Thursday, 30 April 2015

JOSH DST - SINGLE REVIEW

Josh Dst - Buzz (Baeble Music) 
Josh Dst - Buzz

Release Date: Out Now

Just to clarify, the Dst in this artist's name is pronounced 'dust' and, as Marjorie Dawes once said, 'I love a bit of dust'. Whatever you want to call him, Josh Dst's new single 'Buzz' is a real woozy, slow jam that is in equal parts sexy and heartbroken which is slightly unsettling but the beat and slow, smooth organ chords make this an altogether enticing experience. This is the music that soundtracks that strange, joyous euphoria you get from wallowing in your own despair following a tragic breakup - bittersweet but more addictive than crack laced cigarettes. Josh Dst has got the soul that R'n'B has been missing for so long so put on your sweat pants, open a bag of M&Ms and get your wallow on.

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


Watch The Video: http://www.baeblemusic.com/musicblog/4-21-2015/the-revitalizing-psychedelic-soul-of-josh-dst.html

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

BLACKSAGE - SINGLE REVIEW

Blacksage - Basement Vows (Friends Records) 
Blacksage - Basement Vows

Release Date: Out Now

It always seems strange reviewing artists when you find out that their home town or country is going through some strife. I remember reviewing some Ukrainian artists last year during the troubles and now we have Blacksage, a duo from the US city of Balitmore currently experiencing violent riots and curfews. It can make music reviewing seem a little pointless but if nothing else it's important to keep supporting those who are trying to make something of their lives. Anyway, preachy moment over. Blacksage's new single 'Basement Vows' is a strangely seductive but darkly electronic piece of alt-pop that takes elements of Goldfrapp, Ellie Goulding and some sort of disco Anna Calvi. Synths throb, the beats bounce and scatter while the vocals of Josephine Olivia dance around the periphery like an eccentric cousin at a wedding - beautiful but you know you can't approach her because, well, she's your cousin. Riots and slightly inappropriate analogies aside, this is a great single from a genuinely surprising and refreshing duo. All is right with the world again.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/blacksagemusic?_rdr

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

RYN - EP REVIEW

Ryn - Confide EP (Bright Redistribution Records) 
Ryn - Confide EP

Release Date: Out Now

Right, there's definitely something in the water in Exeter and I'm slightly surprised that the music industry hasn't picked up on it yet. What we have here is yet another extraordinarily talented female singer-songwriter from the capital of Devon in the shape of the intriguingly named Ryn. The first track on this EP is 'Familiar Mirror' (not the easiest two words to say together) and the immediate feeling that what we have here is a song that has been carefully and delicately crafted. The gentle guitar notes and quietly powerful voice of Ryn are like the morning sunshine streaming in through a dusty kitchen window to breathe life in to a once still and cold scene. 'Thick Skin' is another example of that song craft but with a more downbeat vibe as Ryn turns her voice to a more Jazzy, husky tone and you instantly want to wrap yourself up in the song and stare at the rain while you sip on a hot chocolate.

As 'Hope' begins the spindly piano melody and waltzing guitar strum transport you to a Parisian cafe where Ryn would be idly serenading passersby from behind a black coffee and dark glasses necessitated by a red wine hangover. This all too brief collection closes with the optimistic and spirited 'Strong' which has a more Joni Mitchell feel to it with a power of emotion that is rarely heard these days in music these days. Ryn's voice is utterly beautiful and versatile which is enough in its own right to keep me interested. However, what is truly wondrous about this artist is that she has the imagination and sheer guts to take on and conquer so many different styles within just one four track collection. Bravo, bravo indeed.

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

Live Dates:

16th May - Exeter Pride, Exeter w/Sound Of The Sirens + Those Random Skies

25th June - Angel Bar, Exeter

THE FRANKLYS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Franklys - Bad News (Electric Wood Records) 
The Franklys - Bad News

Release Date: Out Now

Multinational and, I assume, multilingual quartet The Franklys are back with a new single that you need to sit up straight and pay attention. Ready? Then I'll begin. 'Bad News' is a dirty, slinky, mischievous track that opens with a scuzzy riff bouncing off the walls of a dark underground club. Pitched somewhere between Lush at their most raw and the Long Blondes with more balls, The Franklys are a gutsy bunch of ladies with rock'n'roll at their heart and the scent of mischief in their nostrils. But wait, what's this? Two extra tracks for free? You spoil us. 'What You Said' is the first of two additional tracks and it has a Motown-Garage feel to begin with before launching in to something altogether more bone rattling - like Dusty Springfield fronting the Stooges in a dive bar in downtown Stockholm. The final track and my favourite of the bunch is 'Puppet', a song which will appeal to fans of the Hives or anyone who ever wanted Shampoo to grow out of the Japanese pop obsession and strap on a Fender. This is a band that are one lucky break away from hitting the mainstream in a big way but in the meantime they'll keep churning out ace songs like these and gigging everywhere and everywhen they can - the good, old fashioned way.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijhm8l10eLs&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

