Stick In A Pot stuck in a rut

○●●●●
AS FAR as Stick In A Pot‘s debut EP When The Monsters Arrive is concerned – stick in a pot, and leave there.
The Brighton-based band’s five track outing starts with a Jan Hammer-esque intro, Splinter, that really jars with the rest of the listing, before launching into two painfully plodding second rate indie tracks, Acclimatising and Plinky The Alien that sound like a sedated James.
With dodgy lyrics about beards and aliens, the whole affair smacks of a group that’s trying just a bit too hard.
And when the tempo ups with Our Inert Inmate, it only goes to show that the tortuously-low beats per minute was the only thing that seperated them from the crowd.
Closing track Luterin (Victoria’s Side Of The Story) is alright.

Franky panky

○○○●●

TO BE Frankmusik must be a lot of fun.
His debut album, Complete Me, is a turbocharged collection of synth pop that is bouncier than a spring made from jelly.
The dancey backing tracks sound like Erasure on steroids, while Frankmusik – real name Vincent Frank – sings over the top like a straight-laced Mika.
When it’s good, it’s pure pop perfection.
The problem is for every gold-plated track, there’s two that have been soaked in cheese, and as a result the LP is inconsistant.
But it matters not.
The Stranglers-sampling When You’re Around, In Step, Three Little Words, Better Off As Two – if there’s any justice, Frankmusik should have complete chart domination with Complete Me.

Sleepy Sun shine

○○○○○

ALL this recent Mercury Prize talk has got me in the mood to look back at the past year of releases – and one album that demands a mention is Sleepy Sun‘s dawning.
Akin to last year’s In The Future by Black Mountain, one of my Albums Of The Year no less, their debut LP Embrace sees classic rock and stoner rock coming together.
And into this mix, the San Franciscan band – whose motto is “let’s get weird” – add a covering of acid-soaked, spaced-out psychedelia.
It’s a heady feedback-drenched mix – especially as most of the tracks on the album, which was released back in May, are seven-minute epics.
If you want to fly your freak flag high, Embrace is definitely one to hang on to.

Do not cross The Bridge

○○●●●

SOULFUL new singer Melanie Fiona, who aims to link classic soul with modern R&B with her debut album The Bridge, makes the crossing to the UK on Monday.
The neo soul album’s keystone, the Zombies-sampling lead single Give It To Me Right, starts the LP off to a promising start, followed with the poppy Bang Bang and the toe-tapping Monday Morning.
Sadly things get rickety for Fiona, real name Melanie Hallim, quite quickly after this.
From Please Don’t Go (Cry Baby) onwards, the whole affair is largely forgettable, a bit cheesy, and hardly likely to leave the listener in a state of suspension.

Classic thirty five – Princely Fresh

○○○○○

SLY And The Family Stone‘s 1973 masterpiece’s title Fresh remains as apt as ever.
Because despite more than 35 years passing since the funk LP’s release, the album still is.
When you think of funk, you think of irrepressible grooves like Funkadelic‘s One Nation Under A Groove, Parliament‘s Up For The Down Stroke, Sly And The Family Stone’s Dance To The Music, and just about anything by James Brown.
But Fresh takes that base and builds on it.
From opener In Time with its brooding basslines, to all-time classic tracks like If You Want Me To Stay and Skin I’m In, the funk here grows from a groove, and lives and breathes fusing with elements of soul and jazz.
Put simply, if you want an album that stands the test of time, you want to get Fresh.

Crimea X rated average

○○○●●

CRIMEA X play disco-flecked house music – if it was a house that just happened to have been built on the moon!
That’s right, they play deep house – deep space house, that is!
In fact you could say that the Phoros EP is house music that’s out of this world!
You get the idea.
The Italian dance outfit’s debut, which is a meeting of minds between creators DJ Rocca and Jukka Reverberi of glam post-rock band Giardina di Miro, is a steady flow of house laced with piano and 1970s sci-fi sound effects they describe as “cosmic disco”.
And backed by a set of Seaside Resort remixes – on the Sea Of Tranquility I’m guessing – there’s more than enough here for an enjoyable short break to their hedonistic house world.
Spacious rather than insistent, while Phoros isn’t exactly going where no dance act has gone before, you can rest assured that you’ll be jetting off to a good place.

Mercury Prize fighters

THE 12 album shortlist for the Mercury Prize 2009 has been revealed.
Contesting the competition this year are –

● Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
Florence and the Machine – Lungs
● Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires
● Glasvegas – Glasvegas
● The Horrors – Primary Colours
The Invisible – The Invisible
Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Aslyum
● La Roux – La Roux
● Led Bib – Sensible Shoes
Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew
Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy
● Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Twice Born Man

From the list, I’d like to see Kasabian walk away with the gong.
What are your thoughts? Comment below or head over to Sound Off and let me know.