With a tagline like ‘a savage colossus of sound’, anyone in their right mind would be eager to listen to the new single from electronic/rock artist ‘Hooray For Earth’, entitled ‘Never’. Released on September 24th, first impressions are that it’s going to be filling dancefloors everywhere the minute it’s released. But is that really the case? It’s certainly not David Guetta type music, put it that way.
It’s an uplifting, synth-heavy release, with a catchy vocal line and electronic-strings in the chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place if a listener was surrounded by a lot of people, flashing lights and lasers. But it’s not necessarily a club-anthem just yet. The drums don’t pulse almost painfully in the ears, as is the standard for a lot of dance music, and the focus on the vocals is higher than in a lot of club music, which focuses more on bass.
Problems – it might not actually be popular with the clubbers among listeners, purely because it’s not pure club music. That’s a bit unenlightened, though, and for every listener who dismisses ‘Hooray For Earth’, there will be ten who fall in love with them.
So it’s slightly different, but still fits into the dance scene. The most important thing is that it’s good. It’s like club music without the headache, and rock music with an added electronic twist that makes it slightly euphoric. It’s got a little bit of everything, and certainly does fit into that tagline – ‘a savage colossus of sound’ very well.
Read the original article here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/08/hooray-for-earth-never-24-09-12-memphis-industries/
London based electro-pop/indie band Torches release their latest single, entitled ‘Sky Blue and Ivory’. It’s a very groundbreaking and unique release, with a lot of new ways of looking at traditional musical elements. But is it any good?
Psychedelic, trippy, expressive and progressive, Torches have managed to craft together a song with a lot of elements that sound very disjointed, and yet somehow they manage to work together extraordinarily well. One of the best words to describe it is ‘clever’. The deep, haunting vocals, enhanced by the presence of reverbed chorus harmonies behind it, sit perfectly on top of the echoing sounds of jangly guitars, also dripping with reverb that give it a great yet eerie feel. It’s a great way to make music.
It’s not without its problems though. It does come across as a little pretentious, and the style of music is almost post-modern, that is, weird for the sake of weird. It comes across as a little bit like it’s trying too hard. The only other issue with it is the fact that it definitely won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Despite the fact that it’s really talented and well crafted, the less enlightened listener won’t give it a second listen. It’s a shame, really.
So overall, it’s a great and expressive listen, progressive and experimental. Again, it won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but that’s not really the point, and for every person out there that won’t give it a shot (and they’re missing out), there should be ten people who will listen to this and they’ll love it. Very good.
Read the original article here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/08/torches-sky-blue-and-ivory-out-now-fractions-of-one-records/
South African electronic indie-rockers Civil Twilight are making a lot of noise. After stirring up attention for themselves over the last couple of years, they’re back with a new album, Holy Weather, the follow up to the much acclaimed previous self-titled album, released back in 2010. This, the first single from the new album, entitled Fire Escape, pretty much seems to set the benchmark with what to expect from the new release.
When this reviewer says they’ve been stirring up attention for themselves over the last two years, it’s no exaggeration, either. Whereas the casual listener might not have heard of Civil Twilight, their music seems to be pretty much everywhere, and yet remains underground. Their songs have been used on TV shows like House, The Vampire Diaries and Numb3rs, and the band plan on supporting Keane this August. They’re no local band, put it that way.
This single, as mentioned before, is a benchmark for the rest of the new album. With big, stadium-esque vocals not unlike U2’s Bono or Coldplay’s Chris Martin, it has a great indie-groove to it that immediately sounds familiar and yet different. Add to that the satisfying, distorted bassline that forms the backbone of the track, with a funky, pleasant sort of sound to it, and Civil Twilight seem to be on to something.
It’s not perfect, though. The vocals, whilst large, epic and sweeping are a little too similar to other artists for this reviewer’s tastes. It’s been done, done again and done for a third time. In fact, the main issue with Fire Escape is that it’s too familiar. It immediately makes a listened think of another band that they sound like, which doesn’t really leave enough room for them to craft a sound of their own. In short, it could be a little more original in terms of style.
