Posts Tagged ‘Single Review’

3rd March 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

No Scary Bears Facebook page sees the band lay out their aim as ‘simple, alternative guitar music inspired by the bands they love and you used to find on MTV before the arse fell out of commercial music’. With a handful of demos streaming on-line and receiving airplay on BBC Introducing, they’ve been building momentum ahead of this, their debut single release.

Born out of a new permutation of hard rock act We Could be Astronauts, No Scary Bears present a more grunge orientated sound: the guitars are chunky and nicely up in the mix. But while every other band drawing on the class of ’92 for inspiration seems to want to be Nirvana but poppier, with strong melodies and more nuanced approach to dynamics, No Scary Bears more call to mind Soundgarden and Bivouac with ‘Mail’ and accompanying track ‘Dial In / Dial Out’.

For people of a certain age (mine of thereabouts), it’s hard not to feel a pang of nostalgia for music of a certain vintage, and No Scary Bears capture that feel extremely well. The fact the release contains three tracks harks back to the old 12” and CD single formats – and the fact there is a limited CD release (rather than a voguish cassette editions) is another detail of note, and in all, it’s a very promising start.

 

No Scary Bears

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10th February 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

If dreampop has overbearing connotations of weak and wispy, vague and ethereal, then the slant on the genre VEYU bring on ‘Where Has The Fire In You Gone?’ a taster of their forthcoming EP, ‘Underbelly,’ will likely confound the expectations of many. The chiming guitars and layered atmospherics are all present and correct, but they’re married to a hard-driving and insistent rhythm track that owes more to the conventions of rock.

Chris Beasley’s vocals are distinctive and commanding. Shifting effortlessly from a delicate, haunting falsetto to a strong, emotionally forceful tenor, comparisons to Morten Harket are perhaps obvious but entirely justified. But then, A-Ha were fantastic at penning pop songs which are both gripping and moving – a fact perhaps eclipsed by their biggest hits – and with elements of early New Order also in the mix, VEYU look capable of marking out their own territory in the contemporary musical landscape.

 

Leonard Skully Records – 9th December 2016

James Wells

I’m growing rather weary of arty shots of naked or semi-naked women adorning the covers of releases by post-rock and shoegaze bands. And shit post-metal and post-hardcore bands. Everything’s post-something now, and I’m beyond weary of that. But we live in a click-bait world where adolescence is suspended in perpetuity, and despite the fact that everything’s freely available and as hardcore or strange as you want it at the click of a button, there’s still a certain lure in the risqué.

Call it art – and it should be possible to do so – but the prevalence of the practice makes it feel hollow, cheap and exploitative. ‘Yeah, let’s slap a chick on the cover of our meandering, ponderous post-rock EP… it’ll make us look arty and interesting and like we know photographers who can get girls to pose for them. Incidentally, I hate photographers as a rule, especially the ones who manage to make like they’re ‘safe’ aren’t sleazy… and no, not because I’m jealous. I really do just think they’re cunts.

The_Veldt_-_In_a_Quiet_Room

In a Quiet Room’, the single cut from The Veldt’s preposterously-titled The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation has an arty black and white head and shoulders shot of a woman, or a girl, by way of a cover. Apropos of absolutely bloody nothing. It certainly says nothing of the layered, textured, murky, glitchy, drum ‘n’ bass influenced soulful post-rock sonic expanses they conjure, the trickling cymbal work which grips a tight tension over squalling, drifting guitar treble on the EP’s opener ‘Sanctified’ or the shimmering post-rock / r’n’b crossover of said single ‘In a Quiet Room’.

Quite how comfortable I am with their seemingly incongruous but seamlessly smelted hybridity, I’m not sure, but there’s no faulting its execution. The Veldt get atmosphere, and they get sleekness. I’m not sure I get it, or the appeal, but it’s neatly executed and sounds nothing like the cover art suggests.

 

Veldt EP

Warren Records – 16th December 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Throw together MBV, A Place to Bury Strangers and Nirvana and you’d probably get Lumer. ‘Futile’ is a blistering scuzzed-out grunge racket built around a ribcage-rattling bassline. A howl of angst with FX-heavy guitars amped up to eleven, it’s all over just three minutes. Short and to the point, it’s a real adrenaline shock. What more do you need? Keep it stormy. Keep it chopped out. Well futile.

