Tuesday, 25 November 2014

SILVER ARM - SINGLE REVIEW

Silver Arm - Scatterbrainzz (Big Tea Records) 
Silver Arm - Scatterbrainzz

This is the second single I've had the pleasure of reviewing from London boys Silver Arm and I've got to say it's a bit of a belter. The marvellously monikered 'Scatterbrainzz' is the kind of fast and dirty rock'n'roll that shouldn't last more than three minutes (it doesn't) and gets you horny and violent in equal measure (it does). The guitars are full of swagger, the vocals spit bourbon soaked venom and the drums drive you ever forward like the pistons of a perfectly restored 70s cop car flying through the streets of Camden. For the full experience, get yourself down to a gig and stand in the front row with every one of your senses open and just enough alcohol in your system to give you that warm buzz.


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

Monday, 24 November 2014

AXEL FLOVENT - SINGLE REVIEW

Axel Flovent - Beach (Trellis Records) 
Axel Flovent - Beach

Well what do we have here? I'll tell you what we have here. What we have here is the debut single by Icelandic strummer Axel  Flovent. Now, despite his rock namesake, Axel is a somewhat subdued performer but that is far away from being a bad thing. The simply titled 'Beach' is a thing of quiet beauty as an insistent guitar pluck is lifted up on the shoulders of a steadily swelling melody, itself supported by some reach, deep piano notes. A pause in the middle of the song gives pause for thought before the swell begins again and Flovent's voice drifts dreamily and wistfully out towards anyone willing to listen. Not forcing or pushing, just drifting and existing in the half light, ready for you whenever you need it.


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

DRACULA LEGS - SINGLE REVIEW

Dracula Legs - Sand To The Beach/Death Of Age (Too Pure/Two Piece Records) 
Dracula Legs - Sand To The Beach/Death Of Age

They might be London based but this quartet hail from various parts of the Commonwealth which makes them an interesting prospect. The new single, 'Sand To The Beach', is a scuzzy but suave piece of in-your-face punk'n'roll with theatrical guitars and a real sense of the macabre. As the guitars thrash and clash around with gay abandon, the deep, velvety vocals fill all the gaps like Morrisey with more class or Editors with a sense of fun. B-side 'Death Of Age' is more of the same but with an added flavour of Jon Spencer and Les Anges thrown just to add to the vibe. This is borderline sleazy rock'n'roll and it's your call whether this will show you the time of your life or give you an STD and take your money. Either way you'll enjoy it at some point.


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

Sunday, 23 November 2014

HOUSE OF LIONS - SINGLE REVIEW

House Of Lions - Perfect Fool (Kore Records) 
House Of Lions - Perfect Fool

Release Date: 24th November 2014

OK, first of all, love the artwork. Show me a cat in a funny situation or pulling a funny face and that's half the battle won. Now, for the music. Camden boys House Of Lions are on the brink of releasing this new single, 'Perfect Fool', on the unsuspecting masses and this is the music of a band who live, eat and love together. There are guitar melodies and a snappy rhythm that are pure sunny Saturday mornings that make you want to throw open the windows, make a bacon sandwich and they go looking for some mischief on the streets of London. Imagine a more laid back Young Knives or a less wet Feeling and you're in the right ball park but it's the spring in this song's step that makes it so utterly appealing. Indie-pop at it's very best and with a limber little guitar solo to boot. My only gripe is that this is entirely the wrong time of year for this to come out - I'd suggest getting it, putting it in a box and then unwrapping this on the first day of blue skies sometime in May 2015.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/House-of-Lions/164214270311529?fref=ts

Live Dates:


24th November - Single Launch @ Proud Galleries, London

Saturday, 22 November 2014

DE STAAT - SINGLE REVIEW

De Staat - Down Town (Cool Green Recordings/Mascot Label Group) 
De Staat - Down Town 

Release Date: 24th November 2014

Well this is not what I expected from a group of Dutch indie-rockers, I have to admit. 'Down Town' is a seriously dark song with a video to match and I can't recommend it highly enough! There are various film noir influences, both aurally and visually, but the Mark Lanegan vocals, eery melodies and shuffling rhythms are enough to put even the toughest henchman on edge. Nerves are soothed only by the soft, sultry female vocal in the chorus but by that point you suspect the chanteuse may have poisoned lipstick or, at the very least, a small pistol nestled between her breasts. This is the kind of song that, were it to come on the car radio, would make you check your rear view mirror and back seat......just in case.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/destaat/timeline

Watch The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxYQ2YhLxpQ&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

11th December - Charlatan, Ghent
22nd January - Werkplaats OOST, Dordrecht
23rd January - Zwitsal Fabriek, Apeldoorn
24th January - Timmerfabriek, Vlissingen
25th January - Rotown, Rotterdam
29th January - Poppodium Grenswerk, Venlo
30th January  - Museumzaal Aviodrome, Lelystad

1st February - Huis Verloren, Hoorn

MIMI & THE MAD NOISE FACTORY - SINGLE REVIEW

Mimi & The Mad Noise Factory - Get Me Back (Warner Music Group Germany) 
Mimi & The Mad Noise Factory - Get Me Back

Release Date: 26th November 2014

So your mum was an iconic 70s fashion model, you've recorded your latest material with Stephen Street and Pete Doherty and you've just been on tour with Biffy Clyro and Imagine Dragons. That's not a bad place to be in your musical career but Mimi won't let it go to her head, she's still designing her own single artwork! Musically speaking, 'Get Me Back' is somewhere in a Venn diagram that features Florence Welch, La Roux, Sophie Ellix-Bexter and Kate Bush liberally sprinkled with a a continental sense of pop. Mimi is firmly lodged at the stylish end of the pop spectrum but her rapid fire vocal delivery gives her something of an edge over other pop pretenders on the scene. I have to admit that I'm not sure how this would go down with an expectant Biffy Clyro audience but I'm thoroughly enjoying it, massive eyelashes an all!

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


Watch The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8YdNFKKzsY&feature=youtu.be

RICHARD LOMAX - SINGLE REVIEW

Richard Lomax - Wag The Wonderbitch 
Richard Lomax - Wag The Wonderbitch

There are certain artists that crop up in my inbox from time to time who make me sit up and pay attention and Mancunian troubadour Richard Lomax is one such artist. Without even listening to a note of this new single, you can see that it has an accompanying video that is centred around a doomed love affair between two Omnichords and their players. But 'Wag The Wonderbitch' stands alone in its own right as a gorgeous piece of storytelling songwriting that is a blend of Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker and Elvis. Lush guitars, rich vocals and a real sense of intimacy make this an autumnal delight that the whole family can enjoy. Oh, and that video is the perfect side dish.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/lomaxmusic?pnref=lhc

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U85RH7kzlOM

Live Dates:

27th November - Strange Brew, Chorlton
28th November - Mother's Ruin, Bristol
29th November - Frog & Fiddle, Cheltenham
30th November - Moon & Sixpence, Glossop

18th December - Art Of Tea, Manchester w/Gideon Conn

RIVERTAIRS - SINGLE REVIEW

Rivertairs - Jack 
Rivertairs - Jack

Do you remember Space? 'Female Of The Species' and all that? Yeah, well their singer thinks Mancunian band Rivertairs are just peachy so read in to that what you will. The band's new single, 'Jack', is an homage to Jack The Ripper rather than Jack Nicholson, Jack White or Jack Daniels....or any other Jack for that matter. The tune itself is a jaunty, indie romp that the likes of the Raconteurs or the Fratellis would be proud of. Scratchy, sharp guitars bounce around atop a grumbling bass line and clipped drums before the gang vocals kick in and seal the deal. This isn't necessarily a song that will slay stadiums but if you're after two and a half minutes of cheeky, Northern indie then you probably shouldn't bother looking any further.


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

MT. WOLF - SINGLE REVIEW

Mt. Wolf - Red 
Mt. Wold - Red

Born along the south-coast of England but currently based in London, Mt. Wolf are a collective who create gorgeous, cinematic soundscapes along the lines of new single 'Red'. Starting off with muted vocals and a subdued beats ebbs and flows like the water at the shore of an estuary, gently lapping at the pebble strewn shore. There are elements of Peter Gabriel, Vampire Weekend, Bent, Lemon Jelly and Ben Howard to this tune and not always in an obvious way but it's all in there in the subtle melodies and earthy melodies. Gently gorgeous stuff for your enjoyment, then. So you'd better enjoy it, or else.


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

DREAM LAKE - SINGLE REVIEW

Dream Lake - Let Us Stay In The Light (100 Songs) 
Dream Lake - Let Us Stay In The Light

Stockholm duo Dream Lake comprise of Isabella and Niklas, a non-romantic coupling that creates beautiful music and an atmosphere to revel in. Latest single 'Let Us Stay In The Light' is out now and feels so light and airy that you could be mistaken for thinking it's the theme tune for a day time TV chat show to begin with. But when Isabella's vocals float in on a fresh Scandinavian breeze then you know that this is bona fide pop of the highest order that would sit beautifully well alongside the likes of St Etienne and Dubstar but with a definite feeling that there is an 80s influence behind this music. In a world full of critics and cynics, this is a breath of fresh of air  in every sense so open up your mouth and get a lung full. It'll do you good.

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


Watch The Video: http://vimeo.com/109357796

NICKY - SINGLE REVIEW

Nicky - Wake Up 
Nicky - Wake Up 

Another mysterious one here as Swedish chap Nicky is a little hard to track down on that old internet. 'Wake Up' however is easy to find (largely because I'm bringing it to you and ramming it down your throat) and when you find it you'll see that it's a slice of gorgeous, bitter-sweet country-folk with a modern, dark approach. Nicky's voice is somewhere between Cash and Cave but looks wise he is a purple haired elf adrift on a lake of uncertainty. The simple, pure acoustic melody with skiffle inspired rhythm are perfect for a song that is full of hope and despair in equal measure, especially considering Nicky's voice is so wonderfully rich but dark - like a treacle pudding with extra treacle. If Nicky really does live in a cave and has minimal internet presence then it's alright by me as long as he emerges once in a while to share a gem like this with the world.


Watch The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwjdThA9VVk  

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

THE REVEURS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Reveurs - Control 
The Reveurs - Control

Release Date: 18th November 2014

Right from the get-go there's a euphoric, defiant feel to this Mancunian bands music that peaks your interest in a way the Killers or Foo Fighters manage with unnerving regularity. The new single 'Control' is a pile driver of a tune that doesn't let up for a second as the guitars snake through the air and the drums push ever onwards. That said, there is something of the cheesy about this that sits somewhere between Nickleback and those nu-metal bands that went a bit bland like Papa Roach or Linkin Park. A saving grace is that this single has a B-side in 'Saint Marie' which opens with a nice, popping bass line but is then joined by the sort of guitars that you would expect from a teenage metal band trying to impress the local emo girls. There are huge US influences at here which is fine but somehow this just doesn't sound believable with the Yankunian accent effected atop the music. Close but no cigar, as they say.

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

Live Dates:

26th November - The Green Room, Sheffield
4th December - Lennons Bar, Liverpool
5th December - Abacus Bar, Scunthorpe w/ Monday Club + SSS + Native Braves
6th December - Carpe Diem, Leeds
10th December - West Street Live, Sheffield

13th December - Pop Up Festival, Sale

NEGATIVE PANDA - SINGLE REVIEW

Negative Panda - Bearded Man 
Negative Panda - Bearded Man

So, Leeds based trio Negative Panda (great name) describe themselves as a grunge band and on first listen to this new single I was all "no way, this is post punk art rock or something more complicated".  But it's not, it's grunge. Pure and simple. 'Bearded Man' starts soft and slow but once the pace is picked up then the buzzsaw guitars and clattering drums are pure, Nirvana-esque fun but mixed with the kind of English screaming and spit that you might expect from Terrorvision or Reuben. In terms of contemporaries I'd love to see these guys share a bill with Canada's The Dirty Nil but I think I'd have to politely decline what is sure to be one hell of an after party. Or the after party from hell.

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

Listen/Download: https://negative-panda.bandcamp.com/track/bearded-man

Live Dates:

22nd November - Key Club, Leeds w/GONZO'S + Treason Kings
13th December - Vintage Rock Bar, Doncaster
25th January - Venue tbc, Leeds
1st February - The Parish, Huddersfield w/Bi:Lingual
7th February - Single release show @ Carpe Diem, Leeds

11th February - The Library, Leeds w/Create To Inspire

SHINERS- SINGLE REVIEW

Shiners - Just Got Paid 
Shiners - Just Got Paid

So here we have one of those rare breeds these days - a band with very little online presence. Hell, all I know is that they're from London and they've got their debut single ready for the wide, wide world. As far as I'm concerned they could a bunch of pimps and UKIP voters but I'm here to review the music, not judge the people. 'Just Got Paid' opens with a pure Britpop guitar riff and follows it up with the kind of indie pop that Menswear, Livingston or early Blur would have come up with. A keyboard riff that borders on cheesy, lyrics about suburban micro-dramas and vocals delivered with the swagger of a local hero make this suspiciously like a song that was frozen in the 90s and has only just been defrosted. For this reason and many others I love this song and what it represents. The 90s approach may also explain their almost complete lack of online presence. I'd best check my pager for updates on any future gigs....

More information: http://www.weareshiners.com/


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weareshiners?fref=ts

Monday, 17 November 2014

BIG LONELY - SINGLE REVIEW

Big Lonely - Dirty Clocks 
Big Lonely - Dirty Clocks

Sigh, another band from London. Oh wait, London Ontario? Ontario Canada? Well that's a different kettle of fish altogether. Quartet Big Lonely have a new single out and it took me a few glances to realise that it was called 'Dirty Clocks' rather than a song related to the large, filthy members of anti-social gents. The song itself is a laid back indie shuffle with influences in equal parts from the sunny West Coast of the USA and Scottish indie of the 90s. Jangling, lightly strummed guitars intermingle with Vampire Weekend style vocals of a gently slurred words that occasionally break in to a mildly annoyed scream. The accompanying video features that most Canadian of all activities, table top ice hockey, and a bunch of grungy looking music fans which just sets this off perfectly. A gorgeous piece of slacker indie, then, but with a polished edge that gives this a more appealing sheen.

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

Watch The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxg_f8pLZ18&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:


5th December - London Music Hall, London, Canada

ENTER THE LEXICON - SINGLE REVIEW

Enter The Lexicon - Full Moon 
Enter The Lexicon - Full Moon

Release Date: 24th November 2014

Geordie trio Enter The Lexicon have a new single on its way to you which has been inspired by a Jaffa Cake advertising campaign from a few years back. Or not. Whatever the inspiration, 'Full Moon' is a American road trip of a tune with snaking, uber-cool guitars, drums that make you want to thump the steering wheel and a bass line that is plugged straight in to your hips. If you're organising your CD collection by genre then you'd need to place these guys somewhere between Maximon Park, Foo Fighters, Feeder and Lit which is probably a fairly small portion of your collection. I feel like there is something bigger and a little meatier to come from Enter The Lexicon but in terms of rock energy with excellent melodies this will take an awful lot of beating.

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

Live Dates:


19th December - O2 Academy, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

SEETHER - SINGLE REVIEW

Seether - Same Damn Life (Bicycle Music/Concord Music Group)
Seether - Same Damn Life

The fully enjoy this song you really need to check out the video as well. The hard rocking trio ply a fair trade in snarling, Foo Fighters-esque rock with chunky guitars, throbbing bass and catchy hooks that make you want to mosh around your living room. That's all a given. But what really sends this to a new level is the video that is like a mix between Cocoon, the video for 'Basket Case' and the most sexually confusing strip club that has ever existed. Aside from being named after one of my favourite songs of all time Seether have reminded me that sometimes the video can improve the song if you pitch it just right and boy did they do that. Well played, sirs, well played. Oh and they are pretty much on tour from now until November all over Europe and the US so go check 'em out.

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

Watch The Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3_lIPESVTw

Live Dates:

16th November - Birmingham Institute, Birmingham
18th November - O2 ABC, Glasgow
19th November - Ritz, Manchester
20th November - The Forum, London
22nd November - Bataclan, Paris w/Prana
23rd November - Gruenspan, Hamburg w/Prana
25th November - Vega Small Hall, Copenhagen w/Prana SOLD OUT
26th November - John Dee, Oslo w/ Prana
27th November - Klubben, Stockholm w/Prana
29th November - The Circus, Helsinki w/Prana
30th November - Rock Cafe, Tallin w/Prana
1st December - Palladium, Riga w/Prana
3rd December - Progresja, Warsaw w/Prana
5th December - Durer Kert, Budapest w/Prana
6th December - Ottaringer Hefeboden, Vienna w/Prana
7th December - Schuur, Luzern w/Prana
9th December - Batschkapp, Frankfurt w/Prana
11th December - Huxleys Neue Welt, Berlin w/Prana
12th December - LKA Longhorn, Stuttgart w/Prana
13th December - Kulturfabrik Kofmehl, Solothurn w/Prana
14th December - 013, Tilburg w/Prana
16th December - Arena Moscow, Moscow w/Prana
17th December - A2, Saint Petersburg w/Prana
9th January - House of Blues, Myrtle Beach w/Papa Roach
10th January - Hard Rock Live, Orlando w/Papa Roach
11th January - Tabernacle, Atlanta w/Papa Roach
13th January - Electric Factory, Philadelphia w/Papa Roach
14th January - Fillmore, Silver Spring w/Papa Roach
15th January - Foxwoods Resort & Casino, Mashantucket w/Papa Roach
17th January - Wellmont Theatre, Montclair w/Papa Roach
18th January - House of Blues, Boston w/Papa Roach
20th January - Terminal 5, New York w/Papa Roach
24th January - Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee w/Papa Roach
25th January - The Riviera Theatre, Chicago w/Papa Roach
27th January - Midland Theatre, Kansas City
28th January - McElroy Auditorium, Waterloo w/Papa Roach
30th January - Bayou Music Centre, Houston w/Papa Roach
31st January - Southside Ballroom, Dallas w/Papa Roach
2nd February - The Cotillion, Wichita w/Papa Roach
3rd February - Fillmore, Denver w/Papa Roach
5th February - Warfield Theater, San Francisco w/Papa Roach
6th February - The Wiltern, Los Angeles w/Papa Roach

7th February - The Joint, Las Vegas w/Papa Roach

Saturday, 15 November 2014

ANWAI - SINGLE REVIEW

Anwai - Asking (Studio 16) 
Anwai - Asking

Swedish duo Anwai look like the two biggest hipsters to have ever eaten a meatball but they redeem themselves pretty quickly by virtue of being called Mons Lorenzen and Amadeus Rudolfson. This, their debut single, goes by the name of 'Asking' and is gorgeous piece of woozy, downbeat electro soul with sparse beats and the kind of melodies that could help you get to sleep or help you get laid depending on the situation and the company. There are elements of Royksopp and Sigur Ros in there, melodically speaking, but there is a greater sense of fun about this tune that is more in keeping with the likes of Lemon Jelly or Bent. Not bad for a first single, then.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anwai/270924856401180

PAPER AEROPLANES - SINGLE REVIEW

Paper Aeroplanes - Guessing Game 
Paper Aeroplanes - Guessing Game

There is a slow burning buzz around Paper Aeroplanes that has been simmering away in the background for a while and on the premise of this single and video it's well justified. All artists are just one break away from bursting on to the 'scene' and there is a chance that 'Guessing Game' could be that break if they get the chance to pump this tune in to the ears of the masses. Combining the vocal fragility and innocence of Ellie Goulding with the dark spirit of Florence + The Machine is a potent and heady mix in itself. But then if you add in the emotional piquancy of a Christmas advert for John Lewis and an uber-dramatic video that required more flour to make than a your average bakery gets through in a day and you have a great package. Style and substance in abundance. Beautiful.

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

Watch The Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgIZJAZBOn8

Live Dates:

19th November - Phoenix, Exeter
20th November - Union Chapel, London
28th November - Strom, Munchen
29th November - ClubCANN, Stuttgart
30th November - Capitol, Mannheim
2nd December - Nachtleben, Frankfurt
4th December - Orange Club, Kiel

5th December - Knust, Hamburg

Friday, 14 November 2014

RED HOUSE GLORY - SINGLE/FREE DOWNLOAD REVIEW

Red House Glory - Living A Lie 
Red House Glory - Living A Lie

On their Facebook page it simply says "Red House Glory are a rock band from England". No other bumph or guff. Just one sentence, take it or leave it, and that's how the music is as well. The quartet kick off 'Living A Lie' with a riff that is somewhere between James and Kings Of Leon before a rumbling bass line and some jangling guitars create the mood you need for a rock song to swagger with this much testosterone and self pleasure. As the drums pound and that pop-rock vocal pervades the smoky night you know that this is music with one eye on the melody and one hand on its own junk.  I have to say, Red House Glory is a fairly underwhelming name  but the music they create more than makes up for it. Romping, stomping stuff.

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

Download Here: https://app.topspin.net/store/artist/34959?wId=233791&theme=black&highlightColor=0x00A1FF&w=300&h=250&src=fb

Live Dates:


1st December - EP Launch @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London

C DUNCAN - SINGLE/FREE DOWNLOAD REVIEW

C Duncan - For (Fat Cat) 
C Duncan - For

Release Date: 24th November 2014

This is the kind of artist that gives you faith in the music 'industry' still existing for the power of good rather than evil or just money. You see, C Duncan (Chris to his mates) submitted a couple of tracks to the Fat Cat demo submission page (see below if you're that way inclined) and the label liked him so much they are now releasing that Glaswegian's debut single. A real happy ending, then, as long as the music is any good. 'For' is the single in question and, thankfully, it is rather lovely. The looped acoustic guitar riff and soft, processed beats provide a beautiful bed for Duncan's voice to recline upon with the laziness of a warm summer's evening. For fans of Jim Noir, Badly Drawn Boy, David Kitt and Ben's Symphonic Orchestra this will be a real treat. For everyone else it will be an eye opener. For me, it's just sublime.

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


Fat Cat Demo Submission: http://demo.fat-cat.co.uk/ 

VENTURE - SINGLE REVIEW

Venture - This One's For You (ScreamLite Records) 
Venture - This One's For You

This is the second release I've reviewed from ska-punk Wiganers and I'm still of the conviction that, like them or not, they stand out from the crowd. 'This One's For You' is the latest single and it retains the band's undeniable ska feel but blends in a more mariachi feel with a sense of darkness behind the melodies. Then there's the male vs female vocals and the switch between light, bouncy verses and heavy, rockier choruses. Essentially this is what would happen if No Doubt and Skunk Anansie took musical direction from early Eminem and Linkin Park but all with a distinctly British accent. I wouldn't say this is my favourite track of the year, probably not even in my top 10 but the style of this band certainly stands out its own in a great sea of similar sounding acts.


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

HONNE - SINGLE REVIEW

Honne - All In The Value (Super Recordings) 
Honne - All In The Value

Release Date: 24th November 2014

Are you sitting comfortably? Preferably in a big, squashy, all-enveloping chair or bean bag. Are the lights down low? Are you ready to close your eyes and just relax? Good. Then I'll let Honne begin. The duo's new single, 'All In The Value', is an end of the night, soulful slow jam with some 80s influences and the kind of groove that both Hipsters and non-ironic fans of Milli Vanilli can get down to. The sleepily delivered vocals on top of the punch synth stabs straddle the 90s perfectly and keep this tune both 80s of nature but 00s of nurture. Oh, and there's a ridiculous but sublimely enjoyable guitar solo towards the end that is, well, noodletastic.


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

WE FIGHT LIKE KIDS - SINGLE REVIEW

We Fight Like Kids - Falconer
We Fight Like Kids - Falconer

My innocent mind sees the name of this band and immediately thinks of flailing arms and screwed up faces and the occasional stamping foot. Then I remember what kids are like these days and suspect that We Fight Like Kids has more to do with stabbings and drive by shootings on the mean streets of Hackney. Or the Midlands which is where these boys hail from. 'Falconer' is that debut single from the five piece and starts with some post-apocalyptic static before bursting in to life with some quick fire drums and guitars that slice and sear through the air like sharpened machetes. Then the vocals kick in which some people will enjoy in all their gruff, fierce glory. For me, it sounds like someone has poured gravel in to bowl by accident instead of muesli and then decided to carry on through sheer bloody mindedness but without wasting any milk. So, to sum up, great alt-rock-hardcore music with vocals by a man chewing on a bowl full of gravel.

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

Live Dates:


22nd November - The Victoria Inn, Derby

THE ART OF AMPUTATION - SINGLE REVIEW

The Art Of Amputation - Distorted Pop Song (Ruby Music) 
The Art Of Amputation - Distorted Pop Song

Release Date: 17th November 2014

London quintet The Art Of Amputation have arrived with a new single with the wonderful title 'Distorted Pop Song' which makes them arch namers of bands and songs. The song itself is a swirling, grimacing, visually distorted piece of alt-pop that is the love child of Wayne Coyne and Matt Bellamy with David Bowie on production duties and David Lynch lurking in the corner of the bedroom-cum-studio. The juxtaposition between the gorgeous pop melodies  and the twisted instrumentation is utterly gorgeous and something  most bands are too afraid to try so these guys get extra credit for bravery.

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

Live Dates:


15th November - Upstairs @ The Garage, London w/ The Limited + Island Of Sirens

Thursday, 13 November 2014

LOST DAWN - SINGLE REVIEW

Lost Dawn - Manchild (Easy Action) 
Lost Dawn - Manchild

Release Date: 17th November 2014

So there would seem to be a little bit of a scene forming in the Cornish town of Falmouth. For those that don't know it's about as far down as you can get and, although beautiful, can be a little, well, bleak at times when the sun leaves town. So it's massively encouraging that the locals are using their downtime productively by creating not just one band but a scene all of their own. Duo Lost Dawn are central to that scene and their new single 'Manchild' is, well, it's fucking awesome. A tentatively scratchy guitar introduction soon gives way to rattling, 70s inspired groove that echoes down the cobbled streets with a thirst for Soho girls. The drums pad and patter in the background keeping the whole thing moving and the vocals snarl loquaciously with a cheeky twinkle and a pocket full substances that sure as shit ain't fish food. Oh, and did I mention that it's 7 minutes long? Yeah, a 7 minute long song as a single with a false ending half way through steeped in psychedelic references from a small Cornish town. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-Dawn/120458527564

Live Dates:

All dates with The Red Cords + The Black Tambourines

26th November - The Cavern, Exeter
28th November - The Birdcage, Bristol
29th November - The Stags Head, London
4th December - Beerwolf, Falmouth
5th December - The Studio Bar, Penzance

6th December - The Speakeasy, Truro

Thursday, 6 November 2014

KASSASSIN STREET - SINGLE REVIEW

Kassassin Street - Centre Straight Atom 
Kassassin Street - Centre Straight Atom

Release Date: 10th November 2014

The gurgling, grinding, throbbing synthetic bass line that opens up the beast that is 'Centre Straight Atom' is one of those noises that stops you in your tracks, makes your ears prick up and, if you're anything like me, makes your balls tingle. Southsea's Kassassin Street have mastered the indie-pop genre through their euphoric beats, dark melodies and rock'n'roll superstar frontman - that's a given. What they have done which makes them that little bit more special, though, is embrace the work of LCD Soundsystem and Killers to create a more pounding, stadium sized sound that U2 have been searching for ever since they retired that giant Lemon. Given the right airplay this could be a smash single although there might need to be a punchier, slightly shorter radio edit for today's ADD generation.

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

Live Dates:


14th November - The Rifle Club, Portsmouth (SOLD OUT)

ESCAPISTS - SINGLE REVIEW

Escapists - Faraday Cage 
Escapists - Faraday Cage

Release Date: 24th November 2014

I seem to be on a bit of a London tip at the moment but, as the old football cliche goes, you can only review the team they put out in front of you. Or something. The quartet from the capitol are releasing their new single 'Faraday Cage' at the end of the month and it starts wonderfully like Dutch Uncles on a first date with the Magic Numbers. As guitars ripple and trickle over each other as the drums urge things forward and the time signatures bounce from one to another as if unsure on their favourite. The intricacies of the music are something to behold but on top of that you have a real grasp of song craft and the abilities write pop melodies that instantly hook in to you and lift your spirits. Well played, Escapists, well played indeed.

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

Live Dates:


12th November - The Garage, London w/High Hazels + Bwani Junction

DEDWARDIANS - SINGLE REVIEW

Dedwardians - Love Sick 
Dedwardians - Love Sick

Release Date: 24th November 2014

So, it would seem rock'n'roll is alive and kicking, somewhere in deepest, darkest London. Dedwardians, aside from having an awesome name, have got a gorgeous sound too but then what else did you expect? 'Love Sick' kicks in like a snake hipped, leather clad sleaze ball all Boss Hogg sexual aggression and Jim Jones Review sneer. The drums pound and the sounds wrung out of the guitar are a fine line between pleasure and pain but it's the spit spattered, whisky breathed vocals that really put the cherry on this cake. If you want to have a really fun night out then go see them live and make sure you get right down the front so you can get drenched in various bodily fluids.

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

Live Dates:


21st November - The Alley Cat, London

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

PINKSHINYULTRABLAST - SINGLE RVIEW

Pinkshinyultrablast - Umi (Club AC30) 
Pinkshinyultrablast - Umi

Release Date: 10th November 2014

I'm not sure I have ever reviewed a band from St. Petersburg but I'm all over multi-national musical influences and the beauty of the internet is that I can bring it to your door or, more usefully, your ears. Music is generally unappreciated by doors. The wonderfully named Pinkshinyultrablast are St. Petersburg folk ad their new single, 'Umi', is a strained, drawn out piece of dream-pop that builds like a sunset creeping over the horizon in the morning only to erupt in a blast of light made up of rolling drums, sliding guitars and a bass that rumbles persistently on in the background. This is music inspired by insular thoughts being released in to a wide open landscape to roam free and stretch their legs for the first time. Sublime stuff indeed and another reason for me to visit St. Petersburg someday. Oh, and this tune has one of the longest, most euphoric held note fade outs I've ever experienced or heard.

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


Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/club-ac30/pinkshinyultrablast-umi/s-gM8w6

DEPTFORD GOTH - SINGLE REVIEW

Deptford Goth - Two Hearts (37 Adventures / [PIAS]) 
Deptford Goth - Two Hearts

Release Date: 3rd November 2014

Contrary to popular belief, it is not all about that bass. No, it is, seemingly, all about talented solo artists using slightly obscure stage names and making stand out tracks that grab your attention. The latest in that line is London producer Deptford Goth (aka Daniel Woolhouse) and his new single 'Two Hearts' is a superbly understated piano based melody that could have been a Paul McCartney single if Paul McCartney ever got depressed when he was in a recording studio. The lush textures created by Woolhouse's layers of piano, rhythms and vocal harmonies are both enchanting and haunting but there's also a huge sound at the heart of this that, given the chance, will swell and consume all comers. It's up to you how close you want to stand.


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

SOAK - SINGLE REVIEW

Soak - B A noBody (Rough Trade) 
Soak - B A noBody

Release Date: 3rd November 2014

Northern Irish whippersnapper Soak (aka Bridie Monds-Watson) is one of those hot prospects you hear about but when you see them you can instantly tell that they don't care about the hype and the bullshit. Soak just wants to make music and somehow avoid a life of drudgery in a dead end job that will numb what is an obviously sharp mind. 'B A noBody' is a delicate, brittle, snowflake of a song with dancing acoustic notes, icy piano notes and Soak's voice weaving through the whole thing like a steel core but, somehow, always in the background. When the drums join in towards the end there's a swell of emotion and a stirring in the ether that is so elemental and well developed that it's hard believe she is still in her teenage years. Drudgery is not on the horizon for this girl, not on my watch.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Soak0fficial?fref=ts

Live Dates:

6th November - The Castle, Manchester
7th November - Christ Church, Derry

8th November - The Unitarian Church, Dublin

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

RONIKA - SINGLE REVIEW

Ronika - Marathon (RecordShop) 
Ronika - Marathon

I'm in danger of making myself sound a little old here but shouldn't this single be called Snickers by now? Long distance running and nutty chocolate bars aside, Nottingham chanteuse Ronika is ready to share her new single with you so listen up and listen good. 'Marathon' is a laid back, slinky, light disco number with some gorgeously squelchy 80s keyboards and the kind of beat of that Whitney would have danced oh so badly to. Ronika's voice is light, breathy and full of the kind of fun you feel when you first get with  someone new and all you want to do is hangout and be naked while you listen to happy music. Non-ironic, non-cynical and fuelled on sunshine and rainbows. Glorious.

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

Live Dates:


26th November - Ace Hotel, London

SPRINGTIME CARNIVORE - SINGLE REVIEW

Springtime Carnivore - Name On A Matchbook (Autumn Tone Records) 
Springtime Carnivore - Name On A Matchbook

There is a real sense that a number of artists are harking back to an era when Motown dictated the way pop songs were written and that is no bad thing in my book. Greta Morgan, aka LA songstress Springtime Carnivore, has a single for your enjoyment in the shape of 'Name On A Matchbook' and it's full of cheeky whistling, lush keys, a hip-dipping beat and a gorgeously bouncing bass line. But it's the smooth, sultry and lovelorn voice of Ms Morgan that really sells this as she blends Dusty Springfield with just enough of a modern pop approach to make it feel contemporary. Kick off your shoes, break out the dansette and let's have a boogie in the living room.

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


Live Dates:

12th November - Troubadour, Los Angeles w/Generationals
13th November - The Chapel, San Francisco w/Generationals
15th November - Crocodile, Seattle w/Generationals
16th November - Doug Fir Lounge, Portland w/Generationals

17th November - Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver w/Generationals 

FOREVER CULT - SINGLE REVIEW

Forever Cult - Yasmin/OceanOceanOcean (Clue Records) 
Forever Cult - Yasmin/OceanOceanOcean

Release Date: 3rd November 2014

Those clever types at Clue Records are releasing another cracker in the shape of the new single from Huddersfield lads Forever Cult. This double-A sider starts with 'Yasmin', a tune that ones with a desperate, breathless and guttural vocal scream, the kind only a man with a broken heart would come out with. The stabbing guitars and snappy drums are pure garage-punk but the low slung grunge bass and that strained vocal was conceived in Seattle. 'Ocean Ocean Ocean' is the other half of this release and it has a more Britpop feel with slouched guitars, floppy hair and some Swim Deep meets the Beach Boys style 'ooh oohs'. The mix of styles between indie, grunge, pop, punk and garage is a heady one but I think Forever Cult have just about mastered it so expect big things in 2015. Maybe even an album....

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

Live Dates:

9th November - Retro Bar, Manchester
21st November - Fibbers, York
23rd November - Gold Sounds Festival @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

29th November - The Wardrobe, Leeds

Monday, 3 November 2014

FLAT RUFUS - SINGLE REVIEW

Flat Rufus - Signs 
Flat Rufus - Signs (from Flat Rufus EP)

Release Date: 3rd November 2014

Flat Rufus is the new solo project from one half of eminent duo Milo's Planes and it comes ahead of an EP due out later this month. 'Signs' starts with a moody guitar track that is all US  grunge spirit and UK shoegaze technicality before the drums pad in from the shadows and the tune swells beautifully from the mists as dawn breaks over the city horizon. Distant vocals mingle like the voices in my head and the intensity increases with every wave like a Swim Deep remix of My Vitriol as listened to by a guy sat in a bean bag after some serious bong action. This is blissed out stuff for those that like their music meandering and introspective. I am one of those and I like this. Alot.

More information: https://flatrufus.bandcamp.com/releases


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhEdYQPAIz0 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

ARMISTICE PALS - SINGLE REVIEW

Armistice Pals - Where Have All The Flowers Gone? 
The Armistice Pals - Where Have All The Flowers Gone? 

Release Date: 9th November 2014

I grew up in a happy household surrounded by two things: history and music. For some reason, I shunned history and embraced music but as I got older I started to understand the importance of history and how it links with music at all times: particularly those times that are politically important. So I am delighted that the classic anti-war song, 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone?', has been reworked by a collection of folk artists to mark the 100th year since the First World War. This version features the talents of many including Attila The Stockbroker, Judy Dyble, Lucy Ward, Kelly Oliver and the original Peggy and Pete Seeger themselves. If you don't already know the song then this is as good a time to get involved as any - the emotion is still there and lumps in the throat are bountiful throughout. This recording is in support of a number of deserving charities to get on over to the website and give it your full support.


More information: http://www.armisticepals.com/ 

WILD SMILES - ALBUM REVIEW

Wild Smiles - Always Tomorrow (Sunday Best Recordings) 
Wild Smiles - Always Tomorrow

I've been waiting for this one for a little while so I'm hoping that it lives up to the promise of the singles that have been released this year.  The Winchester trio have been being hotly tipped in all corners of the music press and their refreshing brand of turbocharged indie-pop-rock with a wayward smile is just too good to pass up. 'Fool For You' gets things going nicely with Beach Boys meets punk fun before 'Never Wanted This' channels the more melodic moments of Nirvana's grunge with pop overtones. If you're not in love with these guys by now then you're not fully operational on the inside. Album title track, 'Always Tomorrow', is straight up garage rock'n'roll of the best kind while 'Everyone's The Same' has been touched by the hand of Phil Spector and walks in the footprints of Glasvegas but with a lighter tread. The break neck speed of next tune 'Hold On' makes the title sage advice as the guitars, drums and bass all rattle along only held together by vocals that are fraying at the edges with every sharp turn.

