Thursday, 30 September 2010

A New York Minute

Wandering the streets of New York City throws up myriad noteworthy sights and sounds - drunk homeless folks massaging their genitalia notwithstanding - of which many are musically-inclined. 

I've thought about kicking off a separate record for the photographic and video evidence of such moments but, that being still in the mental birthing stage, I decided to link them to H-T-A for the moment. The musical ones, at least....the inappropriate ones you will be spared. 

This snap is a mural on the corner of E. 7th St and Avenue A, deep in the heart of the freak-geek chic of Manhattan's East Village. A quick step across the road leads us into Tompkins Square Park, one of the choice spots in the city to view the alternative folks doing their thing. 

Being a Brit, Joe Strummer has a special place in my musical soul and it was outstanding to find this homage to the man's legacy, no less so because it's in one of the most artistically vibrant areas of the borough. 

MP3: Joe Strummer & the Mescaleroes 
Taken from the 2003 album, Streetcore 

Buy it at Insound!

From his seminal efforts in The Clash,  to his latter day solo stuff and with The Mescaleroes, Strummer drew together elements of the working class influences in Britain, punk, reggae, and straight up rock to push social and musical boundaries. With that semi-rasping vocal and understated-yet-bold guitar sound, Strummer's style is immediately familiar. Losing him prematurely in 2002, at the age of just 50, we were most certainly robbed of some excellent music from his twilight years. 


Even in his absence, the famous name continues to work for aspiring musicians in the form of Strummerville. Check out the charitable work done by this organisation to celebrate Joe's message and life. 


Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Guest Post: International Taste Test: Presenting aKing

In an effort to vary up the opinions and stylings of this dusty old music blog, I requested a friend's permission to include her latest sons du jour here on H-T-A. MaryEllen writes her own musings over on WhataMellen, where you can spend some time understanding the joys of hoodies, as well as being turned on to new music. Her tastes are more youthful and exuberant than my own, with a strong passion for pop-tinged rock and the enormous hooks and melodies bred therein. 

To kick off, here's a snippet of a recent spotlight on South Africa's aKing. Click through to her blog to read the full details and spin more vids. Welcome, MaryEllen, and thanks for volunteering to interrupt these here ramblings of mine...

Made up of Laudo Liebenberg (vocals/guitar), Andrew Davenport (guitar – replacing co-founding member Hunter Kennedy), Hennie Van Halen (Bass), and Jaco Venter (drums), this group is so completely refreshing that it will awake your senses.

Two things instantaneously draw you in; the brilliance of the writing/lyrics and the depth (literally and figuratively) of Laudo’s voice. His vocals are resounding and honest; completely distinguished. Stylistically, aKing proves that they can master incorporating an entire variety of musical genres. They can produce a slow love ballad, unashamed danceable pop-rock, to a mixture of classic rock/folk sounding songs.... [read more]


Sunday, 26 September 2010

No Country For Brooklyn: Justin Townes-Earle Sings The Blues For NYC

A recent release on regular rotation is the new one from Justin Townes Earle, called Harlem River Blues. It's a rather incongruent mix of bluesy country rock, described thus because the singer revolves his story telling around the urban sprawl of New York City, rather than small town America. And to great effect, it must be said. 

Happily this free single of the title track is one of the best on the album and is available for free just now. Or at least the cost of an e-mail address, but we all have one that collects the various newsletters now, right? Check it out and let me know if you dig it. 

I'd love to recommend you check out his tour dates, but unfortunately, as reported to me via matey blog sPikeR(!), the autumn tour has been postponed due to a trip to rehab for the singer. Hopefully he gets well soon and you'll be able to witness the live promise that the record holds.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Heard That Sound: Late Night Fiction Take Up The Tale

There's a familiarity in the tone of British post-hardcore that instantly strikes a positive chord, like that delectable aroma you get from a cup of tea...but only if brewed on the Isles themselves.

So it is upon first hearing Hull's Late Night Fiction, whose serrated, vaguely reverberating guitar melodies hit quickly upon the likes of Biffy Clyro and the now defunct Hell Is For Heroes. It undoubtedly has roots in the blueprints set out by Helmet and Drive Like Jehu but there's a more loose, garage-tinge to the sound as well. Whatever it is, it hits home.

Getting back to the band at hand, this East Yorkshire quartet hold true to the solid influences that come before them, with the sharp melodics of upcoming single Horsefight being an ideal first stop off. It's raw, but the variation is impressive as vicious stabs of guitar and yelps give way to contemplative passages and briefly harmonious vocals. Late Night Fiction are reputedly a force to behold live and it's easy to hear how this track could be a powerful closing statement to that end.

