Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A Top 25 Style Chart Rundown Of Records From The Naughties

Before I start I should say that I know everyone has been at this, DiS and Pitchfork have both done massive rundowns, everyone else started a thread on the subject on every forum on the entire internet.

Anyhow...I was asked by a friend to compile a top ten of my favourite records of the naughties, this brought about two seconds of excitement (who doesn't love lists?) and then what followed was days and days of adding record names to an every expanding list. Seriously? A top ten? I'm pretty sure if you've only got really into music in the last three years you could do a top ten off the top your head almost but for everyone else, I see this as a daunting task. I started scribbling down some records onto a piece of paper whilst going through my ipod, which turned into rushing onto my laptop to make sure of the year each one was released, my list then turned into a top sixty odd, I managed to get it down to fifty and left it there.

A few days later I decided to pick twenty five, after many arguments with myself, and sent it off...to which I was told that if I didn't submit a top ten, he wouldn't use it at all. I couldn't, so here's my top twenty five in order of year of release.

Jeniferever - Choose A Bright Morning [2006]

Oceansize - Everyone Into Position [2005]

Bear vs Shark - Terrorhawk [2005]

65daysofstatic - The Fall Of Math [2004]

Planes Mistaken For Stars - Up In Them Guts [2004]

Hot Snakes - Audit In Progress [2004]

The Wrens - The Meadowlands [2003]

The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site [2003]

This Aint Vegas - Black Lung Captain [2003]

The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow [2003]

Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts Of The Great Highway [2003]

Reuben - Racecar Is Racecar Backwards [2003]

Million Dead - A Song To Ruin [2003]

Hell Is For Heroes - The Neon Handshake [2003]

Mclusky - Mclusky Do Dallas [2002]

Hot Water Music - Caution [2002]

The Cooper Temple Clause - See This Through And Leave [2002]

Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights [2002]

Biffy Clyro - Blackened Sky [2002]

Beck - Sea Change [2002]

Converge - Jane Doe [2001]

Idlewild - 100 Broken Windows [2000]

Cursive - Domestica [2000]

The Appleseed Cast - Mare Vitalis [2000]

At The Drive-In - Relationship Of Command [2000]

...and yeah I know, I really should be putting some blurb under these but I started out really excited, then I started to make a playlist from these records on Spotify (naughtiesmixtape) and I just started to get tired and I'm trying to make my dinner too. Well I think The Wrens might be my all time favourite, noticed how little there is from the last couple of years, I'm guessing that will change if I ever think about this again. Classics yo...now onto my top records of 2009!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Diet Pills - January Tour

Wowzers, it's almost 2010...it still feels so weird to type 2o1o.

Back to me, Leicester kids Diet Pills are going on tour around the county and Scotland in January. The dates are:

15th - Stockrooms, Sheffield w/ Cry Havoc + Tree Of Sores + Pudge
16th - Yorkshire House, Lancaster w/ Apes Fight Back + NASDAQ + Joyeux
17th - The 13th Note, Glasgow w/ Corpses + La Guerre
18th - The Fenton, Leeds w/ The Afternoon Gentlemen + Normal Man + (more tbc)
19th - The Buffalo, Cardiff w/ Smiler + Brandyman
20th - The Windmill, London w/ Dethscalator + The Good Wife + At A Crawl
21st - Hector's House, Brighton w/ Kid Pang + Everyone To The Anderson
22nd - Above All Practice Rooms, Margate w/ At A Crawl
23rd - The Rising Sun, Coventry (tbc)

31st - Chameleon, Nottingham w/ Victims + Dead In The Woods + The Afternoon Gentlemen

More info here


BronzeAge, who's first recorded song was featured on my recent podcast, have made the rest of their demo's available to download in a nice little package. I was eager to hear what these guys sound like, considering the four are ex-members of Public Relations Exercise, the track "Amberola" didn't disappoint. The other three songs are all aces too, "Ghana" is a personal highlight for me.

Here's a little snippet from the bands bio:
"The band’s sound is a distinct departure from their previous output; combining epic sound-scapes with angular indie riffs and dual vocal interplay. Early demos have now been recorded by Field Records owner and producer Tim Waterfield. Expect to hear music and gigs later in the year."

You can find the EP from either their myspace, Last.fm, the facebook fan page or through Soundcloud. YEAAAAH!

Also, if you live in or around Leicester, catch the boys supporting LaFaro at the Firebug on January 20th.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Wanchope - Careful By The Fire

No, not that one!

Wanchope are a little musical project put together by Henry of Dartz! and Chris of protectors in an attempt to reach the dizzy heights, fame and fortune that come with of having the Christmas number one single. Some snizzle:

Right, here's the plan:

Henry's gonna record some music and send it to Chris. Chris is gonna write some lyrics and sing on it. Ideal.

"Careful By The Fire" is our first attempt. Darren Moore played drums on it and Evelyn Burke sang on it. Sound.

The single is available to download for free, you can find it on their last.fm here or if you're not into that kind of thing, you can also listen to it on their myspace page here. Either way, it's EPICALLY SWEET.

Friday, 4 December 2009

thesearchivesaremonuments podcast: volume one (Dec 2009)

...is here!


1. Switzerland - Fat, Single and Ready To Mingle (3.04)
Derby (UK). Switzerland play the jamz, much like Cap'n Jazz/Colour/Tubelord.

2. Men - Calculators (1.41)
Norwich (UK). Men play gruff punk, have great beards but still love a catchy pop twist.

3. Bronze Medals - I Lost The Map (3.52)
Nuneaton (UK). Bronze Medals are the English Minus The Bear...kinda.

4. Mane Horse - Bugsby (2.27)
Fresno, California (US). Some of that great Indie that sounds like it's from the old Midwest.

5. Superman Revenge Squad - Idiot Food (2.45)
Croydon (UK). Full on one man singer-songwriter assault armed with just a acoustic guitar.

6. BronzeAge - Amberola (5.35)
Leicester (UK). Ex Public Relations Exercise boys gone soft.

7. These Waves - Want Owt (2.40)
Derby (UK). Post-Hardcore with all the hooks.

8. Footnotes - I've Never Been To Easter Island (2.34)
Clementon, New Jersey (US). Another perfect slice of emo from the US.

9. Kids In Cars - Lord Of The Land (5.13)
Leicestershire (UK). A bit like Arcade Fire mixing it with Radiohead...but with haunting lyrics.

10. Mark Fernando - This Is My Day! (2.55)
Nottingham/Leicester (UK). Like loads of great bands mixed into one man and you can even sing along.

All music was used after permission was granted by the bands and artists. All the songs featured are the bands own work.

Please check out all the bands myspace pages and support them, most of them have music they're willing to give away for free, some have records coming out in the near future so get behind that like I will.

Thanks for listening and a special thanks to all the bands and artists that got involved. Volume two is already being made!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Gregk Foley - Troubled Bones EP (2009)

Gregk Foley is a young singer-songwriter from Horsham in the UK, apparently he's been singing, playing and writing music since the age of eleven. He cites his influences as the Buckleys and Nick Drake as well as modern song smiths such as Mike Kinsella and Luke Pickett.

One of those influences you can easily pick out from listening to this EP, I am talking about Mike Kinsella. I'm totally on board with Mike Kinsella, in fact any of the Kinsella's so I'm already more interested than usual. Gregk has only been doing the solo thing since winter 2008 but this is actually his second EP release, the first being "Hollow Lane" (check his myspace on how to purchase that).

I have no idea how old Gregk is but I'm going to go out my way to say his songwriting is beyond his young years, the lyric content is there, relationships, life, loneliness, being optimistic and pessimistic in the same verse. All the traits of an Owen record, without copying his whole style. All four tracks are catchy in their own right, Racing Hearts being the main contender for catchiest acoustic song of the year and the standout song on this EP for me.

The additional instruments floating around in the background are almost perfect for the structure of these songs, arranged in a subtle manner that they don't drown out Gregk's vocals or strumming but just so you know they're there and they mean business. The glockenspiel on Icarian for example is so delicate and warm, it reminds me a little of This Town Needs Guns *I can't think of the song I'm trying to get at, it might not even be TTNG at all* but not as apathetic.

Anyway, definitely check out Gregk on his myspace, download the EP if you like what you hear and pass the word on, this guy needs more exposure, especially further up the country. There's a few dates on his gig calendar too so try and make them if you can.

Gregk Foley myspace

The Crown Vandals - The Guenevere EP

The Crown Vandals

...feature Tim Beeler on Acoustic Guitar and Lead Vocals and Tim Keen styling the Violin, Drums, Vocals, Bass and Synth. Beeler is from New Hampshire in the US and Keen hails from Melbourne in sunny old Australia, at first I thought it was one of those great projects that pits two guys from different sides of the world together by the internet, sending vocal recordings to one another and so on. It seems I'm wrong, they met in Montreal (you'll have to ask them the details, I wasn't there) Canada, where they now record music together, I guess they live there too but I'm not one to assume the obvious.

Influenced equally by the quirky, overdriven folk of Elephant 6 bands (I'm good at reading) and even cite Jeff Mangum as an influence (my reading skills are testing once again). With those references made, it means that it will always be worth my ears hearing their output and these guys deliver. "Guenevere" even sounds like it wouldn't be out of place on In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.

Enough of The Neutral Milk Hotel love in though, this is a band in their own right, these guys are more than a one trick pony, the rest of the EP is pretty strong and catchy. It's a bit lazy to call this Folk, it feels more than that, this almost sounds like what I wanted Arcade Fire to sound like the only time I listened to them...and isn't there more than two members in that band?

This really isn't a review, is just to tell you that the guys are giving away this EP for free, isn't that nice? You can find it from these links underneath, go on:


Life Status Update: Mariah Carey

...she is still very much alive, singing other people's one hit wonders and making those fantastic slow motion videos. Rejoice asshats, the world just stayed as lame.

Though she seems to think she's actually in MANband Take That, here is a signed photograph:
(I, in no way, took time out of my busy life to make this image, I found it underneath my bed).

I'm off to listen to N-Dubz (Ndubz?). Serious "I Need You" is possibly my favourite song EVA.

Monday, 30 November 2009


This is where I "big up" friends websites and their blogs so you can pay them a nice visit.

Tracks Monkeys With Lasers
This is a blog, a blog about music...live reviews, album reviews, bands that have had a live review and are pissed off about it, lots of session stuff and photos (wow, I need photos).
TMWL is run by a young chap called Mark, he's a good bean, even though he's originally from Coventry, he writes better than I do.
Tracks monkeys with lasers

Estrealla is a blog about a young girl called Sandy, Sandy works in PR in both London and New York (I think?). She seems like a very busy person and it reminds me of that film with Simon Pegg in it...no, not Shaun Of Dead, the other one. Anyway, check it out, there's loads of fashion stuff, music, films and other all round good stuff. (Plus there's pictures of women on there).

Waste Your Youth
Does exactly what it says on the tin, apart from Matt, who writes on this site, doesn't actually have any youth left (some argue he never had a youth in the first place) and would rather steal yours in the disguise of a website. There is another writer on the site, he's too good that you're not even allowed to see his face or know his real name, most just know his as "Moff".
Waste Your Youth

thesearchivesaremonuments Podcast volume one...

is almost ready! I'm waiting on one band getting back to me with a track right now, I could possibly leave it and use it for the next one (some time next year by my working) but I really want it on this.

Big thanks to all those bands who wanted to get involved...and got excited by it. I've got a few Midland bands kicking it on this, two American bands and a few others from various parts of the UK.

Other stuffs:

I've got lots of write ups and focusing on a few bands that are sitting on my "things I've started, so I'll finish" list. A few of those feature on my podcast. Maybe one or two interviews if things go to plan.

The nice man at Audio Antihero, known to people as Jamie, has sent me a few links to listen to his labels first two releases, Benjamin Shaw and Nosferatu D2. I'm super excited about that, I'm a fan of both, so I'm going to review both of them and try to write sentences that make some kind of sense.

Also, I have nice EP from a young man called Gregk Foley to get through and type some nice words, he's a young singer songwriter from Horsham and from what I've heard on his myspace, I'm going to like this a lot.

Other than the millions of little bits piling up on me, I've got the Nightmare Before Christmas ATP coming up in a few sleeps, so I'm far too excited for that right now.


New music from - Dead Spex and BronzeAge

They hail from Nottingham, they're called Dead Spex and they want your ears. "Her Knee, and She" is now up on the bands myspace, which if word on the street is to be believed, is a track taken from a forthcoming (yet unknown title) EP that should see the light of day early in the year two thousand and ten. It's probably my favourite thing that a band from Nottingham called Dead Spex have done. Hype. www.myspace.com/deadspex

BronzeAge are a newish band to the Leicester and world music scene, but they're old war horses at heart, made up of whatever waste was left lying around from the atom bomb that was Public Relatations Exercise. "Amberola" is now up on their myspace page for you to listen, marvel and bask in new glory. Click here www.myspace.com/bronzeageband for greatness.
There's also a link there somewhere to download the track for freebies, don't say bands don't do anything for the little guy.

