News / Reviews / Interviews
KASABIAN - '48:13' (LP)
The tunes that more a hundred thousand people will be going fucking APE to at Glastonbury from perhaps the most important British band of the last decade will be Kasabian's. From the word go, Kasabian have been an unstoppable hit-making machine and headlining the world's most famous festival plus the small matter of their own hometown headline 50,000 Victoria Park, Leicester show couldn't be more appropriate as they release album number five. These are uncluttered, direct, to-the-point songs, big on 90s club culture, as we expect from songwriter Serge Pizzorno, with instantly addictive grooves and tribal chants that grip you like a vice and squeeze until your bollocks pop. 'Eez-eh' is a rampaging beast of a song - all throbbing synths and propulsive beats, while 'Bumblebee' is electronic rock that's custom-built for stadiums, delivered with a trademark self-assuredness and swagger that just drips with cool. Elsewhere, 'Treat' - an expansive big-beat, disco floor-filler - and 'Explodes' - jammed full of vintage Kraftwerk-style analogue melodies and bowel-moving sub-bass shenanigans - is the sound of a band filling the void left by The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers as the UK's foremost dance act. A truly, truly epic record!
The new album 48:13 is out NOW. iTunes http://smarturl.it/4813 Amazon http://smarturl.it/4813amzn
SLYDIGS - 'DOWN WITH THE MOCKERY' (EP)
Warrington/Manchester foursome Sly Digs are making a big impact nationwide at the moment, and this latest EP is another giant step in the right direction, full of swaggering blues and pulsating pop flavours. Overflowing with charm and character, these are songs that hark back to great rock and roll bands of old like The Stones and contemporaries like Primal Scream and Jet. Produced by George Shilling (Primal Scream), stand out songs like 'Get On It' and forthcoming single release 'Stiff Upper Lip' are confident and melodic with rasping vocals belting out instantly addictive choruses, full of great pop harmonies.
KAV - 'DANCE IN A PANIC' (SINGLE)
Leicester lad and ex-Happy Monday, Kav - out gigging in America at the moment - could soon be a star in his own right on this evidence. 'Dance In A Panic' is an absolute juggernaut of song. A 60s-soaked sonic fest, like the Stones dunked in acid; pure sleazed-drenched mayhem, complete with backbreaking Queens Of The Stone Age-style riff and biting Jagger-esque vocal hooks ('I've got a hole in my jeans and the air feels good, oh yeah!'). Stoner rock on overdrive. Download on iTunes NOW - click HERE
PHONEYS & THE FREAKS 'PHONEYS & THE FREAKS' (EP)NEW COLLABORATION FEATURING BONEHEAD & ALEX LIPINSKI...
Introducing Phoneys & The Freaks, a brand new collaboration between Oasis legend Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs and singer/songwriter Alex Lipinski. Having been blown away by Alex's support slots for his previous band last year, the former Oasis guitarist and Lipinski soon developed a working relationship and began writing and recording together; Phoneys & The Freaks was born.
The resulting sessions produced elements that sound like The Verve, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and shades of others who can pen instantly memorable stadium sized anthems.
Sell out gigs in London and Manchester have showcased what Phoneys & The Freaks can produce when they bring their songs to life on stage. Having just got back from the States and with a summer of festivals planned and the debut EP out now on Cherry Red Records, 2014 is already proving to be a busy year indeed for the two musicians.
The band play The Borderline, London, tomorrow - TICKETS
THE TEA STREET BAND - 'DANCE WITH ME' (LP)
Liverpool five-piece The Tea Street Band, who have been touring with Doves legend Jimi Goodwin recently and list the legendary Mick Head of Shack amongst their biggest fans, specialise in musical escapism, pure and simple. No whining lyrics about emotional break-ups and tales of teenage angst here, just a straight-up celebration with classic euphoric club hooks, soaring vocals and tripped-out guitar sounds. For those who are fans of The Charlatans cum Chemical Brothers cum getting right bang on it...join the Tea Street party!The band play the This Feeling stage at Strawberry Fields Festival Aug 10th tix, info & a free download from the band http://www.thisfeeling.co.uk/club/185-sff-august-2014/
Buy the LP & tour dates at www.facebook.com/TeaStreetBand
THE MOONS - 'HEART AND SOUL' (SINGLE)
Shades of Mark Bolan and 70s-era Bowie in this glamourous comeback single from Northampton foursome The Moons. Taken from the band's forthcoming third album 'Mindwaves', 'Heart and Soul' is the kind of typically melodic, resolutely British song craft we've come to expect from Andy Crofts and co. Vintage T-Rex-style riffing combines with pulsating rhythms and defiant lyrics to immaculate effect here. Top tune from a top band.
SIMON FOWLER'S MERRYMOUTH - 'WITHOUT YOU' (LP)
Taken from the band's second LP, 'Wenlock Hill', the latest release from Merrymouth embodies everything that's great about Simon Fowler's songwriting. Set against a backdrop of blissfully hypnotic folk, 'Without You' is certainly a departure from Ocean Colour Scene's sound, but it's every bit as lyrically elegant with a chorus of real OCS-esqe majesty. Expertly crafted, truly affecting music, and Fowler is undoubtedly still one of the finest vocal talents in the UK today.
GRUFF RHYS - 'AMERICAN INTERIOR' (LP)
One of the UK's most endearing and eccentric songwriters, Gruff Rhys has been doing his own thing, indulging every freaky aspect of his musical vision with Super Furry Animals for best part of two decades. Solo efforts until now, though, it's fair to say, have been decidedly low-key compared the Furries' kaleidoscopic sound. But no more… 'American Interior' stands up to SFA in their most audacious, off-the-wall form. Basically a homage, with songs inspired by Rhys' direct descendant - the Welsh explorer John Evans (who trekked across America in the late eighteenth century looking for a tribe of Welsh-speaking Indians) - this is a collection of songs every bit as creative and diverse as those of the great Britpop survivors in their pomp. From the twisted psychedelic folk of the title track, through the cool seventies vibe of 'The Last Conquistador', to the string-soaked wild west-tinged 'Iolo', this is expansive and progressive pop music that will delight Super Furry Animals fans and enhance Gruff Rhys' solo credentials no end. Exquisite stuff from a sublime talent.
Listen at http://www.qthemusic.com/2263/listen-to-gruff-rhys-album-american-interior-in-full/
info at http://www.gruffrhys.com/
THE WATCHMAKERS - 'ILLUMINATION' (SINGLE)
Keep an eye on Manchester neo-psych foursome The Watchmakers. There's a lot to shout about here. Twisted psych grooves, pumping bass lines, swirling keyboards and a confident strut and swagger akin to early Kasabian.Info at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Watchmakers/191134494286879
TOWNS - 'TOO TIRED' (SINGLE)
Classic sounding indie rock straight out of Weston-super-Mare, Towns - at the forefront of Bristol's Burgeoning underground scene - are setting tongues wagging with new single 'Too Tired'. A short but dramatic career thus far has seen the band financially crippled by a rogue booking agent before their label was unceremoniously swallowed up by a major, but there's no doubt they're back on track now with this second taste from debut album 'Get By' (due out June 2nd). If vintage melancholy shoegaze with swaggering beats, hushed shy boy vocals and great 60s/90s-inspired guitar pop melodies float your boat, look no further...For more info & to pre-order the LP visit www.facebook.com/townsband
Listen at http://www.thebeatjuice.com/listen/2014/05/09/5054/towns-too-tired-first-play/
THE HEARTBREAKS 'ABSOLVED' (SINGLE)
Massive tune from The Heartbreaks' new album, 'We May Yet Stand A Chance' (out June 2nd). Produced by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers), 'Absolved' is hugely sonically satisfying and drummer and songwriter Joseph Kondras certainly knows all about great pop hooks. A psychedelic Motown explosion with uplifting 60s-style strings and superb crooner vocals from frontman Matthew Whitehouse. Seriously passionate pop music.
info at www.theheartbreaks.net
TRAMPOLENE - 'ALCOHOL KISS' (SINGLE)
Shades of The Libertines at their best and early Ash in this powerful single from Swansea garage rock three-piece Trampolene. Jack Jones and his band exhibit the kind of unbridled passion and rock and roll exuberance that music's crying out for - loads of raw energy, seriously pumping riffs and the mightiest of guitar sounds. This band really means it. The band are playing This Feeling at The Cookie Jar in Leicester this Saturday May 10th.
EMBRACE - EMBRACE (LP)
There have been plenty of groan-inducing indie comebacks in recent times, but the latest resurgence from the legendary Embrace - who bowed out at the very top of their game eight years ago - is a definite exception. The Yorkshire five-piece return to the fray, creatively refreshed, with an album they claim is even better than their 1997 debut, and to be fair that assessment isn't far wide of the mark. The thudding electro and industrial noise that announces opener 'Protection' is certainly a departure, quickly anchored, though, by the significantly matured and less nasal tones of frontman Danny, before launching into a gospel-soaked chorus that proves the band have lost none of their sky-scraping majesty of yesteryear. There's a distinctively darker edge to to songs like 'In The End' and recent single 'Refugees' when compared with earlier material, but the euphoric, heart-on-sleeve approach prevails and the end result is exactly the kind of dramatic, almost ethereal pop balladry we expect from Embrace. Elsewhere, 'Follow You Home' boasts a great vocal duet finding the McNamara brothers in fine voice, while 'The Devil Looks After Own' and 'Thief On My Island' close out the album in suitably epic fashion; a sonically expansive finale that's guaranteed to start a rousing singalong. A triumphant return.Embrace tour the UK in May...For more details and to order album go to www.embrace.co.uk
Listen at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopfeatures/10783315/Embrace-Embrace-album-stream.html
MOURNING BIRDS - 'EVE OF THE ISLE' (SINGLE)
Brilliant new single from Kent's Mourning Birds. This band's only been together since last year but already they've already nailed down their Nirvana/QOTSA-influenced sound. Think proper sleazed-up rock and roll with kinetic beats, pile-driving guitars, fuzzed-up bass and snarling vocals. 'Eve Of The Isle' just oozes cool with a big, instant riff to get your teeth stuck into. Serious potential here… Mourning Birds play at This Feeling in London (Purple Turtle) tonight (April 25th). Info & a for a FREE download - CLICK HERE
JOE FOX - 'MONEY DON'T LAST' (EP)
Another top notch talent to rival Jake Bugg and the likes, Joe Fox's debut EP is a classy collection of acoustic guitar-driven songs that showcase a truely majestic vocal talent. The hypnotic 'Sienna' breezes along like something off Blur's post-Coxon comeback album, while the soulful 'Money Don't Last' is spot-on, melodic guitar pop that ebbs and flows with well-timed injections of convincing rock and roll passion. The key to it all, though, is the mesmeric tone and texture of Joe's Olympic voice.
