Archive for February, 2012

Elvis Perkins in Dearland make quite the marching band. Complete with pounding drum and erupting brass, Doomsday is a triumphant racket! That’s one cracking sweater vest Perkins has donned incidentally. Why approximately zilch is known of Elvis et al in the UK is a mystery.

Maybe we should petition the BBC to invite the Rhode Island-formed act onto our British television screens? Any coveted slot on Later Live would surely propel Elvis on upwards to stardom. 

Now that Perkins plays solo, Elvis’ backing band have gone on to form a rather special cult known as Diamond Doves

 

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“Ever the dreamer, ever the believer” according to his Myspace bio, Calder McLaughlin can now add fatherhood to his growing list of credentials. It is a theme that inspires much of Chapters & Phases: a twelve-song acoustic album that chronicles his emotional ascent from boy to man.

What Calder lacks in poetic invention, he more than compensates for with his unleashed, heart-warming vocals: best described as a vibrant concoction of Kelly Jones’ gravel and James Skelly’s passion.

On the title track Calder describes fatherhood as “the greatest gift of all”, accompanied by a heart-felt chorus of “this star will always guide you home”. Rarely, in fact, do his melancholic guitar lines and lyrics fail to strike a chord.

The floodgates truly open on Breathe Out and Lights Across The Liffey: a beautiful song inspired by a jaunt to Dublin during a pivotal time in the boy’s life. Passion gushes from every pore as he confronts and accepts his overwhelming emotions, “yeah I’m in love”. It’s not hard to picture Calder featuring in a Gene Kelly-style video; kneeling on a cobbled street, pouring his heart out amidst torrential rain.

Parallels are perhaps better drawn with Chris Martin or Travis on See Saw, a roller-coaster ride of emotive peaks and lulls. And on the anthemic Conflict of Emotions, Calder’s almost a certain Mr Keating back in his Notting Hill days.

“I’ve always kinda looked at the world from a sideways point of view” expresses Calder, a converted drummer. Becoming a parent has clearly elucidated his perspective on life, but in the not-so-distant past he was a young pretender.

These Streets sees Calder revisit his first footsteps in Leicester: soul-searching while lost on a late night out in the city. Back In The Day meanwhile is a nostalgic glance back at “the glory days” – a reference to his participation in Sheffield’s late 90’s drum ‘n’ bass scene. Angelina is a strummed sweetie to end the affair.

Sat, guitar in hand, in what looks like a graffitied skate park corner, sporting heavy stubble and dark-wash jeans, Calder gives the impression of a rough-slept busker. Based on the evidence of Chapters & Phases, one senses he is destined for greater things. Not even the venues on Pocklington’s Walk could house him.

Visit Calder’s website: http://www.caldermclaughlin.com/

Published by The Monograph.

Cute indie pop [or Afrobeat/Rock ‘n’ Roll if you will believe Wikipedia] from The Kabeedies. The Norwich quartet are playing tonight, almost imminently, at The Soundhouse, Southampton Street in Leicester… and I cannot attend, boohoo 😦

Here are three of their video entries to compensate and console myself.

Number one = hot single Little Brains. Encapsulated in two words: Johnny Foreigner. Or perhaps Kate Nash with a Vampire Weekend backing band? Lively and bouncy nevertheless!

 

Secondly, Come On – merely a B-side to first single Lovers Ought To – featured in an X-box ad, hence the [perpetually unwelcome] advertisement I presume! 

Thirdly, Apple. How fun does this next clip look? The date: Saturday 22 May 2010. The venue: Munich‘s free admission Theatron Pfingst (Pentecost/Whitsun) musical festival. Festival spirit. Such a fruity indie anthem is Apple, the crowd is [literally in cases] swept off their feet. Just LOOK at the bewildering array of swinging, swaying, grinding, jigging, skipping, twirling, skanking and thrashing. Beautiful.

Huge thanks to hugorilla79 (whoever the hell you are) for uploading this wonderful piece of footage. My faith in humanity is restored. 

 

Now to issue a formal apology. Sorry Kabeedies for my impending absence ce soir. Je sais que c’est impardonnable. 

The Dead 60s

Posted: February 14, 2012 in Video
Tags: , , , , , ,

Liverpool’s answer to The Clash and The Specials, with references to ghostly happenings and fracas with the law. Ringings of a Moaning Minnie, train-track rhythms, pulsating percussion pomp in the rear. Ska-infused, punk-branded, dub-stepped, rock-engrained. Bring back 2005. 

 

 

 

Bands containing exclamation marks in their names have experienced varying degrees of success over the years [think Wham!, Hadouken! and ¡Forward Russia!]. Thus, the up-and-coming German shoegaze quartet Audiocæneat! can expect a mixed reception from critics with regards to their sceptical use of superlative punctuation.

Likened by their record label to the Smashing Pumpkins and Sigur Rós, Audiocæneat! have been praised for their ‘catchy, cinematic and highly emotional’ sound. But despite satisfying the third criterion, Red Sessions – their first release – fails to scale the heavenly heights of a Sigur Rós record. In fact, it’s exceedingly more downbeat than upbeat and is moodier than a sullen infant whose toys have been thrown from the pram. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing: ‘stunning melodrama … mighty sad guitar lines’ said Sputnikmusic in an overwhelming acclamation.

Buh! (“boo” in German apparently) promises to surprise. Beginning with a heavy beat reminiscent of early Biffy Clyro, the encouraging opening fades disappointingly into obscurity. The Truth Unfolded I unveils dodgy rhythms and undistinguished guitar twangs: neither of which leave one craving a sequel. A bizarre voice-over narrative features on the introduction to Idyll – a sixteen minute journey through the archives of musical anonymity. Surely a song one-quarter of an hour in length must progress to tell a story?

On a positive note, Audiocæneat! are commended for their daring and inventiveness. Never is this better illustrated than in Kalypso, with changes in pace, tone and unintended patches of Bloc Party electro. From The Massives To The Masses exposes flickers of talent when an almighty riff featuring a hyperactive bass pedal banishes memories of the sombre introduction. Painting The Earth With Night Flares sporadically illuminates the overriding gloom with powerful bursts of guitar overdrive.

Overall, Red Sessions reeks of guitar distortion and experimental instrumentals, infrequently coupled with Oliver Saglitz and/or Hans Wenke’s whiny yet soothing vocals. Described by some as DIY, it’s true that Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen would be proud of it. The expression ‘more cobbled together than a Victorian road’ springs to mind also.

Comprising six songs and FIFTY minutes of predominantly inaccessible post-punk, Red Sessions belongs firmly rooted in the underground scene. Dreary stuff from the Dresden foursome, but their potential is as clear as daylight. Now go – shoot a large dose of serotonin!

Published by The Monograph.