They’re hardly new on our radar, but with their debut album coming out on October 8th, it seems high time to do a round-up of Dog is Dead‘s story so far.
The Nottingham five-piece have been winding up to this debut album release for over 2 years now. Having been a fully functioning touring band for far more than that so for them it surely comes as no surprise that their immense touring schedule of late is finally reaping its rewards. Having enjoyed them at Festifeel, Evolution, Camden Crawl and interviewed them all the way back in October 2010, Dog is Dead have become a TGTF favourite. Their mix of Vampire Weekend-style afrobeat influence, up to five part harmonies and the kind of rich summer sound that can even challenge our friends in Two Door Cinema Club, ‘All Our Favourite Stories’ could see them reach those dizzying heights by the end of the year.
What’s just as exciting about them though is their darker side. Listening to tracks like ‘Teenage Daughter’ really shows how their imaginations can take them down some incredible narratives: “I knew this one young girl who’d tell the trees and the grass / To read us all their favourite stories till we’d kiss and we’d laugh. / And we’d write to the Devil, tell him he’s a bad influence / ‘Cos it’s not worth playing God when you’re the story in the making.” ‘Two Devils’ expands Dog is Dead’s uplifting sound and has, at times, sinister mystery in wording.
Then you add the likes of Skins and Bombay Bicycle Club approved “we are a mess, we are failures and we love it” of recently re-recorded ‘Glockenspiel Song’. The title ‘All Our Favourite Stories’ seems to feel more and more appropriate the more we listen.
Torche have been around for 8 years. Now is the time to take note of them.
They have taken just 2 albums to find their sound and what a sound it is they’ve discovered. They’ve often been described as a Queens of the Stone Age for this new generation of metal revellers. However, they surpass that label, not by being better than QOTSA, but by having an altogether more diverse and experimental side to their music. Ex-Floor guitarist and frontman Steve Brooks provides the power and drive for the bands own brand of stoner metal. He is joined by a host of metal rock’s nomads in the form of Rick Smith, Jonathan Nuñez and Andrew Elstner,-a group who can only be fairly described as some of the finest talents in rock at the moment.
Now, some people may only have heard of Torche because of Steve Brooks being one of the few openly gay musicians in metal at the moment. But with their new album ‘Harmonicraft’, it’s obvious that the wider rock appreciating public is going to take note and not just for Brooks’ appearances in interviews. If you are just dipping into their back catalogue, I recommend single ‘U.F.O.’ a powerhouse of a track, which will have you going through a range of emotions throughout. Their unique sound will have you shuddering under the power of their music, with their drums reverberating through your body with a huge power.
Their new single ‘Kicking’ (video and free download below) is another fine example of the kind of industrial beast of a track that Torche can produce. The song hits you like a battering ram as it comes out of the blocks, but without that trademark metal predictability. There’s something edgy about this band that fans of not just heavy music will enjoy.
They are pushing the boundaries of conventional heavy music, and I have a feeling their new EP ‘Harmonicraft’ is going to completely demolish those confines.
Creeping onto the radars of the underground two EPs ago and raring to break onto the big stage at the end of this year are math-rock group Tall Ships. If you’re a regular at the Old Blue Last’s Pink Mist nights or a Brightonian, you’ll almost certainly be aware of the kind of noises this Falmouth band are capable of making.
With their debut album finally being released on the 8th of October, the band are relentlessly touring and no doubt hitting any festival you are towards the end of the summer; from Hartlepool to Portsmouth, they’re definitely worth half an hour’s worth of your weekend’s attention. Having come through the same touring veins as the likes of 65daysofstatic, the post-rock elements of the band is apparent on tracks such as ‘T=0′, while the lyrical side of the band, which can be rather minimal at points, is equally as interesting. ‘Chemistry’, possibly their most famous track, boasts both simplicity and poignance in its lyrics: “there is nothing but chemistry here and with that in mind we have nothing to fear/ This applies to all I hold dear and with that in mind all is beautifully clear.”
