Every religion began as a cult. In their early years, Belle and Sebastian possessed near-totemic powers for their small but impassioned band of disciples, as fervent as the followers of similarly wistful, self-deprecating, and sometimes sexually conflicted artists like The Smiths, Felt, and Orange Juice a decade prior.
When The Movielife broke up, Vinnie Caruana formed I Am The Avalanche and guitarist Brandon Reilly formed Nightmare Of You. While I Am The Avalanche began where The Movielife left off, Nightmare Of You follows in the vein of Straylight Run; a mellow indie band that features more accomplished and mature songwriting than before.
The Bristol academy was packed to the rafters for the hippest gig of the year. The kids were there, the museos were there, the curious were there, the BBC was there, and the Arctic Monkeys were waiting in the wings. You could hardly hear for the buzz.
In a double-headed beast of a tour alongside drone-lords Sunn O))), Earth came to London in support of their recent double-titled release Hex; or Printing In The Infernal Method. The sound the band offer on Hex is faily removed from previous Earth releases, however, it contains elements distinctly apparent throughout the band’s career. That career is a long one, spanning over fifteen years, and one containing multiple personnel shifts, all around the core of mainman Dylan Carlson.
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…
Through their style they’ve always retained a sort of DIY ‘fuck you’ quality to their sound, initially sounding very much unlike anything else and then later on down the line paying very little attention to anyone else’s sentiments as they delved and scraped at the bottom of detuned, low frequency cesspits. So it comes as a little bit of a surprise when I read the blurb on their fifth official studio album and come across the labels country/western and epic rock.
Easily one of the strongest Drum and Bass tracks recently released, “Incline” is a spitty, sci-fi roller. Choppy, energetic drums complement a pulsing distorted rave sound, punching through the mix in a style somewhat akin to Total Science’s “Defcom 69”.
Bambata style conga loops, a heavy Valve sound to the bass and well implemented atmos and vocals. Not earth shakingly innovative DnB, but if you like the originals, you can’t go wrong.
This is the second album by San Franciscan post-rockers, Enablers, following 2004’s End Note. Their skeletal frame is provided by a guitar/bass/drums of Joe Goldring/Kevin Thompson/Yuma Joe Byrnes, who echo the scratchy avant rock of Slint, and this is augmented by the spoken work allusions of Pete Simonelli — a beat poet and darkside narrator.
A great example of just how exiting the doom laden, dystopic dnb style can be.
With this new release, Breakbeat Kaos stalwart Baron gets a chance to show his more soulful side.
Final:3, Final’s third album, is still rooted in the original ‘Final sound’ that finds it source in industrial manipulation of electronic and sonic wizardry, welded to a metal aesthetics. Recorded between 2000 and 2005, Final:3 is closest in sound to Jesu, exhibiting a hugely precise ear for distorted bleeps and ringtones, retorted guitars and subterranean bass frequencies but with an overall sound that far more delicate and well… ambient.
This album is the result of collaboration over the last three years or so between Sandro Perri of Polmo Polpo and Craig Dunsmuir of Guitarkestra. Glissandro 70 were originally concieved only for a one-off weblog piece but then grew into a more substantial project with intermittent sessions and additions to make a corpus of full-length proportion.
The band stripped the paint from the walls of this awful venue with an extremely corrosive initial outburst of antagonising ‘riffage’ and a digital breakdown on the keys. In fact, the premiere of their sound was pretty much what was to expected through the whole set: walls and walls of thrash quenching noise.
Collapse are an abrasive punk band in the vein of Arab On Radar or the Chinese Stars, the latter even more so due to the more dancey/disco beats accompanying some of the music.
This new Why? release contains “Rubber Traits” off the Elephant Eyelash album released at the end of last year, using the chance to collect together some other unreleased material recorded, over the last year or so — as was the case with the group’s previous Sanddollars and Early Whitney releases.
The show starts with a track from their latest album, Supernature: “U Never Know”. With dramatic synths and soaring vocals erupting through the room, it is an announcement Goldfrapp are here to entertain by sending the music vibrating through your body.
Soft Money is Jel’s first full length studio album, and sees the full time producer cutting his hours to have a dip at rapping aided and abetted by guest emcees Oddnosdam and Wise Intelligent, to create a curious mixture of finely tuned hip hop, noir trip hop and leftfield big beat electronica.
Star Chamber are hoping 2006 will be a major year in its long yet history after the band took some time out to concentrate on new material and recording. Now the indie-rock band are on the road again with gigs lined up in London and a new EP under their belt. Will it be their break through year?
In some ways the musical arrangement, and the intimate honesty of the lyrics could be compared to Arab Strap. But instead of Scottish earthiness, and talk of sex and booze, Barr has an metropolitan emotional eloquence, associated with his Californian roots.
Tonight Leeds Met plays host to two very different sides of the current indie scene. Fighting out of the blue corner, The Chalets bring a distinctively kitsch brand of pop with a good live reputation. They’re the most interesting and shamelessly fun band I’ve listened to in a long time, and seem destined for the top. The red corner plays host to our headliners, The Cribs. As something of a homecoming gig for the Wakefield trio, their raw northern guitar rock sound should go down a storm, but a patchy live reputation precedes them.