Posts Tagged ‘Rock’

Venus Principle are premiering the melancholic and powerful new track ‘Drag Nets’ as the final single taken from the dark psychedelic rocker’s debut full-length Stand in Your Light, which has been scheduled for release on May 27.

‘Drag Nets’ makes subtle use of a wide range of instrumentation from sax to mellotron vibes and Mini Moog, and the stunning vocal chemistry between Daisy Chapman and Daniel Änghede comes into play again as well.

The band comment: “After the initial recording sessions for Stand in Your Light were postponed, we had a chance to write a few more songs”, guitarist Jonas Stålhammar tells. “The last one written was ‘Drag Nets’. It turned out to be by far the heaviest track on the album. ‘Drag Nets’ represents the waste and rejects of man. You can trawl the sea for food and treasure, but humankind will always carelessly discard all unwanted matter only for it to be rediscovered as flotsam and jetsam. The idea of adding saxophone was a last minute thought in the studio when I reached the conclusion that we had too many guitar solos on the album already. Our amazing guest on the saxophone, August Eriksson, copied my guitar solo note for note and then added some improvised sprinkles.”

Listen to ‘Drag Nets’ here:

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Kick Out The Jams & End Of The Trail Creative are putting on a 3-day mini-festival, The Brighton Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus at The Black Lion between the 12th-14th May 2022. The event, supported by CD Baby, Blackstar Amplification & The Zine UK, which features bands like The Pearl Harts, Moon Panda, Berries, A Void, Enjoyable Listens, Sons, DEH-YEY, Bullet Girl, and Aural Aggro’s new faves, Warning Signal is a free entry alternative to The Great Escape.

And what a lineup!

Circo das Arabias

From the organisers: "Driven by a desire to offer live music fans in Brighton and from further afield a free alternative to the official Great Escape programme of shows, which are only accessible with an expensive conference badge or festival wristband, indie promoters Kick Out The Jams and End of the Trail have come together at The Black Lion for The Brighton Rock’n’Roll Circus; an exciting free entry three-day mini-festival of over forty bands running from 12th-14th May.

This show is the natural successor to The Brighton Mix-Up which last took place in May 2019, a similar three day show also at The Black Lion. Of course, the pandemic put a stop to all music festivals for a couple of years, so it’s really good to be back in Brighton again with an amazing lineup of bands from around the country, playing in an intimate venue in the heart of The Lanes area, bang in the middle of the town."

Kick Out The Jams & End Of The Trail Creative need your help! Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to secure the usual sponsorship for their 3-day FREE ENTRY mini-festival in Brighton in May.

Faced with taking a pretty big hit on production expenses associated with putting on an event of this kind, as the pub is not a regular music venue & doesn’t have any live music tech in place for the show, they are having to hire it all in.

So, if you are planning to come to the show and seeing some (or all!) of the 40+ bands they’ve lined up for you, please consider helping them with these costs by contributing to the Go Fund Me campaign.

Thanks for your support!

https://www.gofundme.com/the-brighton-rocknroll-circus

29th April 2022

James Wells

I keep hearing – mostly from people over thirty-five, admittedly – that there’s no decent new music now. They’re talking crap. There has always been decent and exciting new music if you keep your ear to the ground instead off R1 and Jools Holland and don’t rely on recommendations from Spotify for everything.

Having formed in 2017, Glasgow duo Run Into The Night managed to build a fanbase with some hard touring before the pandemic hit, and ‘Common Stream of Consciousness’ slams into the public domain to coincide with their return to the live arena with a tour in May. It is, unquestionably, and absoluter belter.

‘Common Stream of Consciousness’ is s thundery, blustery, bass-driven (post) punky sonic attack that’s barely three minutes in duration, and it’s The Runaways, it’s Suzie Quattro – and it’s also early Royal Blood and Queens of the Stone Age. It’s proper energetic rock, and it’s a cracking tune.

Artwork - Run Into The Night

On May 6th Italian alchemists and power trio Ufomammut return with their ninth studio album, Fenice via Neurot Recordings and Supernatural Cat, but not as we’ve heard them before, now “more intimate, more free.”

For over 20 years, the band has combined the heaviness and majesty of dynamic riff worship with a nuanced understanding of psychedelic tradition and history in music, creating a cosmic, futuristic, and technicolor sound destined for absolute immersion.

Fenice (meaning Phoenix in Italian) symbolically represents endless rebirth and the ability to start again after everything seems doomed. The album is the first recording with new drummer Levre, and truly marks a new chapter in Ufomammut history.

“I think we lost our spontaneity, album after album,” says Urlo. “We tried to make more complicated songs and albums, but I think at some point we just ended up repeating ourselves. With Fenice, we were ready to start from zero, we had no past anymore – so we just wanted to be reborn and rise from the ashes..”

Whilst the band are well-known for their psychedelic travels into the far reaches of the cosmos, Fenice is a much more introspective listening experience. Fenice was conceived as a single concept track, divided in six facets of this inward-facing focus. Sonic experimentations abound in the exploration of this central theme; synths and experimental vocal effects are featured more prominently than ever before as the band push themselves ever further into the uncharted territory of their very identity.

Check out the video for ‘Psychostasia’ here:

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18th March 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

The Virginmarys have been knocking around for a while, and released their debut album King of Conflict back in 2013. You couldn’t exactly say they’ve been flying under the radar, since that aforementioned debut hit #3 on the Billboard New Artist Alternative Chart and #8 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, as well as their being dubbed the buzz band of SXSW. Like so many of the best bands, they’ve found the most appreciation overseas rather than at home, where it’s taken them rather longer to build up – but build up they have. It’s perhaps just a matter of time having released three albums (KoC was followed by Divides (2016) and Sitting Ducks (2017), as well as throwing down Northern Sun Sessions in 2018), and played with Queens Of The Stoneage, and been championed by Slash, and collaborated on stage with Frank Turner.

All of this, they did as a trio, and it’s been a full four years since their last album proper. ‘The Meds’ is their first release as a duo, stripped back to founder members, drummer Danny Dolan and guitarist/vocalist Ally Dickaty. How do they sound? No question, they’ve nailed it: they don’t sound like a duo on this full-throttle blues-based riffcentric rockout, hell, no: ‘The Meds’ is a dense, ball-busting rock beast that which really does pack some meat and sounds like a full band, and like (early) Royal Blood, Yur Mum and personal faves Modern Technology, they’ve gone all out to (over) compensate the lack of bodies / instruments by not only cranking it all up to eleven (good) but optimising their amps and pedals to blast out a maximalist sound that sounds live: you almost feel the air displacement from the speakers as the riff bursts forth, before Dickaty launches his raw-throated vitriol.

Ally’s vocal is strong and gritty, and it’s pegged comparatively low in the mix against the blast of guitar and pulverising drumming, and the bottom line is that this is a blistering tune.

Virginmarys Artwork

BISOU Records/Beast Records – 18th March 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Sometimes, there’s simply no escaping the fact that grooves and hooks are important. However wearying the conventions of rock and pop are so much of the time, there’s still a vital appeal. Sometimes you just need something to grab hold of, something to grip your short, feeble attention span. But what happens when you bring all the conventions together at once and then mash them, bash them, squash and smoosh them with joyful irreverence? It goes one of two ways: it’s a horrible hybrid mess with no cohesion, or it’s genius. Supersound is genius. It mines many aspects of those conventions to forge an album that’s got groove and hooks, while making unusual takes on country, rockabilly and post-punk, and wrapping them in an abundance of noise that’s pretty gnarly at times. It’s all in the mix – blues rock, alt-rock, grunge, even regular radio rock – but delivered in a twisted, mangled fashion that’s guaranteed to keep it off the airwaves.

The story of the creation of this masterwork is decidedly un-rock’n’roll as it involves Red (Olivier Lambin) suffering from presbyopia and purchasing a bass because it has ‘bigger frets and fewer strings’ and recruiting a collective who can actually see to play their instruments to realise his musical vision. It’s perhaps no wonder it’s a blurry haze of bits and bobs. Said lineup involves ‘two drummers, Néman (Zombie Zombie, Herman Düne) and DDDxie (The Shoes, Rocky, Gumm)’ who Red asked to create their own rhythms, plus Jex, aka Jérôme Excoffier, his lifelong accomplice, who still has excellent eyesight, who played all the guitars on the album.

