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Careless Demos Cost Lives: #10

The Visit, Shambles (Cockfest) CDR

Things start out averagely enough. Name: no comment. Title: shit. First Song: begins promisingly punk, goes into a crap, seemingly ironic, Albatross middle-8 which turns into a crap, seemingly non-ironic, Albatross middle-64. Decision time: Do I go on to the second track? I’m a nice bloke, I’ve got a couple of minutes before I’m due my next medication and all the naked supermodels are powdering their noses so I give The Visit another chance. Second Song: Thank you, Lord! Silence The Poet is a yearning surge of melodic post (yes!) rock (yes!) with a real song threaded deep into its weft. Direct, purposeful, meaningful and over in under 4 minutes. The Visit can come again.

Sonic Torpedoes, Hazy CDR

I thought I was going to give this a bit of a slagging, but having put it on just now to refresh my memory I seem to be enjoying it. Hmm. It still sounds like I thought it did (my note: "rock band discovers sampler in late 80-s indie disco") and the second and third tracks still suck like Monica, but now it just doesn’t seem so bad. So sue me. You want consistency? Go and work in a bank.

Empty Vessels CDR

Bands: when you’re sending demos (r&eb, 133 Green End Rd, Cambridge, CB4 1RW, by the way) please be sure to include nonsensical ramblings (but keep ‘em short, I’m a busy man – medication and models, see above) because it saves me having to think. Take this from Empty Vessels: "we dream of the bland whine of lifestyle supplements around us like cheeky nubile mosquitoes." And "the first song is about Syd Barrett (sort of; and women, obviously) and the second is about my urge to stuff myself down a drain." I’m all for songs about Syd Barrett and women, obviously, especially when they sound like something The Loft forgot to record when they joined Creation. Songs about drains I can take or leave, but if they rattle along on a dub/acid line and clang plenty, I’ll always take.

themovingsidewalk, motion CDR

We are fluent in three languages, English, Espanol and a secret language whose sound you will only find on the CDR. It is a language comprised of sounds that we utter in order to navigate, understand, unearth (ourselves and each other) and survive existence… Chance and possibility are welcomed, expected and liberating elements of it all. Sound. Emotive. Pure. Reactionary. Patient. Motion. Sonido."

Call me a cynic if you want. I can live with, and even enjoy by candlelight, improvised, soothing, neo-classical guitar music that stretches over a whole CD in just two tracks but what I can’t live with is the wack-ass bullshit that seems to go along with it.

DJ Ordeal, Magic Trick CDR

If Roger Hargreaves was still around and writing books, and if he became obsessed by popular culture and if he could find a techno-friendly publisher and if he was stupid, he could start a series of DJ Men stories. DJ Ecstasy would be the Ibiza-resident cousin of Mr Happy, Mr Small would move in with DJ Tall Pall, and DJ Ordeal would have a small bedsit near Mr Topsy-Turvy’s place where he crafted tortuous, almost unlistenable mixes from his 80s pop and electro record collection by riding the pause-button on his ancient 4-track very hard indeed. Ordeal by name, Ordeal by nature, Magic Trick is a hiss-laden collision of telly samples and throbbing synthetic basslines, loops that don’t and beats that blur as the belt on the turntable slips. It worries me that I like it so much.

The Abrahams CDR

It’s all about the songs with the Abrahams. And they’ve got great songs. Six of ‘em here and they tickle my country and folk fancies like you wouldn’t believe. There’s nothing complex here, just songs rendered simply, soulfully and perfectly.

Toby Slater, Consumption CDR

This one’s remixed by Wave Runner who are half of The Cuban Boys, dropped by EMI after one-hit-wonder status was conferred on them by that irritating hamster song of a couple of Christmases ago. Toby Slater has his own major label skeletons, but he’d probably prefer them left well buried, so let’s just note that there’s no shortage of bile in this anti-corporate rant. Don’t know what the original sounds like, but the remix bangs away like a good ‘un as Toby’s distorted rage disappears off the edge of the dancefloor.

Various, Appropriate Pop CDR

That’s appropriate as in take over. What we’ve got here is a bunch of V/Vm style mash-ups, fuck-ups, stick-ups and hiccups that shaft what’s left of pop’s integrity with a rusty fork. As none of the tracks are credited, it’s impossible to work out who’s responsible for Britany Boobies, a savage drum’n’bass rewriting of Baby, One More Time featuring a bloke on helium and new lyrics ("I must confess/ I paid for these/paid for these") Highly appropriate.

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