Hard to Bear? Just a bit…

I thought that, for this month, i would try to end it with how i started…with The Futureheads!

So, there i was, sat watching the Futureheads performing at Glastonbury (thanks to the red button…), and was shocked to see that they were actually playing ‘Hard to Bear’ live! Now, if you’ve read the review of the album below, then you will have discovered that i labelled this song as the weakest on the album – but i began to wonder if, perhaps it would be much better live…

…unfortunately, it wasn’t, at least it my opinion anyway! Considering how strong the rest of the album is, it puzzled me that the band would choose to play this song live – it just isn’t strong enough. Sure, the chorus is quite catchy, but the music sounds a bit…lacklustre, and i can imagine that, if i was watching the band live, that i might get a bit bored by it!

Of course, i might be completely wrong, and my opinion could be totally changed if i did see the song live…but i’ve not…

…the rest of the set sounded great though, and The Futureheads seemed on top form, which is always good to see!!!

By the way, i did try to find some live footage of the song on Youtube, but unfortunately, none was available, so buy the album and make your minds up for yourselves.

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Reviewed… The Futureheads – ‘This Is Not The World’

A week after this album was released, and it has become a firm favourite of mine! After two albums which i consider to be two great albums The Futureheads have continued their momentum, and perhaps created their best yet! Although the second album, ‘News and Tributes’, did not receive favourable praise from the press, it did reflect a much more experimental and challenging album, something which is not a problem on ‘This Is Not The World’.

The Futureheads return to a format which is both familiar to them, and popular with their fans – as they go for all out rock. Straight off from the opening track, and first proper single, ‘The Beginning of the Twist‘, the band set the tone of the album, as they go from one heavy, guitar-driven pop song to the next – this band certainly know how to write a catchy chorus!

Every track has an element that can get stuck in your head, be it a certain riff or a memorable lyric, and this is what makes ‘This Is Not The World’ a success! The Futureheads don’t try to be too clever or different, but instead craft an album that you will want to listen to over and over again – something which quite a few bands fail to do!!!

Of course, there is a low point on the album, which is track seven, ‘Hard to Bear’, with lyrics which are just slightly cliched and a riff which fails to inspire. However, all is forgiven, when you listen to the great rock tunes of ‘Sale of the Century’, ‘Think Tonight’, and ‘Broke Up The Time‘ – which is just a fantastic song, reason alone for buying the album.

The highlight for me is ‘Sleet’, which could fit on either of the band’s first two albums, and it is this, which reveals what the band have done right – they have managed to combine all of the elements that have made their first two albums great, and put them together to make an even better album…

This may not be the world…but it is one heck of a fine album!!!

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The Autumns – ‘Killer In Drag’ EP

So, according to Play.com, The Autumns new EP, ‘Killer In Drag’, will be out in the UK on the 8th June 2008, including the radio edit version of the song, along with 3 remixes (all of which have been available on various myspaces at some point…with the Evol Intent version still being available on The Autumns’ myspace page)!!!

Of course, i currently have no idea as to how the EP wil be produced physically, but i imagine that it will be on CD this time, as opposed to the ‘Boys’ vinyl!!! However, i’m just excited that it looks like it will be out in a month’s time – and the fact that we are being spoilt by having two singles released from this album!!!

Anyway, if i find out anymore information, then i shall post it…

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Filed under Bella Union, Fake Noise From a Box of Toys, New Release, Rumours, The Autumns

Two months…where have they gone?!?

Wow…so it has been 2 months since i last posted here, which is just terrible! To be fair though, i have suffered from very bad writer’s block (that’s my excuse and i’m sticking to it!)…and it has not been through lack of trying! I’m actually shocked that these 2 months have gone so quickly…

But i will change…YES…i shall revive this blog and start writing something…

…now all i need to think of is what this ‘something’ will be…

*sigh*

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To Mr Raymonde…

I was shocked and surprised to find a comment on my blog today from Mr Simon Raymonde himself (ex-Cocteau Twins/founder of Bella Union), suggesting that i was unfair in my criticisms of Bella Union and himself… I am writing this post in the hope that he might read it (as i have no way of contacting him directly…), and as a sort of retraction of my comments! His post can be read below:

‘hello, i noticed your comments about my poor job promoting the Autumns and have to say i found that rather ignorant and ill-considered. i have said many times in the press that the Autumns album is one of the best we have ever released and its lack of coverage in the european press has been a massive disappointment to me, but i am afraid i dont write or edit the magazines and our press department pushed the album in exactly the same way we do all our bands. why one band is revered and another ignored is not something i have any influence over…it is to the journalists and radio producers who you should be aiming your ire…i signed them cos i love them and believe in them and have spent many thousands of pounds to back up my belief and i will continue to push the music towards people as long as i am able to…

simon raymonde march 08’