Leicester Calling

The "Leicester Calling" compilation album is now officially available. Please download the podcast and tell lots of people about it. You will find links to the podcast at pineapster.com/profiles/pineapster_recordings, together with players for the individual tracks. If you can help promote it then please do.

Leicester Calling - Out Now

Leicester Calling is the latest compilation album from Leicester's Pineapster music community. Twenty tracks from new and established bands who are based in Leicester and Leicestershire - and sometimes further afield - and who all contribute to the local music scene. The album is now available for FREE via the Pineapster Recordings podcast. Follow the links on pineapster.com or search the iTunes music store for "pineapster".

Vol. 1

‘Unison’ by Autohype (3:38)
‘Pirates’ by Penfold Gate (3:54)
‘Probably Will’ by Produkty (2:36)
‘Forgotten’ by Themselves (2:05)
‘Plastic Painted Gold’ by The Chairmen (3:44)
‘Now We Are Weapons’ by Shortwave Fade (4:57)
‘Oblong’ by Logfox (3:35)
‘Simplest of Tools’ by Black Page Turns (3:47)
‘OK On The OK’ by Kill Chaos (3:22)
‘Amberola’ by Bronze Age (5:35)

Vol. 2

‘Shakerley’ by Distant Guns (5:15)
‘No-One Is Angry Just Afraid’ by Kyte (4:41)
‘Fakers’ by 40 Horses (4:24)
‘The Balloon’ by Free Control (5:29)
‘Six Pint Personality’ by The Tea Monkeys (2:56)
‘1965’ by The Friends Of Leonard (4:29)
‘So It Goes' by Kids in Cars (4:26)
‘Cold’ by Mentira (4:18)
‘Happiness Machines’ by Moscow Youth Cult (5:45)

Cover picture of Kyte by David Wilson Clarke.

Image and text both taken from pineapster.com

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Paranormal Activity

An review of the blockbuster hit Paranormal Activity:

"**** **** *******"

WORST.FILM.EVER. Thank god for beer.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

White Noise Christmas

It's almost that time of year again, White Noise Christmas kicks off once again on December 4th at Firebug in Leicester. Weekend wristbands are the pricey sum of five English pounds.

"The White Noise festivals began as ‘White Noise Christmas’ in 2008 as a gathering of musicians from in and around Leicester (and some of their friends from further afield) working together to promoter the wealth of musical talent within the city and to raise money for local charities.

The event runs twice yearly in December (as White Noise Christmas) and May (as White Noise Summer).

The entry fee is kept as low as possible to encourage as many people as possible to get down to the event. All the artists perform for free, and there is no guest list to ensure as much money as possible can be donated to charity.

All the curators ask in return is that you try to see as many acts as possible. If you can take home just one new artist that you’ve fallen in love with, then we’re doing our job right."

It's a shame that I'll be at ATP but if you want more info, go here:


Things That Sound Like The Shins...But Are Not The Shins

Avi Buffalo

Avi Buffalo is the brain child of a youngster, seriously, I think he's just left high school or something, from Long Beach, California in the United States. Now playing as a five piece band and have recently signed to Sub Pop.


Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood from Florida in the good old US of A, they play more of a surf-y (dang, it's the name) much like The Shins sunshine sounding pop.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Band Of The Week - Men

Hey do you like bearded men? Do you like music?

If answered yes to the above two questions then I suggest you check out Men, hailing from sunshine capital of the world, Norwich, the three piece play some melodic punk and some times gruff punk, much like Hot Water Music teaming up with Dillinger 4 to do a Superchunk covers album.

Either way, it's excellent, there's even free music offered out by the band!

Men are brimming to the top with win.


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

9 (NINE!) videos for '09

So here it is...nine awesome videos from 2009, in no order:









Thursday, 5 November 2009

Pianos Become The Teeth – Old Pride (2009)

(Top Shelf 2009)

RIYL: The Saddest Landscape, I Would Set Myself On Fire For You, Loma Prieta, Envy, City Of Caterpillar

I have to admit, I don’t listen to Pianos Become The Teeth often but when I do, they have the tools to blow me away, but I’m not sure if they have all the songs in their arsenal to keep me constantly on the edge of my seat.

At times this record is an ambient, uncompromising and very emotional assault on the ears, a style that hasn’t been championed as intensely in a while (or from my memory). It pushes boundaries; it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand. I love the post-rock-esque guitars on this so much; it even makes me wish that some instrumental post-rock bands would throw in some coarse/shouting/screaming vocals into the mix for good measure.