Just starting to build a buzz around their efforts, it's unlikely I'll have a chance to catch them here in the near future but the band have a small UK tour this autumn for any of you that enjoy a high energy live romp. 

Dates are below for that one and the single is slated for release, both physical and digital, on October 25th there next month. Should you dig the band and their sterling influences (including Iron Man....somehow) be sure to mark the date and pick it up here

Late Night Fiction Autumn 2010 Tour Dates: 

Oct 14 2010 The New Adelphi Club, HULL 
(SINGLE LAUNCH w/ Blacklight Pioneer, Windum Earl + The Belle Collective)

Oct 22 2010 Pumphrey’s Cellar Bar, NEWCASTLE

Oct 26 2010 The Sesh @ Linnet, HULL (w/ November Fleet) 
Oct 28 2010 The Hangman, CHESTER (w/ November Fleet)  
Nov 2 2010 Axe and Cleaver, BOSTON
Nov 6 2010 The New Troc aka The Trocadero, GRAVESEND
Nov 7 2010 The Dublin Castle, LONDON


Monday, 20 September 2010

Crass Enough To Care

I've been mulling over reviewing another outstanding Frank Turner show from last month for a few weeks now, but have now run out of superlatives for the gent. Suffice it to say, he was as outstandingly rabble-rousing as usual, with a mass stage invasion and sing along to The Ballad of Me & My Friends at the end. We will, indeed, have "all the best stories to tell".

Furthermore, the man himself has been more than frequently covered in these pages before.


Rather, today, I'd like to spend these paragraphs shining a light on an organisation that Señor Turner's blog mentioned last week: the Belarus Free Theatre Company.

The group is a dissident artistic group in Belarus, a nation on the doorstep of the European Union but rarely acknowledged as anything more than a transitional, former-Soviet satellite nation. In actuality the country is a dictatorship, with deplorable practices employed against dissenters to the government of President Alexander Lukashenko. Creative freedoms are strictly curtailed, something on which the company obviously focuses. 

The worst thing, at least for me as a Briton and (ostensibly) a citizen of the European Union, is this quote in a recent Observer article, from an EU diplomat no less: "Europe would not get agitated until bodies piled up in the streets". At a time when we'll ignore international law to fly across the world and pretend to fight for the freedom of a Middle East nation like Iraq, it should be outrageous, to the UK especially, that repressive regimes in our back yard are turned a blind eye to.

This is rarely a political blog of any shape or sort, but the artists I enjoy often fuel the passion in their music with worthy causes or outright frustration of the societies within which they live. The question I'm asking myself is how can we go beyond music drawing our attention to such situations and actually assist this type of group in their drive for change? 

Although I haven't come up with the answer as yet, spreading the word at the behest of one such artist and group is, I suppose, one way to start the ball rolling.

"Oh but once, we were young, and we were crass enough to care..." 
~ Frank Turner - Love Ire & Song

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Sexytime: Deftones In Full Swing With New Video & BlackDiamondSkye Tour

With their new album Diamond Eyes vying for the top spot in my listening this year,  I'm obviously overjoyed to now be counting down the single digit days until seeing Deftones at Madison Square Garden this coming week. The fact that it's on a bill with legends Alice In Chains and the most forward-thinking popular metal band of recent years, Mastodon, only serves to make this a more cranium-threatening form of anticipation.

As if sensing the need for pacifying content until the tour dates, the Sacramento fellas have released a dreamy new video for their song Sextape. Perfectly aligned to that tune's fluidity, the visuals set some scantily clad nymphs in an underwater setting that veers between gentle pastels and flashes of glorious technicolour. The song is pure White Pony-era Deftones, with Chino's airy vocal sounding almost at its peak and the delicate guitar parts offsetting the more vicious sensory assaults present elsewhere on Diamond Eyes.

The BlackDiamondSkye tour itself kicked off in Chicago this past Thursday, with a little rough-yet-enthusing footage of the mighty Alice ripping out Dam That River having done the internet rounds already. Check that out below for just one more way to plug the time until the show rolls into your city.

Photo Credit: Vince Kmeron

Friday, 17 September 2010

Charmless State, Charming Sound: White Russia Bewitch the Senses

With little biographical information on their Myspace page, London's White Russia are one of those acts that sit back and let their music tell the story to you. 

