The joy of sax

The Mystery Jets prove they can write brilliant pop songs, even when they feature a saxophone, We Are Scientists should consider releasing a comedy record, and the Metros come off sounding like Sham 69, but without the class

Mystery Jets, Two Doors Down

The Mystery Jets' mission to be more than just that daddy-ditching band from Eel Pie Island has finally been given a boost with the welcome discovery that they can actually write brilliant pop songs. Who knew? Camper than Roxy Music in a yurt, and brave enough to throw in a jazz sax solo, Two Doors Down sees singer Blaine Harrison pining after the drum-playing object of his affection who dances to "a worn-out copy of Marquee Moon". A lilting melody and Harrison's naturally dolorous voice rescues this occasionally over-produced song from becoming disco-pop mush, leaving you to revel in the simple joy of its being. How often can you say that about a song with a saxophone on it? Watch the video for Two Doors Down

We Are Scientists, Chick Lit

Is it wrong to like a band who make consistently mediocre alt-rock simply because they also make you laugh? On the one hand, the avant-garde wit of We Are Scientists' Chris Cain and Keith Murray has made them one of the most universally liked bands. On the other, signs of this vivacity are substantially lacking in current single Chic Lit: three and a half minutes of middling college rock that centres on a similar confrontational lyrical style ("I asked you nicely once but I won't do that again") to their anthemic 2005 single Nobody Moves, Nobody Gets Hurt. Only with a tune far less memorable. Or moving. Next time, can we just have a straight-out comedy record, please? Watch the video for Chick Lit

Joan As Police Woman, To Be Loved

When she's not performing as a sidekick to the likes of Rufus Wainwright and Lou Reed, 37-year-old Joan Wasser produces smouldering anti-folk similar to that of fellow Calgary homegirl Feist. Unfortunately, she's never stumbled across a hook catchy enough to bring her the levels of success akin to her multi-award-winning contemporary. To Be Loved is unlikely to change that. It strums along in a soothing, legato style with smatterings of electric guitar and resonant piano chords as Wasser sings about the happiness she's found in being loved. It's all pleasant enough, but then so is a bubble bath. Watch the video for To Be Loved

The Magnetic Fields, Please Stop Dancing

Please Stop Dancing is a gloriously understated number from New York quartet Magnetic Fields, a band whose power pop has a murky edge. It begins and ends in a flood of distortion and, with the initial absence of drums, you're left to revel in the gloom of Stephin Merritt's voice and a surprisingly groovy bass line. Distortion, the album from which this track is taken, has been described by the band as "orch-pop" in the vein of the Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy, although the lyrics ("Please stop dancing in my head, I have cried 'till I'm half dead") could only be the work of professional despondent Merritt. Enjoy the poetic misery, but don't think about moving those feet. Listen to Please Stop Dancing

The Metros, Last of the Lookers

Cheeky chappies the Metros ape new wave, wear braces to complement their perfectly ironed shirts and chant choruses such as "A noight out for a tenna!" The themes that dominate their loutish proto-punk are birds, booze and being skint, which makes the Pigeon Detectives sound like Proust. But even if fantastically named singer Sauly Adamczewski and his band aren't aiming for highbrow fans with their lumpen chords and reliance on shouts of "Oi!", they are at least aiming to replicate the macho posturing of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Trouble is, they actually come off like Sham 69. Only without the class. Watch the video for Last of the Lookers

MySpace of the Week: Twin Crystals

Will Canadians never tire of experimenting with aggro dance music? First grandma-frighteners Holy Fuck, then journo-frighteners Crystal Castles, and now a band that embodies a teenage boyish combination of the two and who Fader magazine describe as that feeling you get when "you fall asleep on the beach and wake up all groggy and weird and confused and all you can see when you blink are giant black spots, so you get up and go home and your car seat gets covered in sand and is kind of gritty and scratchy". And we all know what the sounds like, right? Listen to Twin Crystals at MySpace

Contributor

Rosie Swash

The GuardianTramp

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