Posts tagged Prog
Once again I headed once again to the spiritual home of Rock, Donington Park for a stunning lineup to listen and capture some eclectic up-comers, resurgent groups, underrated rockers and true megastars taking influence from the entire spectrum of the rock/metal clenched fist.
I took some photos and watched some bands, here’s the day in brief…
Stood still for the camera, which was more to do with their advancing years. Proper classic rock still sounds good to these ears.
Highlight: Storming rendition of Doctor, Doctor
Finally the band we have been trumpeting here at DiR.net for years have made it onto the first rung of the ladder, destination rock rocket to the top. They truly ran rampant on huge stage and I loved every glorious minute of this power packed energetic set of high attitude modern rock and roll. Huge crowd and fantastic reception…the general public seem to now agree with me! Sure to rise and rise on from here.
Highlight: The band’s remarkable display of happiness,astounded that so many people actually turned up, each rewarded with a huge version of Executioners day!
Swedish sleaze glamsters clad in objectionable outfits came and conquered the utterly terrible weather which saw 2 huge downpours deposited on the crowd. Despite this their upbeat party anthems and fist pumping punk rock tunes provoked much singing in the rain and dancing in the aisles.
Highlight: ‘We Don’t Celebrate Sunday’s‘, sparking a massive sing and dance along in the middle of a torrential soaking. it was a case of “c’mon skies, is that all you got!”
Black Star Riders
Ricky Warwick and the remains of the Thin Lizzy crew were back again this year under their new moniker with a set of (oddly enought) Lizzy-esque rock tunes which could be easily be plucked straight from the 70’s legends. Throw in some greatest hits such as Jailbreak, Boys Are Back In Town, Rosalie and another rain defying epic Whisky In The Jar…their set was a absolute pleasure from the first rings of Scott Gorham’s guitar to the final note of Wawick’s Lynott lined lungs.
Highlight: Whisky In The Jar getting a field full of old drowned rats jumping around like youthful loons in bright sunlight.
With dark clouds looming and a mist like patter of rain descending over the 2nd stage, there was no better atmosphere for my next band, the black metal titans, Katatonia. Their dour gloom, huge guitars and soulful clean vocals cut a lonely figure which crashed wave after wave of sorrow into the skies. Yet somehow there is a glimmer of hope running through them which is hard to pin, melodic and beautiful, a unique set.
Highlight: The Parting’s soaring vocal section, juxtaposed against their deep earth excavating riffs.
Aussies Karnivool were here to make a statement that Progressive Rock/Metal still reigns, on a performance like this its hard to disagree. A dazzaling assortment of melodies and sounds, given punch with sparse but crushing overdriven guitars and bound together with the beautifully fragile and powerful voice of front man, (one of my favourite vocalists). His emotive and distinct vocals were just as good live as it cut like knife through the gathering booming soundscapes. A pause for thought and refelection, but unmissable nonetheless.
Highlight: Simple Boy and its xylophone melody giving way to a stonking deep 7 string bass riff machine
Being a hell of a long way back I could only pick out a few cool riffs here and there, time to exercise the zoom lens.
Alice In Chains
A faithful following swarmed around the main stage for the return of these heavy grungers. New material from their comeback albums were typified with some pretty awesome bass riffs which had the hard rock crowd salivating. Vocals from DuVall/Cantrell were as good as expected, not overplaying but leading charged singalongs on their biggest hits Rooster and Down In A Hole. Despite the lyrical subject material they sounded uplifting and this well rounded set of loud and soft moments really impressed.
This was not their finest outing, plenty of really old and obscure tracks had the faithful worshiping and the classics were all here too. Nothing out of the ordinary, but still you can’t mess with Motorhead, neither would I recommend it.
Queens Of The Stone Age
A newly re-invigorated QotSA were here today, which marked one of the best sets of the day. Equal measures of high quality, heavy desert stoner drawn from the latest album and Fuzz driven upbeat dance rock from Songs From The Deaf, they stuck to the formula which has brought them so much success. Their greatest hits were all aired and picking the more melodic and high octane tracks really pumped up the crowd. A fitting warm up for the epic headliners to come.
Highlight: Little Sister, where the guitar solo and thumping bass line collide, caused carnage.
