Monthly Archives: July 2009

Latitude ’09 round-up: The good, the bad and the bizarre.

Ah, Latitude. Where to begin? Well, my previous post if you haven’t read it already, as that’s where the really good stuff is. But there was plenty more stuff to be seen, so here’s a day-by day runthrough of the things I witnessed.

Thursday

Actually, I’m not gonna lie: Thursday was a bit of a wash-out, both literally and metaphorically. The only musical thing I saw was pretentious but dull mini-orchestra The Irrepressibles, before wandering around the site for a bit and eventually ending up in the woods listening to some DJs. Then we decided to head back to the tent. And then it decided to piss it down. So, in lieu of actual content, here’s some choice quotes that I overheard that night:

“It wasn’t what we planned.” – An older gentleman on his recent purchase of pizza.

“Where’s that fucking drum and bass tent?” – Random teenage boy, forgetting what festival he’s at.

“Can you point me in the direction of the fit guys?” – Random teenage girl with a one track mind.

“There’s nothing worse than someone else’s acid.” – Forget talking to Frank, this guy’s got all the drugs advice you could ever need.

Friday

Friday started out with a slice of comedy – Rob Deering provided music-based witticisms, Shappi Khorsandi charmed us with humourous tales of political correctness and life as an Iranian in the UK, and Lee Mack entertained with his biting northern wit.

The first band I saw on Friday, however, were Chairlift, who did a reasonable job of proving that there’s more to them than ‘that iPod advert song’ – swathes of noise and cowbell solos, to be precise, as evidenced on ‘Territory’. Amazing Baby also managed to rise above any comparisons to MGMT by, well, being consistently less boring than said band. Later on I stopped off at the Obelisk Arena again to catch Of Montreal – I’d heard good things about them beforehand, but their quirky indie pop didn’t really do a whole lot for me. Far lovelier was Lykke Li, who effortlessly won the crowd over with a mix of breathy pop anthems and more electro-influenced tracks. Regina Spektor was also quite lovely, although not quite as interesting – although at one point she left her customary piano to pick up an electric guitar, bumbling through about one and a half songs before finally admitting “I don’t know how to play the guitar!” Best stick to what you know then love? I also managed to catch Pet Shop Boys’ final song (‘West End Girls’, of course) after Bat For Lashes finished. There were dancers with boxes on their head, which was quite impressive when you think about it – I mean, I can’t really dance normally, never mind with my head stuck in a box. And as if that wasn’t quite enough music for one day, I headed to the Film & Music Arena afterwards, first catching Jeremy Walmsley play an interesting set of Tom Waits and Daniel Johnston covers, and then wrapping up the night with an acoustic set by Turin Brakes.

However, by far the oddest thing I saw all day was some sort of bizarre fashion show on the Waterfront Stage. Compered by a large, camp man with flowing black hair and dressed in nothing but a corset and some hotpants, models wearing all kinds of weird and wonderful costumes walked across a catwalk that had been set slightly below the lake’s surface, giving the impression that they were walking on water. Definitely one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments.

Saturday

Doing my best to tick the ‘culture’ boxes, I went to the Waterfront Stage and watched a bit of ballet on Saturday morning – the duet from Swan Lake, to be precise. This was then followed up by a breakdancing crew called Psycho Stylez, who wowed the crowd with their ker-azy moves.

After Wildbirds & Peacedrums provide a spectacular start to the day, White Belt Yellow Tag aren’t quite as entertaining a proposition. Their best track was ‘You’re Not Invincible’ – and even that didn’t quite have the same impact as it did on record. Marnie Stern, on the other hand, is pretty good fun, combining shouty punk with blistering guitar work and an interlude about her vagina – true story. I then make my way to the Sunrise Arena to catch Wakefield native Skint & Demoralised – because a) It wouldn’t be quite right if I didn’t have my dose of Yorkshire artists at a festival, and b) because he’s pretty damn good in an Arctic Monkeys meet The Streets sort of way. Back at the Obelisk Arena, Broken Records do a good job of fitting the huge stage, both physically (with their seven members) and musically (with their epic multi-instrumental rock), but afterwards The Airborne Toxic Event don’t quite do enough to impress me. Sure, they’ve got a couple of good tracks (most notably ‘Sometime Around Midnight’), but everything seems to blend into one after a while.

