The Frenchmen’s (who are neither French nor necessarily men, discuss) Sorry We Ruined Your Party dropped summer of last year and it’s been generating quite the buzz in the tweepop and California/West Coast music scene. Problem is, a) those two groups are largely the same and b) no one else cares. The disc has also generated some rave reviews in the UK, where they still appreciate some good C-86 sounding stuff. If you checked out the last pop column and enjoyed Language of Flowers, you’ll definitely want to give this a listen as well. While Language of Flowers plumbs the sweeter side of the Sarah Records catalogue, The Frenchmen explore the punkier side. It’s not as pretty, but it’s just as good.
You can find some full-length song samples at the band’s website. "Private Name (Private Number)" is the only selection from Sorry We Ruined Your Party. While it’s not one of my favorites, it’s still a good song that will appeal to Boyracer Fans. "Unlucky Day" showcases the band’s female vocalists. And just to bring the twee circle to a close, there’s a cover of Talulah Gosh’s "Steaming Train."
I was a bit disappointed with The Thrills’ Let’s Bottle Bohemia so Jackdaw4′s Gramophone Logic has been occupying the rock/pop slot in my cd shuffle until Brendan Benson and The Capillaries release their new albums. Jackdaw4 are a powerpop band from the UK with a breezy pop sound. Admittedly, there’s a whiff of hipsterpop-straight-from-The-OC-soundtrack to their sound, but who can deny that The OC has featured some damn good songs?
The band has four songs available at their Myspace site. "The Day I Wrote the Book" and "Happy" are psychedelic numbers with the obligatory strings and vocal harmony numbers (complete with Beach Boys shout-out on "The Day I Wrote the Book"), while "This Your Life" and "King For a Day" are more straight ahead rockpop pieces. If the band could somehow mix up the two approaches within the same song they’d really be onto something, but I can’t really complain. This is a fine album.
For those of you who subscribe to the emusic download service, there is a new live set available from Chicago punk rockers The Dials. Recorded 1/16/05 at Schubas Tavern, the set features the band in all their girlpunk glory. Sassilicious! Stupid jokes aside, The Dials play fun punk you can dance to– complete with keyboards but without the bad disco and tiresome feminist politics that weigh down certain other groups. For those of you that don’t use emusic, you can download "Take It to the Man" and three other songs from their website. When you’re done rocking out, go buy the ep from our kind webhosts at CD Baby and look for a full-length in the spring.