LIVE REVIEW. TRAAMS and Mums at Leeds

Date: 11 November 2016

Venue: The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Leeds is full of music venues of all shapes and sizes, and the Brudenell Social Club is a surreal time machine. Though new comers are skeptical upon entering, reassurance greets them along with familiar groups, bass blaring out of the back room and the same shitty beers. 

 

Main support – Mums

Rating: ★★★

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The young three-piece from Widnes gingerly approach the stage and started warming up the crowd with an unassuming bass line and a low-key drum beat before bursting into some agro-rock magic, reminiscent of similar young grunge bands such as allusondrugs. This band have the right image and vision for what they want to achieve, but it is apparent that they are still in the early stages of progression, leaving them at risk of being stuck as another ‘Nirvana-wannabe-band’. However, technical difficulties suffered by the band throughout and some unsettling nerves surely contributed to this some and as the set went on, the distinctive sounds and styles of Mums began to shine through, reminding us of other fuzzy noise-rock bands such as Groves and Lake of Snakes

The track ‘Enemy’s Museum’ made quite the impression, with head-crushing bass blaring out and front man Jack Evans’s surprisingly measured screams, a quality that is becoming increasingly rare in bands. Mums were kind enough to give a low-key interval, with ominous bass lines to allow you to breathe before smacking you around the face once more, their music living of heavy reverb and droning riffs.

At times, Mums got it absolutely right, with sinister lyrics and apathetic strumming that sent you into a grungy trace – drummer Lewis O’Neil was also possibly the highlight of the set with comical and light-hearted approaches to the heaviest and dirtiest tunes – but at other moments songs were attempted to be stuffed with distorted layers of guitar, leaving the music almost incomprehensible.

Mums have recently released their debut album, Land Of Giants on Superstar Destroyer which is grabbing the attention of many across the UK, as the band settles into what they want to be, their music will hopefully rise to a higher standard them more confident and satisfied – we can’t wait to see how they grow.

 

Headliners – TRAAMS

Rating: ★★★★

We saw TRAAMS soon before the release of their debut album as the main support act for Eagulls (Check out the lovely review here) and since then the band has rapidly matured, with a more creative and polished set and more confidence leaking off the players – however frontman Stuart Hopkins remains minimal in audience engagement with the odd playing-it-cool “cheers” at the end of a track. 

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The Chichester boys opened with ‘Costner‘, a familiar hit with fans from the debut album and an exciting opener for the first-timers with vibes similar to Drenge. Despite progressing onto the next step of maturity in their structure, TRAAMS remain a sort of organised chaos, one that has an experimental twist throughout created by Stuart who seemingly makes it up as he goes a long – and it just works. The following song was ‘Get Outta Here‘, featured a punk-esk guitar riff throughout to lay the foundation for drummer Adam Stock to really excel in heart-pounding bass beats. It must have been humbling for the band members to witness the crowd recognize and sing along to their stuff in the typical rowdy tones, a recent departure from the early stages of playing live in which people continue to be skeptical of each song and always wanting more – TRAAMS are really starting to own their band identity.

The highlight of the set had to be their most recent single, ‘House On Fire’ bringing an electric vibe to the whole room. With an 80s style bass line that could spark memories of Joy Division and the continuous chanting throughout, front man Stuart found himself in his element, with a battering guitar commotion and apathetic screams (a smile may have even appeared). A definite exhaustion appeared after every song, and I think that was the intended effect.


15053195_10206248208839262_2023570037_oTRAAMS have also grown more experimental in their live sets, progressing from rushing through many short and snappy hits, to taking their time to fry our brains with reverb-heavy blaring guitar.
In many of the tracks such as ‘Head Roll‘, the crowd would be built up through mounting drums and riled up lyrics before reaching an instrumental breakdown where Adam, Leigh and Stuart would join forces and gradually descend into manic white-noise. The instrumental ability of these guys and the energy they manage to generate despite being relatively static on stage is what makes TRAAMS distinct from other, more armature sad-punk bands attempting to do the same. Now they are starting to headline their own shows and no longer have to make creative compromises, they can continue to build in more risky and mind-melting aspects into their music.


