Friday, 18 December 2015

MEXRRISSEY - SINGLE REVIEW

Mexrrissey - International Playgirl 
Mexrrissey - International Playgirl

Release Date: Out Now

OK, so anyone who knows me and has known me during drinking hours will know how long I can bang on about what a tiresome, irritating and altogether wasteful cretin I think Morrissey is. This gets me in to a fair few fights with music purists but fortunately music purists don't tend to spend that much time at the gym so the bruises heal fairly quickly. Anyway, Mexican Morrissey enthusiasts Mexrrissey have been good enough to send me their new release, 'International Playgirl', so the least I can do is stand my prejudice down....temporarily. So a rolling bass line and some Tijuana brass kick things off before a seductive Latino vocal snakes out of a tequila bottle and wraps itself around your hips. Plenty of cowbell and a scratchy sense of 90s indie that the likes of Lush would approve of also play a part. So, Morrissey, you caused this band to happen which is no bad thing but I'm still not happy with you, generally speaking. This isn't over....

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7v8QW4xW1M&feature=youtu.be

THE RUBETTES - SINGLE REVIEW

The Rubettes - Plastic Christmas 
The Rubettes - Plastic Christmas

Release Date: Out Now

On paper, '70s pop combo try to make Christmas comeback on the back of old song being used in Great British Back Off montage' is the kind of sentence that should make me recoil with horror whilst simultaneously pressing the play button at arm's length. Then you learn that it's a rip off of the classic French tune 'Ca Plane Pour Moi' by Plastic Bertrand with some ill-fitting festive lyrics and, well, if you're anything like me you don't know whether to laugh until you can't breathe any more or cry for the death of music. This tune may be an extraordinarily well pitched joke with a slow burning punch line but I get the feeling this was a serious attempt to relaunch a career that has long since gone the way of Rolf Harris Best Of. The best thing about this song is that it reminded me to listen to Plastic Bertrand again so, y'know, thanks for that but maybe go back to touring small town festivals or see if Peter Kay is thinking of doing Phoenix Nights again. Mental.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rubettes/112603962084967?fref=ts


Listen Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noPxWI_nmMk

THE FRENCH POP DREAM - SINGLE REVIEW

The French Pop Dream - Silver Bells 
The French Pop Dream - Silver Bells

Release Date: Out Now

I've been inundated with Christmas songs this year, more so than ever, but this version of the classic 'Silver Bells' by the French Pop Dream stands out a mile. Sultry, Gallic, full of festive cheer and layered with multi-instrumental melodies, this is beautiful version of the 50s classic that transports you to a snowy city with golden glows in all the windows, busy crowds with armfuls of perfectly wrapped gifts and at the very least a touch of frost in the air, enough to let you see your breath. Anne Brugiere's vocal is delicate, dusky and soothing as you lull in to a mulled wine coma for around a week only to wake up with novelty socks and a belt that mysteriously no longer fits. An absolute stunner of a Christmas tune and no mistake.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/The-French-Pop-Dream


Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/french-pop-dream/silver-bells-christmas-time-in-the-city

UNCLE LUC - SINGLE REVIEW

Uncle Luc - Christmas 1994 (Super Fan 99)
Uncle Luc - Christmas 1994

Release Date: Out Now

Nostalgia is big bucks these days and everyone loves looking back through rose tinted glasses so it's good to see good old Uncle Luc jumping on that band wagon with this festive look back through the mists of time.....to 1994. The lyrics and video for 'Christmas 1994' are more chocked full of nostalgia than my childhood Christmas stocking was bulging with curious toys. Tamsin Archer, ET, Home Alone, VHS and Hungry Hippos all get referenced atop a lazily strummed riff and Badly Drawn Boy-esque vocals. Throw in some slide guitar melodies and a killer chorus which name checks Dick Tracey and you're well on your way to a future cult Christmas classic. Best enjoyed with a can of Bass Shandy, some Cheese Footballs and a Cadburys Selection Box.

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


Watch The Video: https://vimeo.com/148920049 

Monday, 14 December 2015

ARTHR - SINGLE REVIEW

Arthr - Been Here Once Before 
Arthr - Been Here Once Before

Release Date: 20th December 2015

In among the slew of Christmas tunes that are currently flooding my inbox I received this intriguing little item which I am utterly compelled to share with you. Arthr, oddly, is the pseudonym of a fella named Christian and 'Been Here Once Before' is more of a short film with a soundtrack than a single but whatever the package, the gift inside is still just as exciting. The ticking of a solitary clock soon gives way to some spaced electro bleeps and throbs accompanied by a scuttling beat that doesn't know whether to get involved or not. Layers and layers of synthesised delights build up like some kind of electro lasagne as the slightly spooky video takes you on a tour of a derelict hotel just to add to the feeling of unease and loneliness being created here. Not something you would want on at the peak of a party but when all the hangers on have gone and your down to your last smoke and a half bottle of rum then this might just be your perfect jam.

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


Watch The Video: http://youtu.be/ToZwu5-IwPg

Sunday, 13 December 2015

BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA - CHRISTMAS ALBUM REVIEW

Brian Setzer Orchestra - Rockin' Rudolph (Surfdog Records) 
The Brian Setzer Orchestra - Rockin' Rudolph

Release Date: Out Now

It takes a real dedication to the festive spirit to release as many Christmas tunes as Brian Setzer and his orchestra have pumped out over the years. This latest collection is a master class of big band, Jazz and Swing music applied to some classic (and not so classic) Christmas tunes, so slip your best brothel creepers and let's dance. 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' is up first with a sax fuelled version that has a screaming guitar solo and if you're not jiving by the time this is through then you're a Grinch for sure. I have to admit that 'Yabba Dabba Yuletide' is a new one on me but pretty much everybody knows the Flintstones theme tune so just hum that, stick some festive phrases in and you're golden.

