Tag Archives: Panic At The Disco

June in singles: reviewed by The Twilight Sad

The Twilight Sad admire a copy of Gavin Rossdale's new single
[Images: John Lewis]

Instead of my usual ramblings on the month’s singles for The Skinny magazine, this time we decided to let someone else do the slagging. The Twilight Sad are one of my favourite bands of the past year, and even produced The Skinny’s album of 2007. I met them before their gig at Tigerfest in Dunfermline to play them some CDs. It went well until they started stamping on them…

James Graham – vocals
Andy MacFarlane – guitar
Craig Orzel – bass


James: I don’t mind that.
Andy: It just sounds like that other band, the Shadow Puppets.
me: D’you not think he sings like Alex Turner?
Andy: Aye I’ve listened to that Shadow Puppets record and I get confused.
me: Rating out of ten?
James: Six.
Andy: Aye, it’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just aaaaverage.
[Craig enters]
Andy: Ye missed the first one. A scouse band. Would you be intae that?
Craig: Aye why not?
James: He doesnae need tae hear that one.


James: Put on Little Man Tate, cause I know that’s gonnae be pish! I heard one song by them and I nearly spewed.


Andy: They should just give up man.
me: Rating out of ten?
James: One. Two. One and a half. That was bollocks. I knew that was gonna be bollocks. I could dae this for a living. This is great.



Andy: Is What A Beautiful Day getting reissued? That’s a ten!
James: How old are the Levellers? Pretty old.
me: I didn’t know they were still together.
James: Neither did I.
Andy: It sounds like a gypsy version of The Associates. I dunno why they’re still together.
James: Four, at the best. One for the fans!



Andy: See if it sounds like Gwen Stefani, it might be awright! Anyone who’s boabin’ her gets five marks straight away!
James: This is gonnae be shite. [sings] Swallowed. This sounds like a drummer’s old band. Pure pop rock. They were amazingly bad. This just sounds like too American, like that band Daughtry. Slash played wi them once, and that’s what this sounds like.
Craig: The start of it sounds like the Velvet Underground.
[play intro again]
Andy: Aye, Heroin.
James: It sounds like Heroin, plus he’s got five bonus points for shagging Gwen Stefani.
Andy: Two points for Heroin and five for Gwen Stefani, so that’s seven.
James: Naw ye cannae give it seven!
Andy: But if ye read the review it’ll be explained!



Andy: What’s he got tae dae wi anything?
me: “San Diego-based troubadour”, apparently.
James: Eek.
Andy: This sounds like Jack Johnson or something.
James: I think a wee minus point might be in order.
Craig: [copying a lyric] I can’t take no fucking more either!
Andy: That’s no even worth talking about!
James: Gie that nothing. They were signed for tax reasons.



James: She used tae go out wi Elliot Smith. [It was actually Jeff Buckley – easy mistake to make]
Andy: He’s pure deid but.
James: It’s pretty shite that eh?
Andy: It sounds like that lassie fae High Fidelity. She can get five bonus points for being in Rufus Wainwright’s band, but she can get minus three for sounding like that lassie fae High Fidelity.
me: Equals two.
Andy: Aye but ye’ll need tae explain that.



me: Have you heard of Lykke Li?
James: Aye I like her. I’ve seen her name all over the place. She’s touring wi that band that we played wi, Shout Out Louds.
Andy: Sounds like Feist.
James: Aye she is quite feisty but!
All: Hahaha!
James: I seriously didnae mean it like that!
Andy: I quite like it. I’d say a seven.



James: I’ve got this album but I’ve no listened to it yet.
Craig: It sounds like Sex and the City!
Andy: It pure does!
James: I could take or leave it.
Andy: It gets a point off for them being in that cheesy film Garden State.
James: I liked that!
Andy: Was a seven, point off for Garden State.
James: So six.



James: It’s meant tae be quite good this.
[CD fails to play]
Andy: Give it a zero. A big fat zero cos it doesnae work!
James: Gie it a ten!
Andy: Nut! Zero.
[CD eventually plays]
James: Orzel you like it already! Orzel likes Italian disco.
Craig: It sounds like Streets of Rage 2. It’s got a dance soundtrack like this.
Andy: Is that Antony [Hegarty] singing?
James: Naw it cannae be. Pitchfork gave it like 9.8 or something.
Andy: Fuck Pitchfork!
Craig: It sounds like a wild night of sex and cocaine and it’s all gone fucking wrong and they’re fucking each other and there’s coke everywhere and they thought, we’ve got tae do a song!
Andy: Give it two.



me: Will this offend you, yeah?
James: Yeah I’ve heard that and it’s bollocks. Nearly as bad as the new Fratellis one.
Andy: It sounds like it should be on Skins. It sounds a bit like The Dykeenies.
James: They’re no American enough tae be The Dykeenies! Give it two.
Andy: Dae gie it fuckin two, gie it zero!



James: They did that Nine in the Afternoon song that was in Heroes. I liked Heroes. I didn’t like the song though.
me: I thought they were an emo band but this isn’t emo at all.
James: It seems like they’re trying to go for the Queen vibe.
Craig: Give it 4.4.
James: One point for trying to sound like Queen, but take it off for sounding like The Feeling!
me: So that’s a healthy zero?
Andy: Aye.
James: Andy, none of your ratings have got anything to do wi the tunes but.



Andy: He cannae sing.
James: He’s a really nice guy but.
Andy: Who cares if he’s a nice guy? He cannae sing!
James: Apparently he was one of the top 20 hottest guys in Glamour magazine.
Andy: He’s a scruffy bum! Is there a B-side? We should review that instead.
Craig: A lot of bands just focus on one part. There’s no chords in there. It’s like a vacuum of noise. You can’t identify the chords or bassline or anything.
James: I wanted tae be nice in these reviews.
Andy: Why kid on that you like something when ye clearly don’t? Give that one.


The results have been collated and there is a tie for single of the month, but given that Gavin Rossdale’s rating consisted entirely of bonus points for, ahem, being Mr Gwen Stefani, and sounding like The Velvet Underground, it seems fair to hand this month’s accolade to the perfectly feisty Lykke Li.

The Twilight Sad resort to violence

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March in singles: the good, the bad, the Blunt

M.I.A - Third World copper vixen

Attention all you closet Bryan Adams fans: was Everything I Do the soundtrack to your first game of school disco tonsil tennis? Then I’ll be kind. I Thought I’d Seen Everything (**, 10 Mar) heralds Adams as the new Bob Dylan. In a parallel universe where Dylan wrote infantile, wuvvy-duvvy swill, that is. On that note, James Blunt, the finest modern addition to Cockney rhyming slang, offers more saccharine pomposity with Carry You Home (*, 21 Mar). The thing that really irks me about Blunt – apart from his disgustingly awful music – is the fact that, by giving him a bad review, he’s making this column as predictable as he is.

Having nominated themselves spokesband for the Jeremy Kyle demographic, The Enemy present a more serious snapshot of pill-pushing pram-pushers with This Song is About You (**, 17 Mar). It’s determinedly real, innit, but too plodding to be a hit. Another poster-boy band, Panic At The Disco pre-empt their new album with Nine In the Afternoon (**, 17 Mar). The song takes some interesting turns, but the syrupy production and pathetically contrived singing leave a sicky aftertaste.

A product of that post-millennium slump of unexciting, grown-up indie that gave us Travis, Coldplay and Doves, Elbow made next to no impression on this scribe. But their bluesy comeback single Grounds For Divorce (***, 10 Mar) isn’t half bad. The rise of the equally earnest Editors has been extraordinary. Just three years ago they were unsigned; now they’re colossal, in an Interpol-gone-soft way. But Push Your Head Towards the Air (**, 3 Mar) finds them in anthem mode, and dull as dishwater. Another class-of-’05 alumni, The Futureheads were inexplicably dropped by their label in late 2006. Their self-released new single, The Beginning of the Twist (***, 10 Mar), sees them in defiant, fuck-you form, without reaching the career pinnacle that was their Kate Bush cover.

They may have grown up in the concrete wasteland of Cumbernauld, but that doesn’t seem to have dented The Dykeenies‘ spirit. Waiting For Go (**, 10 Mar) is bright but conventional indie-pop, and that seems to be the full extent of their ambitions. Glasgow-based Highlanders Cuddly Shark may sound a bit mid-’90s with their flat guitars and slacker ethos, but The Punisher of IV30 (***, 3 Mar) – a reference to their old Elgin postcode – is a likeable, quirky diversion from the serious world of mass-market music. Continuing the shark motif, Nottingham’s Swimming are an interesting proposition. Debut single Tigershark (***, 8 Mar) is a synth/guitar-led oddity that flits between the slightly cringey and the eye-openingly inventive.

The B52s put colour back into puritanical post-punk when they burst out of Athens, Georgia in the late ’70s. Now they return with Funplex (***, 10 Mar), the title track from their first album in 16 years. With its power chords, synthetic beats and snide lyrics, it sounds like The Offspring meets Peaches. But single of the month goes to the untouchable M.I.A. The world-pop doyenne has enraptured critics with her cross-cultural pick’n’mix beats for a few years now, and her latest, Paper Planes, (****, 3 Mar) is huge fun, with its playground rhyming, Clash sampling and gangsta gunshots.

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