Monday, July 29, 2013

Table Scraps Ep review

Swordfish records has moved to a new location. I decided to find the new store with a printed out map and eventually found the new location (It's round the corner from Scruff Murphy's). After a quick mooch I found a tape of the awesome two piece i'd seen the week before. I realised a moment later thought that i didn't own a tape player and walked out. Then went back in and bought it.

As you'd expect it's 3 tracks of raw, unhinged rock n roll, the recordings perfectly capture the energy and passion of the live performances, which is impressive for a demo let alone any recording. Thankfully the sound is clean and crisp. The liner notes says that it was 'Electronically recorded onto Tascam 85-16b/i inch tape'  by the sound of it they're keeping to the old school recording methods of the White Stripes.
Track 1 What you don't Allow pretty much sets the bar for all this, 'I don't care what you don't allow, i'm gonna do it anyhow' being a spray paintable slogan for disobedience.
'In the ground' manages to be even louder and riffier, with one guitar providing the riffs and the feedback at the same time, effectively being two instruments at a time. 'Sinking Ship' was a highlight of the live show and it sounds every bit as ferocious here as i remember. only problem here is that only one of the download links worked for me, but <UPDATE> the band sent me the songs and fixed it for me. So far this little tape is the only way to own these recordings however, and even if £4 is a lot for a dead format, it was worth it for this cool little memento of the amazing brum scene.

you can hear the tracks on

Monday, July 22, 2013


artwork made with highlighters
I only got to see the last two minutes of Swerve's set at the actress and bishop on Tuesday so I was happy that I managed to get a free CD of theirs, so that I could get a chance to give this band a listen and luckily despite my mate playing Frisbee with it still plays.

A lot of bands these days (especially in brumland) aspire to sound like the great grunge bands of the 90's. Swerve's music definitely shows that influence, the two tracks Honeydripper and Here both have fuzzy guitars, rough, low in the mix vocals and on 'Here' a definite metal influence, the punk/grungey sound is mixed with a massive heavy doom laden, saabatheqse* guitar sound. Overall though as well as sounding grungey these tracks also show more of a classic rock influence and a funky swagger. It's complete with old school guitar solo's and metal -ish lyrics. Its strange hearing this old school metal crossed with old school grunge mixed in a way I've not heard before, overall its like Guns N' Roses crossed with Nirvana.
These are funky, rough and ready songs that sound as if they were recorded in someone's garage and probably were. I can also say that it seems i missed out on a pretty good show when i missed these guys.

*Probably no coincidence, the word 'paranoid' is repeated at least 3 times.

The record was made in loving memory of Ray Manzarek

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Table Scraps


Table Scraps + Others, Actress and Bishop. 16/7/13

 Yesterday afternoon I was bored, its lovely and sunny but I was feeling like I needed to get out, luckily my old mate Jason (Pink Violence) was Dj-ing and i thought i'd come along and see the local bands.
I got there just in time to miss Swerve but got to hang around and see Jason Dj-ing old indie tunes, which seemed ridiculously easy, I'd just look through his DJ program and shout oooh! pixies! oooh play black sabbath, (when he put Sabbath Bloody Sabbath on, some people cheered, I was happy that my choice had had that reaction).
The Kaleidoscopes were the next band on and I thought they were more ok than great. They all looked about 14, and were rocking a skinny jean version of the classic grunge look. Whether they realise it or not, this band are far far bluesier than any other grunge inspired, (or any bands really) bands that i'd heard, amongst the distorted guitars were funky bluesey riffs that they seemed to be able to play with ease. What I didn't like was the singer's voice, which at times grated when he left his range. Despite all this, The Kaleidoscopes show plenty of promise, with good songs and some flashes of brilliance.

After this was Northampton's Anguish Sandwich, I hardly ever say this about anyone but I did not get these guys. They are a three piece who play shouty punk rock and clearly don't take themselves at all seriously. I got tired of the novelty pretty quickly and while other audience members seemed to like them and buy the vinyl EP's, I't didn't work for me.
No matter though 'cos Table Scraps were absolutely amazing, as a Boy girl duo Its tempting to compare them to the White Stripes, or The Kills, but the sound this band have is too raw,too loud and just to noisey to be compared to those two, I've never heard Royal Trux but  Table Scraps are probably what they sound like. The whole thing just appealed to everyone, you've got the girl bashing the shit out of the drums while standing up and the guy trashing his guitar and screaming. This is Rock n roll at its most primal and raw, even to say the usual 'thanks for coming, this is our next song', the guy sounded angry and out of breath. The following cover of Blue Monday was completely unrecognisable if not for a few well known lyrics, what also took me about the band is how Photogenic they are, despite just being two people from Birmingham they look like like something you'd find in a Californian desert.
This band Rock.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Winter Storm

