The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Vol. 4: Don't Tell Them that You're a Fan


Here's volume four of a dozen & a haLf favorites. Except The Lucksmiths and The Orchids, all the bands in this volume are relatively new, but the music of all of them obviously resonate the trademark sound of '80s New Wave.

Most of the songs I selected for this volume remind me much of The Smiths, one of my favorite classic Alternative Rock bands; although, this is unsurprising, for most of the bands below list The Smiths as a major influence.

Volume 4: Don't Tell Them that You're a Fan

Columbus – Christian Girls
Columbus – Summer Girl
Dears, the – Corduroy Boy
Dears, the – Lost in the Plot
Hidden Cameras, the – Ban Marriage
Hidden Cameras, the – Doot Doot Ploot
Killers, the – Mr. Brightside
Killers, the – Smile like You Mean It
Lucksmiths, the – Midweek Midmorning
Lucksmiths, the – There Is a Boy who Never Goes Out
Nightmare of You – Dear Scene, I Wish I Was Deaf
Nightmare of You – The Days Go By Oh So Slow
Orchids, the – Bemused, Confused & Bedraggled
Orchids, the – I've Got a Habit
Tears, the – Lovers
Tears, the – Refugees
Voxtrot – Raised by Wolves
Voxtrot – The Start of Something

Columbus is a band formed in 2002 in Alberta, Canada. I just got my copy of their debut EP, Christian Girls, released only last August, from my friend Andrew Alexis Rena, a record collector and a fellow music enthusiast who lives in Ontario, Canada. Currently working on their first full-length album, Columbus cite Blur as one of their major influences.

The Dears was formed in 1995 in Quebec, Canada, but only in 2000 was it able to release its debut album, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story. Only last year did I learn of this band, courtesy of Timmy Tan, a record-collector friend of mine who lives in Ontario, Canada.

The Hidden Cameras is another Canadian band, formed in 2000. Quite prolific, the band has already released five full-length albums, the latest of which is The arms of his 'ill' (2004). According to references, The Hidden Cameras is well known for the theatrical quality of its gigs.

The Killers is that band from Nevada, USA, formed in 2002 and yet to record their followup to their debut album, Hot Fuss (2004), but already regarded as one of the important Alternative Rock bands to emerge last year. Vocalist Brandon Flowers cites Oasis, The Cure, New Order, and The Smiths as his band's major influences.

The Lucksmiths, an Australian band formed in 1993 which, despite having nine full-length albums and four EPs on its sleeves, remains obscure to this day. I'm lucky for having been introduced to the band's music, courtesy of my friend Jessel Baltazar, a record collector who lives in Ontario, Canada. The Lucksmiths cite Aztec Camera, Orange Juice, and The Smiths as some of their influences. The title of the song "There Is a Boy who Never Goes Out" is obviously derived from The Smiths' "There Is a Light that Never Goes Out." Like those of their chief icon, The Lucksmiths' songs usually have long yet catchy and thought-provoking titles.

Nightmare of You is another relatively new band that I would regard as a "love at first listen." Formed in 2003 in New York, USA, Nightmare of You released its eponymous debut only a few months ago, but it's already creating a lot of buzz in the Alternative Music scene. Actually, I learned of this band only last month while I was profile hopping on the Myspace Web site. Just a few seconds into the first song featured on the site and I was already hooked on them. After listening to Nightmare of You, you may bury me alive in your backyard if you say that their music has no The Smiths flavor in it—from the titles and lyricism to the instrumentation. Check out Nightmare of You on Myspace and get to listen to two more songs and watch a music video.

The Orchids, surprisingly, was/is an '80s-formed band which I got to know and hear only a few weeks ago (shame on me). But this is unsurprising, after all, because The Orchids never got big like their fellow Scot-bands Aztec Camera and Orange Juice. If not for the music blog sites that have been sprouting like mushrooms on the Internet today, this Scottish gem would have remained in oblivion. The Orchids had its beginnings in 1987 and got to release three albums before finally disbanding in 1995. "I've Got a Habit" comes off the debut album, Lyceum (1989), while "Bemused, Confused & Bedraggled" is from the second, Unholy Soul (1991). These and the third and final album, Striving for the Lazy Perfection (1994) have been released recently, in time for their reformation in 2004. I hope that they will release new materials. May they finally attain the success that they long deserve. (Special thanks go to fellow blogger Steve.)

The Tears is the new band of Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler, the magical meisters behind the music of the '90s Britpop band Suede. The Tears is very new, having formed only in 2004 and releasing its debut album, Here Come The Tears, this year. I had difficulty in choosing the best two among the best songs in the album.

Voxtrot is the newest band in this volume; in fact, so new that they are yet to release their first full-length album. The songs I included in this compilation come off their just released debut EP, Raised by Wolves. Voxtrot hails from Texas, USA. I've noticed that a lot of The Smiths juniors have been emerging these days. For me, that's a good omen. Sprout some more! Special thanks again to Andrew Alexis Rena for sending me a copy of the EP.


You may download the compilation here.


Disclaimer: My intention is to give you a taste test of some of my favorite bands. If you happened to like their music, support them by purchasing original copies of their albums.


Wikipedia—one of, if not the most reliable reference on the Internet today.


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