With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

The WJAHOM Interview Podcast – Kaoru Sato of the Dead Zoo March 7, 2021

Filed under: Interview,Podcast — justwilliam1959 @ 1:46 pm
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Last week I had the honour and pleasure of interviewing Kaoru Sato the talented frontwoman of the Dead Zoo, a band who are destined for great things! Kaoru talks about her musical influences, her previous bands, these strange days and the Dead Zoo among many other things. Click here to take a listen and let us know what you think. While your listening check out the Dead Zoo on BandCamp and maybe buy yourself some fine music! When you have listened to the podcast and bought some great stuff from BandCamp I have included a few of my favourite Dead Zoo tracks from YouTube below!

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https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/3hJwWzfLQXXLWJqH8cmPl5

 

“Blood On Your Hands” – Captain Ska March 4, 2021

Filed under: News,Rants,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:17 pm
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Captain Ska are back with a wonderfully brutal take down of this scummy, vile UK government! Johnson and his Cabinet most definitely have blood on their hands. Let us not forget that the next time we get the chance to vote. However good the vaccine roll out is, let us not forget that the NHS is organising that, not SERCO or some new company set up by a cabinet members mate! This government is the most inept and evil pack of scumbags I have ever experienced. More than 100,000 dead? That is an absolute fucking disgrace. Don’t give me all that “aw but they are doing their best”, no they’re fucking not! Everything Johnson and his gang have done during Covid has been self centered or arse covering. They are liars who refuse to take responsibility for their actions! Never forget these times, hold these bastards to account and share the fuck out of this video!

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“Little Frankenstein (The Franken-Lee Remix) and “Run Boy (No Longer)” – Not Now Norman March 3, 2021


Back in January we featured Not Now Norman‘s “Little Cheryl” in our first singles round up of 2021, well so far this year they have already hit us with two singles! But it’s not just the quantity, it’s the quality. These two are pretty damned good. First up is “Little Frankenstein (The Franken-Lee Remix)” which takes the 2019 original into a much harder riff laden heavy experience and it makes a good song great! This tune proves that Not Now Norman are not just for Halloween, they are for life! The second of this ace brace of singles is “Run Boy (No Longer)” a collaboration with Geo Moon. It sounds like the Prodigy mated with Black Sabbath while secretly being watched by a voyeuristically warped Robert Plant to produce a bouncing electro metal dance baby that everyone will love! The song deals with abuse by toxic people and does it so well. Taylor’s voice is a soaring spectacle of spaced out dance rock on this track and at times reminds me of Madonna. The Game Of Thrones tribute video is pretty sharp too! If you had told me just a few months ago that 2021 would see me becoming a Norminion, I would have laughed in your face (well kind of, but I would still have worn a mask and observed a social distance). You really need to get this band in your life, do it now!

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‘Who Am I?’ – Pale Waves March 1, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:49 pm
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Manchester’s Pale Waves recently released their sophomore album ‘Who Am I?’ many bands have struggled with the quality of that “difficult” second album, but not Pale Waves. The band appear to have taken a really difficult road to the follow up to 2018’s ‘My Mind Makes Noises’; constant touring, a near fatal bus crash, having to record in the midst of a pandemic and perhaps the weight of expectation after that first LP. But those experiences seem to have inspired them to greatness. This is a stylish and classy collection of perfect pop rock tunes. Heather Baron-Gracie’s voice is strong and reminded me at times of Taylor Swift. But there is also a pure crystal clarity to her vocals which hint at what Karen Carpenter might have done if she had taken more of a rock direction.

The album has so far spawned a quintuple of essential singles including opener “Change” which builds slowly into singalong view of a relationship that needs to change. After four or five spins I think “Fall To Pieces” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, at least for now. This is another track dealing with relationship issues, with lyrics which are at times brutally open. “She’s My Religion” kicks off with instrumentation that might have opened a Cure tune back in the early 80s, then Heather’s voice kicks in and you know instantly that this is a 21st Century song. The lyrical couplet “She’s cold, she’s dark, she’s cynical. She’s forever angry at the world” is sublime wordsmithing! I can picture bouncing around in a sunny festival field on a high while listening to the band perform “Easy”. Excuse the pun but it has an easy pop dance lilt to it. A broken relationship is the subject of “Wish U Were Here” and once again the lyrics sound simple but for me they are the work of a first class genius. How can you not love the pre chorus refrain of “I look at pictures of you, I’m getting nothing back. If there’s really a god, why won’t she give me that?” Next up are a brace of songs that draw on the best of the Go-Gos; “Tomorrow” and “You Don’t Own Me”, the latter of which is one of my favourite tracks on the album, but frankly it is a tough competition. As an album ‘Who Am I?’ really lives up to “all killer, no filler’ status.