The joy of Wild Smiles is that their tunes are full of sunshine and fun but at the same time they would work as an opening act for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or Grinderman - a hard balance to strike. 'The Best Four Years', for example, is a melodic indie-pop romp but with such a big sound that suggests it is more serious than just your average throw away pop song. Then again, the speed of the garage punk riffs on 'The Gun' don't hang around for long and 'Figure It Out is even more high octane as tunes go. By the time you get to 'Girlfriend', the guitars have been turned up to scuzz level 11 and the drums are hitting faster and harder than a barrage of Bruce Lee fists. 'See You Again' has a slight Britpop jangle while closing track 'I'm Gone' is a thumping, distortion strewn rock behemoth that just about manages to hang on to a pop melody until the end like a rodeo clown with Kiss face paint. This album isn't going to win any artistic awards for innovation but for sheer fun and good times then these guys should be swimming in tiny trophies purchased from those shops that cut keys and fix shoes.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/WILD.SMILES.the.band?ref=ts&fref=ts

ELEPHANT MEMOIRS - EP REVIEW

Elephant Memoirs - Elephant Memoirs 
Elephant Memoirs - Elephant Memoirs EP

Gateshead trio Elephant Memoirs (see what they've done there?) released this EP back in August but it's new to me and I thought it was worth bringing to your attention. There's an elemental rawness to these songs which, mixed with vocals in a regional accent, has drawn me in like the proverbial moth. Opening track 'Dirt' is full of nervous energy and itchy behaviour with a throbbing bass line, snapping drums and jumpy guitars in the back ground. Up next is 'Aim For The Faith' and has a touch of the Maximo Parks about it what with the choppy guitars and breathless vocals intermingling perfectly.

'Herecules' is probably the weakest track on the album with some slightly dirgy guitars and vocals a little too high and flat in the mix but there's still a punky edge which keeps you listening. The EP closes with a Billy Bragg-esque tune of folky-punk origins, 'Champion of the Universe', that is one of the select few songs I've ever heard to contain the word wanker in the lyrics. Elephant Memoirs are not the finished article and they need a little more polishing but there is something here worth polishing so keep an eye on them and maybe stick a cheeky each-way bet on them to be making some ripples this time next year.

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

Live Dates:

8th November - Dog & Parrot, Newcastle
15th November - Club Sandy, South Shields

22nd November - Lord Clyde, Byker w/Pretty Livid Imps

NEW STREET ADVENTURE - ALBUM REVIEW

New Street Adventure - No Hard Feelings (Acid Jazz) 
New Street Adventure - No Hard Feelings

The press release for these guys says that their music is for fans of Curtis Mayfield, Arctic Monkeys, Style Council, Bobby Womack and Black Keys. Now, I like all of those artists but I'm super intrigued to find out what that combination of influences creates in terms of a cohesive sound. Super, super intrigued. The album starts with 'On Our Frontdoorstep' and initially there's a skanky, reggae vibe but with a UK indie feel to it which puts me, rightly or wrongly, in mind of Hard-Fi. 'Keep It Burning' is up next and has a light soul feeling to it with shuffling rhythms and a musical feel that Amy Winehouse would have encouraged. On 'A Little Alarmed' you get the first feel of that Curtis Mayfield influence which some blissed out and smooth guitars before a Style Council sense of frustration kicks in. 'Be Somebody' revisits that agitated, pissed off indie sensibility before 'Hunted' goes all Shaft and we're transported from the streets of South London to the alley ways of downtown New York.

At the half way point and I'm torn on this band. On the one hand, the sound is slick, well produced and has the kind of feel that you might expect of a big budget pop star. On the other hand, the band lacks the kind of edge that you would expect from a band inspired by artists like Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys. Title track 'No Hard Feelings' is back to the Hard-Fi meets Winehouse sound while 'Foolish Once More' has a more Michael Buble feel that conjures up images of tuxedos with loosened bowties and half drunk Martinis. On 'Foot In The Door' the London quartet manage to blend soul, funk and indie to create one of the sharper songs on the album before 'She's An Attraction' goes down something of an Olly Murs route which I'm not really in favour of. Recent single 'Lucky Lady' has a neat snap and crackle to it but you just get the feeling that these guys might have been Beverly Knight's backing band for a few years before deciding to try going it alone. It's not so much that they're bland but it's more that they don't really ever achieve the climax that you might hope for given their influences and pedigree of musicianship.

As we get towards the end of the collection, 'The Crunch' has a go at low-lit balladry while 'Say You're Lonely' takes things down another notch to just jazzy piano licks and rim-clicks in the corner of a hotel bar with only the drunks and barman left. Final track 'The Big A.C.' again walks that fine line between pop fodder and slick soul production with more insightful lyrics than the usual X-Factor chart botherer. I have to admit to being slightly disappointed in this album given the Acid Jazz endorsement and influences listed in their PR. That's not to say it's bad, the musicianship and songcraft is excellent, the album just doesn't quite hit the heights I had hoped for.

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

Live Dates:

4th November - 100 Club, London

21st December - The Jazz Cafe, London

WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS - ALBUM REVIEW

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling (FatCat Records) 
We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling

OK, OK, holding my hands up here. This one has been out for nearly a month already but I've been enjoying it way too much to actually stop and dissect it. And the Scottish indie-rockers have still got quite a few dates left on both sides of the pond so this is still relevant, right? Right. 'Safety In Numbers' gets things going with a gentle, rippling, Grandaddy-meets-Midlake keyboard riff before the pounding drums kick in to drive things along. 'Peaks And Troughs' is up next with a more urgent, itchy feeling that would fit in with the likes of Weezer or Interpol while 'I Keep It Composed' swaggers and rolls around like fine suit wearing lothario tipping strippers and winking at bar maids on his way to the 'back room'. This is all part of the charm and seductive appeal of We Were Promised Jetpacks which draws you in to their world before stealing your wallet on your way out.

