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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Songlines Music Awards 2010 Compilation LP


As world Music compilations go this is one of the best I've experienced over the last couple of years. Songlines Magazine produce the CD and have included the top four nominated artists in the categories for Best Artist, Best Group, Best Newcomer and Cross-Cultural Collaboration.

Standout contributions include the excellent Goran Bregovic with a horn driven party anthem, the haunting Algerian rhythms of Speed Caravan and the consistent quality of Saharan superstars Tinariwen. Surprisingly, I also liked the more traditional african approaches of Oumou Sangare from Mali, the dance-tastic Staff Benda Bilili and the desert banjo cool of Bassekou Kouyate. Only the Mamer track 'Mountain Wind' from China is less than accessible and I currently struggling to understand where it's coming from.

A quality compilation for anyone new to world music and similarly, the magazine is excellent too.


Friday, 27 May 2011

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles LP 2010



What is it?
Canadian duo Ethan Kath and Alice Glass serve up a surprising and challenging feast of low-fi electronic oddities.

Why should you listen?
This is not what I expected from Crystal Castles at all. I'd misguidedly tagged them as quirky commercial pop, but this album is so much more than that. In fact at times it's inaccessible and really hard work. It's sort of lo-fi electronica with shouty vocals slightly reminiscent of Huggy Bear, but with odd little pop hooks thrown in to spice things up. There's a bit of a 'Tricky Disco' trashy, tacky feel to things, rather than any more overt 80's comparisons. A surprising little gem of an album.

What's it like?
It's like a female cyberman chasing you through an eighties style video game.

What's the best song?
"Crimewave" - against my better judgement I really love this.

Who does it sound like?
Reminds me of Sheep on Drugs, Ladytron, LCD Soundsystem.


Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History LP (2010)

It's rare for an 'Into the Valley' review to damn an artist with feint praise, but there's a first time for everything. They come with a growing reputation on the indie circuit but this is little better than 'just about OK' standard. It's the familiar white boys with guitars, generic, jangly indie with little to differentiate it from the pack other than its complete ordinariness. That's not to say that there's not odd bits to engage you on the album; 'What you know' is uptempo and catchy and 'Something Good Can Work' is direct with some singalong potential. However, if you like this kind of stuff there are so many other groups that do it so much better. Death Cab for Cutie, Editors, Whtitest Boy Alive and even Hot Chip produce music in a similar vein but manage to stamp their own identity on proceedings. If you want something a bit different, this is not one for your playlist.


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Cara Dillon - Hill of Thieves LP 2009



What is it?
After serving her folk music apprenticeship, Cara Dillon presents a selection of  near perfect Irish flavoured, acoustic masterpieces.

Why should you listen?
Rarely does an album change your perception of a whole genre of music, but Hill of Dreams certainly fits into that category. My previous experiences of female singer/songwriter Irish folk were Clannad and Enya, of which neither had engaged me in the least. Cara Dillon removes the clich├ęs and commercialism, and adds authenticity and integrity to introduce this corner of folk music to a whole new audience. Her voice is fragile, lilting and beautiful and combines perfectly with the traditional instruments and sparse arrangements. The songs are on first listen simple and straightforward, but later reveal a rich and complex combination of melody and lyrics. A great album that you should buy immediately.

What's it like?
It's like someone mixed up all the ingredients for the perfect Irish singer, sprinkled them with magic dust, blessed her with amazing song writing ability, and out popped Cara Dillon.

What's the best song?
'False False' is typically sparse, delicate and enchanting.

Who does it sound like?
I have no reference points but next on the list is Karine Polwart.



Classic Track - Coldcut - Stop this Crazy Thing (1989)

Back in the 1980's dance music pioneers Coldcut were experimenting with samplers, sequencers, hip hop breaks, sound effects and various acts of cross-genre fertilisation. The results were the classic album 'What's that Noise?' with it's influencial mix of chopped up samples, quirky sound-bites and guest vocalists (Mark E Smith, Lisa Stansfield, Yazz). The best track on the LP by far is this classic Tarzan fuelled, skankfest with Junior Reid on vocals.



Saturday, 21 May 2011

Trentmoller - Trentmoller Chronicles LP 2007



What is it?
Top Danish electronic producer and instrumentalist Anders Trentmoller presents a  compilation of rare tracks and remixes of his particular brand of soundtrack influenced, mid-tempo techno.

