This week- Sky Larkin, Sound Of Guns Album Review, Thee Single Spy, Lissie Album Review, Gorillaz App I-phone/ I-pad App , This Day In Music I-phone/ I-pad App, Stornoway and L7.
The band release first single ‘Still Windmills’ from their second album ‘Kaleide’ this Monday and today unveil the music video directed by Margarita Louca. ‘Still Windmills’ is available on limited edition red vinyl and digital download and comes with an exclusive track. The band are also playing with fellow Wichita signings, Best Coast at Cargo this Monday. So there!
Sound Of Guns -‘What Came From Fire’ Album Review.
“Architects”-Sound Of Guns .
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If you feel that Richard Ashcroft has lost his verve or music has no basis without Oasis, if you hanker for huge sounding stadia sized rock, sans the pomposity of U2, then look no further than Sound Of Guns. Their debut album ‘What Came From Fire‘ is packed full of skyscraper levelling tunes which are brimming with anthemic choruses. The fact that sometimes the songs may be lyrically opaque is rendered irrelevant as Sound Of Guns tend to conjure up images and atmospheres rather than run with a straight narrative. Lead singer Andy Metcalfe sings every word with an impressive, impassioned conviction and one suspects if he were to sing ‘Agadoo’ he would inject some gravitas into proceedings. From the adrenaline fuelled romp that is ‘Alcatraz ‘to the punch the air euphoria of ‘Bullet In the Bloodstream’ these songs are HUGE sounding.
It certainly makes a welcome change for a band from Liverpool to come up with a sound so completely different from the flaccid, recycled sound the city has produced in recent years. Sound Of Guns are more likely to be found discussing the finer points of Led Zeppelin or The Doors,than twanging Merseybeat because not everybody from Liverpool is stuck in the 60’s or wants to eventually reach that career defining zenith of acheivement, that artistic apogee of having your music feature on a DFS advert, a la The Las.
For those of you who’ve had your fill of quirky females and can take no more of Florence’s new age bollocks d’jour or the brain drilling shrillness that is La Roux, maybe its time to embrace the return of big, brash loud guitar music again. Songs such as ‘Architects’, ‘Collisions’ ‘106 (Still The Words)’ and ‘Lightspeed’ demonstrate that Sound Of Guns have everything in their armoury to launch a major assault on the nations consciousness.
Try to fathom a band who seamlessly fuse image-laden lyrics, reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel and Bill Callahan, over a rich plethora of instrumentation, including French horns, organs, pianettes and clarinets. To author a sound that is both lo-fi hi-fi indie honest and organic. This is Thee Single Spy. Don’t be shy now, come and say hello.
Lissie- ‘Catching The Tiger’-Album Review
“Record Collector” By Lissie.
Lissie Maurus’ star has definitely been in the ascendancy during 2010, but maybe I didn’t quite appreciate just how good she is was until I caught her live at this year’s Glastonbury festival. She gave a hugely impressive performance that left many seasoned festival goers expressing the view that here was a girl who will probably be gracing the Pyramid stage as a head-liner in a year or two.
So how does her debut album measure up? Well it doesn’t quite capture the raw energy of the live experience, maybe it will be churlishly deemed a little too radio friendly by those who excepted a rawer, bluesy more rustic sound based on last years ‘Why You Running’Ep. However it certainly demonstrates what a fantastic singer and songwriter this lady is. There are obvious comparisons to be made, Stevie Nicks and Rumours era Fleetwood Mac being the nearest points of musical reference, but this is not a debut that simply regurgitates the past, instead it is one that lays the foundations for the future. It’s undoubtedly an album that will have a broad appeal, from lovers of 70’s flavoured rock to fans of nu-folk and despite it’s commercial appeal it never allows the natural free spirited nature that is the essence of ‘ Lissie’ to be obscured by overbearing or heavy handed production. ‘Catching the Tiger’ sounds very much like the start of something BIG. 8/10
I- phone and I-pad apps seem to be all the rage these days and there’s certainly no shortage of ones that relate to music. We were offered the chance to review two such new apps, and here’s what we thought.
Being fans of Gorillaz we were quite excited to explore the world of ‘Plastic Beach’ in 3D on our I-phone. The games a fairly straight forward affair and involves you taking on the role of Murdoc as he floats about Plastic Beach HQ on his Doom Glider attempting to foil 2D ‘s persistent escape attempts, racing against the clock, whilst avoiding all manner of hazards and obstacles. The game features actual music from the album and amusing audio sound bites from the characters. It can be a little frustrating negotiating this virtual environment using the tilt controls on the I-phone/pad and in my hands Murdoc’s disturbing predilection for kamikaze style dive bombing into the ocean resulted in abject failure and puce faced exasperation. Still if you’re a fan of Gorillaz you’ll probably pass a diverting few hours flying around ‘Plastic Beach’. However perhaps this apps real achiement is to nurture the desire to see a fully fledged ‘High Definition’version of a Gorillaz themed game that could really utilise Jamie Hewlett’s fantastic art work in all it’s glory.
A godsend for music geeks or a cornucopia of useless information? Well, it’s possibly a bit of both but it’s also quite an informative, fun little app that enables you to unearth the sort of musical trivia that will have you questioning how on earth you got through life without being aquainted with facts such as “after being banned from all Holiday Inn hotels in the USA, The Faces would book in as Fleetwood Mac.” There’s also a quiz and the chance to find out who was number one on the day of your birthday (yes that’s right in my case it was George Formby!) A nice interface and some rather swish graphics make it easy on the eye as you impress (or annoy) your chums with your obsessive musical geekery.
Stornoway -New Single.
‘Watching Birds’ is released on August 23 and taken from Stornoway’s début album ‘Beachcomber’s Windowsill’, out now and available here
L7-‘Pretend That We’re Dead’