Tuesday, 30 December 2014

#407: Githead - Waiting For A Sign

When Githead appeared in 2004, many doubted the band’s longevity. Mainly due to the the fact that their formation was part of their label’s ten year anniversary celebrations, but also down to the eclectic nature of the line-up, which features members of Wire, Scanner and Minimal Compact. Indeed, incorporating the influence and aesthetics of such a diverse handful of musicians might well yield something off-kilter and more experimental than most listeners could stomach, but the fact remains that, ten years on from their inception, Githead have managed to hone their sound to a razor, crafting nine tracks of sleek, slightly experimental, ambience on this their fourth LP.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

#406: Pinkshinyultrablast - Everything Else Matters

2014 has arguably been the best year for shoegaze in the last two decades. The reformation of bands such as Ride and Slowdive has proven the public still has a taste for “the scene that celebrates itself”, whilst the emerge of ‘nu-gaze’ has afforded bands such as Whirr a popularity they may not have enjoyed otherwise. What’s certain though, is that music is cyclical, and shoegaze, in whatever guise, is very much enjoying a revival.

#405: Catching Up With...Mick Ross (of Newcastle's Mono Records)

As music, in the wider scheme of things, becomes more and more commodified, the genuine musicians, those who convey emotions and artistic expression, often get overlooked in favour of a quick buck and sex appeal. As a direct result of this, however, there are labels that are interested in more than just the music, labels committed to sourcing artists that transcends the medium irrespective of genre or location. It’s labels like this which are the lifeblood of the UK indie scene, and I mean that in its purest sense, not the skinny jeans and trilby kind.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

#404: Catching Up With...Sean Grant and the Wolfgang

Music has always told stories, and whilst a lot of those stories reflect the personal experiences of the artists recounting them, there are those which tell the stories of the past, recounting timeless, historical events over personal emotion and experience. And it’s this kind of historical yarn-spinning which runs through the course of the latest EP from Sean Grant and the Wolfgang, ‘War Machines’. And whilst Grant’s last EP dealt with the situation of the working classes of the first half of the 20th century, ‘War Machines’ looks to the unsung heroes of the World War II, whose actions were pivotal in an allied victory. Not only that, but Grant delves in to both his family’s past, and his own subconsciousness on ‘Fairground Fighter’ and ‘Freedom of the World’ respectively. As such ‘War Machines is an intriguing insight in to both the singers personal family history, and the stories of those which made our present day what it is; not to mention the fact the release (almost) coincides with an especially poignant year of remembrance, making ‘War Machines’ both a timely and timeless release. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

#403: Catching Up With...Graveyard Tapes

There's a certain majesty upheld by White Rooms, the second record from Edinburgh's Graveyard Tapes, a not-so-quiet melancholy that pulses through the album's veins, providing listeners with a level of emotion made all the more prominent thanks to the carefully constructed soundscapes on which the lyrics are drabed. Indeed, the music itself is tantamount to the lyricism and often even goes further than the lyrics possibly could, tracks such as 'Exit Ghosts' for example, conveying the emotional tumult of grief and loss (the album's predominant themes) by means of off-kilter and even jarring instrumentation.

#402: Introducing...Ella on the Run

Maybe I'm the villain. Or is it you?' questions Ella on the Run, in the opening line of new single 'War of Words'. Obviously this is Ella addressing the two sides of a failing relationship, but with a vocal delivery that couldn't melt butter, we're hedging our bets that the villain in question probably isn't her. Throw in a sharp, yet understated, synth-pop backing and you've got yourself one of the sleekest and most intriguing pop releases of the year.

#401: Introducing...LYTTET

Encapsulating a somewhat trans-European identity, LYTTET, are a band for whom geographic boundaries mean little. Taking their name from a Scandinavian word, the pair, originally from County Kildare, now bounce their ideas back and forth across the English Channel, since producer Peadar Kearney relocated to Toulouse. A somewhat atypical production method this may be, but for LYTETT, it works, affording them the ability to craft soundscapes that feel both sparse and sonorous, luscious yet managing to uphold a foreboding feeling of isolation, offset only by the respective vocal tracks, which, in turn, bring almost tangible levels of emotion to delicate, yet otherwise desolate backing tracks.

