Review: Bad Religion – “The Kids are Alt-Right”

It’s been 5 long years since the last Bad Religion studio album and when you are a rabid fan such as I, that’s quite a wait.

So, this is the taster for the new record – and hey, guess what, there’s a bit of a message not only in the lyrics but in the eloquently crafted video animation – every line of this song and every second of this video is astonishingly smart and true.

Some wank wombat on the youtube channel uttered these words: “I don’t need to know a band’s political views”… So why are you even watching a Bad Religion video? Duh. Their social & political opinions have been obvious throughout their entire history and are integral part of their music and philosophy. Missing the point here seems to be the order of the day for both casual punk fans and Trump voters: – this song ain’t for you – it’s ABOUT you! And if you’re here to defend the so-called “Alt-Right”, and/or to criticize the “Left”, well, then, you never really understood this band at all.

As always BR are intellectual, sarcastic, ironic and satirical – the cheesy pop-ishness of the song is intentional, as is the play on words & melody in the chorus and the bridge section – upbeat, like an anthem, but mocking.

The sound and message of this fit very well alongside other such protest songs like Come Join Us or American Jesus. Musically the band has altered their sonics since the True North album; Brook’s intricate drum barrage has been replaced with something more heavy hitting and weighty, whilst the guitars snarl and slash like Cap’n Crunch. Jay Bentley’s wonderful Entwistle-like bass run at 2.09 is an ebullient addition to the melee.

I want a new album… I want it quick.

by Richard Mackman

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Grand Ole Otley: Ryan Hamilton & Tony Wright, Nottingham, 9th June 2018

Grand Ole Otley – Ryan Hamilton & Tony Wright, Saturday 9th June 2018, The Bodega, Nottingham

Words: Richard Mackman

Photos: Fi Stimpson

We didn’t quite know what to expect from from what turned out to be a very personal and intimate gig this evening – a small gathering of around a hundred or so enthused and genuinely fascinated souls, many of which clearly owned the new Pledge-released album and knew the material.

Wright & Hamilton’s voices pair and blend with a natural compatibility. Wright’s deeper and very English northern inflections compliment Hamilton’s higher and southerly American accented phrasings.

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Standout songs from this pot pourri collection (there was NO setlist, just a tatty collection of notes, lyrics and scribblings propped up on two music stands) include the rambunctious “Family Tradition”, “Whiskey River”, the cover of Jagger & Richard’s “Wild Horses” and the best ever version of “Jolene” – never much cared for the original but Tony’s interpretation brought a genuine emotion to the whole thing.

 

Ryan’s genuinely endearing smile and warmth of personality comes through constantly during this show; being a performer, an artist, a gifted musician is something he is, not just that he does. In contrast, Tony’s pithy, brash northern and sarcastic British jocularity makes for a brilliant double act between the pair – an unusual acoustic country mutation – Yorkshire meets Texas! And you know what, it fucking works!

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Inter-song banter is a series of hilarious punchlines; these two are clearly very good buddies and feel very comfortable in each other’s company.

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To quote the words of Mr Hamilton himself – “music is togetherness” – and in those moments, in that place, this evening we had a ton of that.

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You can buy Grand Ole Otley on iTunes.

Album Review: The Empty Pages @theemptypagesuk

Reviewed by Pete, Edited by Fi

I was so pleased to hear some good friends from Peterborough and Stamford playing music that they have created themselves, having previously seen and heard the guys play some fabulous covers whilst calling themselves “The Overdubs”. I was intrigued to hear what has been achieved when they decide to put pen to paper.

“The Empty Pages” is certainly a diversion from what I normally expect from them. The album consists of 10 tracks created in the Country style not normally associated with our boys, although I always knew that they were well capable of playing any style that they choose to play, given the eclectic range of the covers band.

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All songs are by Kieran Wade, who is also highly accomplished on lead guitar, and also adds some backing vocals to Stuart Hendry`s excellent singing, Stu also plays rythmn guitar, the two working as accessories to each other, producing superb results.

Sean Dunmore is awesome as ways on the drums, and holds the band together with great timing and rhythm. He also adds some fabulous backing vocals when required.

Andy Dearlove is ever-present with the steadying influence of that lovely bass.

1. Autumn Girl – a punchy uplifting number with great harmonies, could be a good track for dancing, or just getting into the groove.