A strolling bass and jagged guitar slew angular lines on ‘Normal’ that’s spineshaking swamp rock, sounding like a collision between the B52s and The Volcanoes. ‘Ready to Founce’ has all the groove and all the swagger, and has the glorious grittiness of Girls Against Boys at their scuzzy, sleaze-grind best, calling to mind ‘Rockets Are Red’. Then, ‘Shark’ sounds like Butthole Surfers covering an early Fall Song. ‘Screen Kills’ is altogether gothier, with acres of flange swathing the trebly guitar, and all paths lead to the tense, needling jabbing jangle of the final song of the album, ‘Carcrash Disasters’. It could have so easily been tempting fate, but while they veer wildly and screech around every corner on two wheels, DER remain on the road to the end of a crazy conglomeration of an album that buzzes from start to finish.

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18th February 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

So a quick scan back tells me I’ve been covering Salvation Jayne since they released ‘Burn it Down’ back in April 2017 – which actually predates their formation according to the bio on their own website. No, I’m not here to be pedantic, or explicitly to gloat about having been one of the first people to have ‘discovered’ them or whatever, but… well, there’s always a certain element of pride to know you spotted a talent, even of the talent introduced itself first.

They’ve come a long way since, and their debut album, A Mouthful Of Magnificent Spite is a very different beast from where they were back then. That said, they’re still big on attitude and choruses, only more so, and then some. You wouldn’t expect anything different from Chess Smith, who demonstrates a fierce – but friendly – drive to succeed where her musical career’s concerned. Salvation Jayne have never been hesitant about coming forward, and have sold out multiple headline shows as well as scoring notable support slots with the likes of Milk Teeth, Rews, Saint Agnes and The Subways.

That Mouthful is a proper album rather than an assemblage of tracks from previous EPs and singles – of which there is easily an album’s worth – tells us where the band is at. Forward-facing, creating, moving, and at pace. There’s a nod to ‘Burn it Down’ in the form of a fifty-second snip that acts as a bridge between ‘Diadem’ and ‘No Antidote’ (which is an instant classic, bringing together urgent and energetic drumming, chiming 80s indie guitar verses and a belting chorus with all the vocal power) but none of their previous singles make the cut here. Even 2021’s ‘Violent Silence’ is absent, and it makes sense: it’s too pop and doesn’t sit within the sequence, and it’s clear they’ve spent a long time working on making this a document of the band now. If ‘Cortez’ and ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ showed that they could do proper solid rock tunes with some chunky riffs, then A Mouthful Of Magnificent Spite realises that promise with wall-to-wall riffs.

‘Apathetic Apologies’ was perhaps an obvious choice for a lead video-single release: it’s kinda crisp and clean (although still boasts a thick bass sound) and eases the listener in with manifold layers and some nice production. It’s got big guitars and big production, and it’s overtly ‘rock’ but at the same time it’s easy on the ear and has clear radio airplay potential. Reflecting on this, for many bands, this would be an album or EP closer: it’s got anthem written all over it. So where do you go from here? Well, Salvation Jayne go into goth-tinged 80s alt-rock territory with the sultry, brooding ‘Diadem’.

They really crank up the riffage with ‘I Am Simply Not What You Thought’, a song they’ve been honing live over the last couple of years, and which has evolved substantially over that time. While the vocals remain melodic and harmonious, they’re not weedy or emo: this is full-lunged, solid rock to the core. And it’s sincere, and that sincerity imbues it with power beyond the drive of the guitars and powerhouse percussion. A Mouthful Of Magnificent Spite is brimming with passion, and you feel it .

The title track is a rollercoaster of emotion and stylistic switches, but hangs together perfectly, highlighting the band’s songwriting skills. The title track takes a turn for the heavy with some monster riffage in the last minute, and they go stoner on ‘Cody’, and they’d probably start bracing them selves for an arm-wrestle with Queens of the Stone Age before long.

‘Drink you Down’ swerves into 80s electro pop with a hint of shoegaze. It’s misty, but so, so buoyant, and the guitars take a back seat. You couldn’t say A Mouthful Of Magnificent Spite isn’t varied. It’s a fiery and exhilarating album that kicks arse from beginning to end.

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Artwork - Salvation Jayne

Fresh off their first UK tour since the days before Covid, The Kut has released a brand new single ‘Satellite’. Emotive, powerful and featuring a guitar solo straight out of a Clapton ‘How To’ school, the track released on Valentine’s Day as the second single from her forthcoming sophomore album. And now there’s a video to accompany it, which you can watch here:

Announced a Double Award Winner in UK Songwriting Contest this week, winning both the UKSC Rock Award and UKSC Music Video Award, The Kut (PhD) is a rising rock multi-instrumentalist who performs and records alongside a collective of women in music.

