A mixed bag, as usual, some interesting things came in this week:
Fuzz drenched howling hardcore punk repetition from Goleta California. Sounds like it was recorded with the lowest of fidelity. Very cathartic.
Vaguess from the “Back off Warchild” cassette released on LOLIPOP RECORDS in spring 2013. DGAF low-fi garage-punk from the OC! from Vinny Early of Rogue Postmen, Shadow People & The Pegs!! 100 purple cassettes were pressed and numbered. They have a compilation out on Synderlin in August. Pre-order here.
Heard this lot on Dave Hammonds excellent show on Cambridge Radio. Suffolk based garage punkers who are incredibly prolific and write a good tune. All their releases are available on Bandcamp as pay what you like.
Bit of an enigma this one, an anonymous release on Iron Lung from 2013. There is some speculation about who it is. Regardless of that a totally uncompromising set of tunes which kicks off as punk and then goes all hardcore.
Got nudged on Mixcloud about playing this band, happy to comply with the request their new EP is available to download on their website – www.puloreve.com. They are a progressive post-hardcore band from the South East of England; a quintet of friends who have been playing music with one another since they were very young. Their debut LP ‘é’ will be released in September. The record is the first in a series of releases which will, the band hope, become known for the emotion and care that went into creating them.
Magic Bullet Records have announced the signing of Chicago-based Sweet Cobra for the release of their anxiously awaited new studio album, Earth. The LP was recorded and produced by Matt Talbot of Hum and Kurt Ballou of Converge, and also features guest contributions from each artist. Earth is their first full-length recording since their lauded 2010-released Mercy. Recording was completed in late 2013 with Talbot and Ballou at Talbot’s Earth Analog Studios near Champaign, Illinois, mixed by Ballou at his Godcity Studio in Salem, Massachusetts, and with final mastering by Carl Saff.
The band says : “We are honored to be working with Magic Bullet and have always felt a kinship to the label and artists they release. Earth is a deeply personal album for us, and it was a liberating experience to explore new sounds and dynamics in these songs with Matt and Kurt at the helm capturing it.”
Founded in 2003 by former members of a wide array of notable underground acts and boasting the fury and angular qualities of their hardcore/noise-rock/metal roots with a more straightforward rock rhythm and delivery, the band toured alongside the likes of Pelican, Russian Circles, Coliseum, Black Cobra, Doomriders, The Life And Times, Young Widows and many more. They toured regularly throughout the 2000s, and released a lot of recorded material, including three LPs — 2004’s Praise through Seventh Rule Recordings, 2007’s Forever through Hawthorne Street Records, and 2010’s Mercy on Blackmarket Activities — as well as split releases with Doomriders, Get Rad, and Young Widows among other releases.
In Autumn 2009, with Mercy just completed, second guitarist Mat Arluck lost his ongoing fight with cancer. Arluck’s death left a deep scar on the entire Chicago music scene (and beyond). The band committed to soldier on as a three-piece, as they began, resulting in a transformation of the band in the following years. The members have pushed forward — playing shows, constructing new material, and exploring new sounds. These efforts have culminated in the upcoming release of Earth. The album will be featured on a future Sonic Attack podcast.
Midday Veil‘s third album, This Wilderness, is due for release on September 11th – their first on Brooklyn indie label Beyond Beyond is Beyond. The instrumental heart of This Wilderness remains the out-sized synth wizardry of co-founder David Golightly, who seems to have ingested every possible mind-altering sound from Stockhausen to Cybotron to the ‘Love to Love You’ of Donna Summer. They’re all on display here, made especially ornate by the driving percussion of Garrett Moore, the deep, submerging bass of Jayson Kochan, and the often-explosive, reptilian guitar lines of multi-instrumentalist Timm Mason. Rounding out the lineup is an all-star cast of guest spots including Bernie Worrell (Parliament, Funkadelic), Eyvind Kang and Skerik. Here is opening track Babel.
Ahead of the September release of If He Dies, If If If If If If, their much-anticipated second LP, Montreal experimental ensemble Jersualem In My Heart are sharing a new song from the forthcoming album. “7ebr El 3oyoun” (“Ink Of The Eyes”) begins with an arresting passage of Radwan Moumneh’s mournful melismatic (the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession.) vocal work buoyed by sparse atmospherics, patiently presenting melodic themes that then reshape into a hypnotically raw, syncopated and accelerating acoustic riff, propelled by Moumneh’s buzuk and hand percussion from guest Pierre-Guy Blanchard (of Pacha). Listen to the track below.
Ipecac Recordings are releasing Le Butcherettes‘ third album, A Raw Youth, this September.
Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, Le Butcherettes is the loud and vivacious brainchild of Teri Gender Bender (vocals and guitar), joined by drummer Chris Common (These Arms Are Snakes) and bassist Jamie Aaron. Last year’s Cry Is For The Flies LP (co-released with friend, collaborator and producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s label Nadie Sound) was a superb collection of tracks featuring contributions from Henry Rollins and Shirley Manson.
