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(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2248: The Parrots

 
By on Friday, 16th December 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Spanish slacker rock trio The Parrots have just released the new video for ‘A Thousand Ways’, the current single from their debut LP ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, which our Adam reviewed. The album is out now on Heavenly Recordings. Filmed by director Pablo Amores, the video is at once heavily stylised and deliberately artless, much like the song itself. It is captioned on YouTube with the following expository quote:

There’s a key moment in your teenage years when the forbidden, the temptations and the unknown start to attract you, and you avoid responsibilities and complex questions. This is the moment when, along with your friends, childhood dies. This is the moment upon which A Thousand Ways is built.

The video for ‘A Thousand Ways’ premiered Wednesday on Brooklyn Vegan, along with the announcement that The Parrots will play at New York City’s Shea Stadium on the 10th of March. That show comes just before the Madrid rockers are scheduled to appear in Austin for SXSW 2017.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/GGgXJtsXJX0[/youtube]

As always, any information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and the artist lineup is subject to change. For news and updates on SXSW 2017, please consult the festival’s official schedule here. TGTF’s previous coverage of The Parrots is right back here.

 

Album Review: The Parrots – Los Niños Sin Miedo

 
By on Thursday, 1st September 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

The Parrots Los Ninos Sin Miedo album coverMadrid band The Parrots formed in 2008 when members Diego Garcia, Alex de Lucas and Larry Balboa met at university and instantly found comfort within a group of like-minded artists, photographers, DJs and musicians. The band’s previous EPs ‘Aden Arabie’ and ‘Weed for the Parrots’ were released in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Following their signing to Heavenly Recordings, the trio wasted no time in preparing for the release of their debut album: ‘Weed for the Parrots’ was released in May last year and by September, their album was already fully recorded.

I’m not very clued in on the music scene of mainland Europe, let alone specifically the DIY scene. But when you take The Parrots, often described as a garage rock band, and their debut album ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, there seems to be quite a focus on rehashing previous eras of popular music and regurgitating them. Some would say note for note. However, their album takes us back further than garage, as far back as the Sixties’ Los Angeles surf scene, when bands like The Road Runners and The Surfaris were topping the charts. The Parrots employ devices of surf rock but with the added apathy of stoners, because essentially that’s what they are. Twangy lead guitars weave around chord progressions that don’t stray far from chords 1, 4 and 5, held together with bass lines that stick to said chord tones with a simple open drum groove, would sum up of the album if boiled down to technical terms. But that’s not what we’re about here at TGTF, so let’s dig in further.

‘Too High to Die’ isn’t exactly the perfect example of what The Parrots are about, but it clearly showcases all of the elements listed above. There is a delicacy within the opening track that is almost misleading towards the rest of the album. Lightly reverberated guitars and a bass line that uses the major third exclusively lead the listener to believe The Parrots are serious about what they do, when actually they are three party animals that smoked and drank their way through the recording process of this album. The additional percussion and irregular hand clap rhythm are a nice touch, which show a bit of thought went in somewhere to keep the song interesting. The atmosphere is instantly shattered towards the midpoint of the track, when Garcia rips into a badly played solo, on a guitar with so much gain it sounds more like feedback than notes being played. I must add in here that these solos are somewhat of a constant throughout the album, even though they add no significant value to the music and do not progress the tracks in any way.

‘Let’s Do It Again’, along with ‘Casper’ and ‘E.A. Presley’, make up the bones of ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, each of them carrying the same fundamental elements heard in ‘Too High To Die’. On each, there’s an allowance for a bit of experimentation within the production as well as the band’s delivery. As each of these tracks pass, there is a growing sense of relaxation on the band’s part, to such an extent they aren’t caring at all when it comes to the boundaries of what is acceptable or not, notably with Garcia’s vocal projections. He applies more grit and gradually turns his projection of notes into a moaning of sounds. As the album progresses, Garcia’s vocals become more and more erratic and less confined to the fact that he is a singer in a band.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BUG_h8auXY[/youtube]

But the album isn’t totally filled with light-hearted jangly guitar melodies and major chord progressions. Sometimes songs don’t even have a progression at all, as is the case in ‘Jame Gumb’. A constant rolling bass line goes over one chord that Garcia rings out once every four bars plus a vocal melody that disguises itself within the depths of the sound creates an heavy, eerie atmosphere. Again, the track doesn’t seem to have much substance. With the Parrots, there is very little movement when considering song structure or subject matter. So rather than triggering a specific emotion or telling a story, it’s more like music for the sake of being music.

