With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Anger And Figureheads” – Nallo September 12, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:20 pm
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Nallo from Minneapolis have released their new single “Anger And Figureheads” on Chase Bliss Records as a taster to their self titled album which is due to drop in November. The song is punchy power-pop with a pinch of lo-fi. The band’s frontman Andrew Ranallo said that he wrote the song during a messy time in his life, navigating personal relationships and “trying to survive in the current American swirl of anger, mental unhealth, internet trolls, and violence.” The song certainly conveys the anger against some low key but compelling riffs. It also contains the level of paranoia included in some of the best protest songs. Nallo is a band for our troubled times. In “American Pie” Don McLean posed the question “Can music save your mortal soul?” Well, I believe it can and Nallo, particularly with “Anger And Figureheads” will help us keep our mortal souls fresh.

The song has a great video that fits it perfectly. It depicts many everyday actions which in most cases might seem bland and uninteresting, but it is overlaid with a feeling of menace and of course anger. It takes the normal and destroys it creating some interesting art in the process. The gloved hands give the film an eerie, horror style feel.  Andrew Ranallo who wrote produced and directed the film said that it is”an attempt at trying to create something as chaotic and uncomfortable as the experience itself.” The video is first class and it supports an unforgettable song for our times. On this evidence, I think their album will be a hot one!

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“What If I?” – Young Mister August 21, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:26 pm
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Steven Fiore a.k.a. Young Mister, a talented North Carolina-based singer-songwriter has a new single out now. It is called “What If I?” and it is the vanguard of his new album, ‘Sudden Swoon’ scheduled to hit the streets in September on Refresh Records. Fiore worked as a songwriter for Universal Publishing for eight years, including what he referred to as “a strange yet unforgettable co-writing experience with Art Garfunkel. Young Mister already has a decent following on social media and streaming sites; more than 3,000 likes of his FaceBook page and 3.5m streams on Spotify. The new single is a classy piece of work which reminded me of Beck at his whimsical and melancholy best. I think it’s about wanting to leave but simply not having the courage to do it. It is a gentle acoustic pop tune that has the kind of chorus that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. A sublime slab of feel-good summer soft rock. The video to accompany the tune is refreshing and showcases Young Mister’s skateboarding prowess, superimposed over what appears to be a 1950s SciFi B Movie. The video was shot by Fiore’s wife and Matt Lohan. This song was my introduction to Young Mister (incidentally I think he is in his early thirties which makes him considerably younger than me) and has led me to check out his 2016 eponymously titled album and to begin to get excited about ‘Sudden Swoon’.

 

“Easy Target” – Bitch June 18, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:55 pm
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One of the USA’s finest artists, who is currently based in Los Angeles, and a passionate ambassador and fighter for women’s rights and equality, who goes by the artist name Bitch, has a new single out now. It is called “Easy Target” and it really is something very special. Sonically it is eclectic, electro-folk and lyrically it is one of the most pro-feminist anthems that I have heard in many months. It is a follow up to “New Year”, from earlier this year, which itself is a truly feminist anthem that you can dance to. What I love about both songs is that Bitch doesn’t just support feminists, she wears her feminist heart on her sleeve and is not afraid for that heart to get bloodied. She describes “Easy Target” as being about finding your own sense of self-worth, strength, and pride in the face of adversity. She adds “Women are often criticized more intensely and more often than men, and this song is about knowing who you are anyway. Although I wrote this based on my own experiences, I send this out to Anita Hill, Christine Blasey Ford, Tarana Burke, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the countless women who stand up and tell their truth.” Do you call yourself a feminist? You do? Then you need to aspire to the immaculate, powerful and heartfelt words of Bitch. One of the key refrains of the song is “At the end of the day, I’m just proud” and she truly should be proud. This is not only a great song, but it also carries a powerful and hard-hitting message. I need to hear more from Bitch and trust me on this, you need her in your life! I am what some correspondents might call pale, stale and male, but I do not think like that stereotype and that is why I believe that this message from Bitch resonates so very strongly with me. The problem right now is that so many powerful figures and so-called leaders are a long, long way from accepting women as equals. Those are the people that we need to change or remove from positions of power. People like Bitch are a part of the vanguard that will eventually bring down some of these vile individuals. Starting with President Agent Orange I hope!

