By Slighty Alien
Picture the scene, playing a gig and someone comes up to you asking to review their CD. OK or so I thought! There is a massive 13 tracks on here so imagine the task of reviewing ALL of them! Ok, someone pass me some Pro-Plus!
Fish - The opening track on the demo comes in with such raw power I am nearly knocked off my seat. Pure R.O.C.K! A very distinctive voice has Lee Uttley, blessed with such power and clarity he could sound like any vocalist due to his extensive range. The guitar "solo" just before the middle 8 makes the song sound a little dated but serves the purpose quite well. A very funky and catchy opener and can guess this a "jumpy" number when played live.
Bedroom Superhero - This track is quite a quirky little number. A more relaxed approach this time, especially the guitars, likened to playing almost clean sounding overdriven chords on the verse and the bridge rather than the power chords of the previous track. This is a very catchy chorus with very distinctive backing vocals that add to the overall vibe of the song. Sounds almost like some early Radiohead material. An average track with a very catchy chorus.
Psycho Eric - Starts off with the whole band going "full force", the only thing that lets this section down is the hi-hats are mixed too high and almost drown out the drum sound completely. A bass and drum combo for the verse almost mimic the rhythmical pattern that the vocals are taking to good effect. Funky chords are taken in the 2nd verse, which brings the track to life and glides straight through the bridge to the chorus with ease. The chorus is, like most of Slightly Alien's music, very catchy. It mimics the rhythmical pattern from the bass in the verse, and consists of La's! A slightly dated sounding track, dare I say it, with a catchy chorus!
Pour You Out -This song possesses one of the sweetest guitar lines I have heard in a long time. This is undoubtedly one of the best tracks on this demo in my opinion, due to its mainstream quality. The chorus is almost Coldplay like in the vocals, due to some of the falsetto notes sung by Lee Uttley, who really shows his talents off to good acclaim on this track. A very good track.
Cant Stand Up - After Pour You Out, comes this little number. Not too sure about the distorted chords in the verse. There has been an overdub of an acoustic guitar and this would have been better put higher in the mix for the verse so it gives the bridge and chorus a little space to breathe. Strong vocals in this song and some quite funky drums in the verse make the song glide along smoothly.
Colour Slides - This song has a very nice sounding verse section, with clean guitars and the drums sticking to a simple beat. Has a quite "indie" bridge/chorus which adds a different quality to slightly alien's music. The middle 8 goes into a half time feel which brings the song out. Unlike slightly alien's material on this demo, this track doesn't have such a catchy chorus.
Mashed Potato Mind - Before you all start laughing at the title of this, this is the most commercially viable track on the demo and again some stunning guitar work by Jimmy Green. The track starts off with a slightly overdriven(very slight!) guitar and the blend between the guitar and vocals is superb, they really compliment each other. It is the chorus that does the track justice again. One of the most clean sounding choruses I have heard for a long time. A lovely acoustic guitar solo adds to the songs quality.
Hooked - Starts off with all guns blazing, vocals very powerful, nice clean sections during the first verse. Heavy chorus, but not a very catchy one. Nice falsetto vocals in the chorus. Unfortunately this song ain't my cup of tea but still it is a very good song.
Who Knows Best - I was very intrigued at this song due to it having a 20 second sample at the beginning of the track. The use of chord structure in the chorus is very nice indeed. A very good song which would stand out in a set of original material from this demo.
Glamour for Camera's - Now by the time I got to this track I thought I had heard all there was to hear from slightly alien. But they changed direction with this song. Starting off with the chorus on just guitar and vocals sounded nice. The verse changed direction completely sounding different due to the arpeggio chords. The chorus is reminiscent of early Mansun material. A very catchy little pop song.
Pure Class Punk - This is PURE PUNK! Reminiscent of the early Foo Fighters material, with melodic verses and heavy choruses. Quite a good track here.
Running With No Shoes - A "catchy" track here, the verses are quite melodic with quite a funky little guitar line, but as like most of the other material on this album, the chorus is where the song comes to life. Very reminiscent of early Mansun material in the way the drums and guitars work together. A very nice section where the drummer does a nice military type drum beat as the alternative to a guitar solo. Very interesting track.
Smooth Out The Ride - This is a bonus track on the album. A song with just acoustic guitar and vocals, a nice track on its own. It would have been nice with a couple of harmonies on this track to bring it to life a little more. Very nice vocals, powerful and clear, even on the high notes.
Clearly Slightly Alien have a lot of talent and if this demo is anything to go by, I am predicting BIG things for this band - you know where you heard it first.