Author Archives: Colourhorizon

The Maitlands – Daunting From Derker (single)

Basically, ‘Daunting From Derker’ is a cut and shut.

It’s a one minute pop song bolted onto a 4 minute pre-amble. Oddly, on The Maitlands last single, ‘Kisses For The Masses’, I compared the song to Roxy Music’s ‘Mother Of Pearl’ due to the song’s glorious ringing rhythm guitar. Well, damn it, I’m going to compare this song to ‘Mother Of Pearl’ too because of being two entirely unrelated songs hooked together. This can only mean one thing, front man Carl Ingram is Oldham’s Bryan Ferry.

‘Daunting From Derker’ relates to a story in which our hero is trying to make it home to his haven of Derker* on Manchester’s banana-like trams. The song chugs along on linear guitar lines. The guitars start not unlike ‘500 Miles’, yes really, listen to it. Big echoey vocals and big echoey drums drive the songs onwards like a scratchy motorik. There are fleeting mentions of “Bury the hatchet”, apparently the title of bands next EP.

It has a sort of chorus but interestingly, the song sorta refuses to acknowledge it, leaving Carl shouting it while the band (Ste, Ste, Matt, Saul) does its own thing, giving the listener the feeling of a passenger whose bus driver has disregarded the place where said passenger wanted to alight, leaving the poor sod walking through an industrial estate in Monsall.

Then at 4.18 song number 2 starts, we make our connection to the high-speed service and sparks fly as the train glides from Piccadilly: “I left the music behind, let the story begin” sings Carl and now the band recognises the chorus and goes full throttle. As we head through a tunnel, when we come out it’ll be time for The Maitlands next single…

Tagline = The Proclaimers doing motorik.

Or, a cunning parody of psych by inverting the clicked motorik genre, as well as putting a  local Manc spin, to create a tram based alternative. So, they’re both ridiculing and reclaiming a genre.

*If you haven’t been to Derker, imagine a shit hole.

‘Daunting From Derker’ is available to buy for 69p from bandcamp:

https://themaitlands1.bandcamp.com/track/daunting-from-derker

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The Maitlands – Kisses For The Masses

I sung your songs at school…

It’s heady spiralling music all the way with The Maitlands, the ever surprising bunch of ne’er-do-wells, who flit through musical styles like cans of cheap lager. Some of their songs are short, spiky and sarcastic, but this newest single ‘Kisses For The Masses’ is as lush as it is well-defined and well produced. It sees their Wire influences counteracted by *ponders*… The Associates believe it or not.

kisses

This is a big pop song, make no mistake about it, and despite their shaggy dog attitude and go-with-the-flow live shows, this is an ambitious rocket aimed at for glory. The ringing rhythm guitar gives the song a veneer of class then it has a moody, boisterous New Order bass and drums breakdown before coming back around for another blast.

The key to the success of ‘Kisses For The Masses”? You wanna play it again, and again.

https://themaitlands1.bandcamp.com/track/kisses-for-the-masses

Flange Circus – Abandoned Glow

Four hunched, crooked men in brown cloaks and hoods dwell in a cave deep under the post-apocalyptic ruins of Bu-Ri (some call it Bu-Ree). Be they sages? Be they magi? Be they muTANTS? No one knows for certain except they have strange powers that emanate from their bulging mind-sacks. What the inhabitants do know is that the four figures have read the ancient texts, listened to the decrepit parlophones. They know of the long dead visionaries. They stand in unison and their mind-sacks throb. They can make sounds which stream from their fingers in silvery viscous webs. They shape these sounds into music. The terrified survivors of Bu-Ri listen to the music in fear. Some dance, the brave ones at least. And so, from a hovel under Bu-Ri, comes Abandoned Glow. The four hunched, crooked figures respond as one to the name they have given to the gestalt that rises when their mind-sacks hum in harmony. They are Flange Circus.

Flange Circus’ music is the sound of long dead machinery, Kraftwerk’s dream debased. Their music is creepy spaces and scary realms. The Radiophonic Workshop’s dream realised. Yet they never forget that how dark the music is, the bass must travel forward, must explore and hit at the soul. Joy Division’s dream personified.

‘Great Division’, the single which opens their inaugural full length release, gorgeous striding lines of dance music. You can practically sniff the asphalt on this divine motorik groove.

 

Homunculus Gardens; radiation leaks on a bottom dwelling submarine.The found sounds and swipes of hot dank air take us into the realm of the experimental.*

‘In The Pestilent Folds Of Chub 909’ is the sound of Peter Davison’s Doctor Who at a 90s rave. The drums are 808 State but the keyboards are wibbly wobbly CSO.

Lord Of The Rings drums usher in ‘Moloch By The Sea’ and all sorts of RPG soundtrack fun. We’re by the sea, the village is tranquil, but the grand wizards approach! Grand, cacophonous and resplendent. Have you got your magic potions ready? We’re going all the way back to the SNES age!

‘Dehibernation’ is what Sisters Of Mercy sound like in my head, not on the CDs. Chunky lines of guitars throw big riffs while sneaky keyboards weave their magic.