3rd May - Stortford Music Festival, Bishop's Stortford w/The Undertones
6th June - The Watershed, Wimbledon
19th June - Cult Cafe, Ipswich
20th June - The Bassment, Chelmsford
21st June - The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich
25th June - 60 Million Postcards, Bournemouth
26th June - Tiki Bar, Plymouth
27th June - The Cavern, Exeter
11th July - Tannerfest, Loddington
25th July - Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
29th July - Bannerman's Bar, Edinburgh
30th July - Nice'n'Sleazy, Glasgow
1st August - The Castle Hotel, Manchester
2nd August - Oporto, Leeds

2nd September - The Stillery, Camden

Sunday, 26 April 2015

MUSIQUE LE POP - SINGLE REVIEW

Musique Le Pop - Same About You (Cafe Superstar Recordings) 
Musique Le Pop - Same About You

Release Date: Out Now

Time for a little bit of Norwegian electronic indie now as we revisit trio Musique Le Pop and their new single, 'Same About You'. As far as singles go this one is pretty brave in that it takes a good 40 seconds before the atmospheric melodies develop in to anything but once that journey is underway there's no stopping them. Imagine St Etienne or Everything But The Girl with a Scandinavian edge and a sense of fun and you're getting close but it's the dreamy, half-light vocals of Elisabeth Thorsen that really sets this song aside as something a little bit special. There is also a remix of the single by the wonderfully named Safariari which makes the tune even more chilled out and blissful if that were humanly possible. Definitely an act worth keeping an eye on but maybe from a distance, they're based in Norway, after all, and I hear tell that it's pretty cold over there. Beautiful, but cold.


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

ELLEN SUNDBERG - SINGLE REVIEW

Ellen Sundberg - Vagen Ar Lang (The Road Is Long) (Rootsy Label) 
Ellen Sundberg - Vagen Ar Lang (The Road Is Long)

Release Date: Out Now

Swedish soloist Ellen Sundberg is releasing a new, bilingual single for your ears and your mind to wrap around.  'Vagen Ar Lang (The Road Is Long)' is warm blanket of countrified Americana smothered in lap steel guitar, the First Aid Kit-esque vocal stylings of Ms Sundberg and the kind of peppiness that you normally only get from teen pop starlets. The purity of this music is as refreshing as water straight from a mountain stream and whether that water is Swedish or American is kind of irrelevant - you just need to fully immerse yourself in it.

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

Listen Here: https://rootsy.bandcamp.com/track/v-gen-r-l-ng-the-road-is-long

Live Dates:

29th April - Immanuelskyrkan, Halmstad
30th April - Kajskjulet, Halmstad
2nd May - Mastis, Kristinehamn
5th May - Ole Bull, Bergen

9th May - Facienda, Strangnas 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

YOUTH MAN - EP REVIEW

Youth Man - Hill Of Knives EP 
Youth Man - Hill Of Knives

Release Date: 27th April 2015

Well this should be good. A Birmingham trio influenced by the like Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys and Black Flag but with a psyche tinge and the backing of some rock media heavyweights, you say? Don't mind if I do. The 'Hill Of Knives EP' opens with 'Skin' and immediately the trio hit their stride which is lucky as the song only lasts 77 seconds. The vocals of Kaila Whyte are uncompromising and visceral but oh so captivating as you visualise the tightly packed venues bouncing around in front of and on top of the band. 'Joy' is up next and is a little more considered with an art-house angularity to the jerky riff and Whyte's impassioned vocals performance.

On 'Always The Same' the crash and thrash of the drums takes centre stage before some Faith No More-esque guitars do battle once again with that vocal style. The exotically titled 'Auto-de-Fe' is as intense as intense gets with a US rock, At The Drive-In vibe which will have audiences either cowering in fear or worshiping at the foot of the stage depending on their mental fortitude. This EP closes on 'Dead Weight', a tune which is somewhere between PJ Harvey at her most angst ridden and Hole at their most balls out and rocking. Youth Man are the first band I've heard in a long time to have picked up the mantle from those bands that brought Grunge to the masses in the 90s and have reignited the flame of intention, wit and passion. Strong, strong stuff.

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

Live Dates:

14th May - Waterfront, Norwich w/Sleaford Mods
15th May - Basement, York
16th May - Stereo, Glasgow
20th May - The Musician, Leicester
21st May - The Railway, Winchester
27th May - Rock City Basement, Nottingham
28th May - Moles, Bath
29th May - The Leopard, Doncaster
30th May - Crauford Arms, Milton Keynes
4th June - Fruit, Hull
5th June - The Hop, Wakefield
6th June - Sugarmill, Stoke
10th June - Boilerroom, Guildford
11th June - Cavern, Exeter
12th June - Joiners, Southampton

13th June - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton

A BILLION LIONS - SINGLE REVIEW

A Billion Lions - Torquay (Hidden Trail Records) 
A Billion Lions - Torquay

Release Date: 27th April 2015

What's this then? A quartet from Bradford/Leeds named after a terrifying number of feline beasts with a song named after the English Riviera. That's what. New single 'Torquay' is the debut release from Northern lads A Billion Lions and it, well, it's agitated. The spoken word verses are itchy, jumpy, ranty and somewhere between Frank Turner and Liam Lynch with a nod to Henry Rollins if he was English and middles class. Then comes the chorus which is big, catchy, 90s influenced and tailor made to be sung back at the band in festival tents around the English countryside this year. I'm hooked. There is still more to come from this band but like city rivals NARCS and Allusondrugs I think there are big things to come for these boys so watch this space (literally, I'll let you know just as soon as any new material comes my way).

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


Watch The Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0XcYozJ_wc&feature=youtu.be

RAT FACE LEWEY - SINGLE REVIEW

Rat Face Lewey - Dead In The Ground 
Rat Face Lewey - Dead In The Ground

Release Date: Out Now

I have to be honest, I didn't expect much from this song - the band name is a bit ropey and the song title is a bit, well, finalistic isn't it? Nevertheless, Rat Face Lewey's new single will get as much consideration as any other artist I get sent so let's give 'Dead In The Ground' a spin. The first thing that hit me was how quickly I was transported to my late 90s/early 00s rock phase. Bands like Kerbdog, InMe, My Vitriol, Offspring and Smashing Pumpkins all spring to mind and I'm suddenly surrounded by Goths, Skaters, Grungers and Punks in sweaty rock clubs where cans of cider are pumped in to the air along with RFL's pounding beats and mosh pits sway to the hypnotically swirling riff churned out by frontman Jonny Down. I'm intrigued by this mysterious trio who have the power to transport me back to my younger days, what other magical powers do they possess I wonder....?

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZas_lntcn0 

DANI AUGUSTT - SINGLE REVIEW

Dani Augustt - I Really Like You 
Dani Augustt - I Really Like You

Release Date: Out Now

So here we have a young lady from Hoboken New Jersey who is currently residing in Palm Beach Florida and doing covers of Carly Rae Jepson songs. Now, if this sounds like pretty much 50% of the teenage girls you know then you're probably right but the difference here is that Dani has quite the following on that there social media. Dani's version 'I Really Like You' is as perky and autotuned as Jepson ever was with a video shot entirely in selfie mode without a shot of Tom Hanks in sight. Dani's press describes her as a teen pop starlett releasing popular covers of other people's songs and that's fine but I just don't understand the new trend for releasing a cover of a song that is still hanging around the charts without even giving it a serious reworking. I mean, I don't want to be harsh to the 17 year old singer but what's the point? Who is the market? Is this for people for who really, really, really, really, really, really like 'I Really Like You' but really, really, really, really, really, really, really don't like Carly Rae Jepson so can't cope with her singing the song? That's pretty niche if you ask me.

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


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RdZLTkUbl4

THE KUT - SINGLE REVIEW

The Kut - I Don't Need Therapy 
The Kut - I Don't Need Therapy

Release Date: Out Now

Ladies of London town, the Kut, have a new single coming ahead of a full EP and from the get-go you can tell this is going to be in your face stuff full of attitude. 'I Don't Need Therapy' kicks in without any introduction and guitars chime malevolently against the pile drive drums. This is melodic rock with an American tinge with the likes of Hole and Veruca Salt feeding through but also the British vibes of Lush or Feeder also creeping in around the edges. Vocal harmonies and a slick pop melody add a sweetness to the hard hitting rock and it leaves you with the undeniable contradiction that you would want this trio out with you on a night out but you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of them in a bar brawl. Feisty but slick stuff.


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

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

PUBLIC - SINGLE REVIEW

Public - Heartbeating 
Public - Heartbeating

Release Date: Out Now

Holding my hands up here, when I saw this picture of the trio Public I immediately assumed they were an East European boyband preparing to launch an attack on the Eurovision throne. Instead, what we have here is an indie-pop trio from Cincinnati with their new single 'Heartbeating' and it sits right on the borderline between fun and awful. Think Mika, the Feeling, Kylie, 80s guitars and 50s songwriting all rolled up in a sugar fuelled piece of super pumped pop. We're talking hand claps, impromptu pogoing and hoards of excited fans jumping screaming every word along with the band. I'm still undecided which side I fall down on but you can't help but be impressed by Public's energy, slickness and, well, peppiness. The only thing missing from this song is a bunch of cheerleaders with perma-smiles throwing a few 'woohoos' in during the chorus.

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


Listen Here: http://gmad.us/blog/2015/4/8/public-heartbeating 

ROXANNE DE BASTION - SINGLE REVIEW

Roxanne de Bastion - Rerun (Hidden Trail Records) 
Roxanne de Bastion - Rerun

Release Date: 28th April 2015

Sometimes you come across a voice or a sound that is so unique or show stopping that you can't help but stop whatever you're doing and give it your full attention. Roxanne de Bastion has one such voice. The Berlin raised but London living singer-songwriter has a new single coming out in the form of 'Rerun' that is lush and sparse in equal measure. De Bastion's beautifully pure voice puts me in mind of Sarah Blackwood or Sarah Cracknell and this single gives that vocal talent the space to breathe, soar and snake it's way in to your affections. Augmented beautifully by subtle piano, smooth strings and sparse beats, de Bastion's voice shines through like a beacon in the fog making this a darkly perfect pop song.

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

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

Live Dates:


28th April - Single Launch @ The Old Queens Head, London w/Pat Dam Smyth

DIRTY WHITE FEVER - SINGLE REVIEW

Dirty White Fever - 7.83hz (Goodbye Weirdo Records) 
Dirty White Fever - 7.83hz

Release Date: 7th May 2015

Brighton duo Dirty White Fever have a great name. I'm just putting that out there straight away. That doesn't guarantee the music will be good but it gives me a reason to give a shit so that's a start. Thankfully, new single '7.83hz' is worth giving a shit about as the scuzz blues'n'roll is powerful, swaggering and frenetic in all the best ways. Somewhere in the landscape of duos you will find Dirty White Fever standing between the Black Keys, Royal Blood, Failure Machine, Moriaty and the White Stripes but with a punkier edge and a real break-neck edge to things that feels like you're careering through the Vegas streets at 90mph on a Saturday night in a convertible. The b-side to this single, 'Hip Hop (live)', is an absolute beast. Spoken word rantings are blasted out of the air by the heavily distorted guitar, rattling drums and the rolling, spitting rap that comes firing at you from every direction. Sure, it's a rough cut and the sound quality is what you would expect from a live recording but oh my word the energy, the power and the raw sex appeal is unavoidable and, frankly, why would you want to.

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

Live Dates:

30th April - Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
1st May - The Washington, Sheffield
2nd May - Milos, Leeds
3rd May - Zombie Hut, Corby
6th May - Single Launch Party @ Sticky Mikes, Brighton
8th May - Hastings, Carlisle
10th May - Single Launch Party @ Shacklewell Arms, London

13th May - Alternative Escape @ Hope & Ruin, Brighton

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

LOST DAWN - ALBUM REVIEW

Lost Dawn - Last Dawn (Easy Action Records) 
Lost Dawn - Lost Dawn

Release Date: Out Now

When I started this blog back in 2012 there were two intentions: one was to write about any and every piece of music that came my way and the other was to shine some focus on the talent that lies in the nooks and crannies of South West of England, an area often ignored by the mainstream music world. With Falmouth trio Lost Dawn I am able to satisfy both of those intentions with glee so settle in and let's go for a journey that starts in a fishing town in the depths of Cornwall that is a melting pot for an artistic community.

This debut album opens with 'Song For Robert' and it's a strong start. Louis XIV swagger mixed with the tongue curling attitude of T-Rex comes swirling out of the speakers through distorted guitars and some seriously flared trousers. 'Breaking Bad' is more of a desert morning garage rock piece with chugging guitars giving way to a slinky little riff and the strained vocals of the wonderfully named Stanley Duke. On the glorious 'Wasting My Time' the snake-hipped style of the trio starts to shine through and, despite the rough production quality, the song writing starts to really hit its stride. By the time we reach 'Talk About It', Lost Dawn have hit peak freak out with a Hunter S Thompson flavour running through the jangly, Gomez guitars and shuffling rhythms. 'Count On Me' is an absolute delight with a sea of cymbals crashing on the rocks of a circular guitar riff leaving you no choice but to get yourself shipwrecked along with the rest of us, tempted by the siren song of the chorus.

Lost Dawn - Are you ready?
What I love so dearly about Lost Dawn is that they are serious about their rock'n'roll but equally serious about having fun with it which is so sorely lacking in most bands these days. Even on the lackadaisical 'Darkest Night', you can feel the hours of jamming and rehearsal in dark, grotty rooms come shining through like a light on the horizon. 'The Fall' is far more groove based and the choppy guitars and rolling bass evoke images of hazy clubs in LA frequented by men in huge fur coats and women in, well, not very much at all. And this album just keeps on giving in terms of freshness and creativity as the tabla rhythms and chug of 'Manchild' are met with the semi-coherent mutterings of Duke channelling Bolan like a trooper.  

The hypnotically tribal drumming of Benjamin Woods opens 'Four' and Duke is soon at it again, singing down a tube of stoned hysteria  like Syd Barrett jamming with Black Sabbath. As the album approaches its tantric climax, 'Colussus' strides in to view with a couple of bottles of champagne and some much stronger substances secreted about its person. And then there's 'Kennedy'. An album of this magnitude needs to finish on an epic tune and the ten minute closer is everything you could possible want in an album closer. Think Arcade Fire, the Flaming Lips, Sgt Pepper era Beatles and Elbow all rolled in to a slow burning, sitar infused tune that essentially encapsulates the breaking of day when you've been up all night creating, writing, imagining and generally getting the most out of life. Lost Dawn draw from the past, sure, but what they do with those influences and reference points is so utterly clean, pure and refreshing that it really doesn't matter. I'm pinning this to the mast right now, this is my album of the year so far. There, I said it.

