Posts Tagged ‘Ash’

Toy are a band causing a stir. How many time have we heard that before?

Visually they resemble (to me at least) a reshuffled, slightly unkempt Slade-looking outfit, plus señorita Alejandra Diez on keyboard. They are also three parts Jing Jang Jong: singer Tom Dougall, guitarist Dom O’Dair and bassist Maxim Barron having since separated from Joe Lean.

Motoring,  below, is a blur – and I’m not just talking about the video’s psychedelic effects. No acute guitars, Toy’s second single is fuzzier than a heavy night on the juice. To use a cliché, Motoring is a “wall of sound” with the drive of an Ash song.

Released on Heavenly Records, a London-based label under the mighty umbrella of EMI – can Toy be truly classified as indie? Probably not.

 

Under their YouTube clips, Toy are described damningly as “the best Horrors tribute band out there” – a statement backed by the act’s close association, support slots and public receipt of praise from Faris Badwan’s troupe. However for me Toy’s sound is a lot less dark and dismal.

Listen to Toy’s first single Left Myself Behind here.

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 🙂

Once named as #2 in Q magazine’s 50 bands to see before you die, Ash are definitely pick of the bands in this weekend’s festivities. The Northern Isish outfit, often written off, can claim to be one of the most influential rock bands of the 90’s/early 00’s. The grunge-punk influenced trio have amassed 12 top 20 singles from 6 studio albums during a career that will span 2 decades next year. Classic hits like Shining Light, the other-worldly Girl From Mars and Burn Baby Burn are sure to ignite Main Stage, Devonshire Green late on Sunday evening.

Friday’s attention has been drawn to Heaven 17 who are set to make a splashing live return down at Barkers Pool. Sheffield’s renowned three piece are best known for their contributions to the 80’s synth-pop movement alongside The Human League, ABC and Culture Club. Best known for that single Temptation, the band have inspired the likes of La Roux with their synthesiser and drum machine effects. This rare outing is not be missed. Those with a soft spot for the synthetic sound are directed on Saturday to the University of Sheffield’s Foundry where up-and-coming modern stylists Starlings will grace the stage.

The Dance Village based at the University of Sheffield’s Octagon building is set for a show off with the New Music Stage, Barkers Pool for Saturday’s audience. The architecturally-unique University building will host the once-famous Ms Dynamite followed by multi-talented BBC Radio 1 DJ, mixer, producer and collaborator Toddla T. In contrast, the paved setting of the New Music Stage is set for more chaotic scenes (a la Gallows, 2010 – watch below) when wild Glaswegians Dananananaykroyd play on a bill that includes multi-instrumentalists Los Campesinos!

Those seeking more archetypal scratchy indie guitars may be persuaded to make the pilgrimage over to the O2 Academy where local heroes Alvarez Kings will showcase their brand of ‘regressive pop’. Nearby at Leadmill are ex-Milburner Joe Carnall’s popular outfit The Book Club, looking to emulate their equally thrilling and sweaty success of last year at The Grapes. Reggae enthusiasts looking for a more chilled environment – head to the World Stage, Peace Gardens to witness Michael Prophet and his much-admired, soulful vocals.