With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘The Hunmanby Gap Sessions’ – Soma Crew April 6, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:02 pm
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I have loved the resurgence of vinyl as a medium for music again these last few years. It has also given rise to some cottage industry-style releases and label setups. One of the latter is the label created by what is probably the best record shop in Yorkshire, Vinyl Eddie in York. The label, unsurprisingly, is called Vinyl Eddie Records and is preparing two release their next two slabs of vinyl, two collections by York’s laid-back, psyched-out, grungy noiseniks, Soma Crew. Two volumes of rather delightful tunes from this very talented band. The two volumes will be issued under the main title of ‘The Hunmanby Gap Sessions’. Volume 1 is subtitled ‘Out Of Darkness’ and Volume two will be ‘Into Light’. The out-of-darkness and into-light stance may relate to the terrible year we have all been through, but I am not sure all of these tracks were written post-Covid. But either way, there are some fantastic tunes here which will certainly help lift the mood into something more positive. Soma Crew are almost mysterious as there is not much information available about them online. They formed in 2013, and were initially called Muttley Crew Is that a pun on Motley Crue or an homage to Dick Dastardly’s sidekick? . It came about after a few friends got together after regular attendance at open mic nights in York. There seems to have been an array of members over the years (including those featured on the album sleeves). Si Micklethwaite, singer, songwriter, and guitarist has certainly been ever-present and maybe some of the other members have, but the internet is really short on bio data for this rather excellent band.

Volume 1 opens with “Phantom” an intriguingly hypnotic slice of melodic shoegaze with added drone. I love it! Next up “Wishlist” continues the perfectly executed drone rock with a rumbling bass that hits you right in the chest when you play it loud. This one has a nice injection of Velvet Underground style. If Jonathan Richman had joined the aforementioned Velvet Underground I think they might have produced something like “You’re So Cool”. I can imagine this supported by a video-heavy on the use of an oil lamp projector and psychedelic filters. “Half-Life” is majestically chilled, with a steam train drone and some stunning use of organ as it builds towards a huge crescendo of an ending. This track made me think of Spiritualized, which given that Soma Crew state one of their influences as Spaceman 3 I am not surprised. This song made me want to spliff up and lie in a hammock in the sunshine! I have no real idea why, but “Mighty Forces” was reminiscent of John Squire, in a world where Squire was a member of the Grateful Dead. This is probably my favourite track on volume 1. This first disc closes with “Happening” a Soma Crew song you could almost dance to, well at least frug around a bit.

“Hey Sister” kicks off volume 2 and it has a great psyched up 60s Pink Floyd vibe going on, Syd Barrett would have been proud of this one. “There’s A Fire” flies off the blocks like a proper rock bastard and I reckon a Jason Pierce remix of this would be ace. Next up we are treated to the more chilled side of Soma Crew again with “Broken Matches” a really understated tune driven by a rhythm on top form. The band showcase their more electronic sound on the intro to “Machines”, although guitar, bass and drums still feature heavily as the track progresses. I love the distortion on this one, it is an amazing track to listen to on headphones. Simon’s vocal is almost choral in style here. On “Seven” they sound like a warped alt.country band who trespassed into the KLF’s White Room. It definitely crosses the Weirdsville City Limits as it builds into an other worldly anthem. This is potentially my favourite of the whole collection. “Nicotine Drum” certainly owes a debt to Spaceman 3, but it is a great song in its own right. I am so looking forward to getting my hands on both these LPs. I am also looking forward to the opportunity of seeing Soma Crew live sometime soon.

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“Bad Bones” – Marq Electronica

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:51 pm
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Regular readers know that I love political and protest songs, which is the first reason that “Bad Bones” the new single from Marq Electronica alerted my ears. It is like a Portishead collaboration with Goldie at his peak, but this is no facsimile, the song stands up really well on its own and is driven hard by some bountiful bombastic electro synth bass lines. Marq says this of the track, “Bad Bones is my reaction, my dissatisfaction and frustration at the political landscape what I see as the smiling faces and the double talk of those in power.” Personally I think he has nailed the dissatisfaction that many of us feel about current politicians, particularly the UK Government. Lyrics like, “The higher the bidder, the more you comply. Lie to the people, then look them straight in the eye”. have immense depth and huge power. The video has a gorgeous ‘Tron’ versus ‘Max Headroom’ feel to it and enhances what is already a great tune. The song was produced and mixed by Simon Ellis who has worked with the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, East 17, S Club 7, and Westlife). This track is good enough for me to forgive Simon for anything he did with Westlife! Marq has a really interesting canon of work available on SoundCloud, his cover of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” takes the tune to another dimension. This dude is definitely one to watch out for, click here to play “Bad Bones” and more of his music.

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“Light Up The Sky” -Apollo Junction April 5, 2021


The Saturn V rocket which launched all the Apollo missions in the 60s and 70s generated 7.6 million pounds (34.5 million newtons) of thrust at launch and it could launch about 130 tons (118,000 kilograms) into Earth orbit. That is heavy and now a band that shares part of their name with those Moon missions is about to release their heaviest single yet! I am talking about the new tune from one of Leeds finest bands, Apollo Junction who unleash their new song “Light Up The Sky” on the world this coming Friday, 9th April. It is a full on glam stomper with funky metal overtones, however they still maintain their signature electro sound within it too. On the evidence of this and all the singles released since their 2019 debut album ‘Mystery’ they will certainly overcome that “difficult second album” conundrum. Album number two, will, I suspect be even better than the first. “Light Up The Sky” has almost immediately become my favourite Apollo Junction tune!

The band describe “Light Up The Sky” as “an anthem about the need for togetherness in darker times. It’s the song
that we have aimed to write since the day we formed Apollo Junction and is a great representation of the big sound of our second album”
. Well I agree that it is anthemic and not just a big sound, but a monumentally huge sound. As we slowly move out of the dark cloud of Covid there are an increasing number of chances to see the boys play live in 2021, including Carfest North and Carfest South, Bingley Weekender, Isle Of Wight Festival and supporting the Kaiser Chiefs at the Halifax Piece Hall to name just a few. If this band is not stratospherically successful in the next few years I might have to eat my hat! Get them in your life now! When the single is issued later this week I will add a few links for you to get it into your ears! Click here to check out some of their other great tunes on Spotify!

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2021 Part 4 March 30, 2021


It’s very close to the end of March and this is our fourth singles round up of 2021. This roundup once again features a special guest reviewer. I was joined for this mega online listening shindig by an ace Radio DJ, check out his Indie/Alternative Show on Jorvik Radio (Sundays 5pm to 7pm). Let me introduce you to the one and only Jake Cartledge!

We listened to ten quite different tunes from ten clearly talented bands and singers, two of whom (Moodbay and Elkyn) have featured on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem before, but I am confident that all ten will appear here again in the future. This bunch come from Sheffield, Leeds (two of them), North-East UK, the South Coast of England, Lincoln (two of them), Newport, North-West UK and one from outside the UK, San Francisco!  Inject this eclectic selection of tunes deep into your lugholes! Click here to check out the Spotify playlist with all ten songs on it!

“Once Or Twice” – Caroline and the Lights

Bill – Dark, late-night jazz. I love her voice. A proper chanteuse, a real torch singer. In a few years I can imagine Caroline being a contender to record a James Bond theme. It has a 60s feel and possibly my favourite of this particular singles roundup.

Jake – An old school, vintage 60s vibe, but with a slightly more modern twist. Maybe Nancy Sinatra with some Kate Bush thrown in. Really good track and different from everything else in this batch of singles.

“Happy” – Bad Idea

Jake – Definitely one of my favourites from this review session. A song of two distinct sides. It starts off with a dreamy, atmospheric, laid-back late-night listening vibe and then moves into a much more manic and urgent sound for the second half.

Bill – Chilled and even a little lo-fi at the start. Parts of the instrumentation rather weirdly made me think of George Michael’s “A Different Corner”. I love her voice and the harmonies are great. Strangely she didn’t sound very happy in the chorus, but maybe that was wonderfully performed irony. It moved into something really loud and “out there” for the second part.

“Psycho” – Moodbay

Bill – A great vocal from Anna. Like something that All Saints might have done if theye were new to the scene now. Great hooks and I love the way the synths build and then drop to a great keyboard refrain.

Jake – I love this, very atmospheric with great vocals. Anna’s voice sounds a little like Kat from Leeds band Polo.

“Go Back” – The Death Of Pop

Jake – A nice, chilled start, this reminded me of Tame Impala and towards the end some of the more recent MGMT releases. A wonderful galloping bass sound!

