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Groove Demo Tape Reviews Dan's Demos

One of my jobs whilst working at Groove magazine was to review music demos released by local bands and musicians.

Whilst the majority tended to be awful, there were always the odd cassette that stood out from the pack, and finding these made the job worthwhile. I still kick myself, however, for losing that original Oasis demo I once had... Doh!

Here you can check out a few samples of my scintillating prose...


Energetic power-pop, reminiscent of Ash, with a healthy sprinkling of 'sixties harmonies, plus a few bits pilfered from Suede for good measure. You can see the qualities that got the band voted "number one unsigned band" in the Manchester Evening news, and no doubt you ain't seen the last of these four lads. No siree!


By far the most ambitious and distinctive demo this month. Mokka produce lush, moody ballads that conjure up the ghosts of Orbison and Curtis, and the results are rather swoonsome.

Epic tracks laden with acoustic guitars, huge piano chords, swooping strings and an extraordinairy vocal talent that shimmers like a young Tim Buckley. Maybe lacking a killer tune to really get your ovaries pumping, but you just have to be impressed by the sheer scope and majesty of the songs. Definitely a star in ascendance.


With titles like 'PCB' and 'Cables' you would assume that Stellar have some unearthly fixation with DIY electronics, but this doesn't quite translate into the huge, ambient soundscapes my wetted lips were slavering for. What you do get, however, is spacious, wirey guitar pop, heavy on mood and with a nice pervaiding aura of melancholy to cuddle up to.

Distinctive, trip-hoppy female vocals compliment the jazz-tinged rhythms, making this a polished offering, with perhaps a hint of St.Etienne in there somewhere. All-in-all a different and rather intriguing demo, that manages to combine the atmosphere with pop dynamics. Good stuff.


Psychedelic vocals, liberal use of flanging (vicar!), give this Scouse four-piece a distinctive edge to their jaunty-yet-moody pop. Good tunes, bad lead guitar, nice vocals, bad name. In fact, its definitely a game of two halves, Brian.

The Sights

Nicely performed Scouse-pop, replete with the requisite harmonies and crunchy jazz/blues guitar licks, making for easy (if unchallenging) listening, despite the occasional acerbic one-liner. Catchy tunes, but lacking any real killer instinct, being a little too generic in style to really inspire.

The Same

Calling yourself The Same is just asking for trouble, but at least there's a degree of quirkiness mixed in with the obligatory Sixties' tinged pop to give it an authentic ring. Unassuming, but quietly accomplished, reminding me of the soundtrack to one of those 60's film about Carnaby St., where blonde 'dolly birds' wander round in polka-dot mini skirts and thigh high leather endearing image, you'll agree.


Catapult, true to their name, bounce along on groovesome bass-lines and funky 'wah' guitar, with full throated vocal accompaniment on top. Imagine the Chilli Peppers doing old 'Sixties covers and you'll get the picture. Don't you? Good, solid stuff. and acres of fun live, no doubt?!

The Bovines

The Bovines is not really a name to inspire confidence, now is it? Actually, the demo sounds better than the name implies, but not by much. The aatmospherics and mood often get drowned in a mush of standard blues/pop riffing and dodgy solos, which is a shame as the singer has a good voice that actually conveys emotion well. With a bit more thought and a name change, things could get better. {Insert funny BSE joke here}.

Something Wonderful

Something Wonderful? More like 'Something Nearly Wonderful' !! That's my funny joke, see?

Sounding like The Verve jamming with Hawkwind, this is all weird atmospherics without the rudiments of melody or structure or any of those old fashioned chord change thingies that actually make music listenable. Has its moments, and probably sounded great when the acid kicked in... mummy!