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Buy Or Sell: Chilli Snow Drums

Slightly delayed due to the awful Spanish Internet (Dave.) Reading and Leeds veteran Lewis Lowe and Missive lead guitarist Tom Brookes go head to head on a week on some of July’s biggest releases and surprise returns.

1. The Drums – “Money”

Lewis Lowe: SELL

‘Money’ is the latest release from American Indie- Poppers The Drums. A fairly pleasant tune which flows along in a similar manner to most Indie Pop singles from most Indie Pop bands around at the moment.

The song is lively with a distinct summery vibe which would be perfect as background music for a summer soiree at student digs (strong emphasis on background music). It’s almost as if the band were trying to give the song the ‘A Punk’ treatment but didn’t quite hit the mark. Not bad and I would buy it but I don’t have any money, sorry lads.

Tom Brookes:SELL

I find this new effort from The Drums very enjoyable, there’s a very strong 80s Indie vibe to this effort. With a great bassline that runs throughout the song and lovely pristine clean reverby guitars. I really like The Drums’ sound, however it fails to really hook me in and keep my attention.  I think Lewis’ background music comments sum it up perfectly for me, yes it’s pleasant and no I can’t really fault it but there’s no real hooks that make it memorable.

Strictly Our Opinion: SELL

2. Snow Patrol- “Called Out In The Dark” 

Lewis Lowe: SELL

When I first heard the band had taken a new direction in their music I thought great, I hated their old stuff. So now I’ve heard their new single ‘Called out in the Dark’ I can’t help but think their past records maybe weren’t as bad as I thought. It’s a terrible record but I found it fascinating how they have created a record which is more up tempo from a lot of their older stuff but still manages to hold on tight to their dullness. Maybe it’s front man Gary’s voice that depresses me to the point where I can’t stand to listen to them or the combination of everything the band have to offer, all I know is I definitely wont be buying anything by Snow Patrol any time soon.

Tom Brookes: SELL

Dad Rock kings (no, that’s not a compliment) Snow Patrol return with a new sound you say? That sounds promising after releasing a handful of meandering sleep-inducers since breakthrough album Final Straw (which I’ll admit, I actually liked a lot). Snow Patrol’s new sound is… well it’s not what I would call a drastic change but it seems to signal the intent to focus on a slightly more upbeat and polished pop sound while retaining Gary Lightbody’s distinctive voice. This poses two main problems to me, the first being that this polished pop sound sucks any immediacy out of the track; it’s almost too polished for its own good. The second issue being that Lightbody’s voice doesn’t really lend itself to this new pop style, the track as a whole is left being very flat and lacking the kind of raw emotion which some of their best work has had. I think it’s in improvement on their recent output and they could possibly make this new sound work but this track is a little wide of the mark.

Strictly Our Opinion: SELL

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”

Lewis Lowe: SELL

Californian funk rockers the Chillies are back with a new album and a new single; ‘The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie’. The record starts well with the trademark bass sound from band member Flea and musically the record sounds decent, lyrically however it is somewhat lacking. Front man Keidis is typically cryptic as always but the record just doesn’t have the stand out chorus the band always seem to have. There can be no qualms about the playing of new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who has been a touring guitarist for the band in the past but this is the first record he has played a key part in filling in for the now absent (again) John Frusciante. John was a huge influence on the band creatively and from the first single you can tell he is missed. To sum it up, the track isn’t bad it just shouldn’t be the first release off a new album, it just sounds more like a B-Side than a hit single and no amount of cowbell can save it unfortunately.

Tom Brookes: SELL

First thing’s first, I’m a big RHCP fan but one thing I’ve discovered over my years as a fan of this band is that I keep coming back to the “Frusciante albums”. There’s something about John’s contribution to this band that added that extra dynamic which made them so great to me, so John’s departure had somewhat dulled my excitement for any more RHCP material. So here we are it’s 2011 and this is our introduction to “Post-Froosh Chili Peppers”. One thing that’s evident from the verses in this song is that Flea and Chad Smith are still one of the best rhythm sections in rock playing off each other to great effect (and there’s even some cowbell!), sadly this is where the accolades start and end. Anthony Kiedis fails to leave his mark on the track, new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is equally guilty of phoning it in with an unremarkable debut as a fully-fledged member of the band and (as Lewis said) the track lacks a trademark catchy chorus. Maybe it’s too soon to judge how they will cope without John, but it has to be said if this song was good enough to be deemed the lead single you have to have question marks about what may follow later this year when the album comes along.

Strictly Our Opinion: SELL

We’re at the half way point, and it’s time for our writers to change places.

