LIVE REVIEW. In Dynamics at The Boston Music Room

Date: 30 November 2016                                                                                 Genre: Alternative-Rock

Venue: The Boston Music Room, London                                                Words: Steph Baker

 

In Dynamics sauntered onto stage at the semi-filled Boston Music Room in North London, and soon managed to pull the scattered groups of people into a front-facing, engaged crowd just with their opening track filled with raging hooks and the chantable lyrics “you pull apart“.

It is clear from the get-go that this Sussex group are capable of both creating huge explosive sounds that fill rooms whilst also maintaining full control, particularly over vocals, preventing it from turning destructive – a highly admirable ability. As the trio continue their set, the outstanding level of musical craftsmanship and scrupulous songwriting that runs through every note played is unmissable. img_2791

It is difficult to pinpoint which bands this group have arisen from, due to the complex mix of classic rock and pop-punk that intertwine with playful drum beats and lyrics hooks; during heavy-hearted instrumental breakdowns you even get a taste of some prog. Each member knows their role and executes it with strong precision, as the front man Beau Boulden‘s vocals provide vulnerability while telling their story, William Wrench‘s bass lines bring about depth to the scenario. The most entertaining aspect of this band is watching the harmonies being constructed – with William’s bassey (ha – geddit?) voice and Beau’s towering high notes fused to constantly take the song to the next level, especially during ‘Vital’.

It was refreshing to see that In Dynamics are not afraid to get creative with the musical structure and composition of their offerings, breaking the sometimes monotonous trends within new alternative rock music. The highlight of the set was probably ‘Another Minute’, the track taking the audience on a powerful journey brought down to earth by Beau’s emotive lyrics. The trio have recently released a live recording on YouTube and it’s a perfect introduction into the capabilities of this band, check it out below.

 


You can check out In Dynamics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Baker out.

 

 

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW. Siboney + Andy – Secret

Release date: Out now!

Genre: Pop-Folk

Rating: ★★★1/2

Siboney + Andy recently joined forces, along with their influences and styles to create this debut EP, encompassing a variety of pop/folk/electro vibes. This title track of the EP certainly makes a statement and ensures their names will not be easily forgotten.

With a delicate opening, Siboney tells a painful tail, supposedly from personal experience. The opening verse could be claimed to be predictable, but as the bridge builds up, Siboney’s voice steps up before delivering a powerful blow with the lyrics “I will keep this sib-and-andy-02-lowres1secret ’till I die” during the chorus. With a blaring electric riff accompanying the voice, a new level of passion is brought to this track. The second verse is more playful as the due get settled into what they’re doing, with electro-pop synths coupled with folk-y vocals
and guitar, this is a creative song showcasing what it is Siboney + Andy are capable of. As Andy emerges into the track not only as a producer but a vocalist, the track gets that bit warmer. It is at this moment you can see why the due work so well together, as their voices intertwine to create a pop/electro-pop juxtaposition.

The music video for this track brings a visual element to better explain the journey this track takes. The pair describe the following: “The lyrics in Secret are quite literal, and pull from rather painful self-experience, so we wanted to hint at that feeling within the video, but let people come to their own conclusions within the narrative.”

 

Check out the music video for Sectret and follow Siboney and Andy’s journey:


Check out the debut EP ‘Secret’ here.

You can also find Siboney + Andy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

 

 

Baker out.

LIVE REVIEW. Tusks and Oh Sister in London

Date: 23rd November 2016

Venue: The Waiting Room,  Stoke Newington, London

Genre: Ambient/electro-pop

The Waiting Room is tucked within the basement of a pub in North London, like a secret hideout. Seeming slightly ominous at first when walking down the steep stairs to a wood-walled room, this venue actually turned out to be perfect to host Tusks’s headline London debut, as the space filled up, the atmosphere was totally comfortable and intimate.

