With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mayhem Singles Round Up Part 3 2023 March 4, 2023

You wait ages for a Mayhem singles round-up and then three arrive in just over two weeks! Here is the third for 2023, it includes a massive fourteen songs that have been passed on to me or recommended during the previous few weeks and months, there are some amazing tracks. It features three bands that have appeared on Mayhem’s pages before. All three are from York, proving that the music scene in my fabulous adopted city is thriving. Let me know what you think of this great collection of tunes! You will find a YouTube link to each song in the title (or a link to the audio of the track) and a link to the artist’s website or one of their social media pages when you click the artist’s name. You can also find the link to a Spotify playlist of all these songs by clicking here.

Rebellion” – Skylights

The angriest track yet from York’s Skylights, also perhaps their punkiest song to date. So it is their punkiest yet, and their angriest yet, but is it their best yet? I certainly believe it is! A band firing on all cylinders and absolutely on fire! Turnbull’s guitar work on “Rebellion” is sensational!

Black And White” – City Snakes

These lads are taking the fast track from a good band to a great band. This is an incredibly accomplished tune and it is superbly produced. Bass, guitar, drums, and most definitely vocals are turned up to 11. A great tip of the hat to classic rock. You need to see this band live.

Jackie The Know It All” – The Corsairs

This is the follow-up to last year’s classy single “B-Side” and it is a tune that sticks with you. It has shades of everything from the Kooks, the Pigeon Detectives, the Arctic Monkeys, and classic UK post-punk. All of that is rolled up with a first-class pop sensibility

Soda & Lime” – Jonny Payne & The Thunder

This sounds like a classic US west coast song, but Jonny is based in Oxford in the UK. If you want a song that will make you feel good and have you singing along then put “Soda & Lime” on repeat. This will be added to my summer barbecue playlist.

Time To Rest” – Juniper Nights

Soft acoustic style rock reminiscent of Travis at their peak. It has some dark jangly indie guitar but for me what really makes the track is the vocal performance, especially the harmonies.

Talk To Me” – Fellow Robot

This lot is all the way from Long Beach, California. They claim to have started creating music to bring the character Fellow Robot to life through music. Fellow Robot is a 140-year-old robot who is the main character from the WIP novel ‘The Robot’s Guide to Music’ written by frontman Anthony Pedroza. I am more than happy to listen to fine rock music like this from a great band while I wait for the book to arrive. Their album is due in May and on the strength of “Talk To Me” it is definitely one to look forward to.

After Midnight” – Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown is an abundantly talented teenage singer-songwriter from the USA. “After Midnight” is a hopeful pop song for these dark times and would give Taylor Swift a run for her money. Her backing harmonies and counterpoint vocals are haunting and add some real depth to a great tune.

Harder Now (For Love)” – Senses

A great rumble of a tune, Senses from Coventry have aced it with this single. A bit 21st Century Small Faces with some Paul Weller thrown in, this is damned good.

I Need You Tonight” – Short Wave Craft

A multilayered beauty of a tune with some excellent samples. If you like Moby, Portishead, Air, and others like that you will absolutely love this close-to-perfect track put together by Dominic Owen and Tom Carr. I could listen to this for hours, and I probably will.

Made Me Happy” – Wesson

Some might say that not much great music has come out of Milton Keynes, if they do then point them straight to Wesson. This tune starts out like a 60s psych-folk track a la Traffic. But then it moves into a magnificent pop-rock song which sometimes has a hint of the 1970s Scottish band Pilot, particularly the guitar sound. The video, inspired by ‘Tron’ is fun too. <EDITOR – If any other Milton Keynes bands would like some coverage, do give us a shout. I am sure we could be wrong about MK music!>

Outside Of Town” – M. Byrd

German singer-songwriter knows his way around a beautiful melody and some often dark lyrics, but there is a hopeful side to this track too. The song is about someone having to flee a war with their daughter. I can picture myself meditating life to this song, maybe while drinking a cold beer.