Not the prettiest guy I've ever met but he's lovely really. 
Meet Will. Many of the people I attended college with from 2009-11 with make me feel like a complete under achiever (one of my course mates, now studies at the NY Arts conservatory, another dances on the telly) and I suppose Will is one of those people (I should probably mention that I've not properly seen him in  a while). You see he happens to be a musician, first and foremost a drummer, alongside various projects that have come and gone his main band is Winter Storm. A band who might just be one of Birmingham metal's leading lights. Album Number two 'Within The Frozen Design' comes out on  the 16th of November.  The video below from the last album shows that Winter Storm play epic goth tinged heavy metal. Full of eerie synth melodies, Will's powerful death metal style drumming and the riffs/solos you'd expect from any good metal band, as well as some great female vocals powerfull yet not over-egged, female vocals.
Happily for them they seem to be having some deserved success, with support slots having been filled for bands such as Delian and Alestorm. Frankly it was quite a shock discovering how good my old college mates band actually is.

Will's other band is called Reprise, Renamed from the sort of joke band called Quid, Reprise are currently looking for gigs in the West Midlands area. This is a video of theirs

Friday, July 12, 2013

Names To Watch (Part 1)

I'm never going to run out of bands to write about at this rate, here is the list as it stands of the names on peoples mouths, hanging about online or in the local mags that I've yet to blog about.

The Scribers, Friday Club, Laranja,Winter Strom, Opium Lord, Blachleat Generator, Minced Beats, Sigmund Freud, The Traps, Tom Peel, Only Shadows, Epic 45, Gyspy Hill, Them Wolves, The Grapfham Water Sailing Club, Winston's Big Brother, Flowers, Juice, Fairs, Evil Alien, Deep Joy, Atlantic Players,  Reprise, Tom Walker Trio, The Notebenders, The Crimson Star, Glassbullet, Karl Merrick, Basebeta (+ The Basesics), New Killer Shoes, Faith, Tales, California Daze

Monday, July 8, 2013

50 Cent Cancels trip to Brum

The Birmingham Mail reports that...
50 Cent at the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham
"Rapper 50 Cent has cancelled an unlikely in-store appearance at a Birmingham branch of Argos - after being charged with attacking his ex in the US.
The star had been due to attend a store in the city to promote his range of headphones as part of a UK visit.
But the appearance has now been cancelled due to what were said to be "unforeseen circumstances". The 37-year-old has been charged with domestic violence and four counts of vandalism and, if convicted, faces up to five years in prison."

Frankly the whole idea of 50 Cent in a Birmingham Argos is a bit weird, it also follows on from Tinchy Stryder's Headphone flog in the Bullring JD Sports a year or two ago
So if Rappers flogging headphones is going to be a big thing here can we please have RZA come down here next? I know he's got a pair.
(Pic from same source)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Modern Minds.

Going to gigs alone is never much fun, but When I went to see Peace Last week I'd been lucky enough to meet the friend of a friend that wasn't going that was going*. I met the guy in the venue and i thought that i could go draw out and get a pint before he'd done his business, I was wrong and ended up completely forgetting the guys face by the time i'd got the pint. Some guy was shouting stuff at me while i was standing by myself, but being a nice guy it led to a conversation. before long me and Luke Pritchard** from Modern Minds were getting along like a house on fire.

So it was worth checking out the music he makes.
'Levels' is the bands Debut, and its a very enjoyable melodic bouncy indie tune. Its full of infectious energy, guitar led hooks, and shouty vocals. Its laddish without being particularly brash and is not a million miles from a ballsier, Two Door Cinema Club ***. Its a confident first step that marks the lads out as being worth your time. Make up your own mind with the video above, and keep in mind that if you meet any of them, Pritchard at least is mad as a box of bats after a few beers, but a lot of fun too.

*Bit of a mouthful, the friend was Lewis from Duke BTW
** No relation to the guy from The Kooks
*** No offense meant to Two Door Cinema Club of course.