Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Words: Sam Geary
With their new album 'Boy
King' out next week, Cumbria art-poppers Wild Beasts have aired a further track from the John Congleton-produced record.
Premiered yesterday (July 25) on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show, 'Tough Guy' pulls out the electric guitars for a sharp-edged track that pulls out plenty of rock-influenced stops.
'Boy King' is released on August 5 via Domino.
Words: Sam Geary
Released last week, 'Strange Tides' is the new single from Kiwi indies, Shakes.
Formed last year, the New Zealand foursome from the idyllic coastal resort of Mount Maunganui, released their debut EP 'Tambourine Girls' in March after first single 'Hole In Your Pocket'.
This latest, mixed by Steven Schram (San Cisco, Tiny Little Houses) and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys), contains less of the gritty rawness of previous single, perhaps due to its being written on a trip to Manu Bay (composed on a cheap toy keyboard), being inspired by the tide and crashing sea waves. The funky, mellow riffs are worked against subtle beats, and as the song progresses you'll find it hard not to be humming along.
Shakes are: Alex Wildwood (vocals/guitar), Patch Patrick (drums), Adam McNeilly (guitar) and Chris Miller (bass).
More info: FACEBOOK
Jenny Broke The Window
July 15 2016 (Independent)
Sydney collective Jenny Broke The Window unveil this second EP where its full range of unexpected loops and harmonies make for a record midway between alt-rock and
atmospherically melodic indie-pop.
Frontman and main songwriter Sam Lathlean asserts that the EP was treated "like a mini album" in the way it flows from one song to the next. "It's definitely been treated in a way so all the songs fit nicely together. Lots of recurring themes - nostalgia, teenage angst, romance and coming of age stories."
Their 2013 self-titled debut EP saw them caught up in the hype machine wheels across Australia (single cut 'Rum 'n' Cola' receiving over a million Spotify plays) and though it's taken awhile for this follow-up, it seems it will prove just as compelling to fans.
Opener 'Skinny Dip', an earlier single, is all catchy guitar riffs and echoing vocals. The four-minute power pop number 'Bleachers' follows with strident guitars and less obtrusive synths for the main part before coming to the fore on the chorus, that playfully work around lyrics such as: “I need you more than heroin that’s looking for a vein”.
Throughout 'Airport Love', Lathlean asks repeatedly, "Does it feel good?", which makes one feel tempted to respond with a yes, it does, very much. Building from its low-key opening of electronic beats, 'Airport Love' goes on to introduce billowy synths and strings, driving drums, resolute guitars and of course, divine vocals and breathy harmonies. 'Black Skeleton', along with the above, is one of the three standout songs of the EP. Zippy guitars work in with catchy beats, and interspersed with some nicely complemented percussion and synths.
Bonus and final track, 'Smiley Eyes', is near on six minutes of down-tempo melancholy, and the third highlight on the record. Simple guitar chords float behind Lathlean's emotive vocals. It's one of those sway along, get-the-lighters-out numbers that is built for being that live set last song of night. It's fitting, therefore, here, bringing to a close a EP that will undoubtedly prove a feel good listen.
Monday, 25 July 2016
Along with several summer dates, FEWS have announced their first UK headline tour to take place in October. The band who have just released their debut album 'Means' (via Play It Again Sam), have also shared the B-movie style video for new single '10 Things', which is set in a bowling alley in which the bowling pins finally take a stand and fight back against their mortal protagonists in true lo-fi style.
02 Manchester Gullivers
04 Leeds Oporto
06 Newcastle Cluny 2
08 Guildford Boileroom
10 London The Victoria
11 Bristol Crofters
12 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
13 Oxford Bullingdon
Photo: Jo Mo
Words: Sam Geary
Released on July 15, 'Skylight' is one half of Liverpool's SeaWitches' double A-side single (with 'Tempest').
Produced by Bill Ryder-Jones
and recorded by the dark psych-pop four-piece in the 'pool's Parr Street Studios, 'Skylight' opens with a quote from the Malcolm X, the black nationalist leader, before Jo Herring's vocals trip hypnotically over bass and tight guitar riffs.
Sunday, 24 July 2016
July 8 2016 (Graphic Nature / Equal Vision Records)
Words: Alison Mack
This second album from the LA band, 'Into The Vanishing Light', was recorded in Venice Beach, California with legendary producer Ross Robinson (At The Drive In, The Cure), and if you were expecting something ethereally somnambulant by the name of the band, you will be in for a shock. Softly comforting is not the description for this 11-track album that is satuated in the atmospheric sound of progressive hardcore.
On this follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2913 debut, 'Lift Your Existence', Night Verses interweave dark textures of ambient noise with bone-crushing post-rock, as Douglas Robinson pulls out an emotive array of vocal screams at one minute, canorus the next.
Opening track ‘The Future As History: I Love You Dead’ is brooding number that sets the tone for the record: brutal post-hardcore interwoven with dreamy intricate shoegaze guitar riffs, deftly paraded throughout the song's first four minutes in alternation. Lead single ‘A Dialogue In Cataplexy’ follows on the heels of 'Lift Your Existence', though presenting bigger, more raw off-kilter and discordant verses, completed by a radio-friendly chorus vibes. 'Blue Shades Of The Sun' also features a harmonious chorus that is grafted into a song where Robinson all but tears himself apart in its execution.
'Drift' hones the dark post-punk in a manner which our own Eagulls have managed so well, mixed with shades of the Doors. It is an incredibly impressive, atmospheric sonic delight. “This song is about the calm before taking on whatever stands in your way,” vocalist Robinson has revealed. “It’s a peacefulness that is ready to seek and destroy at any given moment. The internal calm before the storm.”
Elsewhere, both dark and poetic in form is the visceral four minutes of 'Panic And Pull Your Heart Out', while closer, 'Phoenix III: Into The Vanishing Light' is all ten minutes-plus of pulverising prog-rock that will leave the listener as exhausted as Robinson must have been after recording this frenetic-paced monster of an anthem that lyrically includes lines like, "Fall dead in the darkness through a vacant sky/But I'll come back because you keep me alive/You're the permanent solution", against such harsh and discordant melodies that may seem an ill-fitting in theory, but somehow Night Verses still manage to lend a beautiful finesse.