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

Live Dates:


27th April - The Joker, Brighton w/Kit Wharton

Sunday, 19 April 2015

GENTIAN - SINGLE REVIEW

Gentian - Night Light 
Gentian - Night Light

Release Date: Out Now

Gentian are a pair of sisters from Devon who are inexplicably named Jingle and DD. Parents can be cruel when it comes to names, I should know, but this seems to be a particularly extreme case of child cruelty. No matter, the sisters have risen above this slight from their parents and dressed up as extras from the 'Addicted To Love' video. to get their own back. On this new single, 'Night Light', the twin vocal harmonies twist and turn around a delicate acoustic and piano melody with subtle but powerful effect. There is a folkish tinge to the music but also a dark, almost Scandinavian edge to the melodies and subdued vocals that put you in mind of First Aid Kit at their darkest. As the strings seep in to the song you can imagine this track having a video filmed in a foggy enclave with druids and Nick Cave directing with a macabre smirk on his face. I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by the maturity, intricacy and intelligence of this track regardless of the dubious names and costume choices.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/GentianGentian1 

TURRENTINE JONES - SINGLE REVIEW

Turrentine Jones - Moonlight Is On Yer Side (Rough Trade) 
Turrentine Jones - Moonlight Is On Yer Side

Release Date: 20th April 2015

Without even hearing a note of this Mancunian trio I have a strong suspicion that I'm going to like them quite a lot and my gut reactions are usually pretty spot on when it comes to music so I'm putting my reputation on the line here. The band's new single, 'Moon Is On Yer Side', centres around the glorious interplay between the guitar of Julian Neville and the organ of Thomas Scotson all driven along by the sticksmanship of Rich Watts. And yes, I do love it. There's a sexy, sultry, 60s vibe going on here that makes you want to don a corduroy suit and enter an exclusive Soho club via a pair of heavy velvet curtains. These guys know how to make their instruments sing and work beautifully together to create a sound that is wonderfully authentic but equally fresh. There's more to come but this is a great place to start.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNAkxyd_6RM&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

22nd May - Dot To Dot Festival, Manchester

BLONDE MAZE - SINGLE REVIEW

Blonde Maze - Summer Rain 
Blonde Maze - Summer Rain

Release Date: Out Now

There's always been a strange, unshakable link between the cities of New York and London that has run through the core of most genres. New York electronica producer Blonde Maze (Amanda to her dry cleaner) has written a collection of material bridging the physical and cultural gap between the two metropolises (not metropoli, I totally checked). 'Summer Rain' is one of the tunes from this collection and there is a whole EP to follow. The woozy, stuttering start catches you off guard but soon a sultry, dusky groove settles in with soft vocals that put me in mind of early Morcheeba, Boards of Canada or Sneaker Pimps tracks in a very good way. This is real  come-down music that should be listened to while watching the city lights come on while you sit high up in a glass walled apartment. As the song chimes to a close, you can't help but be relaxed by the four and a half minutes of bliss you have just experienced - whichever side of the Atlantic you are on.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/blondemaze?_rdr 

MANY THINGS - SINGLE REVIEW

Many things - Holy Fire 
Many Things - Holy Fire

Release Date: 20th April 2015

I like to think that the story behind this band's name is purely to enable them to respond to any snooty music snobs who ask "who are you then?" with the enigmatic response " we are Many Things.....". That might not be true but let's just imagine it is, shall we? This new single from the London trio is, well, it's absolutely gorgeous. Full of 80s pomposity, 90s indie cool and a 21st century approach to genre melding, 'Holy Fire' has the feeling of a modern classic about it. Michael Tomlinson's deep, rich vocal slathers the looped piano and guitar refrain like syrup pooling in the square dimples of a freshly toasted waffle and it's all I can do to stop myself from taking a big, sumptuous chomp. the video is bonkers but matches the ambition of the song perfectly. If there is any justice in the music world then these guys will have a long and fruitful future in the vein of the Arcade Fire or the Flaming Lips. I can but hope.

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

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kij4Z6fXeFo&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:


20th April - Single Launch @ The Lexington, London

KOSOTI - SINGLE REVIEW

Kosoti - Gone Too Far 
Kosoti - Gone Too Far

Release Date: 27th April 2015

The Northeast seems to be going through a bit of a purple patch at the moment in terms of spewing out new talent and Newcastle's Kosoti are another band on that production line. New single 'Gone Too Far' is a classic driving song with steady acoustic strumming and the kind of gravelly vocals that will have car loads of travellers singing along at the top of their lungs. There are elements of Del Amitri, Deacon Blue, a bit of the Mumford banjo and the kind of production quality you get on the solo project of a recently departed boy band member, but it works. Ironically, I really wanted to like Kosoti's last single but couldn't quite get along with it but this time I want to dislike it but it just gets under your skin. Well played Kosoti, you've won me over and, I suspect, you'll be winning over a lot of other people this summer.

