Tag Archives: post punk

This Other Kingdom – Telescopic (2015)

The end will come to your narcissistic fun…

This Other Kingdom are true psychedelic rock; the formation of huge, tectonic songs that could fill arena’s with a poisonous outpouring of sounds to grease your body and corrupt your soul.

Imagine the Doors influenced psych of The Black Angels, stir in the wind-swept romance of the Bunnymen and top with the driving power of a sexed up Mugstar.

Del Kerton’s voice is that of a barrel chested captain of a creaking galleon; bellowing orders to his crew of swarthy but loyal Jack Tar’s. It would make Nick Cave green with envy. It would make Lux Interior weep. It’s as strong and soulful as Mark Burgess and as cutting as Ian McCulloch. It’s influenced by post-punk but isn’t another clichéd misery guts.

Declan Dunne’s guitar is a steel superstructure illuminated by lasers split a thousand-fold.

The rhythm section from Chris Sweeney and Fran Mulholland is a deafening thunder-rumble, a herd of raging elephants pouring down a mountainside, veins popping.

tok

‘The Day, Your Day’ launches us into This Other Kingdom. An unholy cavalcade of righteous guitars that hits like The MC5 stirring up a war with Black Rebel Motorcycle. As hard as it is groovy. ‘Your day will come’ croons Del, inviting us inside, just as Ian Curtis once beckoned us into Closer. Give it three listens and you will be singing along and annoying your neighbours…

‘Enthral’ turns from slinky Lumerians-esque space-funk to a combat rock of amassing warships.

‘He Controls The Sea’ is a slab of motorik inflected post-punk. Dramatic and swaying, as potent as it is contained. Faintly reminiscent of White Lies (but I happen to like To Lose My Life, so sue me).

Click to watch the video

‘Egocentric’ has a charming pop swagger that recalls The La’s and a timeless chorus that would fitted well into What Does Anything Mean? Basically.

‘Adelaide’ has a punching chorus that will smash your speakers to dust. This is what the Gallagher’s spent years trying to do after (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? and generally making a dog’s dinner out of it.

‘Fine Line’ has a ringing guitar that recalls Puressence’s ‘Our Number’s Oracle’.

‘Rewind//Refind’ is pure post-punk album closer with a long deadly uncoiling of drums and screaming guitar with one last deafening holler from Mr Kerton.

This Other Kingdom could be huge. Mark these words, friends…

Set sail for a place where the days are long and the adventures are longer… Set sail for This Other Kingdom

Scope out Telescopic on bandcamp

Cold Showers – ‘Plantlife’ (single 2015)

If the obvious roll call of 80s bands such as New Order, Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure, Fad Gadget etc float your boat then Cold Showers may stoke your boiler.

Their latest release is the single ‘Plantlife’, released in August.

cold showers

‘Plantlife’ is simply relentless: neon synths and pounding drums hammer machine rhythms. Yet there is still a strong melody at the core, a heart beating among the oily engine. The song pitches you head first into the melee and holds you there, trapped at a dizzying level of intensity. When you are released three and a half minutes later, time has passed very quickly and you are convinced the experience is worth going through again.

Moreover, ‘Plantlife’ does what every good single should: grab your attention and leave you wanting more. A function more important than ever in an age of music saturation.

Click to watch the video for ‘Plantlife’

‘Solemn June’ is slinky and seductive, the song oozes style. A scratchy and jangly guitar combine over Peter Hook-ish bass. You could possibly pitch this as Television as played by Ceremony era New Order.

Cold Showers have set their targets on every aspect that made 80s music so distinctive and nailed every one.

Liner Notes – Control Of The Going on ‘Wild Flower’

One of Manchester newest bands, the shoegaze & post-punk inspired Control Of The Going recently released ‘Wild Flower’. To provide us, the listeners with the inside track on writing and recording the song, the band has graciously provided exclusive liner notes…

You can listen (and more importantly buy!) ‘Wild Flower’ right here.

Watch a live performance right here.

cover - Control

(Liam Hart – Guitar/Vocals, Ashley Hart – 12 String Guitar, Alex Reid – Drums, Matt Byrne – Guitar, Tom Sillitoe – Bass, Minesh Mistry – Synth/Keys)

COTG 1

Inspired and encouraged with the release of our first EP, Epilepsy Bus Ride, and our recent show at Night and Day Cafe, we were excited to get back into the studio. ‘Wild Flower’ developed in this creative harmony.

On the 15th July, we were in the studio working on a track that wasn’t really going anywhere and we received a call from a close friend of the band, John Hall. John informed us that there may be an opportunity for us to provide a song for a documentary on wild flowers. On a hunch, he called us to see if we had anything in our repertoire. At that time, we had a few ideas, but nothing which would suite the floral sense which we were aiming for.

However, I had something in mind. From time to time, I wake up in the night with catchy guitar riffs in my head. I reached over for my phone, which I keep right next to my bed and mumbled the riff I had in my head, went back to sleep and forgot about it.

When John called us up in the studio, this riff reappeared, playing in my head. I checked my recordings to get it exactly how I imagined, sat down and began playing it. Matt picked it up right away and developed the rhythm. Alex gave us a nice little beat, while Minesh worked away in the background with the synth. Crucial to the main riff though, is what Ashley developed, the incessant backing riff which just seemed to hook everyone in. The guitar work is semi-inspired by ‘Fingertips’, a track from the Brian Jonestown Massacre demo, Pol Pot’s Pleasure Penthouse. The floating, mesmeric guitar work is sheer genius; its musical bliss.

To add to this dreamy carefree sound, the synth in the background is equally important to the Control of the Going sound. Minesh explains:

‘Wild Flower’ leaves a never-ending feeling of being in a large field surrounded by free flowing flowers and rays of sunshine zipping through my mind as the drums and bass start to flow, this feeling is followed by the sharp lead rift from Liam and the strings start to pour down on the flowers along with the guitars that follow into a beautiful rhythm.

With us all hooked on this new song, all we needed was to get Tom in, finish the bass, for me to write this into a song and to record it. We arranged for us to record it 4 days later.

When I got home that night, I began writing the lyrics for what was going to be ‘Wild Flower’. At the time though, I was planning on calling it ‘Freedom’. The lyrics of ‘Wild Flower’ explore life and death through the use of a metaphor. I began writing with how life begins, how it rises and grows in stature. This theme is followed through even in death. With death comes new life and all organisms come from the ground, when we die, we return to the ground and from that new life grows. It is a subject which people find it hard to talk about, but it is something we all have to deal with. When you look at it this way, it is sad yet beautiful in some aspects. The lyrics combined with the shimmering guitars and flowing rhythm section all contributed to a song which is romantically juxtaposed and poetic in its nature. It became something more than I ever imagined when I dreamt it.

COTG 2

Days later on the 19th we were in the studio, all 6 of us and we recorded it in one take. Unfortunately due to a faulty cable, recording was delayed for 3 hours. This led to Control of the Going taking an hour break at the local KFC. When it finally came to recording again, we did it again in one take. To go beside ‘Wild Flower’, we chose ‘In Line’ as the B side. We chose this as it was already a fan favourite and it was similar in nature to how ‘Wild Flower’ sounded. Ashley describes the development of ‘In Line’ as an attempt at capturing a Spacemen 3 style song with elements of the Dandy Warhols and Lush. Coincidently, ‘In Line’ is Tom’s favourite… He says he always gets a kick from it! ‘In Line’ was wrapped up in a manner of minutes and the days work was done.

We received the master back from Sam at Egg Studios a few days later on the 23rd and it was promptly put up for pre purchase, with an eventual full release on the 1st August. Immediately, people began downloading it and the positive reviews poured in. I am personally very proud of ‘Wild Flower’, and I am very happy that people on the whole feel the same way about it!

Click to visit Control Of The Going on Facebook

Click to visit Control Of The Going on twitter

The Tapestry – Infatuation (single, 2015)

Tameside’s The Tapestry are a band going places, with irresistible songs, an energetic live show and lots of humour, they are firmly in the ascendency.

Essentially, The Tapestry are the band that Manicured Noise could have been. Or what Gang Of Four wanted to be when they tried to be more commercial. You can also hear Talking Heads, the shouty chorus’ of The B-52s, the sharp edges of The Fire Engines and a hint of the feral attitude of The Slits. Ultimately you could say that if you wished Franz Ferdinand were a little less embarrassing than here is your solution. All of this is to say they have a post punk sound to get you moving your feet.

Their newest single is called ‘Infatuation’. Guitars wail like sirens, splattered like Jackson Pollock colours, a glorious electricity attack, pure sugar rush. A buzzing introduction to the party rocking sound of this band. Meanwhile, the B side, ‘Look Out’ is the result of too many E numbers; fizzy guitars and some of the most gleefully hyperactive vocals you’ve heard in years.

Watch the video for ‘Infatuation’

If you don’t want to spend under £2 on these two songs you could save money by sticking your fingers in the nearest plug socket. Personally I’d consider this the better option.

Click to watch ‘We Talk’ live at the Roadhouse

Total Victory – The Pyramid Of Privilege (2011)

Sharp guitars, sharp vocals, sharp songs. Everything about Total Victory is sharp.

Wire, Gang Of Four, Alternative TV are their forebears, not just in sound, but in style and attitude. Here, the words are as barbed as the hooks. This is a band demanding answers in a world of platitudes.

They released their debut album, The Pyramid Of Privilege in 2011. Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights.

cover

‘Fiat Lux’, after a brooding intro, kick starts with a scintillating cavalcade of probing guitar and a relentlessly pounding rhythm section. Capturing a late night drive through the post industrial towns of Northern England this is a beautiful 21st century successor to Joy Division’s ‘Interzone’. This blows up with the cathartic release of ‘Let there be light’ from singer Dan Brookes’, screaming into the night, oozing ambivalence over whether he is triumphant or incandescent.

Click to listen to ‘Fiat Lux’

‘Omnivictory’ heralds Total Victory’s long, loving dalliance with Gang Of Four staccato-funk. Slices of sharp guitars team up with twitchy drums and bass: barely controlled aggression battles weary resignation, fear of information overload, refusal to sublimate.

‘1700 to 1703’ electrifies with a high wire, neurotic shower of guitar fireworks. Not a million miles from ‘One Day’ by The Fall as Dan Brookes yells to make himself heard. Thrilling.

‘Conservative Girls’ is a stand out with a remarkable, intelligent set of lyrics pitching a satirical love discourse interjected with Ballardian dystopian-porn imagery. Dan Brookes’ lyrics would grow sharper and more pointed by their second album, National Service, but this shows his craft growing nicely.

‘So you bring your new girl home, you say you’ve fallen in love, you say you’ve fallen in love / with traffic islands, supermarkets, shopping centres, that go on for ever…’

‘The Singer’ unwinds over 10 minutes as a low key song-story, like an early Fall album track, say Room To Live era. That is until past the 4 minute mark when it kicks off into a frantic flat out race. Soaring with a dedication to the 4/4 beat that borders on the hypnosis-inducing, along with effects drenched whirlpool guitars and pile-driving bass. Then… it all settles back into the Smiths’ mope soap. Then back to the 100 mph death ride, the bumper scraping the central reservation.

My only complaint would be that ‘Can we cool down Venus’ is one of those tracks where Total Victory come alarmingly close to sounding a bit indie guitar pop. If that’s what tickles yer pickle then more power to you, personally it’s a sound that brings to mind hipsters having a conversation about organic quinoa.

The beauty of Total Victory is that they may nod towards iconic post punk bands but only use these influences as a starting point. The Pyramid Of Privilege stands as a fascinating, innovative starting point for a band with brains, guts and a heady appreciation for the power of matching a questioning nature with guitars.

http://totalvictory.bandcamp.com/album/the-pyramid-of-privilege

Moon – Moon (2014)

Moon’s self titled album is a puzzling little bugger: over its course it weaves a path occasionally blending what appears to be motorik and folk. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t sound right does it? That two genres which seem diametrically opposed to celebrating completely different environments can co-exist. It’s like seeing a Dalek with a henna tattoo.