Overall, a great song, with a great sound. A little overused and unoriginal in terms of sound, but still a great song, and it’s definitely a great preliminary track for what should hopefully turn out to be a great studio album from the South African indie-rockers. It seems like Civil Twilight have no other plans except to go from strength to strength. Watch out for them, you might be hearing from them soon.
Read the original article here: http://www.poppedculture.co.uk/music-reviews/music-reviews/single-reviews/item/241-civil-twilight-fire-escape
Morbidly named and emotional sounding rockers Black Swans release their latest single, entitled This Looks Like Yesterday, taken from their upcoming debut album The Life We Chose. The Liverpool quintet have a pretty sounding style of emotional indie-rock, characterised by their uplifting, expressive vocals and excellent instrumental work.
This Looks Like Yesterday, the first single, has the capability to become a complete anthem. It’s a slow paced, almost ballad type song. Think roughly the same pace as Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls, but without the harsh, crackled vocals and with more of an electronic, uplifting, ambient feel and you’re pretty much hitting the nail on the head. Definitely emotionally driven, This Looks Like Yesterday has it all, echoing guitars, reverbed, soft vocals and the uplifting strings in the background, all designed to bring a tear to the proverbial eye. It’s good, too.
The other track on this single is the bonus track, Killing Time, which is slightly more upbeat than This Looks Like Yesterday, and it actually reminds me of indie bands such as The Killers or Kings of Leon, especially famous track Use Somebody. It’s still got that air of ‘being-played-in-a-large-hall’ about it, giving it an eerie, echoing quality, but the faster beats and more upbeat sounding guitars/drums make it less emotive than This Looks Like Yesterday, but it is still rather good.
Issues – the fact that it does sound a lot like indie bands already out there might deter some listeners from liking this band purely because they’ve heard it all before. There could be slightly more originality about them, which would make them stand out from the crowd a little better. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the music that Black Swans are making, but there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about it either. Good, solid and entertaining, just not very original.
Overall then, two great songs, taken off of what should turn out to be a great album. For fans of the style of music that Black Swans are making, they’ll be another band to add to their list of favourites, and this reviewer has no doubt that some will love this. The fact that they sound so much like other bands, though, may well come to be their undoing unless they can find that edge to make them stand out. Other than that, Black Swans are great.
Indie rock four piece Mere Moths, hailing from Co. Down in Northern Ireland release their debut, three track EP, entitled Water of the Land this month, through Circulation Recordings. Mixing crunchy distorted bass and funk-esque tempos, the band create a mixture of rock tones that give it a groovier feel than most indie rock available on the market at the moment.
It’s clear to see from the offset that Mere Moths have bags of potential, and have only just begun to tap into it. For such a newly signed and, at the moment, small band, the production quality of Water of the Land is really rather good. It’s well recorded, mixed and produced, giving a good representation of both what the band are capable of sounding like, and the attitude that the band have towards their recordings. The fact that the EP is so short just goes to show this attitude even more clearly, that Mere Moths put so much effort into each individual track that it takes as long as many other bands would take to put together a seven track EP has materialised into three, meticulously produced tracks that sound nothing less of professional. Now that’s dedication.
Musically, again it’s got a great groove to it, a refreshing take on the rock/indie genre to put something a little more funky into it, and it makes it interesting to listen to and that little bit special. The standout track on this EP has to be Mine, a song that just oozes feel-good tones, sing along vocals and talented instrument work that makes it a great track to listen to all the way through.
One of the only problems with this EP is, as previously mentioned, the fact that it’s a little bit short. Three tracks weren’t enough to get a proper appreciation of the talent that’s gone into creating the music. But, on the flipside of this, being so new, Mere Moths are only just getting started, and three tracks on this Water of the Land does definitely enough to whet the appetite of the hungry listener, and leave them want a lot more. It’s not an EP, it’s a starter.