The smooth 'Most Wonderful Time Of The Year' is perfect for that mid tempo dance at the work party while 'Rockabilly Rudolph' is like the theme from some subversive 70s cop show with the classic Rudolph lyrics given a slightly edgier feel. The slapping bass and scit-scat drums on 'Here Comes Santa Claus' give new energy to an old favourite before 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' out croons Buble and out swoons Seth McFarlane. This is the perfect music to crack on in the kitchen on Christmas day when things really get cooking and you'll be rattling those pots and pans before you know it. Keeping the party going with 'Swingin' Joy' and then 'Carol Of The Bells' there is a definite sense of traditionalism here but given a light and swinging, slapping and swooning make over.

'Little Jack Frost' ups the sex appeal a little with more brass and some soulful female vocals and then we're treated to an absolutely huge version of 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' which should be on the opening credits to some big budget Christmas special on American TV. An end-of-a-perfect-evening slow dance version of 'O Little Town Of Bethlehem' and an extended version of 'Yabba Dabba Yuletide' finish things off and if, by now, you're not half cut on festive cheer and dancing with the first relative you can drag in to the kitchen then something is very, very wrong with you.

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

Live Dates:

14th December - Fox Tucson Theatre, Tucson
15th December - Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix
18th December - Microsoft Theatre, Los Angeles
19th December - Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio
20th December - Pechanga Entertainment Centre, Temecula
22nd December - Fox Theatre, Bakersfield
23rd December - Wells Fargo Centre for the Arts, Santa Rosa
24th December - The Warfield, San Francisco
26th December - Martin Woldson Theatre at the Fox, Spokane
27th December - Benaroya Concert Hall, Seattle

29th December - Grey Eagle Resort and Casino, Calgary

Monday, 7 December 2015

KAREN MAV - SINGLE REVIEW

Karen Mav - Take Me Home For Christmas (Pop Recordings) 
Karen Mav - Take Me Home For Christmas

Release Date: 11th December 2015

It's not often that I get to review singers that have been through the X-Factor machine but I am always very keen to give people a fair crack of the whip, no matter how close they had to stand to Simon Cowell and his incongruous hair. Zimbabwe born Karen Mav is releasing Christmas single, 'Take Me Home For Christmas', and it's, well, it's Christmassy. Mav's voice is undoubtedly soulful and rich which is, presumably, why she got so far in the competition. The song itself is literally smothered in festive treats with chiming bells and sleigh bells as well as a good old yuletide piano line. If I didn't know any better then I might think Roy Wood's Wizzardry was behind this but I suspect this is just a case of using a classic Christmas formula. Not the best vehicle from a strong voice so I look forward to more from Karen Mav and her impressive pipes.


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

JUDE WOODHEAD - DEMO REVIEW

Jude Woodhead - Beautiful Rain (Transgressive Records) 
Jude Woodhead - Beautiful Rain

Release Date: Out Now

I don't know a lot about Jude Woodhead other than he's a multi-talented musician from South London with a penchant for Congolese music and the work of Four Tet and Paul Simon. Intrigued? Me too. This debut offering starts as a dreamlike swirl of rhythms, low hummed vocals and electro melodies before settling in to the kind of tribal pulse that made Moby so bloody rich (minus all the car adverts, obvs). This is coming out at almost entirely the wrong time of year as this is the kind of tune that should adorn a BBC3 Glastonbury montage but I guess whatever time of year it is there's always space for a good tune with a great rhythm and the kind of intrigue that the likes of Lemon Jelly and Bent did so well with. Now come on Jude, tell us some more about yourself: what's your favourite KFC rip off joint in London town, for example?


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

GLUE - SINGLE REVIEW

Glue - Peace For Now 
Glue - Peace For Now

Release Date: 13th December 2015

West Ham based alt-punk trio Glue have an aptly named single on its way for your enjoyment as 'Peace For Now' is due to drop this week. There's a studied chaos behind the spattered drums and wrestled guitar notes that brings to mind bands like Television and pioneers like Edwyn Collins as well as more straight up punks like Engine 88 - all good things in case you hadn't got that. With a timeless quality and a touch of the art college scene about this (see early Blur, Bloc Party or Franz Ferdinand) there's a lot to love and a lot to look forward to if this is just the beginning. As songs go, though, it's anything but peaceful.

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

Live Dates:


13th December - Single Launch @ Hoxton Underbelly, London

Saturday, 5 December 2015

SPARKS - SINGLE REVIEW

Sparks - Christmas Without A Prayer (Lil Beethoven Records) 
Sparks - Christmas Without A Prayer

Release Date: Out Now

Those infamous Mael brothers are back with a festive ditty for you in the shape of the bleakly title 'Christmas Without A Prayer'. The song itself lives up to the bleakness in tone as the morbid keyboard tones underpin a tongue in cheek lyric and that trademark downplayed vocal. Then, bang on half way, this changes in to a Broadway romp based on the story of a happy-go-lucky spending Christmas on a an abandoned Miami beach - or so goes my interpretation. It's not a classic Christmas song by any stretch but it's almost something that all acts need to pull out of the bag these days so it's worth listening to for that if nothing else.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdQ4pLaPuYw&feature=youtu.be

PRISON ISSUE - SINGLE REVIEW

Prison Issue - You Better Watch Out (Goodbye Weirdo Records) 
Prison Issue - You Better Watch Out

Release Date: 21st December 2015

Alright, so the artwork for this single suggests that this might be a slightly aggressive and potentially politically motivated song and the title, 'You Better Watch Out', doesn't do much to a challenge that impression. When you press play, though, well this tune just lays waste to each and every preconception you could possibly have. Elements of Outkast, New Kingdom and Snoop Dogg/Lion/Whatever he's called these days are all there as the swagger of the hip-hop and blues inspired music makes you feel like you've stumbled in to some hidden Christmas section of Grand Theft Auto. There also seems to be a sinister cameo from Stephen Hawking on vocals towards the end. Great tune but please, for the love of all things festive, do not play this to your children or the Christmas of the future is completely ruined. Seriously, just don't do it.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Prison-Issue-376260780782/?fref=ts

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRO18ozqE28&feature=youtu.be


Listen/Download Here: https://prisonissue.bandcamp.com/track/you-better-watch-out 

Friday, 4 December 2015

ARMCHAIR COMMITTEE - SINGLE REVIEW

Armchair Committee - Rawgabbit (Deaf Endling Records) 
Armchair Committee - Rawgabbit 

Release Date: 11th December 2015

When I first read the name of this song I thought it was an Elmur Phudd quote but I had the 'g' and the 'w' mixed up. Then I read it again and realised I had no idea what 'Rawgabbit' meant, turns out it's a person who speaks with complete self-assurance about something of which they know nothing. We all know one of those, right? Anyway, I digress, to the music. Bristol rockers Armchair Committee know how to pull out the big riffs and crotch thrusting blues swagger full of gravelly toned vocals and all the sex appeal of Prince in a leather onesie licking Slash's boots. This is big, big rock noise with slick production and a real sense of determined purpose. Well played, Armchair Committee.

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

Live Dates:

12th December - The Louisiana, Bristol w/Loom + Queen Kwong

19th December - Secret Location, Bristol

Thursday, 3 December 2015

MONSTER TRUCK - SINGLE REVIEW

Monster Truck - The Enforcer (Mascot Records) 
Monster Truck - The Enforcer

Release Date: Out Now

For those about to rock, hold on tight. The superbly named Monster Truck are back and, as always, they mean business. Serious business. 'The Enforcer' is the latest release from the Canadian hard rockers and it kicks off with thunderous drums that give way to chunky riffs, the likes of which Dave Grohl and co would nod a bearded approval to. The chanted chorus harmonies and gruff vocals are soaked in grease, whiskey, tobacco and, what's that? That's right, that's Slash's DNA running right through the middle of every distorted guitar note. There's an album on the way in 2016 and if the rest of it is anything like 'The Enforcer' then we're in for hard rockin' treat.

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

Listen Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENNtNc1di-c

Live Dates:

23rd February - Sugar Nightclub, Victoria
25th February - Commodore, Vancouver
27th February - MacEwan Ballroom, Calgary
1st March - Union Hall, Edmonton
2nd March - The Pump, Regina
4th March - The Garrick, Winnipeg
5th March - Outpost, Thunder Bay
8th March - Le Cercle, Quebec
9th March - Corona, Montreal

11th March - Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto

FAILURE MACHINE - SINGLE REVIEW

Failure Machine - Beautiful Scene
Failure Machine - Beautiful Scene 

Release Date: Out Now

Fresh from their unveiling as the best band in the world outside of the United Kingdom (according to, well, me), Failure Machine are back with a new single. Those soulful Reno boys bring us 'Beautiful Scene' just in time for Christmas and there's a video too! We're talking the Black Keys take on modern Blues, some serious horns, the wry humour of Weezer but the soulful nature of James Brown - not bad for a bunch of white guys from Nevada. Oh and did I mention the licks and the chops? No? We'll these guys have got plenty of both and a gravelly vocal that makes me want to have babies as long as that voice can be the father. All that rolled up in to just over three minutes makes this punk pop soul funk blues and whole lotta fun. Now will SOMEBODY please book these guys a UK tour so I can go see them rock out in person please? PLEASE?!?!?

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60vsic-zXnk&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:


31st December - Mission Theatre, Portland w/Jerry Joseph and the Jack Mormons

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

LISTEN WITH MONGER - 2015 HONOUR ROLL

2015 has been a hell of a year here at LWM towers - hospital visits, office moves and, above all, a shed load of music. This has been the biggest year for the blog with the most readers ever and more artists than ever sending in music to be reviewed - Listen With Monger has become something of a global phenomenon. But any success is only down to the quality of the music that is sent in so I thought it was a good time to reflect and give you my LWM awards for the year (just to clarify, much like the BBC, there are no actual awards....just kudos).

Best Band: Allusondrugs  
Allusondrugs - post-Chemical toilet mishap
The big one to kick off with but these guys have had an outstanding year and have gone from strength to strength in 2015. The Clue Records signings from Leeds have worked their grungy little socks off all year but that hasn't stopped them churning out some top tunes and putting some gigs that have left audiences stunned, euphoric, suffering from tinnitus and possibly pregnant.

Honourable mentions go to Narcs and The Franklys

Cosmo Sheldrake - horny
Best Solo Artist (Male): Cosmo Sheldrake
A true English eccentric and songwriting genius who is almost nailed on to break through in 2016 and appear all over the place in a range of dandy hats, playing gigs in improbable locations. If you haven't experienced Cosmo's mind yet then you are seriously missing out.