Check out the charming Mums on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp

Don’t forget to give TRAAMS some love on Facebook and Twitter while listening to their debut album here.

 

Baker out.

INTERVIEW. Black Foxxes ahead of debut album release.

Following a sold out tour with Milk Teeth and in the mist of the numerous festivals this Summer, we got to know Mark from one of the country’s most exciting bands at the moment, Black Foxxes. The band’s much anticipated debut album, ‘I’m Not Well‘ will be out August 19th via Search and Destroy/Spinefarm Records.

 

So how’re you finding the tour of festivals this summer? Has the experience affected Black Foxxes as a band at all?

Not especially. It was really important for me to get out and prove to myself I could tour and be away from home for long periods of time. Anxiety had always stopped me from doing that before, so if anything it’s just good to prove to myself I can do that.

Do you find yourself being in a community of alternative/hard rock bands that are similar to Black Foxxes? like yourselves? 

We’re not really part of any community. We are just going in our own direction. It’s funny, there are so many bands that do the same tours together, are in the same magazines together all the time, play the same festivals… it’s all about who you know, but at the end of the day we couldn’t give a fuck about all of that. We’re just making honest music, if we don’t fit into a mould I’m okay with that.

How does your song writing process work, is it always the same or do you find it varying every time? 

I will usually come up with the bulk of the song at home, something I’ve written that week or a while beforehand, then I’ll take it to practice and we’ll shape it however seems best. There’s no set formula per say, but we don’t tend to spend too long on the song, else it becomes over-saturated and non-organic.

So you just finished recording your debut album and the anticipation for it is already huge, what would you say this album is based on?

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The debut album I’m Not Well‘ is out 19th August

I think it’s pretty self –explanatory; I wrote most of the songs when I was in a really dark place, mentally and physically, and the album encompasses that. As far as inspirations are concerned we’re all into quite a wide range of music, but at the time we were all listening to a lot of Ryan Adams, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Death Cab For Cutie…

 

 

 

What’s in store for the future, the bigger picture following this album?

We’re off to the states later this year to play Riot Fest and play some other shows around the country, so that’s huge for us. Ultimately, we want people to relate to this band as much as we think people will, we want to make music that is going to stand it’s ground for years and years to come.

Finally, Black Foxxes are known for their inspirational acknowledgement of mental health within their music, how was your recent single ‘I’m Not Well‘ written specifically with Mental Health and personal experiences in mind? 

I think the whole album is written with my mental health in mind, it’s so important for people struggling to speak out and seek help. I know first-hand how vulnerable and weak it can make you feel, and how much just talking about it will help you. I’m sure everyone will take their own things from this album, but if it helps people in any way then I’ve done something right.


Check out ‘I’m Not Well‘ here:

 

You can pre-order the album here and follow them 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.

 

NEWS. Allusondrugs announce final headline tour via mysterious message from Allusinlove Organisation

After just coming off a co-headline tour with close buddies Fizzy Blood, the grungy shoegaze quintet are getting straight back onto the bus later this Summer, with support from alternative-indie group Massmatiks.

A spokesperson for the band released an ever-so-slightly ominous comment regarding the tour. Stating “The Allusinlove Organisation hereby wish it to be known that these engagements shall be the full and final musical undertakings of the entity known as allusondrugs. Please await further communications on this situation in the coming weeks for details of future works”. Could this really be the end of a band only just starting to peak at their potential?

Since their emergence in 2012, allusondrugs have been anything but stagnant. Between building a fan-base that followed their rising influence through support shows with Enter Shikari, Marmozets and Lonely The Brave, and creating ever-growing anticipation with every release, this band are getting bigger and bigger.

