Tuesday, 24 February 2015

ELLE EXXE - SINGLE REVIEW

Elle Exxe - Lie To Me 
Elle Exxe - Lie To Me

Release Date: Out Now

You know when a new pop singer comes along and you hear their big debut single and you know how the chorus is going to sound, lyrics and all, before you get to the second line of the first verse? Well that's not Elle Exxe. No, the hype around this Scottish pop pretender is entirely justified on the basis of this edgy, unpredictable and soulful single. 'Lie To Me' takes the attitude of Neneh Cherry and Shampoo and blends it with a soulful, electro infused tune that gets your joints jerking and your head popping. Before you know it, you're wondering how much Madonna or Lady Gaga would sacrifice to get their hands on a tune like this or to have as much vibrancy and energy as Elle Exxe. A strong start, stronger than any other pop debutants on the market right now.

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

Live Dates:


26th February - 229, London

GITTA DE RIDDER - EP REVIEW

Gitta De Ridder - Come Find Me EP 
Gitta De Ridder - Come Find Me

Release Date: Out Now

Dutch songstress Gitta De Ridder is back with a new EP from her London base and that is something you should be excited about. Opening track 'All My Mind' is a typical track for De Ridder with delicate guitars and sensuous strings underpinning her fragile but beautiful voice tinged with sadness and regret. 'Wished For Stars' picks the tempo up ever so slightly with some quirky, jerky percussion and acoustic notes rippling like fresh, clear water over smooth, white pebbles in the kind of idyllic stream you only find in films about middle England in medieval times. It is on the stunning 'Come Find Me' that De Ridder really finds her stride, however, as she creates a groove with hand claps, a simple riff and a tickle of bass guitar to allow her voice the space to dance around without a care in the world.

Gitta De Ridder's talent lies in creating moody, atmospheric melodies that could be dark, candlelit spaces but then lighting them up with her voice which is full of hope and quiet determination. 'One Thousand Fireflies' is a great example of this dual talent as a hypnotic riff and subtle percussion pale in to the shadows when that voice takes full flight. The closing track of this EP is 'This Is Now My Home' and if you can't identify with the wistful, almost mournful lyrical theme then you haven't lived enough. There are a whole raft of female singer-songwriters around at the moment so you have to do something special to stand out and what I like about Gitta De Ridder's approach to this challenge is that she has gone for quality and substance over style and bombast. Less, in this case, is most definitely more.

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

Listen/Download Here: https://gittaderidder.bandcamp.com/album/come-find-me-ep

Live Dates:

27th February - The Workshop, London
4th March - The Karamel Music Club, London

16th March - The Finsbury, London w/ Lucas & King

Monday, 23 February 2015

HORSE PARTY - SINGLE REVIEW

Horse Party - Out Of Sight/Receiver (R*E*P*E*A*T Records) 
Horse Party - Out Of Sight/Receiver

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

Horse Party were one of my favourite finds of 2014 and their debut album was a thing of beauty so I'm glad they're not wasting any time in 2015 with getting a new single out. The first of the two featured tracks from the Bury St Edmunds trio is 'Out Of Sight' kicks in with a nervous, twitchy riff before the brooding vocals of Ellie Langley slide in from stage left and the confidence of the track grows by the second. Somewhere between Queens Of The Stone Age, Juliette Lewis, the Knack and Suzi Quatro is where this track lives and, frankly, it's giving me the horn. The guitars slide and glide like a well old machine with steam escaping through the cymbal crashes as the intensity grows to a gorgeous climax. 'Receiver' is t'other track and there is a punkier, darker feel to the riff from the word go and the drums only serve to push things along at a tasty lick. Seymour Quigley is an unlikely rock star name but in the same way that the Young Knives are not the kind of guys you'd expect to sweat blood onstage (even though they do, through their tweed) Seymour's voice is dripping in rock'n'roll cool. Horse Party really are an absolutely astounding band who have a talent for songwriting and layering on some serious style. Time to get behind some serious talent people, you know what to do.

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

Live Dates:

27th February - Steamboat Tavern, Ipswich
27th March - The Garage, London
2nd May - Fringe Festival, Bury St Edmunds
15th May - Junction, Cambridge

13th June - Open, Norwich

COSMO SHELDRAKE - SINGLE REVIEW

Cosmo Sheldrake - Rich (Transgressive Records) 
Cosmo Sheldrake - Rich

Release Date: Out Now

The supremely talented London multi-instrumentalist Cosmo Sheldrake is back with his new single, 'Rich', and by now the world really ought to be paying more attention. So, y'know, shame on you world. Anyway, you have a chance for redemption with this new single so listen up and listen close. The crunch and crackle that forms the rhythm is soon joined by the 33 rpm played at 45 rpm vocals of guest singer Anndreyah Vargas and some dream like vocal harmonies. Then Sheldrake does what he does best in layering up a range of unexpected instrumentation like a mix of Gilbert, Lemon Jelly, Kimbra and Beck at his most explorative. Cosmo Sheldrake is a modern day genius in the musical sphere but he seems so unassuming that he'll probably never get the limelight but a career as an influential but reclusive super producer surely beckons.

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

Live Dates:

8th April - Nation Of Shopkeepers, Leeds
9th April - Start The Bus, Bristol
10th April - The Lexington, London
11th April - Green Door Store, Brighton
16th April - Rock School Barbey, Bordeaux w/ Kid Wise
18th April - FuzzYon, La Roche Sur Yon
19th April - Zenith, Lille w/The Prodigy
20th April - Blue Shell, Cologne
21st April - Milla, Munchen
22nd April - Cafe Kairo, Berne
23rd April - La Parenthese, Geneve
25th April - Paradiso (London Calling Festival), Amsterdam
15th May - Great Escape Festival, Brighton

4th July - Blissfields Festival, Winchester

JAMIE PORTER BAND - SINGLE REVIEW

Jamie Porter Band - Save Me 
Jamie Porter Band - Save Me

Release Date: Out Now

I don't feel like I've had enough music from Wales of late so it was pleasing to receive the music of North Welshman Jamie Porter and his assembled band. The new single 'Save Me' is a cold, grey day of a tune that hunches it's shoulders against the wind and goes for a long walk on a sand blasting beach in February. The rhythm is a little plodding and the chords aren't particularly inspiring but Porter has a rasping, powerful voice that is somewhere between Axl Rose and Kelly Jones which would breath personality in to most songs. All in all, I could live without having heard this song and the spoken word middle eight and sketchy guitar solo don't do much to improve that sentiment. Swing and a miss from Wales, then, but a promising talent in the voice department.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eX4wf2RLsM&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

20th June - Conwy VW Festival, Wales

27th June - Conwy Beer Festival, Wales 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

DAMN VANDALS - SINGLE REVIEW

Damn Vandals - Mad As Hell 
Damn Vandals - Mad As Hell

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

London lads Damn Vandals are back with another single by the name of 'Mad As Hell' and it's coming at you like a snarling, slobbering beast with blood shot eyes. A growling bass soon gives way to screeching guitars, brakeneck drums and a hollering vocal that is preaching from the devil's pulpit. As a social commentary on that Falling Down moment we all have on a weekly basis it's pretty spot on. You know the one. That moment when Jeremy Paxman is on Newsnight with Russell Brand debating the media saturation of Kim Kardashian and her improbable posterior. B-side (score) 'This Music Blows My Tiny Mind' is a more melodic approach but still has the hips of Jagger and the gurn of Iggy. The guitars chop like the Strokes while the drums drive ever forwards and a certain Franz Ferdinand swagger mixed with the sweat'n'testosterone of Jet. A long tour schedule and a bit of backing by some indie radio stations is all these guys need to break through I reckon. You can almost taste the cusp.

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


Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/damn-vandals/sets/mad-as-hell 

ZE GRAN ZEFT - SINGLE REVIEW

Ze Gran Zeft - Spaceman (Kallaghan Records) 
Ze Gran Zeft - Spaceman

Release Date: 25th February 2015

For anyone who doesn't remember the original version of 'Spaceman' by Babylon Zoo it was a one hit wonder by a geeky indie kid from the Midlands made famous by its use in a jeans advert. It had a fast bit that everyone liked because it sounded a bit like early Prodigy stuff and a slow bit that people weren't so bothered about. The album, unsurprisingly, bombed. So it's a little surprising that French indie rockers have chosen this as a cover to release ahead of their debut album. Interestingly, Ze Gran Zeft have managed to recreate the split personality of the song but have done it by making the verse in to a rap-rock experience that Linkin Park would be proud of while the chorus is a more meaty rock chorus that could easily have festival crowds moshing their left legs off during the summer. There's even a slightly histrionic guitar solo towards the end as the band thoroughly wig out and enjoy themselves. I was sceptical but have to admit these guys have had a lot of fun with this and you should too.

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

TORRE FLORIM - SINGLE REVIEW

Torre Florim - Firestarter 
Torre Florim (De Staat) - Firestarter

This is genius. Of all the songs to choose to record a lounge cover of, the Prodigy's smash hit 'Firestarter' wouldn't necessarily be at the top of most people's lists. However, Torre Florim of Dutch band De Staat decided to have a go and it is already one of my favourite songs of 2015. The dark, murderous tones of this Vegased up version of the dance classic are so rich and luxurious that all you can do is revel in them as if having a bath in treacle. Shuffling percussion, backwards guitars, a throbbing bass line and a sexy little melody all set the scene for Florim's deep, rich voice to sing out through a veil of bitterness from a heart full of emptiness. This gives the original song an entirely different meaning and that is where the true art of the cover version really lies. As I said, genius.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/destaat?fref=ts&rf=684638291570720


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPI3b9iPSN0&feature=youtu.be 

RANCHUS - SINGLE REVIEW

Ranchus - Cuz Of U 
Ranchus - Cuz Of U

Release Date: Out Now

I have a big map of the world where I like to tick off the countries from which I have had music submissions and I am now pleased to say that I can put a big, green tick on the Faroe Islands. Ranchus are a quartet from the small North Atlantic island and their new single, 'Cuz Of U', is not as exotic as you might expect but instead embraces Garage and Grunge influences with mumbled lyrics and a hypnotically circular guitar riff. Elements of Nirvana at their most shufflingly apologetic mix with influences like the Stooges, Swim Deep, Presidents of the United States of America and Fungus to create a timeless piece of gurning, grinding Grunge that is hard not to love for its bare faced simplicity and catchiness.


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

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

THE GOODBOOTH - SINGLE REVIEW

The Goodbooth - Sour 
The Goodbooth - Sour

Release Date: Out Now

There is something that will always give me a thrill about getting in on a band at the front door of the ground floor. The Goodbooth are a London band that are so fresh that they still have that new band smell and sense of wonder about the whole thing that is hard not to find adorable. So, this is their debut track (not even a single yet), 'Sour', and it starts like each ban member is working to a different time signature but then it all suddenly makes sense and clicks in to gear beautifully. Chiming guitars, layer upon layer of vocal harmonies and that sense of wonder I mentioned. Imagine Alt J and Everything Everything have a jam in the small hours of the morning when everyone else is asleep which ends up in them singing in the round in some sort of passive-aggressive indie-off. That's essentially what we're talking about and it's just lovely.


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

THE HOKUM - SINGLE REVIEW

The Hokum - Mind Over Matter 
The Hokum - Mind Over Matter

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

I do like words that don't get used often enough and hokum is one such word. Sheffield band The Hokum, then, are off to a flying start in my book so I hope new single 'Mind Over Matter' keeps the dream alive. Opening with a steady beat and a hint of cowbell, the choppy guitars and erratic bass line soon join in - I'm hooked. This is refreshing, stand out music with the vibe of Talking Heads, Flaming Lips or Devo running through its angular arrangements and jerky vocal delivery. There is also an element of the B52s, Squeeze and The The going on which, all in all, is just wonderful so I can't speak highly enough of these guys. I'm delighted that these guys are making such essential and refreshing while simultaneously being British - not an easy task these days it would seem.

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

Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/pluggin-baby/the-hokum-mind-over-matter-1

Live Dates:


13th March - The Red House, Sheffield

OVER - SINGLE REVIEW

Over - The Promise 
Over - The Promise

Release Date: 22nd February 2015

Italy is not a country I get an awful lot of music from but when I do it usually tends to be worth the trouble. Female fronted power pop-punk quintet Over hail from Modena in Italy and here's hoping their new single, 'The Promise', lives up to the normal Italian reliability. The song itself is a fairly run of the mill piece of alt-rock with some impassioned vocals from front woman Linda Battilani and the occasional growl from one of the tattooed, hairy band mates playing behind her. This is slick, well produced and tight stuff with a real sense of sincerity but there is very little to actually hook you in to the song or the band. Swing and miss, sadly.

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

Live Dates:


8th May - Knitting Factory Concert House, Spokane

VDR - SINGLE REVIEW

VDR - Kissing Booth 
VDR - Kissing Booth

Release Date: Out Now

VDR stands for Van De Rocker. The assumed nickname of Texas born LA resident Adrienne Van De Rocker. Still with me? Good. Now, Adrienne's new single goes by the name 'Kissing Booth' and, along with the video, it's a thigh high boot wearing, lip curling, surf-rock guitar playing delight of a tune that snakes in to your ears and your loins in an instant. VDR's vocals take in the likes of Debbie Harry and KT Tunstall but it is the layers of spooky, shadowy guitars that really sell this tune as something out of the ordinary and worth paying attention to. This is the kind of song that would meet you in a rundown bar, buy you a drink, listen to your problems, seduce you and then steal your car keys and wallet while you freshen up in the motel. Still totally worth it though.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2S5vTWDTPs 

GIRL FRIEND - SINGLE REVIEW

Girl Friend - Monte Carlo 
Girl Friend - Monte Carlo

Release Date: Out Now

It is a fact of the modern musical world that bands will take influence from bands from all down the ages and for the most part this is a very good thing. A lot of bands and artists will fish from the same pool of influences, however, Manchester trio Girl Friend are fishing in an a particularly 80s vibed pool that is bereft of many other rods. New single 'Monte Carlo' blends elements of modern dance like Delphic, Temposhark and Sophie Ellis-Bexter but then adds in the breeziness of sophisticated 80s pop from A-Ha to Japan and Duran Duran to Spandau Ballet. This is marvellously floaty, up-tempo and optimistic sounding stuff that is surely destined for a determined montage in a rom-com at the very least.

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

Live Dates:

21st February - Castle Hotel, Manchester
27th February - Olympia Theatre, Dublin
28th February - Olympia Theatre, Dublin
1st March - Mandela Hall, Belfast
2nd March - O2 Academy, Glasgow

13th April - Fibbers, York

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

LOST DAWN - SINGLE REVIEW

Lost Dawn - Count On Me (Easy Action) 
Lost Dawn - Count On Me

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

Kings of the Falmouth scene Lost Dawn are back with a new single ahead of their hotly anticipated (by me) debut album and it's an absolute belter. 'Count On Me' blends the raw stylings of White Stripes and The Black Keys with the pop sensibilities of Alabama Shakes and the much missed PJP band. Fuzzy guitars, ramshackle drums, grinding bass and vocals full of mid-west drawl all combine to make a sound that is as fun and infectious as it is sexy and super, super cool. Lost Dawn might be emerging from a remote fishing town in deepest darkest Cornwall  but they have more vision and energy in their music than most bands chasing the bright lights and city streets. Viva la difference, viva la rural revolution.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/UrzpmMPSzcE

Live Dates:


28th February - Shacklewell Arms, London w/The Wax Witches

DED RABBIT - SINGLE REVIEW

Ded Rabbit - Better On The Day 
Ded Rabbit - Better On The Day

Release Date: Out Now

Look at these guys. Could they look any more Scottish? And their names - Eugene, Fergus, Eoin and Donal. Great Scottish names. In fact, all four are brothers, Gaine being the surname, and hail from the mighty Edinburgh (or Eden Burg as the Yanks would say) under the collective title Ded Rabbit. Their new single, 'Better On The Day', is a punchy, jumpy number with twitchy guitars leaping out their skin at every beat of the drum only to be talked back down by the smooth bass line. Erratic vocals and a sense of 80s indie fun all blend with influences like the Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and the View to make a thoroughly appealing piece of indie pop with the spirit of Zed from Police Academy running through its core. Confused? Give it a listen and all will become clear.

NB Turns out these guys are actually Yorkshire lads that moved to Scotland but I stand by my earlier comments, they look damn Scottish.

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


Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/pluggin-baby/ded-rabbit-better-on-the-day-1 

Monday, 16 February 2015

NEVERISE - SINGLE REVIEW

Neverise - Everything You've Done 
Neverise - Everything You've Done

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

Neverise are a female fronted melodic rock band from Derby with a penchant for big tunes and some electronic bleeps. They also have some fancy merchandise including branded wooden iPhone covers. New single 'Everything You've Done' is not massively imaginative on the music side with rippling drum beats and chunky guitars doing the job they were employed to do throughout the song. What makes this song stand out from the swathe of other British rock bands around at the moment is the sweet'n'sour vocals of frontwoman Jessica Matthews who has the power to slay stadiums but the subtlety to tempt each member of the crowd back to her dressing room. Not the best song I'll hear this year but one of the most impressive voices I've heard on a rock song in a while so worth a listen for that if nothing else.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/Neveriseband?ref=ts&fref=ts 

GALLOWS GHOST - EP REVIEW

Gallows Ghost - Arrows EP 
Gallows Ghost - Arrows EP

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

Love at first hearing is a rare thing in any walk of life but this is one of those rare occasions. Gallows Ghost combine elements of Florence + The Machine, Alt J and Rudimental to create music that you want to move to but that also hits you in the thinks and the feels. This new EP from the London based collective (sometimes duo and sometimes full band) starts with the beautifully haunting 'Arrows' that seduces and tempts like a Shakespearean siren on the rocks of a dark and foreboding coast line in some distant land. 'Stealth' has a more jagged edge to it with frosted overtones as the show-stopping voice of Kate Young cuts through the early morning mist like the light of a lighthouse, calling you forth. The EP finishes up with 'The Void' and as the sultry vocal of "You hold me like an enemy" repeats atop beats and stabbing strings you can't help but feel the beauty and style of Gallows Ghost beaming through. There is class, intelligence and a primal feel that makes you want to move your whole body but, more importantly, there is also a really sophisticated tone to the melodies and song writing  that makes these guys top tips for some level of commercial success this year. Watch this space.

More information: http://gallowsghost.com/

Live Dates:


25th February - EP Launch @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, Hoxton Square

RECORD/START - SINGLE REVIEW

Record/Start - Rock From Afar/Followay (Post/Pop Records) 
Record/Start - Rock From Afar/Followay

Release Date: 20th February 2015

Brighton based singer-songwriter Record/Start, one part of Carlis Star, is here with a new double A-side single for your enjoyment so, y'know, enjoy it. The first of the two A-sides is 'Rock From Afar', a tune that is steeped in West Coast slacker punk rock influences from Weezer to Sebadoh and the Vandals to the Ataris. This is the kind of music that makes me want to drive nowhere in particular and just enjoy the ride as the guitars chug along with the engine and the drums pound giving the melodies the freedom to soar around accompanied by some impassioned singing. 'Followay' is the other A-side and continues the theme with the raw energy of Ash or Grass Show combined with the melodic approach of Teenage Fanclub or the Lemonheads. This is joyous stuff and should be heard bursting out of every new band tent at festivals up and down the country during the much anticipated British summer. Mine's a pint of cider, no ice...


More information: https://www.facebook.com/recordstart123?fref=ts

Thursday, 12 February 2015

ALICE & THE LOVERS - SINGLE REVIEW

Alice & The Lovers - Valentine 
Alice & The Lovers - Valentine

Release Date: Valentine's Day 2015

Well this is all rather fitting. East London all girl quartet Alice & The Lovers formed on Valentine's day 2013, they're releasing their debut single on Valentine's day 2015 and that single, you guessed it, is called 'Valentine'. Just to break the cycle, I'm reviewing this two days early, cos...y'know, I'm a renegade and shit. The breathy, heartbroken vocals of Alice creep out from the shadows at the corner of the stage and in to the spotlight to sprawl luxuriously across a grand piano. So far, so sultry. As the drums kick in there is a Suzanne Vega vibe with smoky tones drifting around the air with superbly smooth vocal harmonies. This is an understatedly cool affair and has a certain class about it that is hugely appealing in a world where body parts and sexual gyrating seem to come before the music for so many female artists. Let's hope they don't wait until Valentine's day 2016 to release any more music, eh?

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

Live Dates:


27th March - Proud Galleries, Camden

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

FAERGROUND ACCIDENTS - SINGLE REVIEW

Faerground Accidents - She Makes Me Want To Die (Louder Than War Records)
Faerground Accidents - She Makes Me Want To Die

Release Date: Out Now

I will always have a soft spot for Sheffield, a great city that has given so much to music and gave me three wonderful, if cold, years full of cheap booze, great mates and a gig every night or so it seemed. Faerground Accidents are the latest musical export from the Steel City and, in true form, they're a quintet with indie-pop at their heart. New single 'She Makes Me Want To Die' is riddled with British indie influences from the late 80s, through Britpop and in to the eve of the millennium. Intermittently choppy and jangly guitars, a growling bass line and perky drums all mingle like awkward outsiders at a Freshers' house party watching on in awe as the vocals of Bomar Faery stride through the kitchen with just the right mix of arrogance and charm. Sure, the Pulp reference is an easy one to draw but then you can hear so many other wonderful influences in there as well, from the Cure to My Life Story, that it doesn't really matter. Thanks for making me wistful for my ill spent youth Faerground Accidents. Now go and get me some chips wi scraps and plenty of Hendo's.

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

Watch The Video: http://www.faergroundaccidents.com/

Live Dates:

12th February - The Eagle, Salford w/Post
28th March - l'Aeroneuf, Lille

22nd May - Lexington, London

BLKMGK - SINGLE REVIEW

Blkmgk - You Don't Deserve Me feat. Amina Mine & Jayy Starr 
Blkmgk - You Don't Deserve Me

Release Date: Out Now

You have to feel sorry for vowels these days. They get left out of a lot of band names these days. Anyway, Swedish collaborative collective are, aside from being vowel haters, a lot of fun. New single 'You Don't Deserve Me' mixes Dub, Reggae, Bangra and some gorgeously 90s dance sounds with a couple of guest voices to create the kind of tune the Hoxton-ites will do their nut over. For once, however, the trend setters of East London might just have a point as this song has more edge than a Dungeons and Dragons die whilst having the sassiness and sex appeal of a Rhianna tune. So, one for the dance floor that it's OK to like, then. Perfect.


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

ANY O' - SINGLE REVIEW

Any O' - Vibrations (100 Songs) 
Any O' - Vibrations

Mysterious Swedish soloist Any O', aka Louise Frick Sveen, has a new single for your enjoyment out on the marvellous 100 Songs label. 'Vibrations' is a delicious slice of disjointed Scandinavian pop with a healthy dose of uplifting melodies and beats to mix with an undeniably uneasy feeling right at the back of the song. Way back, in the shadows. Maybe it's the video that's freaking me out (not a fan of masks) but something hidden deep inside this song is giving me the feeling that this is Robyn and Royksopp with Aphex Twin on production duties. Translate that in to a real life situation and it's the best night out clubbing you've ever had only to find that someone has taken your coat from the cloakroom and replaced it with a gimp mask and butterfly wings. Not necessarily bad but not exactly what you were expecting either. Intriguing, non?

More information: https://www.facebook.com/any.o.official


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422327029&x-yt-cl=84838260&v=p00nxwgQ5PY

Monday, 9 February 2015

KETO - SINGLE REVIEW

Keto - Change/Otherside (Denizen Recordings) 
Keto - Change/Otherside

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

This is the debut offering from Nottingham collective Keto and even without hearing a note, the artwork tells me that I'm going to like these folks. A-side 'Change' is a sultry, slow-beat of a song that does as much to seduce the senses as it does to put you on edge. Elements of Massive Attack, 12 Rounds, Portishead, the Noisettes and Moloko all mingle to make a sound that you could slow dance to but keep an eye on your dance partner - they might just have a dagger concealed about their person. The aptly named 'Otherside' is the B-side is a more directly dark affair as angular guitars mix with chilled out beats and Bond-esque strings to create a masterpiece of cinematic stature - far too impressive for a B-side. Critical acclaim surely awaits for this talented quartet but whether commercial success follows will be down to some careful and clever management of such a unique sound.

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

Live Dates:


26th February - The Elgin, London

DEUX FURIEUSES - SINGLE REVIEW

Deux Furieuses - The Party Of Shaitaan 
Duex Furieuses - The Party Of Shaitaan

Release Date: 23rd February 2015

The oh-so-welcome return of Ros and Vas, aka Deux Furieuses, is here in the shape of their new single, 'The Party Of Shaitaan'. Now, those of a nervous disposition may want to take a seat on something solid as this duo are not known for making polite entrances or holding back on either the power or the volume fronts. The opening strains of "Out With The Old" are soon blasted out of the water but hypnotic rhythms and guitars that, well, they just blow you away. Sure you can hear all the influences you expect here - Breeders, Veruca Salt, Hole, Throwing Muses - but there are other more complex tones here as well, from Queens Of The Stone Age and Royal Blood to Smashing Pumpkins and Henry Rollins. If you like your music passionate, to the point, politicised, informed and with a thoroughly empowered voice then Deux Furieuses are what you need in 2015.