Honourable mentions go to Ali Ingle and  Jake Morley







Best Solo Artist (Female): Malka
Malka - painted lady
Technically, Malka performs with a backing band but all the music comes out of her head and that is worth celebrating when someone releases of the quality of her debut offering. A summer of festival appearances in 2016 surely beckons as well as heaps and heaps of airplay - plus hopefully some new songs.  

Honourable mentions go to  Seaker and Dua Lipa



Azu Yeche - unusual suspect
Best Single: Azu Yeche 'Lagos'
Hardest category to pick by a long chalk with a whole range of talent on display this year and singles hitting from every angle like one of those posh shower things. There was rock, there was indie, there was acoustic folk and a whole lot of love. But a decision must be made and my decision was to go with Azu Yeche's 'Lagos' as something truly original, spell binding and with a message behind  from a relative unknown.


Honourble mentions go to Moriaty 'Bones' / The Lottery Winners 'I Know' / Cosmo Sheldrake 'Rich' / Many Things 'Holy Fire' / The Graveltones 'Big Money' / Jake Morley 'Allegorical House' / Antimatador 'Find Your Way'


Best EP: Alex Gregory 'Critical Perfection EP' 
Alex Gregory - Strumming
This stunning collection from Exeter based singer songwriter Alex Gregory showed off her superb vocal abilities but also her abilities to write a heart touchingly beautiful song with a pop hook. A huge star in the making if the right people give this some ear time but regardless of any commercial success this EP has found a place in my heart and my CD collection for good.

Honourable mentions go to Failure Machine 'Ain't Shit EP'  and Sound Of The Sirens 'All We Have Is Time EP'



Lost Dawn - just popping out.

Best Album: Malka / Lost Dawn
I haven't listened to as many albums as I would have liked this year but the ones I have heard have been almost universally superb so this was a tough category to decide on and I'm sitting on the fence between two very different albums. On the one hand, Falmouth's Lost Dawn, blew our socks off and our minds out of our ears with their debut offering this year. On the other hand, Malka soothed, amazed and generally enchanted with her offering in 2015. Lucky buggers aren't we?  

Best Video: Husky 'I'm Not Coming Back' 
Husky - road trip
Gorgeous song with a stunning animated video that will have you laughing, falling in love and hiding behind the sofa all at once. Videos can be so predictable these days as though all the ideas are already used up so it's wonderfully refreshing and life affirming when something new pops up in your eye sockets.





Get Inuit - innit
Best Band Name: Get Inuit / Rangleklods
Regular readers will know that I love a good band name and there have been plenty to choose from this year but I'm going to share the award this year between Eskimo obsessed Kent indie rockers Get Inuit and Danish nutcases Rangleklod. Just enjoy those for a moment......and now move on.






Best Year: Sound Of The Sirens 
Sound Of The Sirens - shocked and stunned
A special award this as I am privileged to receive so many pieces of music from new or emerging artists that I wanted to recognise the work of those without any major backing, doing it all under their own steam. Exeter duo Sound Of The Sirens are clear winners in this category as they started the year playing as many gigs as possible in pubs and clubs around the Westcountry only to finish 2015 being handpicked by Chris Evans to appear live on the first show of the new TFI Friday and going on a national tour. Evidence if ever it were needed that great songs and a good work ethic can get you where you want to be.

Vaness Forero - taller than she looks
Best Debut: Vanessa Forero 'Heaven Knows'
I was genuinely blown away Yorkshire/Columbia product Vanessa Forero and her debut single 'Heaven Knows'. If you haven't checked it out yet then you need to but this is also a great example to anyone out there to create music that is true to your own convictions and passions. Beautiful music.






Best PR: Hannah Gould Music PR
A one woman show, Gouldzilla PR is one of the most reliable and consistent pushers of top quality artists including the likes of Lost Dawn, Rangleklods, Jinnwoo, Memory Maze, Elvis Perkins, Josefin Ohrn & The Liberation, The Black Tambourines and Weyes Blood. Hannah Gould is also a delight to deal with gets extra points for her work in championing some of the excellent artists emerging from the burgeoning Falmouth scene.

Honourable mention goes to Blue Soap Music


Clue Records - faceless bastards

Best Label: Clue Records 
Leeds based independent label Clue Records are home to Narcs, Allusondrugs, Forever Cult and Trash - all of whom have had excellent releases and too many gigs to even count. It's a small but perfectly formed label that is picking it's artists carefully and nurturing them all until they blossom and bear fruit. Sure, some of their acts might get picked off by bigger boys one day but it's a model that worked for Domino and works for tonnes of football feeder clubs so all power to them. Hell, I like them so much I even bought one of their T-shirts!

Honourable mention goes to Xtra Mile Recordings


Best Southwest Artist: Lost Dawn / Sound Of The Sirens  
It's been an immense year for musicians from my native South West so it's been difficult to pick out a stand out act so I've had to split this award between three gents from Falmouth and two ladies from Exeter. Lost Dawn have been at the forefront of the revolution coming out of Falmouth and their album was a supreme example of psych-rock with a wry sense of humour. Meanwhile, duo Sound Of The Sirens have been on a whirlwind year fuelled by their impassioned and pitch perfect harmonised folk-pop.

