Friday, February 28, 2014

GOD DAMN, Leftover Pics

GOD DAMN, Live Review (Sunflower Lounge 27/2/14 Part 2)

YAWWN. Heavy Metal, a genre now overridden with bands who either take themselves far too seriously or wear fringes and scream about  stuff.
GOD DAMN are a breath of fresh air in a landscape of toxic gas. Now shed down to a two piece (ear shatterling loud duos are definitely a thing this year) God damn are signed to One Little Indian (Bjork's Label!) and i think they could do for metal what Alt-J have done for Folk, reinventing it yet making it accessible for new audiences.
Rather than pretentious solo's we get screeching feedback noise, no Bass, and amps that go up to 15.
On drums we have a man who looks like Andre the Giant. on Vocals and guitar we have Thom Edward who jumped into the crowd seconds into the first song. The raw primal energy set the crowd in this tiny room moshing almost immediately. Even I was moshing about, and I'm usually pretty restrained.
 Which is why my shoulders and jaw now hurt. At one point I swear I got Tinnitus, as these songs were played LOUD, so loud that some audience members wore earplugs.
The set was mostly from the bands amazing EP's although they had all been a bit stripped down considering God Damn is now a duo, most of the noise came from the guitar pedals, which were almost an instrument in its own right. you just couldn't help wanting to go crazy, and really, it was a lot of fun.
After a few songs people stopped moshing and started crowdsurfing, and by the end band members, audience members, drums and guitars were all being carried over my head. There was a stage invasion but not before God Damn had played 'Dangle like Skeletons'. A quiet ballad, in the same sort of way that 'Fuckabout' By Drenge is a quiet ballad, and had thanked 'The Wytches' for taking them on tour, out of all the amazing bands they could have picked.

One audience member said that The Wytches following that would be like 'Coldplay being supported by Slayer'. The Wytches are a band known for being a great live act,  but they still would have a tough time following that.

Adore, Live Review (Sunflower Lounge 27/2/14 Part 1)

My neck hurts. so does my back, my ears feel weird, my eyes are bloodshot and i have no energy left at all. There are also some very bad photographs of me in the internet. So where was I last night? well while older and less cool people were seeing Reverend and The Makers. Me and about 100 others were in the tiny tiny Sunflower Lounge for a triple bill of carnage inducing rock n roll.
Adore started off the event, a band formed in birmingham in 2011, who sound a LOT like Nirvana. It's not like they're' pretending that grunge isn't the main influence, from the name (A Smashing Pumpkins album) the 'Never Apologise, Never Explain' t shirt worn by the guitarist (a Therapy? album) it's obvious what has inspired Adore's sound.  They deserve credit though, on any other night they'd have been one of the best bands on the bill. They played like a headliner, playing loud (REALLY LOUD) fast and with loads of energy. They got the night off to a suitably chaotic start.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

VICTOR - Green Ribbon

I've written about Victor before. They were one of the brilliant acts that played the rise of birmingham show at the Birmingham Library last year. it was a show that started out as lacklustre shoegaze that quickly evolved into an incredibly intense live spectacle, featuring their singer dancing howling and generally acting like a woman possessed. if you get the chance you should definitely see them.

what you can do now though that you couldn't when i saw them was listen to them online. the band's soundcloud includes two new tracks (both uploaded 4 months ago -should probably have blogged about this sooner).
Both tracks 'Peace and quiet' and 'Green ribbon' carry the same unsettling atmosphere of that gig and are reminiscent of early-ish  PJ harvey but also the loose, vivid musical landscapes of 'The Horrors'. Alongside the wall of noise and shrieking howls lies a sense of jazzy experimentalism. its rather amazing how well they've captured the live intensity on record but seriously, see them live.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I've been working a lot lately  and i've clearly missed out on B-Towns 20th wave (or whatever) of new bands. i might have been on the loo at the time or something. anyway Killr Punx have been doing a brilliant job of hunting out new acts for gigs and other events, and the new recommendation is a cracker. everything i've heard has impressed me in some way since i started this blog  a year(!) ago yet CURB are genuinely one of the most thrilling acts i've heard since Laced, maybe even Peace. Only two songs exist but theyre both great, grungey-shoegazey druggy anthems. obviously theres a strong 90's influence yet i think this goes beyond old 90's pastiche. They're both brilliant songs, exciting and probably chemically enhanced. 'So High' in particular starts with  a real brooding atmosphere, bout also a loud chorus and pretty funky mid sedction, it's the sound of a band i'm hoping will get bigger and bigger.

