Archive for December, 2010
It’s time to complete the countdown of DoesItRock.nets favourite albums of 2010…
10) Volbeat – Beyond Hell/Above Heaven
Volbeat are absolutely adept at churning out those huge chorus’s you wished all stadium rock bands could write. They could easily out Jovi the Bon, take the Iron to the Maiden, and shoot down the Foo’s with such a polished set of outstanding soaring rock tracks as collated on Beyond Hell/Above Heaven. If Metallica were born in, started life as a rockabilly band who decided to write an album full of Enter Sandman’s you’ll get close to the latest offering from Volbeat. A stunning set of exuberant heavy metal tunes destined for huge crowds!
9) Danko Jones – Below The Belt
This hardworking, hard rocking trio from Canada have been plying their big guitar fuelled, booze soaked punk leaning, classic rock inspired party for many years now. This is their X release and it is a barnstorming riot of riffs, big dumb rock ‘n’ roll lyrics and glorious melodies. Although they have veered closer to the mainstream before with many tunes being unfound rock radio classics, this is no bad thing for a band who have yet to accept they are damn good at writing them. When they channel their unhinged love for rock and metal into a killer melody, there really isn’t a better band on the planet right now. If you don’t mind big macho lyrics, bigger guitars and huge rock soul, Below The Belt is for you!
8) The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Blood & Fire
“The sound of a blues nightmare running wild, waking up the neighbourhood using a Marshall powered megaphone”, is how best to describe 80’s Matchbox B-Line Disasters sound on their latest album. Being away for a while has clearly put fire in their bellies as they come romping straight at the jugular from the very start of Blood & Fire. The pace very rarely relents and their blues rock factory, churns out fuzzed up riffs with Chinese manufacturing efficiency. A blazing album from start to finish!
7) Kvelertak – Kvelertak
Norwegian Black Metal anyone? Given this tagline I was very tentative about listening to this but I’m so glad I did. Sung in their native tongue none of the lyrics make sense, but neither does most metal sung in English! The sound is more akin to Motorhead than Mayhem with the driving speed of hardcore punk with some technically stunning guitars and emphasis on melodic hooks big enough to land Moby Dick. There are so many riffs packed into each song it is a blizzard of high intensity Scandinavian power coming straight through the speakers. Definitely the hardest hitting album on our countdown. So if you fancy getting knocked over by a thrilling lesson in all out rock and roll, check out the blazing Kvelertak.
6) Fang Island – Fang Island
This self titled album from this arty indie band is a work of unrelenting happiness, exquisite harmonies and storming guitars. Fang Island have managed to fuse so many different influences and still come out with a coherent and ecstatic album packed with mainly instrumental works of genius. Their sound is the most eclectic on the countdown by far, which collates such intensity of exuberant melodies and gang vocals that it’s hard not to love. Sure the lack of vocals could be off-putting, but with a heavily effect driven triple guitar attack tutored at the Thin Lizzy school of soloing, it is as good and different an indie rock guitar album you are ever likely to hear!
5) Birds of Tokyo – Birds of Tokyo
Birds of Tokyo are alternative rock heavyweights from Australia who were formed in collaboration with Prog giants Karnivool. Their latest self titled album is their most poppy but also is the most consistent. Loaded with great lyrics and a progressive rock feel to many pop tracks, grandeur and awe is never far away. Vocals are just perfect, never overbearing but soulful and beautiful throughout. It is hard not to enjoy such a sweepingly brilliant album which flows from soaring piano melodies to big rock chords with ease. A superb album from one of Australia’s best bands.
4) Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
Superchunk’s hugely overlooked comeback album after a 9 year hiatus was one of the most fun, playful and enjoyable albums of the year. Despite the bands years, this album still sounds youthful and full of wide eyed adolescent energy. Lyrics on Majesty Shredding are equally as jovial as their bouncable up-tempo tunes which are weighed down by innumerable cracking vocal harmonies, guitars are never overbearing but always fit the mood perfectly. A consistently great record full of many high points, a welcome return from Superchunk.
3) Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
A token entry for an indie-pop album in a rock/metal list, The Suburbs swayed wistfully into contention with it’s fancy lyrics and breezy pace set by the yellow jackets of Modern Man, Rococo, City With No Children, Suburban War, Wasted Hours, while occasionally sprinting off with punk-song Month of May when some of the other songs weren’t looking. In a year they headlined the main stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals, surely they can’t carry on fooling people into thinking they are an indie band anymore and not the full-blown pop monster we know they really are. To be honest, you’ve probably spat your coffee out and are trying to clean up your keyboard after seeing Arcade Fire appear in the same list as Volbeat and Kvelertak, so it’s probably best you just move along and pretend this didn’t happen – MF.
2) Pulled Apart By Horses – Pulled Apart By Horses
A debut album reached #2 on the countdown with this offering from Leeds Alt-Metal saviours PABH. They play loud and hard, fast and tight, shouty and noisy, each element combining to form superb rock and roll. While they have gathered their reputation from their blistering live shows (one of which blew us away at Camden Crawl), their debut LP is almost as intense an experience full of energy and potency from the first spin. Yet despite their raging noise rock, they are surprisingly accessible (I even spotted a track on Radio 1). Vocals have a clean nature to them despite veering into venomous howls on occasion and the barrage of guitars are slow and big enough for the Sabbath fans. The quality here is impeccable and with barely a dud in there this makes PABH our runner-up of 2010.
1) Foxy Shazam – Foxy Shazam
It was a suprise selection at number 1 this year, but put simply Foxy Shazam’s third album is a totally unique and uplifting pop record which swings from glamtastic Darkness-esque guitar genius to queen-like pop magnificence with bundles of catchy melodies, rousing chorus’ and alternative rock eclectic-ness. The strength of the album is in its consistency. It really is packed with great pop tunes which collectively flow like the soundtrack to the greatest party you haven’t been to. Seriously underrated and overlooked, Foxy Shazam’s screwball tunes are always infectious, never dull and retain the ability to showcase the crazier side of life…one which their explosive live shows exhibits perfectly. I have returned to this time and time again, it hasn’t yet failed to raise the spirits!
Roll on 2011!
Honerable Metions: Voodoo Johnson – 10,000 Days, Wolf Parade – Expo 86, FACT – In The Blink of an Eye,
Click here for the top 25 as a Spotify Paylist >> DoesItRock Albums of 2010
It really doesn’t feel like a year since I started writing the Best of lists for 2009, but that time has arrived. There have been plenty of good albums but in our hearts, very few have been elevated to classic status. Instead of the usual critic’s lists who are each trying to out scene each other, I have tried to reflect the DiR.net’s team listening habits, detailing what we like to listen to, rather than what’s cool to listen to. Free from any prejudices, it is now time to run down the albums which have rocked our collective socks in 2010…let the countdown begin!
25) Airbourne – No Guts? No Glory!
AcDc were busy touring this year, so winners of Australian Hard Rock album of 2010 goes to their sound-a-like’s Airbourne for their hit packed sophomore album.
24) Voodoo Six – Fluke?
London based hard rockers live up to the expectation and deliver a fiery collection of stratospheric rock, thumping guitars and killer hooks.
23) Joe Satriani – Wormhole Wizards
The king of guitar returns with a more relaxed feel to his latest LP. It is crowded with inventive guitar brilliance with his distinctive melody first approach, and incredible emotive string bends. A high standard throughout makes this a vast improvement on his last LP.
22) Paul Gilbert – Fuzz Universe
Guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert shows off his melodic side on his latest release which is packed with instrumental glory, super shredding and genius composition.
21) Slash – Slash
The worlds most recognised guitarist enlisted his friends and came up with a great collection of singles, but collectively the album varies to wildly to enter into our top 20.
20) Far – At Night We Live
On one hand the Deftones are breaking new ground taking alt-metal noise to massive critical acclaim, while lying low on the other is Far, a more pop-centric, accessible offering who have crafted a thumping album of big emotion and thudding alt-rock. Far’s return is triumphant and damn impressive as warped guitar effects plough a hugely melodic shaped hole into their truly huge bass licks, all backed with Jonah Matrangah‘s slickly produced vocals provide the lyrical clout. The mood is generally a dark cloud, but when the thunder strikes it’s when they are at their best. Slow building atmospheric guitars and skyward floating vocals are mixed in with more riff hungry tracks create a superbly balanced record.
