Posts Tagged ‘princess’

Death and the Penguin, Analogue Divide, Princess, Path – Star inn Guildford, Sunday 18th February 2018

February 28, 2018

Trial ‘n’ Error put this one on.  Jasta 11 put on a very wide variety of styles, but TnE really do take it to an extreme degree.  More eclectic over the course of an evening than promoters would manage over the course of a decade, and that’s a good thing in my mind.

In almost reverse order.   Shit review, could barely remember anything by the time I got home let alone now.

Death and the Penguin headlined.  The singer had something of the  Julian Cope about his voice, definitely interesting, kinda indie-rock, couldn’t really place them, probably because they know a load of bands I don’t. Not really my thing, but I’d see them again.

Analogue Divide were interesting too.  You definitely miss something when you don’t  have a drummer, then to go instrumental is a bold move.  Metal, not really my thing, at their best when they were at their most mainstream with almost pop-metal riffs.

Princess did their post-punk, noise rock whatever thing… I always mention their sound, it was more refined in a good way this time, less scratchy, which is weird cos it the abrasiveness that I normally love most.  Nothing to add, fine band, happily see them any day of the week and you should too.  Get a tight and fine rhythm section going and Martin can get loose safe in the knowledge that they’re their to support him every step of the way.  WTF am I on about?  Just running out of things to say about them.

Path is Pat from Pensevor and an iPad.  Not sure what if anything else.  So hard to make electronic music work in this kind of environment, but I think more people should try.  I love guitars, but come, they’re old tech.  Very abstract for much of it, Aphex Twin is an obvious comparison, but more jazzy and less floor-friendly.  I heard echoes of MBV.  Three tracks stood out.  I can’t remember them at all now, but I’m listening to this

online so maybe it’ll come back. [It didn’t.]

One issue I have is I want to know how it’s done.  With a guitar band you can normally pretty much see (FX can sometimes muddy the waters).  With a computer based set-up you have no idea unless you’re told. I don’t mind if it’s 99% pre-recorded or programmed, it’s just nice to know what you’re appreciating – sampling, programming, an element of live performance.  It’s no coincidence that the best track, the most engaging, was the one with the heaviest obvious live element, namely busy fingers.



The Wild Eye Review of the Year – 2017

January 6, 2018

I love lists.  But I am also wilfully contradictory so fuck the lot of you – no end of year list from me.  Just a review of the year, some of my highlights, discoveries, and things I just ain’t got round to mentioning before.

I’m going to start with the Telescopes.  Either my second favourite band of all time, or my joint favourite with Spacemen 3… just depends what day of the week it is.  How many bands can release eight albums over a thirty-odd year period, then come up with two of their best within six months?  As Light Return was a return to their best… then Stone Tape probably bettered it.  Wowzers.

Typical Hunks released We are typical hunks and so are you on cassette on the doubledotdash!? label from Reading.  Pretty retro, drum-machine-backed, 1980s noise-rock… which fucking hits the spot as far as I am concerned.  One could argue that I am a hypocritical arsehole for not slating them for a relative lack of innovation, but I am Wild Eye and I can make exceptions, and I will continue for bands who continue to (1) be great and (2) plough furrows relatively unploughed.

Which takes me onto Slug 13.  Really  liked the Chasing A Prize Worth Nothing ep especially the mighty Break

Overcomplicated and 2 years old but fuck it, Fuckwit City by Cosmic Psychos rocked my 2017 –

Richard Fennings’ Aching Muscle guise freaked me out, confused and entertained me with its bizarro-funk-lounge-rock smorgasmicoborgish technicality.  Nice.  (In a jazz club way).

Oz Powell has released a track – “I’m Gone” from his upcoming “Supafuzz” ep.  I will say no more, but looking forward to reviewing the full release when it’s ready.

Moper released An Alter of Nothing Erected for No-one, a top top top album, utterly brilliant.  Buy it.

Muscle Tomcat Machine are a band I know nothing about but they released an album and look like this so why not add ’em?  10/10 for band photo originality.

Tuskar are one amazing 5 track ep into their careers and fucking rocking the doom / sludge etc scene whilst adding a little je ne sais quoi / Mastodon-y atmospherics.  Ones to watch, up their with Moper as one of the two genuinely class acts around Guildford / surrounds at the minute.  If you haven’t checked the ep then do it now, then check ’em live ASAP.  By “genuinely class” I mean they do something I love, and they do it well, and feel like a proper band who know exactly what they’re doing.  As an aside I was probably overly critical of this ep when it first came out… I think I gave it a pretty damn positive review, but the more I hear them and the more I hear their competition the better I think they are.  And they got themselves signed to Riff Rock Records.

I feel a bit bad for not including Who Saw The Light as part of a top 3 in that last paragraph… but they deserved to be judged on a different scale to other bands.  Awesome awesome awesome live – unless they’re having a bit of an off day, which does happen.  They are all over the place in a (very) good way.  Moper and Tuskar have a sound and have it nailed; they’re Olympic javelin throwers who are going to chuck their spears 100 m every time.  WSTL are Thor, drunk and on acid, giving it a go on the hammer – but as he spins and gets ready for launch we know it’s gonna go a mile but we have no idea whatsoever whether it’s going to be in the right direction or not.  All they need to do is add some extended, deeply repetitive drone sections and some seriously poppy Andrew WK-style metal to the mix and they will be perfect.  Or something.  WTF do I know?  And their ep… superb…

Pensevor are – I think – planning LP no. 2.  Cannot wait.  What’s the news boys and girls?

Buffalo Club and Leafy Incline continue to put on great shows.  This Is Wreckage from Wales noise rock heaven, and they’re coming back to Surrey!  YES!!!!

And Camcorder and Princess put out new vids –

And then we’re gonna finish with this Freakouts classic –

Another fucking miserable December of PSA (Pointless Shit for Arseholes) at the Star (seriously, if your sense of humour isn’t slightly more sophisticated than “adult panto” you deserve to be literally crucified, but on a rotating cross where you can be fucked up by being hung upside-down, then turned the right way up just before the blood to your head kills you to prolong the agony, then back again, then back again.  I might even advocate taking you down every few days for medical treatment and pins under the finger-nails, before nailing you back up there.  You are worse than Trump and Gove combined), but things kick right off again on Monday –

Tuskar, Daisy Chain, Who Saw The Light LIVE

Then there’s this mob.. check ’em out –

Who have I forgotten to mention?  Loads probably, let me know.  There may be a part two if I remember some records I bought and gigs I saw, or someone does that job for me.

Princess, Camcorder, Big Gruesome, Bent Ref and Silent Mode at the Star Inn, Guildford 10th September 2017

September 17, 2017

I’m gonna go random and try to write quick.

Bent Ref were great. Absolutely no idea about what to say about them other than the guitarist had a nice guitar, practically no pedals and the sort of tone that screams “I know what the fuck I’m doing. Worship at my feet mere mortal”. The only band they reminded me of was Sebadoh, but (1) I am not an expert on Sebadoh, and (2) I think they only remind me of Sebadoh because Bent Ref sound a bit like a band that could have been around back then and I think both bands share a kinda song-based but quirky enough that it’s hard to pin down thing. Superb technicians, interesting artists, I like.

Silent Mode rock and I love that their sound is somewhat modern without being somewhat shit (there’s a lot of bands around now that don’t seem to give a shit about their tone, or they want a tone that will alienate people like me who grew up with all sorts of really warm / retro / analogue / valve / sounds). Definitely prefer them at their rockiest / hardest / fastest; they sound a bit like they’re undecided whether they should focus on the heavier, or whether they have enough in the locker in terms of song-writing and talent to be crossover-desert. I don’t have a problem if they stay where they are or go in either direction.

Big Gruesome. Loved the Trematron. Their Facebook page lists the following influences “Black Sabbath, Metallica, Van Halen, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Deftones, Bloc Party, Letlive, AC/DC, Funeral For A Friend, The Cult, Pearl Jam, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, The Stooges”. NOT MY THING – aside from FFAF and Deftones and Bloc Party and Letlive (bands I know fuck all about and have no desire to learn) you have the sort of tedious mainstram rock shit that is unacceptable as an influence – Lep Zep, Doors, Floyd, Metallica, AC/DC, Cult, Pearl Jam. Plenty of people love this kinda thing. NOT ME. SUE ME.

Princess. Oh Princess. My first gig with new, reasonably good quality ear-plugs… sounded so much more refined that I am used to from them, but what I lost in edge I gained in clarity. The consensus is they’re improving… nothing to blow my mind (not every band can be Who Saw The Light) but their 80s-influenced noise rock hits some lofty heights and never disappoints.

Camcorder are like Princess in that I’ve previously kinda thought it’s the abrasiveness that is the greatest selling point, but I might be coming round to the idea that it’s not. I’ve long wanted to see Camcorder in the quieter and more refined sonic space that is the Boileroom… but I think aforementioned ear-plugs had the same effect.

The Lemonheads were a great band. I’m a sucker for the poppier end of what they did (Mrs Robinson), and especially the rockier stuff (Lick is a proper album). Camcorder are a bit like Bent Ref in that I can’t pin them down but do like it… but if anything Camcorder remind me of what Lemonheads could have been had they dropped the rock influences and gone straight to the pop whilst making sure the guitar fails to sound poppy. This is probably utter horseshit as a description, but I know what I mean. Either way I kinda get the feeling I’m listening to a really poppy but noisy American early-90s grunge-influence indie-pop band. I’m not sure how poppy the songs really are, they all just flash past in the blink of an eye leaving me with a feeling of “I’m not sure what that song was like, but it felt like it was over in an instant so I can safely say it didn’t bore me”. I am shit at this reviewing thing.

Special props to Nick Holland who get’s my “closest thing we had to the promoter turning up” award for the night.  Not a great crowd but not a bad one either, pretty good for a Sunday night in fact. Cheers Stef (allegedly).

The scene is fucking healthy, apart from a few more people through the door would be nice. Four really decent bands for a sum total of fuck all, plus Big Gruesome who I am simply not in a position to judge – I don’t do hard rock.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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?

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

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

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.

Slug 13, Blackdroid, King Ghidora, Princess at the Star Inn, Guildford – Leafy Incline – Sunday 5th March 2017

March 19, 2017

Not a full review, far too late for that, and I did start drinking about 6 hours before the gig started, so arguably my views might be somewhat impaired.  But a few words anyway.

Slug 13 – getting tighter, good set, good signs.  If you like it noisy / grungy / riffy then fill yer boots.  Princess – fine set again, their abrasive gothic-tinged noise does it for me.

King Ghidora I’d not seen before… grungy, metally beasts, will definitely be seeing them again sometime.

Blackdroid came down from Southend.  FINE FINE BAND. Heavy.  Riffs galore.  Well impressed.

Sunday 5th March get yo ass down the Star Inn, Guildford

February 25, 2017

… for this…

Should be a good ‘un, and anyone who gives a shit about alternative music, noisy guitars, noise rock, blah blah f’ing blah, should support it if they can.

Princess and Slug13 rock.  Not gonna bother checking out King Ghidora or Blackdroid in advance… if the Leafy Incline guys are putting them on then they’ll be worth checking out.

Gigs in Guildford and Surrounds February 2017 onwards

February 18, 2017

Upcoming gigs in and around Guildford that have caught my eye… if the band or promoter is in bold then I have a particular soft spot.  Otherwise it’s just gigs that I’d happily go to, and hopefully will go to, especially if it’s in Guildford.

