Form/a is a mesmerising journey that takes you weaving through ethereal vocals and dominating beats. The tracks are full of atmosphere which lends itself to its visual sound, allowing your imagination to wander free and carry you along. From emotive, soft tones to those slightly stronger more dominating and determined, it is a soulful journey, of musical intonations and subtle meaningful composition and lyrics. At times allowing memories buried to resurface. This is a story waiting for all to listen.
Occult Architecture Vol.1
If I am being honest when the first notes kicked in I wasn't sure I was going to like this record. Don't write it off however, as like me you might find something about it that you love. I found it's sound and tonality to be enjoyable and even, in a strange sort of way comforting and relaxing. Summery, Autumnal, it is everything you enjoy rolled into 48 minutes of retro-esque bliss. Although not able to pin-point what it is about this record that I find appealing, there is something almost hypnotic in the way the music plays out. From that Hollywood 1960/70's hippy vibe through to at times reminiscent of 80's video games and sci-fi it pulls you in, challenging, yet familiar. Kind of 'Rolling Stones - Sympathy for The Devil' era in that simple complexity of almost dream-like vocal acoustics and composition. After the heady daze of the first five tracks, the last two come blazing in offering an altogether different experience, while still in keeping with the rest of the record. A feat by no means. Cohesive, flowing and very much a work of art.
Mother Tongue is the newest offering from Rebecca Karijord. A delicate offering encapsulating gentle serene vocals and a repeating string the appears on various tracks, helping to weave the listener through the story being told. Dipping a musical toe into upbeat almost pop-like beats, gentle folksy tones, this album has a hint of Enya about it.
Triumphant in places, progressive, beautiful and delicate, at times almost hymn-like. Mother Tongue may not be in anyway mainstream, what it is however is enthralling and captivating grasping your attention and leaving you waiting with bated breath for the next song to begin.
The View From The Bottom
It's been eight years since Lit's last release, eight turbulent years of divorces, family trauma and the sudden loss of drummer Allen Shellenberger. A long time in the making, however the wait was worth it.
'The View From The Bottom' starts off with a 'C'mon' an almost anthemic chant which seems to leave you feeling uplifted and ready to take on anything thrown at you. Next up first single 'You Tonight' which is great fun, and 'Same Shit, Different Drink' another hellishly catchy instant Lit classic reminiscent of the days of Atomic. Try not dancing to the latter, you'll probably find yourself unsuccessful.
'Miss You Gone' hits your ears unexpectedly, during the guitar riff your brain wants to sing 'Shut Up & Let Me Go', however this is not The Ting Tings. With a chorus more catchy than the defense of a seasoned baseball team you'll be happily tapping those toes and singing along by the second time around.
Overall it's pretty much business as usual with that touch of morbid blown away by raucous party anthems and the kind of sly humour in their lyrics that makes listening that much more enjoyable. It's an album that has been long overdue, and will appeal to Lit fans and the intrigued alike. So far this is our favourite album of the first half of 2012. So whilst the Olympics take the globe by storm, we'll be holed up in a dark room with this on repeat.
The Electric Modern
The brand new EP 'Motives' from England's The Electric Modern is one of those records which you think you know, but realise that you actually don't.
Familiar enough to worm its way into your brain, yet alien enough to cause you to cock your head and pay attention. As an introductory piece to the band, the three-track EP has a distinct yet comforting freshness, which could stand out well in today's generic-orientated industry. Gentle on the ear, fluid and well put together melodies help in making your toes tap as the rhythmic beating of the drums worm their way into your subconscious.
With offerings like this, we can only predict great things to come, and personally we can't wait to see the band head on to bigger things.
Idealistic Animals could be described as a folksy-poppy album. Jingley, perhaps even a little excessively in some parts. Cheri MacNeils vocals are clear and strong and at times come across as a touch emotive, especially in the slower tracks such as 'Kite' and 'Mole', where both lyrics and music work together to convince us of the cumbersome tale that is being told
Idealistic Animals is a break up album with a difference. This is an album exploring MacNeils loss of life long faith and the search to find the void it has left behind. It is a poignant album exploring the ideas that without faith, humanity is truly not so different to the animal kingdom.