If there’s one thing you can’t accuse Patrick Wolf of, it’s being dull. Bursting onto the stage to ‘Vulture’s intro garbed in his ‘vulture cape’, he struts, preens, writhes and swaggers across the stage, playing up to both the cameras and the assembled throng of fans. Wolf and his band then proceed to race through a ‘greatest hits’ set of sorts, heavily weighted towards his more recent singles and those from his last album The Magic Position. He attempts to get around any unfamiliarity with his earlier material by playing a rockier, sped-up version of ‘The Libertine’, and bringing on largely superfluous MC Rowdy Superstar to work the crowd up during ‘Bloodbeat’ – the most entertaining thing about him is his costume, which basically looks like someone smashed a large sheet of foil over his head. And the one slow song Patrick plays isn’t any less intense – ‘Damaris’ feels like it was made for stages this size, with its sweeping strings and heartfelt, yearning lyrics. He may only have time to play seven songs, but nonetheless this was a convincing performance that surely left both the uninitiated and the avid fans wanting more. In fact, the only bad thing about Patrick Wolf’s set is that I had to miss Pulled Apart By Horses to watch it – I make a break for The Lake Stage as soon as Patrick finishes, but am only in time to catch the shouts of “ULTIMATE POWER! MAXIMUM LIFE!” that lead to the close of ‘I Punched A Lion In The Throat’. Sad times.

I’ll be honest, I thought that White Lies’ album was pretty good, but having never seen them play live, I was reserving full judgement until I got the chance at Latitude. Unfortunately, from what I saw of their set they’re just not quite as good as on record – lead singer Harry McVeigh seemed to be struggling to hit some of his notes, in particular during the chorus of ‘To Lose My Life’. At the recommendation of my friend Emily, I leave to catch Camera Obscura, who by contrast are a wonderful surprise, blasting out song after song of joyous, feelgood indie-pop. Colour me impressed.

The only reason Doves didn’t make it into my last article is because I missed a chunk of their set while engaged in that ever fun festival pastime, ‘waiting around for other people’. Even so, the closing two songs are a highlight of the festival regardless – the epic swells of ‘The Cedar Room’ just sound perfect in the open air, while closer ‘There Goes The Fear’ ends the set with all three members performing a drum breakdown of breathtaking precision. A timely reminder of their brilliance, even after so long away from the limelight.

For me at least, tonight’s headline choice was nowhere near as obvious as Friday’s or Sunday’s, but I decide to go down the ‘muso’ route and watch Spiritualized in the Uncut Arena. It soon transpires to be a poor choice. Not particularly because of the band, who have some suitably epic sounding songs – although admittedly, nothing that really grabs me, perhaps because of my unfamiliarity with their material. But far more frustrating is the collection of idiots that I’m stood near, smoking inside the tent and just generally being irritating. After about 40 minutes I give up and decide to leave to catch the end of Grace Jones, mainly so I could at least say I’ve seen her. Little did I know that she’d be so damn entertaining – see my last post for more details, if you haven’t already.

We end the night hanging around in the woods again, under some very lovely neon based artwork, caught humourosly between two competing sets of DJs – one spinning pure cheesy classics, the other pumping out reggae and dubstep. During this time we were asked twice for drugs (did we look that shady?) and had someone try to sell us sambuca. As someone who a) doesn’t drink and b) has seen more than enough sambuca for one lifetime while working at The Duchess in York, it wasn’t too hard to decline. Though it was amusing when one of the guys we were with pretended to be a policeman.

Sunday

There was only ever going to be one way to start Sunday off – Thom Yorke’s fantastic solo set at Midday. After that, I took one look at the huge crowd that Sean Locke had already attracted I decided to decamp to the Sunrise Arena, as there wasn’t much of interest elsewhere. As the stage appeared to be running late, however, I did catch the end of Sugar Crisis – a duo so twee that their final song’s chorus went “We’re stuck in traffic/We’re stuck in traffic/Why’re we not there yet?/Why’re we not there yet?” – I kid you not.

Far more full-blooded stuff thankfully came in the form of Fight Like Apes, whose synth-led emo-pop stylings and hilarious lyrics got the crowd fired up – the perfect example coming in set-opener ‘Something Global’, where singer MayKay deadpans “Hooks are for wimps/And choruses for gays” before the band break out into a chorus of (you guessed it) “Give me my hook!” Next up are Asaf Avidan And The Mojos, all the way from Israel – and they want us to make them feel at home by clapping along to their ‘big Israeli radio hit’. However, it all sounds a bit like Axl Rose fronting Wolfmother to me. With the weather being erratic to say the least, I take advantage of a break in the rain to grab some pizza and also inadvertently miss most of Villagers – not that it sounded like I missed much, from their deathly dull last song. It then proceeds to absolutely tip it down – but Sky Larkin manage to bring the sun back out with their bright and upbeat indie-pop brilliance – smiles all round then!

With the weather having mostly cleared up, I venture out to catch The Rumble Strips, who’ve obviously flummoxed new producer Mark Ronson by already having trumpets – so much so that he’s panicked and added some strings instead. They seem fairly superfluous though – and tellingly, its still their old stuff that stands out most for me, with ‘Motorcycle’ in particular proving a highlight. Later on, The Vaselines entertain with their bizarre and often filthy banter as much as they do with their music – with singer Frances McKee telling us how she finds American accents to be a turn-on, before subsequently admitting “it’s not just that – you’ve got to have a big dick as well!” After they finish, I’ve got little better to do than catch the end of The Gaslight Anthem’s set – and they’re pretty much as I’d expect them, peddling earnest Springsteen-punk about how life’s hard and stuff. Yawn. Much better are Phoenix – even if they do get a little samey at times, the French band still have enough nuggets of pure pop brilliance to provide a great warmup for Editors and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. And thus, the festival ended on a massive high note – same time next year then?

If you weren’t there and I’ve whetted your appetite, or if you were and want to re-live some of the weekend’s great moments, then check out this handy little compilation of stuff I saw that I think is worth hearing, in the form of a Spotify playlist. Tracklisting below:

Fight Like Apes – ‘Something Global’
Wildbirds & Peacedrums – ‘There Is No Light’
Sky Larkin – ‘Fossil, I’
Skint & Demoralised – ‘Red Lipstick’
Phoenix – ‘Long Distance Call’
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!’
The Rumble Strips – ‘Motorcycle’
Grace Jones – ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’
The Temper Trap – ‘Science Of Fear’
Thom Yorke – ‘The Eraser’
Fever Ray – ‘When I Grow Up’
Lykke Li – ‘Little Bit’
Chairlift – ‘Territory’
Broken Records – ‘If The News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It’
Camera Obscura – ‘French Navy’
Patrick Wolf – ‘Hard Times’
Doves – ‘The Cedar Room’
Editors – ‘You Are Fading’
Fever Ray – ‘If I Had A Heart’
Bat For Lashes – ‘Two Planets’
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Stagger Lee’

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The 8 best things I saw at Latitude Festival 2009.

It may go against the title of this blog to write a post so full of praise as this one undoubtedly will be, but fuck it – there was a hell of a lot of good stuff on offer at Latitude this year and I made a lot of new personal discoveries. Without further ado then, the 8* best things I saw at Latitude ’09.

(*Yes, it would’ve been 10 but there’s already about 1500 words here, and there were too many bands vying for the 9 and 10 slots. I’ll cover everything else I saw soon, promise.)

8. Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Imagine, if you will, the voices of Feist and Beth Ditto compacted into one sleek, Swedish package. That’s Mariam Wallentin, who with husband Andreas Werliin comprises Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums. The duo make music that’s almost entirely percussive, with drums, timpani and other percussion instruments forming an intense background for Mariam’s spectacular voice. The duo play and sing with an energy that makes it difficult not to be drawn in – indeed, their final song sees Mariam whacking her drums so hard that she manages to make one of her drumsticks fly off to the side of the stage. Their set was intriguing throughout, but ‘There Is No Light’ stood out for me with it’s soulful vocal delivery and incessant drumbeat. If you’re looking for something a little different from your average guitar band, then Wildbirds & Peacedrums will definitely sate your appetite.

7. The Temper Trap

Namedropped by the BBC as ones to watch at the start of the year, The Temper Trap showed that they’re not just another hype band with their impressive performance on Friday. The band have a dense, epic sound that gives the impression that they’re made for big stages already, from the swooning, blissful tones and sweetly sung vocal of ‘Sweet Disposition’ to the racy, infectious paranoia of ‘Science Of Fear’. And, true to the spirit of Latitude as a festival for everyone, a cheerful-looking grey-haired chap who must have been at least in his 50s or so bounces past me with his wife and declares to a similarly-aged couple, “This band are fucking amazing!” Broad appeal and massive tunes too? Sounds like the Temper Trap could be on to a winner.

