Monday, 30 August 2010

Forest Swords

Forest Swords - Rattling Cage from ///NO PAIN IN POP\\\ on Vimeo.

The first track I heard from Forest Swords was 'Rattling Cage', one of the two captivating efforts present on his most recent 7'' out on No Pain In Pop, although it doesn't so much rattle as float due to a generous helping of reverb. The lush ghostly twinkles bring to mind ghostly happenings and the indecipherable vocals and unexpected crashes of guitar do nothing to chase off this sinister presence.

Its companion piece, 'Hjurt', floats poignantly along before being dubbed into fragile hypnagogia from which it falls upon your subjective response as regards whether to continue further into the sinister ambiance initially conjured by 'Rattling Cage' or to float on by.

Forest Swords also have an EP (which is clearly long enough to be an album) out on Olde English Spelling Bee, which is the sort of place you would expect to find him BUT the boy is from Liverpool which is mental both sonically and geographically.

Anyway, the EP is also very good and long enough to get nice and lost in his world. His skill at crafting these sonic landscapes is in some ways comparable to that of Burial, although obviously the music is not so similar.

I think the plan is to release a full album which will basically be the EP plus the 7'' though I can't remember where I read that so it might be a lie. They also made what, judging by the tracklisting, looks like a very interesting mixtape for Gorilla Vs Bear before the EP dropped but I wasn't on the ball enough to pick it up and don't know anywhere to find it now. If YOU know, inform me please. Cheers.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

In Defence of...



1. The Klaxons...who have a new album out in a couple of days (on the 23rd August) entitled 'Surfing the Void' (artwork above) and who are currently getting a lot of shit for various reasons. One of these being that they are not cool to like because they got dragged into the whole NME-SKINS-TOPMAN thing a few years back (see also reactions to Foals' new album) though the backlash on Klaxons has been worse than that on Foals because the Klaxons also got dragged into NME's nu-rave thing which got hyped to death. Like actual death. As in, it is now actually dead.

Another reason is that it has taken them a while (3 years) to come up with a follow up record which sounds pretty similar to the first one and then there is all that stuff about their record label making them scrap an album because it was too experimental and proggy 'n' that Klaxons were all sellouts claiming to have remembered that they were a pop band at heart and so on and so forth.

So, in their defence...as much as pitchfork are hyping chillwave at the moment, NME hyped nu-rave. This is no reason to hate a band. Neither is it acceptable to hate a band for taking a while to release a follow-up album (see the Avalanches). Finally, all that shit about finding themselves/selling out can pale into comparison if the music itself is any good and, although I've only heard the couple of tracks floating around the ether, it may well be. Myths of the Near Future was and is a great album so I have high hopes for the follow up even if it is just a Myths of the Near Future Part 2 or B-sides or offcuts. The artwork is also rather awesome.

2. The Drums...who are currently getting a lot of shit because of this sort of stuff...



Anyway, basically getting hate for looking like some kind of Chris Morris parody band. I mean they look like a bunch of hipsters and sing about surfing and that which seems to be a popular topic at the moment. And some people say they sound a bit like the Smiths which obviously really annoys fans of the Smiths. And also they seem to have quite a hefty PR campaign for some reason so some folk feel like their PARODY SURFING SMITHS HIPSTER CHRIS MORRIS NONSENSE IS BEING FORCED INTO THEIR EARS.

Anyway...in their defence, they are actually just a band who write harmless indie-pop songs about surfing and shit and who have released an EP and an album, both of which are rather good. Nothing to get so worked up about anyway. They are also touring with Surfer Blood soon who are rather good.

3. Wavves...not actually sure if this man needs defended but thought I'd have a nice trio of defence in this post. And some folk have written some nasty things about the boy. He simply writes fuzzy songs about having a bit of a boring life. Which also happen to be rather awesome. And popular. I even like the new album, which has been cleaned up considerably to the point where the tracks are resembling songs now.

Anyway, yeah.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

...

Hi. Last post was one year ago...ONE YEAR!! That's ridiculous. I haven't even looked at this piece of crap for an entire year. I actually forgot the URL so this took me ages to find. Also forgot all my log-in details so that had to be reset and all.

Anyway, guess I'll get back to writing about music. Might even put this blog somewhere where people can actually see it. Might not though. Just checked through all my saved scribblings and there is a review of Wavves' debut album which was meant to be posted after it came out. Which was roughly a year ago. Would be rather painful to post it now considering that the man's second album is already in the public domain. Hmm...

So, where are the musical battle lines drawn as of 21:39, 25th July 2010? No idea. Seems like chillwave is still sloshing about in hipsters' headphones the world over, caught in all of its undulating sundrenched cliches on records such as Washed Out - Life of Leisure and Toro Y Moi - Causers of This. Elsewhere, dubstep continues to sprawl out of practical definition, Big Boi makes a reasonable claim for hip hop album of the year while Four Tet and Pantha Du Prince spice up the more electronic side of things. Been a pretty damn good year for music so far actually. Ghostly murmurs of Witch House being the next big thing though that whole scene sounds ridiculous.

And now: moving seemlessly onto the Mercury Music Prize 2010! Here are the nominations which were announced the other day:

Biffy Clyro - Only Revolution

Neither here nor there on this being nominated.

Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N' Cheek

Haven't heard this album but I can tell you that from my high horse this looks like shit!

Kit Downes Trio - Golden

WHO!? One second...it's not on Spotify! Bet this is the token jazz album. Could go downstairs and find it on the Sonos. Hmm...one second...myspace! Having to pause Stars - Set Yourself on Fire for this...Only listened to 'Golden' which has a grand total of 12 plays!!!! (13 now) It is lovely. Going to have to come back to this one, sounds like proper late-night, candle-light jazz. Oh right, some of the other tunes go a bit mental. Still, very nice. Won't win though. Cool if it did.

Foals - Total Life Forever

Bought this the other week, totally different from the first album which is both good and bad. Bad in that this isn't more of the same but good in that it is still pretty awesome stuff.

I Am Kloot - Sky At Night

Meh.

Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can

Good Mercury folky album.

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

Okay.

Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea

Meh.

Paul Weller - Wake Up The Nation

No comment.

Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

Good mercury album. Thought they might overlook this one because it was released a while back. Probably in with a shot for victory.

Villagers - Becoming A Jackal

Didn't think that this would get nominated. A pleasant surpirse though! Is a really accomplished debut from the singer-songwriter.

The XX - xx

The favourites. Almost universal critical acclaim when it dropped. Brilliant album. Deserves your ears. Deserves the award.


I reckon it is between Foals, Wild Beasts and Mumford and Sons. The XX deserve it but the favourites don't tend to win the Mercury. I might bet on Foals, their album also ties in with the whole chillwave thing in a way. Mind you, the winner is always fairly unpredictable. As long as Dizzee doesn't win, I will still be able to sleep at night.

The winner is announced on the 7th September which is ages away, innit.

Epic post. Might post again before the year is out! Peace and love.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Denmark 'n' that.

Holla! Continuing with the Danish theme following on from the Mimas review, here are a couple more treats for your ears:

Marvin's Revolt (above) are a Danish band who started out playing rather experimental math rock but thankfully, over the course of a couple of albums managed to focus their sound down to a much more accessible hook-laden math-pop, as presented in their most recent effort, Killec. That is to say, 8 tracks of instrumental twists and turns, starts and stops, gang shouts, delicate noodling and distinctly odd catchy pop hooks. They have a new album coming out on the 2nd November and are touring for a while after that. Awesome.
When Saints Go Machine are a Danish electro/techno synth-pop outfit with a terrible name and some wonderful tunes. Once again, obscure lyrics are placed over their experimental sounds and instrumentation. Personally, I find them to be one of the most interesting and arresting bands around. Earlier this year they released a predictably oddly titled debut LP (pictured above), Ten Makes A Face, although this unfortunately appears to only be available in Denmark for the moment.

In other out-dated news from the internetz, Walnut records are having a cheaplike£1analbumcheapandfreeP&P!!! newleaseoflifetypeofsalething over here...

...though I think it ends tomorrow afternoon (hahaha)...

...and have teamed up with punktastic to release another punktastic compilation, Punktastic Un-Scene 5 for FREE here. (Note the awesome artwork).

Finally, Scotland's brilliant and unique Twilight Sad's second album, Forget The Night Ahead, is available to stream over at FatCat Records here.

It sounds awesome. I think you can also stream other releases over there if you're new to the band. The end.

P.S. Also saw American Gangster today. It was much better than I expected, reminded me alot of The Godfather and Catch Me If You Can, both excellent films. Really interesting that it is based on a true story and I thought Denzel Washington was awesome in it aswell.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Post #3

Righty, well, hmm...music, eh.

Since my last post, I went to see Blakfish and Mutiny On The Bounty at the 13th note in Glasgow.

It was...good. Blakfish are a mathy post-hardcore band signed to Big Scary Monsters. They released their debut LP, Champions, a little while ago following up upon their excellent EP, See You In Another City, which ain't on Spotify but will be on itunes and that.

Mutiny On The Bounty are in a similar musical boat as Blakfish but hail from Luxembourg! (Yay!) They have also recently released their debut LP, Danger Mouth, on, ahem, Big Scary Monsters.

(That wasn't a review)

I also went to see Inglorious Basterds which is a film that could not be made by anyone but Tarantino, in that it is absolutely ridiculous. I still don't know what to make of the film itself, I think it might lack something amongst the over-the-top revenge pornography, easy humour and Tarantino violence. Having said that, if you're willing to take it for what it is, it's quite well done and the soundtrack is awesome. SPOILER: I liked the contrast between the violence in Nation's Pride with Hitler laughing and the violence in the burning cinema with the Jewish girl laughing, thought that was pretty clever.

(That was more of a review)

In other news, I'm work.work.working at the moment and itunes is refusing to recognise my This Town Needs Guns (who are on tour soon with Tubelord!!!! though Jocasta Sleeps for Glasgow I think) album and look what I found in the internetz and then wrote a paragraph about:

Needless to say with bands such as Grammatics, Pulled Apart By Horses, Wintermute, Rolo Tomassi and all that lark pouring out of it, Leeds has an incredible music scene and this is a pretty cool podcast/zine I stumbled upon which offers free stripped-down-live-acoustic-y tracks, properly DIY recorded in a basement. Each track is then paired with an artist who prepares a work of art inspired by the track. The artwork is presented in the zine and the tracks in the podcast, both of which feature discussions surrounding the making and future of the project. The DIY aspect of it all really appeals to me. The project is called Tapes by the way. Check it out here.

Excellent.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Mimas - The Worries

There is something in the mystical wonder of Iceland, Scandinavia and its northern cousins which inspires some of the world's most staggeringly beautiful post-rock. Mimas are a self proclaimed 'death indie' (read: post rock) band from Denmark and their debut LP, The Worries, was released through the phenomenal label, Big Scary Monsters, late last year.

The album is full of epic moments and instrumental twists and turns and flows, in general, seamlessly together to form an impressive and captivating post-rock album. However, to simply pigeon-hole Mimas would be immensely unfair, and although obvious comparisons with the likes of Sigur Ros are inevitable, especially given that their singer is Icelandic, Mimas have genuinely created quite a unique sound.

As with many Danish bands singing in English, the lyrics are predictably bizarre although Mimas' also come complete with morbid tendencies which can be a tad unsettling at first, simply because they are rather unexpected. (A particularly gruesome example being: Old men with their sticks/Smash the younger kids/Their Dad just stood and stared/With his girl's brains in his hair). The odd lyrics allow wild personal interpretations within Mimas' experimental dreamscape and also serve to carve out the necessary pop sensibilities underlying many of the songs.

Check out their myspace, which has a few tracks from their album and also a rather awesome cover of This Town Needs Guns' 26 is Dancier than 4.

The album can be bought from BSM's website for only £7!!!

Anyway, the point of this post is to tell you that they are touring with support from Shapes or, for us Glasgow-folk, Trapped in Kansas. Both excellent bands. Here's the (UK) tour dates:

August

13th - Oxford - The Cellar w/ Shapes
14th - Brighton - The Freebutt w/ On Histories of Rosenberg
15th - Reading - Rapturefest @ Facebar w/ all the other cool bands.

October

9th - Norwich - Norwich Arts Centre
10th - Leeds - Royal Park Cellars w/ Shapes
11th - Glasgow - The Captains Rest w/ Trapped In Kansas
12th - York - City Screen Basement w/ Shapes
13th - Sheffield - TBA w/ Shapes
14th - Birmingham - The Flapper w/ Shapes
15th - Nottingham - The Chameleon Arts Café w/ Shapes

Friday, 14 August 2009

August and Everything After

Good evening world!

Welcome to my first foray into the bewildering and rather overpopulated blogosphere; welcome to another blog of music and musings, illinformed ramblings and nonsensical scribblings. Welcome to Inthecave!

This is my first post! Joyous times I'm sure you'll agree.

Anyway, I plan to just rattle on over here about new music...new to me that is, you may well have already heard it but if you haven't then so much the better. You'll probably work out whether we have similar tastes or not within the first few posts, but either way feel free to stick around.

I'll probably also post some stuff that I've already written for other places here aswell, just because I can/to fill up the white nothingness. This means out of date album and gig reviews, folks, but don't worry too much, they aren't too out of date and there won't be many of them. Truly cutting edge stuff here!

Just read back all I wrote there and looks like this post is setting this blog up to look pretty shit. The post title may well scare some away aswell, given that it is, of course, the title of Counting Crow's debut LP, but it's damn appropriate, this being the start of the blog and August and all that, and that album also happens to be one of my favourite albums ever.

If you are still reading, please accept my personal congratulations and settle down in this bleak, white void of webspace for what may be a long wait for the first real post but what a post it will be!

P.S. Here is the Spotify link for all you cool Spotify folk:
Counting Crows – August and Everything After

P.P.S. It probably won't all be Spotify based fun so don't worry, I might even give you real mp3s if you're good/exist.