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Earthquake Lights – “The Eight-one” March 22, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:31 pm
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New York based experimental indie outfit, Earthquake Lights met while studying jazz at college. Their sound is a blending of folk and indie with elements of more outré genres (including jazz, obviously) finding their way into the sound. The first single from their forthcoming sophomore album, ‘Distress Signals’, “The Eight-one” begins with some lo-fi reversed string samples and some low-key keyboards before a shuffling, jazz-inspired rhythm section lopes along languidly (think “Knives Out” era Radiohead). Clean tone guitars pleasantly chime in and the vocals have a nice reverby, lo-fi feel to them. When everything is at its loudest together there is a great atmospheric, even anthemic quality to “The Eight-one”. The production is definitely geared towards the rhythm section, the bass and rhythm guitar taking up most of the listeners attention, though the other elements in the mix sound clear and unclouded. The unusual mix of cleanly produced music with lo-fi vocals gives the sound a DIY edge that enhances the songs qualities.

“The Eight-one” is available to stream now from all the usual locations (Spotify, iTunes etc.). The album, ‘Distress Signals’, is released on April 12th 2019.

This review was written by Tom Ray

 

“Destination Nightmare” – Bryson Cone January 19, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:24 am
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Thanks to those rather nice people over at Noisy Ghost PR I have been given the opportunity to listen to the new track “Destination Nightmare” from Portland based Bryson Cone . It is a sublime slice of relaxing, jazzy, chilled-out funk with sweeping electronica overtones. I absolutely love the band’s interests as stated on FaceBook; “Cone is a state of transcendence provided to us through sub-conscious praise to Hydra”. How does one respond to that? In my view simply Hail Hydra and fuck off Steve Rogers! What do you think of this tune? For a song that has nightmare in the title I find it a bit dreamy and definitely evocative of space!

 

“Third Uncle” – Memory Keepers December 18, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:25 pm
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Jared and Amarah from the Sour Notes have a side project under the alias of Memory Keepers. They have just given birth to their Daft Punk lite take on Brian Eno’s “Third Uncle”. Eno recorded and released his original as a part of his second solo album ‘Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)’. The song was also covered by Bauhaus in the early 80s. My memory of the Brian Eno track was that it was a ground breaking piece of electronica and it is. However Memory Keepers take it to yet another level of electronica. This is an infectious and insanely danceable version of a great song with treated vocals reminiscent of classic Air. The is the first release from an EP expected early next year. It was recorded at Sour Patch Bay in Austin, Texas. Then mixed at The Treehouse in Houston, Texas by Steve Christensen and mastered at Timeless Mastering in Brooklyn, New York by Heba Kadry. A big thank you to those lovely folk at Noisy Ghost PR for giving me the chance to take this track for a spin. Click here to listen to this exciting new release on SoundCloud.

 

‘Sinners’ EP – Gold Casio April 25, 2018


Following hot on the heels of their fine EP ‘Fever Dreams’ from last summer Gold Casio hit us with the next chapter in their world domination campaign, it is a six track EP entitled ‘Sinners’ on FreakOut Records and it is overflowing with class. Gold Casio are largely from Portland, Oregon although they have a Brooklyn contingent too. If you like sophisticated, soulful, electronic, dance and chill sounds then you will fall in love with this EP. Just when you think it is taking you back to the best 80s synth moments from the likes of the Human League the music rises up, grabs you by the throat to drag you back into the 21st Century.

Pic by Rob Woodcox

There are moments here when if you close your eyes you can picture this as a disco chill out album from the Scissor Sisters. The core membership of Gold Casio appears to be Ela Ra their sublime lead vocalist, Brock Vesuvius Cassian also a vocalist and skipper of synths, beats and keyboards, Julius Cassian (brother of Brock) provides vocals, more synths and keys along with guitar and bass and Saint Siris with even more vocals, more bass, more guitar and mucho more synths. They are aided and abetted by super drummers Benjamin Tyler and Connor Acott, ace percussionist Jeremiah Brunnhoelzl and finally Roberto Curtis who contributes electric wind instruments, saxophones and the flute. Their music is conceived written and produced by the band within a former church from the 19th Century.

“Street Magic” manages to stay funky in an electro disco anthem kind of way while wearing Steely Dan and Donna Summer influences with pride and passion. The vocal treatments and effects turn “Make You Mine” into something that is a sonic majestic masterpiece which evokes any number of dance acts that arose from the UK late 80s rave scene. The EP’s title track “Sinners” has Ela Ra putting on her finest Dolores O’Riordan vocals over a Kraftwerk-esque multilayered synth barrage. The most percussive track here is almost certainly “Dawn Awakening”, a song that will definitely make you move. “Lake Of Fire” has an incredibly sticky hook and is simply a gorgeous and delicious slice of superior pop music. Gold Casio play to the glitz and glamour of their sounds with a stunning visual look which takes Studio 54, Glam Rock, Sci Fi and the Rocky Horror show and makes something great out of it. I really, really want to see Gold Casio play live now.

 

 

 
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