Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Single Review : Turbowolf - Ancient Snakes

Any band calling themselves Turbowolf have a lot to live up to - it’s certainly a name that pulls no punches. Much like say, Raging Speedhorn, it’s the kind of moniker that pigeonholes a group before they’ve even picked up an instrument.

Yet by some lucky coincidences, it turns out that Bristol based Turbowolf are indeed exactly what you might suspect: an unremitting sonic onslaught of electric death. Or close enough. Their single ‘Ancient Snakes’ is a claustrophobic, blistering, intense ball of punk rock with screeching vocals and coarse production. This just-under-three-minute-storm of craziness positively bursts with energy from beginning to end. It may as well be the posterboy for rocking out as the band do it perfectly. It’s loud, fast, and most of all it’s fun.

Fading in with feedback, the song leaps straight into a humping stoner-esk riff that manages to sound twenty times heavier than it should. Vocals screech, drums clatter and bass pounds, and not much changes for 180 seconds; there’s no drop in intensity, no let up for the listener. You’re either in or you’re out.

Turbowolf sound like Wolfmother’s mental cousin or Zeke’s off the rails twin brother, they’re exhausting just to listen to but at the same time create a total buzz for the listener. The more cynical might question how original this band are, which is a fair question, but punk rock has never been about originality, it’s about heart. And Turbowolf have it in spades. Just don’t forget your earplugs if you’re near the front.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

New Music : Shambles Miller

Folk music can go one of two ways with me. I either find it totally self indulgent and inanely boring, or it can be something which makes me sit up, take notice, and bust out that dusty guitar in the corner of my room. Thankfully for Shambles Miller, and my ears, his music falls into the latter category.

Shambles Miller (aka Campbell Miller) who describes himself as a "folky music shambler man from Glasgow", recently released his debut EP titled "Shambles Vs The Dragon Wizard". The four track record begins with "Pssst!" which for me is the weakest track on the album. Unfortunately one of my least favourite instruments is used - the harmonica, which just makes me think of smelly homeless men dancing round burning oil drums. Not that I'm suggesting Miller is homeless smelly drunk man, i'm sure he smells great...urrrr I think I'd better move on!

From the weakest track to the strongest track, "Robots" demonstrates a real maturity not only from a song writing perspective but also from the arrangement and tempo used. You can really sense the passion through Millers voice, the Scottish accent seems perfect for pulling at those heart strings. The final two songs "Nothing Unfolding" and "My Best Friend Is An Outsider" suggest a darker side to his work, with the tone becoming bleaker through both the delivery of the vocals as well as the content.

This is an impressive EP which shows plenty of promise, however whether Shambles Miller can crack a saturated Folk scene remains to be seen.

You can buy the EP over at big cartel or check out his myspace or check out his blog.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

New Music : Gejius

It's been a while since we last heard from Gejius, a producer from Portland, Oregon who is currently working out of Tokyo, Japan. So it was with much anticipation when we discovered he has recently released his third album titled "The Last 46:08 Minutes Of Your Life".

If you like your electronic music to be experimental and pushing several boundaries all at once, then Gejius is your man. He seems to effortlessly transform between styles, whether that's hip hop, break beat, disco, indie-pop, whatever this guy will put it in the pot and churn out some real interesting tunes.

My favourite track from the album is "Take This, Lie Down, and Become Anew" which has a really chilled out almost drum and bass like beat, over which Gejius chops down some weird and wonderful samples with some floating vocals. It's music that you can get really lost listening to, which sometimes can be a really beautiful thing.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

EP Review : Last Tide - The Broken Places

Late last year we discovered Nate Frey, a solo artist with a healthy appetite for folk rock hailing from Washington DC in America. Well since we last caught up with Nate in our interview, he has since gone on to form a band called Last Tide, who have recently recorded their debut EP "The Broken Places".

The record begins with "A Traitor In My Mind", which eases you in gently for the first 30 seconds before the band launch into a tirade of high energy shoe gaze rock. Special mentions must go to drummer Misha Alexander who must have arms of steel for the constant and brutal bashing he performs on this track.

Probably my favourite track on this EP is "Shapeshifter" which demonstrates the diversity this band have in their locker. The tempo is switched up entirely from the opening track and we are also introduced to Libby Dorot. As well as playing some interesting synths Libby takes on vocal duties for this track which works really well, combining her soft delicate voice with the slow but dark atmospheric music behind her.

Final track "Shadows In The Rain" is a remarkable piece of music. Lasting over 8 and half minutes in length, it gives the band a real opportunity to explore their ideas and in particular for Frey to display his clear talents. Nate has an interesting voice which somehow makes me think of monks and medieval abbeys, such is the ambience he gives off. This track has a dark and heavy melodic feel to it, and you can't help but get drawn in, especially near the end when there is some excellent guitar soloing going on.

Make sure you show Last Tide some love over at their myspace and keep an eye on them for future releases and tour dates.

