Sunday, 27 June 2010

Review - Senser - End Of The World Show

Senser - End Of The World Show

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8 out of 10

If nothing else, Senser show us that raging against the machine remains necessary. The Empire never ended, as a great man once said. Another cut from their superb album How To Do Battle (no chance of mistaking where this band are coming from, clearly), End Of The World Show sticks yet another pair of jump leads into the brain with its machine-gun rap atop loping metal riffery. How many will wake up, this time?

Tracklist:
1-End Of The World Show (radio mix)
2-End Of The World Show (club mix)
3-End Of The World Show (Dean Rodell Subsistenz Remix)
4-End Of The World Show (Machinecode Subviolenz Remix)

Review - Willie Nelson & Asleep At The Wheel - Willie & The Wheel

Willie Nelson & Asleep At The Wheel - Willie & The Wheel

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9 out of 10

This album defines 'timeless'. The late, great Mr. Rhythm & Blues himself, Jerry Wexler, originally scribbled 'WN' next to various tracks on his Western Swing LPs, thus beginning this thirty-year project. It's well worth the wait. Willie & The Wheel oozes class from every flawless solo, every filthy lyric. Yes, filthy, you irony-drenched, baggy-bottomed youth. We forget, in these days when every plugging of a hole is but a mouse-click away, that artists used to have to mention naughtiness in a roundabout way. Check out this, from Fan It: 'My mamma's in the kitchen / just heard the back door slam / come out of that kitchen, honey / quit scorching that ham.' Genius. You could be into Death Metal or Happy-Slappy Techno-Dippy Hardcore but if you care about music AT ALL, this album should get you. Get it.

Tracklist:
1-Hesitation Blues
2-Sweet Jennie Lee
3-Fan It
4-I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None O'This Jelly Roll
5-Oh! You Pretty Woman
6-Bring It On Down To My House
7-Right Or Wrong
8-Corrine Corrina
9-I'm Sittin' On Top Of The World
10-Shame On You
11-South (feat. Paul Shaffer & Vince Gill)
12-Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Review - Refused - New Noise (Single)

Refused - New Noise (Single)

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10 out of 10

In the days where filler as a concept has been near eradicated by iTunes and the consumer's ability to cherry-pick the tracks they really want from a record, it's imperative that bands make albums that aren't just A Bunch Of Songs Recorded At The Same Time, but that stand up as complete bodies of work within themselves. Despite it being released twelve years ago, Refused provided a flawless template with their final (and best) album, The Shape of Punk to Come. It's a record so tightly constructed that only one track could really stand alone and have the single treatment; luckily it's the highlight not only of the album, but of their career.

New Noise features one of THE best intros ever written, a masterclass in tension & release that builds and builds before suddenly meandering into ambient electro territory. Just when it feels like the momentum's been lost, frontman Denis Lyxen (voted sexiest man in Sweden 2004 by Elle Magazine) asks aloud what soon becomes a fairly rhetorical question: "Can I Scream?". The answer's an emphatic yes and he doesn't stop doing so until four minutes later where he's yelping 'the new beat' repeatedly, well after the guitars and cymbals have rung out. There isn't a riff or drum pattern that isn't a winner and somehow it juxtaposes abrasion and accessibility while sacrificing neither, they even throw in a sample of crowd noise without it feeling cheesy.

Refused didn't just push the envelope; they gleefully firebombed the post box and created a hardcore epic that few bands have even tried to compete with. Its lasting influence can be demonstrated from the range of artists who've covered it in the years since its release; a cursory glance at YouTube will throw up everyone from Anthrax, Moneen and The Used right through to school bands playing in battle of the bands contests and even to...um...Crazy Town. Personally I'd steer well clear of that one.

"They told me that the classics never go out of style but they do...they do."

Not Always.

Listen: www.myspace.com/refused

Tracklist:
1. New Noise

Review - Kyte - Designed For Damage

Kyte - Designed For Damage

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5 out of 10

Every city has its Cold Patrol or its Snowplay these days, emotive Doves swooping around with mildly grating falsetto breathiness and strings to rend the heart of every TV crime drama fan. Leicester have Kyte, who like to mix things up with some slight Boards of Canada overtones but not too much - people might think they're weird and that would never do. It's all very lovely and the band manages to understate their hooks, which makes a change. The whole drifts by quietly, like a woman's fart and should sell by the knickerload. Can someone please do something else, now?

Listen: www.myspace.com/kyteband

Tracklist:
1. Designed For Damage
2. I'll Follow Dreams For You
3. The Lost Blood
4. Memories

Review - Attack Attack! - Attack Attack!

Attack Attack! - Attack Attack!

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0 out of 10

There are times when a band comes along who are beating a pathway so original, so fresh, so breathtakingly new, they shock everyone who hears them into delighted submission. And there are times when the pursuit of such uniqueness is so desperate that everyone simply puts their hands over their ears and laughs. Welcome, then, to the second album from Ohio shit-beaters Attack Attack!, the band for whom the interwebular meme 'haters gotta hate' seems to have been invented.

Whoever thought this band should continue beyond a brief piece of YouTube LULZ needs boiling in a rusty barrel of their own piss. The oh-so-original mixing of overly-chuggy Metal with nightmarishly auto-tuned Techno gibberish slices and shits on 'the most extreme elements of metal and pop', according to the band's PR, creating 'a new genre all together [sic]'. However, there's nothing new about a kitchen of demented sonic chefs, drunk on their own Communion Gatorade, throwing every ingredient they can get their hands on into an enormous gumbo, before shrieking and vomiting with joy at the resulting tasteless, flatulent, brown goo.

Unforgivable.

Listen: www.myspace.com/attackattack

Tracklist:
1. Sexual Man Chocolate
2. Renob, Nevada
3. "I Swear I'll Change"
4. Shut Your Mouth
5. A For Andrew
6. Smokahontas
7. AC-130
8. Fumbles O'Brian
9. Turbo Swag
10. Lonely

Monday, 14 June 2010

News - Devil Sold His Soul Album Launch Show (Only £2.00)

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Devil Sold His Soul have announced a special one off "Blessed and Cursed" album launch show on the day of release, July 12th, at the Old Blue Last in East London.

The band will be playing the entire new album from start to finish for the first time ever. Support comes in the shape of Maths (Holy Roar) and also Brides (Visible Noise). The advance ticket price is £2, doors at 7:30pm and DSHS stage time is 9:30pm.

News - Black Mountain Third Album Details

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Black Mountain will release their new album "Wilderness Heart" on the 13th of September through Jagjaguwar Records.

News - Legendary Shack Shakers UK Tour Dates

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Legendary Shack Shakers have announced the following live dates in support of their album "Agridustrial" which is out now through Colonel Knowledge Records.

July

12th - Glasgow, King Tuts
13th - Sheffield, The Boardwalk
15th - Newcastle, The Cluny
17th - London, The Garage
19th - Brighton, Komedia

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Review - The Like - He’s Not A Boy (Single)

The Like - He’s Not A Boy (Single)

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8 out of 10

The Like’s new single ’He’s Not A Boy’ is adorable. Fuzzed out guitar parts, hand claps & foot stamps, stunningly harmonised girly, but not too sugar sweet vocals. There’s just nothing not to like. It has a Helen Love kind of cool to it. They strike me as the kind of girls you wouldn’t mind your boyfriend having a crush on.

The song has a sweet & bitter edge, like really good dark chocolate, the 70% stuff with red chilli for a little extra kick.

More punch than The Long Blondes, but less punch than the All Girl Summer Fun Band, The Like has something really special here.

Oh yeah, I forgot it’s produced by Mark Ronson & they are all pretty hot. But when you're this good facts like that don’t matter.

Listen: www.myspace.com/thelike

Tracklist:
1. He’s Not A Boy

Review - Lucio Fulci - Lizard In A Woman’s Skin

Lucio Fulci - Lizard In A Woman’s Skin

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8 out of 10

Fulci. Lucio Fulci. As much as his name is often mentioned in the same breath as Argento or Bava, he is also overlooked just as often for never having the consistency of others. In all fairness he has made some stinkers (Cat In The Brain, The Sweet House Of Horrors.) but then this is the man responsible for classics like The Beyond, Don't Torture A Duckling and Zombi II. Films which speak volumes about his skill as a director and writer.

Lizard In A Woman's Skin isn't quite up there with Fulci's more popular contributions to cinema but is certainly one of the better giallo's of the time and stands up well against anything else from said genre. On this evidence Fulci could craft a labyrinthian thriller dripping in atmosphere, menace, gore and 70's girls as well as anyone else.

Without giving anything away the plot involves a married woman, Carol Hammond (Florinda Bolkon) who is dealing with some very graphic dreams involving LSD, orgies and murder. She dreams about killing the free loving neighbour upstairs, but when the neighbour in question, turns up dead and a trail of evidence points to Carol she is left to work out what happened.

The plot at its heart is a who-dun nit in the classic sense of the term. Evolving with each new twist or suspect Fulci introduces. Sudden moments of graphic gore and violence are kept to a minimum. But when they do rear their blood drenched heads it's quite impressive. Swathes of red and his trademark lingering on the wound camerawork force these moments to stand out. One such scene actually involved the director having to defend himself in court over animal cruelty charges. It was only with a special effects artist testifying that saved Fulci from a 2 year prison sentence.