To be honest, i had actually forgotten that i had been quite so harsh on him, and feel slightly disappointed that he now has the view that i was overly critical! Here is what i posted on November 23rd 2007:

i’m just hoping that Bella Union decides to do some actual work in promoting the album and new single (’Killer In Drag’ is supposed to be out early next year), as the amount of coverage and support The Autumns have received from their record label is pretty awful – the band deserve so much better, as the new album has had barely any press!!! If i was in The Autumns, i would be knocking on Simon Raymonde’s door demanding an explanation, but i’m not, so that won’t be happening!!!

Reading it back, i understand how it would appear…i am perhaps too harsh on Bella Union, but that is only borne out of my frustrations at the Autumns being ignored by the media and public – i understand that Bella Union will put the same efforts in promoting every band at the same level! However, in my opinion, The Autumns are probably the finest band around at the moment, which leads me to question why they are not one of the biggest acts, not only on the Bella Union label, but in the world(!)…

Of course, there were some issues that i had with Bella Union that i did not write about in the post, but will do so here to validate my original comments: Continue reading

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Filed under Bella Union, Fake Noise From a Box of Toys, Music, The Autumns

2008…Another bad year for Honda F1?

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Well, now that the final pre-season test of 2008 is over, the casual spectator may notice that the Honda F1 team are at the bottom of the timesheets, again, as they have been throughout the Winter! Now, i know this is only testing, but one must wonder, after the ‘dog of a car’ last year (Jenson Button’s own words!!!), are Honda actually going to turn up this year?

It was almost embarrassing watching the Hondas’ struggling at the back of the field in 2007, especially after their first race win in 2006, and because they have two of the most experienced drivers on the track (Button and Rubens Barrichello) – it became so bad, that they were being out-paced by Honda’s ‘B-Team’, Super Aguri, who are being threatened by money concerns in 2008.

Surely, the new car must be better for Honda, but testing would suggest that it is not going to be good enough, especially considering that all of the other teams will have made progress as well! Yes, Honda have said that they are focusing more on the 2009 season, to give their new team principal, Ross Brawn, time to make the necessary changes, but i would have hoped that they would have made some advances…

This, of course, is doubly bad news for Jenson Button, as it looks as though he will never get the chance to truly compete for the Driver’s Championship – if he has a season as bad as 2007, then i believe that he will have to find a new team! As for Barrichello, the prospect of a season without scoring a point – again! – must lead him to question why he wants to stay in the sport…he may have not won the Driver’s Championship, but he has had a long and moderately successful career in F1, so perhaps retirement may not seem like a bad option!

Of course, we will not be able to tell how the season is going to pan out until the first Grand Prix and we see some actual racing, but it isn’t looking likely that it is going to be a good season for Honda…and i for one am disappointed with this thought! So, come on Honda, try to get it right this time!!!

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I’m NOT bored of ‘Cheap and Cheerful’…

kills2.jpg

This post is dedicated to the new Kills album, as i cannot get their new single, ‘Cheap and Cheerful‘ (out some time around March), out of my head – it is so damn catchy…and is hopefully a sign that the new album is going to be good, especially considering that the first single ‘U.R.A Fever‘ is also amazing!!!

I recently bought their second album ‘No Wow’, and found that, whilst i like most of it, at times, it does lack invention, and can be a bit boring if you’re not in the right mood to listen to it, so i am hoping that the new album is a bit more consistent…and on the basis of the two singles, it would seem that it is certainly going to be more experimental!

I do find it strange though, that The Kills seem to be one of those bands that divide opinion in quite a big way – a lot of comments on their videos are positive, whilst at the same time, there is also a significant number of negative remarks, such as how they are ‘trying to be cool’, and all of the scenester-bashing stuff, but i don’t think it is fair! Just because a band produce a certain type of music, they can be quickly lumped in with a certain scene or crowd, without a lot of thought being put into the generalisation!!

This appears to be the case with a lot of bands, although i admit, some of them do deserve it…but that is obviously my bias and tastes shining through – it is hard to be completely objective in anything nowadays!!!

Anyway, back on topic, i can’t wait for the new Kills album…and they are also touring a load from March to May, and details can be found on their Myspace below!!!
‘Midnight Boom’ out on March 10th – The Kills Myspace

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Filed under Music, New Release, The Kills