Friday, 18 September 2009

New Music : King Cannibal

King Cannibal (moniker for Dylan Richards) drops his album "Let The Night Roar" through Ninja Tune Records on 12th October. One listen to this exclusive mini mix of the album will surely convince you, as it has me, that this fella has created one of the darkest journeys of a grimey dubstep album this year has seen. It's not even all about dub, there's jungle and drum and bass all thrown into the mix too. The fact that the album title is taken from a quote from Jim Jones (he of the Jonestown Massacre) just shows you how deep and ugly this album is. Hell the record has even been touted for next years Mercurys, that's how vital it will be. Check this out!!

Monday, 14 September 2009

New Music : Tom Staar - The Console EP

Our favourite Electronic label, Moda Music, have recently released details on their forthcoming new release from Tom Staar and his EP "The Console". Here's the spiel...

"Deep within the solar system, past the rocky contours of the moon & beyond the fizzing gases of Jupiter, a lone space traveller named Tom Staar searches for his long lost colony of intergalactic compadres.

Not knowing if he is the last of his kind means his search is never ending & his methods of communication unauthordox. It's a long time since he's seen another member of his species, but one thing he still remembers is how much they liked to dance! So in a bid to make contact, Tom likes to send interstellar messages... in the form of songs!

Luckily for you, the clever people at Moda Music intercepted his signals and have been in contact with him for sometime. As well as helping develop the mighty Moda, Tom has now gathered 4 of his favourite creations on a rather epic EP.

Combining a quasar of sounds, with retro synths, a sprinkling of stardust & even his own vocals, means that Tom Staar makes music that is truly his own.

So prepare yourself for the second installment from what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting new labels of 2009 - Moda Music!

The EP is out on Sept 21st from Beatport and iTunes!"

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

New Music : Father Abraham / George Lenton / Apteka / teenagersintokyo

I'm always on the look out for fresh hip hop, so it was a delight to check out the sounds of Boston based producer and rapper, Father Abraham. This particular tune is taken from his latest LP "I Am Not A Sailor I Am The Captain" which is out now. What i'm feeling with his tracks is that although the beat is heavy, his vocals maintain chilled out and in total control. Father Abraham Myspace

We were just thinking the other day that one of our fav new dubstep producers, Mr George Lenton, has been a little quiet of late. But after hearing his new track and discovering he's broken his collar bone we'll let him off. "Troll" has one of the sickest basslines i've heard this year, and fits perfectly around the vocals cut from the film "Network", which topically is all about the recession. Expect big things! George Lenton Myspace

Based out of Chicago, Apteka are one of the most exciting rock bands i've discovered so far this year. This track "Traitors" instantly oozes coolness and attitude, with big chugging guitars and frenetic distortion, intertwinned with melodic yet edgy vocals. This is music you can imagine would really set off a venue particularly with a suitable lighting, creating an intense atmospheric environment. Apteka Myspace

We've long been fans of Australian upstarts teenagersintokyo since we played their track "Very Vampyr" back in February of last year on a podcast. Since then they've toured with the likes of The Gossip, CSS, and Damn Arms, as well as releasing their critically acclaimed self titled EP. Next year see's the release of their debut album which is being producer by David Kosten (Bat For Lashes), and the first single is "Isabella" is out October 5th. It's a dark affair which is far detached from the energetic punkpop offered on the EP, but it's certainly an interesting direction. teenagersintokyo Myspace

Friday, 4 September 2009

Single Review : Dreaming In Stereo - Steal This Song

There are currently two bands called Dreaming in Stereo that exist. One is a tacky, emo-by-numbers band from Chicago and thank God the other is this lot, who have just realised 2 minutes and 18 seconds of utter blissful madness. John Peel famously said “I just want to hear something I’ve never heard before”. Well this might be it.

Steal This Song’ is a genre hopping, high energy track with its tongue firmly in its cheek: the lyrics imploring the listener to, well, steal the song. “Steal this song, sing along, I don’t care my money’s gone, music is for you and me so steal this song” insists lead singer and guitarist Fernando Perdomo. “Steal this song, peer to peer, I don’t care if I’m broke this year” he continues in an in an overly twee manner. This would almost seem sickly sweet if it wasn’t for the fact that each short, snappy verse is surrounded by crazy guitar frettery akin to some kind of 70s prog-rock monster such as Journey with booming drums and soaring reverb soaked solos to boot. Even though it’s a mere two minutes, this track has a massively overblown, epic feel to it.

Dreaming in Stereo call themselves “power-pop” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s the closest pigeon-hole they can be suitably shoved into. This quirky three piece are genuinely different and moreover, enjoyable to listen to. It’s an instant hit of poppy hooks, distortion and melodic vocals in one easily digestible 130 second format. In an act of support, I’d implore you to ignore Perdomo’s lyrics and make the effort to actually buy this fantastic single instead.