Bill – A new take on early 80s jangly indie sounds. Great harmonies and instrumentation and as Jake said, wonderful bass. This lot are more likely to be a defibrillator to pop rather than be the death of it!

“Something” – Elkyn

Bill – Chilled electro style. For me Elkyn get better with each release. Great vocals and I like the slightly less acoustic direction.

Jake – Really nice tune, it makes me think of sitting in the garden on a sunny day during the first Covid lockdown. A great summer song

“No Sympathy” – Duccbod

Jake – This really got going in the final 45 seconds or so. The vocal reminds me of Hozier and there is a great lyrical flow.

Bill – A dark tune where the lyrics are not just dark but bitter too. I love the way that it moves into a quasi rap sound and it builds really well to a fabulous end. I like this one a lot.

“The Last Call” – Finding Aurora

Bill – Great pop punk riffs for a tune that has mosh action written all over it. The singer has a great rock voice. Perhaps a little too Foo Fighters at times, but some definite promise.

Jake – The riff was good, but this one didn’t really stand out for me. But perhaps that is because I am not a huge fan of that pop punk style.

“Eternity” – Seagoth

Jake – This reminds me of something from the 90s, an obscure singer whose name escapes me for now. An androgynous vocal over a chilled 90s dance sound, it becomes a little “ploddy” at times though.

Bill – The name Seagoth suggested something heavy and dark, it wasn’t. This is much more of a dance pop vein. At times like a rare Stone Roses remix. I was not hooked at first, but it did begin to grow on me.

“1983” – MAN ON MAN

Bill – Clearly an ode to gay sex, sadly the sexual nature of some of the lyrics mean it will miss out on airplay. I love his voice and the swirling synths that underpin the track. I think this could be transformed magnificently with a decent dance mix.

Jake – I kind of felt this was a little predictable, the drums were pretty much the same all through. Not entirely sure what to make of it, but I don’t think I would listen again.

“Sabotage” – Arcade Fortress

Jake – A bit self-deprecating, with a “feeling sorry for myself” lyric, but that didn’t take anything away from it. Like Bill I felt some Depeche Mode in there. I really did not expect that vocal, very distinctive. The vocals were also very nicely layered which worked really well.

Bill – A late 80s, early 90s shoegaze vibe. I like the lyrics, especially the line “abusive relationship with myself” and that deep, dark bass line. A little feel of Depeche Mode.

I couldn’t find Bad Idea’s “Happy” on YouTube so here’s a bonus 🙂 their video for “Winter”. But don’t forget to click the Spotify playlist link in the first part of this post!
Another bonus for you, I couldn’t find Moodbay’s “Psycho” on YouTube so check out “Like Nobody Else” but don’t forget to click the Spotify playlist link in the first part of this post!

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“Forgive Me” – Please Remain Calm March 26, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:41 pm
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Please Remain Calm, a new Leeds based five piece rock band announce their arrival with a debut single that could knock the Incredible Hulk into next week and smash Thor’s hammer into a million pieces! I cannot see anyone remaining even moderately calm when gigs return and Please Remain Calm hit the stage. This is a huge metal anthem in waiting, riffs forged in the obsidian bowels of Mordor and a rhythm section that could not get heavier if they tried. There is an orchestral feel to the melodies, especially in the chorus. Flowers (a.k.a. Chloe) gets better every time I hear her, either solo or as the front woman of incredible York band My Wonderful Daze. On this track she channels her inner Amy Lee and frankly is as good, if not better than some of Amy’s finest Evanescence moments. On the strength of this single Please Remain Calm have the ability to be huge and I hope they are!

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“Skint” – Doozer McDooze

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:35 pm
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That talented bard of punky ballads and singer of modern sonnets, Mr McDooze has released yet another classy single, “Skint”. He bemoans his skintness with a rather jolly acousticy punky ditty. Being skint is something that I am sure many of us can relate to, I certainly can, which is why this track works so well. I love the lyrics, especially the lines “I’m skint does that make me a stockbroker” and “I’m skint does that make me the Prime Minister”, probably yes on both counts! Our Prime Minister is probably not skint in a monetary sense, but he is skint in terms of empathy and the ability to tell the truth to name but two! The video is rather spiffing too, it features Doozer in a kind of stop frame motion flow, which is really effective. Click here to check out more of his stuff on Spotify and click here to go to his website. If you’re not too skint yourself why not buy some Doozer McDooze merch, you know you want to!