6. Grace Jones

Having got a tad bored of Spiritualized and increasingly irritated by the collection of jeb-ends that I was stood near in the tent, I made my way to the main stage to catch the last half an hour or so of Grace Jones. And you know what? I wish I’d seen the whole damn thing, because the spectacle she put on was fantastic. Within a few minutes of me turning up, she was strutting her way through ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’, intent on getting up close and personal with the crowd. “I need a big man,” she intoned, approaching the edge of the stage and pointing to a no-doubt terrified member of stage security, before parading around the barriers on the shoulders of said ‘big man’, reaching out and touching the worked up crowd. Further show(wo)manship was came in the form of outrageous hats (including a crystal-encrusted number that reflected coloured lights across the stage) and enough flaunting of that impossibly-toned body to allure even the biggest prude. Seriously, she turned 61 in May and still has the body of a 20-something – absolutely insane. She wrapped things up by  producing a hula hoop and then casually (casually!) gyrating her way through her final number while effortlessly singing and introducing the members of her band.

As she thanks us and leaves the stage, the clamour for more is deafening, even as the lights go up. But just as it looks like the crowd’s appreciation is going to go unrecognised, Grace storms back out onto the stage. “There’s a fucking curfew!” she booms, frustrated that she can’t continue to play. The plug on the PA is quickly pulled before she can say her parting words of thanks, but the fact that the icon has reciprocated the crowd’s appreciation by simply returning to the stage is enough. I can now honestly say that I’d pay good money to see a Grace Jones show – and that’s something I’d never even considered coming into the festival.

5. Editors

I’m sure many people rolled their eyes when they heard that Editors were ‘going electro’ for their forthcoming third album In This Light And On This Evening, but within the space of an hour (or, more accurately, four new songs), the doubters may well have had to reconsider. Starting bravely with a new song that features both smooth synths and somewhat jarring staccato samples that sound like tyres skidding, the transformation is complete when classic set-closer ‘Fingers In The Factories’ segues effortlessly into the last of their new songs – and with moody, Depeche Mode synths, thumping beats and God-bothering lyrics (“If there really was a god here/he’d have raised a hand by now”), it’s absolutely amazing. And yet, it’s still unmistakably the same Editors we know and love – they’re still making upliftingly gloomy music, it’s just that they’re using different tools for the job.

4. Thom Yorke

Some of the people I was with at the festival were disappointed by Thom Yorke’s solo slot on Sunday, but to be honest I can’t understand why. It had classic Radiohead tracks (‘Everything In It’s Right Place’, ‘There There’), brilliant solo songs (‘The Eraser’, ‘Harrowdown Hill’), intriguing new songs (‘Follow Me Around’, The Present Tense’ – floating around on Youtube as we speak, a fact that was wryly acknowledged by Yorke during his set), ‘True Love Waits’ got a rare live airing, and he played an absolutely gorgeous solo version of ‘Videotape’, (my personal favourite track from In Rainbows) – what more could you want? I mean, you weren’t expecting him to play ‘Creep’ or something were you?

3. Bat For Lashes

Anybody who thought that Bat For Lashes don’t quite cut it live was surely forced to eat their words, regurgitate them, and eat them again after Natasha Khan’s utterly spellbinding performance on Friday night. There was certainly a lot of interest in her – the tent was so rammed that I could barely see anything. But what I heard confirmed my love for Khan’s work – big, echoy drums and chiming, swirling, epic instrumentation serve as a wonderful backdrop for her beautiful voice and almost fairytale lyrics. Spine-tingling highlights for me were enchanting opener ‘Glass’, ‘Siren Song’, ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’ and the bombastic, mystical brilliance of ‘Two Planets’. Although it seems that most people were sticking around to hear ‘Daniel’ – saved as a set closer of course, it was undoubtedly the song that got the biggest response. For me, Bat For Lashes stands head and shoulders above the crop of female solo artists that have cropped up this year, and performances like this just serve to confirm that.

2. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Having only listened to a small amount of his material, I didn’t feel like I knew that much about Nick Cave going into the Festival. But if there’s one thing I definitely know afterwards, it’s this: He’s bloody awesome live. The man has a spectacular way with words and a voice to match, and together with his Bad Seeds he rattled through a cross-section of tracks from their back catalogue. From the chugging, distorted riffs of ‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!’ to the death row theatrics of ‘The Mercy Seat’, every moment is compelling – and never more so than during set-closer ‘Stagger Lee’, with Cave delivering its menacing wild-west story with a swagger in his step and fire in his eyes. To be fair though, violinist/guitarist Warren Ellis (a “big, bearded fucker” as Cave calls him at one point) does his best to steal the show – particularly during ‘We Call Upon The Author’, which sees him sprawled on the floor, inducing an effects-pedal based freakout whilst also shouting out backing vocals. Together with Cave’s imposing presence, it makes for a performance that you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry.

1. Fever Ray

Mesmerising. Bewildering. Brilliant.

Those are some of the words I would try to use use to sum up the genius of Fever Ray, (aka Karin Dreijer Anderson from The Knife), but nothing can quite convey just how amazing it was. Karin and her band were wearing striking, elaborate costumes (and there were huge cheers when she finally removed her cape/mask combination), but that only served to accentuate the bizarre brilliance of the music. Whirring electronic noise, minimal beats, ominous synths, infectious guitar loops, tribal drumming – these are just some of the things that make up the band’s wondrous soundscapes. However, it’s Karin’s voice that’s the star of the show – at times sounding very much reminiscent of her vocals for The Knife, but at others warped to an almost demonic growl. Add into the mix her dark, often cryptic lyrics and you’ve got a package that you can’t tear your ears away from. Stirring stuff, and despite the stiff competition, the best thing I saw all festival.

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Maxïmo Park: Quickening the heart, or deadening the pulse?

Now, before we start, let me set one thing straight: I like Maxïmo Park. Rather a lot actually. I queued to get tickets to one of their tiny preview gigs for Our Earthly Pleasures. I got lucky and won tickets to the album launch gig for the same record. I witnessed their triumphant homecoming gig at Newcastle Arena at the end of 2007, and as I write this I’ve seen them live more times than almost any other band on the planet (they’re currently tied with Arctic Monkeys at 9 gigs each). So, understand that it’s from the perspective of a fan that I weigh up the merits of their latest album, Quicken The Heart.

The opening signs were good – ‘Wraithlike’ suitably whetted my appetite when it appeared as a free single/teaser/whatever in the run-up to the album. With sirens blaring over the band’s trademark angular, spiky guitars, this was the sound of a band coming back with a bang, with Paul Smith’s vocal sounding urgent and purposeful. First single proper, ‘The Kids Are Sick Again’ didn’t quite have the same impact at first, but it turned out to be a grower thanks to its steady buildup of synths and guitars, and a catchy chorus that’s sure to provoke a wry smile  – “I don’t mind losing self respect/I’ve done it before/And I’ll do it again”.

Smith’s lyrics were always one of the defining features of Maxïmo Park – sure, some may find them to be too wordy and vague, but I’d argue that he’s very good at conjuring up evocative images. See, for example, ‘A Cloud Of Mystery’, where he paints the picture of a girl dressing up as “her duty to the town”, while ‘Questing, Not Coasting’ brilliantly captures two wide-eyed lovers watching a lightning storm. However, it does seem that the lyrical clunkers are far more obvious on this album. The aforementioned ‘Questing, Not Coasting’ nearly shoots itself in the foot with the cringeworthy bridge line of “Hey you, what’s new/I know your face/Hey you, what’s new/Let’s go some place”, while ‘Let’s Get Clinical’s chorus bypasses the “so bad it’s good” category entirely and just comes off as cheesy. You can still play the fun game of ‘spot the reference to Newcastle’ though – my favourite being ‘In Another World (You’d Have Found Yourself By Now)’s nod to now-defunct nightclub-on-a-boat Tuxedo Princess (“But you’ll still end up on a revolving dancefloor in the middle of the river”).

The band have also tried hard to mix things up musically, with varying degrees of success. On the one hand, ‘Calm’ is brilliant – contrasting the effortless, mellow synth line of the verses with the grungey guitar and brooding lyrics of the chorus. ‘The Penultimate Clinch’, on the other hand, doesn’t quite fare as well  – the menacing lyrics contrast well with the minor key tones at the beginning, but then the song makes a fairly sudden jump into a major key for the last minute or so, which comes off as a bit jarring. To be fair though, the band pull off this sort of transition far better on ‘Roller Disco Dreams’, making the song the kind of emotional rollercoaster that you’d expect from Maxïmo Park.

