Sunday, 23 May 2010

Rambling Round-up Part 2

Well, yesterday was a fair bit different to how I planned it to be. Instead of listening intently to some music and committing some thoughts on such to 'paper' I spent the entire day reading a Stephen Fry book entitled The Star's Tennis Balls whilst some gentle music blathered away in the background. So from Saturday's endeavours I can only really claim that The Sundays are good music to read to, and that when you're not paying attention Air France's album No Way Down goes by rather quickly. In book related news, if you're stuck for something gripping to read then let me know and I think I can recommend you something...

Now then, I mentioned recently that I hit Sheffield's independent record shop Record Collector pretty hard for some bargains recently. This much is very true, although due to the amount of CDs that I picked up and the amount of other things that I've had to listen to, I can't say too much on the quality of all of them just yet. If you're in Sheffield and fancy hunting down some very cheep CDs then heading to said shop and scouring the five for £2 option may be good for you. Although the majority of the music in said offer was the usual bargain bin casualties ('90s boybands, Natalie Imbruglia and the actually good The Charlatans) I managed to pick up some indie gems. In alphabetical order: Easyworld Kill The Last Romantic (2 Disc Edition), The Golden Virgins Songs Of Praise, Kid Carpet Ideas and Oh Dears, The Research Breaking Up and The Scaramanga Six Strike! Up The Band.

Of these releases I've so far only listened to the main disc of the Easyworld album (moderately boring but well produced and good to chill out to) and The Scaramanga Six album. For anyone not familiar with The Scaramanga Six they're an over-the-top pomp-rock band who make music that's a cross between Bowie at his most flamboyant and a cinematic Queen. Not suitable for die hard punks but good for anyone who has a sense of humour. Although be warned, in the middle of Strike! Up The Band there is a terrible and badly recorded track that needs to be avoided!

To be honest, despite buying these albums they're not really representative of what I'm most listening to right now. As I've mentioned before it's the American alt. rock scene that's interesting me the most right now. The Hold Steady, with their bar room tales of blue collar America and the desperation of the characters contained within their songs are strangely appealing to me as someone who's spent the majority of their musical life in rejection of America and it's ideals. I recently picked up their second album Separation Sunday, in the belief that it's supposed to be their best. Early impressions have coloured me very impressed. If you're stuck in a dead end manual/service sector job then The Hold Steady could well be your way out – at least in terms of entertainment as escapism.

On a similar note, Band of Horses latest album did drop through my letterbox on Saturday, and I've found the time to listen to it a couple of times through. The record's lead single 'Compliments' remains by far my favourite moment, but songs like 'Dilly' shine brightly and the tight harmonies and expansive rock sound throughout seem likely to result in it getting a favourable review from me in the next few days, once I've had the chance to live with Infinite Arms a bit more and get said review written down.

That's enough for now. Tomorrow's Track of the Week is in true idiosyncratic style, completely different to anything that I've mentioned in the past few days and is nicely from a relatively new group. At some time in the week I'll make the time to write a few things down on a few other recent purchases that I've been living with, some film chatter and maybe try and dig out a couple of new groups for your entertainment/education. There's also one or two reviews for This Is Fake DIY coming along soon, which I'll be sure to link to here, in case you're remotely interested.

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