Wendy” – Holly Henderson

This has a 60s girl group vibe and vocals that Rumer would be proud of. The instrumentation is classy and happy to step away at times from simple tones. A song that stays in your mind long after it is over. A real lesson in how to produce an uplifting and sometimes sad song. I will be playing Holly’s new album ‘The Walls’ now I think.

Villain” – Alexa Dark

Alexa is Spanish/ American and was raised between Barcelona, Munich, London, Paris, and NYC. The influences from all of those places are apparent in this song which is expansive and cinematic, in both scope and ambition. “Villain” is more than worthy of being a Bond theme.

Lost It” – Hanna Ögonsten

Swede Hanna Ögonsten’s Spotify bio says “I’m glad you found your way to my silly little music universe in this big cyberspace! Here you’ll find reflections and memories of mine dressed up in danceable alt-pop beats”. I think she is much better than silly and little, her universe is rather big and pretty smart. She is right in describing her work as danceable alt-pop beats though, and “Lost It” is a prime example of a song that is infectiously danceable and memorable. Check out her rather wonderful EP from last year, ‘Bby Boo, Ögonsten & You

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2021 Part 5 May 23, 2021

It’s very close to the end of May and this is our fifth singles round up of 2021.

There are ten quite different tunes from ten clearly talented bands and singers, one of whom (Arcade Fortress) have featured on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem before, but I am confident that all ten will appear here again in the future. This bunch come from Newcastle, West Midlands, Lincoln, Nashville (USA), Aberdeen, Coventry, the Netherlands and London. Inject this bunch of tunes into you as soon as possible. Click here to check out the Spotify playlist with all ten songs on it!

“Be My Saturday” – Sirocco

A very UK mid 90s vibe, the guitar screams perfectly and the vocals will drift across a festival field nicely! The tune also has a fine dose of psych too.

“Sunflower Girl” – Giant And The Georges

This instantly conjures up a feeling of summer for me. A delightful slice of jangly, happy indie with harmonies to die for! It left me with a huge smile and made me feel great!

“Uppercut” – Arcade Fortress

This is a tribute to Pembroke Boxing Club and I reckon it would be a great addition to a training playlist. We reviewed a previous single of theirs a couple of months back and found a Depeche Mode influence. But this shows their versatility as they come on like a resurrected Motorhead! This is pure unadulterated mosh food and I love it!

“Upside Down” – Gabe Baker

A fine portion of classy modern R & B which throws back to the best of Marvin Gaye vocally and the great use of strings (cellos I think) evokes Norman Whitfield’s production work for the Temptations. It is the kind of tune that you must sing along and dance to, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the law! Another song that left me with a huge smile.

“Relay” – Lachlan

A haunting anthemic tune from this talented Scottish singer songwriter. It makes me want to hear more from him, tunes are infectious and stick with you long after they finish!

“Harder Now (For Love)” – Senses

A strong Stone Roses crossed with Kasabian feel musically, but very original as well. Vocals are evocative of Spiritualized and Inspiral Carpets. I reckon this bunch will be great live!

“Brainwashed” – Norquay

This is rock with soul and emotion. Mountainous riffs and awesome vocals. Apparently the song is about a good work colleague of Norquay’s who encountered two suicide bombers while out on a military operation. “NO where to run , NO where to hide, can’t escape a brainwashed suicide!!”

“Out Of Here” – Charlotte Spiral

This is a haunting piano driven piece with a sensuous and heavenly vocal. This would fit perfectly on the soundtrack of a David Lynch film. It is the first track on the new Charlotte Spiral EP, ‘New Light’. Incidentally the Charlotte Spiral is a figure skating move, I never knew that!

“Gonnie” – The Awkward

This is one hell of a feel good tune. Danceable, great hooks, excellent harmonies and counterpoint vocals. My only criticism is that at less than two minutes it is way too short, but I guess playing it on repeat would solve that in a way!

“Cheap Red Wine” – Muca & La Marquise

A very chilled and very dark haunting lament. There is clearly a relationship story here and it fits perfectly into this great tune. The production is first class, especially as the song builds to a real crescendo. It makes me want to check out more from Muca & La Marquise.

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