With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

‘It’s Been A Pleasure’ EP – Hazy Janes April 8, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:42 pm
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The long-awaited Hazy Janes EP arrived this week, it is titled ‘It’s Been A Pleasure’ and it is a swashbuckling, rifftastic, loud sonic assault on the senses. But this is a good assault! The title track kicks off proceedings and Ellis and Bron come on like a two-man Led Zeppelin or Free. This song oozes blues-rock power through a swamp rock sieve and Ellis’s voice is on fire. It has an undertow of dark menace and at times the riff sounds like a demonic metal view of the Dr. Who theme. Meanwhile, Bron’s drumming encompasses everything great about British Rock with some great glam and metal drum sounds. Next up “Loaded Gun” kicks off with some eloquent blues harmonica before moving into an excellent rollicking bluesy stomp. I love the chorus hook line of “I’ve got a mouth like a loaded gun”, I am sure that many of us can relate to that! Track three is “I Find It Hard” which veers towards an electric take on the classic blues of Robert Johnson through its slow-rolling swagger. Vocals from Ellis on this tune are at his most soulful. The collection closes with “Bernadette”, not a cover of the Four Tops classic, but a mountainous original rock epic. It owes a small debt to the Yardbirds during their Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page peaks. After a few listens this is probably my favourite song on the EP. I can see this becoming a real Hazy Janes anthem in their live set. The guitar licks and particularly the drumming on “Bernadette” took me back to Dr. Feelgood in their mid to late 70s prime. Channeling Wilko Johnson and John “The Big Figure” Martin perfectly. If you love great rock music, (and who doesn’t?) get this release and this band in your head as soon as possible, like NOW! Click here to stream the EP on Spotify. There are still a handful of dates left on their Spring Tour, check out the poster below.

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Avalanche Party – The Crescent, York – Sunday 17th October 2021 October 27, 2021


Finally, real gigs are coming back and on a regular basis too. This was the first full-on Avalanche Party gig I have seen since Covid hit, although they did do a great socially distanced show at the Crescent last December. Anyway, it is now official that I have seen this great band more times than I ever saw David Bowie, but a couple less than I have seen Frank Turner. But before I say more about Avalanche Party there were a couple of great support bands. First up was the Hazy Janes who exploded onto the stage like a two-man Led Zeppelin. Drummer Bron and guitarist and singer Ellis formed during lockdown and are clear proof that some good things did happen during the darkest of Covid days. Very regular readers might recognise Bron from previous mentions of Hunter-Gatherer and Ellis from previous mentions of Freek. Bron’s drumming huge and Ellis’s guitar skills have a lineage back through classic British rock to the Yardbirds. Meanwhile, his voice could compete with Paul Rodgers, Robert Plant, and many more. Next, it was the turn of Trueman whose songs are soap opera kitchen sink dramas that cover topics like cold calls, Flares (the awful nightclub chain where your feet usually stick to the floor), and boredom to name just a few. The frontman is like a very angry Ian McNabb at times, and I do mean that in a good way. The band is an incredibly tight unit, but what stands out most are the great tunes, especially the lyrics!

Those magnificent, sumptuous, unmatchable, mighty, matchless, sublime, peerless, resplendent, swanky, clinquant delinquents of Avalanche Party, probably the best band on the planet right now, took to the stage with moody menace and the crowd was singer Jordan’s from the first note. To steal a quote from a good friend (thank you Simon P) “there ain’t no party like an Avalanche Party” and this was a spectacular call to arms from a great band. The boys tore the roof off the Crescent and left us all feeling happy and high. Jordan was on great form and no one does that 10,000 yard stare better than he does, if you think differently bite me! Every song was a highlight from set opener “I’m So Wet” all the way to “Dream Jonny Dream”. But if you forced me to pick the highlights it would have to be “Million Dollar Man”, “Rebel Forever” and an absolutely glam storming version of “Howl”. In a parallel universe “Howl” has been at the top of the singles chart for three years. The sophomore Avalanche Party album when it arrives will be something very special!

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“Killjoy” – Hunter-Gatherer April 13, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:33 am
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Hunter-Gatherer is a classy rock outfit from Pickering, North Yorkshire. They have just released a new single “Killjoy” with a great video to accompany it. If you like your rock music a little grungey, a little alternative and with an emotional depth you will bloody love this tune. Sam Womack’s mighty riffs and almost yearning vocals are prominent but underpinned by a finely tuned Maserati of a rhythm section with Kristian Ward’s sonic boom bass playing and Bron Bury smacking his drums until they are in need of life support! The video is cleverly put together too with a story based around coming to a Hunter-Gatherer gig. The gig shots make me realise how much I miss live shows during this COVID-19 lockdown! I am looking forward to actually seeing these lads playing live on the other side of this.

I also have to apologise to Hunter-Gatherer for not getting my arse in gear last year to review their rather excellent previous single “Run My Mind” but you can find it below. It is another 110% banger!

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