 

Main support – Oh Sister

The evening was kicked off by the soulful melodic tunes of Oh Sister. A solo artist with a DIY sound and electric drums system. This artist brought the warmth that the room needed, with her raw but genuine tales of love and adventure. The opening track ‘Isn’t Love Used To It Yet‘ brought on nostalgia with a sort of new-wave jazz, full of romanticized heartbreak. A sort of ambient Winehouse vibe, but with more electric guitar and less drama. With her tantalizing, stripped back voice, Oh Sister managed to encompass the whole room, however at times lacked the control over her guitar necessary for such delicate set. With her voice alone, Oh Sister could bring any crowd to their knees with a full band behind her, allowing her to concentrate on what she does best, and experiment more with ambient, atmospheric sounds.

Headliner – Tusks

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Image: @charlie__mac_

An instant connection was made between Tusks and the audience and she stepped onto The Waiting Room stage tonight, and apprehension within her and her band was evident.

The first track of the set was a fan favorite ‘For You‘, however Tusks put her own twist on it. Now equipped with a full band of talented musicians, Tusks was able to break the popular hit down to its core elements and build it up into an accumulation of ambient sounds and thudding drums – it was at this point, it was clear to the crowd Tusks has more to offer in her performance tonight than ever before.

Poison Ivy‘ was the second song of the evening, and her voice sailed through it with grace, but we already expected this; what took us aback was the amount of power behind her voice. Tonight Tusks paired her soul-baring vocals with eerie guitar and dark bass lines, the  result was  all-encompassing and hugely graceful. It was touching to see Tusks explore the deeper possibilities within ambient and electro-pop music and the experimentation was made by her band. The thunderous drums and strong bass-lines brought a new level of power to the music, that just seemed to work.

Tonight Tusks took her time, putting in every delicate detail to every song. At times it seemed as though everything was in slow motion, until all musical elements were brought together at the point just before a satisfying drop.The crowd were gifted with a sneak preview of the new album with never-before-played-live tracks such as’Toronto‘ and ‘Bleach‘. An early solo track she wrote many moons ago was also showcased, which allowed Tusks to perform as she once did, with her voice pure and unaltered, and also showed how far she has developed since her first appearance. There is an air of true authenticity around Tusks as she performs, a connection is instantly made along with an atmosphere that is unbreakable.


You can check out Tusks’s most recent EP ‘False‘ here and give her some love on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Also make sure to check out Oh Sister and follow on Facebook and Twitter

All images: @charlie__mac_

 

Baker out.

SINGLE REVIEW. The Big Moon – Formidable

Released: OUT NOW

Genre: Alternative-rock

Rating: ★★★★

The Big Moon have been on the rise for the past year now in playing notable shows around the nation with big names, and having a growing, passionate fan-base. With an extrovert-like, 90s girl-punk style and all the right sounds, The Big Moon have comfortably made a name for themselves within the London alternative scene, however this single – released ahead of the debut album ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’ out April next year – demonstrates how the female quartet are moving out of their comfort zone, and exploring a new world of dark, indie fuzz.

love_in_the_4th_dimension_tbm_low_res-jpg-768x768The track opens with the familiar voice of front-woman Juliette emerging with the oh-so-cynical rhyme “Did she make you swallow all your pride, does the love still shiver down your spine” before a gentle crescendo of reverb and bass. The slightly ominous “oooh” echoed by all of the girls calm the air before the chorus ignites. The band really bring it in the chorus, and this is the point you realise how much The Big Moon have really progressed since their early releases; with powerful vocals that could get any room chanting out loud and some of the heaviest guitar and thunderous drums we have heard yet. This band have the capability to bring all the noise and carnage you could ever need, while still having the control to execute haunting harmonies and more delicate tones, something that works so well with this type of music.

The only drawback to this release is the length of it. Leaving the listener wanting more is always a good move (it certainly worked), but the girls still could have reached even higher levels of intensity and experimented more with this new sound if they had given the track some more time. However, this seems to be a song that could be developed and expanded greatly during a live set. Let’s hope for more dark magic such as this in the album.


You can listen to ‘Formidable‘ now here and pre-order the debut album here.

Give The Big Moon some love too on Facebook and Twitter

 

Baker out.

