Tuesday, 30 June 2015

One To Watch :: Hyena




Words: Kelly Munro

Wonderkids Hyena have seemingly sprung from nowhere (well, Telford. It's the same believe me). In the last six months the quartet have began slowly nudging the UK's ears. Instantly attracting a superstar manager - namely Mark Beaumont from NME, no less - and hooking up with super producer Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood, Killing Joke) for their debut recordings, the band seem to be making all the right moves, and are practically a fully-formed monster of a band just waiting to happen.

Look a little deeper, however, and it transpires that Hyena were once a different kind of animal - a bird; a Weatherbird, in fact, whom Little Indie caught live back early last year (see here). Vocalist Jacob Ball, in a recent interview commented that, "we'd been Weatherbird since we were 13 so the name had a lot of baggage which we were tired of, and we thought it sounded more like a pop-rock band than what we do."



But what about the songs you may ask? Well, be prepared to be (metaphorically) punched in the face. Live, the band sound like they have been touring for years and the tracks released so far - including debut single 'Mental Home' which came out in March - sound like the bastard offspring of Queens Of The Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys (and have been compared to the likes of Drenge and Darlia). But not the ugly siblings, more like the smart-arse good-looking ones. The ones that are good at everything. You know, the ones you hate but are secretly jealous of? Yeah, those ones.



Already playing a slew of festivals over the summer (Download being the most recent) and being the tender age of 20 years old the band are on the right track to something huge.

As far as I can work out the last big band to come from Telford was T'Pau. China in their hands? Nah, but definitely the crowd.

Hyena play London's Power Lunches on July 2 with Broken Hands and Dolls.

Hyena are: Jacob Ball (vocals/guitar), Josh Taylor (bass), Dom Farley (guitar), Reuben Gwilliam (drums).


Track Of The Day :: PANKHABILLI - Come Around




Words: Ellie Ward

Released last week, 'Come Around' comes via the musical collaboration of We//Are//Animal and Hippies vs Ghosts' Owain Ginsberg, and Parisian singer Claire Jacquemard - collectively known as PANKHABILLI.

The Llanberis (North Wales)/Paris-based pair follow previous singles, ‘Water On Mars’ and ‘The Ladder', with this smooth and hypnotic new single (an early foretaste of their upcoming debut EP) that blends an atmospheric palette of psych-tinged strings and electronica. Composed by Jacquemard, who takes the honours on silky vocal duties, and produced and arranged by Ginsberg, ‘Come Around’ eases its way around your senses with shoegaze-infused ambience.


Monday, 29 June 2015

EP Review :: Cassels - Hating Is Easy




Cassels

Hating Is Easy

July 6 2015 (Big Scary Monsters/Idiot King Recordings)

7.5/10

Words: Alison Mack


The Beck brothers of Oxfordshire's punk duo Cassels could well be the south's answer to the Loveless siblings, judging by this debut EP. After they put out double A-side single ‘We Wander In The Night/Rinse And Retreat’ last year, and gave a pre-release taste of the EP's title track, the whole package of four cleverly worked tracks nicely sets out their stall.

Built around a brutal, yet controlled, sound, they balance raw power and tight grunge riffs with a punk aesthetic and socially charged lyrics which resonate strongly with the mood of today's disaffected youth, with themes of isolation, boredom and disillusionment.

The title track is all about the cut and thrust of bombastic drums and sharp guitar, with vocals edging in to declare around the two-minute mark in a contemplative break, “I would love you, but loving is scary/so I hate you/hating is easy”, before a manic build-up again that fires on all engines to the finish.

'I Swept Right' is less hard thrust, more hard indie-punk. There's the incisive shot lyric-wise - “Chivalry’s dead/shot him square between the eyes/Romance is dead/no-one to bury her deep between your thighs” that comes in a softer interlude amidst the rest of the serrated three-minutes-plus.

The sub two-minute ‘666 Feet’ is a fast moving out-and-out punk blaster, that belts out their young, precocious talent to all, while ‘Sights For Sore Eyes’ closes the EP with fuzzy opening chords that propel it to a frenetically angular driven intensity.

The Becks have made impressive inroads over the last year, and with this first EP and a live show that lives up to their recorded sound, Cassels look ready and set to go on green light to be the next big two-man buzz.

Track Of The Day :: Fractures - Reactor



Words: Ellie Ward

New single released last week from Fractures - aka Melbourne producer Mark Zito - 'Reactor'.

The chilled minimalist RnB beat builds along with an array of synth and guitar and layered harmonies. It's alluring, yet darkly chilled.

'Reactor' comes as the first taste of his debut album, set for release early next year, and which follows up his successful self-titled EP which came out in July last year.

“It’s about lust and temptation and someone who’s given in to both," says Zito of the song. "Then it’s about the guilt, justifications and lies that follow that they’d sooner believe than own up to.”

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Watch :: Video Highlights From Glastonbury 2015 Part 5


FUTURE ISLANDS - SEASONS (WAITING ON YOU)




THE MACCABEES - MARKS TO PROVE IT (ft. JAMIE T)




PATTI SMITH - PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER




HOZIER - SOMEONE NEW




ALT-J - LEFT HAND FREE




FAT WHITE FAMILY - TOUCH THE LEATHER




Watch :: Video Highlights From Glastonbury 2015 Part 4


KANYE WEST - BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY




SLAVES - THE HUNTER




SUEDE - BEAUTIFUL ONES




GEORGE EZRA - DID YOU HEAR THE RAIN?




BEN HOWARD - I FORGOT WHERE WE WERE




FATHER JOHN MISTY - CHATEAU LOBBY #4 (IN C FOR TWO VIRGINS)



Album Review :: Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool




Wolf Alice

My Love Is Cool

June 22 2015 (Dirty Hit)

8.5/10

Words: Alison Mack


Five years on from Wolf Alice's formation between Ellie Rowsell and bassist Joff Oddie, they turn out what must surely not only be their own best work to date, but also one set to figure prominently in end of year lists.

Establishing their distinctive, yet flexible, sound on initial EPs, the London quartet have delivered a 12-track  full-length debut that from the off with the slow paced 'Turn To Dust's layered vocal folk lilt to the lead single 'Giant Peach' with its distorted vocals and fuzzy synth lines, and back to the acoustic 'Swallowtail' (on which drummer Joel Amey takes over lead vocal duties), a woozy ballad that spirals into ferocious thrash rock.

Live favourite 'Bros', which Rowsell describes as "an ode to childhood imagination and friendship" ("Remember when we cut our hair?/We both looked like boys/but we didn't care"), is a reworked version here, chiming in shining guitars, bouncy drums and echoing harmonies contributing to the light, pop tone. The also revamped 'Fluffy' ("You look smart, but I don't care/I'm not looking for no love affair/I'd sell you my soul, just to get me somewhere!") follows with spiky drums and a Pixies-esque guitar wail. 'Your Love’s Whore', underpinned with a Smashing Pumpkins grunge, while 'Lisbon' kicks off with the grungey riffs and Rowsell's addictive breathy vocal, before introducing layered harmonies and fuzz distortion sneak in.

Confident and genre-defying, Wolf Alice leave no doubt as to why they have been so feted. With 'My Love Is Cool' they show it is more than justified. Cool, indeed.



Saturday, 27 June 2015

Watch :: Video Highlights From Glastonbury Festival 2015 Part 3


CLEAN BANDIT - STRONGER




YEARS & YEARS - SHINE




MARK RONSON/KEVIN SHIELDS (TAME IMPALA) - DAFFODILS/SUMMER BREAKING




CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN - PACIFIER




JUNGLE - PLATOON




YOUNG FATHERS - RAIN OR SHINE




Album Review :: LA PRIEST - Inji




LA PRIEST

Inji

June 29 2015 (Domino)

8/10

Words: Alison Mack


It's been eight years since he put out the single 'Engine' (on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy label), and five since his former band Late Of The Pier disintigrated. But aside from his participating as a touring member of New Zealand's Connan Mockasin and flitting in and out with Egyptian Hip Hop and Filthy Dukes, Sam Dust's (real name Sam Eastgate) LA PRIEST guise has been in abeyance.

However, he returns now with the impressively imaginative and avant-garde 'Inji. The self-produced ten-track album is full of little touches and nuances that work so well as a whole, despite their mixed genre leanings, from synthpop, to funk and psych rock.

There's 'Oino' with its big rock guitar interwoven with racing percussion, and crackling synth; the eight-minute long funky bliss on single cut 'Party Zute/Learning to Love'; the drum machines and bass melody of 'Night Train', and ‘Occasion’, a slower paced drum and bass track that is augmented by distorted guitar and synth quivers - all adding to a debut that is individual enough to stand royally apart.


Watch :: Video Highlights From Glastonbury Festival Part 2


THE LIBERTINES - HANDSOME/ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH




PEACE - GEN STRANGE





JAMIE XX - I KNOW THERE'S GONNA BE (GOOD TIMES)





CARIBOU - CAN'T DO WITHOUT YOU





RUDIMENTAL - NEVER LET YOU GO




LEON BRIDGES - COMING HOME