Why should you listen?
It's a 2 disc set featuring a mix disc of Trentmoller's favourites combined with a second disc of rare remixes. To be honest I'd not realised that the first disc was mixed as I've mostly listened to it on the computer, but all the tracks work individually as well as part of the whole piece. Trentmoller's trademark style of techno sits somewhere between the Boards of Canada and Royksopp and is full of bleeps, beeps, scratches, clicks and sighs which I find particularly enjoyable for some reason. This is combined with more ambient and cinematic approach to numbers like 'McKlaren' which showcases Anders at his most brooding. The remix disc is equally enjoyable with notable contributions from The Knife, Royksopp and Djuma Soundsystem. The whole package is really good value and provides an excellent introduction to a vastly underrated artist.

What's it like?
It's like a soundtrack for lonely, depressing films with isolated, wintery settings in Nothern Europe. 

What's the best song?
'Moan' from Disc 1 is a classic and 'What else is there' is a rare uplifting singalong number (well almost) on disc 2.

Who does it sound like?
Boards of Canada, Royksopp, Vegas Soul, Aphex Twin.


Amy MacDonald - A Curious Thing LP 2010

 
I have little idea whether Amy MacDonald is an obscure artiste or is a household name. I heard the single 'Don't Tell Me That It's Over' on 6 Music and gave the LP a go and have quite enjoyed the whole experience.

I can't quite see who she is aimed at really, as this is neither overtly commercial, nor acoustic folk, nor the stuff of a standard female singer songwriter. Amy MacDonald sits somewhere in the twilight zone between all three and hence drops below the radar of quality music hunters.

In reality this is muscular folk-pop with strong lyrics and vocals reminiscent of a cross between Shakira, Cara Dillon and the Proclaimers, with just a hint of Fairport Convention. A worrying combination if ever there was one! Bizarrely the whole thing is a hugely enjoyable, unpretentious sing-a-long with 'Next Big Thing', 'This Pretty Face', 'Love Love' just some of the highlights.

The only drawback is one or two predictable ballads and the bonus track; a Springsteen cover! Bonus tracks are always terrible but 'Born to Run'! I almost didn't write this post because of the this gross error of judgement, but on the whole, it would be unfair to dismiss the whole barrel because of one rotten apple.


Friday, 20 May 2011

The Knife - Deep Cuts LP 2003


What is it?
Swedish brother and sister combo of Karin Andersson and Olof Dreijer present a selection of electronic euro-pop fun tunes. 

Why should you listen?
The Knife's 2003 album is instantly accessible leftfield electronic music with heavily accented vocals. It has it's moments and is worth a listen but don't expect any depth or longevity here. It's fun, original and quirky but the songs are all a bit one dimensional and 'samey.'  If you want something swedish I'd go for ABBA instead.

What's it like?
It's like candy floss; great for 5 minutes but with no staying power.

What's the best song?
"Pass this on" - you can't go wrong with steel drums.

Who does it sound like?
Nothing springs to mind, but in a similar vein there's Crystal Castles.

 UXPPQX8FC4XV


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Taraf de Haidouks - Honourable Brigands, Magic Horses and Evil Eye LP 1994



What is it?
Top class Roma funeral and weddings band Taraf de Haidouks (Band of Outlaws) produce an exquisite array of traditional Romanian folk tunes with an abundance of feverish fiddles, accordions and horns.

Why should you listen?
I couldn't wait to review this album as it's easily my favourite of the year so far. The Taraf boys range in age from their 20's into their mid 70's and the quality of the musicianship reflects this vast experience and passion for their genre. Virtually unknown in their native Romania they hail from the village of Clejani where a Belgian promoter gathered together twelve of the best musicians in the village and let them loose touring Northern Europe, with worldwide acclaim following hot on their heals. This album is my first experience of the group but certainly won't be my last as the music has the power to transport you into a world of whirling folk dances, duelling fiddles and hypnotic rhythms. The songs range from melancholy ballads (Jalea Tiganilor), frantic instrumental jigs (Geamparale), passionate vocal performances (Spune, Spune) and soothing rhythmic numbers (De Ma Deie But Te Pau). It's a must have collection and makes you want to go out an buy and accordion play along with them. A stormer!

What's it like?
It's like timeless, hypnotic music with no frills or compromise. 

