10 Hidden Treasures From The Vaults

Last week State compiled a list of 50 musical ‘Hidden Treasures’ from it’s contributors, including myself (you can read it here).  Afterwards I got to thinking about what other obscure or underrated material lurked in the dark corners of my music collection.

Now I don’t mean obscure for the sake of it. I mean the kind of record you were just lucky to pick up, get passed by a mate or something you just happened across online, which was overlooked or now all but forgotten. So, in no particular order, here’s a quick run through of 10 Hidden Treasures from the BarryGruff vaults, some of which may be familiar to you while others probably won’t.

Sluts of Trust – ‘That’s Right…That Cat’s Right’

This one from Glaswegian two-piece Sluts of Trust is taken their one and only album, We Are All Sluts of Trust, released back in 2004. ‘That’s Right…That Cat’s Right’ captures everything that’s great about them and the album, few, if any, match their raucous energy and sleazy somewhat perverse sound. It’s a great shame they more or less disappeared off the face of the planet after this, such a waste.

Duncan Lloyd – ‘Suzee’

Solo side-projects are one of the greatest sources of hidden gems, how many have slipped out with anyone barely noticing, as artists exorcise their creative demons? Step forward, Duncan Lloyd. Best known as the guitarist in Maximo Park, he released his solo LP Seeing Double back in 2008 which was as far cry from the high energy bowler hat hijinx of the day job. ‘Suzee’ is easily the catchiest and melodic cut from the album, capturing the rough, raw and no frills approach. And, yes, in case you’re wondering, no one really paid any attention to this.

Zero Boys – ‘Livin’ In The 80s’

Zero Boys are one of punk’s many underrated unsung heroes. Their 1982 LP, Vicious Circle is littered with loud, fast and raw punk rock anthems. ‘Livin’ In The 80s’ is just one of many snarling renditions but you’ll get the idea. 30 years later and Zero Boys still sound dangerous.

John Power – ‘Jumping Bean’

More noted for his time with The La’s and Cast, Power did however forge a credible, if overlooked solo career between the years of latter splitting and subsequently reforming. It was with Willow She Weeps, his second solo album, which saw him come into his own. Turning away from his pop/indie past in favour of powerful country blues. If one song shows this metamorphosis it’s ‘Jumping Bean’.

Ben Human – ‘Take Me To Las Vegas’

Ben Human is an illusive character, with mystery surrounding his real identity but rumour has it, he is in fact Ben Addison from the bands Corduroy & Boys Wonder. Regardless of who he is or isn’t, he has two albums of easy going and fun, sample filled electronica under his belt; Go Human Not Ape (2002) and Out Of Towner (2005). Taken from the latter, ‘Take Me To Las Vegas’ shows he’s quite exceptional when it comes to uplifting jazzy electronica.

Grantura – ‘Waves’

So far as can be reckoned Grantura released one album, In Dreams and Other Stories, in 2008 before disappearing into the sunset. Their album and brand of Americana is filled with cheerful melodies and intricate musicianship; it could easily soundtrack a sun soaked summer. ‘Waves’ is one of the high points from the LP with it’s vocal harmonies to melt even the iciest heart. Grantura are actually from London, although you’d never know on listening to them.

The Things – ‘Hold Me Down’

The Things will be a familiar name to anyone knocking about Dublin in the mid 00’s, others however, may not have been that lucky. A mix of rock ‘n’ roll and punk rock, they were fast, loud, and all with a dash of chaotic fury. ‘Hold Me Down’ is taken from their one and only LP, Some Kind of Kick, for shortly afterward the release they sadly parted company. Another great Irish rock ‘n’ roll band consigned to the annals of history.

Filthy Dukes – ‘Nonsense In The Dark’

Filthy Dukes might be a familiar name to some, due to their numerous remixes over the past few years but their debut album Nonsense In The Dark deserves some respect in it’s own right. The title track from the record saw them enlist vocal help from Orlando Weeks, of ‘The Maccabees’, to create a captivating piece of indie-influenced electronica that’s utterly chilled from start to finish, a real classic.

Lo-Fidelity Allstars – ‘Battle Flag (Feat. Pigeonhead)’

Released in 1998 through big beat specialists Skint Records, How To Operate With A Blown Mind from the late ’90s was one of those dance records ‘okay’ for scruffy young indiekids to listen to. While the album is still a decent listen after all those years, ‘Battle Flag (Feat. Pigeonhead)’ remains a fine cut.

Ian Pooley – ‘Bay of Plenty’

Pooley maybe a more recognizable name than others, a twenty year music career will do that. Anyway ‘Bay of Plenty’ is taken from the German producers excellent album Since Then (2000), which could be loosely defined as house music but it, like the album, has an unmistakable feel good samba vibe going on.

Runaround Kids & The Spills | Split Single

Runaround Kids have joined forces with label mates The Spills for a split release single, ‘Into The Light’/’Atomic Arabian Facebuster’.

The Wakefield trio have been pretty prolific this year, this being their third release of 2012, one of which was a split with our very own We Are Losers. ‘Into The Light’ is a 3-minute bag of fast, fuzzy of guitar rock with big riffs, bubbling bass and lung-bursting vocals. It is addictive, catchy and loud, displaying exactly what they do so well. Meanwhile The Spills offering, ‘Atomic Arabian Facebuster’ is equally addictive. A brilliant blend of noisy somewhat anthemic rock revolving around a chugging riff and screeching vocal, The Wedding Present meets Pavement if you will. An excellent introduction to a previously unfamiliar band

On a side note, Runaround Kids played one of the ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows during the summer, this is only one example of their talent, they’ve got plenty more ammo in the locker (they are top lads too).

The split single is available on limited edition cassette (100 copies) and as a download from here now.

Candice Gordon – ‘Cannibal Love’

The ever impressive Candice Gordon is back with her second single ‘Cannibal Love’, released on October 29th, aptly titled for Halloween.

‘Cannibal Love’ is delivered with her now signature snarl and growl as she shrieks through an electric tw0-minute-plus cacophony of saw-toothed guitar riffs, set to a frantic demon punk stomp. Gordon’s output this last twelve months has been impressive, with each release bettering the last. There is no indication of when an album is due, that said, if she keeps up this kind of form I’ll happily lap up the singles and wait for an LP.

‘Cannibal Love’ is released w/ b-side ‘I See A Demon’ on October 29th – check it and the Nigella meets bloody cannibal video below.

(Video) Kid Karate – Two Times

It’s been quite a wait, two years in fact, since first hearing Dublin noise makers Kid Karate, supporting The Rags in Whelan’s where they almost blew the roof off. From the first visceral note on that night it was bloody obvious these guys were something special.

Numerous electrifying gigs, an excellent EP later and their debut album Night Terrors is finally ready to go. Taken from said album is new single ‘Two Times’, which sums up why they’re such a formidable force. It’s a scuzzy rock n roll jam filled with furious riffage and thunderous drums, not to mention throat zapping vocals. If that doesn’t leave you eagerly anticipating their debut album, nothing will. 

It must be said too, they are one of the most impressive live performers in the country, so when they hit the road to promote the new record don’t miss out.

Photo by kdamo

(Video) Trap Door – ‘Wake Up’

There is no great secret of my feelings about Trap Door. The Dublin trio have been one of the shining lights to emerge in Ireland over the past 12 months.

Trap Door’s latest single ‘Wake Up’ takes their up-tempo combination of punk, folk, ska and hip-hop and douses it with lashings of energetic rebelliousness. The Finn Keenan produced video is great too and features two mischievous ol’ lads getting up to all kinds of, well, mischief. It is sure to put a wry smile on your face.

You can download Trap Door’s debut EP, Lata Town, for free from Bandcamp now.

Cloud Nothings – Live @ the Grog Shop (Free 5 Track EP)

Cloud Nothings‘ latest album Attack On Memory has been on of one of the best records of 2012, personally speaking of course. It is a heavyweight and rather muscular record of post-rock, indie, post-punk and pure unadulterated noise. Not quite first thing in the morning material but a terrific album nonetheless. 

The band are offering a free download of five songs recorded live on April 5 at the Grog Shop, a venue in the band’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Just pop over to Pitchfork enter your email address to grab your free copy of Live @ the Grog Shop. It really is fantastic and captures the sound and energy of a band on top of their game, and the essence of why they’ve won me over this year.

The full Grog Shop performance will be released on vinyl-only on July 30th through Wichita and is limited to just 500 copies.

Max Tannone – Mic Check 1234! (Hip-Hop/Punk Mash-up)

Mash-ups have become increasingly popular over the past decade or so, however, sifting through the volumes of mediocrity and downright awful mash-ups can be an arduous task to say the least.

One man you can consistently bank on to deliver something of real class and quality is Max Tannone. The NYC producer is the man behind GhostfunkMos DubDub Kweli and Jaydiohead, and his brand new remix project Mic Check 1234! is yet another supremely brilliant piece of work. This time he’s decided to pit some of his favorite emcees’ most socio-political material with some of the best punk bands ever. And why not? Afterall, great hip-hop and punk have a lot in common; both want to affect change, to rebel against the status quo, or to simply just get up and move.

Yet another stunning album from Max Tannone and like the old adage says, some times the best things in life are free. You can spin some choice cuts below or check here for more info or download the whole thing for free.

(Download) Kid Karate – Feral

We heard from Kid Karate not too long ago with their inclusion in Hot Press’ Genre Free compilation.

Now the Dublin punk/rock duo of Kevin Breen and Steven Gannon have unleashed ‘Feral’, the first track from their forthcoming debut album Night Terrors. Unleashed is pretty apt, ‘Feral’ is dangerously gritty, raw, brutal and full of blistering energy, thunderous guitars, howling vocals and ferocious drumming. 

Get a load of the gritty-rock-riffage that is ‘Feral’ below, things are certainly hotting up for Kid Karate’s debut album, Night Terrors, penned in for release later this year.

New Kid Karate | ‘Louder’ and ‘Wet’

Dublin ragged rock/punk duo Kid Karate have returned to the fray with a couple of tasty new tracks.

The tracks,  ‘Louder’ and ‘Wet’, are taken from Hot Press’ free downloadable album Genre Free. The good news is the lads haven’t lost any of the gutsy panache that made their debut EP, HEART, so good. The intervening time hasn’t seen the lads soften their approach, ‘Louder’ and ‘Wet’, are two slices of energetic, gritty riff-laden rock n roll at its best – fast becoming KK’s signature sound. In other KK news, there are rumours that a debut album may be with us soon. Let’s hope so!

You can grab the entire Genre Free album for free from here. It was produced by Hot Press in conjunction with Dublin’s Sound Training Centre and NDT Productions.

Devin – Romancing

Album review of Devins ‘Romancing’ published for State.ie on May 16th 2012.

Looking to the past for inspiration is common place in modern music, after all, isn’t everything is borrowed? However, 2012 is unlikely to throw up another artist so keen to embrace the past than young New Yorker, Devin. Just a quick glance at the cover of Romancing and these suspicions are confirmed, it is an unashamed throw back to rock ‘n roll of yesteryear, an ode to the days of The Stones, The Ramones & New York Dolls.

As the album and song titles like ‘Born to Cry’ ‘You’re Mine’ and ‘In My Solitude’ suggest, this is a journey through the time-honoured themes of love, loss, and heartache. Apart from this, what strikes you as soon as you set Romancing loose on your speakers, is the raw energy and spirit that drives the album. From the thundering, lightening fast opener ‘Masochist’ to ‘Run’ and ‘Forever Is Only a Moment’ the flamboyant energy never dies.

This flamboyance transposes an effortless, carefree sense of fun and a remarkable danceable quality to his songs, an admirable quality. The hip-swinging ‘New Horrors’, ‘I Don’t Think I’ and ‘Too Soon’ hit the heady heights of Supergrass at the top of their game. It may be a predominantly hyperactive mesh of lively pumped up punk and garage riffs but despite the gritty production, Devin’s soulful blues-tinged vocals inject a touching sense of emotion to proceedings. Originality is obviously not his forte and you will probably feel you have heard these songs before but Romancing offers Devin’s take on a genre and style he loves, doing it justice with an album which sounds passionate, edgy and genuine. A worthy addition to any record collection.

(Video) No Monster Club – Waking My Idols

Having released their superb album Dublin a few weeks back, No Monster Club have dropped a short and snappy video for ‘Waking My Idols’. 

‘Waking My Idols’ encapsulates everything that makes NMC so great, catchy pop melodies, spiky vocals and thrashy reverbed guitars all wrapped up in a little over a one minute bundle of outstanding punky surf rock.

There are very limited copies of Dublin left but check out NMC’s website to see how to pick one up.

Ginola – Way Harsh EP

The ever impressive Dublin punk three-piece Ginola have returned with a brand new EP, Way Harsh.

The EP is another highly charged hardcore punk affair, what this trio do best and they know what they’re doing. Barely stretching to 10 minutes they waste absolutely no time in battering your consciousness with a barrage of unadulterated noise. As bizarre as it might sound, Ginola have managed to eek out even more noise and a harsher sound than before.

Check out the video for ’14 Hormonal Years’ too, a strange juxtaposition between a nice day out at the zoo and their destructive sound. You can download Way Harsh from Quarter Inch Collective here (name your price).

Ginola – 14 Hormonal Years

Ginola – Pen & Paper Job