TOKYO TABOO'S '6TH STREET PSYCHOSIS'


Not long ago, Paramore led the pop punk invasion, all shouty lyrics, attitude, colourful hair and agreeable sing-along choruses that fused teeny bopper pop and fist-in-the-air rock. It was a genre that burst into life as quick as it (seemingly) ended but huge bands like Paramore and the cult of Hayley Williams have endured nevertheless via a sellable look and sound. However, there’s always room for more and Tokyo Taboo bring that same energetic vibrancy but with a message.

The London duo’s debut album, ‘6th Street Psychosis’ is the band’s statement of intent. Sure, the sound is a little borrowed from the pop punk bands of the last decade, especially on their bratty track ’N.A.R.C.I.S.M’ but their ace in the hole is the politicised anger and frustration behind Dolly Daggerz lyrics.

'Pussy Power’ begins “just a girl, just a slut”, a comment on how we view women in the public eye. Dolly is brazen, she’s uncompromising and pushes her sexuality and feminism to the forefront of Tokyo Taboo in every sense, giving the band an extra dimension that make them stand out. There are certain tracks on the album that feel a little staid, however - ‘Make It Out Alive’ definitely tries to channel a more Deap Valley-esque feel but falls a little by the wayside.

When the band do epic, catchy choruses and hard hitting riffs, they are undoubtedly, at their best but if they want to remain relevant and thought of, a more angular, honed musical direction that’s not dipping from that mid noughties sound (and look) may be the way to go.

3/5

By Stanley Lefèvre
©FM


BRAVE LITTLE NOTE'S 'GRRRL TROUBLE' | IT KEEPS YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT THROUGHOUT

Another day and yet another song written about the recent U.S election. Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Irvine aka Brave Little Note wrote 'Grrrl Trouble' as more monologue than a song, combining Riot Grrrl style and highlighting President Trump's misogynistic views that came out during his campaign and on his inauguration day.

Jack’s dark electronic edge and almost industrial sound creates a piercing and intense vibe that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, wondering what will happen next. Her vocal style, however, is calm, collective and sluggish, with angst-driven lyrics set alongside pulsating bass and the synth's venomous sounds.Even though Brave Little Note is a fairly new project, Jack is certainly not new to the music scene, having been a part of Idlewild’s Rod Jones’ side project The Birthday Suit and also collaborates with many other artists including Kenny Anderson of King Creosote.

Brave Little Note’s single 'Grrrl Trouble' is out now.

@bravelittlenote
facebook.com/bravelittlenote


JAILBOX SHARE ‘WHOLE' VIDEO

St Louis-based collective Jailbox – Andrew Tanz (vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion), Joseph Bassa (vocals, guitars, percussion) and Aaron Essner (percussion, drums) – have previously supported the likes of Devendra Banhart and Pines, and have had the honour of playing Coachella festival. Having already captivated audiences with their last single ‘Idea Jar’, they’re now set to charm UK listeners with their latest offering.

‘Whole’ is an emotion-strewn slice of soothing indie-pop set to captivate upon first listen. Reminiscent of the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, it flows with delicate melodies alongside luscious harmonies as it sparkles with a heartwarming twinkling fragility. Filled with poignant lyrics and sweeping instrumentation, it’s a truly impassioned and emotionally powerful creation.

‘Whole’ is out now via FarmerTanz Records.

facebook.com/jailbox
@Jailbox


ARCHITECTS OF GRACE RELEASES ‘OUTSIDERS’ EP

Architects of Grace made their return this year with EP ‘Outsiders', 5 years since debut album ‘Moments in Time. The project is spearheaded by Duncan Robert, the face, voice and brain of the band.

Back in 2011, ‘Moments In Time’ was a gloomy indie affair, with promise. ‘Outsiders’ borrows the gloomgaze, goth influences of the first records but adds a more cerebral touch. Robert doesn’t like to talk too much about what his songs are about but guessing from the lyrics, there are elements of love lost and that feeling of being an ‘outsider’ as the title track suggests. The layers of sound and the general feel of the tracks are superb but the marmite vocals can be a little grating at times - the music would benefit from an injection of femininity.

‘Outsiders’ is a great return and it sounds like Duncan has found his footing with the tracks on this EP, it will be interesting to see what he has up his sleeve for 2017.

architectsofgrace.com
@ArchsOfGrace

By Logan Cruddington
©FM


KVASIR RELEASES SELF-TITLED EP

KVASIRSolo electronic artist K V A S I R has just released his debut self-titled EP. Creating his own unique brand of electronic dance music, he is greatly influenced by the way in which music interacts with visual elements in film, and has recently been particularly impressed by the work of SURVIVE (Stranger Things). Fusing together a range of eclectic sounds, K V A S I R is a unique collection of four tracks.

Opening track ‘Motion’ oozes haunting vibes that float across pounding beats and off-kilter electro melodies. An uplifting opening to the EP, it exudes a hazy sense of calm before the intensity of the following tracks kicks in.

Inspired by Oliver Stone’s ‘Wall Street’, ‘Exchange’ flows with a sweeping, cinematic power. Effervescent electronic hooks are propelled against pulsating beats, as the track builds to an intense climax and draws you into its captivating majesty. Following track ‘Lyon’ slows the pace down, oozing twinkling melodies, reminiscent of ‘90s dance music, alongside reflective undertones.

Drawing the EP to a close is ‘First Throws’. With a similar theme to ‘Exchange’, it muses over how wealth and greed are brought about by our capitalist society. Buzzing with a vibrant energy, glitchy electro melodies are fused together with throbbing beats, creating an intense and insightful offering.

With its innovative musicality, K V A S I R truly showcases this artist’s ability to skilfully explore a host of eclectic sounds and create something utterly unique.

K V A S I R is out now on KV10 Records.

@kvasirmusic
facebook.com/kvasirmusic


ANIMAL HOUSE'S 'DOMINO'

animalhouse1Aussies turned Brightonians Animal House recently released their brand new single ‘Domino’ - an upbeat garage-pop anthem that will be sure to get your toes tapping.

‘Domino’ kicks off with fuzzy guitar strums and lead singer Will’s equally gritty vocal immediately enticing you further. Lyrically fun and clever using lines like “she’s a year 3 vegan except when she’s stoned”, you can’t help but feel they’re giving little nods to the culture in Brighton and their new life there. As the chorus comes in at full force, its infectiously catchy and equally easy to sing along to.

Animal House certainly seem to have worked out the perfect formula for raucous garage-pop sounds at their fullest. If ‘Domino’ is anything to go by, their latest EP ‘Sorry’ will be a real treat for the ears.

‘Domino’ is out now.

facebook.com/animalhouseband
@animalhousing
instagram.com/animalhousing


THE DUKE SPIRIT'S 'SERENADE'

the-duke-spiritFollowing the success of their latest album, 'Kin', released earlier this year, and a run of UK tour dates, The Duke Spirit have now released a new EP.

Title track ‘Serenade’ is an exquisite, emotive creation. Flowing with endearingly fragile melodies, it oozes an eerie beauty and raw, subtle power.

Filled with frontwoman Leila Moss’ distinctive impassioned vocals, it’ll captivate and conquer your senses with its truly enchanting delicate charm. Another deeply moving offering from the band that’ll send shivers down your spine.

Liela explains that “the part-drone, part-glissando effect of the MS20 synth infuses the track with something otherworldly.”

Serenade, the new EP from The Duke Spirit, is out now via Red Essential.

@dukespirit
thedukespirit.com
facebook.com/thedukespirit

©FM


SAM BROCKINGTON'S ‘PEACE OF MIND’

sambrockingtonSinger-songwriter Sam Brockington has been quietly making waves within the industry for a few years now. His critically acclaimed single ‘Follow’ has racked up over 190,000 plays on Spotify and since then, his fans have been patiently waiting for his next track to drop. Well, wait no longer as his latest single ‘Peace of Mind’ is out now via Prospect 21.

‘Peace of Mind’ isn’t quite the instant hit that ‘Follow’ was, but it absolutely has potential to give you that same warm and fuzzy feeling. Kicking off with Sam’s gorgeously distinctive low vocal tone, you’re immediately drawn in, feeling similar vibes to that of George Ezra and Matt Corby. Perhaps not quite hitting the sweet spot quickly enough is where ‘Peace of Mind’ goes slightly wrong but once that chorus hits, you can’t help but sing along and enjoy the ride.

This young songwriter is on his way and we’re excited to see which direction he moves in next as his musicianship grows.

The single ‘Peace of Mind’ is out now via Prospect 21 and the EP of the same name is out on November 25th.

@sambrockington
facebook.com/sambrockingtonmusic


GALLERY CIRCUS 'CLUB HOUSE KILLER'

gallery-circusHaving played together in various bands their whole lives, identical twins Daniel and Graeme Ross decided to form Gallery Circus whilst living over in Chicago. Having already supported acts such as Hanni El Khatib and Kill It Kid, the brothers now look set to spread their infectious sound across the UK and beyond!

Ahead of plans to release an EP later this year, the band have shared a new single - ‘Club House Killer’. An uptempo offering, fuelled by driving riffs and catchy, raucous vocals, the track oozes shades of the likes of Royal Blood and blues-rockers Cold War Kids.

Powered by a riotous energy and a raw, punk-rock ethos, ‘Club House Killer’ is a perfect taster of the twins’ truly infectious sound, and leaves you desperate to hear what they have in store for us next.

