With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘This Land Is Your Landfill’ – The Homeless Gospel Choir July 2, 2020


Homeless Gospel Choir provide big bold anthemic guitars and vocals alternating with an alt country feel on some tracks. The Homeless Gospel Choir is in fact Derek Zanetti from Pennsylvania. His guitar and voice combine to make a pop punk sound. He has an individual vocal style and his lyrics are political in nature. Those lyrics are sometimes pretty cynical and are communicated with some pretty harmonies. This is especially true on the track “You Never Know”.

“Global Warming” opens the album with a flourish. There is a hint and even a mention of Green Day. “Don’t Compare” features some nice Guitar lines. “Social Real Estate” is rowdy and “in yer face” with a liberal sprinkling of knowing references to religion coupled with some great warped melodies. Album closer “Punk As Fuck” does exactly what it says on the tin. A much heavier feel than other tracks, while “Art Punk” uses a children’s chorus approach with an anthemic feel. Much of the music here has a flavour of early REM and the combination of laid back off kilter country alongside the big shouty punk style works really well. It would be great to hear from this artist in the near future.

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Propoganda’ – Aārp June 18, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:12 pm
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Aārp is a classically trained experimentalist with a penchant for politically orientated song titles. Opening track “CA Fuit De Pentant” is an intriguing synth led track which is experimental rhythmically as well as tonally. “Condamnez Vous Les Violences” features scattered rhythms over a descending jazz style sequence. “Axis Of Evil” has a filmic feel with organ leading into a dance like feel with frequent changes of rhythm pattern. “Less Than 1% Of Patients Leave Addicted” has a sadder, less frenetic feel “There Is No Alternative” builds into a dance orientated track with a more laid back feel.

Some tracks such as “Nada Es Gatos Esta Vida” and “The Herbicide That Gets To The Root Of The Problem” feature a more experimental feel . The rhythms are more disorientating and therefore require closer listening. “I Prefer A Literal Dictator” has a sinister feel with orchestral interludes. Final track “Les Malheureux” opens with bassy synth sounds leading into an interesting mix of rhythms interspersed with symphonic interludes and alien dance rhythms. This album reminds somewhat of the work of Ryuichi Sakamoto and the Yellow Magic Orchestra and that is no bad thing. I look forward to hearing further musical exploration from Aārp and his politician quoting song titles.


Written by Paul Bamlett.

Click here to listen to the album on Spotify.

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‘It’s Raining On The Wrong Side Of The Window’ EP – Glass Peaks



Glass Peaks debut EP opens with a soundscape of ambient noise and bleeps. This leads us into “Sao Paulo” ,a great synth based song and a good opener.
An Interlude of ambient guitar takes us into “London Is Concrete” which has a gentle pop feel and an interesting vocal. “Never Really Left” has more upbeat feel and an anthemic Tears For Fears flavour with strong vocals. The next “Interlude” with more ambient sounds coupled with whispering voices leads into the final track the sublime title track, “It’s Raining On The Wrong Side Of The Window”. With beautifully balanced vocals this is the strongest track here and brings this multi faceted release to a close.

Very strong songwriting and excellent production add extra class to this superb EP. Featuring an eclectic and well chosen mix of genres on this evidence Glass Peaks can expect to achieve commercial success in the very near future.

Click here to listen to the EP on Spotify.

Written by Paul Bamlett

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‘Second Movement’ EP – Chelsea Pribble

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:11 pm
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In the first instance I heard the single from this EP which is “Under the Covers”. To say that I was blown away by its quality and originality would be to give those descriptors a bad name. The release from which “Under The Covers” is taken is far and away the most stunning collection it has been my pleasure to review this far. Beginning with “White Lies” the fragile but effective vocals coupled with delicate complimentary string arrangements are a great opening moment. The tonality here is unique. “Bed Of Stone” with its piano intro has a depth of feeling that is tangible and some truly exceptional classically orientated tonal shifts. A Satie-esque piano figure introduces the aforementioned “Under The Covers”. The arrival of drums is unexpected but pleasant and the track is for me amongst the finest in a superb collection.

What makes this such a great release is that no two tracks are the same but the feel of the release is so unified. “Overgrown” features strings which accent and compliment the timbre of the vocals. The lyrics demonstrate a depth of feeling which lends the song an additional layer. The sound is supremely well blended. “Reprise” has a sadder feel to it but the string arrangement is once again what makes this music work so well. “Prelude” is an instrumental piece which fits supremely well into the exquisite soundscape of the record.

Chelsea Pribble has a classical ballet background and nowhere is that more apparent than on “Pas De Deux”. The vocal here has some of the feel of Anthony Hegarty but this is a voice all its own. This song vies for top billing with “Under the Covers”. Original, beautiful and profoundly emotionally affecting ,the classical dance influence is writ large here and the lyrics are strong. This is a superlative collection of songs and an absolutely resounding 10 out of 10. I will await further music from this great emerging singer with great anticipation.

Click here to check out ‘Second Movement’ on Spotify.

Written by Paul Bamlett

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‘Amputate Corporate Art’ – The K June 10, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:32 am
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The K are from Belgium and they are a really noisy bunch of guys. If you like your music loud and anchored on big grinding riffs then The K are the band for you. This album sets out its stall in no uncertain manner. Opener “Future Is Bright” is equipped with a great big riff and is quickly followed by “Shit Day” which has a riff like a lumbering monster and big shouty vocals. “Dominant Tracks” has a tub-thumping intro and a Stooges style riff. “Everything Hurts” slows things down a little but then we get “Petty Profit” which comes on like a head-on collision between Nevermind and Black Sabbath. No bad thing!


Not many tracks make me want to get up and pogo like a maniac these days but next track “The Rougher Aspects Of Love” could do the trick. With its frantic punkoid riff and screaming vocal, it’s a great slab of feral rock. Next track “Keep My Nightmares Cold” is the strongest track on the record and shows the melodic skills of this band. “Swim it Better” has a frantic opening which builds into a killer heavyweight riff. The album closes with “(Un)Fortunate Youth” which features a great thrashing riff of doom soaked guitars. If you like Nirvana, Sonic Youth and the fabulous Pixies then get a load of The K. Tell you what, on the evidence of this album, live this band will absolutely take the roof off and I want to be there when it happens.

Written by Paul Bamlett

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‘The Power’ – Evvol

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:56 am
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Berlin has long been a hotbed for great music and duo Evvol, who recently released their album, ‘The Power’ can be counted as another addition to that trend. Opening track “Help Myself” immediately draws you in with its delicately phased keyboards and saccharine vocals. One of the key components of this album is an intriguing use of rhythm and “Its Ok” demonstrates this ably. “Rope Walk” is a fascinating soundscape leading into the excellent “Old Love” which has a beautiful vocal with a spoken background. “Call Me Back” has a fantastic keyboard sound with vocals slightly reminiscent of Everything But the Girl. The messed up rhythms are also present on this track.

“All I Need” which features just vocals and keyboard reminds me of Laurie Anderson’s work. “W.A.R.” features a lovely keyboard figure and echoing vocals over a neatly worked polyrhythmic background. This is the strongest track on the album and a good club track just crying out for a lengthy remix. “1994” is a short but fascinating track with experimental keyboards and superb vocals. “M29” is another shorter track which I was eager to hear develop further. “Video Tape” has a Pet Shop Boys feel and tonality and is a potential single. “The Well” has an unexpected synth opening which figures throughout the song, building, and fading. “Swallow” closes the album with quirky synth and vocals. Evvol have a plethora of ideas which can take them as far as they want to go and you should look out for what they do next. Trust me it will be interesting.

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Sovereign’ EP – Coast To Coast

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:43 am
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It’s a fact that lots of great music has come out of the Midlands over the years. Black Sabbath, UB40, and Slade to name but three. Now you can add another name to this illustrious list, Coast to Coast! Formed in 2016 they specialise in heartfelt and honest anthems which really make the grade. What’s particularly striking to me is the way vocalist Keiran Hyland does not bow to popular taste by Americanising his accent. This is very refreshing. The band also features Alex Edge on guitar, Josh Taylor on Rhythm guitar and Zak Tyler on bass. They mesh well to produce a great sound.

Standout tracks include “The Sun Is Dim” which has a great melodic opening and builds to a fantastic vocal performance. This is an alternative version of a previously recorded track and for me, this newer version has more depth. “Sovereign” has some impressive vocal sounds. “Be Kind” opens gently and again features a lovely vocal. “Cold Buzz” is melodic and mesmerising, a good description of much of this record. Coast to Coast are described in their press as an “emo rock band”. I can see that this could describe them but you need to know that they are so much more than that. I look forward to hearing much more from this innovative group of musicians.