"Faith made me feel like I meant something, that I had a purpose and a role to play in a greater narrative," she explains. "Everything that happened, happened for a reason. Now that I've lost that belief, everything seems aimless and chaotic, and I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I feel like I'm at the mercy of completely random elements."
Overall this album is a bit like a trip to the zoo; perfectly fine maybe once a year, but not something you'd do daily
The Ram Project
Not being that big a McCartney fan, attempting to find a way to compare the original 'Ram' album with Dave Depper's 'The Ram Project' was proving to be trying. It wasn't until a number of failed attempts at finding the original record in the shops that the thought struck, do we really need to compare them?And with that thought we're going to do this a different way. Rather than sit and tell you about how similar or different the two records are, we're going to tell you what we think about 'The Ram Project' as it should be told, based on the record as an individual record.
First let me tell you a little about the record. 'The Ram Project' is the solo undertaking from Dave Depper (The Decemberists/ Mirah/ Musee Mecanique), an intricate personal venture that saw him reconstruct Paul McCartney's solo album 'Ram' piece by piece - including the album cover, at home by himself in 30 days.
"I was in a rut," Depper explains."I'd played on and helped produce dozens of different records, but I'd had yet to follow through with completing anything of my own. I knew that I needed to do something - anything - to prove to myself that I was capable of finishing something that I'd started."
So, over the course of one month, in his spare bedroom, Depperbegan hacking away at the record, often working marathon 12-hour sessions at a time. He had a couple of guitars, a keyboard, a Rickenbacker bass, and a laptop. Lacking drums, he borrowed a kit from a friend and, having only one microphone, recorded each drum individually and brought in fellow Portlander Joan Hiller to perform Linda McCartney's prominent harmony vocals.
And 31 days after recording began;'The Ram Project' was finished.
'The Ram Project' transports you back in time. Listening to it you'd swear you were sitting in a field on a glorious summer day in the 70s or in a car travelling through the beautiful British countryside, sunglasses on, picnic in the boot. There is something quite magical about the record that lets you sit back, close your eyes and imagine yourself on a brilliant sunshine adventure with your friends.
If I'm honest, I'd quite like to see this sunshine adventure shot on a cine camera with any of these songs as it's soundtrack.
From the start, while the record is saturated in it's 70s roots there is a certain hint of modernity laced throughout, it's subtle but it is there. And more importantly it is fun.
It needs to be remembered that originally this was a small idea that Depper had for himself, but interest in what he was doing grew and the result is 'The Ram Project'.
Listening to the album you'd be forgiven for missing some of the smaller nuances but pay attention and you'll notice some of the unique quirks that Depper has included within the recording, including vocally imitating trumpets and drums.
Deppers soft, and at times scratchy vocals add an extra dimension to the record as a whole. While he does seem to push himself quite obviously to reach the higher notes on some of the tracks, such as 'Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey' it isn't in an uncomfortable way and as a listener it won't have you wincing.
Overall given that 'Ram' is well known in musical circles and to Beatles fans globally it was always going to be a risk releasing this project to the masses. However, since I'm not a huge fan of McCartney, being exposed to 'The Ram Project' has allowed me to be a little more free in listening to the record and judging it on it's own merits, rather than comparing and contrasting to the original. Does that mean to say you shouldn't? Not at all. If you know McCartney's original release, then I'm sure that listening to Depper's version of the record would make for an interesting and somewhat subtle change. And I'm certain that even the most hardcore fans will find it enjoyable to listen to.
And if you're not a fan of McCartney or haven't heard of 'Ram'? Well I'd like to assume that you'd enjoy 'The Ram Project' too given that it is lilty, retro, melodic, goodness. Brilliant for humming along to and fabulous for summer. If it doesn't make your ears tingle in a good way I'm not entirely sure what will.
Dave Depper has worked some magic to record and produce such a solid and brilliant record. And this is going to be one of those wonders that you can happily play and repeat for many moons to come.
'Outside', the third album from punk/folk/Americana Brooklyn five-piece O'Death is a collection of intense and intricate songs.
The opening track on first single is 'Bugs' a soft and melancholic standout song where vocalist Greg Jamie croons out "I know that days don't come back, Please believe in me." over a gorgeously sad and heartbreaking melody.
When you take the album in full there is something enchanting about it. That could be the expansive austere atmosphere the record provides the listener with.
Don't, however let that sway your decision on whether or not to give it a try. There is a lot more depth to it which is uncovered with each listen.
Whether it's the distorted percussion or the swaggering tempo. Include the banjo, fiddle and thumming guitar and you have yourself a record which many will find themselves enjoying. Even if you don't think the style of music is for you.
Folksy twangs sit comfortably within the flowing, haunting melodies which build into jarring crecendos.
'Outside' is dark, strange and unconventional and you'd not be too far off to find similarities with Tom Waits.
Overall there is something quite special about the way O'Death blend their different styles and create something as linear yet unique. And with 'Outside', they have definitely done just that.
If Sigur Ros and Bjork produced offspring, you'd be forgive for assuming that this offspring would be in the guise of Barbara Panther.
With her glitchy and very now approach to weird electropop being compared to Grace Jones, Fever Ray and (once again) Bjork, there's no argument from us should any more comparisons be made.
Without trespassing on the weirder side of strange, Barbara Panthers album is just eclectic and eccentric enough to remain coherent and enjoyable.
The accented lilting vocals break through the synthetic tinkles and manage to set forth an exciting record, which in turn pushes forth Barbara for consideration as one of the more interesting and exciting artists we've stumbled across recently.
This record has all the makings of a cult underground classic. Bouncing and seamlessly transcending through various styles and sounds. On first appearances it should seem disconnected, but there is a thread that ties each song together making for a brilliantly diverse record.
Bachelorette is a swaying cacophony of synthetic folksy melodies and floating vocals.
I'd be inclined to say that if you take the melancholic tones of Enya and throw them into a dish with the atmospheric genius that is Brian Eno, swirl them around and add just a drop of Joseph Arthur you'd get a sense of Bachelorette's wares.
There is no denying that this is one of those records that you can find yourself relaxing to with it's soft yet consistent tones and synthetic sweeps. However it still remains interesting enough to not lull you into a deep sleep, although we can only imaging the dreams one could have if this record was the soundtrack to your sleep.
Wrapped in space-age humming and enveloped in electric magic, Bachelorette have managed to successfully fuzz the borderlines of folk and synth nicely. And they've done it in a way that makes each track compliment the next to perfection. Which gives us the chance to admire and give two thumbs up to them for managing to do so without making it sound like a battle.
No Name No Colour
Middle Class Rut
Having the added advantage of being fortunate enough to see Middle Class Rut live, it can be said that when we first heard they were finally releasing a full length album we were ecstatic.
Middle Class Rut, a 2-piece rock band comprising Sean Stockham (vocals, drums) and Zack Lopez (vocals, guitar) from Sacramento, California manage to do just as well as their more classical numbered peers.
'No Name, No Colour', is the cumulation of several years of work and three EP's. With a few of the 12 tracks having appeared on these EP's there is some familiarity to the band's long standing fan base, however the album itself as a whole is a new creation that brings to light the bands ability for the creative, skilfully managing to blur the line between heavy and melodic, which in turn goes to showcase the bands knack for energised and raw rock and roll.
The duo record every song they write together almost immediately in their rehearsal space, which captures the spirit of the track in that moment making for an equally complex and immediate sound on this record. Having chosen to use these recordings rather than re-record them in a studio.
The rawness of the record comes across as you listen to it, while it is well produced there is a sense of imperfection. This could come from the gritty vocal potency which rears it's head several times across the record.
The songs may blast out, but there is a definite change in pace throughout each which goes to further instil the bands musical ability. Blending retro sounding urban beats along with twining guitars to create an almost haunting rock pace on 'New Low'.
Having kicked off with 'Busy Bein Born' which is a loud track full of rhythmic guitar loops and big drum beats the record continues to impress. Coupled in with tracks of catchy choruses and big hooks. Fans of Green Day will appreciate 'Are You On Your Way' and 'USA'.
Album closer 'Cornbread' incorporates a slower southern tempo, which is more than likely going to get hands clapping and heads nodding at a live show and when listening to it on the record, will have you tapping your feet.
