April 01, 2005 | Category:

A Year In Music: March 2005

A good start to the month with former kings of Glasgow indie-pop, Bis, reforming under the new name of Data Panik (they are being clear that it is pronounced Dah-tah.) Eight or so songs have already been recorded, featuring all three Bis members. Live they will have a real drummer, where formerly they had a drum machine.

This month also began with a normally joyous event, the release of a new Idlewild album. Although the band have been moving slowly away from their punk-tinged debut over the years, it is still quite shocking to hear an Idlewild album that is so resolutely bland. Where previous albums had intelligent lyrics wrapped up in fervent Scottish rock or indie lullabies, Warnings/Promises has a continual acoustically focused sound; all strumming with nothing to stand out from the mire of mediocrity. The thoughtful lyrics remain with some truly outstanding and amusing lines, but without the musical hooks to back themup the album might as well be wallpaper.

The Mars Volta released the first single from their newest album, Frances The Mute. The Widow features a slightly tighter version of the album track, as well as 14 minute b-side Frances The Mute (suprisingly, not on the album of the same name.) Frances The Mute (the song) is one of The Mars Volta’s few weak moments; 4 minutes or so of excellent prog rock, wrapped in another 10 of noise.

As sophomore albums are all the rage, Hell Is For Heroes followed up the excellent debut album from the beginning of 2003 with Transmit/Disrupt. Although lacking the vibrancy of The Neon Handshake, this album still manages to deliver a sizeable slice of rock. The opening number, Kamichi, sets the pace with a fast but fairly straightforward jaunt of drum-led music, with later tracks laying down serious and extremely tight riffs.