“The focus of the album is the recurring conflict between minorities (the raw youths) and society: The oppressor and the oppressed,” explains Gender Bender. The band recorded the album at RLP Studios (The Morgue Portable Disaster Unit) in El Paso, Texas, with Omar Rodriguez Lopez once again on production duties, as he has done for both previous Le Butcherettes’ releases (2011’s Sin, Sin, Sin and the aforementioned Cry Is For The Flies). You’ll hopefully be able to hear tracks before the album’s release in the coming weeks, as well as news of their tour plans for both North America and Europe, and details of the heady mix of characters who came together to create A Raw Youth (including the legends that are Iggy Pop and John Frusciante).
James Rooney is a singer/songwriter based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. James’ audible creations sit firmly in the Indie Rock box and over the past decade, James has fronted several bands with highlights including airtime on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 Mixtape, international radio play and touring across the UK. James is now exploring the experience of being a solo artist with “As You Do” set for release June 22nd 2015.
Formed in early 2013 by guitarist Mik Davis, drummer John Bradford and bassist Neil Short, Monster Jaw draw on over 20 years of touring and recording experience between them. A dynamic three-piece, the band have evolved rapidly from raw garage grunge sounds to a more sculpted, atmospheric style of chorus-driven alternative indie rock. Monster Jaw deliver a very tight, thrilling and often dark stage show, with memorable songs and poetic lyrics. Noted for their intense stage presence and delivery, they have a dedicated international and UK following. Two commercial releases in 2014 – June’s ‘Get A Tattoo’ EP and October’s ‘Losing All My Friends’ EP – both met with critical acclaim from UK press, not to mention airplay and circulation on hundreds of radio stations worldwide, including the BBC. In 2015 – the band released a new set of songs titled ‘Basement Sessions’. This is a project the band feel strongly is all about stripping things back to a pre-digital recording age, creating a warm, authentic sound by using a 25 year old Tascam chrome tape recorder. For this project MJ are currently studying the wonderful sounds and production skills of Steve Albini, Glyn Johns and Phil Spector. To add to their ever growing profile, MJ have played various major UK festivals, such as DV8 and Rebellion. They have also supported the following acts on their UK tours – Black Star Rider (Thin Lizzy), New Model Army, Stiff Little Fingers and Urban Voodoo Machine.
Agalloch bassist/Self Spiller mastermind, Jason W. Walton, has been creating surreal and otherworldly soundscapes for over twenty years. In the ’90s he began working under the name Nothing and released four full-length albums and various EPs and singles. He performed live as Nothing in the Midwest and the West Coast before retiring the name in 2003. Since then, Walton remained busy with other musical endeavours knowing that a return to ambient noise was imminent.
In the summer of 2013, he began the song writing process again by collecting field recordings from places he would visit. He captured the din of humanity on the down-town Portland streets, the rush of ocean waves in Southern California, and the mysteriously comforting monologues emanating from an AM radio. During mid-2014, he manipulated and processed these sounds into disturbingly haunting pieces which would become the basis of his soon-to-be released Mara seven-inch
Walton decided to thematically compose these songs around his struggle with sleep paralysis — a phenomenon in which a person, either falling asleep or awakening, temporarily experiences an inability to move, speak, and react. While creating these tracks he deprived himself of sleep and recounted his episodes of sleep paralysis within the two tracks contained in Mara. During episodes of sleep paralysis, he sometimes feels like he has some kind of spiritual connection or “visit” from lost loved ones.
Shortly after track one, “Alp,” was completed, Walton suddenly lost his stepfather. A few months later, shortly after track two, “Yakshi,” was finished, his dear friend and former Metal Maniacs editor, Katherine Ludwig, passed away. Although these two songs are not about these people, they are dedicated to them making this an intensely personal work.
Mara was recorded at Earth in Sound Studios Portland, Oregon with vocals on “Yakshi” performed by Tanner Anderson (Obsequiae, Celestiial) and recorded at HammerHeart Brewing Company Lino Lakes, Minnesota. Mara was mastered by James Plotkin (OLD, Scorn, Khanate, Khlyst) with design and Layout by Agalloch’s John Haughm. Mara will be unleashed on June 21st, 2015 via Red Orchard Records on limited edition (300) seven-inch black vinyl housed in a deluxe black arigato sleeve featuring silver debossed artwork. Preorders available through http://www.redorchardrecords.com. Each copy comes with a free download code.
Pittsburgh-based cult doom/death collective, Derketa – featuring alumni from Novembers Doom, Penance, Demonomacy, Cattle Decapitation and more — reissue their In Death We Meet full-length via Ibex Moon later this month.
In Death We Meet was initially mixed and mastered by Rickey Budway and released independently in 2012. Remixed by Grave’s Ola Lindgren at Studio Soulless, In Death We Meet redux includes bonus track, “Darkness Fades Life,” a cover of Sepultura’s “Troops Of Doom,” (both recorded and mixed by Matt Schor at The War Room) and thrusts forth a sound that sits at the very apex of devouring, coffin-toned grimness. “This is by far the heaviest sounding recording that Derketa has ever done,” the band asserts. “The sound is massive, the harmonies and drum tones are enhanced… it’s absolutely crushing.”
