Saturday, October 28, 2006

Please excuse the uncomfortable silence...

I'm in the middle of moving to Brighton so i'm packing up my life and getting my head in gear. Be back soon though, with a sunny disposition and some hemp sandals...

Here's another Duke Raoul mp3 to keep ya going.

Duke Raoul - 'Too Tired To Struggle'.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Coming to the end of an album - Part 1

When I was in my early teens and I was starting realise how much music meant to me, I used to find the end few tracks of an album increasingly depressing. Regardless of the mood of the songs it would leave me feeling slightly empty, or perhaps more accurately, lonely. I'm an only child and was (partially involuntarily) quite a loner. I spent much more time playing guitar and absorbing myself in music than in the company of other kids. I'm not moaning about it, but it's true. So when I reached the final stretch of an album, I suppose I knew the world I had wrapped myself in for the last 9 or so tracks was coming to an end, and I would be left on my own until the next CD/cassette.

Of course it didn't help with records like Nevermind or Superunknown that end on a particularly melancholy note ('Something in the Way' and 'Like Suicide' respectively). But even stuff like Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream (that drifts out on the soothing 'Luna') or The Offspring's Smash (that basically never strays from the style/themes of the rest of the record) had a similar effect.

Maybe I became more at ease with the world outside of music, or it was the fact that I learnt to enjoy melancholia, but either way I grew out of it. Perhaps if we didn't live in a world of shuffling iPods on endless repeat I would still feel the same. I dunno. But I do know I definitely wasn't the only socially uncomfortable teenager who immersed himself in music instead of dealing with the outside world. So now's your chance to come forward...

Your twopenneth:
Did you also have similar feelings about the end of albums. Or do you have any other bizarre quirks attached to the music you listen to? Please comment and i'll answer stuff in part 2.

In the meantime, does this stir any emotions?
Nirvana - 'Something in the Way' (expired)

Buy it here (like you didn't buy it years ago).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More Annuals

Well I got to know a bit more about these guys and there's not too much that's mindbendingly interesting, but a couple of things have come to light:

a) They're even bloody younger than I thought. Singer/songwriter Adam Baker is only TWENTY years old.

b) Their album is more diverse than I had imagined. It is rammed almost to beyond saturation point with ideas and production type stuff.

c) It seems this band has an enormous buzz around them. So buy the album soon and clasp it to your heart before it gets used on an episode of The O.C. and you can by their fucking ringtones.

Here's another mp3:
Annuals - 'Carry Around'

Buy it here.

Their MySpace.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I mentioned Clor a couple of posts back and I think it's about time I stuck up a bit of a sample.

Clor are now sadly no more. They lasted one self-titled album and a couple of singles/EPs. The first time I heard of them I had just missed them soundchecking at Liverpool Zanzibar. My own band was due to play before them later that night. Everybody in the venue; the promoters, the other bands, Andy the sound guy (best/nicest live engineer i've ever come across) were all completely awestruck by the spectacle they had just witnessed. From a soundcheck. Unfortunately though, when people gush at me about bands I tend to become super cynical, so I was apprehensive.

After our set, Clor singer/guitarist Barry came and paid us compliments and was generally really nice, then went to set up. I hadn't prepared myself for what I was about to see. From what i'd been told I expected some slightly cheesy band doing their best to shoehorn electronica into rock music. Or maybe some jeans and a fringe yelping to a disco beat. Either way, I was completely wrong.

It became one of those occasions when, out of the blue, a whole new angle on music is suddenly unveiled for you. When you were just getting jaded by it's lack of invention and you experience something that makes you feel stupid for ever doubting it. I couldn't control my grinning muscles as the band tore through my preconceptions with a knowing smile and ball of sound. Pop tunes, sardonic lyrics, intricate guitar lines, electro beats, synth spurts. Guitar music and electro intertwined like they'd never been apart, and not a haircut in sight. It completely changed my image of what a band could be. So when my own band disintegrated and became just me, it made me feel like absolutely anything was still possible.

