Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Sometimes you have to work hard to find the gems, as they won't always fall into your lap. Especially not with the way radio only really plays major label artists or those championed by NME.

Alternative Press is a US music magazine which basically deals with emo bands (and they're struggling to find worthy cover stars in my opinion). Anyway, in a recent issue the main article was 100 Bands you need to know in '07. Inbetween the screamalikes I managed to find these two puppies.

The Dear Hunter take refuge on Triple Crown Records (once home of Brand New) and certainly have a great deal of depth to their sound. The song I have heard (and you will too) has piano, noodle riffs and some imaginative background vocals. AP likened them to Say Anything, but I'll say if you mix in Fall of Troy and The Mars Volta, you might be getting somewhere. The song below, City Escape, is from the mini album Act I: The Lake South, The River North but a full length, Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading is out next week.

MP3: The Dear Hunter - City Escape

Buy The Dear Hunter

The second band I found are Kaddisfly. It now appears that I can't find them in AP so I have no idea how I stumbled across them. Tell a lie, I found it. AP says they sound like Smashing Pumpkins, Circa Survive and Incubus. They certainly have those elements (less Pumpkins and the early weird end of Incubus), but again the vocals and melodies are great and the guitar lines a little more complex. Watch out for the chorus on the track below Campfire, as it is awesome. The album is called Set Sail The Prairie and is on Hopeless Records (once home to Avenged Sevenfold I believe, but don't let that put you off)

MP3: Kaddisfly - Campfire

Buy Kaddisfly

Both bands have a progressive sound and are doing something different than just singing, screaming and then singing again whilst straightening their hair and wearing tight jeans. Ouch.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Decent bands with a cult following will always disband, in fact it makes them better as they don't get lazy and bored when no one buys their records when they're over 40, trying to peddle the same message they had when they were in their teens.

One of these bands was The Get Up Kids. Many a piece was written about them being the next big thing (isn't everyone) but GUK really were ace. Not only did they have a big part in inventing the modern 'emo' sound (Fall Out Boy rather than the asymmetric haircuts) but they tied not to pigeon hole themselves by making a very light album, namely On A Wire.

Anyway, Jim Suptic, who played guitar in GUK, now has his own band called Blackpool Lights. I tracked down a couple of songs (found at Can You See The Sunset From The Southside? - thank you and check it out, it's a great blog) and I think they are pretty damn good. If you like Hot Rod Circuit, Limbeck and suchlike, I think you'll like these a lot. I do.

The album is called This Town's Disaster.

MP3: Blackpool Lights - Goodnight To Romance
MP3: Blackpool Lights - Empty Tank

Buy Blackpool Lights

P.S. The Earl Greyhound link wasn't Earl Greyhound. It is now. (Thank you Jason)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I was a bit annoyed when I found out Chuck Klosterman didn't write for Spin anymore. He used to get a whole page for his musings, and his books are a joy to read. The only problem is that sometimes they are quite American (he writes about basketball and some TV shows that never made it here), which is a bit odd because Spin is far to Anglicized (word?) for an American magazine. That said, along with Alternative Press, it is the best American music magazine around.

Spin will introduce you to new music if you give it time. And even if trivial or superficial reasons drive you towards bands then so be it.

Firstly we have Manchester Orchestra. I was drawn towards them because I saw they were touring with Brand New, a personal favourite of mine. This song, Wolves At Night, is from their first album I'm Like a Virgin Losing A Child. Unfortunately I can't seem to find it to buy anywhere, which is a shame because it's great. They are definitely in the Brand New school of emo, more Smiths than Smashing Pumpkins.

MP3: Manchester Orchestra - Wolves At Night

Secondly I found out more about The Postmarks simply because I thought their singer, the androgynously named Tim Yehezkely, was good looking. They have a light sound, but not as whimsical as say Eisley. I think they're like the good end of Belle & Sebastian. The album is self-titled.

MP3: The Postmarks - Goodbye
Buy The Postmarks

P.S. Buy the new Funeral For A Friend album. Some people might be put off by a concept album about a fisherman though.

Monday, May 14, 2007


The journey you take to find music is logical in hindsight but long and winding before you start. Take this little example:

I bought a new iPod so I gave my old one to Kate to get a new battery. neato took all the music off it and then stumbled upon a track by Handsome (must do a hardcore connection post on them soon). I lent him the CD and then decided to revisit it myself. Then because of Tom Capone being in Handsome I thought about Quicksand, and then about Rival Schools. I then thought about Some Records, the label I belive started and owned by Walter Schreifels. And I stumbled upon this almighty piece of beef.

I have no idea who Earl Greyhound are but from watching their video (available at the Some website) it looks like they're a 70s throwback band with Caleb Followill on vocals and Lisa Kekaula from The BellRays on bass. And the baddie from Live And Let Die on drums. Fantastic.

This track has a heavy Zeppelin feel with excellent soulful backing vocals and is from the debut album Soft Targets, which has a good album cover too.

