With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2022 Part 4 June 6, 2022

This is the fourth singles round-up of 2022, possibly our most eclectic yet, which includes ten great songs from a group of artists from all over the UK and the world. Liverpool (via Austria), USA, Bristol, London, Norwich, Rochester (NY), Tennessee, Durham, San Francisco (Bay Area), and Switzerland. Three of these artists have appeared on these pages before and while the rest are new to us I am 100% confident that their first appearance will not be their last appearance.

“Questionable” – MonaLisa Twins

This has shades of the Divine Comedy and some of the finest 60s style melodies and harmonies, a truly gorgeous tune. The MonaLisa Twins are in fact real twins. Mona and Lisa Wagner hail from Austria and currently reside in Liverpool. “Questionable” is an original song, but the duo have also recorded some rather wonderful cover versions too, including a great version of The Who’s “The Kids Are Alright”

“Big Momma” – Lisa G. Allen

This is proper old-school R & B, perhaps by the skillfully sampled hook from Isley Brothers’ classic “Between The Sheets”. Lisa’s voice reminds me of Millie Jackson in her softer ballad moments. This is a sublime summer soundtrack tune

“These Days” – The Undercover Hippy

This is a proper earworm that would fit nicely alongside the likes of Lily Allen, I love the video too, the telephone call part is rather funny. The tune has a lilting light reggae/ ska feel to it and refuses to leave your head long after you first hear it.

“Speechless” – Femegades

This 21st century Riot grrrl and Femegades wear their feminist badge proudly and rightly so. This is a great tune and Femegades are definitely a band to keep on your radar. Probably one of the best band names that I have encountered in a while too!

“Sweet Melody” – Millie Manders and the Shut Up featuring Christy Bullent

Millie Manders and the Shut Up covering Little Mix, that really doesn’t work on paper does it? But who cares about paper, this is a 100-mile-per-hour ska-punk masterpiece and I bloody love it! It really is difficult to recognise it as the original Little Mix tune. An absolutely banging cover version!

“The Overthrow” – A Fitting Revenge

This is a fine and incredibly heavy slab of metal that smashes straight into your cerebellum with the force of the asteroid that ended the dinosaurs. If this lot has not played at Download before then they need to!

“Shakin’ Sally” – Rick Drevet and Friends

First-class southern bluesy rock from Mr. Drevet and his pals with a song about his motorbike. This is a song that is really difficult to not like. A really great tune for a long drive or road trip.

“Please Don’t Take Me Back” – MARTHA

This is an absolutely sublime indie-pop track. Great riffage, awesome harmonies, and a chorus that many bands would kill for. This band needs to be in your life, make it happen!

“Maison” – Seal Party

Bluesy, swampy, sweaty 60s R & B, like a young Tom Waits fronting Booker T and the MGs. This is a great tune that was created to become a classic and will be! Check out their earlier single “Juvie” too.

“KID” – Yves Larock & Molie

If you like dance music you will love this. It sounds good played loud in my headphones but over a nightclub sound system this will be monumental. Molie’s vocal is a perfect first for Larock’s infectious beats!

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2022 Part 1 January 28, 2022

This is the first singles round-up of 2022 and I certainly hope we are more prolific with singles review this year than we were in 2021. Some of these tunes came out at the tail end of last year. There are eight songs with a group of artists from Hampstead, New Jersey (2), the Netherlands, Tennessee, Hale (Cheshire) and Norwich. One of which has appeared on these pages before (The Awkward) others are new to us but I am sure this will not be their last appearance. How the hell has Rhoda Dakar not been featured on With Just a Hint Of Mayhem before? That is a huge failure on my part. Rhoda if you’re up for an interview, feel free to get in touch!

“The Man Who Sold The World” Rhoda Dakar

Rhoda first came to prominence fronting the Bodysnatchers who were a part of the whole 2-Tone explosion in the early 80s. She also gave some great vocals to the Specials and Special AKA. She released her first solo album back in 2007 and she seems very active on social media these days. Which is how I first learned of her cover of the Bowie classic “The Man Who Sold The World”. Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of the Dame and have been critical of covers of Bowie in the past. However, Rhoda takes this song and makes it her own. On paper turning this song into a reggae tune shouldn’t work. But this isn’t on paper and it is bloody marvellous. Rhoda maintains the dark, weirdness of the lyric while singing over a sunny, somewhat jaunty reggae track. Her voice is impeccable and raises the song a few notches from other versions. This ace cover is impossible not to like!

Hard Way to Go” – Megan Knight

New Jersey native Megan is a talented singer-songwriter whose songs ooze passion, soul and a life lived. There are some stunning alt.country elements to this song. She also has a hint of Taylor Swift’s delivery and pop sensibility on display with “Hard Way To Go”

Come Over” – The Awkward

This band is from the Netherlands and they sure know how to make a great tune and this talent is to the fore with the infectious “Come Over”. This is pop-oriented rock at its best and I think fans of Apollo Junction will love it, I do!

“Forever Home” – Rick Drevet

This is a fine slab of Southern USA bluesy rock in praise and support of forces veterans. There is a definite Lynyrd Skynyrd influence but in a good way. Rick’s guitar work is reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan and this tune has made me want to check out more of his stuff.

“Moment In Time” – Jai Agnish

Good things are worth the wait and this is Jai Agnish’s first single in thirteen years. It is an almost perfect, gorgeously crafted slice of chilled electro pop. Late night, reflecting on the day with a cold beer or wine, put this on to complete your relaxing chilled mood.

“Kind Of Greenery” – Israel Portnoy

This single from late last year is one that really brings me to a happy place. A beautifully constructed fun tune which can be found on Israel’s ‘Facing Flames’ album. At times it reminded me of two George’s; Harrison and Ezra, although without the Ezra bass boom voice. I need to go and listen to Mr Portnoy’s album now

“Eraser” – Head Ballet

Head Ballet are a duo from Manchester made up of Kiera Court and Danny Casio. This is a great electro pop tune and makes me look forward to more stuff from the pair. Earlier single “Real Life” is an ace electro ballad and worth checking out too.

“Money Talks” – PleasureInc

This classy track hints at an eclectic range of influence including, indie, electro, hip hop, post punk, classic pop and sixties rock sounds. The Jrnalism Remix of the tune takes it in a completely different, warped but wonderful direction.

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