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By Mary Chang
on Friday, 24th April 2015 at 6:00 pm
I’m definitely of the mind that for every one of us, we all need a special friend all to yourselves. In the promo for Bridlington duo Seafret‘s single ‘Atlantis’ out the 11th of May on Sweet Jane Recordings, a young misfit boy befriends a furry monster with horns who others are scared of, and for no good reason. Or is it all a dream the boy concocts in his head to escape the unpleasantness of real life? Watch the video below and find out.
Read Chris’ review of the single, posted earlier this month, here.
“If you look at me from a different angle, do you see something that you just can’t handle?” calls The Cribs frontman Gary Jarman early on during the band’s sixth studio LP ‘For All My Sisters’. There’s something apt, if a little ironic about that: The Cribs come from a turbulent time, one where they’re outspoken about their peers, and regularly shifting their sound (not to mention producers) from album to album. On this sixth outing they’re not asking for a ‘reset’, to be considered again by anyone who’s passed by their 13-year stint without realising. Instead they’re simply looking for another chance to grab your attention; it’s a reboot, if you will.
2012’s compilation ‘Payola’ has helped draw a line under their early works, and on the Ric Ocasek (of the Cars’ fame)-produced follow up, they live up to this heritage as indie disco darlings. Mid-tempo, powerhouse rock greets you on opener ‘Friendly Free’, with scrawny riffs bleeding out around the howled vocals. The Cribs have rarely been so accessible, and the catchy pop jaunt of ‘Different Angle’ does a lot to help that perception. There’s teasing riffs and a jerky freneticism, all captured with the sense of abandon and Yorkshire swagger that made ‘Men’s Needs’ stand out 8 years ago.
It’s neither the first nor last of their classic sounding, punk-rock collection; ‘Burning for No One’ risks staying with you all day for another yelping chorus of “rose-tinted romance”, even if the comparison with a burning candle is not quite as raw or vivid as the antics they might have covered in the past. The heavier sound of ‘An Ivory Hand’ is a punkier addition meanwhile, woven with poisoning guitars and bolshy drums, all of which remain enthralling during the nostalgic atmosphere they channel.
Much has been made of ‘Simple Story’, Ryan Jarman’s ballad on the album, so I’ll say little more about the lyrics and let you decide for yourself if he’s considering life as man’s best friend or an entirely different animal. “Let me off the leash and watch me running the grass…” is hardly a lyric that’s going to help his case, but after 3 minutes, his introspective pitying and subtle synths give way to a highlight of the album in ‘City Storms’. It’s forthright and refreshing, a slice of dizzying, hook-laden guitars that carry a Peace-like quality. ‘Summer of Chances’ has equally appealing bursts of skittish rock, as they rattle off gutsy lyrics throughout, not least with the snarky remarks of ‘Diamond Girls’:- “sometimes I wonder if I got you wrong, you don’t have to agree, you’re not as straight as you wanted to be…..how did you get so free?”.
For an album that marks the first of two from the band in 2015, The Cribs have returned with a convincing sound. This is the brothers at their most ingenious, returning to feel-good guitar music, with ‘Pink Snow’ adding a decisive final blow as the album’s closer. At 7 minutes long, it veers from a grungy sombreness at first, to a climax of euphoric, earthquake inducing riffs and howls. Regardless, it points to The Cribs rekindling their unique tenacity that no other band has. With this album of flat out, rough cut riffs from the Yorkshire stalwarts, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that their sensibility for writing bold punk rock is nowhere near close to drying up. In fact, it just got a whole lot stronger.
‘For All My Sisters’, the sixth album from Yorkshire band The Cribs, is out now through Sony Red / Sonic Blew. Listen to the audio of ‘Different Angle’ below.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 23rd April 2015 at 6:00 pm
Leeds alt rockers The Dunwells will be releasing a new EP, ‘Lucky Ones’, on the second bank holiday Monday, the 26th of May, next month. Ahead of the EP hitting the street, the band – starring the eponymous brother Joseph and David Dunwell, half of their group – have premiered the promo video for the EP’s title track. Catchy with a definite pop edge and uplifting message, it’s perfect for the start of summer. Have a watch and listen to ‘Lucky Ones’ below.
We’ve been supporting the Dunwells for quite a while, and you can read all our past coverage on the band through here.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 23rd April 2015 at 1:30 pm
May is almost upon us: that wonderful month that brings us Live at Leeds, The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City, not to mention two delectable bank holiday weekend. It’s all about to kick off!
Thanks for our mates at Gigs and Tours, we have a way to make your second May bank holiday weekend even sweeter. How about if we offered up three pairs of tickets to see the man, the legend that is Brandon Flowers performing at London Brixton Academy on Friday the 22nd of May to start the second holiday weekend? Are you game? You are? Then you’ll want to enter our contest below, naturally.
You’ll need to fill out our form below completely. First, give us your full name. Second, give us your email address. (We need a way to contact you if you win, silly.) Third, give us your postal address. (These are hard tickets, so we need to be able to post you your tickets if you win.) Finally, to prove you’re not a robot or maybe even one of those evil touts, answer this question any self-respecting Killers / Brandon Flowers fan knows the answer to in their sleep: what major American city is Brandon Flowers from? Couldn’t be easier, right?
That’s it. Of all the correct entries we receive, we’ll choose three winners at random to receive a pair of tickets apiece to the concert on the 22nd of May. Sound good? Be sure you get your entries in by 5 PM British time Friday, the 24th of April, when we’ll close the contest. As mentioned above, we’ll contact the winners by email, so make sure you’ve entered your email address correctly. Good luck! If you’d rather not chance it and want to buy tickets to this show or any of the other’s on Brandon’s UK/Irish tour, all the details are here.
Please note: this contest is open to UK residents only and you must be able to get yourself to London for the show at Brixton Academy. Please note that this show is 8+, and all under 14s must be accompanied by an adult (these are Brixton Academy’s rules, not ours, and TGTF won’t be held responsible if you’re turned away at the door for being underage and not meeting the venue’s age requirement). All duplicate entries will be discarded.
This contest is now closed. Winners will be contacted by email.
Brothers Harry and Alfie Hudson Taylor picked up their craft from a young age, busking on the streets of their hometown of Dublin. With that experience in mind, along with the success they’ve since had across the UK and Europe, the pair’s debut album ‘Singing for Strangers’ has managed to capture their endearing presence and disarmingly beautiful folk-pop.
Amidst their young years, their warming collection of handclaps and triumphant harmonies exude a charming maturity, first highlighted by ‘Just a Thought’. A racing piano melody and rousing choruses keep their opener light and bouncy, leaving it all too easy to draw comparisons with fellow Irish gents, Kodaline. The same goes for the blissful hooks and anthemic choruses of ‘Chasing Rubies’ and ‘World Without You’. However, the duo can, and do play the aces up their sleeves.
On ‘Butterflies’ they produce a resplendent folk ballad, a gorgeous arrangement of genteel acoustic guitar chords and yearning lyrics. It gives you the first notion of how versatile their sound can be: it’s timeless if you wish to coin the cliché, but there’s a sense of honesty and growing confidence through the record. “Wish I could have told her I’m freaking out” and “when I broke into her heart, I threw away the key” cry the vocals on ‘Night Before the Morning After’; by the time you reach ‘Weapons’ however, they’re shouting out to shed any secrets and “put down your weapons”.
From this confidence comes the blistering Americana inspired ‘Battles’. They’ve found a different pool of influences, channelling fiery folk this time, as their love story transpires and burns vehemently. “We are tied to the truth….the tie that binds me to you” they spout with fierce delivery, as they do battle with your emotions in the album’s closing stages.
Their call to arms is followed by another burst of personal defiance, as the tempo-shifting, blues inflected ‘Don’t Tell Me’ carries similar gusto. It feels a little repetitive and relentless, but nonetheless they manage to create some impact; it’s not as punchy as the track’s predecessor, but it’s got all the right intentions, even if it doesn’t have the same vigour and lunging refrains. ‘For the Last Time’ and ‘Off the Hook’ go on to highlight their stripped-back heritage; it’s something of a sobering and delicate come down after the radio friendly first half of the album.
In all, Hudson Taylor’s debut is a brief moment to sit back, mull over their many EPs and think “well, aren’t these chaps going to be about for a long time”. The production of their songs has become more elaborate and grandiose, but, the songs remain straightforward and heartfelt. Though it is not a re-education of folk music, nonetheless it’s an incredibly enjoyable explanation of where modern folk has got too; and in a number of places, where it’s heading too.
‘Singing for Strangers’, the debut from Irish brothers Hudson Taylor, is out now via Polydor Records.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 22nd April 2015 at 6:00 pm
Beth Jeans Houghton‘s down and dirty alter-ego Du Blonde has a new video for the world, in the form of ‘Black Flag’, which we gave away in February. Showing off a bigger mouth than usual (ha!), then frolicking in a gold lame cape in a Zola Jesus kind of way (I’m stretching, I know…but I’m at a loss to explain this any further.) Watch the video below.
Du Blonde’s debut album ‘Welcome Back to Milk’ (huh?) will be out on the 18th of May on Mute Records.
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