With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mayhem Singles Round Up 1 – December 2019 December 3, 2019


Once again I am innundated with some rather special singles at the moment, Do you fancy five in a row? All of these are out now and available on most major streaming sites and also to buy. I would love to know what you think of them.;

Valerie The Vulture “James Dean” – “James Dean” is the first single from Detroit’s Valerie The Vulture the brainchild and alter ego of the Detroit scene Willa Rae Adamo. It is a sublime slice of slacker punk garage rock which is at times evocative of Garbage in their heyday. The video is properly ‘out there’ in a great way. I don’t believe that I have ever been scared of fingernails before this film!

Linen Closet “Warning Sign” – Linen Closet have been around since 2013 and for me,

the first I have heard of them is via current single “Warning Sign”. Adam Hilton’s angelic ethereal vocals are surely the work of a mad scientist in a music lab splicing the singing talents of David Byrne and the sadly departed Colin Vearncombe. The music is both lo-fi and cinematic at the same time while the rimshot percussion used in the tune sounds like a chilled and softer Adam and the Ants drum riff. I need more Linen Closet in my life now!

Eliza Shaddad “Girls” – This moody, emotional and slow funk burner from Eliza Shaddad tells the story of what it was like going through her formative years at an all-girls school. I can imagine the highs and lows she went through, the happy highs and the deep despair are almost palpable at times. Eliza has a clarity in her voice that proves her talent, a clarity that only great singers seem to possess. The production allows the music to build from something easy into a crashing crescendo of an ending. Eliza’s voice soars above it all like a finely honed bird of prey.

False Heads “Fall Around” – East London boys False Heads offer up some hard-edged post-punk vibes with powerful single “Fall Around”. The tune is a fuzzed-up riff-fest that deserves to be a massive hit. You will definitely be hearing much more from these lads, they count a former Ramones manager and Iggy Pop among their fans. There must be an album on the horizon, right?

WEEKS “Plastic Screens” – LA-based WEEKS serves up a buzzing, pulsating electro-dance tune that cannot fail to get even the most reluctant punter in a club dancing. The orchestration which I am pretty sure is synth-driven is marvelously bold and the bass element pumps through your whole body when you crank the volume up to 11. WEEKS said that he “wrote ‘Plastic Screens’ about [humanity’s] current obsession with only showing the perfect aspects of our lives. How we curate our social image to create the illusion of perfection and the crippling fear and doubts that must be underlying. Are we truly as happy as we appear?” I reckon this could be turned into a Black Mirror episode soundtracked by WEEKS!

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Mayhem Singles Round Up 1 – October 2019 October 26, 2019


 

Lady Lazarus

I haven’t done this before but I need to expose all the great singles that I have received for review in the last few weeks. Here are 5 to get you going, I would love to know what you think of them.;

Mother “Pretty Face” – This tune from Oxford’s Mothers was released earlier this month and frankly, it is a proper banger. This classy single was produced by Ride frontman Mark Gardener. It is a song that eats into your psyche like a hot knife through butter. Radiohead would have been proud of this in 1994. It is very “out there” and suggests that Mothers have a great future.

Lady Lazarus – “Golden Heart” – this is a chilled ethereal anthem reminiscent of Julee Cruise on the Twin Peaks soundtrack. In another place and time, this would be a massive hit, so the least you can do is give it a spin, you will not be disappointed.

Wolves Like Us – “Oil Money” – this is a real heavy hardcore punk metal tune from Norway. The band has just released their fourth album, ‘Brittle Bones’, and if this song is anything to go by it will be awesome. It has an atmosphere of subdued menace and perfect punk production, it is riff laden but has oodles of melody and energy.

The Cabin Fever – “White Dwarf And A Supernova” – this reminds me of Gomez, Flaming Lips and is a real driving tune that draws you into its beating soulful heart of majestic music and does not let you go until you surrender to its abject beauty.

K Carter – “NBX” – a stunningly produced hip hop track that speaks of self-love in spite of a poor upbringing. K Carter oozes soul, empathy, and kindness. His ciphers are up there with the best of his contemporaries. I really need an album from this dude now!

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“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!

 

 
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