When you can commission a flypast from a WWII Spitfire to start your set off with a bang, you are clearly in for something very special. Their ‘Maiden England’ tour was a success on its first outing, today its reprise was just as epic. Triple Guitar attack and a greatest hits set spanning their best albums this was a blast from the past which has endured its time and is clearly still as popular today. Pyrotechnics, flames, fireworks, costume changes, a 20 ft Eddie, plenty of British & war imagery was all part of the elaborate staging which was just as absorbing as the music on offer. The crowd were in full voice and knew every word coming from Bruce Dickinson’s falsettos vocal chords. A magnificent performance from a band who has been doing this size show for decades! A Superb Show!
Highlight: Fear of The Dark, with the entire crowd bellowing the opening riff a Capella.
16th April 2013,
It was a busy night in north London, police lined the streets and the riot gear was out in force. Thankfully the couple of hundred fans of And So I Watch You From Afar were not the reason behind such tactics. An Arsenal home game was in fact the cause of the red and white army moving towards The Emirates for a clash with Everton.
Crowd troubles aside (it took over 10 mins to get ascend to street level from the tube!), The Garage was stiflingly hot and already packed as Antlered Man took to the stage (I do admit to being a tad disappointed that there were no Minotaur’s in the band). This London bunch of alt-rockers plundered the stage with their heaving and hefty whirls of clanging guitar noise. A vast array of odd sounds and warped effects were generated with gusto and frenetic intents. Shame a lot of it was buzz and wailing amp feedback, especially the slide guitar which howled extra-terrestrial whoops and whizzes throughout the set. They were however enjoyable and had a good set of book end tunes with opener and closer being incredible hook heavy eclectic rock chaos. The meat of the sandwich however was a blur of noise which passed primarily unnoticed. However they get extra marks for basing a song on a 4 note riff played on a tin whistle. Not bad, but room for improvement in the depth of quality, time will tell for the Antlered Men.
Next up (well almost) were Gallops, who decided a full 10 minutes before their set time that they were too ill to play. Groans from the busy crowd but having almost slept through their set supporting Maybeshewill, this was fine by me. It did mean an awkward pause ensued, but earlier than planned the instrumental post-rockers …And So I Watch You From Afar took the stage.
And So I Watch You From Afar
ASIWYFA, only have 1 gear so it seems…full throttle! From the very first sombre chords to the highest pinnacle of their epic rock repertoire, they bombarded The Garage with bomb after bomb of explosive guitar power. For a band with no lyrics, they manage a very good job of manufacturing a connection with their audiences, sparking crowd exuberance through bombastic man-rock sections and rising spirits alongside the harmonious crescendos of their muscular and often chaotic tunes. Somehow the music is better for their omission, but that has not stopped ASIWYFA attempting to slip some in on their newest album. While a simple tool, the odd “yeahs!” of yore have been updated with “woos!”, “las!”, and most vexing “Ka Ba Ta Bo Da Ka” alongside other actual words. Sometimes they word to bring the crowd up in reflected harmony, other times it’s just filling a gap where another corking fret board run could be inserted.
Tonight was special for ASIWYFA as this was their biggest sell out crowd outside of their native land of Northern Ireland, something which could be read from the beaming smiles on the faces of the band. In fact at every opportunity they could not help but thank each and every one of the crowd for being here. Truly genuine and honourable, as this venue is a long way from Shepherds Bush Empire, let alone Brixton Academy or Wembley.
After an extended run of sonic pummelling ASIWYFA retired knowing that each of the crowd would be back for another sample of their intense and exhilarating performance, most probably dragging all their friends along for the white knuckle ride too!
It’s time to complete the countdown of DoesItRock.nets favourite albums of 2012…
10) The Darkness – Hot Cakes
There was much excitement here at DiR.net when news broke that the brothers Hawkins ‘were gettin’ the band back together’. Live they’re still a hoot, enigmatic and brilliant as ever…but I didn’t expect how good their return LP would be. Yes its cheesy, yes it’s full of glittery glammed guitars but who cares, its The Darkness! Their tongue is still firmly in cheek, but thankfully far from the overly druggy themes of album #2. Hot Cakes is smothered in big fun romps of incredibly catchy guitar fueled genius.
9) Corrosion Of Conformity – Corrosion Of Conformity
This album has been the revelation of the year. Blending both metals deep and sludgy riffs with the angry attack and unrelenting energy of no hold barred punk, CoC have a label unto themselves. Masters of their own genre, this album riffs like a lumbering dinosaur on rocket skates shifting erratically from stoner grooves to thrashed palm muted chugs. The slow/fast dynamic has never been so apparent, or so finely executed within the abundance of cracking heavy rock tunes.
