Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock: IAMX vs. Paul Steel

Last week’s quarterfinal matchup started out neck and neck, but in the end Rose Hill Drive stepped on the gas and pulled away for a resounding 88%-12% victory over Food Will Win the War. Congrats to the excellent FWWtW for making the quarters and best of luck in the future. We’ll be listening. Meanwhile, Rose Hill Drive moves on to the semis where they’ll square off with Asobi Seksu.

Now for this week’s first semifinal throwdown. Contestant #1 is 20 year-old UK Power Pop prodigy Paul Steel, who knocked off the dynamic and popular Gogol Bordello to reach the round of four. Paul recalls one of his greatest moments:

“I got in from college one day and there was a message from Andy Partridge. I just couldn’t believe it, I rang him straight back and we chatted for ages, and the whole time I was shaking like a leaf.” At a plucky 16 years old, it was just the boost of confidence Steel needed. Growing up in coastal Worthing as an XTC and Radiohead addict, his first foray into the world of music was hardly the earth-shattering debut one would hope for.

Listen: MySpace / Last.FM

Paul’s opponent, also hailing from Across the Pond, is IAMX. From the AllMusic Guide:

Sneaker Pimps founding member Chris Corner began performing as the drippingly seductive electro-pop persona IAMX in 2003. Adopting the trappings of mid-’80s electro-pop and new wave acts like New Order, the Cure, and Depeche Mode with his pounding, reverb-swathed, synth-washed compositions, Corner’s work as IAMX represented a notable departure from his work with the Sneaker Pimps. His first full-length as IAMX, Kiss & Swallow, was released on Recall in 2004; the sophomore IAMX album, The Alternative, followed on Major two years later. Both albums featured a dark, vampirish sensibility and dealt with topics like alternative sexuality and drug use.

Listen: MySpace / Last.FM / Lala / eMusic

If you’d be so kind, please sample the music by clicking on the Listen links, then register your verdict in the poll below. Your vote decides who moves on to the finals. (And what the heck, tell your friends – they like music, right?)

<br /> <a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1737806/” mce_href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1737806/”>Who do you think is the best band in this round of the Tournament of Rock?</a><span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”>(<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com” mce_href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”>survey software</a>)</span><br />

The updated ToR bracket looks like this:

3 replies »

  1. Not surprisingly, I went with Paul Steel since Tea and Paul have been MySpace buddies for awhile – and for good reason….

  2. I won’t state my preference here – illusion of objectivity and all that – but I can say that I don’t see a bad choice. Both are outstanding, albeit in very, VERY different ways.

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