I was seven when The Pretenders released their first album. Of course I grew up knowing who they were, but until ‘Break Up The Concrete’, the bands ninth album, I hadn’t owned any of thier music. And I’m okay with that. There is only so much looking back you can do musically. Like when someone says “I have heaps of music, we should share” and then you never listen to any of it. No reason to. It was like that with me and Chrissy Hynde. And I’m sure she’s okay with that too.
I picked up this album because October seems to be the month of ‘don’t forget us, we used to be great - remember?’ (Acca, Metallica, The Cure, The Verve, Primal Scream, Sugarland and heaps more.) And based on ‘Concrete’, The Pretenders must have been great, because this is a great album. It is a mix of rockabilly, rock ‘n roll and country western, but better than that sounds - I promise.
Album opener ‘Boots of Chinese Plastic’ sets the pace and tone of the album. It opens wih Chrissy counting in a beat that I’m sure came from an Elvis movie. And that’s about the only indication of this bands age. They reference the familiar constantly, but it sounds fresh and contemporary, with lyrics that are dense, acerbic and terse delivered with the Hynde snarl.
The drumming of Jim Keltner is simply sublime throughout the album, and turns the otherwise ordinary ‘Rosalee’into a pounding ode to a lost love. ‘Break Up The Concrete’ brings the album full circle with another Elvis moment. All in all I can highly recommend this album to fans and noobs (like me) alike.
Last Shadow Puppets - My mistakes were made for you
The Last Shadow Puppets are Alex Turner (from Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (from The Rascals) and ‘The Age Of The Understatement’ is their new album. I was blown away by this album. While I was beginning to think that nostalgia was old hat ( I’m looking at you Wolfmother!), these guys don a George Harrison coat and deliver beautifully crafted and incredibly mature pop songs. You’ll love it immediately, and then you’ll learn that there is a lot to love.
Do yourself a favour and pick up ‘The Age of the Understatement’here.
Not much of the hype surrounding the release of Antidote reached Oz. SXSW festival goers and NME readers blogged and flogged Foals. Release of Antidote was delayed because the band didn’t like the production by Dave Sitek, of TV on the radio fame.
They remastered and produced the album themselves and it was released in late March, with a limited edition release in the UK.
Foals play an upbeat brand of rock with pop sensibilities. They’re sonic stable mates of Battles, with harmonic laden, polyrhythm pulsing rock songs in pop song clothing. Where Battles and Mars Volta veer to the avant guard, Foals have tight songs with concise structure.
Comparisons to Vampire Weekend are inevitable, although the similarity isn’t immediately obvious. Complex drum work with bolstering bass lines underpin distinctive vocals and pop hooks describes both bands, but this is not an either or case. Foals play pop music earnestly. And I seriously recommend you check them out.
This week’s TFI Friday is brought to you by the wonderful Maximo Park doing a brilliant version of Justin Trousersnake’s “Like I Love you”. And you know what my favourite bit is? It’s when that bloke says “Chaka Khan”…..
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