Dance To The Radio 12X4" Series Volume 2

posted 16 Aug 2009, 12:13 by Harry Cooke   [ updated 16 Aug 2009, 12:14 ]
[Dance To The Radio]

If the first in 
Dance to the Radio's 4 x 12" series was perhaps an exercise in displaying how they had bands in spades on the edge of making it big, then number two seems more to suggest what diversity there is in DttR's stable. From the heavy punk rock of Holy State and the psychpop of Bear Driver to Das Racist's scenester hip-hop and Suckers' orchestral indie rock, DttR seem to have their finger in many pies.

It Gets Your Body Movin'" by Suckers gets Part Two off to a slow start with a gradual addition of elements, from piano and trumpets to whistling and the slow intonation of the title, which eventually reaches a crescendo. This is very much in the vein of Arcade Fire and fans of this particularly brand of indie rock won't be disappointed by a very competent song. On the flip side, there is nothing here that is new and as such a slow song it seems an odd choice for a showcase release.

Holy State's "Jagged Lines" comes, therefore, as somewhat as a juxtaposition. Wearing their love of Jesus Lizard and Fugazi visibly in their sound and press releases means Holy State are setting their own bar very high, but they don't disappoint. Whilst they've clearly got a long way to go before reaching the echelons of such legendary bands, "Jagged Lines" is a solidly constructed song that easily bears repeated listening as Victor Janhagen's screamy vocals blend well with heavy bass and drums and the sometimes interesting guitar parts.

Being the people responsible for the rather annoying "
Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell", the fact that Das Racist feature on this release did not at first fill me with much confidence, but "Rainbow in the Dark" is a much more competent piece of radio-friendly hip-hop. The production is laid back enough to allow the vocals of Victor Vazquez and Himanshu Suri to come to the fore, but still contains enough elements to prevent boredom. Whilst neither of the rappers have particularly interesting flows, their lyrics are generally interesting and occasionally intelligent.

Closing off is possibly the best song from this release from another band from the amazing Leeds music scene. Bear Driver write very accessible pop songs crammed full of ideas and with a psychedlic edge. "Mind Attack" is no different, with thumping drums dominating a very danceable track that also throws guitars that go from melodic to fuzzy and both male and female vocals into the euphoric mix.

Buy : Dance to the Radio Volume 2

Barry Jarlow
© SleepOnTheLeft