Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bear witness to a shattered world: Dead Sea Apes’ Free Territory

“Cast out all ye demons” cursed the last of the Sky-Gods, issuing maledictions under the blood red sky.

The Under-Demons hold sway in this land, scouring the burnt out remains of buildings for the burnt out remains of humans.

When the barricades fell, the Under-Demons came, falling on their prey and devouring them; bones and all.

This is the Free Territory. Free because love, life and hope are gone. In destruction all becomes equal, eroded by the winds of desolation.

Dead Sea Apes, survivors of this chaos, send us this artefact to tell us of their barren, desiccated world.

This transmission you hear is not “music”, are not “songs”. The Free Territory is merely the sound of an existence of sorrow. This is a document to bear witness to a shattered world.

Dead Sea Apes do not intend to scare, depress or horrify you; merely alert you to a world of suffering, where Man’s shame has fallen inwards.

Maybe the Sky-Gods will triumph in the end, and light will return to the Free Territory. Or maybe darkness will consume what remains.

Only time will tell.



Comrades in anarchy: Clint Boon’s Rebellious Jukebox

The last radio show was beamed out from Oldham Edge, a foreboding hill with adjoining aerial that manages to loom under the skyline, separating Oldham’s desolate moorland, with Oldham’s desolate town centre.

Each weekday from 10 til 2 Clint Boon held sway on the airwaves, with both complete control over the playlist, and with power devoluted to his adoring masses. For the first 2 hours of the show was comprosed of the songs he wanted to play, and nothing else. The second part, The Rebellious Jukebox, was comprised of listeners requests and nothing else. 

And we, the Boon Army sat huddled in our Oldham hovels, our ears pressed to the speakers of our FM radios. Boony fed us a healthy, rich diet of Buzzcocks, Chameleons, Puressence, Bunnymen, Joy Division & New Order, Pixies, Interpol, Public Image, The Smiths, The Fall, The World Of Twist, The Paris Angels, Bowie, Blondie, The Clash, the Bunnymen, the Roses, the Carpets and his own band The Clint Boon Experience (Boony likes the royalties).

Boony fed us gateway drugs. Once he got you into Magazine (including telling you about ‘Shot By Both Sides’ riffs usage in Buzzcocks ‘Lipstick’) it’s only a short jump to the similarly named Television. And from Television it’s only a hop, a skip and a junky away from Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers.

Boony ruled his roost. One day he played a cover of ‘Another Girl Another Planet’ by Blink 182 (or some such toss) only to stop it half way through and crush it audibly. He’d play ‘Duelling Banjo’s’ at will.

Minds were shaped in the white heat of this cultural fire. Music junkies were fixed up good. This young neophyte heard Jimmy from Puressence sing and the world changed.

Then one day Boony left us, going off to join Radio X, or XS Manchester, or XS Playlist, or something. I tuned in once, they were playing the Kaiser Chiefs. For us weened on the finest diet, to listen to such table scraps was an affront to our education.

Radio has declined steadily since, becoming less and less meaningful. They have a radio on at work. It seems obligatory to play at least 70% Queen songs.

But for those of us that were part of the movement, the act, we had The Rebellious Jukebox and Boony was the ringleader.

Dyr Faser – Trio

Dyr Faser emerge from a mist of deodorant haze with the twanging riffs of ‘Den Of Sables’ like a neurasthenic Stooges. Peaks of guitar chime in digital on-off patterns. It’s garage but spin washed and hung out to dry.

‘Estranged’ gurgles like a bad stomach condition; shoegaze but breaking into languid cowboy shimmers, as the song rumbles on it becomes more and more like a cow being ritually humiliated.

The morse code of ‘Don’t’ gives way to synths urging The Warriors to come out to play-ay over a disco beat. It’s vaguely motorik too, vaguely Iggy in Berlin.

‘Just A Face’ s dubby percussive beats and low-key guitar noodling gives the song an acid western feel.

‘Koso Biru’ offers the bounciest guitars of the album and spits out it’s meatiest groove. But this isn’t for dancing, just getting your head into the Tron space of all the rising guitar lines. 

‘Hybrid Souls’ feverish drums hit against keyboard drones. It’s this mix and uppers and downers that make Dry Faser so difficult to pin down. They’re like a positive spin on that old quip about jazz music being a bunch of musicians playing unrelated tunes.

Insistence never sounded so lax and riffs never sounded so ambient. There’s a real shoegaze flavour but the songs don’t sound like more endless Ride rip-offery. Dyr Faser are more like The Chameleons on their second album, What Does Anything Mean, Basically? The songs wash over you, no matter how aggressive individual parts of the songs appear. This is what gives Dyr Faser their interesting duality.

There’s a real sense that these songs could come in any shape; they could have recorded and mixed these songs separately and the album would sound totally different. There’s a feeling that this is a snapshot of how the songs sounded on this particular day.

In all; Trio is where The Stooges and The Durutti Column meet.

Trio can be bought right here

Hey Bulldog – No Future Part II

I was talking to Sequin World from Twitter before a Lucid Dream gig. So I said “yeah, ‘No Future Part II’ by Hey Bulldog is probably what New Order were intending on Movement”. 

“Steady on” said Sequin World, “I know you’re biased,  but come on”.

“I am biased”, I admitted, “but I love New Order too, and I genuinely think that the songs’ mix of motorik beat and stately glacial guitar solo’s are what New Order were probably aiming for when they made Movement. That’s not to say Hey Bulldog are better than New Order, but Hey Bulldog are incorporating sounds into their traditional rammalamma and nailed it first time, it’s very exciting that the band has taken their approach to mind-freeing guitar solo’s and mastery of technique and gone in a fresh, new direction. It also shows off that as a group of musicians they’re the best around. Moreover, production is tip top, Rob’s vocals have never sounded better. Anyways, I’m going to get a good spot for The Lucid Dream…”

‘No Future Part II’ is a masterpiece and available to buy here.

