With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Replay” – Freeda June 23, 2019


Do you like your indie rock on hard, pumping and yet melodic and tuneful? Well, you will love this new track, “Replay”, from manic Mancs Freeda. At times it reminds me of the Killers and a slightly more impassioned early Arctic Monkeys. Sean Rowles vocals are pleading, soulful and powerful. The guitar interplay from Callum on lead and Cameron on rhythm moves the song along with shades of Johnny Marr. Meanwhile, the two Adams on bass and drums respectively provide the song’s heartbeat. It follows hot on the heels of their single “Plead” from earlier this year, which itself garnered some great airplay and heavy streaming on Spotify. Freeda know a great tune when they write and record one and “Replay” is just that, a truly great song that deserves plenty of exposure. With that in mind, the boys have put together a fascinating video, directed by Peter Hall, to accompany it. These days it must be incredibly difficult to come up with a remotely original idea for a video, but the setting for “Replay” achieves that in my opinion. It has the band playing the song in what looks like a scruffy industrial styled room with a bizarre assortment of props; booze bottles, art deco lamp, a chair that has seen better days, a freaky looking headless mannequin and did I spy a cutlass? But the centrepiece, other than the band, of course, is an old TV in which you can see the band playing in parallel to their performance in the main room, but the action moves into the TV and back and each move seems to show some subtle differences. Watch the video below and click here to find the track on Spotify.

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“Britannia” and “Lifeline” – Skylights June 21, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:04 am
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Those cheeky musically talented indie rascals from York, the mighty Skylights have new product out. Not an album, not an EP, not even a single, but two rather spiffing tracks. “Britannia” and “Lifeline“. If you like Mr. Gillespie’s finest moments with Primal Scream then you will bloody love “Britannia”. It is heavy with some gorgeous Turnbulltastic riffs and Rob’s vocals are perhaps his best so far. Then there is the anthemic “Lifeline”, a song I have heard in various states, from demo to almost ready and what shines through, especially now that it has been unleashed to the world, is that it is simply a great song. It would be impossible to understate the value of the Mercedes of rhythm sections on “Lifeline” provided by Jonny Scarisbrick and Myles Soley. Everything that I hear from this lot has me salivating over the prospect of a Skylights album. They are definitely one of my favourite bands right now. They will be making a video for one of these classy songs and they want to hear from you dear music fans to decide which one will get the full-on Skylights cinematic experience. It has been a long while since I started a poll on here, so how about you help the boys choose by voting in this little poll. Go on, you know it makes sense. After you have voted get yourself one of the last remaining tickets for their gig at the Wardrobe in Leeds on 27th July!

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“Easy Target” – Bitch June 18, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:55 pm
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One of the USA’s finest artists, who is currently based in Los Angeles, and a passionate ambassador and fighter for women’s rights and equality, who goes by the artist name Bitch, has a new single out now. It is called “Easy Target” and it really is something very special. Sonically it is eclectic, electro-folk and lyrically it is one of the most pro-feminist anthems that I have heard in many months. It is a follow up to “New Year”, from earlier this year, which itself is a truly feminist anthem that you can dance to. What I love about both songs is that Bitch doesn’t just support feminists, she wears her feminist heart on her sleeve and is not afraid for that heart to get bloodied. She describes “Easy Target” as being about finding your own sense of self-worth, strength, and pride in the face of adversity. She adds “Women are often criticized more intensely and more often than men, and this song is about knowing who you are anyway. Although I wrote this based on my own experiences, I send this out to Anita Hill, Christine Blasey Ford, Tarana Burke, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the countless women who stand up and tell their truth.” Do you call yourself a feminist? You do? Then you need to aspire to the immaculate, powerful and heartfelt words of Bitch. One of the key refrains of the song is “At the end of the day, I’m just proud” and she truly should be proud. This is not only a great song, but it also carries a powerful and hard-hitting message. I need to hear more from Bitch and trust me on this, you need her in your life! I am what some correspondents might call pale, stale and male, but I do not think like that stereotype and that is why I believe that this message from Bitch resonates so very strongly with me. The problem right now is that so many powerful figures and so-called leaders are a long, long way from accepting women as equals. Those are the people that we need to change or remove from positions of power. People like Bitch are a part of the vanguard that will eventually bring down some of these vile individuals. Starting with President Agent Orange I hope!

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An Interview With Von Kaiser June 12, 2019

Filed under: Interview,Podcast — justwilliam1959 @ 12:18 pm
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Here is the third With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Podcast. This time it is an interview with a very talented new band from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA They are called Von Kaiser. Find out what they have to say about their local music scene, their influences and how they got their name. I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear your comments!

Click here to find it on SoundCloud.

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‘Kind Heaven’ – Perry Farrell June 9, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:18 pm
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US music legend Perry Farrell releases his first album of new material for many years and his first solo record since 2001. The new album is called ‘Kind Heaven’ and it is out now on BMG. The whole collection is upbeat and if you are someone who thought music might be getting a little stale for you, then this is definitely the collection for you. It kicks off with “(red, white and blue) Cheerfulness” a full-blooded feel-good rocker oozing with great riffs and hooks. I assume that “Pirate Punk Politician” is a brilliantly incisive put down of President Agent Orange. With biting lyrics like “Split your country down the middle. Break her open, kill the kiddos” it is most definitely on the money. Farrell has his finger on the pop-rock pulse among many other genres with this release. He is not bound by genres and for me, this album is his most eclectic collection of music to date. The group of musicians here is collectively known as the Kind Heaven Orchestra and the record was co-produced by legendary producer Tony Visconti. There are featured contributions from Dhani Harrison, Elliot Easton (The Cars), and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) among others. Farrell’s wife Etty provides some superb counterpoint and lead vocals.

