Place yourself on a long railroad, in a steam train, travelling with the wind, against the grain, through the blue grasses, from Virginia to Oregon through Kentucky.
Let’s say there’s a twinge of Americana in the Dark Actors’ business. But if the stage has been the steady platform for a constant and interchangeable cast – then Dark Actors are the shadows which linger and remain.
His voice is as weathered as a haggard cliff face. A gift from god which he executes with such grace.
His words are a succinct and personal blend of poetry that, when typed, are not comparable to anything else that the internet has the ability to chuck up. And if songs can ever truly be life changing – then imaginably they’d be those under the influence of Mark Lanegan.
He sees you, me, himself and reunites us all in song; a great big melting pot of angels, souls intertwining as blithely as smoke moves through the air. His voice, the bruised communicator, relays contempt and corruption consistently, bearing a rare romance that can be compared to few other artists. Similarly to have dragged their heels through the primordial gravels of distinction, have been Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. Lanegan, Cohen and Waits share a distilled sort of depth, sing about the Lord and bask on their despair with melancholy grace.
“What is the sound of an avalanche taking out a dolphin? What do get when you cross a hamburger with a hot dog? The answer is: WILD FLAG”. And they’re here with their self-titled debut album from Portland, Oregon and Washington.
Girl, girl, girl and girl forged from a number of different bands including Helium and Sleater-Kinney – writing and playing music together as a unit – seeking and securing the perfect interplay between lead girls Brownstein and Timony. And how refreshing to see a band with bags of talent who run on a healthy dose of energy it is! Especially when at every station there is a female armed with her guitar, or a keyboard or set of drums – ricocheting off each other flawlessly and with unapologetic gustiness.
It seems to be increasingly rare to find a band that can permeate the sensory receptors with a deep and wholesome sound without ripping off the monsters of music gone by. We have been exposed to roughly six decades of genres breaking through and adapting mainstream and pop culture, so it is no wonder that most new music is comparable to something previous – some more closely than others.
But then every so often there is a band that slip through the filter who remain both strikingly nostalgic, but also refreshingly contemporary; Animal Games are a band who have struck the balance well.
In the last ten years The Cribs have come a long way from their roots in the Merrie City. They developed as musicians and as people in the north of England, finding their feet in an old abandoned mill – an unofficial venue where they would also put on a whole camaraderie of chancers with a dream. A decade on and the brothers Grimm (famed as Jarman) return to the smaller stages again for the first time since the departure of The Smiths‘ guitarist Johnny Marr. Bassist and singer Gary Jarman takes time before the first show in almost a year to talk about the band’s humble beginnings.
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