These are the five tunes that have dominated my stereo habits this week:
Neon Neon – I Lust U
The catchiest track from Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip’s collaborative Neon Neon project. The album, Stainless Style, is a loose concept record based on the life of Ulster car-maker John De Lorean. He’s the chap that designed and built the Back to the Future car. The album is mainly 80s synth-sheen pop, with exquisite vocal contributions from Rhys, and a host of guests, including Cate Le Bon on this track.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – 10 x 10
Last years Is Is EP was a great collection from the noisy trio. Although other tracks from the record grabbed my attention first, this is the one that has remained high up on the playlists. This track has got real strut, tearing through it’s tight riff, teased along by Karen O’s barely-restrained vocals, and attended reliably by the pounded drumkit. The EP as a whole spans the ground between their two full-length LPs and finds it a fertile place, retaining the raw noise of the first and the pained melodies of the second.
The Whip – Trash
Highly-hyped, The Whip are indie-dance darlings of the NME. On this occasion, the comic can be forgiven for slipping into hyperbole, this track is simply fantastic. Borrowing heavily from their Mancunian compatriots The Longcut, as well as the NYC brigade (LCD, The Rapture etc.), it is a prime example of how to get this kind of track right. Originally released in 2006, this reissue precedes the full-album release, due next week.
Jimmy Eat World – Salt Sweat Sugar
Always a pleasure this one, a rousing alt-pop-punk anthem. This was the track and the album that took JEW from ‘spacey-emo’ to rockier waters, as well as being the first I had heard of them. And after loving it first time around I promptly forgot about it, rediscovering the track about six months ago following a YouTube trawl for songs that I could barely remember, this being unequivocally the pick of the bunch.
Portishead – Machine Gun
You disappear for the best part of a decade. You leave behind a clutch of classic songs that helped define a genre. You whip the blogging fraternity into a frenzy by playing ATP. You announce a string of big-venue dates with no new material released to support them. You barely maintain your website. You stand by as your record is leaked to the net. You rule. Third is no disappointment, it is a record that acknowledges that Portishead are famous for a sound, and plays to that sounds’ strengths. It also sounds like a record that has longevity. Good news for fans of a band with a release schedule measured in double figures. Machine Gun is the lead single, released next week.