Of the track, Daniel from the band explains: “It’s a brutal story of some of the characters we met when hanging out in a punk gang in Logan Square, Chicago… These guys lived by the motto ‘Live Fast, Die Young’ – it was a crazy situation so we grabbed a few bottles of whiskey and joined in for a little taste!”

‘Club House Killer; the new single from Gallery Circus, is out now via Think Tank? Records.

gallerycircus.co.uk
@gallerycircus
facebook.com/gallerycircus

©FM


WE CAME FROM WOLVES DROP ‘PLACES UNFAMILIAR’ VIDEO

wcfwpromoshot4We Came From Wolves - Kyle Charles James Burgess (lead vocals/guitar), Rob Whytock (bass/backing vocals), Andy Donaldson (drums/ backing vocals), Michael Mackay (guitar/backing vocals) - latest single ‘Places Unfamiliar’ is a blinding rock track that’s heart on sleeve stuff.

Wandering through a lonely city at night, feeling alone amongst friends and learning to live your passions are the driving force behind the video as front man Kyle comes to life when he’s behind a guitar. He conveys the sentiment of the broken outsider, someone looking for hope, well as he describes this song as his saviour, realising that music is one of the only things in life that makes him feel alive.

We Came From Wolves previous releases were compared to the likes of Biffy Clyro before but the band have stretched beyond this comparison and are keeping it raw and raucous.

facebook.com/wecamefromwolves
@WCFWmusic

By Vinny Smith
©FM


LOWLA RELEASE ‘WALLS’ EP

lowla1After the release of their debut single ‘Reckless’ earlier this year, denim obsessed electro duo Lowla return with their EP ‘Walls’, a complete u-turn from the vibrant, trashy, throw back electro pop of their debut.

On the EP, Lowla have taken a step away from the fun feel of ‘Reckless’. Title track ‘Walls’ is still pure pop but it’s pop that’s ever so slightly left of centre as Lowla experiment with new styles. Breaking into the chorus almost feels like a relief after a slightly wonky starts with clashing sounds that are at odds, feeling a little like a false start. The ‘talk singing’ and the random riff near the end of the track further emphasis that Lowla may be daring songwriters but their naivety and inexperience shows here.

‘Those Days Are Gone’ is Lowla’s 'All Saints moment' as a stripped down piano riff and simple, melancholic vocals lead into more talking and a more electro led melody, which is where the girls are strongest. ‘Money Doesn’t Matter’ feels more of a b-side but it’s ‘Electrified’ where Lowla shine, slipping comfortably into electro territory again, harnessing a fun 90s pop sound.

There are moments of sheer glory on this EP, mostly in the choruses, but it’s the the build-up and verses of each track where Lowla show that they are inconsistent songwriters. As a duo, they’ve got something special but with ‘Walls’ EP being such a mixed bag in terms of consistency and style, they need to focus on one sound instead of showcasing so many different styles in one singular track at a time. It’s a little messy but Lowla are still ones to watch as they spread their wings and find the sound that fits them best.lowla2
Rating 3/5

@lowlamusic
facebook.com/lowlamusic

By Ali Williams

©FM


FREJA FRANCES' ‘PORCELAIN DOLL’

freja-francesFreja Frances may be young but you’d be forgiven for not realising with the calibre of music she’s been releasing recently.

Her latest cut ‘Porcelain Doll’ is a prime example of this. Filled with emotion and sorrow beyond her years, Frances is shaping up to be quite the budding songwriter. Of course there is still room for improvement. Freja’s stand out traditional London twang sometimes gets lost within the arrangement, which is a shame because it's such a powerful sound. Nonetheless, this feels like a fantastic next step for the young folk/pop singer. ‘Porcelain Doll’ is a beautiful piece of work that should not be ignored. Fans of Birdy and Billie Marten should take note.

Double A-side ‘Breathe/Porcelain Doll’ is out on November 4th via Shimmersun Music.

@frejafrances
facebook.com/frejafrances

Photo by Jamal Hadjkura


SCHNARFF SCHNARFF | 'THE EVIL THAT WE DO…'

SchnarffScottish alternative rock quintet Schnarff Schnarff have released their new album “The evil that we do…” with help from renowned producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Twilight Sad) .

'The evil that we do…' brings nostalgia from the late nineties and early norties, when emo and pop punk had risen in popularity, becoming more commercial and bands like Green Day, Blink 182 and Sum 41 were breaking into the pop charts with songs that usually attracted a majority of teens, promoting extreme sports and owning baggy jeans. However, incorporating catchy melodies to their music from sub-genres of all types of alternative rock, Schnarff Schnarff create their unforgettable nostalgic sound, producing a passionate display of their newest art.