While it could be said that the songs are similar in their sound. That is not necessarily a bad thing, its the small nuances that make 'No Name No Colour' a clever and flowing record, and one that we can say without a doubt is amazing to hear live. The small sometimes underlying atmospheric changes on each track make for a naturally sincere début. And it also hints at just what Middle Class Rut could do next.
Wave And Cloud
The Whiskey Priest
It's probably fairly unusual that a record label can, with any real level of honesty at least, suggest that they're about to release a truly 'classic' album - one that could actually affect its audience to the point where it deserves the tag 'life-changing' - but we have that record: Wave and Cloud by The Whiskey Priest.
Wave and Cloud is devotional, spiritual, inspirational… at once uncomplicated, yet equally unfathomable, simultaneously humble and transcendent. Quite honestly, it's rare you will hear anything quite so glorious.
We're not ones to be cynical but claims of truly classic albums aren't all that uncommon.
The Whiskey Priest is Austin, Texas based songwriter Seth Woods, aided by friend Alex 'Hooch' Dupree. I'm inclined to liken The Whiskey Priest to Joseph Arthur, and anyone who has listened to any of his records and then listen to this will know what comparison's I'm talking about.
Wave And Cloud is good, honest music. It is an album of wistful romance, of melancholy. A record of raw emotion.
With is powerful start, Wave and Cloud launches into the beautiful 'A Seafarer's Lament', which through it's slow burn (the track is almost 10 minutes long), Seth Wood's soulful voice carries an abundance of raw gut-wrenching emotion over the strains of gentle bass in the background and the strums of acoustic guitar in the foreground creating an almost atmospheric composition of stormy seas gradually growing closer.
In fact it wouldn't be wrong to state that it appears that each track has an atmospheric air surrounding it, for example on 'If A Train Was A Doctor Was A Song' the drumming is very reminiscent of the chugging of a train and that carries throughout the song, same as the rhythmic drumming on 'Winter Secret Army Blood' where it carries along like marching. Title track 'Wave And Cloud' follows the same route with the guitar giving an illusion of floating in the sky, while the vocals which are sung in the style of a round give the illusion of the tide and the waves crashing into the shore and carrying back out to the sea.
'No Man Is An Island (But Me) is a short hand clapping ditty, which will conjure up images of the country, barns and square dancing that will have you tapping those toes and wishing it were longer.
The album overall is in a way a journey in itself, carrying you through story after story sung by Seth and carried on by roaming melodies. It is spiritual, uncomplicated, glorious, harmonious, melodious. It just is.
And being just is, is definitely good enough for us.
What the music world has been missing is a modern take on classic rock. That is until now.
Step forward brothers Caleb and Ashton Bird. Otherwise known as Tweak Bird.
The duo release their self-titled début August 30.
The album clocks in at just under 30 minutes, which isn't all that long, but what you do get is a glorious trip back to the 1970's and stomping rock songs that are very reminiscent of Black Sabbath and early Who records from that era, and you can definitely hear the brothers many influences breaking through.
The album is broken up by musical intermissions, the most notable I feel is 'Round Trippin' which does exactly what the title implies. With a rather muffled introduction the song hits you fully when the mad and psychedelic licks and squeals take full force. And you're likely to find your brain wondering just what is going on. It's an experience to say the least.
The band's first single A Sun/Ahh Ahh is a mellow yet stomping number which pounds it's way methodically and rhythmically along to the soothing yet trippy enough strains of the saxophone and will always be one to listen to on a glorious summers day.
Saxophones, jazz harmonies all delicately interlaced around slick metal riffs, tinkling vocals and pounding drums Tweak Bird are here to stay.
Tweak Bird is a wonderfully powerful psychedelic album which is pop enough to sing along with, while loud and metal enough to headbang along to. And is one that definitely needs to be seen and heard and experienced live.
O My Heart
Vancouver quintet Mother Mother release their album 'O My Heart' in the UK on May 31st.
The album which is their second has achieved great milestones across radio, press and charts in both Canada and the US since it's North American release.
Greatly regarded for their unique and original take on modern pop/rock music, mixing floating vocal harmonies with clever lyricism and vibrant melodies and instrumentation.
