With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Oh Dearism’ – itoldyouiwouldeatyou October 17, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:12 pm
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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem’s newest writer Tom Ray test drives the new itoldyouiwouldeatyou album. Check out his thoughts on ‘Oh Dearism’ below.

“It’s about Wilfred Owen, King Harold, Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves and Vladislav Surkov. All of these represent real people in my life at various different times. Some of them are me, too.”

 itoldyouiwouldeatyou describe themselves as an Indie-Punk/Emo/Experimental act. I have to confess that ordinarily, the ‘E’ word would be enough to send me running for the hills, but I persevered and found a lot to like with ‘Oh Dearism’, their début album.

Hot on the heels of their February EP, ‘Get Terrified’, ‘Oh Dearism’ is a startlingly diverse record.

Before I talk about the music I’d just like to point out that I really like the album cover, especially the muted blue filter. It looks very much like a modern Shoegaze album. I also really like the lack of capitalisation in both the band’s name, and the song titles. These kinds of small, simple touches really make a band stand out to me.

The opening track, “earl, king, whatever” opens with a church organ playing a morose drone under lyrics inviting someone to a funeral, as a date. You know, like that Peep Show episode but with less humour. Beneath the organ drone, a distorted guitar drone fades in slowly. The whole intro has a grainy, lo-fi texture to it.  The lo-fi vibes fade entirely when the guitar, bass and drums drop in, revealing a crisp, clean, modern production.

Across the following eight tracks, the lo-fi intro to hi-fi song trick is repeated several times, to great effect. The noisy segue between “earl, king, whatever” and “gold rush” is a great example. Or the analogue-sounding synth intro to ‘gathering things together and not dividing them’.

Throughout, eerie synth sounds and syncopated drumming rub comfortably against accomplished, melodic lead guitar and all manner of strange guitar pedal noises, from strange squelches to bitcrushed distortions. These are the sections of the album that I particularly enjoy, when the band really let their hair down and make noise. These sections remind me of a favourite ‘90’s band, Swirlies. Inhabiting the sonic space between Grunge and Shoegaze. I’d be interested to see itoldyouiwouldeatyou take this side of their sound further.

The lyrics tend to deal with issues such as (in their own words); “questions about identity, about love and sexuality, about gender, about morality and responsibility, about the social and political structures which constrain us, and about the fitness of the institutions and systems that underpin modern society to provide us with a world that works for us all.”

So, some pretty heady stuff to wrap your brain around, but I failed to find much depth to their lyrics. maybe I’m too old. I imagine, as a teenager, I’d probably find them a lot more poignant and poetic.

A decent effort for a band way outside my comfort zone.

‘Oh Dearism’ is released 16th November 2018.

In the meantime check out their video for latest single, “gold rush”;

Review written by Tom Ray

 

 

“TV” – Alleyways October 16, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:26 pm
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Leeds/ York based Alleyways have released another exquisite slice of sublime pop rock with the sublime “TV”. Apparently the song is about living the moment and not immersing yourself in technology. I hope fans take heed at live shows and actually experience the gig through their human senses and not through a tiny phone screen. The song has echoes of some of the finest 80s pop music, I hear elements of Altered Images and Aztec camera here. It doesn’t take much more than the first listen for “TV” to take root in your brain and boost those endorphins off the scale! If you like this then you really need to check out Alleyways other stuff, including three other great songs; “Naked”,  “Bubble Gum” and “Gucci”. They will be playing a number of headline shows in support of “TV” in the next few weeks. This follows some great support slots with Fickle Friends and Glass Caves to name just a couple. The band have begun working with Chalk Pit Records from Leeds and this I am sure will result in some great new things from Alleyways in 2019. Stay tuned people, this band has so much to offer!

 

“Even In My dreams” – FOURS

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:23 pm
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To paraphrase that magnificent playwright and all-round entertainer Ernest Wiseman, here is a review wot I wrote of the rather spiffing new single “Even In My Dreams” by FOURS. Click here to read it on the staggeringly good 3 Songs & Out website!

 

‘Rise Not Fall’ – Jess Gardham October 14, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:37 pm
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Sometimes you come across good music purely by chance, well that is my experience. Recently I attended the tenth anniversary dinner for the wonderful York children’s charity the Island. It was a fabulous evening in every way. One of those ways was the musical entertainment, Jess Gardham. She played in the lobby as guests arrived and even with all the noisy hubbub and low volume she sounded like she had something special. Then just before we ate Jess kicked out a stunning acoustic version of the Black Eyed Peas “Where Is The Love” that was full of soulful emotion and anger at the world. Every guest that evening received a gift bag with information about the Island including a flash drive, chocolate and many other things. But my favourite give away was a copy of Jess Gardham’s CD ‘Rise Not Fall’.

Jess at times sounds a little like Joan Armatrading, but her yearning, soaring vocal style give her a very clear identity that is Jess Gardham. All six songs on this CD were written by Jess and she plays percussion and acoustic guitar. I get a sense that some of the lyrics are autobiographical and she sings them like she really mean it. I certainly would not like to be the protagonist of “Caught Out”. The title track “Rise And Fall” is my favourite tune here after a few listens. I especially love the positive emotions displayed and the determination that Jess conveys so easily. She has played support for an amazing array of artists including; Paul Carrack, Martin Simpson, David McAlmont, Wilko Johnson and KT Tunstall to name just a few. Her talent is not just that of a great singer songwriter though, Jess is also an actress and has appeared in stage productions that include ‘Hairspray’, ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ and ‘Ghost: The Musical’. To cap all that she was also a quarter finalist in BBC One’s MasterChef 2018! Check this talented woman out now, you will not be disappointed!

Public service announcement. I found all the pictures included here via Goggle and the videos via YouTube. If they are your pictures or videos and you would like me to credit you or take them down then give me a shout!

 

“As long as we’re together the rest can go to hell” October 4, 2018


As regular readers will know I am a huge fan of David Bowie, although I am not keen on a lot of his output in the 80s. But even in that period there were some gems. One of those is for me the single “Absolute Beginners” a Langer Winstanley production from 1986. I also pride myself in knowing a lot of trivia about the Dame. But I recently read some trivia about “Absolute Beginners” that I never knew before. Kevin Armstrong was Bowie’s guitarist at that time and had been since he put together a band to back him at the previous years Live Aid concert. Armstrong says that when they were recording the song Bowie said that he wanted a backing/ co-vocalist who “sounded like a shop girl”. Kevin said “my sister works in a shop” and from that history was made! The previously unrecorded, untested and I believe 22 years old Janet Armstrong recorded a counterpoint vocal that is definitely comparable to many professional singers! Janet if by any chance you are reading this may I say thank you and I would love to offer you the chance to be interviewed by this blog. 🙂

 

 
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