This week’s Tracks Of The Week were brought to you by the letters L, Y and F, and the number 22.
Buck & Evans - _Impossible _ Our grizzled comrades at The Blues magazine describe Buck & Evans as a “goosebump-inducing fusion of soulful, from-the-heart vocals and eloquent bluesy soloing”, and they know everything about this kind of stuff (all of them play harmonica and have porches), so we’re not going to argue.
We Are The Ocean - Ark My, how this Essex fourpiece have grown. They cut their teeth with debut, er, Cutting Our Teeth in 2010 as earnest young post-hardcore shufflers. Three albums later they’re honing orchestrally-buoyed rock epics up there with Muse, Mars Volta and P-Tree. ‘Citing stuff - and the full album’s out March 16.
Pelican - The Cliff Moody. Broody. Smooth. Croony. No, those aren’t the new names for the members of this cult Chicago post-metal outfit but an attempt at wordily encapsulating the blackened romance of this gorgeous tune. They’ve only done it twice in their fourteen years, but when they do do vocals, they do it blimmin’ well.
The Midnight Barbers - Business Historically, Chelmsford hasn’t exactly screamed “breeding ground for demonic, noisy garage blues.” All that could have changed, however, since the birth of this duo (AKA vocalist/guitarist Ben Rowntree and drummer Jack Pepper). Based on this new single we wouldn’t trust The Midnight Barbers with a pair of scissors, and our hair, at midnight. We would, however, have a bloody good booze-up with them. Think a 21st century Bob Dylan, at his most primal, going dancing with Iggy Pop.
Pond - Elvis’ Flaming Star The name Pond implies something rather still and sedate. This band of psychedelic Aussies, however, are anything but – as this kooky, catchy little number affirms. Elvis’ Flaming Star jerks, grooves and bounces along with irresistible panache and lashings of trippy mind-fuckery. Strange but cool and commanding.
Melissa Etheridge - Take My Number
A very fine return from the ever-reliable Ms. Etheridge, with a tune featuring a chorus that’s got ‘Grammy Award Winner’ written all over it. Not literally, of course, because then it wouldn’t be called Take Ny Number. Weirdly, Melissa Etheridge is an anagram of “Eighties Emeralds”.
The Babe Rainbow - Planet Junior We learnt an amazing fact this week: New York, New York by Frank Sinatra was recorded on the same day as The Clash’s London Calling. That has nothing to do with this song, which is a glorious bit of psyche-pop made by some nice Australians who’d clearly like to go to San Francisco with some flowers in their hair, but we had to put it somewhere.
Estrella - Here I Am We actually featured Here I Am on this page a few weeks ago, but now the band have gone and made a video. It’s quite professional, too, with a boy skateboarding and a girl juggling a football and a fella in one of those Guy Fawkes masks that was invented by Alan Moore in V For Vendetta but appropriated by the Anonymous movement worldwide for use during protest against authority. The chorus is good.