Wednesday, 1 October 2014

DARK COUNTY - SINGLE REVIEW

Dark County - Watching Them Burn (Gunner Records) 
Dark County - Watching Them Burn

I do like the name of this band but in typing this review out I've already managed to misname them Dark Country and Dark Cunty. Neither of which are right. The London trio, however, are right. Oh so right. This debut track, 'Watching Them Burn', is a scuzzy, dirty, filthy whore of a tune that starts with a circular riff from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Jesus & Mary Chain back catalogue. The Glam-Rock vocals and the pounding drums complete the picture and before you know it you're down the front with the singer's sweat spraying over you and the smell of leather mingling with the stench of three day old booze on his breath. This is rock'n'roll in its purest, most distilled form and I want another swig.


More information: http://www.darkcounty.com/

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

THE GOOOD THINGS - EP REVIEW

The Goood Things - The Goood Things EP (33 Records) 
The Goood Things - The Goood Things EP

Do not adjust your sets people. Tokyo crazies The Goood Things decided that things were clearly so good that they needed an extra 'o' and who are we to question their decision? Nobody, that's who. This EP from the popular beat combo kicks off with  'She Called Me Baby' kicks off with the laid back, West coast beach grooves of Weezer or the Lemonheads as well as being slightly reminiscent of the hugely underrated Holy City Rollers. 'Back Porch' has a lo-fi, low-slung feel that is part slacker and part life of the party with its rolling bass line and bouncing guitars that make me want to put on a Hawaiian shirt and dance on the beach as the sun goes down. There's an almost Mersey beat feel to the organ slathered 'Here I Come' but the vocal delivery is more like something Cake would come up with. Final track 'Save The Day' is a perky indie-pop number with a slightly sleazy edge that makes it slightly more grown up than your average bouncy, guitar based ditty but without losing its sense of fun. The more I hear from the Tokyo scene the more I want to check out the bars and clubs where the guitars rattle, the basses roll and the drums beat out like a call to arms. And I want The Goood Things to be there keeping the crowd bopping and the beer flowing.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/theGooodThingsJP


Listen/Download Here: https://thegooodthings.bandcamp.com/ 

Monday, 29 September 2014

VENTENNER - ALBUM REVIEW

Ventenner - Distorture (Sonic Fire Records) 
Ventenner - Distorture

Are you ready for some dark, oil covered rock with an industrial tint and some seriously heavy boots? Ah go on, you know you want to. It'll be fun, I promise. Quartet Ventenner have a whole new album for your enjoyment and it all kicks off with 'Rise', a song that is somewhere between Depeche Mode and Tool as well as possibly being the darkest start to an album I've heard in a very long time. 'Six Blood' is up next, continuing the doomy theme with some industrial rhythms and desperate, almost tortured vocals before 'Wave' swaggers in to the room in slow motion looking like an extra from the Matrix as imagined by Tarantino in one of his darker moods. The drums that herald 'Unaffected' are of Viking origins but the song itself is more like Nirvana or System Of A Down at its heart.

Let's face it, this is not music that's ever going to trouble the Top 40 or get covered on the X Factor by a 17 year old boy with acne and a sob story. What this is going to do, however, is allow you explore all those dark places in your mind and your soul that you don't have time to recognise while you're queuing to pay for your cheese sandwich in Tesco. Album title track 'Distorture' is up next, all Black Rebel Motorcycle Club riffs and atmosphere before 'Skin Ritual' begins like the Cooper Temple Clause with a darker heart and retains a malevolent heart throughout. 'Begin Again' is the soundtrack to the sunrise on the day of a battle to save planet earth while 'Metacell' is a full on, diesel fuellled, snarling beast of a song that will chew you up and spit you out before you have time to form an opinion on it. The industrial swirl and churn of 'Fallout' is the stuff of dark rock fantasies and just makes me want walk everywhere in entirely black clothing with a look that says "I enjoy chaos" on my face. I also want to wear an eye patch. Don't judge me.

As album's go this is an absolutely huge slab of rock in every sense of the word and I like what I see chiselled in to its weather worn face. The final section begins with 'Cast', a track that is more about atmosphere than it is about a song and could easily feature on the soundtrack to a bloodily violent computer game. 'Undone' has a funereal tone to it while 'Shade' builds in to a window shattering, ear bleeding climax. Final track 'House Of Ten' is what's left when all the good in the world has been destroyed and the devil is left playing Jenga with Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan. So go on, indulge your dark side and let this album seep in to your soul while you're sleeping. You might just like it..you might just love it.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Ventenner?fref=ts


Watch the video for 'Six Blood': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXnVoLFuktQ 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

MOLLY CALE - SINGLE REVIEW

Molly Cale - Sweetheart 
Molly Cale - Sweetheart

I don't get many classically trained flautists come my way but Molly Cale is just that and she certainly knows a thing or two about music. The Stoke-On-Trent born musician has the charmingly titled 'Sweetheart' ready for you as a musical calling card and it starts with a gentle, Sunday afternoon piano riff with a jazzy, soulful bent. The tune then develops in to a light, reggae rhythm which doesn't quite have the soul or swing to cut it as a full blown ragga tune. There's no denying that there's some fine musicianship in this song and some slick composing as you might expect but there is a certain passion, edge or grit missing from this tune that would have made it a real contender  on the indie-pop scene. There's better to come though, I hope.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/mollycale

MELODY SAYS - SINGLE REVIEW

Melody Says - Bang Bang 
Melody Says - Bang Bang

Parisian girl, big acoustic guitar and a debut single called 'Bang Bang'? Yeah, I'm pretty much sold already and half way to being in love. Melody Says, aka Alix, has a world weary feel to it but blues and jazz influences drifting out from the acoustic strums and walking bass line. The vocals are predictably sultry but there is an edge to them, a certain 'whatever!?' cool that is nigh on impossible to resist. Stylistically this takes in everything from the Kinks to the Libertines with a whole host of 60s pop references in between. There is something a little bit magical about Melody Says and something a little bit mysterious that 9 out of 10 cats will fall in love with. Every one of them a hip-cat at that.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/melodysayspage/


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty9plbH_XpY 

THE NAYSAYERS - ALBUM REVIEW

The Naysayers - Hope 
The Naysayers - Hope

Now before we get in to this, I must point out that if you click through to this band's Bandcamp page they do look a little like an early 80s group of serial killers from the backabeyond in Canada. I'm fairly sure they're not serial killers but I thought it only fair to warn you. In real life, the Naysayers are from Canada, from the remote Yukon peninsula next to Alaska to be precise, and they have been out on the road for quite some time. The album opens up with the fast paced folk'n'roll rattle of 'Cant' Love You Anymore' before 'Family Farm' brings a darker, moodier lilt with a mocking chorus that cries from the shadows as you walk down the deserted street with your collar up. 'C'mon C'mon' has a wild west feel albeit with a bleak, wintry feel while 'Hearts Parts' has a rich tone with the heart of Bruch Springsteen and more than a little Frank Turner behind the scenes.

As we reach 'Hope', the Dawson City quartet start to show their more tender side with a country infused acoustic ramble that gets beefed up in the choruses before the imaginatively title 'Hope Pt. 2' rolls around with a blend of Indigo Girls, Beautiful South and Michelle Shocked to the music. The moody, brooding lilt of 'Go' is only increased by the introduction of some booming drums and space between the guitar notes. You won't be surprised to hear that 'Wrecking Ball' is not a cover of the Miley Cyrus caterwauling but is in fact an organ smothered 50s rock ballad. 'Things', on the other hand, has a Mexican border kinda feel as each word to spat out through gritted teeth and years of frustration. The tenth and final track (perfect album length, well done) is 'Strike' which rattles and swaggers like Patti Smith jamming with Grinderman in an abandoned East End pub as a riot goes on outside the window. This album is the very epitome of music made by people with bigger horizons 
than the ones they were born within sight of. Music to escape your surroundings to, if you will.

More information: http://thenaysayersmusic.com/

Listen/Download: http://naysayersmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

Live Dates:

29th September - The Brownstone, Orillia
1st October - 180 Projects, Sault Ste. Marie
3rd October - The Speakeasy, Sudbury
8th October - The Rainbow, Ottawa
9th October - Brasserie  Beaubien, Montreal
10th October - The Cellar, Fredericton
11th October - The Capital, Fredericton
15th October - CBTG's, St. John's
16th October - CBTG's, St. John's
17th October - The Levee, St. John's
18th October - The Back Lot, Corner Brook
20th October - Reflections Cabaret, Halifax
22nd October - Callahan's Pub, St. John
25th October - Eventide Art Hub (Early), New Glasgow
26th October - PEI - Baba's, Charlottetown
27th October - The Ward Room, Halifax

29th October - Plan B, Moncton

KLANGKARUSSELL - ALBUM REVIEW

Klangkarussell - Netzwerk 
Klangkarussell - Netzwork

It must be one of those quirky twists of fate that two of my favourite albums of the year are dance albums that have come out of Austria. Parov Stelar's 'The Art Of Sampling' is still an ever present in my car stereo and has recently been joined by Klangkarussell's new long player 'Netzwerk'. The Salzburg duo kick things off with 'Eistee' and immediately you're transported to a trancey, dubby, blissed out dance tent somewhere at a festival around sunset as the instrumentals and bird noises mingle in the air waves. 'Netzwerk (Fall Like Rain)' is more of an uplifting, arms in the air dance tune with some gorgeous tribal vocals and chord changes that make you want to rip your shirt off and dance in the rain. The vibe on 'Berlin' is slightly more subdued but again the melodies kick in and you realise we're dealing with slick, professional dance heavyweights. It is on 'We Want Your Soul', however, that the deal is sealed as the Baz Luhrmann-esque electronic vocals drill in to your brain and convert you to an alternative religion. A religion called dance.

'Sonnentanz (Sun Don't Shine) [Feat. Will Heard]' is, quite frankly, a Faithless sized dancefloor filler while 'Symmetry' has a rhythm that is impossible to resist and a synth chord melody with enough edge to make the silky smooth vocals sound slightly sinister. The track that probably sums Klangkarussell up best is 'Celebrate' with its blend of dirty grooves, good clean melodies, soulful vocals and an uplifting vibe that you just can't help but get swept up in. 'Sternenkinder' is up next with a return to the tribal style vocal melodies and then 'Moments' goes and gets all funky on our asses. As the album approaches the climax we are treated to 'All Eyes On You', a tune which takes us down a road of dark, Trainspotting style electro melodies that soundtrack the comedown like nothing before. The bonus track at the very end, 'Sonnentanz', is a six minute instrumental remix of the earlier track with the same name that, unusually, actually has some worth on the album. As I said, this is not only one of the best dance albums of the year or one of the best Austrian albums of the year, this is probably going to be in my top 10 by the end of the year. Simply superb.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/klangkarussell

Live Dates:

3rd October - Fabric, London
4th October - Warehouse Project, Manchester
10th October - Loft, Barcelona
7th November - Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik
10th November - Docks, Hamburg
11th November - Gibson, Frankfurt
12th November - Muffathalle, Munich
14th November - Volkshaus, Basel
15th November - Bierhuebeli, Bern
16th November - LKA-Longhorn, Stuttgart
17th November - Arena, Bezrik Landstrasse
19th November - Live Music Hall, Cologne

21st November - Astra Kulturhaus, Berlin