Updates #10

Workload has been on the decrease recently, owing mostly to the fact that I’ve been working a few shifts with a temping agency. I’ve been doing this because my job has cut my hours down, so I need to get more hours to keep a roof over my head. So, I’m working lots of strange hours and to be honest, it kind throws me out of whack with whatever I’m doing.

That’s not to say there will be NOTHING, but it may be rather quiet. I may queue up some playlists and stuff like that, just to keep things vaguely active.

Please keep submissions coming in, I do read them all and it’s just fantastic, even if the stuff does get sent to every Tom, Dick and Harry blogger-son, I really appreciate it. Makes me feel like a big-shot.

In other news, that aphex twin album is alright, init?

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Mike Vennart To Release Album Next April

Oceansize singer and guitarist announces new album

The gent from psychedelic messers, British Theatre, and the guy what plays with Biffy Clyro has recently announced that he will be releasing a record in April.

Usually, I’m not one for Twitter shenanigans and what have you, but whilst I was nipping through my tweets, I found some interesting back and fourth between some of Mr Vennart and his followers:

Followed by:

It’s amazing how one thing can improve your day so much, even when the day was already quite acceptable. After hearing Vennarts track, Operate, earlier this year I was bombarded with this injection of excitement to see that one of my favourite guys of all time was putting out something new.

It’s also great to hear that there’ll be old friends from Oceansize, contributing and having a fart around on this record too.

Have a listen to Operate, released back in February and be as gleeful as me.

 

Can Can Heads Release New Video ‘Too Numb To Step’

More Crazy From The Sultans Of Suave

Back when I had my first Band O’ The Week feature, these gents were the first to be featured with their album Butter Life. The new video, Too Numb To Step, is from that album and is, well, you probably just saw it; minimal.

It does showcase one of the less erratic songs on Butter Life, even if it is still off the wall, and that’s a great move on their behalf. But you know, the craziness is part of the charm of these guys.

Charm in the same way that you’re charmed by the drunk regular at the pub. Still! A drunken mumble of a song that lashes out at all. Keep your distance, but listen well.

Playlist #6 September 2014

So it’s been months since I’ve posted a playlist, yet I have been making them. What’s up with that? I am dreadfully forgetful, but today, I remembered!

Holy shit, I am so digging Kid Cudi’s Day N Night right now, I should probably listen to more at some point, but for now that track is the bomb. God, I’m so fucking white, it’s unbelievable at times.

Anyway, loving the Adult Swim singles that have been coming out recently, some fantastic gems on there that are well worth a listen, especially cause they’re free. Get them from here.

There’s also been the new Aphex Twin album, which is a lot more chill than I was expecting, but is still great, but at the time I made this playlist, Mumbly was where it was at! You also have Honeyblood, surprising album that was fun, well made and just something old with a gentle twist to shake it up.

In my life? Well, I’m going back to university for my last year and it’s going to be very minimal work, mostly just my dissertation, so don’t expect too many slowdowns or whatever. To keep things interesting, here’s a picture of Rasmus from Hotline Miami (a video game), because this post is now over.

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New Music Review – Sugardrum – 3 Penny Postcard

a4023772921_10Artist: Sugardrum
EP: 3 Penny Postcard
Genre: Singer-songwriter, folk
Social Media: Facebook/Twitter/Soundcloud/Bandcamp

Sugardrum is the musical alias of story-teller, sing-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nigel Bunner. Sugardrum has released 4 Eps, including a live recording from one of his many shows and today, we’re looking at his shiny new EP 3 Penny Postcard, which was released back in November 2013 (not so new anymore).

To give you an idea of this guy’s sound before we start, I’ll leave you to have a little listen and watch to his new video, made by a friendo, Choccy Roles.

Now, the sounds that Sugardrum makes in Choccy roles almost confused me; I mean, for a while, the song almost sounds jazzy, with that subtle drumming and bass. Then the strings come in and it begins to sound more like a wistful singer-songwriter track. I also enjoyed the gentle glockenspiel playing during this number, it didn’t feel tarty or unnecessary, and it fit the tone just right.

Postcard was a lot more typical singer-songwriter style, with the delightful fingerpicked acoustic and the melancholic vocal styling’s of Mr Bunner. The stripped back story-telling element in this song is pleasant and actively engaging with its tale of a woman hiding away her feelings until her sweet love returns.

I think what this EP does strongly is put forward a very actively interesting singer-songwriter persona; things are never too similar and the sprinklings of alternative genres spices up the music. The incredibly minimal drumming in Choccy Roles and Forgotten are killer examples of using extra instruments to beef out the song, without making it seem too much or too tacky.

This sort of multi-instrumentation is very reminiscent of acts like Sufjan Stevens and even to a slight degree, Beck (and his melodramatic side), and yes it would be interesting to see Sugardrum head in this direction, but I think the little subtleties that this guy has going right now are suitable for what he’s trying to accomplish. The gentle instrumentation with mellow vocals does this EP wonders at driving you to a snapshot of a nostalgic Sunday afternoon under autumn trees, just the way we like to folk.

New Music Review – Witchingseason – Spiders

SpidersCoverBand: Witchingseason
Song: Spiders
Genre: Post-grunge
Social Media: Facebook/Soundcloud/Twitter

Witchingseason are a new Uk based post-grunge band that take influences from everyone you’d expect for this sort of band: Alice In Chains, Dinosaur JR, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and QOTSA. Recently, they’ve been picking up grungey steam after receiving rampant reviews from the likes of radio stations (Phoenix FM), bloggers (HearMeRaw) and so on in preparation for the release of their debut EP, which will be released on the 10th of November.

Until then, we have the band’s new single Spiders, which was released on the 1st of August (bit late to the party). However, what I’m sure I won’t be late to the party for is the release of new single Codeine, scheduled for October 1st.

So, shall we go and have a listen to it?

Instantaneously, you can hear the influences from the likes of Soundgarden with the overweight riffs and bombastic vocals from guitarist and vocalist, Tom Reynolds. The drumming is energetic and the bass manages to pump out some extra chunk to keep things at a decent girth, however, it seems like this energy and enthusiasm would flourish better for the band in a live atmosphere.

The riffs are simple and powerful, but delivered with such repetition it makes them wear a little thin; thankfully, there are two main riffs that swap around roughly halfway through the song. This little turnaround is slick and is rather neat; you can practically see the mosh-pit opening up and anticipating that second riff like some sort of drop.

The instrumentation is good in the way that all the instruments mesh together; nothing really feels out of place at this moment in time and it all just blends together. This can also be a problem though, like they’re still trying to find their sound in the great wall of sound and because of that, everything just feels ‘safe’ the band isn’t taking as many risks as it should.

For now though, safe does not mean bad.

From what you can hear in the song, Mr Reynolds does manage to give a consistent vocal performance with loud verses and some catchy humming at the chorus. Again, I’d love to see him push himself to this, clear and strong performance, in live environment.

So far, Witchingseason appear to be a fun and energetic party with the tunes cranked up to 11; I’m looking forward to the release of their EP on November 10th.

Keep your ears out kids x

New Music Review – Calf – Bastards anatomy use a unicorn go to apathy

10519533_306847229475300_2703509669127013318_oBand: Calf
Album: Bastards anatomy use a unicorn go to apathy
Genre: Noise, post-rock
Social Media: Facebook/Bandcamp

Calf is a noise/post-rock band from Greece that play what you’d expect to hear during a vicious descent into a discount hell. This four-piece is renowned for their ruthless music, surreal artwork and no shanks held approach to their craft and it certainly shows with their most recent release, Bastards anatomy use a unicorn go to apathy, which for my sake will now just be shortened to Bastards.

The album itself starts with the monstrous tune, Are you Laura Palmer? No I’m a fucking psycho, which I’ll admit, is a challenging listen. Why? I find it difficult to get into noise music, but there is more than enough substance here, amongst all the layers of noise, distortion and hell, for fans of other genres to get into. There are riffs dotted throughout this song, most notably on the bass and some gnarly drumming and sampled vocals. When the track finally does come to a halt, you breathe a sigh of relief, if only because of the ceasefire on the overbearing noise.

You’re only given a few seconds before the next song fades in, Lunacy box demon booth. This one drew me in a lot more; there are lots of little touches going off like little stops and starts, tempo changes and some groovy bass play. At one point it almost sounded like I was listening to Primus. Lunacy box demon booth, sort of loses any real puff it has for about a second and then kicks back into a barrage of noise, jarring guitar and thick bass.

Squeezing blue hope from my christian numb cock, is the first real break the listener is given. With numb hearing muscles, I exhaled and fell back into the post-rock mechanics kicking into place. Also, that title is a real mouthful (did have an innuendo here, but decided to be the bigger man, heh). This track shows versatility in the Calf ranks, but it also shows an important amount of restraint (sometimes). The guitars sound typically post-rock in tone, without sounding too tarty, even when things go in a different direction. This is the track you should listen to, if you want Calf lite.

The next two songs are The artist formerly known as a hipstercunt pt.I and of course The artist formerly known as a hipstercunt pt.II, not sure why they needed to be part 1 and part 2 since they fade into each other like the rest of the tunes…

Anyway! In both of these songs you’re getting very much typical and lethal Calf, granted, these songs feel much more measured in comparison to the dangerous levels of noise in Are you Laura Palmer? No I’m a fucking psych. Of course this is not a bad thing, I think Calf are at their best when they measure themselves out, otherwise the abrasive sounds and crushing tunes just become boring.

Thankfully, Calf did not become boring for me at all during the last two songs, although I preferred the long build-up, tease, silence and then RELEASE or part 2. That could just be my wimpy post-rock fan side coming out though.

Bastards anatomy use a unicorn go to apathy, kept me listening  curiously until the end and despite having a few unexplainable bruises (most likely from summoning Satan), I enjoyed my experience. I’m surprised they didn’t put more distortion on the bass and I would have liked the vocal samples to be brought forward a bit more, but hey ho.

Calf are all about playing the long game; teasing their listeners until they can’t take anymore and then they change things up. This serves them incredibly well on Bastards and I was left guessing and scared, numerous times. I’m not sure how to describe Calf without referencing big names like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. It’s just a case of listening to this uncompromising album and deciding if it’s your thing or not.

If it’s not, that’s okay, just pick up your woosy t-shirt and alcopops on your way out x