New Music Releases 1st April 2016 #NewMusic #MusicIsEverything

Woodpigeon – T R O U B L E

Kyson – A Book of Flying

John Congleton – Until the Horror Goes

Explosions in the Sky – The Wilderness

Mungolian Jet Set – A City So Convenient

John Kaada & Mike Patton – Bacteria Cult

Cheap Trick – Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello

Ash Koosha – I AKA I

Yeasayer – Amen and Goodbye

Trembling Bells – Wild Majestic Aire

Tacocat – Lost Time

Mogwai – Atomic

Bibio – A Mineral Love

Terrace Martin – Velvet Portraits

Moderat – III

Mike & The Melvins – Three Men and a Baby

Laura Gibson – Empire Builder

Hammock – Everything and Nothing

Bankruptcy – For the Future

Audacity – Hyper Vessels

Pet Shop Boys – Super

Andrew Bird – Are You Serious

Three Trapped Tigers – Silent Earthling

The Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come to Expect

Starwalker – Starwalker

Operators – Blue Wave

Moonsorrow – Jumalten Aika

Graves at Sea – The Curse That Is

Autolux – Pussy’s Dead

Weezer – White Album

Tombs – All Empires Fall

The Heavy – Hurt & The Merciless

Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing

Black Mountain – IV

Leon Vynehall – Rojus

Com Truise – Silicon Tare

Bleached – Welcome the Worms

Teen Suicide – It’s the Big Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot

iamthemorning – Lighthouse

Album Review: Meilyr Jones – 2013 @meilyrjones #MusicIsEverything

 

Meilyr Jones – 2013

I get the feeling that Meilyr Jones doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Like most people, he’s had his fair share of heartache, but he’s gone away, created exactly what he felt inclined to and has come back brighter. With an entire album in tow. That’s no mean feat when you’re dealing with the sorrow surrounding both a band and a relationship breakup.

“2013” is Meilyr’s debut album (out now on Moshi Moshi Records) and has been released following a string of notable support slots and a few festival dates, for which he has received much positivity from punters and pundits alike. Incidentally, I saw him when he supported Richard Hawley in Cambridge – I had never heard of him before that night, and was absolutely mesmerised by his musical versatility and struck by his genial manner and his humour. I went away knowing I would be procuring his music.

I could make all sorts of comparisons about Meilyr to a variety of musicians past and present, but the truth is that this gentleman is altogether unique. He has produced an album which could easily be transferred to theatre or film as the soundtrack to a story of love, heartbreak and the return to a healed mind and heart. The album in its entirety has a dramatic structure and a storyboard in which I became immersed from the very first note.

I’m struggling to write about this music without showing my emotions. I can identify with so much of what Jones sings about, to the extent that I was reduced to tears whilst listening to “Love” and “Featured Artist”. I don’t know whether it was his words, or his heartfelt manner, or the fact he is entrusting us to listen to his innermost thoughts with no fear and without a murmur of wanting anything in return but whatever it is, this music has evoked sentimentality in my ice cold heart.

Jones’ music is indefinable. He enlisted an orchestra and recorded live with them, bringing in extra breadth by including a harpsichord and a recorder in the mix.

He also experiments on “Rain in Rome” – stunning vocals that conjure an image of being on a Hawaiian beach are rapidly overcome by the sounds of a thunderstorm, which is met with rapturous cheers and applause by a crowd we didn’t even know was there. This could have been considered a bit twee and unnecessary, but I think it provides an insight into just a few moments of Meilyr’s time in Rome. Without wanting to read between the lines too much, maybe he’s telling us about something beautiful which can quickly meet with disaster, but that we can see beauty and amusement within the things that don’t go our way. Maybe it’s ok for me to believe that, even if I am over-thinking things. After all, perception of art is a very personal thing.

I’ve been waiting for someone to come along who isn’t afraid of doing something a little bit different to express themselves. A new perspective is inspirational in itself, and if we can all learn something from the way Jones dealt with his difficulties, then perhaps it can be as simple as the words he beings with in the uncommonly eloquent “Refugees”:

“Get up, switch off, switch off your television.”

Album review: Lust for Youth – “Compassion”. @Lust4Youth #MusicIsEverything

Lust for Youth – Compassion

Scrupulously clean synths with those fashionable in the 80s thick, suppressed vocals – think Dave Gahan, Jaz Coleman, Bernard Sumner… if that’s your thing, then maybe, just maybe, Lust for Youth will be right up your street.

With their new album “Compassion”, they somehow manage to fuse ambient, post-punk and dance music whilst simultaneously veer between feelings of ecstasy and melancholy.

