Thursday, 23 October 2014

MADAME SO - SINGLE REVIEW

Madame So - If Only You Were Dead 
Madame So - If Only You Were Dead

This isn't the cheeriest title to a single I've ever come across but when you hear the music of Parisian born London dweller Madame So it all sort of clicks. 'If Only You Were Dead' is steeped in 90s grunge with influences like Hole, Belly, Throwing Muses and Veruca Salt coming through loud and clear. The chugging guitar and spite filled choruses are a breath of fresh air in a world where a lot of female artists seem afraid to wear their anger on their sleeves. I'd love to see Madame So on a bill with LWM favourites Dexu Furieuses  to really bring that sneering, snarling, 'whatever' attitude to an audience that is crying out for such songs. It's lo-fi, it's uncomplicated and there are some dubious backing vocals in the chorus but more importantly it's raw, honest and a lot of fun.

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


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

Live Dates:

3rd November - Tooting Tram & Social, London
15th November - Luna Lounge, London
5th December - Cavendish Arms, London

BOSTON MANOR - EP REVIEW

Boston Manor - Driftwood EP (Failure By Design Records) 
Boston Manor - Driftwood EP 

There aren't enough pictures of pensioners painted up as animals in the world right now so I can only applaud Blackpool boys Boston Manor for the delightful artwork on their new EP. 'But what about the music Monger?' I hear you ask. I'm getting to that, have patience my pretties. This six track opens up with the short, sharp hit of 'Salt Water' which immediately reminds me of a time in my life when I was fully ensconced in discovering bands like the Ataris, the Vandals, Engine 88 and the Wrens - a good time indeed. 'Peach State' is up next and the rapid fire drums along with the slick guitar riffs will appeal to Blink 182 fans but there is a harder edge that anyone keen on the Xtra Mile Records back catalogue will surely love. EP title track 'Driftwood' is not a cover of the Travis sob-fest but is an Ataris-esque punk'n'roll tune featuring a well chosen Ferris Bueller quote to set the tone.

There are so many comparisons to make in this music, from Million Dead to NOFX, but it is the oh so British hardcore twist that makes these guys such an exciting prospect. 'Wolf' is as close to a ballad as these guys will ever get as the heartfelt lyrics are wrenched out via the microphone while 'See You In Three Years' is a break-neck anti-University tune that holds no punches. The EP comes to a climax with 'Square One' which is probably the most Americanized of the tunes in this collection as those smooth guitars slide in and out of view and you can almost see the credits of a coming of age teen comedy rolling up on the screen (I'm thinking American Pie but with less sex and more bongs). My CD collection is full of albums by bands like Boston Manor that I used to love and it turns out I still do so I might just have to make this a new addition to the collection. Awesome stuff.


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

BANOFFEE - SINGLE REVIEW

Banoffee - Let's Go To The Beach 
Banoffee - Let's Go To The Beach

I've always had a problem with Banoffee Pie as a rule. I like bananas and a like toffee but why the need to dress banana and toffee pie up as something different. Do we call beans on toast Boast? No. Are we prone to calling a cheese sandwich a chandwich? No way. Or do we refer to pasta salad as palad? Certainly not. This feeling extends to the naming of this Aussie songstress whose real name is Martha Brown - a name that surely is destined for the rock'n'roll hall of fame. No matter, Banoffee's latest single is upon us in the form of 'Let's Go To The Beach' and it a sexy, impish and skittish number that grabs your attention immediately like reflected sunlight dancing on a desk during a dull afternoon. The popping percussion mixes with the sampled vocals to create a textured landscape for Brown to explore with her poppy vocals. This is a summery tune which probably makes sense in her native Melbourne at this time of year but as I sit writing this staring at a grey English Autumn it just makes me nostalgic for warmer times. Still, this is sweet, sugary stuff which will surely give people an energy burst so maybe Banoffee wasn't a bad name choice after all.

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

Live Dates:

24th October - Mondrian Soho Hotel, New York @ 7.00pm

24th October - The Knitting Factory/Green Room, New York @9.00pm

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

THE WONDERSMITHS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Wondersmiths - Public Admiration (Animal Farm) 
The Wondersmiths - Public Admiration

I'm a sucker for a good bass line and this new single from Bedfordshire boys The Wondersmiths starts off with one hell of a poppy bass line that has me hooked within seconds. Once 'Public Admiration' gets in to full swing it's a heady mix of Ed Sheeran, Jamie T, Reverend & The Makers and Kate Nash. The pop melodies are fuelled by indie spirit and a rhyme-a-second vocal delivery that is de rigueur these days. If there is any downside to this music it's that it walks dangerously close to the line that has the Wombats and Kooks on one side but then again pop isn't necessarily supposed to be long lasting and enduring right? After all it's good to enjoy a responsibility-free fun night out once in a while, isn't it?

