Sunday, 24 May 2015

Million Dead re-release Harmony, No Harmony

Harmony, No Harmony- Million Dead (vinyl)
Released by Xtra Mile Recordings on 21st August 2015

It's been a long time in the making, but Million Dead are finally set to release their second and final album Harmony, No Harmony on vinyl this August. Marking the ten year anniversary of the LP, Xtra Mile Recordings are producing transparent yellow records in a newly redesigned gatefold sleeve, alongside t-shirts featuring the album's trademark burning match motif.

The release is sure to welcome fans both old and new back into the angsty world of Million Dead  - long before the days of Mongol Horde and Future of the Left. Showcasing a more pensive side to the band after debut A Song to Ruin, Harmony No Harmony is Million Dead perhaps at its best. Unafraid to experiment both lyrically and musically, the album straddles the barrier between post-hardcore and the contemplative alt-rock so reminiscent of the early noughties. This is a must have for any Frank Turner fan wanting to know where it all began.
If you can't wait until then to embrace the nostalgia, check out the band's oddly moving video for Living the Dream, following the tale of a glam rock band re-discovering themselves after the glitter and make-up lose their appeal.

The LP (with optional tee) is available to pre-order from Xtra Mile and Banquet Records

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Out Now on Last GangRecords

They say that debut albums are easy compared to what comes next, but I’ve never particularly thought so. You may have your whole life to come up with that first LP, but once it’s out there, that’s how the world sees you. Your nice little musical box- at least until you get the chance to shake it off, which can often take ages to achieve. Moon King’s debut, on the other hand, makes it clear that such an exercise would be futile here. Try as you might, it’s hard to really pinpoint one certain feel to Secret Life: kraut inspired, certainly, but delve a little deeper and there’s shoegaze, grunge, punk. And something else I just can’t put my finger on. All of these come together to form a sound that’s authentically them, for better or worse.

Each song on the album is distinct but intense, showcasing the sheer range of the Canadian duo, though there seems to be something a bit schizophrenic about the overall tone. What starts out as a dreamy, almost mystical record soon falls into somewhat of a haze. Title track Secret Life feels like falling down the rabbithole: dissonant guitars combined with the dreamy vocals of Maddy Wilde create a sense of being trapped in a beautifully bad dream that you don’t quite want to wake from. And If that’s the night before, Impossible is the morning after; the creeping piano bringing a sense of despair much akin to the throbbing headache gained after a night of debauchery.

But from here there seems to be much more of the same- synth, harmony and just a touch of weariness. While beautiful, there are times in which it does feel a bit draining; both emotionally and musically. Whilst it’s clear that Moon King want to go for that otherworldy aesthetic so common to shoegaze, the melodies at times seem to fade into the background at its expense. So it’s refreshing to have a bit of a breather on tracks like Apocalypse, its lazy vocals and Smashing Pumpkinsesque guitar riff highlighting just how powerful the duo can be without relying on the tried and tested. Hexe too, (probably my favourite) feels like a slap of the face after half an album of hypnosis, its punky vibrance revitalising what was in danger of becoming a rather languorous LP.

The sheer mix of emotional and musical styles at play here will definitely divide opinion, but if nothing else Moon King have ensured that they can move forward free of any musical baggage. On the whole it’s an interesting, if at times confusing album, which will no doubt translate to a sharp live performance.

Moon King are currently touring the UK alongside Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Catch them at one of the dates below:

Sun 17 GLASGOW Broadcast [HEADLINE]



Thu 21 LONDON Islington Assembly Hall [with UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA]

Fri 22 LONDON Lock Tavern [HEADLINE]

Sun 24 LIVERPOOL Sound City

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sigur Ros wowed crowds at this year's Iceland Airwaves festival with new song Brennisteinn. It's a welcome return to the heavier, proggy vibe Sthe Icelandic band have lovingly crafted throughout the early stage of their tenure. Good to see Jonsi and co. haven't gone soft on us yet.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

New Album from Soko

It's hard to believe that Soko hasn't had an actual album out yet. She's been the poster girl for the French singer songwriter movement for a while now (see the playful angst of I'll Kill Her and the almost heartbreakingly sweet If You Break My Heart) but amazingly enough, she's yet to release a full album of her own. So after so much buzz about her on teh interwebz over the past few years, it's about time she show us all what she can do. Just as well she's (allegedly) bringing one out in February then.

After taking a break from music due to her self-proclaimed "death,"it appears that Soko is set to be resurrected with new album I Thought I Was an Alien. I think I speak for all of us when I say yay!

From the sounds of the teaser track which goes by the same name, I Thought.. is going to be a much more dreamy, whimsical incarnation of the Soko we (vaguely) know and love. I've got a good feeling that this album will be worth the wait and will give her the success she deserves- definitely one to watch out for.

Feeling Christmassy yet? No? Me neither. Infact, I'd probably be silently judging you if you were; it's early November for goodness sake, let's not wish the year away quite yet shall we? Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that this time of year has no other redeeming qualities. We can all gush about the falling leaves and the festive glow but when it comes down to it it's still bloody cold and everything feels like far too much effort. So, after one of those days, I've decided to start Christmas that little bit earlier, just this once.

As far as collaborations go, I wasn't expecting the likes of Tim Wheeler to team up with Emmy the Great, but it kind of works. Although 'Home for the Holidays' is almost nauseatingly sweet, it's definitely a grower. Perhaps by the time Christmas rolls around you'll be ready to forgive the sleighbells and find something to relish about winter, even if it's still miserable outside.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Music matters- as if we needed reminding...

Time for my annual 'sorry I've neglected you' post it seems. Whenever the school year starts again my priorities tend to go out of the window and everything musical gets put on the backburner- ridiculous I know. I mean really, what's more important than blathering on about the veritable cornucopia of new releases and hype bands that's out there? So naturally, with 3 essays due in the space of a fortnight, I've done the sensible thing and returned to where
I belong for those extra few minutes of procrastination. Ah, it's good to be back.

Anyway, narcissism aside, over the past few weeks I've been collecting new music with the same vigour of a nerdy 90's kid collecting Pokemon cards. Over the next few days I'll be showcasing some of the spoils of my quest in the hopes of forgetting about the imminent coldness and melancholy that is winter.

First up is London based 'goth' quartet Veronica Falls.

Cool, simplistic and very very hipster, Veronica Falls make music designed to charm. Despite suicide, stalkers and all manner of bleak things featuring on their debut self titled record, the group's naive harmony and 80's inspired swirling guitar leaves one feeling more chilled than creeped out.

While there isn't much in the way of diversity here, it doesn't seem to be entirely a bad thing. Each song effortlessly drifts into the next to ensure maximum mellowness; not great if you're looking for something to awaken your senses and get you on the dancefloor, but perfect for the morning after the night before.

If you're planning on donning some black rimmed glasses and dipping your toe into the pool of hipster, Veronica Falls is a great place to start.