Wednesday, 20 August 2014

MORAKOZA - EP REVIEW

Morakoza - Society 
Morakoza - Society

Mississauga. Mississauga. Miss-iss-au-ga. Say it however many times you like, it still sounds funny. Anyway, the point is that's where Morakoza are from and the band have a new EP ready for your enjoyment. 'Cold' is the track that opens up this collection and instantly you get a feel for the chilled out, rock-meets-rap music that these guys create which has a real touch of class to it. There is a short interlude featuring some guitars and a voicemail before 'Pistonhead' comes over the horizon like Gorillaz with a darker side or Rage Against The Machine with a more British feel. This is a song that flirts with the listener constantly taking you to the edge and then sashaying away seductively with a wink and a pout over the shoulder. On 'Polaroid Drawer' Morakoza take a more standard approach to songwriting with a gritty indie feel to the song that can only have been inspired by the Smiths. Final track 'Backseat' starts with the kind of beat Portishead would have created in the 80s beneath some weirdly Hawaiin sounding guitars and a hauntingly beautiful vocals. And this pretty much sums up Morakoza for me - just when you think you've got them sussed they come up with something different, something fresh and something utterly refreshing.

More information: http://morakoza.ca/


Live Dates:

22nd August - Private House Show, Mississauga

29th August - Van Gogh's Ear, Guelph

ELSTOW - EP REVIEW

Elstow - As The Sun Falls 
Elstow - As The Sun Falls

Release Date: 15th August 2014

Sydney quintet Elstow's new EP is a dreamy, folk infused collection of songs with more than one foot in the past heyday of the folk and the hippy movement. The EP opens with the sombre, misty tones of 'Hope, The Island' which is full of beautiful close vocal harmonies and gentle, undulating acoustic strumming interwoven with delicate organ melodies. 'Elderflower Bloom' is the next song up and, rather than being the name of a child of the revolution, it is in fact a thing of subtle beauty gently nudged along but a simple beat and full of regret at the point of something ending. There is a bit more bite to 'Turning Images' with more than a touch of the Fleetwood Macs about it as those male/female vocals intertwine superbly.

The versatility of the band shines through on 'Dust' as the wild west strum floats beautifully across a sun dappled corn field as a woman wearing a floaty summer dress walks aimlessly through the afternoon breeze. 'Fading' closes the EP with a delicate flourish as some gentle picking keeps those harmonies company in a dark, candlelit room at the end of the evening. This is not music to headbang to or that is likely cause a riot but if you want music to lose yourself to then Elstow might just be the band for you. Perfect stuff for the end of summer.

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


Listen/Download Here: http://elstowband.bandcamp.com/  

BLACK LADY SOUL - SINGLE REVIEW

Black Lady Soul - The Fall 
Black Lady Soul - The Fall

It's not often I listen to a single all the way through and sit wondering what just happened in my ears. Toronto's Black Lady Soul create music that stops you in your tracks and that is a very, very good thing indeed. 'The Fall' starts off with a slinky double bass line and some exceedingly high pitched guitar notes that soon blend in to a jazz infused rock tune with hints of Jeff Buckley, Muse, a mellowed out Rage Against The Machine and something else. Something unidentifiable. Something that, were this a film, you peer at inquisitively until you became hypnotised by the mystery of this unknown quantity. There is edge, there is menace and there is a beautifully crafted song in here but I can't help walking away from it feeling like a piece of my mind has just been altered. Unsettling.


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

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

BI:LINGUAL - SINGLE REVIEW

Bi:Lingual - Subject Number 
Bi:Lingual - Subject Number

Take three skinny white boys with a penchant for big, Rage Against The Machine riffs and couple them up with Andre The Giant's nephew who is hell bent on rapping until his lungs dry up and you've got a recipe for a lot of fun. Bi:Lingual are the result of this musical sorcery and the British quartet have a new single out for your enjoyment in the shape of 'Subject Number'. If you remember that brief collaboration between Muse and the Streets then you're close to this level of awesomeness but there is more funk here and more spit behind the vocals that makes this in your face and sexy in equal measure - like getting a lap dance from a militant feminist with daddy issues. There's even a bonkers guitar solo towards the end the gives the drums and bass a reason to take a step back from pounding your senses like a relentless funk machine. More of this please.