Though a bold move, when your sound is as densely layered and enigmatically structured as that evidenced on lead track Charmless State - video below - you're bound to have the confidence to keep extraneous chatter to a bare minimum.

Channeling the twisted soul of Portishead, slowing it down, and running the result back through  a Björk-lined filter, the outcome is suitably bass-heavy to come close to trip-hop, while retaining a certain 80's electronica sheen. It's stark yet graceful, and bizarrely enchanting in a most digitized way.
A second stand out tune, O Jerusalem, proves that the initial attention received by Charmless State is no fluke. Meanwhile, fellow new track The Solution pumps the tempo up just a touch and offers a more immediately accessible route into the twisting world of White Russia. 

Drifting off as music washes around the senses, allowing sounds to wrap tentacles around the deepest parts of our synapses, is one of the best possible outcomes when listening to a new band. It suggests an intimate involvement that generally takes weeks, months...maybe more. If you're a fan of the artists already mentioned, or even elusive dubstep luminaries such as Burial, it's worth allowing White Russia to jump the queue.  

Charmless, this is not.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ready Made Riddims: Dälek Man's New Project Takes Shape

There are innumerable reasons to love Newark, NJ duo dälek: the skillful crossover appeal they engender with progressive metal fans, the lonely furrow they plow from the often generic mainstream of hip hop,  the overwhelmingly dark layers of the sound, the fact that Mike Patton likes them enough to sign them to fan boy cup runneth over. 

So it was with some degree of excitement - and, yes, incredulity - that I read an understated submission for Oktopus, the complex production mind of dälek, introducing his new material as part of MRC Riddims

Only a few tracks old, this musical venture sees Oktopus teaming up with a gent by the name of Merc, also of shoegaze types IfWhen. The newest track Born Ready features vocals from John Morrison and mixes the quirky beats of Doom with the playful lyrical delivery of Cadence Weapon. There's a freedom to the sound that often comes with the experimental stage of a new creative endeavour. It's endearing and more than enough to raise interest in the next steps of the project.

MP3: MRC Riddims - Born Ready
New single track upload. Keep an eye on their Bandcamp for new monthly releases.

Spread across the Atlantic from NYC to Berlin, as well as the eclectic roots of its members across alt hip hop and shoegaze, there will be varying influences at work within MRC Riddims. Add to that the fact that the songs released will continue to be freely available and we have something interesting brewing up here. 

Watch this space. 

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Please Release Me: 7 Years In The Making For Azure Ray

As release season heaves into action once more following the summer lull, today has some particularly tasty morsels upon which to feast. Buried within the likes of Grinderman 2 and Black Mountain's new bongathon outing are the subtle charms of Azure Ray's 7 year in the making Drawing Down The Moon.

Photo credit: Gary Isaacs

Not a great deal before those years began counting down, I happened upon the band - the vehicle of dual female vocalists Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor - on Saddle Creek's 50th release celebration compilation. November caught my ear, a mental note was made to keep an eye out for the band's releases, then....nothing. Until now, that is.

MP3: Azure Ray - November (via Insound
Taken from the aforementioned Saddle Creek 50 release

Buy it at Insound!  

The lead track from Drawing Down The Moon, fittingly entitled Don't Leave My Mind, is a warm entreaty to hold onto those closest to us, come what may. It has all the understated, effortless beauty of the tracks I remember, with simple percussion and feather-light vocal harmonies drifting around one another to mesmerising effect. 

What the other releases this week may hold in hipster caché or big marketing bucks (I never want to hear about Weezer's Hurley again, thanks all the same), Azure Ray's new album should more than match in natural charm. Let them prove it to you at one of the many upcoming live dates across North America this autumn. 

Azure Ray Tour Dates 2010:

Sun-Oct-10 Orlando, FL The Social
Mon-Oct-11 Tallahasse, FL Engine Room
Tue-Oct-12 Mobile, AL Alabama Music Box
Thu-Oct-14 Shreveport, LA The Collective
Fri-Oct-15 Houston, TX Walters
Sat-Oct-16 Dallas, TX The Loft
Sun-Oct-17 Austin, TX Mohawk
Wed-Oct-20 Tempe, AZ Rhythm Room
Thu-Oct-21 San Diego, CA The Loft
Fri-Oct-22 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
Sat-Oct-23 Pomona, CA Glasshouse
Sun-Oct-24 San Francisco, CA The Independent
Tue-Oct-26 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
Wed-Oct-27 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern
Fri-Oct-29 Boise, ID Neurolux
Sat-Oct-30 Salt Lake City, UT The State Room
Mon-Nov-01 Denver, CO High Dive
Wed-Nov-03 Omaha, NE Slowdown
Thu-Nov-04 Iowa City, IA The Mill
Fri-Nov-05 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center
Sat-Nov-06 Chicago, IL Schubas
Mon-Nov-08 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
Tue-Nov-09 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
Wed-Nov-10 Toronto, ONT Horseshoe Tavern
Fri-Nov-12 Boston, MA Harpers Ferry
Sat-Nov-13 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Sun-Nov-14 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory
Tue-Nov-16 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda's
Wed-Nov-17 Washington, DC Rock N Roll Hotel
Thu-Nov-18 Carrboro, NC Arts Center
Fri-Nov-19 Athens, GA 40 Watt
Sat-Nov-20 Birmingham, AL Bottletree

