The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club

Impossible Sightings Over Shelton

The name may conjure images of men in monocles counting Guineas over a round table in a cigar smoke filled room; I expected a musical narrative on brandy drinking, beard grooming, waistcoats, pocket watches and hearty chortles at third world famine. Instead I find the band mainly consists not of gentlemen at all, but of women (Pah! Should be seen and not heard) with a whiney male singer who sounds a bit like Billy Corgan. They have a largely gloomy bass sound, embittered by jarring female vocals that randomly lapses into optimistic bursts; it�s an interesting progression of an early 90s sound.

Laura Doherty

Larrikin Love

Well, Love Does Furnish A Life

Once it�s stumbled over the ridiculously clumsy title, this new single from Mr Larrikin mixes and matches musical styles as if he�s raided his vinyl collection with gay abandon. Opening with jangling guitars that bring to mind vanished indie gods The La�s, it then slumps into a pseudo-reggae beat, before the Top Ten-friendly chorus finally surges through. Jumbled, slightly confusing, but remarkably infectious and memorable, �Well, Love Does Furnish A Life� sums up Larrikin Love in a nutshell. The jury�s still out on that title, though.

Dan Coxon

Reead

Rewind

It�s worth stating from the outset that electro-house has to do something pretty special to make me sit up and pay attention. It has its time and its place � preferably about two in the morning, with a pint of tequila coursing through my veins � but outside of that it�s unlikely to make it onto my iPod, let alone my playlists. All of which makes Reead�s achievement a noteworthy one, given that I made it through all eight remixes without losing interest. Buy me that pint of tequila and I�ll probably be lovin� it.
Dan Coxon

Zapped By A Million Volts

What�s The Miles Per Gallon, Alan?

Someone�s been listening to a little too much Ian Dury & The Blockheads, I think. True, this single has an infectious urgency about it that still survives despite the unwieldy title, but unless we�re turning the clock back twenty years it�s hard to see �What�s The Miles Per Gallon, Alan?� succeeding in the modern world. Besides, they really can�t fit that title into the chorus, and the whole effort feels needlessly rushed and cramped for style. If you�re missing Ian Dury you�ll probably love it, though.

Dan Coxon

Little Barrie

Pin That Badge

Little Barrie return (did anyone notice they’d been away?) with an unashamedly retro EP that claims to have �funk� and �soul� but in reality has as much bite as a toothless chihuahua. This sounds like it took about five minutes to write, and it takes about five seconds to forget it completely. The B-side, ‘Green-Eyed Fool’ takes a swipe at people who �haven’t had the balls to do it for themselves�, which seems a little rich, coming from Morrissey’s jobbing guitarist.

Kate Connolly

The Rapture

W.A.Y.U.H People Don�t Dance No More

I went to review this single then realised I�d put Talking Heads Remain in the Light on instead. Never mind they�re just the same so I�ll get away with it. Spiky, jerky guitar, clanging cowbells, electronic blips and beeps, rhythmic beats and squealing vocals. This is great if not at all original and more than a nod to the aforementioned art school legends. Complete with a Tom Tom Club ending as well…cheeky boys. �People don�t dance no more/They just stand like this/They cross their arms and stare you down/They drink moan and piss.�

Alan Souter

Edward Molby

Narwhal

Some bands end up with their vocalist because he owns a car and not because he has an especially nice voice. I’m assuming Edward Molby are such an act. A quartet from somewhere in Yorkshire who, hilariously I can assure you, feature no-one of the name Edward Molby play guitar heavy pop fronted by a singer who whines when the music is meant to be melodic and has possibly the most pathetic scream I’ve ever heard when things get ‘heavy’. I couldn’t stand to listen beyond the entirely rubbish opening track so have no idea if things improve.

Alex Botten

The Automatic

Raoul

The Automatic enter 2007 with an albatross around their necks, their phenomenally successful single �Monster� and a set-trashing Breakfast TV appearance that went on YouTube almost immediately. This re-issue is not perhaps as catchy as Monster, unlikely to change the world, but it�s fun. And that�ll do for now. What is not explained is who Raoul is�

Ed Jupp

Sean Lennon

Dead Meat

Lennon Jnr could be forgiven for taking the fast track route to fame. After all, what�s the point of trying to emulate your father�s career when he has secured his place as one the greatest of all time? Surely a lost cause?

Not for this single-minded gentleman. Whilst there are elements of dad�s work spliced into this single acutely, individuality is almost certainly the defining word for this, and indeed all, of Sean Lennon�s work. Rather than be cast under a shadow of a parent�s previous success, �Dead Meat� sounds fresh, unique, and indicative of his tribulations to find perfection in the eight-year sabbatical since his last effort. Emulation this ain�t; this stands on its own two feet as a beautifully arranged, gloriously implicit record. He may be as much the spokesperson for the underground as his father was for the mainstream. Not really what you would expect from a Lennon record, and, probably, all the better for it.

Paul MacDonald

Revl9n

Walking Machine

The Swedish have the inimitable knack for delivering a perfect piece of pop when it�s needed most. Even in this period of nationwide, post-festive season lethargy; Revl9n (pronounced as �Revlon Nine�) manage to make a song about a Walking Machine seem appealing. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but its sultry vocals and sugary synths make a bouncy, electro noise that could be a flatpack remedy to a Data Panik shaped hole in the world, if there is such a thing. Altogether it�s inoffensive and pretty pop.

Laura Doherty