SINGLE REVIEW. Jamie T – Tinfoil Boy

Release Date: 30th June

Genre: Alternative/post-punk

Rating:★★★★1/2

The man is back, and boy does he know how drip feed us. After the boom of his first two albums (Panic Prevention 2007, Kings & Queens 2009), Jamie T has got into the habit of leaving one to five years in between releases. As he returns to the scene, even if only momentarily, we have several questions to greet this release. Where has Jamie T been? What’s he been doing? The answer is who knows, all we know is while chilling in Detroit he decided to record the crushing ‘Tinfoil Boy’ in a moment of spontaneity – and it is great to have him back.

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image: htbackdrops.org

The song opens with the taunting giggles of a women which evolves seamlessly into Jamie setting the scene with calm vocals and rather subtle bass lines. Suddenly “he’s a Tinfoil Boy…” is blasted down the line repeatedly as a heavy riff develops and sounds reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine seep through as the drum beat is thrown around is a fit of delirium. The deprecating lyrics of the verses seem to be written with a new air of maturity, while the chorus allows the London troublemaker to lash out and explore the heavier side of his post-punk music. Finally we are left with the lyric “It’s times like this I feel tripped into waking up” reminding us of the intense and ominous tone lying under his most recent albumCarry On The Grudge that seems to have had a long-lasting affect.

 

So far there is no word on whether this is simply a ‘just felt like it’ single drop or the beginning of the journey to a new album. Jamie T has always been good at keeping his fans waiting and wondering, but we are certainly hoping it is the latter.


Stream the new single ‘Tinfoil Boy’ here

 

You can also follow Jamie T on facebook, twitter and instagram.

 

 

Baker out.

 

SINGLE REVIEW. Cross Wires – ‘Pink Dogs’

Genre: Post-punk

Rating: ★★★★

Cross Wires consists of four guys who come together from Essex and East London to make lots of post-punk noise, and they’re starting to get rather good at it too. The release of ‘Pink Dogs‘ ahead of their debut album to be released this Autumn is the perfect introduction to Cross Wires.
The track opens with an ominously tame guitar melody from Peter Mullar (Guitar) which is hammered to the ground by the aggressive but playful drumming of Ian Clarke. Some proper punk vibes are sent out from the bridge, with building vocals curtesy of front-man Jonathan Chapman, the kind that would get anyone nice and rilled up ready for the big show. The Chorus is where this track gets interesting, with a curiously indie-rock guitar riff that blares through Chapman’s vocal declarations of rage and angst – a refreshing aspect that lifts the track up above the sea of other predictable post-punk music.
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Image: Cross Wires Facebook
As Ian’s drumming carries on relentlessly, Chapman’s vocals and style begin to become more reminiscent of Paul Weller (The Jam). As energy levels are kept at an almost Brit-pop high while simultaneously keeping the irresistible punk-characteristic of discontent and frustration, it is clear that Cross Wires are not just another nostalgic copy-cat band, but a new-wave group that brings a fresh range to the world of post-punk.
With a reputation for bringing their all at live shows and standing out from the overly-optimistic ‘tweens’ that attempt to recreate true punk, this band are sure to do well if the rest of their debut is anything like this.

Listen to ‘Pink Dogs‘ and other beauties from Cross Wires here:

Follow them on twitter and give ’em a like on facebook

 

Baker out.

 

 

 

INTRODUCING SAM WINSTON – The ultimate DIY artist with self produced album ‘The Fire & The Icicle’

Genre: Indie-folk pop

Rating:★★★★

Sam Winston encompasses all meanings of the word ‘independent’ regarding his music. This South East London artist is building up his career one DIY milestone at a time. Not only has he written, arranged, recorded and produced ‘The Fire & The Icicle‘ all in his home-built studio, but he has done it well – an achievemt that is becoming quite hard to find these days. With self-taught expertise in many an instrument, this debut album is not just the typical solo acoustic guitar act that is becoming tireless now, we get to hear Sam play ukelele, kalimba (African thumb piano), mandolin and bass.  The album also features folk-pop melodies strummed from his own hand-crafted electro-acoustic guitar (what is this guy like?!).

