Otherwise known as Those Chaps Behind The Fantastic ‘Everything Touching’ Album Of Last Year, Falmouth-formed and Brighton-based trio Tall Ships – Ric Phethean, Matt Parker and Jamie Bush – are the sort of outfit that, once witnessed in the flesh, on a stage, in full flow, will live with the listener forever.
We guess you might call their sound post-rock. But that implies a slowness, a gradual progression through the gears. Which this is not. Tall Ships hammer things into fifth from the outset: the energy the three possesses is palpable even for the most indifferent of onlooker. (And at the end of their set, it’s unlikely that anyone will be in a fence-sitting situation.) Ferocious is underselling things completely.
Ahead of the band’s set at the frankly amazing-looking ArcTanGent festival in Bristol this weekend – also featuring performances from F*ck Buttons, 65daysofstatic, Three Trapped Tigers, Future Of The Left, Bo Ningen and Rolo Tomassi (click here for details) – Ric sat down with some new single releases. His opinions on said tracks, below, after the video for one of the most fist-pumpingly, heart-swellingly awesome tracks from ‘Everything Touching’, ‘T=0’.
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Tall Ships – ‘T=0’, from the album ‘Everything Touching’
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Goodie Mob feat. Janelle Monáe – ‘Special Education’
This tune would be good and warrant repeated listens if it wasn’t for Janelle Monáe popping up after every verse with a complete flow- and vibe-killing chorus. It’s boring and patronising, her talking at you like you’re 10-years-old. With playground rhymes like “I don’t wear the clothes you wear / I’m just different and I don’t care,” and “It’s kind of sad and it’s a shame / Everyone wants to be the same,” sung in a nursery rhyme melody, it gets pretty irritating by the fifth time you hear it. The various verses are good though, Cee Lo Green coming out on top referencing X-Men and stating: “Let me put something poetic into plain English / I’d rather die than to not be distinguished.” But any goodness is eradicated when Janelle comes back (AGAIN) and asks, “Don’t you want to be special?” NO! F*CK OFF.
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Manic Street Preachers – ‘Show Me The Wonder’
Midway through my first listen I was reminded of Tony Christie’s ‘Is This The Way To Amarillo’ and starting singing it in my head instead. That song is great though, while this one is not. “I have seen the birthplace of the universe…” Really? It must have been incredibly underwhelming and dull if this song was what came out as a result.
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Eels – ‘Kinda Fuzzy’
I like this, though I’m at a loss to say exactly what it is I like about it... It’s got a real swagger to it that I like, I suppose. The middle eight is really cracking, too. Yeah, it's the middle eight I like.
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Eliza And The Bear – ‘Friends’
This is melodic, pretty, and ticks all the usual epic upbeat euphoric indie-pop boxes. But I just can’t get over the fact that it feels a little bit like listening to someone boast about how popular and loved they are. You, as the listener, are definitely not a part of their crew: you’re just on the outside, listening in, all lonely and sad.
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Joel Compass – ‘Astronaut’
Joel Compass is a great name. ‘Astronaut’ is a great word. This tune is pretty sexy, too. The production is lush. Smooooooooooooooooooooth.
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ANiMAL MUSiC – ‘Kingdoms’
‘Kingdoms’ is one of those songs that attempts to justify its existence purely by having a f*cking massive droooooopppppp in it. It’s all going okay until you can sense the inevitable squelchy, squibbly, sizzly bassline plodding towards you. After the drop, some cheap MIDI string stab sounds are thrown into the mix, coupled up with a few words repeated over and over; and then it all happens again about a minute or two later. Reading that back though, I’ve realised I’m basically just describing what we do in our own songs… Shite.
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Find Tall Ships online here
Read more Singles Round Up articles, penned by the likes of Summer Camp, Frightened Rabbit, Hookworms, Frank Turner and The Electric Soft Parade, here
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