Archive for the ‘Music Criticism’ Category

Pere Ubu perform for Roland Rat

April 20, 2017

Why do we no longer live in a world where a band like Pere Ubu can be on UK national television introduced by a puppet rat called Roland?

WHAT THE FUCK WENT WRONG WITH WESTERN CIVILISATION?

Buffalo Club Youtube Channel

April 19, 2017

If you’ve not done so before check out the Buffalo Club youtube channel – locads of live videos from some of the bands who’ve played there.  Check it out –

Buffalo Club Youtube Channel

Silent Mode on Soundcloud

April 18, 2017

Desert Rock from Farnborough, in Hampshire, UK. Saw them live not so long back and enjoyed ’em… trawl through back posts if you wanna check that review out.

Whoosh, riff not too loud, drums come in, builds… the song properly kicks in at around 30 seconds… I love the repetition of the guitars in the verses.  I love the spacey sounds (phaser I think, but if I say that its bound not to be).  I love that the lead guitar, such as it is… it keeps it pretty simple too.   Most of all they have a sense of melody that comes across most in the vocals.  That was Silent Mode‘s Gasoline.

Corkscrew starts chug chug chugging, simple drums… vox come in.  Simple, ticking along… what’s gonna happen.  Drums are picking up.  Shouting, thumped drums and a dead simple riff.  We’re back to chug chug chugging.  It’s dropped right down now, vox are back.  Its picking up again.  Chorus is back.  Shouting, thumped drums and a dead simple riff.  Definitely the ‘b-side’ of the two tracks but it’s good.

If I have two issues about the scene around here it’s this –

(1)  Writing any sort of memorable song or even riff ain’t easy.  You can make amazing music without being able to write a song that sticks in the mind like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”… but for most bands a lack of a greater sense of melody holds them back somewhat.

(2)  Most bands I like tend to sound wilfully single-minded in the furrow they plough, or they sound generic and modern.  The former I prefer, all music should be uncompromising… but all music should also be aware of the world in which it lives, and even if it is a baroque / ambient math-metal hybrid it should be aiming to sell 20 million.

I am not saying Silent Mode are the next big thing, or even that they’re my favourite band around here, but I’m keeping an eye on them.  They do have a sense of melody, and to my ears they sound like they’re prepared to work with 2017 not fight it head on, whislt not sounding generic.  Go check ’em out live.

Silent Mode Official Website

Silent Mode on Soundcloud

Fuck Soundcloud

April 17, 2017

Fuck Soundcloud.  I know its old news but the continuous play feature is shit beyond belief.  I am here trying to listen to Silent Mode and at the end of the song “Corkscrew” I get some total shit I do not and did not want to listen to.  I fucking hate it.

Diagrams – I Tell Myself

April 16, 2017

God Is In The TV made this their track of the day recently.

“The song (like the rest of the album) sets Trogdon’s words to Diagrams’ music”.  So that’s the first thing first – the lyrics are irrelevent – if you want them then you can read Dorothy Trogden’s work.  If you read them and want to hear them set to music then DIY is my best suggestion.

The alternative is to listen to Diagrams.  You might like boring electronic music that sounds like a kids song apart from it lacks the playfulness and has horrid brass and a shit guitar solo on it.  But you might not.

“Wonderful lyrics like “This morning rain/Makes a mirror of the pavement/Lovely shards of sky and light,” are coupled with the up-tempo track which heavily employs a euphoric brass section and somehow just sounds totally right for the nonagenarian’s words.”

Only they’re not lyrics are they, they’re poetry.  In the context of music they are bound to fail compared to “all I need are cigarettes and alcohol” or “Wild Thing, you make my dick swing” or however that troglodyte classic went.  (I say classic, they did a shit load of much better songs than that).  “Heavily employs a euphoric brass section” and “sounds totally right for the nonagenarian’s words”.  Why did you not just spell out what these two phrases mean, clearly.  THIS SONG IS FUCKING SHIT. 

Lost You To The Cities, Gift of Blindness with The Sleepwalker, Typical Hunks, Unman – The Star Inn, 9th April 2017

April 15, 2017

Buffalo Club join forces with Trial n Error – end result veers more into experimental / noise territory than a typical Buffalo Club night which is perhaps more riffs and noise.  Whatever follows bear in mind that I’m fucking happy to walk into a venue and hear noisey music that’s not straight-down-the-line metal; isn’t some generic punky-emo-y nonsense.

Unman kick things off.  Guitar, bass, drums, sax.  Noise, noise, drums, some sax and more noise.  I was told its all improvisation.  Very believable.

It was all about jazz drumming, the odd sax burst, and lots of texture.  I enjoyed it a lot, lost myself in it… but I have to say that I prefer music to be more song- or riff-based.  I like rhythm.  I like sound.  But most of all I like raw, dirty rock n roll, and that ain’t Unman.  Then again, it’s pointless to consider Unman on those terms.

Great thinking music.  I felt like I do when I look at modern art… an afternoon in a gallery looking at modern art is something I really enjoy… but I often find that relatively little of what I see I really like as a piece of art – what I get from is more that it invariably gets me thinking about art and making art.  And actually, thinking about it now, I prefer good music to good visual art, and I prefer thinking about music to thinking about visual art, so at the very least Unman are better than a visit to a gallery. But that’s harsh, I enjoyed it, its just not massively my kinda music.

Typical Hunks did their thing.  The drum machine is 80s.  The sound it makes is 80s.  It’s a fucking good job most bands don’t use 80s drum machines, but there’s nothing wrong with the fact that some bands do.  It suits the music which is some sort of post-punk, scratchy, US-noise influenced shit.  I’m not criticising the vox or bass, both of which play their part, but for me it’s all about the guitar.  I love it, and a bit of a droney vibe going on behind the main riffs which I didn’t really notice first time I saw them.

Next on was The Sleepwalker whose very brief laptop set was really an introduction to Gift of Blindness.  I cannot stress enough how much I am open to electronics replacing live instruments in live sets, and the drummer’s the obvious first one to ditch.  But my take is that if you’re not going to have a live drummer then you have the ability to do things that a real drummer can’t, whereas with Gift of Blindness it seemed more like programmed drums were there filling a gap until a real drummer turns up.  Technical issues and the lack of the bass player who couldn’t make it and it all felt a bit half-cooked… but Gift of Blindness’s Umair Chaudhry knows that.  Was it the second track that kicked in with a really nice guitar sound and riff?  Think so.  The potential’s there.  £10 says Gift of Blindness’ next gig will be a load better.  The last one probably was too.

Headliners – Lost You To The Cities – don’t seem to have been around too long.  The night’s kinda gone full circle, and we’re back to abstract music that’s more about texture than anything else.  Instrumental post-rock though, not jazz-noise.  Again I enjoyed it.  Again I’m just happy to be able to see live music that isn’t just some straight-ahead metal or pointless indie drivel, but again its not massively my thing and I really can’t say much other that I suspect it sounds a bit like Sonic Youth, Mogwai, Radiohead, Slint, Fireside, … And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Can, Balmorhea, Ennio Morricone, Dirty Three, GYBE, A Silver Mount Zion, Joy Division, Velvet Underground [you have just read a list of their influences C and P’d from their Facebook page.  My knowledge of post-rock is limited].

I have hated Alt-J for a fucking long time

April 8, 2017

I have hated Alt-J for a fucking long time.  Pretty much from the second I first heard of them.  I’ve just listened to the first 45 seconds of one of their songs and they’re worse than I thought.  Offensively shit music for offensively boring people.  Or is that offensively boring music for offensively shit people?  Or both?

Fuck knows.

The last time I had as much fun as I had listening to the first 45 seconds of one of their shit songs was the last time I had food poisoning.  Coincidentally the state of my bog pre-flush was the perfect visual representation of the sound they make.

I have used my photoshopping skills to create an accurate re-imaging of their Mercury Prize win had I been there.

Untitled

Top 10 Current Local Bands – Guildford and Surrounds – April 2017

April 7, 2017

Seems like my last attempt amused a few people.  Honestly, not my intention… being funny’s for losers.

I was thinking about doing it again the same, but the risk there is that (1) it won’t be as funny second time and (2) anyone whose band goes down a few places might get offended.  Then you have questions like “do Swords of Thought drop out ‘cos its too long since I’ve seen them play, or do they stay in ‘cos they’ve released a great new ep?”  Should I include Employed to Serve – from Woking, utterly amazing and deserve to be up near the top no matter when I last saw them?

The “10” in the title may be slightly misleading.

It’s a Top 2 this time.

Employed to Serve.  Pensevor.  Job done.

I quite like seriously heavy music.

Pensevor’s Klothod –

https://pensevor432.bandcamp.com/album/klothod

From the upcoming new EtS LP –

Bring Back The Death Penalty – A Brief Article About Conor Oberst

April 6, 2017

I have recently had the misfortune to hear Conor Oberst on 6 Music.

It is 2017 and I believe that it is unacceptable to put out records which sound like a poor facsimile of 1960s Dylan.

1960s Dylan was pretty good, we all know that.  But let’s face it, there’s been so much infinitely better music made in the last 50 years that makes Dylan a redundant waste of space.  Maybe he’s above Gerry and the Pacemakers in the ‘relevance today’ scheme of things, but he’s below pretty much everyone else.  OK, everyone else.

All artists ever, listed in ascending order of relevance –

(1)  Gerry and the Pacemakers

(2)  Dylan

(3)  Everyone else.

So that’s it.  Oberst was gutted he was a nobody in the “everybody else” category.  But he has single-handedly re-written the list –

(1)  Conor Oberst

(2)  Gerry and the Pacemakers

(3)  Dylan

(4)  Everyone else

Oberst, you’re a disgraceful, pointless, boring, derivative arsehole.  Fuck off for making me want to go against my liberal tendencies and bring back hanging specifically for you.

Kamikaze Girls – Berlin and Deal

April 5, 2017

Kamikaze Girls have signed to Big Scary Monsters and announced their debut LP – Seafoam – is out on 9th June.

Check out the taster here –

Kamikaze Girls Facebook Page