Monday, 13 September 2010

Jury's In: The 'Philly Jays' Guilty Of Party Starting

For a pure rock band to stand out, they need to strut. Not in a cheesy 80's hair band way, but in a confident, "our tunes are superior to your tunes" sort of way. The sound needs to veritably swagger with that confidence, to stand out amongst the copycats and wannabes. 

Philadelphia Grand Jury - or The Philly Jays, apparently, should you get to know them - are a band that straight swagger.

From the first spin of The New Neil Young, the attitude of the Australian duo, rounded out by the recent edition of American drummer Calvin, simply ooooozes from the speakers. Slinking in on a sultry riff and suggestive beat, the band craft a simple, raw rock and roll number that latches onto the memory cells with more immediacy than Stallone on a washed up action hero. 

MP3: Philadelphia Grand Jury - The New Neil Young

As you listen to more tunes, their sound emerges as a refreshing hybrid of Jane's Addiction verve, the raw garage rock of The Gay Blades, and even a dash of Phoenix's electro-pop pulse. There's also a minimalist edge to them, showcased on gentle slices of indie like Wet Winter Holiday. The common denominator to this melange of styles? You guessed it, the cocksure attitude with which they deliver every note.

The band is currently touring the UK before heading back to the land down under for an extensive home tour. One of the tags on Last.FM suggests 'next big thing' which, given exposure from Radio 1 and a golden ticket connection to current darlings Mumford & Sons, seems more sage prediction than casual hyperbole. Snag a free 4 track EP here to see what all the fuss is about.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

REVIEW: Dinosaur Feathers - Fantasy Memorial

As one of the H-T-A Tenfor10 band picks, I probably should have been on Dinosaur Feathers' debut release much sharper than I actually am. I did, however, pick it up at the start of summer, giving it plenty of time to fuel the season for which it was most assuredly created.

From their previous EP, 2009's Early Morning Risers, it was clear from the  breezy sound and calypso-tinged beats that this band deserved the sun to be shining on their performances. New album Fantasy Memorial kicks off in no less tropical fashion, with the island paradise bounce of I Ni Sogoma gloriously light on its feet. It's vaguely sleepy yet subtle groove is infectious, invoking as one listens a state of dazed relaxation. Paired with the following upbeat swing of Vendela Vida, replete with flamenco style guitar plucks and singalongathon moments throughout, Dinosaur Feathers open up with encouraging panache.

MP3: Dinosaur Feathers - Vendela Vida
Taken from debut album Fantasy Memorial, out now

Buy it at Insound!

Teenage Whore is far less aggressive than it might sound, perhaps with some buried malice deep below but masked entirely by airy harmonies and 'ba da da baaa' sing along sections. Though not a high point, it keeps proceedings ticking over nicely, ready for Family Waves to bound in on its quirky synths and deliver a stand out cut that could have originated from the Beach Boys catalog, had they unlimited access to laptop production technologies. 

Family Waves by Dinosaur Feathers from Big Ugly Yellow Couch on Vimeo.

Sleeping In provides another easy listening (not that easy....just, gentle easy...yeah) experience, preceding long time favourite History Lessons. Staccato sections rub suggestively up against the flowing melodies and omnipresent synths to create a tune that lingers long in the memory, ready to provide yet another crowd sing-song at its next live outing. Another bona fide gem, vying for the album highlight crown. 

The album winds down from there on in, with Crossing the Cannon and Holy Moses in particular slowing things to a gentle but pleasant crawl along the beach. Know Your Own Strength is a little more uptempo just to keep things varied enough and hold the ear, whilst closer Fantasy Memorial throws the kitchen sink into the sound for good measure. 