On another note this blog marks exactly one year since I first picked up the keyboard and excitedly started writing about the amazing weekend i'd just had. Its rather scary to think that was one year ago and i'm really proud of what I've achieved 10,434 views later. it's made me friends, got me out the house on otherwise boring days, and helped me in my own little way become a part of a scene that goes deeper than i'd ever expected. and on that note i'm having a guitar lesson later today, after nearly 8 (FUCK!) years since i last had a lesson i'm picking up the guitar once again. I hope i've inspired my readers the same way my discoveries have inspired me. Remember this is our generation, theres not going to be a next Oasis or next Smiths if we just sit around moaning, there is amazing music out there and we must treasure every note.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Temples -Sun Structures review

I was feeling a little lonely this Valentine's Day (Call me ladies!) and decided to cheer myself up with a few CD's from Left For Dead. I bought The Velvet Underground's seminal second record 'White Light/White heat (too extreme even for my ears) an early Animal Collective EP featuring the Cult Folk singer Vashti Bunyan, (which i bought out of sheer WTF ness) and he even threw in a free copy of 'Cymbal's New album 'The Age of Fracture'.
However it was Sun Structures by Kettering's  Temple's which i came for. Happily it was worth the wait. An argument could be made  that no truly game changing psychedelic records  have been made since the aforementioned Animal Collective's 2009 epic 'Merriweather Post Pavillion'. Temples are not making anything strictly new but you'd have to be a true psych' nerd to say what bands they draw from, besides their sound owes as much to 70's glam such as 'T Rex' as much as the Velvet Underground. What makes Temples worth hearing is that they're songwriters first, mind bending sound makers second. Tame Impala took years to write songs this good. Every song here is well written, catchy  and focussed (The longest track only clocks in at 6:31). Theres loads of hooks, melodies and songs such as 'Fragments light' show they sound as good unplugged as otherwise. 
The production is lush and modern yet not overdone and old school proggy keyboard sounds back most of the songs. This isn't hardore psycadelia, yet that fact works entirely in the albums favour. I really can see (and Hope) that this is the record that drags Psychedelia back into the mainstream. Aside from the songs Temples have the look, the image, and sound that could make them a big deal 


Best track -Colours to life

UPDATE: this record has charted at number 7, so i think i've been right in what i've said here

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Deaf Inspector (Live at Left For Dead)

Fucking hell, It's Fucking Windy today, Fucking wet, Fucking Cold and  Fucking miserable. So why did I leave my cosy little house with a tv box full of old Doctor Who episodes? well i had a day off work and i needed to get out, there was a free little show at my favourite record shop and i felt it was worth a trip. 
By the time i Got to the custard factory a vintage/antiques fair was just closing, yet there are so many shops and people that the place must have been full of activity earlier on. 
Deaf Inspector are a Brummie three piece, comprised of a drummer, singer/guitarist, and a guy with some impressive looking keyboards.  And i stood there by the window, being one of only a handful of people who showed up. Deaf inspectors music is very laid back, almost jazzy. Their singer sings in a very low key, half singing half talking sort of way* while mixing grunge guitar sounds with more experimental keyboard playing. There is loads of melody in the bands sound and i felt that the longer instrumental parts of songs such as such as 'Sketches' worked well for them as it gave them a chance to show off their playing.  
They've got a very accomplished sound for such a new band, it kind of shows that they're all experienced players from other bands,  and i love the sweet melodies in each of the songs.  I got a free CD from them had a quick chat and i feel that this was just about worth braving the elements for. 

Check out their track 'Bicycle' here

And 'Sketches' here

*My dad reckons they sing and sound like Kevin Ayers and after a youtube play i've got to agree.