With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mayhem Singles Round Up Part 2 2023 February 25, 2023

You wait for ages for a Mayhem singles round-up and then two turn up in ten days! Here is the second for 2023, it includes a massive fifteen songs that have been passed on to me or recommended during the previous few weeks and months, there are some bloody spiffing tracks here. It features five artists and bands that have appeared on Mayhem’s pages before. Let me know what you think of this fine selection of tunes! You will find a YouTube link to each song in the title 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.

Bravo” – Sheratons

Possibly the best single from the Sheratons, it leans towards early Arctic Monkeys in the sheer scale of riffage and has more hooks than you might find in a professional anglers kit bag.

Brain Unchain” – Cadillac Muzik and Garret Shider

This is a gorgeous slice of chilled funk featuring Parliament/ Funkadelic royalty in Garrett Shider a.k.a. Starchild Jr. It retains a retro feel but is definitely made for the 21st Century. That guitar sound is at times Santanaesque and makes me dream of summer

We All Rise” – The Bellwether Syndicate

This sounds like the Sisters Of Mercy bumped into Bring Me The Horizon in a dark, mucky Chicago back alley and started a fight which was refereed by Dave Grohl. It has goth in its veins but heavy rock in its brain

I Hate Hate” – Ian Hunter

This is the second single from Ian’s next album, ‘Defiance Part 1’ which is scheduled for release on 21st April. At 83 this bloke still rocks and still writes great songs. The message of “I Hate Hate” is profoundly positive too. I am very excited about the new album now. Check out the previous single, “Bed Of Roses”, featuring Ringo Starr and Mike Campbell here.

Feast” – Kindelan

This is Laura’s third release under the Kindelan name following “The Other Side” and “Hazel Frustration”. This is a sumptuous slice of chilled dream pop. The music evokes Lemon Jelly and the softer end of Groove Armada while Laura’s voice is close to perfection and a few times I found myself comparing it to some of Tracy Thorn’s finest moments. I love the way that food is used in describing relationships.

Welcome To The Disco” – The Apocalypse Disco

The Apocalypse Disco’s bio claims that they make Apocalyptic Discotechno and based on this track that is 100% true. It has superbly crisp production, courtesy of Neil Mclellan, who has worked on some great albums, including being the engineer on the Prodigy’s ‘Fat Of The Land’. This track is the perfect opener to lead us into a pre-armageddon party and it will definitely feature on my end of the world playlist. If it is the last track you ever hear, then trust me, you have left this mortal coil on a good note!

Flatline” – Blind Channel

A fine slab of heavy and hard riffage with an undercurrent of 80s European rock from Finland’s Blind Channel. The band has said this about the song, “Flatline is Blind Channel on steroids. We captured the energy of last year’s 130 shows into one song and threw it to a Berlin rave”. Steroids at a rave? Yeah, that works for me!

Devote” – Pitou

Pitou, who is Dutch, releases her debut album next month, and if all the tracks hit as high on the qualityometer as “Devote” it will be something wonderful. This is a beautiful tune with some gorgeous multitracked vocal harmonies. Her voice has stunning clarity and occasionally made me think of Lana Del Rey and Liz Fraser.

King B” – DZ Deathrays

Aussie rockers DZ Deathrays have been around for 13 years and they get better and better. “King B” hits you like an anvil on the head and doesn’t let up. This is a great track for some epic air drumming and headbanging. I hear there is a new album on the horizon, possibly.

Again And Again” – Michael Hamilton

This is a hypnotic, haunting track that delves into the spirit of Mike Oldfield before moving into illegal rave territory. Probably one of the most wonderfully composed and constructed instrumentals I have heard in a while.

Naked Times” – Kid Be Kid

Kid Be Kid is a Berlin soul and jazz singer, piano virtuoso, and human beatbox. “Naked Times” is not just soul, jazz, piano, and beatboxing, it is so much more! Damn it is such a great tune. Her vocal performance is off the scale! If Bjork and Laurie Anderson had a love child it might be Kid Be Kid. The video for “Naked Times” is well worth watching.

Poseidon” – Fendry

UK rap was often the poor relation of US rap. Then along came Mike Skinner, then later Stormzy, Dave, and many others. Now there is Fendry! This kid has some great tracks with “Poseidon” the best so far for me. Great beats, a great atmosphere, and stunning ciphers. He is also from my adopted home city of York and the video for this track was filmed in York city centre.

Holy Water” – Leah Marie Mason

Is it country? Is it blues? Is it gospel? No, it is Leah Marie Mason’s stunningly brilliant new song “Holy Water”. It is a deep, dark song about what sounds like a relationship gone really bad. I love the line “no the Devil ain’t in Georgia, he’s here in Tennessee” This will be on rotation for me for quite a while I think.

Ugly Cowboy (Club Mix)” – Yves Larock and Eve Molla

Does Eve love her ugly cowboy or not? I vote probably not. But whether she does or not this track has the feel of a classic dance banger, one for which it is the law for you to get off your seat and shake your tush!

Hit And Run” – Empyre

British band Empyre release their new album next month, “Hit And Run” is a sign that the album will be well worth a spin. Melodic rock with a slight sprinkling of prog. Overall it is a huge sound with a band that sounds on top form and vocals that launch passion and emotion grenades at the listener with every breath. I like this song a lot!



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The Sheratons – Fulford Arms, York – Thursday16th February 2023 February 20, 2023

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:04 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

It seems like another age when gigs were forbidden during Covid, I am so damned happy that we are back to normal, well mostly! This show was the first time that the Sheratons, from Leeds, had played in York. This was the first date of a five-gig tour with three dates in England and a further two to come in Scotland. First up was the rather nifty and talented the Big Sleep. If Damon Albarn decided to add to his, already huge, musical portfolio and legacy by recording in a grunge style with a spoonful of prog it might sound a bit like the Big Sleep, although perhaps not quite as raw and not quite as good. This is a terrific band, but a special shout out to the drummer who oozes talent and drives the band like a wild human metronome. The second band to play was the White Roses from Leeds, this was the third time that I have seen them play in just around six months. The White Roses are not just a rock band, they are a band that always encourages the crowd to party, and we did! The singalongs and the getting down low worked really well. The last time I saw them was at the Battle Of The Bands at this very venue towards the end of last year. They were good then and they are even better now. The guitarist and co-vocalist carries the guitar hero poses incredibly stylishly, but this is not style over substance he is a bloody talented guitar player. The lead singer’s voice is occasionally reminiscent of Joan Jett. If you haven’t experienced the White Roses yet, sort it out!

Next up and in the penultimate position were the Sheratons, who I believe were the headliners, not sure why they didn’t close the evening though. The Sheratons are punk with a fine pop twist, but definitely not just a pop punk derivative, they are more original than that. I have previously reviewed three of their singles, but until now the only time that I had seen them live was back in November 2018 when they supported Skylights at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. The recruitment of a new drummer since then has added a brand new metal-influenced dimension to their already rather excellent sound. The Sheratons’ set had many highlights, notably “These Kids”, “Raving And Drooling” and the new single “Bravo”. The only disappointment for me was that they played a cover of “Ziggy Stardust” at their Manchester gig, for a huge Bowie fan like me that would have moved an excellent show up a few more notches to hugely magnificent. The band that closed the night was Balcony Plants who play swampy, bluesy, punky metal. I detected some Sex Pistols, Clash, and Damned influences occasionally. I occasionally like using superhero analogies in reviews sometimes, so here comes another of those. Balcony Plants veer towards the immensity, power, and feeling of Swamp Thing more than they do towards the cunning of Poison Ivy and I make that statement in support of a great band. There were some truly stupendous riffs and classy vocals. It is also hard to ignore the upbeat message that Balcony Plants convey too, they are heavy, heartfelt, and humble. The cover of the Madness classic “Baggy Trousers” was a total gem and took the song to a place it has probably never been before. While that Madness cover was good the Balcony Plants’ take on Jacko’s “Billie Jean” blew the place up. This is a band that everyone needs to see!

