such as Gary Barlow
1. Who would you say your biggest inspiration as an artist is?
2. What projects are you currently working on?
3. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you on tour?
4. Any regrets? Things you wished you’d done differently?
5. Dating anyone special at the moment?
6. How do you write songs?
7. Have you ever cut a hole into a corpse with a knife and then had sex with the hole?
8. What’s your favourite colour?
9. What was it like being at the top of the Amazon chart?
10. What artist would you most like to work with?
11. What else makes you tick aside from music?
More singles released in the week reviewed yeah?
Etches - ‘Let’s Move In’
Deadpan moping with shrill guitars from Etches. The verses are full of weighty, thudding bass and monotone vocals that glide into light, fluffy choruses that swirl around your ears. The contrast is satisfying and tasty, much like eating hot apple pie with ice cream whilst watching a band cover an Editors’ song. Mmm, metaphorical. 7/10
Bad Religion - ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ (Epitaph) Single of the Week
Rather aptly, punk legends Bad Religion take a swipe at er, bad religion with their up and coming Christmas album. (Look, it worked for Bob Dylan, go with it). This flagship single is a holy hymn about the prophecy of Jesus Christ that’s been given a good kick up the arse with distorted guitars and a dose of brazen blasphemy. It’s a surprisingly great makeover. Brett Gurewitz explains “To me, what the album is indirectly stating is that this music, and thus the world, can be powerful and beautiful stripped of God and religion.” Notably, the band will contribute 20% of proceeds from ‘Christmas Songs’ to SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Amen to that. 9/10
Asaf Avidan - ‘Different Pulses’ (Universal) Single of the Week
This single sounds like an old soul tune from Billie Holiday or Etta James. Yet Asaf Avidan is no soul singer from the past. He (yes he) is an Israeli artist with this, his debut solo single in the UK. This track is nothing but an obscenely beautiful cross section of his bleeding heart; a voyeuristic journey into one man’s soul bearing. It weeps, swoons and flows like a giant body of emotion as pianos and trumpets decorate his woe and lamentation. It’s bewitching, delicate, wondrous; an enormous oil painting of sound and artistic flair. Truly great. 10/10
Brother & Bones - ‘To Be Alive’ (Last Step Records)
This is the lead title track taken from Brother & Bones new EP. It’s a slickly produced, multifaceted bubble of melancholic rock that flits back and forth between warm acoustic intimacy and huge, yearning choruses. It’s a refreshing take on what could have been just another tired strum-a-thon as the band plunder the depths of folk, alt-country and grunge to end up with something fairly special. 7/10
Robin Parris - ‘Feeling Alright’ ft. Kelly Hayden (Jalapeño Records)
Electro-Westcountry producer Robin Parris amusingly proclaims he’s “Straight outta Newquay”. New song ‘Rollercoaster’ is accessible, pop drum and bass that’s upbeat with a hint of soul, provided by the rich vocal wails of Sam Frank. This track is undeniably nostalgic, with 90s’ dance synths and the swirling, intoxicated feel of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica. Start growing that curtain haircut again as, what’s not to like? 8/10
Skream - ‘Rollercoaster’ ft. Sam Frank (Rinse)
Out now, this remix of Skream’s forthcoming single is by the hitherto faceless DJ: Route 94. This offering is sleazy funk, a Daft Punk-esque groove that bounces around Skream’s own falsetto tones. It’s an upbeat party tune for sure, but lacks any stand out moments, residing firmly in the shadows of those it imitates. Too much disco and too little dance. Nice but no euphoria. 5/10
Disclosure - ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ featuring London Grammar
Riding on a wave of commercial success, electro duo Disclosure have cleverly got London Grammar’s own Hannah Reid to warble skilfully on new single ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’. Everyone on this track is SO FUCKING HOT RIGHT NOW. However that doesn’t necessarily translate in terms of quality and alas, as deep and rich as the production is, the single feels a little bland. It’s easy to imagine it being piped into a faceless wine bar on the South Bank. Where’s the beef? 5/10
Poeticat - ‘Kind Words Soft Kill / Centre of the Concrete Square’
Spoken word poetry is a genre littered with gobshite morons, but occasionally when mixed with a meandering soundscape, it can produce something wonderful. Think Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Sunscreen’ or the synth epic that’s Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worlds’. This Arts Council funded double A side release is actually pretty good, but I can’t help thinking it would be improved as a stand alone instrumental. Poetic provided us with no streaming link. It’s the 21st century yeah? Bloody poets. 6/10
Sonic Boom Six - ‘High Cost of Living’ (Xtra Mile Recordings)
Frontman Barney Boom said of this song “I don’t think there’s any other band that sounds quite like the mix of sounds in this song “. I’d agree. Everything’s been thrown at this wall of sound. Elecro dubstep rhythms jabber around a glittery, 8-bit pop chorus that morphs into metal guitar workouts. Oh and there’s rapping. And a bit of ska. No, really. It should be a bloody disaster but it works. Mostly. Like a bag of Pick ‘n’ Mix, there’s something for everyone in this assortment of sound. 6/10
Hello - Here’s another round up of last week’s singles.
