Well this was a bit of a surprise wasn’t it. After 6 years in the wilderness, who else should bust through the fabled swinging doors of the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ than no less than Mr Thomas Timothy Vernell-Kell.
A Chore, is the first single to be released off Tom’ forthcoming, and completely out of the blue second album ‘Leisure Seizure’. To those unfamilar with Tom Vek (I don’t blame you, he did do a Lord Lucan) the attractive young blonde Debbie Harry look-a-likey is not actually Tom, but I’m sure he could probably bang her whenever he wants being a bit of an indie leg-end and what have you. No, Tom is the clean cut early 60’s TV executive pulling the strings. As you can see below he’s going for a much cleaner look nowadays, somewhere in between Dave Brubeck and Buddy Holly.
‘Leisure Seizure’ is released on 6th June and the man himself will be playing a few shows through June promoting it which go on sale on 20th April. I recommend you move quick because those bad boys will sell out faster than the latest reality TV sensation. The dates are;
Mon 13 Manchester Ruby Lounge
Tue 14 Glasgow Classic Grand
Wed 15 Birmingham HMV Institute Library
Thu 16 London Heaven
Sat 18 Brighton Concorde 2
As soon as we get our mits on the album we’ll chuck up a review.
A few things have changed for Metronomy since ‘Nights out’ in 2008. Gabriel left the band to focus on fronting Your Twenties and a new line-up have emerged. Of course, Joseph Mount remains in charge, but the rather lovely Anna Prior has been drafted in on live drums, and bassist Gbenga Adelekan has joined in.
The sound has changed too. Some reviewers said Nights Out sounded like a second debut album after Pip Paine (pay the £500 you owe) and it seems now that Metronomy have managed to pull a third debut out of the bag. With melodic synths and some wonderful guest vocals from Roxanne Clifford on ‘Everything goes my way’, the whole thing slots together nicely.
Apparently the artwork is an image from an actual ‘English Riviera Tourist Board’ poster Joe Mount saw once. The album opens with sounds of the seaside washing over the headphones with forlorne strings and bass easing us into things. Although they retain elements of the “spiky synth, wonk-pop party band” once described by Joe Mount, building to a creshdo for the finale ‘Love Underlined’, Metronomy are also more chilled and more melodic. This album is a treat for any summer day.
The video for ‘The Look’ is great:
On a seaside theme, click here for culturally enriching things to do in Margate.
A few years ago, if someone had presented me with such floral cover art I almost certainly would have balked at reviewing the content, but oh how times have changed. Nowadays, such a bouquet is a sure fire indicator of a record almost certain to contain a lovely collection of American lo-fi dream pop. Craft Spells hail from Stockton, California (not ‘-on-Tees’, unfortunately) and are signed to an all too familiar label to those regular crumble browsers, Captured Tracks.
Although their sound is similar to stable mates (and crumble favourites) Beach Fossils, Craft Spells manage to find an odd kind of twee C86 charm to their tracks to replace the formers’ surf style. Lead singer Justin Vallesteros’ vocals have more than a touch of 80s Manchester to them (have a listen to ‘Party Talk’), and may well be why one critic referred to their sound as ”think Factory if it had opened an office off Venice beach”. Maybe if Factory had sent The Happy Mondays to California instead of Jamaica, they would have produced something similarly as dreamy and Factory wouldn’t have gone under. Probably not, afterall there is still plenty or crack in the Golden State.
The essence of the album is a juxtaposition of minimal 80s Balearic beats and the jangling guitars of twee indie pop creating chilled out dance tracks that you barely have to actually dance to. For those who have a massive phobia of large open parquet or titled surfaces like myself, fear not.
If you’re looking for a soundtrack to your next chilled out sunny afternoon hanging out with some attractive people, drinking some attractive cocktails, next to an attractive looking infinity pool and want to avoid the temptation of ‘Club Tropicana’, then I can offer no better remedy than half an hour of ‘Idle Labor’. It is literally what I do every day (the idle labor part, not hanging out in pools with George Michael).
This review will be brief. Not because I don’t have time or because there isn’t loads that I could say but because my mind is so 100% made up about this album that there isn’t much for me to say.
“All that money, the money is the motive. All that money, the money motive. All that money, the money she be focused. Girl put in work, girl, girl put in work.”