So, overall then, Water of the Land is a very good and well put together EP, with just enough to give across the right impression of the style of music that Mere Moths are going for, without giving too much away, and just enough to leave the listener wanting that little bit more. Clever and teasing, this reviewer hopes to be hearing a lot more from them very soon.
Read the original article here: http://chordblossom.com/musicreviews-meremoths-wateroftheland
Pop-rock act General Fiasco are a rare gem of a band, the type of which, sadly, aren’t discovered very often. This album, their latest full length studio release entitled ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ showcases that perfectly, as it’s a perfect mixture of musical talent and, music that’s actually good (as talented music isn’t necessarily good).
It’s hard to describe the music on ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ without resorting to very overused phrases, phrases which don’t do the album justice particularly. It’s rock music, with a melodic vocal overtone and an excellent, shoulder-bop-inducing groove to it. Brilliant, that describes just about every indie-rock album out there. See? That just doesn’t do it justice. This album has got that little-bit-of-something that makes it slightly different, slightly special, and, overall, that little bit better than every other indie-rock album.
Looks like there’s no alternative. Overused phrases it is. To put it on a basic level, the music style and especially some of the verses have the capacity to remind one of indie bands such as The Hives, or similar. On top of that, there’s extremely catchy choruses, melodic vocals and an excellent rock/indie groove that gives this album a solid backbone with which to work.
Now for the tough bit. That extra bit that’s tough to put into words. Well, this album has a little bit of everything, so that’s a good starting point. From melodic, sing along pop-punk songs in the form of ‘Closer’ to a harder rock style on ‘Bad Habits’, which is a song that instantly makes a listener want to start headbanging like they’re fifteen again. That’s an example of that little something that makes this album special compared to other albums. There’s even a classic-rock esque guitar solo on ‘The Age You Start Losing Friends’ that can only bring a smile to a listener’s face, unless they’re completely without musical feeling, in which case they need to be locked in a dark room with a full iPod and not let out again until they’ve listened to everything on it.
Bad points–that’s even tougher. There’s enough variety on this album to keep everyone happy, except possibly hardcore metal-heads. If one were to nitpick, it could be said that some of the solos are a little unnecessary, and some of the songs a little repetitive. That’s not really noticeable though.
Overall, an extraordinarily well put together album, lyrically heartfelt and musically talented. It has ups, downs, fast music and slower, more emotive music, as well as lighter, indie-pop styles and harder, rockier sounds. Something for everyone, and everyone will be happy. Excellent.
Read the original article here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/07/general-fiasco-unfaithfully-yours-30-07-12-authority-communications/
London-born folk musician Sam Lee releases his debut full length album, entitled ‘Ground of its Own’, an austere title that pre-empts the attitudes that Lee has taken towards its contents and the music on it.
It’s an apt, title too, because he’s right. It’s folk music, but it’s definitely, forgive the terrible pun, on a ground of its own. So, ‘unique’ is the word for the day here. It might even be possible to use the original meaning of the word ‘indie’ and call it ‘indie-folk’, although this might be reading too much into it.
Before getting onto the actual sound itself, it’s worthwhile mentioning that even the process of putting ‘Ground Of Its Own’ together has been unique and unorthodox. It was apparently originally sought through word of mouth and oral traditions, definitely something that hasn’t been done properly before. Lee is careful to mention where he sourced each song as well, definitely something that isn’t often done.
The music itself is imaginative, different and, on the whole, very pleasant to listen to. The unique way of thinking carries on throughout the whole album, it’s one of the only albums that this reviewer has ever heard where the sound of a guitar’s jack plate meeting the plug on the end of a cable, but not quite plugged in so it makes a “bzzzzzzz” sound, used as a constant effect, behind what sounds oddly like a banjo.