#400: Introducing...The Jacques

In future when people try to tell me that guitar music is dead, I will point them in the direction of The Jacques debut EP. Not often enough do records, even from the most seasoned of musicians, jump out and fill you with the same kind of shit-yourself excitement that came over me when I first heard the Pretty DJ EP. Yes it's loose, yes it's scrappy, but that's the beauty of it. This is a record that's been recorded live and as a result of that, is filled with the infectious clamour and clatter of what I can only imagine a Jacques gig would encompass.

This feature was originally written for Shout4Music. Click here to read in full.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

#399: Introducing...Demob Happy

Known for their inventive and off kilter garage-rock as much as their anarchic live performances, adopted Brightonians Demob Happy have seemingly reached a new level of depravity with their most recent single 'Succubus'. All angular, discordant guitars, clattering percussion and a deranged vocal delivery, it comes off like Cursive suffering through a particularly nasty acid trip; the video an archaic, somewhat suitably hallucinogenic forray in to the collectively warped minds of Demob Happy.

#398: My Scene: Scottish Hip-Hop w/ Stanley Odd

Though the recent Yes campaign in Scotland might be a distant memory for many of us South of the border, once the film crews rolled out and the news coverage died down, the whole thing didn't just blow over. For the Scots, and in particular those who voted yes, it's still very much in the forefront of their minds; a more accountable country was a piss-width away. It was, however, taken away from them at the last hurdle, the taste of freedom replace with resentment. Once the film crews did roll out, so too did the platform for dissent, the voices of thousands sent packing to the message boards of the internet, instead of reaching the 6 O'Clock news. Or so they thought.

Scotland has obviously never been the hotbed for commercial hip-hop in the same way that the States has, and even when cities such as London or Manchester found themselves at the forefront of the UK grime scene, even still, Scotland was left out in the cold. Why? Conditions for inner-city youths there aren't automatically better than London, unemployment and youth crime are just as synonymous with Glasgow as they are Peckham. For whatever the reason, Scottish hip-hop hasn't ever been in the public eye, until now.

#397:Catching Up With...Morning Smoke

When Morning Smoke emerged from Brighton’s sea-mist a little under two years ago, they were two fresh faced teens with a penchant for noise and little apparent direction. That didn’t mean they were without potential however, and whilst their first release left plenty to be desired in terms of its production, it did manage to embed the band’s name in to the forefront of our mental jukebox and we’ve followed them ever since. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

#396: Introducing...Animal House

It hasn’t taken the band long to find their footing either, earning praise from the likes of Clash, DIY and NME for their debut single ‘Sour’; four minutes of clattering early ’00s garage pop that brings to mind The Strokes circa Is This It or early Kings of Leon.
Whilst you might not be familiar with the band yet, you will be soon. Animal House head out on their first UK tour this week, keeping the momentum going that’s allowed them to make a name for themselves in such a short space of time.
This feature was originally written for Louder Than War. Click here to read in full.

#395: Catching Up With...NARCS

Catching Up With...NARCS

This feature was originally written for Artrocker Magazine. Click the link above to read in full.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

#394: Frank Turner - The Third Three Years

Being a fan of Frank Turner is a hard job. With all his album and EP releases, the endless touring schedule, guest-appearances and all manners of other auditory wonders he bestows upon us, it really is difficult to keep track his latest endeavours. Then there are the times it’s really hard. The times you have three people trying to get tickets for his latest spit’n’sawdust toilet circuit tour to no avail, the times you ardently defend the man to his harshest critics even though you know, deep down, that some of the criticism is just. Then there’s times like this...

