Archive for March, 2008

Monthly Mixtapes: March 08

My Mixtape

Seeing as the February Mixtape was lost on the information super highway during a server swap, here’s a whole new version of Mixtape 11! This time for March

Mixtape#10 - March 08

1, Pete & The Pirates – Mr. Understanding … Readings new pop saviours have a real gem here! Instant Classic Indie!
2, Tiny Masters Of Tomorrow – Radio Riot … Short burst of raw retro punk swagger from youthful duo
3, These New Puritans – Numerology .. Art rock which just might be too clever for its own good
4, We Are Scientists – After Hours … Return to form from the WAS guys on their hit and miss new album Brain Thrust Mystery
5, Frank Turner – Thatcher Fucked The Kids … Hilariously Blunt Politcal & Social commentary on acoustic anti-folk classic
6, Newton Faulkner – Gone In The Morning … A cracking song about my least favourite thing, getting out of bed!
7, Mars Volta – Wax Simulacra … New levels of prog-funk wierdmness from their latest LP
8, Sonic Boom Six – The Rape Of Punk To Come … Genre warping rap/ska/punk collective from Manchester with pop sensibilities
9, Moldy Peaches – Anybody Else But You … Such a beautiful song which shines from the cracking movie Juno!!!
10, Sons & Daughters – Guilt Complex … Country inflexed rockers hit a high with a cracking indie rock tune
11, The Mae Shi – Pwned … Bleeping Bips, Bleeting Bops line this funky dance fused indie track
12, Horrorpops – Where You Can’t Follow … Surf Punk rock sounds great with its fuzzed up female attitude
13, Foals – Cassius … Lead single from latest odd indie popsters to hit the big time
14, Los Campesinos – Dont Tell Me To Do The Math(s) … Indie is the word here with true left field pop melodies with a sprinkling of twee
15, Flogging Molly – Requeim For A Dying Song … Celtic Punks from California produce this mons Pop Punk Anthem

Good Eye Sniper, I’ll Shoot, You Run

Coheed & Cambria on the Kerrang Tour 2008 @ Brixton Academy, London
8th February 2008

So little more than 18 hours later, I’m back in Brixton for the second gig of the week. This time its the turn of Kerrang magazine to provide the entertainment with their UK tour of fresh rocking talent.

There was a large bill this evening so I’ll dive straight into the music. As we entered with relative peace, *note the lack of a sizable the queue* the epic sounds of Circa Survive were ricocheting with great intensity. They seemed confident and not afraid to experiment in this early slot with great versions of tracks from their latest album On Letting Go. The musical unit was great and played really well, generating huge ranges of progressive sonic pleasures. The singers quirky pubescent squeals which sounded as if they come straight from a CBeebies cartoon, did however take a while to get used to. Once over that barrier though, it was plain sailing… enjoyable and worth checking out for Coheed Fans.

Fightstar

Fightstaroffered a rather dull attempt at entertaining rock music, they seemed to have the right rock weapons but they couldn’t seem to put them to any use. They tried their best but it was a tad uninspiring and only the Kerrang readers down front got into any kind of spirit. Themselves even reluctantly adhering to Charliethats what I go to school forSimpson’s calls to… “lets go crazy London!!“.

Madina Lake

The night was destined to get worse as next was the teen punk pop anti-delights of Madina Lake. Being fair to them, the odds were hugely stacked against. Playing a teeny pop punk band before the mighty Coheed progsters was a tad cruel if not a huge judgment error from Kerrang. C&C roadies clearly not happy with their teen image conscious posing tour mates, they teased from side stage which resulted in a impromptu punch up. From which Madina returned to stage boasting of a victory, clearly with bruised ego’s at the beaten they were handed! No respect was shown to the headliners which proved to turn 2/3s of the crowd against them and provoked a showering of jeers, boos as well as the occasional call to “F**k off and Go Home!”. The hostile crowd was gratefully rewarded with their timely exit…eventually. Truly dire stuff!

Coheed & Cambira
Coheed & Cambria

Coheed & Cambria were welcomed with huge rapture and quickly fired into their unique brand of classic rock, metal and prog pop. Lead singer Claudio Sanchez’s hair alone requires a mention with its amazing ability to block out the sun, the huge afro was commendable although it was difficult to see if there was a man in there at all. Yet despite his top heaviness, his guitar slinging and quirky choir boy vocals were excellent playing off the rhythms section superbly. His co-axe wielder was no slouch either with the two of they trading guitar solos blow for blow in exquisite harmony.

Coheed & Cambira
Claudio Sanchez is in there…promise!

They showcased a fair few tracks from their latest LP and they sounded great. Coheed so easily melded the metal with slight prog undertones on Welcome Home, and pop with classic rock riffs on Feathers. Poppier offerings sounded great as well especially on the punk pop stormer of The Running Free. The beauty of this gig was shown in the perfect amalgamation of the prog breakdowns and melodic solos with enough catchiness and memorable hooks as not to bore or alienate. Coheed really do have a cracking back catalogue too and they managed to storm through early gems such as Devil In Jersey City, Blood Red Summer, A Favor House Atlantic and The Crowing.

