It’s The New Things

Artist : The Things 

Title : EP1

Label : Imperial

Release Date : August 14th 2015 things-sleeve2w

The Things are a Manchester, UK,  group that originally formed in 1979.  Inspired by the sounds of 60’s psychedelia and garage bands, such as The Seeds, the group were popular in a burgeoning post punk scene at the turn of the decade which included groups like The Fall, Magazine, The Distractions and The Hamsters. Whilst the front facing part of the local scene was obsessing over Factory Records, and its particularly dour outlook, the music scene in the Manchester conurbation was far more complex, varied and upbeat.

In March 1980 The Things were approached by John Maher and Richard Boon, respectively the drummer and manager of Buzzcocks. John asked if they would record a single as the first release on his new Imperial Records label. The band agreed on condition he became their drummer so did and made his Things debut in Liverpool a month later. The Things were soon playing regularly to packed crowds in Manchester at venues like The Band On The Wall , The Russell Club and The Beach Club.

The Things

The Things recorded a session of 4 tracks for Mark Radcliffe’s Transmission show on Piccadilly Radio, broadcast on 12 July 1980. A single, “Pieces Of You” was released in October 1980 followed by a British tour supporting Buzzcocks.

John Peel recorded The Things live at his roadshow at Manchester Polytechnic in 1980 for an album he planned to release but for reasons unknown to those outside the BBC the project was not completed and these recordings remain unreleased. On his Radio One show John Peel described The Things as ” a semi legendary Manchester band “.

Throughout 1981 The Things continued to be a regular draw on the Manchester post punk scene and beyond with bookings in London at the legendary Marquee Club and The Greyhound, Croydon. The Things played a final series of dates including support to New Order before disbanding early in 1982.

The Things decided to reform in 2012 and made some live appearances in 2013 with Brian Benson replacing John Maher on drums. With several gigs under their belt The Things returned to the studio in 2014 to record “the album we should have made in 1980″. The studio session saw the return of John Maher on drums, recreating the line up that recorded the Imperial Records single back in 1980. Brian Benson also played on some tracks and continues to play live dates with the band.

Things Launch

The band comprises Tim Lyons – Vocals, Dave Holmes – Guitar, Vocals, Joe Brehony – Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Ella Burton – Keyboards and Brian Benson – Drums.

The first EP from the sessions has now made its’ way to me via Joe Brehony. It will be launched on July 25th at Manchester’s Tiger Lounge with support being provided by The Disappeared.

With the music biz in the throes of a psych pop revival the timing couldn’t be better.  It is clear from the opening bass riff of “Nobody Wonders” that this band makes most of the current scenes garage/psych wannabees seem like rank outsiders. There’s a legitimacy and energy bursting out of this four track EP that puts this band up there with the greats. I never had the opportunity to see them live when they first emerged but I get a sense that the youthful enthusiasm that drove those early performances has been captured and flows from these recordings. The dreamy pop of “1000 Stars” has a glorious epic feel with Ella Burton’s keyboards holding the centre ground as Tim Lyons preaches the garage rock sermon through a wall of sound.

The re-recording of the original single “Pieces Of You” is a glorious piece of Spectoresque pop, complete with handclaps, a Hank Marvin solo from Dave Holmes, and a chorus to die for. Closing the set with a cover of The Seeds classic “Can’t Seem To Make You Mind” in a para-ska style the group signal that they are back with a clear intention to inform, educate and entertain.

This is a fantastic set of tunes and I look forward to hearing the forthcoming album.  The evocative cover for the EP was taken by John Maher whilst in America.  The music was recorded at Pro 2 Studio, Castleford, Yorkshire and mixed at Wee studio, Stornaway, in the Hebrides.

CD versions of the EP will be available at Tiger Lounge on the launch night and the download version will be available from the usual outlets on August 14th.

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Fascinating Things : Issue 08

With little or no deference to good taste we’ll kick off this time around with a new album from In Defence called “Don’ t Fuck With The Dungeon Master”.  Hailing from Minneapolis, the band aims to meld the styles of Thrash, Hardcore, Punk, and Metal. They have been an underground favourite since 2006. Described as “Witty and satirical, Serious and political”, In Defence seem to have their tongues in their collective cheeks for this new album which was released independently on June 16th.

IN DEFENCE - cover

Having formed as a more straightforward hardcore act in 2006, the quartet’s volatile brew quickly developed into more of a thrash-inspired crossover attack, the sound they’ve dominated in the studio and live ever since. While steadily pushing for positive societal change and unity, their methodology is heavily party and satire-infiltrated versus taking a preacher’s stance with their views.  The new release melds terrace chant punk with metal guitars to create an enjoyable 33 minutes of heavy fun. Get it here.

Previous releases are available on Bandcamp.

In Defence COOOLD

And onto The Oxford Coma, who have a new release “Paris Is Mine” via Bandcamp out on August 7th.

Originally called “The Pulls”, a recent change of direction resulted in a new cover layout and title for the album.  Through several line-up alterations and sporadic expansions, the usual three-piece of bass, guitar and drums at times expands for live shows to include a second drummer. This time the tactic was applied in the studio setting giving a fuller sound.

Utilizing both a former and current percussionist, and continuing their self-described recording “de-evolution” by continuing to opt for rawer, live, DIY productions with each release has resulted in their most brutal material to date.

the oxford coma

Bent on combining the weirdness and freshness of improvisation with the intensity and honesty of good metal and the lasting impact of innovative rock, the new album was produced with minimal production, the vocals all in one take in order to preserve a natural feel.

Recorded, engineered, mixed, mastered by Jalipaz at Audioconfusion in Mesa, Arizona, “Paris Is Mine” delivers forty minutes of cleverly constructed hard rock, as perplexing as it is enthralling, closing out with an improvised jam and a drop-tuned cover of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks.”. Sometimes they move into impressive heavy blues rock mode and get quite funky.

“Paris Is Mine” is independently released in digital on August 11th, with a limited physical format to follow.

The ever busy Public Service Broadcasting release a new single from “The Race For Space” album in live favourite “The Other Side”. Whilst it has been gratifying to see the growing popularity of the band I do wonder where they are going to go next musically.

I featured The Creeping Ivies a couple of weeks back, and their new three track EP “The Witch House”, they’ve released a video to accompany the release. Out on August 16th.

The Marks Cartel release their brand new single ‘Take Me Home’ ,produced by Lee House,  their first release since signing to End Of The Trail Records. Released on 24th July 2015 the single is quantum leap forwards for the Swansea band with a sound that is unashamedly commercial. The band areare Matt Turner (vocals & guitar), Kristian Tabram (guitar & vocals), Rhodri Allcock (bassist & vocals) and Emyr Lewis (drums). They formed in 2013 in the tiny Welsh village of Cwmllynfell and took their name from the notorious Welsh cultural icon and his ‘organisation’.

A triumph of dark and protean North American black metal, Predatory Lights and Vorde join forces for a 38 minute excursion into the abyss that solidifies both acts’ ascendancy of contemporary black metal. Following their acclaimed debut EP, the former expands upon their first effort and offers 2 tracks of stygian black metal steeped in murk and gloom. For their side, Vorde contribute a twisting mass of ritual black metal, showcasing an original atmosphere that can only be called their own, improving upon their already stellar 2014 debut.

Psychedelic doom purveyors, Dark Buddha Rising, will be releasing their fifth studio album, “Inversum”, on 25th September, their first release on Neurot Recordings.

The album follows their 2014 European tour with Mr. Peter Hayden, with the Finnish black psychedelic doom 6-piece deservedly garnering further recognition as masters of the art of the hypnotic and dark sonics, which they have been honing for the past 8 years since their inception.

Inversum swallows the listener into an introspective realm of dark psychedelia, menacing mysticism and weighty, trudging riffs.

“Inversum” is the debut of the third line-up of Dark Buddha Rising. It acts as an initiation for the new members V. Vatanen (guitar, vocals), J. Saarivuori (keyboards) and M. Neuman (vocals). The album is released in September.

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Canadian’s In Flight Safety have a new single out on July 24th via Conehead UK.  Called “Destroy” is it  taken from the bands third album “Conversationalist”, released back end of 2014, this is the bands second official single. Comparisons to Foals and Interpol have never been far away from this record which has been synced recently on Vampire Diaries and The Office US. Note the appearance of former WWE superstar The Edge at the end of the video……for the benefit of those with flash photography.

Manchester legends The Things have an EP launch at Tiger Lounge on July 25th, it’s free entry and Bury’s The Disappeared are supporting. The new EP features former Buzzcocks drummer John Maher who was part of the original line-up.

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Ex Death to the Strange man John Lowndes has a new release under the Patchwork Rattlebag name via Bandcamp, an interesting change musically for John, who is better known for his guitar work,