'O My Heart' is a beautiful diverse album which will appeal to many with it's fun and ingenious pop moments sitting side by side with more intimate numbers such as 'Try To Change'.
'Wisdom' mixes the slow strum of acoustic guitars with it's build up into a carnival/street party style stomp. 'Burning Pile' seems like a melancholy amble with it's bluesy, dusky quality.
'Ghosting' is a beautiful song with a slightly cinematic air to it's opening strains. Continuing on into a gorgeous acoustic number that will bring out those long forgotten memories from even the darkest corners of the mind.
The single 'Hay Loft' is an unforgettable and catch number where the band meld a rampant, intertwining spaghetti junction of guitar parts and hypnotic vocals to the strains of "my daddy's got a gun..."
As for the rest of the album there can be no disappointment, it's hard to put your finger on just what Mother Mother have that will make you listen. Is it the unique music? The vocal arrangements? Or the slightly quirky nature of the album? We can't be sure. But what we can be sure about is that you will fall in love with this album if you give it a try.
It would be a shame not to.
Detroit Social Club
Detroit Social Club release their much anticipated début album 'Existence' on May 31st. With festival season just starting to peek it's head around the corner, the album comes just in time.
Latest single 'Prophecy' is as cited a musical exorcism of Northern blues, rock n soul.
A prophecy within itself building into a wonderfully guitar driven song. With its strangely relaxing chanting and its compulsive hand-clapping, Detroit Social Club have created something magical in time for the start of Summer Solstice.
'Northern Man' is to Detroit Social Club what 'Bitter-sweet Symphony' was to The Verve, a luscious guitar heavy, string-led track with enough power behind it to have the masses swaying when it hits the festivals later this summer.
'Chemistry' is a haunting track with all the power of the rest of the album written for vocalist David Burn's daughter. And when listened to could make even the coldest hearts melt from sentiment alone.
The album overall is something that will appeal to many. With it's mix of sounds, to the summery feeling of the festival season there seems to be something for everyone.
Anthemic, atmospheric and with what could be a number of key tracks on a film score 'Existence' is what DSC are about. Passionate and full of the swagger and attitude to back it up.
Expect big things from this band.
The Get Up Kids
The Get Up Kids will be releasing 'Simple Science' on May 17th with Hassle records. The first new material from the band in over six years and it's a return to supreme form from the Kansas city quintet.
'Simple Science' features four brand new tracks from the band. The band show that they haven't compromised on quality over the past six years, if anything their recent individual projects (Spoon, My Chemical Romance, Leathermouth, The New Amsterdams, Reggie & The Full Effect) have made them better musicians with a scope to branch their sound out into something they can call their own again in 2010.
'How You're Bound' is a light number with a repetitive piano piece driving throughout the track. With a synthesizer of growling warp and tinkling drums, the soft vocals skim across the music as it gently builds into a gentle fury.
'Keith Case' features off-beat drums, filthy bass, some disembodied piano notes, growling guitars, and lilting vocals.
'Your Pretty Pretty Things', a tight bass-driven number with some 'Walking On Sunshine' style 80's drums, and some synthesiser horns to make a solid, summery track. With understated vocals and a potent rock edge.
Overall The Get Up Kids have produced an EP that will please many of their fans and maybe win them some new ones. The gentle and melodic vocals over light melodies laced with at times gritty and growling guitars and synths just go to show how far the band have come since their last record.
'Yes!' is the fourth album from musician/emcee/producer K-OS.
'Yes!' manages to mould a multitude of influence and guest artists into a cohesive and flowing record, which many fail to accomplish.
Flirting with a distinct variety of styles; alternative hip-hop, soul, funk, electro, rock to name a few, K-OS not only manages to provide listeners with a succinct ability to recall artists such as Prince, but also manages to have this recall sound new.
'Burning Bridges' will have you tapping your extremities, or at the very least bopping your head along with the addictive hand-clapping melody.
Many will recognise the strains of Phantom Planet's 'California' which has been re-crafted into an entirely new song as fresh as the day we first heard it in its original guise.
Then you have 'Uptown Girl', which has refashioned Shocking Blue's 'Love Buzz' (though many will probably best recall Nirvana's version of the song) into somewhat of a future classic.
Veering this way and that, taken at face value it's easy to assume that the record in its entirety would not manage to sit and encompass all these different sounds, however, somehow the core hooks of the record manage to keep it all tied together and once these songs get inside your head, there is no going back. They will be there for the foreseeable future.
Whatever is said, it's impossible to make or to give an impression of the album as a whole based on a few of the stunning tracks as each of them will in their own right tell you an individual story. Yet each will fit nicely with the next.
If it is given the true chance to reach it's potential there is no doubt that K-OS could have a huge success on his hands, however as is usually the case it will no doubt struggle to find the audience that it deserves in today's market, which means that many will miss out on this uniquely inventive album.
Five years on from the release of Demon Days, Murdoc Niccals and co. are back with Plastic Beach.
The orchestral opening of the album applies a touch of drama to the proceedings, setting almost a sense of patriotism, pride or glory with its opening strains. It's hard to describe exactly what you get from it, but you do get a sense of something before the album sets forth into 'Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach'.
With this track and its fanfare we are launched into the world of The Gorillaz.
The opening track combines the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, synths, organs and steady beats and is simplistic in its listening. The distorted vocals accompany guest vocalist Snoop Dogg in a way which is almost hypnotic in itself.
The lead single from the album 'Stylo' is easily recognisable, and it is easy to see why this one was chosen for the job. Set to a steady almost unwavering beat soulful vocals almost growl along with Albarn putting in a vocal appearance in the chorus.
While a few do have a touch of what we're used to hearing from The Gorillaz, this record is definitely a step in a different direction.
I think it's main problem is the use of too many guest appearances. While on occasion this does suit certain tracks well; 'Some Kind Of Nature' featuring Lou Reed, and 'Stylo' featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def. It is definitely hindering the record as a whole.
There is not enough from the band themselves, and while you could argue that there is plenty, it just doesn't feel like it.
Fans of The Gorillaz are sure to love it, where as those who enjoyed their earlier singles will probably find they don't have the same enthusiasm.
Everybody Wants To Be On TV
Scouting For Girls
Scouting For Girls return with their new record 'Everybody Wants To Be On TV', their first release since their 2008 number 1 début.
The album opens with the first single, 'This Ain't A Love Song', which is a beautifully bouncing mid-tempo song, which will no doubt grow to become a crowd favourite on the live scene.
'Little Miss Naughty' opens with a hint of 'Gorillaz' which is then interlaced throughout the brass infused second track.
Forward to track 4, and Scouting For Girls give a nod to the 80's with the Buggles inspired 'Famous', a musical observation of a generation who can't get enough of reality television and the urge of being in the spotlight regardless of the consequences.
'Take A Chance' is relatively new territory for the band and is their first sweeping anthem. Having performed the song on their last UK tour back in 2008, fans will recognise it as the instant sing-a-long that it became by the end of the first chorus. The song is probably the sort of song you'd expect to hear from a band like Scouting For Girls, but don't let that put you off as it is a lovely song of grand proportions which will have arms up in the air swaying back and forth.
The album overall, might be nothing different to what we've heard before, however given the chance to listen to it in its entirety, Scouting For Girls have created something that sounds fresh, and something that can suitable injected into today's charts without problem.
Perfect for summer and something that seems to have been lacking on the music scene, 'Everybody Wants To Be On TV' is a nicely done record, which we're sure the bands fans will love, and given the chance others will enjoy too.
Tales From The Doombox
Subsource release their new album 'Tales From The Doombox' on April 5th.
Representing the underground UK dance music scene, Subsource are a beat and bass driven rock act. The band have attracted a diverse fan-base, just as diverse as their influences with their unique combination of drum and bass beats, metal guitars and sung, screamed and rapped vocals. Subsource are here to show that they can also bring it off stage as well as on.
'Tales From The Doombox' features both their previous single The Reason (Parasite) as well as the more recent 'The Ides', which highlights the groups love for dubstep, bringing into use vibrato bass effects that have been made popular with various producers.
Combining electronic guitar with reggae and a samba-esque breakdown in 'Street Soul Music' and for it to work as well as it does on this record is an accomplishment within itself.
In the same or rather similar vein as (hed) PE and Weapons, Subsource give us a mix of hip-hop infused beats embracing rock.
'Tales From The Doombox' is an album full of tracks that will undoubtedly find their way into many Subsource fans favourites. Not only that, but newcomers to the band will easily find their way around the diverse range of influences and will be able to just as easily find a track that they will enjoy.
A strong offering and one that will no doubt find it's way into many record collections.
Split The Atom
Noisia - the Dutch trio comprising of Nik Roos, Thijs de Vlieger and Martijn van Sonderen - are set to release their début album 'Split The Atom' on April 5th.
Showcasing their incredible talent for brining the heaviest of beats to the table, Noisia are poised and ready to knock the entire music world off its feet.
The lead track and the first single to be taken from the record 'Machine Gun' is full to bursting with growling synths and an ongoing stream of aggressive drumbeats. 'My World' seems to transport you back to the early 90's and the days of trip hop.
Housing an impressive blend of sounds and styles ranging from not only drum and bass, but also electro and breaks influence proceedings and show the versatility of their production. With guest appearances from Foreign Beggars, Amon Tobin, Joe Seven and Giovanca to further impress.
Despite the length of the record (the album weighs in at 19 tracks) 'Split The Atom' contains enough variety, change of pace and recognition of the genres that helped to shape and build the trio's identity.
Overall the record is more than likely guaranteed to sate those who are followers of the group as well as those who enjoy drum & bass, electro and dance music. It isn't the most commercial of offerings and while that may be, it holds a little something for everyone.
'Split The Atom' represents a huge step for Beatport's "Best Drum & Bass Artist" award winners, a step they welcome with open arms as they continue to push the boundaries of their musical style.
After an incredible 2008/09 so far, which has included a début top 10 album, 2 full headline UK and European tours, Elliot Minor are now set to release their 2nd album 'Solaris' on November 16th.
'Solaris' signifies a growth and a more mature step for the band. There is considerable maturity in the playing, song-writing, production and ambition.
The album seamlessly flows from track to track, showcasing the bands development over the past year.
As well as their growth in production and writing, bringing in their experiences and allowing more depth into the songs, vocally the band have also developed.
Their most recent single showcases a lot of their development and holds a very memorable chorus, which will no doubt be a stand out sing-a-long with the fans when they tour.
The follow up album to a début can be a difficult one to write and to create, and on occasion it is difficult to create something better than the first, however Elliot Minor have succeeded in the latter.
'Solaris' is definitely better than their début Both musically and vocally.
Stand out tracks include the single 'Electric High', 'Carry On', 'Shiver' and 'Lets Turn Back Around'.
With more depth and maturity 'Solaris' could take Elliot Minor to the next level. And will have you wondering what the band can do next.
Bowling For Soup
Not ones to fade into the background, Bowling For Soup are back with their new album 'Sorry For Partyin''
Sorry For Partyin' is the bands tenth release and is no stranger to the punchy, powerful and fun pop-punk strains that we have all come to know and enjoy from the Texan quartet.
Kicking off this 14-track party with the very appropriately named 'A Really Cool Dance Song' which encapsulates in just under 4 minutes today's mainstream music scene, in the usual tongue-in-cheek style we know the band for.
From the get go we are thrust into the humorous world of the jokey-style lyrics that make Bowling For Soup who they are. Proving that no matter what trends are lurking outside their creative bubble they know what works and keep the fun coming.
Double-entendres a plenty such as the fun love song 'My Wena' which is filled with references about Jaret's girlfriend Wena.
From school boy humour, through to references to girls, beer and breaking wind through to a seeming refusal to grow up (Only Young) and some outright man love (BFFF) its easy to why Bowling For Soup are still going strong.
Musically it is still the same Bowling For Soup everyone knows, however like many bands they have progressed and incorporated different sounds into this record, giving it it's own stand-out persona. Be it the short bluesy intro on 'I Don't Wish You Were Dead Any More' or the more summery and soulful guitar strains on 'I Gotchoo' it's evident that Bowling For Soup are constantly taking their music to the next level, while always remaining true to their roots.
