By Various Artists
"Unsigned" - it's like a badge of dishonour, it suggests that the band or person in question has somehow failed in achieving something or not yet reached their goal, like unqualified, unapproachable, unnecessary, pish! As one great reviewer once suggested a much better term would be "Contract Free". Now isn't that better? Doesn't it feel liberating? So here is the SXSW Showcase of Bradford Contract Free bands for 2007. Another collection baked in the oven by the Timeless Music Project made with a healthy mixture of locally grown produce so it tastes great.
Opening with (the not strictly unknown) This Et Al it's a fitting start, taut and pouting, loud and in your collective face. Laura Groves applies some immediate contrast with a well crafted acoustic stroll, real ear pleasing stuff. Laboratory Noise sound like Ian Brown's ace side project. This is what any Madchester revival should be about, not the bloody Twang. Philip G Charles is a Bradfordian Eminem, he really is and he's brilliant at it too. "It's Just Me" is a pure lesson in how good Yorkshire hip-hop can be... now there's a phrase you don't read everyday. The real jewel in the crown of this compilation however is the awesome The Psychedelic Singh with a tune that deserves to be clogging up airwaves everywhere. "Ina Mina Dhika" is a mashed up mix of driving bass, classic Bhangra and whirling dance-floor baggy, truly truly truly amazing. Really, if there was any fairness to the other artists expected to follow it, it should have been last. However a big mention to Harmacy, who do their best with the well-crafted "Date With The Bar", which is reminiscent of the sadly forgotten Catherine Wheel. Bassman Gerry pulls off a genuine summer time tune that harks of Aswad with a great dub sound. The Analog Bombs close proceedings with a good piece of scruffy guitar fun mixing The Coral with Arctic Monkeys subject matter about local nights out, namedropping The Westleigh pub no less.
Top marks Bradford. In one single record you could possibly have shed the "Heavy Metal Town" tag forever.
acoustic folk indie