19) Weezer – Hurley
This album has split the doesitrock.net crew down the middle (review), but it has still made the top albums list by the skin of its teeth. The high points on the album are undeniably catchy if somewhat idiosyncratic, but then this is what Weezer do best of late. Plenty of cracking pop tunes and songs about little or nothing, line the somewhat oddly titled Hurley. With their 2nd B-Sides collection release this year (Death To False Metal) also being a corking album, far greater than the sum of its parts, Weezer have clearly turned a corner and are running back with Linford like speed!
18) Against Me! – White Crosses
The backlash against this release was swift and rather unfair in my opinion. Sure Against Me! may have sold out to the majors and gone all pop leaving their trail of destruction sniggering at what they have become. But taken on its merits (that’s pop-rock), this is a heavyweight ready to take on all comers and most probably win! Writing anthemic rock songs more akin to Springsteen than the Dropkicks, are their staple, and they do this incredibly well. Always full of heart and sung with conviction though road worn vocal chords White Crosses is jammed with superb, quality upbeat rock and roll songs with a (somewhat diluted) punk heart.
17) Taking Dawn – Time To Burn
These Las Vegas, roadrunner backed heavy metal rockers have managed to create an 80’s influenced set of hard rock packed with immense riffs and towering melodies. Each track kick starts with a blistering guitar lick which takes hold and doesn’t let go. Vocals are stadium sized and perfectly compliment each athemic chorus. If you appreciate glammed up metal, a good guitar workout and a rock and roll swagger, Time To Burn is your answer.
16) Carpark North – Lost
Somehow this album has missed the mainstream, the radio and seemingly everyone’s attention which is absolutely criminal. Lost is a superbly crafted album which showcases what can be achieved if euro-electro pop is done properly. With driving guitars and spiralling electro beats providing the atmospheric backdrop it’s the synths hooks and warm vocals which take centre stage. Literally littered with cracking little pop tunes to rival the big guns, it’s time a little light was shone on this underappreciated band.
15) The Pineapple Thief – Someone Here Is Missing
Prog is so often seen as the joys of the middle aged man, or those with long beards who re=un the local war re-enactment society. The Pineapple Thief’s latest album is out to change this, as they seamlessly meld electro beats, cruising guitars and haunting vocals into a brilliantly flowing album. With few overindulgent guitar solo’s and extended jams, most songs are highly catchy and full of understated beauty. Variety is key here, with tracks featuring dreamy acoustics, bold electro-rock explosions, fleeting ambient melodies, melancholic vocals and noisy guitars outbursts. This is one to listen end-to-end in a world dominated by the shuffle button.
14) The Sword – Warp Riders
Hard Rock has seen a good year with plenty of great releases. The Sword sit atop of this tree proudly with Warp Riders, a sci-fi epic of stellar proportions. This album is about as riff hungry as they come with wall to wall guitars and pounding bass. The adept classic rock soloing shows outstanding ability and a raft of ingenious melodies. It sways to the borders of Prog rock but before tipping over, a thundering power chord is on hand to rescue it. A thumping collection of Hard Rock, played by southern rock’s shining light of 2010.
13) Jim Jones Revue – Burning Down Your House
Listening to Burning Down Your House, transports you back to the 50’s and the bar room blues of Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. The Jim Jones Revue have rolled back the clocks and ignored the past 60 years of musical development, playing fully cranked, high octane, scuzzed up blues bonanza. There really isn’t that much here in terms of musicality, but when music sounds this fun it’s hard to ignore. Big bluesy shuffles and bolstered piano tinkling sung by a crazed MC is instantly alluring, addictive and rock n’ rolling!
12) Blood Command – Ghostclocks
Scandinavia’s Blood Command are a breath of fresh air. Never did we realise that we needed a female fronted frenzied alt-metal behemoth with a slice of pop sweetness…but clearly on this form, we most definitely do. Taking a a lightly watered down Blood Brothers formula and adding immensely catchy melodies in amongst their rapid-fire spiky riffing, not forgetting a side order of Norwegian dance-pop Blood Command have melded a superb sound. Flailing from all out metal guitar assaults to mid-tempo riff rock Ghostclocks is never boring and totally essential for 2010!
11) Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life
Welcome return from the pick of the US Pop Punk bands who stand head and shoulders above their peers. My Dinosaur Life showcases once again great song writing, jubilant chorus’s and incessant melodies. This album harks back more closely to their guitar driven debut album which can only be a good thing, plus with plenty of corking singles lining the playlist, It strolled effortlessly into the end-of year list despite being released almost a year ago.
Stay tuned for the top 10 tomorrow!
Sadly all of the award winners cannot be here to accept these awards, but feel free to get in touch to send your acceptance speeches any time!
Find out the Nominees here!
Does It Rock Live Awards:
After those stunning Wembley shows this summer it is Muse who reign as the best Live band of 2010
Best New Band
Winner: Pulled Apart By Horses
For their breathtaking live performances and creating a fitting debut album which fails to dampen their rock and roll noise pollution!
Winner: Knights of Cydonia (Muse)
Closing the Wembley shows, Muse had a 60,000 strong crowd jumping around like loonys to this prog epic with huge blues riffing finale!
Our first foray into ATP weekend festivals was a roaring success. 3 great venues, bars, clubs, restaurants, and non-stop entertainment all under one roof with top notch accommodation merely a stones throw away. Unbeatable!
Winner: Fight Like Apes
It was supposed to be a sedate electro-pop gig of fun and bippy beats and quirky hooks. As it conspired 50% of the patrons went nuts to every single song! It was the crowd that made the show epic, with cheeky banter, stage invasions, cheesy waltzing, comical heckling, boisterous behavior and full vocalled support. Everything a crowd should be!
With the superstar triple headline attack of Ac/Dc, Rage Against The Machine & Aerosmith, it’s easily the best lineup of our 2010 festivals! It was sunny, loads of fun and had a series of great crowds not overrun by drunk teens.
Best Festival Anthem
Winner: Paradise City (Slash)
Arguably the best Guns N’Roses tune played by the original “Guitar Hero” Slash backed with the immense vocal talents of Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge was a monumental crowd pleaser. A magical moment!
Winner: Pat Monaghan (Train)
Lead singer of American Alt-Rock band Train impressed with his stunning vocals which were immensely powerful, soulful, passionate and fragile! His performance and all round persona helped this show to become one of the great surprises of 2010!
There was something about his set at Download which was stupendous. Whether that be the Guns n’ Roses anthems, that cocky swagger, the awe inspiring solo’s or the addition of guests Lemmy & Myles Kennedy…but this show made me feel like I was in the prsence of a true legend of guitar!
2010 Spotlight Awards:
The “Waahahaaay Over The Top” award for exuberant Showmanship:
Winner: Guitar Solo at 45ft, while perched ontop of a festival stage (Airbourne @ Download)
Airbourne front man Joel O’Keef’s antics at this years Download Festival will go down as the single greatest example of literally putting your life on the line for rock and roll ever! That crazed climb in the pouring rain, with guitar on back before stopping for a few solo’s here and there was the definition of insanity. One never to be forgotten & hopefully never repeated either!
The “Eyecandy” award for the hottest woman of rock
Winner: The Sirens (x3) (@ Brixton)
It’s no surprise that Steel Panther support act, “dance troupe” (aka strippers) The Sirens took this title. 3 extremely agile and beautiful women gyrating for the audiences pleasure to a soundtrack of Slipknot set many men’s tongues a wagging.
The “Turned to 11” award for the Loudest set
Winner: Boris @ ATP
There was some serious wattage was on show here, It physically hurt to be within 50m of the speakers. Any music which can make your clothes shudder and your chest compress should come with a government warning. Boris lives the “turned to 11” dream!
The “I can’t believe I saw that” award for the Most Unexpected Gig Antics
Winner: “Everybody remain seated on the floor” (Monotonix @ ATP)
Truly bizarre things were going on inside Reds for the ATP Monotonix show. Refusing entry to all but a precious few, refusing entry as the venue was full, only to then change their minds 5 minutes later. Many surprises were in store inside! Firstly it was nowhere near full and secondly the crowd were all sat down cross legged. Why on earth organisers thought this would last is laughable! After about 20 minutes the inevitable happened and people were overcome with dancing fever. Swiftly the set was brought to a halt by the security, stating “inciting a riot” the reason. Absolutely crazy goings on!