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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – July 2022 August 2, 2022

The Mayhem Artist Top 20 artist chart for July 2022 is here. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of only 95% more obscure than other users in the UK this month, two points down from last month’s 97%. Although my obscure overall percentage remains at 99%! Regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, which currently are;

Promethium (The British metal titans returned to this list last month after a short break and they are still here)

Vaquelin (One of York’s finest young bands. You will be hearing more about them on this site soon). Check out the video for their latest single “Broken Window” below, watch it through to the end and you will witness my first acting performance, which I am sure will be winning many awards before long! I play old bloke at the bar with a pint of Guinness!

Hannah Robinson (talented singer who provided haunting vocals for the Last Of The Fallen Angels single “Red Dress”

The Last Of The Fallen Angels – (and speaking of the Last Of The Fallen Angels here they are, Conrad’s lot are firm favourites at Mayhem Towers)

MARQ Electronica – (The Talented Mr. Electronica graced the world with the rather fantastic album ‘Savage Times’ recently)

As for the July Top 20, Dame David and Kate Bush remain from the last chart, but this time Bowie drops from number 1 to number 4 and Kate Bush is up from 16 to 6. Soul music, specifically Motown is represented by the Supremes and Syreeta Wright. Meanwhile, reggae is represented by Burning Spear. Four of the five artists on the obscure list above are also in the top 20; MARQ Electronica (no. 3), The Last Of The Fallen Angels (5), Vaquelin (13), and Hannah Robinson (17). Classic bands and artists include Steely Dan, Nick Cave, Eminem, the Streets, Panic! At The Disco, and Hootie and the Blowfish. I am just preparing a review of Hottie drummer Jim Sonefeld’s autobiography ‘Swimming With The Blowfish. More recent but equally great artists include Captain Ska, The Beths, The Sheratons, and Yard Act. But it is disco music that makes it to the top of the pile this month thanks to the artist that made us feel mighty real, Sylvester! Check out the full chart below. I really would love to hear your thoughts on this chart. Please keep your eyes open for the fifth Mayhem Monthly Song Chart, just like an old-school top 20 singles chart! That one includes songs by eight of the artists featured in the July Artist Chart.

1 Sylvester
2 Hootie and the Blowfish
3 MARQ Electronica
4 David Bowie
5 The Last Of The Fallen Angels
6 Kate Bush
7 Captain Ska
8 Steely Dan
9 Burning Spear
10 Panic! At The Disco
11 The Beths
12 Nick Cave
13 Vaquelin
14 Supremes
15 Syreeta Wright
16 Eminem
17 Hannah Robinson
18 The Streets
19 The Sheratons
20 Yard Act

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2021 Part 5 December 10, 2021

OK I know I have been somewhat slow with reviews these last few months, so as an early Christmas gift this will probably be the final singles round-up of 2021. I will focus on a collection of tracks that I really loved but thanks to life (and laziness? Hopefully not that) I never got around to reviewing. Some of these came out quite a while ago too. I plan to be much better at this in 2022. If you have sent me something to review and I never got around to it then I am truly sorry, keep sending stuff though, as I really plan to get more done next year!

“Eye For An Eye” – AP Tobler

AP, who has featured on this site quite a few times now, returned with the rather splendid ‘Alternate Vision EP’ this summer and this dark riff laden romp was the lead single. AP is definitely one of those rare talents that grows with every release. Click here to check out the EP on Spotify, the cover of the Hives classic “Hate To Say I Told You So” is sublime.

“What I Need” – Tay Temple

If Karen Carpenter had been in the Cocteau Twins rather than Liz Fraser they might have sounded like Tay Temple. This is a lovelorn torch song with bite and I love it!

“Celebration, Florida” – Marnie Glum

A gorgeous acoustic ballad from the supremely talented Marnie Glum. A perfect fit to soundtrack a chilled summer afternoon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to brighten up a dark winter day as well.