"Pensive” is possibly my favourites from this record, "I'm ready to let my hair down, I'm ready to move to the woods until the floor boards get raspy, I'm ready, I'm ready" is the frenziedly screaming vocal that fly out of my headphones, oh man, this is the height of everything good about this record.

I wish I could write more about this record and the fact that it has so much testosterone but I don’t care though as I have no idea where I am right now.

P.S. The Album artwork is seriously great, top notch. I hope it’s the same artwork when it’s released over here next year…otherwise I’m going to have to spend more money than I would want to on a poster.

8/10 Recommended



My Heart To Joy - Seasons In Verse (2009)

(Top Shelf 2009)

When I saw this record and started to listen to it, it didn't even dawn on me that this was the same band as My Heart To Joy At The Same Tone, for some reason I just thought they were name ripping. It wasn't until I did a little reading up (checking their last.fm counts as reading, right?) that they were indeed the same and decided on a name change to suit their newer sound. Apparently they used to sound a lot like Hot Water Music before, coarse vocals but a little bit more emo (sounds like a million other bands in the history of music?) but they were able to hold their own and bring something new to the table. Anyway; onto the review!

The opener, Time Spent Breathing, is an instrumental, something that really builds up into a record. I like when indie emo bands do this, I'm always ready, half expecting scream that's going to make me jump before it skips right into the second track. That doesn't happen, which makes me glad, it actually gave me more of a Fugazi style start to a record.

Much like a lot of the other indie emo that's hit our years in the last couple of years, there's loads of coarse vocals, quirky guitar noodling, down tempo middle section, but with feeling like you're still in Hot Water Music and Braid territory here. There's also a new element, some added post-rock-esque moments that seem to be popping up in (almost) every record this year...but hey, if it feels and sounds right, then do it.

All the basses have been covered on this record, that said there's even a cover thrown in there for good measure (again, kudos to my reading skills) in the shape of Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory, which the original credits go to Guided By Voices. This is quite a surprise, if you're not much of a GBV fan like I, then you might like this, I've never heard the original though so don't pass any judgement on band until you have a listen yourself.

I don't think this is one of the stand out records of the year but it has some really solid moments and a couple of moments where they don't sound much like anyone else out there. It's still well worth a listen if you haven't already over indulged on Castevet, Snowing, Boy Problems, Title Fight...




Thursday, 29 October 2009

RIP Chuck Biscuits - Or not!

Legendary hard rock drummer Chuck Biscuits, whose lengthy résumé included stints in such flagship underground acts as Black Flag and Social Distortion, died Saturday after a prolonged battle with throat cancer. He was 44.

“In response to the inquires, thank you for all the support,” an anonymous family member wrote in an e-mail sent this morning. “Chuck did not survive his battle with throat cancer. He passed surrounded by his family on 10/24/09.”

Chuck Biscuits was probably best known to the general populous for his work with Danzig. Beginning in 1988, Chuck played on that group’s first four albums, which are often hailed as Danzig’s best (thanks in no small part to Chuck’s powerful drumming style). The percussionist also appeared on 1993’s Thrall: Demonsweatlive EP; that release yielded an unexpected chart-burning hit for Danzig in “Mother,” a song the band originally included on their self-titled debut.

Yet Chuck Biscuits was not completely bound by the shackles of heavy metal/hard rock – the drummer kindly lent his talents to various tracks on Run-D.M.C.’s fourth album, 1988’s Tougher Than Leather. Leather boasted a handful of hits for the famed Hollis Crew, including “Mary, Mary” and “Beats To The Rhyme.”

Born Charles Montgomery on April 17, 1965, in British Columbia, Chuck Biscuits cut his teeth with Canadian hardcore outfit D.O.A. before relocating to California in 1982 and joining Black Flag. Biscuits left that group after five months of touring and began bouncing around from band to band, clocking time with classic punk acts such as the Circle Jerks, Fear, and the Weirdos. It wasn’t long before Chuck made a name for himself in the rock underground with his utterly ferocious yet completely accurate attack; he was rumored to be at the top of Nirvana’s drummer “wish list” in the days prior to Dave Grohl.

The last major group Chuck played with was Social Distortion, beginning in 1996. He appeared on only one of their releases, 1998’s Live At The Roxy, before promptly leaving the band a year later. It is unknown whether the drummer’s throat cancer played a part in that departure.

