This is another album sent to the Mayhem Mansion Review Wing by those delightful munchkins over at the marvellous 3 Songs & Out website. It is the new album by highly talented German rock trio Double Crush Syndrome. It is called ‘Death To Pop’, click here to check out my review. Feel free to stay awhile at 3 Songs & Out, although do come back here too!
The photo was found via Google and the videos via YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for them to be taken down please let me know.
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I haven’t reviewed anything for those rather delightful rock ‘n’ roll pixies over at 3 Songs & Out for far too long. So it was definitely time for me to embrace the 3 Songs & Out family once again. Click here to read my review of ‘Mass’ the debut album from the mighty King Nun. Check out all the other great stuff over at 3 Songs & Out and when you’re done feel free to come back to With Just A Hint Of Mayhem!
Around eighteen months ago 3 Songs & Out gave me the opportunity to review Nervus’ 2018 album ‘Everything Dies’ and I found it to be a great album and I still listen to it now. The band is about to release their third album ‘Tough Crowd’, due to smash its way into the world on September 27th courtesy of Big Scary Monsters Records. It was recorded at the Ranch in Southampton and produced by Neil Kennedy Is it as good as their last album? No, it’s not, it is even better! There is social and political commentary, notably on the hook-laden slower tune “They Don’t”. There is perhaps slightly less anger in this album than in its predecessor, but it is still there and handled with great control which gives it so much more impact. The songs tackle subjects that really need to be addressed and confronted; austerity, fascism and the ecology to name just a few. This is most notable in “Piss”, which might well be about right-wing arseholes. There are some wonderful melodies, riffs, and hooks on show throughout ‘Tough Crowd’ and these often generate a feeling of hope set against the at times very dark lyrics. My favourite couplet is probably “you blame the hangman, but you’re holding the noose” from “Engulf You”. The chorus of “Fake” has Em singing “I Don’t Wanna Be Fake” in perhaps her best vocal performance on this record. I think it is clear from this LP and their previous releases that whatever you might see Nervus as they are never fake. This is a band that is not afraid to confront haters, homophobes, nazi wankers, self-centered, lying politicians and anyone else that deserves to be challenged and taken down. Nervus don’t just play to punk ideals, they live by them. Punk happened to allow newer bands to continue to fly the flag for the downtrodden and the oppressed. I am glad I am on the same side as Nervus!
The first single “Flies” deserves a much wider audience and contains an array of angry, venomous lyrics which I assume are about a soured relationship. “You’re Dead, at least you are in my head”, tells me that I definitely would not like to get on the wrong side of Nervus! “No Nations” is a song of hope for the planet and never giving up, whatever the obstacle. Not a bad mantra to live by in my opinion. For me, the most inspiring song on the album is “Burn”. This is what humanity should be about; listening more than speaking, sharing and “We don’t need heroes, we need faith” sums this song up perfectly and encapsulates all of its acoustic beauty and passion. The harmonies on this song are immaculate. This is a song that would not be out of place in the Levellers canon. I was reminded of Weezer back in their prime in the style and delivery of “Inconvenient Truth” although clearly, the lyrics are most definitely Nervus. Overall ‘Tough Crowd’ is the bands most accomplished album to date and on this evidence, this is a band that will just keep on improving. I am sure that Em, Paul, Kenny, and Luce are proud of this staggeringly good collection of songs and so they should be. As a footnote, I love interacting with Nervus on social media, particularly Twitter. They are eloquent, spunky, passionate and sometimes laugh out loud funny! Give this album one listen and if you feel that you don’t need it in your life after that then you probably need to have your musical taste examined!
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Who doesn’t love the wonderful music of Beans On Toast? I love it and so do those smashing folk over at 3 Songs & Out. They even gave me the opportunity to review the new Beans On Toast album, ‘A Bird In The Hand’. Click here to read that review and also check out the many other delights at 3 Songs & Out. But don’t forget to come back to With Just A Hint Of Mayhem for even more delicious delights!
