With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ – Avalanche Party November 17, 2019


I have just counted up how many times I have seen Avalanche Party and it currently stands at eleven times in five years (soon to be twelve). I was also lucky enough to see a kind of early incarnation of the band when they were still 3 Foot Ninja, that was back in 2009. Back then I could see they had some great potential and every gig and every release since it has become obvious to anyone who has encountered this magnificent band that they are truly on the cusp of greatness. I believe their debut album ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ will take them there. It has been a long while coming but damned well worth the wait. It was recorded at Young Thugs Studios in York last December. The dictionary definition of trephine is “a small circular saw with a centre pin mounted on a strong hollow metal shaft to which is attached a transverse handle: used in surgery to remove circular disks of bone from the skull”. This album starts drilling into your skull from opener “El Dorado” an atmospheric, mesmerising and at times menacing track that oozes confidence and greatness. For me, there is a strong influence from Nick Cave on this song and that is no bad thing. The sonic feel shows a band that is not afraid to use the space between notes to great effect too. “Bugzy” smacks into you like the Doors but as if they had come together in the height of early 70s glam rock. Jordan’s vocals are every bit as good as Jim Morrison at his peak and “Bugzy” will become a live favourite. This is a song born from the blues and makes me wonder if Avalanche Party have visited that famous crossroads at Highways 49 and 61 in Clarksdale, Mississippi favoured by blues legend Robert Johnson where he allegedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the return of his guitar. There have been four singles released from this record so far, including the third song in, “7”. This is a towering piece of funked-up punk or punked-up funk (delete as appropriate) Kane and Joe prove themselves to be one of the finest rhythm sections on the planet as they play like their lives depended on it.

My favourite track at the moment is “Howl” the current single. It is a very Bowieesque slab of prime heavy riff-laden early 70s rock with a gospel-style chorus. If you are not moved to dance to “Howl” then you might well be clinically dead! This is possibly the finest song that the band have released so far. It is also accompanied by a fabulous video which features a cameo appearance on tambourine from the multi-talented Charlie Swainston! The track which proves how great a band Avalanche Party is is the psychedelic rock circus that is “Milk And Sunlight Is A Heavy Dream”. Vocals, backing vocals, keys, bass, guitars, and drums all align perfectly and the chorus will not let you go. James Aparicio has captured the essence of what makes Avalanche Party such a great live band in his production. From the massed Panzer Tank Division sonic assault of “HA HA” to the deeply mellow buzz of “Hey Misdemeanour” the former Grinderman and Spiritualized producer does not put a foot or a fader wrong. I can already picture a crowd incursion from Jordan during “Playing Field Blues” using his rock star evil stare to hypnotise his audience into becoming Avalanche Party‘s helpless mosh puppets. It redefines heavy, scuzzy garage blues into something very 21st Century. I never thought that I would see myself finding a U2 influence from Avalanche Party, but “Every Last Drop” is the kind of song that Bono would kill to have written. I can see the lighters and lit up mobile phone screens waving in the air at festivals to accompany this gorgeous modern, dirty power ballad. Dark menace runs through the veins of “Cruel Madness” and draws you into a dark, descent of a dream to a world that might be populated by all your fears and phobias. The album closes with “Rebel Forever” which opens and is underpinned with a warped fairground organ riff which gives the tune a Cockney Rebel feel and in many ways sums up Avalanche Party. They are rebels and I hope they will remain rebellious forever!

The band have been touring constantly for a long while now, honing their craft and doing whatever they need to do in order to reach their destiny as the future of rock ‘n’ roll. They have graced festivals across the UK and Europe and completed a prestigious slot at SXSW. At the start of the current album tour, they headlined shows in Los Angeles and New York. This album has anger, fear, the evils of capitalism, love, death and what it is like to live in the world today. The exquisite artwork on the cover features close friend and major influence of the band, Dale Barclay, frontman from the Amazing Snakeheads/ And Yet It Moves. Barclay passed away so tragically young last year. Here is what the band themselves had to say about the LP; “This is our debut album, we haven’t touched the surface before, and this is a glimpse into our bigger picture, our chaotic process, our commitment to us. There’s 5 people in this band with an equal passion, 5 different reasons to create, 5 different people with 200+ ideas each, that’s 1000+ ideas, 1000s of reasons we have to create. We had to make this now… mainly because we want to make a second one.” Jordan Bell, Jared Thorpe, Kane Waterfield, Joe Bell and Glen Adkins you should be well proud of this release as I am sure you are’. This record is already a contender for best album of 2019 and it is not officially released until November 22nd on So Knee Records. I love it already and now I am looking forward to Avalanche Party‘s sophomore release!

