Cashier No.9, Kowalski, John D'Arcy and the GBOL
Too many bands and artists seem to struggle to find names, resulting in the good, the bad and the downright bizarre. John Darcy didn't bother trying to hard, instead bringing in some decent blokes and naming them accordingly, resulting in an American tinge to the pop-punk, with an old-fashioned feel to it, recalling the likes of Weezer and Blink 182, but In Oh No has a little southern rock feel and the musical magpiety continues as Eyes On Her goes for a 50s bossa nova-cum-lounge throwback feel doing something different. Closing with Pop Tart, it's a return to the more robust aforementioned pop-punk, all good and inoffensive but lacking a hook to elevate it above the ordinary.
Kowalski have a different but similarly intriguing sound, bringing electronic ideas into the mix, crafting tunes with "summer festival" written all over them. As such these last few days of good weather are their natural habitat, and have put us all in the mood for this type of music, although our poor front-man is suffering from an unseasonal cold. They're at the stage where they're experienced and mature enough to experiment resulting in nicely dancey indie. Unfortunately closer Get Back is hampered by a few early difficulties, but quickly finds itself, allowing the Doves style epic of driving beat and plaintive vocals to prove its class.
Cashier No.9 need no introduction to ATL regulars - we love them, hopefully they like us. And the familiarity definitely doesn't breed contempt as Jump The Queue is its usual understated rockabilly country class with its stompy beat and 42 West Avenue is as catchy as ever. Indeed with an album forthcoming it's apparent how much of the older material is more polished and complex than before as ideas have been firmed up into finished products rather than works in progress. When Jackie Shone has a little rattlesnake tail whippy beat, spitting poison in your eye as your ears are distracted, soundtracking the rising smoke on stage as the devil comes to dance. Lighthouse is similarly polished up, with a spiralling organ ending before their now traditional closer Goodbye Friend finishing in a cacophony of unsettling discord rather than the usual unsettling ghostly choir. Like the old one, it still unsettles us and it still leaves us happy.