With more firepower than a Team GB cycling team and the aggression/finesse blend of the equestrian team (yes, I’ve been watching a bit of the Olympics), Tall Ships have the potential within the sampler (below) and their forthcoming record to really challenge opinions about whether their style of music can push for the big time. Climbing your festival rosters soon.
‘Left in Awe’ is Reading-based Empress‘ first single. They’re a band in their infancy, having only started playing music together in 2011. So normally you’d understand if these guys were ‘searching’ for their sound still.
Well, these guys have found it and they are blasting six shades of awesome at it. They have a go from describing themselves as Elbow, mixed with a bit of Mastodon and Pink Floyd to create the fantastic blend of prog metal that is on show.
Frontman and bassist Alex Loring’s vocal range is the focal point in this song, where he goes from as subtle a crooner as you’ll find to a roaring satanic catastrophe sound. It’s not quite a death metal sound, but it does have that reminiscence of those sounds, where the vocalist goes from subtlety to…ridiculousness. The music is extremely tight, with everyone slowly but surely getting to exactly where they need to be for the song.
Now, while it may not be hugely accessible music, if this stuff is your bag then well, you are in for a treat. A brief (longer than most songs) exploration into the darker kind of Elbow. Just don’t expect the beautiful lyrical work of ‘One Day Like This.’ However, don’t be disappointed by it either. Empress are an unknown entity at the moment and with very few releases, these boys are ones to look out for on the future. Rock on boys, rock on.
You can get a free download of ‘Left in Awe’ from the widget after the band’s unofficial video for the song below.
Having stormed two stages at the Cheltenham festival the other week, once on the main stage and once on the second stage, The Cave, Maybeshewill are most certainly a band on the forefront of music’s attention. Whilst the UK post-rock scene is arguably led by the very band that headlined, 65DaysOfStatic’s more electronic influence may leave a gap in between And So I Watch You From Afar and Mogwai for the Leicester group.
They’re hardly a new act, with their third record ‘I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone’ released mid-way through 2011 possibly being their most definitive record to date. But to many ears, even at a festival like 2000 Trees which models itself on independent new music, Maybeshewill are still a relatively fresh band. This lack of public knowledge about them, however, shouldn’t lessen your opinion as most of their aesthetic is DIY through their own company Robot Needs Home. If you need more convincing, check out the reviews from their most recent album. They speak for themselves.
Having toured relatively relentlessly for the last year, the band are due to set out on one last UK tour in October before vanishing under the UK radar for a while so be sure to catch them there. We’ll tell you about the dates when they become available. Until then, enjoy ‘Red Paper Lanterns’ below.
By Mary Chang on Thursday, 26th July 2012 at 12:00 pm
Good ol’ Manchester can always be counted on to bring a great new band to our attention. Today’s topic? According to Braden, The 1975 used to go by the name The Big Sleep but changed their name to avoid any confusion with this band from New York or anyone else. Unlike most of their contemporaries from greater Manc who all seem to be running as fast as they can from the electronic ghosts of Joy Division and still soldiering on New Order, the 1975 is a band willing to take the best from what they absorbed growing up while opening their ears to urban references like TLC and ?uestlove. Further, these friends since their schooldays haven’t limited their influences to just purely musical ones; they point to fashion greats Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel as inspirations, leading us to believe that either forward-thinking clothing for sale or stylish album designs are in their future, as well as philosopher Bertrand Russell and beat poet Jack Kerouac.
The 1975’s debut EP ‘Facedown’ will be released on the 6th of August on Dirty Hit Records. If the label sounds familiar to you, no doubt it should be: they’re the brains that brought us Benjamin Francis Leftwich and General Fiasco, as well as Little Comets, after Columbia stupidly dropped them. ‘The City’ is a track off ‘Facedown'; great guitars, punishing drums and the nice buzz of a synth underlie an extremely poppy melody. Expect the line “if you wanna find love, then you know where the city is” to be on everyone’s lips very soon. We here at TGTF are keeping a close eye on this quartet.