“Shut Your Mouth” – Not Now Norman

A towering track from the magnificent Not Now Norman. The riffs and hooks hit you on the first listen, a band that gets better and better with every release. I am proud to be a Norminion and I am also in the video, can you spot me? 😉

“Kicked Out Of The Sky” – Kicked Out Of The Sky

A modern twist on bands like the Clash and perhaps the less in-your-face elements of Blink 182. Catchy rock at its best, I particularly love the guitars on this track. Matt’s vocal oozes class too!

“Hide And Run” – The Dots

This raucous garage band from Huddersfield sent me a great song, “Could I Bare” back in September, it is bloody good, but finding stuff online from these lads has proved difficult, so the video below is for an electrifying excerpt from their set supporting Skylights on their Yorkshire tour!

“In The End” – The Dead Zoo

That delightful bunch of talented musicians released a classy Giorgio Moroderesque single earlier in the year and it comes with some incredible dance mixes. I shelled out for the CD version and it was well worth it. Click here to check out the original, remixes along with their rather ace cover of the Dame’s “Everyone Says Hi” on Spotify. I really need to see the Dead Zoo live in 2022. In the videos below you can see the band play “In The End” live.

“Pink Champagne” – Dojo Explosjo

This track shows the breadth of talent and versatility that Andy of Cold Culprits fame has. This is a real step away from his punk style that I was familiar with. “Pink Champagne” is a frenetic, edgy dance track that would sound immense over a nightclub sound system. Andy also created the rather wonderful animations in the video too.

“Her Mind” – The Sheratons

The band launched this single 7 months ago and it is pure dirty, grungey, punky, bluesy, garage rock class. The band rock out like the Stooges on a tune that will undoubtedly rip a hole in venue roofs across the country.

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“Raving And Drooling” – Sheratons April 9, 2020

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:14 am
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The Sheratons, one of Leeds most vibrant bands, have unleashed a new single, their third, on the world. It is an absolute banger that combines elements of the best of classic rock and a punky attitude. It is also something that will get everyone on the floor at Indie clubs and student discos. (Do they still have the latter or am I showing my age?) It was produced by Sugar House productions of Viola Beach and Glass Caves fame. You can sense the anger in Kane’s vocal delivery in this anti-drug treatise. This is underpinned by some spectacular hard rock riffing and screaming guitar from Finley. All of this is underpinned by a rhythm section that is comparable to Entwistle and Moon when the Who were at their peak with Alex on pounding bass and Emma smacking her drums to within an inch of their life. Music is a great positive in these strange days and this song will definitely brighten your day, I bloody love this song and this band. The Sheratons are getting plenty of radio airplay right now and in my humble opinion, they are destined for much bigger things!

The Sheratons, doing a Jackson Pollock. Presumably just after painting the cover for the single!

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“Part Of A Picture” – Sheratons May 30, 2019

The Sheratons are shaping up to be one of the finest bands in Leeds and maybe even the UK right now. The evidence is clearly there in their piledriving power in a live setting. The argument is firmly supported by the band’s most recent single “Part Of A Picture” release back in April. It is a melodic, indie rock tour de force that is rooted in rock history. There are tones of everyone from early Radiohead to the more spaced-out Byrds period. This song sounds like the product of a much more experienced band, but it isn’t, the Sheratons average age is still 19 or 20. Given the radio-play they are picking up with “Part Of A Picture” (BBC Introducing, Steve Lamacq, etc.) and the strength of previous releases, notably “These Kids” I reckon their first album will be a real winner.

The Sheratons with Kane Bulleyment’s astonishingly sharp and powerful vocal delivery, Finley Ryan’s knowledge and performance of great riffs and Emma Liu (drums) and Caty Labbett (bass) providing a Rolls Royce of an engine to power the song are definitely a force to be reckoned with. They should be very proud of this release! If you want to catch them live soon they are a part of the Futuresound Emerging Competition and will be appearing in one of the heats at the Wardrobe in Leeds on 20th June as a part of that (see below). You really need to be there! In the meantime click here to listen to “Part Of A Picture” on Spotify.

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