Greg O’Keeffe finds fun in an Japanese Cop Shop. Or summink.
Tokyo Police Club: Tessellate – Single of the Week
What a belter. In parts reminiscent of something from The Strokes under-rated classic Room on Fire, Tessellate is a rip-roaring debut from this Canadian outfitÃ¢ÂÂs second LP.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a short burst of growly guitars, a driving back-beat and singer Dave MonkÃ¢ÂÂs nasal vocals which is structurally savvy and inherently poppy. Plus I was in the mood for vague lyrics and this definitely ticked that box.
Grammatics: D.I.L.E.M.M.A/Polar Swelling
Leeds four-piece Grammatics will justifiably raise eyebrows with this intriguing double A-side.
Both songs have unpredictable and jolty song structures but they are also easy on the ear and swathed in cello and a host of other instruments.
Neither tracks is immediately arresting but further listens reveal a density and nouse which should bode well for their debut LP.
Twisted Wheel: SheÃ¢ÂÂs A Weapon
IÃ¢ÂÂd heard loads of good things about this lot from Oldham and built up quite a bit of expectation. So maybe I was expecting too much from this debut single.
But while itÃ¢ÂÂs nice to hear a band with a healthy appreciation of Mark E SmithÃ¢ÂÂs more coherent moments, SheÃ¢ÂÂs A Weapon is still more style than substance. Make no mistake it will go down well on the dancefloor but itÃ¢ÂÂs instantly forgettable and also, disappointingly, obvious.
The Steers: Julia
CardiffÃ¢ÂÂs The Steers pitch-in with a Weller-esque, Libertines-tinged slice of sunny punk pop full of power-chords and rolling drums.
There are hints of Supergrass and Ash here too, so, in short Brit-pop nostalgiacs should give this a go. TheyÃ¢ÂÂre also getting a good live reputation so expect more pre-festival buzz.
Experimental fun and sumptuous orchestral touches from this Copenhagen five-piece. ItÃ¢ÂÂs not too lazy journalism to compare these sonically to fellow Scando pioneers Sigur Ros. And thatÃ¢ÂÂs praise indeed around these quarters.
This track, from last yearÃ¢ÂÂs acclaimed Parades album, is all about the voices, trumpet and electronics. Nice, happy-go-lucky stuff which is on the right side of cerebral.
iLiKETRAiNS: We Go Hunting
This critically-acclaimed Leeds outfit specialises in spine-tingling anthems and have already built up an impressive fan-base.
The term Literary-rock should have been invented for them.
This track, recalling the chaos and paranoia of the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts in 1692, uses their usual blueprint of soundtracking a historical tragedy.
It was recorded in an old chapel and mixed by Sigur Ros pal Ken Thomas.
So basically, youÃ¢ÂÂve got a dark and brooding band who use quirky and sad tales of history for lyrical inspiration instead of failed romance or drug-trips. Genuinely interesting stuff which deserves credit for being different.