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HEIST OR HIT

Cincinnati duo Bad Veins are set to release their new album “The Mess We’ve Made” via a new deal with the Heist or Hit Records in the UK. The album, recorded over a three-month period in a church turned recording studio, is the follow up to their self-titled US debut album released on Dangerbird Records in 2009. A single “Don’t Run”, from the album, is being released in the run up.

Bad Veins – Benjamin Davis (vocals, keyboard, guitar, etc,) and Sebastien Schultz (Drums), take to the stage in army uniforms. Seb thrashes his kit like 2 demented punk drummers, while Ben croons laconically over the top. Their show also features a vintage megaphone, a rotary telephone and the 3rd member of the band – a reel-to-reel tape player named Irene. In 2007 they took their extraordinary performance and began relentlessly crisscrossing the US, climaxing with a high profile New York CMJ Festival show, where they were awarded the ‘Breakout and Of The Year’ accolade. Not only did they build a massive cult following, but they also toured with the likes of Frightened Rabbit and We Were Promised Jetpacks and won the first ever “Target Music Maker Award” at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“The psychedelic grooves of early 90s Madchester” – SPIN

“A nebulous, Gang Gang Dance-esque track, ‘Phone Home From The Edge’ is pretty killer whichever way you slice it” – The Stool Pigeon

“Wondrous dance-punk” – Pitchfork

Best Behavior is the debut UK release from Brooklyn, NY’s Dinowalrus, fronted by visual artist and sometime guitarist of Titus Andronicus, Pete Feigenbaum, and backed by Max Tucker and Liam Andrew.

Best Behavior features a meticulous attention to song-structure, production and listenability - an experiment in pushing their interests in krautrock, house music, post-punk and psychedelic rock into their most condensed, vocal-driven, danceable, hooky and coherent form, without losing the unique mad-cap ambience and instrumental playfulness of their earliest material.

Starting with the punchy opening staccato organ stabs of “The Gift Shop”, Best Behavior expresses the subtle optimism of Dinowalrus finding direction and focus, and also the energy brought about by new band-mates and collaborators. Meticulously written, but not over-thought and over-conceptualized: a welcoming point of entry into the band’s unique psychedelic world and historical roadmap. This is the band on its best behaviour.

While the band’s approach has evolved greatly as a result of their stylistic and personnel changes, their musical DNA has remained the same— the band used the exact same palette of analogue synth, guitar, sampler, drum machine (and occasionally sax) sounds in making this album. While their more free-form and noise influenced debut drew inspiration from the feral urban excitement of early 80s NYC no-wave dance music, the new record turns the clock forward and latches onto a few tricks and beats from the acid house phenomenon over here in the UK, finding new crossovers between psychedelic rock and dance music; reopening a strange, fun and vibrant chapter in music history that never quite reached American shores.

Dinowalrus draw heavily on the chemically enhanced beats, bass and organ textures of The Charlatans, and even Stone Roses in places; but also retains their essential spacey Hawkwind, Eno, Bowie, Can and Sonic Youth allusions on the deeper album cuts. Mid-period New Order plays a significant influence as well.

With Primal Scream’s Screamadelica hitting its 20-year anniversary, now is an especially good time for an American band to attempt to bring guitar music and rave together again. And New York, often thought of as American’s most cosmopolitan and European city culturally, is the perfect environment for a rock band like Dinowalrus to be making such a unique appropriation of all things Manchester, Glasgow, Berlin and Ibiza- giving Brooklyn indie kids a new beat with which to dance.

In a contemporary context, Best Behavior, mediates nicely between the futuristic psychedelic synth-pop of Gang Gang Dance, Teengirl Fantasy, and Neon Indian, and the tried-and-true Anglophilic jangle-rock of Wild Nothing and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

Letting Up Despite Great Faults

Paper Crush EP

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Letting Up Despite Great Faults is the sonic diary of founding member, Mike Lee.

A blissful mix of lo-fi, shoegaze and indie rock, the ‘Paper Crush’ mini-album is their first release in the UK. Already with a full length and TV exposure under their belts in the US, their 2009 release was met with unanimous critical acclaim, garnering rave reviews from the likes of Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Exclaim!, and countless indie music blogs.

Judging by the rapidly growing number of fans being left smitten by Letting Up’s brand of “dreamy indie pop that boys want to make and girls want to fall in love with” (TheNewMusic.net), their new 2011 release ‘Paper Crush’ should make a similar impact.

Rapids!

Fragments EP

    ‘Fragments’ is the brand new EP from Bournemouth band, Rapids! Written in the band’s cramped and claustrophobic rehearsal space during the Winter of 2010, ‘Fragments’ perfectly soundtracks the daily struggle of life in a sleepy coastal town. With its gushing honesty and striking maturity, Rapids! prove with this EP that they are strong candidates for people's Ones To Watch lists in 2011

    ‘Fragments’ is the sound of a band discovering its true identity; peeling back layers of bouncy math-pop beats and angular guitar hooks, leaving at its core a body of work that swirls with deep intensity and primal emotion. Musically, ‘Fragments’ scrapes and slides like tectonic plates between the glistening melodies of Foals and the raw drive of The Joy Formidable, whilst frontman Matt Holliday emits powerful and heartfelt declarations that leave you feeling like you’re sat in a self-help group with The National’s Matt Berninger taking register.

    The band recorded in three separate studios during the making of the EP, keen to perfect their newly formed sound. The job fell on the shoulders of producer/mixer Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Idlewild) to collect up the fragments and blend them into one. As the name suggests, each song breaks away into its own bundle of fiery angst. But it’s when pieced back together that ‘Fragments’ reveals its true force, with each peak and trough taking you on a journey through a troubled mind.

    Recorded throughout the spring of 2010 by frontman and first time producer Martin Colclough, "Lifeline" is the album that everybody believed The Answering Machine could make. A departure and a knowing deviation from the sound that established the band on 2009’s angular debut "Another City, Another Sorry", "Lifeline" is a unique, intelligent and diverse LP. Stylistically extensive, the album clicks between moments of post rock magnificence to glitch-driven programming; at once inhaling a varied catalogue of influences and exhaling a body of work that will top End of Year polls.

    After working with producers from London and New York, writing songs in Tokyo, demoing in sky scrapers and honing ideas in Brooklyn, it became obvious that ‘home’ was the perfect place to pull "Lifeline" together. The cliché goes that record producers are the so-called ‘fifth member’ of the band but Manchester’s The Answering Machine decided to keep things simple and opted for an actual member of the band to produce their second album. After several successful remix projects, frontman Martin Colclough decided to step up to the role. What followed was not an expensive studio, engineers or remote location; instead the band opted for their underground practice room in the city centre. From six feet under they emerged with their lifeline.

    While journalists stalked the streets murmuring buzz words and hailing the new ‘Manchester scene’ The Answering Machine were hard to find. They were in fact below the city campaigning for change, creating a record that is far removed from people’s expectations of them, peeling all the layers of what journalists and fans had deemed them to be and avoiding being caught up in any industry onslaught on their city. They stand alone and by doing so have rediscovered themselves, their identity and uncovered a new sound. Central to this regeneration has been the acquisition of a number of vintage synths passed down from the Factory Records band Repetition. These, along with pump organs and acoustic guitars, opened up a new and more collaborative way of writing for the band.

    There are no gimmicks, stories or press angles for The Answering Machine on their second album campaign. This is because what the band have created and achieved is truly remarkable and therefore the ONLY thing worth writing about. Musically eclectic, textural and complex, lyrically sophisticated, honest and striking "Lifeline" is a very special record; the first great record of 2011. It documents a band reborn, a band who have taken the model of Radiohead and The Beatles before them, determined to make a record that sounds nothing like their last. They have succeeded with a grace and elegance all of their own.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Laura says: Sadly, The Answering Machine have decided to call it a day, but they bow out in style with the release of the Limited Edition vinyl version of this album.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: Was £13.99.

    Pomegranates formed in 2006 and have so far self recorded and released 2 EPs and 2 full length albums in the US. Debut album "Everything is Alive" brought the band to the attention of the US tastemakers. KEXP and WOXY, among others, fell for the band’s quirky and charming blend of pop rock, and listeners followed suit, blogging the band up to #11 on Elbo.ws blog aggregate. The band also caught the attention of their peers. Artists such as French Kicks and Islands responded to Pomegranates’ dynamic live set by inviting them out on the road. "Everybody, Come Outside!" is a step up sonically and musically for the band. It’s an album of shimmering and dreamy indie pop, channelling influences that range from Talking Heads and Brian Eno, to French Kicks and Fela Kuti. Pomegranates enlisted the mixing services of TJ Lipple (Aloha, MGMT, Headlights) who has brought the band’s huge vision to fruition and helped create a magical explosive indie pop record.

    Having recently garnered much acclaim for their spate of exhilarating shows at this year's SXSW in Texas, San Francisco's LoveLikeFire unleash their next introductory bow to British audiences. Following quickly from debut single "William", "Stand In Your Shoes" is another song of layered, dramatic indie rock, fiercely capped by vocalist and songwriter Ann Yu's distinctively lush vocal. Yu grew up in Las Vegas and was forbidden from listening to contemporary music by her strict parents. She trained as a classical violinist yet yearned to hear something fresh and exciting that spoke to her on different levels. It was ultimately her imagination that first formed the early phases of LoveLikeFire, and "Stand In Your Shoes" is another intriguing taster of how those dreams have become reality.


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