Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dead Sea Apes – Sixth Side Of The Pentagon

It’s as heavy and deep as it gets when the Stalybridge overlords of desolation Dead Sea Apes bring together their trademark space rock with the heavy dredd of dub.

The signs were there; on the previous album, Spectral Domain, Dead Sea Apes showed their hand with a new direction. It was called ‘Sixth Side Of The Pentagon’ and was a little bit like an existential version of Alternative TV’s ‘Love Lies Limp’. Just like ‘Fodderstomp’ on the original Public Image album, the last track on one album paves the way for the next album. Experimental becoming conventional. So now, the sixth side has sprouted tentacles (and ‘Tentacles’) and a life of its own. Here it is in full album form. The song ‘Sixth Side Of The Pentagon’ has now been fractured and runs like a fissure through the album The Sixth Side Of The Pentagon.

It’s rather pointless to talk about individual songs. This is a huge collage of dub echoes and shards amidst bleak space rock voids. It’s gloomy and oppressive but the thing with Dead Sea Apes is that the rhythm section of Nick and Chris is always right to the front so there’s always something to do. This isn’t background music, which is where many bands of this ilk can become unstuck. With Dead Sea Apes you can always nod your head. The gluey bass and the insistent drums always keep your head in the right space. But long-term DSA fans need not worry, there are still huge icebergs of guitar from Brett.

Actually I will mention one song, the simply incredible ‘Tentacles (The Machine Marches On)’ in which Dead Sea Apes team up with economist Adam Stone. The result is a noxious head spinning brew of words and music. Here is a sample of the lyrics:

Do you feel the system breathing for you?
The system is multi-tentacled,
Punctuated by profuse and drooling circular mouth-holes
And foul, ever-monitoring eyes.
Each writhing tendril fastens itself to the base of every willing human skull
And spreads pseudopods the length of every buckled spine.
The system is rapacious, self-destructive,
Feeding, gorging on death and violence.
The system is invisible to those who are drained by it,
Their vampire teeth glinting in the pale light of your smartphone.

Regardless of future extinction, the machine rolls on.

What is this sickness that seeks to infiltrate every corner
Of our waking and sleeping lives?
It is the madness of the system as it belches forth multi-variations on the commodity theme.
Desire for commodity equals behaviour modification,
Control masquerading as choice and freedom.

Sixth Side Of The Pentagon is a startling new direction for Dead Sea Apes but a triumphant success.

If you like dub buy it. If you like space rock buy it. If you like Dead Sea Apes buy it.

https://deadseaapes.bandcamp.com/album/sixth-side-of-the-pentagon

Advertisements

Control Of The Going – She (single)

Ah, such twisted chicanery. Those curious chaps at Control Of The Going are causing commotions with their spanking new single ‘She’. It’s a hairpin affair full of sharp corners and breakneck manoeuvres.

Control are flowering and finding their own place. Melding their Brian Jonestown psych style with a Mancunian party-hard ethos they’re finding their feet and kicking up dust. This is a song with a shit ton of energy and made for the dance floor. It’s no wonder that Manc DJ icon, Inspiral Carpets brain-box and milk bottle aficionado Clint Boon has been rocking it in his club nights at South up North.

Let’s listen: straight from the starting pistol the song rips and roars. Waves of guitars snake and slide, wrapping riffs round each other. The drums are crisp and nervoid. The bass is pushing and straining. Then Liam’s vocals enter, using punchy repetition of certain words to reinforce the dance aspects of the music. Music and vocals appear to be racing against each other and the disconnect simply increases the excitement. As the song reaches fever pitch, we’re treated to Tom Verlaine-ish solos so you can air guitar if dancing ain’t your bag.

This is a song in control that wants to be out of control. This is a 4 minute ride to the peak of heady euphoria, starting breathless and ending hypoxic.

Control is going… Control Of The Going are going…

‘She’ is available to buy on vinyl or download here…

https://wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com/album/she-wild-flower-ltd-edition-double-a-sided-7-single

… and see them live with Ist Ist at Manchester’s Gorilla on October 14th!

Control Of The Going will return soon with their debut album, I Love You But It’s Going To Rain.

 

Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer live at Gullivers 17.07.2017

Chap Hop! Hoorah!

