Wednesday 27 October 2010

Stampede Finale - The Fire and I: Track-by-Track

Gordon and Hooligan of The Fire and I take us through their debut album, Stampede Finale, track by track, and talk about each of the tunes.

Some strong language.
Track list:
  1. Revenge to the Bloody Angel
  2. The Beginning
  3. Left and Right
  4. Control + Interlude #1
  5. Mr. K
  6. Just Face It
  7. Take It All + Interlude #2 (Siento el fuego)
  8. F*** the Cliché
  9. Bullwings
  10. Pick It Up
  11. Dark in the Shade + 'Why is the album called Stampede Finale?'
Myke Hall

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Are You Home Yet? - Hold The Suspect

Hold The Suspect’s debut E.P ‘Are You Home Yet?’ has this in common with the Y2K bug fiasco – it starts with a lot of excitement and danger, but has a disappointingly unimpressive conclusion.

The four-song release begins with title track Are You Home Yet?, an upbeat rock-out with pinches of classic rock guitar licks stirred in with some red-walled overdrive and Biffy Clyro-inspired epicness. The deliciously produced bass sound has both the snapping tanginess and the warm smarminess needed for the different dynamics of the song.

Dive Into the Sun swings pendulum-like from a metal punch chorus to a soft yet angular verse, creating a parallel with the caged frustration expressed by the lyrics. It’s a balance understood by bands like Incubus and Deftones, and it is captured fairly well by the Livi’ boys.

The E.P falls down, however, on Glass Half Full, where the band stretch for a sadness and emotional depth that is simply not believable in the tone of the music they play, or the singer’s voice, even with the help of a female backing vocalist. The use of glitch beeps two thirds into the song, while an interesting moment, does not save this “obligatory slow song” from sounding forced.

Similarly, E.P. closer Society brings us a melody that verges on ridiculously cheesy, like a sketch show making fun of an advert. The 80s hair-band tune doesn’t match the Iron Maiden-meets-Foo Fighters guitar parts at all, and the lyrics don’t seem to say anything. The chant-along section in the middle is kind of cool, but this song definitely misses the mark.

Hold The Suspect are clearly a band with a great deal of talent at their respective instruments, and this E.P shows that they are able to record and produce studio-quality songs. What they are lacking is boundaries – knowing when a song goes from emotional to cheesy – knowing when a lick goes from impressive to showing off. Still, the brief uses of electro beats and football chant vocals show the band have more in store. With any luck, the follow-up E.P will be an all-round enjoyable piece of music.
Myke Hall

Monday 11 October 2010

The Nature Boys E.P Launch - The Bongo Club Edinburgh 4 Sept 2010

The heat in The Bongo Club plus the camouflage netting on the ceiling make the venue seem like a tropical jungle, which means when The Nature Boys (pictured) take to the stage dressed like The Lost Boys from Peter Pan, it seems apt.

Drums are provided by local super-producer Andy Howden, who keeps it heavy on the toms, adding to the jungle motif, and drawing on Adam and the Ants-style glam rock. Guitar is at times sparse, opening up the songs to the deep-rooted low-end created by booming drums and pulse rhythm bass, reminiscent of Isa and the Filthy Tongues.

There’s definitely some Sex Pistols-era punk happening in The Nature Boys sound too, and lead singer and true performer Cammy Shiels feeds the crowd his energy as they feed him their applause, in a self-perpetuating musical eco-system. Shiels’ antics include taking a lap around the crowd at the beginning of the set, getting his hairy chest out, and diving into the crowd to sing in the middle of the room during distorted guitar rock-out ‘One Way Out’, where he got The OK Social Club singer Raff to join him on vocals for the chorus (“He always does that!” comments Raff later, both irritated and flattered).

The Edinburgh-based quartet are launching their ‘Pretty’ EP tonight. The CD, for sale in the lobby, includes a sub-metropolitan take on mythology in ‘Valhalla’, the raw art-punk of ‘You’re So Pretty’, the Art Brut-style sing-speak and one chord progression repetition of ‘Upside down Sinner’, and the football match sing-along ‘Age is a Number’.

The band end their set with fan favourite ‘Girl of the Night’, where they invite all the animals of the jungle on stage with them, to “start a f***ing riot” and turn the chorus into a cacophonic mass sing-along.

Monday 4 October 2010

News: New Releases Oct 2010

It’s officially autumn, folks. Festival season is dead, but there’s still a worrying amount of great music coming out. Let’s see what’s in the mailbox...

Come On Gang’s catchy new single ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’ combines folky vocals with power rock guitar licks, and is available for free download from their site.

Livingston emo kids Hold The Suspect have an E.P out called ‘Are You Home Yet?’ featuring punk, power-pop and progressive influences. The E.P is available on CD from the band.

Newly signed glitch-folk collective FOUND are giving away free music every Friday until their album comes out in March 2011 on the Chemikal Underground label. Visit their site every Friday to see what treat you’re getting this week. They’re calling it #FoundFreeFri.

Indie scenesters The Nature Boys’ EP ‘Pretty’ is available on CD from the band. The music on the EP is reminiscent of such diverse influences as Isa and the Filthy Tongues, Art Brut and Adam and the Ants.

Edinburgh rap-rock scene-pioneers Stanley Odd have released a remix of their single ‘Think of A Number’ produced by Circular Records label-mate Mangomad, who in turn will be releasing a single ‘A New Parable’ on 1st Nov 2010, featuring Stanley Odd lead vocalist Solareye.

Grunge trio Scrap Brain are giving away a four-track demo for free via Bandcamp, Tweet For A Track or Direct Download. The demo includes three live favourites and an acoustic version of a fourth track.

If you know of any other new releases in Edinburgh or throughout Scotland, add a comment below.

Saturday 2 October 2010

Event: Brain Storm at Sneaky Pete's

Brain Storm is the sound of lightning, the smell of thunder, and the vision of rain-drenched sexual ecstacy.

But more importantly, Brain Storm is a gig on Saturday 9th October 2010 at Sneaky Pete's, with three female fronted rock bands.

Headliners are electro-rock walk-the-walk Glaswegian duo Any Color Black. With music being played on BBC3 drama Lip Service and MTV, and slots supporting LadyHawke and on the Academy Live Tour, the guitar-weilding techie two-piece are coming up faster than their electronic backing tracks.

With a mission to put the "sex" back in "musical expresexion", glitz-grunge trio Scrap brain's explosive live performance and carnage-inducing rock sound has earned them a support slot with Little Doses and crowned them the winners of the Friday Night Live @ Frankenstein's competition.

Storm in a D Cup love to dress hot and rock hard. The four-piece are 75% female (the drummer is a dude, but he does have long hair!) and 100% passionate. Coming from different musical styles, their music is a culmination of classic rock, cock rock, goth and glam.

The night is presented by Events and sponsored by the good people at Bainbridge Music and Great Junction Street Music Studios.

Tickets are available on TicketWeb, from Great Junction Street Music Studios, or from the bands for £2 in advance. £2!! That's all. Buy soon as the price will double on the door at 19.00 Sat 9 Oct. See ya there!