The Parrots do a great job in providing a sense of nostalgia within their surf rock reminiscent sound. However, instead of attempting to further the genre, with fresh and innovative ideas, The Parrots provide a basic outline of the greats they idolised and filled in the rest with whatever they felt like playing. If this album had of come out during the time of any of their biggest inspirations – Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Groupies or Marc Bolan – the Parrots as a band wouldn’t be so openly accepted as they are today. The level of musicianship and performance quality within ’ Los Niños Sin Miedo’ wouldn’t live up to standard of the greats listed above. As far as they’re concerned with 2016, it appears that The Parrots have decided music has gone has far as it can go and now that we’ve reached the limit, they’ve started over.

6/10

‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, the debut album from Madrid garage trio The Parrots, is out now on Heavenly Recordings. For more on The Parrots on TGTF, go here.

 

Video of the Moment #2159: The Parrots

 
By on Thursday, 11th August 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Anticipation is building towards the release of The Parrots‘ debut album ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’. The long player will see the light of day on the 26th of August. A few weeks ago, the Madrid trio – Diego García (vocals/guitar), Alex de Lucas (bass) and Larry Balboa (drums) – treated us to the visuals in ‘No Me Gustas, Te Quiero’.

Now here’s another peek into the new album, in the form of ‘Let’s Do It Again’, directed by Pablo Amores. Instead of laying waste to Morocco in the daytime, this new promo shows what happens when the Parrots are left to their own devices to have a good night out. The band themselves say the song is “about friendship and loyalty and how sometimes its just like a computer trojan and makes you do things under the moon that you’ll be totally ashamed the next day.” Right…something tells us that they’ve had plenty of practise doing that night after night. Watch the video for ‘Let’s Do It Again’ below. To read more about the trio on TGTF, follow this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BUG_h8auXY[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #2146: The Parrots

 
By on Monday, 25th July 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Their friends Hinds have already become huge indie stars. It’s The Parrots‘ turn now. Following on from being discovered by Heavenly Recordings at SXSW 2015 and invited to support Hooton Tennis Club, the Madrid trio are gearing up to release their own debut album next month. ‘No Me Gustas, Te Quiero’ is a first peek into the upcoming record, and the video for the single shows the threesome hanging out, inexplicably, in Morocco. Maybe they’ve been banned from making music videos in their hometown? If you’re a fan of Hinds, you’ll recognise and like the lazy, lo-fi sound that sounds oh so familiar: ‘Leave Me Alone’ was produced by the Parrots’ own frontman / guitarist Diego Garcia.

‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, the Parrots’ debut long player, will be out on Heavenly Recordings on the 26th of August 2016, just in time for the start of the August bank holiday.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bzk_ul8p1I[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1833: The Parrots

 
By on Tuesday, 23rd June 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Madrid, Spain trio The Parrots have been just under the radar, but that’s about to change now that their debut EP ‘Weed for the Parrots’ is out now, just made available yesterday. The press release describes the new effort from the band as “six tracks made up of wonderful sun-tinged garage psych”, and we’re inclined to agree. Check out the video for the mouthful ‘To All the People Who Showed Me Their Love While I Was Here’, which is suitably trippy and blurry to match the lo-fi feel of the song.

As might be expected, they’re mates with Spanish senoritas Hinds, who have already blown up big themselves in Britain and beyond. If you’re interested in hearing more about the Parrots, including an Almighty Defenders cover of ‘All My Loving’, self-described as “part of the split #1 we share with our secret lovers Hinds”, check out their Bandcamp.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN6oEIVSrIE[/youtube]

 

Liverpool Sound City 2014: Day 3 Roundup

 
By on Friday, 16th May 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

For all my photos from Sound City 2014, head this way; for all my Sound City 2014 coverage from Liverpool, use this link.

Saturday at Liverpool Sound City 2014: on the homestretch now, but it’s also sad to know that something you’ve waited for all year is about to end. But I had something unusual to start my last day in Liverpool with: if it’s not music in Liverpool, it’s got to be football, innit?