It is not the same song as U2’s but on “One” the vocal sounds very Bono like. “More Than I Could Bear” has a sweeping majesty to it and a psychedelic middle feel which Jimmy Page and Robert Plant would be very envious of. Perry Farrell is 60, but on the evidence of this album, he is giving far younger contemporaries a run for their money. It is great to see that he is still so fired up by his music.  Just when you think you know where this set of songs is going you get hit by an unexpected broadside of electro-dance-pop like “Snakes Have Many Hips” and “Spend The Body”. The latter is the sort of song that Madonna used to be so good at until she somewhat disappeared up her own backside in the last seven or eight years. Many of these tunes are built for festivals, whether that is intentional from the man who created Lollapalooza, I don’t know. But there is an epic vibe to many of the tracks here that had me moving and singing along. I used the record as the soundtrack to my run this afternoon and it works so well in that context. There is an inherent spirituality present which is most strongly felt in album closer “Let’s Pray For This World”. If ‘Kind Heaven’ does not feature on everyone’s album of the year list later in 2019 then something is wrong. It is a great album that I have listened to on repeat for six or seven times already. My only negative point is that it clocks in at just over 30 minutes. But buy it, stream it, borrow it, hell just find any way that you can to listen to it! I hope to catch him live sometime soon, see you there!

Kind Heaven tracklisting:

  1. (red, white, and blue) Cheerfulness

  2. Pirate Punk Politician

  3. Snakes Have Many Hips

  4. Machine Girl

  5. One

  6. Where Have You Been All My Life

  7. More Than I Could Bear

  8. Spend The Body

  9. Let’s All Pray For This World

 

“Embers” – InFade June 2, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:22 pm
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Carl from InFade contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing their new single “Embers”. I was always going to do it, but I moved it much closer to the top of the pile when he described their sound as ‘Tool meets Earth Wind and Fire!’ That description sold it to me, but the question is can the track live up to it? Well, I reckon it can. It is a mountainous slab of hard rock, with a funk feel in the bass and drums. “Embers” has a great melodic feel and builds slowly, with an undercurrent of menace, to a crescendo that might register in the Richter scale at times. I have always believed that Yorkshire’s current generation of bands is strong, now that I have heard InFade from Leeds I am even more committed in that belief.

This track also carries the kind of soft-loud alternation that the Pixies mastered and Kurt Cobain was a fan of. In some of the softer moments singer, Max has a slight nod towards Peter Gabriel’s vocals. I can also detect a Biffy Clyro influence and let’s face it that is no bad thing. The lyrics have inherent power and appear to be about lost love and the grieving that loss in painful aftermath. I have listened to some of their other stuff and after that, I am definitely a fan. Click here to check out some earlier InFade releases on SoundCloud. The dictionary definition of embers is a small piece of burning or glowing coal or wood in a dying fire’. This song is much bigger than a small piece of glowing coal and InFade is more inferno than dying fire. The new single is officially launched with a gig at the 360 Club in Leeds on 28th June. In a live environment “Embers” will take on an anthemic life of its own. Be there or be square!

All photos provided by the artist.

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‘Black Mirror’ – G G Fearn

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:36 pm
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GG Fearn is a highly talented emerging artist from Carmarthen in Wales. Her first EP, ‘Black Mirror’ is out now and if you love the catchy, well-produced pop style, indie driven songs with a nod towards the dance world then you will love this. She has played gigs across the UK, including the Cavern in Liverpool. There are shades of Marina and the Diamonds in here and GG’s voice comes across at times like a British Stevie Nicks. The title track has a really impressive layered vocal chorus and a supremely infectious melody and hook that is taken into the stratosphere with a deep synth bass sound. The guitar licks are great 70s throwbacks. The production on “Teen Queen” really showcases the songs funky desires and if you fail to move your body to this you might well have flatlined! My favourite track on the EP at the moment is “Deal With Devil”, her voice has an Eastern tinge to it. I can imagine this song soundtracking a scene in American Horror Story or perhaps Lucifer.

In “Famous Last Words” GG sings that she wants to be remembered and to go down in history. On the evidence of this release, I believe that she has every chance of achieving that. I am definitely looking forward to her first album now! GG’s pen picture says “Her shebang of dark pop delight is original and fresh without the shackles of expectation” and having listened to this delightful EP three times now I have to agree. Her lyrics belie her youth with their confidence, darkness, and maturity. She sounds a little quirky at times, but I mean that in the positive. Kate Bush, one of my favourite singers, has always had a great take on quirkiness. GG began writing songs when she was quite you too, just like Kate Bush! GG is a truly original talent and I reckon she will be around a long, long while. I will be incredibly disappointed if you fail to check out this EP, do it now! Just click right here to listen on Spotify!

All photos provided by the artist.

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