Friday, 7 December 2012

Single Reviews: Olympians, Alarm Bells, Joanna Gruesome, Tim & Emmy

We're more than ready to say goodbye to 2012, and as we prepare to do so the last trickles of its pop music comes our way. A mixture of continuing projects, tasters for next year and festive tunes this is the last batch of single reviews before we take to the bloggers tradition of End of Year lists and summaries. So, once more unto the breech...

Olympians – Everything's Amazing (Nobody's Happy)
Closing the year in style is Norwich four-piece Olympians who have a released the final and best of their book club series of singles. An early version of 'Everything's Amazing (Nobody's Happy)' first saw the light of day last year in the Big Scary Monsters '11 Collection download series, but now could scarcely be further away from that jaunty guitar driven number. Carried on wintery, choral vocals the song drifts through, twinkling like snow and with festive inflections that get to the heart of seasonal disaffection. It's a song for early nights where you can't afford the heating and need the warmth that only a duvet and pop music can provide.

Alarm Bells - Cocoon
Formed from the ashes of everyone’s favourite defunct fight-pop band, Alarm Bells have unveiled a new EP that's available on limited edition/bit to expensive for us 12”. Closing the EP is 'Cocoon', (the only song available to listen to at time of writing), a song that unsurprisingly recalls Dananananaykroyd, albeit a version of the group rebuilt RoboCop style. Snarlier and less predictable than you might expect or treasure, 'Cocoon' travels in several directions without much resembling a chorus in sight. Thrashing drums, vocal effects and a sense of unease are expertly thrown around, resulting in a Doctrines like chaos.
It's worth noting that bandcamp lists track 1 ('Whitemere') as being 13 minutes long. Where Alarm Bells do from here is anyone's guess.

Joanna Gruesome - Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still In Love With Me?

In honestly we're coming to the end of what we can enjoy with the current crop of lofi hazy fuzzpop bands. There was always a limited range of sounds to be mined from the genre, and no one seems willing to put a new spin on things. That is, aside from Joanna Gruesome who are almost single handedly making the whole shebang worthwhile. 'Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Sill In Love With Me?' was unveiled this week as was their signing to Fortuna Pop. A delightful and noisy pop song wrapped up in the warmth that's frequently absent from the fuzz, 'Do You Really..?' instantly readies us for more from this group.

Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler – Zombie Christmas

The wonderful This Is Christmas album has already had airplay in KPL Towers this year, and as it's one of the few things that makes the festive period tolerable (the others being advent calendars and pigs in blankets) it's only right that coverage is given to the latest single. From the names involved the uninitiated should know what to expect; a fun yet silly pop number it speaks to the nerd in all of us and provides ample argument against the zombie fad being completely over (as well as commentary against the capitalistic drudgery of the season). Most importantly for a novelty-leaning festive pop song it has great lyrics with the highlight being “Well I don't wanna have my last Noel / We better kick those zombies back to hell”. It will raise a smile, and yr spirits, every time.

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