Review of This Merrie City, Compilation Album by Napoleon IIIrd

This Merrie City
Album Review

Napoleon IIIrd This Merrie City, Compilation Album

This Merrie City is the second release from Loud Than Bomb Records, the city derided as Leeds ugly sister, but surely it is the other way round. All eighteen tracks that come from this album, the artists are from a town called Wakefield. For those thinking Wakefield where is that?? Near Leeds and is a very nice city, but more importantly has a lot of up and coming talent waiting to burst out of Wakefield and all make there individual mark on the music industry.

In short to coincide with the release of the record, there are a couple of shows with the bands from the album performing. Make sure that you get a copy of this album because there are only 1,000 copies available. The one thing about these Yorkshire folk is that there is some weird stuff, but have a few listens because you will appreciate where these bands are coming from.

This Merrie City is fully packed with Wakefield's finest and not so finest artists from the forgotten City. Where there is good, there is always bad. Look at Nottingham there is Nottingham Forest and Notts County; no sorry that is just bad and bad! The thing about putting such a distinctive album together where you only have a limited pile to choose from not all of it is going to be up to standard. Surprisingly however is the fact that this is an eighteen-track album and would of probably been so much better if it was whittled down to twelve tracks.

The Wakefield compilation starts off well with Little Lee's track I'll Be By Your Side that starts off like a stuck record that mixes into electronic sounds, but the twist in the tale so to speak is the mellow, calm, assuring vocals. Not forgetting distorted sounds coming from nowhere that actually weave together to make what is a great start. The follow on is hit with what can only be described as a "Radio Friendly" song in the shape King Of The Underground by Pylon that seems to have a fell of The Boo Radleys. The Old House blast into action with raw guitar riffs and dual vocals always a hard skill to be singing the same lyrics at the same time at such a speed. It does go to show that at times the sleeping giant that is Wakefield does have some talent although none of these guys were on Britain's Got Talent! Good job really in all fairness to them.

Four songs in and along comes the dive of quality that has been show cased so far on the journey of This Merrie City. Unfortunately it is Piskie Sits that brig things down a level with muffled, distorted sounds and what can only be described as a poor mans Tim Wheeler (Ash) vocal performance. There seems to be no direction to this apart from down. Not to worry though, because The Spills bang out a high energy rip rawing guitars smashing out, but then it is.

.The highly original Napoleon IIIrd, just try and decipher what instruments he is using because you will be wrong! From laser guns to kids music boxes to funnily enough there is actually a guitar, but the best thing about Napoleon IIIrd is that he is outrageous with style. Just listening to Napoleon IIIrd makes you intrigued to go and see him live. Napoleon IIIrd leads perfectly into the next song in the fact of pure opposite with Shoot Me Girl by The New Delamores. The New Delamores have reached out with something that you would expect to hear in a car chase while watching Heartbeat.

Halfway through the album and it has already been established that the forgotten city does have a lot of talent out there, and where there is talent there is always a flip side of talent less. With the first half being the good does it not make you worry that the second half will be the bad and the ugly mixed into one?

You can be the judge of that but with tracks like School Of The Dead from Dirty Robbers then it will be business as usual, because this mental track is something that The Coral would be proud of. Ahhhhh, The Intergallatic Urangatang, come along and it seems like the decision can't be made on rap or electro dance. Either way a decision needs to be made because it just sounds like two records being played at once. Then surprisingly is a track that stands out like a sore thumb by Sarah Williams and The So Called Friends. Has someone put this on the album to make sure that this far into the album we are still awake? Who knows but What I Really Mean is a beautiful acoustic track that Sarah sings amazingly and leaves you in, well a happy place. So before you find yourself falling asleep reading this we will come to an abrupt end and what better way with the last track on the album Leaving The House With Cat my Mi Mye? Hmmm the less said about it the better really.

The best thing about this album is that the songs one person will love, another person will hate and visa versa, which is what it is all about. If we all liked the same thing then music would be pretty boring, luckily that is not the case. On another level this is the first chance you get to hear some of the up and coming talent to come from Wakefield, yes Wakefield, near a place called Leeds. Give it a couple more years and Wakefield will also have a better Football Club as well.


Mark Moore

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