Tuesday, 28 May 2013

THE RATTLIN DOORS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Rattlin Doors - In A Tree House 
The Rattlin Doors - In A Tree House

Release Date: 1st July 2013

Awooga! Awooga! Awooga! New genre alert!!!! That's right folks, I think the fine men of The Rattlin Doors have gone and created something new and wondrous - Blues-Punk. The Worcester trio are hitting the UK scene hard with their debut single 'In A Tree House' and they are already attracting huge amounts of interest from both sides of the pond. Andy Teece's furious slide guitar work drives this beast forward, spitting out his breathless vocal as he goes. Phil Elt's bass chugs knowingly beneath the guitar while the drumming of the perfectly monikered Leeroy Evans is pure, tight and perfect for such an instantly infectious song. At just one minute 47 seconds long, 'In A Tree House' is a punky statement of intent designed to make people sit up and take notice and they surely will. A handful of local dates are planned throughout the summer but don't expect it to be too long before these guys are hunting you down in your home town, outlaw style.


Live Dates:

15th June - Flapper & Firkin, Birmingham
16th June - Himbleton Cricket Club, Himbleton (Free Entry)
4th July - The Roadhouse, Birmingham
26th July - Boars Head, Kidderminster
10th August - Marrs Bar, Worcester

31st August - Arts Workship, Worcester

EKEBUBA - MINI ALBUM REVIEW

EkeBuba - Schmecks
EkeBuba - Schmecks

Every now and again, I get emails from bands asking for a gig. Now, this isn't unreasonable - I used to put on gigs in London with a group of friends and so it's not surprising that bands get in touch - but usually these bands are God-awful no-hopers who've found it impossible to get gigs through the normal channels so have resorted to dredging up my email address from the darkest recesses of the internet. However, in the case of  Croatian trio EkeBuba, I am genuinely gutted that I can no longer offer a slot at a gig in a small, sweaty venue in central London.

Anyway, on to the music. Opening track 'Keep Being Black' has a punk-rockabilly swagger about it that the Hives tried to achieve and Rocket From The Crypt nailed. The only things missing here are a couple of baritone saxophones and a few flick knives flying around. 'Home' has a more straightforward style that brings to mind a period in my life when I spent  a lot of time watching the Yo-Yos play gigs around the North of England. That's the great thing about this album, EkeBuba haven't picked up on the mainstreamed punk of Blink 182 or Green Day, they're channelling the Clash, the Damned and other Great British punk bands - something you don't hear too much of these days. Things take a turn for the incomprehensible on 'Iz Loseg u Gore' but that has more to do with my inability to speak Croatian than it does to do with the singing. Nevertheless, there are Motorhead influences running through this riff heavy beast and only a  rock'n'roll denier would fail to at least nod along to this one. 'Show No Feelings' has a relentless, driving energy about it that, I would guess, makes it a great set closer at their undoubtedly sweaty and crammed gigs. In fact, the only issue I have with this 'mini album' in fact is that it is only four tracks long and comes in at a whopping 7 minutes and 7 seconds. I mean, don't be afraid of the EP, it's a genuine medium to release your music within. Anyway, if any promoters or bookers are reading this then get in touch with these guys and bring them over to these shores - you'll love them and so will your punters.


KOBADELTA - SINGLE REVIEW

Kobadelta - When It Rains It Pours/The Tapestry
Kobadelta - When It Rains It Pours/The Tapestry

Some bands do extremely well by wearing one very dominant influence not just on their sleeves but all over their suits. Take Oasis for example: they loved the Beatles and they weren't afraid to show it. I get the overwhelming sensation that the five lads behind Kobadelta are huge Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fans and, on this showing, that's no bad thing. Lead track 'When It Rains It Pours' is a slab of leather clad, dark haired, cigarette in mouth doom rock filth. The kind of tune that you wouldn't let anywhere near your daughter in case it impregnated her with a sneer and a slow wink. 'The Tapestry', however, has more subtlety to it and creates a slightly Jekyll and Hyde sensation to the two 'sides' of the single. The climax of this second song sees the band descending in to a Doors-esque pit of hellish feedback and too-wasted-to-care vocals that are just dripping in Mr Mojo Risin'. Some may say that these guys have a limited set of influences but, if you ask me, pinning your colours to a mast that is one half BRMC and one half the Doors is pretty damn cool. More please.