8) Foxy Shazam – The Church Of Rock And Roll
Another DiR.net favourite, the boundless oddity and eccentric songwriting of Foxy Shazam was restrained somewhat on this years gospel themed offering. By anyone else’s standards though, they are still totally bonkers. Assisted by Justin Hawkins on production duties the Darkness man influences the more driving rock tunes here, producing the finest uplifting pop-rockers of the year. Their pop aspect is hugely enjoyable and with a emotional dose of beautiful balladry, this album has much to recommend and explore.
7) Torche – Harmonicraft
It’s been a while in coming, but critics have finally caught up with the point that big rock can be beautiful too! These stoner rockers with progressive ambitions have created both huge and expansive head throbbing titans that have a catchy edge. Strong trippy vocals and lumbering guitars demand your attention, but it’s as they add the pop spice into their concoction, their potent drug of rock pleasure is complete.
6) Orange Goblin – A Eulogy For The Damned
Relentless onslaughts of wave after wave of earthshaking power chords dominate the hard rocking album of the year. These veteran Stoners have crafted a album packed with gigantic melodies, infectious de-tuned riffs which you just want to blast out at 11 obliterating all in their wake. In among the plodding systematic bass lines lie a raft of vengeful vocals and a burning urgency for chaos. Monolithic Stoner rock has had a good year in my books.
5) The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
Another album of the highest order has only served to push Gaslight towards becoming the most essential band on the planet. Still burning with passion and pride, Fallon’s lyrics are as beautiful and tale telling as ever bouyed by the driving yet understated retro guitars. They have carved a good balance here between slow emotive balladry and uplifting road songs with one foot in springsteens shoes to raise the spirits and fists skywards. A great album which both satisfies both old and newcomers alike.
4) Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
The odd out out in this years top ten comes courtesy of the fantastic folk icon, The Tallest Man On Earth. On this LP he channels a fragility which is both heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure. His simple guitar melodies, however low key, are incredibly hard to shake and are iresistably matched to this lo-fidelity record of lyrical and emotive beauty. However nasally, dylan’y and seemingly un-romantic his voice resonates, the delicacy of the fraught verses is in itself an un-expected triumph. An honest and true album of stunning proportions.
3) Halestorm – The Strange Case Of…
In 2013 there was only one lady of Rock and Roll, her name is Lzzy Hale. This powerhouse vocalist and guitar slinger is responsible for some of the most catchy pop rock of the year, some of the biggest rock anthems and definitely some serious girl power attitude. Melodies galore and more sing-a-longs than a cockney pub piano this is a joyous album of high octane guitars and driving attack wrapped in a pop package that’s hard to resist.
2) Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Anthemic indie rockers Japandroids have struck gold with their combo of raw rock power, polished production and ear for a massive chorus. Producing one of the best indie albums for years, these songs set sights for the sky with sweeping reverbed guitars and lo-fi vocals blasted with euphoric bliss. From the first pulsating soaring anthem to the last Celebration Rock is pure quality, all killer, no filler. An A* lesson in indie rock which captures both heart hearts of the pop fans, the passion of the rock acolytes and the minds of the indie crews.
1) Accept – Stalingrad
Heavy Metal!!! Yeah right on, Accept have recreated the glorious 80’s scene with this their second comeback LP without founding vocalist Udo. He is not missed one bit as the guitars let rip with riff after head spinning riff, thundering hooves of melody across this monumental record of unadulterated rock and roll attack. Powerful high pitch vocals and lightning guitars are let fly at every angle taking of string old school grip on your metal head. Epic and colossal, Accept have bridged this hard rocker into trad metal and so rightfully sits proudly on the iron throne of 2012.
Roll on 2013!
Honourable Mentions: Sharks – No Gods, The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past, Screaming Females – Ugly, Blood Command – Funeral Beach, Coheed & Cambria – The Aftermath: Ascension, Baroness – Yellow & Green
Click here for the top 25 as a Spotify Paylist
It has to be said that 2012 was an awe inspiring year for the UK. What with the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympic Games, national pride and enthusiasm has never been higher (hell… I witnessed a Mexican wave down 2 tube carriages! Unspeakable behaviour !). So it was only fitting that the year also brought with it one of the strongest contests in years to, the bout to be crowned DoesItRock.net’s Album of the Year. A prize to be scoffed at by critics and one loved by fans of honest rock and rollers everywhere.