What's the best song?
'Cintec de Dragoste Si Joc' is a 'to and fro' vocal love song you can dance to.

Who does it sound like?
I'm not sure but I've got albums ready to listen to from Gogol Bordello and Mahala Rai Banda so watch this space. If they're half as good as this I'll be very happy.

Doccortex



The Ramones - Anthology 2001

When daughter of Doccortex left her brand new copy of the Ramones Anthology lying around I quickly snaffled it, copied it and wondered if they would be as good as I remembered. Not the biggest Ramones fan in the 80's I was surprised by the range of songs that were on offer; from the Mission-esque 'Garden of Serenity' to the standard punk of 'Endless Vacation' to the surf rock of 'She's the One.' Many bands of the modern era owe a major vote of thanks to the Ramones; step forward the Jesus and Mary Chain. All the famous ones are great too; 'Blitzkrieg Bop', 'Sheena' and 'Baby I love you,' but my one quibble is where is my personal favourite 'Danger Zone?' Anyway this is a good value, comprehensive compilation from a great band who I should have taken a great deal more notice of in their heyday.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Portugal. The Man - Waiter: "You Vultures!" 2006


What is it?
The first album by Portugal. The Man. Originally from Alaska and now on their seventh album. So if you like this album there’s plenty more to go at.

Why should you listen?
If Mars Volta is a step too far for you, try this. It’s fairly accessible, without being catchy. Always good. I was slightly worried when I got it on the Friday and by Sunday I quite liked it. It normally takes me a good week to get into an album. That normally makes me think that I’ll be sick of it in a couple of weeks, but it’s still going strong at the moment.

What’s it like?
It has some of the Mars Volta elements but in a far easier to digest package. Falsetto voices, extra tremolo on the guitar, twiddly fiddly guitar all rear their heads at some point on this album. The first two songs: ‘How The Leopard Got Its Spots’ and ‘Gold Fronts’ are the first ones I got into. They’re both danceable little numbers. Later on I’ve appreciated ‘Chicago’ more. It starts with a quality bit of noisy business but then morphs into something a lot more melodic and gentle. I normally like the opposite of that but it still works.

What’s the best track?
‘Tommy’ - Bleepy and bloopy sounds to start. Doesn’t sound great really. Then the main guitar chords crunch in and you’re into a sing-a-long chorus with a gorgeous vocal harmony at the end.

Who does it sound like?
The Sounds Of Animals Fighting, Mars Volta, The Fall of Troy
evlkeith

Into the Valley Player Launch

The Into the Valley Player is now available through this post or at the bottom of the site. Now you can seamlessly access the full Into the Valley playlist through this handy little application from You Tube. Hope you it enjoy as much as we do.

Mesh Update - Only Better (Alien 6 Remix) 2009

In the first of a new series of classic tracks, this is an update to the Mesh review from earlier in the month. While selecting the playlist for the Into the Valley Player, I spotted this version of the mesh classic. Alien 6 have upped the pop factor with this cheesey, 'Stock/Aitken/Waterman' meets chiptune style remix which I love at the moment for some reason. So for all you Mesh fans in Northern Europe, enjoy the first classic track...

Doccortex

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Younger Brother - Vaccine 2011


What is it?
This is the third album from the combo of Simon Posford (Shpongle, Hallucinogen) and Benji Vaughan (Prometheus). But this time they have teamed up with Rupert Campbell on vocals and some other guys. Was it a good idea?

Why should you listen?
If you like music that you can put on in the background, maybe when you’re busy working and you don’t want to be disturbed, then this is for you. This album is easily the biggest disappointment of the year for me musically. The first two Younger Brother albums were by no means perfect slices of bleepy techno cake but at least there were a few excellent smarties on the top. ‘Scanner’ and ‘I am a Freak’ spring immediately to mind. I was really looking forward to the new album so I bought it as soon as it came out. Full price. Sold it very soon afterwards.

What’s it like?
On the album ‘Last Days of Gravity’ there was one song called ‘Ribbon on a Branch’ and it was alright as something a bit different from the rest of the album. ‘Vaccine’ is all like that. Not many bleeps. Not many squelches. It’s all a bit too much like a standard issue pleasantly voiced band. Way too pleasant. Even after my initial disappointment, I’ve given it a fair chance. I still don’t like it. They should have released it as a different band seeing as though it is so different from what they’ve done before. It might be more doccortex’s cup of tea and lots of people in other reviews seem to like it. I’ll let the doc have a listen so there may be an update on this one.


