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Rated or hated? Singles reviews for Jan. 29
Who gets the thumbs up this week?
Sound Generator's Single Of The Week

In yet another indie re-release, there's a "second chance" to hear Cold War Kids' "Hang Me Up To Dry". This was the song that caused all the fuss the first time round, making the US outfit the latest lets-get-in-a-lather buzz band on the blogs. And yes, it actually is worth getting excited about - a lazy, slightly funky bassline leads the track, while the eye-poppingly good, knife-edge tenseness of the vocals give it all a sense of urgency. Frayed-edge indie at its best.

The pick of the rest of this week's releases...

Kasabian drop the lad-rock theme for a few moments, and instead find themselves doing a half-decent impression of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's more recent material, with "Me Plus One". Loose beats, handclaps, a laconic feel and a weird Eastern-flavoured segment towards the end; it's short, and - very surprisingly for this, most boorish of mainstream indie bands - actually quite sweet.

Bloc Party go all dark and moody on us with "The Prayer", ahead of the forthcoming release of heavyweight second album "A Weekend In The City". A grimy, industrial grind of a verse gives way to a melodic chorus; something like The Cure having a meeting of minds with Tears For Fears. In other words, it's very eighties-sounding, and all in all will hardly have you slavering in anticipation of the new LP.

The Noisettes are an altogether more exciting proposition; "Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit)" is a million-miles-an-hour slab of frenetic rock 'n roll; like a spitting, clawing whirlwind of PJ Harvey, Skunk Anansie and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And their singer, Shingai Shoniwa, is possessed of possibly the best name in rock right now. Fresh, energised and exhilarating; this is the kind of music we should be getting worked up about in 2007.

Hip-hop giant Nas reckons "Hip-Hop Is Dead". And, on the strength of this single, I'm inclined to agree with him. The lyrics are barely four lines old before Nas, with wearying predictably, starts talking about his "AK". Same old basslines, same old kind of samples. Maybe it'd sound good coming about of a 2K watt PA or while driving down the motorway at a hundred and twenty mph. Listening to it at home on your hi-fi, the song has merely a soporific, sedative effect.

Fall Out Boy sound sickeningly close to Maroon 5 with "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race". Whiney, irritating vocals: check. Lazy, heard-it-before four-chord progression: check. Sounds like it's been over-produced, over-produced, and then over-produced some more: check. Will probably be a massive hit: double check. Draw your own conclusions.

written by on 1/29/2007 12:00:00 AM

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