Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Monday, 6 December 2010
|Photo by Bart Pettman|
When Gallows announced their 'Back to the Dives' tour, in which they would return to the smaller venues they used to play, The Well was almost a given. The Well not only seems to be the perfect sized venue for this tour but was so important in Gallows' meteoric rise to fame a few years ago that it would have been quite rude not to. As usual with Gallows, tonight was quite pricey for a hardcore gig but you get what you pay for with three supporting bands in Last Witness, 33 and Dead Swans.
I unfortunately didn't get their in time for Last Witness which was quite annoying as (with them being signed to Holy Roar) I was expecting good things. Next up were 33 whose fun and energetic pop-Punk influenced hardcore was enjoyable but nothing new. Then Dead Swans were up next who, while their album was incredibly disappointing after their fantastic Southern Blue EP, played a heavy and great if a little sloppy set.
The first question to ask after Gallows' break from touring is do they still have it? And, from the first notes they played, the answer is a definite yes. Flinging themselves around the stage and screaming like their life depend on it, Gallows are off from the word go. Their songs sound just as furious and energetic as they always have; they almost feel like their break has given them a whole new lease of life. Gallows are in their ideal setting here; no security and no barrier and they take full advantage of this with Frank Carter throwing himself in to the crowd. Tonight's gig saw a much more varied set than there was on recent tours, with them drawing heavily off their first album, Orchestra of Wolves. The crowd went absolutely wild for it, singing back each and every word, showing this band still has a large and devout following. In true Gallows' tradition, Frank invites one of the support bands on to help with a song. This time it's one of the singers from 33 doing Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro's part on Graves. It sounds great and makes for an almost night highlight if it wasn't for closer Orchestra of Wolves which seems to have had a new lease of life in itself; climaxing with Frank standing on the crowd screaming the lyrics without a microphone.
Near the end of this evening Frank Carter shares with the audience Gallows' plans for the future. He claims that they plan to have an album out next summer and that they plan to play The Well (not once but) twice when they next tour. While this all seems like wishful planning on their part, it is great to know that this band, whose future seemed so unknown at the beginning of the year, is far from dead.
30. Gonjasufi - A Sufi and A Killer
29. Liars - Sisterworld
28. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
27. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
26. Salem - King Night
25. Curren$y - Pilot Talk
24. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network Soundtrack
23. Twin Shadow - Forget
22. Ceremony - Rohnert Park
21. Throats - Throats
20. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here
19. Foals - Total Life Forever
18. The Body - All The Waters of Earth Turn to Blood
17. Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers
16. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
15. Grinderman - Grinderman 2
14. Pulled Apart By Horses - Pulled Apart By Horses
13. Four Tet - There Is Love In You
12. Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
11. Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner
10. Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
9. Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise
While technically being a minimal house musician, Hendrik Weiber doesn't really fit in to the scene. In a genre, which to many, seems tried and stale, Weiber constantly adventures in to new and unfound territory. This is a record that will completely drag you in and not let you got for the full hour and ten minutes of its duration. Through incredibly delicate minimal beats, backed up by various percussive instruments like a glockenspiel, Pantha Du Prince has made one of the most dreamy and textually beautiful albums of the year. However, the highlight comes on the most un-Pantha Du Prince moment, Stick To My Side. Featuring the vocals of Noah Lennox (AKA Panda Bear from Animal Collective), Stick To My Side is the closest that Black Noise gets to Pop but is also, arguably, its most beautiful moment.
8. Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Diamond Eyes sounds exactly like a Deftones album, e.g. like nothing else. They were always different from their 'Nu-Metal' counterparts because of their desire to experiment and their massive palette of sounds. This palette has grown even further on Diamond Eyes thanks to their range of influences from '80s Post-Punk bands like The Smiths and The Cure to recent electronic musicians like Kode 9. These range of sounds make a profound and incredibly forward-thinking listen, adding a beauty and melodic aspect to their, otherwise, heavy sound. The fact that Diamond Eyes was not even the album we were supposed to listen to is a mind blower. Deftones were originally supposed to release the album Erors but it was postponed after bassist Chi Cheng was in a serious car accident which left him in a coma and has now been indefinitely shelved as they felt it is not a good example of their current sound. The idea to axe Erors was clearly a good idea as Diamond Eyes is an absolutely phenomenal album and a fantastic return to form for Deftones.
7. Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?
Does It Look Like I'm Here? is a tricky one to describe. Firstly, its an album of contradictions. It is an album of the gradual build up of layers of electronics that develops in to a drone yet Does It Look Like I'm Here? has a feeling of urgency throughout. It is an experimental electronic drone album yet from start to finish it is nothing but beautiful. This album is the definition of a grower yet feels accessible from the moment you put it on. Maybe its these contradictions which have led to Does It Look Like I'm Here?'s widespread acclaim which seems so rare for this type of music. Maybe it is Mark McGuire's beautiful guitarwork under the layers of electronic which keep this on the ground. Or maybe it's just how damn forward thinking and experimental this album is which has led to it being so widely loved.
6. Caribou - Swim
5. James Blake - Klavierwerke/CMYK
Gorilla Vs Bear counted them both as one release on their list so I've decided I'm allowed too. James Blake is a 21 year old electronic producer from London who is often linked in to the whole 'dubstep' thing but he is, quite frankly, so much more than that. Burial is probably the closest you're going to get to James Blake's delicate and minimal arrangements with plenty of room to breathe. That is, however, about where the similarities between them stop as James Blake really is an individual with a complete sound of his own. Blake also includes his own vocals, which are quite frankly breathtaking, and piano playing into his tracks. James Blake is the most promising new musician of the year and I simply cannot wait to hear his album in the new year.
4. The Fall - Your Future Our Clutter
2. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
1. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
When James Murphy and co rolled on to the stage fifteen minutes late, the MAGNA's secret weapon was finally revealed. The sound was absolutely incredible. Everything from the thumping beats of opener Dance Yrself Clean to the cowbell of Daft Punk are Playing at My House sounded huge. It might not be expected by them, as they're generally seen as a studio band, but LCD Soundsystem are really tight live and have a massive amount of energy. In the live setting, they somehow make their Low-era-Bowie influenced Electro Funk even more danceble. This energy didn't rub on to certain areas of the crowd but I suppose that's to be expected from a co-headline tour and some people being their to see Hot Chip. The setlist tonight came as quite a surprise as there was no Losing My Edge and nothing off Sound of Silver other than All My Friends. It was quite dissapointing to have them only play one song off their arguably best album but it felt fitting for a last ever UK tour to focus on the old and the new. This was especially the case when it meant them pulling out awesome older songs like Yeah and Movement. I feel that their usual set closer New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down would have been a much better finisher than a verison Home with some of Hot Chip but oh well.
So basically a fantastic venue, fantastic sound and a fantastic band. Being the second last show on their last ever UK tour, it felt a more than fitting farewell and they will be missed loads.
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
From the eerie synthesiser (played throughout the album by Rolo Tomassi's James Spence) that begins the opening track, Acid Bath Vampire, you know that Hellfire Reign is far attached from Raw Sorcery. While the EP was very successful at combining Sludge and Doom with their rifftastic Metalcore sound, it was too easy to compare them to their predecessors such as Doomriders and Coliseum. On Hellfire Reign however, by taking influences from all over the place and then successfully blending them all together, Hang the Bastard have not only found their own niche as a band but have really come in to their own. While some bands try too hard to mix up their influence and end up sounding fake and contrived, Hang the Bastard's development sounds entirely natural and genuine. These eclectic influences are best shown on the album's peak, Goodbye Piccadilly. It, again, starts with James Spence's creepy synthesiser noises before spiralling in to a crushing, Black Metal sounding wall of noise before ending with massive Rock 'n' Roll riffs.
However as I mentioned earlier, the elements that made Raw Sorcery great and stick out from the rest of the Metalcore crowd are still here on Hellfire Reign. I mean this is still a heavily Stoner Doom and Sludge influenced Metalcore album. The album is still crammed with huge riffs. In fact, if anything the technical proficiency on the guitar has been knocked up a notch. They even throw out some fantastic solos like on the final track, Farwell Leicester Square. They've even kept the massive Thrash Metal and Slayer influence not only on thethe riffs but also the guitar tone throughout. Another element that makes Hang the Bastard stick out from the Metalcore scene is their breakdowns. These are not your typical, generic breakdowns, these breakdowns are really fucking good and sound huge.
While Raw Sorcery was an impressive EP, it felt like it was missing something; Hellfire Reign has that something. By keeping to their original sound but constantly absorbing new influences, Hang the Bastard have finally found their sound and it is fucking huge. The riffs and the production have both been knocked up a notch which makes this album even more crushing. This is overall, one of the most promising Hardcore releases of the year and I am really looking forward to, hopefully, seeing them go far.