It’s been 10 years now that Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer has been traversing the world to gentify the world of rap and introduce a sense of decorum and, if nothing else, better grammar. He returned to Manchester to play Gullivers again. As he quipped to the crowd: “you only play Gullivers twice… once on the way up…”

He was here to stir up a hullabaloo about his new long player There’s A Rumpus Going On, as well as a snazzy range of handkerchiefs, and a slightly less snazzy range of “undershirts”.

He opens his summer soirée with ‘All Hail The Chap’ with not only pays an ode to his magazine of choice but lays out ground rules for attendees and prospective party members. From then on it’s his calling card, ‘Chap Hop History’. Over the last decade he must have played it a thousand times but he still keeps it fresh and never shows signs of wearying of it.

The show is a mix of the old and the new, There’s A Rumpus Going On is represented by ‘Still Can’t Play The Trombone’ and ‘We Need To Talk About Kanye’. The latter goes down a storm with a parody of the subject matter’s appearance at Glastonbury thrown in for good measure. Not played tonight but from the same album is…

There’s a rare outing of the ever green pop song ‘Curtesy For Me’ from The Tweed Album and we get a rousing Bavarian sing song too.

What with Mr B being in t’North he rolls out his classic medley of traditional folks songs from t’Mondays, t’Inspiral Carpets and t’James. He rounds it off with the chorus of ‘I Am The Resurrection’ before a few cheeky gags at a Mr Ian Brown’s incapacity to carry a tune in a bucket.

Prompted by the audience, but not by much we suspect, there is a healthy dose of songs from his frankly phenomenal debut album, Flattery Not Included. Ironically, a large section of the lyrics on that album are about unhealthy doses. These songs are still as bawdy and hilarious as they were when I first saw them live in 2010. ‘Timothy’ rips up a formerly well-known DJ, ‘Crack Song’ prefigures Amy Winehouse’s decline and then the song that always brings the house down, ‘Kissing In Porn’.

Which just leaves us with his usual ending: ‘Songs For Acid Edward’ and a hearty love song to the little pills that once made him feel rather queer. This being Manchester everyone had a nice little dance.

A short and sweet encore with a cutesy, heartfelt cover of Bowie’s ‘Starman’ then it’s off to mingle with the chumrades.

Raconteur par excellence, Mr B never disappoints, always entertains.

http://www.gentlemanrhymer.com

Can’t Stop Shan’t Stop review

 

Live – The Sundowners at Jimmy’s 29.04.2017

Here at colourhorizon we used to love the Roadhouse; Manchester’s famous dingey dive. So we were happy to go to Jimmy’s which is keeping the tradition alive. It’s a different venue but it’s in the same building; it’s underground, the floors are sticky and you can barely see the stage. It’s great.

We’re here to see The Sundowners, who sold out the venue amidst a buzz of anticipation. They whipped up a terrific set. Sure, they’re psych and they may initially sound a little similar to some of the other bands around but there are a few very important weapons in their arsenal which make them stand out from the competition.

Firstly, they’re tighter than battleship bulkheads, each member of the band contributing equal parts, but there’s no one swinging the lead here! Similarly, what is really commendable is that the songs are deliciously short. A dozen other band would happily crank out these songs for ten minutes a go. We mean this in the best way possible; but The Sundowners know when to stop! And make no mistake, these songs are hot and full of aggro; snapping little crocodiles. The rhythm section really purrs too, giving a forceful post-punk vibe to the sweaty dance-psych jams. All in all they’re somewhere between The Au Pairs and Lola Colt. Or not at all.

Then the final piece of the jigsaw is the double barrel attack of Niamh Rowe and Fiona Skelly’s vocals; warm and energising. Imagine Grace Slick and Patty Smith cruising the freeways. Plus they give The Sundowners a cheeky shot of The B-52s party-hard antics. You can keep your shoegaze mopers and your hipsters with their Noel Fielding wardrobes.

The Sundowners; they have a sack-load of what you want.

Heaven On Earth At The Halle 22.04.2017

Down at the Halle St Peters on Saturday, a deconsecrated church, afternoon mass was being held. Sermons with guitars and gospels with pedals. A congregation of spiritual brothers-in-arms in attendance and a selection of Manchester’s most heavenly bands. Colourhorizon is happy to produce the parish newsletter to report how a sunny days indoors offered enlightenment.