27th January 2014

James Wells

Weekend Recovery are a band whose career is very much on an upward trajectory, and it’s hard to believe they’ve only existed (in this incarnation, at least) since April this year. They’ve spent 2016 touring hard, and recent months have seen them read the boards at 93 Feet East, Dublin Castle, and The Alley Cat, with shows at Hoxton Von Underbelly, Hope and Anchor, and another NME’s Mark Beaumont presents at The Monarch all cued up for the New Year.

‘Don’t Try and Stop Me’ is an attitude-filled, guitar-driven sonic slap. With enough attention to the hook and enough melody to carry it commercially, it still has more than enough edge to keep it safely within the ‘alternative’ bracket.

Laurin Forster’s vocal performance is strong, gutsy yet simultaneously melodic, and it all amounts to a cracking tune with power and the fire of authenticity behind it. If they keep on with singles like this, it will be less a case of ‘don’t try and stop me’ and more a case of Weekend Recovery being unstoppable.

 

Weekend Recovery

 

Weekend Recovery Online

Tape Records – 9th December 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Fuck yeah! Purveyors of premium quality grungey no-wave noise Arrows of Love serve up the second taster of their second album, Product, and ‘Beast’ is appropriately titled. A sprawling, squalling mess of chaos, it sums up everything that makes Arrows of Love the band they are.

Now, I was hooked on AoL from the moment I heard the opening bars of ‘Honey’ back in 2012 . That low-slung, dirty bassline and the fizzy guitar racket was one of the most exhilarating things I’d heard in years.

Granted, it’s live that they really come into their own, but their studio recording are a pretty accurate reflection of their wildly unpredictable, full-tilt, performances, and Everything’s Fucked was one of the most courageously raw albums -debut or otherwise – of 2014.

Beyond the music, Arrows of Love have a social and political conscience, too, as the band members’ Facebook postings and the press release in support of the single attest: ‘During the last few months Arrows of Love stepped away from their album recording process to fight a campaign against the ex-Olympic Authority LLDC. With their own warehouse community threatened with demolition as London continues to lose parts of its soul to gentrification, Vittoria Wharf hit local and worldwide news when residents stood up to fight closure. The band and a slew of local artists spearheaded the defence of what i-D called “a thriving centre for cultural and artistic output” during the #savevittoriawharf campaign… ‘Beast’ is a song built for speed. Its anthemic forward march is a sensibility that runs counter to the over-stuffed, of-the-moment world we live in and its context runs parallel with the bands defiant nature. “A lot of people have asked me if I’ve written any songs about this fight with the corporation” says Nima, “This song was actually written over a year ago, but as we’ve been playing and recording it this summer the lyrics turned out to be prophetically relevant”. Proving that Arrows Of Love are one of a rare breed of bands that stand by what they preach when the moment calls.’

All the more reasons to love the band: they’re not your regular egotistical musos, but a gang who give a shit about stuff that matters at a grass-roots level.

Produced with a suitably light touch by Mikko Gordon (Thom Yorke, Gaz Combes), and mastered with a full appreciation of the band’s intent by Bob Weston of Shellac, ‘Beast’ is a bass-driven sprawl of angular racket which indicates that Product will be even more gnarly and uncompromising than its predecessor. I for one am very excited by the prospect. You should be too.

Criminal Records – 1st July 2016

We dig The Kut around here. Personally, I’ve been digging The Kut since the release of their debut single ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anyway’ way, way back in 2009. Since then, they evolved, shedding their post-punk leanings in favour of a more up-front grunge-based rock sound. Last year’s Rock, Scissors, Paper EP was more than convincing and again emphasised the rock, and as we learned from their appearance at Camden Rocks, this very much translates live. So it’s pleasing to see them crash in with a fairly swift follow-up in the shape of a single release from said EP, namely ‘Bad Man,’ described as ‘a gnarly song about revenge’.

It packs a hefty riff based on a classic descending chord sequence, driven by some sturdy drumming. The production emphasises the rawness of the track and gives it the density and intensity it deserves, calling to mind Hole at their best – combining the pop dynamics of Live Through This with the gut-wrenching vitriol of Pretty on the Inside. With a vitriolic raw-throated holler of ‘fuck off!’ this is music with passion rather than engineered for mass-market radio, and that’s precisely why it appeals.

The 30-date tour scheduled for August should be a belter.

 

 

The track has also been synced to this ‘London guy fights for cash’ prank video which is quickly becoming the unofficial video for the track on the net- https://youtu.be/VRGUCSH-P9A – who doesn’t love to see the lines between acting and reality blurred in public?

 

The Kut - Rock