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

Live Dates:


1st November - Nightmare Festival, London

LUNAR PUPIL - SINGLE REVIEW

Lunar Pupil - What About The Weekend (The Animal Farm) 
Lunar Pupil - What About The Weekend

Release Date: 20th October 2014

This London based trio are made entirely out of Kiwis or New Zealanders if you want to be more specific about it. What these three antipodeans travellers do is create a punky, rocky and slightly garagey feeling sound with thumping drums, chiming guitars and a bass line that won't quit. 'What About The Weekend' is one such tune and if you throw in a healthy dose of testosterone, a few beers and the kind of vocal harmonies you might expect from a football crowd and you're getting there. For fans of the Datsuns, Jet, the White Stripes' early stuff and the Clash which is basically anyone with a sense of fun and a need to rock out.


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

THE CORNELIUS CRANE - EP REVIEW

The Cornelius Crane - Soul In The Lighting (Stereokill Recordings) 
The Cornelius Crane - Soul In The Lightning

Release Date: 27th October 2014

Every time I read the word Stalybridge I immediately think Stalybridge Celtic which suggests I spent too much time watching the vidiprinter as a child. However, I now have another reference point for Stalybridge in the shape of the fabulous alt-Americana combo The Cornelius Crane. This three track EP from the troupe opens with the title track 'Soul In The Lightning', a laid back piece of sunny afternoon loveliness with some of the twangiest guitar notes I've heard in a long time and, for some reason, the spirit of Joe Strummer running through Beck-ish percussion. 'View From Victoria' is either a song about getting a piggy back from a tall girl or, more likely, something to do with arriving at Manchester's Victoria train station. Either way, the bluesy finger picking has a pleasing menace to it and the vocal wafts in on a breeze straight from the Bayou. The third and final track on the EP is 'Another Day' which ambles and sways through the early afternoon sun like a Lynyrd Skynyrd song drifting out of a convertible on the way to the liquor store. The Cornelius Crane have a beautiful sunny sound running through their music that is futile to resist so just let it wash over you and enjoy the warm glow.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-cornelius-crane/147226678638442?fref=ts

SIRENS IN THE DELTA - EP REVIEW

Sirens In The Delta - Revolutions To Follow EP 
Sirens In The Delta - Revolutions To Follow EP

Release Date: 27th October 2014

Right then, who the hell is ready for a bit of dirty rock'n'roll from the North-East? Well, ready or not, here they come. Sirens In The Delta are a female fronted, rock quintet from Teesside and this is their latest EP which gets underway with the superbly hypnotic riffs of 'Dirty Words' that is as strong a start to a record as I've heard in a long time. Pounding snare, soulful rock vocals and a Queens Of The Stone Age style bass line all make for an extremely promising start that make you sit up and pay attention. 'Paris' is the single taken from the EP and you can see why as the motorcycle grease and leather seeps from every pore as the vocals of frontwoman Katie snake and wind around you like smoke in the night-time. On 'Casus Belli' the guitars take on a more traditional form with a Black Sabbath vibe given a Yeah Yeah Yeahs twist as an ominously regular snare pierces the relentless chugging of those huge guitars.

There is a huge gap in the UK market for a band like this and luckily Sirens In The Delta have an epic enough sound to fill it with enough left over to have a stab at the US as well. The next track, 'Halo', shows off the band's versatility as they employ a jerky, indie-punk riff and those vocals open up to really soar with supreme power in the choruses. 'The Attack' is the rock ballad of the piece and despite the grinding bass and stabbing drums it never quite breaks stride which is a difficult discipline to master. The EP closes out with 'Weapon' which is the most snarling, lip curling, spit in your eye and grab you by the crotch track on the collection as the tempo changes at the flick of a wrist and the attacks keep on coming. Sirens In The Delta have a future and a big one at that, I just wish they could have recorded another four tracks to make this in to a tight little album.

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

25th October - EP Release Party @ Sticky Fingers, Middlesbrough

4th December - The Empire, Middlesbrough w/ Magnum