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2021 Part 3 March 12, 2021


It’s March and we are overdue a singles round up, our third of 2021. Seven classy tunes from seven proper talented bands and singers, none of whom have featured on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem before, but will almost certainly appear here again. This lot come from Italy, Scilly Isles, West Yorkshire, York, London, Stoke, Nottingham and Berkshire (via the USA). Crank your volume up to 11 and beyond and turn yourself on to these epic tunes!

“Something Broke Inside” – tAngerinecAt

Wow, just wow! This is completely “out there” in a way that I have never heard before. It is a an alluring, resplendent cacophony of post-punk style electronic music. The vocals are ethereal and the instrumentation is the definition of genre defying. tAngerinecAt say that the song “narrates waking from a nightmare, coughing blood laced with shards of broken glass – the psychological aftermath of contaminated intimate relationships, angst, and isolation”. I think I kind of get that feel from continued listening. This is a truly awesome track! If they haven’t been commissioned for a film soundtrack yet, then someone needs to do it now!

“Turbulence” – GIUNGLA

GIUNGLA is Emanuela Drei, Italian-born singer-songwriter based in Bologna. And apparently Giungla in Italian means ‘jungle’. This is not the Junglist Massive, but it is a fine portion of sharp edged dance music with a chilled moody vocal. At times it feels like a surgically joined Grimes and Christine and the Queens. I am loving this a lot!

“Who’s Out There” – West Wickhams

This psyched up two piece are from the Scilly Isles, never a hot bed of rock ‘n’ roll, but the West Wickhams will change that! “Who’s Out There” is a Cramps style treatise on whether there is extraterrestrial life. The track has been around for a few weeks and has been championed by Steve Lamacq, proving once again what great taste he has!

“Too Late, Already It’s Too Late” – Going Feral

Going Feral describe themselves as a post-rock/ post metal instrumental outfit. They formed in late 2019 and plan to release an EP later this year. As a foretaste of that future release the almost ten minute opus that is “Too Late, Already It’s Too Late” is epic in its scope and ambition. Reminiscent of the best cuts from Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I may have to listen to this on repeat for an hour or two, at least until the EP comes out anyway!

“Versions” – Garrow Hill

Purveyors of fine hard rock from York Garrow Hill are rather brilliant. “Versions” is a great single driven by ace riffing and a rhythm section that knows it’s stuff! Their musical lineage could be traced back to 70s British rock bands as diverse as Uriah Heep and Jethro Tull. I need to hear much more from Garrow Hill and you do too!

“The One” – The Underclass

The Underclass are one of the best bands to come out of Stoke in years. This is a superior slab of fine danceable indie. Reminiscent of the sound of a young Oasis. I can imagine the Underclass on the same bill as two of my current favourites Apollo Junction and Skylights. A great future, beyond the potteries, beckons for this band!

“Coming Of Age” – Blondes

If you use Tik Tok you are probably familiar with this rather spiffing song already, it became a bit of a Tik Tok sensation last year and it has now hit more than 2.5 million streams on Spotify. There is a Byrdsian quality to the jangly indie guitar work and Will Potter’s voice is as good as Ian Brown’s in his prime, actually it is probably better! The lyrics are simple but pretty damned effective. For me the line “Crying for company with you here with me” says so much more than eight words should. I bloody love this song!

“Reckless” – Deva St John

Deva’s vocals bring to mind the best of Tori Amos and Alanis Morrissette. The song has a hard heavy bed of rock riffs and the guitar solos bring an almost glam rock element to the tune. There is a dark feel to the lyrics and the sound and that is something that I really love. I hope Deva builds on this fabulous track!

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‘Archetypes’ – Estère


Estère is a new and truly thrilling artist from New Zealand with an amazing vocal talent and a superb sound. The single from this excellent album “The Climate In Your Skull” features a funky feel with a fantastic vocal and a great melody.
“Into The Belly Of Capricorn” ( Estère has the BEST song titles!) is stranger but very engaging and soulful again with an incredible melody. “Pelican” is more acoustic in feel with a great originality and fabulous arrangement. “Mad About Your Sea” ( title again!) has such an original and engaging opening, the tone of voice here is incredible and the lyrics are captivating. “Pomegranate” has an ethereal opening with a jazz feel and interesting changes of rhythm. “Animal Pleasure” has a superb rhythmic funk opening and a great hypnotic melody.

