Tuesday, 1 September 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES - BLOSSOMS

ALBUM: BLOSSOM
LABEL: INTERNATIONAL DEATH CULT

Frank Carter is known for his front-man role in Gallows and more recently Pure Love, the English- American rock collaboration with ex-The Hope Conspiracy and Suicide File guitarist Jim Carroll. Now however, he’s working as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, a strong spirited and guitar frenzied 4-piece, who combine metal and rock giving a vicious bite which has their listeners and fans on edge.

Their EP ‘Rotten’ released earlier this year reflected upon Carter’s rock roots, and their debut album ‘Blossoms’ furthers this; consisting of 34 minutes of meaningful soul wrenching lyrics, and a heavy metal-core outlook it was released on August 14th via their own imprint ‘International Death Cult'.

Boasting a total of 10 tracks with names ranging from ‘Devil Inside Me’, ‘Beautiful Death’ and ‘I Hate You’; ‘Blossoms’ maybe a completely contradictory album title. This could well link to the album’s sarcastic tones and quips, mirroring lyrics such as “there’s a Devil inside of me, and I don’t know if he’s staying” and ‘Loss’ where Carter screams about a hypothetical loss of pretty much everything of importance in his life.

Loss’ is one of the heavier tracks on the album, the vocal ratio being equal to the rest of the instruments. It takes that of an almost poetic stance, on how loss and loneliness are not so far apart - “so fucking lonely”. Parallel track ‘Beautiful Death’, is an expressive song of the death of love, or of a loved one and hence, softer tones are emerged into heavier ones. It is the one song on the album that can lead the listener to do one, or both of two things:

* Head bang and scream along

* Or cry

Overall this album creates a very morbid atmosphere with the repetition of death within the majority of tracks, yet its metal-core/ heavy alternative rock vibe is met with a strong head-banging screaming bunch of listeners.

The band played at the recent Reading & Leeds Festival, and will be touring throughout October, as well as playing at the UK Vans Warped Tour at Alexander Palace.

https://open.spotify.com/album/3o0KQGLUpxACOwsIMWjfqF

Monday, 10 August 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: LOVE BUZZARD - ANTIFISTAMINES

ARTIST: LOVE BUZZARD
ALBUM: ANTIFISTAMINES
LABEL: 1234 RECORDS

Love Buzzard are Kevin Lennon and Al Brown, a duo from Leeds/Guildford who this week release their debut album - 'Antifistamines' through 1234 Records. Having toured the UK extensively for the past year or so with the likes of Cerebral Ballzy and God Damn, the band hope to have captured their raw and uncompromising live set with this release which was recorded at the Sound Savers studio by Mark Jasper.

The 13 tracks which make up the album are full of blistering riffs and pounding drums, with each track showcasing Love Buzzard's interpretation of the psych, garage, punk rock genres. Fans of the Eighties Matchbox Disaster will be well pleased with this one for sure! Make sure you check out the video for 'Cash', which is directed by Youth Hymns and features some gnarly animations with bright lights and neon colours throughout. Head to Fall Out Festival for the next live show.

https://open.spotify.com/album/2JDwCMmMDXkv3v1yoN0ZjF

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: BIRDMAN CULTURE - ROLLING THUNDER

 ARTIST: BIRDMAN CULTURE
SINGLE: ROLLING THUNDER
LABEL: SELF-RELEASED

This week sees the debut single release from South London's Birdman Culture, with their track 'Rolling Thunder'. The 4-piece who are comprised of James Daniels (vocals, guitars), Alex Cutting (vocals, guitars), John Box (drums), and Gaetano Montalto (bass) have been together for a year or two, and have played numerous gigs across London including headline shows.


Rolling Thunder is the perfect introduction to Birdman Culture, encompassing the bands strong penchant for garage rock which is always underpinned by clear song writing and pop sensibilities. Comparisons can be drawn with the likes of Hanni El Khatib, The Black Keys, and Queens Of The Stone Age, with the bands self confessed love of 'heavy riffage and gritty vocals' clearly coming to the fore on this track. There's a real ebb and flow as the band mix up the tempo, which when coupled with the distinctive vocals of James Daniels leads to a rewarding experience for the listener.

We've already caught the band a couple of times live and its fair to say we were very impressed, so its no surprise we'd recommend you checking them out too. Their next show is at Off The Cuff in the arches of Herne Hill station no less! We'll see you at the front...

