Archive for March, 2007

Monthly Mixtapes: March 2007

My Mixtape

A little late but hell we cant all be perfect…

Mixtape#3 - Mar 07

1, LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum … Another top dancefloor filler from this uber producer
2, Apples In Stereo – Can You Feel It? … Sublime indie/pop craftsmanship
3, Idlewild – No Emotion … Return to form and slightly towards Idlewild of old
4, Dropkick Murphys – Long Way To The Top (If You Want to Rock And Roll) … superb Ac/Dc cover from the Celtic Bostonian Punks
5, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Loop Duplicate My Heart … Has a Mellow charm of its own
6, Bullets & Octane – My Disease … balls to the wall American hard rock
7, Alexi Murdoch – Breathe … great singer songwriter
8, Emily Haines – Doctor Blind … hauntingly beautiful piano/vocal combination from the Metric frontwoman
9, Kings of Leon – Camaro … Great bouncy track of their upcoming release
10, Arcade Fire – Wake Up … Sparked a huge Ahhhh-a-long at brixton
11, Maximo Park – Girls Play Guitars … Setting the tone fo the new album perfectly
12, The Answer – Sweet Emotion … true to form sublime cover version with unique answer vocals
13, The Rakes – We Danced Together … New single from solid new album
14, The Holloways – Generator … Stonking ska/pop from this great british band
15, Relient K – I Need You … Pop/Punk Anthem of theMonth!!

Where Napolean Failed

iForward Russia!, Cursive, Kubichek!, Sometree @ KoKo, Camden, London
31st March 2007

Russia

After being hounded for as long as i can remember, I finally gave in to friends recommendation of seeing a sprightly new electrock indie band from the northern indie rock haven of Leeds. Just so happens that alot of other good bands were playing too on this NME Awards tour show at the great KoKo venue in Camden.

Accompanied by Mr Flowers, we arrived fashionably late and in time to see the decent acts. So we loitered at the bar listening to Sometree which was exceptionally dull. All except the very last track which really set of some sparks. Shame the set ended 2 minutes later. Next up were newbie’s Kubichek! These played an energetic set of undecipherable lyrics and full tilt electrock. For an early slot this was a bit too much for the onlookers who preferred to rudely stand and chat. But their catchy mutterings were a winner for me and I’m looking forward to their album. whether it will have substance up and beyond the 2/3 good tracks heard this evening is yet to be seen.

KoKo

After their most commercially successful album to date “Happy Hollow“, veteran indie tunemakers Cursive journeyed from the states to entertain the London crowd. Their sound was all about raw melodies, cracks and all. Thier more random shoegaze moments floated easily past as mystifying layered indie classics and their no-nonsense melodies powered through as alt rock monsters! “Dorothy at 40�? sped past with the destructive energy of a Midwest tornado, and “Big Bang�? finally grabbed the attention of the weary assemble who suddenly lost the urge to chat. This was a great set and come highly recommended not only for their strangely accessible “out there” randomocity, but their compelling indie/rock craft.

Forward Russia
Is there anybody out there?

It was almost time for the headliners and I couldn’t help but feel they would be a disappointment given the pre-gig praise laid upon them by friends. Which is why I was so pleased that they didn’t disappoint iForward Russia!, blasted through the highlights of their first album Give me a Wall, at a frenetic pace, giving little time to breathe. The singer sounds as if he was strangling a cat most of the gig, but lyrical content isn’t really what this band is about, you can hardly understand them if you listen to the album. But its his energy and passion which is projected to the up most here tonight. However I feel he may have some suicidal tendencies as he was insistent on tying the mic cord round his neck at every opportunity! Maybe they should think about investing in a cordless mic for Health and Safety Purposes. Their great fretsmith was churning out uberspeedy/funky riffs which were awesome.

FretSmith

This band work so well in a live environment, heart pounding bass, dancy rhythm’s and a feel good atmosphere of I just don’t care (hand me another beer). Track highlights, I couldn’t tell you as all track names are numbers and damn confusing…indie geeks! (42 anyone?) But their new material sounds exciting and cant wait for their second album to arrive. With all this said and done I waddled off home contented that I’ve finally seen the Russia and no longer have to start sentences with “I can only imagine…”.

Kaiser Chiefs Vs Scooby Doo

I think that the Kaiser Chiefs have been spending too long watching re-runs of kids TV shows recently. The specific series in question would be the burger munching hapless mystery solving dectective canine, Scooby Doo.

I don’t know if its just me, but on their latest single “Ruby”, the chorus line plays like Scooby Doo’s famous catchphrase.