'Peace Sign' is a syncopated, moody tune that exists on grey afternoons looking out at bleak landscapes while 'Night Terror' opens with a bass'n'drum groove followed by some gloriously 80s sounding guitars before exploding in to a Killers-with-more-attitude indie-pop-rock romp. On 'Disconnecting' there is a sense of dark, brooding malevolence of cinematic proportions that Tarantino would love to get his hands on for his next tale or murder and deceit. The organs and pop sensibilities of 'Bright Minds' shows the lighter side of the band with a slick bass line while 'A Part Of It' is prime British indie-rock with elements of Ash, Biffy Clyro and Reuben in their calmer, more melodic moments. As we approach the climax of the album, 'Moral Compass' turns up to continue with the dark mood as the guitars and bass battle with the crashing drums to create a seductively sinister atmosphere. The final pair of tracks, 'Peace Of Mind' and 'Ricochet', cement the bands quality and ability to create dark moods which should be used to soundtrack a stylish American drama like Gotham or Homeland. I genuinely think this is one of the stand out British albums of the year which, in November, is no mean feat. Like I said, I'm a little late to the party but then again, who wants to be the first ones at the party? Not I.

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

Live Dates:

2nd November - Wonder Ballroom, Portland
4th  November - Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco
5th November - Slo Brew, San Luis Obispo
7th November - The Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles
8th November - Irenic, San Diego
9th November - The Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix
11th November - The Mohawk, Austin
12th November - Trees, Dallas
13th November - Fitzgerald's, Houston
14th November - One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans
15th November - WorkPlay Theatre, Birmingham
16th November - Terminal West, Atlanta
18th November - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro
19th November - 930 Club, Washington
20th November - Paradise, Boston
21st November - Union Transfer, Philadelphia
22nd November - Webster Hall, New York
12th December - The Cluny, Newcastle

13th December - EMU, Glasgow

SUSAN MCKEOWN - ALBUM REVIEW

Susan McKeown - Belong (East River Music) 
Susan McKeown - Belong

Say what you like but in my head this album is the soundtrack to Irish immigrants arriving in the U.S. of A. and documenting their journey through the power of folk song. This might be naive on my part but Susan McKeown's cross Atlantic style straddles this experience beautifully. Kicking off with the gently sublime 'On The Bridge To Williamsburg' McKeown's voice mingles beautifully with that of Declan O'Rourke before 'The Cure' kicks things up a notch with a more lively melody based around some gorgeous guitar playing. 'Everything We Had Was Good' has already reached the top spot in the American Folk Chart and the country-folk duet with James Maddock deserves every accolade it receives for its understated beauty and honest sentiment. Title track 'Belong' is a Peggy Seeger-esque folk tale while 'Fallen Angel' is just a yodel away from being a track from the stage at the Grand Ole Opry in its heyday.  

McKeown's voice trembles and soars perfectly, showing tenderness, power and a sense of humour in equal measure which is a delight in a modern vocalist. On 'Lullaby Of Manhattan' the mood takes a turn for the dark as McKeown goes all Patti Smith singing over a mournful guitar riff and a doom-laden drum beat. Fortunately, our heroine has the ability to change the mood at the flick of a wrist as the tropically inspired 'City Of Roses' and optimistic 'Delph' can attest to. 'Patience' has a modern Country feel with a hint of the Indigo Girls about it while 'Our Texas' has a more traditional Country'n'Western feel to it. The album closes with 'No Jericho' which gives McKeown the chance for one last stretch of those impressive vocal chords from soft and sultry to soaring, powerful and intense. It's no surprise that this Irish songbird has already won a Grammy and with an album of original songs like this under her belt there are surely more awards to come.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/Susan.McKeown.Sings?fref=ts

DUB COLOSSUS - ALBUM REVIEW

Dub Colossus - Addis To Omega (Independent Records Limited) 
Dub Colossus - Addis To Omega

I've been saving this CD for a little while until I had a good long road trip to enjoy it and a recent jaunt from West to East provided the perfect opportunity. With the Autumn sun streaming in through the car window I popped this in to the stereo and immediately the journey got better. As Stonehenge rolled past on the horizon opening track 'Boom Ka Boom (And The Dub Disciples)' kicked in and the rhythms, ragga and darkly rich melodies give the air an entirely different flavour. 'Family Man' and 'The Casino Burning Down' are up next and continue the journey with dancing percussion, relaxed melodies and a sumptuous range of vocal styles. The punkish drum riff that opens 'We Are The Plaything Of The Rich And Famous' gives away its political leanings and the mix of The Specials meets Joe Strummer is there for all to hear. 'Fight Back' has a gorgeous groove (perfect for driving to) and title track  'Addis To Omega' is an immense tune that opens with the unlikely line "From Ethopia to Londinium" and cracks on with huge horns and eminently danceable vibes.  

If you're looking for some old school dub and reggae, though, look no further than the ultra laid back jam of 'Keep On Rocking' which meanders through the air like thick smoke on a summer afternoon - drifting over houses and taking its own path. 'Soft Power' is a piano lead piece of jazz infused reggae while 'Madmen' has a Latino swing to those horny horns and a Maxi Jazz approach to the vocals. As the cock crows to open up the Mexican inspired 'My Dad' you are firmly ensconced in the world of Dub Colossus and it's a mighty fine place to be. The instrumental delight of 'Tale of 2 Cities' soon bleeds in to 'Shape Of Things To Come', an atmospheric and late night jam that is infused with East African melodies and a gloriously diverse range of instrumentation. I don't know if these guys have appeared on 'Later...' yet but they the exact combination of musicianship, eclecticism and fun to make them prime candidates. The head bobbing joy of 'My Happy Face' and the dark, twisting drone of 'A Voice Has Power' should be enough to make Jools pay attention on their own. This 15 track mega album closes with an 8 minute opus by the name of 'Orpheus Underground' which features some gorgeous guitar melodies, flute and percussion to die for as the collective go all jazz on our asses. This is the kind of album you can just put on at any time and it is guaranteed to improve the situation. Driving? Better. Cooking? Better. Party? Better. Romancing? Better. God only knows how good they must be live....

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

Live Dates:

6th November - SESC Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo
7th November - Groove Pub - Uberlandia, Uberlandia
8th November - SESC Piracicaba, Sao Paulo
9th November - VISSS, Sao Paulo
20th November - La Machine du Moulin Rouge, Paris
21st November - Vooruit, Ghent

22nd November - Melkweg The Max, Amsterdam