Honourable mentions go to Cave Mouth and Alex Gregory

Failure Machine - big faces


Best non-UK Artist: Failure Machine 
Reno boys Failure Machine have maintained a consistent level of excellence throughout the year with their own brand of soul infused rock'n'roll and it's a crying shame that their music isn't being heard by more ears the world over.

Honourable mentions go to The Dirty Nil and SHEL










Tankus The Henge - jumping for joy
Best Live Performance: Tankus The Henge
This much travelled collective's performance on the main stage at Looe Festival in September 2015 was nothing short of elemental. As the sun set and the summer came to a close we had one more chance to let our collective hair down and Tankus The Henge were good enough to provide the soundtrack. For anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of experiencing these guys well a) you should and b) 2016 is going to be the year to do it - these guys are going to be everywhere.


Honourable mention goes to Sound Of The Sirens @ Looe Festival


Most Viewed Review of 2015: Torre Florim 'Firestarter' (688 views)
A nominal award of sorts but, in a year of increased visitors to the blog, this cover of the Prodigy classic seemed to capture your attention. 688 times, to be precise.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

THE INTERCEPTORS - EP REVIEW

The Interceptors - Lights Out EP 
The Interceptors - Lights Out EP

Release Date: Out Now

Three men walk in to a bar. The barman says, "alright lads, who are you?". "Fred Baylis, Thaddeus Sterianos and Luke Philpott" they chime. And so The Interceptors are born, possibly the three most unlikely band member names....apart from Luke, that's fairly run of the mill. Anyway, the Falmouth trio are joining a long list of top notch bands marching, ominously, on the music world via the A38 and the Tamar Bridge. This new EP from the three piece hits you round the chops from the word go so you'd better grit your teeth and brace those chops. Opening track 'Parallel' is a no-nonsense, smack you about the face riot of guitars and indie attitude that would have any club bouncing from the first crackle of a guitar lead. 'Flags' is up next and despite opening with the meaty might of Royal Blood, it soon settles in to a more choppy garage punk pattern with some skate pop melodies in the choruses.

By the time we hit 'Hollow' the die is cast and these three are settling in to the kind of form that a fledgling Feeder or My Vitriol used to do so well with. 'Hollow' is my stand-out track on this EP with its urgent beat and twitchy, uncertain guitars bouncing  around in the shadows only to be laced together by the cool, understated vocals. The final track on this collection, 'Lights Out', which has a touch of the Strokes about it and pretty completes the indie credentials of these Cornish crooners. Tight, punchy, full of hooks and with melodies that worm in to your head - that's pretty much the full package so, yeah, watch out world.


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

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

CANDICE GORDON - SINGLE REVIEW

Candice Gordon - Smoke In The Air (Proper Octopus Records) 
Candice Gordon - Smoke In The Air

Release Date: Out Now

On Ms Gordon's Facebook page her own description is 'goth-psych she-wizard'. I think that stands up on its own as an awesome statement of intent but I thought it was worth bringing to your attention before we get down to the music. This latest single from Berlin based Candice Gordon, 'Smoke In The Air', is a macabre piece of 60s inspired goth pop that I fell in love with by the time we got to the 30 second mark. Gordon's haunting vocal glides smokily over a room where the bass and drums are cooking up some sort of evil mischief and the guitars are flitting furtively in the shadows. I wouldn't even raise a surprise eyebrow if you told me that Candice Gordon is one of Jim Morrison's bastard offspring, such is her effortlessly theatrical style and sultry air. A truly inspiring tune that would make Florence Welch, Anna Calvi and PJ Harvey re-evaluate their output.

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

Live Dates:

26th November - Kaffe T Hof, Middelburg

4th December - Salzburg Rockhouse, Salzburg

JACK CONMAN - SINGLE REVIEW

Jack Conman - Misty Central (Warren Records) 
Jack Conman - Misty Central

Release Date: Out Now

With a name like Jack Conman, his brooding looks and influences from Ben Howard and Bombay Bicycle Club to Alt-J and Dry The River you'd fully expect this guy to be on the cover pretty much every magazine going. As it is, Beverley boy Conman is still bubbling under the surface of things so new single 'Misty Central' is a treat just for us at the moment. Lucky, aren't we? Well, yes actually. Using his acoustic with a Jake Morley-esque tapping style, Conman employs a smooth, dubby groove and his vocal is liquid soul like a James Morrison or Brother And Bones in reflective mood. The song itself is instantly grabbing but the style and swagger of the man exudes from every beat and thrum of the tune so you've got to expect that there's more to come from the man.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwRuPMLSllE&feature=youtu.be

Monday, 23 November 2015

HUSKY - SINGLE REVIEW

Husky - I'm Not Coming Back (Embassy of Music) 
Husky - I'm Not Coming Back

Release Date: Out Now

I don't get enough music from Australia but what I do get tends to be top notch so I was excited to receive this latest release from Melbourne duo Husky. My excitement was rewarded almost immediately by 'I'm Not Coming Back' with its sunrise optimism opening and general Jose Gonzalez vibe. That said, the chorus is far more lively than Mr Gonzalez ever got and the melodies that these guys weave in between their acoustic strumming and bobbling keys are heart swellingly, tear jerkingly, mood liftingly gorgeous. There is also a stunning video to go along with this tune so even if you don't like the single (cos you're all mad and shit) then you can at least enjoy the beautiful animation. The full package, then.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyf0AelOr28 

THE CUT THROAT RAZORS - EP REVIEW

The Cut Throat Razors - Motown's Lost Its Soul EP 
The Cut Throat Razors - Motown's Lost Its Soul