Monday 20th February 2017
Xero, Who Saw The LightRevelry at the Star Inn, Guildford

Tuesday 21st February 2017
The Nightingales, Pink Diamond Review, Typical Hunks at the The Facebar, Reading

Friday 24th February 2017
Nova Twins, IDKFA and Moper (ex-SBB) at the Star Inn, Guildford

Sunday 5th March 2017
Slug 13, Blackdroid, King Ghidora, Princess at the Star Inn, Guildford [Leafy Incline Night]

Monday 6th March 2017
Lee Scratch Perry at the Boileroom, Guildford [SOLD OUT]

Wednesday 15th March 2017
Idles, Scarlet Rascal, Space Church at the Boileroom, Guildford

Friday 17th March 2017
Petrol Girls at the Boileroom, Guildford

Saturday 18th March 2017
Mirrored Lips, Fret!, Typical Hunks at the South Street Arts Centre, Reading

Sunday 19th March 2017
Fauntleroy, Slow Ruin, Throat Punch City, Aching Mucle at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]

Sunday 9th April 2017
????? at the Star Inn, Guildford [Trial n Buffalo Night]

Saturday 15th April 2017
Moper (ex-SBB) at the West End Centre in Aldershot

Friday 21st April 2017
Camcorder, Moper (ex-SBB), Tailblock, Grenades at the Fighting Cocks in Kingston

Sunday 23rd April 2017
Gutlocker at the Star Inn, Guildford

Friday 28th April 2017
Wonk Unit, The Wonder Beers, Second In Line at the Star Inn, Guildford

Friday 28th April 2017
Masiro at the Lounge Bar in Alton [Trial n Error Night]

Sunday 30th April 2017
Muncie Girls at the Boileroom in Guildford

Thursday 11th May 2017
Hands Off Gretel at the Boileroom in Guildford

Sunday 15th May 2017
Buzz Rodeo, Moper (ex-SBB), This is Wreckage, Space Church at the Star Inn, Guildford [Buffalo Club Night]

Sunday 30th July 2017
Moper (ex-SBB) at the Facebar in Reading

Space Church, Princess, Camcorder, Pete (from Grits) – Star Inn, Guildford, 6th August 2016

August 17, 2016

First on comes Pete (from Grits)… now I like Grits, but this wasn’t some Grits solo show, or even someone showing another side to their music.  It was an artist showing random pages from his musical note-book.  As a grungey, dirty blues guy… he’s damn good.  As [a more soulful?] Squarepusher… less so.  Interesting, definitely talent in a number of directions, but its the dirty blues (and [hard/post/noise-]rock in his main band) that he really nails.

Next on… Camcorder.  What did the flyer say?  “Sort of like Weezer and AC-DC had a kid… oh Christ.”  Yeah, that was it.  I kinda buy that.  In theory they could be damn good, and there was a lot to like… but they sound like a band who need great pop songs to really hit home, and writing great pop songs ain’t easy.  Maybe the songs are better than I’m giving them credit for and they were lost in the noise that they were intentionally creating.

Princess – Best set of the night… subject to the caveat that Space Church’s might have been had it been the first time I’d seen them, and Pete’s might have been if he’d done grungey dirty blues all night.  Their cover of “the Model” is / was awesome.  Always good to see a Big Black cover.  Semi-joke.  Maybe it was just the suit that did it, but I got the feeling that it was something in the songs too… Princess dig Nick Cave I reckon… just checked and their Bandcamp page says the same thing… or did I read that before I saw them and my brain is taking the memory not the musical clues.  Fuck knows.  Noisy, edgy, scratchy, feedbacky, 80s-influenced, noise-rock / alt-noise of the sort that the Buffalo Club specialise in.  Yes.  (Not the prog band, the three letter word of affirmation.)  I should really have said that in CAPS.  With font: IMPACT for impact.  Natch.

Space Church – I’m not going to review the show.  Partly time, this review should have been done over a week ago after all.  Partly because I’m gonna get on the album soon.  I enjoyed the set, but I didn’t get that initial, overwhelming, “what the fucking fuck?” feeling that I got the first time I saw them.  I think the volume in the venue was down a bit which took away some of the power.

Oh yeah, and Princess didn’t have their usual drummer so they deserve extra points.