Low Vs Diamond, whose debut single Life After Love, an astonishing piece of melody and small-town melodrama ratcheted up to epic proportions, is still edging the pack when it comes to the year’s best singles so far, have a new one, Heart Attack, out this week.
At their best – and that really is very good indeed – they explore that darkly brooding chapter of the early 80s that’s yet to get a mainstream revival (y’know, The Wake and The Stockholm Monsters; they can stumble blindly exploring that period sometimes, though, recalling a blunt, blustering Psychedelic Furs with stadium rock ambitions).
Their early inconsistency means it’s hard to say how things will develop, but they’ve got to have something to write a debut quite so strong.
Tillmans return with a new single, Superfiction, on the reliable Bracken label, which like last year's debut on the equally reliable Fraction Discs imprint, tiptoes around The Wake’s way with a fragile, keyboard-drenched atmosphere, similar to the Field Mice’s attempt to fuse New Order’s clubland beats to bedroom pop. You might think they sound just like The Church, as Mrs FET does, and you’d be right.
Stalking Skills by Liechtenstein, if you haven’t heard it by now, is another Fraction gem, capturing the evergreen sound of The Shangri-Las crashing headlong into the Jesus and Mary Chain.
Dinosaur Jr’s comeback single (video produced by Matt Dillon and featuring Thurston Moore and child) is louder and harder than either of the great Fog albums of recent times and I’ll surely be picking up the new album this week. Probably (definitely, in fact) won’t be buying a pair of Dinosaur Jr Nike boots, but maybe that “tasteful” silver looks better if it matches your hair, like J Mascis' silvery tresses does. Perhaps Robert Forster’s bought a pair. Now that I would like to see…
Strange Idols' newie, She’s Gonna Let You Down Again, has had some of the Gareth Parton magic production dust (Pipettes, Go Team) sprinkled on it, sticking one foot on the dancefloor while keeping an eye on their Felt-influenced indie roots. It really is a quite terrific single and proves that the mixed bag of their live show holds some stunning material.