Friday, April 06, 2007

Jukebox Juicebox #27

Gossip “Standing In The Way Of Control” (2006)
A three-piece punk band from the US, the lead track comes across more pub than punk. Actually, it seems more inspired by 1980s (are we forever doomed to relive this decade?) post-punk and new wave. Soulwax hit the nail even more squarely on the head with their Nite Version, named after Duran Duran 12” mixes, including a stuttering synth line that immediately recalls said band’s My Own Way. Trevor Jackson goes for a much more minimal approach with an atypical Playgroup Remix. It’s an interesting approach, but Beth Ditto’s aren’t quite up to the task so, given the option, I’d have gone for a dub of this track. This song seems to have released multiple times since October 2006 (both as promos and official singles) and has been troubling the Top 40 recently, so should still be pretty easy to get hold of. Get any format that includes the Soulwax mix and you can’t go wrong.

Tracklisting [promo]: 1. Standing In The Way Of Control (radio edit) / 2. (soulwax nite version) / 3. (playgroup remix)

Tracey Thorn “It’s All True” (2007)
The first solo record from Tracey Thorn in quite a while, but it pretty much follows the Everything But The Girl template of the last few years, mixing Thorn’s trademark mournful lyrics and vocals with dance inflected beats. Interestingly, all of the mixes here look to the past for their inspiration. Producer Ewan Pearson oddly goes for early 1980s electro on the album version, the song coming across like an ironic cover of a Shannon song. It sounds great with the video clip, but doesn’t work quite so well as a song in isolation. The DSE dub, by Pearson and fellow producers Darshan Jesrani and Sasse Lindblad, takes the track to it’s logical conclusion, though Stuart Price (aka Jacques Lu Cont aka Les Rythmes Digitales) was doing this kind of thing much better nearly a decade ago. Martin Buttrich harder mix which comes across like a distant, downtempo cousin of Thorn’s collaboration with Deep Dish, The Future Of The Future, in the late 1990s. Best track is undoubtedly is the extended remix by Escort. This also aims squarely for the 1980s, but is laden with a rolling bass, synth hooks and funky guitar that complement Thorn’s delivery and remains the most memorable version of this song.

Tracklisting: 1. It’s All True (album version) / 2. (escort extended remix) / 3. (martin buttrich remix) / 4. (dse dub) / 5. It’s All True [video]

The Killers “Read My Mind” (2007)
I haven’t heard Sam’s Town in it’s entirety but this track seems to have been on constant rotation for months now. It’s lacks the impact of, say, Somebody Told Me or Mr Brightside, and seems undecided whether to be U2 or The Psychedelic Furs. That said, it’s a neat song with enough peaks, troughs and hooks to keep you interested. The Pet Shop Boys are an unusual choice to remix the single, having only done a handful of reworks in their career. I’m still not convinced it was a great decision – the full length version included here dragging on a bit, despite some good ideas, including some additional backing vocals from the Boys themselves. My only gripe is that, considering there are further mixes from Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat), Gabriel and Dresden and Linus Loves knocking about in various formats, a 2-track CD single seems incredibly stingy. Shame on you, Vertigo, for being such tightwads!

Tracklisting [promo]: 1. Read My Mind (album version) / 2. (pet shop boys stars are blazing mix)

New Young Pony Club “The Bomb” (2007)
Another new band (to me, at least) and not to be confused with Ireland’s Pony Club aka Mark Cullen. NYPC most immediately sound like The B-52’s minus frontman Fred Schneider, that’s to say early period stuff like Dance This Mess Around and Give Me Back My Man rather than Love Shack or (gulp) Meet The Flintstones. In fact, there are times when vocalist Ty Bulmer sounds scarily like Kate Pierson and, although this is yet another band indebted to the decade that dare not speak it’s name, at least their influences seem somewhat broader. Paul Epworth’s overhaul of the track as Phones is an oddity, less groovy than than the original, yet the introduction of squelchy beats and a downright spooky, cut-up monastic chorus somehow works. There’s also a chance to remix the track yourself using the u-myx software included on the CD. Wrapping up this EP, and another nod to their inspirations, is a downtempo, whispered version of Squeeze’s Take Me I’m Yours, which adds a psychotic element to the song that I’d never picked up on before. Check out New Young Pony Club before they become old nags (sorry, couldn’t resist…)

Tracklisting: 1. The Bomb (original version) / 2. (phones collateral damage mix) / 3. Take Me I’m Yours / 4. The Bomb (u-myx)

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