Alternative music reviews

August 1, 2006

The Octopus In The Igloo by GunsLikeGirls

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GunsLikeGirls
At first listen this sounded like Hardcore Punk – jagged guitars and shouting just as it should be. But it really isn’t that simple. GunsLikeGirls are very melodic musically, in a rock way, and some of the vocals are anthemical in the style of modern US punk. It’s an interesting combination and ultimately satisfying. The subjects covered by the songs are not Armageddon or Death (perhaps excepting The Moore We See which has some crushingly good guitar riffs towards the end), but the lies and disappointments of life. Lyrically like a more personal Joy Division.

Maybe they will fall between two stools as regards fans: too soft for Hardcode and too hardcore for Alt Rock. If this happens then it will be unjust. GunsLikeGirls can bridge the gap between the styles by providing a more humanised music for noise lovers without the posturing. And playing them will still annoy your parents!

GunsLikeGirls

On High by Soundpool

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On High by Soundpool New York’s Soundpool combine Indie and Electronica. On this, their debut album, they combine the synth blanketing of a band like M83 with driving Shoegazer guitar and drums. The texture is everything, with ethereal keyboards and mostly female vocals in the dense soundscape. The total effect is similar to Little Fluffy Clouds or even Simon Dupree’s Kites (older people might remember this) over a rock rhythm unit.

It is difficult to talk about individual tracks because the whole album is very consistent in sound. Perhaps this is why I am ambivalent about the album. If I am in the right mood then I can really enjoy it as an electronic My Bloody Valentine, but if not, I find the album cloying and too much of the same sound.

Soundpool

July 24, 2006

News: Nomad 67 Banned From Streets Alive!

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This news will shortly grace the pages of the Tenbury/Ludlow Advertiser. It seems the gentle people of Ludlow found that Nomad 67 were too loud and they will not be allowed to play at the next Streets Alive festival. Teenagers have not been in the news in that part of the country since the Young Princes were taken from Ludlow Castle to London and then murdered by King Richard.

Joking aside, Nomad 67 treated the people of Ludlow to an exhibition of rock n roll. Despite the incongruous setting of a sunny afternoon in an historic Shropshire market town, Nomad did their thing. People ran away from the “Street Theatre” but they all stopped to watch and listen to the Nomad boys. I heard thing that confirmed to me that this is a band to be reckoned with. There were moments when Josh’s bass kicked in at a lower octave and the music all came together into a tight vortex (Mosh-Pit moment in a dark sweaty club) and Will’s drum show-off bit didn’t just take me aback but stopped people walking past to stand and gape. Jay’s voice really is as good as it is on record.

Ludlow, you were rocked…get over it.

July 20, 2006

D U E L S

Filed under: short reviews — @ 9:19 pm Comments (0)

Just checking MySpace friend requests and, yes, yet another band from Leeds. I don’t know them from the Dance To The Radio stuff but I give them a quick listen. In their professed influences is a certain David Jones. I’m pretty sure they mean the man who changed his name to Bowie. Setting themselves up for a fall in that case, aren’t they?

First track is Slow Build (video above) and yes they have learnt some lessons from the Bromley one. But there’s more than that. A gentle 60s psychedelia tinges the proceedings and voice that is mannered and controlled in an English way but moves to melodic crescendo with no strain. And there’s a point in the song Brothers and Sisters when the singer sounds like Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs and any moment like that is to be welcomed. This band have an ability to swoop up to the stars with their powerful orchestrations. It’s pop music and it’s glorious.

D U E L S

July 17, 2006

Give Me by The Human Value

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One of the members of The Human Value promised me that I get into the other songs on the Give Me EP. Initially I just liked the track She. But the more I listened the better it got. There are some seriously dirty synth and guitar noises. This is what The Human League should have become – but they changed from a radical electronic band into vacuous Pop. But if they had taken this path then they would have welded experiment with Punk spirit and sonic attack.

The best bit is I really don’t know what the The Human Value are trying to achieve. There is no genre to slot this music into. In my book that makes what they do valuable. This intimidating sexy music and we all need to be dominated occasionally. Did I just say that out loud?

The Human Value

July 16, 2006

Happy Endings Make You Weak by The Mourning After

Filed under: short reviews — @ 10:31 pm Comments (0)

The Mourning After play alternative guitar rock with a deperate edge that really appeals to me. Some vicious guitar playing and emotionally wrought singing combines to create an angst a lot of people will be living through or remember very well. This is modern punk – a bit of feedback, a bit of melody, and a driving rhythm propelled by a rather good drummer. The highlight for me is the track 2195 with its layers of vocals and uplifting chorus as they fight against the world (I think they win, by the way).

The video above is the song Burst The Bubble and this is a bonus track on the EP. The other songs are even better to my ears but it’s a good song and shows the youthful energy that they exude.

The Mourning After on MySpace

July 11, 2006

Have I Got Noise For You

Filed under: short reviews — @ 11:11 pm Comments (0)

First, a mention of recent CDs:

Introstay by Years Around The Sun

Beautiful music that reminds me of The Go-Betweens in the Cattle and Cain period. I even think one of them looks like Grant McLennan.

Years Around The Sun

Can’t go back by *Armstrong

Debut single from a young Rock band who have energy and enthusiasm and an understanding of melody.

*Armstrong

Twenty Years of Love and Pain…They Feel The Same by Gojo’ music

Political Roots music from Wolverhampton. A little bit of Blues, a bit of funk and lots of fine acoustic guitar playing.

Gojo’ Music

Now the reason for the title of this post. I received 10 CDs from Italy. Eight of these CDs are firmly in the Hardcore camp ranging from the high octane guitar and shouting to the post-electronica remix of Hardcore. I’m actually a bit sad to pass them on but my new reviewer RichardTheGreat actually knows about this style of music. I don’t know if they read my appeal for Hardcore and Metal on the site but this is like manna from heaven. To name a few of the bands they are Orange Man Theory, Ensoph (my particular favourite), 7 Times Suicide, Madwork, and Straight Opposition.

For a sample try Orange Man Theory and Ensoph

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