It works, too. Sam Lee’s baritone voice is oddly soothing, so much so that it would send a listener to sleep, were the music less interesting to listen to. So it’s soothing, and it keeps a listener’s attention, as well as being unique. He is ticking a lot of boxes with ‘Ground of its Own’.
Points against? It might be slightly gimmicky, or at least that might be how some people see it. That doesn’t feel like the intention, but it might be how it’s perceived. Other than that, the vocals, whilst soothing, are quite deep, quite a lot of the time. A little variety wouldn’t go amiss, just to make them slightly less monotonous. Other than that, there isn’t really anything to gripe about on this album, it’s just generally rather good.
So overall, an experimental, expressive and extraordinarily talented album, taking a unique perspective on both how the music is made and put together, as well as the music itself, leaving a listener guessing what sound they are going to hear next, and wondering where the song and the sounds on it actually originally came from. Excellently done, wonderfully produced and great to both listen to and talk about. More of the same, please, Sam Lee.
Read the original article here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/07/sam-lee-ground-of-its-own-the-nest-collective-out-now/
Progressive, experimental rock band Arcane Roots releases their latest album Left Fire through Play It Again Sam Records. It’s an ambitious, motivated release, clearly put together with a lot of talent, but does that necessarily mean that it’s any good?
A listener could initially be forgiven for being a bit dubious about this album. The opener, Aus Blauderen Verederen, Dus Moet Ik, is completely without lyrics and, apparently, completely without song structure either. It’s, to use exactly the right word, unsettling. The new listener isn’t left with much hope for the rest of the album, if this song is the trendsetter. However, the more this album is listened to, the more Aus Blauderen Verederen, Dus Moet Ik begins to make sense. A listener realises that Arcane Root’s music is progressive and experimental, more than it is ‘rock’. In fact, ‘rock’ is just a word used because nothing else seems to fit.
It makes more sense when reviewing this album to talk about the aspects that stand out the most and what the music focuses on. To that end, it’s necessary to talk about the music itself first, before the vocals or the production, or anything else. Clearly, the instruments are the most important element of the music on this album. Arcane Roots seem to want to push the boundaries of how songs are put together, as if they have looked at a guitar, a bass and drums and how all of them are ‘ordinarily’ played and said to themselves, ‘How can we make that different?’ In fact, it’s a very similar attitude to that of rockers Incubus in the ways in which the instruments are at the forefront of the music and played with unashamed, showcased talent. And why shouldn’t they show off? It’s excellent, and very well done.
Vocally, the singing fits perfectly. It’s not too intrusive a voice, sitting perfectly behind the instruments, accentuating them just enough to give the impression of song rather than improvisation. The high pitched tones don’t get in the way of the music and are present enough to just remind the listener that they are there. Very well done.
Highlights of this album? You Are is complete genius. An amazing song, very well put together and performed. Overall, a stunning and talented release and hopefully the music scene will be seeing more of Arcane Roots very soon. There’s something for everyone here, Habibty will keep the more metal-inclined of listeners happy, whilst Million Dollar Que$tion, along with the rest of the album, really, has the potential to keep the softer listeners occupied also. Fantastic.
Read the original article here: http://www.contactmusic.com/album-review/arcane-roots-left-fire
An all-female choir of roughly twenty people isn’t usually considered ‘the norm’ in the charts today unless you’re looking for Military Wives. Much less ‘the norm’ is something like Gaggle, who are exactly that: imagine said all-female choir of twenty-one confident people, but added on top of that a bucket-load of psychedelic instruments, creativity coming out of their ears, anti-capitalist ideologies and music that makes a listener wonder what on earth they’ve been smoking, and you’re getting there.
Gaggle’s latest release, full length album From the Mouth of the Cave is at first listen an acquired taste. It’s dynamic and unique, it’s that hard to characterise, and you have to wonder if this is all some kind of novelty act. Readers, that is the last thing that should be on your mind.
From the Mouth of the Cave is innovative, a little bit psychedelic and a refreshing break from the NME-bumming Mumfords scraping the ubiquitous lyric barrel with a corduroy banjo.
Musically, this Gaggle of ladies are very talented and their wall of sound comes together epically as a unit. The minimalist approach to instruments manages to accentuate the singing and makes every voice stand out with a rich variety of harmonies. Head Gaggle Deborah Coughlin leads her pack of vocalists into their chant with passion, confidence and amazingly riotous glee, describing their utterly unique pastime as “the Spice Girls and Marina Abramović on Mötley Crüe’s tour bus”.
Let’s be honest – potentially isn’t going to appeal to a huge number of people. It’s music with a message, and Gaggle seem to just aim to get that to as many people who are willing to listen to it. What better way to do it by doing something completely different? Who cares if it’s not mainstream? That makes it a talking point, and we all love those.
Overall, then, it’s a very strange, different, completely abnormal release, but at the same time its a beautifully-enjoyable listen that unfortunately doesn’t do justice to these girls live. From The Mouth Of The Cave is a brave release from an inspired set of individuals keen to get their admirable message across in the most effective way possible – however you choose to interpret it – and they’ve definitely done that. Bravo.
Read the original article here: http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2012/06/gaggle-from-the-mouth-of-the-cave-25-06-12-transgressive-records/
London based pop/ska band Buster Shuffle (formed under the motivation of apparent imminent homelessness and a need to get free beer) return with this; their latest full-length, self-produced studio album Do Nothing – a title that completely belies the effort the band put into writing, recording and putting it together. The end result is something rather special.
In fact, this album is best summed up in one word – nostalgic. Do Nothing is a collection of songs that remind a listener of age-old favourites like Madness, bringing a smile to the face. The great thing about it, though, is that it’s modern and fashionable rather than dusty and old-fashioned. Buster Shuffle bring pop/ska into the 21st century and, refreshingly, make it extra-cool.
Highlights of the album – The Lake Song brings the tone to a slower pace, giving it a more thoughtful and emotive twist whilst still keeping the feel of the music upbeat and interesting. It’s a nice breather from the fast-paced music of the opening four tracks giving the listener time to find their feelings about the music without having to take too much in, all in one go.
Vocally, the distinct accents make some very interesting listening, giving the music a more regional feel and adding to the nostalgic feeling of the music (again, it throws a general salute in the direction of pop/ska legends Madness). Musically, it’s very talented. Funky bass lines, just slightly protruding from behind shoulder-bopping guitar and piano give an overall pleasant sound and help to support the vocals very well. It gives an overall extremely ‘catchy’ sound and gets the shoulders moving back and forth appreciatively.
Problems – it’s slightly samey. Each song is easily distinguishable from another, but it can get tough to remember which song is which due to the similar tempos of each song when compared to another. This is an issue easily resolved – a listener just needs to listen to it more! Nothing brings familiarity to an album that constant listening and, due to the quality of the music on Do Nothing, listening to it more won’t be an issue for many people.
Overall then, Do Nothing is a catchy, nostalgic salute to an era of pop/ska gone by, brought forwards into the 21st century and re-popularised. The decline of the style means that Buster Shuffle are now one of the forefront runners in revitalising it, giving them an edge in reaching the target listening audience. Plus, the sheer quality of the music means that whosoever they do manage to reach with this album is likely to be hooked on it immediately. Fabulous.
Read the original article here: http://www.contactmusic.com/album-review/buster-shuffle-do-nothing
- Biffy Clyro – Opposites Album Review (Planetmosh Review)
- When We Were Wolves – The More Things Change, The More We Stay The Same EP Review (Planetmosh Review)
- Alexisonfire – Death Letter EP Review (Bring the Noise Review)
- Lewis Watson – Another Four Sad Songs EP Review (Never Enough Notes Review)
- Parkway Drive – Atlas Album Review (Bring the Noise Review)
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