“Rooo-by, Rooo-by, Rooo-by, Rooooooooooo-by”

It’s such a good likeness, that “If it wasn’t for those pesky kids, they would have got away with it!”

Scooby Doo

Monthly Mixtapes: February 2007

My Mixtape

So onto February and the next installment:

Mixtape#2 – Feb 07

Tracks of the Month
1, The Hold Steady – Certain Songs … Utterly sublime track, performed with heart and soul at borderline
2, Bloc Party – Song For Clay (Disappear Here) … Reflects one of the Partys best moments to date
3, Forward Russia – 15 Pt.2 … This was the highlight of their gig! At least I think thats what it was called?
4, Malcolm Middleton – A Brighter Beat … A change of heart from the dour guitarist of Arab Strap, refreshingly poppy and happy
5, Humanzi – Fix the Cracks – Excellent wall of sound instumentation from not your average new band
6, Kubichek! – Nightjoy … Were great supporting iForward, Russia!, their standout track!
7, Of Montreal – Gronlandic Edit … Melodic electro pop from the american indie veteran
8, Brakes – Porcupine or Pineapple … One of Brakes’ comedy tracks extended into a great 1:30 punk explosion of energy
9, I love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – Lights … Moody dark pop at its best
10, Cursive – Dorothy At 40 … Indie in the truest form, still packs a great punch!
11, Pop Levi – Sugar Assault Me Now … Ladytron doesScissor sisters on the pop classic
12, Tokyo Police Club – Nature of The Experiment … Good single from exciting new Canadian band
13, Gallows – Abandon Ship … Mega alt mayhem from this hybrid punk band
14, The New York Fund – Nobody Home … Loving the Freebird licks on this cool new bands debut Ep
15, Thunderbirds Are Now! – The Veil Comes Down “Catchy electrock from this great live act from detroit.

F.A.B.

Thunderbirds Are Now! @ The Luminaire, Kilburn, London
February 25th, 2007

Another week another live event, this time its the turn of Thunderbirds Are Now! I was excited about this show, mainly because they are awesome and the venue was another tiny one. Again a 250 person capacity in the timeout magazines venue of the year, The Luminaire. It was on the exact opposite of the borderline, Instead of down, it was up above a trendy bar, The styling was all very trendy and purposeful unlike the shabby rustic looks of borderline. This is no bad thing, the beer was good and the view immaculate once more.

A Very Special Skill
The Docktor was perfecting the fine art of Sleep Drinking

As me and The Docktor arrived, National Snack were already on stage. Their dress sense needed alot to be desired, wearing pinneys should be restricted to kitchens. Their music wasn’t too bad, kinda catchy with altering song structures and melodic breakdowns. The lead singer/guitarist also happened to look like a fuller figure version of Edith Bowman, so they werent too bad to watch.

Thunderbirds Are Now!

Next up was The Hair, an young fresh faced electrock group from leeds. They played a mix of electro and recycled pop/rock. So i didnt quite enjoy them as much as the oddball first band. Saying that they had probably enough good songs to warrent a half decent Ep. These guys need to pull out their finger if they are to approach the big time. Although their parting gift of all 4 members donning drumsticks and smashing symbols, was no more than a gimmick.

Thunderbirds Are Now!

With crowd swelling to a grand total of a bout 70, the Detroit based Electro Rocking geeks Thunderbirds Are Now!, sporting mega uncool glasses swooned onto stage without any flying rocket, carrier crafts, pacestations or submarines (Sadly). After hearing the vocalist talk i can actually pronouce that he does actauly have an incredible childish falsetto voice! Now within seconds of the first power chord being struck the band were all over the stage, with the lead singer Ryan Allen doing some aptly performed split jumps. Their sound is great for the live arena with just enough electro to do battle with the power of the guitarists. They definatly cranked thier amps up to 11 and seemed much more the rock, than the electro band you hear on their last 2 albums, definitley a good thing.

Thunderbirds Are Now!

Their latest LP “Make History” has definatly made the jump from the first album of heady electrock, to full on electrifying pop rock beast. This showed with great renditions of new tracks such as ” The Veil Comes Down” and “Open Us Up”. Thown into the mix was the cream of the tracks from their previos album Justamoustache. “Eat This City” and “This World Is Made Of Paper, Held Together By A Stapler” provided a veritble delight of electro oddball rocking tracks. With my ears now almost bleeding from the incredible noise the band sign off and we are left to dash to the station and grab our train outta here. 2 days later, and my right ear is still ringing, I think they have dont some permanent damage! Just goes to show, Thunderbirds which once were “GO” are “NOW!”

Thunderbirds Are Now!