What’s the best track?
Hard to choose one really. They’re all so bland. If pushed I’d go for ‘Shine’ but I can’t say that I’m that keen.

Who does it sound like?
Foals, The Big Pink
evlkeith



The Imagined Village - The Imagined Village LP 2007



What is it?
Folk music super group and mega project founded by Simon Emmerson reinterpret folk tunes of old to successfully embrace the sound of multicultural Britain.

Why should you listen?
There are just eleven songs on the album but it feels massive, like an old vinyl triple album. The whole concept works really well with ancient folk tunes reinvigorated with the best that multicultural Britain has to offer. The songs in the main feel contemporary and steer clear of finger in the ear folk crooning with all the 'superstars' making notable contributions, most notably Billy Bragg, Paul Weller and Sheila Chandra. It is Eliza Carthy who steals the show however, as she sprinkles everything she touches with magic dust and is surely the most credible and underrated artiste that Britain has ever produced. You'll remember the Imagined Village for its worthy concept, but more potently for Eliza's voice. 

What's it like?
It's like lots of folk and world music types collaborating in a huge folky love-in.

What's the best song?
"Acres of Ground" showcases Eliza Carthy's exceptional talent.



Friday, 13 May 2011

Seasick Steve - Dog House Music LP 2006



Being unfamiliar with the work of Steven Gene Wold aka Seasick Steve, I decided to check him out on his Dog House Music album from 2006. It's safe to say this was not really my cup of tea. This is standard bluesy fare, however their are three positive aspects to the album.

a) Seasick Steve's voice sounds pretty similar to that of Gary in Weird Science (Check it out film fans) from the infamous bar room scene, "Ain't that the truth baby!" and the whole thing is made more enjoyable by imagining that it is Gary from Weird Science singing.

b) The talky bits allow you to brush up on your mastery of Americano lingo. For example, you can now greet your friends with a "What's up hound dog?" This has not gone down terribly well with the hound dogs I've said 'what's up' to in practice.

c) I now know what a one string diddly-bow is.

Doccortex

Eurovision 2011 Betting Guide



In the worst Eurovision in living memory we have so few countries with live chances of winning that surely we can make some money. On the downside however, we have a red hot favourite in the French entry; a turgid and staid pop-opera cliche that sounds like a cross between Rhydian from the X-Factor and the french national anthem. I think it's definitely worth opposing, although it's the most likely winner unfortunately.

Surprisingly, those other X-Factor buffoons Jedward, put up a reasonable performance of a Britney-esque number and they're second favourites! Their poor performance skills may let them down and I really don't fancy them to win.

I'm seriously tempted to back the UK's Blue entry as we're getting really decent odds at 13-1, as the public believe the whole 'political voting' conspiracy and are reluctant to bet a UK entry. I prefer to believe we don't win because we always enter a rubbish song and just expect to win because we're British. If you remember that Blue were massive in Europe, have toured extensively on the continent to promote their comeback and have the best performance skills in the contest, then they must have a serious chance.

Others with chances are Germany (great song but same singer as last year), Azerbaijan (wouldn't rule them out but they've had better songs than this is recent years and not won), and Estonia (the standard clockwork/toyshop dance routine performance). Live outsiders could be the decent guitar based numbers from Denmark and Finland if you can get a decent price (25-1+).  

Doccortex advises: Decent bet on the UK at 13-1, Small bets on Denmark and Finland each way at 25-1+. (All prices on Betfair)

The Top 10 will comprise; France, UK, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Estonia, Russia, Hungary, Germany.

Good luck Eurovision fans!

Doccortex

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Mesh - A Perfect Solution LP 2009



What is it?
Mark Hockings and Richard Silverthorn's Bristol based synth-pop combo produce a quality album of 'Depeche' tinged, heartwrenching, sing-a-long numbers.

Why should you listen?
Despite the melancholy lyrics this is a really uplifting collection electro-pop classics. The band are 'big' in Germany and there's more than a hint of German industrial techno about the arrangements. Combine this with Dave Gahan 'on a good day' vocals and there's no wonder they're mad for Mesh in Northern Europe. Not sure who the strange lady is but maybe she's the Bez style dancer in the group as she doesn't appear to sing, I hope so anyway.

