Our Love to Admire
How often has meteorology entwined this tightly with pop? After Editors' grandiosely gloomy effort, the third Interpol album has blown in, pregnant with rain. The New Yorkers have been promoted to a major label, and Our Love to Admire has pretensions to match. Singer Paul Banks intones incomprehensible lyrics as though aware of the need to sound deep. Their textures have thickened, too, as Interpol have outgrown their early Joy Division template and started eyeing up the poses, keyboards and strings of the Killers, though without the winning schmaltz. Thankfully, 'The Heinrich Maneuver' proves Interpol can still write a tune.
We'll Live and Die in These Towns
While not exactly lacking gritty chroniclers of city life, but the Enemy's vision of urban hell is more engaging than most. The Coventry three-piece create an impressively heavy sound, with singer Tom Clarke 's tales of edgy nights out set to tight riffs. There's an obvious debt to Hard-Fi in some of the lyrics and bludgeoning anthemic choruses, but it's not all grim ladrock. The lovely, loungey 'Happy Birthday Jane' reveals them as songwriters of real sensitivity. And the brilliant staccato yodel of 'Away From Here ' is among the most joyous refrains of the summer.
New Young Pony Club
When they released their 'Ice Cream' single last September, this band's spiky discopunk was fresh and invigorating. But that was before underground disco-punkers such as CSS and the Gossip gatecrashed the charts and the tabloids: now this album can't help feeling passé. And while it contains the odd storming indie dance anthem ('The Get Go') to keep East End kids striking artful poses until dawn, it's too samey; over 10 tracks, their robotic beats and singer Tahita Bulmer 's studiedly aloof vocals begin to bore. New Young Pony Club need to find some new musical directions or they're in danger of becoming another NME-endorsed flash in the pan.
This album has been compiled by Drake's sister Gabrielle from old home-taped reel-to-reel recordings. Gabrielle wanted to redress the shoddy copies that had surfaced since his death in 1974. Highlights include his mother Molly's beautifully eerie piano composition 'Poor Mum', to whom Drake owed a great debt musically, Drake playing clarinet with an assorted orchestra of relatives and speaking vocals to the tock of a metronome. The collection is fuzzy and lacking Robert Kirby's inspired orchestral arrangements found on Drake's later work, but will go some way to alleviating the eternal Drake thirst.
(Sideonedummy ) £11.99
Led by alpha showman Eugene Hutz, the New York 'Gypsy punks' have been tearing up festival stages with their blend of nouveau cabaret and speed-rock. This fifth album confirms the moustachio'd, winkle-pickered Hutz as a master of droll melodrama, quite the fellow to lead the cultural crusade he calls 'new rebel intelligence'. His songs celebrate wanderlust and being in the moment - 'there are no good old days'. The gung-ho Gypsy rock is less interesting than Hutz's leering performances, and halfway through the album runs out of ideas, but there's plenty enough rabble-rousing here to carry the Gogols to the next stage of world domination.
Wait and See
(33 Records) £13.99
For the past three years Karen Sharp has been playing saxophone in Humphrey Lyttelton's band. To begin with, she concentrated on the tenor, but at Humph's urging soon added the baritone. This is her third solo album and it's hard now to say which instrument is her strongest, because she sounds so authoritative on both. Her sound is warm and full, her improvised lines bold and clear, and her compositions full of surprises. Her style, I suppose, would come under the heading of 'modern mainstream', but that doesn't do justice to her originality of approach. Her band is excellent, especially trombonist Adrian Fry.