With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – March 2022 April 6, 2022


Here we go with the Mayhem Artist Top 20 chart for March 2022. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of 100% more obscure than other users in the UK. Although that has since dropped to 99%. Regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, (the top two of which have been there since I began doing these posts) which currently are;

Woke Up Dead (One of the two bands that have been ever-present in my obscure list and an excellent band to boot!)

Promethium (This metal bunch continues to fly the flag for great British rock and like Woke Up Dead have been ever-present in this obscure team)

PhonoMatiq – Billy Paul Williams’ a.k.a. Phonomatiq came to be here thanks to a rather strange tune called “Barbara Streisand” which I have listened to quite a lot

Heartsink -One of York’s best young bands and most definitely York’s best pop-punk band!

Muda – cinematic electronic synth-led modern classics from Ireland. I came across them purely by chance and what a find!

As for the March Top 20, only Dame David remains from the last chart, but he has been a bit of a constant from the start. Other classic artists include Barry White, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Vampire Weekend and R.E.M. But there is the first entry, straight in at number one, for the amazing Bang Bang Romeo, a band that I came to quite late. But I am so glad that I found them! They are an incredible rock band from Yorkshire and Anastasia Walker’s voice is in a league of its own! Here is that all-important top 20. There are quite a few appearances from artists that have never appeared before in addition to Bang Bang Romeo. These include Police Car Collective (I saw them at Leeds Fest last year, bloody stunning), Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip, (I was lucky enough to witness Mik in all his live glory in York a few weeks ago), Hattie Briggs (she was discovered by Alfie Boe busking at Paddington Station) and Koffee (new reggae star with great reverence for Robert Nesta Marley). Ukrainian band Antytila are in at number 16. They asked to have a live link slot at a recent Concert For Ukraine in the UK and I heard the organisers turned them down as it would have been too political!!!! WTAF???? There are even a few country artists too, Katy Hurt, Morgan Wade and Leah Blevins. At number 20 you’ll find an incredible York band, Vaquelin, check out their first album, ‘Where Dreams Hurt’! I would love to hear your thoughts on this chart. Oh and keep your eyes open for a new addition to the Mayhem Monthly Artist Chart. Very soon we will bring you the Mayhem Monthly Song Chart, almost like an old school top 20 singles chart! That one includes songs by eight of the artists in the March Artist Chart.

1 Bang Bang Romeo
2 Katy Hurt
3 David Bowie
4 Hattie Briggs
5 Vampire Weekend
6 Barry White
7 Police Car Collective
8 Leah Blevins
9 Koffee
10 Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip
11 Pink Floyd
12 Morgan Wade
13 The Surfing Magazines
14 A Will Away
15 Hard Feelings
16 Antytila
17 Led Zeppelin
18 R.E.M
19 Childcare
20 Vaquelin

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – February 2022 March 1, 2022


On the last Mayhem Top 20 post, I mentioned that I was changing how it would be published. Instead of waiting for Obscurify to tot up listens on a seemingly random date, I will now take a snapshot at the end of each month. So the Top 20 for February is the first of those. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of 100% more obscure than other users in the UK. 100%, is that even possible? Either way, I am proud of it! Anyway, regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, (the top two of which have been there since I began doing these posts) which currently are;

Woke Up Dead (One of the two bands that have been ever-present in my obscure list and an excellent band to boot!)

Promethium (This metal bunch continue to fly the flag for great British rock and like Woke Up Dead have been ever-present in this obscure team)

Tommyrot – (One of York’s finest young bands, check out their new EP, ‘Turkey Vulture Of Drug Culture‘. They appear at number 23 in the extended chart)

Black Acacias -(I have no idea how I found this lot. Their album came out in 2008 and they have 4 monthly listeners on Spotify. There seems to be no information about them online, apart from the music on Spotify. If you were in Black Acacias or know anything about them please contact me. They appear at number 13 in this week’s chart)

