Rock/Pop

 

Rock/Pop music reviews of the week...

Delorentos

You Can Make Sound

Delorecords ***

Dublin’s Delorentos preceded and followed their 2007 Top 10 debut album, In Love With Detail, with a strong fan base keen to embrace a band that took bits and pieces from the likes of Interpol, Joy Division and Editors, yet had a hint of originality as well. And then? Well, at the start of this year, the band surprised all and sundry by announcing that they were to split. Cue much blather on blogs, only for the band to have a change of mind. Should they have bothered? Ultimately, yes, but while their fans will thank them for coming up with sturdy tunes such as Sanctuary, Secret, You Say You’ll Never Love Herand Let the Light Go Out, others might see little stylistic change.

The band can certainly bang out a tune, but those primary influences are still in evidence, which by this stage is hardly something to celebrate. www.delorentos.net TONY CLAYTON-LEA

Download tracks: Sanctuary, Let The Light Go Out

Editors

In This Light and On This Evening

Sony ****

They’ve denied being mere Joy Division copyists, but Editors’ third album marks a huge step forward for the Brummie quartet. It’s true, Tom Smith’s sombre monotone and stage histrionics are incredibly Curtis-like at times, but there’s one big difference this time. Editors have discovered synthesisers. Even better, they use them in a way that distinguishes them from 90 per cent of the indie populace. Consequently, this record is coated in an intensity that the Brummies have failed to capture in the past. The Big Exitheaves, gurgles and pulsates in layers of bass and synth, while Papillon and the wobbly hiss of You Don’t Know Loveare positively danceable. Tubeway Army, Joy Division, Talk Talk – it doesn’t really matter. Editors do the 1980s bloody well. www.editorsofficial.com

Download tracks: The Big Exit, You Don’t Know Love


Pearse McGloughlin

Busy Whisper

Urchin ***

You can tell that Sligo-born singer-songwriter Pearse McGloughlin has been around the musical block a few times. While his back-pages contain details of time spent in various bands and cities, the songs on Busy Whisperare far more telling. Practice makes perfect and you can trace the narrative of McGloughlin’s craft in the gentle brush-strokes of his songs and the quiet, powerful authority of his voice. For the most part, his songs are mellow and coated in several lush, strung-out layers of musical paint. But these tender, bittersweet sounds are never wimpy. The emotional shadows cast on the opening L’espoir des revenants, for instance, immediately draw you into McGloughlin’s rustic realm. By the time his next album comes around, expect many more to be kept spellbound by his songs. www. myspace.com/walkperson JIM CARROLL

Download tracks: L’espoir des revenants, Consume


Bad Leiutenant


Never Cry Another Tear

Triple Echo Records
**

You’ve heard of vanity projects, but what about spite projects? For a while, it almost seemed that Bernard Sumner had formed Bad Lieutenant as a way of further isolating his former New Order bandmate Peter Hook. Having heard the trio’s debut, however, it sounds like Hooky is probably better off isolated. Never Cry Another Tearisn’t a terrible album, per se, but it does sound horribly dated and strangely unfinished. Songs such as Sink or Swimrecall jangly mid-1990s indie bands such as Gene, while guitarist and vocalist Jake Evans sounds uncannily similar to Jimi Goodwin fronting a particularly soggy Doves. Still, tunes such as the perky Summer Daysare more harmless than exasperating, and Head in Tomorrow’s acoustic frame draws the album to a neat close, but it’s a record that’s lacks either a killer song or a sense of direction. badlieutenant.net LAUREN MURPHY

Download tracks: These Changes, Summer Days


Air

Love 2

EMI ***

The antiseptic aroma emanating from French duo Air (Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin) refuses to go away; it’s one of the few gripes directed at the band since Moon Safariwafted our way 11 years ago. And yet the melodies still catch us unawares: sweet, undulating, crafty, and so linear you could stick cat’s eyes on them and put them to good use on our nation’s roads. Love 2is ever so slightly more, well, lively. The tunes are well to the fore, with the likes of So Light Is Her Footfall, Heaven’s Light, Night Hunterand Sing Sang Sungso perfectly realised it’s shameful to think that Air’s radio presence isn’t wider. A couple of changes to the formula bring conflicting thoughts: Be a Beeis drenched in terrifically glitchy Krautrock rhythms, yet Eat my Beatfalls prey to bland guitar effects. But no matter – another Air record: winter is coming, feel the chill. www.aircheology.com TONY CLAYTON-LEA

