Monday, 9 August 2021

 Hi everyone. I've not posted for a while due to being rather busy as Reviews Editor at Louder Than War.

This is one I've had to publish as I'm trying to get as many readers as possible in memory of a mate, the legend that is John Hall.

He won't be with us long so do me a favour and read this in his memory...

Concert For John: 02 Ritz - Manchester - Sunday 1st August.

Hooky

Concert For John
02 Ritz, Manchester
Sunday 1st August

John Hall and his partner Mark must have been pinching themselves when they saw the finale to this special night of bands and DJ’s that pulled themselves together to make an evening of quality music filled with love, unity and respect for a human being that has poured his life and soul into the music community. The beauty of the whole event is that John loves each and everyone in the lineup, big or small and that’s what matters most. I get myself prepared for an all dayer of mass proportions and surprises as I discover some shit hot talent nestled in amongst the cream of new and old music…

As I make my way past Home and Tony Wilson Place I look across at Gorilla, like a sister venue to the 1,500 capacity 02 Ritz and it’s rammed with people having Sunday lunch, presumably to prepare for the marathon day ahead which consists of eighteen live bands and five DJ’s of premium quality covering the void between sets. It’s like the pandemic has disappeared bar the Covid status checks as I get to the entrance. Face masks are a choice and I have my spare just in case it gets a bit mental and I get paranoid. I’m an early bird as I’m trying to cram in every band into the review (which I try, so apologies to whoever I miss) and I deck down to the Basement Stage for first band of the day La Mode.

La Mode

A brave move to start the whole day by siblings Millie and Calvin who don’t look one bit nervous. It starts off quite empty yet when the band crank up on stage the place becomes rammed to capacity. Where the fuck has everyone come from? They provide us with a tight set of raucous punk with Millie bigging up the crowd with her Karen O crossed with Courtney Love vibes and her wild animation. A new band to me that got my attention as ones to keep an eye on.

Concert For John: 02 Ritz, Manchester – live review

The Big Peach are the first band to play the main stage and although they’re not my thing I can see why John likes them being the hippy he is and it’s his night and only my lowly opinion. They are in this sixties time warp with the tunes and the dress sense, all flower power, paisley, and erm waistcoats… Jangly pop guitars that remind me of the Merseybeat scene in more ways than one. A nostalgia trip for those bygone days.

Hey Bulldog

Back downstairs meanwhile Hey Bulldog pull off a sweaty set of grunge punk that gets the audience into a lather. Tight drums, some great guitaring, a guest slot from Millie (La Mode) who yet again sets it alight with a raunchy rock blues number and an almost in tears speech from one of the band when he speaks about how John Hall has touched his life,  before another guest appears to play keyboards on the wobbly set up that makes you think John is underneath it fiddling around with the legs for a laugh!

Gardenback2Gardenback pull off a great set of quirky low fi indie post punk straight outta Oldham. No nonsense tunes that sound great on the big stage. These lads are full of ambition with their quirky tunes that give us a blast of how fresh bands should sound. Which John obviously recognises when he’s studying the underground that bubble underneath in our tiny venues.

Inland Taipan

Inland Taipan are a strange band I’ve never seen before yet I’m hooked completely with their surreal sound that gives me vibes of 4AD stuff like The Cocteau Twins and Lush. A real change in the mood of the whole day as they wash over with a bliss that’s mesmerising and strange. The voilin is haunting and just adds to the whole sound resonating from the tiny stage. I was told to watch the guitar playing by the enigmatic singer. A complicated way of wrenching sound out of a tool she knows well how to use. Compelling stuff.

Scuttlers

Fellow Middletonians Scuttlers are next up on the main stage. The Nolan brothers strut their stuff in their matching suits and bling and give us a set where they air quite a few new tunes which can be unsettling for the newcomer, yet they pull it off in their own fashion. They have songwriting ideas that are going for the jugular of the mainstream. Nothing groundbreaking or new but a proper indie romp that will propel them to the big slots with the likes of Blossom and Courteeners. Is that a bad thing? Not in my book. Too many bands are trying to be different. Scuttlers are just being Scuttlers. Doing what they love and looking for that big day at Heaton Park in the very near future.

Loose Articles

I’m gonna need a fuckin’ Stannah stairlift in a few years after this gig. I’ve already had some leaflets through the door, the cheeky bastards! Loose Articles are absolute quality. Think a band of punk as fuck boisterous post Riot Grrll meets New Facts Emerge Fall era and you’ve hit the nail on the head! A solid set of repetitive tight as fuck tunes that speed up out of nowhere and grab your attention. They are on their own and don’t give a fuck. Surprise of the event so far for me. John knows talent when he finds it, putting me to shame sometimes! Best music I’ve heard for ages!

The main stage welcomes the arrival of the phenomenal Deja Vega. A favourite of John’s who has travelled fuckin’ everywhere to watch this trio of psych rock mammoths grow in stature. I’ve reviewed them quite a lot so I handed this over to our man Iain Key to get some words from his outlook:

“By 16:15 I’ve seen a couple of bands and the size of their crowd in the Ritz is growing. The atmosphere is friendly and everyone is in good spirits. I’m getting used to how ‘normal’ it feels being back in a proper venue, no social distancing and losing track of how many people I was bumping into who I’ve not seen for some time. There were bands I definitely wanted to see on the bill and a few that I was unfamiliar with, Deja Vega being on the latter list. The next 30 mins are like an epiphany (well it was Sunday) and I can honestly say, other than the legendary Peter Hook, this was the best set I saw all day. Deja Vega’s performance felt like a step up from the acts that had been on already. The trio turn things up to 11, with frontman Jack demanding your attention as bassist Mike looks out into the crowd, smiling, clearly knowing this is something special. Drummer Tom underpins it all with hypnotic rhythms that defy you to stand still. With the light show washing over the crowd they play a set, the majority I found out later, is from their celebrated 2019 self titled debut album. Deja Vega sit in the middle-ground of rock and indie where Mogwai and My Bloody Valentine also exist, with extended instrumental workouts leaving you breathless, ears ringing and wanting more.”

Deja Vega

I couldn’t put that better myself. The amount of people coming up to me after the set asking “Who the fuck were they?” Job done. A load more converts to pray to the church of one of the best live bands you’ll witness at the moment. Ear shredding stuff especially when they blow you away with the psych fuckery of The Test that could go on for hours!

Yellowbrain take to the stage and thank fuck there’s no smoke machine. Anyone who knows this band will know why! It’s Afghan Sand Gang! They’ve changed their name but not the tunes. A solid set that always thrilled if you caught them supporting Cabbage or The Blinders in the past. Still as excellent as ever with their moody dark set that captures the whole industrial side of Manchester. Always a live favourite to ones in the know and a pleasure to see them back in a sweaty room.

The Mysterines

Now here is where it gets tricky. I miss most of The Travelling Band and Purple Heart Parade as I need to eat, so again apologies for missing a few bands. I’m human and diabetic! I get back for surprise guest two The Mysterines. They are beyond good. They command that stage like veterans and pile out a set that has newcomers to their sound in awe. Think close cousins to She Drew The Gun and you get the gist. A solid performance that has everyone hooked and a band that are already big festival contenders.

Dirty Laces

Next up in the sweatbox are Dirty Laces. I’ve always admired this band after seeing them as teenagers back in Northwich a few years back. They have an indie sound that appeals and some cracking tunes that just grip you. Indie anthems for the youth you say? Fuck that, They’ve gone mad! They’re stepping into massive stadium rock territory here. The indie is still there yet their sound is shifting into proportions you can compare to Led Zep and the huge stuff that could take America by storm. It’s the musicianship that show’s they’ve grown up during lockdown and are ready to take on the titans. A sweaty set of large ambitious rock tunes.

Leon

Cabbage arrive like they’ve never been away. Not ones to fuck around they open the set with a great piece of anarcho punk poetry from the excellent Leon The Pig Farmer who just gets better with every performance. The perfect gentleman that launches into quick fire poetry like no one else. I’ve already mentioned he’s nicked John Cooper Clarke’s crown. Am I wrong? You decide. Cabbage do an insane set of favourites including Uber Capitalist Death Trade, A Network Betrayal which sounds huge and a finale of Necroflat In The Palace which has the crowd going berserk. Being from Mossley they’ll never leave…

Cabbage

The Blinders

I need a break! I’m getting too old for this lark! The Blinders storm back with a set that cements them in the hearts of the youth who discovered them in the first place. I’m just an old bastard who tagged along and got dragged into the mayhem. A sterling set as usual with Forty Days & Forty Nights slamming the crowd with intensity. John must have been in his element, looking down on the mass crowd mayhem he was always involved in at Blinders gigs. I’ll never forget him at Gorilla a few years back acting like a teenager up near the front, not giving a fuck about age or barriers or nothing. Funny as fuck. My highlight was the airing of Black Glass off the last album which to me is a standout Doorsy psych classic that stunned everyone. The addition of Eoghan from Cabbage has given the band a proper ramped up sound even louder than they were. Astonishing noise.

Setlist

I’m gutted I missed Goa Express and LIINES. Bit of miscommunication going on there… Anyway, Peter Hook & The Light end this celebration of John Hall with a set that Nigel Carr describes as “The closest you’ll get to seeing Joy Division live”. Just check that setlist out! The crowd go absolutely mental to every song. Close your eyes and it’s like your best ever dream. She’s Lost Control has everyone going berserk and old stuff like Warsaw was like robbing your dad’s record collection and finding some of those early Factory releases produced by Hannett. Transmission is a mass singalong and still my favourite Joy Division tune, yet when Love Will Tear Us Apart kicks in its absolute mayhem! I saw Bad Lieutenant do it once and it was shit… Closing with Ceremony was a masterstroke from Hooky here. I was in tears and not the only one. Fuckin’ brilliant. A big shout out must also go to all the DJ’s that covered the music void in between sets. Dave Haslam, Jason Boardman, Jeff O Toole, Astral Elevator and Eight Miles High. I find it hard reviewing DJ sets but you all sounded great as fuck!

If anyone deserves a send off like this it’s John Hall. His service to the Manchester music scene has been exemplary and we will all hold him in our hearts forever and remember this special occasion that touched almost 1,500 people in a venue I know John Loves. As I’m writing this I’ve heard some more awful news that he’s actually been given weeks to live and won’t be here much longer. The cancer was that advanced that treatment was never available with the horrible diagnosis, meaning John has had to fight this evil bastard like only he can. A gritty witty survivor to the end. “Shut the fuck up cancer!” A tragic bit of news, yet rejoice that you all got together to remember a fantastic party animal who has lived a life that a lot of people would be envious of. Bless John Hall and his loving partner Mark Brown and thanks to all the people who organised this…

Photo credits: Neil Winward Photography / Painted Papillon Smiles/ Georgina Robinson

The Louder Than War Show – John Hall Special is a full tribute to John that can be found here.

Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Horsemeat: Falling Deep EP Review.

Horsemeat
Falling Deep EP
Self release 15th May
All DL platforms here

Manchester newcomers Horsemeat unleash a fierce debut of an EP that has got the attention of two LTW writers before it’s release. Wayne Carey is one of them…
Conceived under the apocalyptic glow of 2018’s dying winter sunlight, Horsemeat is the product of three men’s desire to satiate their passion for 80’s metal and 90’s grunge in a safe and supportive environment. Whilst you could say Horsemeat is music for carnivores, it can be equally enjoyed by listeners of all dietary persuasions.
Three quality tracks make up this loud fucker of a debut from the Altrincham trio, produced by Simon ‘Ding’ Archer at Salfords 6db Studios. Kicking off with Huffing The Filler, described as a thumping hazy soundtrack to losing consciousness it has elements of Drenge in their and big nods to that grungier Killing Joke sound we all love. Queue Jumper is the standout. The other writer mentioned who totally gets this is Nigel Carr who played it last week on his Radio Alty show. A nice slab of modern grunge which is along the lines of Teethgrinder by Therapy?, an infectious rush of noise and an anthem to a life of regret. It ends with Subway, a monstrous slice of metal grunge that stop starts and shudders with grinding fierce riffs getting right in your face. How soon can the kids mosh to this? The sooner the better!
Horsemeat are on Facebook
Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Tame Impala: The Slow Rush - Album Review.


Tame Impala.


The Slow Rush.

Interscope / Fiction Records.

Vinyl/CD/DL all formats.

9/10

I don't normally use the word 'genius' about many people, however the cap fits with Kevin Parker. Having been a massive fan since Innerspeaker I've seen this guy grow in production stature like a fuckin beanstalk. The songwriting speaks for itself. Pulling from many genres he's done it again. but this is Tame Impala in it's own right. A funk psych fuelled wonder that hits the spot. 

I'd review this myself, however after reading this amazing spot on review by friend and fan Tommy Overington, lead singer of Southampton's finest The Rising I couldn't top it. He's kindly let me publish this. I defy you to read a better review....


Tame Impala - The Slow Rush - 9/10
So after a week of snatch listening (never a good way to really listen to and appreciate an album) and then giving it one full uninterrupted listen on the turn table and then 3 full listens in the car back to back driving to London yesterday I can quite honestly say the 5 years which have elapsed since “Currents” have been undeniably - worth it.
This album is nothing short of perfection. From the order of the track listing (very important when compiling an album - I’ve lost sleep personally about sorting my own out and making sure it flows) to the instrumentation and clever increments throughout. There is always a new sound or inclusion which pricks your ears up.
 Arrangement wise - it’s stunning. The songs move around so much and never tread water. No section is the same. The thing I love about Parker is that he’s never content to rest on his laurels. He is simply not satisfied to stand still. He seems to want to constantly evolve musically and experiment with different genres and styles. When I discovered “Innerspeaker” and “Lonerism”, like many, I anticipated “Currents” to be more of the same - modern psych, heavily influenced by the 60’s, shed loads of effect laden guitars and spacey, deep reverberated John Lennon falsetto vocals (see Lennon’s “One Day (At A Time)” for a perfect reference track) - but I think we were all thrown out by what we heard - a very 80’s sounding synth pop record - albeit with Kevin Parker’s now unmistakable delightful, trademark, falsetto Lennon vocal the only thing remaining. It took me a fair few months to really - A. Get used to it. B. Like it - and then C. Herald it as a masterpiece.
No such problem with “The Slow Rush”. We were teased with singles such as the effortlessly melodic soundtrack to summer (well, mine anyway) of “Borderline”, the Supertramp influenced “It Might Be Time” and the emotive, tear inducing “Posthumous Forgiveness” where Parker sings / gets off his chest his feelings of his recently deceased father. A beautiful bitter sweet ballad which leaves you feeling his pain and then his relief in his reconciliation / closure.
The lyrics in all of the songs - like all Tame Impala albums centre around a concept - Time being the subject matter of this particular LP. “It might be time to face it” and “You ain’t as young as you used to be” providing evidence of this along with the song titles “One More Year”, “Instant Destiny”, “Tomorrow’s Dust”, “Lost In Yesterday”, “It Might Be Time” and “One More Hour”. The songs seem to have a reflective nostalgic mood - but also - and more importantly - come with a defiant battle cry to embrace the now.
From the moment opener “One More Year” drops - the mood is set. An infectious tremolo effect throughout paves the way for the rest of the album tracks to merge into each other. “Breathe Deeper” sees Parker delve into hip hop beats and funk. The piano run reminds me of the synths on “The Message” by Grand Master Flash And The Furious Five and the short 90’s inspired dance floor filler “Glimmer” has a “Born Slippy” / Modjo (Lady) feel to it with a distorted Parker vocal pleading “I just want a glimmer of hope” (at least I think that’s what he’s saying) whilst album closer “One More Hour” again reveals Parker’s Supertramp progressive / soft rock influence via the keys. My personal highlight is the stunning, chilled out “Tomorrows Dust” with its Latino acoustic arpeggio guitar teleporting you to a tranquil, peaceful paradise beach and Parker’s beautiful vocals helping you watch the sun go down. Running a close second is “Is It True” with its catchy, funky melody and conga drums with a groovy Daft Punk kind of vibe. It’s insanely - and annoyingly- perfect.
You’d be forgiven for thinking after listening to this album that it was the work of several top musicians and producers - but no. Everything is Parker.
Do I prefer this album to “Innerspeaker” or “Lonerism”? The answer is probably no - not yet anyway - but it’s a welcome breath of fresh air and gives us another insight into Kevin Parker’s incredible mind. Buy this album. There won’t be a better one all year.
Tommy Overington - February 2020.






Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. His author profile is here.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Partisan: Mantras - new single and video!!

To anyone who’s into the underground Manchester live circuit, Partisan are no strangers. LTW’s Emily Oldfield reviewed them back in May 2018. I discovered them live last year at Jimmy’s and was blown away by how tight they were. The new single Mantras explains all.
In an era of bands in an era of shitstorms post Brexit, you need a breath of fresh air. The music scene is healthy as fuck right now and it’s hard pushed to find a shit live band around. No music genres allowed….
Partisan are a Manc band that sound fuck all like a Manc band. Think Teardrop Explodes, The Bunnymen, all the good shit that came out of a dodgy 80’s scene filled with dubious dross. They’ve already released a couple of crackers, with Oxygen and Turn Me On each track sounding too huge for the smaller venues. Mantras sounds like a huge 80’s anthem with a powerhouse chorus and songwriting masterclass. The partnership of Stuart Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Dan Albon (bass) and Leo Stanfield (drums) is perfect. After years of honing their skills they are finally creeping up on you unawares. Most great bands tread the circuit quietly in the background for years (take Slow Readers), then BOOM. The people get it. Listen to this and tell me I’m wrong….
Mantra will be released on Shoutback Records Friday 14th February.
For more on Partisan they are on FacebookTwitter and Soundcloud.

HMLTD: West Of Eden - Album Review


HMLTD – West Of Eden
HMLTD: West Of Eden.

Lucky Number Music
LP/CD/DL all formats
After what seems like a long wait since their EP release Hate Music Last Time Delete and some stunning live dates last year, the London quintet HMLTD unleash their weird and wonderful mix of theatrical new wave sparklers on us. Wayne Carey reviews….
For a band once named Happy Meal Ltd until fuckin’ Ronald Mcdonald’s henchmen stomped on them with a large clown shoe, been through the traditional ‘sign to a major and get fucked over scenario’, they got straight back up and dusted off those black leather keks. Down but not out they return with their lost debut album. To be perfectly honest the first time I’d heard of these was when they supported Shame last year at The 02 Ritz and they were exceedingly top as fuck due to the pure spectacle. I described them as Soft Cell meets The Prodigy back then and I’ll still stick to most of that statement. Although the album has a lot of songs that you may have heard live it stands well with some ambitious moves.
Tracks like the opener The West Is Dead kicks off with brooding lyrics about the impending doom of Western civilisation, where the Dalai Lama wears Dolce & Gabbana in vermillion red trundling in his robes to a smart bassline smattered with electro beats, which kick in with a top beat hazed in laser beams and erotica tinged vocals, repeating the mantra “The West Is Dead”.
Loaded is a live favourite. Top hip hop beat with those sexy vocals from Henry Spychalski. He sold his soul to the devil tonight, cos he was pretty poor, hooked to a nice guitar riff. Sounds like a dig at Sony here. Too right.
Next two tracks The Ballad Of Calamity Jane and To The Door meld into each other in proper spaghetti western tradition nodding to Morricone, especially To The Door which is a full pelted Mariachi hoedown at it’s best. Henry has a unique vocal that gives you flashes of Cave, Marc Almond, Lux Interior. The way the tune switches from upbeat into techno splurges and vocal madness is fuckin great.
Satan, Luella & I mellows the pace a bit, still flowing on the spaghetti western vibe with the Soft Cell torch song vocals. It’s theatrical sounding, hitting on the early 80’s ballad themes. The chorus is shit hot with those haunting backing vocals giving Henry’s angry camped up voice a great edge. Mikey’s Song just screams hit single. It’s fuckin brilliant. It’s Depeche Mode at their best, however it’s a testimony to how good they are a popping out a hit. Are Sony on drugs??? That’s another story….
Why? is a weird little number that could easily slide into a Flaming Lips set list. Strange distorted vocals with layered over violin and keyboards. Short but sweet. 149 goes all techno industrial and introduces us to some nice vocals from Tallulah Eden and some bat shit stuff from Henry yet again.
Next two tracks Joanna and Where’s Joanna? are pure murder ballad stuff. We know where Joanna is. In pieces. Dismembered. Check the lyrics. An insane number that mixes Cave with Lux Interior again and sounds like a old dance hall tune on acid.
Deathdrive is another top as fuck tune. Dark as fuck, melding Suicide with The Cramps. Stop starting with apocalyptic shit running through it. It’s goes fuckin dubstep industrial in parts. Mental. And it ends with an American car crash abruptly.
Nobody Stays In Love goes into Depeche Mode territory again. A proper eighties tinged electro number. Commercial yeah? Sort of, yet HMLTD are doing something on their own, melding great vocals with a massive backbone of electronica holding it all together. MMXX A.D is like a small snippet of futuristic hip hop for 49 seconds melding into the last two tracks Blank State and War Is Looming. Blank State is like a call to revolution. “Throw away your books, rally in the squares, the world is a blank state” harks Henry with this cracking youth anthem that harks back to that 80’s era of electronica again.
Closing number War Is Looming is a doom laden end to an album that touches on changing the face of masculinity, repression, getting fucked over, queer culture, irony. It’s all in there.This band have been through a lot to finally get this released. Ok, there will be naysayers out there who will cry sellout after the Sony debacle. Fuck them. I know a few bands who have been through this and let me tell you, when you’re young and naive and are promised the world by a bunch of suits the world, who want to brand you in their way to sell records for their benefit… Good idea? Depends what you’re after. HMLTD were never about that really. They don’t try to be working class. They talk posh. They create good music. They’re honest. That’s what it’s about. Creating music for everyone, not a cliched pigeonhole that the overblown corporate’s expect. Fair to play to them. Make your own mind up.
I say it’s a fuckin good debut that has eventually arrived and shows commitment to their cause.
Upcoming live dates 2020:
Feb 13th | Birmingham, UK @ Mama Roux’s
Feb 14th | Liverpool, UK @ Arts Club
Feb 15th | Edinburgh, UK @ Opium
Feb 16th | Glasgow, UK @ Nice N Sleazy
Feb 18th | Dublin, Eire @ The Sound House
Feb 19th | Manchester, UK @ YES
Feb 20th | London, UK @ Secret Venue
Feb 21st | Bristol, UK @ The Exchange

Monday, 27 January 2020

Fred Deakin: Fred Deakin presents The Lasters - album review.