 
4. Girls – “Vomit” 

Tom Brookes: SELL

I’ll come clean and say this is the first time I’m listened to Girls, so I didn’t know what to expect. I can imagine myself really enjoying a Girls album, so in that respect I guess this song has somewhat won me over. If any complaints could be made it’s that the song could be a little shorter as the first half drags a little, they could easily have cut a verse and chorus I would have not felt short-changed. There are some great Fuzzy guitar tones, Organs and even a Gospel Choir thrown in the outro for good measure. I’m really on the fence with this song, it’s not the best it could have been but it does have some great elements, especially as the song gathers pace and builds in the latter half. Vomit shows that Girls have the ingredients of a great band, but falls short of being as good as it could be due to the laboured start. Today I’m going to say Sell, but on another day I may have given you a different verdict (might be a grower!)

Lewis Lowe: BUY

Like my fellow reviewer Tom, I had also never listened to Indie rock group Girls but I was really impressed by new single ‘Vomit’. The intro to the song is simple yet atmospheric with the acoustic riff setting a moody tone for the song. The vocals are smooth and really flow with the track building well into the chorus with an accompaniment of distorted guitar sounds.
The band has in the past been compared to Buddy Holly and The Beach Boys but this release is far from those polished pop sounds and comparisons to Pink Floyd or The Flaming Lips would be far more fitting. A really good tune and a music style I hope the band take for the future.

Strictly Our Opinion: I fell in love with Girls from the word go, after all anyone who seeks to modernize Elvis Costello is cool with me. Since their debut Girls have matured as artists, and “Vomit” is noticeably more ambitious and more subtly crafted than anything on their brilliant 2010 EP. There’s a beautiful defeatist haze that consumes this track, like Roger Waters in his bleakest moments, minus the self indulgence of course. BUY

5. Friendly Fires – “Edge of Glory” 

Tom Brookes: SELL

Live Lounge cover? Ok. Before I give this a listen I’ll highlight I find the Gaga version a little dull (not even the sax solo can save it), not her best by any stretch. So the chorus is still horribly cheesy, however I do actually like the way they’ve arranged it, it seems to bit a bit sparser compared to the big production of the Lady Gaga version. I actually prefer this to the original (perhaps because it’s shorter?) but the more interesting vocal performance and fresh arrangement can’t save the fact that the melodies throughout are frankly dull

Lewis Lowe: SELL

The latest release by dancealternativediscoindie three piece Friendly Fires is a cover of Lady Gagas horrendously crap nightclub anthem ‘Edge of Glory’. Originally recorded for Radio 1s Live Lounge, the band has decided that their version is good enough to inflict the real music loving public with a second dose when the first was definitely more than enough. Uninventive and without the Clarence Clemmons Sax solo the song has no real positives, even the vocals are lazy and sound mumbled.

Strictly Our Opinion: SELL

6. Jay Z and Kanye West – “Otis”

Tom Brookes: BUY

After feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the first track to surface from Watch The Throne (H.A.M) I have been crossing my fingers for Kanye and Jay to deliver on the rest of the album, so I’ve been eagerly waiting for another track to surface. Otis for me delivers. You can quickly draw comparisons in terms of the production and soul vibes with Kanye’s earlier work, with the aid of a wonderful Otis Redding sample. Kanye and Jay-Z trade off verses getting equal time on the mic with no real chorus, but the song doesn’t seem to suffer for it. Lyrically they cover stereotypical money and cars subject matter, but it’s saved by some typically great wordplay from the pair. I still hold hopes that Watch The Throne has more to offer but unlike H.A.M, Otis shows that there could be the makings of a good album

Lewis Lowe: SELL

‘Otis’ is the second release from the Jay Z and Kanye West collaborative effort ‘Watch the Throne’. Heavily sampling Otis Reddings classic single ‘Try a little tenderness’ the song starts really well, reminding us just how great Otis’ voice was. After that Kanye does what he does best; taking classic records and butchering them with his production techniques before adding poorly constructed bars to the equation. Jay Z is also off form lyrically which is surprising as he normally delivers on record. The only saving grace of this track is that it opens the door to a load more fans for Otis Redding. My advice, save the money and buy the original.

Strictly Our Opinion: Kanye and Jay-Z sound like there on Auto-pilot but the Otis Reading sample is gnawingly addictive and beautifully reworked to give the track an arresting quality. It’s not great, but it’s certainly worth buying. BUY

 

That’s your lot for this week folks, feel free to get involved in the debate by leaving us a comment telling us if your buying or selling this week’s tracks.

 

 

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Author: Simone

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