Album Review: Soviet Films – “Cetacean”@sovietfilmsband #NewMusic #MusicIsEverything

It’s been over two years since Soviet Films released their debut album, “Victory Songs”. At last they’re back with their second album, “Cetacean” (definition: an aquatic, mainly marine mammal eg a whale or dolphin).

In the past couple of years or so, these guys seem to have been working on a stronger sound. They’ve also had a bit of a band re-shuffle, with Andy now on bass and Lee on guitar.

The album kicks off with a lovely, dynamic instrumental track, “The Flow” – it made me think they’d had a serious change of direction, until the next tune commenced…

“Kraken” brings the mix of brash, occasionally nu-metal style vocals and layered melody that is so reminiscent of the previous record. I’m listening on an afternoon overtaken by a particularly impressive thunderstorm, and it fits the mood perfectly.

Next up is “Barrow, AK”. This song provides a multitude of contrasting sounds which enthral the ears and vocal harmonies galore. I love this band’s penchant for what they describe as random time signatures – that’s not easy to pull off, but to me it sounds excellent.

Soviet Films 1

“Brace Position” is a bit more of a tough sell, but is guitar rich and has a tight sound. I like the little guitar nuances about half way through the track, but for me the rest of the album demonstrates more complexities which I think suit their sound more.

The penultimate song, “Loomings”, is one of those songs that pleasantly washes over the listener. It has a more mellow feel than the rest of the album, despite the heavier elements of the tune.

Instrumental track “The Ebb” completes the album beautifully and accurately showcases what Soviet Films are all about. It also leaves an impression that there is much more to come.

Soviet Films

With just the right levels of wandering into new territory and staying in a familiar place, I’m looking forward to hearing what they do during the next moves in their journey.

Soviet Films are:

Mud – Vocals/Guitar
Lee – Guitar/Vocals
Peter – Drums/Vocals
Andy – Bass

You can buy the album on Bandcamp or iTunes and follow the band’s goings on using Twitter and Facebook.

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Album Review: Hey! Hello! – “Hey! Hello! Too!”@HeyHelloBand

Hey! Hello! is one of the ever prolific Ginger Wildheart’s musical projects. By no means a one trick pony, with this band Ginger focuses on spirited, lively power pop-rock. Their eponymous debut album displayed this perfectly, and they’re now following up with album number two, “Hey! Hello! Too!”, due for release on 23rd September on the Round Records label*.

The band themselves have this to say about their musical offerings…

‘Music is the sound of feelings, and we are all the creators of our own feelings – positive or negative. Hey! Hello! choose to be positive, therefore our music reflects that intention. This is the sound of joy.’

Hey Hello 2

The album kicks off with “All Around the World”. Catchy from the onset, I have a feeling this song is going to be doing the rounds in my head for quite some time to come…! Feverish energy and rising vocals make this the most rousing, uplifting tune on the album and gets you into the zone for what is to come.

Hey! Hello! have the ability to make a cheerful song out of negativity, confusion and unhappiness. “This Ain’t Love”, “Can’t Stand You (Hurting Me) and “Let’s Get Emotional” all do exactly that, and I’m sure those lyrics will resonate with many people – I can certainly identify with it from past relationships!

The relentless vim and verve continues throughout the whole album – the alternative, erm, romance of “Glass of Champagne”, the brilliantly humorous “Kids” (“creepy little motherfuckers”) and the uncontainable “Forever Young” (which caused the inevitable head nod) all link faultlessly together, and lead perfectly into the latter half of the album.

“Loud and Fucking Clear” is, for me, the front-runner of the album. The vocals are strongest on this song, and we are treated to striding guitar riffs and determined, throbbing drums galore. I entirely agree with the sentiment within the lyrics, too – “so hold on tight, we’re getting through my dear”.

Hey Hello 1 - Copy

The next two tracks, “History of Lovers” and “Body Parts” provide an unsullied, spunky and provoking lead up to the end of the album, and keeps the listeners’ attention at a point when it can so easily drift off.

