Single of the Week – Miles Kane – Taking Over

With the second release from his second album Don’t Forget Who You Are and fresh from one of the performances of his life at Glastonbury, Miles Kane is slowly but surely turning a few more heads. ‘Taking Over’ is a step in the right direction for the aspiring Mersey Mod. Initially it sounds like the that typical heavy and slightly disstorted guitar sound that everyone is having a go at from the Arctic Monkeys to Deap Vally in it’s various styles. But it soon switches to a catchy and more rythmic and melodic song with a chorus that has an easy sing-a-long quality which he has pretty much got sorted. Before taking another foray into the disstorted or ‘fuzzy’ guitar the song goes into your standard rip roaring Miles Kane guitar solo to conclude a well polished song with a few rough or ‘fuzzy’ corners. It’s by no means innovative or ground-breaking but he knows how to make a stylish tune as he’s done here.

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Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are Review

There is no doubting Miles Kane’s ability as a musician and his developing song-writing talent. Though it’s not the most innovative thing ever, it’s not what he’s aiming for and there seems to be too much focus on what he wears or who he’s mates with rather than his music. People are obsessed about whether he is a mod or not and send him to the gallows or not depending if he passes their judgement. However he’s also hugely over-hyped by those like the NME who are always setting him up for a fall by acting as if he’s some saviour to revive the depleted music industry. In today’s world it’s nearly impossible for one person to do such a thing and what he’s doing currently will not do the job either so they are already setting him up for a fall in that case. He can’t win. However DFWYA is one of the most solid second albums for a while. He has played it safe with what he knows from Colour of the Trap but what he knows has enough scope for change. He’s done that with DFWYA. Each song is much more snappy and to the point and the excess and wild moments from his first album have been much  more controlled with this album to create a more mature and realistic second album. A small step in the right direction instead of the flatlinging of some peoples second albums like The Vaccines or Mumford & Sons but to be fair to The Vaccines; their second album was only months after their first. Mumford & Sons had a lot longer.

‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ as the title track for the album which is probably one of the most familiar songs compared to Colour of the Trap. Those disstorted and sharp burts from the lead guitar are pretty familiar but are hardly a bad element. The similar song structure coupled with a different sort of rythm section which worked well together had also snookered him in how he could do nothing but fill the empty space with ‘la’s’ but if it’s a lead single some sing a long quality perhaps should be there and it’s provided. Apart from that the song is full of energy and confidence that a Miles Kane track typically has and you do get the slight feeling he was trying to pin-point the areas of his songs that he thought would make a great combination for the lead track and to some extent it work but perhaps it was too hypo-analysed. ‘Give Up was a single released mushc earlier on in the year and it does feel sort of detatched from the rest of the album in that. In certian ways ‘Give Up’ is a “heavier” and revved up version of Miles Kane with sharper and aggressive riffs with Miles’ vocals ripping through your eardrums like the guitars. However it’s also quite controlled and considered in the bridge sections with all the elements changing the tone along with Miles’ deeper vocals that flicks back to the in yer face feel to the song which often works well if it’s not over done. 

‘Out of Control’ is perhaps a little less typical in how it’s more melodic and very considered with acoustic and string elements. The very subtle injections of that sharp guitar riff works well along with the other two elements to play the supporting role and give full focus to Miles and the vocals and lyrics. Other tunes like ‘You’re gonna get it’ have a great rythmic quality to them that marries well with the exuberant style Miles Kane better than it did on the title track. The song if much more rock ‘n’ roll leaning than the alternative angle that songs like ‘Give Up’ have and it gives a better sense of variety and depth in the album but not to a massive extent. The scattered and stop start approach of the instumentals on songs like ‘Tonight’ also cahnge at each interval to mimic the vocal direction to lead to the smooth transition to the chorus and at times is very bass driven and the album itself is much mor bass driver than ‘Colour of the Trap’ and it’s all the better for it. The bass eliminates many of the different guitar tracks and actually gives Miles more space for the vocals and the guitar solo’s that are more valued because of it. It’s not a massive change of direction but he’s certainly tidied up any weak links or any mess from the first album. He’s also made a slightly more melodic and rythmic album that is an even better representation of a live Miles Kane performance and that is something he excels in. My ears are still ringing from when I saw him last. With all that in mind the album is a slight improvement on Colour of the Trap that see’s Miles try one or two new things in a subtle fashion. His core fans will love it for sure and his musicality may drawn in others too. Not mindblowing but not too bad either

Miles Kane – Don’t Forget Who You Are = 7/10

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Joe Evans – Cold As You Can Be Review!

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There is a bit of a mod revival going on at the moment with the likes of Miles Kane, The Strypes and to some extent Jake Bugg which is pretty exciting for me, sort of being one myself but also because it isn’t a direct replica from a 60’s blueprint. It’s sounds new, fresh and bold. Along with Alistair Sheerin there is now Joe Evans who look likely to keep the pace going with this revival. His first track ‘Cold As You Can Be’ has all the proper mod traits of those mentioned above with a rythm section akin to Weller and a great lead guitar section that provides a great hook. The drums at times sound like Kenny Jones from the Small Faces. The vocals though similar to Miles Kane are a little more edgier and rough around the edges which partners the instumentals very effectively. The same goes for the disstorted vocals in the bridge between the verse and chorus. It sounds like it could be off his third or fourth album, not his first track! The mix of mod and rock n roll influences are a treat for mod or classic rock fans; but this song has a more alternative edge to it which means it’s pretty flexible in how a general fan of most types of rock music could enjoy it too. He’s took his influences and utilised them without letting them take over which creates great results. Cant wait for what’s next as it will surely only be better. But here it is if you don’t believe me

Joe Evans – Cold As You Can Be = 8.5/10

Cold As You Can Be

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