With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘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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‘Follow Me’ – Kristina Stazaker

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:11 pm
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This album has a raw and honest feel that is often hard to locate in current music. “Follow Me” has some essence of Patti Smith with a folk twist. Kristina’s voice is rich and she inhabits each song in a gripping and fascinating way. “Journey Part 1” carries the same feel and a similar insistent guitar backing. “Goddess” introduces a loping time signature and wonderful vocal interplay which is once again powerful and deep. “In A Previous Life” has a more melancholy feel. It is the great vocal sound which draws you in to every song. “Everyday” has a touch of Michelle Shocked and the lyrics are fierce and powerful. “Judgement Day” travels at breakneck pace and actually seems to increase in speed . “Silence And Slumber” is the strongest song here. Once again the voice , the tempo and the fascinating personality of the singer are set out clearly. This album is a powerful statement of intent and it will be extremely interesting to see where this truly original artist goes next!

Written by Paul Bamlett

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2021 Part 1 January 16, 2021


Welcome to our first singles round up of 2021, this time I am once again joined by a guest co-reviewer. This time it is the turn of one of the newer members of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Team, Paul Bamlett. Paul is a self confessed music nut, so he fits in well over here at Mayhem Towers. We kick off this years singles round up series with eight cracking tunes from eight supremely talented artists and bands which found their way into the world during the last few months. Elkyn and Millie Manders and the Shut Up are the only ones to have featured here at WJAHOM before, but I am confident that all eight will be back again sometime. We have artists from all over the UK; Norwich, London, North East England, Leeds, York, Sheffield and Manchester

“Panic” – Millie Manders and the Shut Up

Paul – This is great, they don’t sound like anyone else. Danceable and very current given the powerful message. This song is the perfect package topped off with Millie’s excellent voice. A very, very impressive song and performance.

Bill – A planet saving anthem that is also in possession of a brilliant earworm of a chorus. A wonderful underlay of perfectly played guitar and the use of voice clips is interesting and adds to the gravity of the message. A heavy sound full of passion, especially Millie’s vocals. This is a song that proves Millie Manders and the Shut Up are much broader than ska punk. Like Paul I bloody love Millie’s voice!

“Raison D’etre” – Stolen Dead Music

Bill – Hard, heavy, bluesy and very, very long. Vocals at times reminiscent of Kings Of Leon. Great hooks and riffs and a very 70s rock guitar breakdown at the end.

Paul – Very interesting, a very good song, a touch on Nirvana at times. Why such a long instrumental break? That said this sounds like it will be a great song played live.

“Little Cheryl” – Not Now Norman

Paul – A real old fashioned sound with an incredibly strong chorus. Good double tracking of guitars and some excellent snappy riffs.

Bill – Reminiscent of the Go-Go’s at their peak. A good pop hook and melody, a kind of subdued power pop. Taylor Mitchell has a great voice and at times the guitar underlays the tune in a Johnny Marr kind of way. I want to hear more from this lot. A great band name in my opinion, too.

“We Eat The Buffalo” – Radio Aftermath

Bill – Immense riffs coupled with a great rock vocal. Are there two drummers on this, or has John Bonham been resurrected? This is very punky metal which I think will be ace in a live environment.

Paul – This reminds me of the Misfits or the Damned or maybe early Metallica. Great vocals are definitely in the same vein as early recordings by Dave Vanian and James Hetfield. This is a great song

“Drag Me To The Light” – Miles and the Chain Gang

Paul – Some Joe Strummer style on the vocals. The horns and Dexy’s style brass were a great addition to the track. I felt that the guitar sound reminded me of A Certain Ration or Talking Heads. One of my favorites from this batch.

Bill – Nicely British with a touch of ska, while the harmonies add an almost US West Coast vibe. Funky, choppy Billy Whizz guitar and fantastic production.

“Everybody Used To Love You” – Silverjet

Bill – Tumultuous opening riffage with a classic 70s rock vocal style. I love the guitar solo and the drumming. It feels a bit post punk but heavier and will probably be awesome live.

Paul – A great opening riff with some Kiss style in there. Maybe they should have used that same riff for the chorus. Hats off to them they sound like a great band and I get the feeling that they know how to strut their stuff like Motley Crue or Hanoi Rocks.

“Message From God” – M30

Paul – Great tune, the drums come in perfectly. There were a few moments where the backing vocals made me think of the Arctic Monkeys. I like this one!

Bill – Organ intro was like some kind of religious horror film theme. Very different and understated instrumentation. A very British vocal, none of that affected American style here! I also love the backing vocals on the chorus. One of my favourites of this round up.

“If Only It Was Alright Now” – Elkyn

Bill – A soft chilled acoustic guitar track at the start which builds into a spectacular peak with a sound that emulates bells ringing. Great harmonies too

Paul – Ambient, folky and very original. I like the track but I would like to hear it in a much more basic “unplugged” style without the drums.