Joe will be marking the EP launch with a special This Feeling show at London's Purple Turtle on Friday April 18th. Info & free download CLICK HERE
JIMI GOODWIN - 'ODLUDEK' (LP)
After two number one albums during a glittering career fronting magnificent Manchester band Doves, but approaching half a decade since the band's last material, news of Jimi Goodwin's debut solo outing couldn't be more welcome. The result of that substantial break (don't worry, Doves haven't split) is a wonderfully eclectic collection of songs that will surprise many people. 'Odludek' - a Polish word meaning 'loner' couldn't be a more apt name for an album that Jimi paid for and created almost entirely on his own and, as such, these are deeply personal, often introspective songs that form a fitting counterpoint to his band's back catalogue. 'Oh! Whiskey' - the lead single with its meandering bass, chugging acoustic and beautifully bruised vocal - is raw, honest songwriting at it's best, while 'Panic Tree' - the considerable fruit of a long-overdue colloboration with Elbow's Guy Garvey, featuring instrumentation as unlikely as steel drums and music boxes - sets the tone for an album that's almost deviantly diverse at times. This is not the soaring ecstasy we've come to expect from classic Doves LPs, but an entirely different, equally impressive animal instead. And the glorious mash-up of styles continues unabashed during songs like 'Man vs Dingo' (like Shaun Ryder ranting over the trippy middle bit in Doves' 'Black and White Town') and 'Live Like A River' (Queens of The Stone Age meets rave music) as Goodwin fuses layer upon layer into his bewitching brew. In the creator's words, 'Odludek' is a 'mad mix tape', but amid the contrasting flavours of Northern Soul, gospel, hip-hop and even the odd moment of full-blown Psychedelia, the real focus is always Jimi's gorgeously battered baritone, lighting up every corner with effortless earnesty. Jimi Goodwin is on tour supporting Elbow on their UK tour...
For more details go to www.jimigoodwin.com
THE TAPESTRY 'RIGHT AS RAIN' (SINGLE)
The Tapestry are from Manchester. They are Liam Faherty (vocals/guitar) Katy Baker (Bass/vocals) Dyna (Guitar/vocals) and Zara Finnegan (Drums/vocals). Their tunes are both impossibly catchy and implausibly glamorous New York in the late 70s Blondie vibe.
It's early days, but so far the guys have got stuck in to recording their debut album with Mr. Jim Spencer (Johnny Marr, New Order and The Charlatans) and cutting their teeth live. So far they've managed to attract the approval of Liam Gallagher.
“He showed up at a This Feeling last year and we were playing, we had a chin wag backstage and he was a total gent. Later we got the 'Fucking tune!' seal of approval.”
'Right As rain' is released on April 14th 2014. Watch the brilliant video below.
The band play This Feeling London & Manchester this month. Info & free download - CLICK HERE
DUMB - 'TWO BOTTLES' (SINGLE)
Anyone who got in early to the Jon Brookes memorial at The Royal Albert Hall last year witnessed one of the bands championed (and managed) by the late, great man performing a fittingly blistering tribute. Birmingham's Dumb, who snub the current dreamy shoe-gaze trend of fellow B-town movers and shakers in favour of a brasher, more edgy approach, instantly call to mind the sinister college rock sound of bands like The Pixies. With rasping vocals and truly raucous, in-your-face sonics, it's a case of less ecstatic, more emphatic. Dumb, like their mentor Jon said, clearly have the creative talent to go all the way to the top. Dumb are currently in the midst of a UK tour and play This Feeling Manchester, Liverpool & London this month. Info & free download CLICK HERE
Details at www.werdumb.com
BLOSSOMS - 'YOU PULLED A GUN ON ME' (SINGLE)
Introducing Blossoms, a flower power explosion straight out of Manchester's murky surburbias. 'You Pulled A Gun On Me' is hugely inventive pop - the kind of dark, Hammond-driven psychedelia you can imagine gracing a Tarantino Western perfectly; a barrage of melodic hooks with frontman Tom Ogden's electrifying vocals piercing through like a young Jim Morrison.Blossoms play This Feeling Manchester this Saturday - adv tix, info & free download CLICK HERE
SECTION 60 - 'CHAMPIONS OF THE UNDERDOG' (SINGLE)
Tipped for big things by Alan McGee after supporting the likes of The Courteeners and Reverend and The Makers recently, Section 60 already have a considerable following up north, and it's easy to tell why on this evidence. Inspired by Keith Richards' biography, 'Champions Of The Underdog' is a monsterous tune; captivating indie rock with bundles of raw energy to go with the requisite self-assured laddish cool. Authentic working class talent.
