Thursday, 7 November 2013

Bombay Bicycle Club // Carry Me - Single

The new comeback from single, titled 'Carry Me', is as fantastic as it sounded during their magnificent Reading Festival set way back in 2012. It feels a long time coming, and their downtime is justified and well, well worth the wait.

This is one of my favourite shots of the band - Jack seems happy!

The production from Jack Steadman is clear to the ear, with his solo soundcloud work shining through from the very first sample. The double use of bass guitar is really neat work, an element they have always strived in - I always test earphones or bass with one of their songs, 'Evening/Morning'. This may just about replace that song.

This is joyous. If you have time, take a look on YouTube for other gems that are to feature on the album, such as 'It's Alright Now' and 'Feel'. They sound fabulous, but for now, listen to their latest effort below. It is worth a mention that the interactive video for this is ace, and can be found at

So, I am on the Burst radio, and The Verse // University

In an interesting turn of events, I am on the radio - with a yet to be decided air time and show name - and it is recorded and loads of fun. Look out for news on that in the next week or so.

Also, I am now (actively) writing for The Verse. It is a great paper with an equally great team. I've already had the chance to interview a what-I-call 'big band', Fenech Soler, and look forward to writing up an article based upon that. I will post links to my articles I post there on here, as well as continuing my multiple sites independent of my work for The Verse.

I cannot wait for the future.

H x

Monday, 14 October 2013

Little Comets // Violence Out Tonight - Lyrics

These lyrics, should mean so much to so many people. They carry a lot of meaning in a field of polluted lyrics:

So he offers her his coat
In return for her devotion
For he loves her like a boat
That he keeps out on the ocean
He says: I'll tell you lover
That I don't need no other's arms at all”
And as he fixes her a look
All the innocence that she mistook for charm
Dies in the vacuum of his startling deep emotion

There's violence out tonight
There's violence out tonight
There's violence out tonight, tonight
There's violence out tonight

As they step into the dark
Only moonlight hides his treason
And the shadows skip like sharks
Through the gasps of air between them
She says: Becalm your hands boy I thought
restraint was now your sentiment of choice?
But as his fingers strike her blouse
All the words that he espoused
Lie deftly scattered on the ground amidst
the buttons he's torn open

There's violence out tonight
There's violence out tonight, tonight
In every room, in every heart
In every moment you discard
There's violence out tonight, tonight

So she stalks the stolid streets debased
A tepid flickering of street-lights wipes the grief
Across her face
Since she wears upon her brow
The ragged gape of alienation
That will follow her around

And like for every victim
It seems the pain will not subtract or even calm
All this protracted by a state
In which the poor conviction rate for rape
Can often leave a woman feeling
More at blame than able

To talk about violence tonight
To talk about violence tonight, tonight
In every moment, every room
In every word that you consume
In every second, every chance
In every twisting of romance
In every momentary embrace
In every movement of your face
Is violence out tonight, tonight

Tell me something I don't know
Tell me something I can be proud of
Tell me something I don't know

Panic! At The Disco // Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! - Review

I have never been the biggest fan of Panic! All the palaver about removing the exclamation, and then readding it. Do I want to listen to a band that causes 'drama' over a simple grapheme?

Well, now I do. The two singles from their fourth album are absolutely atrociously catchy, and just cool. "This Is Gospel" kicks off the album with vocal prowess and lyrical genius: "This is gospel for the vagabonds, never-do-wells and insufferable bastards, confessing their apostasies, led away by imperfect impostors". And it doesn't stop there - the whole album is packed with memory lines. A marked improvement, as I feel they have been severely lacking in this area, in terms of going head to head with their record label owners band, Pete Wentz and Fall Out Boy.

After the two opening tracks, the previously mentioned "This Is Gospel" and the equally as good "Miss Jackson", the quality continues, for one more track. "Vegas Lights" is fantastically showbiz, with glitz right from the off and cliche fuelled bridges. In comparison, "Girl That You Love" is dreary, and Brendon just doesn't seem interested.

I hate writing reviews and just listing songs and saying "this is good, and this one, but not this one because of x", but this album needs it. "Nicotine" is, honestly, my song of the year so far. The bassist, his first appearance on their recordings, gives the funky beat to the bridge and chorus. "Life's a fucking drag", according to Brendon, but when you can come up songs and riffs like this, who cares?

"Girls/Girls/Boys" has a fantastically british synth to it. Garrish and appropriate at the same time. Which just about sums up this album. The opening to "Vegas Lights" features children chanting. Incredibly garrish, but it really does fit the song.

After all the band reshuffling, it is lovely to see them still going at it - and doing it wellllll.


H x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Fall Out Boy // My Songs... - Video

I am sure it has been noted before, but FOB are much rockier live at the moment. See below. Their new album is pretty awesome too, it must be said.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

So, I may or may not be on the radio // University

I may soon be recording a "rock" show of sorts for "Burst" radio. I am definitely hugely excited for this, as I want to go in that direction as a career path: music journalism. If you couldn't tell yet.

Turns out they run a super simple and also awesome set up. Record at home, or in the studio, live or otherwise, and send it in. Done. So impressed, and also a tad unexpected. The face behind Burst, Paul, is also very down to earth and seems like the type of dude that will be great to work with.

Now, I just need to use my powers of conversation to find a producer. Shouldn't take too long, already eying up a couple of people.

I'll aim to play music similar to that of Xfm and NME, but that would be boring. Instead, you'll get a bit of that, but also music you most likely would never had heard before - unsigned, unseen, and awesome.

I'll post a link and the details here, most likely in the sidebar also, so watch this space.

H x

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Haim // Days Are Gone - Review

The long time coming effort from BBC does not need or require much talking about - they are after all one of the most hyped bands of the year. After their first EP "Forever" came out, it feels like we have been waiting since, er... forever for the full length debut. Now it is here in all it's shimmering pop goodness.

"Shimmering pop" is what I least expected to write after their lively, rocky shows. After a big time record deal, they have been slowly, but carefully, crafting what can only be described as a superb pop album. Pop in the sense of good music, and good production too. The now classic "Falling" makes them sound like this is of their fifth album, not their first. The chorus and hooks are a plenty, as is the 80s style guitar. The same goes for "The Wire", essentially their own "Pompei" moment before stardom. It is lavished with 90s pop similarities and it is spectacular.

However, "My Song 5" is the stand out track for me. It sounds like Timbalands successor has locked himself away and listened to 29 different genres and loaded up on cocaine before producing this stunner of a track. Layered layers and stunning bass and vocal work really help push this song to the forefront of music. This is special. Only criticism of this would be that Go Slow should be a part of "My Song 5", now that would make it very special indeed. "Let Me Go" builds on this rock sound further, and nearly as good too, with a sleuth of effects too.

There is traditional 80s pop fused with 2013 to be found on "If I Could Change Your Mind" and title track "Days Are Gone". I found the two recent singles "The Wire" and "Fallling" too similar to expect any sort of variety, but this album does deliver variety aplenty. Whether you're looking for rock and roll, or pop, you have it in front of your popping eyes.

Well done Haim, well done Pop.


H x

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Brighton // University

I head off to Brighton this Wednesday, and will be continuing my path of music.

Firstly, this will continue. I hope to write more, with the free time I will hopefully have in between my 9 hours a week lectures (works out at roughly £83 per lecture!).

Secondly, I will be accelerating my music production. I will continue to write songs for Flares, but also write rather different music for myself and perhaps another band. I will be buying a midi keyboard and beat pad soon, the Akai MPKmini. I really want to go in as many directions as I can.

Until the next one, thank you for reading.

H x

Monday, 16 September 2013

Kings of Leon // Mechanical Bull - Review

A confident Caleb and co make the world a better place, and that they have. The new album instantly connects with classic fans with the very first three tracks. Everyone has spent weeks deciphering "Supersoaker" and why on earth he threw "sentimental" in a chorus. Because they're the kings, duh.

Now, "Don't Matter" is an absolute stomper of a song and will go down very well live. The repetitive rocky chord structure is an example of how to pull it off, versus Arctic Monkey's "I Want It All". Two different styles, but they share this similarity. The solos fly about and fun is definitely being had once more, since the breakup on tour.

"Beautiful War" is, well, beautiful. It builds, and builds with steady drums and guitar lines ringing left and right. The chorus doesn't explode, it instead blends in majestically. Musically, this album is more advanced in composition and structure. They said it, and they meant it. Structures are easy to find on their albums, but this one throws in a bit of creativity in that respect. Well played.

Perhaps naming a track "Rock City" is a bit arrogant, as well as irking a certain (Sir) Dave Grohl, but the lyric "I can shake like a woman" is most certainly screaming out to the world that the Kings are back. "Wait For Me" reveals them revelling in a new territory: have they gone... whisper it, indie? Well no, they are above that, as the album shows.

