Review: Palette Town – S/T EP

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An album which I have had on repeat for the last couple of days is the debut by “indie-pop” band Palette Town, which came out in the last several days of 2011, and I wish I had found it alot earlier; Comprised of 4 tracks and a remix, this EP has so much variation and innovation that it simply does not get boring or overplayed. As a whole the EP has a very summery feeling, and even though I have been listening to it during winter it still maintains its happy and relaxed vibe: the guitars very reminiscent of Jack Johnson in places, due to the aesthetically pleasing chords and progressions, but with little extra runs sprinkled among the various chords in each song. The rhythm section throughout is reasonably up-beat and with some almost punk-rock influences here and there, but overall they do not perturb from the calm feeling of the release. The vocals just build upon the foundations of the music and are a real breath of fresh air, as they alternate between male and female voices (most noticeable on “Fast Forward‘”), the latter being something different to what I normally hear and the female vocalist holds onto the personality within the tone her voice, and the really catchy choruses grab the listener in every song on this EP. One of the coolest things on this debut is the remix track at the end, which normally would really frustrate me and make me feel like the band just ran out of material, but here it is utilized as a completely new chip-tune track which completely brings the fun.

Fresh Out of The Oven: Pop. 1280 – The Horror (320)

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Pop. 1280 - The Horror

The new Pop. 1280 album just leaked for the public and thought I would share it with you. Pretty awesome stuff, bringing back a very retro sounding approach to No-Wave with some heavy Noise Rock influence, and even sounds similar to Swans’ album “Cop” in places with the extreme aggression utilized by the vocalist. Released on Sacred Bones Records, support the artist and the label as much as you can, they always put out reliably good material and deserve the money: Buy the limited green LP /125 here.

Stay Swimming.

Track Review: Oren Ambarchi – Fractured Mirror

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Oren Ambarchi - Audience Of One (2012)

A brand new track by experimental musician Oren Ambarchi has surfaced on the internet from his imminent album “Audience Of One. Entitles “Fractured Mirror“, this song is in fact a cover of an Ace Frehley song, it immediately comes across as really accessible compared to his older material and is quite melancholic in its approach to a guitar based song, having a main riff which is fluctuated here and there but the atmosphere within the song progresses as the track continues: extremely subtle ambient sounds, comprised mainly of wine glasses, increase towards the second half of the 8 minute track, which builds up a serene contrast to the reasonably defined guitar-work. The electronic beat is quite soft and calming, which adds a nice background for the guitar, and causes the listener to listen hard to the slight changes happening in the track: in this way I feel myself moving closer and closer to my speakers to pick up every little detail that is expressed. “Fractured Mirror” is a really enjoyable track, which builds excitement (for me at least) for the upcoming album, which is to be released on the 30th of January.

Stay Swimming.

New Red Fang Music Video – “Hank Is Dead”

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Portland based stoner rock band “Red Fang” have just released a new music video for the song “Hank Is Dead”, from their 2011 LP “Murder The Mountains”. Red Fang have notoriously been responsible for some of my favourite ever videos, and their songs are just genuinely brilliant. The feel-good and awesome video shows them handing out invitations for an “Air-Guitar” battle to the memorable acts, for which they released a teaser showing one of the coolest air-guitar soloist. Highly recommended if you are in any way a fan of rock music in general.

I will put their other videos down here as well just in case you have not seen them before:

Stay Swimming.

Cancer Bats – Old Blood

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The Canadian punk / metal band Cancer Bats have recently released a new video for a song from their upcoming album “Dead Set On Living”. “Old Blood” sees them moving further away from their original punk sound towards a slower paced, but heavier, one. The catchy riffs are still present, as are the group vocal shouts, and is a great song in itself. Now to control myself before the release of the album, which is set for April 17th.

Stay Swimming.

General Update

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My apologies for this blog slightly decaying over the past couple of weeks, been pretty hectic but hopefully ill have a bit more time for blogging now.

I think this post will just be a general update of what I have been enjoying recently and some new music that I have been getting into. To start us off I have seriously begun to dig the band Causa Sui, who play these epic desert rock jams which build up from nothing to soundscapes of incredible riff-age. Kind of in the same vein as Earthless but alot more chilled out and mellow, the kind of music made for being obliterated by the sun on holiday (or in summer if you do not live in the UK). Their most recent output (Pewt’r Sessions 2) has stood out to me, while keeping to the same ideas as their earlier albums (The Summer Sessions) they keep on evolving, now incorporating more wind instruments such as saxophones which I deemed to be a worthwhile investment.

The Next thing that I have been turned on to is the band Les Rallizes Denudes who are really quite different to what I have been listening to recently, the album I have been playing is ’77 Live which I put into the same sort of category as some of Keiji Haino’s work: wierd noise rock where most of the songs seem to have the same bassline played throughout each song, which is good because each one is completely awesome.

