Friday, April 20, 2012

let color spew forth

Scissor Sisters, on the verge of unleashing "Magic Hour", their forthcoming, fourth longplayer, have lensed a colorful, equine enhanced video for their current single, "Only The Horses". Let's have a peek.

Nicely shot. I see the often used, spilled paint played in reverse trick is still popular. The single is hugely listenable. Although, I'm still convinced it is stripped of anything resembling the Scissters with the exception of Jake Shears' vocal. Still, a lovely tune which grows with each passing listen.

And if you'd like to know how this modern slab of celluloid was created, here's a short, behind-the-scenes look at the making of it.

The tracksliting for "Magic Hour" has been revealed. And I am pleased to be able to share it with you now.

1. Baby Come Home
2. Keep Your Shoes On
3. Inevitable
4. Only The Horses
5. Year Of Living Dangerously
6. Let’s Have A Kiki
7. Shady Love
8. San Luis Obispo
9. Self Control
10. Best In Me
11. The Secret Life Of Letters
12. Somewhere
13. Ms. Matronic’s Magic Message
14. Fuck Yeah*
15. Let’s Have A Kiki (DJ Nita Remix)*
16. Fuck Yeah (Seamus Haji Remix)*

The asterisk (*) donates the ever growing popularity of the bonus track. Not sure if the three additional tunes are exclusive to a digital retailer or make an appearance on the CD. Either way, I think it would have been nice to add the Seamus Haji remix of "Shady Love" to the tracklisting. I prefer that one to the original. Just my two cents. Regardless, "Magic Hour" will be available in the "shops" on May 25.

And for those who appreciate a little personal anecdote, I'm thrilled to tell you that, as a child, my siblings and I used the word "kiki" when referencing female genitalia. I can hear your satisfaction at being duly informed. I don't suppose the Scissters had that in mind when they recorded the album track, "Let's Have A Kiki". Carry on.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

calling all occupants

Gravitonas, fronted by vocalist Andreas Öhrn and curated by legendary, Swedish maestro Alexander Bard, have returned with "Call Your Name", a brand new single which sports a slightly different sonic direction for them.

While their latest is still aimed directly at the dancefloor, it takes on a slightly more progressive bent than previous efforts.

The pulsing synth figure is powered forward by a snappy clapping percussive track and swings under Andreas' urgent, insistent vocal. It's slightly darker sounding with a hook that manages to bury itself deep inside your brain within moments of hearing it. And they push the boundaries of the dubstep breakdown by adorning the squelchy, rumbly bits with Eastern European string lines.

The single is accompanied by a suitably quirky, jerky video which sees Andreas' straightforward performance juxtaposed against Alexander's ominous presence. It reminds me a bit of Pet Shop Boys' finest visual work. Think some of the darker moments from "Heart" or "I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore".

While the overloaded, 17 mix digital bundle is scheduled to be released on May 21, "Call Your Name" is already available to purchase as part of Gravitonas' brand new, six song EP, "Black Ceremony".

What is truly unique about the Gravitonas manifesto is that they are embracing the power of the internet and the current, single driven environment while exploring the impact of promotion in territories which are often overlooked in the international marketplace. So far, they have released numerous singles and EPs without ever issuing a full length album.

However, I have one suggestion for Mr. Bard regarding "Call My Name". I desperately want an old school, six minute, extended version of the original mix. It's begging to be done. He can thank me for that little marketing nugget later. Cash will do nicely.

And the superior pop of Gravitonas doesn't begin and end with their current offering. Previous single, "Lucky Star", was a light n' breezy little number. It contrasted nicely against preceding single, "Everybody Dance", a stomping track which has been getting a lot of dancefloor attention, especially in its reswizzled form courtesy of house honcho, Ralphi Rosario.

Friday, April 6, 2012

horsing around

"Only The Horses", produced by synth wizard of the moment, Calvin Harris, is the first single, possibly second, from the forthcoming, fourth longplayer from Scissor Sisters. I say "possibly second" as it is unclear if their previous platter, "Shady Love", will feature on it.

With only two tracks from the latest studio sessions to go by, it's difficult to judge what the album will sound like. But my first reaction is that "Magic Hour", for that is the title of the longplayer, is, essentially, a Jack Shears solo album. Ver Scissters appear to have succumbed to record company pressure in their search for the elusive "hit" and in the process, have been stripped of their sonic identity.

Neither of the recent singles have been bad. Although, I must admit I despised "Shady Love" when I first heard it and it grew on me after numerous listens. They seem to lack the humor and spark that attracted me to the band in the first place.

And have we not had enough of the lyric video promotional concept by now, darlings? Plus, I have a bone to pick with ver Scissters about their single "sleeve". The animal featured in the artwork is a zebra not a horse. I suggest they change the title or replace the animal on the cover. I am a serious advocate when it comes to truth in advertising.

"Only The Horses" will be available from all fine digital retailers on May 13 while the new elpee, "Magic Hour" will hit the "shops" on May 28.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

blood and garbage

Garbage are back on the scene after a seven year hiatus with "Blood For Poppies", the first single from their forthcoming, fifth, studio longplayer, "Not Your Kind Of People". The single is a return to the their roots which features chainsaw guitars, a dusting of twisted electronics and Shirley Manson's signature vocal sneer.

While the verses are dark and a bit grungy, it lifts into a chorus that's begging to be adorned in Beach Boys harmonies. You can almost hear the band on the knife's edge holding back those tendencies and they deliver it with a just a hint of that surf side vocal influence without ever exploding into a full-on, sunshine hook.

The video for the single, directed by renowned fashion photographer and filmmaker Matt Irwin, is a black and white vamp through the glamorous homes of Los Angeles spliced together with some film noir imagery.

While "Blood For Poppies" has been touted as the first single, it appears the UK will lead with "Battle In Me". Both tracks will be available as limited edition 7" singles which will be exclusively available through brick and mortal retailers for Record Store Day on April 21.

Glad to have the fierce foursome back in the game. And they've returned just in time for the wave of 90s nostalgia which is about to sweep the globe. Come to think of it... Whatever happened to that proposed Shirley Manson solo album? I think we need to give Shirl a little jingle about that.

"Not Your Kind Of People" will be available from all fine "shops" on May 14. The following is the official tracklisting for the elpee.

1. Automatic Systematic Habit
2. Big Bright World
3. Blood For Poppies
4. Control
5. Not Your Kind Of People
6. Felt
7. I Hate Love
8. Sugar
9. Battle In Me
10. Man On A Wire
11. Beloved Freak

The deluxified edition of the album will contain four bonus tracks tagged onto the end of the eleven main tracks.

12. The One
13. What Girls Are Made Of
14. Bright Tonight
15. Show Me

The standard CD will feature a white cover while the limited edition version of the disc will sport a fetching, red sleeve.