Mike Atkinson

Stylus Singles Jukebox, 27th June 2005

Posted in singles reviews, Stylus by Mike A on June 27, 2005

Towers Of London – Fuck It Up

Ye gods, is no stone from the early 1980s to be left unturned? Clearly not, as Towers Of London remorselessly exhume the festering corpse of the “Punk’s Not Dead movement”, with a rudimentary, Gumby-voiced, four-chord clodhopper which leaves you longing for the delicate, nuanced touch of a Chelsea or a Sham 69. Praise the Lord and pass the Boots “Country Born” hair gel! Older readers will know of what I speak. (4)

Royksopp – Only This Moment

Oh, is that Erlend Oye sharing the vocals with the breathy chick? (Sorry, can’t be arsed to Google. It’s the heat.) As far as I know, this is the first time Royksopp have ever put out a fully fledged Song, with, like verses and stuff. Well, I say “fully fledged”, but this actually comes over as half-assed, underworked, and… sorry to say it… generically Habitat coffee-table. Which, for all their warm, accessibly melodic user-friendliness, is a trap which Royksopp have always narrowly avoided falling into. Until now. In a word: drippy. (6)

The Tears – Lovers 

If this had come out in 1993, when Suede were my favourite band, then I’d have given it 9, easy. However, all the admittedly fantastic guitar work in the world still can’t disguise the fact that The Tears are, essentially, a grudging marriage of convenience between two slightly desperate thirtysomethings, faking it for the early nostalgia market. Nevertheless, Anderson and Butler do carry this one off with a reasonable degree of verve and panache – and if nothing else, it has to be a distinct improvement on the curdling non-event that was “Refugees”. (7)

Charlotte Church – Crazy Chick

Considering what a big deal has been made of Charlotte Church’s desire to be seen as a contemporary young miss, with her finger on the pulse of today’s pacey teen scene, it comes as quite a surprise to find her paddling in such explicitly Shania Twain-esque waters with this, her début solo single. It’s a jolly enough little tune, with its nifty horn stabs and its knowingly tongue-in-cheek self-references, but it all sounds determinedly pitched at the mums and dads. In this respect, maybe the erstwhile “voice of an angel” hasn’t changed her spots as much as we might have expected. (7)

The Faders – Jump

“You say you need me… WHATEVER! WHATEVER! I’VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE!” With this agreeably bratty pop-rockin’ sugar rush, the follow-up to the awesome “No Sleep Tonight”, The Faders prove once again that they are a) a Very Good Thing Indeed, and b) the nearest we have to a home-grown version of Estonia’s mighty Vanilla Ninja. Whatever the song lacks in melodic variety, the inventively detailed widescreen production and the leather-jacketed, fist-pumping Quatro/Jett attitude more than make up for it. (8)

Sons & Daughters – Taste The Last Girl

I’m sorry that Sons & Daughters have seen fit to turn their back on the gothic country rockabilly of last year’s Love The Cup, in favour of a more straightforwardly rocking NME-friendly post-punkiness. A natural, organic development, or a market-influenced volte face? Either way, this feels like reverse evolution, and I’m left feeling let down by a band who, only a year ago, promised so much. (6)

Mario – Here I Go Again

This is going to hang around all summer, isn’t it? Goodness, what a depressing prospect. The equally all-conquering “Let Me Love You” was lame but liveable-with, up to a point. However, this freze-dried, vacuum-packed microwave ready meal of lyrical dreariness and wearying “rock influenced” stodge is going to have me reaching for the remote for weeks. (3)

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