Live dates:

30th May - Think Tank, Newcastle (supporting Splashh and Popstrangers)

12th July - The Cluny, Newcastle (with Bernaccia)

Monday, 27 May 2013

THE SEA THE SEA - EP REVIEW


The Sea The Sea - Four Demos EP 
The Sea The Sea - Four Demos EP

Oh I do love it when new bands get in touch at the very start of their journey, it's so much more exciting than getting a nice tidy package from a PR company. Oxford's The Sea The Sea are one such band, possibly named after the Iris Murdoch novel but I prefer to think of it as the excited yelps of a city dwelling 6 year old on their first visit to the British coastline on a grey, uninspiring day. Having amassed just two live performances and a handful of positive reviews, The Sea The Sea are taking their first musical steps the old fashioned way by just getting the music right and not concentrating on any of the tempting frills. This collection of tunes kicks off with the sparse but urgent indie of the 'The Winter Parade' which brings to mind Editors, British Sea Power or Young Knives with its rattling bass lines, carefully selected guitars and fragile but honest vocal performances. There is a very British bleakness about this tune in a 'it's always darkest before the dawn' kind of way that forces hope and despair in to the same head space in a way that tugs at the heartstrings. 'Waterfall' is a more gentle, calm-after-the-storm type of song which has elements of Gene or my current favourites The B Of The Bang. The crashing guitars of the crescendo and cymbal heavy drums wash over you like sea spray on a bitter sea front in January - bracing, refreshing and cleansing. Final track 'Something Happened' has a slightly more 1980s feel to it and can surely only be played by men holding their guitars at nipple height, such is the tightness and brevity of the guitar work. This is wonderfully British Indie in its best form with deadpan delivery, melodies used but not overused, songs charged with emotion and the promise of even better things to come. The Sea The Sea are still finding their feet but like a baby who goes from crawling to walking within a few seconds there is a hint of genius surrounding this music.

JUNGLE - SINGLE REVIEW


Jungle - Platoon (Chess Club Records) 
Jungle - Platoon

Release Date: 15th July 2013

You know that feeling when you decide to move clubs at about 2.00am and the combination of fresh air and one too many shots of Jack Daniels means that when you get to the new place you feel about 1.5 seconds out of step with the rest of the world? That moment when  you realise that you're totally dancing to the music but that the music is not keeping time with you? Those times when you'd be blissfully happy if it weren't for the fact that everyone was talking backwards and everything feels approximately 30 cm further away than it should be? Well now those moments have a sountrack and it is the gloriously juddery and funkily stuttering 'Platoon' by Jungle. Chess Club Records, those reliable beasts, have unearthed another gem of a tune with understated but soulful vocals and a melody that sounds like it was created by having George Clinton and Fatboy Slim repeatedly dragged back and forth over a cattle grid. This is pretty much the only tune in the world that could keep time with your staggering version of yourself and help you to fall back in line with the rest of the world - it might just save your life as well as your night. Now it's not out for a while, I realise that, but there is a reason for that - they are only releasing 500 copies of this little beast. So my advice would be to get yourself over to the website below and pre-order a copy.

More information:

INOUWEE - EP REVIEW


Inouwee - Dark And White 
Inouwee - Dark And White EP

Release Date: 10th June 2013

Inouwee are a Danish boy-girl electro-pop duo coming at you straight outta Copenhagen with a six track EP. There's a lot about that sentence that makes me quite excited about the potential of the music and each of these tracks has its merits but there's nothing that really jumps down your throat and grabs you by any of your organs - vital or otherwise. It's almost as though the Eurovision people put out a CD of the six best tunes from the final and that in itself is a very Marmite sentence. For instance, lead track 'Essence' has a semi-urgency that Robyn or t.A.T.u. would comfortably feature in one of their songs but whilst it promises to build and explode, it never really delivers on that promise. 'Liquids Playing Misty Games' a more alternative edge, with nods to Florence + The Machine and jangly guitars plucked throughout but the synths aren't big enough, the drums are too tinny and the bass is smothered.

The vocal half of the duo, Signe Marike, has a solid voice but it never really feels like she lets go and gives you both barrels which you feel would give some of these songs a richer, more soulful sound. On 'Empty Bodies' there is a definite 80s feel but this is no Roxette, despite the uber-retro synth sounds between chorus and verse. 'The Crazy Inside Me' is the kind of song Kelly Clarkson would reject for her album despite its Emo-lite overtones and angsty lyrics. The penultimate track, 'My Closet In Your Heart', shows some signs of life and originality in the arrangement but you get the feeling that this is supposed to be the quiet, calm track compared to the rest and the change in tempo or volume just isn't distinct enough to make a difference. The orchestral openings of final track 'Devil Noise' are tempting and the drums finally feel like they're kicking in on this closing track but again it feels over produced, clean and soulless. If these guys were a more traditional band then I would do what I always do and suggest they get out on the road and gig as much as possible to find their true sound and learn their trade a bit better but I'm never sure how you do that as a more studio based electronic duo. The bottom line is that this is great background music for a film soundtrack but it's nothing I would ever sneakily Shazam in the cinema.