This review was originally written for God is In the TV Zine, Click here to read in full.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

#393: Joseph Coward - The World Famous Joseph Coward

Drawn to London at an early age, 22 year old Joseph Coward’s soul intention in life is “to be really honest”, an aspect of his persona that runs rampant throughout the course of his debut album, the ironically titled The World Famous Joseph Coward. Interestingly enough, whilst the record’s lyrical candour gives it an edge over its contemporaries, the fact that Coward isn’t afraid to make his influences be known detracts from the album slightly, taking with it some of the personality that would make it a truly accomplished debut.

#392: TV On the Radio - Seeds

Having never been acquainted with TV on the Radio until now, I went in to their fifth album Seeds with no assumptions or expectations. Obviously I’d heard of the band, but aside from knowing they were part of the New York art-rock scene, they remained a mystery to me. Going in to a review blind isn’t always the best possible approach either, but neither are preconceptions, so with a blank page in front of me, I pressed play.

This review was originally written for God is in the TV Zine. Click here to read in full.

#391: Superfood - Don't Say That

Birmingham, and in particular, Digbeth. You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. In fact, come to think of it, I might be confusing that with Mos Eisley Spaceport. If so I apologise, but whilst Mos Eisley is a diverse, albeit violent and seedy fictional locale, Digbeth, and indeed Birmingham is itself a culturally diverse city, whose rich heritage allowed a heady and somewhat tropical scene to formulate, perpetuated by the likes of Peace and Swim Deep.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

#390: Introducing...No Hot Ashes

Jaunty pop-rock with more than a hint of funk, Manchester’s No Hot Ashes release their debut single ‘Goose’.

The first thing that’s clear about young Manc upstarts No Hot Ashes, is their sound, and potentially their influences, belie their relatively young years, their fusion of funk and filth, sleaze and soul making for music that’s defies you not to dance. Indeed their debut single, a double A-side entitled ‘Goose’ / ‘Skank’ epitomises the band’s penchant for a groove wonderfully; the re-recorded, and if I’m not mistaken, slightly reworked, tracks offer a small insight in what it is exactly No Hot Ashes are capable of.

This review was originally written for Louder Than War. Click here to read in full.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Friday, 14 November 2014

#388: Jamie T - Manchester Academy - 07/11/14

“Still know you can call me whenever. I’m always round town, man I’ll be around forever,” declares Jamie Treays, otherwise known as Jamie T on ‘Rabbit Hole’. Whether this is an ironic nod to his recently-ended hiatus or an ambitious statement of intent matters not. What does matter, is that within the first five minutes of his set tonight, such ambitions are made believable and Manchester Academy, a somewhat soulless venue that often eats atmosphere as eagerly as its punters drink its beer, is transformed in to a sweaty, drunken soiree and perhaps the largest amicable meeting of Mancs and Scousers in recent memory.

#387: Chvrches - Manchester Academy - 06/11/14

Photo: Lee Hammond

This review was originally written for Muso's Guide. Click the link above to read in full.

Monday, 10 November 2014

#386: French for Rabbits - Spirits

Australasia might not enjoy a musical heritage as rich or as renowned as Europe or America, but the past couple of years has seen the trickle of bands from Australia and New Zealand become a steady stream, and one which shows little sign of drying up any time soon. And whilst the continent’s overarching musical legacy may be slight, folk music is imbued in the aforementioned countries respective cultural heritage; something which has found its way in to the very core of Wellington, NZ’s French for Rabbits.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Monday, 3 November 2014

#384: Introducing...GHXST

This feature was originally written for Shout4Music. Click the link above to read in full.

#383: Introducing...Pinkshinyultrablast

This feature was originally written for Shout4Music. Click the link above to read in full.

#382: Introducing...frontRegen

Whilst their name might leave a lot to be desired, frontRegen's sound does nothing of the sort. Forming six years ago in Vienna, the quartet has released a trio of EPs since their 2008 inception, culminating last month with 'Coming Home'. Whilst their sound hasn't changed too much in that space of time, it's clear that the band have become tighter, more refined and even somewhat more avant-garde.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

#381: My Scene: Israeli Punk w/ Zoo Harmonics

My Scene: Isreali Punk w/ Zoo Harmonics

This feature was originally written for Shout4Music. Click the link above to read in full.

