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Album Review: Morning Parade – Pure Adulterated Joy

 
By on Friday, 19th September 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

In name and in substance, my mind drifted to thoughts of Mayday Parade meets Morning Glory – a lazy amalgamation, or an apt comparison? I’m tempted (if not because I’m slightly biased, as it was my own musings) to decide upon on the latter. Morning Parade’s second album ‘Pure Adulterated Joy’ feels immediately like a new throwback on the emo records of the past decade.

Taking small influences from bands like Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional and to a lesser extent daddies of the genre, Jimmy Eat World – less cannibalistic and more like a tapas bar where Morning Parade have dined sparingly. After their grazing on what the still-cool but a bit run down tapas bar of emo had to offer – where I can only assume Gerard Way is a waiter after releasing a mediocre solo album – they’ve stopped off at that quirky throwback café where they’ve sampled the mild yet refreshing tastes of classic indie, which I can only assume is a bit like Earl Grey. Except, instead of tasting a bit lemony, it tastes a bit more like sweat and tears.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLAvVYrGmiM[/youtube]

A trip to a tapas bar and then a weak cup of herbal tea doesn’t exactly sound like, well, my cup of tea. However, bizarre metaphors aside – the influences Morning Parade have channelled on ‘Pure Adulterated Joy’ have moulded into a formidable record that leaves a delicious taste in the mouth. As an antipasti, ‘Shake the Cage’ and ‘Alienation’ provide a rough and raw introduction to the soaring choruses and frantic guitar rhythms that litter the album. ‘Alienation’ though is the standout track of the record, with a sound that could easily strut into Radio 1’s A list and sit quite comfortably next to that chirruping turnip George Ezra – we get it, all your songs are going to sound identical because of your ‘mature’ voice – rant over.

Lead vocalist Steve Sparrow (no relation to Captain Jack, I’m assured) does have a habit of going a bit Thom Yorke on ‘Kid A’ on us, getting especially warbly on ‘Car Alarms and Sleepness Nights’. On Spotify, it states the band are in the same vein as Friendly Fires, Fenech-Soler and Delphic – this is a trifle off, as it’s only ‘Seasick’ and ‘Reality Dream’ that dabble in the realms of electronica – with ‘Reality Dream’ in particular showing shades of Delphic’s breakout single ‘Doubt’. ‘Seasick’ floats errantly in the electronic, and in turn, ended up making feel a little queasy myself.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWq1N4KCQSI[/youtube]

With the flecks of emo dashing the record, I’d expected a more sombre tone to some of the songwriting, even if the title of the album is ‘Pure Adulterated Joy’. ‘Reality Dream’ is a superb glittering showcase of the championing the power of positive thinking throughout adversity: “Don’t spend your life pretending / Your happy end already passed.” However, it’s not all sun drops and lollipops of course, with ‘Culture Vulture’ providing a thorough injection of real life/reality TV satire, “there’s reason in repeating rhymes and throwing keys and swapping wives / as long as it’s within the privacy of our own private lives / stuck with no direction seeking everyone’s attention/out for his or her’s affection / fall out of cover and collection / no Viagra, no erection / no insurance, no protection / and no cure and no prevention.” Cameron’s Britain, eh?

Sparrow even delves into the comically vulgar at the end of ‘Car Alarms and Sleepless Nights’, whispering twice, “would you piss on me if I was on fire?” Hardly deep, but certainly ‘Pure Adulterated Joy’ is a breakout album for the Harlow five-piece. Their collaboration with producer Ben Allen (famed for his work with Animal Collective and Bombay Bicycle Club) on this record has paid dividends, as the end product is flawless and undoubtedly their sound has been further refined since their self-titled debut. They’re a band with the wind under their sails, where it will take them, is up to them.

8/10

‘Pure Adulterated Joy’, Morning Parade‘s sophomore album, is out now on So Recordings / Kobalt.

 

Video of the Moment #1589: Morning Parade

 
By on Friday, 1st August 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

Morning Parade have unveiled a new promo for their single ‘Love Thy Neighbour’. This is ahead of the release of their album ‘Pure Adulterated Joy’, scheduled for release on the 8th of September on So Recordings / Kobalt. If this single is any indication, this will be a cracking album, and things are about to get messy. Watch the video below.