Rolling Thunder is available now through all good digital retailers.

https://open.spotify.com/album/35cAC6eG6KXWNQZpA2amZx

Monday, 3 August 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: PINS - WILD NIGHTS

 ARTIST: PINS
ALBUM: WILD NIGHTS
LABEL: BELLA UNION

Pins are an all female rock quadruple who formed in Manchester in 2011. The group consists of singer/guitarist Faith Holgate, guitarist Lois McDonald, bassist Anna Donigan, and drummer Sophie Galpin. The band combine the heavy toned voice of Holgate, with sharp beats, neat guitar riffs, and pounding drum beats. They run their own record label named Haus Of Pins, yet both their debut album ‘Girls Like Us’ (2013), and their latest album 'Wild Nights' have been released through Bella Union. Pins have done several small venue tours around the UK, and recently got a breakthrough in supporting Sleater Kinney on the UK leg of their world tour.

Wild Nights was released earlier this year in June and is comprised of 11 songs with a range of reflective song titles including ‘Young Girls’, ‘Curse These Dreams’ and ‘If Only’.

With an uncompromising bass line, and a ‘foot tapping’ guitar line, ‘Curse These Dreams’ is one of the most upbeat tracks on the record, despite its differential lyrics. The track has a repetitive catchy feel, and makes for a good listen.

If Only’ combines Holgate’s heady, deep vocals and Galpin’s mix of heavy and soft beats to portray the struggle which we all go through to gain the equal positions which we must have in this society, and also the struggle in which we have to find ourselves. "Most of the time, I feel wrong, like I am no-one" is a lyric which defines the true message of the song, and perhaps is also highlighting the struggle of women; as being an all female group, one would believe that they do have some feminist views.

Wild Nights is a album jam packed with covert messages, a record that is very much mirrored from Pins’ 1960s rock scene influences. Each track has a different sound entirely, making for a range of reactions. The album art, in all of its simplicity is aesthetically pleasing and links well to the bands’ indie rock genre. 10/10 stars!

https://play.spotify.com/album/1TgJ9hBe9II1DzgKe5BGNQ?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: GWENNO - Y DYDD OLAF

ARTIST: GWENNO
ALBUM: Y DYDD OLAF

Originally released last year through Peski Records, 'Y Dydd Olaf' is the debut album from former Pipettes member Gwenno, which last week saw a re-release through Heavenly Recordings. The 10-track record is sung entirely in Welsh, apart from the final song which is in Cornish, and is based upon a 1970's sci-fi novel by Owain Owain from which the album title is taken.

Despite being a pop record at heart, Y Dydd Olaf takes on electronic and folk influences, whilst those of you who are au fait with the Welsh language will be aware that the album is both politically charged and culturally aware. (if like me you're not up to speed on your Welsh, here's a nice track by track translation). Gwenno will be touring in September, check here for dates.

https://open.spotify.com/album/5kd6acku2NP3Axf5kCjJmv

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: RACHEL SERMANNI - TIED TO THE MOON

ARTIST: RACHEL SERMANNI
ALBUM: TIED TO THE MOON
LABEL: MIDDLE OF NOWHERE RECORDINGS

It feels like Rachel Sermanni has been around for a fair while, indeed this month sees the release of her second album 'Tied To The Moon', the follow up to her 2012 debut 'Under Mountains'. Yet she is still only 23 years old, making her achievement's to date even more impressive. She's toured the world with a whole host of household names (Elvis Costello, The Staves, Mumford & Sons, Stornoway), as well as numerous trips between her native Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The basis of 'Tied To The Moon', which is available through 'Middle Of Nowhere Recordings', was developed last year when Sermanni secluded herself in a makeshift studio in Nova Scotia, Canada. Then with a little help from Jennifer Austin (piano, organ, backing vocal), Gordon Skene (bass and cello), and Louis Linklater (drums), she recorded all 10 tracks of the album live with Colin Macleod in his living room in the Scottish Highlands.

The result is a brooding, powerful body of work where Sermanni is able to offer her listeners an insight into her dark and often melancholy poetry, whilst the music itself is almost a juxtaposition to that at times, as it's full of groove and panache, alongside the more tender softer parts. Of course we've also got to mention her vocals, which by our ears are some of the finest we've heard for quite some time! An album that rewards on repeat listens, 'Tied To The Moon' comes highly recommended.


https://open.spotify.com/album/1mvYi0bGz0wlpGLvQOH1Zp

Sunday, 19 July 2015

EVENT: 2000TREES FESTIVAL 2015 REVIEW

This year saw our second visit to the 2000trees festival, the 3-day event which takes place at Upcote Farm in Cheltenham. We made our first trip to the award winning independent festival in 2014, and after having such a fantastic time we had to return again this year.