Apparently it was good old 'musical differences' that drove the two key members (Barry Dobbin and Luke Smith) of Clor apart. I'm sad that i'll never see them live again, the sound was never quite replicated on record. But it's good to know their output could never be tarnished by weaker follow-ups or collaborations with Bono, and we can only be grateful for that.

Clor - 'Tough Love' (amazing b-side to the Love & Pain single).

Buy their album here.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Wow. I literally heard this for the first time about ten minutes ago (thanks to the amazing Kinky Origami blog) but I had to post it. This has to be one of the best opening tracks to an album I have ever heard. I hate hyperbole, but I was literally open mouthed... i've probably built it up too much but please check it out anyway.

I don't know much about Annuals except that they're from North Carolina and they're all painfully young. It's basically really adventurous indie, post rock, electronic, guitar stuff. Not sure really, er...

You can buy their Be He Me album from their label website and i'll hopefully be posting more when I know a bit more about them.

Annuals - 'Brother' (expired)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It bothers me, but I don't really like most poetry. And I don't like being left cold by an artistic medium that so many devote so much to. One that's very close to being lyrics or prose but just doesn't affect me in the same way.

And then I came across Enablers. Vocalist Pete Simonelli's poems portray a seedy world of misfits and degenerates. My kind of stuff. Like Paul Auster reading Kerouac to Hunter S Thompson. Even alone they capture an enormous spectrum of emotion and energy. So add this to a smokey cloud of emotive post rock and the product is incredible.

The ebb and flow of the slightly ramshackle musical arrangements echoes the lyrics and serves to heighten their power. Overall though, it is Simonelli's voice and impassioned delivery that makes Enablers truly special. He has just the kind of smoke scarred, jaded, bar room drawl that could add weight to a train timetable.

The end effect surrounds and absorbs you into the world they inhabit. The tales of gambling and lust and jazz and pain. The chiming guitars before the cacophonic explosions of rhythm and distortion. I don't know if this still counts as poetry, i'm not here to argue that, it's irrelevant. Enablers need to be heard.

Enablers - 'Sudden Inspection'
Enablers - 'Pauly's Days In Cinema'

You can buy their albums from their label site.

Monday, October 09, 2006


I stumbled across these fuzzy rock n roll wizards by some beautiful twist of fate. My day immediately burst into life.

Clouds call themselves 'Party Grunge', which i think is pretty damn close. It's definitely similar to stuff like Clutch, early Fu Manchu and Queens of the Stone Age but it's all just so nasty and raw. Hopefully they won't get pasteurized when they inevitably get signed up.

The demos on their myspace page were recorded live by Steven Brodsky outta Cave In and I think these guys might be the ones stealing all the energy and life from mainstream music. They've been hoarding it all somewhere in Boston, and now it's being stuffed down the sore throats of their incredible songs.

Happy days...

'Guardian's Eyes'
'New Amnesia'

Clouds myspace page.

Field Music

I walked through the doors of Night & Day to meet my housemate, and as I removed the headphones that were piping Field Music into my elated ears, I began to grumble that we'd mis-timed our visit and some band was soundchecking early and would interrupt my coffee. But it was okay, because, it was, er... Field Music. Soundchecking.

Fuck me, I didn't know, and I don't have a ticket, or any money, and I'd have to go on my own... but it's Field Music and I've always wanted to see how the hell they pull it off live.

I went. They pull it off live.

I love this band. They're so much more exciting than most of the stuff this historically brillliant country has to offer at the moment. Clor are finished, and these guys are left in charge of the really fucking clever (but not smug), guitar pop magic tricks for the forseable future.

But many of the morons behind me aren't even watching?! Ridiculous. The band are also visibly aggrevated by the lack of attention; and what with some fairly heavy technical issues, and the fact that the entire thing's being filmed, it makes it all the more satisfying to watch them overcome it all and play with the kind of quality and charm most bands could never hope to achieve.

Their great new single 'In Context' is out on Monday.

In Context Video:

Field Music- 'You're So Pretty'

Buy it here

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Duke Raoul

This was a test post but why not download 'The Local News' by Duke Raoul or check them out at their Myspace page :

Duke Raoul- 'The Local News'