Album opener 'Flip The Cross' introduces the LP perfectly and builds into somewhat of a punk rock anthem, while 'This Is How We Get Some' is filled harmonies akin to early norties emo masters Jimmy Eat World. 'Mario 1-2' is jammed with post-hardcore influence, building once again from start to finish its catchy hooks and raw vocals mirror Nirvana and Foo Fighters rock legend Dave Grol.




Heavily metal influenced tracks like 'Whictey' and 'Cadavers', produce a sound reminiscent to that of the screamo genre, before breaking into the catchy chorus that breaks away from the heaviness of the track, producing something more appealing for commercial ears. Following the more uptempo ‘Wolves’ and ‘Heavens No!’ is penultimate track ‘Urrrgh’, a track full of angst and pain that wouldn’t go a miss within the mosh culture. The album then concludes with ‘Islands’ trilogy, ‘Islands iii’; beautifully placed in-between tracks, shows the diversity of Schnarff Schnarff’s creation.

Schnarff Schnarff are now all based in Glasgow and, over the last few years, have garnered support from the likes of Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and BBC Scotland’s Vic Galloway. Having wowed crowds at T In The Park, as well as across the Glasgow live circuit.

The evil that we do… by Schnarff Schnarff is out now via Black Dug Records.

@SchnarffBeys
schnarffschnarff.com
facebook.com/SchnarffSchnarff


SHVLLOWS RELEASE 'ZURICH’ | PURE UNADULTERATED FUN

SHVLLOWS1Chvrches have a lot to answer for...Since their inception and rise to fame, the number of bands that have decided to use a fashionable ‘v’ in their name is almost epidemic. We’ll forgive Shvllows though because they have both the style and the substance to pull it off.

‘Zurich’ is the band’s latest single and it’s a zingy, summer-y slice of electro-tinged indie pop that’s ever so left of centre of the sound The 1975 have made popular in recent years. The single is something that should be heard across festival stages the world over. It’s bouncy, upbeat and has that reckless abandon that all good indie pop bands should be channelling.

The Edinburgh based, Electro-Pop band, is only just making tentative steps with this track but it’s enough to get new fans ready for more. Shvllows are pure unadulterated fun.

‘Zurich’, released on 16th September via Choose Rude Records

@shvllows


LAW HOLT'S DEBUT ALBUM 'CITY' | IT WILL BLUDGEON AND BEGUILE YOU

Law HoltIn this world of homogenised pop and corporate dominance over how we consume mass media, we forget music should be treated like art. Music is a form of expression, images and sounds can be stretched and played with, the best artists toy with their listeners and push the boundaries of ‘normality’. Enter Law Holt.


The once Edinburgh based alt pop artist, who’s been collaborating with Young Fathers for a number of years, presents her debut album ‘City’. The album will bludgeon and beguile you and by the end you’ll feel exhilarated and confused but you’ll find yourself undoubtedly hitting repeat.

Back in 2014, Law made tentative steps towards the spot light with tracks like ‘Hustle’ but stepped away to take time out after a random attack. The attack affected Law’s sight and after her recovery it seems she’s come out all fists and snarls as she claws a mark for herself amongst her alt pop contemporaries.

Opening with ‘In The City’, Law lulls us into a false sense of security as her sweet voices tumbles and spirals into strange territory. ‘Down Boy’ is a little more of the sparse, retro pop we’ve been privy to from artists like ABRA but ‘Spit’ is full of rage and fury. It’s dirge-pop feel adds to the grime and emotion conveyed in the vocals as Law literally ‘spits’ and growls the lyrics with dark intent.

‘Love Drive Through’ is arguably one of the album’s more ‘accessible’ tracks (and we don’t say that lightly). The track has groove and feeling, it’s a jumble of sounds and beats that prove as ever that Law is a difficult artist to pin down but that chorus is catchy as hell.

Law is blazing a trail of her own. She’s avant-pop, she’s like nothing else and why would we want her to be? True, Law’s sound is sometimes challenging but blink and you’ll miss perhaps one of the most important underground pop acts of the last ten years.

@LAWHOLT
facebook.com/law.holt

By Jackson Xavier Louis
©FM


JOHN ALCABEAN'S 'REAL TIME FICTION' EP | SUBTLE EMOTION AND HAUNTING POWER

John Alcabean 2Danish trio John Alcabean - Victor Schack (guitar/vocals), Julius Schack (bass/vocals), Daniel Winther (drums) - pride themselves on the raw, explosive creations. Reminiscent of the likes of Drenge or Royal Blood, they have just released a brand new EP.

Real Time Fiction is a collection of six tracks, each unique in its subtle emotion and haunting power. EP opener ‘Need Comfort’ flows with pounding beats and sweeping hooks; its faint shoegazey haze reminiscent of the likes of My Vitriol.

