Reviews roundup – Sian Cross vs. Kevin McGuire vs. The Blue Aeroplanes vs. Taifa
Well now. I can well understand why Ms Cross has been getting some plaudits for her music. It’s like a modern day guitar driven Tori Amos full of confessional and confrontational lyrics. So not my cup of tea at all.
But that’s not to say that I don’t recognise talent when I hear it even if it leaves my emotional barometer standing still. But then I’m old white trash and not really the target demographic for this sort of thing. But all the young snowflakes would absolutely swoon if they got the chance to hear this.
She makes a conscious decisions not to get stuck in the old fashioned singer / songwriter mode with some judicious use of electronics hither and thither. It helps that the song are rooted in strong melodies with the likes of “Stare At Me” and “The World As I” particularly strong examples on an EP that does deserve a wide audience.
Scots country music, eh? That takes me back to the days when my mother was the Secretary of the Scottish Country Music Fellowship and my Monday nights involved me being dragged off to the Berry Suite to listen to Colorado and their ilk.
But despite my metalhead roots I’ve always had a soft spot for country music and Kevin McGuire is certainly a cut above Sydney Devine with his very commercial modern country sound. And it’s definitely modern country.
So very poppy. The sort of thing that the Nashville TV series punts out every week. And Mr McGuire could hold his head up in those circles as this is as good as most new modern country records. A shame he’s 3000 miles away from home. The lead track is very radio friendly so it’s the acoustic version that will please yer actual country fans on what is a very enjoyable release.
BUY AT AMAZON
THE BLUE AEROPLANES
I’m old enough to remember the Blue Aeroplanes the first time around. They didn’t shake my tree in the late eighties and I’m afraid time hasn’t warmed me up to them.
It’s still very much in that late eighties college indie mode when blokes in coats thought they could change the world via the medium of scratchy guitars and angsty, shouty lyrics. To be fair, there’s nothing actually wrong with that. It just disnae work.
But lead singer, poet and founder member Gerard Langley still remains convinced that The Man will hear this record and sort things out a bit sharpish. However, as the Super Furry Animals once said “the man don’t give a fuck”. That doesn’t stop them running through a set of slightly jarring indie rock which will find a home with the class of ’89.
Songs like “Dead Tree! Dead Tree!”, “Nothing Will Ever Happen In The Future” and “Here Is The Heart Of All Wild Things” will go down a treat with forlorn REM fans looking for someone to fill a void.
Rock Estatal Records
Flamenco rock, anyone? Because that’s what you’re getting from Taifa, a Spanish rock band who’ve been on the go since 1997. They’ve got three earlier albums under their belt with this latest one seeing them embracing the English language.
It’s been done in collaboration with musicians from across the world joining in with Luis Massot, Miguel Maya and Antonio Medina. So you’re getting Indian and Moroccan influence in there as well. And it makes for a very interesting listen.
There’s Eastern and Andalucian melodies and rhythms enhancing songs such as “Free To Dream”, “Written On My Skin” and “Twilight Of Mercy” which greatly add to the slightly progressive rock tones of their individualistic take on rock. One for the more adventurous rock fans out there.