So you wanna be my friend, do you?

Finally it’s time for the second edition of my one and only regular slot, where I review a bunch of my friend requests (musical ones – no human beings ever add me 😦 ) on MySpace at around 100 words a pop.  Here goes:

Not There
If I like Amazing Baby (I do), I’ll like these guys apparently.  How presumptious, how could they possibly dare to assume what I’ll like and what I won’t li… mm, hang on, I do like this, kinda.  Slow, lie-your-head-on-my-shoulders guitars and ballads as cosy as a hot water bottle. But, well, it’s a bit bland. And it reminds me of Mr Big, that obscure 1990s rock band who secretly everyone loved. Remember them? “Just to be the next to beee with you”.  Yes, this sounds like Mr Big mixed with Def Leppard-style torqued-up guitars with the emphasis on power-pop-rock feedback and cheesy chords. At one point, between verses apparently sung by a local girls school, a scary man yells “YOU SAY NO”. And that’s all the prompting I need. Amazing Baby: you should sue.
Friend request: denied
myspace.com/notthereindie

Aunt Dracula
The initial ill signs – mis-gendering Dracula; asking me “yo, what’s up” – give way to a curious, rippling woodwind intro, a hypnotic noise soon interrupted by a crowd of singers. This is Mongo, AD’s one and only offering; and needing to fit jungle, thrash and grime into its 5:34 to justify this Philly threepiece’s genre claims. Three minutes in and there are no signs of any; instead it’s fast-paced chaos, a furious blur of extraordinarily high-pitched male voices, howls and group growls. It’s totally inane but I quite like it; the soft chord behind everything is a nice touch, and raises this from panto silliness to worthy earbender. Ah, what the hell…
Friend request: accepted
myspace.com/auntdracula

Mason Proper
This Michigan quintet’s first three songs sound proper promising but, dammit, they’re samples, and when did anyone get any use of a sample on MySpace?  Now you can’t even rip from File2hd, like, what’s the point? Stuff them, I say, and move onto the curiously-named Out Dragging The River – Hear Ya, and it’s elegant, eardrum-piercingly high angst, complete with a digital meltdown-style ending. It’s good, but a bit too like Explosions In The Sky’s stuff. Ah, but Safe For The Time Being is better: an autumnal, sunburnt, meandering beauty of a song, its makers sounding wonderfully pained and raw before a euphoric, crockery-crashing crest suddenly gives way to morning-after melancholy, like that incredible pier scene at the end of Requiem For A Dream.  Delicious.
Friend request: accepted
myspace.com/masonproper

The Rubicon
My first instinct here was to find out what rubicon meant – turns out this band and the fruity fizzy drink are named after a crucial, defining moment; a climax. Interesting huh – who said this blog was limited to music? Pah. I’ll do dictionary definitions if I want to. What’s that?  Oh – yes – The Rubicon.  Right.. well, it’s nice-sounding, well-sung, professionally-guitarred rock, all very amicable and neatly structured, but – BUT – it just doesn’t feel exciting… I’ve been here before, and I left for a more exciting land of quaint verses, head-hugging tinny riffs, 12-minute banjo solos and a sliver of funk or punk.  This is perfectly pleasant noise and I feel like a git for not liking it, but I’m selfish and spoilt and selfish and I must, I simply must be surprised…
Friend request: denied
myspace.com/therubiconuk

Mon Khmer
Enticing me with the as-cryptic-as-it’s-succinct message of “dancethink”, Mon Khmer turn out to be a five-piece from that super-cool hub of new music, Brooklyn, and threaten to play me new wave.  I’ve never really known what that means, but I’m guessing it’s the laid-back, lo-fi feel that washes over Mon Khmer’s music like a blissful breeze on a still summer’s day. That happens during the softly throbbing, atmospheric guitar-led rhythms of elegant opener Birthplace, and still amid the perkier, slightly forlorn Passwords, either side of a thrilling rubicon. It seems all new wave songs must have one-word titles, too. I’m all for it, though, especially if it engineers these concentrated whiffs of sound, the audio equivalent of having your hair stroked as you fall happily asleep.. 
Friend request: gratefully accepted
myspace.com/monkhmer
Mon Khmer have kindly provided me with an mp3 (or m4a, in fact) – it’s below.

Convict Gypsy
Convict Gypsy’s first-upper, Of Domestic Love, features a silky-voiced auteur singing his agonies over a slightly Latin guitar rhythm and ever-increasing numbers of electronic undulations. It feels exotic and sultry, warm as a log-fire, jigsaw and jumper combination on Christmas Day. Not so Old Sea, You’re Wild though, which is acoustic but regrettably inaudible. I Fucked You To Buffy Saint Marie is much easier for the soundflaps to make out, although quite the puzzle: it seems to be an old classic played at the wrong speed to give the impression of the original female soul singer struggling for air.  O-kay. And then there’s Barefeet: a simpler effort where the singer eerily tells a tale of teenage tearaways. It’s louche, awkward and inexplicably wonderful. All this bonkers is the work of one maverick man, 24-year-old Jady Young, and he very definitely can be my friend. 
Friend request: accepted
myspace.com/convictgypsy
Convict Gypsy has kindly provided me with an mp3 – it’s below.

That’s enough for now.  A stonkingly successful session there, with four new pals for me, and renewed faith in the MySpace friend request process to boot.

As ever, anyone wanting to add me, it’s myspace.com/bankofscotland

MP3:
Mon Khmer – Passwords (m4a) (zSHARE)
Convict Gypsy – Barefeet (zSHARE)

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~ by ripamel on 03/08/2009.

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