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem 2020 Round Up January 4, 2021

Filed under: News,Observation,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:23 pm
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Personally I find lists of top ten albums, singles etc. for a given year quite subjective so I have decided not to do that for 2020. But I thought that you might be interested in what has been happening on the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem blog page in 2020. The site had more than 30,000 views for the year for the first time since 2016. December hits were 6,449 which is the highest monthly total since May 2015. There were views from 148 different countries. More than 300 people follow us directly from WordPress, the Facebook Page now has 818 followers and we are close to 1,400 followers on Twitter. A total of 2,523. Thank you to each and every one of you. Stick with us in 2021 and beyond, share all our links (you will find them below) and tell all your friends to come and say hi!

We made a total of 164 posts, and wrote 66,693 words that is more than 400 words per post. The most popular post published in 2020 was written by one of our newer contributors Tom Ray and related to Jeffrey Lewis, click here to read it. The most popular post from previous years was viewed a lot this year and it was “We Make Out In Your Mustang To Radiohead” from 2011, click here to read that one.

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‘Tons Of Tins – Ten Ton Tinnies September 5, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:05 pm
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First of all what a great band name. And it just gets better from there. “Part-Time Hillbilly” sets out the stall . Big power chords and riffs with big meaty vocals. “Down In The Country” continues the style with no punches pulled . A rip snortin’ full tilt country boogie. “A Song For The Bruce” is a slower ballad  with a touch of Lynyrd Skynyrd and a great vibe. “Throwdown” , and the boogie is back faster than ever . The drums provide a beat that makes you want to kick up the dust. Live I bet this one’s a monster!

“Tons Of Rain” tells the story of a flood in epic style. “Take Me To Town” has a touch of ZZ Top about it. “WHPH” has a riff worthy of those Aussie legends AC/DC and a rap feel like Aerosmith in collaboration with Run DMC. “Over Me” is a ballad with strong vocals which demonstrates the range of this band and “Here’s To Drinking” is a great song about …well… drinking! “Bad Gas” has a rap feel which this band do so well . There’s a lot of innuendo and more straight bawdy humour here which is a refreshing change. This bands songs are as catchy as anything and this album is a great night out in recorded form . In short they do exactly what it says on the Tinnie! Excellent . 

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Kaliyuga’ – In Hearts Wake

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 12:21 pm
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In Hearts Wake are a fantastic heavy rock band from Australia with a very clear environmental conscience. They have organised carbon offset for all of their consumption creating this excellent album. This instantly draws our attention and commands respect. The album opens with striking sounds and complex and captivating riffing and rhythms. “Worldwide Suicide” features barking vocals and big heavy riffs . Drum and bass sounds feature, Slayer meets the Prodigy. “Hellbringer” has fast thrash riffs and interesting additional vocals. “Moving On” has a more dancey opening . This track has a more melodic and epic feel. Doomy vocals are still there but nicely balanced by a more melodic vocals.

“Timebomb has angry vocals and a great loping riff”. “Son Of A Witch” once again has a nice mix of angry vocals and a more melodic approach . “Crossroads” has a more melodic feel. “Husk” has a gentler intro which shows the multiple skills of this band. “Naga” is a brilliant instrumental intro to “Form Of Life” which has strong vocals. “Dystopia” is the strongest track here with a superb melancholic melody. “2033” is a heavy closer with a great mix of angry riffing and vocals and a more melodic approach . This is a winning combination!

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Letters From Spain’ – Victor Dahlberg September 3, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:19 pm
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This is a gentle easy on the ear album with some great melodic touches. “Give 2.0” opens with lovely piano and some nice harmonies to back up a soulful song. “Cry” has a more folk rock feel . There is a slight feel of Randy Newman in the vocals. “Found” has a country feel . The vocal itself has a touch of Stevie Wonder. On “Living Now” the horns add an additional dimension with a laid back feel and a beautifully controlled vocal. “You Know” features a reggae backbeat and once again the vocal is strong. This is not challenging music but that is its charm . A strong commercial feel and a great upbeat vibe which in these tough times is a very uplifting feeling.

Written by Paul Bamlett

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‘Staring At The Sun’ – Decay August 22, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:04 am
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Decay are a post-hardcore band from Liverpool with a strong emo influence. They number Basement and Title Fight amongst their prime influences. The title track kicks things off and is a good leadoff single. “September 27th” has a slower more ballad feel, great vocals, and strong melodies. “Empty Feelings” has a panoramic sound with some big guitar sounds. “Hold On” has a menacing bass line leading to a passionate vocal. “Misery” features ringing guitars and a raw vocal. “Endless Silence” has an ambient opening and is a short piece. “10.23” is just guitar and vocals. This track shows the true depth of this band. This is a strong anthemic ending and is beautifully balanced and well-executed. The melody is very strong and this is a very satisfying closer to this confident debut from this young and exciting band. More of the same, please!

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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