4.13.2009

Supergrass - "Caught By The Fuzz"



Yesterday, I mentioned how certain aspects of Let's Wrestle's sound reminded of early Buzzcocks recordings. After posting I got to thinking of other bands that, at one time or another, reminded me of the Buzzcocks. The first one that occurred to me was Supergrass. Now, if you're only familiar with their newer records, you're presently thinking I'm out of my mind. But on earlier releases, like my favorite, I Should Coco, the resemblance was at times uncanny. For example, on the standout track and first single (back in 1994) "Caught By The Fuzz." Above, is the best live version of that song that I could find a video of. I wish it was a little bit louder but at least the band is hitting on all cylinders and the vocal just kills.
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Let's Wrestle - "I Won't Lie To You"



Every once in awhile I hear a new song that knocks me flat on my ass from the first note. "I Won't Lie To You" by Let's Wrestle is one of those. Since I first found this one, around the beginning of last week, I've probably listened to it 30 or 40 times. And it still has legs!

Let's Wrestle, the self-described "most miserable and hateful band in North London", is a three-piece that cranks out loud, ebullient, rough-around-the-edges, rock music with pop undertones that'll have you immediately hankering for your old Buzzcocks and Wedding Present albums. On their first EP In Loving Memory Of . . . you'll find songs in the vein of the aforementioned and contemporaries such as Art Brut and labelmates Pete & the Pirates, a comparison that rests on their sound but also on the level of snark, wit, and self-deprecation to be found here.

"I Won't Lie To You" was apparently released as a limited-edition single in the UK around this time last year. The song kicks off with a fuzzy burst of guitar and the killer lyric "No matter how many records I buy/ I can't fill this void" and doesn't let up until the final note. The best news is that, despite their small output thus far, this song is no exception for these guys. There isn't a dud to be found on this EP or amongst the smattering of other tracks you can listen to on their Myspace page. Keep an eye out for these guys because I, for one, think they are going places.
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4.08.2009

Jessica Lea Mayfield - "Kiss Me Again"



The second post that I ever did on this blog was about Akron's Jessica Lea Mayfield. It's been almost 6 months since then, and I am pleased to say that I've seen her get a lot of well deserved credit since that time. She isn't yet the household name that she deserves to be. But, I imagine that she will continue to win over more and more fans as more and more people get the chance to hear her beautiful music.

One very good way to earn more fans is to make a music video of one of the best tracks on your album. And that is exactly what Jessica has done with the above video of "Kiss Me Again." Enjoy. And if you like this, you should definitely pick up her album With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, one of last year's best. You will not be disappointed. In fact, you'll probably come back and thank me.
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4.07.2009

Russian Red - "Fantasia"



I'll be the first one to admit that I'm a huge sucker for a beautiful girl with a beautiful voice. So, maybe my judgment is just clouded here. But, I don't think so. I only discovered Russian Red about a week ago and have been loving the album I Love Your Glasses ever since. Russian Red is from Madrid, Spain. Other than that, there is very little that I can tell you about her/them (see, I don't even know if it's a band or if Russian Red is just the stage name of the girl in the above video) except that if you like this song, you will like the whole album.
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4.06.2009

The Nerves - "Hanging On the Telephone"/The Plimsouls - "A Million Miles Away"



Everybody has heard Blondie's version of the song "Hanging On the Telephone." But, how many of you knew that Debbie Harry and Co. were actually covering a song by the short lived 1970's L.A. power-pop act, The Nerves? I know that I didn't, until I came across the above YouTube clip the other day. And, wow, I am blown away by how good this sounds. The aforementioned cover might be slicker and more radio ready. But this one has more bite, more energy, more heart. If I didn't know any better, I could have easily mistaken this for a Replacements track from their incredible Twin/Tone years.

The Nerves were only together for 3 years, from 1975-78, during which they released one proper album, and a few singles, "Hanging On the Telephone" being the best and best known. Three members were songwriters and this is what led to the quick break-up. All three members continued their careers in music. Most notably Peter Case, whose Plimsouls recorded a pretty big hit with "A Million Miles Away" from the soundtrack of the Nic Cage movie Valley Girl.


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