Sunday, 19 October 2014


Speak, Brother - Speak, Brother EP (NoiseTrade) 
Speak, Brother EP 

Release Date: 3rd November 2014

This Rugby trio list the likes of Biffy Clyro, Ben Howard, Blink 182 and Kate Rusby among their influences which is a fairly eclectic and intriguing mix, to say the least, and one that makes me want to press play without further delay. 'Dry Bones' gets things going and sounds distinctly Mumford & Sons-ish in terms of tone and lyrics which isn't an entirely bad thing but is slightly disappointing given the range of influences given previously. There is a folky, organic feel to the opening strains of 'My Love' which grows pleasingly in to a Ben Howard meets Brother &  Bones-esque stomp but without the power of the latter.

The acoustic romp and foot stamping energy of 'Break In' is soon joined by a gang-harmony chorus and a real sense of defiance in the face of some suppressive force.  The final track on this collection, 'Two Bands Of Gold', is a gentle, mandolin strummed that has its roots firmly in the traditions of folk and matrimony so I can only assume one of the band's best mates got married and asked for a song to be written for them. All in all, this is a pretty good collection of songs but without the bite, punch or power that I was hoping for from the information I'd read about these lads. This is a debut effort, though, so I'll keep an eye out for a follow up.

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Live Dates:

19th October - Sunday Night Live, Carlisle
2nd November - Clarendon, Leamington Spa
29th November - The Big Comfy Bookshop, Coventry
30th November - The Clap Hands Club (Solo), Coventry

7th December - Sunday Night Live, Southampton


Great Good Fine OK - Body Diamond EP (Neon Gold/Epic/Sony) 
Great Good Fine OK - Body Diamond EP

Release Date: 17th November 2014

Brooklyn duo Great Good Fine OK sound like the response of a passive aggressive, beaten down husband who knows it's just not worth the argument. What GGFO actually are is a pair of 80s electro inspired popsters that want to make you dance as much as think. The EP opens up with the infectious 'You're The One For Me' which is nothing like the similarly titled Smiths song as it actually bounces, swerves and jiggles like a hot-pant wearing disco queen with only dance in her soul. 'Not Going Home' is up next and has a more child-like innocence to it with melodies that Mika would have loved and that pure 80s pop feel running through the core.

The Jean Michel-Jarre meets Vampire Weekend in a Miami cocktail bar vibe of 'By My Side' is something to behold and you can almost picture the white suit jackets, wet perms and neon leg warmers. 'Say It All' brings matters to a close with what appears to be an electro-pop ballad that never really hits the emotional heights you might hope for but does tick most of the atmospheric electro boxes that bands aim for these days. This is polished pop music with slick production and some luxurious vocals that, as a package, is pretty hard to ignore or resist.

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Live Dates:

20th October - Marquis Theatre, Denver
21st October - The Complex, Salt Lake City
24th October - Hawthorne Theater, Portland
25th October - Venue, Vancouver
26th October - Neptune, Seattle
28th October - The Fillmore, San Francisco
29th October - House Of Blues Sunset Strip, West Hollywood

30th October - House Of Blues Anaheim, Anaheim 


Pet Sun - Gimme Your Soul (Sleepless Records) 
Pet Sun - Gimme Your Soul

Eighty-Eight seconds. That's the length of time it takes for Pet Sun to ram raid through your living room window, mess your place up and then leave with your best records. It's like Finders Keepers on Jack and weed. 'Gimme Your Soul' is a double speed mash up of Nirvana, Dandy Warhols, Beach Boys, Lemonheads, early Green Day and timeless rock'n'roll influences. The tour video  with additional lo-fi graphics is a nice touch but the song itself is enough to get my buzz going and if this was a set opener at a gig then you'd be downing the last few dregs of your drink before making a bee-line for the front of the crowd. Aces.

