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This Week in Singles - 25/02/2013

by JamieMoker
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on 26 February 2013 in Features

Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate – ‘Faya’

Jon Driscoll is a rapper and beatboxer hailing from New York who has embarked on a collaborative album with West African star and Sekou Kouyate. New single ‘Faya’ is rhythmic slice of what can best be described as fusion-world-music. Such a release was always going to be a leap into the unknown, but Kouyate’s impressively speedy kora playing and Driscoll’s fast paced rapping makes for a surprisingly listenable track. Including a reverb soaked dubstep remix, this single will appeal to more than expected. 6/10

Heatless Bastards – ‘Got To Have Rock And Roll’

Ohioan blues-rock band Heartless Bastards new single is four minutes of stomping, seventies psychedelic-tinged rock. Sounding something like T Rex or Sweet they stick to a bygone formula of melodic choruses, warm glam fuzz and soaring reverb-soaked vocals. Sure, there’s not much new to witness here but what these ‘Bastards do, they do well. Forget the nostalgia; this is plain out and out good old rocking. 6/10

Theme Park – ‘Tonight’

Up and coming Theme Park have been promising great things for some time. Their brand of syncopated, reggae pop has always managed to conjure up feelings of hot summer days and warm summer nights with almost magical precision. New single ‘Tonight’ sticks to the rules of what has become the band’s trademark upbeat sound, with a chorus catchier than a dose of Rubella. Don’t expect deep and meaningfuls here but do expect a rum and coke and a large grin on your face. 7/10

Wiley – ‘Reload’ ft. Chipmunk

Self-proclaimed ‘Godfather of Grime’ Wiley is back with a new single that’s as much of a classic trace tune as it is grime or rap. This single release comes with more remixes than you can shake a pair of Sennheiser headphones at, and as such it’s clear this song is more about floor filling than anything else. Indeed, with a radio edit of just over 3 minutes, Wiley and rap partner Chipmunk make conspicuously fleeting appearances, making this song feel oddly truncated, falling short of its huge dance floor potential. Somewhat frustrating. 6/10

Binary – ‘You Need The Blue Key’

Industrial-metallers-come-shoegaze-noise-merchants Binary release their second single from forthcoming EP ‘Amber’. It’s no surprise that this London foursome have collaborated with Sean Bevan (NIN / Marilyn Manson) as their layered and gloomy sound harks back to a generation of doom-mongers before them. ‘You Need The Blue Key’ is a tense and propulsive ride through their own take on a genre very much still alive. Fantastically moody and enveloping, this is truly exciting dip into sonic exploration. 8/10

Jagwar Ma – ‘The Throw’

Sydney duo Jagwar Ma describe their music as a mix of melodic 60s earworms with an electronic edge. What this actually means is they sound like they’ve come straight out of the Madchester. Woozy psychedelic vocals sway to the drunk rhythms of ‘The Throw’ akin to something from Screamadelica. It’s beautiful if not unoriginal, but since when has that been a problem? Thumping electro beats transform this swirling mess into an intoxicating dance hit that is as good as most things the Hacienda-worshipping culture spewed out twenty years ago. 7/10

Dizzee Rascal – ‘Bassline Junkie’

Even for the ubiquitous and impossibly likeable Dizzee, this is a hard sell. ‘Bassline Junkie’ is indeed comparable to former smash-hit ‘Bonkers’ (even the subject matter is similar) but this is a much more grinding, raw track that’s packed full of expletives and aggression. “If you take my bass away I’m blow your fuckin’ face away” preaches Dizzee over a sparse backing of snappy treble beats and, yes, a giant bassline. Here he raps about musical addiction but it is he who is serving up yet more addictive earworms with this commanding track. If this is a barometer of the quality of his forthcoming new album, it is likely Dizzee will be retaining his crown as one of the UK’s foremost musical talents. 9/10

Crystal Castles – ‘Sad Eyes’

There’s always been a lot of fuss about Crystal Castles, being the sweethearts of both indie and dance fans alike. Yet new single ‘Sad Eyes’ is a bizarre, confusing mix of sounds and a chorus hook that happily belongs in the free ringtones box of a decade ago. A surprisingly poor excuse for single which will only probably garner attention as it resides under the ‘Castles’ banner. 4/10

To Kill A King – ‘Cold Skin’

Emotional indie rockers To Kill A King release flagship single ‘Cold Skin’ from their forthcoming new album released later this year. This is a beautifully produced, if not fairly hum-drum song that’s a paint-by-numbers guitar affair, occasionally tugging at the heart strings in its more sombre moments. A not entirely dislikeable or remarkable song from the Londoners with the best band logo in music. 6/10

Post War Years – ‘All Eyes’

‘All Eyes’ is the flagship single from new album 'Galapagos', and it does a sterling job at leading the charge into battle. This track is thumping, atmospheric journey into the world of the Post War Years (main picture). Sounding like something Depeche Mode would be proud of, the luxuriously melodic and dark heart of ‘All Eyes’ is a beautiful and intoxicating place that you’ll want to visit again and again. 9/10 Single of the Week

Palma Violets – ‘Step Up For The Cool Cats’

The Palma Violets have been makes waves for a while now, none more so as they currently pivot on the apex of a giant PR mountain, to promote their debut album out this week. ‘Step Up For The Cool Cats’ is a goth-tinged slice of pop rock that sounds something like The Vaccines. Melodic, catchy and short, they could have chosen much worse song to launch themselves into the big time, yet it struggles to be anything of note either. 6/10

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