Single Reviews: 7th November, 2002
New Rising Sun - This is not a Weapon (Ouatafocus)
Hmmm, not bad. Not bad at all. Kinda like the Temple of the Dog with Iggy Pop as their lead singer. Grubby and blurry, this EP makes for an intriguing proposition providing you're not yet bored of the garage rock explosion. Can't complain.
Lender - Mind Games (Tube Club)
With a sharp riff and some tasteful drumming, this song seems to be going somewhere. Don't believe it - after a while it just fades into the background of amateur rock against which I can only suppose it was composed. Sounds almost exactly like the last one, which makes me doubt its quality. Put it this way, I know I'm gonna hear this song played by about another forty bands before the year is out. Dodgy.
Honey for Christ - Forging Iron Will (Dark Hat)
This ain't up to much. It goes nowhere the Cult or the Sisters of Mercy haven't been and does nothing that Iron Maiden or Judas Priest haven't already perfected. Not that it doesn't roll along on a riff reminiscent of early Metallica, or have a clear and purposeful vocal direction. It's just why have processed burgers when you could have delicious fresh steak? Or, if you're a vegetarian, why have a carrot when you could have a potato?
King Crimson - Happy with what you have to be happy with (DGM)
Ah, King Crimson you've done it again. Not content with having baffled listeners and misled fans for three decades, the latest version of the world's most diverse collection of musicians has casually offered this, the greatest song of the year by some way. Consisting of several schizophrenic metal riffs intertwining over an affected vocal relating a day in the life of a song, this is just the kind of genius (and much more) that one would expect from Fripp and co after their recent exposure to Tool. There are only four real songs on this 10-track CD, but considering one of them is a mighty extension of the Larks Tongues in Aspic saga, this is a real treat for the dedicated fan. A triumphant return for the most consistently relevant band in the world.
Rory Faithfield - Rise Above (Blind Romantic)
Play this right after the new Crimson EP and something becomes clear. I think it's the difference between diamonds and coal. Whereas one exhibits a refreshing forcing of musical barriers, the other almost collapses in on itself under the weight of its self-derivativeness. I don't care if that's not really a word - this is not really a song. Also the doo-doo-doo's are highly irritating. Thank god coal burns.
Liar's Academy - Trading my Life (Equal Vision)
What the world needs now is not love, sweet love. Rather it needs the producers of the various media to stop looking inwards and broaden their vision to incorporate a view of the world as a whole. There are things afoot that need highlighting. Liar's Academy are clearly not the band to do this, with their pedestrian music and a lead singer who sounds like he's providing the voiceover for a cartoon dog. If you enjoy listening to songs about the relatively uninteresting lives of people not all that different from yourself then you might just get by with this. Be warned, though, it doesn't show event the slightest hint of anything even approaching new. And that's the fairest way of putting it.
Looper - She's a Knife (Mute)
Oh no, right from the start, it's all plinky and plonky like a stunted version of David Sylian's eighties work. I guess the excuse would be that this is minimalist in spirit. In truth, there isn't even enough here for that title. Maybe this is the start of a new musical genre, non-existentialist, where all the songs have to bear a resemblance to a broken chiming clock or you're out of the club.
The Strokes - Someday (Schism)
This song has all the hallmarks of the Strokes, namely effortless cool and jangly positivity. It's not the best song on their album by any means, but it's not bad at all, even if it does somewhat defy all but the most laidback and inoffensive of descriptions. The very essence of "good".
Metal Hammer - Free CD (Who knows?)
For sheer value alone, you just can't beat this release. Not only do you get a sampler of various "hot" new metal acts such as the flimsy Theory of a Deadman or the appalling Mushroomhead, but you get a free magazine with it! And they repeat this deal every month? Wow, why wasn't I told before?
Check out some older singles.