Mark Thales – Ladybug
People are obsessed with talking about the death of rock n’ roll. We should know. We do it quite often on this site. But, can you really kill something that should take so little effort to produce? The business of selling records and the image of rockstars may be under threat, but I doubt we’ll ever run into a true shortage of good songs.
Case in point, Mark Thales. A good rock song works just like a good joke. It needs to balance the surprise of the punch-line with the familiarity of the subject it discusses. Just like good jokes, good songs are floating about, and, regardless of the myth-making of the music industry, anyone can catch a handful of them if lucky and tuned in.
Mr Thales just caught one with Ladybug. Don’t ignore it just because it wasn’t recommended to you by a big streaming service, the advertising world, or radio. It’s as fresh-sounding, naive, and joyous as a long-lost demo for the Strokes’ first album. It’s clever, simple, and seems to have been torn out of the very fabric of rock n’ roll.
Do yourself a favour and hear this guy out. You may just end up discovering something great that carries little of the media machine’s odour about it.
Pennan Brae – Passing Fad
Long before kids learn about the revelation that is the consumption of alcohol (not that we’d endorse it), or things of an even more sinister nature, young ones in Western countries get their kicks through ingesting gigantic quantities of sugar. It’s the benzo of youth that many are not even able to kick.
Pennan Brae’s Passing Fad sounds and looks like it was made under the impression left by a huge quantity of the hard stuff, the white devil, sugar. It also sounds like the work of someone allowed to bring their friends into their basement bedroom that they hardly ever leave.
The result is something charming and insular. Passing Fad is a quick indie-rock punch filled with nervous energy. The quick riffs and strummed guitars blend with the vocals to create an eerie but a lovely song of affection.