Monday, 30 November 2015

LIVE: SPIDERS @ SCALA, LONDON


Spiders, from Gothenburg, Sweden, are a 4-piece rock outfit who have been together since 2010. They have two albums Flash Point and Shake Electric which were released on Crusher Records, and this year released the 3-track EP 'Why Don't You'. We were recently invited to catch the band live as they supported the wonderful Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats at London's Scala venue.

Firstly we have to start with the bands attire, which quite frankly we thought was great. Each member dressed in sequins, in purple the two guitarists John Hoyles and Olle Griphammar, and in gold drummer Ricard Harryson and front-woman Ann-Sofie Hoyles. Now to the music, Spiders set is made up of a mixture of new and old material, showcasing their brand of 70's inspired rock with plenty of solos, riffs, and a general altogether appreciation of rock and roll history.

Ann-Sofie Hoyles has a strong voice and good stage presence, and this is what ultimately helps set the band apart from their piers. Whilst some of their songs do lack some originality this is made up by the enthusiasm and passion that is in abundance, and there's also a sense that they are very thankful for the responsive crowd that warmed up to them as their set went on. Spiders will grow their fanbase with their live shows and I'm sure London will welcome them back as soon as they like!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

NEW MUSIC: JAWS - WHAT WE HAVEN'T GOT YET

ARTIST: JAWS
RELEASE: WHAT WE HAVEN'T GOT YET
LABEL: RATTLEPOP
https://open.spotify.com/album/2dsVUCcWmem9RrSqBzwSWD
Following their 2014 debut album 'Be Slowly', Birmingham 3-peice Jaws are set to return in 2016 with new material, kicking things off early with a new single 'What We Haven't Got Yet'. The new track is a continuation of the bands 80's influenced indie pop, albeit with a maturer, more fuller sound.

The band have recently released a video in support of the new track, which was filmed in their practise room and directed by Jack Hudson, who is brother of Guitarist Alex. Look out for them on tour throughout November/December, along with Chartreuse and Nai Harvest.



Monday, 16 November 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: WARM BRAINS - BIG WOW

ARTIST: WARM BRAINS
ALBUM: BIG WOW
https://open.spotify.com/album/5bIkxSVv8JHFqEzXN8jAHQ

Warm Brains, aka Rory Attwell, has been on our radar since 2004 when he started a band with Dev Hynes (Lightspeed Champion) called Test Icicles, who were a shortlived neo-dance-punk group that released one album 'For Screening Purposes Only' which we absolutely loved and so did many others gathering them a cult following. Since then Attwell has been appeared in various bands and taken on numerous producer roles which have all been reasonably successful but it is his current work under the moniker of Warm Brains that has peaked our interest the most.

'Big Wow' is the second Warm Brains album, following the debut record 'Old Volcanoes' in 2011, and it's available through the Milk Milk Lemonade label. It is a wide ranging album that spans 14 tracks and touches the 45 minute mark. There are clear reference points along the way, most notably 90's brit pop or indie, with the vocals in particular giving off that sort of vague, uninterested style that many of those bands of that time were adept at.

That however is just a smokescreen on this album, with Attwell almost using the vocals to slide his clear song-writing talents under the radar, as his songs offer great melodies, adept anecdotes on life in 2015, and some quite experimental song structures. There's a lot going on and it's fair to say that Big Wow is an album that may require a little work from the listener to unlock its secrets, with multiple listens a probable requirement, but trust us it really is worth it!

Monday, 9 November 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: USA NAILS - NO PLEASURE

ARTIST: USA NAILS
ALBUM: NO PLEASURE
https://open.spotify.com/album/3NlNkrL4ZcFhOtSm0QQygQ
'No Pleasure' is the name of the second album from London's noise rock 4-piece USA Nails. We first discovered the band with the release of their debut record 'Sonic Moist', which came out last year and we liked it so much that we placed it number 5 in our top 10 albums of the year poll. The band are once again working with Smalltown America on this new release, and they are also joined this time by the French label Bigoƻt Records.

The 11-track album picks up exactly where their last album finished, with USA Nails being totally ferocious, coming at you from all directions, not giving you a moment to relax. The year since their last album has seen the band mature and hone their musicianship, with each track sounding as if there's real intent and focus behind it. With the majority of the tracks being between two and three minutes long there's a great urgency to the album, which only helps in heightening the slightly uncomfortable experience that we're now becoming accustomed to with a USA Nails release.

Our favourite track would be 'You Sing For Yourself' - we're big fans of tracks that are fully formed after 1 second, but also the longest track on the album (near 6-minutes) 'They'd Name An Age' helps to show another dimension to the band which could be an interesting direction on records to come. For now though we're content with the short snappy ones like 'Laugh It Up', 'Make Me Art', 'I Am In A Van', and 'I Cannot Drink Enough', all excellently named songs which keep on punishing.

For an album as intense and sonically bruising as 'No Pleasure', I think it says it all when after its 32 minutes in length we're keen to press the play button again, without a pause or consideration of our ears. Keep em coming lads!



Monday, 2 November 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: PIGS - WRONGER

ARTIST: PIGS
ALBUM: WRONGER
https://open.spotify.com/album/6ePz9jv7pMVbNTMlJdt1oa
 
Based out of Brooklyn, NYC, come three-piece Pigs. The band are comprised of bass guitarist Andrew Schneider, who is joined by Jim Paradise on drums, with vocals and lead guitar coming from Unsane bassist Dave Curran. 'Wronger' is the band's second album following their 2012 debut album 'You Ruin Everything' and is available through the French label Solar Flare Records.

The 11 tracks that make up Wronger are an uncompromising collection of noise rock - drawing upon hardcore and punk, as well as moments of psychedelia, instrumental, and math rock. Pigs sound pissed off, and although that anger and aggression clearly comes out through their music, there's also a certain groove to their songs and a feeling that this isn't just noise for noise sake. Each track has an identity and a meaning, with the dynamics the group are able to create leading to a comprehensive and powerful listening experience, none more so than on the album's final track, the near 8-minute long 'Donnybrook'.

For a personal perspective as I approach my 30th birthday it's both refreshing and somewhat poignant to hear an 'older' band that have created an album that is aggressive, challenging, and thoughtful, and yet still has the same effect upon me that my 16 year old self would have thought was only confined to another Roadrunner Records release. Pigs are the type of band who may not be fashionable (and wouldn't care about such things anyway), but are an essential listen for those who need to hear boundaries being pushed and broken, and for their music to reach out on levels which aren't going to be mass-appeal but nevertheless are vitally important.