Who? Franz Ferdinand
Label: Domino records
Tell Me More: First album from Scotland’s finest exponents of everything that is 1981, since You Could Have it So Much Better from the end of 2005.
Artwork: The constructivist artwork has gone, replaced by a staged image of the band. Really, they oughta should bring back those sharp shapes and bright colours. The cover you see is from the special edition that includes a disk of dub tracks.
Why the fek should I listen to this? They are the most exciting new band of this decade, and though it can’t beat the epochal debut, it marks a return to form, especially in Ulysses, after the hurriedness of You Can … The double cd is a must-have if you can get it.
Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? More funk, not enough Fire Engines.
Best line: “I typed your number into my calculator/ Where it spelt a dirty word, when you turned it upside down…”
Who? The Whispertown 2000
Tell me more: The sound of college kids on a trip out of town and singing around a campfire, thinking of sex and drinking moonshine cider.
Artwork: Maybe they could have obscured the two guys, one of whom is wearing a hat in the wrong manner and the other has a decidely amateur moustache. Beautiful wee booklet inside with close-up shots of the girls, and thankfully, an abscured shot of the guys, with all the lyrics.
Why should I listen to this? Gillian Welch likes them. Jenny Lewis also appears. A kooky album, with many twists and turns. In many ways a traditional American album.
Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? See above
Best line: “Ahh ooo, when you got the blues/ Doo wah na na na/ Don’t get caught with your hands in the pot.”
Who? Judith Owen
Title: Mopping Up Karma
Label: Courgette records
Tell me more: Like Alanis Morrisette has gotten older and wiser. Folk music played on piano.
Artwork: Owen’s in a Joan of Arc-style pose, holding a mop in a bucket. Why the fek should I listen to this? Beautiful melodies sung with passion and consideration.
Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? Even such a lame comparison to Alanis Morrisette would have put most people off.
Lest we forget
Title: Waiting for the Redbird (1989)
Label: Rough Trade
Tell me more: The world’s shit and we need a communist revolution to sort it out white boy’s soul.
Artwork: Andy Perry’s sepia-tinted face
Why the fek should I listen to this? Largely ignored on its release, Redbird is erratic but does contain angst-cum-action’s-needed-now anthems like Come Out Fighting, You’re Gonna Miss it (When It’s Gone) and the title track. Andy Perry was a flag-bearer for the now defunct Revolutionary Communist Party.
Or should I take it a stick to it and beat the shit out of it? Perry had lost the band that had recorded the brilliant Contenders in 1986 and it may be argued that raw anger was missing. America is a predictable and cliche-ridden track.
Best line: “There never was anything in my life/ that I got just for asking.”