Archive for the ‘alternative music’ Category

Steve Albini on the Quietus website

August 8, 2017

Interesting interview here –

http://thequietus.com/articles/22952-shellac-steve-albini-interview

Discussing their [non]-promotional strategy he says –

“Part of it was the insult that all of us felt when stuff was being thrust at us. The “check out this hot new band” or “this is the record of the summer” kind of shit. It’s insulting and it makes me hate everyone involved. Whenever there’s active promotion on the part of somebody else, whenever I see somebody all dolled up for a fancy photograph and someone’s handing out flyers or whenever there’s active promotion for something like that, as an imposition on my day, I hate all those people and I want them to fail. I have a visceral reaction to advertising and promotion. There’s just something about salesmanship that grates on me on a very base level and I react very negatively towards it. I want those people to suffer and I want their enterprises to fail. Because of my feelings and the specific insult of having somebody tell you that you don’t know what music you like and that instead you should like this, we didn’t want to be a part of that. I didn’t want to trick anybody into buying our records. If you weren’t interested, we weren’t going to try to convince you. We’ve conducted ourselves that way ever since. I feel like it was the right decision then and I’ve been very happy with the way things have transpired in that we’ve never done anything embarrassing for attention and I don’t feel like anybody would have ever gotten into this band under false pretences.”

I am not going to say that I do and will follow his self-imposed rules to the letter – not least because Albini has the advangtage of having a name that allowed him the luxury of starting a new band and having interest immediately from the press and fans – but I have a lot of sympathy with his thoughts.  My reaction to advertising is pretty similar to his.

Blind River, Princess, Noisepicker, Lost You To The Cities at the Star Inn, Guildford – 3rd August 2017

August 6, 2017

Lost You To The Cities… seen ’em before, really pleasant in a late Sonic Youth way, sorta, but nowhere near as good (unsurprising given Sonic Youth equals GOD).  Pretty, instrumental… really easy on the ear, but can they add some je ne sais quoi?

Noisepicker rock. Great voice, muddy guitar sound, nice, heavy riffy shit.

Princess are losing the trebly abrasiveness that I kinda thought was them… more universal sound now, love the post-punk bass, great drums… I like… they’re gonna get more fans like this… but for me was their wilful sonic evilness their main USP?  Dunno, but fuck it, Wild Eye likes bands that say fuck you to their audience and Princess are saying that less loudly nowadays.

Blind River. Great voice (Noisepicker singer). Sorry, I don’t do hard rock. Review over.

Next Trial n Error night is the 27th August at the Star.

Jon White’s youtube channel

July 26, 2017

If you like noisy shit, doom, stoner, sludge, all sorts, then check this out.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxKMvHJPcHmp0Z3ncOw6Nsg

Mainly London to South Coast and in between live band vids.  Sound and video both tend to be surprisingly good quality, well worth spending some time there.

Th’ Faith Healers

July 24, 2017

I first heard Th’ Faith Healers do a live version of Jesus Freak.  Excellent noisy weird shit.

https://youtu.be/flpmtUIpGUs?t=499

Then this perfect single –

Seriously fucked-up, energetic, garage punk noise.  Perfect for back then when my car has a shit stereo and stuff with little bass didn’t mind a system that pumped out none.

They turned into a weird kinda psychedelic, laid-back, krautrock, groove machine with noise tendencies.  Kinda the band Spiritualized coulda been if they’d been totally different.

Don’t Jones Me –

There is a case for Reptile Smile being the best song in the history of recorded music –

Absolutely superb… so fucking groovy, so noisy, so sweet, so relentless, so perfect.

Just do yourself a favour and listen to loads of their stuff and see where on the noise trance axis you fall.

Trial N Error – Star Inn Thursday 3rd August 2017

July 24, 2017

Looks to be a good one.  Slug 13 do their riffy, grungy noise rock thing.  Princess bring more of a Cave / Cash vibe to their noise rock thang.

Noisepicker who I’m really looking forward to seeing, and Lost You To The Cities complete the bill.

Get there!

Trial N Error-Star Inn

Slug 13 – Chasing A Prize Worth Nothing ep – Review

July 23, 2017

I like these guys.

It’s just all solid grungey noise rock riffs, wah, pounding drums, bass that sometimes rumbles, sometimes drives the song.

Lyrically Chasing a Prize Worth Nothing could match Moper in the sheer fucking misery stakes.  But fuck that there’s a riff, it ain’t gonna stop.  OK it is.  My kinda solo, proper punk / grunge filth.  Pretty frenetic build.  Break is more of the same, but maybe simpler and thus better.  I really like Rich’s drumming.  Wah solo, fucking yes, driving driving bass.  Let’s face facts, grunge was basically the high point of rock n roll.  The point where it had learnt from punk and metal, and just wanted get fucked up, dirty, loaded and rock out, and before it got too post-modern.

Wrench does nothing wrong, but it’s maybe like the 6th child in a massive family, never really loved like the first and the last and some of the others that had a bit more going for them.

Big Shot‘s kinda a bit more sophisticated, no good thing really, but it works.  Kinda goes off in a way that betrays their noise influence more.  Surplus Killing likewise, sound’s moving away from Seattle to Albini’s Chicago.  

They finish with the punk grunge of Lizard Tummy Neck.

If I gave ratings I’d give it a rating.  Check it out.  Check them out.

Available here –

https://slug13.bandcamp.com/album/chasing-a-prize-worth-nothing

Live – Star Inn Guildford, August 3rd and October 1st 2017

Current Best of the Rest

July 23, 2017

Best of the rest in and around south-west Surrey and north-east Hants – Guildford, Farnborough etc etc… and a bit further afield.

Freakouts – Grungey punk / post-punk newcomers.

https://www.facebook.com/freakoutsband/

Grits – a surprisingly unique combination of heavy alternative rock with a reasonably mainstream sensibility.  Or maybe this is bollocks.  They rock.

Morass of Molasses – fine sludge 3 piece.  Riffs aplenty.

https://morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com/

Parachute For Gordo – suprisingly funky post-punk / post rock act who get tagged as post rock.  Or something.  Well worth checking out.

https://parachuteforgordo.bandcamp.com/

Princess – dark, scratchy, 80s Cave / Cash, noise-rock miserablists.  Fantastic.

https://princess3.bandcamp.com/

Silent Mode – desert rock / stoner thing.  They have quite a unique and heavy sound, really riffy and damn catchy.  The sort of band I can imagine winning over loads of new fans if they were on at a festival.

https://silentmode.bandcamp.com/releases

Slug 13 – grunge noise rock.  All riffs and wah and bass and drums.  It just works, getting better and better.  Check out the recent ep.  My kinda music.

https://slug13.bandcamp.com/

Space Church – madness.  I like them most at their heaviest.  They have the funk.  When they want to.  Different every time.

https://spacechurch.bandcamp.com/

Swords of Thought – noisiest pure pop band ever.  Or a poppy Sonic Youth.  Or something.  Are they a bit like William who I used to love?

https://swordsofthought.bandcamp.com/

Trevor’s Head – New lp on the way (and the last one, Tricolossus, was superb).  Stoner grunge shit.

https://trevorshead.bandcamp.com/

Typical Hunks – scratchy, noisy, 80s-sounding, drum-machine-wielding genii.

https://somehunks.bandcamp.com/

Best of the rest of the rest (bands on this list might have recently split up, or I haven’t seen them live yet and need to check ’em out more, or they’re too big for this list [esp. EtS]) – Aching Muscle – Blackwaters – Tommy Blackwood – Camcorder – Drugstore Cowboys – Employed to Serve – Eulogy – Fauntleroy – Gutlocker – Heinous Pianist – Vinyl Staircase.

Who have I forgotten – let me know?  All genres welcome but pure metal, progressive metal, folk, country or anything mainstream better be INCREDIBLE to get anywhere near the list.

Current Top Four

July 22, 2017

I did a Top 10 local bands a while back. I have an updated top 4, best-of-the-rest better follow.

Three of them are playing tomorrow (not all together).

Guildford and surrounds we have, in alphabetical order –

Moper – didn’t much like them when I first heard them but they’re just getting better and better with each release. Depressing, simple, noise rock, often not that heavy, but it just works, probably because they have some amazing songs and a vocalist / lyricist (and guitarist) who sorta of reminds me of Andrew Falcous.

https://mopernoise.bandcamp.com/

Pensevor – dirty, droning, did I say dirty, raw, filthy, doom. Surprisingly delicate, interesting, fantastic drumming, steady bass that just does the job, one of the most imposing and vulnerably aggressive front men you will ever see… and the icing on the cake, some of the filtiest and heaviest guitars you will ever hear with tone to die for. Damn near perfect.

https://pensevor432.bandcamp.com/

Tuskar – sludge, doom, stoner heavy-as guitar-drums two piece. Tyler is an animal on drums whilst covering vocals. Riffs applenty, verges on metal in places. In a good way.

https://tuskar.bandcamp.com/

Who Saw The Light – heavy, nuts. Not many bands can claim doom as the main vocal style whilst having music that encompasses prog, shoegaze (occasionally), metal, hardcore punk, math, pretty much everything. First ep out tomorrow.

https://www.facebook.com/whosawthelight/

ALLUSONDRUGS / Icarus Dive / Silent Mode – The Star Inn, Guildford, 30th June 2017

July 22, 2017

Silent Mode somewhat confused me when I first saw them, my fault not theirs. Second time around I just got on with enjoying their take on the desert / stoner thing. They look like a proper band. They are – to me – pretty poppy, or maybe I’m just saying that they can write a riff and a song. And they really can. I perhaps veers towards bands that are more wilfully heavy or challenging… but I’m tempted to state my take on Silent Mode in the following sentence. Of all the local bands who are, in my opinion, worth making an effort to go see, this mob (can two people be a mob?) are the most likely. Really enjoyed them… actually one more thing… there’s something really lazy and flowing and easy about the way they play.

Icarus Dive. I missed At The Drive-In first time around. Later I got into them. More recently I listened to them and wondered if I actually like them at all. I have four things to say about Icarus Dive –

(1) They remind me of At The Drive In and there’s a lot about the music to like.

(2) I don’t advise bands to have backdrop stands on stage that look like the sort of thing that you’d get in a conference centre. I would advise Coldplay against such a thing were they to be playing a conference for a group of suited business-people. I would advise Icarus Dive – playing noisy shit in a pub – against such a thing even more.

(3) They had double the crowd of the headliners and quadruple that of Silent Mode. They’ve got a decent following by the looks of it.  Impressive. They must be doing something very right.

(4) Whatever the fuck it is I don’t get it.  Sorry.

ALLUSONDRUGS are a highly rated band from Leeds who I was lead to believe were a bit psych and a bit grunge. Early on in the set I was taken back to 90/91, but thinking “ain’t this more shoegaze or Madchester than it is grunge?” I think pigeonholing this lot is a mugs game – they’re indie-rock in the widest sense; they seem to have a lot of early 90s influences, they rock, they entertain, they have a really good frontman. Not sure there was enough of a USP to blow me away, but they’re well worth seeing if you like the grungier end of indie. Fine fine band.

And something about the promoter.  Chris Jasta 11 deserves massive praise for being a guy who gets bands from all over, bands getting a bit of well-deserved attention, and damn fine local bands.