Saturday, May 03, 2008


To those of you who might read this, as you might be able to guess I no longer do this blog. I dont have time for it. If you are interested in football, please check out my online community for sharing links on the world of football at

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Battles have been labelled a Math Rock band, basically meaning their music is based round intricate time signatures and off set, weird sounding riffs. I hate using genres but to be fair Battles do follow this mindset of music quite closely. Formed in New York and mildly famous for having the drummer from Hexstatic their recently released album 'Mirrored' is very hypnotic, prog, instrumental LP, some of it good, some of it just OK. Their best songs usually involve treated vocals by Tyondai Braxton, making a sound somewhere between what can only be described as an Alien and a baby, they sound cool tho and sit well with the pounding drums, crunchy guitars and occasional flicker of keyboard/synth. The song I continue to come back to and is probably the most immediate track on the album is 'Atlas':

I've just read an interview with them in Plan B magazine where they explain how they write their songs:

“When we write songs, we have these charts on the wall, big pieces of easel paper, and we take a magic marker and write down names for the sections,” says Battles guitarist and keyboard player Ian Williams.

“Instead of it being traditional notation, we write down words to describe the parts, so ‘Tij’ starts with – what was the first thing?
Drummer John Stanier booms out, “‘Wooh!’”

Hearing them explain their song writing process makes a lot of sense. Mirrored is full of texture and subtle changes, sometimes they stick on an idea for a whole song, sometimes they move all over the place, their songs are quite full on but not too self indulgent. I think my favourite thing about the album is the way the guitars work together and against each other; I seem to remember someone describing it as a 'call and response' style, which is definitely on the money. Check out Race:Out and Snare Hanger and you'll understand exactly what I'm banging on about.

I think my only criticism of this album is the few songs which have no treated vocals just sound a but wacky, rather than proggy and interesting. 'Ddiamondd', is a perfect example of this; it doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the album especially when you compare it with the 5th song 'Leyendecker' which reverts back to the alienesque vocals, creepy little keyboards and precision drumming. I think they are their best when the vocals are another instrument rather than a proper vocal.

Check out Atlas, Leyendecker, Race:In and Race:Out as a way into this album.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

T Post

I stumbled across this site today called T Post. They describe themselves as 'alot like having subscription to a magazine but instead of receiving magazines in your mail box, you get T shirts.' And thats about it really. Each T shirt costs 26 euros and the majority of them are pretty cool. If only I had enough money to be whimsical and invest in something like this, twould be sweet....every six weeks you get T shirt based on something going on in the world, like in the photo above; the shirts are based on a report that scientists had discovered there is a section of the brain dedicated to selfishness....

T Post

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Knife | !!!

I'm pretty sick of 'Indie' these days, I say Indie for want of a better word really, but I guess I mean music with the standard guitar ideas that knock around these days. The world is lacking a Tom Morello or a young Jonny Greenwood, though Foals(, Battles ( and Truckers of Husk( are all impressing me more and I may have to take back my words pretty much before I even start to go off on one. However, for the last 2, 3 months The Knife and !!! (also know as chk chk chk) have kept me interested.

The Knife are an electronic duo from Sweden probably most famous for their song Heartbeats which was covered by Jose Gonzalez and then used on the Sony ad with the bouncing balls.

Well known for being incredibly anti interviews, anti journalists and anti press in general, they make up for it with the standard of their music. Before this year I wasn't really that into synths but I think The Knife were one of the main reasons why I've been converted. The use of synths and the dirty grimey bass that they use on their up tempo tracks are probably the best thing about them. Songs like We Share Out Mother's Health, Heartbeats, Like a Pen, One For You and Neverland use pumping synthetics beats to great effect, especially with Karin's Bjorkesque vocals. They also use simplistic guitar loops and minimalistic drums to great effect too. Bird and NY Hotel pull at the heart strings for a want of a better description. Particularly NY Hotels lyrics:

This is our last goodbye
Now you should be holding me

Punkrock t-shirt, black cap and tattoo
The first things I noticed about you

Now you should be holding me
Now you should be holding me

Maybe its the way Karin pulls them off with the eeire sounding keyboards in the background but a potentially cheesy lyric turns into a great one.