I love the message in “I Just Needed You” which perfectly sums up what is the difference between what we want versus what we need. It is also a supremely radio friendly song which would have been played to death back in the hey day of US FM radio in the 70s. “Odd Ones Out” has a real acoustic, almost folky feel and such a gorgeous, dreamy, perfectly harmonised chorus. The band are particularly tight throughout the album but for me they come across as the consummate ace band on “Run To” the rhythm section hits perfect cadence and the harmonies are spot on. The album closes with the title track “Who Am I?” a deep, powerful ballad which feels influenced by Alanis Morrisette. Every so often a song comes along that makes me cry, this is one of them. Heather opens her heart wide and sings with so much emotion and soul. For me this is about the black dog of depression and is simply wonderful. This is a faultless release and a further springboard for what should be much deserved huge success for Pale Waves. It is a record that traverses the strange road the world has travelled in the last 12 months taking us from euphoria to depression and onward to hope! Roll on the return of festivals and gigs, I need to see Pale Waves play live.

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“Mad, Bad & Baggy” – Notorious Lightbulbs February 23, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:47 pm
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I first became acquainted with the Notorious Lightbulbs almost two years ago when I featured them in the Mayhem Virgins series. They also provided a great Christmas message for all With Just A Hint Of Mayhem readers last December. Well this funk fuelled duo made up of Diego Wilde and Crystal Miss from the North East of England have a new single out, and in keeping with their talent for great titles it’s a another winner, it is called “Mad, Bad & Baggy”. It has a strong jazz funk feel that would get me on the dance floor. The keyboards have a great Joe Sample vibe going on and the band have maintained their expert grasp of crafting a top notch pop melody. Something about it made me imagine George Michael covering it and he would have made it even more special. The Notorious Lightbulbs keep their mysterious air with their ever present steam punk style shades. Is it really that sunny in the North East. Personally I think this is their best release and they have issued some great stuff before this. If you haven’t got into this funky, punky, disco outfit yet then get started now! That’s an order!

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Mayhem Virgins – Pentastone February 22, 2021


German metal band Pentastone are the twelfth act to feature in the Mayhem Virgins series, maybe I need to sort out a Mayhem Virgins playlist! I came across this band thanks to the obscenely gifted singer Lauren Tate (Hands Off Gretel, Delilah Bon) sharing one of their songs on Twitter. Pentastone, from Darmstadt, and founded in 2016, are extraordinarily talented vocalist Luisa Knauß, drummer Timo Schwab a man who could trigger avalanches with his beats, lead guitarist Joschka Ihlefeld who is the complete master of his instrument, rhythm guitarist and riff supremo Dennis Ludwig and last but not least bass player Fabio Brauer who adds an intense heartbeat to the bands songs. For all the people who constantly moan that there are no great female fronted bands around you need to check out Pentastone now!

The band are from Germany and released the ‘Poisoned Mind’ EP in 2018. It contains five blistering and explosive tracks that clearly mark out the Pentastone metal manifesto. “Fuck This” is probably my favourite closely followed by the title track. Two tracks from the EP were good enough to turn up again on the bands debut album ‘Stuck In The Sky’ which was released earlier this month. That album has so far spawned four ace singles; “Stuck In The Sky” and “Keep Falling” from 2019, “How It Feels” from last year and “Get Better” from this year. All four tracks showcase the power and venomous emotion generated by Pentastone and Luisa sings like she means it. Support from BONASSIS of GUT on “Get Better” adds incredible depth to a great tune. If there was a test to write and perform the perfect metal song, “Stuck In The Sky” would be a contender. “How It Feels and “Stuck In The Sky” are two tracks that would ramp up the power in the mosh pit to super nova levels. Every track on this album is a future classic the riffs could split a planet in two, the rhythm section generate enough power to light the the Boötes Void all of this is made perfect by vocals that could be responsible for the Big Bang. Luisa has a magnificent range of styles from softer melodic to full on metal roar. If you have not listened to Pentastone yet, then you need to start NOW! The videos up to now are challengingly different to Pentastone‘s peers and are at times weird and challenging in a good way. I can see massive success in the future for this band and we need to demand their presence at UK Festivals when they resume post Covid!

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“Funky Feeling” – Tommyrot February 20, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:10 pm
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Those roguish rapscallions of rock known as Tommyrot have recently unleashed a new song on the world. It is called “Funky Feeling” and begs the question, can white boys play da funk? Well these boys can! They have clearly tightened the tourniquet and injected themselves with the funk, some punk and some classic British early 70s rock. But just enough to get a rock ‘n’ roll high. The languid chilled and obviously funky bass line is particularly addictive and Tommyrot prove that as well as being a great band they are also cunning linguists as they introduce some French into the lyrics. After last years singles, “Drugs” and “The Happy Ending Song” it is totally transpicuous that this band have many talents and are adept at avoiding being stuck in one particular genre box! Will there be a Tommyrot album sometime? I hope so, but in the meantime I reckon they will be a lot of fun when we get back to proper gigs.