YOUNG KATO - 'HELP YOURSELF' (SINGLE)
Fast-rising Cheltenham six-piece Young Kato release 'Help Yourself' is a supremely stylish slice of resolutely British indie pop that calls to mind the edgy, angular angst of Bloc Party in their prime. Recorded with much-sought-after producer Dan Grech-Marguerat (The Vaccines, Beck), there's a relentlessly charming, almost timeless, quality to the songwriting, combining soaring synths and urgent dance beats with frontman Tommy Wright's pulsating vocals to mesmerising effect.Music & tour dates > www.youngkato.com
TOWNS - 'YOUNG AT HEART' (SINGLE)
Childhood friends TOWNS create a spaced out suburban escapism that combines the experimental guitar sounds and DIY aesthetics of psych and shoegaze with the melodies of 60s and 90s guitar pop. Seeing the excitement of rock’n’roll as a way to escape the everyday humdrum of growing up in Weston-super-Mare, they believe in the beauty, glamour and power of ‘proper’ pop music.
Kicing off in a squall of guitars and lovely ooh-ing, ‘Young At Heart’ takes a grip from start to finish. “You make me so young at heart”, cries frontman James MacLucas as he rattles into a Towns sky scraping chorus. They've built an already healthy fan base this year supporting The Tang on their UK tour and their debut album is out later this year. You'd be advised to get into this Town, they're going places...
The band play This Feeling London tonight. Info & a free download from the band - CLICK HERE
THE KOO - 'LOVE SONG' (SINGLE)
North London-based Leicester lads The Koo release their psychedelic anti-love song on Valentine's Day and it's an absolute riot. Think Happy Mondays/Black Grape - a bit sleazy, a bit naughty with funky bass, soaring synths, screaming wah-wah guitars and booming, charismatic vocals ('this ain't no fuckin' love song'). These boys are a bit different, and this is a memorable release, full of witty social observations and punk attitude.Free download at http://www.thisfeeling.co.uk/bands/254-the-koo/
THE TWANG - 'NEON TWANG' (LP)
The Twang, to their credit, are a band that refuse to sit still, continually reshaping their infectious pop music since the mainstream success of their debut album. 'Neon Twang' finds the Birmingham boys in more reflective mood than the ecstatic 'Love It When It's Like This' period seven years ago, but it could just be their best work yet. From the brooding trance of 'City Lights', through the bold and colourful indie rock of 'Happy Families', to the gently uplifting ballad 'Bigger Than You', it's the sound of a real creative ressurgence from The Twang. Recent single 'Larry Lizard' - gloriously echoing club culture amid smart industrial samples and rousing melodies - confirms it. An excellent collection of songs.For more details go to www.thetwang.co.uk
DEXTERS 'SHIMMER GOLD' (LP)
In the midst off a big UK tour at the moment, East London quintet Dexters release 'Shimmer Gold' - a cracking debut album that's crammed full of rocking indie grooves, slipstreamed choruses and more melodic charm than you can shake a stick at. The mesmeric title track showcases a fearsome vocalist in frontman Tom Rowlett, and 'Can't Sleep' is a rampant beast of a tune which demonstrates real depth and, you sense, longevity in the band. Elsewhere, 'Recover' and 'Start To Run' are blistering songs, bursting with the youthful exuberance and energy to match bands like The Kinks, The La's and The Strokes in their pomp and, album highlight, 'The Hard Way' has the kind of swooping, lilting chorus that great indie bands of yesteryear used to do so well. High-octane guitar anthemia of the highest order from a band whose hard work and endeavour deserves every success.XFM EXCLUSIVE ALBUM STREAM - CLICK HEREFull UK tour underway now...for more information and to order 'Shimmer Gold' head to www.dextersband.co.uk