In Death We Meet is released on CD via Ibex Moon Records with a wax edition featuring four additional live tracks to surface November 6th, 2015. Followers of Winter, early-era My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost and true old school brutality, should apply.
In a similar vein to the above Italian blackened hardcore/metal outfit, The Clearing Path , has completed its debut full-length album, Watershed Between Earth And Firmament, and is finalizing the details for its release this July.
Born from the ashes of ThySolace, the bands sole creator, one Gabriele Gramaglia, took the black metal and hardcore influences of that act into drastically more conceptual directions, in a more ambitious delivery, thriving on the influence of abstract hardcore/punk acts in the vein of Converge, Traged and His Hero Is Gone, and atmospheric/experimental black metal, citing the likes of Blut Aus Nord, Enslaved, Deathspell and Omega. Fully written, executed, recorded and mixed by Gramaglia, the first recording Watershed Between Earth And Firmament is a concept album about spiritual renaissance inspired by the beauty of mountainous landscapes of the Italian Alps north of the creator’s homeland . Mastered by Marco Gervasio and fitted with custom artwork painted by Luca Devinu/Blessend,Watershed Between Earth And Firmament is a dense, thirty-minute release sure to catch the attention of fans of Celeste, Castevet, Krallice, Eleven As In Adversaries and the like. The album will see independent release on July 11th, at first digitally, with physical versions to follow.
Universal Road is the recent album released by Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and Mark Gardener (Ride). Their former bands’ work ought to give hints as to where a collaboration between the pair might lead, but this remarkable new album has its own chemistry and is an unexpected treasure from these two well established artists. The pairing of Guthrie and Gardener might, at first glance, be expected to deliver a very particular brand of guitar-driven euphoria, however, Universal Road, defies expectations across ten tracks whose diversity is one of the album’s great strengths.
This is a most harmonious collaboration, at times affirming – ‘Yesterdays News’, exuberant – ‘Dice’, reflective – ‘Sometime’, striking – ‘Old Friend’ and quietly epic – ‘Blind’. Gardener’s vocals have rarely sounded better than they do on Universal Road, his layered harmonies are a particular highlight. Guthrie’s lush sound and alluring guitar arrangements and melodies are seamlessly interwoven throughout, deftly accentuating the emotional content of the songs. Effortlessly assured, poised and graceful, this is an album whose many charms unfold and reward over repeated listens.
At a time when fascination with the shoegaze movement of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s is enjoying a revival, whether it be through band reformations—including the reunion of Gardener’s former band Ride—or adulatory documentaries—2014’s Beautiful Noise—it can be easy to acquire a form of nostalgic tunnel vision. Guthrie and Gardener’s Universal Road takes a fresh direction.
Pines are a Manchester/Salford based alternative psychedelic pop band, and they say of themselves – “We want to write music that reflects the lives of ourselves and the people we know. The experiences and frustrations we share as we make our way through our lives. The things that never tire to amaze us as humans are infinitely more interesting to us than fads or topical critiques on individual political figures. I want to talk about life. Our lives, the lives of our friends, we want to talk about love, about disappointment, hope, friends, religion, death, creativity, the ‘search’. The search is important. Whatever you’re searching for, perpetual restlessness can define a person’s life, for better or for worse, that’s what is at the heart of it. We are all running. Running towards something, or away from something.”
The band was formed in late 2014 their first EP “Love Songs From Inside The Sun” is now available. Recorded in spare rooms using limited recording equipment and various different instruments/sound sources, this EP is the culmination of two years refining and building the sounds you hear below. The focus of the project has been to capture a true representation of the music that has inspired the group and the music that they want to hear.
The band are linked over to previously featured combo Moscow Transport sharing some members.
The drummer sent the link below. It’s powerful and punky “Dream Pop” from Manchester. The band is called Hannah – it kicks off with a belting track and continues in that vein.
Epic indie/dream pop with a punky brashness that is most compelling just about sums it up and it comes highly recommended from me.
Billy Vincent’s new album ‘Stand On Me’ hits the shelves on August 28th 2015.
Here’s the promo gubbins. ‘Stand On Me’ tells 12 tales, some taller than others, and some absolutely honest and true. At times it’s a heartbreaking, drunk in the blackness, fumbling for a lighter to burn your bridges record – but it’s as blindly optimistic as it is dark. Co-writers and singers Billy Barratt and David Vincent had this to say about the new album, its title, and the songs therein…
“We thought it important to choose a title that represents the bigger part of the songs on the record, and ‘Stand On Me’ is one of those reassuring statements that if you’re lucky, someone close to you might say to you when you feel like you’re out of options, letting you know you can lean on them and it’s all going to be alright”.
“A lot of these songs are about that, not letting people you care about crumble and disappear with the rain, it’s a positive thing and we wanted to embrace it”.
