Sunday, 24 September 2017

DEQN SUE – ALBUM REVIEW

DeQn Sue – Juggernaut (The Pink Donut Shop) 
DeQn Sue - Juggernaut


Release Date: Out Now

Generally speaking, 2016 sucked as a year and we lost a load of brilliant, shining musical lights which left some sizeable holes in the creative world. One of those holes was the exact size and shape of Prince which, although small, was a particularly strangely shaped hole which nobody has been able to fill to date. Cue the uniquely talented DeQn Sue with a brilliant debut album and a sack full of ideas that Prince would thoroughly approve of.

‘Juggernaut’ opens with the gorgeous piano riff of ‘Delivery Girl’ and a simple tale of wanting to be recognised as a human being even though, heaven forbid, you work in the service industry. Straight away, Sue opens with a catchy, alt-pop anthem for the masses without a hint of aggression but plenty of ideas, shovel loads of soul and an 80s inspired middle-eight break down. ‘Hello Neighbour’ follows on and although it loses some of the opener’s momentum it is still a beautiful piano based ballad that mirrors Beyonce and Kelis in its feel but with the intimacy turned up to 11 as you hear every lip-smack and breath in between the carefully selected lyrics.

On ‘Hunny’ the wonky synth melody and uber-perky rhythm belies the sad lyrics and you can’t help but imagine a sad Manga rabbit singing this as she walks around Tokyo looking for a lost love (well, I can’t at least). Conversely, recent single ‘Jack’ has a more sinister, night time feel as the vocals creep in insidiously between the rhythmic cricket croaks sparse synth melody. The absolute nailed on banger comes in the form of ‘Melanin’ which deserves a large scale flash-mob themed video to go with the racial equality focused lyrics set to stomping disco-funk tune – the anthem that all generation needs. ‘Messy’ returns us to the wonky synths and sprinkling of vocal interjections and melodious showers in between the rainbows but again the lyrics are the chalk to the melody’s cheese. This is sweet and sour in musical form and it is so, so more-ish. Luckily we’re only at the half way point of this debut long player so let’s keep on trucking, yeah?

DeQn Sue
The fabulously title ‘Pinata No Rap’ is a particularly edgy and twitchy piece with the droned lyric “I heard a shot fired, it was meant for me but it just missed me by an inch” which sets a dark tone that Missy Elliott would be pleased with. Latest single ‘Shook Up’ shows off our heroine’s more experimental side again with dramatic string stabs and an almost Latino sway building up to a full on RnB chorus but not before an almost religious, choral vocal gets smashed out of the park by those huge beats. ‘Starter Adult’ is my personal favourite on the album, partly because it uses a classic funk bass line that just makes me want to dance but mainly because it tells the story of so many people I know who tried the ‘normal’ life route before realising that it just made them miserable and now they’re happy doing what they love. It’s pretty inspirational.

The album closes out with ‘Unicorn’, a perky ode to individualism and uniqueness that fuses Katy Perry’s pop chops with Kimbra’s sense of quirk to make a song that should be played every pre-teen the world over to make sure they know that they’re doing just fine no matter what their differences. DeQn Sue is a singular talent who has the ability to take her career in any number of directions which is exciting but this is just the kick off, a starter for ten if you will. Hugely enjoyable and thoroughly recommended.


Live Dates:


25th September – Gallery 5, Richmond w/Elizabeth Owens + Zooanzoo

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

BOKITO – SINGLE REVIEW

Bokito – Aloof (Lost In the Manor Records) 
Bokito - Aloof


Release Date: Out Now

The marvellous Bokito are back with another single and more artwork that looks like a sinister ransom note. ‘Aloof’ combines circular, swaying rhythm and charismatic vocals with a swathe of instrumentation that can only be described as a party in my ears. Interestingly, the band manage to combine elements of Yello and Gogol Bordello with the melody of Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ which most DJs would struggle to manage so doing that with a live band and then moulding it around a song about not belonging that also makes you want to dance, well…it’s either madness or genius but whatever it is, I love it.



Live Dates:

29th September – The Workman’s Club, Dublin

28th October – Club 27/11 @ The Lexington, London

HARDWICKE CIRCUS – SINGLE REVIEW


Hardwicke Circus - Please Don't Try This At Home

Hardwicke Circus – Please Don’t Try This At Home

Release Date: Out Now

Hardwicke Circus look like a bunch of massive hipster douchebags and drive around in a customised police van which feels kinda douchey too so I didn’t hold out much hope for this track. ‘Please Don’t Try This At Home’, however, has a really nice AC/DC meets the Darkness via Jet vibe about it which is hard to hate so let’s throw away this particular book’s dust jacket and get on with the story. We’re talking hunky, chunky guitars, pile-driver drums and a pumping bass line which is a solid start for any song. Then you’ve got the Jagger swagger behind the vocal performance but with Justin Hawkins’ filthy mind behind the lyrics. So what have we learned? Basically, fuck fashion and let’s get on with the rock and roll show when it rolls in to town, regardless of the wheels it rolls in on.


