Friday, 31 October 2014


AvaGrace - 2 Years 
AvaGrace - 2 Years

These boys are a force to be reckoned with as they combine sheer rock force with slick production and sweet melodies. '2 Years' is a show of intent as the band flex their muscles through grinding bass, swirling guitars, pounding drums and vocals that switch between a roar and a more melodic style. The Alt-core sounds chime out with supreme force while the video displays a serious message of not dicking around with Haribo and selfies while you are driving in case you crash and, well, die. This is intense stuff, all in all, but engaging nonetheless.

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Watch The Video:


Arizona - Black Hart 
Arizona - Black Hart

Arizona are a band of lads from Essex. I somehow hope that in Arizona there is a band called Essex playing exactly the same songs but backwards. New single 'Black Hart' is the band's new single and it is a pretty intensely heavy slice or rock with furiously choppy guitars, thundering drums and a vocalist with a roar that could shake the foundations of Stone Henge. Along with the sheer power of the music comes a lot of facial hair, some dirt and a video in an old barn. Pretty much everything you would want from a British hardcore band named after an American state singing a song about a deer.

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Pantaloon Descendo - The Candyman (The Mustache Club) 
Pantaloon Descendo - The Candyman

Release Date: 31st October 2014

On first viewing, I thought this was some Wayne Coyne inspired, nightmarish vision of a man-panda (manda) would look eating a giant lollipop. Then I realised that this was a Halloween release date and it was probably more likely to be a skeleton. Still with a giant lollipop though. 'The Candyman' is the new single from Quebecois singer Pantaloon Descendo and it's a Mighty Boosh inspired piece of folk-pop as performed by the illegitimate off spring of the Child Catcher and Mary Poppins . Despite the happy, innocent melody there is a feeling of a public announcement about the dangers of strangers, obesity or playing on train tracks. There's no denying that this is a frog short of the full box but at the same time it's delightfully eccentric and well worth a listen so, y'know, give it a listen.

More information:

Watch The Video: 

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Allusondrugs - I Should Have Gone To Uni (Clue Records) 
Allusondrugs - I Should Have Gone To Uni

I love getting in on a band from the ground floor and I've been a fan of Castleford boys Allusondrugs for a while now so it's really satisfying to see them receiving so many accolades from the high and mighty of the rock'n'roll world. This latest single is a free give away under the title of 'I Should Have Gone To Uni' which hints at the slightly reflective tone of the song. However, the lumbering, distorted chords the fuzz up the opening bards of this song are not remotely reflective as they bludgeon through the air like a cricket bat through a stubborn skull. Essentially, this is the British Nirvana taking on the feeling of small town abandonment when all your mates disappear off to the cities for University and you're all that is left behind with the school kids and the retirement homes. Allusondrugs, on the other hand, have probably got a brighter future ahead of them with this dirty, grungey, honest rock'n'roll than the majority of those who will graduate from University in 2015. So, you know, in your face University.

More information:

Listen/Free Download:

Live Dates:

1st November - Nightmare Festival, London
21st November - Ku Bar, Stockton-On-Tees
All below dates with Lyger + Forever Cult + Prom
25th November - Sound Control, Manchester
26th November - 13th Note Cafe, Glasgow
29th November - The Wardrobe, Leeds
30th November - The Underground, Stoke
1st December - Epic Studios, Norwich
2nd December - Forum, Tunbridge Wells
3rd December - Black Heart, London

5th December - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff


Turbowolf - Rabbits Foot 
Turbowolf - Rabbits Foot

I've had a lot of good things about Turbowolf and a tour support slot with Royal Blood (they're so hot right now) suggests there is some substance to these good things. This latest single, 'Rabbits Foot' precedes the album due out in 2015 and is a sub-three minute piece of gloriousness. Dirty, filthy, downright nasty guitars chug from the get-go and the drums only serve to force the point home without a thought for your feelings. The smooth, slick vocal harmonies weave together the punctured wholes left by the stabbing guitar riffs and, all in all, this creates a mighty, mighty sound that is somewhere between 80s rock, 90s pop and the bastard child of Queens Of The Stone Age and Death From Above 1979. I'm sold. The good things I heard were all right and I now I want Christmas to be over so I can get my hands on the album.

More information:

Watch The Video:

Live Dates:

2nd November - The Ritz, Manchester
3rd November - O2 Academy, Liverpool
4th November - The Institute, Birmingham
6th November - Electric Ballroom, London
7th November - Electric Ballroom, London
8th November - The Junction, Cambridge
10th November - Pyramid, Portsmouth
11th November - O2 Academy, Oxford

12th November - The Bierkeller, Bristol


Mad Ones - Walking The Ceiling (Pale Bride Records)
Mad Ones - Walking The Ceiling

Man, Canada just keeps on coming at me with new music at the moment. It's a relentless wave but one that I'm happy to let wash over me. Toronto duo Mad Ones are back with a free download single by the name of 'Walking The Ceiling' and a continuation of a recurring artwork theme. The rolling, thumping drums are draped in a sea of dirty, distorted guitars that have a certain lo-fi appeal as well as the raw rock power. Think Weezer, We Are Scientists, Kerbdog, early Feeder and the much missed Redwood and you're getting the picture. Throw in the video (seemingly made for the Adam and Joe show) which features Chewbacca in a battle with the Evil Emperor acted out with original figurines and you have some kind of beautiful geek fest. A rock'n'roll geek fest.

More information:

Listen/Free Download:

Watch The Video:

Live Dates:

6th November - Moustache Club, Oshawa w/HotKid
11th November - The Windsor Beer Exchange, Windsor w/Cellos
14th November - Silver Dollar, Toronto w/HotKid
15th November - DSTRCT, Guelph w/HotKid
22nd November - Avant Garde Bar, Ottawa w/HotKid

29th November - Bourbon, Barrie w/HotKid

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Cat Dove - Vagabond Girl (Deux-Elles Recordings) 
Cat Dove - Vagabond Girl

Reading singer-songwriter Cat Dove just broke my heart. Straight up. Don't get me wrong, it's not like she dumped me or turned down my marriage proposal, Cat Dove just happens to have a beautiful voice and a gentle approach to musicianship. This new single is being given away and my word you ought to be grateful. 'Vagaband Girl' is built around a gentle but beautiful piano melody that builds slowly but surely like the swell of emotion when you say goodbye to a long distance lover at a train station or airport, knowing full well you won't see them again for weeks. There's a weird Joni-Mitchell-in-the-90s feel to this song that I just can't resist and Dove's voice has the perfect combination of tenderness, power and emotional crackle displayed by Tori Amos or Ani Di Franco. Seeing as this is free and beautiful then I can't think of one reason why you shouldn't get some of this.

More information:

Listen/Free Download:

Monday, 27 October 2014


Arts & Leisure - Weekend/Over You (Test Pattern/Superior Sound Recordings)
Arts & Leisure - Weekend / Over You

Release Date: 28th October 2014

There is just something about the hushed, almost shy vocals and shuffling guitars of bands like Arts & Leisure that I will always love. Perhaps it's the way songs like 'Weekend' make me think of my carefree days listening 90s bands like Belly in the summer sun. Maybe it's the infectious hand claps and saccharine sweet vocal harmonies that wind around the poppy guitar strumming that could lift even the lowest of spirits. Who knows, I just love it. 'Over You' is the other track on this new single release and the bouncy garage pop is something to behold as you close your eyes to imagine cycling round a suburban American street at four in the afternoon to hear the local kids practicing in their garages and basements. I really, genuinely hope these guys achieve at least some kind of cult status around the world if not some sort of superstardom based on a crossover hit. Y'know, like Lush had with 'Single Girl'.

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Waterbodies - Beater 
Waterbodies - Beater

Ontario trio Waterbodies have a new single out for your enjoyment. Or not. Your call. For what it's worth 'Beater' kicks in with some stumbling, Soulwaxian drums before the fuzzy bass, choppy guitars and sneering vocals all join in to increase the sense of menace and potential violence lurking in the shadows. Taking parts of Louix XIV, Weezer on a revenge mission, We Are Scientists and The Hives, Waterbodies have got that special edge that will lure many an unassuming indie fan in to dark, sweaty clubs all over Canada this winter. Said indie fans will emerge changed in a way that is not immediately obvious but will start to show it's colours over the coming weeks, months and years. I've decided it's not your call after all, you will enjoy this. Or else.

More information:

Live Dates:

30th October - Jimmy Jazz, Guelph
1st November - Taps, Niagra Falls
4th November - Moustache Club, Oshawa
20th November - Jimmy Jazz, Guelph

2nd January - Charlies, Brantford

Sunday, 26 October 2014


Antemasque - In The Lurch (Nadine Sound/Caroline International) 
Antemasque - In The Lurch 

Well here's a treat for you. Cedric Bixler is one of those musicians who divides opinion but there is an almost unanimous sense that whatever he does is of worth and certainly worthy of a few minutes in your ears. Bixler's latest vehicle is Antemasque and latest single, 'In The Lurch', is coming ahead of their new album due out in November. As you might expect, this is a furious melee of guitars scrapping with flailing drums all driven along by a throbbing bassline. The semi-shouted vocals and rhythmic chiming of those guitars draw you in to a hypnotic, slightly aggressive but nevertheless melodic and compelling world. Like I said, Bixler is a compelling character writing equally compelling music surrounded by a group of musicians who are at the very least able to keep up with the intensity. Furious stuff.

More information:

Live Dates:

31st October - Pal Norte 2014 @ Parque Fundidora, Monterrey
2nd November - Festival Coordenada @ Parque Trasloma, Guadalajara
3rd November - Circo Volador, Mexico City w/Le Butcherettes
5th November - Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington w/Le Butcherettes
6th November - Union Transfer, Philadelphia w/Le Butcherettes
8th November - Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn w/Le Butcherettes
9th November - The Bowery Ballroom, New York w/Le Butcherettes
11th November - Middles East Downstairs, Boston w/Le Butcherettes
12th November - Water Street Music Hall, Rochester w/Le Butcherettes
14th November - Mod Club, Toronto w/Le Butcherettes
15th November - Magic Stick, Detroit w/Le Butcherettes
16th November - Metro, Chicago w/Le Butcherettes
16th February - Club Quattro, Osaka
17th February - Studio Coast, Tokyo w/Faith No More
18th February - Studio Coast, Tokyo w/Faith No More
21st February - Soundwave Festival, Adelaide
22nd February - Soundwave Festival, Melbourne
28th February - Soundwave Festival, Sydney

1st March - Soundwave Festival, Brisbane

Thursday, 23 October 2014


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:

Watch The Video:

Live Dates:

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


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:


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:

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 - 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:

Live Dates:

1st November - Nightmare Festival, London


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.

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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:


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:

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

4th December - The Empire, Middlesbrough w/ Magnum

Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Ashley Lian - Dear (EP) 
Ashley Lian - Dear (EP)

Baltimore student Ashley Lian has a guitar and some songs so let's get our ears open and give her debut EP a listen. The 'Dear EP' opens up with 'Halftime Musing' which is the longest of the tunes despite only being 2 minutes and 44 seconds long. The song itself is a soft, simple acoustic riff with some equally gentle vocals looking back at times and loves gone by with a tinge of regret. 'Mine' is up next and has a more lilting feel but that soft, Norah Jones-ish vocal is still everpresent atop the strummed guitar. On 'Eleven' Lian picks at the guitar while the lyrics would fit in on the soundtrack of Juno or any other low budget US film about awkward kids battling with growing up.

The music and musicianship is nothing to write home about on this EP - simple and in tune though it is - but it is this singer's pillow soft and cloud light vocals delivering the lyrics so wonderfully that is worth taking notice of. 'Limbs' is a great example of this as Lian sings softly and sweetly "I  am all that I was, all that I'll ever be, taped and rewritten by your tender". The collection ends on 'Things I Wanted To hear (But Were Never Said)' and you definitely get the feeling that these songs were written in the bedroom of a shared house at 3.00am such is the softness with which Lian performs so as not to wake her housemates. Simple, pure and delicate stuff - like a musical snowflake, if you will.

More information:


The Creatures Of The North Sea - Frist Poems 
The Creatures Of The North - Frist Poems

Release Date: 27th October 2014

OK, I've triple checked this. 'Frist Poems' is not a typo. If it is then it's a consistent typo so either way I'm going to stick with it. The Creatures Of The North Sea are a duo of dudes (a dudo, if you will) making music for low lit rooms and smoky atmospheres or campfires with your nearest and dearest all around. 'Races' opens affairs and sounds like I Am Kloot or Damien Rice in its muted enthusiasm but there is a complex simplicity to the structure of the song that elevates it above mere singer-songwriter fodder.  On 'Despite The Sea Between Us' the heart-rending emotiveness is cranked up a notch or two as the acoustic guitar plucking rolls gently, softly in the background and the gravelly, distant vocals pour directly from the heart like an open wound.

Half way through listening to this EP I noticed that the cover art appears to show a watercolour and charcoal sketch of a puffin's skull and still colourful beak. I could be wrong but if I'm right then this is the perfect image to sum up the music of The Creatures Of The North Sea - one of the most beautiful beings to ever grace the earth in its saddest state mirrors the heart achingly beautiful depths  this music reaches superbly. There's no change of direction on 'I Am Forest' although a little more lively percussion is added along with some muted organ chords to fill out the folk-indie vibe. The EP closes with 'Really Tall Buildings' which has something of an Irish influence with the likes of Rice, David Kitt and even a little Shane McGowan seeping through in the bar room vocals and gently caressed guitar strings. This is simply beautiful music in every sense and I urge you to download the EP, set a chair by the window and listen to this on the day that Autumn gives way to Winter.

More information:

9th November - EP Launch @ The Old Queen's Head, Islington (FREE ENTRY)


Billy Moon - Cold 
Billy Moon - Cold 

More Canadian fun for you now in the form of Hamilton chap Billy moon and his take on rock'n'roll. 'Cold' is a piece of home recording that features some surprisingly and refreshingly sparse guitar notes accompanied by a percussive click and the strained vocals of Mr William Moon himself. This is lo-fi stuff in the vein of Weezer, the Lemonheads, Swim Deep or the Dandy Warhols which is fine company to keep indeed. Loose drums and some reverb get added to the mix but overall this is a sparse piece of rock balladry that should be noodled in the corner of a large venue when everyone else has gone home apart from the bar staff and the cleaner. End of.

More information:

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.

More information:

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: Out now as digital download and limited 10" vinyl

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.

More information:

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.

More information:

Watch The Video:

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.

More information:

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.

More information:

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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Captivves - Dive In/Don't Defy Us 
Captivves - Dive In/Don't Defy Us

There seems to be a bit of a trend for misspelling words and using the result as a band name at the moment and I wonder if this is just indicative of the fact that we're running out of band names in the 21st Century. It's only a manner of time before we start naming bands in binary or semaphore I suppose. Anyway, I digress, Reading's Captivves kick off this double A-side single with 'Dive In' which is smothered in dark, brooding influences that bring to mind the likes of Interpol, the National, Joy Division and the Cooper Temple Clause. This is music for abandoned warehouses with dubious stains on the walls and trap doors that are suspiciously well secured from the outside - sinister stuff. The other half of this release, 'Don't Defy Us', starts with a rolling bass line before the big, booming, 80s drums kick in and we're transported in to a goth disco with lots of shoe shuffling and teased hair in serious danger of igniting. Atmospheric stuff that seriously flies in the face of the norm at the moment which is no bad thing.

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Live Dates:

18th October - Oxjam @ Hope & Anchor, London


Weyes Blood - Some Winters 
Weyes Blood - Some Winters

Interesting name, Weyes Blood, and it kind of goes with the persona of a woman who doesn't give too much of herself away in an age when most people's lives are spattered all over the windscreen of the internet. New single 'Some Winters' starts off like one of Muse's piano based songs before going all wibbly-wobbly, Willy Wonka on vinyl and the uniqueness starts to shine through. Think Kate Bush, Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, Flaming Lips and even a hint of Bowie's theatrics plus a more organic Sleigh Bells and you're getting there. Give it a whirl, then you might just be there.

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Free Download until 16th October: 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Arthur Walwin - Bad 
Arthur Walwin - Bad

Release Date: 16th October 2014

If you were to blend the likes of One Direction, McFly, Busted, Katy Perry, Feeder at their poppiest and pretty much any US boyband of the last 6 years then you'd get something approaching the slick, polished alt-pop of Arthur Walwin. What makes this a little different is that here we have a guy without a big label or talent show behind him who is playing tiny venues around the country and making pop music a credible, live genre again. 'Bad' is a song that most students or teenagers will relate to with the relentlessly upbeat guitars and keyboards providing a perky beat for the relatively insincere apology in the lyrics - Arthur's a bad boy and there's nothing he can do about it. Perky, punky pop that is sure to go down a storm on both sides of the Atlantic, then.

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Live Dates:

23rd October - Buskers, Dundee
27th October - The Garage, London
29th October - Static, Swansea
30th October - Tiki Bar, Plymouth
31st October - Prince Of Wales, Chatham
2nd November - The Maze, Nottingham
15th November - The Mint, Los Angeles

16th November - Woody's, San Diego


Streetfight Silence - Dreamer EP 
Streetfight Silence - Dreamer EP

Release Date: 1st December 2014

The lead track on this EP is called 'Dream On, Dreamer' and every time I read it I think of that tune by 90s annoyances Brand New Heavies which is unfortunate. This song, though, is a choppy, fast paced piece of rock that chugs, churns and beats its chest to get the point across in dark clothes improbably haircuts and lip rings. The Bracknell quartet have thrown in a couple of extra tunes to sweeten the deal of this free download and the first of these is 'Forever', a blistering track that wears a host of alt-rock influences on its black leather sleeve. The other tune is an acoustic version of 'Dream On, Dreamer' which does show a different element to the song and the band but doesn't really add a huge amount to the EP. Then again, what did you expect for free? Another example of the burgeoning underground rock scene in the UK that is surely going to bubble to the surface any day now.

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Orchard Hill - Make It Out Alive 
Orchard Hill - Make It Out Alive

You don't get many rock stars called Tiff these days but the front woman of Oxfordshire quartet Orchard Hill is bucking that trend. Indeed, it is the vocal performance of Tiff Nicholson that makes this Americanised alt-rock stand out from the pack. Sure, the guitars and drums on 'Make It Out Alive' are tight and driving but the vocals are something a bit different for this genre. Rather than the gruff or the screechy, Nicholson possesses a slick, smooth and soulful voice with the range and power of a Christina Aguilera or Adele. This cross over between the rock genre and pop world should make these guys a bit of a hit - not to mention their string of December dates that are all free entry. Disaffected teens across the country will shrug with joy.

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Live Dates:

14th December - O2 Academy 3, Birmingham w/Autumn Ruin + For The Girl + Guilt City
15th December - O2 Academy 3, Manchester w/Autumn Ruin + For The Girl + Guilt City
17th December - O2 Academy 2, Newcastle w/Autumn Ruin + For The Girl + Guilt City
18th December - O2 Academy 2, Islington w/Autumn Ruin + For The Girl + Guilt City

NB All Shows Free Entry


Fiction - Lonely Planet (Vaguely Pagan) 
Fiction - Lonely Planet 

Release Date: 20th October 2014

London five-piece Fiction have a new single on the way and if you like your indie moody and atmospheric then they will be right up your street. 'Lonely Planet' starts quietly with gradually building organs and scratchy guitars that are somewhere between U2 and Simple Minds at their peak and the more contemporary musings of the XX, Portishead and Catherine Wheel. The use of vocals is particularly intriguing as different voices are used as instruments to help the layers mount up until the song is a rolling, unstoppable juggernaut of an indie ballad that will sweep over you like a huge, black cloud of liberating honesty. This is the song that's OK to wallow to on a wet Sunday afternoon when you're hungover and your boyfriend/girlfriend has dumped you during a drunken row.

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Peggy Seeger - Everything Changes (Signet Music/Red Grape) 
Peggy Seeger - Everything Changes

When I was a lad, my sister used to keep her Easter eggs for months until the chocolate had developed that white tinge and were pretty much beyond use - a crime to a younger, chocolate hungry brother who had long since scoffed his eggs. However, I fell in to the same, sticky trap of delaying gratification with this album. So excited was I to get this new material from the legendary Peggy Seeger that I have been waiting with eager anticipation to review it and have then enjoyed it so much that the release date has come and gone. Nevertheless, this is one of those albums that shouldn't be ignored due to its beauty, simplicity and general approach of substance over style - all things you would expect from this enduring artist. Even the album artwork - a musician staring down the train tracks holding her guitar case - might seem a little cheesy in the wrong hands but in this instance, coupled with the 'Everything Changes' title, it seems wholly appropriate.

The album opens with 'Swim To The Star' and instantly that simplicity is apparent with its seemingly sparse musicianship and warm tones which are intriguing in a song written to mark 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic. The gorgeous lullaby of 'Go To Sleep' has a darker lyrical meaning but as a melody and soft vocal performance could tame even the most savage of beasts. On 'Nero's Children' Seeger turns to a more smoky Jazz influence while 'We Watch You Slip Away' is a piano and vocal lament about the ravages of old age. There is a more contemporary feel to 'Flowers By The Roadside' - on of many songs co-written with Seeger's son Calum MacColl - which would fit in with the oeuvre of the XX or Laura Marling due to the sparse melody and atmospheric feel. There's a return to the piano only accompaniment on 'When Fairy Stories End' and anyone who doesn't have a lump in their throat or at least an urge to call their mother by the end of this song is pretty much dead inside.

Overall this is a fairly dark collection of songs with the mood of someone looking back down the railway tracks of their life at the emotional peaks and troughs. However, Seeger has always had a wry sense of humour and that comes through on her version of 'Do You Believe In Me?' performed with a real sense of mischief and fun as it takes on the mythical characters we all grow up with. The folky, almost childlike simplicity of 'Over The Mountain To You' lilts and sways like a Willow in a warm summer breeze on the banks of a Louisiana river. Always one to stick up for herself and her sisters, Seeger exudes quiet self-confidence on 'You Don't Know How Lucky You Are' while Rutthy Taubb's 'Miss Heroin' gets the full swirling, snaking, malevolent treatment with guitars winding round your senses while the percussion hypnotises you. The title track closes the album and 'Everything Changes' is, again, a simple ode to less complicated time overseen by Seeger's mother where values mattered and there was time to catch a thought before it became out of date.

The beautiful thing about this album is the way it feels both contemporary and classic simultaneously. 'Everything Changes' will fit in perfectly with Seeger's previous work but will also introduce a whole new generation to a way of songwriting that isn't driven by radio minutes or a killer chorus, more by storytelling and getting a message to all those awake enough to listen. Are you awake enough? I hope so, for your sake.

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Sunday, 5 October 2014


Kacy Hill - Experience 
Kacy Hill - Experience

Los Angeles soloist Kacy Hill is fairly new on the scene but there is a certain excitement  about this fresh talent that we would ignore at our peril. New single 'Experience' features Hill's high pitched vocal which is somewhere in the La Roux  region of things but with the seductive swagger of Lana Del Ray as well as some laid back beats and sparse electro melodies. There is something almost asexual about this single as the synths play out like the music of the future, making me want to sip on some cocktail that hasn't been invented yet while a backing band of aliens on keytars bobs gently behind Kacy. There are bigger and better things to come from Kacy Hill but this is an excellent introduction to her world.

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Dirty Dishes - Thank You Come Again 
Dirty Dishes - Thank You Come Again

Dirty Dishes seems to be a particularly mundane name for a duo coming straight out of Los Angeles with Boston roots. Names don't mean a thing, though, and based on that theory I'm assuming 'Thank You Come Again' isn't an ode to the Kwik-E-Mart of Springfield. What it is, in fact, is a raunchy, sneering, snarling song following in the wake of Veruca Salt, Sleigh Bells and Hole with smeared lipstick and mascara panda eyes.  Jenny and Alex wring every last note and beat out of their instruments and play off each other with such scuzzy energy that I suddenly think I understand the band name - Dirty as in sexy and Dishes as in a pair of handsome types. Maybe. Either way, these guys wail, as Wayne Campbell would say, I can't wait to hear more. Soon please.

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Live Dates:

16th October - JP House Show, Boston w/Soft Fangs + Strange Mangers
17th October - Poland St. Haus, Portland w/Kefka + Perfect Hair
19th October - Brad's Basement, Providence w/14 Foot 1
21st October - The Beehive, Washington w/Two Inch Astronaut
22nd October - Rexedoghaus in Fishtown, Philadelphia
23rd October - Court Tavern, New Brunswick w/Ford Han
24th October - CMJ Showcase @ Trash Bar EIS, Brooklyn

27th October - Hanging Horse, Norwood


Wild Smiles - Girlfriend (Sunday Best Recordings) 
Wild Smiles - Girlfriend

I'm starting to properly love these guys. There seems to have been a return to good, old fashioned releases of singles backed up by fervent touring and just generally working hard and Wild Smiles are part of that movement. 'Girlfriend' is the latest volley of rock'n'roll excess to hit the airwaves/internet and it's the last chance you have to get on board before the album drops in late October. In typical Wild Smiles style, the single kicks off with buzz saw guitars covered in thick syrup before the Ramones-meets-Beach Boys vocal harmonies kick in all pushed along by those restless drums. This may only be 150 seconds of punk inspired indie-pop but these three guys manage to squeeze an awful lot of sugar, sunshine and melody in to those brief seconds. It's like the difference between an all night session with your mental ex or a quickie with your absolute, all time focus of all your lustful thoughts and feelings. Simple choice really.

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Natalie Pryce - Emily 
Natalie Pryce - Emily

Sinister Glasgow quartet Natalie Pryce are back and they are still, seemingly, fixated on girl's names. New single 'Emily' is available as a free download from the band's website and if you like your music dramatic with a macabre twist of lime then you might want to head on over there. The song opens up with a volley of dirty rock'n'roll guitars followed by a break down in to drums, strained guitar notes and tortured, theatrical vocals that are just as much about performance as it is about melody. Elements of Editors mixed with Glasvegas, Reuben and a darker Franz Ferdinand are all in evidence here but this is genuinely one of the darkest, most sinister bands I have ever come across and that's something to be relished in these days of being force fed sweetness and light.

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Live Dates:

28th November - Bannerman's Bar, Edinburgh w/The Indos + The Strats


Davidge feat. Sandie Shaw - Riot Pictures (7Hz Recordings) 
Davidge feat. Sandie Shaw - Riot Pictures

Release Date: 6th October 2014

So this is a bit of a first. Massive Attack collaborator Neil Davidge has teamed up with British pop icon Sandie Shaw to create a downbeat electro anthem which is set to a video of riots past and present. 'Riot Pictures' is like a weird blend of the Pet Shop Boys, Garbage, Portishead as well as Shaw's own inimitable vocal style. I have to say it feels weird to hear this legend singing a fairly downbeat song with bleak beats but it works and a lot of credit for Davidge's insight to get Shaw involved and for Shaw being willing to try something different to her usual genre. Well worth a listen if you've got open ears and an open mind.

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Davidge -

Sandie Shaw -

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Waltzer - Superfine 
Waltzer - Superfine

Release Date: 11th October 2014

I saw a girl get her long hair stuck in the workings of a Waltzer once. The fairground guy had to cut her hair off and her mum just stood there and cried. That's stuck with me for a long time as images go. The pounding, insistent rhythms that open the new single from London trio Waltzer are also likely to stick in my head for a while. 'Superfine' is a great name for a single and the single lives up to its name with the feel of Belly, Veruca Salt, Lush and 90s indie-grunge bands aplenty seeping through every pore. The guitars chug, the drums pound and there is an element of Feeder at their best. This is the kind of band that we've been missing for a while now and I hope their blend of power, melodies and attitude cuts through the syrupy bullshit that occupies far too much of the music world these days like washing up liquid in a greasy tray.

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Live Dates:

11th October - Single Launch @ The Finsbury, London


Tied To The Mast - Melissa (Professor Records) 
Tied To The Mast - Melissa

Release Date: 20th October 2014

Sussex lads Tied To The Mast have got the wind of critical acclaim beneath their wings and that seems to be taking them to pretty epic heights. New single, 'Melissa', starts with a brooding chug and a vocal style that is somewhere between shoegaze and Westcoast slacker indie - I'm hooked. The trio of guitarists create one hell of a noise but it's all tamed enough to stay on track and when that power is harnessed it creates the kind of tune Weezer or the Dandy Warhols would be proud of with the type of swagger that could get you in a lot of trouble if you used it in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, to sum up, lo-fi indie-rock with serious swagger, a trio of guitars and a killer single - I'm sold and you should be too.

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Live Dates:

24th October - Album Launch @ The Finsbury, London