‘Kwak’; Robert Mitchum stalks the dry scrub streets in Night Of The Hunter.

In the past I have commented that Flange Circus’ free wheeling approach to genres has hindered them by not leaving a distinct impression of who the band actually is. Here though, over the course of an album it actually works in their favour. Ten songs in the same vein would get monotonous, especially the gloomier ones, but flitting from style to style keeps the album fresh and the surprises coming. What holds Abandoned Glow together as an album is Flange Circus’ masterful knowledge, appreciation, reverence and capacity for the usage of sound. Very few bands master the art of knowing both how to soundtrack and how to groove. Flange Circus have that skill, and many more.

Abandoned Glow is available to buy right now and we highly advise you do so!

https://flangecircus.bandcamp.com

*The experimental is now the conventional and they are no chock stock things**

**This is a reference to a song by The Fall. This is essentially shit stirring as one member of Flange Circus loves The Fall and another hates them. Colourhorizon is the only review website that includes inter-band shit stirring.

IX – 6EQUJ5

With a name like IX and album entitled 6EQUJ5 that clocks in at two hours this isn’t a band aiming at being on Jools Holland at any point.

Instead of wanting intrusive boogie-woogie splattered all over their work, IX, with evocative titles such as ‘Fennyman’s Point’ and ‘Sub Level 5’ are more interesting in taking the listeners to faraway places.

6EQUJ5 is a rainy neon lit world fed through the visions of The Radiophonic Workshop (‘Incubation (Phase 1)’ and Blade Runner (‘Monad Theme Reprise’). This isn’t just a place of dank synth atmospherics though; life emerges in heady sweaty nightclubs where thumping Chemical Brothers dance music, itchy drum n bass antics, Talking Heads style rhythm guitars and much more shepherd you to ecstasy.

The title track almost reaches the beauty of the soundtrack to Manhunter, while ‘Black Pyramid (Part 2)’ oscillates around a Tangerine Dream ambient soundscape of splitting atoms, then it’s deep ambient all the way into the ketamine sucking second half.  And is that a melodica on ‘Dome 1’?

The pitch was the album is the soundtrack to a movie. It’s not, at 2 hours it’s longer than most good movies. This is the soundtrack to a city, and not even the city in Blade Runner, this is more like Futurama, in which multitudes of people live colourful, diverse lives. IX have created a truly sprawling world. And whilst Bandcamp is awash in music of this type, very little of it is either as ambitious as IX, or as immaculately conceived, realised and presented.

Like taking a trip through the night life of G-Police.

https://ixband.bandcamp.com/album/6equj5

Hey Bulldog – Al Lupo single review

I think I’m hyperventilating here; Hey Bulldog, Manchester’s most exciting band have just dropped the most exciting music video the world has seen since the Beastie Boys perfected the art form. Such an intense rush of sound, colour and movement. I’m going to watch it 20 times over and then be sick all over the living room floor.

‘Al Lupo’ raises it’s head to the sky as a short form blast of everything that is glorious about this band, acting as a superb jumping on point for everyone who loves heavy guitar rampage. And my friend does this rock ‘n’ roll animal deliver. Powered on a hacksaw guitar riff that scrapes each of your vertebrae, this combines the raw simplicity of The Buzzcocks ‘Boredom’ with the forward momentum and amyl nitrate rush of Roxy Music’s ‘Virginia Plain’ and the shrieking hysteria of Grinderman’s ‘Honey Bee’, all squeezed though Hey Bulldog’s aesthetic of groove heavy psych rock. To cap it all you get a RAT powered bass solo.

The vocals: frenzied, a man dangling on the cliffs edge. Rob M, with his purest, most well recorded vocals yet sings like a man dancing on the razors edge, strung out on adrenaline and terror. When he finally hits the desperate refrain of ‘Into the mouth of the wolf’ the song is hitting with a barrage of throwing stars.

Buy it!! FOR GOD SAKE BUY IT!!!

https://heybulldog.bandcamp.com

 

Three Dimensional Tanx live 06.04.2018

Sunshine and showers…

I’m biased, I’ve seen Three Dimensional Tanx over ten times but they haven’t ventured down to Manchester in a while so it was a huge pleasure to see them supporting the best band of the now, The Lucid Dream. It was an even greater pleasure to see them playing to a big crowd, and the crowd lapping it up and falling in love with them just like I did.

My mate Jason summed them up best: “they play like their lives depended on it”*. This was a band knowing they had a golden opportunity, so they grabbed it and gave it everything they’ve got. This was a band having a whale of a time. From the moment they stepped on stages it was smiles all round and they whipped up the crowd til the smiles were beaming back at them.

Three Dimensional Tanx play fast and loose garage rock that’s part Inspiral Carpets swirl, part punk ramalama, part last chance saloon rock ‘n’ roll, part oddball Northern Soul. Richard on guitar plays wiry rhythms, leaving lots of space for the drums, bass and the keys. They whizzed through 11 songs in 30 minutes, never taking a breath. It started with the golden great ‘The Moon & The Wrecker’, an evergreen stomper and singalong. From there they clattered through the amphetamine rush of ‘I Am Go’ and the fairground side-show ‘Hotdog’, plus news songs from an album due later in the year. All delivered with childlike enthusiasm from shoeless frontman Spacey, who has the magnetic stage presence of a cartoon Jon Spencer. Come to think it, 3DTanx are a cartoon band; colourful, brimming with personality and lots and lots of fun.

