Monday, 26 July 2010

Album Review : Spring Offensive - Pull Us Apart

Pull Us Apart’ is a concise seven track slice of avant-garde, angular noodling that says as much with what isn’t played as with what is. The whole mini album is so spacious you could fit a three piece suite in between the notes. It’s indeed brave to be so sparse: Guitars are subject to minimal effects, drums are reverbless and lead vocals are painfully bare.

Spring Offensive also pull no punches in being complex. Songs may feel simple in their entirety, but the hopping single notes of math rock that accompany fidgeting percussions say otherwise.

Sure, such math rock intricacies are commonplace these days, but this record has a folk heart beating at its centre, as multi voiced choruses and vocal narratives will contest. This leaves the band sounding something akin to Mumford & Sons or Cherbourg half the time whilst straddling a math-cum-post-rock chasm the rest. Indeed, it’s easy to draw comparisons to gloom-a-likes iLiKETRAiNS, especially as third song ‘Every Coin’ is a (probably accidental) pastiche of the post-rockers single ‘Twenty Five Sins’.

However this jutting, empty style isn’t going to appeal to everyone but it’s clearly where Spring Offensive feel most comfortable. The record seems to grow in confidence as the tracks go on. ‘The Cable Routine’ is a choral chant that twists into a distorted musical scream whilst ‘Everything Other Than This’ is an acoustic, arpeggiated patchwork of gorgeous riffs and vocal melancholy.

Perhaps some will find this album a bit flat or unadventurous, but nothing could be further from the truth. Spring Offensive’s refusal to spoon feed us or adhere math rock clich├ęs is a gamble, but one that pays off. This album bravely challenges what is expected from angular guitar bands and pays dividends to the discerning listener.

Spring Offensive - Every Coin by springoffensive

Friday, 16 July 2010

New Music : Modual

Modual are one of the more interesting collaborations we've come across so far in 2010, and unfortunately we know very little about them! Or maybe that just makes them even more intriguing and adds to the mystic of discovering brand new music, one of our favourite past times.

We do know they are a duo from Stockholm, Sweden who formed in Spring 2009 and have recently released their self titled debut EP. They fuse pop sensibilities, i.e some nice vocals, with some chilled out drum and bass beats which often blur into dubstep territory, albeit not getting too grimey just keeping things chilled. The tracks have a really positive vibe running through them, not just through the vocals but also the beats, and fit perfectly around these lazy late Summer nights.

You can download the 3 track EP for just $3 over at the Modual bandcamp, and also check out tracks first on Soundcloud.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Single Review : Crocodiles - Sleep Forever

Released last week through Fat Possum Records, "Sleep Forever" is the new single from San Diego duo Crocodiles. Building on from the well received debut LP "Summer Of Hate", this single is the first to be taken from their forthcoming second album due to be released later this year. 

The track is a dreamy affair from the outset, with whirling organs and synths littered around the gruff vocals from singer Brandon Welchez. Think a bit of the modern experimental pop (MGMT) with a bit of the past (PiL) and you might get where this duo are headed. If you're not quite convinced then maybe the drop of the producer, a certain James Ford (Half Simian Mobile Disco, producer for Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons et al) may well convince you these guys deserve some attention this Summer. 

The band will be hitting the UK in late September/October for a headline tour, full dates on the myspace as per.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Single Review : Violens - Acid Reign

It’s much more fun to review something awful than something you love, but when listening to a handful of tracks each week it’s almost impossible not to pick out a song that grabs your attention for all the right reasons. Therefore, step forward Violens with their track ‘Acid Reign’.

This New York trio sound here like Pet Shop Boys or The Associates mixed in with the discordant sensibilities of Joy Division and their more electronic sibling New Order. ‘Acid Reign’ (released July 26th) is an onslaught of new wave guitar lines and dance drumbeats sandwiched between huge, spacey choruses as Iddo Arad’s vocal gymnastics sound like any number of 80s icons on this hybrid track.

Of course, Violens aren’t just about the 80s revival thang as their genre flirting back catalog illustrates, but this song is most definitely in love with the decade. It’s similar to recent efforts by up and coming duo Hurts but feels more dynamic and cutting edge as the song effortlessly drifts in and out of it’s 80s mould whilst still sounding consistent and accessible. Interesting and intricate, only good things can await on their debut album ‘Amoral’. Watch this space.

Friday, 2 July 2010

New Music : Kashii

Out this week through Southern Fried Records is "Tru Da City", the debut EP from Brighton based artist Kashii. The four track record encompasses a variety of Electronic styles with the most notable being 2-step, House, and Dubstep. If your into the sort of material Joy Orbison has released over the last few months you'll certainly be into the EP's title track, which is by far my favourite on the record. It has a chilled out beat and floaty bass, which fits perfectly for these long Summer nights with a beer in hand. Kashii makes the sort of music which initially comes off as good for background, but it can actually catch you unaware and all of sudden your head nodding and wanting to throw some moves, with things being totally at forefront in an instant.

There are certainly interesting times ahead for Kashii, he is curently working with vocalists for his second EP with an album to follow. One to watch for sure!

KashiiSouthern Fried Records

Tru Da City by Southern Fried Records