The NBT Review 21


Creep Of The Crop – Panda Steps In Chocolate (independent release)

A 14 step program designed to defeat the Earnest Emotional Blues. Start, as always, with wonky rippled keyboard then

Progress and/or increase the quirk (so this is what Soft Boy Robyn Hitchcock would sound like if he fronted a toy version of the Lips) are those harmonies or reflections? Then go retro while marching straight forward, hey I haven’t smiled while dancing like this since that girl from that Castle got me on the dance floor.

Now; don’t be afraid to embrace some hotchip melancholy, there is twee and there is free and you have just sidestepped rather well into the latter.

This bedroom pop moves into the living room takes over the family stereo and then hijacks your sisters bicycle. While the flutter of joy flickers on the once thoughtful TV we give thanks for this delightful mess.

An NBT favourite already,

Please sirs, people, anyone. I want some more.


White Flags Of Winter Chimneys – Wendy & Lisa (GirlBros)

Its been ten long years since this duo’s last release,  though of course anyone who watches cult TV series ‘Heroes’ or HBO faves like Carnivale, would have heard their themes and scores. A million years away from the glam swagger of their time in Princes Revolution, this is dream rock, slightly scary waves of ambience and sighs.

This brings back the art of the hallucination Pop that Shakespears Sister invented, adding the tension found in Sol Seppy’s Debut and the twist and turn production even Mr Eno would be proud of.

This a collection of songs and breathing, sometimes heavy like rainy mornings or stormy seas, sometimes light as birthday party sparkles.

Then the guitar gets dense and full of barely restrained anger and the rhythms slip and slide out of the comfort zone so cheekily alluded to.

A sly slinky beautiful surprise.

This recalls the best of shoe gaze with out the shy lack of self confidence that crippled that particular tribe. This is music that is touchable yet dark, when Kylie stages her 20th comeback she would do well to sink into these.

A pleasing danger, beautifully realized.




Radio New York – Outasight (DailyGrind Music)

‘The feeling wasn’t… about that deal, it was all about that song.’

This guy is in love with the music, the creation, the joy, the sheer excitement of the scene, the artists, even the look and feel of the equipment,  ‘and you can hear the bass from the basement start knocking, Technique Tables, records flopping’

That this soul he concocts is what he needs to live and breathe is evident, and the listener feels safe from the hype and the dull glare of the bandwagon boys that pollute this world. This invitation comes wrapped in a sincere and sensual smile.

From New York, where many songs are shoved together by technicians with a cynical smirk and cold hearts, this SlowDance  kid inhabits a world where the bitterness of the hustle and the ego is replaced with a warm optimism, a sensual even refreshingly innocent enticement to Dream Big. To let go and let the chorus move you where it will.


The Magic Of You – Movin’ Melvin Brown (independent release)

The wonder of this virtual world, this eclectic internet, this crazy cool huge music shop, is that everyone gets a chance to be heard, not just the shiny popular or the bright trendy young things.

Now a man that has opened for the Four Tops, and shared a stage with Smokey Robinson, James Brown and BB King can get his brand of eternal soul into our living rooms.

This latest release is politically charged, full of hope and fire in this new age of a new President in a troubled land. Within ‘ I Have A Dream’  the gospel funky lead track, we have the emotions and thoughts of someone who has lived, suffered and dreamed for better days, and the joy of a singer who has seen those dreams start to become reality.

And in the companion song, ‘The Whoto Man’ Brown resurrects the darkness of the turbulent times that led up to this miracle, and calls up the ghosts of soulFolk singers like Odetta and Richie Havens.

All is not just politics though in this release, in 17 self composed tracks the sounds of Motown, Stax and classic Atlantic are lovingly not just recreated but given an historical edge and find their place in the new century.


Catch all these artists on the NBT Podcast going out the 9th Feb 09


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