Time Will Pass – LP
This is a welcome return for one of Dublin’s finest, Formed in 2003, there has not been a great deal of recorded material from The Urges, but when a new release does appear it invariably turns out to be top quality as this, their second album will bear out. After the troubled production of their debut ‘Psych-War’, you could forgive the band for being a little disheartened by the whole process. Happily, they are now signed to Mersol Records and one hopes this is the new beginning for The Urges.
The album is pure psych/garage heaven with all the component parts in play. The songs were written by vocalist and guitarist Jim Walters and each one is as jangly and catchy as the next. ‘Passing Us By’, ‘Time Will Pass’ and ‘Now I See’ are arguably the high points, but the standard is pretty high anyway. Great to have you back Urges. Let’s not leave it quite so long for the next LP.
Speed Of Sound
Everything Changes – LP
This is pretty good value from the Manchester-based quartet comprised of John Armstrong, Ann-Marie Crowley, Kevin Roache and Paul Worthington. In essence, if you buy the vinyl you get a bonus cd which is an albums worth in itself. This is their debut LP and they have made a good job of it. With tracks like ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and ‘Girl On The Roof’, Speed Of Sound definitely have their own ‘sound’ (if you’ll pardon the pun). It brings to mind a combination of Bob Dylan meets Velvet Undergound influences which is no bad thing. The album is out now on B E Records.
Soho Scene 62 – CD
This is the first in a series celebrating the Soho Jazz scene from Rhythm And Blues Records, ’63 and ’64 are also available, but if this compilation is anything to go by, the other two will be well worth investing in. With comprehensive sleeve notes by Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson, this double cd package showcases the best of British modern jazz on disc one and the US equivalent on disc two. Featuring names like Tubby Hayes, Victor Feldman, Don Rendle. Lee Morgan, Chico Hamilton and Paul Desmond, you really cannot go far wrong. The recordings are first-class as is the packaging and liner notes. If jazz is your bag, it doesn’t come much better than this.
The Bowie/Action Covers – EP
Four years is a long time between releases, but such is the case with California’s Sidewalk Society. 2012’s LP ‘Venus, Saturn And The Crescent Moon’ was one of my first reviews for Nutsmag, so it’s nice to finally hear some new material from this band. My view on covers is that it’s only worth doing if you’re going to add something or give the song a new lease of life with a new and different arrangement. I think Dan West, Jerry Buszek and Dan Lawrence have got the balance just about right. They have injected their own vitality and personality on the songs without making a mess of it. I would like to think some youngster will hear these songs and discover the joys of The Action and Bowie’s early career for themselves while remaining fans of Sidewalk Society. Comparisons to the originals is pointless, these are new interpretations and they are done very well. The EP is out on Fruits De Mer Records.
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