Archive for the ‘Indie/Blues Ep Track Reviews’ Category

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The Tied – It takes two to make an accident – Track Review 

I asked the big boss for something different to review this time and was duly obliged with this from Maidstone indie/rock band The Tied

What these guys have created is based around the simplest of simple hooks which will, by its very nature, have you “air-percussioning” on anything in the vicinity, even a steering wheel whilst you hold it at “ten to two”.

It is very much reminiscent of the early 2000’s indie sound but with a bit of art-punk in the mix as well.

Whilst vocalist Roy tells the story, there’s a pounding ease to the driving rhythm guitar, bass and drum which leads you to be able to absorb more of the lyrical content. Maybe I’m getting a bit old but previously, when lyrics of other similar songs have been spoken at speed, the words were there but it might as well have been the menu from the M20 Junction 8 service station cafe that was being recited.

The story takes me back to my youthful summers where “seatbelts around the ankles”, “crashing into cul-de-sacs” and “backseat vodka and cokes” were common place.

Then there’s a huge gear change for the chorus. The band’s sound  grows in pace and intensity  even where lead guitarist Andy’s screeching guitar took me back to a moment of slamming the brakes on in order to avoid a concrete bollard back in the day.

This is a driving anthem, both with lyrical content and with sound and an effortless, straight-up reviewer-pleaser.

 

Max Mann

Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook 

Find on Soundcloud 

 

 

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The Gang – Mania – Track Review

Powerful, driving, bluesy drum rolls accompanied by urgent and attacking chords, and an answering overdriven, melodic riff, fuel the background of this energetic track “Mania” by The Gang. As the title suggests it’s a frenzied, raw, lively, garage rock track, with manic instrumentals and a casual indie vocal line. The chorus is calmer with a funky drum groove, simple chords and vocals, gradually building up the guitars to a bassy, head nodding solo. “Mania” is the opening track of the band’s latest EP “BLVDEVARD”, and the track definitely demonstrates The Gang’s ability to produce a short, snappy, abruptly ending song, that is so nonchalantly cool and catchy.

Annie Mackinnon

Rock/Indie/Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find the band on Facebook

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The Lightwings – Revolutions – Track Review 

Reminiscent of 90s Britpop, and melodies from bands such as The Beatles, The Lightwings create a colourful, upbeat track “Revolutions” in their own “beatpop” style. Driven by a buzzing guitar riff and exuberant drum beats, the track doesn’t mess around and jumps straight into vocals almost immediately. Ringing guitar chords weaving through vocal harmonies and the addictive and catchy chorus, followed by an irresistible classic solo. Stripping the track down to vocals and drums building up back to liveliness keeps the track awake and moving, and by the end of the track you find yourself knowing the chorus well enough to sing along. These Britpop revivalists definitely offer an easy listening, uplifting catchy track; “Revolutions” is a track to check out!

Annie Mackinnnon

Rock/Indie/Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find band on Facebook
Official Website
Buy their debut Album 

Beatnik Geek Records on Facebook 

 

 

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Funke and the Two Tone Baby – Battles – Debut Album Review

The raw energy of Dan Turnbull’s vocals and purity of his writing style run powerfully all through his debut album “Battles,” a compilation of his song writing to date.

It is indeed a two-tone world we step into, for we witness a war of two opposing sides: on one, the power and the glory of his musicianship, a tenacity of vision and style that simply will not quit; and on the other side, the effective communication of the messages from that leader.

It is a struggle that is in some battles won, others lost, and hence from your war correspondent, comes a review…

As a journey, the album starts strong with “Bella’s Kiss” effectively providing a rousing call to arms through the atmospheric use of a true, Texas-southern-bar rough and tumble of blues that recalls John Mayall’s purity of style.

This rawness is carried through “Mountains” where we are transported to a track with a PJ Harvey-like quirkiness to it: “The Woman Who Stood at the Edge of the World.” There are Django-ish guitar elements, and many layers of simplicity that build to realise an impressively effective force.

We then travel to older countries, with tracks such as “Ode to the Pirate Ghost Witch” and “Battles,” the latter rendering a folksong tradition with a hard mix of harsh percussive guitars and rhythmical beatbox sounds, these tracks giving nods to both The Levellers and Radiohead respectively.

The remainder of the tracks communicate with equal truth and forcefulness, the various stages of this young song-writer’s musical and emotional life. A standout later track is “Now I See You.” With Mike Oldfield guitar runs, the passion in the vocals is contrasted with gentle guitar picking, brought together by pseudo-beatbox sounds then lifted infinitely by the surprise entry of a ballsy harmonica towards the end.

There are moments however where the listener’s attention is distracted from the excellent songwriting and playing by the over-zealous application of effects and mannerisms that jerk one out of the song’s created world and into a place that seems suddenly incongruous.

There are bafflingly unpredictable losses of the letter T in the lyrics that whilst undoubtedly wishing to pay homage to Billy Bragg, given the rest of the album and in some cases the rest of the song, seem an affectation too far for comfort.

Undeniably, Folk and Blues should be raw, truthful and powerful, but ideally not at the expense of the listener’s ability to enjoy the songs. As such, there are times when the tempo and notes of the song seem to escape the musicians, and too much tremolo reverb in some sections threaten to devalue what are important structural points in those songs.

This is a good collection though, it has strong songs and the seeds of more great songs within it, but it is not yet an album that sits together well. These are but the formidable early steps of a truly great future General, I have no doubt. Some battles may indeed have been fought, and fought well, but the war is not yet won…

Aaron

Blues Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Official Website

 

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Ross and the Wrongens – That Magic Feeling – Track Review 

Breezy 60s-esque guitars , serenading sha-la-la-la-oooh harmonies, accompanying sincere and optimistic lyrics : “come on come on life is for living, you give you give that magic feeling” create a bright and bouncy song comparable to the Beach Boys, The Beatles and The Kink’s “Sunny Afternoon”. Delicately woven in guitar riffs depict a scene of bright nostalgic carefree spirit, as does the instrumentation which is laid back, sparing the overproduction of most contemporary music. “That Magic Feeling” is no doubt a feel-good song that will transport you back to times past.

Annie Mackinnon

Rock/Indie/Acoustic Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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Keston Cobblers’ Club – Pett Level

So, how can I sum up Keston Cobblers’ Club’s ‘ track ‘Pett Level’? Well the band describes themselves as ‘Tuba-oom-pah folk pop’, and this actually seems to sum up the song ‘Pett Level’ pretty well. I think, stylistically, it feels a little like The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s tour bus crashed straight into Oktoberfest and the resulting fire storm fused the Orchestra with a conglomeration of regional Bavarian folk bands.

‘Pett Level’ is one of those songs that make’s writing music sound so easy. It’s a song which on a first listen may start out with a feel of simplicity. You may be forgiven for disregarding it as one dimensional, and all in all a little lifeless. But you would be mistaken. As the song progresses there’s a multitude of different sounds and layers to listen for, the song feels intricate and unpredictable which gives it a sound that oozes character. This means it never gets boring, and it’s hard not to leave it on repeat to pick up on layers you may have missed before. Despite this, it never feels cluttered or muddled. In-fact the song retains a feel of simplicity that keeps it fun and enticing.  Couple this imaginative originality, and well written instrumentalism with the catchy, easy and all round beautiful vocal performance and you certainly have a reason to keep listening.

Production on the track is also well done; it fits the music well by focusing on definition and clarity over punch. The track sounds organic and ‘live’ without losing its polish. Some people might find it difficult to pick out certain instruments; it’s conceivable that it might be heard as cluttered with multiple sounds ending up at about the same level in the same frequency range. But for me, the song would lose its organic feel if it were too ‘produced’.

So what have we learnt today? That if you want pounding rhythms, massive drops and killer solo’s you have obviously horribly lost your way, but then, what did you expect from a Tuba-oom-pah folk pop band? Idiot. However, if you want a band that does the unthinkable and makes folk interesting again, then you’re in the right place. Keston Cobblers’ Club deliver innovative, catchy, fun folk music that’s caked in raw talent. ‘Pett Level’ drags you into its own little world where unicorns exist and Freddo bars still only cost 10p. In their world everything is right, and I will certainly be buying an album.

Alex Alpen Temple

Metal/Rock/Folk/Reggae/Jazz and Blues Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

Find them on Facebook
Official Website – Where you can buy the One, For Words album!
Beatnik Geek Records on Facebook 

Keston Cobblers’ Club perform Pett Level at Maida Vale – BBC Introducting

 

 

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Czechmate – Bus – Track Review from EP Pipe Bombs

Sittingbourne’s Czechmate are a quintet of fuzzy indie funsters and this is no finer display of this than on the track Bus.

Jordan Arthur’s vocals bring to mind what Mark E Smith from The Fall would have sounded like if Red Bull was around in the late 70’s.

There’s a definite F U attitude to the lyrics, even offering up the middle digit if a bottle was to be smashed over his head!

The musical element of the band is very reminiscent of top drawer Franz Ferdinand and the almost march-like beat of this track gave this reviewer instant pleasure!

This track, along with all the others off the EP – Pipe Bombs, are gonna continue to go down a storm at their live gigs and I reckon this wonderful county of ours has finally got a reason to be proud of Sittingbourne!

Max Mann

Rock/Metal/Other Reviewer on behalf of GIGgle Pics

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