Deep Purple Deep Purple… Hell toupee? (Image: Silvio Tanaka)

The Best of This Week’s Singles: Primal Scream, Deep Purple, Iron & Wine and more!

Published on March 27th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

Rocksucker handpicks the best of this week’s singles and reviews them right there on the spot. This week’s worst singles have been filed separately.

Read on for the great, the good and the just-about-passable of this week’s singles, folks!

Co-Pilgrim – “22”

It’s like a line-dancing Teenage Fanclub! This oozes ‘summer anthem’ from every musical pore, so allow Rocksucker to be the latest to recommend this sunnily disposed, sweet-of-harmonies, Mark Gardener produced bunch. Lovely stuff.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Dear Reader – “Down Under, Mining”

We loved Cherilyn MacNeil’s last album Idealistic Animals, and this darkly daft/daftly dark trotter bodes well for the forthcoming Rivonia, pencilled in for an 8th April release. Fans of Bjork, Oh Land and Regina Spektor: apply within.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Deep Purple – “Hell to Pay” / “All the Time in the World”

The big, chanty ’80s chorus of “Hell to Pay” sounds like Def Leppard, which is frankly distressing. “All the Time in the World” fares slightly better but still sound forced, particularly on such hoary attempts at wordplay as “Achilles snapping at my heels”. Sadly, Deep Purple doesn’t look like being one of 2013’s triumphant comebacks.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Delicate Steve with Cornershop – “Primitive Boogie (Eat the Music)”

New Jersey troupe Delicate Steve are the latest to collaborate with Tjinder Singh as part of Cornershop’s ongoing Singhles Club offer. What results is a strange mishmash of vocoder, rainbow-coloured ’80s synths, wailing lead guitar and rumbling bass all underpinned by a light, skipping digi-beat.

Upon inspection, this is Delicate Steve’s “Africa Talks to You” dusted up a little, but we shan’t quibble as it’s a ray of sunshine nonetheless. Sadly Cornershop have had to pull out of their London show tomorrow night, but there’s still plenty of activity on their rocking good Ample Play label to sink your teeth into.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Department M – “I’ll Fax You an Apology”

Weird, cold, clattering, tangential stuff from former Grammatics singer/guitarist Owen Brinley, this is tough to keep up with but nevertheless commendable. If Darwin Deez had never seen sunlight, he/they might sound a bit like this.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Everything Everything – “Duet”

A stellar example of the ever-so-fine line these guys tread between ‘inspiring’ and ‘irritating’, this Arc standout boasts a beautiful, stringswept chorus that makes up for the too-clever-by-half posturing of the verse. Then again, dodgy verse/lovely chorus does seem to be something of an Everything Everything template.

They’re not the new Blur or Radiohead, if that’s what you think, but they’ve certainly got an ear for a killer pop hook.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!.

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Frightened Rabbit – “Backyard Skulls”

Great peals of drum, faintly amusing video, otherwise this is the all-too-familiar sound of a uninspired songwriting given wings by grand production. You suspect this one may sink or swim on its lyrical content, in which case it’s unfortunate that it’s so hard to make out what’s being sung. Snow Patrol with more ‘indie’ cred?

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Gaz Coombes – “Break the Silence”

A pulsing electro groove treated with consummate Gazzy goodness, this cut from last year’s stunning Here Come the Bombs solo debut has been gifted a video directed by Coombes’s brother Charly – also a very talented musician in his own right – and granted the single status it was, come to think of it, always crying out for.

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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Iron & Wine – “Grace for Saints and Ramblers”

An exquisite taster of next month’s Ghost on Ghost album, invested with the kind of breezy skip and soul-tinged string arrangement that Belle and Sebastian knock out when they’re feeling sufficiently sunny of disposition. Ace lyrics, ace backing vocals, ace melody: this is how pop music should be done, not mentioning any names (*cough*CharlieBrown*cough*). Roll on the LP!

Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!