Fred Deakin.
Fred Deakin Presents The Lasters.
Self Release via Kickstarter.
Vinyl/DL all platforms.
What happens when one half of mellow trip hop outfit Lemon Jelly meets up with the voice that is Charlotte Hatherley and create a musical story about the last surviving family on the planet? A surprisingly good listen reckons a chilled out Wayne AF Carey.
‘The Lasters’ is an ambitious new solo project inspired by classic concept albums like The Who’s ‘Quadrophenia’ and Jeff Wayne’s ‘The War of the Worlds’. A wholly original and truly out-of-this-world Sci-Fi concept record to rival the best, ‘The Lasters’ tells the tale of Earth’s final family.
In a musical first for the former Lemon Jelly producer, The Lasters sees him collaborate with ex-Ash member Charlotte Hatherley as well as newcomers Abi Sinclair and Steffan Huw Davies in addition to adding his own vocals to the album.
Set in a dystopian near future where climate crisis and a nuclear holocaust has brought Earth to the brink of extinction, the album marks Deakin’s first major release since his time as one half of hugely influential, Mercury and Brit-nominated Lemon Jelly. Marking Fred’s first foray into song-writing and singing, The Lasters weaves together a number of contemporary themes including climate change, dependence on technology and coming-of-age, while still containing the inventive, broad and unfailingly catchy tunes that Lemon Jelly fans will be familiar with.
For those who don’t know Fred Deakin you’ll remember him when you’ve heard this. Some people will think it’s a load of hippy bollocks. Some people will think it’s an overblown theatrical War Of The Worlds rip off. Some people will be refreshed that someone had the balls to make an effort. Concept albums always divide opinion. That’s why I like them. Fred Deakin was always going to try to pull something like this off. Here’s why.
He’s good at gimmicks. Look back to Lemon Jelly who did daft things like giant bingo games with the audience at their gigs, distributing sweets to the crowd. For fucks sake they even did one gig where you had to wear a limited edition t-shirt they sent in the post to get in the venue! So what do we expect when he tours this one?…..
It all kick off War Of The Worlds style with some dialect dragging you into the aftermath of planetary distruction and the beginning of the journey which floats into opening vocals from Charlottle Hatherley with the laid back trip hop of Alone and the almost stoner dub step of Satellite Song. Charlotte’s voice is the perfect companion to Deakin’s sound, beautiful and haunting, telling us the story of loneliness in a desolate space.
Get The Message Through ups the tempo a bit with it’s space age robotic vocals trying to beam down to these last remainers with it’s future prog. Then we get back to the narrative with the young girl who’s been abandoned by her parents, fearful of ‘Tech’ which has betrayed the planet and is evil. A message from her mother prompts the lush I Remember which floats around your head with Hatherley’s smooth sweet vocals until the story drags you into the girl’s fear of tech when her metallic guardian tries to explain she can use her hands to access the Pyramid promising hope.
Future Magic is a standout out track for me that I can’t get out of my head. Some clever guitar work, a shuffling beat and a spine tingling chorus from Hatherley. Sending a message of hope. Come To Me has vocals from Deakin and goes into prog meets Gary Numan territory with it’s hip hop electronica feel. The story continues with the main character growing in confidence shown through tracks You Never Knew, and the realisation of her father using ‘Tech’. I think her father get’s it with a laser!
The whole concept is nothing new, yet the sound is refreshing. You get some twee stuff like Bringing It Back To You which is a bit sickly, then you get the trippy Through The Veil with it’s acid tinged trip hop and those vocals. Especially on The End Of The World which is 7 minutes of dark foreboding mourning with the haunting vocals, followed by our intrepid young girl meeting up with her hologram mother and being told ‘Don’t give up’ by her metal head friend. It end with a couple of duets, some dogshit in a bagel incident and bows out with Into The Darkness an upbeat song with beautiful vocals about doom and gloom?? A new start for our intrepid adventurer? See you on the other side?
It’s like a prediction from Greta Thunberg set to music by the weirdness of that Lemon Jelly sound and Fred’s unique talent of melding trip hop into theatre with some clever sounds and a knack of concept. The test is, can this be pulled off live? Will Coldplay send out a death threat if there’s too many lasers or energy involved? Fuck em! Bring it on!
Website: https://freddeak.in/

Friday, 10 January 2020

The Battery Farm: Crude Oil Water - single review

The Battery Farm
Crude Oil Water
Self Release
DL – All available platforms
Fuckin ell! What a start to 2020. The Battery Farm return with a wonk fest of a tune. 97/91 was a brutal tune that turned me on to this North Manc band. Proper scuzz punk full of ideas, following in the steps of bands like Tinfoils, Check em out.
Crude Oil Water is their third single since forming in March 2019. It was recorded at Vibe Recording Studios in Manchester, produced by Dean Glover and mastered by Pete Maher.
It’s a song about dehumanization and the ease with which Human Beings objectify each other for entertainment and gratification, framed through the prism of someone watching strangers drown in a crude oil pit. Sound-wise, it is something of a departure from what they’ve released previously, employing more Post Punk elements than before.
Proper weird as fuck with a proper acid sounding bassline. A total mad as fuck tune that has elements of grunge, Evil Blizzard, industrial. Proper going for the jugular with this one. Last single I Am A Man was punk grunge rage. This raises the bar.
And I fuckin’ love that bass!!