Florinda Bolkon is well cast and it's her believable confusion and terror that gives the film a lot of its momentum. Never more obvious than the tense chase sequence that takes place during the final third of the film. It's a superbly crafted and suspense packed scene that throws up many questions about the alleged killer while dispelling many more. Ably backed by an Ennio Morricone score that while not his best, gives the film a very at times sleazy and at others creepy feel. The support cast are various degrees of good and bad. Nothing that takes away from the film itself, you just notice how well Bolkon , Stanley Baker as the police inspector and Jean Sorrel as her cheating husband are cast when put up alongside the slightly stereo typical, swinging London hippie characters.

Lizard In A Woman's Skin is most certainly up there in the giallo genre, and most certainly as a well paced thriller it can't be beaten. As an entry point to the world of Fulci it's probably not the best example of his work. Stick with something else. As an example of a director who could ply his skills to other genres and craft suspense and terror packed films. It's certainly worth investing time in.

Tracklist:

Review - Graffiti6 - Annie You Save Me (Single)

Graffiti6 - Annie You Save Me (Single)

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3 out of 10

Wow, this song is 90’s as fuck. No not late era grunge. No, not Britpop. Or any other decent sub genre of music that form in the otherwise godforsaken era of time. This is keyboard strings & blissed out vocals processed to sound as if they are being played through an old record. In fact the whole thing sounds like an old record & not in a good way.

To start with I was almost down with the 6’s brand of mellow yet upbeat songs "For people to play while they’re dolling themselves up" It reminded me of the White Town song that got to number one in the late 90’s. But then I realised what it really reminded me of.

Do you remember that song, I think it was by Moorcheeba or some else I had blocked out whilst waiting tables in expensive restaurants that should’ve had better CD collections. They used it on that dreadful channel four reality thing where they took Big Brother rejects, so a bunch of self absorbed, to Plenty kitchen roll levels, bullying morons and tolken fat lass prone to hysterics & stick them on an Island with a bag of rice & a film crew, then shoved it on for hours & hours on weekend mornings when all you really wanted to see was Mikata Oliver (she is the world’s greatest hangover cure) & maybe complain about how many Scrubs & Friends repeats are on whilst secretly being gutted it’s not one of the episodes with the Monkey/Stuffed dog.

I hated that show & I hated that song.

Listen: www.myspace.com/graffiti6

Tracklist:
1. Annie You Save Me

Review - Kerretta - Vilayer

Kerretta - Vilayer

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6 out of 10

New Zealand three piece Kerretta are certainly not beating down the door of Instrumental Rock’s Big Boy Club, yelling at the dinosaurs inside "Do something Interesting" (can someone do this please? Really. And no I don’t mean avant guard noise side project forming huge great steaming piles of Poop-a-Mcturd on my hard drive, no matter how awesome their day job band is) they do everything here well & with no shortage of gusto & volume for a mere three fellas.

I was pretty close to typing the word "Yawn" when I’m made to feel like a book cover judging fool. The straight up rock with an utterly delicious bass sound (that just screams of Shellac’s Bob Weston, who mastered the record) hits me in the ears & crossly shushes me & tells me to keep listening. As I never ignore the advice of a dirty Shellac-y bassline. I do just that.

There’s no question you can hear Mogwai maybe even Isis & some early Pelican in here, but there are discordant pulses & pounding drums, strangely 80’s Goth production even. The ’Something being played backwards’ sound on ’Nest Of Spies’ gave me eargasms.

Unlike a large proportion of self indulgent masturbatory noodlings in the wide ranging yet frequently bland genre. This record, when it gets going, has a good beat & you can dance to it.

Much as Peter Jackson (it’s against the law to mention New Zealand without mentioning Mr. Jackson. Truth) to put the fun back into Summer Blockbusters (take note Lucas, take many many notes) Kerretta, in the most part, put the interest back into instrumental.

Listen: www.myspace.com/kerretta

Tracklist:
1. Sleepers
2. Maven Fade
3. The Secret Is Momentum
4. Dinishah
5. The Square Of The Outside
6. Nest Of Spies
7. White Lie
8. Bone Amber Reigns

Review - The Deceived - Like Flies

The Deceived - Like Flies

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4 out of 10

To start with there’s a fair amount to not find offensive about Manchester’s ’The Deceived’. But guys, sing with your own accent. It’s not like anyone from Manchester has had a trouble getting famous/critical acclaim/making money/selling albums by being a touch regional is it Oh wait.... (if your mental list of Manchester bands isn’t over five already, you’ve failed).

Large chunks of the album are pleasant & ultimately forgettable, but there are the odd early Glassjaw moment or occasional blast beat that calls to mind the ’Light Meets Heavy’ joys of Four Year Strong.

But the simple fact is with all the chug-chug-squeal, crunch-crunch-discord followed by singing chorus it dips in toe so far in the Nu Metal pond; if it was an unattended four year old it would drown in it.

Listen: www.myspace.com/thedeceived

Tracklist:
1. Battles
2. No snowflake in an avalance ever feels responsible
3. Like Flies
4. Warning Signs

Review - The Fallthrough - As The Day Breaks

The Fallthrough - As The Day Breaks

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3 out of 10

I like a rousing anti-capitalist angry pop punk call to arms as much as the next girl. But seriously, if you’re not Propagandhi, stop it. Just, stop it.

Listen: www.myspace.com/thefallthroughpunk

Tracklist:
1. Bodybags
2. Easy To Forget
3. Side By Side
4. Life In Red
5. As The Day Breaks

Friday, 11 June 2010

News - Charlotte Gainsbourg: Live at Sunset Sound EP

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Charlotte Gainsbourg will release her new EP "Live at Sunset Sound" through Because Music on the 14th of June.

Produced by Beck Hansen, the session was recorded at Sunset Sound Studios and broadcast live on the respected ’Morning Becomes Eclectic’ show on Los Angeles-based radio station, KCRW. Featuring tracks from her new album "IRM", the EP will be available digitally only.

"Live at Sunset Sound" EP Track Listing:

1. Time of the Assassins
2. Heaven Can Wait
3. Greenwich Mean Time
4. Voyage
5. In The End

News - The Little Million - Satellite

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The Little Million will release their new album "Satellite" on the 28th of June through Seraphina Records. This was produced by Carl Brown (Funeral For A Friend, Slipknot, Fightstar).

News - Academy Fight Song Sign Nightmares For A Week

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Academy Fight Song have signed Nightmares For A Week. The band will release their debut full-length later this autumn after recording with John Naclerio (Polar Bear Club, My Chemical Romance, Just Surrender).

News - Four Year Strong Premiere Acoustic Track

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Four Year Strong have premiered their acoustic version of "Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)" on their MySpace page. The song is from their upcoming "Enemy of the World" special edition, which will be available on the 22nd of June on iTunes and the 25th of June on the Vans Warped Tour. The release will include a previously unreleased track "Bad News Bearz" and four acoustic album tracks.

News - Twin Atlantic To Support Blink-182

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Twin Atlantic are going to support Blink-182 and also open up for The Gaslight Anthem.

13 June ROCKNESS FESTIVAL Inverness

With The Gaslight Anthem:

22 June BIRMINGHAM Academy
23 June GLASGOW Academy
24 June MANCHESTER Academy
26 June LONDON Brixton Academy
29 June OXFORD Academy
1 July AMSTERDAM Melkweg

15 July SLOTTSFJELL FESTIVAL Norway
17 July 2000 TREES FESTIVAL Cheltenham
23 July REDFEST Redhill, Surrey
6 August BELLADRUM FESTIVAL Inverness
7 August HEVY FESTIVAL Kent
16 August ABERDEEN AECC (with blink-182)
17 August GLASGOW SECC (with blink-182)
20 August PUKKELPOP FESIVAL Belgium
28 August BELSONIC FESTIVAL Belfast
31 August DUBLIN The o2 (with blink-182)

News - Enter Shikari Low Key Dates

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Enter Shikari have a handful of intimate dates lined up:

JULY
FRIDAY 23 - REDFEST (headline) - Redhill, Surrey
SATURDAY 24 - MILTON KEYNES - Bowl (with The Prodigy, Pendulum etc)
MONDAY 26 - LONDON - Camden Underworld

AUGUST
WEDNESDAY 18 - PRESTON - 53 Degrees (+ The King Blues)
THURSDAY 19 - BATH - Pavillion (+ The King Blues)
FRIDAY 27 - LEEDS FESTIVAL (NME/Radio One Stage) - Leeds
SATURDAY 28 - READING FESTIVAL (NME/Radio One Stage) - Reading

Ticket links for all shows (with exception of Reading / Leeds, which is all sold out) can be sound at www.entershikari.com/gigs

News - Jon Lindsay Debut Solo Album

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Jon Lindsay will be releasing his solo debut album "Escape From Plaza-Midwood" on the 17th of August through Chocolate Lab Records. A limited edition 7" titled "Coping Strategies" will be released on the same day.

Track Listing:

1. These Are The End Times
2. Indie Prince Paul
3. My Blue Angels
4. Futuretown
5. Number Every Summer
6. I Take Care of You Now
7. During the Beauty Shortage
8. Bring the Old You Back
9. Frequent Flyer
10. When Animals
11. The Launch Codes
12. Baby Ray
13. New English Magazines
14. Me and the Dog
15. Thinly Veiled References

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

News - Do You Want To Kiss Thomas Tantrum?

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Thomas Tantrum are back with their new track "The Last Kiss". You can download it for free here: http://bit.ly/dktXeP

Their second album is due for release in September.

News - Richard Ashcroft & the United Nations of Sound

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RPA & The United Nations of Sound, the new band from Richard Ashcroft, will release their debut album "United Nations Of Sound" on the 19th of July and are on tour in the UK next week.

Track Listing:

1. Are You Ready
2. Born Again
3. America
4. This Thing Called Life
5. Beatitudes
6. Good Loving
7. How Deep Is Your Man
8. She Brings Me The Music
9. Royal Highness
10. Glory
11. Life Can Be So Beautiful
12. Let My Soul Rest

Live dates:

June
Thurs 10th Berlin Columbia Club
Sat 12th Cologne Gloria
Sun13th Amsterdam Melkweg
Tues 15th Manchester Academy 1
Weds 16th London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

News - Midgar - Lead Your Children To The Sky

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Midgar have confirmed a tour of the UK in support of their upcoming "Lead Your Children To The Sky" mini-album, set for release through the band’s own Rocket Town Records label on the 19th of July.

15.07.10 WITNEY :: FAT LIL'S
19.07.10 GUILDFORD :: BOILEROOM
20.07.10 SOUTHAMPTON :: JOINERS
21.07.10 EXETER :: CAVERN
22.07.10 BRISTOL :: LOUISIANA
23.07.10 LEICESTER :: THE SHED
25.07.10 EDINBURGH :: HENRY'S CELLAR
26.07.10 GLASGOW :: ROCKERS
29.07.10 YEOVIL :: ORANGE BOX
30.07.10 COLCHESTER :: THE TWIST
31.07.10 CHELMSFORD :: THE GOLDEN FLEECE
05.08.10 PETERBOROUGH :: DISTRICT 7

News - Black Tide In The Studio

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Black Tide are at Spin Studios in New York recording their new album with producers GGGarth (Rage Against The Machine, Rise Against) and Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God). The as-yet-untitled sophomore set will be released in the autumn.

News - Stephen Dale Petit: The Crave

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Stephen Dale Petit will release his new album "The Crave" on the 19th of July through Universal Music/Absolute.

Live dates:

July 15th - Bristol, O2 Academy
July 16th - Oxford, O2 Academy
July 17th - Birmingham, O2 Academy
July 19th - Liverpool, O2 Academy
July 20th - Glasgow, O2 ABC
July 21st - Newcastle, O2 Academy
July 29th - Islington, O2 Academy

News - Home of Metal

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Submitted: "Home of Metal is a project aimed at creating the first digital archive of metal music, memorabilia and fans stories, to tell the story of this unique moment of Midlands' musical heritage. Focusing on the innovators of the genre and those that continued to develop it: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Napalm Death and Godflesh. http://www.homeofmetal.com

From Thursday 17th June - Saturday 19th Home Of Metal will be taking up residence in a disused shop in Wolverhampton city centre, inviting fans to bring along their memorabilia & stories to be photographed & recorded to contribute to the digital archive. Home Of Metal are looking for everything from concert tickets to photographs, badges, album covers, t-shirts, demo tapes, fan letters, fanzines, flyers, lyrics, posters, press articles, set lists and promotional materials to build the collection online, which will inform a series of major exhibitions which are being developed for 2011.

On Saturday 19th June, renowned rock photographer Steve Gerrard will be in residence, fans are invited to have their portraits taken by him in their prized band T-shirts to feature in the Home Of Metal Exhibition.

Home of Metal is a celebration of the music that was created in the West Midlands, its legacy and influence across the world. Bringing people together to share their passion for the music by creating a digital archive, its ambitions also include the development of heritage tours and ultimately a permanent collection dedicated to telling the story of Metal and its unique birthplace.

Home Of Metal will be at City 10. 18 Queen Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1TQ

In the summer of 2011, Home of Metal founders Capsule will be producing and curating a series of ambitious exhibitions and associated programme under the banner of Home of Metal and informed by the archive material. These will take place throughout The Black Country and Birmingham, UK, including exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery & New Art Gallery Walsall plus a conference, concerts and film programme.

To find out more and upload metal memorabilia, go to www.homeofmetal.com"

News - Sound Of Guns Announce New UK Dates

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Sound Of Guns have announced some new UK tour dates:

June

17 - London, 93 Feet East (Brick Lane Takeover)
18 - London, Garage (This Feeling) w/Doves + England WC Game
19 - Preston, Mad Ferret (Glasto Ferret)
24 - York, Fibbers
25 - Stirling, Cape
26 - Glasgow, King Tuts
30 - Coventry, Kasbah

July

01 - Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
09 - Stockton, Ku Bar
10 - Nozstock Festival, Bromyard, Hertfordshire
17 - Cockrock Festival, Cockenmouth Festival
19 - Mallorca Rocks Festival, Mallorca w/The Courteeners
22 - Plymouth, Ride
23 - Truro, Wig & Pen
24 - St Agnes, Driftwood Spurs
25 - Truck Festival, Oxfordshire
30 - Manchester, Aftershow - Moho Live
31 - Kendal Calling Festival

The band’s new single "Architects" is released on the 21st of June with their debut album "What Came From Fire" following on the 28th of June.

News - The Lancashire Hotpots New Line Up + Tour Dates

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The Lancashire Hotpots have a new 5 piece line up, now with new band members Kenny Body and Billy McCartney.

Live dates:

11th June - Crosby Civic Hall, Crosby
16th July - Burnley Mechanics, Burnley
23rd July - North Pier, Blackpool
30th July - Lancaster Grand Theatre, Lancaster
31st July - Waterside Arts Centre, Sale
3rd July - Beatherder Festival, Ribble Valley
1st August - Kendal Calling Festival
21st August - The Bards Party, Stratford Upon Avon

News - Enter The Night With Zola Jesus

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Zola Jesus’ single "Night" is out on the 21st of June through Souterrain Transmissions.

Live dates:

Aug 31 Brighton Freebutt
Sept 1 London Camp Basement
Sept 2 Manchester Deaf Institute
Sept 3 Leeds Nation Of Shopkeepers
Sept 4 Glasgow Indian summer
Sept 5 Edinburgh Wolf Party presents - Electric Cabaret
Sept 6 Glasgow ABC1 w/ Fever Ray
Sept 8 London Brixton Academy w/ Fever Ray

News - The Coral - Butterfly House

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The Coral’s new album "Butterfly House" is being released on the 12th of July. This is preceded by the first single "1000 Years" which will be released on the 5th of July. You can see the video through this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=baH0SWCFVzo

Monday, 7 June 2010

News - Papa Roach: Time For Annihilation

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Papa Roach will be releasing their new album "Time For Annihilation" through Eleven Seven Music on the 31st of August.

News - Buckcherry Will Be Up All Night Long...

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Buckcherry will release a brand new album called "All Night Long" through Eleven Seven Music on the 2nd of August. The band’s first single "All Night Long" will be out on the 26th of July.

News - The Human Abstract Announce Recording Details

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Submitted: "The Human Abstract are prepared to enter the studio with William Putney (Suicide Silence, Four Year Strong) of The Machine Shop in NJ on July 1 to begin work on their upcoming full length album for Hopeless Records. The band has been tucked away in downtown Los Angeles writing and preparing for their upcoming release. The album is currently slated for a fall release date, stay tuned for more details.

"These new songs are among the most difficult THA songs to play, but at the same time are more satisfying. Past songs sometimes felt more like exercises, these feel more well rounded with moments that are really fun to play," voices guitarist Dean Herrera.

The Human Abstract recently announced a line-up change, with the addition of frontman and vocalist, Travis Richter formerly of From First to Last and The Color of Violence. The band also welcomed back original guitarist/songwriter A.J. Minette, leading the helm on writing duties for the new record.

"Without a doubt, this album has allowed me to step up not only as a bass player but as a Musician. We’re stronger than ever before. I am super pumped for all our fans old and new to hear it," bassist Henry Selva adds."

News - Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots) Tour Dates

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Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots’ frontman) is set to embark on an extensive headline tour of the UK this September.

September

Thu 16th Manchester, Sound Control
Fri 17th Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
Sun 19th Bristol, Thekla
Mon 20th Exeter, Phoenix
Tue 21st London, O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Wed 22nd Brighton, Komedia
Fri 24th Oxford, Academy 2
Sat 25th Birmingham, HMV Institute
Mon 27th Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Tue 28th Gateshead, The Sage
Wed 29th Edinburgh, Bongo Club
Thu 30th Glasgow, Oran Mor

News - Chocolate Lab Records European Indie Compilation

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Submitted by the ever-lovely Brian of Chocolate Lab Records, here’s news about getting European bands involved in a compilation:

"Chocolate Lab Records (Andy Yorke’s US label) is currently taking submissions for their first ever European indie rock compilation album entitled Euro Conversion Volume 1. There are just so many outstanding European indie bands that could benefit from some US exposure and that’s our plan - release an digital compilation of European indie rock bands and promote the dickens out of it in the States.
If your band would like to submit tracks for possible inclusion, please email info@chocolatelabrecords.com with links to Myspace and or MP3s (no email attachments please). There is no fee of any kind for bands to be involved. In fact, bands will split the proceeds for the album sales.

http://www.chocolatelabrecords.com/2010/seeking-submissions-for-euro-conversion-volume-1/"

News - 3OH!3 New Video + Live UK Date

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3OH!3 announced a UK live show at Kings College London on the 13th of July.

3OH!3's new album "Streets Of Gold" will be released on the 19th of July through Photo Finish / Asylum Records. Their single "My First Kiss" (featuring Ke$ha) will be released on the 5th of July and you can check out the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYC2FUutdKA

News - The Sword - Intimate London Show

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The Sword have announced an intimate London show on the 5th of July at the Camden Barfly ahead of the release of their third album, "Warp Riders" which is released on the 23rd of August through Kemado Records.

See Tickets link: http://www.seetickets.com/see/event.asp?e|artist=THE+SWORD&n|artist=null&resultsperpage=20&filler1=see&filler2=art-srch&filler3=id1kili&orderby=date,time

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Review - Moneen - The World I Want to Leave Behind

Moneen - The World I Want to Leave Behind

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8 out of 10

Moneen's 4th studio effort, The World I Want to Leave Behind, does a pretty good job of picking up where the imperious Red Tree left off. One of Canada's finest rock acts, Moneen have forged a reputation for complex, mature and boundary pushing alternative rock, crafting a blend of lush soundscapes, evocative lyrics and an ear for the melodic aspects of hardcore. Their albums have represented an evolution of this style, a constant refining exercise in which their sound has become more and more polished and consequently more and more capable of being described as uniquely Moneen. They are not a band that you can easily get confused with any other in their genre, only The Graduate come close to emulating their sound, though Moneen are without doubt the heavier of the two. Kenny Bridges' vocals remain the sole constant through a revolving door of hard rock and gentle melody. Moneen are yet to write a bad album, but perhaps this album sees them taking less of a step forward than before.

The World I Want to Leave Behind is a good album, of that I am sure. Reusing the songs Hold That Sound, The Way and Waterfalls from the Hold That Sound EP, the band already had a solid foundation to work with and the rest of the album maintains this, though both Hold That Sound and Waterfalls remain as the highlights of this album like they did on the EP. Those who have followed Moneen's career will see this album as a logical, though not perhaps the most desirable, move on from their previous works. The more melodic side of Moneen's music is definitely pushed to the fore on this album and though while another version of Bleed and Blister may have been a bit cheeky, a song of that ilk may have been worth sticking somewhere towards the tail of this album, where the songs don't change in quality, but lack slightly in punch.

The World I Want to Leave Behind begins with an eponymous opener, a short sharp introduction track that elegantly segues into Hold That Sound, a proper rock song sure to bring back memories of Are We Really Happy..? and Nobody Tells Locke.. Believe works on almost every level and deserves to be a radio hit, channelling the pop-sensibilities of Jimmy Eat World it showcases the biggest move this album makes from the Red Tree, that of keeping songs tighter and more concise, not a commercially motivated move, but one that makes the album easier to listen to. However I found that the older albums were a more challenging listening experience, demanding the listener gave it full attention, and thus that little bit more rewarding. However, you cannot criticise a band for making their music more accessible, it is in this sense an album that deserves to get Moneen a whole new legion of fans.

The World I Want to Leave Behind is a fine album, which remains typically Moneen while still marking a progression for the band. Some may find themselves slightly disappointed with the lack of consistent rockier songs, but those who enjoyed the Red Tree will find this album to their tastes again. You cannot argue though with a band who have in 4 attempts not released a bad album, and barely a bad track. Buy this.

Listen: www.myspace.com/moneen

Tracklist:
1. The World I Want to Leave Behind
2. Hold That Sound
3. Great Escape
4. Believe
5. Redefine
6. The Way
7. The Long Count
8. The Monument
9. Waterfalls
10. Red Eyes
11. Lighters
12. The Glasshouse

Review - William Fitzsimmons - Derivatives

William Fitzsimmons - Derivatives

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5 out of 10

The Sparrow and The Crow was a fantastic album and I am a fan of Fitzsimmons' work and to that extent Derivatives is an album that I was more than happy to listen to, yet this is not a lasting album in any way. It consists of remixes and reimaginings as well as a cover of the Katy Perry song I Kissed a Girl, the song which most fans will want to hear just to see how Fitzsimmons has made it his own.

Part of the joy of listening to The Sparrow and The Crow came from knowing that Fitzsimmons' could been sitting in front of you and playing in your room, the breathy vocals and the economical guitar work made this an album that you could listen to through headphones and be with Fitzsimmons, thus the act of remixing these songs seems to take away from what made them special in the first place. Guilty on this count is the sacrilegious If You Would Come Back Home (Mikroboy Remix) a song about as necessary as a subscription to FHM in a nunnery. Of the two versions of I Don't Feel it Anymore on this album, the second more closely reflects the original version but with the inclusion of the female vocals. The version that opens this album is not wholly bad, but again seems patently unnecessary and out of place. You Still Hurt Me one of the best songs on The Sparrow and the Crow is perhaps the only song improved on Derivatives with the use of a full choir to provide backing vocals to Fitzsimmons vocals. The two Pink Ganter remixes serve only to show what Fitzsimmons would have sounded like if he had co-written the album with Erasure, something that I am sure I would been able to somehow continue through my life without knowing.

The cover of Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl is, like most covers, good to a certain extent. Fitzsimmons at least complete reimagines the song and certainly puts his own stamp on it but it sums up Derivatives in that it hasn't done anything to further my opinion of Fitzsimmons in any way. His cover of King of Wishful Thinking is also much better. The Sparrow and Crow enriched my musical tastes but Derivatives will simply pass me by.

Just buy The Sparrow and the Crow instead, that still remains a fantastic album while this will endure a short lifespan as a mere distraction and exercise in trying best to miss the point of listening to William Fitzsimmons in the first place.

Listen: www.myspace.com/williamfitzsimmons

Tracklist:
1. I Don't Feel it Anymore (Feat. Brooke Fraser) (George Raquet Remix)
2. If You Would Come Back Home (Mikroboy Remix)
3. I Don't Feel it Anymore (Feat. Loane)
4. You Still Hurt Me (Feat. The Great Neck South High School Choir)
5. So This Is Goodbye (Original Version)
6. Good Morning (Pink Ganter Remix)
7. So This Is Goodbye (Pink Ganter Remix)
8. I Kissed A Girl

Review - The Gap Year Riot! - These Streets Never Sleep

The Gap Year Riot! - These Streets Never Sleep

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5 out of 10

Glaswegian almost rockers serve up a slice of piano-infused pop in the unimaginatively titled These Streets Never Sleep EP. Fortunately the music is better than their names would suggest. In the sense that TGYR possess a pianist they can inevitably be compared to Something Corporate/Jack's Mannequin though these comparisons would be lazy and more importantly wrong. In fact the only thing TGYR have in common with those bands is that the lead singer sounds like Andrew McMahon with a clothes peg on his nose. TGYR find themselves closer to Elliot Minor and other bands who find themselves living on the pop side of the pop-rock dichotomy. I think the TGYR need to accept this fact and move on, ditch the overly 'passionate, read nasally, vocals and concentrate on trying to hone their songwriting skills based around the song Win Win, the only song on the album that differentiates TGYR from any band either side of the Atlantic.

This EP is not particularly bad, in fact as a whole it's pretty passable, but it definitely descends in quality as the songs progress. Win Win is the EP's strongest card, a piano led pop-rocker with an interesting chorus and decent hook. Despite some repetitive and redundant lyrics and the aforementioned vocal weakness, the song actually comes across pretty well, experimenting with a break in the standard song structure and doing it not half bad. 3+3 starts pretty well, mixing the guitar and piano lines in decent fashion in a This Day & Age-ish way, but it lacks the chorus the rest of the song deserves. The last two songs are forgettable though in different ways. Put Down the Knives is a pretty bland faux-rock song which fails on most levels to provide any memorable moments, though the poor lyrics come closest to being remembered .The opening of the song sees itself as a proper rock song so the piano sounds hopelessly out of place, it is an awkward juxtaposition that undermines the whole song. However the worst song on the EP, the album closer Always Am, tries its hardest to be epic but falls some way short, the meandering piano and vocals in the latter half of the song only highlight the weakness of both the singing and the lyrics, something which is best covered in the opening two tracks.

Not terrible, but not great either.

Listen: www.myspace.com/thegapyearriot

Tracklist:
1. Win Win
2. 3+3
3. Put Down The Knives
4. Always Am

Review - Run From Robots - Sorry You Don’t Love Us

Run From Robots - Sorry You Don’t Love Us

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3 out of 10

Someone once said of me: "When I met Cindy, or Nick as he is actually called, I thought he was a bell-end", that story has a moderately happy ending because that person eventually learned to vaguely tolerate me as a person, but it shows the dangers that a bad first impression can create. This brings me delightfully to Run From Robots' opening track Red Rocket. Apparently bands are usually one song away from 'making it', however I feel Run From Robot's are one lost rhyming dictionary away from disbanding.

I mean for fucks sake:

"I'm searching to find a reason why/ I would never let this die/ Come find out why/ I'm sailing into the deep blue sea/ To see what I could see"

That is the opening verse of the opening song, as first impressions go that's about as bad as [insert highly offensive 'joke' that my friend told me to remove - it involved goats though]. It is just quite immeasurably bad. Anyone with ears will hear just how bad it is. And it is a little bit of a shame because actually, Run From Robots have managed to nail (by nail I mean almost replicate but in a worse way) Four Year Strong's sound, the chugging down-tuned guitars actually work quite well and musically this song is quite good. But wait, Red Rocket has finished, but the next song sounds absolutely identical, I mean ridiculously so. There's trying to maintain a consistent sound and there's not changing anything.

To be completely honest, I lied earlier when I said my first impression was formed from the opening verse of the first song. I had mostly already formed it by the time I read the song titles. I realise this is not an overly wise admission from someone who is at least masquerading as a music reviewer, but they suck balls: "C U @ the Clinic"? Just no. Ironically it is probably the best song on the mini-album, certainly musically it is. The drums and the guitars intertwine pretty professionally and it does sound like a b-side from a Four Year Strong album crossed with My Awesome Compilation. It does however contain a 'breakdown'; I'm sure the kids love that shit but it's getting a bit tired.

So Run From Robot's have succeeded in being a poor man's Four Year Strong and if that is enough for them then well done. But if they want to improve then they should have a serious think about working on their lyrics greatly and at least trying to vary their sound a little bit.

Listen: www.myspace.com/runfromrobotsofficial

Tracklist:
1. Red Rocket
2. Overcoat
3. Put 3 In, Get 4 Out
4. C is the Silent Killer
5. C U @ the Clinic
6. Get Down Get Down

Review - Bastard Of The Skies - Ichor! Ichor!

Bastard Of The Skies - Ichor! Ichor!

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7 out of 10

It's a shame it's taken Bastard of The Skies nearly two years to get a stable line-up. It's a shame because this album may have happened sooner. Which would have meant, this noisy lot from Lancashire, would be onto the next step. You see, "Ichor! Ichor!" acts as a really good example of the bands influences and how those have shaped the sound. They take the dense sludgy examples set out by Grief and The Melvins, add some of Baroness's technical finesse and then wrap it all up in some claustrophobic Am-Rep worship. They then proceed to batter these influences around your head with the occasional lull to let more subdued moments such as the intro to "Splendour! Splendour!". It's almost soothing (in the context of dirty, massive sounding metal); almost delicate as it pulls back a bit before beginning its sludgy build up back into heavier pastures.

Certainly worthy of checking out if any of those names have picked your interest or just after something heavy. Plus if for nothing else than the second track's Robocop reference.

Listen: www.myspace.com/bastardoftheskies

Tracklist:
1. Just A Horse
2. Can You Fly Bobby?
3. (Tree Of)Woe
4. A Legendary Temper
5. Evensong
6. Lariat
7. Splendour! Splendour!
8. Skies Of The Bastard
9. Debbie Rochan

News - Wolfmother Cancel European Tour

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Wolfmother have cancelled their upcoming European tour, including their appearance at the Download Festival next week:

"Wolfmother have regretfully been forced to cancel their European tour due to an undisclosed health issue. The band does not take these decisions lightly and would like to apologize first and foremost to the fans for any inconvenience this may cause."

News - Ruiner Call It A Day...

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Ruiner have called it a day. You can read all about it here www.bridge9.com/article/612

News - The Attika State - Update + New Song

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The Attika State are back, and have a nice update for everyone (including a new song "The Horton Shuffle" up on their MySpace page now:

"Hey everybody,

We know its been an awful long wait for anything to happen but things are finally starting to spring into action in camp Attika.

There have been some exciting goings on over the last however long its been so best to get started!

New Music!

In the blistery winter months of last year we went up to North wales to record an album with the mighty Dave Eringa. It was a lot of fun and we couldn’t be prouder of how things turned out.

The album is entitled "Measures" and is set to see the light of day in Sept/October of this year. We are really excited for you to all hear it! There will be a single preceding the album release entitled "Celebration?" out on the 24th July.

BSM ’10 Compilation

Those lovely fellows at the Big Scary Monsters Recording Company have kindly invited us to release a brand new song as the 22nd addition to their ’10 collection. The ’10 collection is a subscription based compilation where you, the listener hands over 1700 of your hard earned pennies and in return you get access to 52 excellent tracks (1 a week) from the cream of the next wave of bands ready to blow your face off, along with a couple of gems from the back catalogue. We are honoured to be a part of this collection, and we hope you will be too.

As a little treat we have put the song "The Horton Shuffle" from said compilation up on the myspace player for y’all to listen to so please go and lend your ears!.

http://bsmrocks.bigcartel.com/product/v-a-10-collection-52-mp3s-t-shirt-10-discount

Bandcamp

As a thank you for sticking around for so long, and to celebrate the new record hitting the streets, we have made all our releases available for stream and download (pay what you like!) available on our bandcamp page.

Scoot along to http://theattikastate.bandcamp.com and have a look.

Shows!

We have a couple of shows booked over the next couple of weeks:

7 Jun 2010 20:00 - Old Blue Last w/ Elephants, Ute and Doctor PoP London, London
17 Jun 2010 20:00 - Brick Lane Takeover London, London

If you are around in London town then please pop down!

We will also be announcing some dates with the mighty fine stagecoach for mid July very soon, as well as some more dates in October! Look forward to seeing you all on the road!

New Myspace!

The more savvy of you will have noticed the myspace has had a bit of an overhaul since the last time you may have visited. There are some nice new (and old!) videos added, plus a whole host of other links and tricks for you to play with, so please get clicking, following and sharing.

Anyways, I do believe that is more than enough for now, but be sure to check back soon for some more exciting news!!! ;)

Cheers

TAS"

News - The Cuplrit Debut Album - Free Download

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The Cuplrit have their self-titled debut album available for free up until the 5th of July, so you can go and download your copy now from www.theculprit.co.uk

News - Sleep Well, We Have Battleplans

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Battleplans will release their debut EP "Sleep Well" on the 2nd of August.

For fans of: Biffy Clyro, At The Drive-In

News - Steel Panther Cover Backstreet Boys

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Steel Panther have confirmed that they have covered the Backstreet Boys single "I Want It That Way". The track will be released as a download only on Sunday the 13th of June to coincide with their performance at this years Download Festival.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Review - Lianne Hall - Crossing Wires

Lianne Hall - Crossing Wires

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10 out of 10

When the late great John Peel has described someone as "One of the great English Voices" you have to presume it’s something special. Can you imagine the heart & riot grrrl soul of Kimya Dawson with a stunning, heart wrenching singing voice & astonishing originality? Don’t even try. Just click the link at the bottom of this review & buy the record.

I would desperately love to see a list of all the instruments used on this records (the large majority of which were played & recorded by Hall herself. The album title referring to the number of wires used to record it). If it was printed & bound it would be thicker than the phone book. Yet each song has an honesty & beauty that is never over layered or produced.

Each track tells a story & has its own identity & feel, but they are also part of a larger picture, or shoebox of faded old photographs that you pull out from time to time & sit & smile at how everyone used to look. It captures a set of times & places so vividly I feel I could have been there with her.

DIY can be pretty & folk pop can be modern. This record proves this & also what an incredible home grown talent we have hiding in the south.

Listen: www.myspace.com/liannehall

Tracklist:
1. Scissors
2. Telephone In A Foreign City
3. Fair Enough
4. Cry Wolf
5. With The Light
6. For
7. Learning Curves
8. Fore On Tyre Beach
9. All Change Of Heart
10. On The Hour

Review - Prizzy Prizzy Please - Chroma Cannon

Prizzy Prizzy Please - Chroma Cannon

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8 out of 10

For once, the PR blurb has really hit the nail on the head with this. Prizzy Prizzy Please are most defiantly near impossible to pigeon hole. Straddling many different styles but constantly rallying against each said genre when it becomes too comfortable. The one comparison on the press release that kept jumping out was "Parts & Labour crossed with The E Street Band". That's the easiest way to describe where they are coming from.

The sound is rooted in bass, drums and keyboard primarily. Vocalist Mark Pallman provides alto sax when needed, but his main skill is his quite impressive howl. Reminiscent of Bon Scott being held at gunpoint and forced to sing for his supper, Pallman raises the band past any generic pitfalls they only ever slightly drop into. In fact, the band keeps it short and focused while still bringing the Van Halen-esque rock outs and synth blasts to a natural balance. It keeps your attention almost constantly and the energy is sustained over the course of these thirteen tracks.

In fact my biggest criticism of this album is the fact you have to wait until track 9 for the brilliance of "New Shoes". A song, that perfectly sums up Prizzy Prizzy Please's skills and talent. It seriously is one of the best songs I have heard all year.

Listen: www.myspace.com/prizzyprizzyplease

Tracklist:
1. Large Hadron Collider
2. Lost
3. Clarence
4. Rocket Boots
5. Supersized Hookup
6. Pacific Garbage Patch
7. No Fly Zone
8. -
9. New Shoes
10. Ten Pin
11. Air Splits
12. 2020 Vision
13. Drizzling Diamonds

Review - John Foxx & The Maths - Destination + September Town (Single)

John Foxx & The Maths - Destination + September Town (Single)

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4 out of 10

If not for his varied career inbetween I would suggest that John Foxx had skipped over the past twenty years. ’Destination / September Town’ is so nearly indistinguishable from Foxx’s own early solo work that initially I thought I had put on the wrong CD.

Warm yet eery analogue synths buzz in the background while Foxx mumbles over the top in his distinctive detached manner. ’Destination’ is more reminiscent of tracks such as ’Underpass’ (1980) as it is driven along by an almost danceable riff. In contrast ’September Town’ has a far more languid pace that barely stays the right side of comatose.

If it were not for the aforementioned twenty year time gap then this would be not problem. In his work with Ultravox and his own solo projects Foxx pushed the boundaries of what was possible with a still emerging musical technology. On ’Metamatic’ (1980) Foxx created a cold and brutal synthesised landscape but retained just enough pop hooks to make the collection accessible to a wide audience.

While the amber glasses of notalgia have taken the spiky edges off, the disappointment with ’Destination / September Town’ comes more from an oppertuntiy lost rather than the quality of the record. On paper John Foxx and The Maths is a promising equation. (Those looking to check out some interesting contemporary work with analogue synths should investigate The Maths in his other guise as Benge at www.myspace.com/twentysystems).

Synth pioneer + contemporary synth explorer (should) = interesting collaboration.

Alas it is not to be. Without the fiery, Punk, angst of youth the tracks leave the unfortunate impression of an exercise in recreating the sound of past glory rather than taking it in new directions.

Listen: www.myspace.com/foxxmetamatic

Tracklist:
1. Destination / September Town

Review - Tweak Bird - A Sun + Ahh Ahh (Single)

Tweak Bird - A Sun + Ahh Ahh (Single)

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10 out of 10

Have you heard Tweak Bird yet? They are just wonderful, like if Geddy Lee cloned himself twice & raised his boys on big riffs & a serious lack of musical boundaries. If that doesn’t make you want to hear this single, then as Jay Z would possibly say, I feel bad for you son.

To start with there is nothing surprising about this single (which is a huge compliment as their d├ębut EP ’Reservations’ is still one of my most played records, not of this year, just most played records), it’s of as higher standard as anything they’ve released thus far, but then the Sax kicks in. Yup. Sax. Not saxophone, that’s something else altogether, but dirty, sleazy, Two-Tone infused sax, that stopped me completely in my tracks.

Apparently the B side that will come with the vinyl has flute on. It shouldn’t work, but I bet it will. Truly brilliant, truly unique & as they put it: "Our influences don’t exist. They are made up"

It’s rare these days a band gets me so excited, but Tweak Bird are that band. If you like the Desert Sessions, Morphine & Big Business & you haven’t fallen head over heels for these two brothers. Get on it. Now.

Listen: www.myspace.com/tweakbird

Tracklist:
1. A Sun / Ahh Ahh

Review - Holy State - Holy State EP

Holy State - Holy State EP

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8 out of 10

After some very brief recorded appearances over various splits and compilations, Holy State have seen fit to let more Swami influenced goodness available. Despite being a mere four tracks, they do a pretty sweet job of showcasing the bands vision and obvious love for 90's alternative rock.

There are obvious nods to The Jesus Lizard, Drive Like Jehu and Hoover but these are actually used as influences rather than ideas to rip off. Drawing on these the band has found themselves in the position of having a sound that stands out quite a bit. All four tracks are superbly written but it's the final track "Palms" that perfectly captures their sound. Bringing to mind Hoover gate crashing a Hot Snakes practise. It's that good.

Listen: www.myspace.com/holystate

Tracklist:
1. Brain Caves
2. The Beaus And The Oglers
3. Skull On Skull
4. Palms

Review - Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

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6 out of 10

Creative drumming is much maligned in my opinion. I blame Shuvel from M People for making percussionist look stupid, but the opening track of Beast Rest Forth Mouth is saved solely by the pounding rhythms that begin the record. The rest of the track is a sleepy affair that goes on a little too long.

I’m not sure what that effect that people keep putting over their voices is, whether it’s post production, or a pedal. But I’m getting pretty bored of it. You know the one I mean, that phaser-ey one that makes everything sound far away. One effect doesn’t make it Physc-folk, or acid pop any more than distortion pedals make something metal.

The rest of the record is thankfully more interesting. The plethora of digital sounds mixed with organic vocals gives the record an interesting feeling that’s slightly uncomfortable in a way that makes you strain & question what you are listening to, whilst feeling utterly at home and as if you’d listened to it a thousand times before.

Despite the light airy feel to the production there is a darkness shot through each track like the one grey cloud on a sunny day. This atmosphere gives the album a coherent feel that, whilst considered enough to work, doesn’t feel laboured. It also means at times it’s hard to hear which parts are live & which manufactured.

I prefer the light happiness of the Ganglians or anthemic nature of MGMT, both of whom I’m sure Bear In Heaven will be compared (well, I know they will, I just did) but it doesn’t make this album any less accomplished or interesting to listen to. In the day & age of digital singles it’s really a pleasure to have a band be bold enough to take the listener on a journey they may not understand, but feel compelled to reach the end.

Listen: www.myspace.com/bearinheaven

Tracklist:
1. Beast in Peace
2. Wholehearted Mess
3. You Do You
4. Lovesick Teenages
5. Ultimate Satisfaction
6. Dust Cloud
7. Drug A Wheel
8. Deafening Love
9. Fake Out
10. Casual Goodbye

Review - Traktor - Where Water Goes (Single)

Traktor - Where Water Goes (Single)

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7 out of 10

I’m fortunate to have seen Traktor live. They were a powerhouse of joyfully noisy noise. And yes that is a fully acceptable description.

Their newest offering is on an original pressing of only 500 copies, so I’d suggest going to get yours now. Seriously, stop reading this, order it. Well do if you like your hardcore on the discordant & melodic, Big Black inspired side of things.

It’s dark & urgent hardcore with sprinkles of humour. Snotty jangling guitars jostling with the snotty shouts for attention. I’m not saying it’s ground-breaking or the New Noise (as a concept or the song) but it has a job & does it extremely well.

Listen: www.myspace.com/traktorbiz

Tracklist:
1. Where Water Goes
2. Stuck With The Distance

Review - We’ll Die Smiling - Avant Garde

We’ll Die Smiling - Avant Garde

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8 out of 10

There is always one isn't there. That kid that is too awkward to be part of anything, a fence sitter if you will. The noisy buggers in We'll Die Smiling are fence sitters. They hop in and out of genres at will. Stamping around like naughty children. Too chaotic and spiky for metallers, too aggro and oddball for hardcore and far too intelligent with it all for the post-rock side of it all. We'll Die Smiling bring to mind 90's legends like Drowningman, Burn it Down and Crestfallen. They have melody in buckets but it's chopped and changed within the caustic screaming and twitching song structures at will, never settling into a particular safe or comfortable zone.

They only have four songs here but they contain more ideas than most bands can manage over a full album. That should be a good enough reason to get into this band now.

Listen: www.myspace.com/welldiesmiling

Tracklist:
1. Interdisciplinary
2. I'm Not Causing Chaos, Chaos Caused Me
3. Yeah, You Got That Manflu Down
4. Mathew Is Magnetic

Review - Conduit - Fear For Those Who Missed It

Conduit - Fear For Those Who Missed It

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2 out of 10

When I was a kid, we used to sometimes go and stay with my Mum's friends who lived just outside of Glasgow. They lived on this 1980's built concrete estate. One day me and my friend Bruce found the plastic cover to the gear box from one of those yellow go karts that were pretty popular back then. There was this lad skateboarding up and down the square. We thought it would be funny to leave it in his way and that he may crash if he hit it.

Well of course he hit it; I don't know why we did it. Maybe it was because I sucked at skating and hated seeing someone else do well at it, who knows. I remember him swearing and shouting away at us, threats of violence and bad language were thrown our way. He had a look of real anger on his face and it carried through in his voice.

That was real anger, not the faux-screaming anger peddled by Coventry hardcore (only in name) troupe Conduit. It's a shiningly well produced solid gold turkey. Throwing together various metal and core elements and horrible screamed vocals and melodic wailing.

Somewhere I hope that lad who we made crash is playing this sort of music.

Listen: www.myspace.com/thisisconduit

Tracklist:
1. Seize The Day
2. And Then There Were Four
3. I Am The Moth
4. Onwards And Upwards
5. Snakes And Ladders
6. Anchor
7. Architect
8. Look To The Skies
9. Desperate Beloved
10. Finding Charis
11. Stumble, Fall, Flick The Switch

Review - Bull See Red - Chinatown Part 1

Bull See Red - Chinatown Part 1

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5 out of 10

My family have a restaurant we always go to in Chinatown. I can’t remember what it’s called right now as I’m not in London that often, but they know us & treat us like old friends. It’s really super, the food isn’t that great, but there’s just something about the place I really like (I think I like hugs from people shorter than me & old people & get both in one. Aces).

I can’t really say the same for this EP. ’Jello Biafra doing Therapy covers should sound better’ is the entirety of my notes. I didn’t hate it, but then I was thinking about wedding rice & hot & sour soup more than the record. That should tell you something.

Also calling something an EP & then putting live songs & acoustic versions on is cheating. That’s just a generous single.

Listen: www.myspace.com/bullseered

Tracklist:
1. Chinatown
2. For You
3. Here’s Looking At You
4. Krakatoa (Acoustic)
5. Roll Royal (Live)

Review - Ocelot - Beating Hearts (Single)

Ocelot - Beating Hearts (Single)

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7 out of 10

Wow it’s nice to hear a soulful voice (Emil (B Unique)) with no autotune on. Mixed & messed about with, but no T pain here. Floaty light Electro disco, with on irony free pop heart. My first point of reference on listening to the radio edit was Glassjaw offshoot Men, Women & Children, so it came as no surprise that Ocelot were formed from the remnants of The Rise.

This is a transatlantic (Texas & Keighley in Yorkshire) anthemic joy from start to finish. It’s balanced on a high wire above a huge river of cheese & self consciousness cool steadfastly refusing to fall in. It’s a guilty pleasure that doesn’t feel so guilty.

One thing though, no one ever needs that many remixes. Ever.

Listen: www.myspace.com/ocelotmthrfckrs

Tracklist:
1. Beating Hearts (Radio Edit)
2. Beating Hearts (Soundforce Remix)
3. Beating Hearts (Blende Vocal Remix)
4. Beating Hearts (Seismel D Remix)
5. Beating Hearts (Louis La Rouche Remix)
6. Beating Hearts (Extended Club Remix)

Review - Ice Black Birds - As Birds We’d Be Fine (Single)

Ice Black Birds - As Birds We’d Be Fine (Single)

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8 out of 10

I want to like this band. They sound like a cross between Kings Of Leon & Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Wonderfully English & bluesy in the same ways the Rolling Stones were. But they sort of sound like the far better The Old Romantic Killer Band, who should be doing far better than they are & if you can see them live do.

There is however a lot to like in both tracks, it’s solid & messy all at once. Shambolic, yet carefully crafted. The title track ’As Birds We’d Be Fine’ begins with some lovely guitar picking & post punk vocals. Tiny sounds making huge choruses & a big swell of brotherhood in the way only a great song can.

The far more blues infused second track "Doors" is dance floor filling magic. Indie pop Black Keys with a stunning breakdown, which includes insane falsetto vocals & howls, before kicking into the kind of clap along refrain that will leave every foot tapping.

If this is what Indie is doing these days, I’m going to get me down the disco.

Listen: www.myspace.com/iceblackbirdsuk

Tracklist:
1. As Birds We’d Be Fine
2. Doors

Review - The Parlotones - Push Me To The Floor (Single)

The Parlotones - Push Me To The Floor (Single)

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0 out of 10

Nothing says "Let Me Sell Out & Get Lots Of Money" like a radio edit. I’m glad for it though it’s a full 32 seconds shorter than the album version & I really couldn’t cope with anymore of this pompous pile of tossbag. A good arrangement of strings will not cover over the cracks in your shockingly moronic songwriting guys, it doesn’t make you sound grand. Nope. Not one bit.

I don’t care if they won a song writing award judged by Tom Waits & Robert Smith, maybe they didn’t vote for these dull & smug boobs & were out voted by the other judges, maybe there was crack in the coffee that day, who knows. Even Radio 2’s daytime schedule would find this overblown yet tepid.

Listen: www.myspace.com/theparlotones

Tracklist:
1. Push Me To The Floor (Radio Edit)
2. Push Me To The Floor (Album Version)

Review - Chateau Marmont - Nibiru

Chateau Marmont - Nibiru

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7 out of 10

You know when people talk about synth music, do you think of robot noises & the future as seen through the eyes of the The BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 70’s? I do. I like my synth to, not only be synthetic, but played by serious looking French men who are scarily well dressed as to look like they might be androids.

I don’t know what Chateau Marmont look like, or whether they travel with a trouser press (God I do hope so) but they are French & this is just the sort of music they make. It’s retro & futuristic all at once. Think Add N To X with less robot lovin’ & more actual robot & you’re there. Sythtastic elegance, a restrained fantasy of man & machine.

Listen: www.myspace.com/chateaumarmont

Tracklist:
1. Nibiru
2. One Hundred Realities
3. Monodrama
4. Helichrome

Review - Matisyahu - Light

Matisyahu - Light

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7 out of 10

Matthew Paul Miller, better known as Matisyahu, has been producing his own infectious brand of hip hop and rock influenced reggae for the best part of six years. Last seen collaborating with dance music duo The Crystal Method, newest album Light, is two years in the making for the Grammy-nominated artist from Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Unique is probably the best word to describe Matisyahu's style. A lot of influences are brought to this album: classic dancehall sounds, electronic beats and hip hop vocal delivery amongst many things with traditional Jewish themes providing the inspiration. Such diversity could almost be overbearing but this is just the right blend for this melting pot of sounds. Aside from the bizarre re-recording with R&B megastar Akon, there are some high calibre collaborations namely with members of LA funk ska-metallers Fishbone and legendary Jamaican musicians Sly & Robbie.

A slickly delivered album that stirs the soul, Light is an eclectic album which pushes the boundaries without alienating. Modern reggae with a slightly new twist this is a nice addition the soundtrack of summer.

Listen: www.myspace.com/matisyahu

Tracklist:
1. Smash Lies
2. We Will Walk
3. One Day
4. Escape
5. So Hi So Lo
6. I Will Be Light
7. For You
8. On Nature
9. Motivate
10. Struggla
11. Darkness Into Light
12. Thunder
13. Silence
14. One Day

Review - Curry & Coco - Sex Is Fashion (Single)

Curry & Coco - Sex Is Fashion (Single)

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2 out of 10

I seriously hope this record is joke. If it is it isn’t very funny. There’s an episode of Flight Of The Conchords where the duo get addicted to hairgel (come on, it’s happened to all of us) & they play a song about fashion. Imagine that but not an affectionate pastiche & really, really shitty.

It’s like a 36 bit platform-er where the aim is to become the hippest peacock in all of Camden by insulting the style impaired. Actually that sounds kind of cool, this single isn’t. Arrogant & abrasive without the balls to back it up.

I will say if B side ’Who’s Next’ was instrumental I’d probably really dig it. Same for the remixes, largely removing the easy to hate, fake bratty vocals improves the track immeasurably.

Maybe I’m totally missing something here. But I’m pretty sure this is the worst thing I’ve heard, maybe not ever, but in a pretty long while.

Listen: http://www.myspace.com/curryandcoco

Tracklist:
1. Sex Is Fashion
2. Who’s Next
3. Sex Is Fashion (The Emperor Machine Extended Vocal Mix)
4. Sex Is Fashion (Fulgeance Remix)

Review - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Tiny Light (Single)

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Tiny Light (Single)

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2 out of 10

Rolling Stone is the magazine that thankfully gave Doctor Of Journalism Hunter S Thompson money for his words & pared them with Ralph Stedman’s exemplary illustrations, creating a lifelong friendship & partnership. They also put ketamine in their water cooler (citation needed) well they must do if Grace & The Potters or whatever the hell they are called are a best new band.

Firstly, they are not a comedy Harry Potter tribute band, which is deeply disappointing. Secondly they sound like an X factor contestant covering a song. Considering it’s somewhat bizarrely produced by Mark Batson, who also produce Hip Hop heavy hitters Dr Dre, Eminem & Jay Z, this is tepid rock at its worse.

Ms. Potter looks like Sienna Millar playing at being a Factory Girl & the band look like the fictional Jason Lee fronted band from Almost Famous. That should be pretty cool.

This single is not cool.

Fuck You Rolling Stone, we used to be friends, but my Mum says we can’t hang out any more because you have terrible taste in music.

Listen: www.myspace.com/gracepotterandthenocturnals

Tracklist:
1. Tiny Light (Radio Edit)

Review - Obsessive Compulsive - Dreams Of Death & The Death Of Dreams

Obsessive Compulsive - Dreams Of Death & The Death Of Dreams

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4 out of 10

As I get older I find I have less & less anger toward the world. Frustration yes, but anger. No. I don’t agree with the way our society is undemocratic & greedy & obsessed with fame in a way that makes reality TV & stalker mags the norm. As the world is turning into such a depressing place I look to music to cheer me up.

I watched the Clash half doc/half fiction film Rude Boy the other night, the fiction part of which focuses on a fan turned ’The World’s Worst Roadie’ who believes that The Clash should stay away from "All that political stuff" & disagrees with the Anti Nazi League. Watching the live footage, interspersed with both real & stage footage of various protests & riots & events of the time (the film was filmed over many years) something struck me, how well the music & themes stand up today & are as relevant as ever, if not more so at the moment. Despite the sing-able simplicity of the lyrics, they are thought out in an extremely intelligent way & also despite the specific nature of each song, in the sense they are linked to events of the time, the overall ideas & sentiments still ring true.

Fun to dance to, intelligent, well written and vital, they really were, and in fact are both fantastic musicians and songwriters. Raging against the machine in the best way possible, with great tunes that still sound fresh over 30 years later.

So now to Obsessive Compulsive’s album, the cover of which is a man in a suit about to eat a heart. His face is partially a skull. Oh, I get it, it’s like the suit is capitalism & it’s like, eating the heart of the country man & like, capitalism is death man. Cuz capitalism, right, it sucks. Hey guys, I’ve got some news for you. The Specials wore suits & they wrote WAY better songs than you.

If I wanted angry I’m going to put My War (the band or the record, take your pick) on over drivel like this. Without the half arsed politics this could be a pretty OK not quite punk not quite metal record. But with it it seems childish & unoriginal.

Listen: www.myspace.com/obsessivecomplusive

Tracklist:
1. $$
2. Man vs. Machine
3. The Decay Of Hope
4. A Cocktail Of Toxins
5. Spit At The Medicine
6. Virago
7. Autopsy
8. Future Closing In
9. Exit
10. Hell Is A Circle
11. 27 1/2

Review - Slaves To Gravity - Good Advice (Single)

Slaves To Gravity - Good Advice (Single)

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2 out of 10

Because we really need another grunge infused New Nu metal band with a singer with Mike Patton dreams & Chad Kroger pockets.

Slaves to Banality is a tad more accurate. The kids still wearing those weird flared jeans & flame covered New Rocks will cream over this.

Listen: www.myspace.com/slavestogravityofficial

Tracklist:
1. Good Advice

Review - Break Even - The Bright Side

Break Even - The Bright Side

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5 out of 10

Modern hardcore is something of a funny point with me. I love hardcore, but a lot of what passes for it these days does not in any way ignite any sort of excitement within me. Break Even are from Australia, they have written a pretty solid album in the shape of The Bright Side and seem to have plenty of experience and skill. They show a knack for looking outside hardcore's limited reach, they obviously like a bit of Deftones (very subtlety) and have the required fury.

That's pretty much everything you need to make a success out of hardcore these days. It's well produced and played to a decent standard. The vocals convey enough aggression and anger and the songs twist and change enough to keep your attention.

I don't know, all that stuff is great, but it still doesn't inspire much in me though.

Listen: www.myspace.com/breakevenhc

Tracklist:
1. Sunrise
2. October 27th
3. Heart Shape House
4. The Truth
5. Run For Your Life
6. The Bright Side
7. Dreamer
8. Trouble Maker
9. Resentment
10. Smashing Lights
11. Sunset
12. November 18th

Review - Angel (Male) - Patience Is A Virtue (Single)

Angel (Male) - Patience Is A Virtue (Single)

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1 out of 10

Having penned songs for JLS & Cheryl Cole (yeah thanks for that mate) Sirach Charles is branching out with an introductory mixtape. He shouldn’t have. I got 1 minute & 18 seconds in & the autotune was too much.

At least 30 of those were me moving my laptop to lean over to the stop button. Drivel. It’ll probably sell millions.

Listen: www.myspace.com/angelmusic

Tracklist:
1. Patience Is A Virtue (Minimix)

Review - Sun Dial - Sun Dial

Sun Dial - Sun Dial

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2 out of 10

I would never have linked the band I am listening to with the band on the PR sheet. Did I get something mixed up? The PR sheet band have been going since the early 90's, were a critics favourite for their mix of shoegaze and garage rock and received quite a bit of press. That band sound ace. The band on the CD, don't. Sub-Hetfield, hernia inducing strained vocals warble over the top of some very lame riffs.
I do still think it got mixed up somewhere and I got sent a demo by some terrible garage metal band. I also know that is pretty unlikely and that they really are this bad.

Listen: www.myspace.com/sundial001

Tracklist:
1. Storm Coming
2. Lock And Load
3. You're The One
4. No Mercy
5. Never's The Right Time
6. Double Cross
7. Zodiac
8. No Coming Back
9. Kill For A Killing
10. Wrong With You
11. Down in Flames
12. Radio
13. The Bridge

Review - Slyde - Move Ya Body (Single)

Slyde - Move Ya Body (Single)

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2 out of 10

Number One: Learn to spell.

Number Two: Learn to simplify. Coco Chanel’s adage of ’Always remove one thing’ works for records too. Seriously, this sounds like standing in-between two teenagers bedrooms. One of them is playing Lisa Left-Eye’s Bloc Party & the other some badly remixed Outhere Brothers. I wish that was as good as it sounds.

Until these things are remedied I will not be moving my body to this record, not one bit. No thank you.

P.S; you have the same band name as a Slade tribute band. That it my favourite thing about you.

Listen: www.myspace.com/fingerlickinslyde

Tracklist:
1. Move Ya Body

Review - Various - Switchfoot - Hello Hurricane + March Of Dimes - From Those Who Were There

Various - Switchfoot - Hello Hurricane + March Of Dimes - From Those Who Were There

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1 out of 10

I’m reviewing these two records together as I listened to them both on a very long train journey, along with a lot of other records. I cannot remember a single thing about either one of them. I should probably be professional & give them a re-listen, but being forgettable is one of the worst crimes in music. So there you go, forgettable. Nat King Cole would not approve.

Listen: www.myspace.com/switchfoot & www.myspace.com/marchofdimesleeds

Tracklist:
March Of Dimes:

1. Season Change
2. I Fell Asleep Singing Your Song
3. Ducks At The Dam
4. Try Never Knowing
5. Seasons Change (Part 3)

Switchfoot:

1. Needle And Haystack Life
2. Mess Of Me
3. Your Love Song
4. The Sound (John M Perkins’ Blues
5. Enough To Let Me Go
6. Free
7. Hello Hurricane
8. Always
9. Bullet Soul
10. Yet
11. Sing It Out
12. Red Eyes

News - Four Year Strong - Enemy Of The World (Special Edition)

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Four Year Strong have announced the release of the "Enemy Of The World" special edition, complete with rearranged acoustic tracks and a brand new studio track, "Bad News Bearz". You can grab your copy this summer on the Vans Warped Tour starting June 25th, or pick it up digitally on iTunes June 22nd. Aside from the bonus tracks, this exclusive release includes a new album cover and new booklet layout.

News - Travie McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) Solo Album

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Travie McCoy’s (Gym Class Heroes) debut solo album "Lazarus" will be released through Decaydance / Fueled By Ramen on the 8th of June. You can pre-order it here: http://store.fueledbyramen.com/artists/53/store/show_by_tags/MEDIA/CD

News - Chimaira: Coming Alive (Deluxe DVD / CD Set)

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Chimaira will release their DVD / CD set called "Coming Alive" through Nuclear Blast on the 26th of July.

This release includes a four-part documentary filmed over the course of a year and a half while the entire package includes over 7 hours of exclusive content. The DVD, filmed entirely in HD, showcases Chimaira in the studio while recording "The Infection", and chronicles their recent, worldwide touring season.

Also on the DVD is Chimaira Xmas: Live Concert Film, which celebrates the 10th annual Chimaira Christmas show in Cleveland, Ohio, which took place on December 30th 2009.

Bonus features on the DVD include a 45 minute Resurrection: 'Making of' documentary, a 40 minute home-video footage documentary of never before seen moments, and a live CD featuring 17 tracks recorded at Chimaira’s December 30th Christmas show.

The track listing is as follows:

1 The Venom Inside
2 Resurrection
3 Power Trip
4 Empire
5 The Disappearing Sun
6 Severed
7 Destroy and Dominate
8 Six
9 The Dehumanizing Process
10 Dead Inside
11 Painting The White To Grey
12 Nothing Remains
13 Salvation
14 Secrets Of The Dead
15 The Flame
16 Pure Hatred
17 Implements of Destruction (included on DVD only)

News - Beatsteaks - .Limbo Messiah

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Beatsteaks’ album ".Limbo Messiah" will be released in the UK on the 12th of July. You can download their track "Jane Became Insane" via this link: www.beatsteaks.com/free-jane

News - The Young Veins (ex-Panic! at the Disco) Album

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The Young Veins’ (ex-Panic! at the Disco) debut album "Take A Vacation!" will be released on the 5th of July through One Haven Music / ADA.

Track Listing:

1. Change
2. Take A Vacation!
3. Cape Town
4. Maybe I Will, Maybe I Won't
5. Young Veins (Die Tonight)
6. Everyone But You
7. The Other Girl
8. Dangerous Blues
9. Defiance
10. Lie To The Truth
11. Heart of Mine

Plus two exclusive UK tracks on the CD format.

You can download album track "Change" here: http://soundcloud.com/divisionpromotions/change-by-the-young-veins

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

News - Slaves To Gravity Offer Free Single...

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Slaves To Gravity are offering up a free taster from their new album (underwaterouterspace) that is due out later this year. The track "Good Advice" is available at their website: www.slavestogravity.com

News - Lady Gaga Announces Extra O2 Date

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Lady Gaga has announced a new O2 Arena date due to demand:

THURSDAY 16 - DEC. LONDON O2 ARENA

Tickets go on sale 9am Friday 4th June 2010 priced £75.00 / £65.00 / £50.00 (subject to booking fee) and are available from www.livenation.co.uk