Written by Paul Bamlett

 

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‘Everything Is A-OK’ – Violent Soho June 3, 2020


Violent Soho are an Australian band who come at you with attitude and panache. Their new album ‘Everything is A-Ok’ drips with grungy slacker snarl and bite
“Shelf Life” gives off the feel of Nirvana and QOTSA. “Sleep Year” has a great atonal build up and introduces those snotty, bratty vocals that are a key and captivating feature of this record. Plus it has a great riff. “Pick It Up Again” starts with some strong guitar and builds up to be one of the strongest songs here. It’s great to hear this kind of attitude.

“Canada” has a more panoramic feel soundwise and is a touch more melodic than other tracks. There’s a definite nod to the Foos here. That’s not a bad thing at all.
“Lying On The Floor” has a lovely ascending riff which makes this song another contender for the song of the album. I imagine that Violent Soho are an amazing live band and on the strength of these excellent songs I for one will be in line to see them in action when they can hit the UK. This record is packed full of skip fulls of attitude and also makes a great sound to jump around to so push back the furniture and get some Violent Soho blasting through your speakers

Written by Paul Bamlett.

Click here to buy the album on Amazon.

Click here to listen to the album on Spotify.

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‘Mustard Coloured Years’ EP – Wild Cat Strike May 28, 2020


When searching the music world it isn’t always easy to find artists that are truly original but Brighton’s Wild Cat Strike merit that description. Their ‘Mustard Coloured Years’ EP strikes me as one of the most fascinating releases I have heard in a long time. Starting with Danny Byrom’s idiosyncratic and original vocals and superbly backed up by Max Boughen on guitar, Chris Whitehorn on bass and Joe Caple on drums this is a captivating band. It should be noted that all of these players are multi-instrumentalists so a truly multi-skilled ensemble.

“Mustard” combines an original sound with eccentric rhythms using light and shade with complex lyrical ideas. “Toothcutter” employs a different sound and method altogether. The lyrics are intriguing with their religious references writ large. There is a little feel of the Cure about this track but as with the other tracks this maintains its originality. This song has a second part to it which creates a more dreamy feel. “Swamp” is a mesmerising song that draws you in and is beautifully constructed. The music is inspired and intricate with a real application of lyrical thought processes and musicality. At the end of Roxy Music’s debut album, Bryan Ferry warbled “should make the cognoscenti think”. Well, Wild Cat Strike will surely have the same effect. My ears are open for more from this original group of musicians.

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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‘Living Dead Stars’ – Living Dead Stars May 22, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 3:02 pm
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Every now and then in this strange old musical world a band crops up that makes you think, wow, these people really mean what they say and love what they do. Living Dead Stars are just such a band. The band was formed in London in 2016 but is now based in Southern California. They are influenced by such titans as Avenged Sevenfold, System of a Down, and Five Finger Death Punch and while this is clear they also bring their own touches and skills to this masterly debut.
“Redeem Ourselves” which opens the album has an intriguing introduction and then moves into an epic metallic riff laced with some outstanding keyboards. Next up is “Nightmare” which boasts another great intro. This track gives us fair warning that two of the predominant features of this album will be strong vocals and tight exact rhythms.

“Checkmate” begins with a superb drum intro and then leads into a big chunky monster riff which is topped off with some great harmonising in the vocal department. As if that’s not enough this track also shows the gentler side of the band for the first time. “Killzone” is built around a great killer heavyweight fast riff which allows the excellent rhythm section an opportunity to really strut their stuff. Track 5 is “In Pieces”. For me, this is the standout track. Gritty vocals and an excellent arrangement. This epic wide-screen feel is what this band excels at and this track also features an exquisite guitar solo and a marvelous piano coda.
“Hopeless” begins with the same piano figure as the band plays on its epic strengths. As with many albums, this one grows in stature as it progresses. After a strong start, the songwriting becomes even stronger on the later tracks. Track seven is “Escape from Heaven”. The more melodic feel continues and the harmonies are beautiful. This is once again a strong song that benefits from repeated listening.

“Fallen” moves back into slightly thrashy territory but maintains the melodic feel with strong lyrics and vocals. “Through The Fire” begins with the epic feel but moves into a faster rhythm that drives the song to an anthemic close with an army of guitars adding a touch of Iron Maiden style glory. The closing track “Northern Star” opens with beautiful elegiac guitars and strings. The rhythm picks up but sustains a gentler ballad style feel which helps to show the musicality of this band at its best. This is a truly exceptional album by a band that has clearly taken time to assemble their strongest collection of songs. There is light and shade here which makes for a fascinating and engaging listen. With Living Dead Stars you can sense the hunger to really break into the big leagues and judging by this excellent album it won’t be long.

Written by Paul Bamlett.

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