Live Dates:

13th October – Dukes, Whitstable
14th October – Ye Olde Rose & Crown, London
15th October – The Brown Cow, Cockermouth
11th November – Wharfedale Beer Festival @ The Town Hall, Grassington

22nd November – The Brickyard, Carlisle

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

SAY SUE ME – SINGLE REVIEW

Say Sue My – Good for Some Reason (Damnably)
Say Sue Me - Good For Some Reason


Release Date: Out Now

You might expect the folks of Busan, South Korea, might be more concerned with their cousins north of the border. However, on the basis of indie-pop quartet Say Sue Me, they’d rather be having a good old-fashioned party and forgetting about their troubles. New single ‘Good for Some Reason’ is a ball of 90s Britpop inspired energy with Shoegaze guitars propelled forward with more purpose than usual by rattling drums. Murmured vocals and a pumping bass line complete the line-up and before you know it you’re in love with a track that sounds 9 parts Camden in 1996 and 1 part Holy City Rollers.


CHERRYADE – SINGLE REVIEW

Cherryade – Blah Blah 
Cherryade - Blah Blah


Release Date: Out Now

Materialism. The very foundations upon which the pop world is built, surely. Even Madonna knew that. So, it seems brave or stupid for London upstarts Cherryade to turn on the hand that feeds and not just bite but rip it clean off the arm. Then again, this duo are not ones for towing the line and ‘Blah Blah’ is a superbly bratty and sneering view of the world where style rules over substance and the acquisition stuff is more important than, well, anything else. This is Lily Allen, early Kate Nash and Shampoo but with Years & Years at the controls just to give things a sense of the classy to underline the power of lines like “you talk shit like blah blah blah”. Fun but with a message, now that’s something I can dance to.

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

MARILYN MANSON – SINGLE REVIEW

Marilyn Manson – We Know Where You Fucking Live (Cooking Vinyl) 
Marilyn Manson - We Know Where You Fucking Live


Release Date: Out Now

Good old Mazzer, he always knows when to turn up to a party and turn the politics in to a riot, doesn’t he? ‘We Know Where You Fucking Live’ is a classically dark, moody and downright aggressive piece that doesn’t pull any punches at any stage. From the bulldozer-with-monster-machine-wheels guitars to the slithering, black venom filled vocals, this is a hugely relentless tune that couldn’t be more American or monolithic in size. However, the line “what’s a nice place like this doing round people like us?” shows Manson’s wittier, more acerbic side and it’s the combination of the weight and the subtlety that makes this such an appealing track. Throw in a chorus that is essentially the screamed song title over an even heavier riff and you’ve got yourself a rock anthem for the pre-nuclear generation ….. and then some.



Live Dates:

27th September – The Filmore, Silver Spring w/Alice Glass
29th September – Stage AE, Pittsburgh
30th September – Manhattan Center Events, New York
2nd October – House of Blues, Boston
3rd October – The Paramount, Huntington
5th October – Rebel, Toronto
7th October – BB&T Pavilion, Camden New Jersey
8th October – Express LIVE, Columbus
10th October – The Riviera Theatre, Chicago
11th October – The Rave, Eagles Club
12th October – Arvest Bank Theatre, Kansas City
14th October – House of Blues, Houston
15th October – Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie
19th October – The Fillmore Auditorium, Denver
20th October – The Complex, Salt Lake City
23rd October – Fox Theater, Oakland
27th October – House of Blues, Las Vegas
28th October – House of Blues, Las Vegas
4th November – Ozzfest @ Glen Helen Amphiteater, San Bernardino
5th November – Knotfest @ Glen Helen Amphitheater, San Bernardino
12th November – Ice Hall, Helsinki
14th November – Annexet, Stockholm
15th November – Live at HAL 14, Helsingor
16th November – Sporthalle, Wuppertal
18th November – Zenith, Munich
19th November – Tipsport Arena, Liberec
20th November – Gasometer, Vienna
22nd November – Pala Alpitour, Turin
23rd November – Samsung Hall, Dubendorf
25th November – Velodrom, Berlin
27th November – Accor Hotels Arena, Paris
28th November – Klokgebouw, Eindhoven
29th November – Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Dusseldorf
1st December – Zenith, Nancy
2nd December – Forest National, Brussels
4th December – O2 Apollo, Manchester
5th December – O2 Academy, Glasgow
8th December – Newport Centre, Newport

9th December – The SSE Wembley Arena, London

Monday, 18 September 2017

THE VELVET HANDS – SINGLE REVIEW

The Velvet Hands – Games (Easy Action Records)
The Velvet Hands - Games

Release Date: 22nd September 2017

Cornish chaps the Velvet Hands have a reputation. A rock’n’roll reputation, for sure, but also a reputation for being perfectionists when it comes to the creative process. Latest release ‘Games’ is a re-release of an old demo track but given a new spin with a dandy new video too. The choppy, garage infused guitars that rattle through the opening bars of this track are infectious in a Babyshambles kind of way with that gang vocal and furiously strummed chords in danger of tripping over themselves. A chaotic rhythm section stays just on the right side of controlled and the lyrics get spelt out with Scrabble tiles at a furious pace which give you something bordering on well-read epilepsy. So, literate, grungy, fun and energetic. Ugh, they’re probably handsome too *checks video*, yes they are.


Live Dates:

28th September – Mono, Falmouth w/Skinny Milk
1st October – Main Stage @ Looe Festival, Looe

Watch The Video: