With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mayhem Singles Round Up Part 4 2023 April 16, 2023

I think it’s time for another Mayhem singles round-up, don’t you? Here comes the fourth for 2023, it includes a baker’s dozen of tunes that have been passed on to me or recommended during the previous few weeks and months, there are some rather spiffing tracks.

It features many artists and bands that have appeared on Mayhem’s pages before. There are also four great cover versions in this collection. There are new tracks from Avalanche Party, Apollo Junction, Vaquelin and Liz Davinci who I think all have new albums coming out sometime this year. Judging from their latest offerings, choosing Mayhem’s album of the year for 2023 will be very difficult! 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.

Serious Dance Music” – Avalanche Party

Ain’t no party like an Avalanche Party and the AP boys are back with what is most definitely a tune for partying to. You probably wouldn’t play this at a work event! I sense an Amazing Snakeheads influence in this fast-paced, frenzied, frenetic, funky, feral, fest of a song. The band all seem to be in top form, especially Kane’s drumming. This is the first single from their upcoming sophomore album, ‘Der Traum Über Alles’. The video is very classy indeed.

History” – Apollo Junction

The Apollo Junction lads are back with another offering that will feature on their third album, due out later this year. For the first minute, it is soft, acoustic, mellow, and pensive. Then the sound continues to build with an almost drone-like guitar sound underpinning it. It finally builds to an immense orchestral-sounding, epic finish. The harmonies are superb and I can imagine this sound echoing across festival fields for years to come. Possibly my favourite Apollo Junction song so far.

The Grayston Boogie” – Hazy Janes

This is a fine slab of fuzzy, dirty, electric blues. If you are not doing the Grayston Boogie by the end of the track then frankly you should seek medical help. The video has a few fleeting tips as to how to boogie in a Grayston way!

Back To Black” – The Palava

A brave choice to cover this one. No one could ever hope to emulate the original Amy Winehouse, so the Palava choose to take the song in a different direction. An immaculate blues rock vocal and some gritty, scuzzy garage rock style guitars. I have seen the band play this live and they do it well, but this recording is so very much better than that! I bloody love it!

FKN H8 U 2” – Sad Like You

This bunch is from Adelaide, Australia and this track is reminiscent of the softer side of Blink 182. It is a close-to-perfect amalgam of great pop punk and emo. A heartfelt tale of heartbreak. I am looking forward to hearing more from Sad Like You.

Pain Reliever” – Liz Davinci

Is Liz Davinci descended from Leonardo? I don’t know, but she is certainly an incredibly talented artist. Vocally there are elements of Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega, and Marcella Detroit here. This tune is beautiful and almost baroque in its construction. I love the way that Liz is not afraid to use the space between the notes. This augers well for her forthcoming album ‘Fata Morgana’.

Five Years” – Easy All Stars/ Steel Pulse

This is the second cover in this singles selection (there will be more) and it does what I think makes a perfect cover in that it isn’t a simple facsimile of the original. This is the first track to be released from the Easy All Stars forthcoming album of a reggae reimagining of Bowie’s ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars’ album. This one works perfectly and bodes well for the album. The Dame’s rarely touched reggae, and when he did it was never particularly good in my opinion. But Easy All Stars with Steel Pulse show with absolute certainty that Bowie can work in a reggae style.

Feelin’ Good” – The Black Skies Ft. Hellbound Glory

We have another cover in the singles round up. This time it is smoky, heavy, swampy, garage rock version on Nina Simone’s iconic classic “Feelin’ Good”. For me this version takes back ownership of the song from Muse after Matt Bellamy’s somewhat histrionic and over-the-top take on the tune from a few years ago.

Tell Me With Your Eyes” – Witch Of The East

Witch Of The East return with a fabulous new song. This is punk, post punk, electro, dance with a goth icing and a pinch of New Order. Based on this, if there is another Witch Of The East album in development it will be bloody wonderful.

Back-Alley Barn Dance” – I Tell Lies

Get into this band now, then when they break big you can impress your mates by saying you were there at the start. This song is full on rock with large shots of Yard Act and Sleaford Mods and a shady undercurrent of mounting anger. Go see them live as soon as you can!