#380: Catching Up With...Acre Tarn

Catching Up With...Acre Tarn

This feature was originally written for Artrocker. Click the link above to read in full.

#379: Joseph Coward - The World Famous Joseph Coward

Joseph Coward

The World Famous Joseph Coward

October 27 2014 (Stiffy Byng)


Born in Brentwood, Essex, Joseph Coward left both school and home in the space of a year, carving out an existence in London, attracted by the promise of a scene which never caught on. Now 22, Coward is on the cusp of releasing his debut album, the ironically egocentric 'The World Famous Joseph Coward'. “I have no interest in trying to be nice. My one interest in life is really being honest, that's the nature of my work as well”. And it shows.

Friday, 24 October 2014

#378: VEYU - VEYU (EP review)



November 3 2014 (Baltic)


It's as if these days, any band who's anyone has their own practice room / recording studio / installation space, from the Fat White's in London, to SWAYS Records' 'Bunker' in Salford. And the same can be said for Liverpool's VEYU, who procured their very own arts space, the fittingly named Fallout Factory. Fitting because the band recall mid-80s Manchester as much as they do the same era of their hometown; channelling the bands of Tony Wilson's now infamous label in equal parts to Liverpudlian heroes such as Echo and the Bunnymen.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

#376: Catching Up With...Skinny Roller (U&I Music Magazine - October Issue)

Catching Up With...Skinny Roller

Image: Philip Howe Photography

This interview was orignally ran for U&I Music Magazine. Click here to read in full.

#375: Catching Up With...Slaves

Two-piece bands are popping up everywhere at the moment, the likes of The Black Keys and Royal Blood seemingly making the format in to a genre in its own right. Fortunately for the Kent-formed, London-based Slaves they’re shattering any preconceptions of how a duo should sound, sharing more in common with Manchester’s Brown Brogues than either of the aforementioned.*

With a blistering repertoire of tracks behind them, Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent are managing to make a noise that would be impressive for even a full band. An acerbic vocal and blistering punk energy making for some of the snottiest garage rock around; the anarchic evisceration making it difficult to look away from.

New single ‘Hey‘ is no exception. Going straight for the juglar, the track is two-headed assault on the senses. Cataclysmic guitars wail along with the feedback they’re producing, encorporating it as if it were another instrument. Lyrically the track is a no holds barred stream of conciousness, “lacking in any direct message” but ultimately harbouring a violent psychosis that matches the danger of the music perfectly.

We caught up with the band just after the single’s release and asked them to tell us a bit about themselves.

*Interestingly enough, Brown Brogues have since added a bassist after hearing about two-piece being coined as a genre.

Hi guys, thanks for having a chat with us. First of all, who are you and how did you get together?

I’m Laurie. I am 21 a Capricorn and I play guitar in a rock boy group called slaves. The stars aligned and fate brought Isaac and I together very fortunately for us.

You’ve been described as a lot of things, noisy bastards being the most frequent. How would you describe Slaves’ sound?

Noisy gentlemen.

You’re new single ‘Hey’ is an anarchic, visceral affair. What’s it about, where did it come from?

It came from the sweatiest practice studio we have ever been in, a box about 10ft by 10ft wide and completely soundproofed with no ventilation. It could of come from our position trapped in there maybe.

Falling somewhere in between garage rock and hardcore, you’ve developed quite a punishing aesthetic. Who are some of your biggest influences? Do you associate more with garage rock or punk?

Baxter Dury, Mike Skinner, Damon Albarn and Eminem are all huge influences on both of us. We probably associate with neither genre that strongly but love bands and ideas from both. I feel defining your band by a genre instantly diminishes your potential audience. Why make it harder for your music to reach more people by calling yourself punk? That is also not very punk at all to call yourself punk. We don’t care for labels essentially, who needs them?

