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MP3 of the Day #300: Dutch Uncles

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd February 2011 at 10:00 am
 

The Answering Machine just released their second album, ‘Lifeline’, yesterday on Heist or Hit. (You can read our review of ‘Lifeline’ here.) They remixed the song ‘Fragrant’ for their buddies Dutch Uncles, and we’re offering it up as a free download below. ‘Fragrant’ came out as a single last October (review here), with Dutch Uncles’s album ‘Cadenza’ slated for release in early May.

 

Album Review: The Answering Machine – Lifeline

 
By on Monday, 21st February 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

The Answering Machine released their debut album, ‘Another City, Another Sorry’ in 2009. Now in 2011, the quartet return with their second album, ‘Lifeline’, on Heist or Hit Records, just like its predecessor. Make no mistake, this is one romantic record. This of course makes me wonder if the band had fought to get this out on Valentine’s Day instead of today. But that’s another discussion for another day…

And besides, thinking that this album is nothing but a sappy, lovey dovey affair would not give it the justice it deserves. Hearts, lungs, difficulty breathing, blood, hospital – all of these are examined on ‘Lifeline’. In the track ‘Video 8’, frontman Martin Colclough sings, “there’s a tasteless relief about escape / I know if you can develop if you take the chance to feel nothing.” Them’s philosophical words. Colclough also played producer for the first time for ‘Lifeline’, which allowed the band to return home to Manchester to more comfortable confines and record in a city centre underground studio.

‘My Little Navy’ is a nice intro to this set of 11 songs, the guitars approaching shoegazey territory, having a crashing instrumental bridge, then backing off into something softer. We previously profiled the great singles ‘Lifeline’ (review here) and ‘Animals’ (you can download the song and a Dutch Uncles remix of it from this post from last October here). It’s funny, if you listen to these songs in sequence, it’s almost like they’re twins, with similar sensibilities. Not sure if that was intentional?

‘3 Miles’ includes enjoyable guitar lines matching like the evocative lyrics like two lovers dancing perfectly in sync. This would work well as a single, but maybe it wasn’t chosen as one because it goes beyond the 4-minute mark and therefore would have to be shaved down for radio play. Like ‘Lifeline’, the emotional effect on bones (as in getting an all body shiver) is again explored. The lyrics are poppy yet with some bite too: “the veins, the blood, the cracks in the street /my heart breaks a little more with every beat / could you ever be mine?” More frenetic are ‘Romantic and Square’ and ‘Hospital Lung’ with thoughtful synths, banging guitars and quickfire lyrics; these may remind you a bit of Two Door Cinema Club perhaps?

Sadness pervades ‘Rules’, Colclough ‘s voice giving a regretful examination of a relationship gone wrong, and the instrumentation is sympathetic to these proceedings. ‘The End’, fittingly the album’s last track, features bassist Gemma Evans on lead vocals, and as should be expected on a ‘romantic’ record, this is about the end of a relationship. Or is it? She sounds adamant about making this relationship, almost an obsession (“I will hunt you down / I will chase you ’til the end”). Not really how I expected this album to conclude, it’s a bit unsettling. The overall effect of ‘Lifeline’ is a good one; however, a lot of the songs sound similar, like they followed the same recipe for each, and they lack the energy that could have been. From ‘Another City, Another Sorry’, it’s like they repainted the walls, putting taupe over red.

7/10

‘Lifeline’, the new album from the Answering Machine, is available now from Heist or Hit Records.

 

Video of the Moment #404: The Answering Machine

 
By on Friday, 11th February 2011 at 6:00 pm
 

Here’s the colourful promo for the Answering Machine‘s upcoming single ‘Lifeline’ that I reviewed on Monday. What a cool looking video, and what beautiful instruments. (I’m being serious. Actual instruments. That wasn’t dirty.) Have a great weekend, folks!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_q3IuD3HEI[/youtube]

 

Single Review: The Answering Machine – Lifeline

 
By on Monday, 7th February 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

Manchester indie rock band the Answering Machine have a new single out on Valentine’s Day. Called ‘Lifeline’, it’s the title track from their album to be released very soon.

Even before I begin, my prediction is this is going to be the pining sort of love song, considering the title of the song *is*, after all, ‘Lifeline’. It begins with a great bass line (serious groove) and drums, followed by atmospheric synths and guitar. The first words? “I’m better off you, alone / I’m better on my own / all this oxygen and bone / leave me to breathe it out”. Good start. This chap is showing he’s living – or at least coping without his previous other half. In the next section, he’s singing about “where we can work this out”. Uh oh. I should have guessed, he’s going to try and make this work, even though the relationship has ended…

Next, some words are sung in a megaphone or put through a filter that makes the lyrics pretty much unintelligible. Chorus? “You call me sometimes / you’re blocking out all the sights / throw me a lifeline / I know we’re gonna work this out.” When you are the dumped, this is how it always ends up, doesn’t it? You want the other person to throw you a bone, an olive branch, anything…just so you think there’s a chance you might get back together. Is it healthy? No. But everyone can relate to this. Everyone. And this I think will be the key to this song’s popularity. I mean, come on. Affairs of the heart never go smoothly, do they?

Ok, so the lyrics are a bit sappy. Still, I like this track a lot. The lyrics rhyme and they make sense, there are no useless rhymes in here. (And trust me, this is a lot harder than you might think.) Instrumentally, it’s fun, it’s danceable. If this is a good indication of things to come in the ‘Lifeline’ album, this should be an amazing set of songs. I can’t wait.

8/10

The ‘Lifeline’ single by the Answering Machine will be released the 14th of February through Heist Or Hit Records, Bandcamp and iTunes.

 

MP3s of the Day #258: The Answering Machine

 
By on Thursday, 28th October 2010 at 10:00 am
 

Manchester’s Answering Machine just released a new single, ‘Animals’, on Monday, and we’re happy to be able to give it to you this morning. And one better, their buddies Dutch Uncles had a go with remixing the tune as well (and it’s suitably maths-poppy as can be expected). Listen, download and enjoy both tracks below.

(Note from fellow bass player: brill bass line, guys, totally brill.)

We featured the video on TGTF earlier this month, check it out here.

 

Video of the Moment #364: The Answering Machine

 
By on Friday, 8th October 2010 at 6:00 pm
 

Manchester’s Answering Machine will be releasing a new album, ‘Lifeline’, soon on Heist or Hit Records. And below is the video for the single ‘Animals’. Singer Martin Colclough is walking about with a life vest on a beach…and in the forest. And evil masked men wearing French sailor outfits come out of the trees and chase him. Huh? This also features the weirdest use of string in a promo video since Delphic‘s ‘Halcyon’.

I like this song though. Let us know what you think.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDTKLbpIG2Y[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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