Wicked Game” – JW Paris

Gemma, Danny and Aaron return with a stonking cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. It feels like the Velvet Underground made the song originally back in the 60s and then Isaak covered it in 1989. OK, I know that isn’t true, right? This must be top of the list to be on the Twin Peaks soundtrack if there is ever another remake, prequel or sequel. I love that in the blurb to the video on YouTube the band state “Dear lovers, snoggers and nighttime doggers. We’ve recorded a cover of one of our favourites in light of the smoooochin’ season” that cracked me up, well the nighttime doggers bit anyway!

The Bona Fide Money Laundering Society” – Vaquelin

Another banging tune from Vaquelin, it kicks off like Led Zeppelin on Quaaludes and the vocals are classic 70s rock style with a dash of Bowie’s Tin Machine Style. The screaming lead guitar, particularly in the last part of the track is something Mick Ronson would be proud of. The second album from Vaquelin looks like it will be better than the first based on this tune!

Greed” – The Undercover Hippy

The Undercover Hippy is an expert at protest tunes, because it is done in a very clever and subtle way. The reggae backing has shades of another great band, Captain Ska. This song questions the greed and or incompetence of our less than industrious leaders. We need more artists like this calling out the scummy liars in government.

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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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The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Song Chart – March 2022 April 11, 2022

We have been publishing our Mayhem Top 20 Artist Chart for a while now, so it’s about time we hit you with our top 20 song chart right? We promised you this in the last Artist Top 20 and here it is! The inaugural Mayhem Top 20 Song chart. Who will be on the hotlist? Who will be number one? Read on to find out! Well it won’t be a traditional old skool run down from 20 to 1, we thought we’d hit you with number one first and it is………. Prairie Brigade with “Is This How The World Ends”. York singer-songwriter Rubby Addy is a close second with her gorgeous tune “Roadkill”. Meanwhile, Bang Bang Romeo follow up their chart-topping of the Mayhem Artist Top 20 appearance for March with a very respectable number three placing. The oldest release on the list is “Metal Guru” by T. Rex at number 20. Eight of the artists who featured in the Mayhem Top 20 Artist chart for March also feature on this list. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart as we hope to make it a regular feature. Check out the complete list below.

1 Is This How The World Ends – Prairie Brigade
2 Roadkill – Ruby Addy
3 Cemetery – Bang Bang Romeo
4 Edge Of The World – Last Of The Fallen Angels
5 Ride Home – Katy Hurt
6 You Belong – Set Your Sights
7 Mansard Roof – Vampire Weekend
8 ROCK$TAR – Police Car Collective
9 Sunday – David Bowie
10 Colourful White Lies – Electric High
11 Pieces – Revivalry
12 I Thought I Knew It All – Marq Electronica
13 Wilder Days – Morgan Wade
14 Barbara Streisand – Phonomatiq
15 Fool Britannia – The Undercover Hippy
16 Rhubarb – Childcare
17 I Wanna Be By Your Side – Na’eemah Harper
18 Little Bit Broken – Hattie Briggs
19 If You Get To Hell First – Fury
20 Metal Guru – T Rex

We love our readers so much we have even created a Spotify Playlist of the Mayhem Song Top 20 for March 2022. Click here to give it a spin!

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem – Singles Round-Up 2022 Part 2 April 1, 2022

This is the second singles round-up of 2022 and I must apologise for its tardy arrival. I certainly hope we become more prolific with singles reviews. There are twelve great songs with a group of artists from across the globe (sorry flat earthers); Middlesborough, Bergen (Norway), NE UK, Lincolnshire, Texas, Deptford, Nashville, Bristol, Dublin (via France), New Jersey and the Goldilocks Zone around another star (well that is where it feels like the Galaxy Electric are from). I think only Marq Electronica and the Galaxy Electric have appeared on these pages before the rest are new to us but I am sure this will not be their last appearance.