Outside of music, Chuck Biscuits was a known lover of art who spent some time in the late 1980s sculpting and attending college art classes. Biscuits also enjoyed vintage breakfast cereal collecting; one Danzig home video release tagged Chuck as a “Professor of Cerealogy, PhD.” in a segment wherein the drummer expounded upon his love of sugary morning delights (“It’s a very expensive habit…once you’ve had Boo Berry, there’s no turning back.”)

“Chuck was one of the best of the original wave of punk drummers,” Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson said in brief e-mail exchange with the author last year. “His style was easily recognizable, and he seemed to have just a ton of extra energy when playing drums. He is one of those people who did not have to practice a lot to play really well.”

“It came very natural to him,” Stevenson continued. “He was hugely influential without really being as ‘famous’ as drummers who were actually much less influential musically.”

It is unknown exactly who Chuck is survived by, but they will surely miss him, as will an entire generation of rock n’ roll fans.

RIP Chuck, I never met the guy or saw him play live but this is pretty gutting to hear about a guy who lived an unbelievable life. To think of how much he achieved would take other people about four life times. This ones for you Chuck...

*EDIT* So it seems this was all a hoax and I was one of millions to fall for it. Sorry for posting the original story. Keep on keeping on Chuck!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Records That Shaped The 2000s - Sun Kil Moon "Ghosts Of The Great Highway" (2003)

Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts Of The Great Highway (Jetset 2003)
Folk Rock/Slowcore

Sun Kil Moon, otherwise known as Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters, is somewhat of a musical genius. I've never met the guy before but he seems to know everything about me (and you for that matter) and it's all here, in the shape of these songs. Ghosts Of The Great Highway is not just a record I think every music fan just own from the decade, it's an album that I wish I could have written, even if it's just so I could sit with acoustic guitar in hand in the corner of a small cafe on an open mic night and pour my heart out.

"Sun Kil Moon is the current project of singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek, best known for his previous band, Red House Painters. Sun Kil Moon sees Kozelek undertake all the writing, composing, singing and guitar playing accompanied by Tim Mooney and Anthony Koutsos (also an ex-member of RHP) on drums, and Geoff Stanfield on bass. The band is named after korean bantamweight boxer Sung-Kil Moon.

Their debut album, Ghosts of the Great Highway, was written entirely by Kozelek, and released by Jetset Records in 2003. It is an album centered around the theme of memory, connecting Kozelek’s haunting memories with the true-life stories of deceased boxers, such as featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez and flyweight Pancho Villa."

GOTGH is as intimate as it gets, I don't think you can listen to this record without actually feeling like you were in the room when it was recorded. It's also warm, if you read the back story to the album; tragedy and heartbreak, yet Mark Kozelek serves it all up on a plate that makes you feel ok, like he's reaching out to give you a hug when you're down.

Carry Me, Ohio is my personal favourite off the album and it's also a highlight in the world of music in the '00s, this is perfection. It's so strong that it usually makes me want to cry, it's haunting without really giving you that kick of depression. I can't sit here and write a load of lines describing what the reason was behind the song or who it's really about, all I can do is sit here and think about what Mark (or someone he knows) must have been going through to write such a delicate song. It also makes me want to reflect on my own life, the choices, friends lost and road not yet taken. To me, this is what hearing a song for the hundredth time should be all about and that is what makes this whole record timeless.

The way this record seems to be able to convey every emotion in the human body is beyond me, this is more than music, this is a reflection of modern day living without the subject being relevant to anything in today's society. Mark Kozelek doesn't have the best tone, the music isn't catchy enough to be sitting at the top of the mainstream record charts, this isn't about that, it's about an album that has been written with a labour of love, loss and new beginnings that every listener can connect to.

To find out more:

Tubelord - Our American Friends (Hassle Records 2009)


Everyone's favourite Kingston trio release their debut album this week on Hassle Records, everyone who has had the pleasure to witness these guys live will agree that they are one of the most exciting British bands around today. With a string of singles released in the last couple of years (I Am Azerrad and Feed Me A Box Of Worms, both on Big Scary Monsters). The blood thirsty youth have been shouting from the rooftops for an album to call their own, a collection as jangly and vibrant as their live act. Well the people got their wish this week.

