Brandon Flowers produces a second offering from his upcoming May 18th album The Desired Effect. ‘Still want you’ is a much more tamer affair as opposed to the electronically charged Power-Pop of ‘Can’t Deny my Love’, with brighter synth chords and soft edged percussion. The same is true with the song’s structure and Brandon’s delivery and lyrics; all reflective of a rosie devotion to someone. The track in this sense seems a little stale when next to the previous single, but in fairness it still has all of the melodic foundations of any Brandon Flowers track and the instrumentals are always offset well against the his trembling Tenor of a vocal, but here’s hoping for more power when the album is out on May 18th.
London-based trio Falseheads latest EP, Wear and Tear, may only be 4 tracks long, but it certainly makes a statement. Front man Luke Griffiths spits out vocals in a punchy London accent which is reminiscent of the Prodigy’s Keith Flint. This gives the band a punky vibe, yet the heavy guitar and rhythmic bassline combined with high energy drums ensure the sound is more complex and well-rounded than plain old punk.
Three tracks on Wear and Tear reminds me of something else. Opener ‘Wrap Up’ has a strong guitar riff not too dissimilar from Audioslave’s ‘Cochise’, yet Griffiths’ vocals make for a far more interesting listen than Chris Cornell’s wailing voice. The Pixies are brought to mind on ‘Snatch’, what with it’s a deep, simple, pacing bassline and repetitive lyrics. The quiet, twanging guitar riff on the opening of ‘Nothing In There’ reminds me of Nirvana’s classic haunting ballad ‘Something In The Way’. That the tracks are reminiscent of other songs is not a bad thing; it is a testament to the band that they can combine a number of sounds to create their own signature style.
I’m not sure if FalseHeads are punk, alternative, grunge or something in between but it’s the not quite knowing that makes them so interesting. Each track on this EP is considered and well developed, with variations between loud and quiet ensuring that each song holds our attention. You can hear something new, listen after listen, and after track four you’re left wanting more. This a band with lots of potential and I look forward to seeing what else they have to offer.
Ellie Scott @elliemaryscott
The band of the lips of everyone after their game changing Is This It? in 2001, which is already a cult classic, was The Stokes. As much as I admire their debut and recognise there wasn’t a monumental shift up in gear with Room On Fire; I personally prefer the album. I think cleaning up the production slightly really worked for them and in general they had honed and refined the sound they produced at the very start of the Millennium. There’s equally some great hits off Room On Fire. ‘Reptillia’ and ’12:51′ being the most popular perhaps. However, for me my favourite track was the first. ‘What Ever Happened’ opens with the spikey and reluctant riff and the cymbals before Julian leads the other elements into a sudden progression of the song with a more tuneful yet at times more gruff vocal from him while the churning chord progression of the rhythm guitars and bass create a simple and effective melody. It then shifts again with the lead guitar fizzling its way through to the next verse after the chorus before Julian effortlessly leads Albert’s rhythm section back to the second phase. The grouping of instruments and the vocals from Julian make the song immediate and leave you vulnerable to its simple hooks and melodies as do the shifts in the songs progression. It’s certainly a song for someone wanting to reminisce about their original sound. Many of the bands that emerged from the subsequent decade can trace their immediate influence to The Strokes and that shouldn’t be forgotten.
With ‘The Puppet’ being released earlier this month, the London-based all-girl rock ‘n’ roll band The Franklys release the equally brilliant ‘Bad News’ on April 27th. The band is made up of Jen Ahlkvist as vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Fanny Broberg on lead guitar, Zoe Biggs on bass and Nicole Pinto as the drummer. The girls are from Sweden, UK and the US and together they create a force to be reckoned with.
The Franklys entwine old school rock ‘n’ roll, punk and garage to create a really ballsy track that demands attention. Jen Ahlkvist’s vocals are reminiscent of the notorious Joan Jett and pack similarly rebellious tones but more velvety in parts. The riffs are perfectly punchy and complimented by a daring lead guitar solo. The girls bring us captivating straight-up rock music infused with a level of boldness that you’d usually only find back in the ‘70’s. The lyrics are catchy and full to the brim with attitude and overall create a feisty track which will make you want to hear what else the four piece have to offer.
The Franklys have managed to find the perfect balance between paying homage to previous generations of punk and rock music and bringing something new to the genre. Rather than being dated, their sound is empowering and infectious; it is tremendous to hear an all-girl four piece with such an explosive sound. The Franklys are a band to watch out for and ‘Bad News’ promises to bring them an increasing fan base.
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