The Fratellis – Creepin’ Up The Backstairs
It’s got the same infectious quality of the early Libertines songs like ‘What A Waster’, but without the poetry: it’s a bit rough around the edges, but the production matches the feel of the song exactly. It may be just dumb rock ‘n’ roll, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
The Upper Room – All Over This Town
A bland pastiche of the Killers’ ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, the track never takes off, despite the apparent build up. The singer’s range is too small, his voice too weak, and the band’s imagination too poor to give this song the sort of rousing chorus it clearly needs.
The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club – Amateur Man / Ban The Gin
‘Ban The Gin’ is the better of these two A sides, partly because it sounds even more like a post-punk Pixies than the first song. With demented yelping and hollering that suggest the singer is going through some dirty withdrawal symptoms, it’s a hymn to abstinence, and, inevitably, you’ll love dancing to it when you’re completely wasted.
The Crimea – White Russian Galaxy
Another track about alcohol in this week’s singles column: it’s similarly ace, but totally different. As ever with the Crimea, the sound is dense, occasionally permeated by the unexpected; here, a beautifully clear classical piano repeatedly pierces the wall of sound.
Regina Spektor – Us
The best track around this edition, ‘Us’ left the entire office in stunned silence at the unalloyed brilliance of Regina Spektor: the brilliantly effective simplicity of her piano, its interplay with the cello accompaniment and her distinctive voice which she deploys with such versatility.
The Streets – When You Wasn’t Famous
The Streets has always been the urban music that’s ok for indie kids to like. No longer: unfortunately, they’ve gone all rubbish. As Mike Skinner’s fame has increased, his wit appears to have become less acute, and his ability to assimilate different sounds from diverse musical styles seems to have changed into a tendency to throw noises at a track in an effort to keep things interesting.
Singles this week were reviewed by Kathryn Bromwich, Emma Fire-Wassilak, James Fanning, Mike McGovern, Melissa Read, Robin Seaton, Kate Smith and Ben Toone.