Friday, 2 December 2011
Classic Reviews from the Leicester Bangs Print Archive...
Silkworm – Developer (Matador)
Seattle based Silkworm’s fifth album is the eagerly awaited follow up to 1996’s “Firewater” and it won’t disappoint. Silkworm has a sound that’s reminiscent of nearly every important American guitar band of the last 20 years, but which belongs completely to them. Imagine “Crooked Rain” Pavement with Tom Verlaine on lead, or a merge of ’77 period Talking Heads with a late period Minutemen twist and you’ll probably have no idea what I’m going on about.
Standout tracks are the opener “Give Me Some Skin”, the hard but brittle “Never Met A Man I Didn’t Like” and the giggly “Goodnight Mr. Maugham”. Musically it’s top notch from start to finish, grabbing your attention from the get go and never relaxing its grip. A really fine record.
Matt Keating – Killjoy (Alias)
Singer-songwriter Matt Keating’s latest album is a fine collection of dark songs with emotional twists. The subject matter of the lyrics range from a nervous breakdown in “The L Word” to the extreme right wing threat in “While We Fiddle”. In between, relationships are put under the spotlight in what seems to be a very personal way.
Most of the tracks appear fairly raw, recorded on an 8-track machine in Keating’s own basement. That doesn’t take anything away from the album. On the contrary, it adds an earthiness that helps give gravitas and depth.
All in all, a good solid record, and if you like the idea of someone who could be the missing link between Leonard Cohen and Paul Westerberg, it might just be the record for you.
Cubanismo featuring Jesus Alemany – Malembe (Hannibal)
Mix salsa, Cuban pop and jazz with a touch of New York bop, and it’s a sure way to get your feet moving and a smile on your face.
With Cubanismo’s self-titled debut from last year, bandleader and trumpeter Jesus Alemany revealed what a fantastic feel he had for his music and the resulting worldwide sales were fully deserved. “Malembe” like its predecessor, demonstrates Alemany’s sense of tradition with rhythms employed that date back to the ‘50s. Vocals are handled by Rojitas, a rising star of Latin music and is only one of the well-known names collaborating on this recording.
Long may Alemany continue to make records that sound this good and hopefully some dates in the UK soon.