Random Friday Reviews

I'm feeling a bit random, so get a load.

Umpire - Supply chins (Hidden Shoal, from the album Now we're active)

Beautiful, chiming guitar pop with layered, soaring vocals from the Perth band's upcoming new album. Comes on like The Shins with more gumption. "Widescreen" (always a description that gets my attention), it says here, and I concur. In addition, there is brass involved and the lyric rhymes "oasis" with "stasis". Top notch.

And here's the video to the first single from the album, Green light district:

Neville Skelly - Poet & the dreamer (Setanta/PIAS)

Sumptuous country swing (think Nesmith / Campbell) with a handsome croon at the centre. Title track from the Liverpool artist's upcoming new album.

Here's another track from the album, the swooningly beautiful He looks a lot like me.

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - The copper top (Chemikal Underground, from the album Everything's getting older)

Thanks to Grand Snr for the nod on this. Dignified piano and strings backdrop a poignant, earthy monologue from the ex-Arab Strap man, rising to a muted trumpet finish, in a moving recollection of a funeral. Sublime.

"the trouble with you is you're top-heavy, said the tailor as he measured me up"

Free d'load: http://www.chemikal.co.uk/wellsmoffat/

And meet Wells Moffat Funeral Directors in the video here:

Tied & Tickled Trio with Billy Hart - Calaca (Morr Music, from the album La Place Demon)

Suspenseful, reed-driven instrumental with wonderfully sensitive drumming and a snaking double-bassline. From a collaboration between the Acher brothers and the legendary jazz drummer.


The Scaramanga Six - Spent force (Wrath Records, from the album Cursed)

A winning combination of crooning and shouting (The Stranglers fronted by Tony Bennett, if you will), from the Leeds 4-piece's new album. In among the spiky guitars, self-analysis and brass stabs, its twisting melody also manages to subliminally recall the prog-pop classic Eye in the sky by The Alan Parsons Project. Which is a beautiful thing.


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