Riding in on a skittering beat, buried acoustic strums, and building to the enigmatic refrain of "We're losing something beautiful / I'll build my fantasy memorial", it could be taken in a variety of ways. Perhaps the music being the memorial, to a sound that stems from a more innocent era but now lies buried beneath four decades of more emotionally fraught genres? Perhaps not, but it's fun to speculate, as part of the intrigue in Fantasy Memorial lies in the possibility that the sunny melodies cover up more complex lyrical subjects.

Without doubt, this album can be (and has been) listened to on a blazing hot day as pure, mellow escapism. The added dimension of delving into the often bittersweet words is just something that brings about repeat listens, regardless of season. 

It's a joy to report that this particular pick for 2010 has delivered an album that will undoubtedly see them figure on lists as the year draws to a close. Even the dead of winter won't stop them, I'll warrant.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Zombify Me: The Cribs Get Spooky On New Single [video]

It hasn't been long since 2009's excellent Ignore The Ignorant caught up with me, yet here are good old Northern monkeys The Cribs, back with a new single and accompanying video. What's that they say about too much of a good thing? Oh yeah, keep consuming until you vomit. 

Housewife is the title and it's a bizarre little number, both visually and in sonic terms. All decked out in various levels of corpse paint - surely it's a crime to inflict such ignominies upon Sir Johnny Marr? - the band lurch around in a smoky space, to a reverb-laden track that's heavily reliant on the languid synth at the front of the mix. It comes across as some form of slow motion dreamscape, part 80's pop, part shoegaze, and none of the bratty punk element that fueled much of Ignore The Ignorant

Although far from immediate, The Cribs have a strong track record and a tendency to grow, so I'll be spending some more time with this one to see how it pans out.  Purchase options can be found at the new Wichita Records store

If you're new to the band, they're rarely this mopey and you'd be well advised to take in some of their earlier material first. Or check out one of my favourite episodes of Brit comedy music show Never Mind The Buzzcocks below, for some of Ryan Jarman's finer comic moments (intentional or otherwise).




- - - - - - - - - 

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Solo Success? Can Do For Jónsi

It's already been several months since its release, so I shan't linger long on superlatives for Go, the new album from Jónsi of Sigur Rós notoriety. Despite it reigning heavily on my stereo since at last picking it up a couple of weeks ago, it seems plenty of lauding has already gone on for this little beaut, so I'll let the existing reviews do most of the talking.

Suffice it to say that his soothing, almost childish croon is front and centre, albeit often riding atop a much speedier, thumping beat than one would expect from his day job. A life affirming march to the climax marks Go Do (video below) out as an excellent opener and one that pulls you right into the remaining tracks. 

It's also a great excuse to hark back to Iceland's finest and show off the wonderfully cinematic video for Hoppipolla, the song that launched a thousand nature documentaries. There really is no band quite like them...

MP3: Sigur Rós - Gobbledigook (via Insound)
Taken from the 2008 album  Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust, out now

 Buy it at Insound!

_ _ _ _ _

Monday, 6 September 2010

Relaxation Rocks

It's a holiday weekend and relaxing has been in full swing, with a trip upstate to quiet NY towns on the Hudson.

Many of the towns had little hints of nostalgia peppered throughout their streets. Likewise, the tunes flowing from my iPod/Pandora stations seemed to track back into my memory and drag out some songs associated with specific periods of my past. 

One such track - still getting plenty of intentional play these days due to its insidious hooks - is this one from Chicago's finest gloomy punks:

MP3: Alkaline Trio - Private Eye (via Insound)
Taken from the 2001 album From Here to Infirmary

Buy it at Insound!

Private Eye sends me right back to uni days, shared passion for music and the moments a single riff or lyric can recall so vividly. Add to that the fact that it's a great tune to barrel around winding country roads to and you've got yourself a keeper. Good times. 

What songs take you back? 

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Saturday, 4 September 2010

A Tale of Two J's: Rice & Lewis Have Some Fun

From the ever-fertile grounds of Omaha, Nebraska - farming pun semi-sorta-intended - busy songsmiths Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice have finally dropped their new collaborative effort this week.

Lead track Scissor Runner doesn't contain too many surprises... a dusty melodic number, with that slight country air to the guitars and pleasantly worked vocal harmonies trading off with one another... but hints at an enjoyable album, in the vein of She & Him's latest outing.

Taken from new album I'm Having Fun Now, out now

Buy it at Insound!

Not being particularly familiar with Mr Rice, other than his work in the background of various other Nebraskan indie-rock staples, it's interesting to hear his vocal set alongside the more recognizable voice of Jenny Lewis. A few other high profile unisex duets have surfaced during the spring/summer of 2010, all garnering generally positive reviews. I'm Having Fun Now looks like being no less of a success, with high profile support slots for the likes of Pavement and Superchunk due in September only likely to boost their popularity.

Personally, I'm still stuck firmly on the aforementioned She & Him record and don't feel much need to venture beyond it for this particular style. Ideally suited as it is to blazing heat and throw away summer days, it's arriving slightly late unless we have an Indian summer. Me? I'm ready for the big cool down and already starting to dig out those bleak, oppressive metal records that accompany the descent into winter. Let the bemused hate mail start rolling in....

And if you're unfamiliar with the creative output of Ms. Lewis before this work with old Johnny, here's a little treat from my personal favourite Rilo Kiley album:

Taken from the album of the same name, out now

Buy it at Insound!

Jenny & Johnny Upcoming Tour Dates

9/5 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
9/6 Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
9/8 Salt Lake City, UT - The State Room
9/11 Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
9/12 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
9/13 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
9/14 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
9/16 Washington, DC - Black Cat
9/18 Boston, MA - Agganis Arena (Pavement Support)
9/19 Brooklyn, NY - Williamsburg Waterfront (Pavement Support)
9/21 Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
9/22 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theater
9/23 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
9/24 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
9/25 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
10/3 Los Angeles, CA - Palladium

Friday, 3 September 2010

The Way of Foo: Dinosaur Pile Up Channel Their Inner Grohl On New Video

Over in Blighty, Leeds is brewing up some rather fetching bands. This isn't anything that new, but any chance to show some love to the North of my country is grasped firmly with both hands and given an over exuberant shake.

The latest group of chancers to emerge from deepest Yorkshire is Dinosaur Pile Up, who with brazen hooks and their noisy yet melodic delivery recall Foo Fighters in their early days. You know, before they kept making the same record every couple of years. Love ya Davey, but maybe some of the creativity seeping into side-projects could be pumped back into some Foos material?

Here's the newest video for single Mona Lisa, which is released over in the Motherland on September 27th. Growing Pains is the album from whence that came and is out the following week, so prepare for that here should you diggeth. And for bonus points grab a free download of b-side Headspinner here.



Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Month That Was: August

This is new and stems largely from my Blighty matey jc posting his monthly track listening us for all to see. To spin it back to artist level, here's who tells me I've played most in the last month (top 5), as well as my thoughts on the results...

5. Black Tusk - 41 spins - more...

You can read all about the impact their frenzied metal assault had on me after a Corrosion of Conformity support slot here. Suffice it to say, the filthy, rock hard riffs showcased on Taste The Sin are sounds that bear repeating.

4. Solomon's Hollow - 47 spins - more...
Only covered - and heard of - a little over one week ago, the light-as-air story telling of Nate Agenbroad has captured the soul of my iPod. Don't believe they have souls? Then whack yours on shuffle and tell me it doesn't get into genre moods....dare ya. Anyway, the songs of Solomon's Hollow, particularly Silent Film and Dakota, are gorgeous and will most likely feature in September too, given that I just downloaded the debut, Stops & Starts.

MP3: Solomon's Hollow - Silent Film

3. Avi Buffalo - 52 spins - more...

A surprise in that I failed to recognise quite how much I'd taken these guys to heart, yet a perfectly understandable inclusion given the sunshine months and the pure indie-pop wonder of these youngsters and their s/t debut album. With a song called Summer Cum, should I have expected anything less?


2. Arcade Fire - 96 spins - more...

Perhaps not quite the marvel that Funeral still proves itself to be, third album The Suburbs is easily the superior of Neon Bible and needs plenty of spins to figure out all its intricacies. The lyrics are worthy of note and gems like Rococo or Half Light II (No Celebration) prove the band still have just what it takes. That is assuming that the two massive sounding shows at Madison Square Garden didn't already take care of that for you.

1. Band of Horses - 100 spins - more...

Spot on the hundred, ehh? Well the new album Infinite Arms finally caught up with me last month and has been required listening most days ever since. Compliments, in particular, is a delightfully upbeat number that rarely fails to pick up my day, where as beauts like Laredo and On My Way Back Home vie for the space close behind. This will be on plenty of year end sounds like a 'coming-of-age' or 'into-the-mainstream' moment for a band who have been perfecting their craft for a while now.

MP3: Band of Horses - The Funeral (via Insound)

What hit your sweet spot in August 2010? Spill yer ears...