I love being right. Even when it’s very obvious and everyone else is saying the same as me, and we’re all right together, I still get that same warm smugness that I was/ am right. Which after listening to this week’s releases, is what I’m feeling right now. Well kind of. Let me explain. Last week on the POTW I selected Childhood as the record to buy, but I also wrote a fairly lengthy (and boring I imagine) piece on how I thought that although everyone else had already been saying it, I was finally in agreement, that guitar music was back. And if you’re really have an itch to read exactly what I had to say, or maybe you just fancied seeing what other music was out last week, or you need a cure for your insomnia, you may wanna click here. Well all I can say is that this week proves the fact. Cos again, everything of any real note (IMO- which is always right) to be released is guitar based.
Pick of the bunch for me this time is Benjamin Booker’s rawly exciting, self titled debut. It’s like listening to Jack White but with more soul and grit. The Black Keys are a fairly obvious modern reference point too but again, for me, Booker just comes across as being more believable in what he does. Maybe it’s cos his vocal delivery’s that bit closer to the pioneers of the genre in the 50′s & 60′s? That’s not to say that he’s just poor man’s retread, mimicking the old classics though, oh no. He’s got his own stories to tell here and he does it through songs that merge deep south rhythm & blues, soul, rock ‘n’ roll & punk influences into a sound that’s timeless and exhilarating. Close your eyes, grab yourself a big fat JD and turn the volume up…
BEST OF THE REST
LUKE SITAL-SINGH – THE FIRE INSIDE
If that was all a bit raw and frantic for you then here’s something a bit more delicate for ya. While Luke Sital-Singh is another solo male artist releasing his debut but that’s about where the similarities to Booker end. HAHA see what I did there? Book end – Booker end? No? Yeah it was pretty shit, soz. Anyway, shit wordplay aside, Luke’s debut sits somewhere between Damien Rice & James Vincent McMorrow full of polished, heartfelt moments of real singer -songwriter-y beauty So if that kind of sensitive stuff’s more your bag then this could be the one for you.
ROYAL BLOOD – ROYAL BLOOD
Back to hardcore rock shiz now with yet another debut, this time via Brighton duo Royal Blood. As with Benjamin Booker’s album, this one bares more than a few similarities to the White Stripes & The Black Keys but there’s also some Artic Monkeys vibes thrown in here for good measure. All in all it’s not quite as raw as Booker’s and so for me not quite as exciting but it’s still funking good. There’s a shedload of phat riffs and hooks here (that’s right I said fat with a P H) making it an album that delivers on all the hype that’s been circulating round these Brighton lads for the last year or so.
BAHAMAS – BAHAMAS IS AFIE
Taking it back down a notch again now (been a bit of a roller coaster today no?) and with our first non debut of the week, it’s Bahamas. Bahamas is actually the name used by solo artist Afie Jurvanen, hence the Bahamas is Afie album title. Clever hey? Another interesting factoid for you about Bahamas (the act not the island) is that Afie used to play guitar for Jack Johnson, and which while not actually being that interesting, kind of gives you an idea of the sort of laid back vibes you should expect here. Although that’s probably doing Afie a bit of an injustice as while it is laid back, it’s not the kind of dull stoner snoozefest that Johnson used to serve up with every new record, there’s more to this, including some really cracking vocals. Going on a bit now aren’t I? Oh well, See what yous guys think…
POLAR MAPS – POLAR MAPS E.P.
It’s not an album so shouldn’t strictly be here on the POTW but I really bloody like it and it’s my blog so I’ll write about what I want OK?Regular readers may remember me talking about these guys a little while back in my New Music Takeaway (see here) when they released their debut single ‘Stay Here With Me’, well now they’ve followed that up with their self titled debut E.P. And it’s a debut E.P. containing 6 achingly beautiful low fi indie pop belters that sit somewhere between the early 90′s college rock of bands like Weezer & early R.E.M. and naughties stadium fillers Snow Patrol. And you get all that for a fiver on Bandcamp! I mean who can argue with that? No-one.