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The album starts off with the firey, energetic track ‘No November Like It‘, the type of song that could make for the perfect track to sing along to on a roadtrip  in the summer. Tracks such as ‘Reach You‘ and ‘Defenceless‘ showcase Sam’s ability to create a huge vocal sound and range, with self-matching harmonies and layers. Meanwhile, songs such as ‘Stand and Fight‘ and ‘The Bad Wolf‘ take a softer, more delicate style, with influences of Ben Howard shining through while bringing an original ‘Sam Winston’ jazzy undertone. ‘Who Decides?’ is a moment of self-realisation for Sam, where he questions everything and everyone around him, hopefully by the end of this album, he comes to realise how much hope and potential there is in him – Some hopeful light within the dark, just as the album artwork indicates.


Let the wonderful Sam Winston serenade you here:

(Also out now on iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify)

You can also check him out on facebook and twitter

 

See him do his thing live at the following dates:

25 July – Charente Festival, Brossac France

27 August – Folk On The Dock Festival, Liverpool

23 October – Park Langley, Beckenham, Kent


All images: Courtesy of Sam Winston 

Baker out.

ALBUM REVIEW. Catfish & The Bottlemen – ‘The Ride’

Release date: 8th Junly 2016

Genre: Indie-Rock/Pop

Rating:★★★1/2

So it is finally here. Catfish & The Bottlemen release second album ‘The Ride‘ after fan-apprehension grew steadily throughout 2016 with the release of hit singles ‘Soundcheck‘, ‘7‘ and ‘Twice‘. Their debut ‘The Balcony‘ was all about getting their name known, and letting us know what they’re about – rough around the edges rock that is going to conquer the UK. Now this album’s purpose is to cement their place as the UK’s leading indie-rock band and showcase how much they have grown, from arriving tentatively onto the scene, to having sold-out shows and gold album sales figures. 

 

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Image: ebuzz.ie

We start off with the two singles that fans have been singing along to for weeks in preparation for this release, ‘7‘ and ‘Twice‘. These are unsurprisingly two of the best singles on the album, full of buildup and blaring hooks. ‘Oxygen‘ is very reminiscent of what Oasis would be like if they were to write new material today while ‘Emily‘ gives an insight into travels to America and surprises in romantic endeavours. Nearing the end of this 11-track album, and so far we have had peaks and troffs, with all of the foundations from their debut, just when you think they are going to explode onto a huge level, Catfish’s efforts plato into an anti-climactic memory of ‘The Balcony‘. It is not all bad though, ‘Red‘ is a powerful hit all about growing up and second chances, with heavy bass drums and blaring vocals by McCann that leave us with insight into a romantic rival with lyrics “Can he do what I do for you?“. additionally,’Soundcheck‘ has an undertone similar to some early Strokes material, with CATB’s trademark touch flowing throughout.

 

These guys know how to make ear-catching, fun, quality hits that much is clear. This album is sure to do well, and get the band more sold-out gigs, possibly even allow them to spread their wings overseas more. The only question is, shouldThe Ride‘ achieve all this? This second album is slighty monotonous at times, making it hard to distinguish between this musical endeavour and their first, released two years ago. Catfish’ have so much potential and adventure inside, and at times throughout this album, you feel as if they are holding back. This disappointing lacking touch is actually done on purpose, as front-man of the band said when discussing ‘The Ride‘: “I feel like everybody started thinking too outside the box, trying to be arty and different…we wanted to stay inside the box“. Is this going to be a safety-guard that ensures sales, or their first and last creative mistake? Only time will tell.

 

Listen to it and make up your own mind on spotify

Catfish and The Bottlemen are also on facebook and twitter

 

 

Baker out.

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – The Cribs

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival)

Venue: The Electric Ballroom, Camden.

Genre: Indie/Garage-rock

Rating: ★★★★

 

So after a long day, of varying bands and tightly-packed venues, it was finally time for the naughties indie-rock legends to grace The Electric Ballroom and headline Camden rocks. Everyone was there to see it: committed fans, the convinced-at-the-last-minute and other bands who had played gigs today. Apprehension grew fast and relentless chants of “Wakefield” were getting louder and louder – but they were eventually met with a delivery of the good stuff. As the infamous Yorkshire Jarman brothers walk onto the stage and nonchalantly start playing their guitars, there is (as predicted) instant moshing, of the drunken, rowdy kind. 