Release Date: 27th November 20115

Anyone ready for an eleven piece Glaswegian funk machine? Oh really? I don't think you are, y'know. Not for this jelly. The Cut Throat Razors (more punk than funk but a great name nonetheless) have a new EP which kicks off with the title track, 'Motown's Lost Its Soul' and, well, we're off. Like a young Stevie Wonder trying to impress Craig Charles for a little air time on a Saturday night, the funk is strong in this collective as the tight guitars scratch while the keys ooze and pop like whisky and coke....on the rocks. 'Losing My Mind' is up next and has a more rock'n'roll feel with some Doors-esque keys going on and a Zutons meets Franz Ferdinand feel - not to mention the dirtiest guitars I've heard outside of a grunge record in a very long time. It is remarkable how, despite being an eleven piece band, the personality of each instrumentalist comes through at different stages and that says a lot about the song writing.

The second half of this collection, 'She's My Baby' is straight out of the West Coast swinging 60s with surfing guitars and a touch of the MFC Chicken about the song structure just without all the poultry references. Closing up with 'A Beautiful Day', The Cut Throat Razors show of a more poppy side that is reminiscent of compatriots Belle & Sebastian or Teenage Fanclub and this could be the kind of song that could see them cross over to a wider listenership, albeit not particularly indicative of their core sound. There's an EP launch coming  up in Glasgow and I can only imagine these guys will be a blast live although they must a sound man's nightmare in smaller venues - so for the sake of the band and the soundmen (and women) of Glasgow's smaller venues, buy a copy of this EP and propel these guys'n'gals to bigger things (and places).

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

Live Dates:


27th November - EP Launch @ Stereo, Glasgow w/SUPA + Da Kryptonites

Sunday, 22 November 2015

ROBYN REGAN - SINGLE REVIEW

Robyn Regan - Oh I 
Robyn Reagan - Oh I

Release Date: Out Now

Despite sounding like the confused utterances of a tightly strung Bronte sister, the new single from Londoner Robyn Reagan, 'Oh I', is actually the perkiest of all perky pop songs. From the jaunty, 80s inspired guitar line to the lyrics of love that goes unspoken delivered by Regan's sugary sweet vocals, you can't deny that this is the kind pop that should be shifting big units. Think Carly Rae Jepson or Taylor Swift before she went all world domination on our asses or, if you're thinking laterally, this is the English version of Meghan Trainor. Catchy doesn't even start to cover it and, for once, somebody has written a love song with the phrase "should I bake it in a pie?" contained in the chorus. Genius.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svq6scqDIa0

Live Dates:

21st November - Stratford Centre Christmas Lights, London

26th November - Winter Wonderland, London

JOSEPH RUSSELL - SINGLE REVIEW

Joseph Russell - It's Time 
Joseph Russell - It's Time

Release Date: Out Now

Plymouth boy (or bhey to the locals) Joseph Russell is a hardworking kind of guy judging by his gig list and that doesn't include all the private shows! In fact, it's got to be hard to move in the Westcountry without tripping over one of his gigs or at least a poster. This new single from Russell goes by the name of 'It's Time' and should appeal to those enjoying the morbid piano music currently adorning festive advertisements on nearly every channel. In all seriousness, though, this track has a forlorn quality that seeps from the piano and Russell's gravelly vocal that is more Rod Stewart than Michael Buble. There are elements of Robbie Williams in his pomp but at 5 minutes long it never quite reaches the peak or crescendo I was hoping for when it started. That said, this is the kind of song that will either get picked up for an advertising campaign or will allow a load of guys to apologies/get engaged/get laid/dump a girl with the right soundtrack.

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

Live Dates:

27th November - The Q Cube, Exmouth
5th December - Rhodes @ The Dome, Plymouth
6th December - Four Lords, St Austell
11th December - Rhodes @ The Dome, Plymouth
18th December - Ordolph Arms, Tavistock
19th December - Bar Rakuda, Plymouth
26th December - The Union, Saltash
31st December - Tregenna Castle, St Ives
2nd January - Post Office Inn, Plympton
5th February - Ordolph Arms, Tavistock
6th February - The Imperial, Ivybridge
7th February - Four Lords, St Austell
10th February - Blues Bar & Grill, Plymouth
11th February - Bar Rakuda, Plymouth
13th February - The Sorry Head, Exeter
5th March - Bar 35, Bude
18th June - Bar 35, Bude

13th August - Bar 35, Bude

KUERTY UYOP - SINGLE REVIEW

Kuerty Uyop - The Syndrome Of Peter Pan (feat. Chainsaw) 
Kuerty Uyop - The Syndrome Of Peter Pan (feat. Chainsaw)

Release Date: Out Now

Part Italian, part Scottish, a bit priesty and a touch Karate inspired. That's the mix of ingredients that make up the gumbo that is keyboard inspired duo Kuerty Uyop. New single, 'The Syndrome Of Peter Pan', starts with a jerky guitar line and a lyric that whispers about the fear of growing old - not the normal topic for a dance song but then a steadily pumping beat kicks in and suddenly this is a dance floor tune. Sure, it's a little on the Europop side of things for my liking but it's perky, positive and the video is downright intriguing. I don't really know what to make of Kuerty Uyop which is a good thing in many ways but I'm going to wait to hear more from them before making a final decision.