The award winning ‘ANIMO’ (meaning courage or spirit) was released in November as the first single from the forthcoming long player. The single charted at No.8 in the UK Physical Singles Chart and No.35 in the UK Sales Chart.

Premiered by Johnny Doom at Kerrang! Radio, the record received playlist support from Janice Long, BBC Radio Wales, Planet Rock, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio, Total Rock, Primordial Radio, Hard Rock Hell and upwards of 1500 plays worldwide. US Radio is well represented too, with FM playlising in 20+ US States including at 91X, San Diego, The New Music Foodtruck, WVUR, Chicago, WOOL, Burlington, WCSF, Chicago, KXT, Dallas, KXUA, Fayetteville, KFCF, Fresno, KXFM, Laguna Beach, WVZA, Marion, KBRE, Merced, KFAI, Minneapolis, KZMU, Moab, WODU, Norfolk, WRKC, Philadelphia, Radio Phoenix, KMUD, Redway,KAMP, Tucson, WQRR, Tuscaloosa, WERA, Washington, KPCA, California, KUPR, New Mexico, WDWN, New York, WNIA, North Carolina and WVUR, Virginia. The music video has now also been playlisted on LATV, adding to previous US support from MTV, MTV-U AXS TV and Music Choice.

On release the record featured at No.12 in the US NMD NACC Top Singles ‘Heatseeker’ Chart, and subsequently made its debut in the US Submodern Singles (Airplay) Top 100.  Funded by Arts Council England, the award sees in the release of ‘Satellite’ as a second video single from the forthcoming album, alongside touring and documentation from behind the scenes at rehearsals, at the studio and on set.

“Every single release we are challenging ourselves to grow and level up!” The Kut shared in a post from East End Studios, London. The new music video for ‘Satellite’ is directed by Mike Gripz of Smith Town Studios, and expected for release next week. Featuring Diana Bartmann (drums), Alison Wood (keys / bvs), Jennifer Sanin (bass / bvs) alongside The Kut (vocals / guitar), the single’s powerful message is expected to pull some heartstrings this Valentine’s. Dedicate to ‘everyone who’s had my back when I needed it most’ the single is produced by James LeRock Loughrey and was recorded at Axe & Trap Studios, Wells. It releases at all digital retailers, with CDs via the Criminal Records store.

Performing as late headliner on The River Stage, Isle of Wight Festival in September, The Kut has recently taken part in the Music Venue Trust x The National Lottery #ReviveLive Tour, with one rescheduled tour date remaining. The multi-venue event features a series of special shows in grassroots venues with the aim of kick starting the return to live gigs and featuring performances from Enter Shikari, Feeder, Becky Hill and many more.

In 2018, The Kut’s debut album ‘Valley Of Thorns’ reached No. 7 in the UK Rock Albums Chart and No. 18 in the UK Independent Albums Chart. The record was released on Criminal Records, now home to a host of rising artists including Weekend Recovery, The Last Siren, LORI, Mike Walsh, Argonaut, Calaveras and most recently music critic Everett True.

Kut - Satellite

Christopher Nosnbor

By this time in any normal year, I’ll have been to at least three or four gigs by now, but 2022 has got off to a slow start largely because the impacts of Covid-19 continue to hit live music harder than perhaps most industries. Planning is nigh on impossible when bandmembers find they have to quarantine as late as the day of a show. Plus, people – bands and punters alike – are still cautious, and the dilemma of to play or not to play, attend or not attend is one that’s understandable. But, having attended my first live music at The Victoria Vaults (a seated show) last August, I’ve been working to overcome any anxieties I may have by getting out more, at least incrementally, and it’s remarkably life-affirming to arrive early doors to find a fair few others have already turned up for what promises to be a top night out, with touring London acts The Kut and Healthy Junkies supported by local quartet The Bricks.

If the name suggests something unsubtle, and also blankly nihilistic, it’s halfway to a fair representation, in that The Bricks trade in dark, spiky goth-tinged (post) punk, with some busy but solid bass grooves. Gemma Kennedy delivers gutsy vocals at the lower end of the range but then rising to a scream, and brings real power to the songs, and she’s a compelling focal point for the band, too. Introducing one of the songs, it dawns on me that the three guys playing instruments probably remember the miner’s strike that one of the songs is or isn’t about, in contrast to the vocalist who very much doesn’t, but they work cohesively as a unit, and deliver a solid and exhilarating set, and they’re admirably tight.

