The Media Whores – Starfishing
I'm sure that there's a plethora of influences floating around The Media Whores, but in the studio the main sound pushing to the fore is that of the Stranglers sans keyboards. Especially in the vocal department.
It's not Hugh Cornwall that springs to mind though, but more so Paul Roberts, the much maligned front-man who I always thought did a sterling job with the band.
None the less the similarities aren't really a distraction and the band are talented enough to rise above any accusation of plagiarism.
Starfishing in itself as an album is actually a very mature piece of work that the band should rightly be proud of. While it undoubtedly has punk roots it transcends the genre, or should I say the perceived limitations of the genre, and edges comfortably into a more indie rock sound that is lyrically sussed and bolstered with a level of musicianship that impresses all round.
An assured debut that hints at better things to come.
The Yalla Yallas – Barefoot in the chapel (Free Download)
I'm not sure what to make of this at all. The name the Yalla Yallas obviously flagged up a love of Joe Strummer, but when the intro for the first of the four live acoustic tracks kicks in you would swear that it is Joe himself talking.
It's a bit discombobulating to say the least.
Musically they're playing punk protest songs - apart from the Johnny Cash cover – immersed in the sound of Woody Guthrie through to The Clash, and while that would normally draw me in I'm feeling rather undecided on it all.
All day I've been trying to pin down what it is that is distracting me from fully committing to either liking or disliking the songs. Hell I would have even been happy to have settled on being unmoved.
Then it dawned on me.
The main thing that is throwing me off is the Strummer sounding introductions juxtaposed with the sound of the vocals that aren't Strummer like at all.
It's uncanny how much it sounds like him, so what it does is put you in the mindset that the next thing coming is a Strummer or Clash song, then when it doesn't it sort of throws you off.
So if I remove the intros from the songs, just blank them out and listen without them I've gotta say that this aint too bad at all and as they have a couple of studio albums out are probably worth some further investigation.
You can get this ep from their website at http://www.theyallayallas.com/