Unusually, the next track is called ‘Slow (Intro)’ - this contradiction of having the second track labelled as an intro perhaps a deliberate move on the part of the band to express their against-the-grain-, kooky ethos. Or perhaps John Alcabean simply wanted to highlight the fact that the track serves as a soaring, instrumental interlude between the other more catchy offerings.

‘Fire’ floats in a dreamy, psychedelic haze with catchy melodies and fuzzy vocals before the EP’s namesake, ‘Real Time Fiction’ kicks in. Racing with thrashing riffs and emotion-strewn vocals, the title track is a truly infectious offering that’ll leave you hungry for more.John Alcabean 3And your appetite is certainly filled with the remainder of the EP. Although a slight change in tone, from scuzzy shoegaze to a rather more uptempo early noughties punk-rock sound, ‘Domino Heart’ conjures images of baggy-trousered young fans moshing along to its riotous energy.

Returning to the psychedelic, effervescent fuzz of earlier tracks, EP closer ‘You Only’ exudes a subtle power; with intricate riffs and the soaring melancholy of Victor Ryle Shack’s vocals, it’s an impassioned end to an EP that’s full of potential.

Real Time Fiction, the new EP from John Alcabean, is out now via Tapetown Records.

facebook.com/JohnAlcabean
@John_Alcabean

©FM


YVONNE McDONNELL RELEASES ‘NOT HER OWN’ EP: WE’LL BE SEEING A LOT MORE OF HER IN THE FUTURE

YvonneMcDonnell1Yvonne McDonnell may be fairly new to the music scene in a lot of people’s eyes, but if her latest EP ‘Not Her Own’ is anything to go by, we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

‘Not Her Own’ isn’t just for folk/singer-songwriter fans, it also has an extremely important message to evoke and one we should all sit up and take note of. This message is particularly highlighted in opening track and single ‘I’m Not This Layer Of Skin’.

Its beautifully written and has the same story-telling charm akin to the likes of Laura Marling’s effortless songwriting skills. Yvonne actually quotes poets such as Edgar Allan Poe as influences on the track. In a nutshell, the song is about the pressures women are constantly under to look a certain way. Yvonne’s response to this is quite simply ‘we are not just this layer of skin’ and quite rightly so. There’s also an extremely heartwarming video to go along with the single, which you should definitely take a look at.

‘I’m Not This Layer Of Skin’ is possibly the strongest track on the EP, but the rest of the record has a lot to give as well. ‘My Own Advice’ and ‘Proud Of Her Voice’ also feel particularly self-empowering. All this said, I think the two strongest features throughout the EP, other than its message, is Yvonne’s soft, husky vibrato and violinist Maria Kroon’s utterly stunning performance through out. Both these women truly deserve to be recognised for their incredible talents.

‘Not Her Own’ is out now via Reality Is Over.

yvonnemcdonnell.co.uk
facebook.com/yvonnemcdonnelluk
@yvonnemcdmusic

©FM


UNITED FRUIT'S ALBUM 'ETERNAL RETURN': A GREAT ROCK ALBUM FOR THIS SUMMER

UnitedFruit1Glasgow-based four-piece United Fruit's – Iskandar Stewart (vox, guitar), Stuart Galbraith (guitar, vox), Marco Panagopoulos (bass) and Dean Inglis (drums) – 'Eternal Return' is one of those albums that only come along every so often where every track stands out in some way, but also fit together wonderfully as a body of work.

With five years between this and their last album 'Fault Lines' there is always that worry that this might be the result of the band hitting a sort of collective writer’s block. There have been plenty of examples of where a band's creative well dries up, yet they reappear a few years later with a forced new release which has clearly lost it’s spark (Bloc Party, The Libertines, The Stone Roses). However in this case it appears that it is much more that the band wanted to take time crafting an album that they felt was worthy of putting their name to.

‘Start as you mean to go on’ they say, and right from the start we’re at a blistering pace with Ghost Inside Your Head and the epic Where the Sun Beats Down, Iskandar Stewart’s vocals are strained right on the edge of breaking, an emotional delivery that feels like it could get the better of him at any moment. It’s a great evolution from the last album where the vocals were much more heavy on the reverb, sometimes muddying your ability to connect with the feeling behind the lyrics.UnitedFruit2 However Stewart is far from the sole stand-out performance on the record. Some great guitar riffs from Stuart Galbraith reminiscent of the best of bands like Rival Schools add to the power and catchiness of the songs in equal measure. This particular stands out on Cog in the Wheel where Galbraith’s dissonant guitar line wonderfully raises the tension of the verse before dropping into a monster of a chorus, and then again with an earworm of a riff on How Long. Belting drums and thumping basslines from Dean Inglis and Marco Panagopoulos respectively are wonderfully intuitive with their feel of the passion of the songs, knowing exactly when to let rip into a chorus or instrumental and equally when to rein it in to let Stewart and Galbraith’s treble lines shine through.

