Archive for November, 2011

Many bands can trace their inception back to their Dad’s garage. Leicester four-piece Paladin go one better – conjoined twin garden sheds: site of Paladin jamming studios and the band’s birthplace back in 2010.

Armed with a fleet of their self-styled ‘big beat’ songs, it’s not hard to see why Paladin’s premier gained airtime on regional radio stations. Their debut 11-song demo is hotter property than a burning building and surely posits them knocking on new doors of record labels.

So, what does Paladin mean? “I heard it somewhere, it’s a cool word and it stuck” Foo Fighter-inspired guitarist Joe Foxon tells me at Paladin HQ, his house. And why not? A similar philosophy worked for fellow Leicester band Kasabian who in a striking parallel attended the same high school; now look at them.

Determined to source the word’s origins I delve deeper with a quick flick on Wikipedia disambiguation. Apparently a Paladin is a character class in certain role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. The Leicester quartet have yet to produce a video so one cannot comment with regards to role-play, but as character classes go these are four talented young musicians.

Estranged vocalist James ‘Baresi’ Shaw has a wonderfully resonant voice, rivalling the Reverend Jon McClure for his huskiness and depth. “This will be the end, just a last chance saloon” he croons on the infectious Exit.

Scintillating overdrive is a feature of the Paladin power-dins Show Me The World, Drowning and Walk Away. All are adventurous in their own right, backed by Foxon’s invigorating chainsaw solos. Hit The Road meanwhile is a classic Foo-Nickelback-influenced concoction.

Paladin from left to right: Bassist Matt Jones, former singer James 'Baresi' Shaw, guitarist Joe Foxon & drummer Craig Shaw.

In Paladin’s guitar rock I also hear Feeder rhythms, sparks of Ash and even echoes of The Coral on the Ballad of Boris which sees cocksure drummer Craig Shaw explore his lyrical abilities with intriguing results.

Focus is the real catch of the demo disc. Matt ‘Larry’ Jones’ walking bassline is an instant hook, luring the listener like a moth to a flame. “I’m your target, I’m your man” Baresi announces with aplomb.

Exit this disc early at your peril. Mixed by Foxon and Shaw on a “boring” afternoon, album closer Drowning (remix) is a funky remastered version brimming with Late of the Pier’s electroclash dance sounds and synthesised drum beats.

Another Wiki excerpt says that ‘according to a literary circle known as the Matter of France, Paladins were King Charlemagne’s foremost warriors’. Despite an Italian-style falling out with Don ‘Baresi’, Paladin can consider themselves the Matter of Leicester with this impressive debut.

Exit, Hit The Road and Walk Away suggest that the Cosby boys are heading somewhere. Are you going to follow?

Paladin are looking for a new vocalist: male or female. The average age of the band members is 21.

Find Paladin on myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/paladinleicester

Download: Focus, Hit The Road, Exit, Drowning (remix). Just listen to the whole demo.

Thanks to The Monograph for publishing this review 🙂

Song of today comes courtesy of Conor J. O’Brien‘s Irish creation Villagers. Taken off their Mercury-nominated 2010 debut Becoming A JackalThat Day inspires an acoustic-folky sing-along similar in essence to Mumford & Sons. Enchanting, enlightening, emotional –  I’m a converted Jackal!

 

Conor’s cereal bowl haircut caused quite a stir on YouTube discussions, which inevitably dissolve into a fully-waged war of verbal volleying.

Villagers are signed to Domino Records, the same London-based label as Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and The Kills, amongst others. One characteristic of the neighbourly fivesome is their ability to defy categorisation! Try finding their musical genre on their Wikipedia page. Search me.

Réalisé par Myles O’Reilly, regardez un autre clip pour la chanson The Pact (I’ll be Your Fever) ici. C’est ok Tweek?

Uplifting indie pop from Cardiff seven-piece Los Campesinos! A firm favourite amongst indie scenesters, You! Me! Dancing! gathers pace and gears up to a cartoon explosion of fireworks at 1:15… 

 

Incorporating a glockenspiel into their act, “the peasants” [Spanish translation] have most instruments covered and most stages filled with their numbers.

Hello Sadness – the fourth album in four years by the Welsh maestros is released (next) Monday 14th November.

Los Campesinos! are signed to Wichita Recordings, the same label as Bloc Party, The Cribs, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and more recently Simian Mobile Disco.

How did The Waterboys evade me for this long? After spectating on their three-song Jools Holland set and reading StevoMusicMan’s review, I am now immersing myself in their Best Of ’81-’90 album.

Album cover – The Best Of the Waterboys ’81-’90.

Formed in 1983 by ‘madman/genius’ Scottish songwriter Mike Scott, The Waterboys have gone on to become an age-defying project that has encompassed Celtic folk and rock influences. Although an 80’s child myself (Calvin Harris has love for me), The Waterboys’ big music didn’t quite penetrate my unfused two-week-old braincase. Hence I am playing catch up as per usual!

Highlight of the Best Of disc is Ivor Novello award-winning The Whole of The Moon – a marching romp that reaches cacophony levels by the time it encounters trumpets. Funnily enough, a main feature of Don’t Bang The Drum is the walloping percussions reminiscent of any Top of The Pops 2 edition.

New tenth album An Appointment with Mr Yeats is Scott’s musical embodiment of W.B Yeats’ poetry. Sweet Dancer is a crooning melody littered with endearing piano keys and romantic lines. In the beautiful waltzing Mad as the Mist and Snow I genuinely believe the Anglo-Scottish-Irish act could have an outsider for Christmas number one. In an ideal world of course.

With The Pogues supposedly now retired from Christmas concerts following their 2010 Farewell tour, Mike Scott and co can claim the season as their own. I can just see the snow machines sprinkling winter venues now… Catch the rest of the Jools set at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/later/#p00lgvhp

Bringing a new meaning to the phrase “a teddy bear’s picnic” are Casiokids with their new video for Det Haster!

 

The Norwegians explore every situation with the cuddly toys: even a bit of teddy smooching at 1:40, tongues included! 

Let this not detract from Det Haster! – a silky, smooth, synth-pop single laced with electro sounds and catchy drum beats. 

Merci beaucoup to Tweek from Take Them On and the ever-reliable Popped Music for alerting me to this fluffy-hot new track.