!!! don't do themselves any favours really, unless you use chk chk chk you'll find fuck all about them on t'internet. I guess it's something to do with using exclamation marks in google.

Nevertheless, !!! are fucking good, they're like a bastard child of punk, funk, electro, indie and anything else you can dance like a prick too. I saw them twice at Glastonbury and along with the Chemical Brothers they were the highlights. The majority of their songs are based around funky repetitive guitar riffs, pumping bass lines, alot of reverb on th guitars and some really cool synth noises. But personally it the guitar riffs and the drums that do it for me. Check out Myth Takes and look out for the riff in the chorus - gloriously pumping, also check out Pardon my freedom, Heart of Hearts, Dear Can and Yadnus which manages to use the Waa Waa pedal without sounding wank - a first since Rage Against the Machine me thinks... They have two vocalists who are quite different in style but like to get properly fucked up and get involved in the crowd. I remember them saying at Glastonbury that you should do as many drugs as possible and not to be a pussy about taking them, obviously they were off their tits at the time but it definitely gave the crowd something to think about. !!! are like a cross between The Rapture and LCD Sondsystem but a hell of a lot more fun, check out any three of their albums as a starter however I recommend Myth Takes if I had to choose.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Our Love to Admire?

OK, haven't done anything on this blog in a very long time, but a new leaf has been turned!

Is it just me or is the new Interpol album really lame? Having spoken to a fair few friends of mine about what they think I have come to the conclusion that it is a reasonable record but as a big Interpol fan, I think it's a complete let down. I hoped moving to a major a label wouldn't mean just more of the same but they have. The production on this record is my biggest issue (Rick Costey by the way, previously produced Muse and Franz Ferd). Theres no moodiness to it, no cityscape, cinematic darkness that Interpol were so good at. Our love to admire sounds like a Coldplay record to me, its far too clean and the bass is far too low on the mix considering how good Carlos can be as a bassist. It sounds like it has been made to be played in big venues, to tick the major label boxes which I find very disappointing.

Opening track Pioneer to the Falls, No I in Threesome and The lighthouse are definitely stand out tracks, particularly The Lighthouse which is a surprisingly refreshing song based around reverberating guitars and a great melody culminating in a triumphant drum beat. Bank's lyrics seem to be less ambiguous as well, which isn't a bad thing. Rest my chemistry is an impressive bit of poetry dealing with drugs I imagine while the music is very Interpol, breaky rhythm guitar and picky lead guitar blending into Kessler's trademark guitar solo like in NYC on Turn on the Bright Lights. Daniel Kessler's guitar lines used to be imaginative and, as a fellow guitarist, inspiring, but he's just recycled the same stuff on this album, only not as good. And as for the bass and drums, gone are the days of Obstacle 1. They were one of the main reasons why Interpol were an amazing band not just a good one, the way the bass wondered off on one, yet still held it together and Fogarino's drums with the little cheeky high hat tricks and thumping kick drum gave Interpol's music a depth that is lacking on this new record. The amount of times that Sam does the double snare tap like in Evil on Antics is ridiculous, once again more of the same. I've read a lot of posts on Drowned in Sound about giving this album five or six listens and I completely don't agree. Theres nothing to pick up on here, my 50th listen still sounds like the first or second, and I don't find myself drawn to any of the other songs like you do when getting into a great album. Like The Strokes their first album will always be their best and I would be surprised if they ever get close to equaling an album like Turn on the Bright Lights. To conclude, major labels are wank, they make you sound wank but they will make you rich. Also Carlos, you should stick to the Nazi chic, the tasche makes you look like a bell end.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Having ordered the reissue of III off Domino records I thought I should really review it rather than just write about Sebadoh as a band - but unfortunately I have yet to really get into it and don't want to write it off until I've given it a proper go - Sebadoh are good a band, wholesome if you will. They are three fellas, bass, drums and guitar. Pretty standard but what makes them so endearing is their homemade attitidue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Sebadoh are one of the first Lo Fi bands of the 90's and they pull it off to great effect, after them came Beck, Pavement and Guided by Voices. Their songs sound better for it too - they record a lot of their songs in home studios and I've heard many a version of some of their more popular songs. Personally I prefer the scratchier recordings of songs such as The Freed Pig (which is the opening track of the III album) and God Told Me but their cleaner versions are also good. Sebadoh's songs a generally either quite heavy and grungey or acoustic based with home appliances and general clutter used as percussion. These two forms were (most of the time) written by Eric Gaffney and Lou Barlow respectively.

I got into the band after seeing Kids and was blown away by the track played during the credits. I didn't know for years that it was Spoiled by Sebadoh. It's still my favourite track of theirs - as usual it's very lo fi, and the amount of reverb on it is ridiculous. That with Barlow's voice and the swooshing mellotron sounds make it incredible haunting. The lyrics are spot on as well , about growing up and childhood. Other favourites of mine are Total Peace and Perverted World both off the III album., which are both acoustic tracks and stick to the home appliances route of percussion.

Of their heavier songs I think their album Bakesale has the best of the bunch, Licence to Confuse has an awesome opening riff as does Careful. Both songs follow pretty much the exact same fomula but it's the Sebadoh sound that helps keep their songs interesting and different. This is partly down to the lo fi recording but they really know how to use their bass and guitar sounds. Whether twangy, squeaky or really bassy, songs like Careful, Licence to confuse and also Magnets Coil and Not a friend remain individual. I think this is probably down to the band constantly swapping instruments and sharing vocals. Gaffney and drummer Jason Lowenstein would regularly share drumming and Barlow would often play bass.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any songs to download so to start off with check out their two myspace pages: - this is hack search so you can find any mp3s you want on the internet - wack whatever band you want into the search and it will find (I don't know if it finds all of them) songs that people are hosting on their sites. It's pretty sweet.

Other than that here is my top ten Sebadoh tracks which might be a good way to get into them:

1. Spoiled
2. Total Peace
3. Perverted World
4. Licence to Confuse
5. Not a Friend
6. Careful
7. Got it
8. Magnets coil
9. Truly great thing
10. No different

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sir Yes Sir

You know those days when, having been really nice and sunny for weeks, the weather suddenly turns a horrible grey shitty overcast hell hole so you wake up dreading work and thought of spreadsheets and stinking mail merges? Well maybe that just happens to me but when those days occur I usually wack on Rage Against the Machine on my way to work and swagger down the street like a cunt. In other words when I need to get pumped I listen to Rage - but sometimes I also listen to Hit Three by Sir Yes Sir - a two piece from Machester (via Runcorn and Reading). SYS are Joseph Logan and Daniel Cowley and they play bass, guitar and use a drum machine. Hit Three is a top tune based around a pumping synthetic drum machine beat and a repetitive squealing guitar line. The song starts as it means to go on, the high pitched guitar sets the tone and the stop/start drum beat comes in quickly after - bascially if you heard this in a club you would most definitely start pumping a fist and knodding your head like a drunken fool: You said this house is a mess/you said this house is a mess/ but all the mess belongs to you. I love the lyrics - they're delivered at a high pace and mimicked by a bass line which adds to the energy of the song. Sir Yes Sir sound like Pavement, Sonic Youth and a little bit of the Pixies but by no mean do they sound like a rip off or just another generic indie band. Their sound is very disimilar to alot of stuff out there at the moment (the drum machine and the vocals in particular really help them to stand out) and what with so much guff like the Fratellis, and Larrikin Love out there it's refreshing to hear a band like SYS. The other songs on their myspace, although not as strong as Hit Three, are definetly worth a listen Bass Hit and newly uploaded Ok are also catchy, pumping tunes .

Hit Three
Bass Hit