Monday, 30 April 2012

THANKS FOR LISTENING LAST NIGHT. IF YOU DID, THAT IS.

If you tuned in to the disorganised mess that was the last Simon and Tomfunkel show, then I thank you. Indeed, if you've listened at all over the last 2 semesters then thank you!


While that may be it for the next year and a half, we do intend to return, triumphantly fluent in Spanish, to bring back TSATS for a third series in 2013. Whatever happens, I intend to be on the radio in a year's time, so eyes/ears peeled. In September 2013. Much love x


P.S. Anyone who visited this as a result of my shameless self promotion on the show last night, merci :) x

Sunday, 29 April 2012

ME ON THE RADIO REMINDER

Been a bit quiet the last few days, exam revision and all.


This is just to remind you lovely people that tonight, I shall be gracing the airwaves on www.livewire.1350.com alongside hopefully, quite a lot of people, for The Simon and Tomfunkel Show. 7.30-9pm, tune in or I shall weep. 


Because I totally know when people don't listen...ahem. Much loves if you do though, and you can get in touch with us while we're on air by going onto the above link and clicking 'Contact'. x

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I'M ON THE RADIO, ONE LAST TIME

I co-present a rock show on UEA's Livewire 1350, and this Sunday evening will be the last instalment of The Simon and Tomfunkel Show until our hopeful return at the start of the 2013/14 academic year. 


So this is a shameless self-plug; www.livewire1350com, Sunday evening, 7.30-9pm. Do not miss it, we are going to be playing A LOT of good songs, among them Japanese Voyeurs, Pure Love, Deftones, Marmozets...the list goes on. 


TUNE IN! 


Thanks x

30 SECONDS TO MARS. ALBUM #4. YES.

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD.


Yes, Mars are coming back. When, who knows? Jared's terrible when it comes to actually releasing things when he says he's going to (coughThisIsWarvideocough), but it is most certainly happening, and like the fangirl I truly am, I'm ridiculously excited.


A few things re: the new record.

  1. Jared says it will be  "a dramatic departure from the past" and  "very orchestral, narrative, interactive and even more electronic than previous projects.". Interesting.
  2. Jared's producing it alongside Steve Lillywhite, who has worked with U2 and The Killers, as well as some other producers. 
  3. Mars are currently recording in Hollywood, but will also be recording various bits and bobs live from around the world - in India, Africa, Yosemite, the Californian desert and Europe. Yes, oh yes, I want to be on that album.
  4. They're relaunching The Summit 2.0 as a Facebook and Twitter app, that will offer an insight into the inner workings of the album's creation. Geekgasm.
  5. And, on Friday, get involved with an exclusive live show, preview of the tour film coming soon (there's Jared's timekeeping for you again), AND a discussion with the band. Tickets for that badger are  VyRT.net/Mars, yours for $9.99.
Well, this sounds bloody amazing all round really. I've never come across a band with such a good relationship with their fans, to the extent where they become a large part of a new album. Geekgasming everywhere, still.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

NEW MUSIC - ARCHITECTS: 'ALPHA OMEGA'

Another new song, this time from Architects.


Wow.


Just, wow. So good.



Taken from upcoming album Daybreaker, out May 22nd.

NEW MUSIC - FRANK CARTER'S PURE LOVE:' BURY MY BONES'

The first sounds from Frank Carter's new project Pure Love is here, titled Bury My Bones. I had no idea what to expect from it, but the ex-Gallows frontman is onto something very much different from the angry hardcore that was Gallows.


The result of their labours is a very quality rock and roll-y affair; Frank's got a good singing voice! Enjoy;



Oh, and head to http://therealpurelove.com/ to download the song FREE. Yay for free musics.

Monday, 23 April 2012

PARAMORE: HAYLEY'S VOICE IN 'ALL I WANTED'

Me and my housemate Dom were having a bit of a Paramorefest, being rather partial to the band as we are.

On came All I Wanted.

You know the first song that made The Lonely Island famous? The one about trouser-based mishaps. Yeah. That note Hayley reaches in the chorus is just...literally the greatest note reached by any singer. Ever. It's amazing. 

ENTER SHIKARI SHOULD WIN EVERYTHING, FOREVER

(Moderately) bold statement time: Enter Shikari are THE best British band around at the moment, and one of the best ever.


People will argue that Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Berks are amazing. Maybe Arctic Monkeys, Mumford and Sons, etc. I have nothing against those last 2, but I don't think they stand up to the might of Shikari. I even believe that for a band with a sound as diverse as theirs, which is bound to draw criticism from people for being a mess of different genres or something, the success they've had is truly phenomenal, and they will in time deserve to stand up with the legends of British music. 


A Flash Flood of Colour held the number 1 album spot on release week for 6 days I think, only falling right at the end. Falling to 4th though, which is hardly a negligible achievement. Consider their opponents, the cream of Britain's mainstream music scene*, and Shikari, a band not enough people knew about - it's incredible. 


And well deserved, AFFOC is utterly brilliant, and it's going to take a simply stunning record to dislodge that from my favourite album of this year (and it's got a place in my all time favourites now)**. The way they go about making the music they do is brilliant, and they blend genres so well that it is a truly unique sound - you try mixing hardcore, dubstep, D'n'B, indie etc - that is so distinctive. The only other band I can think of with a sound as 'out-there' as them are the vastly underrated Rolo Tomassi. 


And, on top of that (aside from the music), the work they do is epic. Getting right at the forefront of addressing world issues, but without being pretentious (coughBonocoughGeldof). Check out Step Up clothing, created by Rou. http://www.stepuphq.com/


I love Enter Shikari. They're frankly amazing. These are the reasons why they should win at everything, forever. You should love them too, if you already don't. I'm done.

*This is not some form of hipster 'f*ck the mainstream' rant
**Step up (as it were) Muse. I want an amazing album from you.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS ARE GREAT

Recently, in an ongoing quest to search for the best music to work to, I was put onto the idea of soundtracks by my housemate. A lot are classical, or at the very least, free of vocals, which I find to be the most distracting thing. Since then, I've found several to work to, but some I'm now just listening to for the pure enjoyment of them, because some are just fantastically written pieces of music.


My favourites so far that I can recommend (all on Spotify);
  • Moon by Clint Mansell
  • LOTR: ROTK, the Complete Recordings by Howard Shore
  • True Grit by Carter Burwell
  • Inception by Hans Zimmer
These are my only ones so far (I discovered Moon today, which incidentally is a BRILLIANT film, I recommend highly, with a moodily haunting soundtrack), I have them all on a Spotify playlist here; Soundtracks
It's an open playlist, so feel free to add anything that you think is good, or leave a comment if it's not on Spotify.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

OH MASTODON, MASTODON, HOW I LOVE THEE.

The very first notes I heard played by Mastodon was that epic intro to Oblivion, and I was hooked. One of the only successes my dad has had in influencing my musical taste is instilling a great love of prog, and when a friend was talking about Crack The Skye being unlike anything they'd every done, so much more progressive than their usual 'sludge metal', I was intrigued and picked it up purely on that whim. That was such a good idea.

Since then, I've listened to them more and more, and only recently started venturing backward through the history of Mastodon, after I saw them in February. I've only picked up Leviathan so far, but sweet zombie Jesus it's such a great record.

So this is just an outpouring of love for one of the best metal bands around, and my favourite as well, and one of the world's greatest bands across all genres.

Friday, 20 April 2012

FAREWELL JAPANESE VOYEURS

Jesus Christ I'm slow on the uptake. I only learned today of the demise of Japanese Voyeurs (which happened March 8th), who were a truly fantastic band. It's a great, great shame that a band with so much promise and potential were forced to call it a day, because their one album Yolk was such a quality, distinctive record, they had a very unique sound. 

They still live on in various different bands; drummer Steve now plays for Hawkeyes, bassist Johnny is in Dinosaur Pile Up, while Romily makes things for her brand 'Heavy Child', and as for the other two, " Rikki will be playing with wood and Tom will be playing with himself."  


They're hoping to do a final show sometime, unless I'm completely obtuse and missed it I'll keep posted with info as and when. To lead us out, here is Cry Baby.

CANCER BATS PENTAGRAM TOUR

The Canadian angry merchants' tour of London begins tomorrow; in short, they will play 6 gigs, in 5 venues, in ONE DAY. That's gonna be one hectic bloody day. The venues, on a map of London (roughly) are in the shape of a pentagram, which is just bloody cool if you ask me.

If you're not going, like me, (because the tickets sold out in minutes) you can follow the gigs on Twitter at #pentagramtour, and hear stuff ranging from live recordings to interviews and all sorts, go to;

http://www.hasslerecords.com/pentagramtour/

Incidentally, check out their new album Dead Set On Living which I intend to review in the next few days, when I don't have essays to write. Speaking of which, should probably be doing that now, so...

LANA DEL REY: 'GOODBYE KISS' (KASABIAN COVER)

Lana hit Radio 1's Live Lounge, and turned out a rather lovely rendition of Kasabian's Goodbye Kiss from their album Velociraptor!, check it out below:

TUPAC'S HOLOGRAM

For those of you who missed this, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg headlined at Coachella, and brought on stage with them a special guest... It was Tupac, in holographic form. Anyone high at that point must have been 'tripping balls', as I believe people say nowadays. And anyone not must have thought they were.


But anyway. They did it as a tribute to the late rapper, and are talking about taking it (the hologram) on the road and touring with it, which is a great idea, but also 1. making it 3D and 2. making more. Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix are the 2 Dr Dre has suggested, but realistically it has scope for so much more.


We could 'resurrect' the likes of MJ, members of the Beatles, and in the rock world, Paul Gray, The Rev, Dio, to name but a few. It could be an amazing tribute to the lost legends of music.


But, at the same time, it's not something that should be overused, I don't think. While it would be incredible to witness, I think there is, at the same time, an inherent risk of degrading its value if used too much, to make it have less impact. I'm all for developing this as an idea, but it should be something special every time. 

IF DOCTOR WHO PLAYED GUITAR

He would almost certainly play this:




The 'Guitardis', ladies and gentlemen. I don't know if that's what it's actually called, but it should be.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

PARAMORE STUDIO UPDATE

Radio silence is broken! Save for the Singles Club in the latter part of last year, there's not been much from the trio. But... Read on below for Hayley's report on happenings in the world of Paramore.


"It's April... Honestly, I don't believe how fast the months go by anymore. The older I get the faster time flies. The other day I was looking at my calendar from last year (which was, admittedly, a lot less full than I had hoped it would be...) and thinking of how I was dreading how slowly it might go by. I've never known what it's like to be home for more than a few weeks at a time that absolutely nothing is going on. The only thing I could think about was if we could snap our fingers and make the 4th album happen so that the next time I looked up, we'd be back on a stage somewhere and not sitting around at home. But you can't just make things like that happen. For something to be great, there has to be some kind of trial or some type of struggle that actually makes it special or valuable to you. Otherwise, anything could be easily taken for granted.

There's no reason to lie about it, the first few months of writing were ridiculously draining and a lot more of a pain than a pleasure. It was supposed to be fun right? We made it all the way to this point to just struggle some more. So, you can probably imagine that when the flood gates burst this past January and inspiration started filling us up again, we were more than willing to let it take us wherever it wanted. We've written a lot of songs I never thought we would write. And we aren't done yet! The writing will continue even as we enter the studio... Which, of course, is what I'm writing you about right now.

The guys and I went in to record a song for our 4th album about a week and a half ago. Except that we weren't exactly sure how it was going to go or that the end result would be something we actually wanted to use, it was all very exciting. At the end of our time in the studio, it was clear to us that this was definitely right! So without delaying any longer, we would like to announce that our 4th album's producer is Justin Meldal-Johnsen. And what the heck, we might as well tell you that the one song we recorded will be called "Daydreaming". (It's the one we "tweeted" about writing in a hotel room in LA back in Feb).

In case you can't tell, we're working on a pretty strange schedule, by our standards. There has never been so much time and care put into a Paramore album. Usually, we are rushing to make a very strict deadline which so far has just not been right for this record. We cannot assure you it will be out this year. What we can tell you is that from now on, when we go in to create this thing, whether for a day at a time or for a month, you will be kept more informed. It is a total joy to make our fans/family a part of what we do because we couldn't do it without you anyway.
Phew! It feels so good to get all that out there... Felt like I was going to word vomit on twitter or something if I didn't write this soon.

The guys and I have been constantly amazed at the enthusiasm and excitement we've seen on fansites/blogs/in handwritten letters/and elsewhere. Again, we just want to say thank you for your patience and the way you've kept us hungry to make music and to play shows. This is a very incredible life to live and you have all been the best reminder of that.

See you around the internet, surfing Tumblr and Twitter and all that mess... But not Facebook. I don't know how to use it.

Dispatching for Paramore,

Hayley"



So, the important thing to take away from this is that THEY'RE BACK IN THE STUDIO. This is good. And if they put as much effort into it as she says they're doing, then I'm more than happy to wait for it. If they create a record that's better than Brand New Eyes then we are so in for a treat, as BNE was superb. 

GRAZE BOX, ON ME. YOU'RE WELCOME.

DISCLAIMER: This is another one of those posts that's not to do with music or my general blog content. But, it gets you free nibbles. You in?

www.graze.com make lovely snack boxes, with all sorts from nuts, flapjacks, things of lovely dried fruit (personally, I can recommend anything with mango or banana). And, you can get one for freeeeeeee. Jut type this code into their website;

TYKNB8GD

GO!

LINKIN PARK: 'BURN IT DOWN'

Yes, I'm a few days behind, but I still thought I'd give my two cents. Not that it's a culturally relevant phrase, me being English. This is just my essay head talking. Ignore it.

So, they're back. This is the first we've heard since A Thousand Suns, which I loved. Remove the fact that it sounds nothing like older LP and just appreciate it from a musical perspective, and I think it's a fantastic album, a really interesting experiment in style. Sure it got hate, but haters gonna hate, you know? Every band needs that stage in their life, to try out something new to stop themselves being pigeonholed into being a set, defined genre, and they've had that stage, taken positives and negatives away from it and come out the other side a better band.

That aside, Burn It Down is itself a great track, and the sound LP have now is one that has matured, I'd say, into something really quite excellent. They've taken elements of the experimental phase and fused it into their already developing sound into something polished. I look forward to June, when their new album Living Things is released.

JACK WHITE: 'BLUNDERBUSS'

Monsieur White's debut solo album is currently available to stream, for freesies, on iTunes for a limited time. On the basis of the first couple of minutes, it sounds AWESOME. So, if you've got a spare 44 minutes that needs filling with Jack White, this could be right up your street*.


http://new.itunes.com/redir/cbx-cgi.do?v=2&la=en&lc=uk&a=toOif1JcPEyd2dFaqpp%2BsSEoLd13VTjC3D2TOLEwUP0epiXwgUwMNZdukUs1n2ZPAeeoiEsxN1mgutl56EyIBpfCnj1K9rLa7tV3vywVFvM3M151J57Lt1siqVTcy4S7wo%2FktXUABSAsN8%2BtG6t%2FYQ%3D%3D


*It is, by the way.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

GREEN DAY'S ALBUM TRILOGY

I'm really quite intrigued by this. They've announced they're working on a trilogy of albums, entitled ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡TrĂ©!, the first of which is due out sometime in September. 


They're working with Rob Cavallo on it, who's done every album between Dookie and American Idiot, so signs are good. I'll be completely honest, I thought 21st Century Breakdown was rubbish. So I'm interested to hear how "...the most prolific and creative time in our lives" ends up sounding. 

Friday, 13 April 2012

I MISS FALL OUT BOY.

Sat with Folie A Deux on, and I realise how much I miss them. They were such a good band - Patrick's voice, which is one of the best in rock music (in my humble opinion), Pete's clever lyricism, his occasional out-of-place screams, his mad bass skills*, Joe's big-ass hair, the fact that Andy was an epic metal drummer in reality... And then also the fact that they were so good at making catchy rock. Sugar We're Goin' Down. Dance, Dance. I Don't Care. This Ain't A Scene. The cover of Beat It. The hidden gem that is Pavlove. Grand Theft Autumn. All of them anthemic. I could go on.


I remember going to see them at the O2 a few years back, right before they went on hiatus, and it was brilliant, even though I still didn't understand gigs at that point and left when they left the stage, only to hear their encore as I walked out...


So, basically, FOB. Pay attention. You've done your solo thangs. Now GET BACK TOGETHER.


*

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

MUSE: SHOWBIZ

I have underrated this album for far, far too many years. Where I originally only thought there were a few songs from it I liked, as each track played out I realised they were all good. Not Origin/Absolution standard, but still fantastic. Possibly even lifted above The Resistance in my estimation.

Meanwhile, I want to hear NEW STUFF! Come on October...

KERRANG! AWARDS 2012: MY PREDICTIONS

It's that time again kids. The K! Awards are upon us, and this is who I'd like to see scoop the awards (although I know some won't come close)


Best British Newcomer: Marmozets (no contest in my mind)
Best International Newcomer: Kvelertak
Best Single: Cancer Bats - Old Blood
Best Album: Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood Of Colour
Best Live Band: Enter Shikari
Best British Band: Enter Shikari
Best International Band: Mastodon
Best TV Show: Being Human
Best Video Game: Skyrim
Best Film: The Skin I Live In (far too arty though. It's Spanish, for one thing)
Best Comedian: Bill Bailey
Tweeter Of The Year: Jono Yates of Blitz Kids (@jonoBLITZ)
Hottest Female: Romily Alice of Japanese Voyeurs
Hottest Male: Jared Leto of 30 Seconds To Mars
Villain Of The Year: The whole of Metallica (yes for Lulu)
Hero Of The Year: Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari
Best Festival: Download


So maybe I may have shown a slight bias to a particular British band... It's what I think though, so... awards.kerrang.com

VANS WARPED TOUR UK

BRING ME THE HORIZON are the first band on the bill for WTUK!


It's all going down at Alexandra Palace on November 10th, and tickets go on sale May 7th, when there'll be a load more bands revealed (although I'm sure there'll be more before then, to try and peak interest). www.vanswarpedtouruk.com is where you need to go for the very latest.


Although I won't be in the country for it (sad face), I hope it goes well enough to bring it back for 2013. It'd be good to see some international bands on the lineup, and in terms of UK bands, my thoughts drift toward You Me At Six, Kids In Glass Houses etc, but it'd be brilliant to see the smaller bands like my faves Marmozets, While She Sleeps, The Ocean Between Us, Release The Kraken... That ilk. Fingers crossed!



Tuesday, 10 April 2012

WHILE SHE SLEEPS: 'DEAD BEHIND THE EYES'

People (K!, Radio 1's Rock Show etc) have been raving about WSS' new song for days, and I paid no attention, having never heard them.


OH. MY. GOD.


Brutal and brilliant. There's something of the Cancer Bats about them, but with more angry. Amazing.

PARKWAY DRIVE present 'HOME IS FOR THE HEARTLESS' DVD

Below is the new trailer for the newest DVD by one of the finest metalcore bands out there, Byron Bay Australia's Parkway Drive. This gives a tiny glimpse into the chaos that is a PWD show, and it makes me want to see them (properly*) all the more.



*I saw them at Sonisphere 2011, but from a distance... It's not the same.

Monday, 9 April 2012

LANA DEL REY

I bloody love Lana Del Rey. F*ck the haters, she's amazing.



This is not my pic, however awesome it is. Found it here; http://gabeweb.tumblr.com/post/17308141815/lana-del-rey-haters-gonna-hate-via

ANIMALS AS LEADERS

I'd like to bring to your attention a band that I don't think enough people know about, considering the frankly incredible skill of the band members. Animals As Leaders are among my favourite bands, and to try and describe their genre would do them no justice (although I'm going to try anyway) - they are, broadly, epic prog metal/djent with classical/jazz/electronic influences. Told you it did them no justice. Bear with me.

The brainchild of possibly the world's best guitarist (just watch some videos of him on Youtube), Tosin Abasi, alongside fellow guitarist Javier Reyes, they (I think) push the boundaries of the sounds that guitars can make. Equally, drummer Navene Koperweis is simply brilliant. There are so many variations in time signatures (which I understand remarkably little of, for a bassist), in sounds and styles, they are simply one of the best bands out there. Did I mention they're entirely instrumental, so no vocals to get in the way of stellar guitar work? 16 strings, some skins and some synths, it's amazing.

Don't be put off my the inclusion of the word 'metal' in my description, many of their songs are softer and contain some quite beautiful melodies; listen to Behaving Badly or On Impulse from their debut self-titled LP which is a superb album. Their second, Weightless, is also excellent but I don't think it's quite on the same level as their first.

And so I leave you with the song that got me into the band, CAFO. Enough shredding to make your face fall off (just listen to how many notes are contained within the first 10 seconds), and IMO their best song. You're welcome.


UPDATE: I forgot about their upcoming European support slot with Meshuggah! Hopefully I'm gonna be at the Waterfront in Norwich to see them, let me know if you're there!

ROLO TOMASSI/NIGHT OF THE LIVING THREAD THEFT

Some bastard broke into the Rolo Tomassi tour van and stole all the money belonging to Eva's Night Of The Living Thread clothing label; Rolo's official word "This morning our van was broken into, not much was taken from us but all of Eva's Night Of The Living Thread money was stolen. If you can help out at all head to www.thenightofthelivingthread.com and pick something up to make up for what was taken. Thanks guys!"


So I urge you to go buy something, or if you know anything to get in touch with the band. Besides, the clothes are awesome and entirely handmade by Eva, so support indie clothing labels!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL GRAY

Today, April 8th, would have been the 40th birthday of the one and only Paul Gray. A legend in metal, you will always be remembered. So in tribute to the man, my favourite Slipknot song, Snuff, from All Hope Is Gone


I wish that I could have seen them before his untimely passing, but I am glad to have seen Slipknot's first UK show without him, in tribute at Sonisphere 2011. R.I.P. #2 

Friday, 6 April 2012

MARMOZETS to support THE USED!

This happened like a day ago, yet somehow I missed it.


My current favourite band Marmozets (check out my review of them live the other week at http://yesthisisnoise.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/live-review-young-gunsmarmozets-24312.html) have nabbed themselves a support slot with The Used on their upcoming 4-date stint on our fair British shores.

  • 24/4 - Glasgow, King Tuts
  • 25/4 - Manchester, Ritz
  • 26/4 - Birmingham, Academy II
  • 29/4 - London, Islington Academy
I recommend that you go out to one/some/all of these. In the meantime, check out Marmozets' EP's Passive Aggressive and Vexed, and The Used's new album Vulnerable, which I'll be reviewing as soon as I get the time to listen to it good and proper.

EMAROSA; THE SEARCH FOR A NEW VOCALIST...

Do you think you have what it takes to be Emarosa's new vocalist? Because they're still looking...


Nearly a year to the day after it was officially announced that Johnny Craig had left the band, they've put out a fresh appeal for a new vocalist.
Their official statement reads a bit like this; 


"During the past year we have actively demoed with a few awesome vocalists, with intentions to proceed each time, and our attempts have given us new friends, but still no singer. The songs we’ve been writing have taken on a new exciting form of honesty, and we can’t wait to share them. We still need someone who can fill the responsibilities of being the voice and face of a full time rock band, and someone that we all genuinely connect with on and off stage. Having said that, we’d like to invite anyone who thinks they are that person, to contact us.
We are looking for someone in their twenties with a strong, original voice, an open, eager, constructive mind, and something positive to say.
Please submit the following, a few examples of your voice, a picture, and any music experience to EMAROSASINGER@GMAIL.COM"
So, if you have the cajones (or vocal chords, which are more useful here), email them!

NON-MUSICAL POSTYNESS

Another outlet for me to spam links to this; STORY BEHIND THE STATUS!


I co-star in UEA:TV's newest show, a comedy-drama about student life called Story Behind The Status. The first episode is out and is viewable on the Youtubes here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEm6T9AZXVI


The thing with the show is that all the characters have Facebook, therefore, you can add the characters and keep up with the show in extra depth! The characters are;
Floyd Pinkerton (me!)

Zelda Higgins
Sean Bruggins
Dinah Scott
So go and add them on Facebook, and keep up with the show! Episode 2 will be in the works VERY soon :)

I'M DONE, FOR NOW...

That's my backlog of reviews and things, just to have a few posts to work on. I'll be relevant soon, promise.

STOP THE INTERNET BIG BROTHER LAW!

Something a bit different... I'm sure you'll have heard of the proposed government plans to monitor (pretty much) everyone, everywhere, all the time (slight exaggeration but in principle...). You can sign the official petition against this HERE; http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_big_brother_law_c/?tta

SINGLE REVIEW; FOUR YEAR STRONG, 'STUCK IN THE MIDDLE'


4****

The first track to be taken from the band's fourth studio album “In Some Way, Shape Or Form”, the single marks their first release since the departure of synth player Josh Lyford. However, despite losing the synthesisers from their sound FYS are still definitely going strong.
“Stuck In The Middle” is characteristic of the band's general style of fast-paced, upbeat pop-rock, blended with hints of post-hardcore every now and then. With a typically catchy chorus it will almost certainly go down a storm live – opening with some quiet guitar and vocals, as soon as the guitars and drums drop, it's a song that will make you want to move.
This track is a classic slice of pop-rock – upbeat, fast, dance-worthy and almost anthemic in places - and indicates that FYS have no intention of slowing down any time soon.

COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle, November 2011

ALBUM REVIEW; DEAF HAVANA, 'FOOLS AND WORTHLESS LIARS'


4****

Two years in the making, FAWL sees the highly-anticipated return of Norfolk rockers Deaf Havana. Originally a quintet for debut album “Meet Me Halfway, At Least”, lead vocalist Ryan Mellor left the band in 2010, and the remaining members decided to remain a quartet. Initially a post-hardcore group, Mellor's departure marked a change in direction to a sound somewhat more influenced by pop-rock, and FAWL is a very enjoyable album that is, at the same time, very personal.
Each of the album's 13 tracks are lyrically deep, all dealing with different things from addictions to loss and regret, but remains musically upbeat and optimistic. Tracks such as “Little White Lies” and lead single “I'm A Bore, Mostly”are carried along by lilting guitar lines, and all of the tracks showcase the strong vocal skills of singer James Veck-Gilodi, who has free rein over all the vocal duties. “Hunstanton Pier” is another of the record's highlights, an initially quiet affair that gathers pace into a strong track.
All in all, this is a powerful and positive album from one of the country's best upcoming bands, sure to go down a treat in a live scenario. An excellent effort.

COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle, November 2011

ALBUM REVIEW; THE HORRIBLE CROWES, 'ELSIE'


*****

The Horrible Crowes are the brainchild of two men - The Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon and guitar technician Ian Perkins - and “Elsie” is the first record to be released by the duo. Blending together elements of folk, rock 'n' roll, blues and even soul, “Elsie” is a dark, evocative, expressive and quite simply brilliant album.
With a few small exceptions, Fallon and Perkins handle all the instrumental duties, marrying together guitars and bass, strings, piano and even an electric organ to create this bluesy, soulful yet rocky collection of tracks. The album progresses through this range of styles, from mellow opening tracks “Last Rites” and “Sugar” to the very rock-influenced songs like “Go Tell Everybody” and “Mary Ann” right through to the sombre and beautiful (and album highlight) “I Believe Jesus Brought Us Together”. Fallon has a distinctive vocal style that additionally lends itself to the variety of sounds created within “Elsie”, with a more gravelly voice for the rock-tinged edges contrasted by altogether more dulcet tones on the quieter side of the record.
Altogether, “Elsie” is a beautiful album and a superb debut. Lyrically and musically excellent, every song in the 45 minutes of music is in itself uniquely styled, and is simply one of this year's best albums.

COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle, November 2011

LIVE REVIEW; YOUNG GUNS/MARMOZETS, 24/3/12, NORWICH ARTS CENTRE

*****


Off the back of the Bare Bones acoustic tour in support of recent album Bones, and a support slot around Europe alongside the mighty Enter Shikari, Young Guns came to the Norwich Arts Centre on the first of 2 UK headline dates to play an intimate sold-out show. Warming up the crowd for them were Yorkshire math-punks Marmozets, one of the most exciting and hotly-tipped new British bands to emerge for some time. Both bands combined to create a triumphantly breathless and chaotic night.


Now, I don't normally cover the support bands, but I'm making an exception with Marmozets, because I came to see them as much as I did Young Guns. With 2 EPs (the free Passive Aggressive and the £2.50 bargain Vexed) under their belts, Marmozets have already received critical acclaim from the likes of Kerrang! and Rock Sound, and despite their young age (the drummer's only 17, I think), delivered a polished yet decidedly mental half-hour. Opening with Vexed's first track Onemanwolfpack, they ripped through tracks from each EP such as Lives (check the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CbMxMJwhnI) and The Perfect Beverage with a fantastic energy, even going into the crowd for their last song. One of my favourite bands at the moment (and lovely guys - I chatted to vocalist Becca and guitarist Sam afterwards), with the sort of technical skill that would make a lot of metal shredders, drummers and vocalists cry into their beards, Marmozets are going a long, long way, and I recommend that you get on board. 


And then came Young Guns, the interior of the Arts Centre by now packed out. With a set comprising of their best from their 2 albums All Our Kings Are Dead, Bones and lone EP Mirrors, they burst onto the stage with a combo of Elements and the anthemic Bones. Wasting no time except to thank the crowd for turning out in such numbers, they played with great enthusiasm and force. That fed back into the crowd, who responded in turn to lend the band their own energy back - it was a cycle that lasted the whole night. The only minor disappointment was the lack of an encore to their set, but given that they played a well-rounded set with appeal to fans from every stage of their career, closing with EP track and fan fave Daughter Of The Sea and singles Winter Kiss/Weight Of The World, there were few complaints. A brilliant evening.


COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle, April 2012
Special thanks to Livewire 1350's Head of Music Jay Lawrence for getting me (and mate Simon) in!

LIVE REVIEW; LABRINTH, 4/3/12, UEA LCR

****

Ahead of the release of his debut album Electronic Earth, slated for release April 2nd, Labrinth paid a visit to a sold-out LCR on his first-ever UK tour. One of the most exciting new artists to come out of the UK in recent times, Labrinth is a self-taught singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who first came to prominence in 2010 when he featured on Tinie Tempah's hit singles Pass Out and Frisky – already a producer of some repute, he burst onto the UK scene last year with the hugely popular solo effort Earthquake and has since gone from strength to strength.

Testament to the hype surrounding Labrinth as an artist, the gig was originally at the Waterfront but was upgraded to the LCR after the original listing sold out. So needless to say the excitement was palpable as the lights went down and he burst onto the stage into what was a vibrant and diverse show. A man clearly determined not to be pigeon-holed into any single genre, Labrinth's set consisted of a great number of styles, blending elements of dubstep, electronic and hip-hop/R'n'B with flashes of indie and rock. Alongside singles Let The Sun Shine and Last Time, we were treated to glimpses of the album with rockier numbers such as Sweet Riot, as well as acoustic track Vultures, one of the night's highlights. Mixing these up with partial covers of more well-known songs by Tinie Tempah, Professor Green and Ms. Dynamite, before bringing the evening to a close with an encore of Earthquake, he made sure the crowd was well-entertained.

Clearly a born performer, Labrinth showcased why he is currently one of the UK's most interesting exports – a very diverse talent, as well as a very down-to-earth man, who took time between songs to engage with and thank the crowd for all their support. With his album due in just over a month, it seems that his popularity can only increase, and on the strength of this show Labrinth is a man that will go a long way.

COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle, March 2012

*No, I don't just do rock and metal...

Thursday, 5 April 2012

INTERVIEW; ERIK CHANDLER of BOWLING FOR SOUP


Ahead of their headline date at the UEA LCR (17/10/11), I sat down with Bowling For Soup bassist Erik Chandler to chat about touring and what the future might hold for the band.

Tom: Erik, welcome back to Norwich. Is it good to be back?
Erik: Oh, absolutely. Actually, Norwich is one of the very first places we ever played, we did the Waterfront when we toured back in 2001.
T: This is the first time you've been here as a full band since late last year, but you did an acoustic tour back here in April, how was that in comparison to playing with a full band?
E: You know, it's cool because when it's just the two of us (Erik and singer/guitarist Jaret), the touring party's much smaller, and logistically it's just easier. I think in April there were maybe 12 people in total, and I think we're approaching close to 60 here. Trying to wrangle that many people, it's just a bigger headache, though we miss our friends when they're not with us.
T: And is it something you reckon you'd do again, the acoustic tour?
E: We're talking about it right now, so it's kinda in the works.
T: Would it just be you and Jaret again, or would you consider bringing in the others?
E: It'd just be the two of us. It'd take away some of the atmosphere of the acoustic show.
T: You've also been in Japan recently, doing shows for the (American) military. How was that?
E: That was really awesome. That was a hell of a trip, bouncing around Southeast Asia with the Navy, and we met some really cool people. We basically had our own Naval plane which flew us all around. And it was cool because we had the same crew every day, so we got to know them really well.
T: That sounds brilliant. Now, you guys are almost pioneers of the pop-punk genre as you've been doing this for 17 years now, and influence a lot of bands, but who do you take influence from yourselves, as a band?
E: Our influences are so vast. We all grew up, and still do, listening to everything. Country/western to hardcore punk to thrash metal, it's kinda difficult to point at a couple of things – everyone has their own personal favourite songwriters. Every album sorta absorbs a slightly different vibe, it's just the way it happens when you let them evolve on their own. We go in a studio with zero expectation and zero ideas – just see what happens. With (new album) Fishing For Woos, 3 days before we went in the studio I got the demos, which were just Jaret and an acoustic guitar, it was as broken down as it could possibly be. It's very cool and interesting to watch them take shape. Forget the quality of the songwriting, I think that's (Fishing For Woos) the best sounding album that we've made. We did it in a hurry, inexpensively, and somehow it worked.
T: So, are we going to be seeing any new material soon?
E: This tour kinda ends the year for Bowling For Soup, and next year we're just gonna take things a bit more slowly. Jaret and I have solo projects – mine's out in the spring, Jaret's is out towards the end of November, so we're gonna work on those next year, and then back to the Bowling For Soup business in 2013, I guess.
T: So finally, what have you got for us tonight, and on this tour in general?
E: This is a really interesting tour, because we've wanted do something like this, well, forever. We're playing all the singles that we've ever released, and not all of those are songs that we normally play, so we're having to remember all these songs. We never use a setlist; well, we have a list, but we just pick the order there and then. Everyone's got to be so on it – last night, we were playing one song, and there was a part where we all stopped. Then Jaret just starts playing another song, and when we'd finished that one, he went back to the one we were playing before, But I had forgotten what song we were in the middle of! But it's fun, keeps you on your toes.
T: Well, thanks very much for taking the time to have a chat with me.
E: No worries.

COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle, October 2011

LIVE REVIEW; BOWLING FOR SOUP, 17/10/11, UEA LCR

****

Heroes of pop-punk, Bowling For Soup brought the second date of their unforgettable live show to Norwich in support of their 11th studio album Fishing For Woos. Heading to the stage amid a sea of rapturous applause, chants and their own recorded “Bowling For Soup, HEY!” introductory number, they burst into a unique and entertaining set.
Although they don't use a strict setlist, with 17 years as a band behind them, it's clear the band know how to open a show, and with an opening barrage of hit singles I'm Gay and High School Never Ends the crowd instantly tune in and sing along, almost louder than the band themselves. Their set mingled their most popular tunes, such as Emily, The B**ch Song and My Wena with slightly lesser known album tracks that nonetheless went down a treat with their hardcore fans. They even treated the crowd to 2 covers; Stacy's Mom, by Fountains Of Wayne – singer/guitarist Jaret joked that “most people thought we did this, even though we didn't, so we're gonna play it” - and Bryan Adam's classic Summer of '69.
A massive part of the BFS live setup is their interactions with each other and the crowd – between practically every song there would be a pause for the band's wonderfully immature jokes with each other about things that just can't be printed, or for complimenting crowd members on their figures – they even had their own bar on stage, where a handful of the crowd spent the entire show enjoying free drinks named after drummer Gary. Their rapport with the crowd is second to none, and the atmosphere created was one of toilet humour and laughs, yet their set itself was polished and excellent.
In their final flourish, BFS demonstrated the improvised nature of their set by breaking out into a jam involving the whole crowd and a member of support band Suburban Legends in the middle of final song Girl All The Bad Guys Want, that very much kept with their air of immaturity. When they left the stage, the crowd was all smiles; a very successful start to this tour for the band.

COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle, October 2011

LIVE REVIEW; ENTER SHIKARI, 5/10/11, UEA LCR

*****

Fresh from completing work on 3rd album A Flash Flood of Colour (due for release early 2012), St. Albans quartet Enter Shikari hit UK roads for a headline tour following a summer that included a huge set at Reading/Leeds. Norwich was the tour's first port of call for a band fast becoming one of Britain's best live acts, and their unique blend of rock, hardcore and drum 'n' bass/dubstep went down a storm to an adoring crowd.

Wasting no time, the band dived into their set (quite literally – at one point vocalist Rou Reynolds actually swung into the crowd from stage-side rigging), and tore through a set comprising of their most popular songs covering their 2 records and recent singles, as well as some fan favourites. A semi-acoustic interlude fell a little bit flat, not keeping with the slightly chaotic atmosphere permeating the LCR (there were even human pyramids at one point); that said, the crowd knew every word anyway. After a blistering encore, Shikari left the stage triumphantly, and left the LCR itself battered, bruised and grinning from ear to ear. It's safe to say Norwich set a good precedent for the rest of the tour.

COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle , October 2011

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

'COS THIS IS FILLER, FILLER NIGHT. NO ONE'S GONNA SAVE YOU FROM THE BLOG ABOUT TO STRIKE.

So, what I thought I'd do to get the ball rolling is put up a few reviews I've done for a site I write for, www.soundnorfolk.co.uk. They are THE source for live reviews and things all over Norwich and Norfolk. 



All the following posts belong to ME though, don't be stealing them. That's not cool.

You'll have a disapproving Xzibit to answer to if you do.

Oh God... It's... ALIVE.

In the words of Mr Bender Bending Rodriguez, I'm back baby.


I used to (and technically, still do) exist on Tumblr, but I got bored and stopped posting stuff months and months ago. It was about music. The loud kind, that's actually good (and other stuff too, mainly what I like). But... I'm gonna try again, and Blogger feels more...grown-up...than Tumblr. As fun as Tumblr can be.


So, rock and metal is predominantly my game, and many other things in between tbf, so keep your eyes peeled on this if that's your bag.