You’re supporting Jamie T. on his upcoming tour, what can we expect from your live shows and why should people make sure they get there early enough to see you?

We will probably ask you about your favourite biscuit or similar food types. It will be fun, we will have a right laugh basically. Who doesn’t want to enjoy themselves? That’s why they should come early enough.

Finally, any news or exclusives you’d like to give our audience?

I burst the blood vessels around my eyes for the second time in my life this morning. It was horrible. I’m not very good at being ill….I also got a really great kinder egg toy the other day and have attached a picture of it for the viewers. My girlfriend was a bit jealous I got a better toy than her. Leading all you readers to ponder on how shit kinder egg toys have got since we were kids….

Thank you for your time, my favourite biscuit at the moment is a foxes golden crunch cream.

Cheers guys.

#374: Two Weeks Running - Human Nature (EP review)

Two Weeks Running

Human Nature 

November 1 2014 (Martian Records)


Bolton will always be a town in the shadow of two things, Manchester, just ten miles southwest, and the portly waistline of perhaps its most famous export, Peter Kay. Fortunately for Two Weeks Running however, their sound is far sharper, angular and ultimately much more palatable than Kay's stand-up routines, proving that not all of Manchester's musical output emerges from the city centre. Having already found fans in the likes of Tom Robinson and XFM's John Kennedy, the band hit the ground, ahem, running, and haven't looked back since.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

#371: Introducing...Lovechilde

Brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Thomas Eliot Dodd and producer James Dashwood, Lovechilde are a genre-warping duo making post-punk at its most depraved and claustrophobic, whilst elements of motorik Krautrock, drone and tripped out electronica keep their sound from becoming too constricting. 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

#369: Catching Up With...Frank Turner

Frank Turner is a man that divides opinion. For many, he's this generations answer to Billy Bragg; a folk-punk icon that has never strayed far from his roots. For others he's a strayed further than they would have liked, moving away from the hardcore of Million Dead in to something less angry though no less impassioned.

#368: Little Arrow - Furious Finite

Album Review: Little Arrow - Furious Finite (2014)

This review was originally written for Shout4Music. Click the link above. to read in full.

#367: Turning Plates - The Shouting Cave

Album Review: Turning Plates - The Shouting Cave (2014)

This review was originally written for Shout4Music. Click the link above to read in full.

Friday, 10 October 2014

#366: Gorgon City - Sirens

Me and house music don’t get on. I’m too pale to wear a vest, too sensible to get an undercut and to be quite honest the thought of going to a club that plays it fills me with the kind dread experienced only on the few occasions I tried to navigate a student party whilst at uni. I even tried to see Disclosure at Leeds Festival, on the promise that they would be a highlight. Truth be told the crowd was horrible, the sound was horrible and no amount of intoxication would make me endure that again. Though this isn’t the fault of house music (or any of its more radio-friendly variations), you can’t blame a genre for the fact a vast majority of its fans fall somewhere between Jay from The Inbetweeners and Bernard Manning, and it’s for that reason that I went in to Gorgon City‘s debut with an open mind, if not somewhat low expectations.

#365: ETCHES - Ice Cream Dream Machine (single review)

Single Review: ETCHES - Ice Cream Dream Machine

This review was originally written for Shout4Music. Click the link above to read in full.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

#363: Catching Up With...ENSH

Catching Up With...ENSH

This feature was originally for Shout4Music. Click the link above to read in full

#362: Lupa-J - The Seed (EP review)

Lupa J

The Seed

September 18 2014 (Digital)


Having a background in more traditionalist or classical forms of music isn't really necessary in this day and age, especially when the loose and clattering garage rock of the likes of Royal Blood is viewed with the esteem it is. This matters not to Sydney's Lupa J however, who in 12 months has broken free of her orchestral chrysalis, spread her wings and emerged with a repertoire of icy, Grimes-inspired electronica; harbouring an inherent darkness which suggests a maturity beyond her years. Did we mention she was just 16?

Monday, 29 September 2014