Coheed & Cambira

Coheed showed here tonight they are a gargantuan force to be reckoned with. More outstanding performances like these, they will rule a planet someday, whether it being this, or one of their sci-fi bonkers concept civilizations. One thing not in question is they are fantastic and a must for any serious rock fan!

Bullets! Bullets!

Bullet For My Valentine, Still Remains @ Brixton Academy, London
7th February 2008

Being hung out to dry isn’t a great start for a gig. But that’s where I found myself the day beforehand when the driving force behind attending this show cancels, tut tut. Nethertheless I manage to scrape together a replacement in the form of the Docktor (What a legend for doing this!!).

Waiting around outside I couldn’t help but notice the extremely young age of all that flocked towards the academy this eve, all clapped out in copycat dark brooding goth outfits. I also stood out from the crowd in the respect that I was old enough to purchase alcohol without having to borrow daddy’s clothes and drop my vocal tone fourfold, great, empty bar! This youthful energy and enthusiasm however hindered our progress into the arena given the queue was the biggest I’ve ever seen it, and even an hour after door there was still a sizable queue.

Now that we’d finally got in we’d missed the majority of the support acts, we did however catch the tail end of Still Remains. These American punks with pianos sounded really good. Their sound was straddling the cusp of breaking into a metal frenzy but was being gently restrained by polished melodies and pop heavy hooks. The marriage of metal and synth worked surprisingly well and my liking of it was a bit of a shock. What really amused me was the fact that as much as you want to look like a metal warrior, when your standing behind a keyboard tickling ivory… you just look extremely camp, im sorry but its true. I’d beg you to find one burly piano player who looks even remotely scary rocking out, hehe. Still now all that Remains is the tour toppers!

Bullet For My Valentine

The towering twin peak guitar wielding brutes of the Bullet For My Valentine gang stood casting a shadow over the teeny crowd who have already wet themselves in anticipation. The Over The Top white sheet that was hoist in front of the stage is dropped to the delight of the crowd, who proceeded to wet themselves a bit more.

BFMV kick start a decent set of metal mayhem with the title track from their latest album Scream Aim Fire. With this LP only being released this week it was tricky to get to know the songs in advance. Still they sounded beefy and full or exuberant metal shards of brilliance. Big guitars were the name of the game and their playing was, it has to be said, outstanding. The vocals stood up remarkable well considering the amped counterbalance which gave them an edge over the run of the mill metal band.

Bullet For My Valentine

There is no doubting their technical abilities and as metal goes these tracks were pretty good with highlights in the shape of 4 words (To Choke Upon), Tears Don’t Fall and Waking The Demons. To the young metallers here these guys were gods, I don’t think they quite reach that accolade yet but they are paving their way.

Rise Today & Change this World

Alter Bridge, Enjoy Destroy @ Astoria, Soho, London
26th January 2007

After an already amazing day of catching up with old friends and more than a couple of units already flowing through my bloodstream I roll down to the comforts of the Astoria. I was very excited about this gig pretty much because they have been booked for what now seems like 3 years! finally walking into the venue the support band were just out on stage.

Enjoy Destroy
Enjoy Destroy

Enjoy Destroy play a meld of pop punk all with riffs way above the punk station, which border upon classic rock land. Fast paced straight out rock and roll good times came in the way of Mactier and Screamer. Their centrepiece was a fantastic power ballad destined for the stadium and festival crowds. LBJ mixes huge power chords with a mega catchy chorus and guns and roses-esque picking. For an unknown support band they were awesome, keep a keen eye on these guys!

Myles Kennedy
Myles Kennedy

Alter Bridge is the brainchild of the lead guitarist Mark Tremonti who is probably most famous for his exploits in the christian rock band Creed. Parallels to creed are floated about aplenty with the same music making unit but with Myles Kennedy taking vocal duties which rival that of ex-creed frontman Scott Stapp. But gladly that is where the parallels end with Alter being a rock force to be reckoned with on their own terms!

Alter Bridge

Alter rip through the best tracks from their first 2 albums with highlights coming thick and fast with mammoth heavy guitars and free flying vocals from Kennedy’s booming rock infested lungs. Half of the crowd were clearly there for one thing, stand and gape in awe at Tremonti wielding his guitar expertly. This was displayed by one half of the venue (we shall call this T-Side) was absolutely rammed with hardly room to breathe and the other being an enjoyably comfortable, if my cat hadn’t been confiscated by security, i would have surely been swinging it.

Alter Bridge
Tremonti & Myles Flail the Frets

To give those T-side some good press there was a damn good reason for being there with Mark on top form pulling out all the towering riffs and nailing each wailing wah solo with expert ease. Set highlights included the soaring rock anthems in the shape of Broken Wings and Rise Today blindingly performed with amazing vocals. Latest album blackbird also provided some cracking moments on tracks like Rise Today and Ties That Bind. This was mature grown-up American hard rock with a metallic edge and the appreciative crowd was here to witness a great show. Proving once and for all they have stepped out of the creed’s Shadow, long may the Alter Bridge revolution continue…

Alter Bridge