“Perfect” is the ideal album closer, as it makes you want the album to carry on, thereby encouraging you to press play and start it all over again… I was more than happy to do exactly that!

This isn’t a grower of an album; it’s already fully formed. I just hope it retains its appeal and doesn’t become a fader – it’s certainly going to be on my personal playlist for the foreseeable future!

Hey! Hello! is – Ai (drums/vocals) – the calm one, Toshi (bass) – the resourceful one, The Rev (lead guitar) – the cool one and Ginger (rhythm guitar/vocals) – the wise one.

Hey! Hello! Too!  track listing:

  1. All Around the World
  2. This Ain’t Love
  3. Glass of Champagne
  4. Kids
  5. Forever Young
  6. Loud and Fucking Clear
  7. Can’t Stand You (Hurting Me)
  8. Let’s Get Emotional
  9. A History of Lovers
  10. Body Parts
  11. Perfect

To pre-order Hey! Hello! Too! go to Round Records on PledgeMusic.

*About Round Records Records:

Round Records Records is the new record label from Ginger Wildheart – a home for Hey! Hello!, Mutation, live albums and DVDs from The Wildhearts and more. It’s arguably Ginger’s most ambitious project to date; moving from stand-alone individual releases to a fully-fledged record label.

PledgeMusic is proud to be partnering with Ginger and Round Records Records for fans to pre-order new releases and access a host of extra and exclusive offers.

Ginger and PledgeMusic have history. In August 2011, Ginger launched his Triple Album Project via PledgeMusic. The pitch was to record a 30-song triple album and the campaign met with immediate success, hitting 100% of the funding target within six hours of launching. The resulting album released in 2012 in single and triple album format was a huge success for Ginger and won him the Classic Rock magazine ‘Event of the Year’ award. Subsequent projects with PledgeMusic have delivered equally stunning results; the last one being a book entitled ‘Songs & Words’, which featured archive photos and the stories behind Ginger’s songs as only Ginger could tell them.

To start things off, the Round Records Records releases include the following;

  • The Wildhearts – PHUQ Live (out now )
  • Hey Hello – Hey! Hello! Too! (release 23rd September)
  • Ginger Wildheart– Solo Album Boxset(date tbc)
  • Mutation – Mutation III album (date tbc)

EP Review: Robert Hunter – “Outta My Mind”

It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I’m listening to a new EP that dropped onto my doormat this week. This is “Outta My Mind”, the debut EP from Robert Hunter, an American singer-songwriter from Danville, Pennsylvania, USA.

Robert Hunter EP cover

The title track is first on the EP. It’s also my favourite out of the five songs on offer here. It’s something of a cross between Ryan Adams and The Ravines. A fetching, wistful tune with glossy production, Hunter’s melancholic lyrics are kept in check by their brevity. “Outta My Mind” is successfully hard-wiring into my brain after a single listen.

“Wasted and sober” is a little bit Cat Stevens, a little bit Ronan Keating. It’s pleasant, kind sounding and melodic. Hunter shows here that he is capable of conveying emotion in his delivery, which adds a much-needed weight to this otherwise rather sombre song.

Next up we have “365”, which is full to the brim with tried and tested chord progressions, enhanced with some lovely little dynamic rock accents. It very slightly reminds me of Dancing in the Dark by Springsteen, and this is no bad thing.

The penultimate song, “Carbon”, is by far the most emotive song on the record – it sounds like there’s some pedal steel guitar going on, which adds to the sentimental feeling. I feel that it could do with a rise in energy at some point during the song, but it is nevertheless an endearing and graceful inclusion.

Robert Hunter 1

Rounding off the EP is “On That Road”, a deferential, easy on the ears tune with an extremely catchy hook and rousing chorus. For me, it would be perfect if he could embrace his gravelly vocal and imbue a little come-hitherness. I can easily imagine this being Hunter’s anthem and have visions of audiences singing along at the tops of their voices.

