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  • Album Review : New Frustration - Guns On The Roof****

    28 Nov 2009, 16:09 by Yorkshiremike

    For Fans Of : Rancid, The Wildhearts, Green Day, Bad Religion, Stiff Little Fingers

    I'm quite sure that if GOTR came from Los Angeles instead of Leeds they would already be playing to packed theatres instead of busy pubs, and that's as much the fault of the British music fan, we're so open to anything American and so closed off to our own great bands. I first saw GOTR performing with another awesome Yorkshire band, G.U. Medicine, at a back room pub gig in Huddersfield, and they were both tight, furiously energetic bands, GUM in a metal sense, GOTR as a melodic punk outfit.

    New Frustration is probably the best bit of new British punk I have heard in ages, this is the sound of a tight outfit who write catchy hard pop punk numbers and perform them with precision and drive, really, if you're thinking that Bad Religion are getting too long in the tooth, that Green Day have sold out, or it's just too long to wait for another Rancid album, then please do buy a copy of New Frustration, you won't be disappointed.

    For your money you get 15 tracks of highly enjoyable bouncy punk with fast controlled riffs, passionate vocals and the odd big chorus here and there. There is a general good quality to the album that it makes it hard to pick stand out tracks, it is pretty much all killer, no filler, but still, 'Last Night' and 'So Tired' raise the standard a little further.

    This is highly infectious stuff, a couple of spins and you'll be wishing for a loud, sweaty mosh pit to get involved in, GOTR pump out the sort of songs perfect for live performance, loud, immediate, raucous and anthemic in a punk fashion.

    New Frustration is a powerful and accomplished album from an exciting and talented British band, you will hear echoes of Rancid and Stiff Little Fingers along the way, but presented as affectionate familiarity rather than plagiarism, it might not be climbing new heights of originality, but in terms of presentation and entertainment value it is very good indeed.
  • Albums of the fucking year.

    15 Dec 2008, 02:05 by DelaForteth

    Shortlist, innit.

    In no fucking order, so don’t get high and mighty about where your place is, you twats:

    Twenty OneMystery Jets (9/10)
    The Age of the UnderstatementThe Last Shadow Puppets (10/10)
    AntidotesFoals (10/10)
    Fantasy Black ChannelLate of the Pier (9/10)
    In Ghost ColoursCut Copy (8/10)
    ApocalypsoThe Presets (10/10)
    IntimacyBloc Party (9/10)
    Brain Thrust MasteryWe Are Scientists (8/10)
    You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself IntoDoes It Offend You, Yeah? (8/10)
    Falling Off The Lavender BridgeLightspeed Champion (9/10)
    Acres Of Dead Space CadetsElle Milano (8/10)
    Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend (8/10)
    KonkThe Kooks (8/10)
    VVan She (8/10)
    Friendly FiresFriendly Fires (9/10)
    Oracular Spectacular - MGMT (/10)
    The Colourful LifeCajun Dance Party (8/10)
    Crystal CastlesCrystal Castles (/10)
    •Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke
    •Viva la Vida Or Death And All His Friends – Coldplay
    •Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down - Noah and The Whale
    •Instant Coffee Baby – The Wave Pictures
    •Partie Traumatic – Black Kids
    •Flight Of The Conchords – Flight of the Conchords
    •We Started Nothing – The Ting Tings
    •You & I – Cut Off Your Hands
    •Only By The Night – Kings of Leon
    •Little Death – Pete and The Pirates
    •Glasvegas – Glasvegas
    •Postcards – Sparkadia
    •Nights Out – Metronomy
    •The Rhumb Line – Ra Ra Riot
    •The Dirty Secrets – The Dirty Secrets
    •Rascalize – The Rascals
    •Welcome To Goon Island – XX Teens
    •Everything Is Borrowed – The Streets
    •Thieves – British India
    •Box Of Secrets – Blood Red Shoes
    •St. Jude – The Courteeners
    •Off With Their Heads – Kaiser Chiefs
    •Slipway Fires - Razorlight
    •Life Processes - ¡Forward, Russia!
    •Reality Check – The Teenagers
    •Walking On A Dream – Empire Of The Sun
    •Elephant Shell – Tokyo Police Club
    •I Want You To Know There Is Always Hope – I Was A Cub Scout
    •Music For An Accelerated Culture – Hadouken!
    •Chimney’s Afire – Josh Pyke

    Fuck this rating shit, too hard.

    I'm gonna' play FM instead.

    Oh, albums and tracks of the year are on another fucking thing, yeah.
  • Album Review - Captain Morgan's Revenge - Alestorm****

    24 Jul 2008, 06:37 by Yorkshiremike

    For Fans Of - Folk Metal, Korpiklaani, Battlelore, Benedictum, Turisas

    Heavy metal is serious business, grow your hair long, throw those horns, call yourself Gavok - Lord Of Night when your name is really Kevin Butterworth - it's no laughing matter, well, mostly.

    The thing about heavy metal is that sometimes it takes itself so seriously that it becomes an easy target for parody, something that Bad News, Spinal Tap, Tenacious D and others have found a fertile area for in jokes and outright mockery.

    So Alestorm are a joke bad then ? No, although with tongue firmly in bearded cheek they announce themselves as "true Scottish Pirate Metal" this is actually a very good heavy metal band who just want to be pirates, and who wouldn't ?

    In style they could be grouped in with the current European crop of folk metal bands like Battlelore and Korpiklaani, although they are more accessible than the former and less, well, Finnish, than the latter.

    Captain Morgan's Revenge is 9 tracks of fast folk metal tales of life, and just as frequently, death on the high seas. Rum, buxom serving wenches and the lash, death by the cutlass and ancient curses are the meat of Alestorm's lyrics, ably backed by a solid power metal band. The music is fast without being furious, the songs have some great lines as well, I can see "I want more wenches, more wenches and mead" going down well with a live audience, this is tremendous fun all the way through.

    If you want to sample some of Alestorm's pirate metal, you can download a lot of songs from their MySpace page (with spoilers).

    Alestorm MySpace
  • Kerrang Tour 2008

    4 Feb 2008, 09:16 by Yorkshiremike

    Gig Review : Kerrang Tour 2008 @ Leeds Uni Refectory 04/02/08, Coheed & Cambria*****, Madina Lake***, Fightstar****, Circa Survive*

    It's a while since I've been to this venue, and it has been nicely refurbished. The Uni are obviously clawing back the money spent on the conversion by charging £2.70 for a can of bitter, bloody shocking price. Does this count as profiteering from your own students ?

    This is an audience you can easily feel old amongst, Chez, Mr Moosehead and myself look as if we've come along to make sure our kids don't get into any trouble.

    I saw Circa Survive as support to Coheed & Cambria a couple of years ago in Manchester and I thought they were pretty poor then. Two years on and nothing has changed, CS's sound is muddled and confused, too much jangly / noisy guitar work without any real definition or chord structure. As soon as their set has finished (to massive apathy from the crowd) I can't remember how many songs they played or what any of them sounded like.

    Wooo! It's Charlie from Busted, hail Charlie, he had it all, money, huge fame, a constant string of chart singles, and he gave it all up to come over to the dark side and form a proper rock band, well done that man. I like Fightstar, they play good songs with nice hooks and a decent chorus or two. The sound is a little muddled at points and this does reduce 'Floods' with it ephemera, Muse-like tones to a bit of a post hardcore grind but otherwise it is a good set.

    Madina Lake, hmmm, the thing is, they're a very average band with very average songs, but they work really hard. Twin one (Nathan, or is it Matthew ?) works the audience, thanking them, complementing them, he jumps around and looks the part. When he does a short speech though part of which is "we're not a band that cares about fashion or haircuts" I'm left confused, this is a band that was formed off the back of a tv reality show and whose main selling point is a pair of blonde, bouffant haired twins, your haircuts are your fame lads.

    Twin two (Matthew, or is it Nathan) jumps and twirls in time with the bassist and the band look to be having a great time. It's obvious from the exodus after ML's set ends that a sizeable part of the audience have come to see Madina Lake's unchallenging pop rock. ML are not a band band at all, I think they could progress well in the future, but they are punching above their weight with their debut album, their songs as yet are just alright rather than fantastic, but there is promise. They have a warm and fun stage prescence and with some stronger material could become quite decent.

    All time winner of the big hair stakes though is Claudio from Coheed, even without my specs I can see his giant globe of frizz approaching. I can't really do an unbiased review of C&C, up with Muse they are my favourite contemporary band, if I had to be bitingly honest I would say that tonight's sound quality isn't as good as when I saw them in Manchester, but that is something that has affected all the bands tonight to some degree.

    Coheed rip through a selection of their prog metal catalogue 'The Running Free' , 'Feathers' , 'The Suffering' , and they tear through a solid version of Iron Maiden's 'The Trooper' which divides the crowd into those who know their music history and those who are under 20.

    Cocheed are not the most moshable of bands, but the font of the crowd is a pushing, heaving, sweating mass (or at least that describes myself rather well) and a couple of circles open up during the choppier moments.

    Claudio talks a bit of puff about Leeds having bad karma for his girlfriend but apart from that he maintains a Matt Bellamy like distance from the audience and just gets on with the job in hand. He doesn't need to do anything extra because Coheed's material is so strong and as far as I can see, the crowd are lapping it up. In terms of songwriting and musical ability, C&C are head and shoulders above all the other acts on tonight's bill, the deliver a technically good set and whilst I would have preferred less support bands and thus a longer set from the headliners, they deliver a commanding show in their alloted time.
  • The Best (and worst) Music of 2007

    27 Jan 2008, 18:11 by Yorkshiremike

    The Top Ten Albums

    1)Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Vol 2 : No World For Tomorrow - Coheed & Cambria

    Claudio rambled on and on about all the new musical influences he was going to demonstrate on the new album, then you slide the cd into your player and it's just like they left the studio at the end of recording 'From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness' and then five minutes later they walked back in and started on this one.