MP3: Earl Greyhound - S.O.S.

Buy Earl Greyhound
P.S. The picture at the top is by Esao Andrews who did the cover of the Circa Survive album mentioned a few days back. His website has many other paintings, with some available to buy.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


After going to see Rise Against at the Astoria last night (bad sound at the start but pretty good in all) I was thinking about their video for Ready To Fall. I think this video was made as an advertisement for PETA to show the cruelty to animals that is commonplace in certain countries. Now I'm no vegetarian so I was thinking more about music videos recently that use a combination of stock footage and performance. Of the four below I think Rise Against and Linkin Park have more of an impact but the Taking Back Sunday one is quite arty. The Foo Fighters one doesn't really have a point, but the footage of the lion attacking the eagle is pretty special.

Rise Against – Ready To Fall

Linkin Park – What I’ve Done

Foo Fighters – Best Of You

Taking Back Sunday – MakeDamnSure

Friday, May 11, 2007


In the same way the huge variety of rock music we know today stemmed from Blues and R&B (original R&B I should add), Hardcore, one of the most simplistic and visceral forms of music, has created a huge amount of artists who are really pushing the boundaries of what can be classed as hardcore and punk. Granted, they might have to thank Yes and Rush as much as Black Flag, but the energy still feels like hardcore.

Two bands in this mould with new music coming out soon are The Fall Of Troy and Circa Survive (coincidently both on Equal Vision Records). What isn't coincidence is that both these bands are hitting their stride at the same time as using such producers as Matt Bayles (Minus The Bear, Isis) and Brian McTernan (Thrice, From Autumn To Ashes).

The Fall Of Troy are a tricky one. The music they create defies their ages (somewhere around their early 20s) and just the first riff of opener I Just Got This Symphony Goin' (from last year’s Doppelganger) blows you so far away that jaws fall to the floor. The only issue I had was the unnecessary amounts of screaming, especially as singer Thomas Erak has a fine set of pipes. What we cannot fault them on, however, is the quite brilliant song titles. Who else do you know who has songs called We Better Learn To Hot Wire A Uterus, A Man. A Plan. A Canal. Panama. (a well known palindrome) and the utterly sublime Macaulay McCulkin. Anyway the pick of the new tracks available is Semi-Fiction, but in my opinion this doesn’t beat F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.

MP3: The Fall Of Troy - Semi-Fiction (from Manipulator)
MP3: The Fall Of Troy - F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X. (from Doppelganger)

Buy The Fall Of Troy - Manipulator
Buy The Fall Of Troy - Doppelganger

Circa Survive also have weird and wonderful riffs but they have something that no other band has: Anthony Green. Once a vocalist for Saosin, Green has a unique, almost falsetto style and probably the most distinctive voice in hardcore (post, melodic or original) today. Unlike someone like Claudio Sanchez of Coheed And Cambria, Green’s voice never grates and definitely does not sound weak or whiney. To carry strength through falsetto is a gift and an art, one that Green is a master of. This new track, from their forthcoming album On Letting Go, is getting better with every listen. I felt the first album had a great sound but not enough standout tracks. I hold hopes for the second offering. And let’s be fair, the album cover for On Letting Go is one of the best I have seen for a while.

MP3: Circa Survive – The Difference Between Medicine And Poison Is In The Dose (from On Letting Go)
MP3: Circa Survive - Act Appalled (from Juturna)

Buy Circa Survive - On Letting Go
Buy Circa Survive - Juturna

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Two bands who were essentially the same (Joy Division) are coming back at the same time with new albums. We have heard the first tracks from these albums and we like them. To be honest I've listened to the Editors one a lot more than the Interpol one but I really like the Editors one (sorry the quality isn't that great).

I think Interpol probably have more to prove as they're on their third album but so many bands don't get a chance past the second effort so maybe Interpol are in the clear. It's just that the second album didn't sound that much different from the first.

Anyway, someone else can decide as I'm obviously terrible at making decisions for myself.

MP3: Interpol - The Heinrich Maneuver
MP3: Editors - Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors

Buy Interpol
Buy Editors

P.S. My father was actually the first person who told me about the smokers at the hospitals. He saw an old man with a drip wearing a robe smoking in the hospital car park. He said it was pretty sad too.


Queens Of The Stone Age are back. Or should we say just Josh Homme these days? It's certainly a Nine Inch Nails style situation now. Is the Troy fellow from A Perfect Circle in the band? Are they better or worse without Nick Oliveri? Personally I think he should have a touring band and then create mini bands for each song. But I think that's what The Desert Sessions was anyway.

So anyway, the first two songs from Era Vulgaris are here. 3s and 7s has been doing the rounds on some radio stations and Sick, Sick, Sick is on the E-card (or something). My pick of these two is Sick, Sick, Sick but I always like the long songs like In My Head, Better Living Through Chemistry and so on.