Remember The Revellions? Back in 2009 they released their rather excellent self-titled debut, a devastating mix of ’60s rock ‘n roll and gut wrenchingly raw garage sounds.
They have been relatively quiet since then. Now, after a two year break working on their forthcoming second album Give It Time, The Revellions are back with ’Don’t Wait For Me’, the first track taken from the aforementioned second LP. ’Don’t Wait For Me’ is just marvelous. Refining their ’60s rock ‘n roll influenced sound, The Revellions have swapped rawness for a more soulful vibe, due in no small part to the oh so soulful voice of Ali Moore. It has been far too long an absence from The Revellions but it’s great to have them back with us once again. You can listen to ’Don’t Wait For Me’ and an oldie ‘I Don’t Mind’ below.
While other artists in Newbridge have gained note and notoriety as prying eyes (and ears) look in amazement and steady stream of quality music emerging from this town, one man in particular has somehow managed to avoid this gaze; Appo. The gravelly voiced troubadour (real name David Aspell) has remained one of Newbridge’s best kept secrets for quite a long time.
This narrative might be about to change with news he is currently recording a debut release (an album as far as I can gather). This excellent news also provides a perfect excuse to share some recordings from an impromptu session late last year (recorded in Newbridge by Stephen & Ciara Connelly).
Like has been said before, Appo is a wonderful songwriter, who’s powerful blues/folk is a work of genuine veracity.
Sometimes we can all be a little guilty of preoccupying ourselves with seeking the next big innovation in music. Yet, by and large, most things in music tend to be borrowed from the past, and baring that in mind, we are left with music that’s either good or bad – surely that’s all that really matters at the end of day.
Nathan Conway & The River Valley Band certainly borrow from the past to create a timeless soulful country sound. Having teamed up with The River Valley Band after releasing Run on Diesel with The Bottlestoppers in 2011, Conway & Co. have found their niche. The tone is soulful country, set to overarching themes of demise and redemption, draped in Conway’s intuitive storytelling which paints vivid pictures with his words.
Mostly you feel that Conway and band are really working together, from the swinging, uptempo ‘Where’s the Love in My Heart’ and ‘It’ll All Come Back On Me, Someday’ to the less blustery, slower numbers ‘Song from the Engine of the Model T’ and ‘Lord I Got it Bad’ or ‘Freckles’. They have a rapport with one another; brass, percussion strings and Conway’s deep bellowed croon, all work in perfect tandem.
Sonny Boy requires a degree of patience, understanding and repeated listens to be fully appreciated. It is a beautiful, timeless and assured album. You can tell from the get go that the musicians know exactly what they’re doing. There might not be anything else like this around at the moment which only adds further measure to what they have achieved here.
Mancunian’s Turrentine Jones have, by all accounts, been causing quite a stir in their native Manchester on the back of several self-released demos.
The bands first single proper, ’Slam The Door’, sees a melding of a slew of rock and blues influences combine with swirling organ, rapid-fire drumming and lead singer Neville’s distinctive croaky drawl. What we are left with is a rousing sound of effortless swagger, a kind of bastard child of The Stones and The Animals.
‘Slam The Door’ is released as the A-side of Le Debut and the video is below.
The Black Keys are back with the first taster from their forthcoming album, El Camino, due out in early December.
‘Lonely Boy’ is the first proper cut from the follow up to 2010′s Brothers. It is a catchy, energetic and racey blues rock song, just the kind of thing that we have come to love from the duo. Let’s just say it is sounding pretty on the first 30 or so listens.
Comprised of brothers Aled and Brennig Clifford, Henry’s Funeral Shoe evoke the ferious blues rock spirit of the Deep South, rather than the Welsh Valleys from which they hail.
Occupying the same space on the musical spectrum as The Black Keys, White Stripes and The Soledad Brothers they specialize in rousing numbers ranging from the stomping ’Love Is A Fever’ and ‘Be Your Own Invention’ to their contrasting softer side on acoustic-driven tracks such as “Heart on Fire” and ‘Bottom to Top’. This is blues infused rock ‘n’ roll at it’s very best, there is an abundance of talent here and they make a hell of a racket into the bargain.
Henry’s Funeral Shoe release their second album Donkey Jacket on October 11th via Alive Naturalsound Records.
The Strange Boys will release their third album, Live Music, on October 25th via Rough Trade.
The Austin band have made their name on timeless and refreshing blues influenced rock n’ roll fuzz. However, the first single and video from the new album, ‘Me and You’, sees a move toward a more upbeat ditsy piano direction. It’s a decidedly more polished sound from 2010′s Be Brave but no less engrossing.
You can make up your own mind on the new (‘Me and You’) and the old (‘Be Brave’) below.
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis rocked the socks off Oxegen back in July with their retro sounding rock n’ roll.
They have returned with a simple but eye-catching video for new single ‘Don’t Make A Fool Out Of Me’. It’s another cut of toe-tapping and infectious goodness taken from the trio’s album Smoking in Heaven.
Belgian blues-rock duo Black Box Revelation are gearing up for the release of their third LP, My Perception, in October.
For two guys their blues infused rock ‘n’ roll makes a hell of a racket; scuzzy guitars, dirty riffs and crashing drums it sounds like a perfect marriage of The White Stripes, BRMC, and The Black Keys.
As a precursor to the new record they have released free EP, Shiver of Joy. It features two new B-sides and two tracks each from their two previous albums; Set Your Head On Fire (‘I Think I Like You’ & ‘Never Alone / Always Together’) and Silver Threats (‘You Better Get In Touch With The Devil’ and ‘Love Licks’). If your a new or returning fan this is the perfect reintroduction to the talents of Jan Paternoster and Dries Van Dijck.
They’ve also released new single ‘Rattle My Heart’ which suggests we can expect a slightly softer side to the duo’s new LP . Check it out below.
You can download the 6-track Shiver of Joy EP for FREE from bandcamp now!
Two more albums getting plenty of plays over the past while.
The Kills – Blood Pressures
The Kills are another of 2011′s surprises. Yes I had been acutely aware of this duo’s talent but say for a few songs, their albums just never did it for me.
However, latest album Blood Pressures has absolutely blown that assumption to smithereens as they push the parameters of their guitar/drum-machine set-up to its very limit.
Blood Pressures is a fantastic record seeping with clanking, sleazy and dark snarling blues/punk hybrid. It melds the chugging, melancholic dub-tinged skanking rhythm of ‘Satellite’ with the likes of ‘Future Starts Slow’, ‘DNA’ and ‘Nail in My Coffin’ which drip with post-punk guitar riffs and pure aggression. There is even some sultry crooning of the brooding ballad ‘The Last Goodbye’ and ‘Baby Says’.
Blood Pressures really plays to the strengths of Mosshart’s vocals and Hince’s guitar playing, both of which seem effortlessly cool. It is mystifying how just two people can make such a raucous racket, but in no uncertain terms, Blood Pressures is the most complete record of their career.
It seems like an eternity since Arctic Monkeys exploded on to the scene rattling out reckless spiky indie-punk and singing about ‘dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984′. 2009′s Humbug, saw them move out of their comfort zone and into darker, weirder terrain proving they had much more in the tank than maybe some had expected.
Album number four, Suck It And See changes tack quite a bit, it isn’t a step back to the Monkeys of old but yet a further departure. They’ve traded in the kitchen sink approach for swooning swagger, it seems our Alex has found a certain romance and seems pretty content. No surprise the rasp has been reigned in, his vocals ripened into a honeyed croon a la his recent Submarine EP.
The record oozes with warmth and a glowing feeling of sentimentality none more so than Black Treacle’, ‘Suck It And See’ and ‘Reckless Serenade, while ‘Piledriver Waltz’, ‘Love Is A Lazerquest’ and ‘That’s Where You’re Wrong’ are similar but more melancholic. They have found a nice groove, something they are comfortable embracing.
There are dark and dirty rocky moments too like ’Don’t Sit Down Because I Moved Your Chair’, ‘Library Pictures’ and ‘All My Own Stunts’, which sound much like hangovers from Humbug. ‘That’s Where You’re Wrong’ brings the curtain down in style with a terrific stirring indie-rock rendition (the chords sound remarkably like those from Humanzi’s ‘Out On A Wire’).
The four skinny indie kids from 2006 are growing up fast. In true Arctic’s fashion the music is reflective of their lives, albeit lives that have changed dramatically but the quality remains intact.In 2011, Arctic Monkeys remain as fresh and important as ever. In short Suck It And See is full of beautiful tunes, beautifully played and beautifully produced.
After an impressive but sparse Friday, Saturday had a lot to live up to but spirits were raised as Punchestown basked in glorious sunshine, a rare occurrence in recent years.
Away from the sunshine was Belfast 5-piece Cashier No.9 who were wooing punters in the Heineken Green Energy tent with their brand of shimmering indie. The set which opened with EP title track ‘Goldstar’ was cheerful and charming and also included ‘Oh Pity’ and latest single ‘Lost at Sea’. A really enjoyable set and there’s little doubt these guys are ones to keep and eye on.
Over on the Main Stage fellow Northerners Two Door Cinema Club drew the biggest crowd of the weekend so far. The Bangor trio’s cheery and energetic indie-pop perfect complementing the mood of the crowd, buoyed by the sun, they lapped up tracks like ‘Something Good Can Work’ and ‘Undercover Martyn’. It was a performance full of energy and confidence as they continue to grow in stature, they seemed perfectly at home with the Main Stage billing. They also announced we can expect an album in early 2012.
London trio Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have already carved out a niche as fine purveyors of genre-hopping retro sounding music. A sound molded from a mixture of R&B, Swing, Country and Western, Rockabilly, Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll filled the 2FM Hotpress Academy. A wonderfully charming set full of feel good, toe-tapping infectious rhythm.
Next up was Miles Kane, who is probably best known for his role in The Last Shadow Puppets alongside Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys. This boys got skills, confidence, swagger and supreme stage presence. He swaggered through a set of whirlwind of ’60s psych-soul swathed in twangs and spooky feedback and pulse-raising rock’n’roll riffs, including ‘Inhaler’, ‘Rearrange’, ‘My Fantasy’ and ‘Quicksand’ while the live ‘Kingcrawler’ almost makes the neck hairs stand on end. As the set progressed, for the first time all weekend the symbiotic relationship between artist and crowd was exploited to the full as each goes for it, pushing the other further and further. Kane’s blistering show is Saturday’s high point so far but there is still the small matter of a certain band from Sheffield to come.
For me Saturday’s main attraction was always going to be Arctic Monkeys who somehow I had never seen live. Four great albums in and they have solidified into one of the most formidable bands on the planet, surely they couldn’t let me down?They were in no mood to mess around launching into ferocious performances of ‘Brianstorm’, ‘Still Take You Home’ and ‘This House Is A Circus’. As the rolled through their set much like The Strokes the previous night, it is real drilled home how good they really are.
The new material sounded fantastic even if some of the momentum ebbed away somewhat as the rump of the crowd seemed unfamiliar with tracks like ‘Brick By Brick’, ‘Suck It And See’, ‘She’s Thunderstorms’ and to a lesser extent ‘Library Pictures’. ’Don’t Sit Down Because I’ve Moved Your Chair’ in particular was glorious with Turner’s voice sounding fantastic.
The punters played their part too and when ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ and ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ got an airing all hell broke loose throughout the crowd. ‘Teddy Picker’, ‘Florescent Adolescent’ and ‘Crying Lightening’ sounded great too before Miles Kane joined them on stage to close a memorable set with ’505′. The performance was a glorious success if a little distant at times, the next time they announce their own Irish dates I’m there.
Futureheads drummer Dave Hyde has joined forces with ex-Golden Virgins drummer, Neil Bassett (Yes, that’s two drummers) to make Hyde and Beast.
Following an almost accidental coming together, experimenting with songs in Bassett’s Sunderland studio, they decided to start their own label, Tail Feather Records and release records.
It is very different to Hyde’s day job with The Futureheads, the fine purveyors of jerky-arty-pop-punk. This is much more of the ‘classic’ rock canon, opting for a more retro, ’60s/’70s inspired, bluesy sound – think Faces, Humble Pie mixed with a touch of T-Rex, or more recently The Black Keys.
There is an album coming soon. They’ve enlisted help from some friends, most notably Field Music’s David Brewis and The Futureheads’ vocalist/guitarist, Barry Hyde.
Check out Hyde & Beast’s video for ‘(And the) Pictures in the Sky’, taken from their forthcoming album. You can grab it below or sign up to their mailing list on their website.