“All The Way” – Kirk Covington a.k.a CPT. Kirk and The Devil Horns

This is like a glorious old skool soul revue band. Funky, modern, and a song that you simply have to dance to. Shades of Bar-Kays, Ohio Players, Jamiroquai, Silk Sonic and great Jazz Funk among others. Vocals remind me of the 70s classic “Why Did You Do It” by Stretch. This is music that straddles the best of late 20th and early 21st-century music. This is one of the best tunes I have heard in ages!

“You Belong” – Set Your Sights

Gritty, grungey, power pop punk from Middlesborough. Everything comes together nicely on this track. I reckon it will be a proper stormer played live.

“Colourful White Lies” – Electric High

Funky, riffy garage rock with a dose of Jimmy Page and John Bonham at times. The vocal hooks are spot on.

“I Thought I Knew It All” – Marq Electronica

Purveyor of some of the finest electronic pop you will find in the UK. This sad ballad reminds me of Soft Cell in their softer moments. The song grows on you and seems to get better with every listen.

“Pieces” – Revivalry

You can’t tell from the rather powerful rock tune that “Pieces” is but this lot are aged from 14 to 17. They have a well-developed sound and the song and performance are banging! They will be hitting the live circuit soon, including Kendal Calling. They have also had a TV show on Sky TV and made the charts as a part of the Brits & Pieces project. This bunch has huge potential.

“Deadzone” – Parasocials

Is it possible to find dirty, funky, post-punk, shoegaze? Yes, in this classy tune from Parasocials. This apocalyptic song was inspired by David Cronenberg’s film version of Stephen King’s “The Dead Zone”. At times it’s a bit like Yard Act, but from a much, much darker alternative universe.

“How The Light Gets In” – Sound&Shape

Ryan Caudle’s voice on this is exactly what a great rock voice should be. It starts off gently and builds to a wonderfully string-laden, epic, Beatlesesque finish. This song is a thing of pure musical beauty. I was taken back to some of the finest moments from My Morning Jacket and Gomez.

“Fool Britannia” – The Undercover Hippy

I think this actually came out last year, but somehow I missed it. A fabulous ska-punk tune with more emphasis on the ska element. A seriously clever takedown of what the UK has become. Play this tune as we move into those sunlit uplands of Brexit, which in actual fact are scorched earth and poverty. The opening line “I bet you never thought you’d regret a BJ” sets the scene perfectly! For the less aware and prudish among you, the BJ referred to is a pun-like take regarding fellatio versus Boris Johnson. I’m not sure why I actually had to say that, let’s just call it a public service announcement 🙂

“How High/ Endless Voyage” The Galaxy Electric

This is like a Giorgio Moroder film score condensed into under four minutes. It would be perfect playing in a futuristic seedy bar in any further reboots of ‘Blade Runner’. Its swirling synth soundscape hits you like a widescreen wave which suggests the endless voyage of the title. This is a perfect track for listening on good headphones, it gets deep inside your head and your psyche that way!

“Novocaine” – Sammi

Sammi has a voice with an ethereal, angelic quality and it takes me to a good place. This is a sublime piece of music and I will definitely need to check out her album, ‘Silver’ very soon.

“I Got Caught” – Jeremy Engel

French born and Dublin based Engel packs more emotion into this track than many songs can take. But he carries it off with aplomb. Shades of Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley ring out to me and the guitar work is truly exquisite.

“Break Of Dawn” – Cory Singer

Singer took to Tik Tok during the pandemic to describe what living with autism is like for him. He has become an ambassador for anyone affected by autism and released this song in support of World Autism Awareness Day which takes place on April 2nd every year and kicks off World Autism Month. Cory is clearly a talented singer-songwriter and this is a beautiful summery tune which made me think back to the Alessi Brothers 70s hit “Oh Lori”

Click here to stream a playlist of all the above tracks on Spotify. The only one missing is Sammi’s “Novocaine” which I don’t believe is on Spotify. There is a YouTube video for every one of the songs apart from The Galaxy Electric, that video says that I am unable to add it here. However I have added the link against the song title above, believe me, it is worth watching!

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