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

BRONX CHEERLEADER - SINGLE REVIEW

Bronx Cheerleader - Mad Sam Is Dead (Yummy Recordings) 
Bronx Cheerleader - Mad Sam Is Dead

Release Date: Out Now

Before we dive in to this latest single from Ontario boys Bronx Cheerleader, I want us all to take a moment to appreciate their name and the wonderful imagery that it conjures up. There are so many bland or meaningless band names around at the moment that it's a wonderfully refreshing moment when a band comes along that makes you think of a gum chewing, sass mouthed broad in an inappropriately short skirt and pigtails. Anyhoooo, on to the music. 'Mad Sam Is Dead' starts off at the far end of a Willy Wonka tunnel of psychedelic chocolate sauce (not a euphemism) before hitting a gently swaggering stride propelled by a shuffling beat and a bass line that just wants to walk the walk. As the guitars swirl around the vocals seem to emerge from a large, shadowy chair in the corner of the room tempting you in to a situation that there is surely no way back from. Bronx Cheerleader exist in that space between late night and the early morning so whether you're still up or just starting the day, they're worth checking out.


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

Sunday, 8 February 2015

THE CARNATIONS - DEMO REVIEW

The Carnations - Demos 
The Carnations - Demos

London based lads The Carnations have been good enough to send me some of their early demos ahead of the recording of their debut single in March. There's a bit of a buzz building about the band on the streets of Camden town so I reckon it might be worth giving these demos a listen. The first of the three tracks is 'Way Out On My Own' and instantly you're transported to a dark go-go bar full of girls in tassled bikinis and knee high boots sitting on the laps of guys with huge moustaches and even bigger cowboy hats. The surf style guitars and melodic vocal harmonies all mix together to create the kind of hip shakingly addictive fun that caused a whole generation to invent the notion of free love.

On 'This Is Reality' the psychedelic vibes are turned up a notch as latter day Beatles and early Joplin are channelled via a 90s Britpop tune with Mersey-beat influences. Intrigued? You should be. The final of these demo tracks is 'We're All In Love' which, aside from a killer bass line, retains the Lennon influence but takes in more recent US touch points as well, such as Beck, the Lemonheads, the Dandy Warhols and Redd Kross. The buzz is certainly justified and, what's more, these guys know how to write an addictive pop tune with hooks all over the place which sets them apart from most of the bands trawling the streets of Camden at the moment. Big, big tips for 2015 I reckon.

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

Live Dates:

13th February - Charlie Wrights, Hoxton
21st February -Dublin Castle, Camden
23rd February - The Workshop, Old Street
6th March - Aces & Eights, Tufnell Park
12th March - Blues Kitchen, Camden

28th March - The Finsbury, Finsbury Park

ALEX GREGORY - EP REVIEW

Alex Gregory - Critical Perfection EP 
Alex Gregory - Critical Perfection EP

Release Date: Out Now

Through a musicians life, if she or he practices hard enough, they will develop new sounds and skills that will enhance their sound and style. You find it with drummers, guitarists, pianists and even bassists. In Alex Gregory, we have a young vocalist who is rapidly shifting through the gears of her particular instrument which, in this case, is her sumptuous voice. The five track EP opens with 'Only Time Will Tell' and from the outset you can hear the subtle but assured soulful tones in Gregory's voice as the simple acoustic riff builds in to a full blown band backing and a star emerges from the shadows to stand in the spotlight. On 'Pull Me Closer In' there is a more candlelit, intimate feel to proceedings that shows the confidence this singer has in her song writing to not have to blast you with volume or complex arrangements.

The mid-point and title track of this EP, 'Critical Perfection', is the stand out track on a superb EP as Gregory pulls on the heart strings with a sumptuous break-up song. The gently plucked guitar chords beautifully compliment our heroine's dulcet tones as she grows in confidence and power in line with the swell of the band behind her. Simply beautiful. 'Somewhere Else To Play' continues the theme of defiance with a more lively vibe infused with blues, jazz, soul and a real West Coast vibe that unleashes the sexiness that lies just under the surface of Gregory's voice. The EP closes down with 'Let You Go' and we find the singer in reflective mood as she closes another chapter and does her best to invoke an emotional response (FYI, she succeeds). Alex Gregory has a maturity about her song writing that, coupled with her sublime voice, should see her meeting with success and acclaim in 2015 so I'd get in on this now if I were you - then you can say you liked her all along when you're friends are just hearing about her on national radio. Don't say I didn't warn you...

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

Live Dates:


19th February - The Troubadour, London w/Nik Lowe + Moon + Henry Taylour