Wednesday, 27 May 2015

#459: Live At Leeds, Various Venues, Leeds

Festival Review: Live At Leeds, Various Venues, Leeds

This review was written by myself and Lee Hammond, originally for Louder Than War. Click the link above to read in full.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

#458: Chastity Belt - Time to Go Home

With their debut album No Regerts (intentional error), Seattle’s Chastity Belt established themselves as somewhat of a party band with a penchant for both irony and sarcasm in equal measure, which in turn is manifest in track titles such as Nip Slip and Pussy, Weed, Beer. The follow up to that record however, Time to Go Home, sees the band forgo the college irreverences whilst maintaining their sharp wit; this time employing it in order to draw attention to the universal experiences felt by young women globally.

#457: Catching Up With...Chastity Belt

Though their debut album was a record of upbeat party tracks and irreverent college humour, Chastity Belt’s second release is a more mature, even refined record that still retains the same biting wit as the debut, but this time channels it in to a satire of what it’s like to be a modern young woman.

Freshly following the record’s release, as well as the announcement of a UK tour, we caught up with Chastity Belt’s bassist, Annie Truscott.

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

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

#456: NEW BLOOD: Dialects (Artrocker)

Glasgow’s Dialects were formed as part of a strategy to backdoor it from a “really dire Christmas party” so it is perhaps of little surprise that the narrative of their debut EP LTKLTL (or Let the Kids Light the Laterns) is built around the idea of escape. What is surprising however, is that the escape itself is that of “a couple who travel from Utopia in another universe only to arrive in our world, young again and with the chance to have another life together”. Whether this escape is physical (them leaving Utopia) or emotional (them leaving behind their past lives) is purely subjective and down to the individual listener’s reading, something made all the more ambiguous by the wholly instrumental nature of LTKLTL.

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

Monday, 11 May 2015

#455: The Dead Ships - EP1 (EP review)

Should LA’s The Dead Ships have been around in the 1960s, we might expect them to be a little partial to a bit of the old heroin, such is their penchant for the heyday of NYC garage rock. Thankfully however, this is 2015, not 1965, and heroin has, in that time, become like so passée, and as a result it’s more than likely the band prefer craft beers and quinoa over any form of opiates.

This review was originally written for Artrocker. Click here to read in full.

#454: Hop Along - Painted Shut

Whilst the first few listens of Painted Shut show it to be an upbeat record of punk-inspired indie-pop, any more time spent with it than that, and the darker, more vulnerable narrative of the album becomes discernible. Almost as if singer Frances Quinlan’s gravelly vocals wear away at the frothy pop-rock veneer, before it shatters, allowing the wealth of self-doubt and anxiety to flow from within.

This review was originally written for Artrocker. Click here to read in full.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#453: 50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin'

Album Review: 50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003)

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

#452: The Smith Street Band / Gnarwolves, Gorilla, Manchester

Though overzealous is a word, more often than not, best used to describe Manchester’s venue security, tonight overwhelmed seems far more suitable. Looking to my left I catch the eye of Gorilla’s sole bouncer, a towering pillar of order and authority, he grins awkwardly and shrugs sheepishly. Another fan front-flips off the stage. There’s no barrier tonight, and as such security has been relegated to the fringes of the crowd, unable to do anything but look on half aghast, half amused at the heaving mass of flailing limbs in front of him. No barrier means no boundaries, something tonight’s crowd seems all too happy to take advantage of. This is chaos. This is punk. This is Gnarwolves. This isn’t even the headline band.

#451: Frenzal Rhomb, Sound Control, Manchester

My second serving of Australian punk in two days comes in the form of old hats Frenzal Rhomb (the previous evening spent sweating in the presence of the excellent Smith Street Band), as they took to a tiny stage at Manchester’s Sound Control. Arguably the worst venue in a city full of both fantastic and questionable performance spaces, it’s split between three rooms, boasting very little in the way of redeeming features between any of them. Apart from the bands to which they play host. Making the journey to our shores for the first time in almost eleven years, Frenzal Rhomb (“fatter and more haggard now”) draw a crowd larger than anticipated, and as we arrive with a belly full of overpriced craft beer, we’re forced to stand at the back with a surprisingly clear view, sans support beams and eager crowd-surfers.

#450: Introducing...Seattle Yacht Club

Whilst a recent influx in two-piece bands has seen journalists tenuously trying to coin a genre from their set-up, the fact remains that, more often than not, numbers is the only thing these acts have in common. Drenge, for example, are not easily confused with Slaves, whilst Nai Harvest and Royal Blood couldn’t be much further apart. Perhaps it’s just as well though, as we’re almost positive that should you be browsing the racking in your chosen music shop by genre and stumble upon the latest record from Southport’s Seattle Yacht Club, and buy it hoping it sounds like any of the aforementioned, you might be a little disappointed.

Friday, 1 May 2015

#449: Introducing...Dialects

That Glasgow’s Dialects should share a home-town with post-rock demigods Mogwai should come as little surprise to anyone who’s spent any time listening to the band. Bridging the gap between both math and post-rock, there’s both an intricate elegance and urgency within Dialect’s composition, something that’s really brought to the fore by the deft changes in time signatures throughout their latest offering Restless Earth.

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

#448: Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp

Album Review: Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp (2015)

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