The “WTF??” award for the most unusual crowd Antics
Winner: Lady relieving herself in cup then pouring onto poor blokes leg (RATM @ Download)
Really…this did happen! It was truly hideous and the ladies hearty laugh at the poor bloke (who in my opinion did well not to slap her) will haunt me forever.
The “Is that a…” award for Most Random Stage Prop
Winner: A Giant Train, 30ft Blow-up Doll & Huge Cannon’s (AcDc @ Download)
When it comes down to going over the top with their stage show, it was tough to category call what with Muse’s Balloon being pretty epic. Yet AcDc pulled out all the stops and went that bit further, bringing their own stage to a festival! Top that with a streaking 150yard catwalk, a 30ft raising platform, a Runaway Train, a 30ft Blow-up doll (There was a “Whole Lotta Rosie“) and plenty more besides!
The “Fashion Disaster” award for Terrible Style
Winner: Shoes, boxers and a full chest of hair (Monotonix @ CAMP)
Style clearly hasn’t got as far Israeli rockers Monotoninx. Playing in only their boxers and shoes this made for the boldest (and hairiest) statement of the year. Kudos goes to those men who held up sweaty lead singer Ami Shalev when he went crowd surfing…uurrgh!!
The “Do Not Enter” award for the worst gig Venue
Winner: The Troxy
The Troxy lacked so many things the most important being a good atmosphere. For a venue of this size, having a flat standing area and a small sunken dance floor is criminal for those wanting to see anything what-so-ever! Add ludicrously expensive beer prices, oversubscribed toilet facilities and a lack of friendly neighborhood pubs and bars means we won’t be heading back in a hurry.
The “Ouch My Ears!” award for the worst Performance
Winner: Atlas Sound @ ATP
With a gap in the ATP schedule, Atlas Sound was probably the most monotonously annoying and boring artist ever heard by the DiR.net team. Universally panned by all present, there was nothing to recommend in his whiny vocal atmospherics and “I wrote these in my bedroom while depressed” mutterings except the moment he down tools and left! By far the biggest cheer of the night!
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Inaugural Does It Rock Awards 2010! The awards are a tribute to those band who spend endless hours on the road on unrelenting tour schedules, bringing high octane energy, passion and fantastic live music to the masses. From festivals to huge stadium shows, tiny pub gigs and giant arenas, we here at DoesItRock.net have compiled these awards to showcase the best (and worst) that Live Music had to offer in 2010!
So without further ado I present this years categories and nominees…
Live Awards 2010:
1) Arming Eritrea (Future of The Left @ Lexington)
2) Knights of Cydonia (Muse @ Wembley)
3) I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beveley Hills 90210 To Me (Fight Like Apes @ Barfly)
4) Dry County (Bon Jovi @ The O2)
1) The Lexington
2) ATP Pavement
3) Camden Crawl
2010 Spotlight Awards:
The “Waahahaaay Over The Top” award for exhuberant Showmanship:
1) A giant Balloon & a neon flashing Suit (Muse @ Wembley)
2) Reviving the the Hagar ‘Split Jump’ (Steel Panther @ Brixton)
3) Guitar Solo at 30ft (AcDc @ Download)
4) Guitar Solo at 45ft, while perched on top of a festival stage (Airbourne @ Download)
The “Eyecandy” award for the hottest woman of rock
1) Elizabeth Hale (Halestorm @ Download)
2) Eva Spence (Rolo Tomassi @ Camden Crawl)
3) The Sirens x3 (Steel Panther @ Brixton)
4) Emily Barker @ Camden Crawl
The “I can’t believe I saw that” award for the Most Unexpected Gig Antics
1) Joel O’Keef climbs the stage in the pouring rain (Airbourne @ Download)
2) Isreali’s rock the bogs (Monotonix @ CAMP)
3) “Everybody remain seated on the floor” (Monotonix @ ATP)
4) “I’m Coming to get you” (Taking Dawn @ Download)
The “WTF??” award for the most unusual crowd Antics
1) Drunk bloke nearly knocking out half the crowd with crazed pogoing (Fight Like Apes @ Barfly)
2) Lady relieving herself in cup then pouring onto poor blokes leg (RATM @ Download)
3) Mosher who ran into a pole after circling round it too many times (Bomb The Music Industry! @ Underworld)
4) Putting fingers in ears, yet not leaving! (Boris @ ATP)
The “Is that a…” award for Most Random Stage Prop
1) Cardboard Box Human Robots (Robots in Disguise @ Heaven)
2) Alien Balloon + Acrobat (Muse @ Wembley)
3) Dustbin (Monotonix @ CAMP)
4) A Giant Train, 30ft Blow-up Doll & Huge Cannon’s (AcDc @ Download)
The “Fashion Disaster” award for Terrible Style
1) Eric Nally in skintight leather (Foxy Shazam @ The Borderline)
2) Wax Fang’s Prince costume (Wax Fang Performs Purple Rain @ ATP)
3) Steel Panthers 80’s glamtastic gear (Steel Panther @ Brixton)
4) Shoes, boxers and a full chest of hair (Monotonix @ CAMP)
The “Do Not Enter” award for the worst gig Venue
1) Monto Water Rats (For its summer heating crisis! Thankfully rectified!)
2) The Troxy (Big theatre, no atmosphere, extortionate beer prices, run down area)
3) CAMP (No more than a student squat with a bar at which you cannot buy beer)
4) Enterprise (The floor buckles under weight, slightly un-nerving)
15th November 2010
It’s a Monday, we are once again out in search of love music thrills, tonight we turned our attention to a band who define the word D.I.Y. From giving away their own music for free, ensuring minimal ticket prices for gigs, recording whenever possible and coming to the UK without any dates pre-booked Bomb The Music Industry! are a unique band taking a distinctive route to prominence. It also helps that their music is adored by fans and critics alike.
A rather empty Underworld greeted us on entry, as did the first of the support bands Bad Ideas. Their upbeat pop rock was rather good. Their warm guitar tones and slightly overdriven spiky riffs were extremely enjoyable and energetic. What I enjoyed from their sound is the combination of the lead guitarists striking barre chords and the auxiliary acoustic guitar played by the lead vocalist kept up a relentless stampede of strumming. This high enthusiasm was commendable and fed through into the small crowd who had the pleasure of checking them out.
Next up was a bloke called Giles who went under the name of Cynics. Instantly he reminded me of anti-folk punk poets in the style of Frank Turner. His clear love for punk music is clear to see as he thrashed his acoustic with punchy power chords and simple melodies. He was a great singer too who had a very powerful voice, the need to amplification was at times not needed. Singing about tales of life and being young were full of social comment, wit and honesty. After a while his songs fell foul of the lack of a inventive musical backbone as the simplistic approach took hold and boredom set in. To counter though to his credit, he threw in a few old school punk covers which were lapped up by the hardcore of the crowd. An impressive set from a larger than life character whose stage presence was impeccable.
After overhearing a conversation between band and “unknown others” it seemed that they would be playing with a triple guitar attack tonight after commandeering a random third amp to power up for their sound check. What an unassuming bunch BTMI! truly were, almost as if they had been dragged straight from a US college party. But give them a stage, guitar and amplification and they come alive as foot to the floor high adrenaline rush of a ska punk collective.
Bomb The Music Industry
Their upstruck chords were classic ska punk and their attack and speed reminicent of NY hardcore bands with some electro synths thrown in for some electic moments. The bombardment of loud triple guitar attach, booming trombone and rapid-fire lyrics sent the front few rows mental. Arms were flailing,sweaty bodies colliding, circle pits round a huge pole and plenty of pogo action were to be some of the more entartaining sights of the set (the most amusing being when one drunken youngster ran into the pole nearly knocking himself over).
For all the energy and enthusiasm in the room, I wasn’t seeing what all the fuss was about. Yes they played extremely fast electro laced punk numbers which lasted downwards of 2 minutes, yet with scrambled lyrics through the indecipherable vocals it was a tough set to appreciate. Unless you were there to go nuts, it was always going to be a disappointment. There were flashes of brilliance in the midst of the set with huge vocal hooks and infectious riffing. But they came and disappeared all to quickly. It would be hard to say that it wasn’t enjoyable, it just wasn’t up to the standard of recent shows.
The set ended in as chaotic fashion as a support band initiated stage invasion took place with the hardcore pocket of fans taking the stage/mic/guitars. It was all fun and games and the feel good feeling was tricky to shake, despite the lack of a quality musical performance.
13th November 2010
As I approached the Brixton academy this evening I was sure that I has seen this all before. Yet in my head I had definitely not seen a queue of magnitude streaking around the building in the freezing cold. After what seemed like hours we slowly tip-toed into the venue to catch tonights support act who had come down from the even colder climbs of Scotland for tonights performance.
Unkle Bob are not the cheeriest bunch of indie folk rockers the world had ever seen. Their layered acoustic melodies on top of the odd nifty bass riff were pretty and flowed along at a nice mid tempo amble. Being so mainstream and non-offensive bordered on the cusp of sending the audience to sleep, leaving little I can commend. The utter repetitive nature of the rhythmn section which no-matter what tempo the song started at, would alway return to the same lulling 1-2-1-1-2 drum beat, was tiresome and lazy. Vocals were of little presence and thusly Unkle Bobs chances of making an impression faded with it.
The Goo Goo Dolls
Despite being a household name and mainstream stalwarts of american pop rock for years, The Goo Goo Dolls can still kick out a little bit of passion full flowing rock sparkle when they feel like it. Tonight they were clearly up for the task as they rapid-fired their way through 4-5 cracking hits without stopping for breath in between. This energetic bout of blazing rock singles including the rocky Big Machinem, the big chorus of Dizzy and jangly single The Sweetest Lie…set the tone for the night. Suprisingly they didn’t dwell on new album material which for a longstanding fan like myself was much appreciated.
Balladry is never far away from their arsenal and this proved so, as they threw in classic pop tunes like Iris, Black Ballon and Here Is Gone which got the loudest of crowd chorus’s I’ve heard for a very long while. Each onlooker seemingly knew the words to their setlist which raised a rousing atmosphere of appreciation and ephoric enjoyment.
Rzeznik & Takac
I was impressed with the set tonight more so than on previous occasions of seeing them. Bassist Robbie Takac was given 3 songs to sing tonight (Another Second Time Around, Smash & my personal favourite, Tucked Away) , each loaded with punky energy, rasping Marshall/Gibson power chords and his jovial vocals gave the Dolls a sense of urgency and passion right when it was required. Front man John Rzeznik was also seemingly bursting with adrenaline as he barely stopped running across stage slinging his guitar when he had the chance.
As always the performance was brilliant, superb sound, the hits were all there with the fans were right behind each and every one of them!
8th November 2010
As we approached our usual pub of choice near tottenham court road “The Royal George”, I can’t help but feel relieved. It is in fact extremely forturnate to even be still standing! With ther encroaching CrossRail development boring a huge hole in the earth, they spared this little gem of a pub. Although now it’s usual good music was replaced by the din of the huge electricity generators and digging equipment outside. Sad as it was, we had to leave!
What we found was a packed line-up at borderline headed up by electro-upstarts Angry Vs The Bear. 80’s synths, and electro-cool with a slight rocky feel to it was their staple diet and they stuck t the task well. Despite having the some awful haircuts (this was seemingly a pre-requisite to being onstage tonight) their catchy melodies were rather likable. A decent bill-footing act to get the crowd warmed up.
As soon as Neon Trees kicked off, by feelings of dislike began to sprout. A rag-tag bunch of crazy mop-tops fronted by an uber-camp, instantly disagreeable bloke with the worst haircut of the night (a flattened black Mohawk) and bags of in-your-face cockiness cast a sour first impression. This proved a hard tag to shake, which they went part way to managing thoughout their energetic electro-loaded set. Musically they were produced a spritely set of spiky indie guitars with synth heavy melodies not too dissimikar to a frantic “The Killers“. By the close of the set, a) I was happy never to set eyes on the lead singer again and b) suprised by the likability of their jaunty party electro-rock.
Foxy Shazam cast an althogether different picture. From the very instant that frontman Eric Sean Nally sprang on stage suddenly the venue exploded into a fun loving riot. The band of misfits who graced the stage were about as odd a collection I’ve seen. A huge bearded keyboardist, an 80’s throwback bassist, a ‘to the manor born’ trumpetter and on vocals, a tight leather clad “Count of Monte Cristo” with a moustache to rival the best of the Movember contenders
Eric is one of those lovable frontmen who enjoys crowd interaction and being as chaotic as possible. Before even singing a note he told us of how he poked his eye out the other day, then immediately performed an inpromptu stage dive! The night continued in prety much as hectic as it began with the keyboardist mounting his instrument, many more stage dives, outlanding dacne moves, athleticism and piggybacks. Eric did plenty more incredibly odd things here tonight including proclaiming his heterosexual outlook, donating a T-shirt to a girl in the crowd (at the wishes of a bemused looking heckler), showering 100 pound coins over the first few rows of the crowd, not forgetting his downright random between song banter. As far as his vocals go, you could say he’s slightly squeaky. But despite a talking voice of a 2 year old who has just swallowed a mouthful of helium, he belts out cracked vocals in a jubilant fashion putting his hinted falsetto octave range through a punishing schedule
All this over exhuberance was just the kind of behaviour their music deservs. Their rich layered rock songs with incessant poppy melodies and uplifting chorus lines are just waiting to be screamed out at full volume. The highlights were their first ever UK single “Oh Lord” with its piano driven freakout, “The Rocketeer” with gang vocalled 5-4-3-2-1 countdown and USA Superbowl rousing anthem “Unstoppable”.
…hmm…god knows what was going on here…
However none of these can touch the outright fun and blistering indie rock of the incessantly paced “Killin It” with plenty of glammed up guitars and headbopping dance moves. As much as their music is pop, its how they put pride into their crazy performance and play with such a bright outlook that captivated me this evenig. Surely it’s not right to be having this much fun on a monday night. A simply brilliant show from a band which deserves more attention!
The Final Farewell
Being honest, there was not a great deal to shout about in November. So I started trawling through my backlog of recommendations and came up with this fine collection of excellent tunes.
Listen now >>> DoesItRock.net – Nov 10 Mix
1) Alter Bridge – Isolation … Alter Bridge return with a corker, despite the band being their total commitment.
2) Kvelertak – Blodtørst … Fast and furious punk energy and metal riffing from this superb Norwegian discovery.
3) Voodoo Johnson – Burn … Even with lead singer departing thius month, nothing is stopping the Voodoo Johnson hard rocking gang a rollin’
4) My Chemical Romance – Vampire Money … MCR play the bar room blues?? I didn’t believe it untill I heard it either!
5) Voodoo Six – Long Way From Home … Built on the good debut to form a stonking second LP Fluke?
6) Blood Command – Art For The Sake Of Art … Norwegians channel the spirit of the Blood Brothers on this relentless track.
7) Bo Ningen – 4 Seconds To Ascension … London based Japanese noise rockers are adept at creating canyon sized waves of overdriven energy.
8) Ice, Sea, Dead People – Laser Brain … Art punks are intent on making a glorious racket.
9) Chicken Hawk – Scorpieau … Leeds Rock revolution’s latest offering, brutal and melodic, frenzied alt-metal!
10) Elliott Smith – Pictures Of Me … Fine moment from recent early days best of, from this underrated singer-songwriter
11) The Walkmen – Juveniles … Moody and purposefully sparse yet intimate indie rock is The Walkmen’s strength, shown off here in abundance.
12) Weezer – Blowin’ My Stack ... Far greater than a B-Side should ever really be, 2010 has been a good year for the Weezer boys.
13) Fu Manchu – Shift Kicker … Californian fuzzy alt-rockers are back and blowing amps away as always!
14) Karma To Burn – Forty-Two … Experimental hard rockers have instrumental greatness, gigantic riffs, bundles of melody & numbered track names!
15) Union – You Know My Name … 2 old hands in the hard rock alumni return to bring this southern influenced bluesy blast of brilliance.
16) Jayce Lewis – Icon … Dance music for the rockers to groove to.
17) Electric Six – Countdown to the Countdown … Rare shimmer of former highs on poor latest album Zodiac
18) Ray Davies – Days/This Time Tomorrow … Mumford and Sons lend a hand and put a great new spin on this classically British tune.
19) The Greenhornes – Satisfy My Mind … The other 2 from the Raconteurs had another band too, these 60’s Retro rocking Greenhorne’s
20) Good Charlotte – Let The Music Play … Pop Punk Anthem for November!