Skip to content

ALBUM REVIEW: Sleaford Mods, Key Markets, 17.07.15

ALBUM REVIEW: Sleaford Mods, Key Markets, 17.07.15 published on No Comments on ALBUM REVIEW: Sleaford Mods, Key Markets, 17.07.15

The vitriolic Nottingham duo returns to form after a short revue with Key Markets, an album probably meant to take aim at some notion of consumerism.  Does this represent the bitter taste at the back of lyricist John Williamson’s throat following the commercial success of its predecessor,Divide And Exit, the 2014 outpouring of bile to universal acclaim that brought go Sleaford Mods not only into the national spotlight, but turned them into music industry buzzwords on the international stage?

Probably. It’s hard to make out – Williamson’s lyrics stagger in jagged, unfocused zigzags like a blinded bull. Williamson quickly falls into a droll, irritated hum, akin to a mass of hornets not quite disturbed enough to leave their nest. With Andrew Fearn’s stripped back instrumentation, kit and a wet, sloppy kiss of a bass, the album rolls over you like a train over tracks, creates a drone, a haze, and sends you off, that sound-blocking you do at your retail job to avoid thinking too hard about your bleak at best future in a receding economy.

That’s admirable in itself, you could say: the new Sleaford Mods’ album is the experience of hopelessness. Continue reading ALBUM REVIEW: Sleaford Mods, Key Markets, 17.07.15

LIVE REVIEW: Omi Palone at the Abacus, 05.12.14

LIVE REVIEW: Omi Palone at the Abacus, 05.12.14 published on No Comments on LIVE REVIEW: Omi Palone at the Abacus, 05.12.14 LIVE REVIEW: OMI PALONE / MARS TO STAY / LUVV / BLACK FUNGUS / ARTEFACT

accutane causing pupils to get smaller Friday 5 December 2014 at the Abacus Rooms

comprare viagra generico 25 mg a Firenze First published by God Is In The TV Zine 8 December 2014

Posing laxly beside the ruins of an upright piano demolished in an art show earlier that week, click Omi Palone’s drummer viagra generico 100 mg in farmacia senza ricetta pagamento online a Milano Jack Gillis umms and errs over a challenging question: if he can’t say what genre the band is, then who would he like to be. “George Harrison,” he answers at last, only to be pulled up by their bespectacled lead, go site Philip Serfaty: “Harrison? Really? He did that awful song about going on holiday, remember. What was it?”

“Gone Troppo.”

“Yeah! How’d it go? Troppo, gone troppo, troppo / it’s time you know I gone troppo!”  Serfaty pulls a sneer. “Lazy.”

If tonight’s line up – a full five bands, hand-picked by acquistare levitra online sicuro Roma Twisted’s could propecia cause hair loss Jon Mohajer from the Cardiff and surrounds scene to play at the Abacus Rooms – are anything to go by then ‘lazy’ is an honest criticism.  Serfaty and Omi Palone are anything but, tonight marking the penultimate night on their most recent tour with Black Fungus, finishing at Drill Festival on Saturday.  Serfaty says it’s been mixed, with their London date rammed to the door while their opening show at Sheffield’s Tye Die Tapes was played to about four people – early afternoon, he bemoans, but at least they got the night off in Sheffield.  Drunken slurring about recent pornography bans to a Manchester crowd neared obscenity violations.  Now they’re in Cardiff, along with incestuous line up Artefact, LUVV and Mars To Stay, and enjoying the peace.  In front of the merch table, three quarters of Artefact’s lineup argue about the relative skinniness of their black jeans.

Artefact are on their second name in as many shows, and boasting an electric sound and image already after just one performance at Buffalo last week.  Sharing members with Mars To Stay, the evening’s slowcore representatives, Artefact are a world away with an early post punk sound, raw, open and clean.  Each song is a new offering of quivering guitar with the blunt bass providing structure, brooding lead Hannah Saunders’ plaintive chant laying beneath the scratching guitar.  Mohajer appears on bass, pumping out severe, aggressive riffs spat over by their blonde guitarist.  Though their sound suggests early darkwave musicians like the Banshees and Bauhaus, there’s something ripe and younger about Artefact’s sound – the track ‘Poisonous’, scored over by Saunder’s crying ‘you’re poison!’ has a taste of dark psych, something more colourful than the monochrome squeals of those early punks.  In his throes Mohajer manages to pull his pedals off the top of the bass head, with Saunder’s gloomy Sandman-esque act lifting into a smile. “One sec,” she cuts in before Mohajer’s amp howls with feedback then launches straight back in, ten times as loud, and races to their close.

