zondag 7 mei 2023

2023. Week 18, 10 singles

This week sees the return of one of my very old favourites. As a total surprise because I had written off this artist decades ago. Never underestimate an artist is the lesson I am taught once again. There's also another surprise, as I never expected to like a song by that band. There's also a rock chick of a certain age who is making a huge comeback, that deserves to get noticed. Blasts from the past in the present. For those less inclined towards the "old days", there's more than enough modern bands as well. So, enjoy!

I'm Going To Get Free. Dexys

In 1980 when Frits Spits played 'Geno' in a radio show called 'De Avondspits' it sort of blew my mind. I had never heard something like it. 'Searching For The Young Soul Rebels' is still one of my favourite albums of all time. 'Come On, Eileen' was the ultimate global hit and then things went silent, for me. Come 2023, 40 years after "Eileen" and there's this single that resembles the music on 'Too-Rye-Ay' and nearly as good. I'm Going To Get Free is a welcome song in other words. A few months before Kevin Rowland's 70th birthday Dexys, which always was Rowlands vision, I think, is back. I'm Going To Get Free has the horns and the violins where the soul and folk elements of the first two Dexys Midnight Runners' incarnations come together successfully. There's an album underway called 'The Feminine Divine', slated for 28 July. This new song will not have the impact on the world as 'Come On. Eileen' had, let alone 'Geno' and 'There There My Dear had on me, all fans of old should be happy with this new song. "I hope you can make it", as the background singers sing. This song should make it into your ears alright.

Don't Come Crying To Me. Cindy Lawson

In the promo email accompanying Don't Come Crying To Me, this blog is actually quoted on Cindy Lawson's previous single, 'How It Feels': "How it Feels is all about loud, huge riffs and a mean rhythm section. If How if Feels signifies Cindy Lawson's return to rock and roll, the world can only welcome her warmly". What more can I add then this? Her new single is fantastic. Tick, tick on the drumsticks and off goes the band. Cindy Lawson is back and in a hurry. After releasing 'New Tricks' in 2022 a new album is underway already. If Don't Come Crying To Me is any indication, it will be a total knock-out. This single has so much drive and there certainly is some anger in it as well. This title spells out how she feels and there can be no doubt about whether she means it or not. This person cannot make up with a bouquet of flowers, no matter how big or colourful. I'm afraid, they will be shredded to pieces in the huge rock sound of Don't Come Crying To Me. Cindy Lawson is back from rock and roll retirement and she obviously means it as well. What A Single!

Do You Wanna Know / Slip Away. Steve Adamyk Band

Some songs were never meant to be heard. Like the two on this new Drunken Dial Records 7" single by Steve Adamyk Band. Adamyk and bandmate David Forcier were just having fun after sharing some Corona's in Corona's hey day. Forcier recorded the cover songs they were playing for fun. And here the songs are anyway and the world is the better for it. The two punkrocking songs are both great renditions. Do You Wanna Know was released by The Kids from Belgium, a long, long time ago. Slip Away by Sedatives is much younger, from 2009. Steve Adamyk Band knows what to do with the two songs. If this is a spontaneous action then how does the band sound for real? On the single the band really goes for it, full of energy and obvious love for the songs. All this really comes across. Great fun to be able to hear this.

Penge. Public Image Limited

After The Sexpistols' demise Johnny Rotten became John Lydon and his band Public Image Ltd or PiL. We are talking well over 40 years here. In 2023 I encounter a single by PiL. With no idea what to expect. Nothing really. The more I was surprised by Penge. Lydon still cannot sing, as we conceive it in a traditional way. His rough voice does something between singing and making a declamation. What surprises me, is that Penge is a stately song. Very formal in sound and somehow official, as if this is the mayor welcoming the king to the south-London suburb. There is a hint of madness as well in some of the overdubbed vocals. Is there a lunatic asylum in Penge, something like the Maassluis verse we sung as children? I have no idea but that is what the singing reminds me of. All in all I'm surprised by the song. The album is called 'The End Of The World', for which we have to be patient a bit longer.