The band have just announced a one-off headline show at London Lexington on the 14th of August; tickets for the gig are on sale now.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-voagQ1sbI[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2014: gems from the Universal Music Group takeover of the Palm Door on Sixth – 13th March 2014

 
By on Monday, 24th March 2014 at 3:00 pm
 

It just wouldn’t have been SXSW without some extreme highs and lows. On Wednesday night, I had Steve Lamacq of all people looking for me, singling me out at the Crookes‘ gig, and that validation just about made my week. Quite possibly my year. But as Carrie and I headed out into the chilly Austin night, my phone was going crazy. I hadn’t looked at my Android for hours while I was covering and watching the second half of Modern Outsider’s showcase. Oddly, my friends in Sydney, for whom it was then daytime the next day, were frantically Tweeting at me, saying they’d located our friends from the AU Review but were worried about me because I hadn’t checked in. I said I was fine, joking that I was still alive, despite getting stepped on twice at the Mod Out showcase and almost falling into a manhole with a loose cover the day before.

It didn’t dawn on us that something had gone seriously wrong a couple blocks from where we’d been all night until we got back to the car and I was scanning my Twitter feed. It was only then that I learned about the drink driving accident outside the Mohawk. My mom and my office mates back home were also freaking out about where I was, and it wasn’t until the next day when I made some phone calls that I was able to allay their fears. At least both Carrie and I could call home and say we were fine. Those poor people who died didn’t have that opportunity. It was a senseless, heartbreaking tragedy at an event supposed to bring joy to people through music, and let’s hope we never have to go through something like that ever again.

The tragedy affected some facets of the festival. One major ‘problem’ was that a large portion of Red River Street near the Mohawk was blocked off with police tape. Day shows in that area were cancelled, with the status of the nighttime shows unknown. Many emcees on Thursday had the grace to ask for a moment’s silence from their audiences, which was, I thought, in incredible good taste. I never doubted for a moment that the festival would be cancelled from Thursday on, it’s just that I knew people would be walking around Austin in a daze until they themselves came to terms with what happened, and clearly, you could see many people were still shaken up about it. (I walked by the scene of the accident Friday afternoon when I went to meet Sivu for an interview, and it was pretty unsettling to see the memorial flowers placed by mourners and to realise how close the memorial was to the front door of the Mohawk, where hundreds of punters must have been queueing outside to get into the House of Vans Wednesday night.)

With the situation on Red River, my afternoon plans had to be entirely scrapped and to be honest, I wasn’t sure where to go or where I would end up. So I just started walking down 6th Street and opened my ears. Nothing at the Swan Dive day party interested me, so I kept on walking. I walked by the front door of the Palm Door at Sixth and scanned the line-up, sponsored by the behemoth known as the Universal Music Group. Hey, wait a minute. Morning Parade? They’re playing here? I had assumed I would miss them in Austin because all their other appearances clashed with other engagements I had. Which was a shame, because I had overheard several Americans over the previous 2 days say that how they’d never heard of them before but were glad they got a chance to see them live at SXSW, because now they were converts. I couldn’t believe my luck. Hell yes.

I had to do some cheeky manouevering to get to the front, as the tented area to the back patio was pretty much filled, but to the credit of the girls up front, they let me scoot in front of them and take photos of the band from Harlow. It was barely 1 o’clock in the afternoon, yet they drew a big crowd for that time of day and an appreciative one at that. And why not? The epic nature of their synth plus rock sound that, dare I say it, seems to only be possible from England hit the spot that Thursday afternoon for me. I finally got to see the band at #10 on our 10 for 2012 list and confirmed yet another time, yes, our readers had gotten it right again.

However, most of my mind was occupied by the look of poor Steve Sparrow, their frontman. He was the poster child for ‘Why Englishmen Should Always Wear Suncream at SXSW’: he looked like a lobster in a stripy shirt and denim jacket. He couldn’t have been very comfortable. I was almost afraid to approach him after their set, figuring he probably wanted to chill out, literally, with ice packs on his body. But no. When I walked over to say hello and congratulate the band on such a great set and explained who I was, Sparrow had nothing but good things to say about TGTF and was quick to tell his bandmates, “this is the woman who runs There Goes the Fear! They always have lovely things to say about us!” I’m not sure if I blushed but in any event, I was humbled and further bowled over when he and keyboardist Ben Giddings chatted with me for this interview before they went off to congratulate themselves on a good week of gigs and winning over the American crowds that came to see them.

After a free drink courtesy of Universal, I went back to the coolness of the inside stage, wondering who would be on next. After chatting with a local schoolteacher who had taken off the week to enjoy SXSW (and seriously, if you lived in Austin, why wouldn’t you do SXSW every year?), I learned the next artist was Jeremy Messersmith, a singer/songwriter from Minneapolis, had done a breakfast radio broadcast at the Palm Door early that morning, as she had gotten up early for it. Well, if someone’s going to get up early on the Thursday of SXSW for a band, surely he’s worth sticking around for, right? While his style isn’t really my favourite – I kept thinking that it was a shame there wasn’t a way I could beam Carrie in for his performance – his writing style reminded me of one of my favourite songwriters, Stephen Duffy, with the fragility of emotion mixed in with wit.

To be honest though, I had hung around for Until the Ribbon Breaks, the stage name of Welsh singer, musician and producer Paul Winfield Lawrie, who again was not on my original schedule for Thursday but was a happy coincidence playing the Universal day showcase. How do I describe Until the Ribbon Breaks? It’s not exactly dance, and it’s not exactly electro. Lawrie sings in a slow jam, r&b kind of way, much like early Usher, but Usher didn’t have the huge beats behind him, nor did Usher ever play the trumpet.

It’s always strange to watch a dance-oriented act in the daytime, but to Universal’s credit, they were smart by putting Lawrie indoors so there was some semblance of a club atmosphere, even if the place wasn’t packed. It didn’t matter for me; I was hooked by the first song, being mesmerised by the way Lawrie commanded the attention of everyone in the room with his voice. After watching a guy with a guitar previously, the mad beats didn’t hurt either. I was so enamoured, I had to go see him the next day at Latitude 30’s British Music Embassy afternoon programming.

 

SXSW 2014 Interview: Steve Sparrow and Ben Giddings of Morning Parade

 
By on Thursday, 20th March 2014 at 11:00 am
 

We all had heavy hearts after the tragic drink driving accident at the Mohawk on Wednesday night. However, everyone admirably soldiered on Thursday. I think a lot of us felt like we had renewed purpose to live life to the fullest and not get too down by the freak accident that marred an otherwise joyous week of music for music lovers.

Part of my effort to go back to ‘business as usual’ was to seek out a band that I had not yet seen but had heard so much about. Harlow’s Morning Parade, playing their last show at SXSW 2014 before they headed out on a drive to South Carolina for another music festival on the East Coast, went down a treat at the Universal Music Group afternoon showcase at the Palm Door on 6th and I was lucky to grab Steve Sparrow (vocals, guitar; above centre) and Ben Giddings (keys; above right) for a quick chat before they went into post-SXSW celebration mode. Thanks very much guys for chatting with me!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Rock UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW (A-M)

 
By on Tuesday, 25th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Oh, British rock. Its many facets will be on display at SXSW 2014, judging by the variety of acts been given a shout by the festival this year. In this first installment of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, we take a closer look at bands that play rock, punk, metal and everything in between, starting alphabetically A through M. And away we go…

Band of Skulls
John writes of their latest single: “…we were treated to the anything but a ‘Sweet Sour’ follow-up to Band of Skulls’ aforementioned 2011 record, bonus single, ‘Be Mine’. It hardly starts in true, chug-a-lug-ing Band of Skulls format, with a lingering guitar solo from Russell Marsden building in to the twin harmonies of Marsden and bassist Emma Richardson, underscored by an old school piano melody. The song builds like the back drop to a love scene from a an old western, and I felt the first time that I was walking into an old saloon bar, as the two harmonised, ‘hit me with your love, be mine / all our future’s in the balance'”.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAzDWdHWAns[/youtube]

Bring Me the Horizon
John writes: “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.”

Read more from John here.

Cage the Gods
Leather, check. Tats, check. Long hair like they just don’t care, check. Yes, this London-based band fits the stereotype of hard rockers out of Britain but here’s something you don’t hear every day: a band that has English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh members playing in perfect harmony. Or maybe the better description is rocking out in thunderous, bluesy accord. ‘Favourite Sin’? Check it out below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjr2dkyBwmw[/youtube]

Casual Sex
John writes: “Anybody looking for quintessential British indie boys will be pretty delighted by what this four-piece have to offer, as Casual Sex appear to be an indie offering cultivated from a mix of what’s doing the rounds at the moment, a la Franz Ferdinand, Royal Blood, The 1975 and Night Engine. There’s a broody, almost sullen vocalist in Smith, backed by Edward Wood providing the dreampop guitar elements, Peter Masson on bass and Chris McCrory tapping away on drums. Mixed in with some pre-1970s goodness for proper measure, they’re a taste of all things British in four-good looking blokes. Marketable and sure to be gobbled right up by the A&Rs at SXSW.”

Read more in his Bands to Watch piece here. Singer Sam Smith also answered our SXSW flavoured Quickfire Questions.

The Crookes
The Sheffield based band were recently bestowed a generous grant from the UK government for the purpose of making a go of breaking America, but there is much more this group has to be proud of. For one, they’re only the second band after Death Cab for Cutie have released three albums on their London indie label Fierce Panda, with ‘Soapbox’ due out in mid April. With a steadily harder edge since their humbler 2010 ‘Dreaming of Another Day’ beginnings, they’ll be ones to watch this year.

Read my glowing review of ‘Soapbox’ here. The band also answered our SXSW flavoured Quickfire Questions as a team here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmn9F9vKxzU[/youtube]

Drenge
Martin writes: “…opportunistic recommendations from politicians aside, what’s all the fuss about Drenge? With a slender lineup consisting of brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless and nobody else, the Sheffield pair conjure a mighty brick wall of distorted guitars and scarily thrashed drums.”

Read the rest of Martin’s Bands to Watch piece on Drenge here.

Et Tu Brucé
What would have happened if the Byrds got together with Stuart Murdoch? They’d probably be rocking out and sounding like Et Tu Brucé. The guitars and harmonies are effortless, and if they’re really touring with the Zombies as it says on their Web site, sorry, I think they’ll give those grandpas a run for their money. And clearly from the video below, they have a sense of humour. (Yes!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhsHFGmMolI[/youtube]

Evans the Death
This band already has a Rolling Stone description (huh?): “This London band mixes post–Smiths jangle and early–grunge sludge, as Katherine Whitaker explores varying shades of bad romance. Her raw emotion blends with slashing, whirling guitars to inject paralysis with weird power.” When you see they’ve been signed to Slumberland Records here in America (‘Allo Darlin’ and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart‘s American home), it all seems to make sense…

Fat White Family
Ben writes: “Anarchic South London six piece Fat White Family might well be as well known for unveiling a “bitch is dead” banner at their Brixton bolthole in the immediate aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s (debatably) tragic passing, as for their debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’. Gloriously menacing and wildly off-kilter, their unique brand of noise can be heard at British Music Embassy’s parting blow on the Saturday night of SXSW 2014.”


This London duo brings a little bit of everything: grooves, psych rock, lounge club sleaze. As such and with little out on the internet about them, they’re virtually impossible to describe. However, Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan have been quite active, and following on from two self releases in 2013, they’re releasing single ‘Turn Your Light On’ is part of a AA side to be released by fine North East folks and friends of ours Generator in March.

The Kooks
“Are the Kooks still going?” An actual question from a musician friend of mine who asked me who I was most keen on seeing at SXSW. Having nearly as long of a history as one of my standouts from SXSW 2012, Kaiser Chiefs, the Brighton indie rockers do have something to prove: that even though it’s been over 2 years the release of 2011’s ‘Junk of the Heart’, they’re still a viable export. Having at least two showcases at SXSW at high-profile venues (the Parish and Stubb’s), let’s see if they make the most of their opportunity.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pvHZ4ddR-4[/youtube]

Morning Parade
The Harlow boys have been around quite a while now and command big audiences back home, but they’ve yet to make a real splash stateside. Is it time for limelight beyond the UK? The dazzling indie splendour of ‘Alienation’, the title track of their 2013 Parlophone-released EP, seems tailor made for mainstream MTV in America.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcm5fJS8jZE[/youtube]

Stay tuned for more in the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, coming atcha soon!

 

MP3 of the Day #550: Morning Parade

 
By on Tuesday, 29th May 2012 at 10:00 am
 

Morning Parade‘s debut album is getting a stateside release this June, and RCRD LBL is giving away album track ‘Us and Ourselves’ as a free download. Listen to and download it below.

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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