Folk The System – (folky protest and frankly great songs, this lot make their second appearance in the obscure list. They appear at number 27 in the extended chart)

As for the February Top 20, only Dame David and Kate Bush remain from the last chart. Other classic artists include Suede, Arctic Monkeys, Glen Campbell, Alison Moyet, Culture Club, Bob Dylan Dionne Warwick, and Frank Turner. Bruno Skibbild makes his second appearance and there will be another post about him very soon. Nine Inch Nails crash in at number one, I have just read a great book about their album ‘The Downward Spiral’, lookout for a review of that on these pages sometime soon. The rest of the top five is The Skinner Brothers, Hawksley Workman, Heartsink, and the aforementioned Kate Bush. Four of the artists who feature in the February Top 20 are current contenders for my album of the year for 2022, can you guess who they are? Who knew that there was a band called Diamond Dogs? I didn’t until now. Gonora Sounds from Africa produce some of the most uplifting music that I have heard in a long while! Here is that all-important top 20. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

1 Nine Inch Nails
2 The Skinner Brothers
3 Hawksley Workman
4 Heartsink
5 Kate Bush
6 David Bowie
7 Glen Campbell
8 Paul Draper
9 Bob Dylan
10 Alison Moyet
11 Gonora Sounds
12 Culture Club
13 Black Acacias
14 Dionne Warwick
15 L.A.B.
16 Diamond Dogs
17 Suede
18 Arctic Monkeys
19 Frank Turner
20 Hurray For The Riff Raff

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‘Mainspring’ EP – Heartsink February 27, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:04 pm
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Those purveyors of pop-punk perfection, York’s very own Heartsink recently unleashed a new EP onto the world, it is called ‘Mainspring’ and it is rather splendid! It is on Ernald Troutman Records. If you grew up with Sum 41, Blink 182, or even Green Day you will love this seven-song collection. The title track opens proceedings and although clocking in at just over a minute it serves as almost an overture to what is to come. “Starting Over” has “release me as a single” written all over it. It has an awesome production, riffs to die for and hooks, and a chorus that echoes in your head for hours after listening to it. “Andy Bernard Does Not Lose Contests” has a backing that stretches away from the band’s pop-punk comfort zone with some sky-high riffage that borders on great metal. Meanwhile, the harmonies soar and the vocals are packed full of emotion. I assume that Andy Bernard is Ed Helms’s character from the US version of The Office. Enlighten me Heartsink! If you like music that smacks into your head like a sledgehammer until you let it in then “Beacon” is definitely for you. The drumming here is on a kind of level with the power to cause an extinction-level event tsunami. “Keepsake” has a late 70s power pop feel to it and everyone in the band is on absolute perfect top form on this track. Check out the rather spiffing video below. Heartsink show even more depth on the beautiful power ballad “Getting Older”, which after listening to the EP five times is probably my current favorite track. There is real passion and soul on display. The EP closes with the hugely powerful “Chasing Moments” which boasts yet another hook to die for. This is a fabulous EP that shows that these lads are not afraid to step away from their pop-punk roots at times. This will be getting plenty of spins by me and it is a clear sign that the future for Heartsink may be very bright indeed! The band is playing an EP launch show at The Fulford Arms tonight, Sunday 27th February. Get along to it if you can!

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Heartsink – Fulford Arms, York – Sunday 8th August 2021 August 10, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:14 pm
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After such a long period deprived of gigs thanks to Covid this was my second in three days. I have listened a lot to Heartsink, but this was to be the first time that I saw them live, in the headline slot too. But more of them later, there were also three fine support acts. The evening kicked off with Friday Night Lights, to me they are pop punk with a much heavier and classic punk undercurrent. They have some great songs and the shared lead/ counterpoint vocals add real depth. My one small criticism is that they felt a little under rehearsed. But to be fair that is probably the case for many bands after the last 18 months we have lived through. I bought their CD, for a quid, now that is a bargain. On top of that the CD has some cracking tunes too.

Friday Night Lights

Next up were Covent, the name means Church or Monastery apparently. This lot are very heavy with an added dash of prog rock thrown into the mix. The lead singe has a brilliantly gruff vocal which conveys emotion really well. The drummer could give Animal (from the Muppets) and Keith Moon a run for their money. The break down on “Colour Drain” shows a softer, more soulful side to Covent. They also win the evenings best beard award which I award to the bass player in honour of the late, great Dusty Hill.

Covent

Shark Bait from Leeds were next and what a supremely tight band they are. Some amazing songs with a heavy take on kitchen sink dramas in the lyrics. “Drip”, about a leak in a crap house they shared in Doncaster, is a particularly good example of this. The front man/ lead vocalist is clearly also a great entertainer who really understands the crowd. The cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” was an inspired and exceptional choice of a cover. It was everything a cover version should be, very different and not just some bland boy band facsimile. The rhythm is an absolute powerhouse, the bass player even makes the full Lemmy pose when playing. How the fuck have I not come across this band before now?

Finally it was time for Heartsink, playing their first gig since March 2020. Badge this lot as just another pop punk band at your peril. Sure they have a lot of pop punk elements but they are so much broader and deeper than that. The acoustic tune was very special. This band has definitely not reached their peak but they are clearly on a very fast trajectory to get there. It is seeing bands like this, who are clearly having fun, which makes me realise how much I have missed gigs during these awful Covid times. All the bands on the bill tonight were very god and some were very tough acts to follow. But I reckon Heartsink smashed it, although Shark Bait were a very close second.

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“Taking It Slow/ Memory” – Heartsink September 28, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:37 pm
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Those cheeky pop punk chaps Heartsink are back, not with one single, but two! Back to those golden days of the double A-Side. You young folks need to ask your grandparents what an A-Side was. York’s masterful pop punkers create a relative riff storm with added lightning drums on “Taking It Slow”. It does not do what is says on the tin as it rocks at a rifftacular pace and made me want to dance from the first bar. It has an excellent singalong quality which will feel so damned good when gigs return. Bryn’s vocal oozes rock class.

If you’re a pop punk fan you are almost certainly already a fan of Heartsink, one of York’s best up and coming bands. They play like the mean it and I really believe they do. “Memory” reduces the tempo by a smidge, but it still stands as a very good tune indeed. It is full of passion and emotion and is that some anger and sarcasm I hear in there too. It’s a close call but I think my favourite is, at least for now, “Taking It Slow”. This is Heartsink’s second appearance on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem and I am confident it won’t be their last. Heartsink are Zac Roughton, Jake Roughton, Kiel Hodgson and Bryn Portas and they should be very proud of these releases, it is a portent to them getting even better in the future. Roll on the first Heartsink album!

Apparently heartsink means “a patient who repeatedly visits his or her doctor’s surgery, often with multiple or non-specific symptoms, and whose complaints are impossible to treat.” So I reckon if that is you, take a listen to these two tunes and you’ll be cured, you will never darken your doctor’s door again!

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“Starting Over” – Heartsink February 2, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:43 pm
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York band Heartsink have a new single out today. It is called “Starting Over” and it is a pop-punk powerhouse of a tune. It takes the best elements of classic US pop-punk and filters it through a very British vibe. It is an earworm with a classy rhythm section making the rock engine purr and some very powerful riffage. Jake’s vocals are yearning, powerful and spot on! The production on this tune from Ben Stuart Brown is first class.

Heartsink are twin brothers Zac and Jake Roughton on drums respectively. The pair are aided and abetted in their long term plan to dominate the pop-punk world by  Kiel Hodgson on Guitar and bassist/ vocalist Bryn Portas. The boys have been around a while as a band and on the evidence of this track alone, Heartsink are a pretty well oiled and slick machine. A few more anthemic tunes like this and festivals will be falling over themselves to get them on their line ups. You can catch them tomorrow supporting Roam at the Basement in York, I might be there myself!

Check out the tune via YouTube below and click here to find it on Spotify!

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