Night And Day. Darlyn

With Night And Day Darlyn returns to this blog with a strong pop-rock single. The band around singer Diwa Meijman dips its pen into Anouk territory and comes out with a song that is clearly its own. With a guitar in the intro that sounds like a rhythm piece by Keith Richards, the song presents itself as a tightly played piece of music. Things grow more loose thanks to the background vocals and a synthesizer that injects dark sounds into the whole. The apple-cart is not so much upset as slightly rocked. Listen closer and Night And Day gives away more and more details that show how much work Darlyn put into the arrangement. There are little melodies to be found in abundance. It is Diwa Meijman who moves close to Anouk's way of singing in the verses. The band stays clear of the rockchick rock there. In the choruses things do get tighter. All in all, the re-established contact with the band is pleasurable.

Hot Ghee. Night Beats

Speaking of psychedelic, I know, I wasn't, yet it is the right start for this short review. Night Beats literally pulls every trick in the book here. Hot Ghee starts and I think I'm India but only because of a mind-expanding experience and not from travelling for 10 hours or something. Everything comes together in this single. The whole 1960s psychedelic scene and everything that happened since and especially in the last circa ten years. Night Beats is the brainchild of L.A. based artist Danny Lee Blackwell. On the way towards the release of its sixth album, 'Rajan', 14 July, there is this single. It is the musical equivalent of the fluid pictures at the back of 1960s psychedelic shows. The sound is constantly changing it seems, like the trippy sequence in 'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas', the Terry Gilliam movie. Does such a description help you to understand? If it doesn't, there's only one thing left to do: listen for yourself?

Evelyn. Bear's Den

Platonically, madly in love? Yes, that is what the singer of Bear's Den is with Evelyn and it comes across, albeit in a Counting Crows kind of way. To my ears that means that something is withheld, at least in most songs. Bear's Den also holds back. A lot is shared but not all. And let that be the charm of this single. Evelyn leaves enough left to guess. If things were shouted from the rooftops or in wild abundance or anger, the effect would not be the same. Bear's Den cannot be found on these pages until now. I was never pulled into one of their records and after two gave up trying. With a single release this is different, as there's only one song to judge and fast. I found I kept listening and sympathising with the singer. Mission accomplished.

Rat. Nothingheads

Post-punk with Nothingheads singer Rob Fairey in the role of Johnny Rotten. Fairey has the same sneer in his voice as the The Sexpistols' singer had at the time. (As John Lydon you can find him a few spots above this post, coincidentally.) In less than two minutes Nothingheads lay it all on the table today. Its postpunk but also clear that this band can play a thousand times better and is theoretically far more advanced than the punk bands from 1976. Just listen to the rhythmic prowess, the huge sound and hiccups in the rhythm of Rat. Yes, the song is a sonic storm but not one that goes about totally random, like storms tend to do. Nothingheads have thought about this song a lot. Matt Holt (bass), Ed Simpson (guitar) and however is the drummer have it all completely down. However, when all is said and done, Rat is about energy. There's so much of it coming out of my speakers, I had to nail them down to my desk. EP 'Sunlit Uplands' is out on 9 June.

Sub. Deeper

More music from Chicago this week as well. Deeper recently signed with Sub Pop and to celebrate this feat, releases a revamped version of Sub as a single. If you had told me it was a discovered XTC song from 1978 or so, I would have believed you straight away. Shiraz Bhatti, Nic Gohl, Drew McBride and Kevin Fairbairn must have heard music by the English band of old for sure. The way the music goes a bit against the grain, the not very easy to digest melodies and notes show that there are many ways to write a pop song. Franz Ferdinand shows its head as well, except that Deeper does not throw in the big fun factor like the Scottish band is so good at. It makes Sub the more impressive, as it impresses on its own account. Deeper builds the song slowly but surely, to cut things off just before the expected explosion. "I found a reason", full stop. The singer has said enough and does not need an exclamation mark in musical form. The point of Sub has been made in abundance.

Docking The Pay. Church Village Collective

Almost a year ago there was a band called CVC on these pages with single 'Winston'. I'm assuming this to be the same band. Reading the review of the single, my guess is yes. Docking The Pay has that 70s vibe over it as well. A tight version of The Doobie Brothers caught somewhere between the Tom Johnston rock and Michael McDonald disco/funk era's. Although there are a lot of rhythmic elements in this single, Docking The Pay has vocal parts that run so smooth. In the lead as well as the harmony parts. The music is rock, no doubt there, the sum of all parts makes this song a great pop single. "Ooh, I can't believe you're docking my pay", is so easy and inviting to sing along to that the word invitation is an understatement of huge proportions. Church Village Collective knows exactly what elements to lend from the past and turn them into a great song of its own.

Wout de Natris

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten