Well hello again, imagine bumping into you here. Single of the Week is back- bigger, better and more clichéd than ever- and with a fresh new format. Whilst every week I'll still be relying on you to choose your favourite release for the week, I'll make my own choice as well, and then give the rundown of each track released, with the idea being to influence you as much as possible, and spread my own anger and narrow music views. Tuck in, and remember to get voting at the bottom.
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - 'Belong'
Photobucket At pains of being dismissed as obvious, it really is quite clear that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's 'Belong' has to be The 405's Single of the Week. Building on tracks such as 'Contender', the record sees a slightly heavier riff, with the same romantic, abstract vocal so distinguishable from their debut album. The bass is prominent, with the lo-fi production apparently dismissed for a darker sound, which is tenuously reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins and Pixies, for me at least. There is an innocence, undermined by the yearning lyrics, which tempers the song beautifully, leaving it as a brief taste of the summer to come.
OK - 'Lego'
As your basic indie single, this starts promisingly enough, with alternating guitars arguing over intermittent drumming, but sounds a tad too much like being fourteen, angsty and most likely a pain in the arse. “You were right/ I was wrong/ I went on and on and on” sums it up; pull yourself together man, have a bit of self respect, she's probably not worth it. I'll be honest, I think she's taking you for a ride. The aggressively hormonal vocal begins to grate within a minute, and though the creepy sock puppet video can normally be relied on to salvage a record, this just contributes to the bedroom unappeal of the track.
South Central - 'The Day I Die'
Building on the synth-pop revival of 2010, and introducing a grimier, electro base, this is not at all bad, with a superbly sinister video to accompany, simply documenting a sniper massacre in a car park. How delightful... Think the whole Fenech Soler thing, with actual dancing potential, mix with genuine talent, then put a heavier bassline underneath it, and you're along the right lines. The record begins to lose direction at a couple of points as it struggles to define itself, but a bold and catchy single nonetheless.
A Genuine Freakshow - 'Hopscotch Machine Gun Madness'
As band names go, A Genuine Freakshow seems inappropriate for what is effectively your basic, two up two down, twee indie-pop group. In no way should this be a bad thing though, as the track takes the conventional boy girl vocal, and takes it the brilliant Blood Oranges route as opposed to the useless Kabeedies road. The strength of the track lies in its depth, created over a violin, cello and trumpet, instead of yelping and jumping around inanely. It is all too easy to be dismissed in this very specific niche, but this single is a great example of how to use a sound and manipulate it to write a fun, expansive single without getting pompous.
Fujiya & Miyagi - 'Sixteen Shades of Black & Blue'
Absolutely mental. The first thing that needs to be said about this track is that it is absolutely mental. As odes to domestic abuse go, the market is pretty sparse, but Fujiya & Miyagi really seem to revel in the darkness of the track, repeating the threat “I'll beat you sixteen shades of black and blue” over an insistent, yet subtle, drum beat and a simple piano accompaniment. It's frankly immoral, but it is a good track, though the video takes the biscuit on ridiculous. A man battering a ventriloquist's dummy. Really? If you can ignore all the menacing and the inevitable nightmares, it's a fascinating single.
Dinosaur Pile-Up - 'My Rock N Roll'
I am fully aware of the comparisons to Nirvana, Ash and every other nineties guitar group, but as both a student in Leeds and a fan of brash and brilliant rock songs, 'My Rock N Roll' is a fantastic release from the three piece. This is ballsy, simple rock music, nothing more and nothing less; the track that Dave Grohl wishes he could still write. Though I have to use the term derivative, take it as a positive for a band who are making a habit of churning out contemporary, relevant rock music steeped in nineties heritage.
Young Man - 'Up So Fast'
This was a very close runner for my Single of the Week, with a visually stunning video to complement a whimsical, dreamy and thoroughly absorbing song. Take notice OK, this is how to do angst and loneliness which encourages empathy, not sheer rage. From the first line- “Life is unfair, but I go along without a care”- you are engaged with the track, as Colin Caulfield narrates the pangs and aspirations of a young boy, before celebrating the naivety of youth. Exclusive of all my wordy rubbish, it is a really lovely track, developing from a solo, acoustic lament to a six minute epic of solitude and growth. Or something.
Nedry - 'Dusk Til Dawn'
Being honest, I don't know my dubstep from my Dubliners, let alone post-dubstep. Therefore, approaching this track intrepidly, I was really impressed with the cohesion of the record, as the distorted Bjork-ish vocal Ayu Okakita reacts perfectly to the stripped back electronica and snare of Nedry. There is an uncanny quality to the record; the haunting voice playing with the minimalist lighting to an eerie level that captures both a resignation and hopeless optimism. Well done and all that.