Easing us into the album, “Stardom” is an effortless listen reminiscent of a time when music was shocking in its unprecedented uniqueness. This band is undeniably influenced by the likes of New Order and M83, and there are definite nods to these celebrated masters of all things electronica.

“Sudden Ambitions” feels delicate and weightless, but on the other hand is brooding and profound lyrically. The vocal layers are beautifully put together, and are positioned carefully amongst buoyant yet ethereal melodies.

The bewitching “Better Looking Brother” resonates with my every day thoughts, and the wistful tones of “Display” is a veritable pillar of strength.

“Compassion” is a single shining star on the darkest of nights.

New Releases 25th March 2016 #MusicIsEverything

Littler – Of Wandering

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talk Tight (EP)

Night Idea – Breathing Cold

The Range – Potential

Caliban – Gravity

Asking Alexandria – The Black

Night Moves – Pennied Days

James Bishop – Bad Dream (EP)

Open Mike Eagle & Paul White – Hella Personal Film Festival

Eric Bachmann – Eric Bachmann

Rjd2 – Dame Fortune

Blood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule

Plague Vendor – Bloodsweat

Matthewdavid’s Mindflight – Trust the Guide and Glide

The Thermals – We Disappear

Domo Genesis – Genesis

Howard – Please Recycle (EP)

Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter

Birdy – Beautiful Lies

Father – I’m a Piece of Shit

The Joy Formidable – Hitch

Anthony Hamilton – What I’m Feelin’

Spectres – Dead

Kiran Leonard – Grapefruit

Bob Mould – Patch the Sky

White Denim – Stiff

Album review: @Little_mono – Sailing Songs #MusicIsEverything

Little Mono have been on the periphery of my vision for quite some time (I reviewed one of their singles back in 2014). They released their debut album “Sailing Songs” a few weeks ago, and on this occasion I’m definitely late to the game as this is the first chance I’ve had to listen. I’m metaphorically kicking myself right now, as it’s one of the strongest debuts I’ve heard in a while! Should’ve removed those blinkers!

My first and lasting impression is that this is an idiosyncratic take on psychedelic rock. Careful listeners will pick up on the subtle nuances within the music: the bass-heavy start to “Vivid”, off the wall vocal inflections in “Submarine Song”, perfectly timed undulation of the drums throughout the entirety of the album, Nirvana-esque guitars and attitude paired together in “I Can See the Wilderness” … and that’s just on the first listen!

My favourite track from this offering is “Propeller”. It has a certain coherence in both vocals and harmonies, and its sentimental weight appeals to me, as do the echoes that have been dispersed throughout the song. I can imagine this going down a storm when played live, and I hope to experience that for myself, and soon!

You can listen to the album in its entirety on bandcamp, but I implore you to part with your hard-earned cash for it, as it is very much worth the spend! Go for it, and while you’re at it give them a follow on twitter – they won’t mind one bit!

Incidentally, there’s a sneaky peak of what is to come on their Soundcloud page… get on it!

Gig Review: Therapy? @therapyofficial at @rescuerooms , 12th March 2016 by @moff76

Words and pictures by Adam Moffat.

Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms saw the final date of Ireland’s alternative rock pioneers Therapy? playing their Infernal Love album tour.

“Infernal Love” is the band’s third album following on from “Nurse” and the massive “Troublegum”. It received mixed reviews on its release in 1995 as it showed a change in direction from the bouncier, punkier “Troublegum” to a more groove laden sound.

There was a big turn-out of Therapy?’s loyal following and the Rescue Rooms was packed out.

The band walked on to a rapturous reception and opened with “Infernal Love”’s title track “Epilepsy”. The heavy opening riffs and “I’ve Got a Problem” creating an instant sea of bouncing bodies and singing voices. The intro rolled straight into one of the album’s finest features, “Stories”.

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Andy Cairnes was his usual witty self, engaging the crowd between songs. From here the set blasted through for 35 minutes of dark twisting melancholy until the end of “Loose”, when Andy called an abrupt stop to proceedings as some unlucky punter in the pit was taken ill. Much puzzlement in the crowd as the band called for paramedics and the unfortunate fella was stretchered out.

45 minutes later the band came back to the stage and launched into their cover of Hüsker Dü’s “Diane”, leading the crowd in a massive sing song, it was as though the band had never left the stage. With “30 Seconds” closing the Infernal Love set we rolled straight into a best of the rest set.

New songs “Still Hurts”, “Tides” and “Deathstimate” were plugged into the set next to classics like “Nausea” and “Teethgrinder” from the album “Nurse”. What came next was “Potato Junkie” with the crowd screaming the “James Joyce is fucking my sister” refrain so loud it threatened to drown the band themselves out. When the crowd’s singing died down we were reminded of a legend lost late last year Mr Lemmy Kilminster with a pit filling “Ace of Spades”, which they segued perfectly back into the end of “Potato Junkie”, the audience an ecstatic mass of sweaty flailing limbs.