Let the (slightly delayed) countdown commence!
25) Katatonia- Dead End Kings
Dark and menacing, Dead End Kings is a brooding melodic metal record of the princes of doom. This is a starkly barren soundtrack to a cataclysmic end of the world event, where great waves of guitar noise sweep across the landscape backed by fittingly clean and soulful vocals. It is a superb master class in atmospheric melodies, yet somehow they retain an unexpected accessibility to those less ‘metal’. Often brutal, mostly beautiful.
24) Cancer Bats – Dead Set On Living
Abrasive ranting vocals spit lashings of gravel baked growls, drums thrashes, bass thumps and dirt bag guitars soaring anthems from the underbelly of the rock monster. A gargantuan effort which veers further into hard rock territory than they have before, bringing with it the punk beast who’s still a kickin’ and screamin’.
23) Hot Water Music – Exister
Chuck Ragan has won me over with his solo material, so it was about time he pushed his raggedy vocaled chords back into the punk rock arena. An album packed with standout tunes which are seriously catchy, showing there’s plenty of life in the old dog yet.
22) …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Lost Songs
Reigning in the progressive angles, Lost Songs has struck out on the pure rock sound of AYWKUBTTOD’s earlier releases. Full on face planting into their walls of noise is not uncommon throughout this cathartic and unpredictable release of pent up energy. Oddly unrestrained from the loose binds of prog they have taken up the battle axes and brought us their most edgy and surprising release for years.
21) Joe Bonamassa – Driving Towards The Daylight
Joe Bonamassa is the new King of the Blues, his latest album showcases everything which makes the man every bit the undisputed bluesman of his generation. Melodies flow effortlessly from his fretboard, vocals of deep heart and emotive soul, slow burning grooves and funky upbeat shuffles all with a country twist thrown in for good measure. Oh did I mention he can play demon guitar. If ever there was another who went down to the crossroads… JB is that man!
20) Jack White – Blunderbuss
Whatever this man touches turns to gold (ignoring The Dead Weather for augments sake) and his first official solo release is no different. A bluesy, country inflected track list of swaggering tunes which swing from pop groove to rawkus retro rock whilst retaining an enigma only Jack White can conjure. His personality flows free lyrically and stays musically true to his vintage sounding ethos. Dramatic and unmissable.
19) Train – Highway 37
A pop rock record, my! my! Yet somehow with every spin a ray of California sunshine brightens the air and fills your life briefly with the kind of roller-skates by the beach, driving down the pacific coast highway kind of carefree optimism, rarely managed by a record (not by the Beach Boys). For this alone they hit the countdown in 2013. A number of pop classics line the track list which only bolsters it’s credentials further.
18) Tenacious D – Rise Of The Fenix
What a fantastic return to form Rise of The Fenix proved for the hard rocking acoustic-men. Crammed full of tongue in cheek lyrics, big riffing and comedic moments. But a chuckle only gets you so far, these tunes are bigger and better, returning to former glories, instantly banishing any ‘Pick of Destiny’ demons with the euphoric opening title track. This rollicking romp of a record is fun and kick-ass, just as we’d all hoped for.
17) The Smith Street Band – Sunshine & Technology
This band’s sound is almost perfectly aligned for me. If Frank Turner hooked up with the Gaslight Anthem and moved to Australia you’d have something very special, in the meantime though The Smith Street Band are a pretty close approximation. Rasping ranting vocals with potent lyrics documenting life the universe and everything from an everyman’s perspective. The lo-fi punk melodies back the spoken verse perfectly, being understated but never forgotten. yet it’s the passionate delivery and chorus’s which shouldn’t work, but do, what make this record stand out from the crowd.
16) Danko Jones – Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue
One of the most underrated Hard Rock bands on the planet. These Canadian ambassadors of no-nonsense guitar, bass, drum, voices with driving punk attitude and succinct songwriting have again produced the goods. Plenty of rousing anthems for long drives, sing-a-long choruses for the shower and fiery riffs for those air guitar moments when no-ones watching. This album is a whole lotta fun, which by not taking its ‘we’re rock’ credentials too seriously, only boost it further. We all know Danko lives and breathes rock and roll anyway.
15) Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky
For the third album in a row since their reformation, Dino Jr. produce a brilliant collection of rough around the edges, fuzzed up indie rock numbers. Plenty of pop melodies maintain focus on the slacked vocals and songwriting rather than the master guitar work of J. Mascis, which as ever is totally mesmerizing!
14) Fighting With Wire – Colonel Blood
FWW aren’t messing about upon their long overdue return. Colonel Blood is packed with big mainstreamed rock numbers brimming with infectious sing-a-long choruses and nifty guitar licks, its hard not to let them embed in your head. Song for song, these guys would give the Foo’s a good run for their money… straight laced fist pumping rock and roll for the masses.
13) Pulled Apart By Horses – Tough Love
DiR.net favourites are back and still have plenty of energy to burn. PABH clearly do not like to be tamed in the studio, hence this record sounds like the band going bat-shit, crashing every ounce of blazing rawkus energy into each guitar freak-out or throaty howl. Short sharp songs with minimal lyrics aping both punk’s abandon and heavy metal’s epic riffing. Not to be missed live!
12) Killing Joke – MMXII
For all their back catalogue, this release is the first Killing Joke album to set these ears a wagging. Deep booming bass lines, and sedate atmospheric guitars dominate the bleak industrial backed wasteland vision of MMXII. Only the walls which suddenly blast into euphoric waves of noise provides any sense of escapism. Its this thunderous meld of electro-keys, menacing guitars and robotic drone vocals which transports to another world, one dominated by the impending of total annihilation. Dark, emphatic and unmissable.
11) Million Dollar Reload – A Sinner’s Saint
Exuberance, energy and enthusiasm…everything a fresh hard rock band should be striving for can be found on A Sinner’s Saint. This Northern Irish Sleaze/Punk influenced bunch have the attitude for chaos, the canny knack for pop melodies, the ability to pull off a decent ballad and pen some epic driving rock anthems. A solid sophomore which has really grabbed my attention by the scruff of the neck and doesn’t look like relenting anytime soon.
Stay tuned for the top 10!
It has been a very long time since I first saw Thrice in Scranton PA. USA, as they headlined at the touring punk festival institution that is the Warped Tour 05. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea who they were and we only stopped to watch because they were on the stage closest to the exit. A came away that evening screaming their names from the highest towers as they were simply brilliant. Couldn’t tell you why, or what they sounded like, it was just great aggressive rock music.
It’s an easy observations, but 7 years later on we have matured. Thrice have gone from angry punked youths to methodical prog tinged rockers. both veins given a run out this evening, the latter style kicking off the night with tunes from their latest album Major/Minor which showed their more restrained noise, but most expressive melodies. There is no questioning the quality and scope of tonight’s setlist, mainly because it was informally selected from by an online fan poll. Taking songs from each of their albums they covered angry riff driven metal/punk of early day albums Identity Crisis, The Illusion of Safety and The Artist in The Ambulance on numbers such as Phoenix Ignition and To Wake And Avenge The Dead and set highpoint eponymous The Artist In The Ambulance.
The crowd were at their most moshiest during these tunes, especially during some huge breakdowns (prime suspect Silhouette) which had even the most recently converted fans heads a wagging. The fans tonight were truly awesome, each opening chord, note or vocal this evening was met with a huge roar of “yeeeeeeeeees!!!”, followed by manic leaping and mouthing of each and every word. There was a sense of reverence and unhinged emotion in the air, for this was possibly the last time Thrice would ever set foot on a UK stage again.
Musically the band played their part too. Vocalist/guitarist Dustin Kensrue was on top form who in combo with lead axeman Teppei Teranishi created a glorious racket of clashing riffs , mellow atmospherics and angst fuelled thunderous power chords. When they decided sharpen their the progressive edge and revisit albums Vheissu and their Alchemy Indices I-IV, beautiful brutality and caressing sound scapes were never far behind. Tracks such as the dreamy Red Sky and the cataclysmic Firebreather showcasing the best efforts.
Thrice played on through an epic length of time extending the track list to 24 songs in just under 2 hours, returning for not 1 but 2 encores, the latter where they played their first ever single T&C’s. A brilliantly palm muted duelling guitar riffed melody which launched into a full-on energy and thrust that extracted the final reserves of the fans long exhausted voices providing the final chance to dance (I say dance, I mean bounce/clash).
