Thursday, 24 April 2014

SUCH SIGHTS - SINGLE REVIEW

Such Sights - In Her Name (Ambicon Records) 
Such Sights - In Her Name

I still haven't got the hang of band naming rules in the hardcore/metalcore scene, it seems to be either a random collection of words, an overly long sentence or, in this case, the sort of phrase that an outraged Nan might utter. And yet, there still isn't a band called Funbags or Hunters Chicken. Either way, the South Yorkshire quintet are a furious bunch and 'In Her Name' does a fine job of fusing some speed metal beats, chunky riffs and a front man that can go from a roar to a soft whisper with the flick of a tattooed wrist. This is a big song that will undoubtedly go do down well in the dark, sweaty rock clubs it is intended for but the video seems a bit of a poor fit to me. Instead of something moody, dark and brooding the guys are larking about in a disused office putting pictures of Page 3 stunners on the wall and riding bikes with shopping baskets tied to them. So, great music for those who like things heavy and heartfelt but the video perhaps belongs in the Britpop era.

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


BAT AND BALL - SINGLE REVIEW

Bat And Ball - Stops My Mouth (Hospital Samples/Kissability) 
Bat And Ball - Stops My Mouth

Release Date: 28th April 2014

South-East Londoners Bat And Ball are the latest band I've had recently who appear to have to built up a great reputation, buzz and a bit of a following without having that much information out there for consumption. I've heard recently that the trend is to have as few followers on Facebook/Twitter as possible so as to be truly underground but this smacks a little of cool for cool's sake to me. Regardless of this, Bat And Ball have created something lushly seductive in 'Stops My Mouth' full of muted guitars, sombre piano notes and the caramel smooth vocals of Abi Sinclair. Elements of Dutch Uncles, Delphic, New Order and St Etienne mingle with continental tones and a Scandinavian sense of quirk that is utterly delectable. You can see where the buzz is coming from and, thankfully, it's all down to the music rather than the haircuts or who they're sleeping with. Although, a romantic liaison with, say, Ross Kemp would at least propel them in the tabloid celebrity pages if they were so inclined.

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

Live Dates:


28th April - Single Release @ Shacklewell Arms, London w/Ticktock + White Fever

PAU - EP REVIEW

Pau - Paupulism EP 
Pau - Paupulism EP
Pau are a quartet from Hamburg which is confusing me as I once spent a freezing weekend in Hamburg but have also spent some sunny times in the French town of Pau. What temperature should I listen to this music at? Tricky. Either way, this three track EP kicks off with 'Class Will Show' which is a gently bouncing piece of indie fun somewhere between Dutch Uncles and Soulwax but with a particularly Germanic feel. The growl of the bass that introduces 'In The Flashlight' is soothed by the keys and calm, Teutonic vocals before the Young Knives-esque guitars chime in for a piece of the action. 'Runner' completes proceedings with a dark, moody vibe and some fantastic, Kraftwerk style key sounds. There aren't really any stadium anthems here but I don't think that's what Pau were going for as they've created an EP that will go down a storm with indie purists and, I predict, would be particularly popular in Manchester. Prove me wrong, why don't you...


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

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

KNUCKLE - SINGLE REVIEW

Knuckle - Living Hell 
Knuckle - Living Hell

There is something special about a great band name and for me Knuckle is a cracking band name. I don't know why but it just leaps off the page at me...to punch me in the face perhaps or just sinisterly brush my face while I sleep. Either way, it's a great name. Knuckle are a duo from Huddersfield (or 'Uddersfield as the locals call it) and 'Living Hell' is a slice of dirty, raunchy, bluesy rock pie. There's nothing revolutionary here but just as that old guy down the local in the leather jacket always manages to pull, this music will always make people want to rock out. The Black Keys is the obvious to comparison to make but with a British twist in the shape of the Who or Led Zep. Immensely noisy stuff for a two piece and so dirty you'd need a hot girl in a pair of Daisy Dukes to sponge it down but she'd be pregnant before the job was even half done. If you followed any of that you're a better man than I am but the bottom line is that this rocks and you should get it in your life.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/weareknuckle?ref=ts&fref=ts

Live Dates:

26th April - Carpe Diem, Leeds
3rd May - Milo, Live @ Leeds Festival
25th May - Puzzfest, Sowerby Bridge
30th May - Coffee Evolution, Huddersfield


WILD SMILES - SINGLE REVIEW

Wild Smiles - Fool For You (Sunday Best) 
Wild Smiles - Fool For You

Up for something fun and free? No, I'm not offering you a hand job, I'm here to introduce you to the ridiculously infectious rock-pop trio Wild Smiles. I don't know a huge amount about these guys but what I do know is that they have a huge amount buzz surrounding them and, on the basis of this one song, that buzz is justified. 'Fool For You' is a delightful entree which comes in at a little over two minutes but in that time manages to take the dark spirit of the Jesus & Mary Chain and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club only to splice it with the pop sensibilities of the Beach Boys or early Beatles. From the get-go this is full of up-tempo beats, dirty (seriously, filthy) guitars and perky if not a little sleazy vocals. These guys are going to be massive this summer but whether they are bigger for longer will depend on whether they have any other songs. I'm pretty sure they do though, they don't seem like one song guys.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/WILD.SMILES.the.band/

Free Download: https://www.facebook.com/WILD.SMILES.the.band/app_208195102528120

Live Dates:

1st May - Mark Beaumont Presents @ The Monarch, London
20th May - White Heat Club @ Madame Jo Jo's, London
22nd May - Old Blue Last, London

28th May - The Barfly, London

KRISTY AND THE KRAKS - EP REVIEW

Kristy And The Kraks - "s/t" EP (Totally Wired Records) 
Kristy And The Kraks - s/t EP

All female duo Kristy And The Kraks are made up of Kate Kristal and Ana Threat coming straight outta Vienna with their raw, scratchy garage pop. The tremulous guitars and stomping beat of 'I Don't Love You No More' provide the perfect foil for the double act's harmonious caterwauling. 'Twentyone' follows hot on the heels with 42 seconds of basic riffage and the kind of grunts that a bored female tennis player might make. The spookily seductive picking of 'No No No No No' soon gives way to low moans and some slightly angular guitar melodies. The final track is 'Suicide' which sounds like a one man band falling down a staircase with some fortuitous melodies happening on each step. I'm fairly sure Kristy And The Kraks are pretty cool and very much at all the best parties but I can't help but feel that this music works better in a small, dark club full of people wearing sunglasses at midnight.

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


10th May - BLA, Bonn

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

PETITE MELLER - SINGLE REVIEW

Petite Meller - Backpack 
Petite Meller - Backpack

Release Date: 28th April 2014

Ugh, here's another absurdly talented and beautiful musician who is taking up more than her fair share of seats on the fame train. Between modelling for L'Oreal, Vogue and Nylon, French chanteuse Meller has managed to rack up support dates with the likes of Mark Ronson and Hurts and this slick pop influence is indiscriminately slathered all over new single 'Backpack'. There's a moment when you think this is going to be awful as some Kenny G-esque saxophone cuts loose and suddenly it's the early 90s all over again. However, generally speaking, Meller's cutesy vocals and summery vibes with a hint of Kate Bush's theatrics make this an engaging and intriguing piece of pop. Expect to hear it on an advert for shampoo soon, no doubt.

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