… but does Haim rhyme with shame? If not, Single-Minded reckons it should…
Calvin Harris & Haim – Pray To God
From the unforgiving and flat production to the totally innocuous lyrics and vocals, this is the sort of bland Europop that should forever be sent straight to the naughty corner.
Darq E Freaker & Dai Burger – Choppin Necks
Darq E is a producer I’m willing to return to time and again. ‘Choppin Necks’ continues his work inflecting bass music with 8bit tones, while NY MC Dai Burger delivers a purposefully, but not overplayed, aggressive top line. Banging.
Funkstörung feat. Anothr – Laid Out
Stuttering rhythms jolt around a male vocal in the German duo’s first release in almost a decade. Coming across as much deeper and simultaneously more pop-structure orientated than most of their previous work, the genre-hoppers hit the Depeche Mode nail on the head here.
The Lovely Eggs – Magic Onion
The Lovely Eggs have a history of rubbing me up the wrong way, and in general I can’t take any project that’s this kooky. Thankfully ‘Magic Onion’ has a chorus which is fun and beefy enough to keep me listening, although the key hook gets a little grating the fifth time around.
Novella – Sentences
While the tone of the guitars is warm, and the rhythm section is enjoyably baggy enough, ‘Sentences’ feels like a jam more than something with an actual point.
Silver Clouds – Energy Release
There’s a copy of this with a release date written as 1981 on it somewhere. A funk-inflected New Wave rhythm leads into a verse lifted straight from an Orange Juice album track. The spoken word interludes are surplus to requirements and fail to add much to the track, but the rest is a good enough pastiche even if it does lose a lot of its va-va-voom midway.
Skepta – Shutdown
Reviewing this feels a little unnecessary due to the fact that everyone else in the world seems to be talking Skepta right now, although it’s all for a good reason, as ‘Shutdown’ does what it says on the tin. Following on from last year’s house party invading ‘That’s Not Me’, ‘Shutdown’ is another slice of perfectly formed grime bounce, finding Skepta in traditional self-aggrandising mood. When this hits the decks on a night out you know the crowd are going to go mad ferrr it.
Super Luxury – Ian Mackaye made so much money out of Fugazi that he lives in a solid gold house and drives a solid gold car and he sits on his driveway but he can’t go anywhere because the wheels are made of solid gold
My knowledge of the hardcore/post-hardcore scene is limited, although I’m going to guess that this title is inspired by 2013’s inter-scene kerfuffle around Urban Oufitters selling Minor Threat T-shirts, although the sheer ludicrousness of this title leads me to think Super Luxury are a little more tongue in cheek than some of the more intense MacKaye fans. Or at least I hope so, otherwise this song has absolutely no humour. I’ve never really got the Straight Edge thing, and while I can be a fan of very angry sounding music (see Darq E Freaker above), this song isn’t the one to convert me.
Thee Oh Sees – Web
Another band who don’t really need to be reviewed, mainly because until/unless they start going for the funky house market you know what Thee Oh Sees are going to sound like – Led Zep inspired, ’60s garage-aping caffeinated West Coast rock’n’roll. ‘Web’ is certainly a machine gun start to an album though, and to be fair does contain some zooming synths midway through. We presume upcoming LP Mutilator Defeated At Last will be another one to give you a good kicking.
VOTIIV – Keep You
Landing somewhere between early Prodigy and the subdued cinematic elements of Portishead, ‘Keep You’ is an unsettling experience, but the ghostly vocals and the industrial simplicity of the rhythm mean it gets a thumbs up from me.
Young Fathers – Shame
The Glasgow lot are becoming some of my favourite working artists, period. Their quickly-approaching second LP White Men Are Black Men Too, on a cheeky first listen, continues from DEAD‘s themes and expands on them with a little more well-conceived experimentalism. ‘Shame’ is another fine example of the gritty, reverberated amalgamation of styles they became famous for last year – and while they seem to be focusing more on setting moods than writing distinguishable tunes, I don’t care when the results are this excitingly eclectic and emotional.