This Canadian band is happiest mixing and matching styles with abandon. The rhythm section is all post punk and motorik mechanisms but this is married with an ear for a summery melody and a penchant for hippy vibes. Let’s look at some of the highlights:

moon

‘Gomorrah’ starts with a staccato post punk rhythm (conceivably The Au Pairs at a real ale festival) that introduces a guitar from a jaunty sitcom theme (possibly involving a vicar and a soufflé). Then, bolted onto the end is a coda that sounds like ‘Heroes’ on ketamine. This is a band that doesn’t want the listener to feel too comfortable.

Click to listen to ‘Gomorrah’

‘Stained Glass’ could nearly be a more disciplined Happy Mondays spliced with Talking Head taking a day off from the local library. Vocals are blank and vacant, like brain washed drones, which adds to the clockwork nature of the music.

‘Pastoral Song’ and ‘Card Crane Ha’ dovetail beautifully, offering a Blue Orchids-esque flute driven pagan psych-folk. Together they spin a dreamy, somnambulist haze that brings to mind flints of Eno and more contemporary bands such as Quilt.

‘Dented In The Bag’ has an addictive shimmer and hustle that is mildly reminiscent of ‘The Headmaster Ritual’.

Meanwhile, ‘Meridian’ is tougher with harsh, garrulous grinding bass, bursts of flute, squalling electronica and downbeat vocals, somewhere between Beefheart and Cabaret Voltaire.

Moon’s strength is the willingness to try out new ideas and switch between these at will throughout the album. Moon is inventive, appealing and currently available for under £2 on Bandcamp. Bargain. Check it out.

Jennie Vee – Die Alone EP (2014)

New York based elfin guitarist Jennie Vee is a purveyor of intensely catchy songs occupying a zone between post punk, shoegaze and the good old fashioned pop tune. Die Alone, her debut EP, sees her unveil a set of song full of sharp guitars and huge melodies. Her closest comparison is probably to The Raveonettes’ Jesus & Mary Chain + girl group mash up.

Apparently you can make ice cream with bourbon, this seems like the best comparison to make: cool, irresistible, colourful and probably bad for you.

Die Alone

‘Die Alone’ is literally stunning, the robotic drum beat leading into shrapnel, scalpel-sharp guitars. The tone not only captures the spirit of post punk angularity with dark lyrical undertones but adds an irresistible sheen of pure pop energy. Jennie’s angelic vocals caress and weave around the prisms of kaleidoscopic noise emitting from her Telecaster. A ghostly, melodic chorus is the icing on the cake.

‘Wicked’ gets rolling with the style and clarity of an 80s action thriller, bringing to mind the opening sequence of To Live And Die In LA. This is a song built in widescreen as a sky high chorus is dropped in. This is quite simply a glorious pop song that apparently don’t get made anymore. Turns out they do… and this’ll put a great big grin on your face.

Watch the video for ‘Wicked’ here…

‘Say Goodbye’ has an F1 propulsion that roars into an epic chorus that could have come from any number of 90s guitar bands. Come to think of it, there’s something of The Buzzcocks about this track. Meanwhile, ‘Gone Away’ could be a latter day New Order track. And guess what, it has another breathless chorus…

‘Red Flags’ has a slower dream pop vibe, with acoustic guitars that grows in stature until it acquires a panoramic beauty, not entirely dissimilar from The Chameleons with a dash of Crowded House. And another spectacular chorus!

Without meaning to go overboard on The Raveonettes comparisons, hearing Die Alone gave me the same bolt of euphoria that I received from the heavens when I heard Whip It On for the first time. Jennie Vee has an unparalleled knack of combining razor sharp guitars with immaculate pop songs. Her control over the songs is amazing, I haven’t heard anyone deliver a chorus like this is a long time…

The overall effect is giddying, like a sugar rush and alcohol buzz all at once. Bourbon flavoured ice cream you say?

Addictive.