2. Bring Me Home is a slower track with clear lyrics in the classic country style.

3. The Old Mill Lane we hear Keiran`s voice with a nice melodic tune and some great guitar pickin`.

4. The Night I Saw Her Dance back with Stu`s vocals, a lovely melody – shall we dance?

5. Looking Down From Peveril Beautiful lyrics, beautifully sung by Stu.

6. Magic 66 No vocals on this upbeat instrumental.

7. We`re Going To Go Far Easy listening in a classic country style.

8. Face In The Crowd Typical country/pop with clear lyrics and excellent guitar licks.

9. Glad To Be Free Another quicker rhythm track maybe for dancing, yeehaa!

10. Welcome To The New World Pleasant and melodic track, slowing things down to meet the end of the record.

In its entirety, the composition was performed and produced in a professional manner, the band was tight, with all four band members complementing each other very well. All in all a very enjoyable experience, well done lads, and thank you.

Buy the album on bandcamp (digital) or The Empty Pages’ website (cd).

Follow The Empty Pages on Twitter and facebook.

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Album Review by @SteveRodz :Ebbot Lundberg and the Indigo Children – For the Ages to Come @WebbotEbbot

Ebbot Lundberg and the Indigo Children – For the Ages to Come

Words: Steve Rodriguez

Release Date: Friday 2nd December 16

Track listing:

  1. For the Ages to Come
  2. Backdrop People
  3. Beneath the Winding Waterway
  4. In Subliminal Clouds
  5. Drowning in a Wishing Well
  6. Don’t Blow Your Mind
  7. I See Forever
  8. Calling from Heaven
  9. Little Big Thing
  10. To Be continued

The former The Soundtrack of Our Lives (TSOOL) and Union Carbide frontman teams up with The Indigo Children and serves us up some 60s psych-pop / rock with a small dose of 70s prog. This is an album that takes you on a musical journey full of jangling guitars and lilting melodies, wakes you up half way, and then slowly calms you down again with the most perfect vocals and expertly crafted songs.

Ebbot Lundberg has been away a little while but this is now proof that he hasn’t disappeared and is still doing what he does best.

The 60s psychedelia comes to the fore instantly on the album’s opening and title track. For the Ages to Come is a Syd Barrett Pink Floydesque offering (Arnold Layne and See Emily Play immediately spring to mind here) and shows just how versatile Lundberg’s vocals can be. In fact, there is probably no coincidence that “Arnold Layne” has been a regular on his live set over the past couple of years and by all accounts has had a very raucous make-over, and just as raucous a reception.

Backdrop People and Beneath the Winding Waterway are next up and both are a familiar sound as more 60s psych and vocal harmony combine to great effect leading you into the calm and melodic In Subliminal Clouds – chock full of instrumental interludes where a new sound seems to join the party each time.

Drowning in a Wishing Well blends acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies and is nowhere near as dark as the title would suggest. In fact, quite the opposite thanks to the brass and upbeat drums on the chorus giving it a positive and meaningful stride onwards into the albums main body.

The tracks on For the Ages to Come are arguably only subtly, but adequately different, until now when Don’t Blow Your Mind shatters the calmness with a huge guitar driven 70s style rock riff and vocal and almost prog-rock soloing. This is the stand out track here and will satisfy those of you that like your music to have a more raucous nature.

I See Forever is a more experimental affair and almost haunting with its synth undertone and repeating of the song title lyrics, and it is every bit as encapsulating and moving as those before.

The musical journey then continues its calmness once more to its more recognisable state on Calling from Heaven and Little Big Thing where the 60s psych pop and vocal harmonies are here again in abundance.

Closing track To Be Continued begins with a plugged in, but not over-powering guitar melody that more accessible 60s influenced pop / indie artists Lee Mavers and James Skelly would have been proud of; and Ebbot’s vocals blend in seamlessly over the top catching your ear instantly. It rises to a crescendo of bass, guitar, piano and an almost marching drum beat.

For the Ages to Come is an album that creates an expansive and complex sound with perfectly matching vocals and production and makes you really want to listen. Fans of TSOOL would have undoubtedly been disappointed when they called it a day, but if this is the soundtrack of Ebbot Lundberg for the foreseeable future then I would guess it is a more than adequate trade-off.

Upcoming shows:

01/12 (DE) Bielefeld Forum

02/12 (DE) Hamburg, Molotow/Skybar – TICKETS HERE 

03/12 (NL) Nijmegen, Marleyn, Doornrossje – TICKETS HERE

04/12 (UK) London, Upstairs at the Garage – TICKETS HERE

Song Review by @RussellBarker12 : Úyanga Bold – Machiavelli @uyangaboldmusic

Úyanga Bold – Machiavelli

Words by Russell Barker

Machiavelli is a veritable swirling melting pot of many influences, sounds and rhythms. It’s the latest song from the multi-talented Mongolian performer Úyanga Bold. Not only does she sing on this, she wrote it and plays guitar, synth and the Turkish Cümbüş on it. That’s before we’ve even mentioned the co-producing and co-engineering credits.

