You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

Well this is quite a charming Christmas release indeed! Thank you Olympians for sending me the only Christmas single I’ve received this festive season! People don’t often think to write festive songs anymore, but good on you! I do wish you’d sent it to me before the celebration of our almighty messiah’s birthday though.

Anyway, “Foreign Language” and its B-side “Leaving you at Christmas” go down exceptionally well as pleasant pop songs for these wintery months. Of course, Olympians’ mathy indie style of rock is maintained, producing a fresh alternative to a Christmas song that doesn’t involve extensive choirs, the Sex Pistols doing “Jingle Bells” (God save us!) or Dean bloody Martin singing the same old cheerful numbers, especially when we all know that behind the scenes he was a sex pest with a coc problem. The seniors seem to be more than capable of ignoring these shady misdeeds, but after the fifteenth ballad I start to get agitated and wonder whether giving these Mafiosos so much air-time is a bit wrong, nevermind annoying.

Getting back to the single at hand, you may download, and I urge you to, Olympians‘ new single FREE from their Bandcamp page: HERE and if you like it go and see them live as I know from experience that they rock!

This is the video for the title track Foreign Language and its really brilliant too!




I would like to introduce a band with true potential; Leicester based 4-piece Silent Devices. As far as I know Two Decades is their debut EP, and you can tell by the quality of the recordings, not that its off-putting, but its not yet as good as it should be. The style of production used by Justin Lockey in The British Expeditionary Force‘s first album (Erased Tapes) would sound incredible I reckon!

What makes these guys stand out is the simplicity of it all. You can really tell that this band have grasped the absolutely essential concept that making a record is not about complexity, its about crafting a warm sound and layering each individual part meticulously, as to make every note, hi-hat, chord change and so on count and affect the listener. There is certainly something about them that brings Sigur Ros to mind, as well as This Will Destroy You, but these artists are in such high standing that a) who isn’t trying to emulate them? and b) what they convey is pure, egoless, accessible emotion and any band who gets near that is on the right track.

The opening song “Playing Fields” is my favourite. The song is nicely paced, with a beautifully simple melody on the guitar, nice use of cymbals and xylophone, and above all a very seamless progression from start to finish. The build up at the end is brilliant as well, with a most satisfying resolution on the alternation of chords I and IV. I know I don’t need to explain these technical bits, but I want to show that under the simple exterior Silent Devices understand that simple tricks like ending a song on certain chords of a scale appeals to our ears and spyche on a scientific level (hence why blues is SO important), and these tricks are as old and engrained in western culture as Bach. Most people don’t realize that making simple digestible music is actually a whole lot more difficult than making complicated music.

Anyway, enough bullshit. They will undoubtably soon be playing a Sweet Beans show in London so keep an eye out, have a listen to Two Decades on their myspace and support them by buying it if you can.

Dartford instrumental 5-piece Codes In The Clouds are to release their 2nd full-length album on Erased Tapes Records on January 31st


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