This tour is shaping up to represent a progressive move forward from their beginnings as a band. With more experimentation, unreleased material and heavy energy levels, allusondrugs – with an existing reputation for bringing it at their live shows – are perhaps (and hopefully) going to go through a name/image change rather than a breakup.

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You can buy tickets for the tour  here, and follow the band on twitter and facebook

 

 

Baker out.

ALBUM REVIEW. Bosco Rogers – ‘Post Exotic’

Release date: 8th July 2016 via Bleepmachine

Genre: Flower Punk/Psych-pop

Rating: ★★★1/2

Bosco Rogers consists of Barthélémy ‘Barth’ Corbelet and Delphinius ‘Del’ Vargas, and after seeing the successes of two introducing EPs, and the funky single ‘True Romance‘, the duo have put together their debut album, and we managed to get our hands on it before it’s released next month. 

The highlights of this album are varied across the kaleidoscopic spectrum this duo have created. With ‘Anvers‘ being an ulta-cool single, setting the trend for what Bosco Rogers have to offer being sharply contrasted by ‘French Kiss‘: a bass-heavy, psych-guitar track mirroring the likes of Temples. Meanwhile, the hit single True Romance‘ is pleasantly reminiscent of the melancholy sound of MGMT. This track is about “never losing your sense of curiosity or wonderment at the world” according to Del; The world is going downhill in front of our very eyes, but we still need to experience every little bit of it while there is still some real beauty remaining. 

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Image: Division Media Ltd

This album is simultaneously realist and joyously psychedelic in its execution: Bosco Rogers experiment with state-of-the-world addresses and depreciating lyrics while weaving them into exuberant, 60s-esque riffs and hooks. It is the sort of album that may well represent the ultra-cool summer sound of the next few months, which is a strong reception to gain from a debut album as it makes for a promising future. Despite having full potential to reap these rewards, ‘Post Exotic‘ seems at times overly sporadic: with the differing arrangement of tracks suggesting slight confusion or misconception over exactly what Bosco Rogers is as a musical entity. But these are issues that will naturally resolve themselves, as the Franco-Anglo due continue to grow and gain confidence in there place within this messed up musical world. And we are very much looking forward to that progression.

 


Pre-order ‘Post Exotic‘ now here while listening to the hit single ‘True Romance

 

Follow them on twitterfacebook and instagram

 

 

Baker out

SINGLE REVIEW. BlackWaters – ‘Jarr’ed up Generation’

Release Date: 22nd June 2016

Genre: Indie-punk

Rating:★★★★

 

We first saw this South-England quartet at the Camden Rocks Festival earlier this month. Not only did they quickly stand out from the other up-and-coming acts playing throughout Camden on that day, but there was an almost instantaneous feeling of excitement with BlackWaters, that these guys were already on their  way to making their own mark on the scene as they played their explosive set at the Hawley Arms. Now, less than a month later, the boys have delivered in the form of another immersive, energetic single, ‘Jarr’ed up Generation‘.

The track opens with an old-school indie guitar riff courtesy of David Carpenter that is soon warmed up by the irresistibly catchy vocal ‘ooh’s. It is soon clear that this single is built around the distinct booming voice of Max Tanner. The carefully crafted lyrics tell a comical story of youthful angst, destructive boredom, and self-deprecation that is – as we all know – endlessly relatable. The chorus has the perfect rowdy-shout-along hooks and words, the kind that were met with great energy and vibes at Camden, and will surely go onto do the same in the BlackFutures gigs to come (the cover artwork featuring lead guitar David shows that alone!). Overall this track is a great rerelease to demonstrate the band’s professional development, and uncompromising punk identity.

 

 


Make sure you check out the new BlackWaters single here
You can also connect with the boys on facebook and twitter

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Could this be demolishment of print or the liberation of free media within the music industry?

