To cut a long story short, a pre-historic sloth is frozen in the ice age, and later dug up by an ancient tribe. They idolise the sloth, and build it the best suit of armour in the world, in the hope it will one day day wake up. It does; cue the death of large numbers of villagers.
On a Siberian evening, when Russia was blowing her cold, post-communist freeze onto the Deutsch in Berlin, I got the chance to have some discourse with Julian of The Liars. Sipping on a beer in the American owned, aptly named ‘White Trash’ bar in Prenzlauberg, we managed to reveal alot of the intricacies within the new record: Drum and Mt. Heart Attack.
Neurot’s Enablers purvey a sonic relationship between alternatingly melodic/abrasive instrumental moodscapes and poetic verbal noticings and emotions, which has offered a couple of gorgeous and moving albums thus far, including Output Negative Space from earlier this year. With news of the group returning to the UK within a couple of months, Zap! BANG! recalled our conversations with the band just after they had returned to the US after the tour supporting said record. The band are not just awesome songsmiths but real nice people. And good conversationists. Check:
Winchester duo JayetAl have been driving dance fans on the South Coast of England into a frenzy with their searing melodies combined with ferocious percussion. Drummer James and guitarist Al, equiped with a computer with which to create their unique soundscapes, also make the use of keyboard and drum machines to powerful effect. Currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album, it could be the spark to ignite big prospects for the pair. Zap! BANG!’s Mike Barnard found out more.
Through his work solo work, collaborations with artists like KK Null as well as playing his part in such groups as OLD, Khanate and Phantomsmasher, James Plotkin has carved out an awesome career in the murkiest and most intense of musical corners. After being consistently blown away by his various sonic children I, Zap! BANG!’s Philip Hoile, thought it very necessary to find out more about the man and how these different projects come together.
The Fucking Champs fit beautifully into an analogy involving some sort of ore or something — some natural, primitive mixture of rock and metal, and theirs is an awesome and relentlessly classic style. Back in December they came to England and played All Tomorrow’s Parties, and so there I made it my business to meet the band, who kindly agreed to answer some questions for me sometime. So a couple of months later I got hold of them and they did. And here’s what they said.
Birdpen are a rocktronica act who have recently expanded to a full band to give their live shows a bigger and fatter sound. Birdpen combine melancholic singing with spine-tingling acoustic guitar ambience, electronic orchestration and kicking percussive rapture to nourish and comfort the heart. With two eps under their belt, they have been receiving a lot of praise from critics, with many comparing them to The Beta Band. They have six dates in the south east of England coming up over the next few months so I caught up with Dave Pen to discover more.
Brighton’s metal beast Johnny Truant have been extensively touring ever since delivering their powerful second album In The Library of Horrific Events. Back at the end of last year they played Southmapton Joiners and whilst singer Olly entertained the hordes of adoring female fans upstairs in the venue, the rest of the band joined me for a chat and introduced me to their horny new guitarist.
After releasing their debut album Words Of Betrayal on Ad Altiora, York’s finest melodic metal band Beyond All Reason headed off around the UK with Johnny Truant and Blood Roses. When the tour hit Southampton’s Joiners, we rounded up Venno [vocals, guitars], Russ [guitars, vocals] and Nick [bass, vocals] into one of the dingiest corners of the dirty backstage basement to have a few words. And now after rumours of conversation about such taboos as emo, Def Leppard and the York folk scene, and with the cassette tape of the interview having been found after being lost and presumed dead, we can finally find out what was said…
Battles are an organic-sounding instrumental band featuring Don Caballero and Storm and Stress guitarist Ian Williams, electronic experimentalist Tyondai Braxton, Lynx guitarist Dave Konopka and Helmet and Tomohawk drummer John Stainer. After having signed to Warp Records, the band furthered their UK infiltration by making their way to Camber Sands upon the invitation of The Mars Volta for ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in December.
This year saw the doom world reaching new lows with the almighty incantations of a strenghthened ASVA, originally formed in the droning wake of Burning Witch by B.R.A.D. and G. Stuart Dahlquist and now with the pair having forged allegiance with Jessika Kenney, Troy Swanson, John Schuller and Trey Spruance.
We caught up with Buzz Osbourne (Guitar, Vocals) for an insight into the intricacies of a marriage The Melvins have made with music for over twenty years.