Single and Demo Reviews

Better Than Myself (Org)

This single goes to prove that there is still life left in the quiet bit/loud bit formula of grunge. In fact, this single takes it into new dimensions. The quiet sections are eerie and the loud sections, with their fits of screaming and guitar assaults, are gut wrenching. The B-sides are brilliant too, particularly 'Hooked On That' which is at least as good as the lead track. Cay look set to be a cool band, and are probably completely wild live.

Cement Mixer (Aladdin's Cave Of Golf)

'Cement Mixer' is a haunting tune, with a hypnotic rhythm, and is ace. The B-side 'Kimberly' is an absorbing track too. On the basis of this single, Clinic have one of the most original sounds around, sort of goth-punk, but with a definite pop edge and their own distinctive elements combined in as well.

Rosie And Jim (Che)

This reminds me a lot of 'Kylie And Jason' by Midget and not just because it's got a famous couple in the title. It has that same breeziness and frantic guitar playing, and a cracking melody too. It's a very happy song, maybe a bit gooey, but I love it.

I Should Have Known Better (Fierce Panda)

Although The Interpreters are from the US, their sound is definitely very English. However, describing their single is tough. It's fast, sounds a bit like traditional rock 'n' roll, and has a first class tune. The B-sides are even harder to pigeon hole, almost funk in sound and only average really. It's not the greatest single reviewed here, but it is still very fun and enjoyable, and certainly worth picking up a copy if you find one.

Neck Mohican EP (Gravitate)

I must admit that I bought this single not knowing much about the band at all, but the positive coverage they were getting from other fanzines, and also I was going to see them live, meant that I did. The record was not as instant as I expected, but the songs grew on me and now Jetpak are one of my favourite local bands. They play sort of punk pop but with a metallic edge, which makes them sound quite different to most of the bands around. I particularly like the fastest track, 'An Elderly Game', and the harmonies are great on all the tracks, especially 'Fear Of Pop'. Buy this record and see them live now!

Always Echoes (Fierce Panda)

The Llama Farmers are a great new band. They've been gigging all over the place, and this is their second single on Fierce Panda, and is much more varied and consistent than their debut, which although fairly good, was basically grunge-lite all the way through. The lead track, 'Always Echoes', basically follows on from where that debut left off, but what really sets this single apart is the B-sides. 'Jessica' is two minutes of scuzzled punk, and in contrast, 'Yellow' is a shadowy effort, very moody and very good. Both complete a fine single, and I expect they'll get signed soon.

What Can I Say? (DEMO)

I've enjoyed listening to this demo a lot. As the band have said, this demo is even better than the first. What is most noticeable is the improvements in Sarah's voice, it sounds particularly strong on the emotive 'Confused', which is my favorite track on the demo. Also very fine is 'Oh No', a really upbeat and bouncy number. All in all, a great set of songs.
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Issue 1 Autumn '98 © Tim Bragger