We were glad to arrive on the Thursday with the rest of early entry folk (especially happy to see the back of London after the morning's tube strike chaos), and after finding our spot in Camp Marwood (other camp sites - Turner and Reuben - are available) we cracked open a cider and set off to explore the site. Which for those of you who have been to 2000trees before will know takes all of 30 minutes end to end, from the The Croft at the top of the site down to the Main Stage, with The Cave and The Axiom in between both. This scale is perfect for those who like a quick clothing change, a nap, some snacks, and/or a re-stock on alcohol.

Dom Meason
Our music schedule began with catching the end of &U&I's set, before watching one of our favourite acts from last year - The Computers. We took a brief break to catch some comedy up at the Croft and took a wander into the trees to check out the locations for Forest Sessions (including a little go in the hammocks!). A quick march back to The Cave and we were ready to witness the spectacle that is Bristol's Turbowolf, after which we got our position set at front for Thursday's headliners - The Subways, who provided a set full of sing-alongs just right for the opening night vibe.

Awaking on Friday morning a little groggy we were soon back in the swing of things after we paid a visit (and it wasn't our last) to the Smokin' Hot Tamales hut, sampling their truly excellent Breakfast Burritos. After sun cream was applied and a beer was in hand we headed down to the main stage, firstly seeing Bite The Buffalo, followed by Ghouls. After which we headed up to The Croft to see the delightful Hannah Lou Clark (who had a unfortunate defeat with her drum machine) as well as The Lion And The Wolf. Back down to the main stage to see a rescheduled performance from Cleft, before a personal highlight of mine seeing Future Of The Left who increased anticipation ahead of a reformed Mclusky* set to come later.


Our main stage action finished for the day with Young Guns, who really surprised us with the confidence and quality of their show. Heading over to The Cave we were suitably ready for Pulled Apart By Horses who certainly didn't disappoint, with the Leeds 4-piece delivering a set of new and old songs which really hit the spot. We chose New Orleans singer-songwriter Benjamin Booker for our final act of the night at the Axiom, with the American playing songs from his well received self titled debut album. Our evening finished with the almost now legendary 2000trees silent disco, which is spread out across the entire site, and encompasses all of your rock and pop desires!

Saturday began with a breakfast burrito (standard), and the interesting 20 odd member Scottish act Human Pyramids. Cardiff's Samoans showed some nice crowd banter over at the Axiom, before we checked out Black Peaks in the Cave. The ever reliable The Xcerts put on an uplifting performance on the main stage, after which Defeater changed the mood after destroying the cave with their hardcore punk. And So I Watch You From Afar restored some parity, and this was further extended with the reggae/ska 4-piece The Skints. A day that went far too quickly ended with heroes Mclusky*, who appeased the rammed Cave stage many of whom thought they would never again see the seminal post-hardcore group.

2000trees is not just about the music though, as there's a huge games area to the side of the stage - with giant jenga, swing-ball, twister, and a whole host of other games which when you've had a lemonade or two can become a little competitive (ahem!). Alongside the silent disco there was also a silent cinema, we took a respite in the early hours to relive childhood worries to watch Labyrinth. There's also the aforementioned spot in the woods where you can hide from the sun and relax in a hammock.

When it comes down to it though, 2000trees is a music festival at it's core, and it's this focus which makes it one of the best independent festivals we've been to. The combination of new music and an appreciation for established acts who have completed their formative years, leads to an event which is nigh on perfect as far as we're concerned. Next year sees the festival reach it's 10th birthday and we're sure the guys behind it have some exciting things planned, so we're already putting it into our diaries again. See you there! // 2000trees

Monday, 13 July 2015

ALBUM: JOYWAVE - HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?

ARTIST : JOYWAVE
ALBUM : HOW DO YOU FEEL?
LABEL : POLYDOR RECORDS

'How Do You Feel?' is the debut album from Joywave, a 5-piece from Rochester, New York. The 11-track LP, which is out now on Polydor Records, is an emphatic journey across genres ranging from pop, rock, and electronica. Make sure you check out the video for lead single 'Somebody New', which is influenced by the Tony Hawks Pro Skater video game and is directed by Keith Schofield.

Joywave // Buy 'How Do You Feel?'

https://open.spotify.com/album/13cW14Rr54GfniPJ91KsyL