The haters are waiting, but Getintothis’ Ian Doyle simply can’t fault Foals’ effortless charm, as SMD return with a new EP and The Enemy release their 42nd single.
Foals: Cassius – Single of the Week ****
Sharp, piercing guitars, rumbling rhythms, absurd lyrics, a horn section – thereÃ¢ÂÂs something for everyone with Oxford chameleons Foals. And what a something. All of this could come across as a band trying a tad too hard, but this is effortlessly excellent.
Simian Mobile Disco: Clock EP ****
James Ford and Jas Shaw return with another blistering piece of minimalist electronica. SMD, though, eschew such simple pigeon-holing and the lead track off this EP, driven by persistent bleeps and commanding bass, continues to defy convention with more hooks than a Peter Pan convention. Enjoy.
Does It Offend You Yeah?: We Are Rock Stars ****
The only thing offensive about this electro-rock lot is their way too self-conscious name. A social commentary on the proliferation of net-savvy new rock acts – of which they are most definitely one – this unholy racket is primitive, dirty and a glorious mess. It is therefore great.
We Are Scientists: After Hours ***
TheyÃ¢ÂÂve shed a member and lost some of the pop-rock immediacy of earlier tracks ItÃ¢ÂÂs A Hit and The Great Escape. But what the New York duo have gained is a songwriting maturity and while this lead single from their new album Brain Thrust Mastery suggests the band remain a work in progress, it also hints at future glories.
Shocking Pinks: Emily ***
Propulsive bass, buzz guitars and shoegazing lyrics doth not automatically a hit make. Thankfully, thereÃ¢ÂÂs enough energy and bluster in this two-minute latest from Kiwi maverick Nick HarteÃ¢ÂÂs solo concern for it to poke its head up through the crowd.
Josh Ritter: Empty Hearts *** (pictured above)
In which the man from Moscow, USA (look it up), takes two-fifths Arcade Fire, one-fifth Irish folk and adds his trademark brand of intelligent whimsy to create a cocktail that is just about the right side of melancholy.
Royworld: Man In The Machine **
Royworld, the London four-piece, are the latest to jump on the 80s-retro bandwagon. They have also been listening to Daft Punk. A lot. An awful lot seemingly, this being a bit too close to Digital Love. Believe the blurb, and Royworld are being tipped as one of the bands of the year. It isnÃ¢ÂÂt this year, though.
The Enemy: This Song Is About You **
The sixth single to be released from their number one debut album WeÃ¢ÂÂll Live And Die In These Towns. Was that the sound of a barrel being scraped? Yup.
Cazals: Life Is Boring *
It certainly is when you waste three minutes of your precious time listening to this generic piffle.