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

Live Dates:

26th August - The Islington, London
30th August - The Lomax, Liverpool
11th September - Zombie Shack, Manchester

4th October - The Crown, Middlesborough

Monday, 18 August 2014

SYNTHSIZE HER - SINGLE REVIEW

Synthesize Her - Fuchsia 
Synthesize Her - Fuchsia

Alex Crowe and Alex Korostinsky make up Reno duo Synthesize Her who have been kind enough to send me this free download to share with you lucky people. 'Fuchsia' is a woozy, shoegaze infused song with processed beats and guitars that amble aimlessly like a party girl making her way home in the harsh sunlight of a Sunday afternoon in July. It's almost as if someone has fused Bis and Dubstar with Slowdive and 101 jangly 90s indie bands played at the wrong speed on cheap vinyl. Reading that back you could be fooled in to thinking that I don't like this but it actually has an irresistible charm much like those old American  bowling shirts that we all used to buy in the 90s. You know, the ones with Buddy or Jerry written on them.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/SynthesizeHer/info


Free Download/Listen Here: http://synthesizeher.bandcamp.com/

KOBADELTA - EP REVIEW

Kobadelta - Remain Distracted 
Kobadelta - Remain Distracted

Release Date: 26th September 2014

Since I have started this blog there have been a few bands that have popped up from time to time and maintained an excellent quality of music without ever achieving the acclaim or broader success that they deserve. Newcastle quintet Kobadelta are one such band. This new EP from the lads is another storming collection of songs and kicks off with 'Siam', a song full of pulsing bass lines, hypnotic guitars and menacing vocals all peppered with Keith Moon drumming and a healthy dose of feedback. 'Repetition' is up next and this is a full on, leather clad, dark glasses wearing, whisky swigging, cigarette smoking rock'n'roll song. We're talking Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Primal Scream, the Stooges and My Bloody Valentine all rolled in to a sexy, testosterone fuelled explosion of excess - not a song you'd take home to meet your parents, that's for sure.

The second half of the EP continues with 'They Can't Hurt Me' which is pitched somewhere between Space and Lou Reed and again the bass line purrs as the guitars flit around like newly awakened wasps full of disorientation and latent menace. As the EP comes to a close we are treated to the undeniably epic 'The Heretic' which should be wearing cowboy boots and spurrs. Possibly the single dirtiest scuzzball riff crackles through my speakers as the sneer vocals snake through the air and you're instantly transported to the early hours insanity of a 70s serial killer on a massive come down in a blood spattered basement. This is darkly seductive stuff and maybe that's why it's never quite gained the mainstream credit it deserves  but, then again, music like this thrives in the shadows and the gutters not on the luridly neon E4 music slot just before Hollyoaks.

Footnote: Allusondrugs are another one of those reliably great new bands so please check out both bands on the double bill on 14th September if you can. I wish I could...

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Kobadelta/info

Live Dates:

31st August - The Boiler Shop, Newcastle-upon-Tyne w/The Temperance Movement
5th September - The Prince Alice, Middlesbrough
14th September - Think Tank?, Newcastle-upon-Tyne w/Allusondrugs
26th September -EP Launch @ Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle-upon-Tyne w/Goy Boy McIlroy + Schultz + Wake
23rd October - Independent, Sunderland

30th October - Mink Bar, Middlesbrough

TANKUS THE HENGE - SINGLE REVIEW

Tankus The Henge - Recurring Dream (SRM Records) 
Tankus The Henge - Recurring Dream

Tankus The Henge is exactly the kind of band that could start a set in an empty tent at 3.00pm on a Saturday afternoon at a mid-sized festival and by 3.30pm the tent would be packed and heaving with grinning revellers. You see, their music is infectious and eminently danceable on the evidence of 'Recurring Dream' which combines the best bits of Gogol Bordello, Madness, Dexy's Midnight Runners and 6 Day Riot to make a macabre but mischievously fun piece of carnival fun. The seductive horns, the tinkling ivories and the ring master vocals all combine to make one hell of a tune. On record Tankus The Henge are a lot of fun but I would put my entire record collection on them being even more fun live - find out for yourself as they're on tour all over the shop over the next few weeks.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv0t6mXDbjM

Live Dates:

22nd August - Passing Clouds, Dalston
23rd August - Watchet Festival, Somerset
24th August - Rupestock, nr Taunton
13th September - The Globe, Hay on Wye
18th-21st September - Looe Festival, Looe

9th October - Borderline, London