Another problem that Quicken The Heart suffers from is that it seems to burn itself out too quickly – with the exception of ‘Questing, Not Coasting’, the last four tracks aren’t particularly great. ‘Tanned’ seems fairly pedestrian and lacking in imagination, ‘Overland, West Of Suez’ chugs along before breaking down into a coda that ends far too abruptly, and ‘I Haven’t Seen Her In Ages’ has a fantastic chorus line (“She ripped me to shreds/I haven’t seen her in ages”) but not a great deal else going for it. It also feels to me like the latter song also closes the album with a sense of “…oh, is that it?” – going out with a shrug rather than a bang or a whimper.

So overall, it’s a difficult album to judge. On the one hand, the record has its moments of brilliance, but it’s not quite consistent enough to make it a great album. Equally though, there’s nothing that’s outright bad on it – the odd pedestrian number and some lyrical and musical mis-steps aren’t anywhere near enough to place Quicken The Heart in the ‘terrible’ category. And so we’re left with an album that’s resoundingly “ok” – the sound of a band largely on auto-pilot, but occasionally showing signs of the brilliance we know they’re capable of. There’s nothing on this record that really grabs you by the ears and shouts “I AM AN AMAZING SONG” like, say ‘Apply Some Pressure’, ‘Our Velocity’ or ‘By The Monument’ (to name but three), but with repeated listens it eventually reveals its charms.

So, as Smith sings on ‘Roller Disco Dreams’: “If it’s a grower/why can’t we take things slower?” If, like me, you weren’t particularly enamoured with Quicken The Heart on first listen, give it a few more spins. I promise you that it’ll at least become less average, at any rate.

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Review: Nodzzz – Nodzzz

(Well, I wrote this for another website, but as they haven’t put it up yet I might as well post it here…)

Edit: You can now find said article here. Yay!

You know the kind of stereotypes thrown around by those who blindly hate ‘indie’ music? “The singer can’t sing! They’re not proper musicians!” they cry, before mumbling something about Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin or whoever. Well congratulations, haters, Nodzzz are the perfect band for you to point to in disgust – or at least, they would be if they had a higher profile.

But you know what? Screw the haters. Sure, Nodzzz’s lead singer Anthony Atlas isn’t the most tuneful, and the music on their self-titled album largely consists of sub-two minute blasts of jangly guitar fuzz. But for the 10 tracks that it comprises, it still manages to be pretty fun – you can almost imagine the three of them just jamming out these songs on a warm summer’s day with a few beers. There’s something decidedly youthful about the whole package, and it’s not just the rough and ready musicianship. The biggest recurring theme on the album seems to be growing up – from the anticipation and excitement on ‘I Can’t Wait’ (“I can’t wait for the future/bars and cars”), to cynicism and resignation on ‘Simple Song’ (“Hope you give up on that simple song/forget the words/be a mom”).

Elsewhere, ‘Is She There’ almost sounds like a lo-fi version of an early Beatles song with it’s upbeat feel and simple, repeated refrain, while ‘In The City’ (positively epic by Nodzzz’s standards at over 2 minutes) sees Atlas deadpanning “If you’ve got no talent/then beat it buddy/or stand there looking cool” – a wry nod to the band’s lackadaisical sound, or the resigned sigh of someone who’s heard those words one too many times? If the latter is true, it would be an overly harsh assessment, as Nodzzz have a subtle talent for wry, witty observations – for example, on ‘I Was My Parents Vision’, Atlas sings “I am a memorial to my Dad’s mojo,” which can’t help but bring to mind that awkward feeling you got when you first realised exactly how you came to be in this world. Another talent they have is a knack for simple but effective melodic guitar lines, which shine through despite the raw, fuzzy recording. It’s pointless to try and pick out one prime example as every track nails it to a tee – sure, it’s not virtuoso stuff, but who cares when it puts a smile on your face?

Overall, Nodzzz just sound like they don’t want to grow up – and as such, your appreciation of their sound will probably be directly proportional to how much you can relate to that sentiment – you’ll either find it to be fuzzy feel-good indie pop, or merely amateurish nonsense. Either way, with the album barely clocking in at 16 minutes, you can hardly accuse them of outstaying their welcome.

Nodzzz - Nodzzz

Nodzzz - Nodzzz

(Find Nodzzz on Myspace right here.)

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