THE CHAPMAN FAMILY - SINGLE REVIEW


The Chapman Family - This One's For Love (No More Records) 
The Chapman Family - This One's For Love

Release Date: 3rd June

There is a pleasing propensity for deeper, male voices in the alternative scene these days and The Chapman Family's Kingsley is one of the best examples of this. Such are the velvety depths of this man's voice that you can almost sense the women swooning and the men crossing their legs with a shifty look around the crowded room. But the Chapman Family are not just one voice (nor are they a cult, apparently), rather they are a band of 5 dapper gents from Stockton-On-Tees hell bent on merging the pop grandiose of the Killers with the stomach churning emotion of Nick Cave or the National and then throwing in a dash of Futureheads just for flavour - and they do it so very well. 'This One's For Love' is a hearty slice of indie-pop cake but the cherry on top of said cake is bitter-sweet tone of the lyrics that are hopeful, despairing, pleading and defiant all at once. Just for kicks they've also gone and produced a video which seems to depict what would happen if Mickey Mouse and 4 French mime artists went out on the Lash in 1970s London and got in a fight on a light up dance floor. The Chapman Family seem to have the full package from visuals, the emotional depth and the musical ability - so much so, in fact, that if they were to start a cult I might be sorely tempted to join up.

More information:


Live Dates:

31 May - Scholar Bar, O2 Academy,- Leicester
1 June - The Exchange, Bristol
3 June - The Garage, London
5 June - Little Civic, Wolverhampton
6 June - The Bowery, Sheffield
11 June - Long Division Festival, Wakefield

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

WAX FUTURES - SINGLE REVIEW


Wax Futures - Breadcrumbs (Wolftown DIY) 
Wax Futures - Breadcrumbs

I love it when I get emails from bands saying "you reviewed our mates so will you review us?". It makes about as much sense as approaching a girl in a bar and asking her if she fancies a bunk up based on the fact that she's already done the nasty with your best mate. However, as much as that chat-up technique sound ridiculous it's bound to work once in a while and so does sending out demos to blogs that have reviewed your mates. Wax Futures (they're mates with Beat The Poet by the way, I knew that would niggle at you if I didn't tell you) are a trio from Telford who specialise in the urgent, the desperate and the relentless. Lead track, 'Breadcrumbs', lurches in to life with a circular, almost mechanical riff that makes me want to reach for my Young Knives collection before the vocals kick in and everything becomes much angrier. There's a very British feel to this music with bands like Reuben and Hundred Reasons seeping through despite the obvious At The Drive-In tendencies. 'Histories' is a more arty, considered track with name checks for Romero and Verhoven and the lyric "Just between me and you, I learnt my moves from Terminator 2" appealing to the film geek in all of us. Wax Futures have a tight, punchy sound that is infectious and never more so than on final track, 'Smoke & Mirrors' which has the early 00s post-hardcore scene running right through its bitter, twisted core. As with the majority of bands in this genre, relentless gigging, death defying live shows and endless nights sharing the same sleeping bag await but they have the songs to back it up so it's just a question of whether they have the cajones.


Live dates:

8th June - Midwest West Midlands @ The Wagon & Horses, Birmingham

CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN - SINGLE REVIEW


Catfish And The Bottlemen - Homesick (Communion Records) 
Catfish and the Bottlemen - Homesick

Release Date: 17th June

Contradiction. Great word. I overused it in my A-Level English essays but then I got myself an A so I must have used it right well. Catfish and Bottlemen are a beautiful contradiction of a band that I'm finding it hard to ignore. For example, within their microcosm, they have a band name that sounds like a minor character from Neighbours backed by a bunch of unemployed milkmen but they swagger and sneer like Llandudno's answer to the Strokes (finally). This, their debut single, is a punky two minutes and 27 seconds long but features an atmospheric intro, a stadium sized chorus and chunky guitar solo. They sound like Kings of Leon at their peak or the latest offering from the Maccabees but look like the Arctic Monkeys when they just started out or Hot Hot Heat before it all went wrong. Contradiction is a wondrous thing in music though and it's much more exciting to play a song that you have preconceptions about only to have them turned on their head than it is to, say, open up a bag of Skittles only to find that they switched all the flavours and colours around (seriously, who thought that was a good idea? There will be backstage staff in stadia the world over doing their nut about which ones to take out for the headline act). Anyway, I digress, for a single this is a great tune but for a debut single by a bunch of young lads from a small town this is immense. They're touring hard to there's no excuse not to go and see them so get your sweet asses out there and support something genuinely exciting.

More information:


Live dates:

May 31st - Friars Court, Warrington
June 3rd - Barfly, London
June 5th - Victoria Inn, Derby
June 6th - Central Station, Wrexham
June 13th  - 10 Feet Tall, Cardiff
June 14th - 53 Degrees, Preston
June 15th - Telford's Warehouse, Chester
June 22nd - The Cockpit, Leeds
July 6th - X & Y Festival, Liverpool
July 21st - Tramlines Festival, Sheffield