Black Fungus, Omi Palone’s companions on this tour, are a more mature assembly of gaunt faces and plain blacks.  Their music too speaks of something more raw, drawing influence from Australian, German and American punk traditions, a clattering noise with Ed Shellard’s baritone vocals in turns between chant and bark.  Tamsin MI, behind the kit, plays with a nervous energy and skill rarely seen – there’s something electric about her, and it’s instantly apparent that she has left contact for another zone behind the music.  Mark Jasper’s bass provides a punchy undertone to Shellard’s rapid fire, saw tooth riffs, dragged out with distortion into a trade mark frustration and resignation that bring Black Fungus into a level of their own.

When LUVV take the small, tucked away stage their roughness stands out: from the bassist’s broad shoulders and wide stance to the tattooed, skinny frontman.  On their page they have filled their members section with “all people are pigs,” and standing before us they form a ganglike, insular group, playing to each other with bolted, aggressive vocals spat by the slurring lead as he dances around the mic as though in a ring and dodging blows.  With a piercing tom beat this bad is thunder, a motor behind their frontman with muggy bass as their first guitarist grinds mindlessly into his Gibson.  They churn through their set with simplistic lyrics and the band powering along behind: stand out track ‘What You Need’ gives the crowd much needed energy after the brooding prior bands, before the lead singer introduces their newest member, whose name might be something like Kerrigan.  “He’s a good one,” he announces, met by a jeer from the crowd: “He’s a wanker!”  “You’re not wrong, you’re not wrong,” he concedes, and launches the band into a song titled ‘Drphds’ on the setlist.  “I will be your drphds,” he sings, with the band exchanging fleeting looks of confusion and panic behind him.  But fuck, it doesn’t matter.  What a tune.

Mars To Stay, an oily, reverb throbbing two piece playing patent loose slowcore ballads, face each other in the stage area, politely greeting the audience before continuing their set.  Spaced and delicate, their drummer sings with a distinct folk-like style, distant and lonely befitting the name.  Each song guilds over reverb and treble with the careful vocals settling on the tracks to gently roost, thoughtful and meditative with the guitarist spinning two movements from his six strings.  Each song rises and drops like this, finished with kind, soft-spoken acknowledgements, creating welling atmospheres inside the gallery’s backroom for a curious audience.

Omi Palone take the stage tentatively to this quietly interested audience, the band ever concerned about keeping top quality – particularly after the loudmouthed Manchester gig.  They cruise into their set with their signature sound coming easy: melodic, tricky melodies woven over a simple, catchy beat from Gillis into songs part pop, part some other animal.  The crowd immediately turns to dancing with enthusiasm, caught up in these quick-footed tunes ringing of American, Australian, Bunnymen; Liam O’Neill, the band’s bassist, betrays earlier the influence of Australian underground music and New Zealand label Flying Nun on the band’s sound, while lyrics such as “You’re not getting older / you’re getting younger!” echo Serfaty’s talk of active doing and taking opportunities at hand.  Their new wave aggression plays simply off of Serfaty’s charisma as they push into their single, ‘Singled Out’, from their latest self-titled record to thundering percussion and cheers, until, outside in the gallery, they swear to come back to Cardiff soon – and we look forward to seeing them, any excuse to get our creative punkers out for the night and into the city’s galleries.

‘LIVE REVIEW: Omi Palone at the Abacus’ by Richard Moore.

ALBUM REVIEW: Marmozets, The Weird And Wonderful…, 04.12.14

ALBUM REVIEW: Marmozets, The Weird And Wonderful…, 04.12.14 published on No Comments on ALBUM REVIEW: Marmozets, The Weird And Wonderful…, 04.12.14


First published by 4 December 2014

Yorkshire alt rockers the Marmozets debut album comes out of the dark in a heavy, squealing package of scrawling distortion and screams. Becca Macintyre’s powerful voice leads the listener from open to close through scrambled guitar solos, chanting manifestos and throat-ripping shrieks into slower tracks like ‘Cry’ and ‘Hit The Wave’ with a dignified, personal vulnerability. The Weird And Wonderful is a screaming war cry for fans of regurgitating hardcore and early 2000s alt-rock outfits, providing a promising and high production first venture into the long form for the already established group. The Marmozets stick.