They're at their best. The first half of the album alone is enough to award top marks for this album. But it would be unfair to not talk about songs like "Family Tree", that revels in it's looseness like Pete Doherty with an XXL shirt. Bluesy, often clichéd Americana spills onto the album as a sudden very much witnessed car crash. "Woo" indeed, Caleb. This will be an anthem of the year, or at the least, their gigs and fandom.

Forget your preconceptions of KOL, and listen to this album with a fresh insight. Maybe the album is a bit safe, and yes I know that contradicts my "confident" statement earlier, but within their bigger boundaries, this is a bit safe.

It's as if the last two albums didn't happen. Commercialism has been kicked out, but the good vibrations and productions are here to stay.


H x

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Arctic Monkeys // New Record Makes A New Record

The Monkeys have done it again: Number One. The boys thoroughly deserve it, creating one of the most diverse and thoroughly enjoyable albums of the year so far.

This time, it is even more special.

Not only is it there fifth (FIFTH BLOODY) album, they have set a record, an official one. The first "indie" band to reach 5 consecutive number one's. Now that's some impressive shit right there.

Talking of impressive shit, I managed to get into uni this year, Brighton, with virtually half of what they expected from me - result!

I'll be resuming this site - I am sure I will find time in between my 3 lectures a week - and adding a new section of my favourite lyrics. As a Linguistic student, I hold lyrics close at heart. The Arctic's for example really strike a chord with me, and I look forward to listening through and coming up with some of their and other bands gems.

Until then, cheers for reading/skimming,

Harry x

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Tribes // The Roundhouse, London - Review

Originally posted on Little Indie Blogs, but due to technical issues, reposted here with the full article.

If any album needed selling this year, it would be Tribes' sophomore album, "Wish To Scream." After releasing the album to much anticipation from fans, having previously been promised by Johnny as far back as Reading and Leeds last year to come out in January, the album - it's fair to say - has not met critics' expectations. That is not to say the first one had any: the press expected a rocky sound with attitude to match, and after rumours of their guitarist Dan dating Scarlett Johansson, it appears they had got it.

But, then they release this slower, gentler paced album, filled to the brim with idiomatic lyrics: "keep it together, and use this time", "I don't care for dancing, but thanks for asking". Then something magical happened for me. The album clicked: if my elbow was dislocated from the shock of the album release, it was certainly back in place after this triumphant night.


Superfood and Wolf Alice provided the rather wonderful support, and support they did give in the form of musical blessings. Superfood are a band that everyone has heard about it seems, coming out of nowhere to fill our lives with indie music that we are in dire need of, obviously. Their lyrics are verging on 'anthem'-like, but their guitar is as quirky and sharp as your diamond cutter. Their ingenuisly inspired song titled "Superfood" was no doubt a highlight of their set, but they did not have a weak song in their 25 minute performance - these are most definitely a band to look out for, with their debut EP out in September.

Wolf Alice in action

Ellie Rowsell may have been heckled to be "Tinker Bell" throughout the night, but her and Wolf Alice's sound were far from it. Personally, I had heard more of Superfood than them - and that is saying something considering they have just two songs out. Wolf Alice have an intricate guitar soundscape, backed by their incredible drummer. He is definitely one of the most impressive drummers I have seen recently; his ability to keep a beat was playing secondary to his shotgun approach to every part of his drumming. The difference between the quality in Superfood and Wolf Alice was certainly marked by the drummer.

Then it was on to the main attraction, Tribes. They grabbed me at the first hurdle, with "When My Day Comes" kicking off proceedings, followed shortly by the now 'old' fan favourite "Girlfriend." Their consistency with always adding in this and "Not So Pretty" to their homecoming gigs is high, and with a quick check, neither have been on the other setlists. A deserved bonus for the crowd.

Johnny boy

It is undeniable that with the new album, there has been some fairly harsh criticism, of which I myself am guilty of. Johnny took a moment to address this, with a brief mention of this to the endearing crowd. After chanting from the crowd of "who the fuck are NME", he paused before the traditional encore number "Coming of Age" to say: "We know some of you have been here from the start and we thank you for that, and want to let you know this: through the good times and the bad, Tribes will still be here, we'll get through." He clearly knows the reception to the album has been, from some, mediocre, and is looking to squash any fan fears. Very moving tribute to that.

You can tell it is old material coming when he picks up his electric!

As cliché as it is to write, as the final notes reverberated off the Roundhouse, the crowd left happier when they arrived. That is not to say Tribes fans are depressed, but you go to a gig to enjoy yourself - and the crowd certainly did. Crowdsurfing on the very first song was a highlight, and the continued pressure to get closer to the band reveals just how much they are loved. Along with their now much better stage prowess, Tribes have come far and should be going further in the future.

H x

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Lois & The Love // War - Single

"War", the new single from Lois & The Love, is as close to a rollercoaster ride, without getting on one, that you'll possibly get this month - or even year. The psychedelic-clad sounds drench the soundwaves of the song, with clear influences from that past, following a recent trend. "War" has catchy guitar and a great rhythm to it, providing a solid foundation for the rockette that is Lois. The love most certainly is there, and they should be a huge hit at festivals this Summer!

Released on the 17th of May, this is now available from Camouflage Recordings on iTunes - you've got to watch the video below:

Friday, 17 May 2013

Tribes // Wish To Scream - Review

Just 16 months ago Tribes exploded further onto the music scene with their pounding debut album, 'Baby'. The cheeky, cliched title let on to what was to follow - rock songs, British rock songs. Personally, it soundtracked most of 2012 - it made a real connection with me. They delivered live, and I was massively looking forward to their teased 'quick' second album that they wanted to release in January of this year, just one year on. After the record label refused, and testing their often poorly received new material on the road aside from 'Dancehall', they now release "Wish To Scream".

To read the rest of the article and find out the rather brutal score, read on here:

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Daft Punk // Random Access Memories - Review

This isn't really music, but musac. I can't claim to have any previous material on my computer, or have listened to more than three of their past songs - but I now have their latest album in my library.

Now, I'm going to keep the review short, the complete opposite of the huge hype surrounding this behemoth. The variety on the album is non-existent, maybe between songs, but the songs themselves are very repetitive. This is coming from my more guitar based background, of which I really like - but I do like Daft Punk.

I was very intrigued to hear that Touch, in interviews leading up to the album, had something like 350 layers. Most of these must be submarine recordings they found, and weird synthy/piano/weird/weird sounds. So cool though.

As music, I would not sit down and listen to it, on it's own merit. I like to sit down, and enjoy music, but I wouldn't necessarily do it with this. Touch, Within and Lose Yourself to Dance are my highlights, but you could very happily state the whole album as one.

RAM is very much essential to my life - this album however, is not. But, it is essential to the genre; these robots play proper, proper music. Which I always appreciate. So, to the end of the strangest review ever, I'm going to say I probably won't listen to it again, but like it a lot.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Chapel Club // Good Together - Review

Two warning signs for this album. Firstly, this is astonishingly good music in my opinion; so don't read this or listen to Good Together if you don't like good music. Secondly, it isn't a continuation of sound: it isn't a second Palace. Not like when bands say "oh yeah, our next album is really different" and then it sounds a replica of the first LP freshly pressed of their fancy new 3D printer. Chapel Club should get one of them, and insert their creativity, love and passion for this album into it and hope it can be repeated.

A full 24 hours have passed and not one track has reached 1,000 listens yet, which is tragic - and "Just Kids" has the lowest at 400 - but this really does deserve listening to. Since their first album, they have hinted and gone in a different direction. Take the "Wintering" EP they added on to the deluxe edition of "Palace", their first LP. Soaring, high pitched vocals take the forefront, with a more soothing slow pace too. That is evident on here.

The record starts of with their mission statement: what people may call "pop songs", done good, with added emotion and meaning. "Sleep Alone" is a dancey future anthem with an insanely tight rhythm and really does show off the band. You can tell they have improved collectively, and the whole album shows this. Different band members take to the forefront, whether it be the whole band on "Good Together", the title track, or "Wordy" with it's bass driven melody. Guitar definitely is not present, or at least on the SoundCloud version of the LP, on most of the tracks. Don't shy away from that (see what I did there?). If you do, you're missing some of the best music I have heard without guitar.

My one criticism after going into their very much warning-labelled EP sample with open ears and heart, was the lyrics. I loved their first album for them: they connected in a way that was unexpected from the perhaps generic indie rock. But, the full album does not continue the trend of repetition that is seen on "Jenny Baby", perhaps the weakest of the album (if I was tied to a chainsaw and asked to pick one). "Wordy", appropriately titled, for the repetition of "wordy" throughout, but also for it's wealth of lyrics: "he sang the whole damn song, in the whole damn key". Echoes back to a conversation I had with Lewis in April. I'd like to think this was written about that very conversation, and after him already confirming way back in September last year that the album has been finished for a long time, I still would like to think that. Very much so.

"Perhaps my favourite of the album..." is the sentence I have not been looking forward to writing. I like it all; there is a lot of variety to this style of adventure. "Force you" is particularly lovely, but for completely different reasons to "Shy" or "Fruit Machine". I'd suggest you make up your own mind - unless you're a punk-enthusiast that is sitting their with a face like a deflating basketball. You should probably see a doctor about that too, although I won't force you (and again? No...?).

(Update: Scared is my favourite. Bowie-esque, and most like their old stuff. Excellent. This will probably change, I'm very indecisive.)

An odd ending to an "odd album". Lewis' words, not mine!

You can pre-order the album from iTunes, or from their shop - bonus tracks too:


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Vampire Weekend // Modern Vampires of the City - Review

Vampire Weekend have made their best album yet. The preview songs were designed to shock – Dianne Young is a noticeably different song, laced with samples and oscillating, pitched-shifted vocal effects. Song writing soars to new heights on this for Ezra Koenig and co.

Experimentation has benefited them. Take Ya Hey for example, it’s chorus is incredibly catchy, mainly due to it’s weird vocal sound on “through the fire, through the flames ya hey, ya HEY”. Typing that doesn't do it justice – you simply have to listen to it below. The band pursued a higher level of recording quality for the listener to enjoy than ever before. They painstakingly listened to Modern Vampires of the City over months to edit out the harsher, colder frequencies – softening the listening experience. This required a spectrum analyser and many commercially available earphones to test the process; iPod headphones were featured to check “the relative warmth levels”. If all that is too long, and you didn't read it, listen to the music. It speaks for itself.

The lyrics may not be as catchy, but the music is incredibly advanced. You wouldn't be surprised if your local music university professor had gone missing when you listen to this: the mixing, the orchestra, the layered vocals all add to the effect Vampire Weekend clearly have desired to have. Piano sticks out like a jealous child to the guitar, seemingly being granted its wish by the parents, as the piano marks, often, the best parts of the album: Young Lion and Worship You. I say the best parts of the album, I've been trying to find any bad parts... maybe where it ends!

If this is the third chapter of a trilogy, then I can’t wait for the next one. More of the same, please?


Monday, 6 May 2013

The Shermans // LUNA - EP Review

The Shermans, a band I know locally from Brentwood, have released their second EP "LUNA". After their first foray into recording with "Marina", which you can read my review of here, they have changed studio and upped their game.

The songs here are more coherent in the nature of the band, and are definitely an improvement. The vocals have improved, not due to the singer Callum Quirk, but the recording quality that they found in their new studio - less effects and clearer melodys help push the songs along fluidly. The lyrics are better too, whether it be Callum or the rest of the bands input, but they are noticeable: on "Since I Lost The Summer", Callum croons: "I've been thinking way too much, memoirs, snapshots I can't touch". The emotionally connecting lyrics of the chorus: "You don't know what it's been like/this time apart just don't feel right" could easily be a hit at festival across the country, let alone pubs in Essex.

The variety on the album is noticeable, but less stark than the previous EP - they have found their sound. "Like A Fool", with it's reminiscent sound to Jake Bugg, is catchy at the same time it is developed. Clever music and lyrics are to to be found all across the album, something I particularly look out for.

The bass and drums are truly exceptional on this album - as is the rest of the band, but it was already evident on the last album. Jake on bass dances around notes on "Like A Fool", and Alex introduces some "indie" drumming with a cowbell on "Since I Lost The Summer", my personal favourite, that you can hear below, along with "Like A Fool". If I had to criticize the album, which I don't really want/have to, the songs perhaps are a bit safe, and would fit perfectly on an album rather than a fan grabbing EP.

Their setlist for the now infamous record-company-that-doesn't-deserve-credit in Camden! Hide and Seek has hidden itself we have seen!

Overall, the progress is rewarding, for the listener and the band. For the listener there is great music to delve into; for the band, great things to come.

You can follow them on Twitter here, or soundcloud below for their latest and past releases.


Chapel Club // Debut new single "Shy" on BBC Radio6

This has been a long time coming, but not nearly as long as it has been for Lewis and co. Not soon after they released the hounds that was Palace's tracks, their debut LP, that they were mixing new material with the week-old favourites.
The new single follows the term of being "new". Very new for fans of the last album - a bit of rap is present this time. But it is very melancholicly melodic as you would expect - but wait for the chorus. This is where it really soars.
You can listen to the track again below, and pre-order their album "Good Together" soon on their website and all fabulous record shops and sites.
H x

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Exclusive // New Two Door Cinema Club single released 'in 2 or 3 months'

After seeing Peace at Birthdays in the week, you can read my interview here, I left the place ready to go home. But then, I noticed *that* beard:

"But... I'm not from Peace!"

Kevin Baird from Two Door Cinema Club! I grabbed my friends and I a beer, and waited for the best time to start chatting. After 20 minutes, I grabbed a photo and got talking. To my surprise, he let go something.

Me: "So are you guys working on any new material, anything soon?"


Me: "Oh, you can't say!"

Kevin: "No. But if you ask me in 2 or 3 months, then yes. We're working on something, yes. A single."

So there you go: a brand new single. What do you want from it? A summer anthem or a progression from their previous work? Whatever it is I am sure it will be good - and I very much look forward to it.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Peace // Birthdays, London - Review

The 1st of May was the second of four sold out nights in London for the Btown-made-its Peace. The recently renovated Birthdays did not know what hit it when the chimey start to their first song "Delicious" kicked in, right until the drummer threw his sticks behind him at the velvet draped wall.

SO psychedelic!

The thing about indie music is it can either be a fresh new take on guitar clattering, melody matching music; or a dreadfully boring rehash of what wasn't even very good 20 years ago, let alone a dreary-weathered 2013. Don't let first impressions get to you with Peace: you've got to give Peace a chance, and they certainly grabbed it with the full force of a top 20 album. This means something - guitar music is on the rise.

Some call us the Two Harry's, and neither of us need boyfriends (read: badge)

After the rocking O'Children warmed up the already warm crowd, it was time for the main act to take to the stage. They started things off... pacy, shall we say? "Delicious" received a rapturous reception from the hoard of fans, who lapped up the music they were presented. This was followed by the hit single "Follow Baby", with the chorus that sounds like it will be added as an 11th commandment, if the crowd are anything to go by: "Follow baby, we're gonna live forever baby".

If any new band was going to start a new religious cult, it would be this lot. Chanting throughout the night for an early demo "Vials", they received a wry smile from Doug Castle, the lead guitarist, throughout the night. The band have a certain dynamic on stage, with the pair of brothers Harrison and Sam Koisseur providing a rhythm to dance to in the form of sways and, in Harry's case, satsuma. Of course, only at an indie gig. Oh, and I have one, as well as the set list.

Which leads nicely on to my next point. The band certainly have the tunes - their singles "Wraith" and "Bloodshake" were received with a far from icy reception - but will they stick or twist, or disappear into the psychedelic sunset? Their only weak song if the night was "Scumbag", which should of perhaps been swapped for the faster paced bonus track "Drain", with its clashing middle 8. But, scribbled in the rather lovely handwriting of Harry was "forever" in the corner of the set list. I for one hope they will be here for a long, long time after this splendid gig.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Turns out saving Rock and Roll is pretty hard

So when something needs saving, it is normally pretty agreeable that it needs saving, such as Africa from poverty or London from pollution. But what happens when people don't even know what they're trying to save? It just turns into a blind war zone with people double checking every 6 minutes whether they're fighting for any particular reason (Millwall matches, every week). The trouble with Fall Out Boy trying to Save Rock and Roll is that, well... people aren't that sure on what Rock and Roll is. They probably haven't heard it this slick, that's for sure.

With Fall Out Boy, the fans seem to be the kind that absolutely adore the band, despite them changing their sound - I don't think they have up until Folie - but as of My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up), they have overstepped the mark according to some sections of the fandom. I hope they realise that all this fuss of programmed drum beats, synthesisers etc. etc. is present on their last two efforts, yes? Oh, you do?

Than we may begin.

The Phoenix rips into the heart of the album clinically. The London Symphony Orchestra provide a very Ill Manors by Plan B backbone (the theme of "hey, I recognise that melody" appears very often) to this grandiose song. Both this and the aforementioned MSKWYDITD are very Fall Out Boy. I can't stand the criticism: the great lyrics are there, the guitar IS THERE (TRUST ME) and so is Patrick's splendid voice. 

