Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Bannermans : "Under The Bridge Downtown Volume 3"

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bannermans : "Under The Bridge Downtown Volume 3"

Glasgow's legendary venue King Tut's (the place where Oasis were discovered) has recently decided to give something back to the local music scene and has started its own record label. Over in Edinburgh, pub and music venue Bannermans has its own tribute to its local scene. This compilation disc is the third in the "Under The Bridge Downtown" series and spans 19 tracks of (mostly) Edinburgh based artists.

Being from Glasgow, I only have a limited knowledge of what is happening in our nations capital. This compilation is an excellent way of keeping your finger on the pulse. Like most compilations. there are a few tracks that you won't like, but dig deeper and you will find a few rough diamonds.

It all comes down to personal taste and what music you like really. So, this is bad news for opening band Miss The Occupier, whose brand of Elastica style girl-punk does nothing for me at all. I am also not too impressed with next lot Little Doses, either.

Third track from Roys Iron DNA, is an improvement and starts of interestingly with a hip/hop/electro beat and spacy synths, although they lose their way around the middle of the track.

Next up, is the indie-pop of Dropkick. Its solid and there are some impressive vocal harmonies. But Teenage Fanclub have been doing this for years.

Things, thankfully, pick up with Five Day Hemingway's ,"The Things You Need". It reminds me of My Latest Novel and features a Talking Heads style beat.

The first hint of real quality, comes from Mystery Juice's ,"Son Of Razorman". It features a killer, raw guitar riff and angular drumming, while the vocalist's style is firmly planted in the Jon Spencer territory. They have a strange affinity with all things Russian (releasing Russian only albums and often playing tours there) and are part of Fife's mysteries Fence Collective. Definitely worth checking out.

Funkspiel have, apparently, had airplay on BBC Radio. "Dead Bunnies" only goes to compound my fears that even the decent shows on mainstream radio are being taken over by such dross. This track sound like a theme tune to a kids TV show.

Underbelly, on the other hand, display enough to show why they won a slot to play this year's T In The Park Festival, beating over 1,000 bands. They play pre Kid-A era Radiohead indie rock, but do it well, with panache and excellent instrumentation. If you avoid the obvious comparisons, "Come Into Land" holds up pretty well.

At the halfway mark there has already been some interesting offerings, especially Mystery Juice's "Son Of Razorman".

Next up, though, is the folk/pop of The Dead Beat Club. It is not exactly my cup of tea as it is a bit too nice for my liking, but I can see that it is very well arranged and has some lovely vocals.

St. Deluxe hail from Glasgow and are one of the few non-Edinburgh bands on this disc. "Stop Begin" is influenced by bands such as Jesus and the Mary Chain and, I must say, is quite good.

Epic26's punky pop effort, on the other hand, isn't though. "Loving Lucy" features that hackneyed Franz Ferdinand beat that has been taking over the UK the last couple of years.

Kid Canaveral have supported KT Tunstall before, according to their bio. So I know immediately I won't like this. And I don't, their "Last Time, This Time" offering reminds me of a poor version of U2 or Simple Minds.

Keser will be known to anyone who reads this site. I recently reviewed their excellent "Esoteric Escape" album. "Page 21" provides tangible evidence of why it could feature on my top albums of the year list come December.

"A Year In A Comprehensive" from quirky indie band Pop-up, is not too bad either. It features excellent use of the Scottish accent in the vocals. While, Little Amber reminds me of early Idlewild, but this band have been around since 1996. So, maybe Roddy Woomble and co. copied them!.

Another highlight is the bizarre indie of the Stepdads "Fear of Status Quo". Think of a cross between Frank Zappa and Pavement and you are getting half the picture. I really enjoyed this track, so you can imagine my disappointment to find out they have disbanded and will, instead, form a new project, The Super Adventure Club.

Penultimate track, "Kiss The Whip" by the excellently titled The Tyrant Lizard Kings reminds me of my days when I loved heavy rock music. This is a strong stoner rock track that reminds me of Corrosion of Conformity and is another highlight.

The closing track is left to The Last Great Wilderness, and they do a good job. "7 Letters" is an epic sounding rock song with a tad of psychedilia, that suggests this band have potential.

Overall, at 19 tracks the Bannermans compliation is always going to contain a few poor tracks. However, the good far outweighs the bad and as I've stated before, its all down to personal taste.

That being said, I recommend that you check out Mystery Juice, Stepdads, St Deluxe, The Last Great Wilderness ,The Tyrant Lizard Kings and Keser. Collectively, these bands suggest that Edinburgh, one of Europe's most cultural cities, has a blossoming music scene.

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