After an age of procrastinating I finally got round to listening to the Lou Reed & Metallica collaboration – Lulu. Probably one of the most talked about records in the last decade, made so by the simple fact that Lou Reed fans will check it out and so will  Metallica fans. The mass uproar when the song The View was released got me interested just by the extreme levels of hatred aimed at the album which had not even been released at this point, and when I listened to it myself I honestly couldn’t see anything to distinctly hate about it, the only thing which bothered me on the first listen was the internet meme claimed “I am The Table”, but then again (no matter how ridiculous it sounds) it does fit, the whole idea of the story behind the album based on Frank Wedekinds’ series of plays.  When listening to the album itself I thought to myself: “How can people really hate this album”. I accept it may not be the most accessible album ever to be released, but those who instantly exile it as bollocks seem to me to be pretty narrow minded stereotypical Metallica fans. I myself have never really been a fan of theirs, even getting into metal as a kid (my route was Pantera), but this album thoroughly interested me as there is simply nothing else (that I have ever heard) similar to it. I do not really want to go too in depth with this quasi-review but I believe that Lulu will definitely be remembered for years to come, whether in a bad way or good, as it got the entire music scene so aggravated. Please dont hate me for my opinions 🙂

On a slight off topic note, I watched the film Drive which came out in 2011 and I found it one of the best / coolest films I have seen for a long time. If you have not seen it then I highly recommend you check it out, if not simply for the incredible soundtrack of 80s style synth-pop measured alongside picturesque scenes. The music reminded me of how much I enjoyed the last  John Maus album We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves“, its feel of loneliness kind of struck the same note as the Drive Soundtrack as the film itself deals with the serenity a man (Ryan Gosling) with some kind of illness (potentially something similar to aspergers) finds in his skill of driving.

Stay Swimming.

2011 AOTYs – #3

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Little Kid - Logic Songs

Little Kid (aka Ken Boothby) brings one of the most memorable albums of 2011 direct from his bedroom, using only a 4-track tape recorder. The sheer atmosphere conjured up by him is something to be admired; his vulnerable and shy voice which fit perfectly amidst the lo-fi fuzz and clean guitar (sometimes even inaudible above the guitar), the constant buzz of the 4-track throughout the LP and the field recordings which appear at regular intervals throughout the album. The sentimental feel of this recording and the value of its DIY message is inspiring, the 30 cassette run of handmade covers sold out rapidly, which were designed out of cuttings from a book from “The Salvation Army” about railways, and this reoccurring theme runs alongside the music as I have never been so captivated by the sound of a train as in the final track. Religious and Christian references are abundant in the lyrics, but one should not be put off by this simply for its values, in the song “Let There Be Light”, Boothby seems to explain that he has been wounded on account his faith, and the rest of the record follows on a similar sombre note – especially “Bearably Sad”. Captivatingly emotional from start to finish, and it proclaims that musical genius can come out of nowhere.

Free from his bandcamp, I could not recommend this more highly to all fans of music.

In The Works: Swans Week

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In the beginning of January 2012 I will embark on a tribute / dedication to the band Swans. Everyday in that week I will release my thoughts about the album that has been dedicated to that day, progressing chronologically from start to present day of Swans career. Of course they have released more than 7 albums, so i have chosen 7 of them to dissect:

Monday – Filth

Tuesday – Cop

Wednesday – Children Of God

Thursday – White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity

Friday – Love Of Life

Saturday – Soundtracks For The Blind

Sunday – My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope To The Sky

I hope that it will increase your appreciation for them as well as my own, it should be quite an interesting experience.

Mugshots previous to the release of "My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope To The Sky"

2011 AOTYs – #2

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Witch Cult - S/T

Witch Cult are a powerviolence band from the South Coast of England, and they themselves have begun a SCxPV movement and are one of the best around. Their slogan is “Fast.Slow” which summarises their music perfectly as they switch between heavy doom riffs, the likes of Electric Wizard and Sleep, to bursts of aggression. The great riffs never out stay their welcome, and after the long grooving slow sections die down the fast riffs never stay the same for more than a couple of seconds. Highly Recommended if you are into any kind of punk music or if you want to hear one of the angriest albums from this year.

2011 AOTYs #1: Oren Ambarchi, Jim O’Rourke and Keiji Haino – In a Flash Everything Comes Together As One There Is No Need For A Subject

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For the moment I will just recap the albums which have stood out to me from this year in music, I will launch different things come 2012 after I have got used to this.

Oren Ambarchi, Jim O’Rourke and Keiji Haino – In a Flash Everything Comes Together As One There Is No Need For A Subject ( I / II / III )


One of the most interesting records of this year, which I am lucky enough to own on vinyl, is the sophomore live release by the trio of Oren Ambarchi, Jim O’Rourke and Keiji Haino. Composed of 4 “Free Improvisation” tracks it brings about chaos with the thundering wails of Haino’s Guitar and the frantic jazz styled drumming of Ambarchi. The eerie atmospheres are also enhanced by Haino’s unintelligible moans and groans, in places making the listener feel most uneasy, but that is part of its charm. This album is and incredible voyage into experimentation and is one of my personal favourites this year. I am not going to do a rating but I highly recommend listening to this if you would like to expand your musical tastes. (Picture is linked to a flac version as my audio format of choice).