This album, however, is not soft or mushy – it’s as aggressive as it is sincere. It’s Americana, dragged through South London… kicking and screaming. Recently signed to Swiss label Deepdive Records, this hard hitting, country-tinged record stretches further afield than the debut album ‘She’.
Covering the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Austria, the band will support the release with tour dates in each region.
Lewisburg is the working moniker for London based singer-songwriter Ali Robertson.
Influenced by acts such as the Eels, Phosphorescent and Ryan Adams he began his musical project in the bars of Williamsburg, Brooklyn at the end of an 18 month around the world trip. Lewisburg subsequently gained radio coverage on LA station KCRW, from The Guardian’s Paul Lester on ‘Absolute’ and his debut single ‘El Celebro’ premiered on UK news and entertainment site Neon Nettle.
An independent artist, he co-produces his material with Olly Betts of ‘The Duke Spirit’ and ‘F.U.R.S’. His new single No Plateau is released next month and is available on all major download sites.
Horse Party formed in September 2012 when singing guitarists Ellie Langley and Seymour Quigley met drummer Shannon Hope at Seymour’s ‘Washing Machine’ clubnights in their hometown of Bury St Edmunds. Inspired by East Anglia’s quietly thriving DIY scene. The trio released a string of singles and EPs on their own Pure Deadly imprint. Summer 2014’s debut album ‘Cover Your Eyes’ saw critical acclaim and airplay.
Horse Party’s new single ‘What I’d Do’will be released as a free download (via http://www.horsepartyparty.co.uk) on Friday 26th June 2015. The band will be cruising around the UK in a battered van throughout the Summer; live dates include supports with Slaves, Levellers and Basement Jaxx.
Emerging from the notorious melting pot of musical talent of Southend on Sea that was home to Danielle Dax, Scroobius Pip, Procol Harum and many more are Apachelux.
A meeting of the minds between Jay Wigmore and Louisa Strachan. Both hailing from the Nirvana generation, long-term stalwart indie drummer Jay met singer/songwriter Louisa at Southend’s Village Green festival last year.
With influences as diverse as Maya Jane Coles to Royal Blood, War on Drugs to Roisin Murphy, Girls Aloud to Smashing Pumpkins, Apachelux’s genre-straddling sound is bound up to a mission of creating ‘dancefloor moments’…that euphoric feeling that makes you grin, jump, maybe even fall in love.
This Time is the debut single from Apachelux, a gorgeous slice of electronic pop music primed to create a dreamy slice of electronic pop, consciously coupling Louisa’s tough but plaintive vocal and Jay’s bittersweet analogue melodies. Alongside the original are remixes from wunderkind Larkebird with a disco-infused house rework that bumps in all the right places; and Spatial Awareness, with a moody, minimal remix for the late night floors.
The latest release from German Shepherd features lavbel stalwarts Ion Morph & Passage of Time in their first collaboration. The four track EP combines musical influences like John Barry, Kraftwerk, Steve Reich, Tim Blake and Giorgio Moroder to create a mystical and magical soundscape. It’s called The Osterburg Variations.
Bourbon Street Beat‘s new single ‘Crossing On a Bend‘ and b-side ‘She’s His Woman’ showcase their signature sound perfectly.
Inspired by bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Band, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, as well as Rock’n’Roll legends like Elvis, Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash, each of these influences are apparent in technique and style yet reinterpreted to give Bourbon Street Beat an indie edge.
Iain Hammond (vocals and guitar), Joe Morrison-Hay (bass) and Andy Mackenzie (drums) met at university and formed the band in 2012. Their last EP ‘Knuckles of Brass’ earned them a strong following in Manchester with this release set to spread the word even further.
‘Crossing on a Bend’ was recorded at Blueprint Studios in Salford, engineered by Tim Thomas and mastered by Gary Hadfield.
More new music things that have come my way over the last week – many of these can be heard on forthcoming podcasts:
Coquin Migale are getting a lot of fuss made about them. Their second release from the recent Feel EP is called “Socotra”, which after a wistful, nearly disconcerting, skinny indie kids start, gets into a full blown anthemic, bathed in reverb, little nugget, that becomes a little bit rock and roll, and has some very good guitar work. Release is scheduled for 27th July.
Stockholm’s Jenny Hansen releases her debut single “Wanderer” on 6th July, a nice slice of quirky pop with a jazzy prog tinge, and with a decent voice as well, worth investigating.
The Creeping Ivies are a 3 piece Rock N Roll band based in Glasgow. Led by vocalist/guitarist Becca Murray, they formed in 2011 and have recorded two albums to date. Debut ‘Stay Wild’ was released on vinyl via US label Dead Beat Records which was followed up a year later with the full length ‘Ghost World’. They have supported notable acts such as Viv Albertine, Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Bob Log III , The Primevals , played headline shows in Scotland and London and have received airplay all over the world. They have a new 3 track ep, ‘The Witch House’, out on 16th August on Flowers In The Dustbin. The lead track is a groovy little primal rock ‘n’ roller in the spirit of The Cramps. Nice!