Patrick's vocals do step up a notch on this album in particular, with no more "THIS AINT A SCENE, IT'S A GAA DAA ARR RAA". His voice, as he noted on his rather active Twitter account, is far less layered on this album, and it is clearly better for it. High pitches surround our ears, and he still claims to prefer lower registers - take the beautiful Just One Yesterday for a reason why, and a reminder of Rolling In The Deep (#2). The lyrics from Pete are as inventive as ever, as he ponders on Miss Missing you "The person that you'll take a bullet for is behind the trigger" and even seductively uses a police arrest line: "Anything you say, can and will be held against you, so only say my name, it will be held against you". There's nothing as rocky and hard hitting as before, but the lyrics certainly are FoB at heart, and not as Patrick infested as the music. 

The songs on this album are incredibly catchy... pop. Very good pop, too. This is a Rock and Roll band doing what Rock and Roll does: adapt with the times, and show "them" a thing or two in the process, and boy do they. Whether it is the 10 second slight dubstep on Death Valley - as Patrick pointed out, none of the WOMP WOMP WOMP, WAA WAA WAA crap that you hear today - or the Hey Soul Sister rhythm and melody/song on Young Volcanoes (#3).

The collaborations have been much discussed and I have to disagree with some critics who claim they distract from the real music on this album; they add variety, something that is often missing from bands these days (well hello there Dido/Ben Howard/Dido/Black Keys/Dido). The album plunges into the past and present, picking out excellently relevant and musically exceptional artists, with Elton John and Courtney Love the stand outs. Foxes does a sterling job on Just One Yesterday, a rather understated accompaniment, and Big Sean does a catchy verse on The Mighty Fall, the riffiest song on the album. Yeah, riffiest is a word, and probably the least likely word to be invented on what you probably think is a pop album - it isn't, how many times now?

As Courtney Love rants about PowerPoints and Elton John rhymes for the 23908 time "desperation" and "inspiration", it boils down to the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities: the music. And it is good. Very good in fact, after their worst fan rated album yet in Folie, although their most praised by critics at the same time. This album therefore should get an 11 if fans were to go by, but instead it receives a very solid 8 for a very solid album.

Well done Fall Out Boy, rock on.

"We don't know when to quit oh oh"


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Long time, no update

It's sad that I have to write this. I have dozens of draft articles, but I've been so bogged down, either a Justin Timberlake album review wouldn't make up for it. Anyway, I have to keep studying!
Until I have free time,
See you soon.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Is this good...or...wait, what am I even listening to? - Darwin Deez - 'Songs for Imaginative People' Review

BREAKING NEWS: Kooky kool kid Darwin Deez dazzles fans with new album of... jam sessions?

I really just can't put my finger on it. It is like he has a new cat that he's let loose on conveniently lying about guitars, keyboards, beat machines, oh and the mixer while he's at it. Why not muddle everything up at once, hey?

Before I make it sound like utter shit it definitely is not You Me At Six-bad. It has it's moments. It's just they all last for 20 seconds, maybe 30 at a push? Then some other crazy idea comes in. "I KNOW, LET'S CUT THIS AWESOME RIFF AND HAVE ME TALKING ABOUT ALBUM SALES FOR A BIT." Yeah, well you might not have a lot to say after this one, Deez.

Their are at least 3 good songs on here, in terms of the radio friendly Darwin Deez that we know of.  Free (The Editorial Me) is a masterstroke of a first single to promote the album. Snazzy, quirky and pretty darn awesome. It has some memorable lyrics, of none I can actually remember after spending the rest of the 40 minutes trying to decipher the rest, sadly.  Redshift is decent too, with classic Deez guitar throughout, a rarity in this album. Guitar is throughout, but not in a pattern of any sort, with the musical scape cutting and changing like that dickhead driver that cut me up on the A12 on the way home yesterday in the snow. Hope he reads this, dick.

I've just done what Darwin acomplished right there: lost my attention for the music. You see, to like Darwin's music now, you have to have a bigger attention span than he has collectively over the whole album. Pretty easy task right? But there's a problem, again.

Imagine a meter, from left to right. Left being "not paying attention, I like ironing boards.", Right being "Let me pause this and write the lyric down and think of how it resembles chapter two from Of Mice and Men." Now imagine their is only a 1mm gap between left and right, and that you have to balance between the two. Good luck. Seriously.

Overall, the album is good. It definitely is for imaginative people, that is for sure. It's also for sure that self-producing the album is a car crash and written off for the record label, virtually no other singles for this album. Having said all of this, it is a fine album to listen to over several playbacks. It's like getting a dog after having a cat, you'll grow to like it eventually. Maybe...?

The above was all written from the insides of my crazy head - sincerely, Darwin Deez


Monday, 4 February 2013

Fall out Boy reunion, next Reading headliner and a new Tribes song!

