With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘IV’ – Letting Up Despite Great Faults April 18, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:53 pm
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This great new album from Letting Up Despite Great Faults, (great name by the way!), has all the hallmarks of classic indie music. Jangling guitars and low-key almost whispered vocals. What this band also have is fantastic songs with great hooks and superb production. “Kisses” is an excellent opening track with multilayered instrumentation. “Gorgeous” is more upbeat with well-balanced gossamer vocals. “New Ground” has a great instrumental introduction. “Gemini” opens out into a song with touches of The Cure and is more grandiose than the other tracks. Single “She Spins” has a good commercial feel and excellent hooks. “Curl” is a slower keyboard-led piece that breaks up the album nicely. “Self-Portrait” returns to the band’s calling card of jangly guitars and closes the album off nicely. A great album from a dedicated and skilled group of musicians.
Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Lagoons’ EP – Ruby Tingle April 17, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:08 pm
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It’s that time again. That time when you come across an artist of real originality and vision with music that just knocks you off your feet. Ruby Tingle is that artist, and with this EP she has created some magnificent tracks with depth and style. The opening track “Flood” has a dreamy Kate Bush meets the Cocteau Twins with a melancholy feel reminiscent of early Roxy Music. “Glasshouse” continues this theme with a beautifully constructed and fascinating layered instrumentation. “Coil” is slightly more upbeat with great texture. “Subkingdom” has a keyboard intro, with a touch of Lana Del Rey and a danceable rhythm. The hallmark of this EP is its mysterious labyrinth of sound. “Lagoons” itself opens with a curious subverted Madonna-style intro and uses Multiple voices. The air of mystery is very strong. The mysterious and off-kilter feel of this music marks Ruby Tingle out as a highly original artist with a clear vision for her music. Can we have the album now, please?

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘So Far, So Good’ – Out Of Love March 27, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:17 pm
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Out Of Love are a full-on pop-punk band with masses of energy and passion for their music. This energy pulses through this excellent debut album like a life force. The opener “S.L.U.M.P” sets out the stall for the rest of the album with massive riffs, huge guitars, and big choruses. Most of the songs clock in at under 3 minutes and explore themes of identity and reflections on how life is now. “All Grown Up” has a flavour of Green Day and the angst of Sam Fender topped off by the original touches that the band brings to every song. “Play Pretend” has an interesting spoken introduction and a fantastic chorus. “Hello Trouble” has a more melodic approach and great vocal harmonies. “Sniffin’ Glue” has a touch of Nirvana and great lyrics.
The final track “Kill Song” is for me the pick of the bunch. A great song to finish with combining a fantastic riff with a brilliant buzz bass sound. I imagine Out Of Love absolutely kill it live with their short sharp songs and huge passion. More, please!

Written by Paul Bamlett.

The album is scheduled for release on 8th April 2022 via Venn Records.

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“Chop Suey” – The Dead South March 24, 2022

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:00 pm
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The Dead South are a breath of fresh air. Their press release calls them an anomaly and that is a perfect description. A collision between the Carter Family and the Addams family as the press release continues.
This so crazy it works version of a System Of A Down song just blew me away. Substituting the muffled rock sound of SOAD for banjos, mandolins, cellos, and guitars is a wacky idea that works so well.
The stop-start nature of the original is maintained and the breathless quickfire vocals too. This then gives way to the full-throated harmony vocals on the slower section. The riff shouldn’t work but it absolutely does and these guys are very skilled in both picking and singing. This has to be one of the most refreshing off-kilter acts of inspired musical madness I’ve heard in a very long time. If you listen to other tracks by this band they are great but this particular song is on a different level. The Dead South are alive and well and hopefully coming to a venue near you very soon. Don’t miss them.

Click here to check out the parent album, ‘Easy Listening For Jerks Part 2’

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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“Where you been lately? There’s a new kid in town” January 11, 2022

Filed under: Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 6:49 pm
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Indeed there is a new kid in town, his name is Juan Brooks and he is the newest addition to the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem family. Juan joins me (Bill), Paul Bamlett, and Tom Ray. Over the last year, we have been a little slow with reviews and we plan to change that this year. Paul is currently working on a couple, as am I. Meanwhile, Juan has just written his first ever review and he said “It was a biggie…a whole album. Nothing like getting stuck in is there?” Anyway, look out for that review coming your way very soon! Greetings from the new Fab Four, we are looking forward to interacting with you dear readers! Click here to find out more about us!

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‘Things That I Confuse’ EP – Spunsugar November 19, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:53 pm
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Swedish pop trio Spunsugar have a new ep ‘Things That I Confuse’. Floaty driving pop with a hint of Cocteau twins and driving drums with buzzing bass tones propel “Hatchet Along”. Excellent vocal harmonies create a false sense of ease which is quickly dispelled by the dark nature of the lyric.
“Pink And Red” continues in the same vein. Cure like guitars carry the song along and a heavier touch sits nicely under the light touch vocals. “Things That I Confuse” is a very different animal to begin with and then locks back into the patterns established by earlier songs. The chorus is very effective with heavenly sounding choirs . The melodies on this EP are strong and the feel is one of dreamy euphoria with some excellent arrangements. I look forward to hearing where Spunsugar go to next.
Written by Paul Bamlett