It has the glacial presence of Curve, with Úyanga’s voice alternating between sassy and cutesy. Machiavelli is brimming with eighties influences, infused with her native Mongolian sounds.

The music is a different take on the old quiet, loud, quiet, by dropping in and out before gradually building back up to the explosive chorus. The chorus itself is reminiscent of the sensual style of Lady Gaga. Whether this could crossover into the mainstream remains to be seen, it is certainly catchy enough, but is also rather leftfield. Its pop music, but not as we know it. Something to make you groove, but also to make you think.

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.

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“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.

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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.

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.’

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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”.

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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)

New Music Releases 3rd June 2016 #MusicIsEverything

Still Parade – Concrete Vision

Steve Gunn – Eyes on the Lines

The Kills – Ace & Ice

Xenia Rubinos – Black Terry Cat

Joseph Arthur – The Family

Nick Leng – Drivers

Moonface & Siinai – My Best Human Face

The Casket Girls – The Night Machines

Fews – Means

Young Moon – Colt

Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate

Whitney – Light Upon the Lake

Speedy Ortiz – Foiled Again

Darren Hayman – Thankful Villages – Volume 1

Joshua Winstead – MMXX

Minor Victories – Minor Victories

The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Monolith of Phobos

Amber Arcades – Fading Lines

Cat’s Eyes – Treasure House

Paul Simon – Stranger to Stranger

William Tyler – Modern Country

Evans the Death – Vanilla

Erin Tobey – Middlemaze

Dark Suns – Everchild

Fear of Men – Fall Forever

Mourn – Ha, Ha, He

Ladyhawke – Wild Things

Tegan & Sara – Love You to Death

Maren Morris – Hero

The Strokes – Future Present Past (EP)

New Music Releases 20th May 2016 #MusicIsEverything #NewMusic

Andy Shauf – The Party

Marissa Nadler – Strangers

Kate Jackson – British Road Movies

Bird of Youth – Get Off

Eric Clapton – I Still Do

Lonely the Brave – Things Will Matter

 

The Rubens – Hoops

 

William Ryan Fritch – New Words for Old Wounds

Brett Dennen – Por Favor

 

onDeadWaves – onDeadWaves

Pantha du Prince – The Triad

 

Highasakite – Camp Echo

 

Mrs Magician – Bermuda

Rachael Sage – Choreographic

 

Yuna – Chapters

 

Randolph’s Leap – Cowardly Deeds

Bob Dylan – Fallen Angels

 

Saosin – Along the Shadow

 

The Posies – Solid States

Arthur Beatrice – Keeping the Peace

 

Debo Band – Ere Gobez

 

Mutual Benefit – Skip a Sinking Stone

Misha – All We Will Become

 

Angel Du$t – Rock the F**k On Forever

Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial

Mudcrutch – 2

 

Tim Heidecker – In Glendale

 

Richard Ashcroft – These People

 

Adult Jazz – Earrings Off!

Issues – Headspace

 

New Music Releases 13th May 2016 #MusicIsEverything

Oscar – Cut and Paste

Brodka – Clashes

Eagulls – Ullages

Islands – Should I Remain Here at Sea? and Taste

Yak – Alas Salvation

United Fruit – Eternal Return

Arbor Labor Union – I Hear You

Gordi – Clever Disguise (EP)

Fruit Bats – Absolute Loser

Jessy Lanza – Oh No

Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow

Trashcan Sinatras – Wild Pendulum

Mossy – Mossy (EP)

So So Glos – Kamikaze

Book Group – The Great Indoors

Head Wound City – A New Wave of Violence

Those Pretty Wrongs – Those Pretty Wrongs

The Lines – Hull Down

Corinne Bailey Rae – The Heart Speaks in Whispers

Kvelertak – Nattesferd

Torn Hawk – Union and Return

Twin Peaks – Down in Heaven

Masta Ace – The Falling Season

3OH!3 – Night Sports

Pierce the Veil – Misadventures

Hard Working Americans – Rest in Chaos

Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost

Young Magic – Still Life

Jameszoo – Fool

Oddisee – The Odd Tape

The Red Krayola with Art & Language – Baby and Child Care

Mark Pritchard – Under the Sun

David Banner – The God Box

Jennifer Nettles – Playing With Fire