The Dirty Dozen – January 2012
Arctic Monkeys – Black Treacle (Domino, 23 Jan)
Mike: It sounds a bit like an album track to be honest. Humbug was interesting with four different things going on at once, but there’s not much going on here.
Sean: I don’t think it’s up to much, maybe not even a six. Will we just go five? Or should we bump them up to six just because we like them?
The Subways – It’s a Party (Cooking Vinyl, 2 Jan)
Mike: It sounds like the Ting Tings and it feels like we’re in Topman.
Sean: It’s a bit 2001 at The Liquid Room.
Mike: It’s been produced to make sure it sounds good on the radio. I think that’s maybe making it sound worse.
Sean: I’m going with a three for that, I’m not going to mess about it.
Mike: It’s been off for ten seconds now and I already can’t remember how it goes.
Pulled Apart By Horses – V.E.N.O.M. (Transgressive Records, 16 Jan)
Mike: I could see them playing this live and it being awesome but on record, it’s different. If it was on a Rock Band game it would be amazing.
Sean: I think you’d be playing all night.
Mike: I was into the intro and the first verse but then I’ve not been interested since.
Sean: I’m giving it four. I’m not having them screaming all that V-E-N-O-M at me.
Trailer Trash Tracys – Candy Girl (Double Six, 9 Jan)
Sean: It doesn’t sound too obviously radio-friendly.
Mike: I like how it’s not shouting at you. I’d be interested in what the rest of the album sounds like. It’s not a ten though.
Skinny: Well, I’d expect a ten to have you leaping out of your seat.
Mike: Yeah, I’m quite comfortable here. It’s not quite a seven. We’ll call it six-and-a-half.
Anja McCloskey – A Kiss (Sotones Records, 16 Jan)
Sean: Interesting. It’s got a wee Beirut tinge to it.
Mike: She’s got an unusual voice but I like how it’s not saying ‘look how amazing my voice is.’
Sean: It feels like it’s on the cusp of being quite good or really annoying. We can’t go too high with this one. If you’re going to be like Beirut you’re going to have to do much better than this.
Mike: A good effort though. How about a six?
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die (Polydor, 23 Jan)
Mike: It’s a really unusual vocal take. If I was producing it I’d be like ‘alright, do you not want to try that again?’ I don’t like the strings either. It’s the ‘radio strings’ button.
Sean: I don’t mind this too much. I’d like to hear other things. Rumour has it she had a pretty good first song. There’s good and bad in this. Let’s say a four.
Bear Driver – Never Never (Adventure Club, 2 Jan)
Mike: Deerhunter vocals, that’s good.
Sean: It’s very sexy.
Mike: Yeah, I’m enjoying this.
Sean: Sounds like the summer of ’72 in California. It’s not got a big crazy chorus, which I like. It just went up one gear. I’ll give this a seven.
First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar (Wichita, 23 Jan)
Mike: She’s got a decent voice. Where are they from? Stockholm? I dunno, that’s a deep Southern American accent she’s got. Does that matter?
Sean: I like the vocals but the music is just a wee bit predictable.
Mike: First Aid Kit? It’s something that’s always there but you hardly ever need it. It does the job but it’s not really that important.
Sean: We’ll give it a five.
Bon Iver – Towers (4AD, 23 Jan)
Mike: I haven’t heard this album yet. I was the guy who didn’t really like his first one... but this is sounding pretty good.
Sean: It’s a strange single but then there aren’t any obvious singles on that album.
Mike: It’s a brave choice. Should we go as high as eight?
Sean: Maybe seven-and-a-half.
The Big Pink – Hit the Ground (Superman) (Forest Swords Remix) (4AD, 30 Jan)
Sean: Intriguing – I’m a bit confused by this being a remix.
Mike: I like it, but the remixer is getting the credit. I love it when the vocals are cut up like that, a bit like Fourtet.
Sean: I’m liking it a lot. A seven-point-five. But The Big Pink are only getting point-five of that.
Bombay Bicycle Club – Leave It (Island, 2 Jan)
Sean: I’m quite enjoying it. Our drummer Darren loves this band so I really want to hate it.
Mike: The production’s not great.
Sean: I think I like this less than the Arctic Monkey’s song. Can we give it a two just to piss off Darren?
Mike: Yeah, let’s do that. It’s really a four or five but we’re going to give it a two.
Single of the Month: Errors – Pleasure Palaces (Rock Action, 23 Jan)
Mike: I like that they’re doing vocals now. They’re just like, ‘fuck it, let’s sing’. They do that bouncy percussion thing a lot, but I just love it and they’re so good at it. Can we really give single of the month to Errors? Is it a bit like Barcelona winning?
Sean: Oh shit, this is the last song as well..
Mike: It’s just getting better though. Another arpeggiator! I’m trying to mark it down, I’m trying to think of reasons to give it less than a nine...oh no, come on! That extra little kick-drum there!? We’ve got to...
Sean: [Resignedly] OK, it’s good. A disappointingly good Errors song. Bastards!