At this point in the history of Manchester’s music scene, it seems you have to be all bands to all people in order to make a splash. So it seems with Suzuki Methods, who blend dance club rhythms with New Wave synths, jangle-pop guitar and a dash of industrial shoegaze to keep you hooked from the very first bars of a song.
“Country Cousins,” which has a neon-inflected video reminiscent of the infamous Hacienda and 24 Hour Party People, is the first single off debut EP Native, produced by David Tolan (Delphic, New Order, Primal Scream) and Jim Spencer (The Doves, The Vaccines, 808 State). The music on this release came together, as did the band, from the ashes of civil unrest and rioting in the U.K. in summer 2011. Which may be why it feels so vitally urgent.
So, how about those Olympics? That’s a thing that’s happening, right? London’s being taken over by tourists and athletes and said athletes’ wild sex. Considering that I spend the majority of my time sitting in front of a computer, I don’t really know that much about sports, but here are some tenuously thematic tracks.
Girls Aloud – “Swinging London Town” Sure, the Spice Girls are reuniting for the Olympics, but here’s something from another girl group on hiatus for you. Girls Aloud never grabbed much of an audience outside of the UK, but it’s never too late to discover pop perfection.
Surfer Blood – “Swim” It feels like a while since we’ve heard from Florida rockers Surfer Blood, whose debut album Astrocoast was a favorite from 2010. Go ahead and listen to this while reading internet comments about the number of bags that need to be put over Michael Phelps’s head or something.
Jonquil – “Run” Things I would rather do than actually go running: listen to this song from the perennially pleasant Oxford band Jonquil, featured on their recent LP Point of Go.
Tennis – “Petition” I played tennis as a kid because my mom said I would like it and Michael Chang was a rare celebrity role model for Asian-Americans during the 90s. I wasn’t very good at it, so now the closest I get is listening to the retro-pop duo called Tennis. This is a highlight from their latest album Young And Old.
The Jam – “London Traffic” So apparently, a huge influx of people entering a city makes traffic really bad. Here is a song entitled “London Traffic” from 1977, truly a message for the ages.
The Specials – “Too Much Too Young” The closing ceremonies of the Olympics are set to showcase various artists from Britain’s proud musical history, including ska legends the Specials.
New Order – “Age of Consent” Not only are New Order also performing at the closing ceremonies, it’s scientifically proven (not really) that “Age of Consent” is one of the best summer songs ever.
Blur – “For Tomorrow” A significant portion of America is going to have to find out that Blur made more than “that woohoo song” when they headline the closing ceremonies. Here is my favorite Blur song, from 1993’s Modern Life Is Rubbish.
The Ruby Suns – “Olympics On Pot” It’s almost guaranteed that someone from Vice is going to go to the Olympics on acid, but the title of this song offers a back-up idea.
Here’s a very, very bizarre story: Holy Moly reports that a cache of lost Joy Division and New Order master tapes has been found by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, of all people, in the basement of a Manchester bank-turned-restaurant. The tapes were discovered alongside an unspecified amount of guns, gold and jewellery — three of the things one would store in a safety deposit box along with a really rough copy of Unknown Pleasures, I guess. The total value of Oliver’s finding? £1.1 million, which comes to about $1.725 million.
Unfortunately, Oliver has already turned the collection over to the British treasury, probably because "finder’s keepers" isn’t an applicable law to stuff that might have belonged to someone. If they’re ever released, I just know that the tapes will be turned into some precious box set of found sounds that will retail for a billion dollars or something ghastly, God willing.