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You couldn’t wipe the shit eating grin off of Michael McKeegan’s face with a Brillo pad as he played his winding bass lines. Therapy? had some extra help tonight as guitar tech Stevie Firth filled in on second guitar and keyboard duties giving the music an extra dimension.

The closing finale of “Troublegum” trio “Screamager”, “Knives” and “Nowhere” showed Neil Cooper’s amazing drumming; he was hitting his drums so hard that it threatened to break the skins with every beat. The crowd was sent off into the cold night with croaky throats and massive smiles.

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All in, an excellent end to the Infernal Love tour and a fantastic performance despite the earlier incident. The band took it in their stride and showed why they are one of the best live bands in the world and I for one can’t wait for the next chapter in the dark twisted world that is THERAPY?

New Music Releases 18th March 2016 #MusicIsEverything

Lust for Youth – Compassion

Violent Soho – WACO

Public Memory – Wuthering Drum

Gun Outfit – Two Way Player

The Body – No One Deserves Happiness

The Word Alive – Dark Matter

Drug Pizza – Return to Content Mountain

Cullen Omori – New Misery

Soft Fangs – The Light

She Is We – War

Liima – ii

HÆLOS – Full Circle

Solar Bears – Advancement

Ital Tek – Hollowed

Glenn Jones – Fleeting

Delta Heavy – Paradise Lost

Spiritual Beggars – Sunrise to Sundown

Clark – The Last Panthers

Baauer – Aa

Meilyr Jones – 2013

Damien Jurado – Visions of Us on the Land

From The Jam – Smash the Clock

Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression

Underworld – Barbara, Barbara, we face a shining future

Primal Scream – Chaosmosis

James – Girl at the End of the World

Soul Asylum – Change of Fortune

Gig Review: Stiff Little Fingers @RigidDigits at @Rock_City_Notts , 11th March 2016 #MusicIsEverything

Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts

The last time I saw Ricky Warwick was when Black Star Riders supported Def Leppard & Whitesnake in December 2015.

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He was a great frontman then, and brought the same required elements this evening, including BSR bassist Robbie Crane as part of his band The Fighting Hearts.

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The majority of the crowd didn’t know the songs, and even seemed slightly apprehensive at the start, but were soon won over with the superlative Rock and Celtic Punk tunes.

The highlight for me was hearing Finest Hour by Black Star Riders again – can’t help loving that band!

It was a pleasure to see these guys on a more accessible stage, and I reckon they definitely procured a few new fans tonight!

Stiff Little Fingers

Perfectly coiffed Mohicans and checked trouser wearing men who I’m pretty sure used to have Mohicans, teenagers with their dads, Goths, bearded Vikings, and couples who have grown together with the music… that was the makeup of tonight’s crowd. An eclectic mix indeed!

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It’s not about the look, though… it’s about the passion, the fire, the energy, the strong statements about Irish politics and other pertinent subjects, the lack of fear and the mutual fondness and respect. Every single person was there for one reason alone… Belfast’s own Stiff Little Fingers.

The moment Jake, Ali, Steve and Ian strode onto the stage, their audience erupted with fierce joy, showing their loyalty and adoration for this band who have been doing their thing since 1977. Incidentally, that’s before I was born, and there were people there tonight who were a lot younger than me – nice to know the older Punk bands are still corralling a new following!

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Tonight’s gig was like a short story, each song a chapter depicting the world of Stiff Little Fingers. There was much hilarity when Burns lamented about arriving over here too late for the Brit Awards. Jake pointed out that Adele’s mantelpiece must be huge, then went on to say that they don’t believe in awards… they “believe in the power of guitar and drums”! This prompted a rip-roaring cheer and a good old pogoing session!

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Favourites “Nobody’s Hero” and “Barbed Wire Love” went down a storm – it was truly wonderful watching the loving crowd sing and wave along to these iconic tunes. In fact, the audience was in my opinion better than a choir – I haven’t heard a group of people sing so loud without microphones since I saw The Wailers!

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I was mesmerised tonight – there were guitar solos to die for, the bass repeatedly sent shivers down my spine (McMordie’s hands were so blurred that I thought I could see a mirage!), the lean, vigorous drums were relentless and Jake’s affable nature, humorous and entertaining anecdotes and formidable stage presence ensured the careening music, sturdy vocals and profound lyrics meshed together to form the perfect tale.

