Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Wooden Finger Five - December 2014

December (and January next year) is the time to comb through the ‘Best Of’ lists, and do some housecleaning on my listening.

No. 5 Killer Bangs – Honeyblood

Two girls. Rough guitars. Shouting/singing in unison. Band name that’s both sweet and dangerous. Song with ‘bangs’ in the title. Moody black and white album cover. Imagining standing in the back of a dimly lit bar. It’s the sound of the mid-‘90s, like a dingier Veruca Salt. And then the tempo changes, and you think ‘hang on, where’s this going?’ … But then the same tune kicks in … Two girls. Rough guitars. Shouting/singing together about bangs again. It's fun - it doesn't need to be anything else. Have another beer bottle.   

For a band not shy on production, it is remarkable how much of the TV On The Radio sound seems to centre on singer Tunde Adebimpe. Dave Sitek’s production really supports Adebimpe’s vocals as much as, if not more than, the other way around. Drifting off to sleep, I pictured representing the relationship like this:
The sound is coming in from around Tunde, and lifting it up to where it needs to go. Make sense? I tried to find a few more ‘whoosh’ lines in Paint to make it clearer …

A soft tune, like rain on the petals on a flower. Is it the finger-strumming guitar that is the rain though, or is it the sweet vocal, or is that the flower? Since the vocal comes in second I’m going to go with the guitar is causing the vocal to bloom. Incidentally, Gulp includes the bass player from Super Furry Animals, but since pre-press citing a bass player probably wouldn’t get you very far, I think we can say Gulp have stood up on their own merits.
Jamie T’s put-on chav London accent has typically put me off closely listening to his stuff, and the thought of that almost put me off listening to his well-received latest album. Has all of his stuff been this good? ‘Turn On The Light’ has a decent Alex Turner/Mike Skinner rap for the verses, but it’s the gentle chorus, using my well-loved G/D/Em/C chord progression, that makes this my favourite track on the album.
Guitar riff reminds me of a truck travelling down a highway, a tall man with a broad chest and blond quiff, singing above his love, who he pictures in flannel shirt and cut-off jeans. But the song is not about love at all, which I didn’t realise until a review pointed it out to me: ‘If I’m your enemy/ Then I’m keen to be your enemy’. Also Merchandise front man Carson Cox is not like the guy I imagined. Great slice of pop/country-tinged rock though. 

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