Drenge – Face Like a Skull [Listen]

drengenew970600

It’s not often that a music recommendation comes to me by way of the MP for West Bromwich East, in fact, it has never happened before.

In his resignation letter, written to the party leader Ed Miliband, Labour MP Tom Watson stated:

“John Humphrys asked me why you were not at Glastonbury this weekend. I said Labour leaders can’t be seen standing in muddy fields listening to bands. And then I thought how terribly sad that this is true. So: be that great Labour leader that you can be, but try to have a real life too. And if you want to see an awesome band, I recommend Drenge.”

I couldn’t resist investigating this recommendation further and was pleased to discover that Drenge are in fact a rather good band, producing an excellent strain of garage rock straight out of Sheffield in the UK. Consisting of brothers Eoin Loveless and Rory Loveless, Drenge have a brilliantly chaotic but highly melodic sound that is utterly infectious.

The group’s latest, riotous single Face Like a Skull pulls in it’s influences from a wide range of sources; from the sounds of groups like The Vines, The Black Keys and Nirvana to the lyrical style of fellow Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys. A barrage of riffs and youthful exuberance flow throughout the track and the production is pitched perfectly to capture the gritty basement-like sound of the group.

Listen to Face Like a Skull below:

The acerbic nature of the sound runs through all the output of the band so far. Eoin’s baritone vocals perfectly complement his snarling guitar and Rory’s powerhouse drumming. The previous single Backwaters is a perfect example of this — introducing a blues rock sound to the mix.

Listen to Backwaters below:

Drenge release their self titled debut album on 19th August; it will be interesting to see if the parliamentary endorsement ends up being good for the band, or whether it becomes a bit of a curse for them. As a music lover, I don’t care — I’ll take my recommendations from anywhere that I can get them.

For more information see the groups facebook page.

Dedwardians – Bang Bang Die [Listen]

dedwardians

Bang Bang Die provides us with a furious blast of rock n roll to get our blood pumping – even on a swelteringly hot day like this. Bang Bang Die is the first song from new London band Dedwardians.

Taking their influence from the sound of Lil Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis; Dedwardians fill it full of Rockabilly and Punk swagger – the song evolves like a bar fight and never relents in its pace.

Listen to Bang Bang Die below:

Fronted by ex-The Glitterati vocalist Paul Gautrey, Dedwardians us give a fresh take on a classic sound and I’m certainly looking forward to their future output.

The band have already played a few recent gigs in London, check their Facebook and Twitter for information on upcoming shows.

Typhoon – White Lighter [News + Listen]

Typhoon, the 11 piece band known for creating a big sound while maintaining an intimate level of storytelling have just announced their new album, White Lighter set to be released August 20th. Their previous album Hunger and Thirst released last year stirred a lot of excitement, in particular their track CPR / Claws Pt. 2 was greatly commended, and is a personal favorite. They have pre-released a track from the new album called Young Fathers which is very enjoyable and hints that the new album is going to be a goodie.


Continue reading

Sigur Rós – Kveikur [Review]

“We have arrived at Rotorua”

Sigur RósI first learned about the Icelandic band Sigur Rós in 2008. It had just stopped raining and I was sitting outside my tent at the Lowlands Festival waiting for some sun. My tent was located close to one of the stages and I could hear this music coming from there that suited the weather and festival feeling perfectly. And if it wasn’t the music, I would at least have noticed the crowd which exploded in a deafening applause every 15 minutes or so. Even though I was as close to the stage as the bird flies, actually getting there would have cost me at least 45 minutes, so I decided to stay. And that is how I enjoyed the music of Sigur Rós at what would later be known as the most legendary concert at Lowlands ever. Continue reading

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories [Review]

Random Access Memories (RAM) is the fourth studio album from Daft Punk and was released following an intensive promotional campaign, including teaser commercials on SNL. The campaign lead to much anticipation and hype and now we can finally listen to the result of five years of development.

Daft Punk

Daft Punk has always been trying out new directions and have been at the forefront of EDM since their first record. This time they lead us both back, as well as forward in time. With funky songs that remind you of old disco classics and music from the seventies and eighties they try to – as one of their songs is called – “Give Live Back To Music”. They are definitely trying to make a statement with this album; by hardly using any samples and heavy use of real instruments they have tried to find a new form of dance music, maybe reflecting David Grohl’s words on the lack of a human element in EDM. One way they did this is by collaborating with many artists who have inspired them over the years. To name a few: Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams and Panda Bear are featured in one way or another during the trip that is this album. The song “Giorgio by Moroder” features a short interview with Giorgio Moroder and that serves as a great example to show the amount of detail that was put into the production of the record. From using the best available studios and equipment, to the tiniest details nobody will notice. For example 3 different microphones were used in the recording of the interview with Giorgio Moroder. One from the sixties, one from the seventies and a modern one. The one used is linked to the different time period he was talking about.