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


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

Thursday, 19 November 2015

HUSBAND MATERIAL - SINGLE REVIEW

Husband Material - Talk Too Much 
Husband Material - Talk Too Much

Release Date: 27th November 2015

Well this is a delight. Some thoroughly English guitar based pop with a sultry swagger and a real sense of cool. Husband Material's new single 'Talk Too Much' is a blend of Franz Ferdinand, Orange Juice, Vampire Weekend, Hot Hot Heat and, weirdly, the Human League's kids messing around in a rural recording studio on a dreary weekend. Perky guitars, spiky drums and the kind of vocals that would invade your personal space at a house party and, while you would feel uncomfortable, the smell of French cigarettes and whisky is undeniably intoxicating. This is pop that has grown up and has a decent job but still buys comics and goes to obscure indie karaoke shows in Islington. That's the kind of pop I can hang out with.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuaJW8LVro0 

DRACULA LEGS - SINGLE REVIEW

Dracula Legs - Bulldozer 
Dracula Legs - Bulldozer

Release Date: 11th December 2015

First off, great name. No idea what Dracula Legs means but great name nonetheless. The band's new single, 'Bulldozer', is just a sheer delight as the London trio blend scratchy indie and some Lou Reed cool to make a thoroughly enjoyable ditty. The guitars glide and weave while the drums bash away with gay abandon and the vocals shimmy and shudder like Win Butler channelling Elvis Costello. This is music to dance to if you're not very good at dancing but you are super great at having fun and interpreting music with the most flailing of flailing limbs. Ruddy good fun all round.


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

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

FOREVER CULT - SINGLE REVIEW

Forever Cult - Tunnel Vision (Too Pure Singles Club) 
Forever Cult - Tunnel Vision

Release Date: 27th November 2015

Leeds trio Forever Cult are back with yet another single release, this time via the acclaimed Too Pure Singles Club off shoot. 'Tunnel Vision' is the latest missive from the Clue Records boys and it starts with a squall of feedback a la Nirvana in their pomp. And then it becomes a banger. A seriously loud, in your face banger. The drums and bass go straight for your ribcage while the guitars and vocals are straight out of the Reuben locker of grunge snarl meets indie-pop melodies and energy. These guys started off as a slow burner for me but now I'm in a full on forest fire and gleefully toasting marshmallows on the chard whiskers of a fox. There's a perfect mix of fun and serious intent behind this tune so you can see why it was selected for the exclusive environs of Too Pure. Well chosen, well chosen indeed.

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

Live Dates:

23rd November - Think Tank, Newcastle
24th November - Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh
25th November - Bar Bloc, Glasgow
26th November - The Green Rooms, Perth
27th November - Maguire's Pizza Bar, Liverpool
28th November - The Adelphi, Hull
2nd December - The Old Blue Last, London
3rd December - The Lemon Factory, Swansea
4th December - Le Pub, Newport

5th December - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

ILANA J - SINGLE REVIEW

Ilana J - Angel (Ilana J Music) 
Ilana J - Angel 

Release Date: 18th November 2015

It's always difficult to critically review a song that is being released to raise money for a charitable cause because nobody likes the douche who slates the work of a charity. The charity in question this time is The Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics which aims to research and treat Angelman Syndrome which is a rare genetic disorder that affects the nervous system - a worthy cause indeed. The song being release to raise money for this cause (and all proceeds go to the charity) is the appropriately named 'Angel' and it's a soft, piano focused ballad with an uplifting undertone. The lyrics directly reflect the battles and positivity in the face of adversity that people born with disabilities so often display which makes for an emotional ride. Sure, it's a fairly simple song but it has a simple message and that comes across loud and clear through Ilana J's soft but strong voice.

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

Download Here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/angel-single/id1043285103


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

THE SHERLOCKS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Sherlocks - Heart Of Gold 
The Sherlocks - Heart Of Gold

Release Date: Out Now

I can't believe there hasn't been a band called The Sherlocks before but here they are anyway. This tale of heartache and broken dreams, new single 'Heart Of Gold', is pure Arctic Monkeys meets Reverend and the Makers suburban soap opera but there is a more pop element here that makes these guys a genuinely huge prospect. It's not that they are dramatically original or strikingly unique but, in the same way that Catfish & the Bottlemen have won over thousands on both sides of the Atlantic, these lads have the tunes and the work ethic to pull of something life changing here. Probably the only thing standing in their way is the fact that the band consists of two sets of brothers which is a powder keg waiting to be ignited if ever there was one.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv7-1eJGrFE

Live Dates:

25th November - Riverside, Gateshead
26th November - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
28th November - O2 Academy 2, Liverpool
3rd November - Rock City, Nottingham

19th November - Plug, Sheffield

Monday, 16 November 2015

JOAN OV ARC - SINGLE REVIEW

Joan ov Arc - Live Rock'n'Roll (Red Vixen Records) 
Joan  ov Arc - Live Rock'n'Roll

Release Date: 27th November 2015

All-female rock bands tend to make me feel slightly uneasy. Now, this isn't because I'm a raging bigot who believes the only place for a woman at a rock show is backstage and on her knees. No, it's because that very viewpoint exists and I've seen men ogling over women playing their hearts out, belittling their talent in one misogynistic groan. So, I'm always hopeful that bands like Joan ov Arc will blow my mind with their music and their new single, 'Live Rock'n'Roll', is their shot. The track starts with drums powered by runaway horses and the impending doom of a melody rolling over the horizon. There's a high energy, big hair and heavy melody level of fun to this that would see it fit in anywhere from 80s LA to the present day as long as it's in a rock bar and turned up to eleven. The likes of Buckcherry, Guns'n'Roses and Andrew WK spring to mind with the spirit of Siouxsie Sioux running through it like blood through a stick of rock. More please, much more.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/JOANovARC-10249741221/?fref=ts