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1995 NME cover. Source: NME

THEN As people often say, “back in the day” years ago, no matter your age or hometown, you would always count down the days until the new release of your favourite music publication, be it NME, The Rolling Stone, or Q. It would cost from 3-5 quid, and would be worth every penny (so we thought). This would answer all of weekly questions: who’s the coolest artist on the block right now, who’s making music, is it any good, who’s touring and where can I go and see them? Our own personal fix of music news. These established music magazines were the hub of all the up-to-date news and the ultimate trendsetters within the music scene, regardless of taste.

 

 

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2015 NME cover. Source: NME

 

NOW things are slightly different. For the answers to all of these continuously urging questions we go to our phones, our laptops, or our favourite venue. You rarely see people paying for a music magazine at their local shop anymore, and this has been such a drastic drop in demand that one of Britain’s most established publication, NME, has recently had to re-release as a free magazine distributed publicly on the streets and at station, just when it was seemingly going to go on forever at £2.50 a piece.

 

What has cause this dramatic change in the world of music and media? And more importantly is this a positive move forward or something we should fear?

 

As we all know (and if you aren’t just look around you and witness the sea of screens before you), we now live in a world of fast-paced, constantly delivering technology. The demand for information has changed. We want it all, and we want it now (sometimes regardless of quality); so much so that we are more likely to watch 50 8-second, instantly-loading videos of recurring jokes like “what are those?” than watch an hour long documentary about something we actually care about. We also want everything for free, and are becoming increasingly stubborn against paying for services that we use regularly.

 

So as a result, dominating magazines like NME quickly went from being respected sources of media and information, the first to deliver all the latest and greatest, to an antiquated, out-of-fashion magazine. The fact that NME was driven to stop charging for the publication just demonstrates how powerful this shift is. The idea of it is great: have larger, cheaper distributions in order to gain a bigger influence. But have you given it a read lately? It is a sell-out shell of what it once was. From having the majority of the pages filled with mainstream adverts, to covering the latest hot pop-star that they would have previously mocked while boasting about discovering the new underground must-see.

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2016 DIY cover. Source: DIY

NME has disappointingly sold-out its identity in order to simply stay afloat. But this is not the case with everyone.

Lately there has been a rise of brilliant, independent publications such as DIY and Upset that have been built upon the idea that it should be free to join a music community. With their magazines being distributed to local music venues to encourage people to go to gigs, and a prominent passion for discovering a range of fresh talent from across the scene(s), there is a feeling of authenticity and genuineness when reading these magazines, and this honesty has been rewarded with an ever-growing group (with myself included) of committed readers.

 

 

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2016 Upset cover. Source: Upset

There has also been a recent flourish of blogs, and good blogs. Real journalism, honest discussions and uncompromising exposure of artists that editors are actually passionate about. You can also see artists and bands embracing this change on traditions by becoming more creative and resourceful when releasing music, making announcements and doing their promotion campaigns. We need to stop complaining about how things have changed and learn to incorporate the new order of things. Media and music are no longer emerging from the top down, it is coming from every which-way due to the Internet and other innovative ways of distribution, bringing about a new level of diversity within the music industry and levelling the playing field for everyone.

 

 

So while some institutions and organisations have fallen into the trap of the changing market within music consumption, by selling their front-page spreads to the highest bidder, others have embraced this head on. There is now a new generation of artists, journalists and media enthusiasts with fresh ideas and an eager attitude to bring people together into a community of people who just love all kinds of music, regardless of their income.

 


Check out DIY and Upset magazine.
You can follow us on twitter, facebook and instagram

Baker out.

ALBUM REVIEW. Carina Round – ‘Deranged to Divine’

Release Date: 29th July 2016

Label: Do Yourself In

Genre: Alternative Rock and a little bit of everything else

Rating: ★★★★

Carina Round is a unique one, that much is for sure. With four critically acclaimed albums and a heavily committed fan base under her belt, many started to believe that her LP ‘Tigermixes‘ would be it for the Wolverhampton artist, but she is back with the invigorating ‘Deranged to Divine‘ a retrospective collection of over a decade of work, which for this artist, means a diverse roundhouse trip through her work, spinning off in all possible directions.

The opening track, ‘You Will Be Loved‘ is a crescendo warning call to all new comers, and a welcoming message to all friendly faces. Carina’s vocal range is the first of many talents being showcased here, as a delicate folk track lifted up by soft high pitched melodies turns into a heavy electro-alternative arrangement, with the sinister lyrics “has your world been shattered, confounded by fear?” biting through. Meanwhile, ‘Into My Blood’ is an angsty dark horse, with pounding bass lines setting the perfect foundation for Carina’s emotive rantings. ‘Slow Motion Addict’ later follows on from this, will a blaring guitar riff that simmers through her almost gothic threatening words.

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Image: Instagram

There are many a surprise in this album, with gentle acoustic/folk songs such as ‘Backseat‘, telling sad tales in the form of haunting vocals. The highlights of this collection are hard to pick out due to the hige variety of choice, but ‘Elegy’ is one that shines through, as the solo instrumental at the end of the track just about teeters on the edge of madness, before the calm settles and it is done.
Mother’s Pride’ is another hit, with seemingly jaded but romanticised lyrics and purposely slow pacing that flows wonderfully before exploding into a frenzy of passionate vocal reprises and heavy drums – one for any Lana Del Rey fans out there. On the other side of the spectrum you have the brilliant ‘Want More‘, a catchy chorus bursting with hooks contrasted by carefully thought-out verses built to cut deep.

With retrospective collections of an artist’s work, it is often difficult to hold a consistent tone that flows throughout, and this is evident at certain points of this huge 18-track LP. Jazzy numbers such as ‘How I See It‘ are contrasted and arguably jolted out of the way by the more aggressive vibes of ‘Gunshot‘. However, all of the tracks on ‘Deranged to Devine’ – enjoyable or not – are not what they seem in the first few bars. Her voice is tremendously difficult to categorise: is that a country twang? A grungy bellow? Tantalising low-tone vocals reeling you in? It is all of the above and more. Carina Round is clearly the result of a melting-pot of talent, with a deep pocket of carefully crafted tunes to pick from. Overall, this album is an all-encompassing roundhouse of sounds, influences and emotions, and you won’t know where the turns are coming from.

 


Pre-Order ‘Deranged to Devine‘ here

You can also connect with Carina Round on facebooktwitter and instagram

 

 

Baker out.

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW. Late Night Legacy – ‘Of Our Times’

Release date: 19th June 2016

Genre: Bluesy Rock

Rating:★★★

The new boys on the scene from Leeds bring refreshing, bluesey undertones to their rock sound. After mastering their craft with numerous live performances and a debut single ‘Light It Up‘ released earlier this year, they return with a promising second single that s sure to get them noticed. 

Of Our Time‘ is centred around feelings of angst and rivalry against the ‘nay sayers’, a tale of the underdogs struggling through ongoing issues that come with life in the norm. It opens with a assertive riff, laying the foundations on behalf of guitarist Rob Orange. Front man Ryan Kitto enters into the song full of confidence and energetic vocals that bounce along the melodies, with softening harmonies emerging in and out. Suddenly the chorus kicks off, and suddenly you understand Late Night Legacy‘s live performance reputation, as Ryan blares out lyrics “of our time” with the sort of voice that would reverberate through music venues with excitement.

Although it is somewhat monotonous at times, this is not a typical ‘playing it safe’ second single, it is a passionate hit with catchy alternative-rock hooks and a bouncy blues undertone. With Ryan’s soulful voice and the band’s creativity that you can hear peeking through, once these guys grow in exposure, they’ll be able to go to full potential with their songwriting for sure.


Keep an eye out for Late Night Legacy‘s fresh release thus Sunday on their twitter and facebook

They also post cool stuff on youtube

 

 

Baker out.