What's it like?
It's like Anglo/German entry of some alternative reality Eurovision Song Contest.

What's the best song?
'Only Better' is an anthemic synth classic with the kind of singalongability not seen since Ultravox's Vienna.

Who does it sound like?
An improved version of Depeche Mode, VNV Nation, Covenant, Erasure on a down day.


McCarthy - That's All Very Well, But LP 1996

I bought this to at least partially replace my vinyl McCathy albums which had become scratched and scuffed after many years of happy listening. It's an odd collection combining singles, rarities and peel session tracks and it's hard to see which audience it was aimed at. It's sad to say but many of the songs featured sound a little tired, dated and the lack of production doesn't help matters either. On the plus side the compilation does showcase a great band, some excellent political pop songs and is worth buying for 'Should the bible be banned' if nothing else. If you want to experience McCarthy at their peak however, purchase 'Banking Violence and the Inner Life' and 'I am a Wallet' instead.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Heat Seekers - Israeli Trance Allstars LP 2009



What is it?
Top Israeli trance label HOMmega unleash a pulsating compilation of tracks from their stable of psi-trance superstars.

Why should you listen?
It's a top quality collection of trademark uncommercial trance. Each track is a winner but highlights obviously include the Infected Mushroom contribution '9%' which is a glorious mix of pounding beats, convoluted bleeps and recurring melodies. Yahel's 'Memories' is a jaunty little number, Sub 6's 'D.T.N.F.' is a feaverish spy movie theme and Astrix's 'Dharma' is a stop/start Ghoa influenced stormer that the Mushroom's themselves would be proud of. The compilation represents a perfect way for those of us like me, who love the Infected Mushrooms, and want to discover more of the same. On this showing there's plenty left in the locker.

What's it like?
It's like a standard Psi-trance compilation but with strict quality control.

What's the best song?
'9%' is textbook Mushroom that sticks in your head like an earworm.

Who does it sound like?
It's like X-Cabs, Chris Cowie and Hook Records in spirit.


Sunday, 1 May 2011

UNKLE - Psyence Fiction LP 1998

I'm thinking this is maybe not an album for listening to in the car as I've been a little underwhelmed as I've listened to it for the last couple of weeks while driving round. Put it on the big speakers however, and it's a different kettle of fish entirely. It all sounds much richer and darker, although it's still patchy at best.

This is the debut album of UNKLE produced by DJ Shadow using the vocal talents of a range of 'top' singers, most of which I have very little time for. Richard Ashcroft, Alice Temple and Badly Drawn Boy revert to type are all instantly forgettable, but Mike D, Ian Brown and surprisingly Thom Yorke all produce interesting downtempo electronic pieces of work. It's certainly not 'Endroducing' but you can tell it's DJ Shadow with some cracking use of samples and almost classical instrumental pieces. May be worth a try in a 'Late Night Tales' type setting. Great graphics and videos though!

Doccortex



She - Orion 2009

What is it?
This is the second major release from top Polish chiptuner She, formed by sole member Lain Trzaska in 2003. 
Why should you listen?
As an introduction to chiptune music it is actually very well produced and, dare I say the dirty word, commercial. I’m not even that convinced about how many proper chiptune sounds were actually involved in the making of this album. Regardless, there are some great tracks on here. Many tracks frequently sound like they are cutting out or something is going wrong with your music first. At first, this is disconcerting. When you get into it you just want more. Mrs evlkeith has never got into though and just hates the way that the sounds keep pulsing and, at times, disappearing altogether.
As well as dancy sing-a-long numbers there are some more laid back tunes that are not as successful. ‘Home’ in particular is just dentist waiting room music. Great if you’re a dentist. Not so good for the rest of us non-dentists. Even though not every song is great I would still advise you to buy the full album. On the She website, see the link below, you can download five full albums and four singles. For free. Each album is in a slightly different style so there is lots of variety. So if you like the sound of this support the little fellow by  buying the full album.
What’s it like?
Great electronic music that’s been battered to death by filters and glitches. Brilliant.
What’s the best track?
‘Atomic’ The introduction is almost painful when loud, with its growling bassy noise. Quality cutty out action in the first half, shame it didn’t carry on all the way through. There is a brilliant use of inhaling though. Listen to it, you’ll see what I mean.
Who does it sound like?
Gekkan Probowler, Hierophant Green, Sabrepulse

EvlKeith

Link to the She Music Website via:
http://www.shemusic.org/?page_id=56


The C86 era Super League

In 1986 the NME single-handedly invented independent music as we know it with the release of the groundbreaking cassette; C86. Long before MP3's, i-pods and even CD's were invented we cut out vouchers from the weekly music paper, and saved them up until we had enough to send away for our newfangled cassette tape. A week later we were rewarded with a compilation of some of the most influential bands ever, and some of the least influential bands ever as well. How happy did this little treat make us feel in the confines of mid 80's South Yorkshire? The simple answer is - very!


