Posts Tagged ‘Punk’

Just unearthed some cracking footage of The Hives firing off songs to a 300-strong crowd crammed into New York City‘s Webster Hall Studio

Rocking up in suits and top hats, the smartly-dressed Swedes immediately set the ‘tone’ dial to raucous with Come On, taken from their new (at the time) album Lex Hives.

“I shall be responsible for no broken teeth or property” cries ever-wild front-man Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, before launching into Try It Again

 

Pelle’s stage antics are synonymous with Hives’ live act and he’s on fine form here: trademark high kicks, spouting philosophies about the cause of madness & swinging from the ceiling bars like a primate. Combined with Nicholaus Arson‘s thrillingly raw guitar riffs and chicken-necking, Hives are on fire!

What I love about The Hives is that they don’t take themselves too seriously, beginning with their crazy stage names: Howlin’ Pelle, Arson, Dr Matt Destruction, Vigilante Carlstroem & Chris Dangerous. And, contrary to many bands of their era, Hives just keep getting better, five studio albums and going strong. Surely the five-piece are one of the planet’s most underrated bands?

Below is a video of 1000 Answers (also off Lex Hives) which The Hives performed on Jools Holland, broadcast back in May this year. 

Raw, shouty, stuffed with punch and relentless pace, punk is alive and well ladies and gentlemen.

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. 

 

 

 

Hard-Fi turn Hindustani on Killer Sounds number Feels Good

After a four year hiatus, Hard Fi are back to ruffle some more feathers with their third effort Killer Sounds.

Despite the ruthless media received by second album Once Upon a Time in the West, it was still a number one record. For some the stale stories of suburbia coupled with (no) cover art cockiness were a poor recipe. Others felt the Staines supremos delivered a decent follow-up to their Mercury-nominated debut, a record they were always unlikely to eclipse.

Here Hard-Fi continue their progression, blending dance-punk sounds often in sensational soundclash style like on Sweat and with a Hindustani sitar on Feels Good. Recurring references to politicians, war, Friday nights, the working class and thinning money will inevitably fuel critic’s calls of a lyrically-thin album. But Killer Sounds only claims to be ear candy, not poet laureate material.

Good for Nothing is in equal measures a swaggering anthem and a pugnacious statement. Presumably it’s Richard Archer’s message to the archetypal music critic who amongst other things “just talks, never listens, complains about his love of music, and don’t like him because he don’t fit”. But Archer is in fighting mood. “Tell me are you happy? What are you good for?” he demands to know. As if to acknowledge the band’s burgeoning Latin American fanbase he translates the main message into Spanish, “bueno para nada”.

Starting off more Fedde Le Grand than The Jam, it’s obvious who Fire in the House is meant for: a club-coiffured cocktail of lyrical smoothie if ever I’ve heard one, to carton alongside The Killers’ Mr Brightside. “We danced all night, we kissed all night” Archer smooches on the second single which sees their much-mentioned dance influence come to the fore.

Title track Killer Sounds maintains the fine Hard-Fi tradition of acoustic album-closers, adding to Stars of CCTV and The King. “You’ve gotta play it cool, real cool, you’ve gotta let frustration be a friend to you” reckons Archer who has faced a fair bit himself since 2007.

Sweat & Fire in the House are the sort of buzzwords usually exploited by mediocre rappers not supposed indie rockers, no offence Snoop Dogg. Bring It On and Give It Up are killer tunes, throbbing with energy. Love Song has refreshing punch, though Excitement fails to justify its name and is instead a class A example of an experimental B-side.

Recently I saw a gig listing for Hard-Fi describing the band’s music as “kitchen-sink” soul pop. What this implies I am unsure. Perhaps it was an insinuation that their produce is destined for the plughole rather than the earhole. On this evidence I would strongly suggest not.

Exactly what is says on the tin.

Velociraptor! – the fourth album produced by Kasabian was released yesterday. By no means is it a dinosaur of an album, but neither does it suggest the Leicester band’s success is heading towards extinction.

First questions first: the name? According to lead vocalist Tom Meighan the album is so titled because “it’s a cool word… Latin… prehistoric”. Meighan has clearly done his background for Velociraptor means ‘fast hunter’ in the language of the Romans. And it surely won’t be long before Kasabian’s burgeoning fanbase pounce on this latest effort and propel it to the top of the album charts.

Contrary to what you would expect from an album named after a reptile, Velociraptor! doesn’t take long to warm up. Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To is an intriguing opening track as it totally contradicts the classic Kasabian song formula. At times it echoes of Last Shadow Puppets‘ orchestral pop, far removed from their typical electronica overtones. Following in this vein are La Fee Verte and Goodbye Kiss, where it’s surprising to hear Meighan, a caged tiger of a live performer, singing about love. “I hope someday that we meet again” he purrs over tambourine clatters in the 60’s-belonging ballad. 

The sharply-named pre-release Switchblade Smiles reverts more to type, relying on a heavy assortment of bass which parallels Club Foot. In fact it’s so similar to that  it could well be the same song played backwards. Still it’s catchy enough for FIFA 12. It also features on Match of the Day 2, something which will please guitarist Serge Pizzorno – a decent footballer in his prime. Remember this?

New single Days are Forgotten lacks the creativity of a typical Kasabian number and is consequently staler than a week-old loaf of bread. BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams compares the #28 single to the OK Computer days of Radiohead which the band gratefully accept as a “huge compliment. Personally I count that as an admission of a 4 minute durge.

Title track Velociraptor! adds pace and bite to proceedings with a clever riff and an explosive, comical chorus of “Velociraptor, he’s gonna find yer, he’s gonna kill yer, he’s gonna eat yer”. Elsewhere Re-wired reacquaints with the space rock genre while Acid Turkish Bath with its Arabian influences wouldn’t be out of place in a desert crossing of a Middle Eastern film.

After playing with Fire in West Ryder… Kasabian show here that they have plenty of other tricks in their act. Songwriter Pizzorno describes it as a “jukebox record”. I wouldn’t advise skipping through any of this selection.

Reading & Leeds NME tent has a rich tradition of spawning the latest talent. A few years back Pendulum, Vampire Weekend and later Florence & The Machine all made their impact.

This year it’s The Vaccines and Justin Young’s blaring lyrics of Wetsuit and Eh-eheh-eheh-eh-Eleanor. Their highlight is a cover of pre-punk band The Standells’ 60’s number Good Guys Don’t Wear White. Tom Furse AKA Tom Cowan of The Horrors delivers a Stranglers sound with the quality keyboard riffs echoing of No More Heroes.

Cue Norgaard. The triumphant two-and-a-half minute set-ender is such a Ramones-esque romp, spontaneous yelps of “Blitzkrieg Bop” are expected at any moment.

Click here to watch interactive highlights.

Good Guys Don’t Wear White is at 21:30.