The Statue Thieves are a psychedelic rock band from North London whose sound ingrates elements of country, blues, and even funk – like the best artists synthesizing a multitude of influences, while at the same time creating something totally brand new.
‘Revolutions In Your Mind‘ is the band’s latest EP, and it sees them coming more in tune with their own sound.
With bands like Ex Hex and Savages achieving success, there’s no shortage of fantastic girl led rock n’ roll bands around. But a fierce and heavy hitting four-piece band hailing from Manchester called PINS is one of most promising to come along in a while. For those who aren’t familiar, PINS isn’t your typical retro rock girl-group; their influences range from the jangle fuzz of The Jesus and Mary Chain to poppy thunderous pop/rock of Hole. Two years after releasing their debut album Girls Like Us, and fresh off of a UK tour in which they opened for legendary punk rockers Sleater-Kinney – the band return with their moody sophomore album Wild Nights (Bella Union). With this second effort, Faith Holgate and company build upon their signature dark drone filled sound. The band drips with a daring dark coolness that would make Lou Reed nod in approval.
The twenty first century seems like such a difficult one for the sensitive young lad: pulled from pillar to post psychologically, such are the conflicted messages he’s bombarded with daily he hardly seems to know if it’s best to embrace his femininity or alternatively man up. One last refuge does remain for anyone wandering lonely as cloud though: the darkest recesses of the bedroom are still welcoming even in the 3D printer age, complete with suitably introvert music to darken the mood to taste.
Amid the ever-competitive race for innovation within a saturated music scene, ‘Multi-Love’ by Unknown Mortal Orchestra is special. With the help of old synthesizers –which Ruban Nielson rebuilt himself – the new album borrows from many genres and sounds, but is something unique in its entirety. Funk, disco, soul, r’n’b and psychedelia inter-mesh to form a note-by-note aura of transcendental metamorphosis. Even Nielson’s voice has a different edge on each track. Sometimes his deeply melodic, from-within-a-tin-can vocals sound like they’re subdued by thick fog and sometimes sharpened by a stony rasp.
A trio from Wakefield, The Grand have very little in common with the city’s other recent musical export, The Cribs.
Whereas the brothers Jarman have made their anti-career through dissecting the minutiae of life taking place in a goldfish bowl, Messrs. Andy Jennings, Thomas Peel and Russ Smith write songs which they describe somewhat ambiguously as, “Transatlantic Pop”, in the process mining influences which have their roots well outside of the boundaries of West Yorkshire.
Any way you look at it, Blur are an awkward proposition.
Most of the time it feels like they just have too many right angles to ever sit anywhere comfortably; in culture, entertainment, or mass consciousness – an impression compounded by ‘The Magic Whip‘s elephantine gestation process.
Equally protracted, the well documented Coxon/Albarn make-up that made it possible was an affair which had all the softly-softly hallmarks of two mating porcupines, an event catalysed by that most rock and roll of totems, an Eccles cake.
What is undeniable is that the quartet have spent their careers extricating themselves from misunderstandings and errors of judgement. Trapped in the tab end of baggy, they were then walled in by the Britpop animal they unwittingly created, before ending up desolate on their last outing, 2003’s Coxon-less ‘Out Of Time‘. Luckily, their knack has been in finding salvation by beating the odds, embracing creative reincarnations and in doing so sticking it to event horizons which dragged every outfit around them into the cul-de-sacs of drugs, bankruptcy or queasily turning the nostalgia tour handle.
It was a whirlwind visit, but one which left no doubt that Blur are still a force to be reckoned with on stage. They still sound great, they still look great, and they still need each other as much as their fans need them too.
After the youthful exuberance and power of their debut, Palma Violets‘ return comes with the wry smile of ‘Danger In The Club‘; where ‘180‘ pulsated with vibrancy and an energetic nativity, this latest record bristles with wit and urgency.
Enjoyment is at its very core. From its tiny beginning with the short ditty ‘Sweet Violets‘, the record is imbued with humour and joy.
Barth (lead vocals/guitar), Del (lead vocals/guitar). Plus our gang of cronies when we play live: Danielle Wadey (keys/vocals), Hannah LeCheminant (keys/vocals/percussion), Ben Beetham (bass), Jack Wilson (guitar), George MacDonald (drums).
What is it about Eoin Loveless’ voice that so unsettles?
Many might attribute it to its deep baritone, others simply due to the vocals themselves. But in reality there have been many singers with such a downtrodden tone, like Stephin Merritt from The Magnetic Fields, who have sounded equally as fascinating, but never as menacing.
There have also been countless bands singing of troubling things, but they just never ring so true.
So, here returns Drenge with their phenomenal new album ‘Undertow‘. From its very opening moments this album wastes no time in setting out its stall. This record isn’t the fireworks and frenzied subversion of their self-titled debut, it’s not about shock and awe, it’s no simple blow to the face. When they appeared, they exploded out of the gate with a feverish intensity, and it lead to the simple question – how on earth could they maintain it?
Here is their very simple answer: they won’t even try.
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