Bricks

The Bricks

Healthy Junkies – a band who’ve been on my radar for a while as a band to see – don’t disappoint and kick ass from the outset. They power out of the traps channelling Pretty On the Inside era Hole sonically and visually (and perhaps Nina Courson brings a dash of Katie Jane Garside to the punk rock party too). They sustain full throttle, max energy, punky energy for the duration, and while their cover of ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’ is perhaps a bit standard, it’s played with feeling as part of a set that builds. Recent single ‘Tricky Situation’ is but one of a number of standouts in a set delivered with real panache.

Junkies

Healthy Junkies

I won’t bang on about how long I’ve been listening to and covering The Kut, but will say that it’s been a long but rewarding journey tracing their ascent, and following the release of their long-awaited debut album, they’ve continued that upward trajectory. While it’s Princess Maha as the band’s principal member who’s driven this, it’s only been possible by building a grassroots fanbase through hard gigging, and regardless of lineup, The Kut have always been a strong live band, and this is never more apparent than tonight. It’s a different lineup from the last time I saw them at Verve in Leeds in August 2018, which is practically a lifetime ago.

In a set that rocks hard, post-album single cut ‘Animo’ lands second. It’s perhaps a shame that the ‘girls to the front’ shout suffers from the wall of male photographers making up the front row, but they’re not going to throw a Dream Nails strop about it: they’re clearly enjoying being up there in front of a respectable crowd, playing songs after so long away, and they’re on strong form. Maha’s vocals are scratchy in the throat, but actually sound really good against the backdrop of chunky rock guitars. There’s palpable pleasure on their faces as they rip through the poppier ‘Hollywood Rock ‘n’ Roll’, and the moshing down the front expands from a couple off people to a proper pit. Maha’s grinning and pogoing, and it’s a joy to witness, as is the kickass rendition of ‘DMA’, and ‘I Want You Maniac’ brings forth more solid riffing. The forthcoming album is well represented with a number of songs, too. Of these, ‘Burn Your Bridges’ is slower and more dynamic, and something of a standout.

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The Kut

Main set closer ‘Badman’ brings most of the moshers up onto the stage, and I realise that it’s precisely this that I’ve missed; people cutting loose, enjoying themselves, the whole gig principle of getting lost in the moment. I’m immersed in the performance, the show, the experience, and for a few minutes at least, this is the world. There is nothing more, and this is the entirety of the universe. If only life was always this way – because in there here and now, with a pint in my hand and a band blasting away, giving it their all, this feels like the best of living.

4th February 2022

James Wellsz

Quebec City’s Still Insane are punk to the core, and the ‘Black Sheep’ EP represents their first output since 2017’s ‘Friends & Family’ EP. According to their bio, ‘Their goal is simple: to play fast, to play loud, and to play everywhere.’. and since they can’t really play anywhere much right now, they might as well focus on the other two goals.

Still Insane have announced their new ‘Black Sheep’ EP out February 4th and have released the title track. It’s the band’s first new music since 2017’s ‘Friends & Family’ EP.

The first cut, ‘Sleeping on the Floor’ is the longest of the five, and after a slow, atmosphere building intro, it slams into a hell-for-leather fast-and—furious melodic funk anthem bursting with energy and harmonies. Around halfway through, there’s a vocal switch from male to female, then back again.

The title track is heavier by far, but the song itself isn’t anywhere near as heavy as the intro implies will follow; for all the industrial chug of the instrumental passages, which allude to 90s Ministry, it’s still got pop at its heart: the same is true of the minute-long ‘No More Targets’ which lands with a plummeting nosedive into Dead Kennedys terrain, as does the frenetic thrashabout of ‘Stay Home’. The last track, ‘Thank You, and…’ is very much your standard middle of the road melodic punk that could be anything post-millennium, although the band prefer to cite the bands they’ve supported, like NOFX and Bad Religion.

The guitar solos may be wince-inducing by virtue of their existence alone, but they’re kept brief and to the point, and while the ‘melodic punk’ tag doesn’t seem to carry much weight, I’d rather be dealing with the proper raw and rage than some tame intimation. On Black Sheep, Still Insane don’t inspire me much. But then, little does. Life is hard like that.

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Black Sheep EP Cover