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I can’t review this evening without mentioning Jake’s battle with Depression. He wrote the song “No Going Back” as a self-help guide, and had to be talked into recording it by Ali. He’s thankful for that, especially as he’s had countless people express their gratitude for putting their feelings into words. I can personally vouch for the fact that “The first step to getting better is talking about it”, and must admit to feeling a little emotional, as at that moment in time everyone there was reconciled to supporting those with mental health issues. I therefore extend my own appreciation to Burns for bravely wearing his heart on his sleeve.

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Just as I thought the pace was about to wane, the energy turned up a notch with “Tin Soldier” and “Suspect Device” (which has become a favourite of mine, largely thanks to my other half’s band The Expletives selecting the song for their set – I’m confident that Jake would agree they do a grand job!)

Stiff Little Fingers returned for a two song encore, and with a particularly feisty rendition of “Alternative Ulster”, the book was closed on the evening’s narrative.

I left with an overriding feeling that Punk most definitely hasn’t gone away – both this band and their music consistently stand the test of time in their collective rally against injustice, and we are with them all the way.

Album review: Mind Spiders – “Prosthesis” #NewMusic #MusicIsEverything

Mind Spiders are releasing their new album, “Prosthesis” on 11th March. It’s a bit garage-punk, and a bit power-pop – so as you can imagine, it’s chock full of energy coupled with a slightly sinister feel and unyielding grasp on the senses. An intriguing mix, executed with a great attention to detail.

Mark Ryan’s ability to produce a work such as this without a hint of it being contrived is in fine fettle indeed. He understands the momentum that builds with each idea he has, and uses it to its full advantage, pulling the audience in – it’s hypnotic.

This album is essential listening for any self-confessed audiophile.

Buy the album on iTunes, and follow Mind Spiders on facebook.

 

 

Gig Review: Exodus, The Underworld, Camden, 5th March 2016 @ExodusAttack

You may remember me enthusing about my first Metal gig experience last June. The band was Exodus, the venue was The Underworld in Camden, and it was immense. So of course, when I heard they were to return on 5th March this year, the decision was already made – I was patently going to be present!

The place was even more rammed than last time, and the rest of the crowd were as ready as I was to come face to face with their allies in battle against all that is iniquitous. I say this knowing some people think of Metal as dark, undesirable – evil, perhaps. All I can do about that is assure you that this family is the most munificent, solid musical community I believe I’ve ever been a witness to. It’s genuinely comforting, and I consider it an honour to have been welcomed into this kinship.

But I digress…!

Unfortunately, I missed the first band, Striker, and arrived just as Lost Society (who hail from Finland) exploded onto the stage. Effortlessly slicing through each song as if each of the band was wielding a scythe in an overgrown field of rye, these guys managed to feed the ravenous horde before them. This music is their oxygen, their very life line… and with every breath, they are ready for MORE!

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A good thing really, as following one of the quickest stage turnaround processes I’ve ever seen (this amazed me last June, and still does now – Exodus have THE best roadies!), it was time for the main event.

Exodus are genuinely loved, and the loyalty and frenetic enthusiasm of the UK fanbase has to be seen to be believed – the intensity of the music is mirrored in spectacular fashion by the at times hazardously insane antics of the crowd – both band and audience are at one.

Steve “Zetro” Souza enticed the crowd like a genial devil’s pizza stall proprietor. The sweating, ruddy faced masses packed in like human cattle howled for extra thrash metal topping.

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Tom Hunting was particularly on fire that night, a veritable bombardment of drum skills, with a kick drum attack capable of causing double vision.

Every single track went down a storm – from “Blood In Blood Out” to “Piranha” to one of my personal favourites, “Toxic Waltz”, there wasn’t one moment of disappointment. The sound was top notch, too – everything pushed right to the limits, and perfectly so.

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My heart is warmed further as the night goes on, as each of the band finds ways to have their own interactions with individual members of the throng – my companion and I experienced this for ourselves when Souza caught our eyes and pointed directly at us. It’s a very clever skill to be able to do things like that without a hint of it being forced. Lee Altus particularly enjoys eye contact with his audience, wide-eyed crazed looks are the order of the day for him, and he doesn’t even give a damn when there are hands all over his guitar, let alone allow it to affect his playing. These are pros, and on top of that they are authentic in their ardour.

The inclusion of “The Impaler”, a song which was written when Kirk Hammett was still in the band and is to be found on 2004’s “Tempo of the Damned” album was an unexpected and feisty morsel.

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Exodus sealed the deal between themselves and their devotees when Souza declared “We’ll make you a promise. As long as you guys are always here, we’ll be back.” – I’ll hold you to that, gentlemen.