Philip Lickley takes us through the pick of the coming weeks single releases. If you would like to write for All-Noise, get in touch on [email protected]
Single Reviews – 27 January
BeBe Black – ‘Deathwish’
‘Deathwish’ from BeBe Black is a track with two identities. It starts off as an Emile Sande tribute but evolves into a dance tune with more ballad-like aspirations with Black’s vocals shifting to fit the style. Sounding perhaps like a club tune played at the wrong tempo, it does have some simple but instantly memorable lyrics and some well built-upon production values, going a little Massive Attack and La Roux with layered vocals adding to the work. A faster remix would probably score a few more points but this multi-faceted work ticks all my boxes.
Bingo Players feat. Far East Movement – ‘Get Up (Rattle)’
Buy: Get Up (Rattle) (Original Remix)
Eyes down for a full house… It’s difficult to judge this song. The video is hilarious and one of the best I’ve seen in a long time and is quite distracting from the single. The tune itself is a little derivative, with heavy inspiration from the Black Eyed Peas in there, but amongst the expected sounds and structure is a pretty catchy hit with a succession of memorable hooks from the whistling sections to the more primal noises. The rapping from Far East Movement may be pretty standard with lyrics written on the back of a beer mat, but it’s a fun dance track that gets your foot tapping and it settles in after a few listens. Just watch out for ducks.
Bondax – ‘Gold’
‘Gold’ is a multi-layered ethereal sounding track but is a little too bland for my tastes. Plodding in tempo it lacks any major hooks or a distinguishable chorus and decides to sound like a level from an old Game Boy game two-thirds in. It sounds very Alt-J at times but lacks their ear for a big sound, mixed in with some Maverick Sabre. It’s not a bad listen and a chill-out tune to enjoy, just lacking that special something. More bronze than ‘Gold’, I think.
Devlin feat. Diane Birch – ‘Rewind’
With a chorus that sounds like the sister track to Alyssa Reid’s ‘Heart’ cover ‘Alone’ and a video with more than a nod to ‘The Scientist’, ‘Rewind’ is very similar to a lot of rap-song mixes but is pretty enjoyable. Devlin sounds like Eminem at his peak, rapping over a simple but fun piano ballad, whilst Birch’s Alanis Morissette-sounding chorus adds the emotion to the piece. It’s nothing revolutionary and loses its spark two-thirds in as it fails to introduce something more engaging into the mix, but it’s an interesting collaboration that fills a few minutes.
Palma Violets – ‘Step Up For The Cool Cats’
Buy: Step Up for the Cool Cats
Fresh from their appearance in the BBC’s ‘Sound of 2013’ poll, here is their second single. A little Arctic Monkeys in sound with a slight nod towards Monkees hit ‘I’m A Believer’, it’s a slow-paced, pondering track with some muddy production and very drawly vocals. The sound is very raw and has its moments of eccentricity – including a Red Indian call sign in the closing bars – but lacks any great moment and feels a little too much like a demo. The instrumental sections stand out and it’s a different sound compared to the slickness of their contemporaries, but it’s missing something to really kick it up that notch and can’t sustain itself for three minutes.
Frightened Rabbit – ‘The Woodpile’
Buy: The Woodpile
Sounding similar to Biffy Clyro – and not just because they share a Scottish origin – ‘The Woodpile’ utilises their similar building style of words and music with a story-feel to them. Mixing in a sound that’s both raw but well produced, there’s something grabbing about the record that I can’t put my finger on. With an enjoyable chorus that blends neatly in with the verse, with some great guitar work to back it up. It’s a little drawly at times but it fits in with the style and it’s a quick grower thanks to its well orchestrated instrumental break and precisely slotted together elements that work together to make a warm, pleasing record.
Scrufizzer – ‘Rap Rave’
Buy: Rap Rave (Radio Edit)
“Who wants to hear my brand new sound?” he asks at the start of the record. I’m not entirely convinced it’s that much of a new sound as it just sounds like the listener is being constantly assaulted by a barrage of words and default sound effects from a piece of DJing software, though there are elements of an early Dizzee Rascal. In the genre it works and he certainly has a talent with his flow but sitting down to listen to the track isn’t a fun or comfortable experience and is more like an assault on the ears rather than something more musical. When the pace slows down, ironically, it works better but it soon descends back into noise.
We Are The Ocean – ‘Young Heart’
Buy: Young Heart
The third single from their latest album, ‘Young Heart’, is very much a tight fit into the indie rock genre with a pleasing mix of guitars and heart-felt lyrics. It doesn’t quite manage to build anything into its four minutes that lifts it up to the next level on the genre’s rank of songs, but it’s a worthwhile listen if you’re a fan of the band or their style of music, with a heady mix of raw-sounding vocals and guitar, and a well-built chorus with layered vocals.