Fascinating Things : Issue 03

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).

(Photo credit: Monica Lozano)
(Photo credit: Monica Lozano)

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 intern​ational 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.

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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.

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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.

TheClearingPath_0913 copia [photo by Virginia Sarediy]

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.

03-10 robin in studio

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.

Billy Vincent

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.

HP

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.

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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.

Picture 19

Enjoy,

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Salford Music Scene – 17th April 2012

On this weeks show which you can hear at this place

1 Deadbeat Echoes Surge of Youth Single
2 GlassHeads The Error of Your Ways Single
3 Seahawk This Place Is A Dolls House Promo
4 Bourbon Street Beat Save Me Promo
5 The Happy Fallen Planet X Demo
6 GlassHeads Man In the Street Single
7 India Mill Caribesque Single
8 Shauna Mackin Holy Ghost Promo
9 Raised On Replicas OMG Single
10 Bears! BEARS? A Lament for Living Promo
11 GlassHeads Latin Maxim Promo
12 Velocets Push Me In Single
13 GlassHeads Pressure Cooker Single
14 The Fall Choc-Stock Totales Turns
15 Sinister Chuckles Tony Thornboroughs Sock Promo

Notes

1/9. The initial releases on the new “local”  “Louder Than War” record lable both of which are being released on Record Store  Day. There is one by The Membranes but it arrived to late to include in the show. “Deadbeat Echoes are further proof that the North West is still capable of creating fab twisted guitar bands. They combine rabble-rousing lad pop with sharp and angular riffs and that natural psychedelic twist that the greatest NW bands have – that trick of making reality sound strange and twisting the mundane into genius.”   Based in Cheshire, the band (who are all about seventeen) seem to have an endless stockpile of great songs, arriving with punk band nous, yet are thrillingly versed in rock n roll and understand all the fascinating nooks and crannies and are not trapped into a genre. They are more than just lad rock – they are taking the arid and wonderful and translating it back into a language that the mass audience will understand. It’s a great trick and another hallmark of great NW music – the trick of making high art for the people, taking the esoteric and putting it onto the terraces and into the council estates. As the ones with everything right now; from the tunes to the attitude to the innate genius and the work ethic, they’re pegged to be massive.

Raised On Replicas are two boys and two girls from Brighton who deal a discordant pop/noise that is full of the joys of hypnotic loud guitars, driving bass and really fab metronomic, motornik drums that are entwined with sharp melodies and hip, witty cutting lyrics. Somehow they manage to surf the possibilities of noise and tunefulness all at once and soundtrack the bedsit bohemian twilight zone of early 21st century UK. With their innate charm and their wired melodies they are pop, a real pop of the everyday cranked through a fuzzbox and brimming with the joy of guitars and intelligence. They are in love with the likes likes of Pavement, Pixies, Blur, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sonic Youth and whilst they have some of that American scuzz to their sound there is something very British about them. They look great as well, a mix of Oxfam chic and ballroom glam and are steeped in music culture and their band name, like their music, is really hip, funny and cool.”

2/6/11/13 – a sort of potted history of GlassHeads to date – the first two singles, a promo track, and the latest single – read my interview with them here

3/8/10 – there is a new festival (we have a lot of festivals in Salford these days) from 21st-23rd April more info here. These are three of the bands that are playing – all seem to eminate from the University of Salford which is good as i’ve been trying to get some sort of linkage with bands  from that fine establishment – I tried with the lecturers/course tutors etc and got nowhere so I’m pleased to have an “in” at last – I mean what’s the point of a local community radio station if it doesn’t support local emerging talent….. eh?

4. As featured in previous weeks – excellent local band with a good rock sound.

5. Neale James is back with an excellent piece of psychedelic guitar magic.

7. From Blackburn and rather groovy – check out the video – it’s a hoot

12. The other side of the new single …..

14. A classic from Totales Turns featuring my chum Mike Leigh……

15. A tale of hedonistic onanism emerging from the Chorley area and inspired by the impact of progressive rock on the ears of a certain DJ – filth! I’d ban it ….several times…and then bury it…..

Salford Music Scene Radio Show – 10th April 2012

The playlist for this show is below (with notes this time round) – listen here

1 Velocets Sophie Single
2 Tall for Jockeys Louie TherouXXX Get Japan On The Phone
3 AAAK Out Here Totalitarian Tip-Toe
4 Moongoose Mr Valdemar-Mr Huxley Organic Technology : Reaction Music II
5 So Shush Sad Princess A Mirror Gaze
6 The Slow Show Dirty Little Secret
7 Last Harbour The Heath
8 Modern Blonde Memory Sorry
9 Bourbon Street Beat A Stone By The Coast Demo
10 Fall Fan Dave and the Laptop Dancers Maglev to Anywhere But Essex Beat on the Moans
11 AAAK Re-Generate Totalitarian Tip-Toe
12 Sptfyr Creeper Commercial Terrorist
13 Moongoose In A House Made Of Light Organic Technology : Reaction Music II
14 So Shush Fragile Me A Mirror Gaze
15 The Fall The War Against Intelligence Shift-Work

Notes

1. You can catch Velocets live gig at The Dry Bar tomorrow night {Wednesday)start time 7.00. It is a Backstage Live promotion and is in aid of Francis House Childrens Hospice tickets are £5.
Bands
Dale Coleridge 7:45 – 7:50
The Melancholy 8:00 – 8:20
The Masquerade 8:35– 8:55
Brad Wilde 9:05 – 9:25
Velocets: 9:35 – 9:55
The Centrals 10:05 – 10:30

2. From Manchester – used to be Robot House – Facebook

3/11.  Have now got a brand spanking new website which has got some free downloads on it. Mr Montague and myself get a mention…..- Website

4/13. You can get this excellent album here – and happy birthday to “Yorkie” (it was last week)

5/14. So Shush are a female fronted alternative rock band with influences ranging from sixties pop to obscure indie. Since the release of their self titled debut album in autumn 2008 and second album ‘Wistful Wanders’ in spring 2009 So Shush have featured on numerous North American and European radio shows and playlists and were   at 12 in Neil Young’s LWWT video chart! – Facebook

6. From the new EP which came out on April 2nd –  Website

7. Free download from their website – the drummer is Howard from the Kin band, who also guests on the new AAAK album.

8. From the Sorry album – but there is already another new album on bandcamp…..productive!

9.  Bourbon Street Beat are a 3 piece Rock’n’ Roll band based in Manchester who draw their influences from genres including 1960’s rock/ Blues/ 50’s rock’n’roll/ country/indie, to name a few. Since forming in early 2010 the band have been gigging around the Manchester/Greater Manchester venues gaining a high interest and decent following, supporting signed and established acts such as Tom Gray (Gomez), Hot Club De Paris and The Lambrettas. Positive reviews for the band’s performances have already been displayed in local papers and by well known promoters. The band have recently finished working in the studio on a 3 track demo which is available to hear on their myspace page www.myspace.com/bourbonstreetbeat

10. From the forthcoming album “Beat on the Moans” – this is an early as yet completed version.

12. From the forthcoming album which was recorded at Blueprint and released on local (and I mean local- Eccles!) record lable Stutter – Facebook – details of album launch party are here

15.  Concluding as usual with something from The Fall – more details on this album here 

Salford Music Scene Radio Show – 3rd April 2012

On this edition…..listen here….

1 AAAK Achilles Heel Totalitarian Tip-Toe
2 Modern Blonde Tropical Sorry
3 Kingdom Lost Stay Together Desire Lines
4 Moongoose An Incident on Pelham Grove Organic Technology : Reaction Music II
5 Bourbon Street Beat The Gamblers Demo
6 Hunting Bears I’m Of A Mind Demo
7 Stalagmites Lost Bones Zulus
8 The Centrals Pretty Face Demo
9 Moongoose Organic Technology Organic Technology : Reaction Music II
10 AAAK Trigger Finger Totalitarian Tip-Toe
11 Sptfyr Commercial Terrorist Commercial Terrorist
12 The Vow A Walk In The Sunshine Single
13 The Fall Last Nacht I am Kurious Oranj