Fascinating Things : Issue 59

Still buzzing from my adventures in London last week it has taken quite a while to catch up on things and there is a pile of stuff to share with you so I will dispense with the usual sermon and get on with it…..

Described as the “New Wave of British Punk” The Jacques, from Bristol. aren’t, they might be the new wave of glam or pub-rock, but it most definitely isn’t punk. Anyway they pen a good tune and once you get by the annoying narrative bits there is something good going on here. Reminds me of the Heavy Metal Kids or something like that. It’s out on 20th May and they play Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester on the 27th, and a load of other Dot to Dot Festivals elsewhere after that, as well as Kendal Calling.

Since the release of their debut LP, “Manifest Decimation”, Power Trip have been playing and touring ceaselessly with international names like Lamb of God and Anthrax, and a comprehensive list of the best operating in the hardcore, metal and punk underground. With their trademark reverb-drenched old school attack that brings to mind Cro-Mags and early Sepultura amongst others, they are a band for lovers of loud and fast punk metal. Their new record, “Nightmare Logic” is due out on Southern Lord this year.

UK/Eire dates are:

  • 26/05 – Cardiff, The Bunker
  • 27/05 – Birmingham,  Concrete Fest
  • 28/05 – Dublin, Fibber Magees
  • 29/05 – Belfast,  Warzone Centre
  • 30/05 – Glasgow, Audio
  • 31/05 – Leeds,  Temple Of Boom
  • 01/06 – London, Boston Music Rooms

And this is what you can expect to see….

Rude Audio includes Mark Ratcliff (arrangement, production and keyboards), Amanda Greatorex (vocals and lyrics), Eucalypta LV (guest vocals), Lamis Harper (piano and keys), Tony Shea (guitar and ostrich guitar), and Owain Lloyd (mixing desk and lyrics), who just finished up a tour with Paul Weller and began a new one with Stereophonics. Their new EP  “Rudest” is out on June 7th and is very good indeed….

San Francisco’s Kowloon Walled City, radical distillers of sludge and post-hardcore, are heading out on a European Tour for the very first time this August/September; they will be supporting  Minsk. This is an excellent chance to witness a band who over the last decade have refined their sound through a series of excellent releases. Last year’s “Grievances” LP, released in October via Neurot Recordings, was their best to date echoing the early menace of Slint albeit in a more unforgiving framework.  As things stand there is, sadly, only one UK date at Underworld in London on September 3rd.

La Malinconia delle Fate, by the post/experimental/heavy/progressive/instrumental duo SDANG, made in collaboration with La Fornace Dischi, Dreaminggorilla, Taxi Driver Records and Totem Schwan is now available via Bandcamp. Groovy head-banging stuff!

Mamiffer (Faith Coloccia & Aaron Turner) tour across Europe this summer, in support of Turner’s band SUMAC. This tour supports  Mamiffer’s new LP, “The World Unseen” (SIGE Records) and sees the bands travel across Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the UK and Portugal. UK dates are 06/07/2016 – Bristol, The Fleece  and 07/07/2016 – London, Underworld, both dates with Janne Westerlund.

Le Butcherettes are returning to Europe for a headlining tour this autumn, in support of their latest offering “A Raw Youth” which saw release last September via Ipecac Recordings. On 13th May  they released a Digital Deluxe version of “A Raw Youth” with four bonus tracks. The bonus tracks include an acoustic version of “Shave The Pride” and “They Fuck You Over”, a b-side featuring King Buzzo (Melvins) titled “We No Owe”, and a live cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” which was recorded at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.

UK/Eire dates are all in October

  • 14th, London, The Black Heart
  • 16th, Birmingham,  Hare & Hounds
  • 17th, Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
  • 19th, Dublin, The Workmans Club
  • 20th, Belfast, , Black Box
  • 21st, Glasgow,  King Tuts
  • 22nd, Manchester,  Night & Day

Ask For Joy presents the new single “Cherry Popsicle” from the 7-track LP ‘New Private Window’. A mainstay on the U.S. shoegaze scene, this is Ask For Joy’s 9th release, featuring walls of shimmering reverb-drenched guitars, endearing vocals and expansive harmonic melodies. Founded in 2005, Ask For Joy is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Aaron Rossetto. Based in Austin, Texas, artists like himself and Ringo Deathstarr are putting this city on the shoegaze map. Combining the fuzzy warm shoegaze of Slowdive with the raw sonic power of bands like Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, Ask For Joy offer a slightly heavier version of the genre.

