Singles round-up featuring Steel Panther, The Minutes, The Lights, Circus Envy, Foxx On Fire and more Singles Review

Posted: 29th October 2011
Review Info
Paul Pledger

Singles Review

You know youre in for a fun journey through the land of singles regalia when the first songs lyrics proclaim, just be happy that Im hung like a horse, and you get to ride the pony, of course. Yes kiddies, Steel Panther are back with their groin-thrusting poodle-rock parodies 80s rock, gathered together on the Balls Out album, from which this catchy Bon Jovi/Def Leppard-esque track is taken. If You Really Really Love Me is The Darkness without the histrionics, a sense of humour dressed up in a denim jacket and a pair of bulging white trousers. 3/5 out 7th Nov

On tour next month are Irish stomp-rockers, The Minutes, who wouldnt sound out of place at a White Stripes/Hendrix convention, such is the blistering loudness of this impressive single. On any normal week, these boys would be walking away with single of the week, because Black Keys is an ear-splitting belter. But, this is no ordinary week. I suggest you scurry along to one of their imminent shows with a smile and a box of ear-plugs they rock like hell. 4/5 out 7th Nov

Calming things down are Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, a Detroit duo with a penchant for blissed-out grooves and dubbed-up harmonies. Because this single turned up on the day that the band showcased their tunes at Rough Trade East in London, their moment may have passed. Or not. Nothing But Our Love is a passable enough exercise in synth-laden pop, but hardly the start of a revolution. They should submit Skeletons to an ad agency as soon as possible, a wonky clattery little tune that conjures up images of models posing with fragrances and clothes. 3/5 out 10th Oct

Bash, bash, bash, bash, thump, bash here comes Plymouths rocky man-about-town with chums, Patrick James Pearson Band, and their EP, Reasons For Moving On. I lived in Plymouth for 14 years and the only band with any balls were The Retreat. Finally, the city appears to have spawned a musician with a brain and an imagination this is an EP worth investing in. Its an imperfect chunk of indie-rock, made by a man who normally teaches music in primary schools. In his spare time, he bangs out psychedelic pop with bonkers time-signatures and bizarre progressive arrangements. Worth investigating, if only for the studious attention to detail. 3/5 out 10th Oct

Blimey I had to check the credits for The Lights new single, Mostly Water, to see if Kate Bush had sneaked into the studio for their album-sessions alas no. But this is a band you seriously need to check out if you get off on bouncy folk-rock with female vocals and once again, in any normal week, theyd be contenders for single of the week. 4/5 out 7th Nov

During The Feelings new single Rose, I hung my washing up and phoned for a pizza. The mundane world of advertising filled my senses, though part of me was glad it was my hearing that was numbed. Rose is due to be used by Burberry for their latest perfume - if I was pondering which jug of stench to buy my partner, Id be tempted to go for the nearest farm, rather than anything sponsored by this soporific piano-ballad. 1/5 out 28th Nov

Manchesters The Words kick off the next stage of the career with a run-of-the-mill single-choice in Everybodys With You. Its one of those indie-rock songs that promises much with the title, yet falls short on delivery. Better is the sub-McCartney b-side, My Receiver in fact, better still are most of the tracks on their album. Still, its promising enough and serves a purpose as an amuse-bouche. 3/5 out 31st Oct

We wander into more folky territory with Circus Envy and their catchy Say Something single, taken from their recently-issued album, Secrets. Its like The Levellers without the rebel-rousing and benefits from a lengthy instrumental passage, which is bound to go down a storm at any festival with a pop-up cider tent. This is drinking music and rather good drinking music at that Ill crack open another can just to prove the point. Cheers. 4/5 out 31st Oct

*** Single of the Week ***

Hailing from Australia and blessed with an ability to rack up a tune, Foxx On Fire (surely a homage to the king of the synths, John Foxx, though hopefully not an statement of intent) have woven a rich tapestry of psychedelic-surf rock (lead and title-track, March Into The Sun), brassy disco-funk (Vicious Satellite), straight-edged indie (Into The Light) and The Rapture (well, sort of Mission Abort), making them an obvious choice for SOTW. Add in a reflective reprise of the lead track to act as a cherry on the top and you have a remarkably tight EP that is bursting with promise. 4/5 out 31st Oct

Paul Pledger