Wave Picture perfect

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QUAINT, pleasant, parochial, kooky, out on a limb – The Wave Pictures‘ home village of Wymeswold has certainly influenced the band’s debut album Instant Coffee Baby.
For The Wave Pictures exude the same kind of ramshackle charm and quintessential rural English qualities as the countryside that spawned them.
Frontman David Tattersall, although not blessed with the best singing voice in the world, demostrates a likeable sense of humour as dry as a Oscar Wilde’s funny bone.
For example on I Love You Like A Madman he quips “I’ll buy you bras instead of pickled eggs, chocolate instead of chutney” over the band’s dishevelled rural indie in a way that all boyfriends who ever had good intentions can empathise with.
My only criticism of the group, who can be rightfully proud of their label debut is that after all the promising demos and EPs, Instant Coffee Baby still sounds like it was recorded in the village hall, and not in a plush studio on a big budget where this band patently belong.

Goodness gracious…

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SO IN your face are young guns Hadouken! that even their name is a form of attack.
Luckily the title is an apt one for the Leeds-based grime group, who sound like Dizzee Rascal stealing The Klaxons‘ mobile phones.
For the five-piece are the furious ball of firey energy that the name suggests – from the menacing opening Get Smashed Gate Crash to the flurry of That Boy That Girl to the incessant Crank It Up.
Rough around the edges doesn’t cover Music For An Accelerated Culture‘s grindie ASBO-disco – it’s clear the group are wide-eyed with more than just the naivity of youth, which ultimately makes for a listen as frustrating as it is exhilarating, although on tracks such as the latest single Decleration Of War the group show they may have the legs to take their sound further.
I would have loved this to have come out when I was a teen – the album reminds me of The Prodgy‘s Experience, all energy, intoxicants and raw promise.
As they sing on the opening track: “We are the wasted youth, and we are the future too.”

Classic four – Automatica choice

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OF ALL the bands you’d have expected to spawn a side project of groovy dance-floor filling hip-hop, screaming hardcore outfit Glassjaw would be pretty far down the list.
However frontman Daryl Palumbo, whose inimitable vocal style is more heavily influenced by his Chrone’s disease than any singer, created Head Automatica in 2004 to indulge his love for the distinctly un-Glassjaw genres of hip hop and Britpop.
With Dan The Automator of Gorillaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School fame at the mixing desk, the resulting Decadance album is a triumphant clash of styles.
With raggae-influenced skanking hip-hop beats meeting glittery electronica and funk-soaked indie guitar licking backing a toned-down Palumbo, Decadance was a classic that woefully slipped under the radar.
However, lucky for us, 2008 should see in long-awaited third albums from both Head Automatica and Glassjaw.

Wave hello

THE best ever band to come out of Wymeswold ever, The Wave Pictures, are all set to release their debut album Instant Coffee Baby on May 5.

Single Strange Fruit For David, the second to be taken from the forthcoming album, will be released on April 28, and The Wave Pictures will also be undertaking a short UK tour including a date at Nottingham’s Social on April 27.
Expect good things from the band’s dishevelled indie sound.

Back to The Futureheads

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JUDGING by The Futureheads‘ forthcoming album This Is Not The World, the band are looking to their past for inspiration.
Following an underwhelming response to their difficult second album News & Tributes and a split from their label, the Sunderland band have returned to the angular post-punk of their debut for their third gamble.
And on tracks like opening salvo and single Beginning Of The Twist and title track This Is Not The World the band sound back to their ferociously quirky best.
However the album soon becomes too full of filler – for example Think Tonight sounds like an Andrew WK b-side – to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their eponymous debut.
This is not The Futureheads back to their best, but it is a good start.

Crystal balls

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ACCORDING to the hype, Canadian electro duo Crystal Castles are, and I quote, “the most exciting and original band in the world right now”.
Crykey!
So I was more than a little excited about hearing the group’s eponymous debut album, released here a little later than most places on April 28.
I shouldn’t have been – Crystal Castles, who take their name from a 1983 Atari arcade game, sound like they are playing for their own amusement.
The band have been reported to say that it’s not like they fell on a keyboard and these songs just happened, but listening to the repetitive computer game soundtrack bleeps and squelches it’s hard to believe them.
The beats on Crystal Castles are pedestrian, the vocals are inaudible and annoying, and this reviewer really can’t see what makes this group “innovative” sat alongside the likes of Hadouken! and Does It Offend You Yeah?.
As far as I’m concerned, do not insert more coins.

Arctic Monkeying about

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THE Last Shadow Puppets, Arctic Monkey Alex Turner and Rascal Miles Kane’s side project, is like listening to music in widescreen.
With a cinematic, Bond soundtrack feel – courtesy of the 22-piece orchestra backing the pair – opening title track The Age Of Understatement has a real epic quality to it, and this is followed in quick succession by forthcoming single, the steamtrain of Standing Next To Me.
The album is a real showcase for the duo’s undeniable talents, and on the standout tracks such as the opening flurry The Last Shadow Puppets sound a force to be reckoned with.
At times the widescreen feel can leave the listener cold – where in their respective bands they come across as cheeky loveable scamps, here that appeal gets lost in the space they have given themself to fill.
Nevertheless, this will not be the last of The Last Shadow Puppets, rest assured.

Smoking Js

AS THE hype machine kicks into gear, NME pleasers Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong will be appearing at Loughborough University on Tuesday, April 22, for what should be a cracking gig, one of the first in their headline UK tour.
To coincide a six-track teaser for their rumoured to be self-titled album, currently being tweaked for an August release, was rushed to Echo towers – and it promises good things from Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong’s Super Furry Animals meets The Cribs sound.
Although my full judgement and rating is being saved for the full album, tracks such as Where Do you Go and Dear Rose, as well as already-released single Lucio Starts Fires, sound like big hits in waiting.