Middlemist Red is a psych-rock band from Budapest, Hungary, founded in 2012.
Evermore is the band’s first single from their second upcoming LP. There’s a good mix of space rock vibe in here as well, alongside the nods to early Floyd and a touch of post-punk in the vocal area.

 

 

 

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Fascinating Things : Issue 50

Aahh, 50 issues of things that fascinate, so how to mark this auspicious occasion? How about some new stuff  you probably don’t know about but you really ought to be aware of?

Number : One

Who? : Two Car Family

From?: Leeds

Notable Facts? : Includes Andy from Flies On You (although he has just announced he is stepping back from the band) and Mave from Chumbawamba

Sounds Like?: Epic grandeur indie with Nash & Young vocal harmonies

Number : Two

Who? : Saint Lawrence Verge

From? Modena

Notable Facts? : First international release by German Shepherd Records “Ashram” due soon…..

Sounds Like? Post-punk prog with a Morricone twist, lots of changes and dynamics

Number : Three

Who? : Kit B

From? : Manchester/Salford

Notable Facts?:  There are two DJs in the band. New EP out next week.

Sounds Like? : It comes from Manchester

Number : Four

Who? Mammifer

From? Seattle

Notable Facts? New album out on April 1st.

Sounds Like?: Minimal meanderings through a dreamscape. Tangerine Dream meets Sigur Ros at a shoegaze party.

Number : Five

Who? John Kaada and Mike Patton

From? : Stavanger and Eureka

Notable Facts? New album out on Ipecac on April 1st

Sounds Like?  Cinematic Horror Movie Soundtrack

Fascinating Things : Issue 47

And so here we are again with a pile of new stuff to wander through. It’s been a busy year so far with little time to properly absorb the vast array of excellent new things that have arrived, so in order to catch up here is quick list of recommended things……

  • Tulipomania’s fourth album ‘This Gilded Age’ was released on February 26, 2016 and is pretty damn fine….if you are not sucked in by the moody opener “Hold On” then I fear for your mortal soul dear reader!
  • Previously featured Milton Keynes duo The Rusty G’s have their debut album ‘Low’ out on 9th May. It’s take no prisoners blues-rock with a grunge backbone throughout. Great! They play Gullivers in Manchester on 31st May as part of an eleven date UK tour. White Stripes meets Nirvana…..
  •  Corrina Jane (who I think I featured back in the radio days, unless there’s another Corinna Jane out there) has been getting some national recognition and no surprising given her penchant for catchy pop ditties. This tune is out on February 29th presaging four dates in March, one in the peoples republic of Moulton in sunny Northampton, I wonder if my chum The Great Gibbo will be attending. Anyhow this is a bit of a guilty pleasure one.
  • Mamiffer (the duo of Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner [Sumac, Old Man Gloom]) have shared the second single from their dynamic and compelling new album The World Unseen, due out April 1st on their own SIGE Records. No embed code on this one so you’ll have to jump over there yourself. On this evidence sounds like an interesting album to grab when it arrives.
  • The excellent David “Yorkie” Palmer is back with a new Moongoose album called ‘Missives from the Memory Machine’ and bloody good it is too. Expect the usual stunning aural adventures as rock and electronica mix seemlessly to create a joyous adventure. It knocks the increasingly repetitive Public Service Broadcasting into a cocked hat (whatever one of those is).
  • Shauna from Shameless (and faves Ummagma) sent through news of a new EP from The Veldt. ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’ is a 5-track set, and the band comprises  identical twins Daniel and Danny Chavis, along with Hayato Nakao. This is their first EP as The Veldt in 20 years,  combining soul, shoegaze, RnB, and alternative rock. They were also previously known as Apollo Heights and are known for their long-term collaborative relationship with Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), who produced several previous releases. To be released on vinyl, CD and digially via UK-based Leonard Skully Records. You’ll be able to get your grubby paws on it on March 18th,
  • The British connoisseurs of guitar driven alternative rock release news of their forthcoming April 2016 UK tour. Joining the Bath (UK) based Scout Killers on their crusade across English cities are support acts Amongst Thieves and The Loose Cut. The 5 piece outfit of Scott Cox (Vox), Julien Morrez (Guitar/vox), Beau Stevens (Guitar), Josh Ellis (Bass) and Chris Phillips (Drums)head out on tour following the release their latest single ‘Rip Me Apart’ out 28th March 2016. Having made loyal fans through extensive touring and their acclaimed 2014 EP – ‘Stand Your Ground’, Scout Killers are fresh out of the recording studio with new material to unleash during this year. Expect huge sonics, atmospheric guitar work and emotive vocals from the band who effectively know how to create anthemic rock tracks. They play Manchester Aatma on 9th April. Might be a bit too epic indie for some but it has a certain something.
  • Previously featured Aussie Hayden Calnin has put out ‘Cut Love Pt. 1’ which  is the first part of his  soon to be released debut album due for release in early March. It’s fascinating left field stuff.  Unfortunately for you the playlist is private so I can’t embed anything but fear not there are some tracks on next week but ones Aural Delights podcast. People who like Sigur Ros will love this stuff.

