The NBT Review 103

Smash My Box/Electroboxx –iCON (independent release)

You get a set of songs to review, you play the first track and think you know where you are now heading, think you know what the mood of the piece will be, what degrees of crazy the writing will fall into to suit the music. Think you know whether vibrant short shots will suit, or rather languid thoughtful sighs perhaps.

Then you get these swell indie chameleons and your journey is thrown into delicious disarray.

Oh the strobe lights strut, the glitter-cool. From the first seconds of ‘Do or Die Moon’ it is clear this is no shy shuffle, no shoegaze insecure, and no bedroom anti-social. This is bright bang (pow !)party music.
Ok I know this band. I think I Know where they fit.

Ok NO.

Here comes the 1st of many gratifying curveballs. Next track up is nothing like that. ‘Giant’ slides into focus over delicate piano and builds into a Tori Amos meets Siouxsie chart contender, the kind of glossy not quite ballad full of hooks and surprises that make good pop music so refreshing

This is a band equally at home, playing the mainstream but coming out proud and uncorrupted, or creating songs awash with strings and dramatic arrangements where the shift from club gigs to stadium dates is inevitable.

The Electroboxx tracks show yet another side to the band, now they are Disco Darlings, with a soupcon of camp, a dose of day glo funk(you know the kind that Prince would dreamWrite and CSS managed on their first album) and an honest love of the fun side of Bubblegum- Rock.

Brought to the attention of the right listener, this is a band that could easily make up for the disappointment of, say, the new TingTings album and dominate the airwaves in 2011.

Personal fave for me is ‘Take You Back’ a driving dance mix ten parts giddy, hundred parts exuberance.

http://www.myspace.com/iconsmashmybox

Tracks from these EPs will be featured on both NBT podcasts
this week and next week

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

http://nbtdarkelectric.podbean.com/

 

 

 

 

The NBT Review 52

(read a great review with Farrad on the NBT homepage.. http://nbtmusic.de/page4.php )

The Time Is Now – Farrad (Beulah’s Baby Entertainment)

Welcome to the Pop Dramatic, landing, bang in the centre of the smoke, wrapped in enigmatic articulate harmonies and covered by pressing bass squelch, Farrad displays his intent, his desire to capture our dance-Soul from the opening track, Misunderstood, a sly mix of Prince Gymnastics and the modern strut.

The cool thing is, Farrad doesn’t let the Tech, the FX and the Hustle drown out the soul, his sweet vocalizing holding sway, adding warmth to the extravagant arrangements.

And then the third track, an instant club classic, the one that makes you want to attempt complicated moves and boogie the night away, this is edgy delightful seductive bubblegum of the highest order, breathtaking and imaginative, simply Pick Your Face Up Off The Floor is one of the tracks of this year so far.

Now that he has captured us, the twist, the trip the worship of the beat continues, sure there are ghosts on this dance floor, in the neon reflections, but these spirits are fashionably in the NOW, fresh and alluring. With this set every track a potential single.

Listen out too for the electrifying ballad, Destiny, where the voice soars against shivers of strings, and some sultry gospel sneaks into the night waltz, and the surprise RocknNewWave of Twisted, where Farrad’s true sense of adventure shows itself in all its metallic sheen.

If this excellent collection isn’t enough for you, there is also a scintillating album of ‘’Pick Your Face Up Off The Floor’’ remixes available on Farrad’s Homepage.

http://farrad.com/

 Catch Trax from this collection on the NBT Podcast going out on the 16th March 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/