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It’s only when seeing twins Gary and Ryan Jarman strum out their aging hits and scream down the mics, that you realise something about bands like The Cribs. They are a lucky by-product of musical crowd mentality. Their indie tales of shitty towns, young love and apethy are far from unique, bands had been doing it long before them (the likes of The Strokes and The Libertines to name a few) and bands were doing a remarkabley similar act since them (almost every up-and-coming indie-rock artist), and yet with their relatable image and knack for getting people riled up, they have transformed, and maintained their status of being one of the biggest cult bands in the UK. This is not to take anything away from The Cribs as an act, as you could not deny the incredible atmosphere that was instantly achieved at the Elecrtic Ballroom tonight, the crowd was a blurring swarm of chanting, shoving and jumping – the perfect rowdy mess that you would hope for at a gig like this. It is something that can only be achieved with a level of authenticity from bands such as The Cribs, however it is clear when watching them from a certain perspective that they are not doing anything overly different from the myriad of bands that showcased their talent and hunger across Camden Rocks today – and yet it is just working for them.

Notorious hits such as ‘Mirror Kisses‘ and ‘Men’s Needs‘ created a adoring crowd reaction unmatched by other attempts. People were simply manic, in the best possible way and this is what tonight was all about at Camden Rocks. The Cribs’s moment in the limelight represented everything that the bands who played today (regardless of genre) want to get to, and the kind of endless, and seemingly effortless success that The Cribs aren’t going to get sick of any time soon. This ‘you-had-to-be-there’ sort of cult atmosphere tonight just proves how important band identity and following is, to the point that it often surpasses the importance of the music quality (especially with indie music).

 

 

The Cribs’s are on twitter and facebook, check ’em out.

 

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

 

Baker out.

 

CAMDEN ROCKS FEST REVIEW – Tellison

Date: 4th June 2016 (Camden Rocks Festival)

Venue: The Forge, Camden.

Genre: Sad indie-rock

Rating:★★★★

Indie-rock favourites, Tellison have been relatively quiet since the release of ‘Hope Fading Nightly‘ (2015), so it was good to see them do their thing again and play this great festival, this sentiment was also be shared by obvious fans who almosted filled The Forge for the London lads tonight.

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The band started their set with ‘Helix and Ferman‘, with the audience echoing the chants of “Drink red wine, say you’re fine” along side Peter Phillips (guitarist) and Andrew Tickell (bass) while our front man sung troubled tales of struggle in love, the set started as it meant to go on. Tonight showcased the greatest, almost tangible connections that can be made between a great band and it’s endowed audience. I’m not sure whether this was more due to Stephen Davidson’s emotional, matter-of-fact voice or the genuinely humble audience interactions that frequented the time inbetween songs (“Look you’re here watching us while all the famoud bands play down the road, so thank you”) – but despite having some time-wasting technical difficulties, and a venue that did not entirely suit the band, Tellison managed to touch a lot of people tonight.

Tunes such as ‘Boy‘ and ‘Tact Is Dead‘ were strung out full of detailed guitar riffs and energetic drums, demonstrating how timeless, ageless and seamless Tellison‘s troubled indie-rock music really is. They even experiemented at times throughout the set, with some songs incorporating warm, delicate harmonies, and others having some heavier guitar lines and more relentless drums by Henry Danowski, these were met with positive crowd reactions. This is a personal band, who sing personally significant lyrics and enjoy playing intimate sets (regardless of the size of the venue room), and as the words and beats are seemingly pouring out of the musicians, the crowd stand in wonder and bliss.

 

 


What the crowd thought…

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“A fantastic, unique band that have invigorated my evening!”

 

Listen to Tellison’s tunes below:

You can also follow them on facebook and twitter

 

(All images: Steph Baker)

 

Baker out.