HC_CutLove_Album

  • Chorley’s Taser Puppets are back on March 18th with a four track EP called ‘Fossil’ via German Shepherd. With the flute now firmly embedded in the band’s sound this is a huge step forward for Shaun Ali Bongo and co. Highly recommended and here’s a taster.
  • French artist Fabian Aubry aka At Dawn We Are Kings has a new collection out called ‘Night Swim’  – a slight move on from his earlier releases this is strong material with a rich emotional content. You can grab it on I-Tunes. Fabian tells me he is relocating to Bristol soon, so hopefully there will be some UK dates from this talented chap.

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Fascinating Things : Issue 42

Part two of this weeks rush of new material…..

Neurot Recordings have announced a full-length collaborative debut between apocalyptic doom duo, The Body, and grindcore/harsh noise outfit, Full Of Hell, this March. Fittingly titled “One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache”, the album includes eight new offerings along with two bonus tracks.

2015 was a busy year for SUNN O))). Following the recent release of  “Kannon” – their first full length album since 2009’s “Monoliths and Dimensions” – a series of European appearances, culminating in their curation of four days at Utrecht’s Le Guess Who? festival, news has emerged that their live album DØMKI RKE will be re-released 5th February 2016.

Kannon, in its earliest incarnation, was inspired from live compositions of SUNN O))); elements of which were present at DØMKIRKE. DØMKIRKE was recorded at the Bergen Cathedral in Bergen, Norway during the Borealis Festival in 2007. The four-song double album was initially released in September 2008 and is available on vinyl only, with one track featuring on each side of the records. This performance features intrinsic members of SUNN O)))’s line-up, including Attila Csihar (vocals), Tos Nieuwenhuizen (Moog), Lasse Marhaug (noise), Steve Moore (organ, trombone) with Greg Anderson (guitar) and Stephen O’Malley (guitar) vitally remaining at the centre of the SUNN O))) constellation.

Sunn 00000
Artwork by Tania Stene

The sixth Black Market Karma album “The Sixth Time Around” is now out and is very good……

Ritual Productions follow up their signing announcement of Helsinki’s primitive elementalists Horse Latitudes with the first insight into the sound of their forthcoming full-length, “Primal Gnosis”, by way of an album trailer. The Finnish four piece are known for their slow, primordial and powerful music, combining suffocating doom, black metal and hypnotic psychedelic repetition.

The near seven-minute trailer offers sonic snippets of three songs – ‘Incantation’, ‘Spirals’ and ‘New Dawn’. The dark ambient textures and solemn, sombre moods are cut with pummelling bass lines and howling. Very atmospheric.

