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By Mary Chang
on Monday, 9th December 2013 at 3:00 pm
Beatnik Geek Records is an independent record label located 15 miles from London. Formed in 2006, their aim is “to cultivate a self-sustainable business through which artists can release the best records they can possibly produce”. Focusing on bands and individuals who they can work with as a team, Beatnik Geek Records have been very lucky to be working with artists who buy into this methodology and are willing to help the label by working together with them to produce their music, to then give these acts the best possible chance of success.
We’ve featured some of Beatnik Geek’s bands on TGTF, and we were so pleased when they offered to give us the debut albums of four of their acts, Van Susans, Keston Cobblers’ Club, The Lightwings and Melic (pictured at top), so we could in turn give them to a lucky TGTF reader. Whoever wins this treasure trove of four albums will have plenty of music to entertain them and their loved ones during this holiday season and for days to come. To give you a bit more information on the bands and their releases:
Van Susans – ‘Paused in the Moment’
The Bromley band’s debut was released in 2012, but we recently gave away their latest single, which was a reworked version of the album track ‘Served Cold’. This year the band supported Little Comets at a charity gig in Manchester and played festivals such as Lounge on the Farm, Crystal Palace Garden Party, Victorious in Portsmouth and Galtres Parklands Festival.
Keston Cobblers’ Club – ‘One, for Words’
Their debut was released in 2012, but they haven’t stopped moving since, having graced Glasto, Green Man and Larmer Tree festivals and also made radio appearances with Bob Harris on Radio 2 and Steve Lamacq on 6music. In June 2013, they released the ‘A Scene of Plenty’ EP.
The Lightwings - ‘Sleeping is Not for Dreamers’
Their debut came out this year but songs from it have already been nicked for the Louise Brealey indie film already making the film festival rounds, Delicious.
Melic – ‘An Hour to Anywhere’
Our Ben caught the band at their launch party for their debut album back in the summer. Despite being a relatively new band in town, they’ve already played high-profile shows at London Koko and Islington Academy, as well as International Pop Overthrow Liverpool, Cornbury, and Southern Sounds festivals.
Want to win? Fill out the contest form below with your full name and your email address. Next, we want to be sure you’re not a robot, so correctly answer this question: what country do Melic originally hail from? Get your entries in by noon British time on Thursday the 12th of December. We’ll choose a winner from all the correct entries received then. Good luck! Please note: this contest is open to UK residents only, as the prize will be posted. To make this fair for everyone, all duplicate entries will be discarded.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 9th December 2013 at 6:00 pm
Geordies Maximo Park have decidedly taken a turn towards dance – or at least industrial-y, beat-heavy / -driven music – with their forthcoming 2014 album ‘Too Much Information’, scheduled to be released on on the 3rd of February. First evidence was first taster from last month, ‘Brain Cells’, which you can get for free from this previous MP3 of the Day post. Now, we’ve got another taster, this one called ‘Leave This Island’, to be released as in 12″ and download forms on the 27th of January. While not as groovy as ‘Brain Cells’, it’s got an interesting, uplifting quality to it, reflected in its promo. Watch the video below.
Catch Maximo on tour in March 2014.
We were treated to the Sound of 2014 announcement last week but 2 weeks ago, revellers in London were treated to arguably the sound which has epitomized the new era of British rock music over 2013. Arcane Roots may just be on their first headline tour – in support of their impressive debut album ‘Blood and Chemistry’ – but after support slots with Muse and Biffy Clyro, they’ve honed their space-age inspired stage show into a formidable beast.
Before the Kingston three-piece took to the stage at XOYO we were treated to Emp!re, who did their best to rouse a reaction in the slowly building, Tuesday evening crowd. There was energy in abundance on show from frontman Joe Green as the band drew material from recent mini album, ‘Where The World Begins’, though Green’s Daron Malakian-esque wail wasn’t entirely well received by the early punters. Whilst even their chest pounding anthem ‘Black Heart’ struggled to rouse the crowd, as many decided to hang by the bar with a pint, instead of jumping in to the pit. They’re a band in their infancy though and in Green they have a frontman with levels of energy bordering on the hyperactive that any crowd will warm to.
In stark contrast to Emp!res, Verses were a less-than-striking mix between You Me at Six and We Are the Ocean. The main issue being that with both of those acts, you’ve got tub-thumping songs with soaring choruses the entire audience can shout back, whereas with Verses there was a lack of any real hooks for the crowd to grab on to. To that end, Verses set fell slightly flat, as Jason Danzelman’s voice got lost in to the roar of fenders which accompanied him.
A shortage of hooks to drag in the punters was not a concern that headline act Arcane Roots had to worry about, as they drew material from their debut full-length album ‘Blood and Chemistry’ and last year’s EP ‘Left Fire’.
As Andrew Groves, Daryl Atkins and Adam Burton arrived on stage and plucked the first chiming chords of ‘Energy is Never Lost, Just Transferred’, the slightest of grins was already etched across Groves’ face. “Forlorn your heart / this scratch will leave a mark” and with a screech, all hell breaks loose in a melee front of the stage, limbs fly as Groves and bassist Burton throw themselves around the stage, unleashing a tirade of Marr-inspired riffage on the capacity XOYO crowd.
Chaos ensues as the band’s latest single ‘Resolve’ evokes a mass singalong, with the audience roaring back, “Am I ever worth the wait? / Will it feel like I was never there / As I cannot live with what I’d say to you / If I save me, will you heal yourself? / As my bones grow old from needing a resolve”. Fans who’ve only just discovered the band will have been pleased by the ‘Blood and Chemistry’-dominated beginning of the set. However at the midpoint, Groves with the sheer enormity of the support in front of him, almost tearfully dedicated the furiously frantic ‘Million Dollar Question’ from ‘Left Fire’ to the fans who ‘have been there since the start’. If that wasn’t enough for the hardcore Roots fans in the crowd, this was followed by a sped-up version of ‘In This Town Of Such Weather’.
By this time, with the frothing mass of writhing flesh moshing in front of the stage having hardly relented, you’d expect there would be an element of tiredness amongst them – however, that was as far from the reality – as the one man got a bit carried away and got on to the stage, prompting the band’s tour manager to unceremoniously nudge him back in to the arms of the rousing crowd.
Groves shows off his incredible ability with a guitar on ‘Triptych’ as he is joined by Danzelman of Verses, as the former proceeds to not miss a note throughout the complex song. To finish of a rather splendid evening we were treated to the spellbindingly beautiful ‘You Keep Me Here’ – a perfect mix of power and loveliness – as Groves laments, “love, you’re better for me”.
2013 was the year the gimmick that was Bring Me the Horizon wore off. They went from being a pedestal for frontman Oli Sykes’ bizarre views and various Drop Dead paraphernalia to one of the most vital bands in British metal at the moment.
Their fourth album is undeniably the moment where BMTH came of age. It’s such a clichéd phrase, but it’s obvious Sykes and co. have a found a sound that truly epitomizes where they are as a band on this record. On ‘Antivist’, we have a trademark display of BMTH bile and vitriol, as Sykes does his best to use the F and C bombs as frequently as he can in one song. Meanwhile, ‘Shadow Moses’ is a beast of a different order, showcasing a BMTH embracing a spot of synth, while still remaining fierce in their breakdowns.
If there’s a British metal band who can translate domestic success in to a worldwide brand, it’s BMTH. Sykes remains the marmite frontman and their back catalogue, augmented by the phenomenal ‘Sempiternal’, is as formidable as any band gracing the dusty Texan venues come March. I was lucky enough to experience the mass carnage that was BMTH’s Reading set this year, where Sykes manipulated the crowd into one of the biggest circle pits I have ever seen. With around 2,000 boozed up teenagers roaring around the tower, I dread to think of the levels of mayhem they will cause in a small venue in Texas. SXSW 2014, look out.
Flyte are a four-piece, arch guitar-pop band from Hackney, and, in common with most of our 10 for 2014 bands, are early in their career and as such have recorded only a handful of songs. However, one of those songs is ‘Over And Out’, a piece of guitar pop so perfect that it could be the pinnacle of many a band’s career. That it’s the first track on their first EP speaks volumes about Flyte’s potential. For 3 minutes, it sits cross-legged in your eardrums, tickling them with jauntily-twanged guitars, Will Taylor’s characteristically piping, crisply-enunciated voice, and one of the finest chord shifts in music – minor IV to major VII. Stylistically, we’re talking crisp, white-boy funk, straight outta 1983, perhaps with a bit of ’90s college radio blended in there for good measure. As an example of just how well these boys can play, check out this Portobello Road video. ‘Over And Out’ starts 6 minutes in, and if anything the song sounds better stripped down, the live close harmony vocals shining through. An impeccable, thrilling performance.
Elsewhere on their ‘Live’ EP, Flyte are still quite happy in ’80s-land but this time, the synths are out, washing and squelching away as if played by Kavinsky himself. There’s a pre-chorus which could justifiably be called epic, and a brilliantly understated chorus. The recording is a delicious mixture of subtle detail and an ambitious, soaring arrangement: these guys really can play. And they’ve genuinely only just got started on their musical career, with only a handful of gigs to their name, a handful of recorded songs, and enormous untapped potential. Without doubt, one to watch for 2014.
By Mary Chang
on Sunday, 8th December 2013 at 6:00 pm
In the new promo video for their song ‘Lost Kitten’, Metric follow a gay cross-dresser around Mexico City. But that’s my far too simple explanation for going on here. Better for the band to describe it than me:
In Rawal’s reimagining of the archetypal heroic journey, Sheldon embarks on a mysterious pilgrimage through Mexico City and into the canal maze of Xochimilco on a flat-bottomed trajinera in search of his house mother, an “angel” in his memories. Upon reaching his destination, Sheldon delivers an epic vogueing performance (!) to celebrate his spiritual reunion with the maternal. His massive on-screen presence is only amplified by his bold attire: sequined jacket and kitten heels.
Right. Watch it below.
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