On first look of the tracklisting it's easy to notice that there are a few tracks which have been released, in one shape or another, in one way or another almost like it's shaping the past of the band...you're on the Tubelord journey and it really shows how the band has progressed and grown up...without forgetting what it is to be young.
To the seasoned Tubelord fan though, this could become a distraction, those songs would stick in your mind so much that unless the new material blows your mind, it will be easy to forget about them. I for one, don't want that to happen, not when it comes to Tubelord.

To the new fan though, this is genius, you'll get the record on your best friend's recommendation (who's caught Tubelord live about twenty times by now) and they will point out which songs they love, sound better live or just better than The Beatles. You'll listen to Tubelord for the first time, everything will sound fresh, you won't just focus the previously released material, your foot will tapping the whole way through, you'll want to go and see them live, it's like your mind is being blown for the first time. This is how we all want to feel when we listen to this album, right?

If you haven't already got a beaming smile on your face from the first two tracks, Night Of The Pencils will definitely change that. It showcases that Tubelord are not just a one dimensional band (honestly I think a kid with ADHD writes the bands songs sometimes) changing direction faster than a shark, just as you think you've got Tubelord all summed up, something else hits you smack in the face. Every time I hear the beginning of this song live I knew everyone's in for a treat, it has everything you want from the band, jangly guitars, the little 'spazz out' and then finishing with an epic sing along of "We're bigger than Memphis" that everyone can get involved in.

Propeller is possibly my favourite Tubelord song, it's the first one I heard on the bands myspace a few years ago, I think we all knew that the band were offering something just a little different, special. I'm really glad this song found it's way onto the album as it sums up the band for me. Synthesize is one of those songs that's new but also one that the band have been playing live for a while now, it's much in the vein of what the Tubelord ethos is all about "Playing pop music to indie kids" and that's exactly what it is...I think.

The last song on the record and also the titled of the album, Our American Friends, is more about showing off that Tubelord have the more secure sound that could fill a room, not just your head. Giving us that side of Tubelord that we've never really seen much of before, there's a strings section, a soaring chorus, almost like how Biffy Clyro have found that chart topping anthem sound they've been carrying around with them for some time now. It's actually a great album finisher, it gives you time to get your breathe back and relax...giving you just about enough to time to get over what you've heard and to press that play button for another round.

I once had to describe what Tubelord sounded like to a friend (as his band were due to support Tubelord) I found it hard without just using the word "Amazing". To be honest to this day I still do, I think I said something like "Oh it's like indie music, jangly, but it's like having three songs in one, it's just crazy" without trying to sound like an idiot. After listening to this record a few times and really trying not to overthink it, I think the best way to describe Tubelord is; Pandora's Box, once opened you're never too sure what's going to come out...but it's going to be one hell of a ride.

If Gandhi himself were sitting next to me right, he would be doing so with a grinning smile on his face and sticking two thumbs up. This album has everything you wanted to hear, the ups, the downs, the party flavour, it just sounds like three friends doing what they do best, having too much fun...and every listener can join in. If find an album this year that is more fun to listen to, you have my permission to feed me a box of worms.


Buy from Hassle: http://hasslerecords.sandbag.uk.com/Store/DII-552-1-tubelord++our+first+american+friends.html

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Drums - Summertime! EP [2009]

The band that brought you the (should have been) song of the summer.

The NYC (by way of Florida) band bring the summer vibe back into our already heavy autumn heads with something that could get championed college rockers Vampire Weekend to up their game on their pending second record.

Their debut EP could have been made with their love of surf rock like The Beach Boys merged with new wave offerings from The Cure. Whatever it is, it works. I'm almost 99% sure they've already accomplished that perfect pop song in "Let's Go Surfing" (If your ears already haven't had the pleasure of hearing this yet, do it...do it NOW). This is the feel good song you've waited all summer for, right from the infectious whistling, down to the "I've fallen in love for the first time" lyrics you used to hum as a sixteen year old.

Another EP highlight is "Down By The Water" with it's melancholy vocals and tranquil tones really shows that The Drums are already matching lyric content with melody across the board.

Let's pretend for one minute that this band hasn't received any of the recent hype from every media outlet across the Internet right now. This band seem like there's a huge wave taking them all the way to thousands of new hearts. If you love this like I do, then don't fret, a full length has been promised to drop in the new year, hopefully bubbling with more carefree and good times vibes.

Expect to hear much more from The Drums, a larger UK tour and many, many festival appearances next year.

RIYL: The Pains Of Being Pure Of Heart, Vampire Weekend, Girls, Summer, Indie-Pop.




Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Idea for best sequel in the world

Since the world first knew about the fantastic, and equally weird, friendship between Patrice Evra, Ji-Sung Park and Carlos Tevez, the whole world of entertainment was on their knees begging Sir Alex for a slice of the action. "A new version of The Three Stooges!" Hollywood cried, Sir Alex denied.

Now that Tevez has left for another network, I mean football team. The super trio have been split, Uncle Alex has warned the boys not to hang around with Carlos, they are no longer a tripod. Patrice is taking the "Theatre Of Dreams" tag too much to heart, saying he wants staring in a comedy sketch show with him BFF Ji-Sung.
The Three Stooges script has been thrown away...but there still could be a movie.

Twins II:

"Only Uncle Alex can tell them apart".

When Park arrives at the Theatre of Dreams and strikes up an unlikely friendship with team mate Evra, there's one thing he doesn't realise, they are in fact TWINS.

Along with step-brother Tevez, the trio set out on fantastic adventures around the world with Uncle Alex, that is until Unlce Alex's long lost son, the evil Welsh Dragon (played by Mark Hughes) and his gang of Devils (Ince, Prunier, Dumb Bruce and Dumber Pallister) kidnap Tevez.

Now the unlikely twins would come up with a plan to save Carlos and defeat the evil Welsh Dragon.

This romantic comedy/family comedy with leave you saying "What the face, they don't even look like each other?!?" and "Aaaaaaaaaaaaw" till the end credits.

Coming to cinemas in 2010...pre-season, before the tour of Asia.

Things that are not my idea of fun. Part One

ASDA Mini banana wheat bisks

The name sounds so bland that I couldn't find the energy to google a picture...
This was no doubt some asshat's idea to gain money from the idea that people like to chop a fresh banana on their wheatabix in the morning. Obviously in an attempt to save money, the banana part was left out of the cereal.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Nine Black Alps and Kid In Cars - The Musician, May 21st

Our loveable little hometown scamps Kids In Cars are playing another support slot in the city for another ace band, Nine Black Alps, this time at The Musician next Thursday.

I must warn you that KIC may feature heavily on this blog in future, as well as being my friends, I'm well behind this band doing big things. Plus their debut EP (Blimey, Crumbs!) shall be on general release soon and I'm sure they would love to see it reviewed.

Come down, join in the singalong and get merry as Thursday is always the new Saturday!

Short but sweet as I may do a feature profile on KIC in the near future (as well as the EP review) so for now, some links!



Back from the dead?

New name, new location, new music, new year, new start...

As my old blog slowly died from lack of commitment on my part, to completely dissolve into the outer reaches of the blogiverse, never to be spoke of again. I decided that I should start again, another place where I can ramble on about music when no one wants to listen...In fact I decided this near the start of the year (or was it Febuary? Who knows).

The fact that I'm now trying to get this started in the fifth month of the year should show how (un)commited, no lazy, I am when it comes to all things creative and productive.

Enough of that, hopefully I can get a lot going on here and people will read it, who knows.
Upcoming things for this new blog:

Reviews - I'll try and post the things that have already been out for a while this year as well as the upcoming stuff.

Mixtapes - Some people like to call these "podcasts" these days, I'm going to pretend that it's still 1992.

Don't Look Back In Anger (Working title) - This section will be filled with my opinions on albums that I once hated but I'm now willing to give it another try. I'm also trying to think of a new title that isn't related to that big Brtipop band from Manchester.

Something Old, Something New - Something I've kinda stole from elsewhere, taking the concept of something old, an old album which might have been forgotten or that the younger people may not have heard. And put it up against something newer, something that fits into the same genre (e.g. Joy Division + 20 years = Interpol). Just to see if said genre/style has progressed and if the newer bands of today can hold the torch of a band that might have inspired them in the first place.

Under The Radar - Each year there's a few bands/artists that bring out really good pieces of work that you (I) enjoy but receive minimal reviews or hype surrounding the release.

News - This should hopefully cover music news in general, what bands are up to, who's split up, who's making a comeback, who is getting paid far too much to headline a festival that you've paid far too much money to go see, bands on big tours, bands on small tours...and finally, when the hell is the new Shins album coming out?

Gigs - I guess I'll mainly be posted up gig dates for bands I want to go see, that will mostly just cover the Leicester area I guess. Unless something really takes my fancy elsewhere in the world.

That's all the storming my brain can handle right now, hopefully next time everything will be sorted and this blog is up and running.