All in all, if you’ve been like me, looking for a great rock album for this summer then United Fruit have put together the perfect album for you to tune work out, turn up the volume and air drum your entire commute home.

'Eternal Return' is out now.

@unitedfruitband
facebook.com/unitedfruit


OUTBLINKER’S 'THE REMAINS OF WALTER PECK' EP: THEY HAVE VERY MUCH FOUND 'THEIR' SOUND

outblinker1If you’ve ever come across Outblinker - Jason Costello, Graham Costello, Luigi Pasquini, Chris Cusack, David Ian Warner - before (and if you visit this site with any sort of regularity you probably have) you’ll know that they’re a band who don’t do things by the book. Their first EP 'Pink/Blue' was a challenging, but ultimately very rewarding two songs, each of over ten minutes, which ebbed and flowed with an entire labyrinth of competing ideas.

Their new EP 'The Remains of Walter Peck' continues in a similar vein, which is understandable on one side as this a band that sound like they have very much found “their” sound. On the other hand, when reading their press release it sounds like the band have been through a life altering experience in the lead up to producing the EP, though one that has affected their life outlook more than their music. The EP is named after a real life Walter Peck, an almost mythical figure whose world view left a profound impression on the band, before, in a turn that tragically adds to his myth-like story, he sadly passed away.

Somehow, despite the absence of lyrics on the record the band manage to convey aspects of their reflective mind-set on their music. Opener 'Walter Peck' demonstrates this early on as it simmers pensively for the first minute and a half before finally breaking into a flow as the drums move into a consistent beat. The rest of the track feels much more determined, with the bands characteristic krautrock style used much more aggressively, an almost angry sound develops towards the end of the song. All of which is bulked out by a heavily fuzzed guitar, taking on a distinctive influence from the EP’s producer Ben Power of the Fuck Buttons, an interesting addition to the bands sound.OUTBLINKER2 Second track 'Farrokh Bulsara' has a more threatening opening to it, kind of like a boxer bouncing back and forth figuring out where they’re going to clock you one. Upon bubbling over the tension is released the band drops in with a driving rhythm. The buzzing guitars continue to moan and provide a nice contrast with the pace of the drums and lead line that develops on top. The free track from the collection is available to download and I would certainly recommend doing so as a kind of test drive for the EP as a whole as it demonstrates well the best aspects of the bands talents.

The first two minutes of final track 'Ernest Becker' feels like the soundtrack to the final scene of 'Bladerunner', a sinister yet bleak sound juxtaposed with an erratic synth which almost sounds like raindrops leaking through a broken roof. It eventually gives way to the synth riff which will provide the backbone of the song, slowly fading in it continues all the way through as other instruments and ideas join, develop and fall away before being replaced by others. As the tension rises then falls away in waves many of these ideas becoming increasingly dissonant, as if there is a desperation to the initial feeling of threat that underpins the song.

'The Remains of Water Peck' by Outblinker is out now via Stabbed In The Back Records.

@outblinker
facebook.com/outblinker


WARRIORS OF THE DYSTOTHEQUE: 'IT’S ALL ABOUT JAMMING AND REACTING TO THE MUSIC'

WOTD1If you ever dreamed as a kid, as I did, about forming a band with your mates and taking over the world you probably didn’t think it would be with people who had never all been in the same room together, but is exactly what Warriors of the Dystotheque have done.

Their new EP Return to Coney- out on now via Tigre Fair - is the latest release from the four DJ’s scattered across the globe in Northern Ireland, France and New York. Done via the internet, sending music back and forth to allow each member to add their own parts to the mix. The result is an interesting mix of trip-hop and EDM.

The EP is a based around title track ‘Return to Coney’, which features Ella Joy on vocals, is accompanied by a number of remix’s including one by heavy hitter Miaoux Miaoux. Despite this I don’t feel that the original idea behind ‘Return to Coney’ is strong enough to warrant five tracks of experimentation around it. As part of an album or EP consisting of a number of different tracks then I could see it fitting but I’m not sure it does enough on it’s own.

That being said I will definitely be keeping an eye on the group going forward as the duo have a strong pedigree behind them, especially from Jonny Mac who has worked with Shaun Ryder and Bez (Happy Mondays) as well as Phil Hartnoll (Orbital) in the past, and the idea of an internet-based band is a really interesting one...

Hello Warriors – please introduce yourself!

Hi Guys we are Mike and Nick Rufolo, Sean Graham and speaking to you today Jonny Mac!WOTD2If you had to compare yourself to any other artists out there right now, who would those be and why?