The bands on the cassette were rich and varied, they were quirky and shouty, and they were shy and shambling. Looking back it's hard to believe that the Wedding Present, the Age of Chance, McCarthy, Half Man Half Biscuit and Fuzzbox all stemmed from that humble cassette. It was the fey, jingle-jangley bands on the tape however that would define the genre and the era. Thatcherism tumbled to the sound of the Close Lobsters as the Iron Lady wept at the demise of Dire Straits.

But out of this genre that would grow to exemplify the sound of C86: just who was the best? Who was the most fragile? Who had the smartest anorak? Who was the pastiest complexion? Who has the floppiest fringe?

The following competition aims to clear up this issue once and for all. At 'Into the Valey...' we present the C86 era Super League based on the following stringent criteria:

Maximum of 10 points for fey, fragile male vocals somewhere between Pete Shelley and Softy Walter from the Beano. Extra point for Scottish twang.
Maximum of 10 points for slightly less fragile female vocals somewhere between Poly Styrene and the Velvelettes
Maximum of 10 points for jingley-jangley in the extreme guitar sound.
Maximum of 10 points for Monkee-esque tambourine action.
Maximum of 10 points for D.I.Y. production standards.
Maximum of 10 points for 'ba ba, ba, barpar' or 'la la la lala' vocal percussion.
5 bonus points for actually appearing on the C86 tape.

So here it is. In reverse order; the all time top 15 C86 era Super League!

15. 14 Iced Bears - Come Get Me (16 points)
I once went to a party in Leicester that was absolutely rocking to a 14 Iced Bears record. Never heard them in public before or since.



14. The Mighty Lemon Drops - Like an Angel (18 points)
Great band and song. Let down by decent production and somewhat beefy vocals and guitars compared to competition.



13. June Brides - Sunday to Saturday (19 points)
The June Brides passed me by at the time but they register pretty high on the jangle-ometer.



12. The Bodines - Therese (20 points)
'Played' is one of the greatest and most underrated records of the decade.



11. Talulah Gosh - Talulah Gosh (21 points)
Slightly later but had to be included for genre defining potential.



10. Mighty Mighty - Is there anyone out there (22 points)
Into the top ten, and Mighty Mighty seem to be the forgotten men of C86. A bit too much testosterone to go much higher in this chart.



9. The Pastels - Truck Train Tractor (23 points)
Disappointingly low position for a band with a satchel carrying librarian as a lead singer but it shows how hot the competition is.



8. The Chesterfields - Ask Johnny Dee (25 Points)
I once held the Chesterfields album but after much deliberation bought the Best of the Monkees instead, purely for no other reason than I didn't like the town of Chesterfield for footballing reasons at the time. With hindsight a mistake.



7. The Shop Assistants - Safety Net (26 points)
A surprise entry for the Shop Assistants, but scored highly on DIY production values.



6. Siddeleys - What went wrong this time? (27 points)
Ticks all the boxes and surprisingly stands the test of time.



5. Primal Scream - It Happens (28 points)
Impossible to find and still the best thing they've ever done. Should have been higher.



4. The Flatmates - I Could be in Heaven (29 points)
Well deserved top 5 entry for the Flatmates and they've got plenty of other great songs up their sleeves too. Brilliant live band too.



3. The Soupdragons - Whole Wide World (30 points)
Pre-competition  favourites just come up short. Nailed the Pete Shelley vocals but needed more jangle.



2. The Pooh Sticks - On Tape (31 points)
Almost a self-parody of the genre so no surprises here. So near but yet so far.



1. The Razorcuts - I'll still be there (33 points)
The Razorcuts come from nowhere to take top spot. The campest vocals, the jingliest guitars and the lowest production values. What's not to like? Should have been massive!



Enjoy several of these tracks and more on the excellent compilation CD86!