Friday, 5 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Friday, 29 October 2010
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Under the alias of Flying Lotus, Steven Ellison has released some of the most innovative, interesting and downright brilliant music of the last five years. Earlier in the year, Flying Lotus released the critically acclaimed Cosmogramma (an easy competitor for album of the year) which not only saw Ellison expanding and evolving his sound but also reaching a whole new audience. Not to be pinned down, he also recently released the Pattern+Grid World EP. This saw the FlyLo sound develop even more dramatically from jazz influenced glitchy Hip-Hop in to much more electronic territory. The video for Kill Your Co-Workers came out this week which is absolutely brilliant. It starts off with a parade but everything turns horribly wrong when robots start killing everyone. Watch it below.
Monday, 11 October 2010
"Who's fallen over?" asks Tom Hudson, lead singer of Pulled Apart By Horses, to a show of hands. "Me too," he replies, "and I haven't even put skates on yet." Fuelled largely by alcohol, Pulled Apart By Horses put on an incredibly energetic and furious set. The band were constantly throwing themselves around the stage and at the crowd. I've seen this band a bunch of times and, even with a couple of technological problems, this evening is easily the best I've ever seen them. It wasn't long until this energy transposed on to the audience with people moshing and crowd surfing on, ahem, skates. Their set consisted entirely of songs off the album but they still managed to cram in all the fan favourites like Meat Ballooon and The Crapsons. They're also currently opening their sets with E=MC Hammer which works brilliantly, getting them off to a massive start. A fantastic set.
No Age had the difficult feat of coming on at two in the morning when everyone was shattered from roller skating all night. No Age's set was also the moment when the size and ambience of the venue got the better of the mixing desk as the sound was quite muddy for a lot of their set. However, No Age more than made up for it with some noisy, experimental goodness. They played a large chunk of stuff off new album Everything in Between and just about everything else was off their last album, Nouns. With the induction of a third live member on electronics, No Age seem to have found the only way to make their shows even noisier. However at the same time, their performance had an almost psychedelic trance like feel to it. It's been a long wait for me to see No Age but it was worth every moment.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
Back in June, New York duo The Body released the incredible All The Waters of The Earth Turn to Blood. The album is not only one of the best metal album of the year but one one of the most original as well. The album throws just about every metal genre there is in to the mixing pot from Doom to Sludge to Black Metal. However, it also includes tons of elements outside of metal such as IDM style electronics, Post-Rock ambience and a 32 piece choir. However what makes this album so great, rather than the vast range of sources, is the natural beauty hidden behind the aggression of this album. What The Body have created here is a profound, powerful, emotional and truly underrated piece of art. Check out the song A Curse below.
Friday, 8 October 2010
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Friday, 1 October 2010
It's official, the Witch House scene has taken off and is taking the music world by storm. The genre of 'Witch House' is one that is very difficult to describe. It is basically dark, haunted sounding, electronic music with a huge influence from not only '80s gothic bands but also the 90's chop and screw hip-hop sampling technique. They sound like they're continuing the work of their hyped predecessors dubstep and 'chillwave'. It really does need to be heard to be understood, a surprisingly unique sounding genre. However, you can't help but feel a huge amount of the hype this genre is getting is down to the way the musicians present themselves. A large amount of them have stayed anonymous or clouded in mystery by having no communication with the media. Also, a lot of the bands also have, quite frankly, bizarre names such as oOoOO, †‡†, and ///▲▲▲\\\. I honestly can't tell if this is just a phase or something that is hear to stay. I suppose we're just going to have to wait and find out. Anyway, here's a track by Salem called King Night for your listening pleasure.
Leeds' Holy State released their first self-titled EP a couple of years back on the mighty Holy Roar Records. The release hinted at brilliance, as did their split with fellow noisy Leeds residents Pulled Apart By Horses last year, but Holy State felt like a band that wasn't reaching their full potential. Their fun, loud and highly Hot Snakes inspired Post-Hardcore was great but felt like it missed something. Their new EP, again a self-titled, has that something. By reaching in to the pockets of Noise Rock bands like The Jesus Lizard and Post-Punk (and by adding, um, horns), Holy State have given themselves an impressive palette of sound to colour this release. You can hear the EP's opening stormer Brain Caves below and if you like it you can buy it from Dance to the Radio here.
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Monday, 20 September 2010
Kanye West - Lord, Lord, Lord (feat. Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Charlie Wilson) by waveofsounds
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Deerhunter - Helicopter (STAR SLINGER REMIX) by Star Slinger
So yeah, all this has made me even more excited about the new album. It's called Halcyon Digest and it comes out a week tomorrow. I highly recommend you check it out.