All the pictures in this post were found via Google and the videos were sourced from YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know.

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DZ Deathrays, Avalanche Party & … And The Hangnails – The Woolpack, York – Thursday 7th August 2014 August 8, 2014


Following yet another brilliant recommendation from my friend Simon Pattinson (and thanks for another great night out Mr P) I went to a fabulous gig at the Woolpack in York on Thursday night. I was drawn by the appearance of …. And The Hangnails who I had previously seen at the Apollo Festival in June. It was that excellent band that kicked proceedings off. This mighty, powerful, noisy, rock duo par excellence were brilliant. Despite a microphone problem in the first song and a broken guitar string later this band were on top form. If you’re a fan of the White Stripes, Black Keys, Strokes or Kings Of Leon I reckon you’ll love them. But don’t focus on the influences that I heard, … And The Hangnails are a very original band. I hear that they may be supporting another of my favourite bands later this year; the Tuts! I spoke with the band after the show and obviously I bought a copy of their new album ‘Rut’ which is bloody good. I have seen them twice so far this year I suggest that you make sure you see them at least once.

andthehangnailsNext up at this tiny but brilliant venue was Avalanche Party who I understand include a few former members of 3 Foot Ninja who I have seen, enjoyed immensely and reviewed in the past. But Avalanche Party are not 3 Foot Ninja they are very much Avalanche Party. This band have great stage presence and know how to work an audience. They are a really tight band who play incredibly well together. The singer has a bit of a starey-eyed Ian Curtis about him. Their own songs are very powerful in a live setting and I’m looking forward to get my hand on some of their recorded output. They also played a formidable cover of Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walking“. As with all the best cover versions they made it their own.

??????????????????????The headline act for tonight was DZ Deathrays all the way from Brisbane in Australia. If I had to leave before their set I would have gone home very happy indeed having witnessed two stupendous bands with massive potential. However I didn’t need to go home and I witnessed a set from a band that even surpassed those of …. And The Hangnails and Avalanche Party. DZ Deathrays are explosive and powerful with a drummer that could give Dave Grohl a run for his money. They alternate between being a three-piece and a four-piece to great effect. I bought their album too and it is very, very impressive. They will be in the UK until October. If you have a chance to see them you really ought to take it. Personally I would pay to see any of tonight’s bands again. I would love to hear what you think of all of them.

dz deathrays

 

“Wanna make sure England does not happen to you” January 22, 2012


Back in 2009 I had the opportunity to see a band at a charity gig in York. I said some very good things about them in my review of that gig. Click here to read it. In fact I finished my write up of them with ‘My advice is gather up all of your X Factor shite and burn it, then replace it with whatever you can get by 3 Foot Ninja!’ The band have recorded an album which is scheduled for release in March this year and if the new tracks from them that are out there right now are anything to go by, it will be a real scorcher. You can get hold of new track “Fear” for free by clicking here and you can watch them playing another new song; “England Rains Over You” by clicking here. Are these boys the ones to take up a recent clarion call for a new powerful protest song in these dire times? As a big fan of the Clash I certainly hope so. I feel that they have a bit of the Clash about their attitude and that can never be a bad thing.

This music will move you on many levels. You will move your body, your emotions will shake a leg and your mind will tango with your soul. These boys have it all; great songs, great hooks, great lyrics, a social conscience, buckets of talent and a desire and hunger to be the best rock band they could ever be. They will be touring to support the album so if they play anywhere near you do whatever you can as long as it’s legal to raise the money to see them. You will not be disappointed, I intend to be at least one of those gigs myself. So feel free to come and say hi to the Hint Of Mayhem guy after you’ve pogoed and moshed the roof off the venue.

The band consists of Jordan and Joe Bell aided and abetted by Kane Waterfield on skin thumping duties. Did you wonder where their name came from? Well I’m pretty sure it was after a certain member of this powerful trio spent some time playing the original 3 Foot Ninja game on-line. I was also keen to see that they had posted a list of really good bands they have played gigs with on Purevolume. That list is; The Subways, Ash, Wilko Johnson, The Fratellis, Cage The Elephant, The Buzzcocks, Pete and the Pirates, Elvis Presley (they don’t look old enough for that one do they?), British Sea Power, The Airborne Toxic Event, Chico, Twisted Wheel, The Nostalgic Oasis Reverence Band, Little Comets, General Fiasco, Flashguns, Shrug (feat. Barry White). And there was me thinking my musical tastes were eclectic!

So prepare yourself for the arrival of the new album in a few weeks by downloading “Fear” and checking them out on Facebook and MySpace and of course going to see them at a gig near you. I am hoping to bring you more news about this brilliant band very soon; watch this space.

3 Foot Ninja prepare to take the head off of all that bland X Factor style shite!

 

Charity Gig – The Junction, York – Friday 22nd May 2009 May 25, 2009


OK I know it’s been a long while since I’ve posted, but I finally made it back and I have a lot to tell you, in particular about Friday night. I had the pleasure of attending a charity gig at the Junction in York. A mighty array of excellent acts had been assembled by Simon Pattinson to aid two local charities; York Guardian Angels and the York Hospital Radio. Like me Simon is a volunteer at York Hospital Radio as is Tom Wycks (more of him later) who designed the flier. £5 for five acts is a bargain anywhere, but here with such a superb selection it was a stupendous bargain. But enough of that, you’re probably dying to find out who was on the bill aren’t you?

The flyer from Fridays gig

The flyer from Fridays gig

First up was ‘A Man Is Slapped’. How can I describe him? Well what if the Human League were a hip hop band? That might go someway to describing this somewhat genre defying chap. I have posted a Man Is Slapped review before. I was impressed then and I was even more impressed on Friday. He does a fantastic song live where he overlays all the backing parts and then sings over that overlaid loop. He also does some great beat boxing too. If you get a chance to see him, take it!. Also if you have the misfortune to find yourself in York Hospital in the coming weeks you may get to hear him on the Hospital Radio Station. Tom Wycks (see I said there would be more of him later) has arranged to record a Man Is Slapped interview. Tom’s show usually goes out at 8pm on Wednesdays and I must say it is very good.

Second up was ‘Electrify Me’ now let me use another ‘what if’ to describe him. What if Brian Eno had been born no more than twenty years ago? This young guy is an electronic multi-instrumentalist. Well I say instrumentalist but he seemed to be making music with sounds synthesised from old electronic equipment. Including a Game Boy, well at least I think it was a Game Boy, for all I know it might have been a a Star Trek Phaser or just a simple hole punch. He did a storming cover of “Tainted Love” which was made famous by Soft Cell in the 80s but written and recorded by Gloria Jones and was a big Northern Soul hit in the 70s. Anyway back to Electrify Me, this guy is a must for student parties and festival dance tents. You cannot help but move your feet to this guy’s unique sound and he even made the Nokia tune sound cool!

Third up was a band who joined the bill too late to appear on the flier. They’re called ‘Front Room Antics’ I’ve enjoyed the ‘what ifs’ so far so here’s another. What if Orange Juice (the band not the drink) hadn’t been invented until now and were infused more with blues than soul? yep that could be these guys. Good sound and they know how to jam, which they did especially well during the broken string incident (hey that would make a great band name!).  An excellent vocalist that drank red wine too, now that hasn’t been seen since the days of Rod and the Faces, although Rod and the boys were so ill mannered they necked it straight from the bottle. I detected some influences in the ‘Front Room Antics’ sound notably Franz Ferdinand, Kings Of Leon and Television. This band might not be the fastest stringers in the west but they are a great band with excellent potential nonetheless!

‘Euphoria Audio’ were next and yes there is another ‘what if’ (although I don’t think it’s a good one) What if the Lost Prophets weren’t Welsh? That would only go a very, very small way to describing this band. When they started I thought Kasabian only a more dynamic and so much better, then I thought Lost Prophets (as you might have guessed). In fact whilst there are some influences here this is a very original and very superb band. Very tight instrumentally and with a fantastic rock vocalist. This band would work well at festivals and have the potential to perhaps fill stadiums one day. They also have a song in an Internet song contest; 1click2fame, so click here to vote for them.

Finally there was the headline act ‘3 Foot Ninja’. What can I say? How about another ‘what if’? What if punk and power pop were in fact conjoined twins? That barely does them justice but goes someway to describing their rich, eclectic and truly marvellous sound. They have real energy, very loud but also very skilled musically. I had heard of them but never actually heard them until this gig and boy am I glad I saw them. I will definitely go and see them again. They included two incredible cover versions in their set. Firstly Dizzee Rascal’s “Dance Wiv Me”  and they finished with an awesome (and regular readers will know that I use that word very sparingly) cover of the Prodigy’s “Breathe”. My advice is gather up all of your X Factor shite and burn it, then replace it with whatever you can get by 3 Foot Ninja!

Let me finish by saying a big thank you to Simon P for making this all possible and for helping to raise money for two excellent causes; Guardian Angels and York Hospital Radio. I can confirm that £170 was raised.

 

 
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