Lyrically 'Sorry For Partyin'' gives us some of the strongest and most confident song writing in the band's catalogue, which only further proves that the band are masters of their craft.
A fun and punchy record with all the right ingredients, no apologies for partying necessary.
Ian Brown is back with a new album. His sixth studio album, which débuts almost 2 years to the day after his last LP.
'My Way' sees him moving from social commentary to a more personal commentary, drawing from his own personal experiences to create his most intensely emotional record in years.
The opening track and first single 'Stellify' sets the tone; euphoric brass and pounding bass mixing effortlessly with staccato rhythms as Brown addresses his "angel fallen from the sky".
The next stand-out track 'Crowning Of The Poor' quickly follows and tells the tale of the "son of a poor boy", of aspirations and dreams, and of where things went right and wrong.
'My Way' is a record that will not only have the ability to stand up on its own in today's flooded market, but it will no doubt prove to stand the test of time and still fit in years down the line. While the record is a modern release, you will find some of the tracks hint at past decades pulling influence from the 60's right through to modern day. Diverse, yet not so diverse as to alienate or to fluctuate too much, the record has a sense of fit and a steady almost near perfect transition from one track into the next, with none of the songs failing to smoothly move on to the next.
Lyrically the record finds Brown in a reflective mood, the instrumentation is resolutely forward-thinking, led by propulsive synths, hip-hop beats and bass-lines. By the time 'So High' brings the album to a close, Brown has covered more than four decades, including 12 years of Stone Roses and more than 10 as a solo performer, while assembling an album that is arguably his finest work.
Era Of The Exposed EP
Many may pass this EP off without giving it the chance it deserves, even more so when they hear that it is a record made by an actor and his friends. But that level of superficiality means that you will be missing out on a very surprising find.
Era Of The Exposed is like a breath of fresh air in the over-done smog of pop-punk that has enveloped the music world in recent times.
Sounding like no one else out their the band have managed to create an old yet new sound, you think you've heard something similar, but when you look into it you realise that you can't place or find anyone that has done or is doing what they do.
The EP consists of 5 tracks, which from start to end have your mind thinking about your place in the world and the world itself.
From the opening track 'How Do You Feel' through our own favourite 'Wrote The Longest Word' to album closer the slower paced 'Sunshine', it shows you who the band are and gives you a feel of what's to come from them.
The most surprising aspect is not the fact that this record, despite its raw sound, is a good solid record, nor is it the unique and fitting vocals of front-man Carmine Giovinazzo. It's the overall impact the record has when you listen to it. It has a certain familiarity and almost a seemingly established sound, despite being a début, that usually doesn't present itself so early in a bands recording career. The fact that the band - which consists of Michael Brasic, John Amedori, Steven Tecci and Carmine Giovinazzo - are such good friends gives the record the finesse of those that have been together for much longer.
A record of this calibre which not only has uniqueness, familiarity and finesse that also gets your mind working and thinking may not be fore everyone, but regardless of this everyone should give the record a try.
It may just surprise you.
You may remember the name Mark Read as one quarter of early 2000's top selling bands - a1. But having squirrelled himself away since their disbanding back in 2003, he's back with a fresh sound and a début album that could put most of today's artists to some kind of shame.
'Peace At Last' is a summery smorgasbord of 14 well written and well composed songs. From the opening song (and first single) album title track 'Peace At Last' and its carefree ambience through the self-explanatory slow number 'Cold' to Cult-Followings favourite track off the album 'Your World Moves Faster', it is a record that shows a diverse artist while maintaining a continuous feel to it.
Showcasing Mark's skill and ability to craft amazing pieces of music based on his own experiences and bring them together to create something as smooth as this record overall, is a skill that not many have. This being said, when you listen to the album you can't help but realise that he is an artist that can write songs that will touch a chord with you. Be it one of the more upbeat songs, or one of the slow ballad's you can find something within the 14 songs that will grab you.
For a début album 'Peace At Last' is one of those that you will never tire of hearing. If this is what he can do with a début, we're looking forward to the next. So here's to that and many more, as we think that only good things can come to him from this point onwards.