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‘The Good Times Are Over’ – Luv Dot Gov November 18, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:39 pm
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Luv Dot Gov is a power-pop band from New York and their second album ‘The Good Times Are Over’ is a cornucopia of melodic delight with crunchy guitars and deadpan vocals aplenty. The title track “The Good Times Are Over” kicks things off in style with a Ramones meets the Monkees chorus. “Panik” opens on jangling guitars and Byrds-style vocals. Acapella vocals open “Maybe I Like The Rain” which is more balladic and gentle although the lyrics to all of these songs are somewhat dark. Big Hair metal riffs usher us into “Steal Your Heart” and a love song with its tongue firmly in both cheeks. “Blue Holiday” has a touch of Green Day about it and a more punky feel although the melody continues to be very strong. “Don’t Call Me” rather unexpectedly features a piano and is a truly standout song showing the breadth of this excellent band’s ambitions.
In their press release, they talk about their struggle to make the record under lockdown and touch on the unsettling nature of some of their music. I for one will be searching out their 2018 debut album ‘At Least We’ve Got This Madness’ and also looking forward to seeing this melodic and thoughtful band live.
Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Archetypes’ – Estère March 12, 2021


Estère is a new and truly thrilling artist from New Zealand with an amazing vocal talent and a superb sound. The single from this excellent album “The Climate In Your Skull” features a funky feel with a fantastic vocal and a great melody.
“Into The Belly Of Capricorn” ( Estère has the BEST song titles!) is stranger but very engaging and soulful again with an incredible melody. “Pelican” is more acoustic in feel with a great originality and fabulous arrangement. “Mad About Your Sea” ( title again!) has such an original and engaging opening, the tone of voice here is incredible and the lyrics are captivating. “Pomegranate” has an ethereal opening with a jazz feel and interesting changes of rhythm. “Animal Pleasure” has a superb rhythmic funk opening and a great hypnotic melody.

“Calculated Risk” has a more alternative rock feel and a hint of Bowie in its “Ashes To Ashes” loping rhythm. The vocal floats above this with great skill. “Night Crow” has an African folk song feel . Once again the rhythm carries the melodic vocal. “Red Riding Hood” has deep lyrics and a folk ambience. The synth pop opening to “Nemesis” is excellent and moves into a pop funk feel with exquisite twists and turns of melody. “Won’t Shy Away” shows the depth and resonance of Estère‘s voice with great harmonies in the chorus and another fantastic melody. When people say that there is no good new music out there these days tell them that they need to take a listen to Estère. Her music is original, her words are articulate and insightful, her voice is incredible, her melodies are beautiful and the production on this album is superb. It goes without saying that on the strength of this recording we will be hearing a lot more from this brilliant singer.

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘The Garden’ – Tender Central


In a world of ordinary …say hello to the extraordinary talent of Tender Central. Far and away the most captivating music I have heard in aeons. This amazing album opens with “Prelude”, a string orientated piece which provides the perfect introduction to what you are about to hear. “The Game” features beautiful vocals over a fascinating drum rhythm.
Equally original and striking is “Ashes” featuring Matthew and the Atlas. “Human” is a little more poppy in feel and is a nice change of pace at this point. Throughout the album the vocals are beautifully controlled and ethereal in nature.
“Morning” has a pronounced but very welcome Joni Mitchell feel and rhythm to it. The arrangement here is superb.
“Interlude” is a string driven piece which gives us pause before we can be enveloped by the feel of this intriguing album again. “Body” has a Celtic soul feel with captivating and thrilling melodies.

“Tender Central” features a strong vocal over drum rhythm. As with much of this recording the feel is atmospheric and minimal but deeply affecting. “Galloper” has a dance feel but with an original twist. “Hands And Limbs” features a one note piano intro which leads into a spare and melodic ballad with a string backing. The vocals are thrillingly acrobatic.
“Lion” has a melancholy feel with somewhat baroque piano , once again the vocal is skillfully delivered. “The Garden” brings us back to the Joni Mitchell feel with a sublime and intricate vocal. This , by any standard, is an excellent album India Bourne and her associate musicians have created music of such originality and finesse here that it is hard to find enough superlatives to describe it. Needless to say I shall be waiting for more of this wonderful artist eagerly.

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Cloth Bound’ – Sonder Bombs February 14, 2021

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:01 pm
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The Sonder Bombs have a strong sense of melody and they use it to excellent effect on this absolute gem of an album “Crying Is Cool” is a great pop song which bounces along and carries you with it. “Papillon” slows the pace but keeps the melodic sense firmly in place. “Vegas Baby” has some of the pop feel of the Go Gos and the vocals are fabulous. “What Are Friends For” keeps up the pace and quality and the drumming is key to this track. “Scattered” slows things down and the vocal is less intense but still with beautiful timbre and a lovely guitar melody. I think this is one of the most poignant songs here . “The Brink” takes us back to the more frantic but bouncy feel we have got used to early on. “Swing On Sight” is great punk pop and as with everything else here is very strong; lyrics, melody, playing …the whole enchilada! “The One About You” is a truly beautiful piece of melodic pop with a superb arrangement. The Sonder Bombs are a revelation to me and I will certainly be searching out more of their fabulous music and looking forward to seeing them live, soon we hope!

Written by Paul Bamlett

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