Thank you once again to all bands and listeners for your contributions this week. This feels like the most eclectic bunch of tunes yet. Here are your Fresh Faves number 45…
BENJAMIN JOSIF – The Border
Benjamin calls this his Mexican border song and whilst not quite like norteño superstars Los Tigres Del Norte this does conjure images of desert, refried beans, sangrita and dust gathering around a well worn pair of cowboy boots. Benjamin’s voice and easy style immediately bring to mind some of the more stripped back offerings of James Taylor. He has recently been championed by his local BBC Introducing show in Devon and the future looks bright especially if he could produce anything like the colossal output of the afor mentioned Tigres! His last album was back in 2007 so let us see what this young man has to offer next.
BOMB FACTORY – Gulliver
Gulliver is the title track from the upcoming release from this Cambridge noise outfit and is in all essence a primal scream to everyday tedium and a two fingered salute to apathy. Think Art Brut with much bigger guitars, a healthy dose of 28 Days Later rage and the spirit of Penny Rimbaud’s CRASS. The record drops on 17th Feb so buckle in and turn your children’s faces the other way. This could get messy.
CRYSTAL SEAGULLS – Ups and Downs
Crystal Seagulls are a London four piece a little bit The Kinks and a little bit Libertines with a Fedora full of harmonies thrown in for good measure. Oh and maybe a bit of Small Faces too. This is a little upbeat pop number with a lust for life and a bucket full of energy. Carved in the most classic of British pop rock traditions these chaps are not breaking the mould but hey if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Expect more this year.
eO – Only Light (Nest of Wishes #3)
Californian music maker eO aka Eric Oberthaler describes himself as a Visonarian which apart from being Colorado’s champion racehorse sire (information thanks to the powers of google) I guess makes him an advocate and believer in visions. Only Light is the third of collection of releases originally inspired by a bunch of thistles releasing their seeds and the composer’s imaginings of children catching the fluffy sparks and making wishes. Some pretty neat production skills here. I have a vision that there may be more in the series.
INVISIBLE HANDS – Come Down With Me
Invisible Hands make music. This is not me stating the blindingly obvious but the band bio on facebook. And yes they do make music and it’s pretty accomplished too. A neat arrangement and solid production, Invisible Hands could be the trans Atlantic love child of the Verve and the Killers. I imagine these guys would sound pretty big on stage especially with their anthemic synthing so look out for gigs this year.
KILL FOR COMPANY – Money Now
Money Now kicks off in a refreshingly sparse way and the arrangement continues to breathe throughout the song. Compliments to the band for this. With the availability of flashy and cheap recording gear these days the temptation to throw everything in proves too strong for most. Money Now is swirling mass of lo-fi attitude and guitars that brings to mind early KOL, The Arctic Monkeys underpinned by a Peter Hook bassline. What isn’t immediately apparent is that this outfit is in fact a duo – Mark O`Donoughue on drums and percussion and Michael Banfield playing, rather interestingly, a unique self-manufactured hybrid guitar/bass. Hats of gents, that’s a hell of a lot of noise for two people!
LOVED ONES – Weekends Are Ours
Weekends Are Ours was released at the end of last year on 7″ through Witchfinder Records and is accompanied by what can only be described as a bit of an unexpectedly dark video. The video was in fact their reward for winning Merseyside’s GIT Award, a prize sponsored by Liverpool Echo journo Peter Guy. Gig buddies of FOTN alumni Pale Seas, Loved Ones also weave an alt folk melancholia that deserves repeated listens to catch the subtleties in production. I have an inkling this Liverpudlian four piece are set for good things this year.
MOTHBOXER – Turn It Around
And so now to this week’s most popular track as voted for by you the listeners. Turn It Around is a punchy power pop number that instantly took me back to my indie days. Think a little bit Teenage Fanclub fronted by a happy J Macis. Mothboxer is the creative outlet for Dave Ody ably accompanied by pals Phil Davies and Robbie Burley. Turn It Around is taken from the band’s third album, which is imaginatively titled, ‘Three’. Still if Portishead can get away with it…
PARIIS OPERA HOUSE – Finnish Line
Pariis Opera House dub themselves UK electro space-funk mavericks, which I rather like. Gigwise posted “The glorious lovechild of Klaxons and Justice” which seems a fair ballpark and with all the fizz, melody and guitars, I would have waged good money on this duo hailing from France. But no they are from Blighty and are pretty nifty with a sequencer. I’m not sure what 2013 holds for POH but word on the street is they nail a good remix so look out for their name in brackets after one of your favourite pop gems.
THE CUT THROAT RAZORS – Dr. Gelati & the Lemon Garden
Ah The Cut Throat Razors. Last year we were entertained by ‘Mr. Bond’ and this new year offering is equally infectious. For whatever reason dancing is not really on my radar. My missus despairs and has insisted on a daily dance to break me from my inhibitions. However there are tracks that instantly unleash my inner Leroy, my latent Cossack and my interpretive Laurie Anderson. This, along with some pretty nasty drum and bass and some 30s Parisian Jazz fits the mould perfectly. Thank you Stew, my wife is happy and I am bouncy round the kitchen like a kid full of Skittles.
This week’s fresh Faves reviewed
by Team Freshnet’s Al Mobbs
FROM TOM: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t made the Fresh Faves you’re welcome to re-submit it again. But if you have been a Fresh Fave in recent weeks could you possibly hold back for at least six weeks before sending us another one. If you keep sending us great tracks every week it leaves less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…