This EP is by no means perfect, but Hunter takes the proven formula of the sensitive singer/songwriter and injects new life into it by making catchy, radio friendly songs that actually have some meaning and substance.

Robert Hunter

He has produced thoughtful arrangements that include both acoustic and electric guitars and Hammond organ. I’d like to hear him do some more upbeat songs and to get that distorted guitar rocking occasionally. Overall, though, this is a charming and welcoming EP which gives a suitable insight into Hunter’s style and way of thinking. I look forward to hearing what happens next…

You can buy “Outta My Mind” on iTunes and follow Robert on Facebook.

Gig Review: @FLAGband at @TheUnderworld , Camden, 2nd August 2016

Channel 3

CH3 are something special. The crowd knew it, I very quickly realised it. They had an especially rabid little group of fans standing front and centre, one of whom was invited onto stage for “You Make Me Feel Cheap”, for which they needed “a woman to sing this one”, much to her great delight – that was definitely a moment for her to treasure! These guys have shamefully never been on my radar, but I’m SO glad they are now.

A Wilhelm Scream

A Wilhelm Scream were almost a sporting event, such was the feverish movement onstage coupled with all of them wearing shorts and sweating it out like warthogs. Meanwhile the crowd were turning their “hardcore pop” music (yeah, that’s a thing now) into a contact sport. Incidentally, bassist Brian J. Johnson is INCREDIBLE. He made moves on that bass that are so sexual they should probably be illegal, whilst simultaneously producing the most immense sound. Damn good!

FLAG

Stephen Egerton is quite the most ferocious rhythm guitarist I have ever seen. His perspex guitar sheened with sweat as he slashed and burned his way through segue after segue with all the fire & skill of Johnny Ramone on Angel Dust.

You know the age old tale of the quiet kid at the back of class causing the most trouble? With Bill Stevenson, it’s a case of the quiet fella at the back of the stage making the most noise. He’d give any Punk drummer a run for their money – I can’t imagine what would happen if he actually chose to hit those drums using the full force of his muscles! He hit the mark with every single beat. On. The. Money.

Half way through his vocal onslaught, Keith Morris quite rightly stopped proceedings when some idiot decided to spit on him – he was suitably scathing in response, to the sounds of an approving audience. Making his moody way through the rest of the set, it later transpired that he wasn’t feeling too hot – he fooled us all, giving us what we wanted – a boisterous, agitative, inebriating performance.

Dez Cadena spent the evening eyeballing those who were analysing every move FLAG made – which was pretty much everyone in that hot, sweaty room. The coolest of the cool, he effortlessly ambled through all 23 songs in front of a few hundred people whose high expectations were very much met.

If you want the ultimate in bass guitar shred, Chuck Dukowski is your man. My god, that man can work that bass (< understatement!). If he’d have played any harder, I reckon he’d have obliterated that instrument. He later also proved he’s a thoroughly good man by chatting away to me post-gig and offering me a beer – who was I to refuse?!

DSC_4085

That night was one of outrageous energy levels and rage verging on insanity – there was no pause for breath or thought, and certainly no time to think about the amount of bruises which would later make themselves known.

An unpredictable, dysfunctional yet immensely zestful and exhilirating night was had by all those present. Anyone who doubts the existence of Punk Rock needs to go and watch FLAG. Pronto.

Review on Dusty Springfield

musicandmayhem

So I am writing about a two songs by Dusty Springfield.

The first song is Son of a preacher man:

It is a very catchy song with a chorus that you can’t help but sing along to and a very up-lifting beat that will make you feel happy at any time and will make you want to dance to.

My other choice of song is I only want to be with you:

This is a very happy song the makes you feel like dancimg and singing long to. You will be happy as soon as you listen to this song because it has a good vibe. This song has a good beat and the tune and the lyrics are very bright and lovely.

This is a link to a playlist of Dusty Springfield songs:

I hope you like this music and will listen to it whenever you feel down.

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