I figured the above image is highly relevant to today, HOPEFULLY. As in, HOPEFULLY in 12 minutes time, the band will announce the end of their hiatus. Surely they will?

Now, if they do, it is great for many reasons. One, they are all great musicians, they've proven that in their side projects, they're all great. So, when they come back together they should be pretty damn awesome - as they always have been. Maybe Patrick can contribute to the lyrics now, after doing *everything* on Soul Punk. This should be pretty fucking awesome.

They bloody did:

I like it, I like it a lot. Listen to the original if interested here:

The second main thing that would make today special is the Reading announcement. I want it to be Biffy Clyro (likely) personally, or Linkin Park (Oh, a pig flying!). Would it not be awesome though if it was not just a coincidence and Fall Out Boy play, at the very least, or headline (Another bloody pig flying, what are the chances!).

Some more music was announced for Benicassim, my festival of choice this summer. The Courteeners will do just nicely, as will Dizzee Rascal at 5am!

Finally, to top it all off: Tribes are Zane Lowe's hottest record in the world at 7:30pm tonight. Hopefully it isn't just one minute long, and it is hotter than just one minute... anyways, I hope it follows in the brilliant foot steps of every bloody step they've taken.

Let's see if this all transpires, and if so, prepare for my next blog post: The Take over, the breaks over!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Biffy Clyro // Opposites - Review: "Any excuse for more Biffy is a good one"

Firstly, I really don't understand the backlash on this album. Like most fans, hearing one of your top rated bands are releasing a double album, a DOUBLE album, sounds great to me. Yeah, I even liked Stadium Arcadium, it had its moments (I can't even remember RHCPs latest albums title, that's how good it was). Biffy Clyro presented me with the opportunity to survive the gap between new albums with double the material than I would usually. Besides, any excuse for more Biffy is a good one.

Now, it is the material I can see why people are questioning. I think two separate albums over maybe a year would have been better maybe, or even just one. The problem is, for me, every song has its own merits. I really, really like some of the new songs, and they are up their with there bests. The riffs are riper than ever, the lyrics hysterically clever, and as catchy as ever. I am most certainly not an original fan, from the start, I started with Puzzle - but that does not mean I am not a "true" fan. This is what irks me with the fan base. We all "MON THE BIFF!", but maybe if you dropped your grudges against them dropping their old style, you might just, y'know, enjoy yourselves?

One reason for the enjoyment is the quality that is on show here from one of the greatest rock bands of resent time, THERE I said it. Lyrics such as "Ancient Rome, we built that fucker stone by stone" and "We're always running scared, but holding knives" are only a slice off the surface of their creativity. Most of that is put into the lyrics and the guitar equally. In particular, Victory Over The Sun and Sounds Like Balloons stick out for me, with both having catchy riffs.

When I said every song has its own merits, I wasn't joking. Spanish Radio is a superb showing in musical diversity, with a very un-Biffy sound, but good nonetheless. Biffy already have an identity, so can afford to muck about with the occasional song like this. Most are true Biffy songs, of late, and collectively are probably better than the last two albums, if not just Only Revolutions.

Concluding this album review is a big middle finger to the other reviews. Why am I seeing 6 and 7's for this album? It is definitely not a 6, for certain. They will prove this to you when they headline Reading this year. And that is why I leave you with this lyric and score:

"It makes me want to cream, let's move to California"


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Peace // Debut LP out March, influenced by Spice Girls... wait, what?

If you had any musical sense in you, then you would of listened to Peace's debut EP, "Delicous". It certainly was, receiving rave reviews across the board. Their smooth juicy indie pop is pure music at its finest. With everyone looking forward to their album, people are hoping for the similar if not better things. To be sure, their year will be excellent, with the release of their debut album in March, as they answered my question below.

On top of this news, they also have let loose that the singer has admitted that the tracklisting is influenced by the Spice Girls. No, really! You can check out the article here.

Their year also hold for them the NME Awards Tour, which you can still buy tickets for. Among the line-up alongside them are the fabulous Palma Violets ("I wanna be your BESTTTT FRIEEEND"), Miles Kane ("You're a million miles, a millionnnnnn miless awayyyyyy") and Django Django ("Woo" -> repeat to infinity). I got tickets myself for Brixton, should be a good gig!

Have a listen to my favourite track of the EP Delicious below for some Foal-esque indie heaven. Note to self: don't say indie ever again this much in one post.