Taking a collective bow Thrice bowed out of the UK on a high, when/if they return is a question for another day. Tonight all that mattered is, we were there!
24th March 201
Short & sweet album reviews that never miss the point…
Maybeshewill – I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone
Instrumental post-rock bands fall into one of two categories, mostly bland or rarely brilliant. Thankfully this Leeds group left me stunned with their classically backed rock power. The lack of vocals is rewarding as their violin melodies epitomise the word epic. When this is twinned with idyllic/all out assault dynamics, the storming guitars, clattering drums and sweeping keyboards make for truly stunning results. The softer butterfly flutter moments are starkly beautiful and sparse, plus they inevitably become heaving behemoths as they wind up into cataclysmic sound eruptions. An awe inspiring collection of towering feel good harmonies and superb songwriting. A triumph of post rock glory!! It’s rock Jim, but not as we know it!
Summers over, time to put out this bumper Spotify Mix
Listen now on Spotify>>> DoesItRock.net – Sep 11 Mix
1) Maybeshewill – Critical Distance … An Epic classically backed instrumental rock that sparks ultimate euphoria!
2) Banquets – Forever Bender … Pop Punk leading lights have new rivals to contend with, energetic and massively enjoyable.
3) Fucked Up – Ship Of Fools … Punk has never sounded this good!
4) Blood Command – Summon The Arsonist … Scandenavian alt rockers mix up electronica, metal and punk with this frenzied, in your face track.
5) Bomb the Music Industry! – Can’t Complain … Sweet and melodic, a refreshing song from ever changing DIY punks
6) Dananananaykroyd – Muscle Memory … Fight Poppers return with this corking tune
7) Alkaline Trio – Calling All Skeltons … This classic punk track gets the acoustic makeover, still brilliant!
8) The Trews – Hope & Ruin … Canada’s unsung rock hero’s return with a brilliant new album, this is the corking title track.
9) Thrice – Yellow Belly … Epically brooding rock from the heavyweights of the US alternative rock community.
10) Arctic Monkeys – Library Pictures … The highest the fuzz counter gets on the latest Monkeys offering.
11) The Subways – Like I Love You … Chirpy and infectious pop rock tune from this british rock trio.
12) Laura Marling – The Beast … Superbly talented and so powerful with her beautiful vocals, the nu-folk superstar returns.
13) Black Tide – That Fire … The highlight of a disappointing foray into BFMV country, steering away from their trad heavy metal clout.
14) Hawthorne Heights – Is This What You Wanted? … Emotionally charged post-hardcore which demands attention.
15) Icon For Hire – Make A Move … The new Paramore perhaps? More focused on the rock but the pop sheen clear to see.
16) Opeth – Häxprocess … Steeped in the 70’s, prog rock hero’s are back (in time).
17) Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle … Delightfully different, BBC throw their latest curveball.
18) No Americana – Wax Poetic … Startlingly accomplished track from this brilliant new Brummy band.
19) Chickenfoot – Big Foot … Satch and Hagar are back to kick out asses with their hard hitting classic rock!
20) The Treatment – D***k, F**K,F***T … Rock and Roll chaos driven by baddass guitars, awesome vocals and a thumping melody.
21) Rose Hill Drive – Baby Doncha Know Your Man? … One of the best hard rock acts return with fuzz pedal workout.
22) The Brew – Immogen Molly … Dripping in retro style, the Brew’s latest album is a must for all blues fans.
23) The Kooks – Rosie … Jolly little pop ditty marks the return of the seaside boys latest dreamier album Junk of The Heart.
24) Zebrahead – Blackout … Rap and Punk Rock combine with finesse with this highly contagious tune.
25) Every Avenue – Whatever Happened To You … Pop Punk Anthem of the Month.Spotify Playlist
2nd June 2011
After their failed attempts to make the 18 hour, globe circumnavigating flight from their Melbourne homeland this time last year, Wolfmother finally make it unscathed to the UK for a long overdue tour appearance. It is not only their flight here which can turn back the clocks, their 60’s psychedelia infused hard rock sound firmly flings open the door of nostalgia almost as wide as the bands ever lengthening Woodstock tribute haircut’s.
Despite the trip down memory lane this was sure to be, tonight’s support came from the new furious punk poppers Turbogeist, last seen in a chaotic Camden Barfly not so long ago. It was a tough gig as the nights headline act’s musical tastes and their own have little crossover appeal. It’s not a shock to report that the docile crowd did not really seem all that interested. In this cavernous theatre their sound was less in your face and their choruses were not big enough to grab the required attention. A limp set from an exciting underground band unlikely to break out from the clubs on tonight’s showing.
Wolfmother had no such trouble in diverting eyes stage wards as the sound system bulged with huge power chords pumping out thumping drums, thundering guitars and heart pounding bass lines. Stockdale and co certainly look the part as they ply their trade as hard rock throwbacks with no sign of irony, just simple honesty and a dedicated retro love drip from their instruments all night long. Their guitars are colossal as they rumble through the deeper crunching spectrum with bulldozer like efficiency.
With so many expertly riffs each song inherently spark heads a bopping and caused a fair few circle pogo pits for the over enthused. The real key to their success tonight lies in their breakdowns. Many bands can play big and write big chorus’s, but Wolfmother marry this with wandering interludes of trip out psychedelia lulling the crowd into their world of dreamy soundscapes. Of course only to be send crashing back into the main riff for the next bout of ecstatic melodies at the pinnacle of these epic crescendo’s. I’m pretty sure every song had an extension of some sort.
They played the best of their two released LP’s including the guitar hero classic Woman, the manic boogie shuffle of Apple Tree and the hammer-on melody maker The Joker & The Thief. They also managed to throw in a brilliant cover of The Doors Riders On The Storm, complete with whacked out organ solo. During a jam they also somehow managed to culminate different underlying melodies into the solo and verse of Stairway to Heaven, thus completing tonights led zep homage and everybody’s incredibly enjoyable evening!
The Wolfmother ball will stay a rolling as long as there is desire for what has come and past…no time soon then!
16th April 2011
The double gig header for this week was concluded with another trip to Camden, only this time it’s straight to the Electric Ballroom early doors in order to catch the bands (damn Friday night scheduling). Upon arrival we were bombarded with epic noise rock coming from Asobi Seksu, who seemed to be doing quite well in drawing in the already ample crowd.
Catching the end of the set, they played with plenty of shoegazy fuzz factory loaded guitars and scratchtastic fretting. But it all fell apart when the female vocalist opened her mouth to deliver weak and whiney vocals. Good thing there weren’t that many vocals then hey!
After a long time away Rival Schools had returned to the UK with their first new material in 7 years since their lauded debut United By Fate. They have clearly spent time honing their songwriting as these new tunes were mature, melodic and catchy. The performance was one of professionalism. All in all a fairly standard run through of their material. Good, but left a little hole where the excitement should be. Front man Walter Schreifels warm vocals and his intimacy with the crowd, initiating plenty of banter showed a confidence which even went so far as breaking out a cover by request. To the cries of “FREEEEEBIRD!” came a rendition of the first verse/chorus of Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead Or Alive…they definitely have a sense of humour. Set highlights included the delayed drenched riffs of 69 Guns, the heaving opener Wring It Out and sing-a-long indie classic Used For Glue. On the whole, a rather enjoyable set.
…And Now You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, to quote their full moniker do not do half measures. Neither do they like the phrase ordinary. Whether is the band name’s, their energy or the ethereal sonic experimentations they manufacture they are far from your average Joe’s. Kicking off their set they launched into a seemingly endless stream of melody and progressive rock greatness backed with more rise and falls than the south downs. After later checking up (setlist.fm) it seems this was the 16min album closer Strange News From Another Planet from latest LP Tao of the Dead, just how any middle of the road band would start their set, right?
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Follow this with a seamless melody of cracking indie rock tunes from the same album including The Fairlight Pendant, Ebb Away and Summer Of All Dead Souls, you have the first half over within the blink of an eye! ToD have a great tendency to produce beautiful slow drifting instrumentations which lull your senses, taking you into a dreamlike state of mind. Yet they manage to never over do it (70’s prog a no-no), bringing back the main riff at just the right point to kick you up the ass with full blown amped up clout.
ToD were hitting the right notes with the crowd by playing moving on to some older material which sparked both moshs and sways in equal proportions. In rather ToD like fashion, their lead singer and drummer swapped for some of tracks which tended to be heavier and punkier.
Switching it up
These Texans take no prisoners no matter who is on vocal duty and it’s their genre bending, outright refusal to conform, while creating unique and exciting prog which sets them apart and above all who try to rival them. A great performance from true rock heavyweights.