“Calculated Risk” has a more alternative rock feel and a hint of Bowie in its “Ashes To Ashes” loping rhythm. The vocal floats above this with great skill. “Night Crow” has an African folk song feel . Once again the rhythm carries the melodic vocal. “Red Riding Hood” has deep lyrics and a folk ambience. The synth pop opening to “Nemesis” is excellent and moves into a pop funk feel with exquisite twists and turns of melody. “Won’t Shy Away” shows the depth and resonance of Estère‘s voice with great harmonies in the chorus and another fantastic melody. When people say that there is no good new music out there these days tell them that they need to take a listen to Estère. Her music is original, her words are articulate and insightful, her voice is incredible, her melodies are beautiful and the production on this album is superb. It goes without saying that on the strength of this recording we will be hearing a lot more from this brilliant singer.

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘The Garden’ – Tender Central


In a world of ordinary …say hello to the extraordinary talent of Tender Central. Far and away the most captivating music I have heard in aeons. This amazing album opens with “Prelude”, a string orientated piece which provides the perfect introduction to what you are about to hear. “The Game” features beautiful vocals over a fascinating drum rhythm.
Equally original and striking is “Ashes” featuring Matthew and the Atlas. “Human” is a little more poppy in feel and is a nice change of pace at this point. Throughout the album the vocals are beautifully controlled and ethereal in nature.
“Morning” has a pronounced but very welcome Joni Mitchell feel and rhythm to it. The arrangement here is superb.
“Interlude” is a string driven piece which gives us pause before we can be enveloped by the feel of this intriguing album again. “Body” has a Celtic soul feel with captivating and thrilling melodies.

“Tender Central” features a strong vocal over drum rhythm. As with much of this recording the feel is atmospheric and minimal but deeply affecting. “Galloper” has a dance feel but with an original twist. “Hands And Limbs” features a one note piano intro which leads into a spare and melodic ballad with a string backing. The vocals are thrillingly acrobatic.
“Lion” has a melancholy feel with somewhat baroque piano , once again the vocal is skillfully delivered. “The Garden” brings us back to the Joni Mitchell feel with a sublime and intricate vocal. This , by any standard, is an excellent album India Bourne and her associate musicians have created music of such originality and finesse here that it is hard to find enough superlatives to describe it. Needless to say I shall be waiting for more of this wonderful artist eagerly.

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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“I Don’t Listen To You” – Delilah Bon March 8, 2021


Delilah Bon, rap rock superhero alter ego of Hands Off Gretel lead singer Lauren Tate released another brilliant single recently. It is called “I Don’t Listen To You” and it is the very definition of bad ass. Once again Delilah takes aim at misogyny, sexism, bullying and the patriarchy. It is clear that her aim is more than true as she smashes the centerpiece of the target into oblivion. Is it possible to enhance such a stunningly great track? When you have the support of thousands of loyal fans who share your ideals it is. Lauren has created a video for the single after 10,000 Spotify streams and more than 60,000 followers on TikTok.

Lauren has spoken about the genesis of the track; “The song began as a short empowering message for my TikTok fans. It blew up overnight with other 60K views and hundreds of fan made videos. My inbox filled up with girls begging me to release the full song, thanking me for the confidence the words gave them. I got to work and in 72 hours I produced an entire song. It was really an empowering moment for myself as a writer and producer knowing my words were so important for people. I told my fans “I want to see you strutting your stuff, screaming along with me, I want you to own your sexuality and give the middle finger.”

The film is made up of mimed contributions from a wide range of her fans. It is made by women, for women and represents empowerment for women on International Women’s Day. This film is a call to arms to help the world take that leap forward that might one day mean that International Women’s Day is no longer needed as women reach a true gender parity of rights and conditions with men. But sadly that is years away. The theme of this years International Women’s Day is “Choose To Challenge” and with this song Delilah/ Lauren is calling on all her fans to challenge the norm. Today is all about awareness but the fight for gender parity never stops, but you know that. So to all those Bad Ass Queen Bees out there keep the fight going, don’t let up and never give up! This bloke is right with you! I am pleased to say I actually recognised one of the contributors to the video, the supremely talented Taylor-Grace Mitchell from a great British band, Not Now Norman.

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