Hull five piece The Talks are off on tour – more info can be found here
Minneapolis, Minnesota’s scathing grind trio, Ambassador Gun, are in top form, unloading ten new tracks in just over twenty-six minutes on their new one. While the band’s approach is as devastating slick and caustic as ever, incredibly infectious grooves on Tomb of Broken Sleep make themselves as present as a squadron of B-52 bombers paying you a visit with full payloads. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Adam Tucker at Signaturetone Recording (Blue Ox, Guzzlemug, Nerves) in Minneapolis, Tomb Of Broken Sleep exemplifies them as band that can fearlessly write songs that are both ferocious and catchy. Set for independent release this Summer,Tomb Of Broken Sleep will be released digitally via Bandcamp on July 15th, 2015, with physical versions to follow by the end of Summer. Watch out for tracks from it on Sonic Attack during the week of release.
.”So you say this is your final chance” …the opening line of Shark Tape’s ‘Marathon’ speaks of the desperation of a band ready to take off. Shark Tape, a three piece rock band from Philadelphia are Stephen Lorek, Niles Weiss and Dylan Mulcahy. Active on Philadelphia’s music scene since 2007 under various project names, they evolved into Shark Tape and 2012 saw the release two EPs, the self titled ‘Shark Tape’ and ‘Eyes On You’ which gained considerable airplay from East Coast radio stations and went on to be selected as one of WXPN’s top records of the year. Channeling influences from several of rock’s greatest eras, each Shark Tape song carries the band’s own unique sound with subtle references to the likes of The Replacements, Big Star, The Smiths and Cheap Trick. Having garnered a steady and loyal following that continues to grow organically in their hometown, Shark Tape will be touring later this year, looking to replicate the well attended and vibrant shows they’re known for in and around Philadelphia. In late 2013, the band teamed up with renowned engineer Jeff Ziegler (Kurt Vile, War On Drugs) to begin production on the band’s debut album ‘Marathon’. With a huge list of inspirations that includes adventure, struggle, desperation, a quest for enlightenment, Dionysus and Apollo, faint glimpses of the future, destiny vs choice, the search for a way to travel the universe and a desire to walk into the horizon so the sun never sets, it’s fair to say that Marathon is one of the most exciting and intriguing debuts to come out of Philadephia in recent years.
Milton Star follow their hugely successful double A side record ‘Salvation’ and ‘Sorryville’ with the release of their new single ‘Things Fall Apart’. The track is another example of duo Alan Wyllie and Graeme Currie’s unerring ability to create wonderfully atmospheric stories about love, loss and regret framed in beautifully structured melodies and carried by an expansive tremolo wall of sound and a dark soul.
Austrian psychedelic artist Juleah is back with a new album, Melt Inside The Sun. For lovers of 60s psych with a modern twist. Melt Inside The Sun is available in limited edition vinyl, CD and Download – more info on the Bandcamp page.
…and finally for this issue
Released on June 29th 2015, “From A Zafira Comfort” is the second trailer single taken from “Sunny Day Machine”, the forthcoming debut album by St.Christopher Medal, which is due out on Stereogram Recordings on August 10th . At only two minutes long, it’s a short but sweet burst of crunching, melodic Alt Country/Americana guitar pop. It’s energy comes from long friendship; from deep love of music; from C86 to the classic country rock of The Stones and the Flying Burrito Brothers. None of it dimmed for even a moment. Teenage Fanclub. The Hold Steady. Dylan. It’s all there. In the words of singer and chief songwriter Ali Mathieson: “This is all completely true. Sometimes something happens. Some mad alignment of the planets, and all of the children are all asleep at the same time. Then we can get some proper fighting done! This is an apology song (one of many) and although it sounds pretty unlikely now, when I first wrote this it was rocking a kind of Calypso/Merengue, West-Indian sort of vibe. Funny how that sort of thing just suddenly happens like that.”
As usual a serious amount of new material has been delivered here at Aural Delights HQ over the last week so there has not been much time for considered reviewing.
Three pre-release tracks from the new Sallie Ford album “Slapback” have arrived and they sound fantastic. The sound is a little more raw and increases the anticipation for the full release on October 13th.
I finally got around to purchasing the excellent album from My Little Brother “If we never came down” which is marvellous. I featured the band on the radio show a couple of years back and i’ve been meaning to get hold of the release – glad I did it’s fantastic.
My appreciation of the new Trojan Horse album “A World Turned Upside Down” is reflected in an interview with Nick Duke from the band on the Studeo Blog. Suffice to say that the quartet have overcome the “difficult second album” hurdle with some ease and have created something genuinely groundbreaking. Links and stuff are in the review in the other place. I also put together a special podcast to celebrate the album launch which features old and new material from the band as well as each band members musical favourites plus a few of my own choices to break up the mix.
Aural Delights Podcast reaches it’s 100th edition in a couple of weeks so I’ve been putting my mind to how I might celebrate that milestone – pending that here is the latest edition
The new metal and garage music keeps flowing and there have been some remarkable releases which I just have not had chance to write about so I’ll let the Sonic Attack Podcast tell the story – although I will point out the new OHHMS album as a bit of a highlight
And here’s some quick one-lines on the rest of the new material…..all of which should be appearing on future podcasts at some point…..
Cable35 – Coconut Supply (Single) Free Download from Website – Out Now
Taken from the Fungus EP which was out earlier in the year. Fresh neo-grunge sound with a hint of Sonic Youth, Excellent
Roses Never Fade – Devil Dust (Album) Neuropa – Out Now
Remarkable mix of ambient textures and moody acoustic strumming with dark, brooding vocals. Featuring Ancient Wisdom’s Nathan Opposition, The Way To Light’s Austin Rathmell and Pale Creation’s Nick Fiction. Impressive.
Godflesh – A World Lit Only By Fire (Album) Avalanche Records – 6th October 2014
Slightly disappointing in that there is nothing new of note. The usual industrial metal tropes are here and it’s all delivered very well but I could have done with a bit of development maybe.
Positronik – Better Late Than Never (Album) German Shepherd Records – 17th October 2014
Post split compilation of the majority of their recordings. High quality soul-pop with electronica elements.
Dope Body – Lifer (Album) Drag City – 20th October 2014
Impressive second outing for this Baltimore Quartet. Excellent rock/punk and contender for album of the year.
Annhilated – XIII Steps to ruination (Album) Unique Leader – 28th October 2014
Debut, full length intense and unforgiving death metal with some technical elements
Atomzero – Surface (Single) Analogue Trash – release date unknown
Post punk electronica in an Ultravox and that ilk style, but with a touch of Moroder
Monster Jaw – Monster Jaw (EP) Cobra Kitten Records – 27th October 2014
Pop flecked ear-worm in an indie package – vocals seem a bit low in the mix, but good for all that
Surburban Myth – Crashed and Burned (Single) Self Released – 31st October 2014
One of those tunes which has a great verse but a disappointing chorus. The second single taken from the band’s debut Album ‘Welcome (If Only)’.
Public Service Broadcasting – The Race for Space (Album) Cargo – 23rd February 2015
A Teaser video for the new album, which is a long way off, looks to continue the work to date, I hope they will have developed some of there elements to freshen up the sound.
and finally a little treat with the new video from Le Butcherettes…..
EARTH REVEAL DETAILS OF THEIR TENTH STUDIO RECORDING, PRIMITIVE AND DEADLY; TO BE RELEASED VIA SOUTHERN LORD IN SEPTEMBER, PLUS TOUR DATES INCOMING INCLUDING A SHOW AT GORILLA, MANCHESTER ON AUGUST 15TH
Earth’s career, like its music, has always been a slow, deliberate progression. Each record slightly removed from the last, a constant refinement of a singular vision. Dylan Carlson has remained focused throughout on coaxing moments of strange beauty and reflection from “the riff”. This elemental foundation of rock is refracted, in their earliest recordings, through the prism of sheer volume & feedbacking drone or, in the twin Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light set from 2011 & 2012, via a sparse unravelling take on folk.
With Primitive and Deadly, Earth’s tenth studio collection, Carlson and long term drummer Adrienne Davies, manage to pull off the trick of completing a reative cycle, 25 years in the making, whilst exploring new directions in Earth’s music. For the first time in their diverse second period, they allow themselves to be a ROCK band, freed of adornment and embellishment. As much as Carlson’s guitar has always been the focal point of Earth’s music, it’s been surrounded by consistently diverse instrumentation. Here the dialog between Carlson and Davies drumming remains pivotal, underpinned by the sympathetic bass of Bill Herzog (Sunn 0))), Joel RL Phelps, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) and thickened by additional layers of guitar from Brett Netson (Built To Spill, Caustic Resin) & Jodie Cox (Narrows). Perhaps the largest left turn on Primitive and Deadly, though, is prominence of guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi (Rose Windows) who transform the traditionally free ranging meditations of Earth into something approaching traditional pop structures.
The tension between a band pushing themselves ever forward whilst surveying their history is reflected in the albums twin recording locales. The foundation of the record was laid in the mystic desert high lands of Joshua Tree, California where Earth recorded hour after hour of meditations on each tracks central theme at Rancho de la Luna. Upon returning to Seattle these were edited, arranged and expanded upon at Avast with the help of long-term collaborator Randall Dunn (who was previously at the helm for the Hex, The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull and Hibernaculum sessions).
Sounds pretty tasty – and I look forward to hearing it……..
SELECTED EARTH DISCOGRAPHY:
Extra Capsular Extraction (Sub Pop) 1991*
Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version (Sub Pop) 1993
Phase 3: Thrones and Dominions (Sub Pop) 1995
Pentastar: In the Style of Demons (Sub Pop) 1996
Hex; Or Printing in the Infernal Method (Southern Lord) 2005
Hibernaculum (Southern Lord) 2007
The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull (Southern Lord) 2008
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (Southern Lord) 2011
Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II (Southern Lord) 2012
Primitive and Deadly (Southern Lord) 2014
*re-issued as A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction (Southern Lord) 2010
July 31st – Katowice, Pl – Off Festival
August 1st – Leipzig, DE – UT Connewitz
August 2nd – Berlin, DE – Lido
August 4th – Sibenik, HR – Super Uho Festival
August 5th – Vienna, AT – Arena
August 7th – Wiesbaden, DE – Schlacthof
August 8th – Zurich, CH – Bogen F
August 9th – Paris, FR – Point Ephemere
August 10th – Antwerp, BE – Zuiderpershuis
August 11th – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli
August 13th – Dublin, IE – Whelans
August 14th – Glasgow, UK – CCA August 15th – Manchester, UK – Gorilla
August 16th – London, UK – Jabberwocky Festival
There will be an aural delights special featuring Earth during week beginning 1st June to mark this release.
People tend to do lists and stuff at this time of the year – i’ve done it myself in the past but this year it just seemed a bit unnecessary. Plus there does seem to be a mania for producing lists of increasing irrelevance as some sort of substitution for journalism these days. So in attempting to buck that trend I thought I’d just meander through a few thoughts about the general state of music, and what I have been up to in the last 11 and a bit months.
It will be of no surprise to regular readers that the dominant musical entity in my little world has been Kill Pretty. With “Dark Heart” and “Rob A Bank” finally released via All The Madmen in the early months of the year, rather speedily followed by the reissue of “In 80 Days” and a remix album called “Snake Sheds Skin” the group has not been short of product. They’ve also managed to do 14 gigs (come 27th December) which is rather remarkable given the lead singer had major heart surgery earlier in the year. Add to this a brand new album due out sometime in the New Year, which I caught some of the recording of (and reasons why I did will become apparent when it is released), and where I marveled at the quartet’s inventiveness. There have been some pretty memorable live experiences with the band in the last 9 months – I didn’t get to them all (you can have too much of a good thing) – made all the more important by some of the support acts that I caught – honorable mentions for Andy T, Sarah De Warren, Little Rach, Poppycock, Factory Acts, Monkeys In Love and The Astronauts who all demonstrated that you don’t have to follow trends or fashions in order to make great music.
Talking of gigs it has been a great year and I was pleased, after a long gap, to see Van Der Graaf Generator – who were marvellous. It was also great seeing the likes of Ill, The Bacillus, The Moods, Wrecks, Beach Skulls, Raw Bones, Blue Orchids, Mr Heart, Chaos of Birds, Bobbie Peru, Kit B, Taser Puppets, Sinister Chuckles, AAAK and many others throughout the year.
Mention must also be made I think of what I might loosely describe as the Yorkshire Contingent – Flies On You, Cable35, Curry Quiche, Ubertino De Casale and Staggs all demonstrated a unique approach to music making and created great listening experiences. I was lucky enough to have my remix of FOY’s Josephine included in a special release of a variety of versions of the tune – which also included work by the aforementioned Ubertino – who also is a member of the FOY live experience, albeit under a different name.
Scotland still provides a great deal of the music which comes my way and special thanks to Col at Dogs Got A Bone, Flowers in the Dustbin and the Miss Lucid lads for providing some great music.
Mr Dave Graney – an abiding obsession – produced a run of excellent singles and released a pair of fascinating live albums, and his partner Clare Moore was also in fine form via The Dames.
Nu-Electronica has been in fine fettle all year with excellent music from Tingle in the Netherlands, Exchange, Positronik and Factory Acts all altering the genre in exciting and provoking ways. Sadly two of the aforementioned are now in hiatus.
It’s been a great year for albums , see below for my top three, but to be frank within in excess of 2,000 new releases flowing in via the ethernet it has been impossible to keep on top of all of them and I shall still be mopping up the best of the ones I haven’t got to yet well into 2014.
Locally – ie Greater Salford – it has been another fantastic year for the likes of Johann Kloos, As Able As Kane, Mr Heart, Kit B, Death to the Strange, Bobbie Peru, The Ascension, Stalagmites and many more – sorry if I missed any one but i’m trying to keep this relatively short. The emerging Red Stars look to be very promising indeed, and the long awaited release of Girl Peculiars’ EP does indeed demonstrate what a major talent Jenny is. And in that circle of friends is of course the legendary Ed Blaney – who with Grayso and Paul Ashton – managed and delivered a fourth Salford Musical Festival. As usual there was a serious amount of stuff going on over the four days of the festival and it all was topped off rather nicely with a great Xmas Party a couple of weeks back (see this review).
The town of Chorley continues to being forth a disproportionately large amount of excellent music from it’s roundabouts and public houses – Taser Puppets, Sinister Chuckles, Cactus Knife to name but a few. And the “Jason King” of pop Mr Shaun Ali Bongo Maxwell also spread his wings to envelope the strange and sometimes undecipherable world of Mr Luis Drayton amongst other things. And while we mention La Drayton we must also mention the artist formally known as Toska Wilde who with lycanthropic fervour has embraced the persona of the Cryin’ Queerwolf with gay abandon.
Lets not forget three acts originally brought to my attention by Julia at Invisible Girl – Danny Short, Fall Fan Dave and Moff Skellington. More quality material from all three this year. They never fail to deliver and please me with their work.
A special mention for the debut album from Soul Saboteur which was breathtakingly good and was a millimetre away from the top 3 releases of the year.
The highlight of the year has been the work of that itinerant troubadour and ex-prophylatic salesman from Bae Colwyn – the dashingly erudite Mr Dusty Moonan – who has produced some spectacular music – and from what I have heard from his forthcoming album will continue to do so next year!
I hope the last three shows have given you a flavour of the best of 2013. The final part of my look back at plus the results of the Artist of the Year poll and my top three albums are below. There are also some suggestions from Tony T and SD (I did ask Monty but he must have forgot)……and some christmassy things thrown in for good measure…..(well sort of….).
I’ll be having next week off and will back on January 9th with a slightly different format but still with lots of brand new music both local and from further afield.
Part 2 of a four part series reflecting back on the best of 2013……a heavy bias towards Salford and Greater Manchester artists on this one with occasional trips to Preston, Ellesmere Port, Liverpool, Leeds, Hong Kong,the south coast and Scotland.
And it’s with great sadness that I have to note that the excellent Tingle In The Netherlands have decided to conclude……a great pity.
As is usual during December I look back at the best of the year and provide a synopsis of some of the outstanding musical treats that have been featured on the podcasts and on the blog. There will be no doubt buried somewhere in the blog information about all of these bands and artists so feel free to use the handy search feature at the top right hand side of the page.
A very busy year music wise – busier than any previous year – with an amazing amount of new material being sent my way and over 1500 tunes played on the Aural Delights Podcast alone. So it has been a challenge to review all of this and pick out some highlights. But here are the best 25 tracks of the first few months of the year.
Total Victory – Holy Cross
Ummagma – Lama
Kit B – Slow Burn
Sky Valley Mistress – Baby Ruthless
Pond – Hanman
Dead Rabbits – All You Need
Camera – E-Go
Lumerians – Hashashin
Grace – Stealing Kisses
The Outreach Project – She’s In Control
The Deadline Shakes – Sweeten The Deal
Hot Stuff and the Eye Candy – Hyper Little Monkey
Dr Tequila – Hills Of Marin
The Ligaments – Lungs
Tartufi – Eaves
Sinister Chuckles – Marilyn Monroe
Eccentronic Research Council – Wicked Sisters (Disco Version)
An abiding musical obsession for me in the early 80s was the formative years of Cabaret Voltaire – especially the first three albums and the early singles, when Chris Watson was a member of the band. However I did not get to see them live until 1982, after Chris had left. and when the band was Mal and Richard with Alan Fish on drums. Two gigs at the Hacienda stick in my memory as some of the most challenging and entertaining music i’ve seen and which broke the boundaries and played with the rules of what sat in which particular musical genre box. Two gigs from the tours during which the Hacienda gigs featured – Liverpool and Sheffield – are part of a new box set. A further gig from 1985 – when the band had moved into yet another musical phase is also featured in the box set. So i’m playing tracks from each of the gigs plus some fairly rare Cabs stuff which turned up on the “Listen Up” compilation, and a classic track from the exceptional “Red Mecca” album.
Add to that lots of new music and you have a rather nice collection of Aural Delights….enjoy!
The Junta – Parenthood
Cabaret Voltaire – This Is Entertainment
Cabaret Voltaire – This Is Our Religion
Coroner for the Police – Walking With God
Jimmy Miller – Nostalgia
The Rain Parade – This can’t be today
Grass House – Faun
Cabaret Voltaire – Diskono
The Seeds – No Escape
Moff Skellington – Flimsy Runs My Bones
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Mustt Mustt(Massive Attack Remix)
Christian Bordeaux – First Grain
Molo – Hello Goodbye (Om Unit Remix)
Shaun Maxwell – Waiting for My Man (Passage of Time Mix)
Star Spangled Banana – Nag Nag Nag (Joe McKechnie Mix)
Spookily as I was putting this show together I received this remix track from Joe McKechnie – “Brand new from Star Spangled Banana is this version of the Cabaret Voltaire song Nag Nag Nag. Produced by Joe Mckechnie, it will be released very very soon on Agitated Records. Star Spangled Banana is Aslan Kastanetz, Bob Katz, Midi Hi-Fye, Klaus Action & McGill. Just out is the Star Spangled Banana LP – Pebbles 2000 agitatedrecords.com/releases.html” I remarked to Joe that this sounds a little like The Seeds – and Joe replied “that was the intention”. Completing a nice circle of musical serendipity between The Seeds, The Cabs and Star Spangled Banana.