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James Yuill – “Turn Yourself Around”

Decent lyrics, pleasingly understated vocal, some nice quirks about the rubbery electro production – alas, not much in the way of a memorable tune. Decent stuff nevertheless, and this from Yuill’s Wiki entry – “In 2010, he produced a version of ‘Jingle Bells’ for a Guinness commercial, using pint glasses containing varying levels of Guinness to create the tune” – is worthy of a quail of its own (not that it’ll get one, but still…).

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Jamie Lidell – “You Naked”

How nice for robots that they now have their very own Justin Timberlake to bump ‘n’ grind to, that is if robots are wont to do so.

Do robots bump ‘n’ grind? They will when they hear this. Ooh, look: full circle!

This review makes no sense, we grant you. Let’s just lob some quails at it.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Kurt Vile – “Never Run Away”

A little jangly, a little murky, a little psychedelic, and all set to perhaps the most bone-idle music video ever (barely) made. We likey.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Metroland”

Blimey, everyone’s on the way back! Were these guys any good in the first place? We couldn’t tell you (save “Enola Gay”, which is alright), and having listened to this we’re not inclined to find out. You won’t find more incisive music journalism than that anywhere else, folks!

Seriously though, it – like “Enola Gay” – is alright: bright, plinky, wibbly ’80s synthery and whatnot. It knocks Olly Murs into a cocked hat, but we couldn’t imagine having much time for a whole album of it.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Peace – “Follow Baby”

Remember The Music? They were alright, weren’t they? Well, this is a bit like a wonkier yet ‘song-ier’ version of them, with an intro that sounds momentarily as if it’ll break into Pavement classic “Silence Kit”. It doesn’t, but we shouldn’t hold that against it.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Primal Scream – “It’s Alright, It’s OK”

Apt title or what? Previous single “2013” boded well in terms of forthcoming new Primals album More Light not being one of their ‘trying to be The Rolling Stones’ outings…and then this. At least they’re going for “Sympathy for the Devil” Stones – or, alternatively, they’re revisiting their very own classic “Movin’ On Up” – but either way, this has somewhat dashed Rocksucker’s hopes of receiving an LP worthy of sitting alongside the Screamadelica/Vanishing Point/XTRMNTR axis of greatness.

“No-one can stop you if you truly believe” sings Bobby Gillespie, but it rings hollow amidst this predictable, gospel-tinged workout. Oh well, maybe the next one.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Savages – “She Will”

They make a good old racket, young Savages, but with each passing track it becomes gradually clearer that they’re destined to be a far greater live proposition than studio band. Still, nowt much wrong with that, and having seen them live we can confirm their particular blisteringness in that field.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Sky Ferreira – “Everything is Embarrassing”

More ’80s-y, female-fronted, reverb-heavy electro-pop for the Pitchfork crowd to pretend to love. Good for her/them: it’s actually a cut above most of the singles featured above, but the sultry pouting that almost exclusively inhabits the video can’t help but feed the impression of style over substance. Still, better Sky Ferreira than (insert rubbish pop star here).

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Sonny & The Sunsets – “Dark Corners”

Hazily sun-smooched stuff indeed, belying the tragic circumstances that apparently gave rise to the songs on their forthcoming new album Antenna to the Underworld. Lets fly with a couple of synth lines that to be fair sound positively unrestrainable anyway, coming across all round like a blissed-out union of Yo La Tengo and Galaxie 500.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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The Hazey Janes – “You Only Stand to Lose If I Stay”

Gorgeous, sophisticatedly jangling fare from this Dundee lot’s The Winter That Was album of last year, this strikes as a brooding sort of cross between Beach House and Rufus Wainwright. You know that’s gotta be good.

Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Vampire Weekend – “Diane Young”

Blimey, this lot’ve gone frenetic, haven’t they? “Cousins” was good in that regard, but this – with its gulping Elvis “bay-beh”s and ‘punny’ title – is a bit much. Still, they certainly deserve credit for trying.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Wilkinson – “Take You Higher”

Let’s end with a rave!

*Raves a bit*

That was a good rave, wasn’t it, folks? Purpose served, Wilkinson – you may now get round to recording your next thinly veiled ecstasy anthem, or whatever the kids take these days (“Mandy”?).

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Don’t forget to check out the worst of this week’s singles!

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.