The legendary John Peel was famously known as a Reds fan (good man) so it makes sense that the football tournament taking place during Sound City, a major music event for the town, is named after him. As much as I am a footy fan, I’d still not managed to make it to Chavasse Park, the nice stretch of green hovering above the hulking Liverpool One shopping district, over the last 2 years for the John Peel World Cup. That all changed this year when Geordies Boy Jumps Ship, the nice boys I’d met the previous night after I’d rocked out to their music, invited me to come watch them play five-a-side as Boy Jumps Ship F.C. Or as they had said, eke through a couple rounds of five-a-side and wonder why they’d agreed to play in the first place, the morning after they’d gigged at the festival.

I am sure John and Martin will get a kick out of this, but as can probably imagine if you’ve met me before, I’m not an athletic person (I prefer to be a sports bystander) so arriving at Chavasse Park, surrounded by loads of cute boys (albeit exhibiting varying shades of intimidation and being generally loud to match the intimidation) was akin to me being a duck out of water. I was, however, dressed to the nines for this, as I was sporting my new, perfect red Steven Gerrard jersey obtained from Anfield on Wednesday. So nyah!

Soon enough, I found the Boy Jumps Ship fellas in their white kit and even though the matches were only 10 minutes long, everything I watched at the park that afternoon was tense and fast-paced. I have to say, if you’re going as a spectator to this event, it’s sure a lot more fun cheering on your mates. Football expert John has said (threatened?) that he needs to participate in the tournament next year, so keep that in mind as a definite reason why you should attend Sound City 2015.

I didn’t hang around for the finals but from all accounts, Boy Jumps Ship was doing pretty good when I’d left to meet up with my next interviewees, Dave Bayley and Joe Seaward, who were sound checking with their band Glass Animals at the Kazimier. The Kazimier, along with the Zanzibar, would prove to be the most important venues of the night to me, which judging from this post-event report from famed Liverpudlian music man on the street Peter Guy, turned out to be a smart move.

Red Found Glory @ Zanzibar

While I waiting for my next interview subject Tommy Wright, the well-coiffed frontman for Young Kato, who was delayed, I had time to kill. Going off our Irish friends Kodaline‘s earlier Tweets, I skulked around the inside of the Zanzibar to look for them, as they’d said first band up Red Found Glory were a good shout and they were hoping to make it in to see them before they were due on to headline at the Cathedral that night. (I guess they are friends?) I don’t know if it was anxiety waiting for Tommy or if these guys from London were just not very unique, they were a good enough rock band I suppose but nothing special jumped out at me.

Glass Animals @ Kazimier

I thought I’d mosey back to the Kazimier for Glass Animals‘ set. It’s quite ironic that Carrie fell in love with their music (at the Harvest Records showcase Tuesday night at SXSW 2014) before I did, because the dance / urban sound is much more my thing than hers, but I really wasn’t having any of “those peanut butter vibes” initially. Saturday at SXSW during ‘Black Mambo’, Carrie was going mental (then again, it was everyone’s last day in Austin, so everyone present was already sauced by noon) and maybe I was off that afternoon, but I wasn’t completely sold. Until I saw them in Liverpool, that is. Playing to a daytime crowd in Austin at Latitude 30 is entirely different than playing a rammed Kazimier, filled down the front with women with drink in hand, grooving to the music in their summer dresses. Maybe it was the magic of Liverpool that made me finally see what I had been missing for months?

While Martin waxed philosophical about them in October of last year and described their song ‘Exxus’ as having “mellifluous mellotron mixes with otherworldly, disembodied voices, as if Gyorgy Ligeti and Edgar Froese were having a bromance right there in one’s Eustachian tube”, I found something more tangible and oddly down to earth about the band’s sound. Songs like ‘Hazey’ from their forthcoming album ‘Zaba’ and yes, that ‘Black Mambo’ tune show a collected coolness from Bayley and crew that seems to be at odds with most of the music I saw at Sound City. The music slides and glides seemingly effortlessly and judging from the fact at their first American headline show in New York Wednesday night sold out well in advance, America is ready for Britain’s latest hip dance export. It was inevitable that they would end their set with ‘Gooey’, but why not when it’s the most recognisable of their songs to date and the one that brings the house down every time?

I rushed away after them to the Brooklyn Mixer with every intention of catching Pennsylvania’s The Districts. You’re probably wondering why I was bothering to catch a band from the state directly due north of mine, but I had a good reason: I missed them at this year’s SXSW. Just like Thursday night, I knew something was amiss when I arrived. For one, there were all these non-Anglicised shouts of approval and I had to ask someone at the door who was playing, because they didn’t look American. I guess the Districts cancelled, as a Brazilian band the Parrots had stepped in for them. I stayed for a short while since I didn’t like what I heard, I went back to the Kazimier to ready myself to see We Have Band, who I’d been waiting to see for years. Who should I run into on my way back but Glass Animals loading out? A discussion between Dave Bayley and me of various places in America ensued. Oh, English music festivals. You never cease to amaze and amuse me!

We Have Band @ Kazimier

We Have Band‘s ‘Divisive’ from their debut album ‘WHB’, one of my favourite dance anthems of 2010, was the sole song I had on my mind initially. I figured they had to play it and if they didn’t, I’d be quite cross, ha! And it didn’t disappoint at all live. But the band had a more important mission that night with their set: to get out the new songs from their brand new album ‘Movements’. Measured in its chaos yet also glittery synth-wise single ‘Modulate’ saw sole female band member Dede Wegg-Prosser take centre stage, and she commanded attention from the word go, whether it was when she was singing or she was gyrating on stage in minimalist black clothing, which no doubt wasn’t lost on her male admirers. Another album cut, ‘Heart Jump’, was a dance revelation on steroids, with its relentless beats, and even after such a short festival set, the crowd was sweaty but yelling for more. With their flurry of synths, bass grooves and drum pad beats, they were definitely worth the wait!

After the excitement of We Have Band, I wanted somewhere to chill and it occurred to me that maybe the best plan of attack would be to stop in at the Zanzibar, where I had planned to see Young Kato later. It was with major disappointment that I learned of Dublin’s the Minutes cancelling their Sound City appearance in favour of performing in their hometown that day instead, but considering they haven’t gotten a record deal for ‘Live Well, Change Often’ in the UK, I guess it kind of makes sense that they wouldn’t bother with trying to promote an album in a country where people can’t actually buy it.

Serotonin @ Zanzibar

I’m not sure where the band Serotonin is from (there are several on the interwebs), but they haplessly filled in for the absent Irish band. Who wears black turtlenecks in Liverpool, unless you’re a beatnik from the Sixties? Also, me and another female journalist were laughing at what the frontman was ‘packing’ in his trousers… You just couldn’t take them seriously.

Young Kato @ Zanzibar

After a changeover, Young Kato were next, and I was happy to explain to punters not familiar with them about their history. Well, at least the fact that they were on Made in Chelsea, but perhaps in hindsight, that’s not a good factoid to offer up to the more discerning music fan? Either way, it didn’t matter.

Although I was situated on a sofa overlooking the stage for most of their set (hey, it was Saturday, I was tired, don’t judge), I was standing up and cheering like the rest of the audience for them. Tommy Wright did his job in ‘selling’ the free mp3 ‘Ignite’, which we gave away in this previous MP3 of the Day post; as usual, the sparkly ‘Lights’ went down a treat, as did ‘Revolution’, which seems like an unlikely competitor in a town with a band with an untouchable history with a song of the same name. Naturally, the song that concluded the proceedings was ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, which has become the band’s rallying cry: is this the sound of young Britain? I certainly hope so, I’d rather it be Young Kato than Bastille.

Public Access TV @ Zanzibar

I would have been happy with them ending my Sound City experience this year, but I was convinced by some newly made friends that I should wait for the next band, Public Access TV (not to be confused with London historical PSA-repurposers Public Service Broadcasting, who were without a doubt making a big noise on the next street over at Nation at the same exact time). After I left Liverpool, I did some research on Public Access TV to find that NME had tipped the New York band for big things at the start of the year and that Lindsay Lohan was in attendance during one of the group’s earliest performance. (Er, so what?) I’m truly confused. As I watched them, I saw nothing special: guys with guitars…playing pop with a tinge of guitar. Hello, the Strokes? Michael Hann of the Guardian has since jumped onboard this bandwagon, presuming off the back of their appearance at the Great Escape the following weekend and I’ve figured out why everyone’s putting their money on the band (finish Hann’s article and you will see what I mean).

But just because a band has talked to the right people doesn’t mean they’re good. See them live and decide for yourself. That’s the greatest thing about a festival like Sound City: it just goes to show when a great place like Liverpool can put on hundreds of bands over a weekend, you’re bound to find music that will astound, make you think, is just plain fun, or all of the above. Make the most of such an opportunity.

 
 
 

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 is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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