Thursday, 29 January 2015

CALLUM PICKARD AND THE THIRD LOOK - SINGLE REVIEW

Callum Pickard And The Third Look - Lonely Boy And Girl
Callum Pickard And The Third Look - Lonely Boy And Girl

OK, this is a bit bonkers and is one of those tunes that is best enjoyed while watching the video. Midlander Callum Pickard and his troupe of musicians the Third Look start off 'Lonely Boy And Girl' with a bass line straight from a Drifters song, some 'Baker Street' sax, a shuffling beat and dreamy guitars straight out of the Swim Deep school of thought. Pickard's vocals are dreamy and distracted but with the irritability of a stoner who knows he has something really important to do but who can't remember what it is and who wouldn't have the energy to do it even if he could remember. After a few listens this is strangely addictive and I can see myself looping this over and over again the next time I'm having a down day. Oh, and it's all set to old black and white movie clips which, well, works. I don't know why or how but it just works. Go figure.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QxF77Exsho

Live Dates:

6th February - Ditch The TV, Coventry w/ Carrick + The Homeless Notes
29th March - Sunplugged, Birmingham w/Sam Martin

VAST ROBOT ARMIES - SINGLE REVIEW

Vast Robot Armies - Everything New Is Old Again/Foxtrot 
Vast Robot Armies - Everything New Is Old Again/Foxtrot

I try not to be a judging person but if I go to someone's house that I've never visited before I always try to take a quick scan of the CD collection just to see what I'm dealing with. I remember a date that got truncated upon seeing the first three CDs on a girl's shelf were a Mariah Carey album, the best of Celine Dion and the soundtrack from Titanic. So, when I saw that Toronto band Vast Robot Armies listed their influences to include the likes of ELO, Supertramp, Van Halen, Fugazi and Doves I was, to say the least, intrigued.

The first of these two tracks, 'Everything New Is Old Again', starts off with some slightly moody synth sounds before the guitars emerge like a sunrise and then the drums, vocals and bass all crash in at once. This is real wall of sound stuff but with woozy, almost drunk sounding melodies twisting out of the corner of your eye and in to full, Technicolor view. 'Foxtrot', being the other track, is more of a trad indie affair with a foot stomping melody evoking memories of the La's, the jangle of the Beatles and the Seahorses at their brief best. I can imagine having a cracking time at a Vast Robot Armies gig and I get the impression they're thoroughly good fun to be around as well. The full package, then.


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

YOU WIN AGAIN GRAVITY - SINGLE REVIEW

You Win Again Gravity - Skyline 
You Win Again Gravity - Skyline

If you're in the market for a bit of progressive post-hardcore math rock from Queen Elizabeth II's back garden then you're in luck. The marvellously named You Win Again Gravity have a new single for you under the title 'Skyline' and a video to boot. Things start atmospherically enough but the bursts of rapid drumming give a hint at what is to come. Sure enough, razor sharp choppy riffs and razor gargled vocals come crashing in and the band's disregard for time signatures or a traditional melody are apparent for all to see. I have to admit to feeling a little numb to this at first but as the four and a half minute track unfolds there are new and exciting complexities to be found that keep you hooked. They get pretty close to the genius of Reuben but they just lack that wry humour to tip the over the edge although the video is beautifully dark so that helps.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7A09aIn110

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

RANGLEKLODS - SINGLE REVIEW

Rangleklods - Lost U (Tambourhinoceros) 
Rangleklods - Lost U

Now, here we have a band who knew what they were doing when they were picking a name. I don't know if it means something in their native Danish tongue but either way the word Rangleklods is a hugely satisfying word to say. Rangleklods. Rangleklods. Try it, let it roll around your mouth a little. Rangleklods. Anyway, I digress, 'Lost U' is the new single from the duo is a juddering, skittish beast with galloping beats, 90s keyboard sounds and seductive disco vocals. There is a sexiness to this song that I find appealing but it is the mix of different generations of genre that really makes this a track worth checking out. That and the name. Rangleklods. Sorry, I won't say it again.......Rangleklods.

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

Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/rangleklods/lost-u-album

Live Dates:

27th March - Train, Aarhus
2nd April - Pitstop, Kolding
3rd April - Skraaem, Aalborg
4th April - Pumphuset, Copenhagen

9th May - Kulturmaskinen, Odense 

GREGORY PORTER FEAT. LAURA MVULA - SINGLE REVIEW

Gregory Porter Feat. Laura Mvula - Water Under Bridges 
Gregory Porter feat. Laura Mvula - Water Under Bridges

Two of the best voices of recent years combine on this single to make beautiful music together. 'Water Under Bridges' is a laid-back, soulful affair built on a simple beat and a melody like rain against a window on a Sunday afternoon. Porter and Mvula's voices complement each other perfectly like vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate pudding or whisky on ice cubes. There is a slightly odd moment when they break in to a round of 'London Bridge Is Falling Down' but you almost don't notice, such is the sublime and smooth combination of vocal talents. Timeless and gorgeous.

More information:

Gregory Porter - https://www.facebook.com/gregoryportermusic?fref=ts

Laura Mvula - https://www.facebook.com/lauramvulamusic?fref=ts

Watch The Lyric Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El9Rgph5ICs

Live Dates:  

Gregory Porter;

14th February - The Town Hall, New York

13th May - Southport Theatre & Convention Centre, Southport

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

MAT HUNSLEY - DEMO REVIEW

Mat Hunsley - Ballroom (Demo) 
Mat Hunsley - Ballroom

North Eastern folk troubadour has emerged briefly from his winter hibernation to give us another taste of his subdued brilliance so listen up but don't make a sound lest we scare him back in to his shack. 'Ballroom' is the latest tune to be released by our understated hero and some gentle acoustic notes, eased piano chords and warmly enveloping strings all swirl together to make a gorgeous, soft bed of music to collapse in to. Hunsley's voice is so rich, smooth and comforting that you want to melt cheese on it and eat it straight out of the pan as he sings of epic heartache on a grander scale than most people could ever fathom. Simply stunning.

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

Live Dates:


29th January - The Cluny, Newcastle w/Trev Gibb

RACHEL LYNN - SINGLE REVIEW

Rachel Lynn - Tend To The Flame 
Rachel Lynn - Tend To The Flame

Rachel Lynn is a Brooklyn girl with a nose ring and a soulful voice that would seduce a priest. Free Download 'Tend To The Flame' is a sultry almost raunchy song that finds Lynn imploring her lover to build her a fire for her to tend to. There is passion and range to Lynn's voice that is hard to ignore and her performance in the video suggests someone who has a future as a live performer as well as a studio artist. Musically, however, the backing track puts me in mind of a mediocre Carols Santana tribute band playing in a half empty hotel bar on a Wednesday night right after the buffet has closed. Everybody needs a leg up once in a while but Rachel Lynn might be better to strike out alone and let her voice speak for itself.

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

Free Download: http://hangout.altsounds.com/features/168062-altsounds-exclusive-free-download-rachel-lynn-tend.html


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dohMGdzky4&feature=youtu.be