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

Live Dates:

28th April - The Central Bar, Gateshead w/The Awakening
19th May - The Cluny 2, Newcastle w/Laka Malawi
27th June - Northumberland Live Festival, Blyth w/Toploader + Dr & The Medics + The Christians

12th July - Mouth of the Tyne Festival, Tynemouth w/Martha & The Vandellas + The Christians + James Taylor Quartet + Ben Ottewell + Olivia Devine

ALICE TESSEREAUX - EP REVIEW

Alice Tessereaux - Nothing Lasts Forever 
Alice Tessereaux - Nothing Lasts Forever

Release Date: Out Now

Here's a new EP from Anglo-Franco singer-songwriter Alice Tessereaux coming straight out of that there London town. The 'Nothing Lasts Forever' EP opens with the title track and an eery, Muse-esque piano line and Tessereaux's breathy vocal giving an undeniably French feel to proceedings. As the song progresses, the vocals become increasingly Kate Bush influenced and the haunting piano line tries to keep up in the distance until supported by some lovely syncopated drums and string sweeps. 'Cried Eyes' is up next and is a more muted affair that is all about the break up and wears it's heart on its sleeve although Tessereaux's voice stays consistently in the upper end of the register which gets a little grating after a while. The final track on the EP is 'Million On Me', a light, poppy number tinged with sadness but again the insistence of Tessereaux to stay almost exclusively at the top end of the register has me tuning out of the song before it's finished. Tessereaux has a talent, that's undeniable, but to make the leap up to the next level I'd like to hear her step out of her comfort zone and stretch that voice with a little more power behind it.

More information: http://www.alicetessereaux.org/

Live Dates:

12th May - Dead or Alive presents @ The Workshop, Old Street, London

Friday, 17 April 2015

BOMBAY HARAMBEE - SINGLE REVIEW

Bombay Harambee - Dotted Line
Bombay Harambee - Dotted Line 

Release Date: Out Now

This is just one track from the new 7" EP from Little Rock, AR, quartet Bombay Harambee but it gives you a pretty clear indication of their intentions. 'Dotted Line' opens with a bouncy but louche guitar riff and ramshackle drums that clatter and shatter all over the place. Placed somewhere between Midlake, the Stooges and the Fall, these guys know their way around a slice of distortion and fun riffs that make you want to pogo around and bounce off your best buddies until you're not sure which sweat is yours and which belongs to the guy next to you. Or is that spit? It's hard to tell. Still, it's hella fun.


More information: www.facebook.com/BombayHarambee 

NETSUKE - SINGLE REVIEW

Netsuke - Heliotrope (Illustrated Records) 
Netsuke - Heliotrope

Release Date: Out Now

Three Australians with a Japanese band name rock up in London to start kicking out some tunes. No, not the start of a racially dubious joke but rather the short version of the back story behind Netsuke and their new single 'Heliotrope'. Freya, Elias and Danny are the three Aussies behind Netsuke and their take on music flourishes in the form of 'Heliotrope' as squelchy, crunchy electro melodies bounce along trying to catch the soaring vocals harmonies. There are bits of Bentley Rhythm Ace, Lemon Jelly, The Cooper Temple Clause, Gilbert and St Etienne in this tune but also a whole host of other influences that all combine to make a truly wondrous and uplifting sound that comprises a hundred robot hearts and the energy of 1000 twitchy pixies.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/ilovenetsuke?fref=nf 

DARK COUNTY - SINGLE REVIEW

Dark County - Say To You 
Dark County - Say To You

Release Date: 19th April 2015

London city trio Dark County are back with a new single and I hope, for your sake, that you're wearing protection. From the first crackle of the guitar, 'Say To You' is a sleazy, easy rocking, loose loving piece of rock'n'roll that is hell bent on partying with the Black Keys, Jon Spencer, the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Violent Soho and Louis XIV. The guitars are scuzzy, the drums relentless and the vocals are soaked in high percentage alcohol, leaving on the fine line between incoherent and passionate. There's even a snarling guitar solo ending to the song just to finish you off in style with a wink and a lick of the lips. It's only rock'n'roll but boy do I like it!?!


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

Thursday, 16 April 2015

TOKEN JOKER - SINGLE REVIEW

Token Joker - Ride The Train 
Token Joker - Ride The Train

Release Date: Out Now

I have to admit to seeing the name of this band around the pages of the Westcountry music press and assuming they were a God awful covers band trotting out Oasis covers and bad versions of Guns'n'Roses songs. I was wrong. In fact, the Dawlish sextet (in every sense of the word) are in fact a snarling, throbbing, crotch grabbing rock'n'roll beast hell bent on causing havoc. 'Ride The Train' is not the finished article by any stretch of the imagination but the guitars are powerful, the drums thump and the bass drives it all along in the way you would expect from a rock'n'roll band. Add in the powerful vocals of Leon Walsh and you're looking at the full package which comes to fruition with the Black Keys-esque 'woohoos' in the chorus on top of the power riffs. Some better lyrics, some nice organ and maybe draft in some female backing vocals for the studio and these guys could combine their raw rock power with a more soulful sound to make something really energetic and sweat inducing. I don't use the phrase often but definitely ones to watch.

