Reviews roundup – Alive In Theory vs. The Little Kicks vs. Torgeir Waldemar vs. Binky Womack
ALIVE IN THEORY
Where’s the goth at? I always make a point of listening to a record before reading the press bumph and the cover and art work of this release had me all set up for some modern goth’n’roll.
Well turns out that’s a long way from what the Manchester based duo of song writer and singer “Kirsty Mac, and multi-instrumentalist Paul Ayre purvey. Nope their thing is very much eighties influenced electro-pop. And if anyone who reads Classic Pop magazine gets a hold of this then it could end up doing rather well for them.
That’s the natural home of people who yearn for classic Human League styled pop musings and they would take songs like “Alive In Theory”, “Enter The Real World” and “The Other Side” to their synth starved hearts. Younger folks might hear echoes of SIa in amongst the melodies but if well styled electronic pop music is your thing then you’ll definitely want to give this album a good seeing to.
THE LITTLE KICKS
Shake Off Your Troubles
Fit fur whaurs the quines? Yes, we’re off to Aberdeen, home of, um, wind. And The Little Kicks, an indie band who’ve put out a couple of albums, one of which, shamefully, was part funded by my fuggin’ tax.
But put that aside and they’re a decent enough band who would have gained serious NME plaudits about a decade ago when Franz Ferdinand were still a thing. Because The LittleKicks are doing that whole off kilter, spiky guitar indie thing that FF happily ripped off from bands like Wire.
If you’re Scotch you’ve probably heard them on your way to a falafel stand (for shame) as you’ve meandered round T In The Park or Belladrum at two in the afternoon while you wait for someone good to come on. They’ve got a couple of good melodies to their nam if you’re having a dither listen to “Goodbye Enemies, Hello Friends” or “Bang Drum Slowly” and then make up your mind.
No Offending Borders
To Norway! Land of black metal, Vikings and sensitive singer songwriters with a penchant for the days when Jackson Browne was an earnest young troubadour uninvolved in defamation cases and political posturing.
Because it’s the hazy, lazy days of 1972 that seem to suit Torgeir Waldemar who released his eponymous debut album back in 2014, following on from an earlier EP. He’s dipping into that pool where country, folk and pop meet for a chat over some nice herbal tea.
Musically he’s spot on as befits someone who served his time as a rock guitarist and now that he’s turned his hand to all things acoustic he manages to avoid the fey plucking that bedevils many a release of this ilk. He can still tough it out on songs like “Summer In Toulouse” but when he sticks to plain fare that it all works best. Try on “Falling Rain (Link Wray)” or “Souls on a String” for size and you’ll find yourself drawn into his world.
Hey ladies! Binky is in the house so loosen your girdles and make way for a true lover man. Yes, it’s seventies soul time from someone who had to acquire double the play thanks to being named after a babys dummy.
In case you were wondering about the surname, Binky is the nephew of Bobby Womack and he runs his own studios in Burbank, California. He’s worked with an array of people over the years inclusing TLC, Usher, Smokey Robinson as well as assorted family members. And when he has time he makes his own records.
This is a largely original set with a couple of Bobby Womack covers, “I’m In Love” and “Put Something Down On It”. He veers between solid seventies soul and more rockier affairs, largely one would assume because of his prowess on the guitar. Despite his musical ability not enough of the songs hit home hard enough to make this essential listening. It’s good but probably one for completists and fans of Snoop Dogg who turns up on “Love Addict”.