A wee bit different this week. Every so often I include a few non-Scottish bands (because I get loads of submissions from outwith Scotland every week) in the reviews. Scotland is represented this week by Edinburgh's Birdhead, with England represented by Santiago Street Machine (Manchester) and Church School (London).
Keep your submissions coming in, no matter where you're from!
Birdhead - Tourist
Tourist is a relentless and continually evolving beast, which appears to climax numerous times before surprising you with yet another crescendo. The pounding drums, the siren-like Moogs and a filthy driving bassline bring to mind some Krautrock greats (think Neu! with the brain of Iggy Pop). Stick Jonny Greenwood on guitar and Johnny Thunders on vocals and you've got Birdhead. Excellent stuff.
Available now from the usual digital outlets
Santiago Street Machine – Face Your Fear
The orchestral intro belies the true nature of this song: a well put together piece of trance-house which sits somewhere in between Tiesto and Faithless. The breakbeat works perfectly with the choppy synth-strings, and the numerous breakdowns lead off into slight variations of the original theme in every instance, keeping things from going stale. It's not truly original, but worth a listen.
Church School – Settle EP
I was going to say this reminds me of Belle & Sebastian, only for Church School to go and throw in a reference to B&S themselves in standout This Year We'll Do Better. Another highlight is opener Denning Point, the sound enriched by its understated banjo. It sounds a bit like that Richmond sausages advert but it's actually acceptable to listen to.
Settle is available now from Bandcamp.