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

Live Dates:

18th April - Bridgwater
30th May - Cavern, Exeter
26th June - Bridgwater

11th July - Glasdenbury

COQUIN MIGALE - SINGLE REVIEW

Coquin Migale - Gold (End Of The Trail Records) 
Coquin Magale - Gold

Release Date: 20th April 2015

Four lads, from Newcastle, making indie guitar pop. Nothing exceptional there but then it all gets a little bit interesting. You see, the world and it's wife are falling over themselves to get a piece of these lads and, well, that just doesn't happen anymore. So, what is all the fuss about then? Well, new single 'Gold' is a bouncy, hectic piece of art-pop that flails around the air like a drunk and entirely self absorbed lone dancer at an indie disco. "Apologies, Dutch Uncles, I stepped on your toes", "Ooops, sorry Maccabees, didn't mean to spill your pint", "Oh, Futureheads, wicked. Glad you're here" and "Where are my best pals Kobadelta and Bernaccia?". In all seriousness, this is a delightful piece of indie noise that is perfectly balanced between a light airiness and the weight of expectation that surely sits on the shoulders of the band. Big things look likely for these guys and maybe, just maybe, we're getting back to a world where craft and originality are floating to the surface again.

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

Live Dates:

18th April - The Cluny, Newcastle
20th April - Single launch @ The Head Of Steam, Newcastle
1st May - Think Tank, Newcastle

23rd May - Evolution Emerging @ The Cluny, Newcastle

FLAMINGO BAY - SINGLE REVIEW

Flamingo Bay - Killer Flamingo Bay 
Flamingo Bay - Killer Flamingo Bay

Release Date: Out Now

Time for a little slacker grunge pop? Oh go on then. Flamingo Bay hail from Hamilton and their sleazy, lazy riffs are the perfect soundtrack to a video that might be titled confessions of a pizza delivery boy....but it isn't. The band's latest single, 'Killer Flamingo Bay', is a heady mix of the Lemonheads, Silverchair and the Dirty Nil as the scuzzy guitars and loose drums provide a comfy bed for the drawled vocals to lie down and take a nap on. These guys will throw killer after show parties and will be a blast to hang out with on the tour bus, that's for sure, but don't ever, ever lend them any money. It's just a feeling I get. Great single though.

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

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

Live Dates:

24th April - This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton

3rd July - Bovine Sex Club, Toronto

MAIIANS - SINGLE REVIEW

Maiians - Sionara 
Maiians - Sioanara

Release Date: 20th April 2015

I like these guys for two reasons before I've even heard a note. Firstly, they have two drummers and any band with two drummers is OK in my book. Secondly, the have two 'i's in their name and I love a word with a double 'i' in it. Like skiing. Or radii. Anyway, I digress, these Oxford boys have a new single about to drop, as the kids say, and it's a bit of a beauty. 'Sionara' is a meaty slice of electronica  that starts with a woozy, ethereal chord and a subtle, clicky beat that builds with the layering up of synth sounds and some more organic percussion. This is a six minute single so it's no surprise that the track takes a while to fully kick in but you can imagine the tension building in a live environment until the hook drops on two minutes and the beat starts to stomp. 'Sionara' is one of those songs that builds and builds like a mix between some supreme Stoner Rock, Radiohead in full wig-out mode and Lemon Jelly on the buttons all playing a huge tent at Glastonbury as the sunset creeps in through the tarp. This is seriously glorious stuff, life affirming sounds and a righteous crescendo but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is only the tip of the iceberg where the iceberg represents the live show. So, to sum up: Skiing, two drummers, awesome tune, iceberg. Done.

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

Live Dates:

17th April - The Bullingdon, Oxford
18th April - Are You Listening? Festival, Reading

21st April - The Lexington, London

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

VAN DAMMES - EP REVIEW

Van Dammes - Better Than Sex EP (VILD Recordings) 
Van Dammes - Better Than Sex

Release Date: Out Now

Garage-Punk coming straight outta Helsinki having been originally formed in Brussels, anyone? Oh you better say yes! Van Dammes are a bunch of Finnish boys who know how to have fun with six strings and a bunch of tubs to thump. The opening track of this new EP, 'Vesna', is a shouty, thrashy, distorted tour de force of a garage tune with a sweet melody running through the middle and a bass line that seems to be the bastard child of a distorted bass guitar and a really cheap, early synth sound. 'At The Drive In' is more Ramones than, y'know, At The Drive-In - all one minute and sixteen seconds of its sweaty, sneering existence. Sounding like something between Fungus and Liam Lynch, 'Frank Tower' is up next and blasts through the airwaves like an uncontrollable juggernaut covered in leather, grease and cigarette smoke. Final track 'I Don't Know' is a piece of punk infused defiance with that fantastic bass sound making a welcome return for our aural delight. This EP is titled better than sex and it's pretty damn good but I think that might be a bit of a stretch - it's probably slightly quicker than sex though which is worrying in a whole lot of ways....