3/5 stars.

‘Marmozets – The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets’ by Richard Moore.

LIVE REVIEW: Love Inks at Four Bars, 28.11.14

LIVE REVIEW: Love Inks at Four Bars, 28.11.14 published on No Comments on LIVE REVIEW: Love Inks at Four Bars, 28.11.14


Friday 28 November 2014 at Four Bars at Dempsey’s

First published by After Dark Cardiff 2 December 2014

With a humble hello Oh Peas! opened to the small crowd at Four Bars, jumping straight into clangy tales of social awkwardness with a thin grimace as the audience stuck against the walls.  But hell, put chairs in a venue and that’s going to happen.  Oh Peas! is Rosie Smith and her bumbling tunes are equal parts embarrassed and sad, cheeky and restrained: let the clumsiness be an act, as her music has its own life and charm beyond her small grey cardigan and blonde bob.  Opener ‘No Ships’ features a quickly lost line, “now I’m mentally undressing you”, and Smith, flustered by the cheers finishing each song, flashes a tight grin and tucks her bob behind her ears.  With her sweet voice and bare chords played with loose, quick wrists, Oh Peas! brings a joyful, honest poppy sound to the night before offering the remaining nine copies of her album, Shades Of Intolerance, to the crowd.  Two go in a heartbeat.  Luckily for us, this one’s available forever online.

HMS Morris take the corner stage with Heledd Watkins’ thick accent crowning over ‘Gormod A Ddyn’, a sweeping English take on their Welsh track with Watkins’ short, abrupt guitar line digital over Sam Roberts’ stirring, atmospheric synths and samples.  They swap places throughout the set, with Watkins taking up station at the keyboard while Roberts produces a heavy, surging bass below their ambient, swilling psychedelia.  Watkins’ voice is full of emotion over the washed out synth like a white tide, something she attributes to a flu with a cheeky grin with Rosie Smith heckling back: “Sounds lovely!” “Thanks!”  Taking samples of Watkins’ voice for ‘Gold’, an English version of their release ‘Aur’, the rest of this swirling and majestic track is built around this and Wil Roberts’s strong drums.

Love Inks finally join us with a dirty bassline and Sherry LeBlanc’s powerful voice.  Balancing herself with grace and moving from toe to toe with the swaying thud of the drum machine, LeBlanc looks dragged down from the tour but her voice is unyielding.  Kevin Dehan’s beachy guitar backs up their cover of David Essex’s classic ‘Rock On’, updated with LeBlanc’s intimate vocals telling a personal story – introducing their next song as written for Yoko Ono, there’s part of this 70s American avant garde underbelly in Love Inks, cleaned up by the tour’s promotional material but plain to see in person: from Dehan’s greasy hair to their stripped back performance Love Inks do their heritage proud far abroad.  They pull through the ropes of ‘Blackeyes’, from their latest release ‘E.S.P.’, lamenting that their second album never left the states as LeBlanc introduces their last few songs: “This song is a prayer about getting out of Austin.  It’s gonna sound like a dance song but it’s really a prayer.” They finish with ‘Wave Goodbye’ on a low-key hymnal, lulling but rocking all the way from Austin.

‘Love Inks, HMS Morris and Oh Peas! Review’ by Richard Moore.–hms-morris–oh-peas-review#.VNYPwPmsXUQ

LIVE REVIEW: Courtney Love at Metro City, 13.08.14

LIVE REVIEW: Courtney Love at Metro City, 13.08.14 published on No Comments on LIVE REVIEW: Courtney Love at Metro City, 13.08.14


Wednesday 13 August 2014 at Metro City

First published by the Space Ship News 18 August 2014

Revival tours attract a particular crowd, typically a mix of fans from the artist’s most famous period – for Courtney Love, this meant women who were teenagers in the 90s – and a scattered few young devotees.  The audience at Metro City on Wednesday was in this way unusual, as even Love commented from her refuge high on stage: along with the expected force of 30-something women and their heterosexual partners, a large number of young gay women and men turned out for her show in Perth.  “If you have a uterus I can relate to you,” Love mused from centre stage, “And if you suck other guys’ dicks I can relate to you… but if you’re a straight guy I don’t know what to do with you.  Fuck you and throw you away?”