Of course, what everyone walks away from 3DTanx talking about is the drummer Loz. Other drummers are functional, there to keep a beat, to keep the clock ticking. Loz? Loz drums like the star of the show, drums like a man born to entertain. He’s a drummer with ADHD, he couldn’t do motorik if he wanted, which he wouldn’t anyway. He breaks mid flow to do solos, breaks and reassembles at will, he wanders outside his kit to play the cymbals, he takes his dress off. They don’t make ‘em like Loz anymore. They never made ‘em like Loz.

Three Dimensional Tanx glorify daftness and exalt the art of entertainment. Their new fans have heard the calling…

*It’s easy reviewing – just write what your mates say.

Vids c/o the Great Sage

https://threedimensionaltanx.bandcamp.com

Hey Bulldog Interview – ‘Al Lupo’ single

By the night-time sounds of a wailing Stratocaster and the back street rumbling of a dirty bass line and the timeless clatter of a master sticksman, Hey Bulldog are all things for all men. They are psych-blues-rock dished out by masters of the arts. They are bringing the power trio back to glory. They are bringing mastery back to rock. They are the wolf and their new single, available from 20th April is called ‘Al Lupo’.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Rob M, a guitar slinger for the 21st century and put a few questions to him…

1 – Tell us about Hey Bulldog and the music you play…

We’re just three guys that enjoy playing music together, mainly guitar, bass and drums, but we’re definitely capable of branching out into other areas.

2 – Who are the members of the band?

Me (Rob Manton – Gtr & Vox), Matt Parry (Bass & Vox) and Ben Howarth-Lees (drums).

3 – You have a new single out called ‘Al Lupo’; when, where and why should people buy it?

When: 20th April 2018!

Where: From our bandcamp heybulldog.bandcamp.com, and all other major download sites like itunes, amazon etc.

Why: if you like decent garage rock music from a band with their own sound and with a nice catchy melody this is the one for you!

3a – Perche una canzone con un titolo Italiano? Da dove l’ispirazione? 

Sto imparando l’italiano. L’anno scorso abbiamo suonato ad un concerto in Sicilia,è il nostro sogno si e realizzato e un’esperienza straordinaria per tutti noi. Gli italiani ci dicevano “In bocca al lupo” e questa frase ci ha dato l’ispirazione giusta per scrivere la canzone.

4 – Do you have any plans to release new music?

We’d like to release another single this year, with either an EP or an album to follow on from that…

The response to ‘Al Lupo’ has been amazing so far, so an album is something we’ve been waiting a long time to make.

5 – You have a  new song called ‘No Future Part 2’ that is very different from your normal sound, tell us about it…

Well originally I had an idea for a Bladerunner soundtrack style spoken word synth thing called ‘No Future’ that I was showing to Ben and Matt at rehearsals, Ben starting playing this motorik Can style drumbeat which was not what I had in mind at all, but it sounded amazing, so all three of us spontaneously jammed around that and 90% of what ‘No future part ii’ is came from that 1st jam.

6 – … people have gone wild for it, do you think this marks a shift in the music?

It’s not a shift, we’re not that premeditated when it comes to the songs, we just go with whatever we feel sounds best at the time, it’s definitely something different for us though to do a mostly instrumental track without a proper verse or chorus, so it’s really opened up another avenue for us that we can go down, and also shows another side to the band that maybe people who see a lot of bands realise is something that not many bands are capable of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjRIu4c5ZJc

7- What gigs do you have coming up?

This month we’re playing with The Lucid Dream and Purple Heart Parade at The Victoria Dalston in London and then to celebrate the release of ‘AL Lupo’ we’ve picked some great bands to play with us at Night People in Manchester on 13th April, we’re headlining the night playing a bit longer than usual and really looking forward to seeing Savannah, Freakout Honey and Deja Vega playing on the same bill.

We’ve got a couple of things to announce for the summer soon too.

8 – What Hey Bulldog record are your most proud of?

It’s hard to pick out one, if you’re not proudest of your latest song and don’t feel you are progressing or doing something different from your previous stuff then you probably shouldn’t release it.

We’re all really pleased with how ‘Al Lupo’ turned out, it’s probably the best vocals I’ve recorded and I’m really pleased with the way the melody and the lyrics work together, the production and mix came together really easily too and brought out the best in the song, there’s a lot of little details in there that people will start to pick up on after a few listens.

9 – What are you listening to at the moment and who do you recommend?

Recently I’ve been playing the latest Mogwai and LCD Soundsystem Records both are great, with a lot of different flavours to them.

Live vids c/o Dave Zoom @MistaMoZe and the great sage John Hall @Mancmusic1
(Thanks to Marta for helping us with our shaky Italian)
Tickets for Night People are available here:
Bandcamp page:
Coming On Stro-ong!