The Dirty Dozen – October 2012
Richard Hawley – Seek It (Parlophone, 1 Oct)
Dan: I’m quite curious to hear this. The vocals are really warm and intimate but it’s a bit Radio 2 at the moment. I think my Mum would like this. [Sarcastically] I think he’s telling us something about love. I was pretty curious to hear this because his name’s always bandied about. I didn’t know what to expect. I think it’s OK but I think I’ve had enough. Can I turn it off?
The Skinny: Sure. Marks out of ten?
Dan: Um, five. I’m pretty indifferent to it.
The Temper Trap – Miracle (Infectious, 29 Oct)
Dan: I’ve seen their name around. I would never listen to this kind of music, though. It sounds like it was made for a car advert. It’s pretty I guess but I’m just trying to work out what they’re talking about. It sounds like a lot of stuff that I grew up with on the radio, all that crap eighties music. Yeah, I’ll give that a four I think. They sound really hackneyed.
The Joy Formidable – Cholla (Atlantic, 15 Oct)
Dan: I don’t know anything about these guys. [Three seconds into the song]. Oh wow! Well this sounds good. That’s a good riff, no messing about. I used to listen to a lot of heavy guitar music and this song certainly knows how to use a riff properly. I like the way they’ve married heavy guitar with something quite fragile in the vocals. If you’d jumped out of an aeroplane this would be a good soundtrack. Exhilarating. I’ll give that a seven.
Gallows – Outsider Art (Venn Records, 1 Oct)
Dan: This is a tried and tested guitar riff. It’s guitar music but it’s not very good. I think these guys are still chasing something that’s stale, like the ghost of 1977. [Later] Now it’s getting a bit scarier. I used to listen to some death metal and this is heading in that direction. If my kids were listening to this though, I’d be pissed off. That’s all I have to say about it. I’ll give it a six.
El-P – Stay Down (Fat Possum, 1 Oct)
Dan: My knowledge of hip-hop is really out of date. The only thing that I have an issue with is that quite often the messages encoded [in hip-hop] is just someone screaming an advert for themselves at you for three minutes. I like the rhyming here, though. I think it’s more interesting than normal. If it was on in [quality Edinburgh watering hole] the Star Bar and I happened to wander in by mistake, I would probably think it sounded pretty good. I’ll give it a six.
Miaoux Miaoux – Autopilot (Chemikal Underground, 8 Oct)
Dan: The only time I hear this kind of thing is through friends who are into it. This would be really good to hear in a club. I think he’s been quite brave with the production. It still sounds fierce and gritty and the electronics sound like they should. Saying that, I don’t think it’s much of a song. I’m a bit of a song person but this would be good to dance to if you were drinking a lot of water. I’ll give it a six. I’m imagining that I still go to nightclubs...
Liars – Brats (Mute, 15 Oct)
Dan: Again, this is probably really good to dance to. It’s got a good beat you can bug out to but it just sounds like a lot of re-fried ideas to me. It says here they’re ‘one of the most consistently inventive bands on the planet.’ It’s all quotes from the hipster parade, though, which makes sense as I’d imagine that this is music for people who’ve never heard good music before [careful now! – Ed]. I’ll give it a five.
Human Don’t Be Angry – Dreamer (Chemikal Underground, 29 Oct)
Dan: I like Malcolm Middleton, that’s a disclaimer, but I’m not familiar with his new thing. It really is the eighties again and quite knowingly too. I think he’s fed up with writing songs, which is fair enough. I might listen to this in bed if I was resting and recovering from a chest infection. I think it’s brave of him to start making this kind of music all of a sudden but I miss the words. I think he’s a great lyricist so I’ll only give this a six, much as it pains me.
Everything Everything – Cough Cough (RCA Victor, 14 Oct)
Dan: Oh man! This is really... this might... I think this is awful! Oh my God! It sounds like a zany cauldron where you throw all the horrible bits of music from the past in and it comes out like this. I really hate all those arpeggios. It just comes flying out of the speakers at you. I really don’t like this. I’m just trying to imagine who would make this music but it’s hard to. It’s like a technicolour burp. That’s a three.
Yeasayer – Reagan’s Skeleton (Mute, 22 Oct)
Dan: Interesting title. There’s quite a lot of music here that’s not from a dissimilar place, like the Liars single. Again it sounds like turning on the radio in the eighties as a kid. I think this is dreadful. I’ll give it a three. I say ‘nay-sayer’!
The Jim Jones Revue – It’s Gotta Be About Me (Play It Again Sam, 1 Oct)
Dan: [Eyeing the record sleeve] They look like dirty rock ‘n’ rollers. [Puts the CD on] It sounds like a joke. It’s amazing to me that anyone would still listen to this kind of thing. There’s been a lot of great rock ‘n’ roll music made over the years that’s just sitting there waiting for people to listen to it. You don’t need to make this anymore. I’ll give it a three as well.
SINGLE OF THE MONTH: Beth Jeans Houghton – Dodecahedron (Mute, 8 Oct)
Dan: I’ve slept in her lounge before so I better be nice if I want to crash there again. Oh, I’ve heard this before. It’s very pretty. The one thing about Beth, though, is that she always gets her chest out in her videos. I don’t think that she needs to because her music’s pretty good. So when you’re watching it you’re always wondering when it’s going to happen and then you get near the end and you think ‘wow, it hasn’t happened.’ And then it happens. I think that she’s got a really singular sound. And her voice is from another time. It rewards repeat listens, which is maybe a bit unfair on the other songs as it’s probably the fifth time I’ve heard this. I’ll give it a seven.