    It is classic C&C, prog with a hard rock edge, improbably high vocals, a couple of stomp and sing numbers, incomprehensible lyrics, lots of nods to Pink Floyd, stunning.

    2) Back To Black - Amy Winehouse

    What a fantastic voice, although Winehouse seems to be sticking firmly to the Wildhearts career plan, her second album was awesome, a big and rich jazz voice that's just perfect for her drink and drug soaked lyrics.

    3) The Wildhearts - The Wildhearts

    Without a proper record or distribution deal, Ginger put out a storming Wildhearts album on his own label. The Wildhearts self titled effort was a back to 'Earth Vs' and 'PHUQ' styled release, big riffs, and then some more big riffs, and then just enough space for some more big riffs all backed up by CJ & Ginger's wonderful melodies. Still the best British rockers around.

    4) Life With You - The Proclaimers

    I love to hear different accents in music and I have always had a soft spot for the folksy Reid twins. In 'Life With You' they have produced a mature and thought provoking album, politics run rife whether it's the anti-sexism/stupidity/rap of Here It Comes Again or poking holes in the egos of establishment 'punks' and 'rockers' on In Recognition, the music is great, their accents are a joy.

    5) Saints Of Excess - G U Medicine

    Holy mother of all things very heavy indeed !! G U Medicine's second album is an absolute rip snorter, heavy as really heavy things falling from a great height, but really tight and well played, there's even a solo or two for old school metal afficianados.

    6) Music For Lapdancers - The Fighting Cocks

    Why arn't this band huge ? Oh, perhaps it's because they can't be arsed, perhaps they swear too much, but with their chaotic fusion of dance / rock / gypsy / electronica they are very much first in a field of one. Eclectic, bonkers, mad grin inducing.

    7) United Abominations - Megadeth

    Megadave might have made a complete tit of himself when he appeared on Metallica's 'Some Kind Of Monster' documentary, but in United Abominations he has pulled the band back in musical terms to their finest hours (RIP, So Far So Good). Of course Dave is the only remaining member of the original 'Deth, this is because if left alone in a greenhouse Mustaine would soon be fighting with the potted palms, and his lyrics still display the same sort of dismal political ignorance that GW Bush pushes on the world but at least the new musicians have produced a damned and well controlled speed metal fest on this album.

    8) Super Taranta! - Gogol Bordello

    Eugene Hutz and his merry alcohol fuelled band of gypsies released another storming set of laughs and dances. Not since Hawkwind warbled on about 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm' have particle physics and left field music been blended so seamlessly and hilariously, all together now....."My brothers are protons, my sisters are nuetrons..."

    9) Hessian Mercenaries - Vallenbrosa

    Along with GU Medicine, Vallenbrosa represent a weighty return to form for real muscular British heavy metal, well structured songs, meaty riffs, listenable vocals and impressive solos to set your fingers twitching, powerful stuff.

    10) In Requiem - Paradise Lost

    Another old school metal band returns to form, Yorkshire gloom and doom merchants Paradise Lost produce the finest and heaviest slab of undiluted misery since their stunning 'Draconian Times' album

    Just missing out on the top ten, Grinderman - Grinderman, So This Is Great Britain - The Holloways, Black Rain - Ozzy Osbourne, Elect The Dead - Serj Tankian, Yoni - Ginger.

    Just Not Cutting The Mustard

    Sorry to be not creaming my pants over Gallows, I've listened to an awful lot of hardcore and although Gallows might have got themselves splashed over every music mag from Kerrang to NME to Q, they just don't do all that much for me.

    The Arctic Monkeys, again I may well be in a minority but I thougt their second album was very dissapointing, it just seemed to lack some of the verve, passion and dry laconic wit that made their debut so fantastic.

    Avril Lavigne, as she gets older, her music takes steps backwards. This album may have been a commercial success, but so is McDonalds.

    Radiohead, I paid 10p for the download only album and it was 10p wasted. Dreadful, just absolutely dreadful, music for the deaf.

    30 Seconds to Mars, Madina Lake, Circa Survive, Paramore and a hundred other pop punk / rock bands all doing the very same and it is all very, very dull indeed.

    Best Live Act

    I didn't see a lot of bands, but you just can't beat The Wildhearts. GU Medicine and Vallenbrosa also stood out.

    Worst Live Act

    I used to be quite keen on a local all girl band called Blood Sundae, then they changed their name to Severed Heaven, got rid of a singer who could really sing and employed one who sounds for all the world like a duck in extreme pain. We paid four pounds to four bands on this night and we should have demanded our money back.