Beauty Sleep, a new 3-piece from Belfast have been drawn to my attention. Born at a local house party, the three musicians bonded over spelling naughty words on a fridge magnet crossword. Made up of Ryan McGroarty, Cheylene Murphy and Aimee Williamson, the naughty words led to musical discussions that required further investigation, post-hangover. The hashtag says “dreampop”, and it’s one of those annoying ones that your forebrain says you shouldn’t be liking but your hindbrain says keep listening,

‘Facepunch Transport Layer’ sounds like a name Mark E.Smith would have come up with in around 1982 and is the appropriately-titled first single to see public release from Black Shape Of Nexus’ impending fourth LP, “Carrier”.  The best description is probably slightly unhinged, and rather flippin’ marvellous, a bit like Arthur Brown with a motorik bass line. Unfortunately it’s one of those occasions where Soundcloud hasn’t got an embed option but you can listen to it here. I recommend you do.

photo credit: Bernhard Hoell
photo credit: Bernhard Hoell

Conny Ochs‘ forthcoming third solo album, “Future Fables” – set for release in late February via Exile On Mainstream – has been trailed, Interesting stuff. Future Fables will see release through Exile On Mainstream on February 26th, 2016. Preorders have been made available through the label, on both CD and LP

Mamiffer (the duo of Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner) forthcoming LP, “The World Unseen”, is officially confirmed for release via SIGE Records on 1st April. Here’s a snippet from the album, Ethereal and dreamy with a hint of GSYBE, Sadly no embed again  but have a gander here.

A few snippets of forthcoming releases from German Shepherd Records to close….

One half of Staggs, m.t. scott  has a new release.   Pending new Staggs material he has delved into his archive and enhanced a collection of excellent tunes which merge trip-hop, ambient, cinema soundtracks and sprinklings of guitar and piano. Blessed with the usual Scott world weary and sardonic narrative the songs capture a feel somewhere between Before and After Science era Eno, John Barry and european neo-realism.  Entitled “The Broken EP” it will be released on 19th February via Bandcamp and the  usual digital outlets.

Intelligent, emotional and thought-provoking this is one not to be missed for lovers of fine music.

Iron Mouse (formerly Ion-Morph) and Space Museum celebrate the next phase in their partnership with a five track EP “Treatments” released on February 12th. This is their first release under the new name.

The duo’s usual obsessions are in play with tunes about the treatment of mental patients, abusive patriarchs, religion, retro music and cover bands, and politics/duplicity, all wrapped up in layered post-rock electronica.

Here’s a video of lead track “Treatments”,

Salford/Manchester/Chester band Kit B will be releasing an EP  this year.  Featuring “The Junta” aka Monty on bass as well as other local music legends Danny Cusick (The Hidden Gem), Mike Powell (Exchange, Night Operations) and Peter Slater (Vee V V, Tunnelvision) the band deliver cutting edge Manchester indie and are gaining a growing reputation since their self-released EP “Be Your Own God” from 2015. It will feature this track “It Always Rains (On Sunday)”.

In the parallel universe where the folks who run German Shepherd live Moff Skellington is a national treasure, spoken of in the same hushed tones as such notables as Ivor Cutler, Vivian Stanshall, and Mr Fong who used to run the chinese chippy on Lower Broughton Road in Salford (probably the best Spring Rolls in the known universe). In the “normal” world he is steadfastly ignored by the great unwashed mass of Adele. Coldplay and Mumford fans. I firmly believe this must change . “Neither Whiff Nor Spoor” is Moff’s 28th album and continues the tradition of the blend of music, art and performance known as Eddodi. Bringing together such diverse influences as Pere Ubu, Tom Waits, The Fall, The Mothmen, and Captain Beefheart with his own particular form of traditional english music, Moff once again delivers a heady stew of words, sounds and emotions. Simply put there is no other artist in the world who is producing material like this. The subject matter is. as usual wide and varied, and very unique. Here is a preview track.