The first artist we saw was Hana (Hannah Nicholson), resplendent in pink. Putting the dream back in dreampop, backed by sporadic Vini Reilly-ish guitar, tender keys and even more sporadic drums, this is more of a showcase for ornate vocals. Most impressive is when she lets the high notes float and you know you’re watching a magnificent singer. One song was called ‘Jasmine’ which seems a perfect title for songs as delicate as this.

The Maitlands follow in the grand tradition of Mancunian pop that stretches back to the Buzzcocks and beyond. They’re bright, witty and fizzy. Playing an essentially best-of set list that showcased their recent Salford Democracy EP they rattled through their time with energy in abundance. It is easy to be won over by the simple charms of The Maitlands; their songs are uncomplicated and highlight the sheer thrill of a guitar riff, some smart words and enervating drumming. Moreover, frontman Carl always gets people laughing in-between the songs. Here he was musing about the heights of the previous band from the length of the mic cable and asking the thermostat to be turned down to 18 degrees. Due to some sound issues he was experimenting with two microphones, which won’t help the Mark E Smith comparisons, but in truth he’s closer to Alternative TV’s Mark Perry. The band later reported sound issues from stage but from the audience side is sounded sharp and crisp, with plenty of space for all the instruments. The cheeky cowbell number ‘A Few Choice Words’ continues to be a highlight.  It’s pretty impossible to dislike The Maitlands.

The Creature Comfort are full-bodied, full-blooded rock ‘n’ roll. It’s the kind of two guitar attack that is best associated with the pirate swagger of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers but when frontman Ben takes to the stage the comparisons always veer towards Iggy Pop. Ben is a whirling maniac on stage; flailing and falling, crooning and careering, shrieking and shaking. He loves leaving the stage and at one point sits with down to sing to some children, thus influencing the next generation of stars. His band are tighter than two coats of paints and they ripped through a headshot of songs like controlled explosions. Creature Comfort need to be seen to be believed. Consider yourself cleansed on the altar of rock ‘n’ roll.

Headlining the afternoon mass were the mighty Hey Bulldog. I’ve seen the Hendrix fuelled Psych-Blues boogie outfit a few times now but here they were transcendent. A power trio for the new age, they tore through a breathtakingly fluid set, with sky-high guitar offset by a magnificently supple rhythm section. Playing a bigger room clearly suits Hey Bulldog well, with space for those dynamite riffs to ring. The highlight of the set was probably ‘Under My Spell’ in which guitar slinger Rob blasts a riff that is the equivalent of an 8 year olds’ drawing of a fire spewing drag racer.  With a set that seemed to pass by in seconds, the crowd was left stunned and begging for more.

You are all absolved. Another cucumber sandwich, vicar?

https://www.facebook.com/hannahnicholsonmusic/

https://www.facebook.com/themaitlands/

https://thecreaturecomfort.bandcamp.com

https://heybulldog.bandcamp.com

Hey Bulldog ‘Divide And Conquer’

Hey Bulldog; the spiralling Strat wizard Rob M and his unstoppable rhythm machine Ben & Matt are back.
‘Divide & Conquer’, a favourite from their fabulously entertaining live set, has captured in all its pomp and circumstance for the world to enjoy.
It’s been played on 6music amongst others and is available to buy right now. But what does it sound like?

Like 8 top-secret military hovercraft on manoeuvres in the desert.
Like dangling precariously on the top gantry of a burning oil rig.
Like a Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee showdown.
Like a phalanx of red clad Spartans; shields locked.
Like the obsidian eyes of the Giant Squid.
Like the children of the Hydra’s teeth.
Like the level boss you can’t beat.
Like Connery vs Moore.
Like Hey Bulldog.

Listen:

Buy: https://heybulldog.bandcamp.comhey bulldog

13903175_659612270863610_2234422914817891292_n

Video Premiere – Three Dimensional Tanx with ‘Son Of Go’

Ladies and gents, take your seats in the fleapit and get ready for a premiere!

Three Dimensional Tanx is proud to present the creepy new video for ‘Son Of Go’, lead single for the rabble rousing, ruckus raising new album Attack!

So let’s turn down the lights and get on with the show!

Well, that was a little creepy wasn’t it? Looks like a Devo home movie.

Well kids, we hope you all enjoyed it!

And don’t forget to buy the album of course!

http://threedimensionaltanx.bandcamp.com

three dimensional attack

Going with more of a Hannah-Barbera theme, here’s the video for ‘I Am Go’ from the previous self-titled album…

Click for an interview with Three Dimensional Tanx!