This sort of detail won’t be noticed by most of the (casual) listeners and that may be the only problem with RAM. This is more a listeners record than a club album and people who were fans mostly for the electronic part of or their portfolio might feel a little left out. But make no mistake, this is still a Daft Punk album. A lot of the recognizable elements are there including the synthesized robotic voices and funky danceable beats. Also the record closes with the song “Contact” (stemming from a 2002 performance) that is more in line with the previous work, like the TRON soundtrack. It’s just that RAM is so much more than that, what makes this the best Daft Punk album for me. I originally wanted to write that the album is very good, but not worth the full hype. But it just might be. It keeps growing on me the more I listen to it, which has been pretty much non stop the last week.

Random Access Memories

Unfortunately Daft Punk have announced they will not tour in 2013, but the album is out now and available from iTunes.

  1. Give Life Back to Music
  2. The Game of Love
  3. Giorgio by Moroder
  4. Within
  5. Instant Crush
  6. Lose Yourself to Dance
  7. Touch
  8. Get Lucky
  9. Beyond
  10. Motherboard
  11. Doin’ It Right
  12. Contact

Fuck Buttons announce new album Slow Focus, due out 22nd July [News]

Fuck Buttons

Fuck Buttons are finally back with a new album. Out 22nd of July in the UK (23rd for the US) the new record is titled Slow Focus and follows the brilliant 2009 release Tarot Sport; a wonderful building wall of distortion, pounding rhythms and blissful electronics that was backed by one of the greatest live experiences I have ever had. They’ve had a few exciting years culminating in tracks being used at the recent Olympics opening ceremony.

This time around pitchfork reports that Slow Focus will be a self produced effort released via ATP Recordings. Debut Street Horrrsing was produced by Mogwai guitarist John Cummings and Tarot Sport by Andrew Weatherall.

Slow Focus comes in at just 7 tracks so expect some epic pieces as before.

01 Brainfreeze
02 Year of the Dog
03 The Red Wing
04 Sentients
05 Prince’s Prize
06 Stalker
07 Hidden XS

We’ll update as soon as any tracks or audio previews become available.

Source: pitchfork.com

Temples – Colours To Life [Watch]

Back at the beginning of April we briefly covered neo-psychedelic rockers Temples and their rather magnificent single Shelter Song. Martin wrote, “The songs are louder, clearer and chocked full of instantly catchy hooks; unashamedly pulling in retro influences from acid era Byrds to (dare I say it) The Beatles – all brought up to date with some booming, breakbeat-esque drumming.” Now roll on a month and a bit and we can follow that up with their brilliant new single Colours To Life, due out 24th June. Continue reading

Gold Panda – Brazil [Listen]

Gold Panda

Finally here it is! Without further ado I present you with Brazil, the first single from Gold Panda’s upcoming album Half Of Where You Live. After January’s Trust EP left many salivating for the expected full-length follow up to 2010’s brilliant Lucky Shiner we finally have something to sink our teeth into and a date to pencil into the calendars for that very follow up.

Brazil is hypnotic, full of detail and a joy to listen to. Without a doubt Gold Panda through and through and while not a huge leap from previous material, that’s fine by me. Not many artists have that perfect balance between catchy songwriting and pure experimental sounding electronic bliss. If the album follows suit, fan’s will have nothing to worry about and it’ll be another wonderful record from one of Britain’s current finest electronic musicians.

Pre-order Half Of Where You Live over on the Wichita Recordings website

Additionally there’s a string of live dates coming up, I’ve been before myself and it’s well worth a look in. more details over on the Gold Panda website.

Pretty Lights announces new album, release date and host of pre-order options [News]

Pretty Lights

Derek Vincent Smith, otherwise known as Pretty Lights returns on the 2nd of July 2013 with A Color Map of the Sun, his first full length since 2009’s Passing By Behind Your Eyes. The first single Around the Block is already available as a free download from Pretty Lights’ website and is much in the trend of recent Pretty Lights tracks with glitchy electronic flourishes, deep bass and big beats; however it also returns to a slower more hip-hop focused sound with vocals from Talib Kweli. Continue reading

Junip – Your Life, Your Call [Watch]

Junip

Junip have released another music video from the upcoming self-titled Junip – follow up to 2010’s debut full length Fields. It might just take the crown for being the creepiest music video I have seen in a long time. Continue reading