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YSxvQxsWYk&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

ELVIS PERKINS - SINGLE REVIEW

Elvis Perkins - I Came For Fire (MIR) 
Elvis Perkins - I Came For Fire

Release Date: Out Now

It's a bit like being called Pele and having a kicking about in the park if you're named Elvis and decide to take a bash at being a musician. The pressure must be immense but if you can shoulder it then you might just be able to have something of a career, like Elvis Perkins who is in the middle of an extensive world tour. This new single from the hard working musician, 'I Came For Fire', is a muted and shuffling piece of Jazz influenced indie-folk that could have been recorded at any time over the last 100 years such is the wonderfully lo-fi quality of the recording. There is an early morning, creeping sun rise quality to this tune but not with the optimism you might expect at day break, more the feeling that this is the last sunrise you will ever witness as you head in to battle or to the gallows to meet your maker. I would recommend checking out Elvis Perkins at a live show but make sure you order a whisky or a large glass of red, this is music to sip to.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/6C3gL4v5wWo

Live Dates:

11th November - Bogen F, Zurich
12th November - Fri Son, Fribourg
13th November - Studio Foce, Lugano
14th November - Covo Club, Bologna
15th November - Biko Club, Milan
16th November - Sala Apolo La 2, Barcelona
19th November - King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
20th November - Cluny 2, Newcastle
21st November - Gullivers, Manchester
22nd November - Hounds & Hare, Birmingham
23rd November - Crofters Rights, Bristol
24th November - Victoria, Dalston
26th November - La Sirene, La Rochelle
28th November - Stereolux, Nantes
1st December - Botanique, Brussels
2nd December - Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing
3rd December - La Lune des Pirates, Amiens
4th December - La Laiterie, Strasbourg
5th December - La Rodia, Besancon
6th December - La Cooperative de Mai, Clermont-Ferrand
8th December - La Fleche d'Or, Paris
10th December - Helsinki, Hudson
11th December - Berlin, New York
12th December - Berlin, New York
14th December - The Garrison, Toronto
15th December - Petit Campus, Montreal Metro Area

16th December - The Columbus Theater, Providence

ELENA ROXY ROSE - SINGLE REVIEW

Elena Roxy Rose - Message In A Bottle 
Elena Roxy Rose - Message In A Bottle

Release Date: 23rd November 2015

Some big names have been paying attention to the talented Elena Roxy Rose and it's not just because her tongue is frozen to her saxophone. New single 'Message In A Bottle' which is not a cover of the Police classic but is instead a quirky piece of sax lead electro pop that the likes of Paloma Faith and Parov Stelar would proud to have on their albums. ERR's dramatically accented vocals are a delight and the upbeat poppy chorus creates an image of 'Babushka' era Kate Bush having a bash at a Yazz song with Regina Spektor on production and artistic direction duties. This won't be to everyone's taste and it took me a couple of listens to get my head around what Elena Roxy Rose is doing here but that only makes me more intrigued. After all, art is always better when it challenges us, right?


More information: https://www.facebook.com/Elena-Roxy-Rose-284515024946367/?fref=ts

THE MIGRANT - SINGLE REVIEW

The Migrant - Silence (DevilDuck) 
The Migrant - Silence

Release Date: 13th November 2015

Thanks to having the volume turned up way to loud in my headphones, Danish outfit The Migrant nearly deafened me with the opening bars of their new single which is, ironically, called 'Silence'. Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up, can you? Once I'd adjusted the volume, I settled down in to the dreamy, beanbag like tune that features warm, comfy guitars and a beat that shuffles so much it might as well be trying to go for a pee first thing in the morning. There are some nice, subtle organ chords and a fairly non-committal vocal performance which makes for the perfect music to drift away to on a lazy afternoon. So roll yourself a fat one, get comfortable in your beanbag and let The Migrant carry you away - just check your headphone volume first. Safety first poeple.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC8EKnZ-6d4&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

21st November - Mohawk, Austin
23rd November - Paper Tiger, San Antonio
24th November - TBA, Houston
25th November - Gasa Gasa, New Orleans

29th November - The Living Room, Brooklyn

JEFF WOOTTON - SINGLE REVIEW

Jeff Wootton - The Eternal 
Jeff Wootton - The Eternal

Release Date: Out Now

There aren't enough musicians called Jeff these days. Or Geoff, for that matter. Mancunian soloist Jeff Wootton, then, is a rare treat in that he's a musical Jeff and, just to put the cherry on the cake, his debut single is also a bit special. 'The Eternal' see the sometime Damon Albarn, Noel Gallagher and Damo Suzuki collaborator breaking out the rare African instrumentation (the Imzad for instrument spotters out there) and creating a wonderfully dark but energising sound. The strum of the acoustic strings is sewn together by the slithering Imzad and if you close your eyes you can almost see the campfire flames licking the night air. There's a 'world music' vibe, for sure, but also the likes of Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and Hunter S. Thompson can be felt if you let the music wrap around you. Jeff has been around and played with some big hitters so it's only right that he strikes out on his own but you have to admire the balls of releasing such a minimalist and stringently non-commercial tune as a debut single. A tip of my cap to you, sir.

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

Live Dates:


23rd March 2016 - Night & Day Cafe, Manchester