This line all sounds a bit R ‘n’ B doesn’t it? Well, this is an R ‘n’ B album after all. But not like anything you’ve heard before. Even the best of Kanye West from 808s & Heartbreak doesn’t come close to how cool, sexy and stylish this album is. It comes somewhere between Kanye and How to Dress Well, but it achieves something more than either. This album is probably the best thing I’ve heard in a year perhaps. Every beat is precise and the dub backing tracks are just better listening than even James Blake’s bumrush album. There isn’t much out there that’s as cool as this. Unashamedly cool and definitely alternative enough for the indie crowd and Pitchfork’s Best New Music, but with a soul that’s as rooted in Bobby Brown as anything Rihanna is making at the moment, with autotune to boot.
The above, Glass Table Girls, is the standout track on the album, particularly because of it’s incredible dub lines but mostly because of the way it just switches on you and puts you in a whole different place. Absolutely incredible.
I don’t think I should labour the point, the two songs above should be enough to convince anyone of discerning taste that this album is one of the treasures of 2011 so far.
You can listen to TOMBOY in its entirety for free now streaming off NPR here. Thank Holy Moses that the wait is over. This has been my most anticipated release of the year and hope that it will be the soundtrack of my summer. Listening now. So far so great.
This is the second Lyle and Scott event that crumble has blogged on now and would, contrariwise, like to congratulate them on a markedly better night than the previous one with Clock Opera. Not only do the headliners Summer Camp simply play better music than Clock Opera, but I also got two free drinks! Sadly, because my camera’s battery is worse than useless, there are no pictures or proof of me having attended the actual event. I could be lying, but I ask you to take my word for it.
The first band, Ice Black Birds, were pretty forgettable. A decent performance by a good band but a terribly boring sound in my most humble and unworthy opinion.
The second band of the night, however, were better. Boy Mandeville are a decent act. They play a kind of tropical guitar, afrobeat style as made popular by Vampire Weekend and they do it well. Highlights include the most nonchalant drummer I’ve ever seen, whom was practically shrugging off the beats and acquiescing to the rhythm rather than actively trying. A good performance by a good band that sadly lack originality and have many other very similar sounding bands around the might be better (see Fool’s Gold). Worth seeing live, but don’t go buying anything they’ve released.
The performance was drastically marred by the appearance of the most annoying revellers in perhaps the city, let alone XOYO. I was first alerted to the presence of this garbling group of losers because they appeared to be having fun. I was mistaken by my initial impression. It wasn’t fun. The reality of going out with probably colleagues and getting drunk and trying to get off with chicks you work with is not pretty. It’s desperate, lame, and awkward.
Wilder – Skyful of Rainbows
The next act, Wilder, were definitely a quality act. They look right, they sound good, everyone performed very well. They have a female drummer, which is +1 kudos, the keyboard player kept detaching himself from his instruments to bang on a big drum with two big drumsticks, which is always nice to see (+1 kudos), and the best thing about the whole performance was the lead singer’s facial expressions (+2 kudos) which gesticulated and overexaggerated every line of the song. Expressive. However, Wilder suffer from a similar affliction to Boy Mandeville in that they also have a done-to-death sound and, further, are about three years too late to get on the indie-electro boat to nowhere. Again, much better in their live performance than in their actual sound; I don’t expect them to gain much more success than someone like Hockey, and they won’t get to Late of the Pier standards.
It was probably during this band that one adult male from the crowd of hell-spawn started to stand out. He was so annoying I wanted to tear my eyes out and throw them at him. His arms kept going up in the air dancing away, hugging his mates, leering around and girating in the general direction of the nearest semi-attractive girl he knew. He was so annoying I had to leave the general area quick-sharp and go get another drink.
Summer Camp – Ghost Train
The final, headlining, band, Summer Camp, were excellent. They make very good music that’s relevant, original, and has hooks to die for. Their performance last night was also excellent. The female lead is great; attractive, wore a nice dress, can really sing, and engaged with the crowd. She asked us to all blow on each other at one point, it being really hot, and so we did. She even realised when she had said something that sounded a bit lame and quickly moved on with skillz. The band also screened an impressive amount of vintage photos onto the back wall which complimented their consumate image as seen in previous video/song posts earlier this week. They were so good my +1 even bought the EP, Young, which is really quite good. The only, and this is minor, criticism, is that they opened with their best song, Round the Moon, but that’s it.
I tried very hard not to let the interloping group of groundlings spoil my enjoyment of this band. However, one highlight was a girl giving the most-annoying-guy-in-the-world the middle finger when he tried to talk to her or something. Just desserts for dancing around like it was a trance concert in the 90s.
A good gig with great music, tarnished only by some rather annoying members of the public.