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Live Dates:

19th October - Divan Orange, Montreal w/Secret Colours

24th October - The Flat w/Weird Womb

Saturday, 18 October 2014


CuckooLander - CuckooLander EP 
CuckooLander - CuckooLander EP 

Female solo acts from London seem to be ten-a-penny at the moment but few are as sassy, talented and, well, cool as the mysterious CuckooLander. This three track EP is wearing a battered leather jacket with a stars and stripes patch on the shoulder despite being thoroughly British in its origins. Lead track 'Dumb Dee Diddy Dumb' is less Manfred Mann and more Karen O sleepily jamming with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, despite the title, and the croaky, sensual edges to CuckooLander's voice make it all the more appealing. The dirty, growling bass line of 'What's Out There' provides the perfect counterbalance to that soulful, poppy voice which give the song a Florence + The Machine vibe. Final track, 'All The Way', is a sparse stab at the Motown vibe as played in an abandoned working men's club on a grey Sunday afternoon but the rich, soulful tones of this chanteuse weave colour and magic in to the song. Beautiful stuff which deserves more than a solitary listen - style AND substance, if you will.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

PHOENIX [Fabricio Pecanha Remix] - SINGLE REVIEW

Phoenix - Love Like A Sunset [Fabricio Pecanha Bootleg] 
Fabricio Pecanha at work

So, this is more a review of the remix than the tune being remixed. Fabricio Pecanha is a Brazilian DJ with an excellent reputation that is growing all the time so I wanted to bring this tune to your attention, although it's a remix of French indie stars Phoenix. Pecanha's version of 'Love Like A Sunset' is a slow building, seven minute opus that grows and weaves in to your psyche to move your leg up and down without you even knowing it. There are elements of early Daft Punk and Lemon Jelly to this as well as a beautifully throbbing bass line punctured only by the click of a disco beat. Perfect vibes for a sunrise after a long night or the sunset at the beginning of the best night out of your life.

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Live Dates:

17th October - Hot Club, Marilia
18th October - Viva La Vida, Presidente Prudente
24th October - 1051 Club, Criciuma
25th October - Ministterio da Musica, Cascavel
26th October - Domum, Sao Jose
31st October - Fabrik, Rio Grande
7th November - Noxx House Music, Mafra
8th November - Matahari, Indaial
14th November - Club Vogue, Umuarama
20th November - Paradise Weekend, Mata De Sao Joao
22nd November - Bier Site, Carazinho
29th November - Clube Hipico, Maringa
5th December - Level Lounge Club, Santa Cruz Do Sul
12th December - All Night Pub, Manaus
13th December - Pvt, Manaus
20th December - White Celebration, Salvador
26th December - Pink Elephant, Fortaleza
30th December - Sky Beach Club, Balneario De Camboriu
2nd January - Music Stage Summer, Guarapari
31st January - Sonne Garten, Sao Bento Do Sul
7th February - Ministterio da Musica, Cascavel

15th February - Sky Beach Club, Camboriu  


Whinnie Williams - Bad Girl EP 
Whinnie Williams - Bad Girl

Finally we have a Whinnie that isn't all about the honey. London lady Whinnie Williams has been sniffing around the fringes of the pop scene for a while, writing songs for established artists, touring with others and collaborating on albums to boot. However, it's time for her to step out of the shadows and risk it all on her own abilities in the harsh light of day. This new EP from Williams starts with 'Don't You Love Me', a song that takes the sass of Lilly Allen and Kate Nash but adds a hint of Parisian 70s class and some beautifully floaty flute melodies for a classically understated entrance to the party. 'Break Hearts In Your Sleep' has a nice vinyl crackle followed by some Phil Spector production on a Motown sound with that English style running through the core.

Williams has a sense of high class about her tunes that are the equivalent of the rules of fashion - i.e. cleavage or leg, never both, and black works on every occasion. 'Oopsy Daisy' could be an Eliza Doolittle track but the middle eight just gives it that more mature edge like Sugababes at their prime. The EP closes with 'Stupid Things' and the smoky, soulful vocal atop the scratchy, lonely guitar just makes for a delicious combination that shows off Whinnie's aspirations for something more than a fleeting pop career and a footballer husband to give her improbably names children. Keep an eye on this one, she might just be on to something big....

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Kate Havnevik - Emperor Of Nowhere (Continentica Records Ltd.) 
Kate Havnevik - Emperor Of Nowhere

Norwegian chanteuse Kate Havnevik is back with another single and I, for one, am pretty damn pleased about that. 'Emperor Of Nowhere' is simultaneously light and dark in terms of the way the instrumentation plays off against the tone of the song - mirrored beautifully by the black and white video. Havnevik would fit in to your CD collection (if anyone has one of those anymore) alongside the likes of Florence + The Machine, Kimbra, Bjork and Depeche Mode which is fine company to keep indeed. Music this gentle and stirring at the same time is truly something to behold and I recommend that you behold it as soon as possible.

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