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Monster Music Awards 2004
The Best Kept Secret Award
         
The Walkman - Bows And Arrows     Winston - Passengers     Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour     Secret Machines - Now Here Is Nowhere     The Radio Dept - Lesser Matters
         
     
The Radio Dept - Lesser Matters
 
The Walkman - Bows And Arrows
Winston - Passengers
Delays - Faded Seaside Glamour
Secret Machines - Now Here Is Nowhere
The Radio Dept - Lesser Matters

This was almost impossible to call. Possibly the strongest final list I have ever drawn up for this award. Any other year, this could have been the list for best album. Each of these albums is a stand out listen. Each one should be heard by everyone. But each one still seems to be a secret to most. In the end I opted for The Radio Dept. And I am still not sure on my decision. If I were to go for the one that I listened to the most out of these albums, The Delays would have won, but I just felt that The Radio Dept offered a more original sounding album and with the Delays slowly getting more and more coverage, The Radio Dept were more likely to be kept in the catagory of band undiscovered. And as the point of this award to to try and spead the word about something that has been totally missed, it seemed the only option in the end... Lesser Matters is a great album for all those who like to hear something a little different. Who want to hear a band who are trying something new. The stand out point of this album is the White Noise that is used on most tracks. Something that would put most off, but it shouldn't it. works and works well. The album is fresh and as much interesting to listen to as well as enjoyable. This isn't a band who are experimenting and seeing what they can come up with, they know what they are doing. So much so that XL Recordings have signed them up. And XL don't get much wrong. Coming from Sweden means that England may have to wait until the second album before they break through (we can be slow sometimes on the uptake). But do yourself a favour and try and get hold of this album first and beat the bandwagon jumpers. An album that will wake you up just as much as relax you. A real break from the norm that will make you totally bored of the norm within 3 listens.

The Delays took me a while to get into. To be fair I didn't give it much of a chance when I first brought it. The problem was I instantly loved the first three tracks and come the forth it all changed and my attention faded off. And so it got put in the rack and forgotten about for about 5 months. I then faniced listening to something I didn't know too well one day and I suddenly heard it all for what it really was. Packed with some great tracks. A very happy album that just sounds of summer every single time. It's not ground breaking, but considering the coverage some bands have been getting this year, the Delays can count themselves very gutted to have not been mentioned as much as they should have. This is a great debut album and sounds great. Slowly but surly they are getting heard more and more. But remember where you read about them first. And the same can be said about Secret Machines. Now Here is Nowhere is rapidly getting heard. But The Ginge being The Ginge, he has owned this album since it's release. Again an album slightly off the beaten track (which is a good thing) and I know this will not be to everyone's taste. In fact you will either love or hate them. How to describe them, electro indie I think is the best way. And they do take rather a few listens before you find yourself wanting to hear certain tracks. Some are a bit drawn out and clearly trying to be more dramatic that the band are actually allowing themselves to be. But there are more than enough tracks on here to over look that and enjoy the album. MTV2 and VH2 have started to pick up on this lot and it won't be long before everyone starts to do what they did to me over the last year "Ginge have you heard of Jet, what do you think of them". A band of course up for this award long before anyone else had heard of them (yeah I know, how cool am I), and I expect the same to start happening with Secret Machines. But like I say, you will either love or hate them. The Walkman are close to being the next best thing. Their single The Rat somehow got totally over looked by most. Which is a surprise. And it's only now that it seems to be getting played. The Walkman were introduced to me by Nick and I saw their album a week later and took a chance. It turned out to be one of the best purchases of the year. Full of raw energy and loud guitars backed up by voice breaking vocals that just work. The Rat will slowly become a hit I am sure of it. This is a band everyone will be listening too very soon. Winston are the perfect example of what this award is mainly all about. If you want to follow the word of The Ginge, your going to have to shop abroad for this album. You can't get it in England. I don't usually add links, but if anyone was going to go on my word, then here is the link to their site www.winstonmusic.com Only just on the verge of making it big in their own country, this really is a madly early prediction from me. But this album is as good as anything released in this catagory and deserves a mention. At the moment only a handful of people in this country even know about then (see told you I was cool), but having passed on my knowledge to Young Furterz we were both in total agreement that if ever a band should come to this country and take a chance it was this one, and right now. With the way music is heading in England, Winston would fit right in. An album very much in the same frame of mind as The Delays, not groundbreaking but fresh, full of life and one of those albums you will listen to over and over simply because it sounds so good. Clearly not trying to change to world , just trying to make a great sounding album. And they have. For anyone who likes to buy music from the net and likes taking a chance to hear something new from somewhere else...you do have to buy this.

         

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