This didn’t stop a fringe crowd of jeering men hurling sexist slurs at both Love and the opening band, Fremantle’s proud Tommyhawks, with some finally lead off the premises.  In a performance by women for women about women’s bodies and experiences, this presence is a severely disappointing reflection of Perth which, grace permitting, won’t follow the tour to other dates in Australia.

To their credit the Tommyhawks played a bold opening set with husky, androgynous vocals from singer Addison Axe laying strong along crooning sax and pounding bass, with ghosts of female ska and punk bands from the past few decades guttered through faux grime and tight riffs.  A ballad band, songs like ‘Bluebird’ and ‘Down To The Water” were jazzy poetry to fading innocence and a sense of dry resignation.  Axe’s nimble fingers and stage presence won the crowd, although X-Men inspired ‘Rogue Song’ closed their set a little off-kilter with a fan narrative about the character.

Love later emerged to a sinister fanfare and abundant proof that force of personality alone could carry the confessional material of her back catalogue unaccompanied by Hole.  Opening with solo track ‘Wedding Day’ before launching into a stripped-down set of Hole songs and covers, Love was a queen, a lioness, a scorned lover as she lead the impassioned crowd in screaming refrains of reclaimed violence.  And there is terror and power in hundreds of women howling “go on, take everything, I want you to!” back at the small blonde woman in lingerie crouched by the edge of the stage.  “That took me back some twenty-nine fucking years,” she boasted as she brought favourite ‘Olympia’ to a close.

Returning barefoot for encore in a shimmering dress Love scattered the beheaded buds of a bouquet of roses across the greedy crowd to a sweeping rendition of ‘Northern Star’, before launching into her famous cover of the Crystals’ ‘He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)’.  Always a controversial choice, Love’s heavy version of this “really sick” song came without speeches but proudly performed as Love moved from beside the audience to towering over them with a chilling anthemic power.  Closing the night with the self-loathing Hole song ‘Doll Parts’, the blood sister of the first Hole song played that night, ‘Miss World’, Love lead the audience in a final brutal refrain before curtseying and taking her leave, more than sure of her enduring place as the high widow of grunge.

‘LIVE REVIEW: Courtney Love at Metro City’ by Richard Moore

LIVE REVIEW: Something On The Side at the Rosemount, 23.07.14

LIVE REVIEW: Something On The Side at the Rosemount, 23.07.14 published on No Comments on LIVE REVIEW: Something On The Side at the Rosemount, 23.07.14


Wednesday 23 July 2014 at the Rosemount Hotel

First published by 6 August 2014

This Wednesday saw a sink of energy form at the Rosemount Hotel as eleven bands took up the main stage and small bar Four5Nine for double-stage extravaganza Something On The Side.  Starting as early as 7:00 with squealing punks King Crime and Robbie Rumble.  Punters who made it out early to these new acts were rewarded with intimate, relaxed performances from the small groups leading up to the blooming psychedelica of Hunting Huxley and Dream Rimmy as audiences crossed between stages to glimpse the best of each set.

The smaller Four5Nine Bar was host primarily to aggressive, sonically violent punk bands which made the most of the tight space by getting in the faces of their devoted audience with savage and brutal high distortion and fast, intense sets chewing through the high-density line-up.  Kitchen People’s loose punk stagger was quickly tightened by Skullcave before Black Stone From The Sun took the stage, a duo grinding through their songs only to stop at the nine minute mark.  “We don’t have a set. We just play it as it comes. Fuck it, we’ll do one more,” Sean Mackay, guitarist, grumbled, coaxed into a slaughterhouse of noise.  Aborted Tortoise, popular as ever, were playing next on their home ground, perfectly suited to the close-quarters venue spitting right into their audience.

On the main stage Chief Richards, a sole figure with a loop board, gorilla mask and polkadot trousers, wound digital prog nonsense around a throbbing reverb to a bewildered audience.  Mumbling through the mask to hecklers, he coaxed Catbrush drummer Anetta Nevin on stage to accompany a shrieking electrical storm with her thundering percussion, bringing the set to an explosive conclusion.  Hideous Sun Demon, the last formal band of the night, then took the stage to a full bar with a stripped-down set as frontman Vin fought for the spotlight against the alarming cling of his trouser crotch.  The crowd surged in a throng of violent energy to their breakneck rock, somehow equally aggressive and benevolent as thrashers gave way to their friends for a good time.

At last Electric Toad filled the stage.  With 16 musicians crammed on stage and clambering over their instruments, Stephen Bellair, Anetta Nevin, and Blake Hate howled  random vocals as remaining revellers struggled to co-ordinate dances to jam songs.  A stand-out jam with King Crime’s Samuel Joseph Evers screaming a refrain of ‘it’s okay, it’s all right!’ lasted a marathon ten minutes, until finally the event collapsed into chaos and creative exhaustion.

‘Electric Toad at the Rosemount Hotel’ by Richard Moore.

ALBUM REVIEW: Mind Canary, Mind Canary EP 30.07.14

ALBUM REVIEW: Mind Canary, Mind Canary EP 30.07.14 published on No Comments on ALBUM REVIEW: Mind Canary, Mind Canary EP 30.07.14


First published by the Space Ship News 30 July 2014

Mind Canary, a small, melodic blip on the Perth scene, have produced their new EP like a rabbit from a hat – wild rooted and psychedelic with a steady rock structure, this self-titled EP stands as a sampler and artist statement from the quartet, as a first release should be.  Mind Canary is a solid piece, a post-card from the band to future audiences: what they were, what they are, and with a promise of what’s to come.

The six-track EP begins with ‘Wreckage’, opening to Conal Savins’ husky vocals to a dream-like rock ballad, the occasional scream of distortion quickly pinned and subdued by a standard rock drum line. This is the impression given widely by the release: that there is something wild in Mind Canary waiting to break out but continually reigned in, leaving hope for an escape in future releases.  ‘Wreckage’ falls quickly into a stoned refrain of ‘Don’t you know I’m always happy / don’t you know I’m always with you’ and braces listeners for an interesting piece to come.

‘Junk Girl’, a nursery-rhyme ballad, rubs abrasively with its shrill melody and a lo-fi recording quality (the very same that makes Mind Canary’s rhythm guitar strong and beautifully layered) but is undercut with poetic, enigmatic lyrics such as ‘the veins in your arms are like tendrils and wires’ telling the story of an impoverished girl spotted on the streets.  This sentimentality defines Mind Canary – speaking from a by-gone era of European bridges and cobbled roads, this is music for the escapist, the fantasy lover, the steampunk.

Similar in vein, ‘Aubergine Rd’ ambles along the same trodden paths with pretty, accordion-esque synthesised chords, taking a more ethereal and naïve tone, then into weirder territory for ‘G*psy Boy’, a problematically-titled musing on personal darkness dropping into cancer, drugs, and carnival themes playing with puns (‘I laughed when the passion fruit died’) and winding, digitalised guitar lines.  This thematic use of ‘g*psy’, as well as ‘freak’ and a few others, is a concern with this nostalgic sentimentality: when artists dabble in these ideas – of being a wanderer, an outcast, a freak – they must keep an awareness of the people beyond the romantic notions, as one already alienated by a dominanting culture (specifically racially, but also in lifestyle or experience) rarely finds reprise being fetishised by outsiders.  This romanticism is particularly rife in this genre and a self-awareness would bring Mind Canary a wealth of respect here in the future, but for now these figures get only lip-service.

The EP cruises to a smooth ending with warm and gentle ‘Jukebox By The Bay’, and ‘Greyskull’, featuring tinny guitars and airy vocals, swinging again between the sweeter ballads of the release and dark, introspective tracks turn for turn.  Overall, Mind Canary’s first release evidences skill, creativity and curiosity for the genre, and they are one to keep in the corner of your eye as they seek out new directions beyond the framework they’ve set down.

‘ALBUM REVIEW: Mind Canary, Mind Canary EP’ by Richard Moore.