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

Monday, 13 April 2015

VIOLENT FEMMES - SINGLE REVIEW

Violent Femmes - Love Love Love Love Love 
Violent Femmes - Love Love Love Love Love

Release Date: 18th April 2015

Violent Femmes were one of those bands that formed the soundtrack of my teenage years with a smattering of songs but I confess I never really delved in to their full catalogue of work so I'm glad to have the opportunity to scratch a little deeper below the surface of this near legendary band. The repetitively titled 'Love Love Love Love Love' (that's Love x 5 in case your counting is not so hot) opens without any fanfare or introduction but a moody, dramatic acoustic chord and those charismatic vocals that we all know and love. Some chunky horns and a shuffling, Latino beat give this tune a real From Dusk Till Dawn vibe but with a There's Something About Mary sense of dry humour. This is the band's first new material in 15 years and they have managed to maintain their style as well as a sound that fits in with the lo-fi indie vibes that are getting so much air time at the moment. Oh, and it all finishes off with a sultry saxophone solo that snake-hipped bossa nova groove. Welcome back, gentlemen, we missed you.

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

Live Dates:

22nd May - Summer Camp Music Festival, Chillicothe
5th June - The LC Pavilion, Columbus

+ on tour with Barenaked Ladies pretty much all summer in the USA

Sunday, 12 April 2015

SUGARMEN - SINGLE REVIEW

Sugarmen - Dirt (Poor Old Soul Records) 
Sugarmen - Dirt

Release Date: 13th June 2015

How about this for a musical CV then: Mick Jones produces your new single, Paul Weller invites you for a string of support slots on tour and Blur have you as one of their support acts on their Hyde Park bill in the summer. Not bad for starters, eh? Liverpool lads Sugarmen trade in a lip curled, dead-eyed garage-punk style of indie that buzzes and fizzes in all the right places. New single 'Dirt' is a direct cousin of the Ramones and grew up with Catfish & The Bottlemen kicking cans around the backstreets in beaten up Converse trainers. The strangled guitars, thudding drums and chugging bass all set things up nicely for a vocal delivery that has that Liverpool gang spirit but a downtown Brooklyn attitude and a sense of, well, a sense of 'fuck you' about them. Even without the connections mentioned at the beginning of this review I'd be predicting very big things for these lads as the sheer arrogance and self-assuredness of this two and a half minute slice of gloriousness demands greatness. Nay, it expects it.

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

Live Dates:

22nd - 24th May - Dot to Dot Festival

20th June - Supporting Blur @ Hyde Park Festival, London

BLAIR DUNLOP - SINGLE REVIEW

Blair Dunlop - Fifty Shades Of Blue (Rooksmere Records) 
Blair Dunlop - Fifty Shades of Blue

Release Date: 13th April 2015

Well this seems topical. Or a weird twist of fate that will either help or hinder this young British folk artist in his quest for acclaim and recognition. Blair Dunlop's new single 'Fifty Shades of Blue' has, as far as I know, got absolutely no connection to the similarly titled semi-erotic bondage novels that have seemingly aroused a nation of bored women but who am I to judge where inspiration springs from? The song itself has a melancholy, almost country inspired opening that takes parts of Damien Rice and I Am Kloot, mushes them together and brushes them off with a smooth veneer. Dunlop's voice is quietly assured and he strikes me as the kind of guy who would melt hearts and win friends without much effort but nor would he gloat about such powers of persuasion. A gentle but firm talent, then, and one that has some distance left to run.

More information: http://blairdunlop.com/

Live Dates:

15th April - The Chapel Sessions @ Royal Victoria Country Park, Southampton
18th April - Bush Hall, London
19th April - Village Hall, Marnhull
22nd April - The Deaf Institute, Manchester
23rd April - The Caves, Edinburgh
25th April - Fibbers, York
28th April - The Engine Shed, Lincoln
29th April - The Glee Club, Birmingham
30th April - The Glee Club, Nottingham
1st May - Colston Hall, Bristol
2nd May - Buxton Opera House, Buxton
14th May - Kirk Langley Village Hall, Derbyshire
15th May - Alrewas Arts, Staffordshire
16th May - Wormshill Village Hall, Derbyshire
24th May - The Convent, South Woodford

29th May - The Stables, Milton Keynes

JUNIORS - EP REVIEW

Juniors - Barcelona (Robot Needs Home) 
Juniors - Barcelona EP

Release Date: 20th April 2015

So, it's been a little while since I've written anything up on the blog and the main reason for that was a much needed break in the stunning city of Barcelona. Imagine my delight, then, on sifting through an overflowing inbox to find a fresh, new EP under the title 'Barcelona'!? It must have been written in the stars. The EP comes courtesy of Leicester quartet Juniors and kicks off with the uplifting and aspirational 'Elusion'. Chiming guitars, scatter-gun beats and a man-of-the-people vocal approach create a sound that is somewhere between indie pretenders and boy band slickness. 'We Swim' is up next with a more Maccabees meets Bombay Bicycle Club sound but still those layers of guitars, rhythms and vocal harmonies stack up to create a tower of impressive guitar-pop proportions. On 'Declare & Surrender', the Leicester lads take things up a level, however, with a definite Dutch Uncles influence which is always going to be a good thing in my book. The final track is a radio edit of 'We Swim' which loses the band half a point - I mean really, what's the point? - but all in all this is a cracking EP full of inventiveness, ideas, energy, positivity and vast, vast landscapes. The perfect tonic for the post holiday blues.

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

Live Dates:


3rd May - Handmade Festival, Leicester