chops cause for further celebration.
Click here to stream the track
This article originally appeared in the March 24th issue of NME