Mansun’s ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ has remained one of my favourite albums since its release back in 1997. I was also lucky enough to see Mansun twice at the Reading Festival back in 1996 and 1998. So the prospect of seeing Mansun main man Paul Draper solo in my adopted home city, York was exciting. Made even more interesting having reviewed Draper’s solo album, ‘Spooky Action’ and the reissued ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ earlier this year for those wonderful folk over at 3 Songs & Out. Mr Draper is currently winding up his first ever solo acoustic tour aided by the mega talented guitarist Ben Sink. But before I tell you about that dynamic duo I need to update you on the rather spiffing support act Flo Perlin and her band. If I had to put Flo into any genre I might opt for modern folk singer. However her voice is that of an angel and has some of the crispness and clarity of a young Karen Carpenter. She is also a skilled multi instrumentalist, this evening she showed her prowess on guitar, ukulele and keyboards. Her songs feel like they are written from the depths of her soul and seem to be very much about her life. I was really keen to meet her afterwards and buy her album, ‘Cocooned’, but sadly by the time I went to the merch stand later in the evening she had left. her parents were in the audience tonight and I am sure they are very proud of Flo. Rightly so too, this was a classy and heartfelt performance. In addition to Flo’s excellence I should also mention the supreme contribution of her band on beautiful harmonies, violin and understated but perfect percussion. You really should check her out.
Paul Draper and Ben Sink hit the stage at around 9:30 by which time what had looked like a relatively small audience had grown considerably. The balance was probably around 70% Mansun songs and the rest from Paul’s solo career. When you hear some of these songs played in such a raw form it shows you just how bloody brilliant they are. “Friends Make The Worst Enemies” and “Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion” were highlights from Draper’s solo repertoire. From the Mansun years it was “Dark Mavis” and a song that is among my most favourite ever by anyone, “Wide Open Space”. It is so hard for me to recognise that the latter two songs are more than twenty years old. But I guess that just defines the word timeless! The complexity and emotion of his songs is immense. Draper’s vocals were spot on the whole night, even if he surprised himself by hitting some of the higher notes. Musical backing was Paul Draper with highly effective acoustic guitar playing and an almost ethereal electric guitar performance from Ben Sink. His gorgeous musical motifs swept in and out throughout each tune enhancing what you might have believed could not have been enhanced. His style was for me reminiscent of Bernard Butler in the early days of Suede. Mr Sink also plays guitar with the Anchoress among others. His prog like creativity is the perfect foil to Paul Draper’s wonderful delivery of his often incredibly deep lyrics. Paul handled one particular über fan very well addressing being heckled with a great sense of humour. This just made me ponder how difficult it can be for performers when they face their “number one fan” (to quote Stephen King). Listening and watching tonight’s performance made me realise what a very special songwriter Paul Draper is and I do not believe he gets the recognition that he deserves. But now with a masterpiece of a solo album and a better back catalogue than may of his Brit Pop peers maybe he will.
Public Service Announcement: – All photographs (except the gig flyer) were taken and edited by me using my cheap android phone from China. All videos were found on YouTube. If one of the videos is yours and you would like a credit or for it to be taken down please let me know.
A big thank you to those delicious fruit loops over at 3 Songs & Out for giving me the opportunity to hear the new album from Flat Earth. It is called ‘None For One’ and it is decidedly brill! Click here to read my review and feel free to stick around to sample more delights brought to you by 3 Songs & Out. While you are there wish the site a very happy birthday it has a third birthday this week!
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!
Do you love horror films? Do you love epic hard rock? You do? Then click here for my review of the new Ice Nine Kills album. It is called ‘The Silver Scream’ because each song is based on a horror film. A big scary, screaming pre-Halloween thank you to those ghoulish rock zombies over at 3 Songs & Out for sharing this no tricks treat with me.