Download tracks: So Light Is Her Footfall, Be a Bee


Cate Le Bon


Me Oh My

Irony Bored ****

After an intriguing turn on Neon Neon’s I Lust You and the release of a Welsh-language EP, Cate Le Bon’s debut album was always going to turn heads. Bursting with ideas, it toys with – among other things – folk, electro, country and psychedelia. The sauntering guitars of the title track are interrupted by dirty, squelching synths, shifting the whole tone instantly. It’s also the first indicator that, despite vocal echoes of Nico and even Vashti Bunyan, there are barbs aplenty in these melodies. It’s mostly obvious when Le Bon dabbles in dissonance. Deliberate key-wobbles and skewed pitching are frequently thrown at the listener, such as the eerie Rhodes on Eyes So Bright and the fantastically retro wig-out on Burn Until the End. Released on Gruff Rhys’ own label, Me Oh Myis what a debut should be – original, uncompromising and compelling. www.myspace.com/catelebon SINÉAD GLEESON

Download Tracks: Me Oh My, Burn Until the End, Eyes So Bright


Miike Snow

Miike Snow

Columbia
***

Miike Snow come to the table with a whopper of a CV – two of the band are Pontus Winnberg and Christian Karlsson, Swedish producers who have worked on blockbuster hits for Britney Spears ( Toxic), Kylie, Madonna and Sugababes. They’re joined by Andrew Wyatt, a Yank who has worked with Mark Ronson, Daniel Merriweather, Ebony Bones and The AM. Naturally, given this calibre of knob-twiddling, the production is as sublime and smooth as you would expect. Lush melancholic pop, hooky dancefloor electro and sleek, woozy rock are plucked from the trio’s box of tricks. They’re at their best when retooling plaintive woe-is-me ballads such as Fakeror Animaland tricking them out with electro swirls and disco decals. The fees for their production services may be about to rocket after this. www.myspace.com/ miikesnow JIM CARROLL

Download tracks: Faker, Animal


David Sylvian


Manafon


Samahi Sound *****

David Sylvian’s Manafon, the austere follow up to his 2003 album Blemish, is the most complete step in the maverick songwriter’s journey from New Romantic poster boy through ambient artist to post-rock poet. Recorded in improvisational sessions from 2004 to 2007, and wrought over the last two years in Sylvian’s Pennsylvania home studio, it both develops and refines the free-form impulses of Blemish, emphasising silence, space and sound over melody and rhythm. With unusually expressive contributions by saxophonist Evan Parker, guitarists Keith Rowe and Christian Fennesz, pianist John Tilbury and electronic artists Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide, Sylvian shapes the musical dynamics with his signature croon. Manafonis an exquisite assemblage of musical styles, which finds the Sylvian at his most experimental yet. www.samadhisound.com JOCELYN CLARKE

Download Tracks: Emily Dickinson, Snow White In Appalachia


Andy White

Songwriter

Floating World Records ****

How to hang on to the wide-eyed wonder of youth without getting stuck in the groove? Andy White seems to have perfected this art with just the occasional lapse into tried and trusted musical ideas. Songwriteroozes messy storylines and insistent guitar chords that drill a hole into your subconscious. Its influences range, from rockabilly ( When You Gonna Come) to wide- open vista balladry ( Why Don’t You Stay) and down-home guitar-driven three-chord trickery ( The Valley of My Heart). It’s classic White terrain, a place where singalong-ability is to be celebrated rather than sneered at; and where guest vocals from Canadian Po’ Girl Allison Russell chafe beautifully against Andy’s Belfast-by-way-of-Melbourne curlicued diphthongs. A recession- beating slice of (wary) optimism. www.andywhite.com SIOBHÁN LONG

Download tracks:
If You Want It, Turn Up the Temperature On the Machine of Love