Massive Attack, Portishead, Morcheeba and Death in Vegas. These are the bands that have been influencing us for the last 20 or so years with the addition of say Ghostpoet and Nadine Shah - they are killing it right now.

Your single ‘Return To Coney’ is related to the 70’s cult film “The Warriors” – can you tell us a little more? Is there any personal connection with the song, or is it a fully concept based EP?

It’s possibly my favourite movie of all time and the final scene when the Warriors return to Coney Island is the greatest, so it’s a nod to that really. It certainly developed into a concept, but initially it was just about toying around with bass and beats. Sean sent the seed track over to me I started applying the Warriors idea. We decided that we should develop the soundtrack influence, and when it came back from New York it sounded like Ennio Morricone had been working on it. It totally blew us away. We discussed vocals and hooked up with Ella Joy but rather than have her feature on the soundtrack version we went back to the dark original sound and and made 'Return to Coney' and the spaghetti western “soundtrack” turned into 'Escape From Coney'.

Ireland, The US, France...How did the writing process work for this EP, as you guys are hundreds of miles apart?

Sean and Myself DJ-ed and produced big beat, breaks and club music together in the late 90s through to the mid 00s until Jonny returned to Ireland, and Sean became nomadic. The Rufolo brothers have their own lo-fi set up in New York with an absolutely insane array of instruments and kit. We’ve got this kind of new school meets old school set up going on either side of the divide. We don’t follow the norm and just do what we do. As a group we’re on the same level. We work in a kind of call and response way. We all know each other’s influences and style, and we share quite a lot of interests, so we know what to expect when stems get sent back and forth. It’s all about jamming and reacting to the music. We all get locked into the zone when music hits our inbox, and in the case of Coney, after sending the base track and receiving stems back between Sean and myself, we were able to pull out two tracks from one. We think you’ll agree, they are both incredible and unique.

Why did you guys decide to look to the internet when starting this band?

I laid down some beats and keys on what was to be Hashtag. During this time there was no band. I came across Mike and Nick from a friend Shaun Stenton’s who id just collaborated with on a few house tracks Fakebook Page, where they were on a YouTube link, jamming some serious Zappaesque funk, which blew me away, so I decided to send them an email, and we got chatting. Then I sent them the Hashtag stems to see what they could come up with. A few weeks later I got back their stems, they had added a three part bass clarinet, some guitar, and some off the hook effects. I chopped it up, arranged it, and added some more beats, It was sounding pretty good at this point, so I let my good friend Sean, also from Coventry, hear it. He liked what he had heard and made a few suggestions. I’d studied music with Sean back in 2001, and also DJ’d with him for several years, so I thought I’d put a project together, and ask Sean and the brothers from NY, if they were up for that. So the Warriors were born. Mike and Nick in NY had been jamming in the Bronx and met a cool cat, Tony Jarvis, who also heard the track and instantly wanted to sing on it, so the stems were uploaded again back off to New York, were Tony laid down his smooth vocals. Sean and I produced it, and after few twerks Hashtag was complete.

Atom Vibe bore the same thought process, myself laying down bass and beats, uploading stems off to NY, the brothers back on the clarinet, some Rhodes keys this time and slide guitar, then myself and Sean tweaking and twerking it. We thought we needed another vocal on this one, so Sean enrolled Melissa Graham, no relation, who had sung in 90’s girl band Solid HarmoniE. Melissa recorded her vocals in Nottingham and sent them back to us, were between myself and Sean we produced it. Atom Vibe done.

Thats pretty much how the 1st EP The Future Is Ours came to fruition and from that we've now 19 tracks recorded with this current Ep Return To Coney out now and being really well received with several plays on 6 Music breakfast and Nemone’s Electric Ladyland show.

I can see from your picture that you like to keep an element of mystery into what the band looks like, how do we get to see what you guys look like? Are there plans for any upcoming shows?

That’s not intentional, to tell the truth, it’s just with us being all across the globe and getting so involved in the music we didn't take time out to get an snaps taken so we tried to hash together some images but they weren't of high enough quality so we went with this image...or are we really One Direction? Shows wise at the moment with the logistics its a bit of a nightmare and it would be rather expensive but hopefully after the next release there will be enough hype to warrant a live tour then we will definitely make that happen but for now theres looking like several WotD DJ sets at some festivals over the summer.

If, individually, you wanted to start writing music of a different genre, what would that be and why?

Well, that’s actually happening right now! We all do different things and I’ve just started a new project with an old friend as well as having a house/tech project as M-Capio with steady releases as last few years Mike and Nick turn albums out for fun and Sean has a few projects Human Fly and Meli Melo.

What makes your music different from the other artists out there at the moment?

