Tuesday, 16 November 2010

LCD Soundsystem @ MAGNA Centre, Sheffield 13/11/10

Like many fans, when this was announced I found myself asking the question; Why the MAGNA Centre? I mean, not only is it quite out of the way in Rotherham but it is also an educational science centre during the day and is rarely used as a venue. I found myself asking why even more when its location led to me missing not only Shit Robot (genius name by the way) but also Hot Chip. However, upon arriving at the MAGNA it almost felt like it was made for LCD Soundsystem. The futuristic architecture and lights seemed more than fitting for LCD's robots-with-hearts sound. The set up of the main room was also fantastic with the stage being really so high everyone could see even though it was a massive room.

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

Hang the Bastard - Hellfire Reign

Since Hang the Bastard's EP, Raw Sorcery, last year the band have been very busy. Having played several tours and released two split 7"s, the band has been working at a breakneck speed. This pace can not only be seen in their work schedule but also in the rapid developement of their sound.

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

Lil' Wayne - A Milli (Flying Lotus Remix)

To coincide with Lil' Wayne's release from prison, here's Flying Lotus' remix of his song A Milli. Everything FlyLo touches turns to gold and this is no exception, adding an underwater and really chill feeling to Lil' Wayne's best song. This track shows that not only is he second to none when it comes to original compositions but also when it comes to remixes as well. You can download the track for free here or you can listen to a stream below.

Pulled Apart By Horses - Yeah Buddy

Yeah Buddy is Pulled Apart By Horses' third single off their debut self-titled album. It's due on the 29th of this month and they released the video for it today. Yeah Buddy is a prime example of Pulled Apart By Horses doing what they do best, blending everything awesome about the early nineties (Noise Rock, Post-Hardcore, Grunge etc) and adding a modern tinge on it via The Blood Brothers and Dananananaykroyd. Pulled Apart By Horses' singer, Tom Hudson, once said this song is about someone who took so many steroids that they went insane. Anyway, the new video makes no sense what-so-ever but is absolutely hilarious. It includes fireworks, a foam hand and a fuck load of duct tape. Enjoy!

So as I said, it's out on the 29th and you can also pre-order your very own signed copy here.

run,WALK! - Back of my Mind

It seems that every other band these days is two-piece Noise Rock with drums and a guitarist or bassist so you'd be forgiven if you thought that everything had possibly be done with the sound. That is, if you haven't heard run,WALK! With influences raging from Post-Hardcore heroes Fugazi to NME darlings The Maccabees; run,WALK! make quite an eclectic mess but an awesome one at that. I want to call them Post-Math-Noise-Indie-Hardcore but I'd probably be shot on site. They have recently released their rather long-windingly titled but great EP I Hope This All Works Out So I Can Stop Standing On Even Amounts Of Manholes In The Street on Holy Roar records. Here's the opening track, Back of my Mind, off it:

Thursday, 4 November 2010

James Blake - Klavierwerke

I'm a bit late on this one but I finally got around to listening to James Blake and all I can say is WOW. This guy is not only completely original and innovative but also an incredible producer and has an amazing voice. I feel Blake represents exactly the direction that Dubstep should be going in, the complete opposite way to Wobble (or whatever everyone is calling it now). The much-hyped 21 year old producer has already released three EPs this year and is currently working on his first album. The song below is called Klavierwerke and is off the EP of the same name. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Crystal Castles - Not In Love (featuring Robert Smith)

So Crystal Castles have teamed up with Robert Smith, the lead singer of the highly influential Post-Punk band The Cure, to create this little slab of Synth Pop goodness. This song is almost too catchy, too Pop and just too downright eighties for it's own good but still remains great throughout. It's a cover of a song by Platinum Blonde and is being released on iTunes on the 6th December. Here's a stream to listen to Not In Love and a link to download it for free.