Hellyeah - ‘Bigger God’
Premium metal up your ass with Hellyeah. Sounding like Metallica should, this storming storm has everything a discerning metaller wants to hear - Mouth-watering guitar tone, double bass drumming, huge riffs and excellent vocal gymnastics. Harking back to a golden age of early 90s Machine Head, Fear Factory or The Almighty, this is a straight down the line, perfectly executed slab of metal. So good, it feels like nu-metal never happened. 8/10
Cashtastic - ‘In My Zone’
Cashtastic isn’t a programme on late night ITV but a UK rapper signed to Universal Publishing. ‘In My Zone’ is a hectic, grime style yabber about going out and being er, in the zone (which, by the way, is a late night ITV programme). To be fair, Cashtastic does a good enough job spitting out his rhymes but it’s a messy tune which isn’t so much raw and ready as overcooked and over bloated. 5/10
Tegan and Sara - ‘I Was A Fool’
Currently riding a wave of popularity that’s washing up against a shore of credibility, in a pop-ballad dingy (sorry), Tegan and Sara might have been going for years, but they’re peaking in terms of popularity; and it’s easy to understand why. ‘I Was a Fool’ is a superb, accessible, addictive pop song that ticks every box out there. Melancholic, uplifting, reflective, honest. It’s outrageously perfect. Like Haim before them, Tegan and Sara are pushing buttons other commercial artists just can’t reach. A flawless effort. 10/10
Bring Me The Horizon - ’Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake’
Metalcore outfit BMTH have been plugging away for a while now, dishing out their own brand of American emo-metal - and when you’re from Sheffield that couldn’t have been easy. So credit is due for this impressive new single. Slick, tight and with more shouty choruses than you can wave a self-harmed arm at, it’s an accessible and intricate metal romp through angst and anger that’s actually quite fun. 8/10
T.W.i.N.S. - ‘Found A Flat’
T.W.i.N.S are a pair of blokes that wear suits and look a bit like the middle class Krays. ‘Found A Flat’ is a deadpan electo-song that’s a paper thin bass thumping over monosyllabic spoken work twaddle about searching for a place to live in London. If this is meant to be some everyman anthem for the dispossessed, urban youth, it fails. Sounding like a cheap Jona Lewie knock off, or an Art Brut without the instruments, this song might be a hilarious in joke for someone, somewhere, but for the rest of us, there’s nothing to laugh about here. 3/10
Blludd Relations - ‘Anything But The Fingers’
Blludd Relations is the project of Bullion and Jesse Hackett of Elmore Judd. They churn out delicate, electronic explorations, with fragile vocals and humming atmospherics, such as new single ‘Anything But The Fingers’. Beneath the meandering squidges and tinkering percussions of this song lies a subtly propulsive rhythm that ties the whole thing together, giving it a curious charm all of its own. 8/10