We are a group of guys who have never sat in the same studio or jammed together and simply work off each other’s vibes and pretty much trust that when you send your part to the next studio they will add something that you never would of added so everything has a new fresh sound as were not all hanging out listening to the same music and influencing that band I guess.

Finally, tell us a secret about yourselves.

I have images of Sean slightly inebriated from New Years Eve 2001, trying to gobble a turkey that was liberated from a battery farm. They’d just got back from DJ-ing at an outdoor gig in Coventry City Centre, alongside Bentley Rhythm Ace and Jean Jacques Smoothie. Sean got everyone kicked out of the hotel afterparty that was kindly laid on by the City Council for the event. He started rubbing a Crème Caramel in his face because he thought it felt funny, and after being told to behave, he started a massive food fight. Some people saw the funny side of it and others had to sleep rough. Needless to say that was the last event they did for the City.

@Dysto_Warriors
facebook.com/warriosofthedystotheque

©FM


CUT CAPERS NEW ALBUM 'SAY WHAT': 'JUST BRING YOUR DANCING SHOES WITH YOU'

Cut CapersWhen the album 'Say What' first dropped onto my desk, my first thoughts immediately ran to 'So What' the Jazz classic. But aside from both being brass heavy that’s the end of the comparison between 'So' and 'Say What', the debut album from Bristol band Cut Capers.

Ska and gypsy influenced music gives immediate comparisons with the likes of Molotov Jukebox. In terms of the party atmosphere and dancableness (yes I know that’s not a word) of the album there is definitely a similar feel the Cut Capers music, especially on opener and title track 'Say What' – which is arguably the band's biggest track.

However this is not just an album parodying Molotov Jukebox’s style, some great hip-hop influenced rap from Mark Pearce - with his distinctively Bristol accent, and Eloy Bandin - with his distinctively not Bristol accent (Spanish I believe), add another element to the band’s sound.

The two stand out particularly strongly on 'Face in the Crowd' and 'Skinny Galizan' respectively, with 'Bandin' rapping in his native tongue on the later.

With Jane Thomas’ smooth Jazz like vocals rounding out the sound it is the band's sheer range of influences that really stands out. Obviously this has been by design and the group have to be applauded for their determination to experiment with their melting pot of sound, but as a result it becomes a bit of a critic's nightmare in defining their sound.

Nick Van Tinteren’s gorgeous guitar work on the short Prelude is very gypsy in sound as is much of his style on the rest of the album, the brass section is clearly influenced by ska, the aforementioned hip-hop and jazz vocals change it up again, all of this held together by the bass and drums of Dan Plimmer and Matt Sunderland who play the role of parents keeping their band of misfits moving in the same direction.

So instead of having a go at summing up I’m just going to recommend you go listen to this album, or better yet go see them play live, just bring your dancing shoes with you.

cutcapers.com
facebook.com/CutCapers
@CutCapers

©FM


ME AND MY DRUMMER 'LOVE IS A FRIDGE' ALBUM: 'A GREAT BALANCE BETWEEN EXPERIMENTATION AND CONSISTENCY'

meandmydrummer_by-sashberg_04Four years is a long time to wait for a second album, especially in music today, but that is exactly what Me & My Drummer have made us do. 2012’s The Hawk, The Beak, The Prey is now a distant memory meaning MAMD almost have a clean canvas to work with for 'Love is a Fridge'.

Whatever happened in the intervening period has really worked for the Berlin-based duo, as the new album is an electro-pop delight with a huge variety of different sounds and musical ideas, taking in everything from Scandi-pop to Americana.

Album opener 'Lancelot' is an almost haunting track, Charlotte Brandi’s vocals are fragile and emotional over an eerie synth sound, whereas latest single 'Pentonville Road' grabs your attention with a powerful drum track and anthemic chorus.

That’s not to say the diversity hampers the albums ability to come together as a single piece of art. Despite playing around with the sounds they use around them, Brandi’s vocals and Matze Prölloch’s drumming is the consistent core to their sound around which everything else orbits.

First single from the record 'Blue Splinter View' is a perfect example of this. Sonically it is the biggest outlier on the album with a reverbed guitar providing the Americana infused base of the track while a string part borrowed from a country and western lazily meanders around your ears.

Yet, as soon as we’re dropped into the almost gospel-like chorus, this is still very much a Me & My Drummer song thanks to the duo’s individual hallmarks.

Not often does a band find such a great balance between experimentation and consistency as the duo have with this patchwork quilt of an album, from 'Lancelot' to 'Traces' in the 'Sand' all with Brandi and Prölloch playing the thread which sews it together.

'Love is a Fridge' is out now via Sinnbus.

meandmydrummer.com
facebook.com/meandmydrummer
@meandmydrummer

Photography by Sashberg

©FM