posted 24 Jul 2009, 06:13 by The Editor   [ updated 24 Jul 2009, 06:24 ]
Dance to the Radio

Wonderswan - Hey Nature 
Broadcast Society - Behind Your Back
Pulled Apart By Horses - E = MC Hammer
Bear Hands - What a Drag (Cale Parks Remix)

The opening track of the first of Dance to the Radio's 4X12" series that showcase the best coming out of this Leeds-based label kicks this idea off to a strong start. Wonderswan's lightly-scuzzy guitars backed by a strong beat play really well off the often obscured lyrics. Wonderswan fit in well with the lo-fi revival bands like Times New Viking and No Age and while they may struggle to make themselves heard in this crowd, a few more songs as danceable and catchy as Hey Nature should do the trick.

The least well known of the bands on the first 4X12", Broadcast Society, seem, at times, the most tightly formed. Shunning the scuzzy, noisy songs of Wonderswan and PABH they combine angular guitar with clear vocals in songs that drive themselves forward quickly. Whilst sometimes lacking a truly great melody the song contains enough ideas and pace to warrant repeated listens.

Pulled Apart By Horses are one of the most hotly tipped artists on DttR's roster up the tempo even further with the pounding single, E = MC Hammer. Whilst the name is perhaps a bit embarrassing and at times the song seems like it could be cut shorter, this is countenanced by the strength of the best bits with heavy bass and fast drums push on the shouted claims of both reigning the sabbath and riding the mammoth. Whilst this is not their best single so far, it is far from their worst and only seeks to underline just what an exciting live prospect PABH are.

After what comes before, Bear Hands comes as a bit of a surprise. The only band on the release not to come from Leeds, New York's Bear Hands provide a surprising danceable number in a completely different vein. The Cale Parks Remix cleans up and slows down the song, replacing the hyperactive guitars with electronic beats and blips. This allows the lyrics and melody rise to the fore a challenge they more than rise to. Whilst singer Dylan Rau is clearly an Isaac Brock fan he brings an optimism too creating a well-rounded pop song.

- Available from Dance to the Radio

Barry Jarlow

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