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‘Cloth Bound’ – Sonder Bombs February 14, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:01 pm
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The Sonder Bombs have a strong sense of melody and they use it to excellent effect on this absolute gem of an album “Crying Is Cool” is a great pop song which bounces along and carries you with it. “Papillon” slows the pace but keeps the melodic sense firmly in place. “Vegas Baby” has some of the pop feel of the Go Gos and the vocals are fabulous. “What Are Friends For” keeps up the pace and quality and the drumming is key to this track. “Scattered” slows things down and the vocal is less intense but still with beautiful timbre and a lovely guitar melody. I think this is one of the most poignant songs here . “The Brink” takes us back to the more frantic but bouncy feel we have got used to early on. “Swing On Sight” is great punk pop and as with everything else here is very strong; lyrics, melody, playing …the whole enchilada! “The One About You” is a truly beautiful piece of melodic pop with a superb arrangement. The Sonder Bombs are a revelation to me and I will certainly be searching out more of their fabulous music and looking forward to seeing them live, soon we hope!

Written by Paul Bamlett

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Mayhem Virgins – Gaylips


You don’t see a Mayhem Virgins post for more than six months and then two come along in less than a month, I’m not sure how that happened but there you go. Anyway this is the eleventh act to feature in the Mayhem Virgins series. In case you were wondering it has nothing to do with being a virgin, it is simply artists that have never previously appeared on the pages of With Just A Hint Of Mayhem before. Today it is the turn of Gaylips from that hot bed of rock ‘n’ roll the Georgian town of Ampthill in Bedfordshire. The name of the town has Anglo Saxon origins The first settlement was called ‘Aemethyll’, which literally means either ‘ant-heap’ or ‘ant infested hill’. However that is not the town’s only claim to fame they also hold an annual music festival called Amp Rocks (well like everywhere they did in those pre Covid days) which has had bands such as Toploader and Razorlight featured. Last year McFly were pencilled in as headliners. But who cares about any of that now that Ampthill has Gaylips? Before you start sending me missives from ‘Angry Of Basingstoke’ or whatever about the bands name, it comes from drummer Jonny’s Mum referring to vocalist/bass player Carl as having Gay lips. Is that even a thing? Who knows? Anyway Gaylips were formed from the ashes of Betaboy, a band who remain the only act ever to be banned from the aforementioned Amp Rocks. Apparently the ban resulted from something which involved brandy and the Lightning Seeds.

Gaylips are a band that appears to excel in the true sprit of punk. Their tunes have bite, venom and volume in abundance. Vocals which at times take me back to the late 70s and the snarly, whiney Johnny Rotten singing style. I have no idea what this band are like in a live environment, but I have a suspicion that they are truly incendiary judging from their recorded output. They released the rifftastic and wonderfully titled “Fuck The Plan, Sell The Man” EP in 2019. But it is not just the riffs, the power of the drums could break the Himalayas into pieces. Seven tracks and clocking in at less than 15 minutes in total, that really is a throwback to 1977. “Retail Park” is a particular favourite of mine from that release. If there isn’t a Gaylips fanzine already then someone needs to start one. There were a few classy singles from the band last year, with “Hello Armageddon” having future classic written all over it. Meanwhile “D.E.B” is a fine slab of almost perfect punk. Current single “Temporary Love Song” drops the gears down a little, at least at times, and clocks in at a whopping 3 minutes and 9 seconds, that is almost prog rock proportions for Gaylips. Vocally it is as if Bryan Ferry had been put through a punk rock blender. It is a song that proves this band have depth and a real understanding of what makes good music. I know that I say this about a lot of bands in these strange times, but I really need to see Gaylips play live! Before I finish I want to use the rather spiffing quote on the about section of the Gaylips FaceBook page “GAYLIPS is a grenade chucked into the room – a last hoorah before music is finally sacrificed at the altar of an AI algorithm” Now that is class on a stick!

All the pictures above were “borrowed” from the Gaylips FaceBook page and the videos were sourced from their YouTube page. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know. The photographer appears to be Paul Curry. (Paul send me your links and I will credit you!)

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‘Follow Me’ – Kristina Stazaker

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:11 pm
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This album has a raw and honest feel that is often hard to locate in current music. “Follow Me” has some essence of Patti Smith with a folk twist. Kristina’s voice is rich and she inhabits each song in a gripping and fascinating way. “Journey Part 1” carries the same feel and a similar insistent guitar backing. “Goddess” introduces a loping time signature and wonderful vocal interplay which is once again powerful and deep. “In A Previous Life” has a more melancholy feel. It is the great vocal sound which draws you in to every song. “Everyday” has a touch of Michelle Shocked and the lyrics are fierce and powerful. “Judgement Day” travels at breakneck pace and actually seems to increase in speed . “Silence And Slumber” is the strongest song here. Once again the voice , the tempo and the fascinating personality of the singer are set out clearly. This album is a powerful statement of intent and it will be extremely interesting to see where this truly original artist goes next!

Written by Paul Bamlett

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