You can follow Sequin World on twitter here and for that matter, colourhorizon and Hey Bulldog too.

The Lucid Dream live at Yes 09.02.2019

Up past the sun, way out in space, deep in your bones, boiling up in your guts are The Lucid Dream, not just the best band of the 21st century, but THE band of the 21st century, the defining union of climate and music and soul. Where head spinning, brain empowering strains of motorik, techno, noise and psych coalesce into a union of hedonism where fan and band become one, where the music made by four sweaty men possesses both them and the sweaty mass of bodies below, blurring the demarcation of where one ends and the other starts.

Like all the best dance music The Lucid Dream make immersion music for the body. And make no mistake despite all their pedals and noise-making trappings The Lucid Dream are resolutely dance music. Shedding any pretence of having short, snappy tunes, each monolithic slab is engineered for maximum pleasure; slave to the rhythm and a dictatorship of the groove.

Each time they play to a bigger room the audience grows; more disciples, more sweaty brethren.

The DIY ethos of the band means each fan is hard-earned and equally embraced. Whether it is your first time or your twentieth the buzz of excitement is the same; the call to arms and the relinquishing of control to the beat. 

From the huge, punishing ‘SX1000’ to the bouncing aggro-dub of ‘I’m A Star In My Own Right’ the setlist is carefully constructed and then banged out like shells from a howtizer. The starting and stopping of songs is only required for the taking on board of liquids; they could play one long seamless blend for 75 mins and kill everyone with music.

No more words required. Just music. And The Lucid Dream are here and they have it. Gorge yourself. They have the shit to take you up with them; up past the mother fucking sun.

The Lucid Dream’s latest album is available now. Buy it.

Eyewitness footage taken from up past the sun taken by a lunatic.

The Maitlands live at FC United

On Saturday The Maitlands opened for FC United. Unfortunately, not in the centre circle, which to be fair, everyone was all in favour of.

They played before the match vs Altrincham under one of the stands, between the cheap bar and the even cheaper bowls stuffed with steaming hot pie. It’s a long concrete tunnel with metal support struts that would have been perfect for a Joy Division gig.

FC United have struck a great concept: getting a local band before each game, enforcing their community minded ethos. Meanwhile for The Maitlands it was a great opportunity to show off their new EP, Bury The Hatchet. This idea has huge potential – combining grass roots football and grass roots music.

The Maitlands lie at a critical nexus point between The Ruts and Roxy Music. Musically fair wide, even if not alphabetically.

To elaborate further, their songs are generally powered by spiky, salty riffs as batted out by Ste Moran, who swipes his guitar with punk enthusiasm, dancing and singing along to the songs while he does it, like a young Steve Diggle he is, but probably on less coke (I saw The Buzcocks at The Apollo once and he was beyond Venus).

The other Ste, Ackley (noted for his lush pink telecaster) builds on this punk basis and adds textures and rhythms, without bringing The Maitlands close to a psych shoegaze mire. 

When these two guitars interact it takes a song in two directions, but this split works and the songs are allowed to inhabit a fascinating hinterland.

This is especially evident on ‘Kisses For The Masses’ which most typifies this Roxy Music parallel. A shockingly classy song layered around chiming guitars that doesn’t fit the concrete bunker they’re playing in, but the strength of the melody makes it work no matter what the setting.

Saul, the drummer, is quietly impressive, skillful without showboating and make full use of his kit. He’s very Paul Thompson, so again, the Roxy Music link holds strong.

Matt on bass was left a little low in the mix but as always thrusts The Maitlands along on a purring little motor.

And Carl, the looming front man? Buoyed by his band and the confidence he has in them, is taking the art of singing pop songs in several unexpected directions. The songs are riff based and catchy which allows him the leeway to slip around in the songs like an eel in a tumble dryer.

His song construction interests me as their new EP shows he is favouring a style which, while not eschewing chorus’, instead chops the chorus’ up and places them at various points of the song. ‘Dangerously Sober’, with which they opened the set is a great example of how he takes a set of phrases such as “oh Jim we’re back on the Columbian marching powder” and “don’t tell the Pope, let’s keep it as an inside joke” and turns them into mini choruses firing through the first half of the song. Then the song stops and starts again with some a new set witticisms, re-emerging from a fog of “vaporised nicotine” like the hero of the song. ‘Kisses For The Masses’ performs the same trick, and Carl starts the song as if we’re already in the final reel, structurally it’s very close to ‘Speedway’ by Morrissey.

These acts of lyrical deconstruction typify the Maitlands approach to combining a good time with breaking the rules. Because The Maitlands never forget that a band is their to give a crowd a good time, they start with the witty, punchy ‘Dangerously Sober’ and their most pop-centred tune ‘She’s A Ghost’ leaving the more experimental ‘Daunting In Derker’ til the back-end til when they have won people over with the riffs and words.

The “encore” is the oldie ‘Arrested Development’ which is the best I’ve ever seen it. Starting
with its elongated bass solo (there they go mucking about with the conventions again) it whips up an incredible live performance for before 3 in the afternoon, replete with Ste Ackley’s Johnny Thunders style pick scrapes. Carl’s vocal performance is intense, knowing every fibre of the song, the words flowing out and tripping into Ian Curtis style automatic language.

They leave to a hearty response and have won over a set of fans who had come to see a footy game (they lost), but The Maitlands won.

You can listen to and purchase Bury The Hatchet on their bandcamp page click here and follow them on facebook click here.

You can follow FC United on facebook click here and check out their website click here.

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: