Friday, March 30, 2012

Band of the Week: Marmozets, Hysterical Injury, & more!

Band of the Week time, my lovelies, so let's kick off with Marmozets. If you've not seen my review of their support set for Young Guns, go do that NOW. Anyhoos, really great young band - female fronted math rock. One sec while I find some sort of stream/video. Ah, the video for Lives, that'll do nicely.

MARMOZETS - LIVES from Sam Macintyre on Vimeo.

Moving on, we now have Hysterical Injury. Indie rock? Indie pop? Their Bandcamp tags say grunge and riot grrrl, which I'm not inclined to entirely agree with, but the tone is certainly there. Here's the album Dead Wolf Situation:

Following on from them, let's have Every Time I Die. Scrumptious metalcore/hardcore-ness. Aaaaand, I don't like any of the streams, so let's dig up a video instead. Wanderlust will do, right? I'd have preferred a good live video of The Marvelous Slut, but apparently it doesn't exist...

Next up, a couple of bands I've just found this evening, courtesy of looking up the support acts for The Broken Seas gig next month (you should check them out as well, by the way). So, here's a little bit of Faster Than Robots:

02 Jubilee by fasterthanrobots Followed by a little something from ...Of Diamonds: Weirdo - MP3 Version by ofdiamonds

 That'll do for this week. Check 'em out and pass it on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Young Guns at Norwich Arts Centre, 24/3/12

Kicking off Saturday's show at the Arts Centre were young Leeds quintet Marmozets. Female fronted... math rock? I picked up on the post-hardcore side of it, but beyond that I'm not hugely familiar with the genre. One moment while I google...

So, Thrash Hits (ever reliable) has them down as "Dillinger Escape Plan x Paramore". For which read: math rock with great melodies and great female vocals. They've also been compared to Rolo Tomassi - take this as a good thing. I only ever here positive things about Rolo Tomassi. Getting side tracked here. What an amazing set. For such a young band, these guys really know how to put on a show. Throwing the audience straight in there with new(ish) track Onemanwolfpack, it was almost non-stop energy. Personally, (as a non-expert, I hasten to add) I think vocalist Becca could do with working on her unclean vocals a bit, but she still sounds amazing and her clean vocals were stunning. Brilliantly... twiddly? guitar work and overall just a hugely energetic set which ended with both vocalist and both guitarists in the pit. Folks really should have paid attention when guitarist Sam warned "You're going to want to back up, otherwise you're going to get a guitar in the neck" - or words to that effect. This was very much not what I'd initially expected at a Young Guns show, although at least I'd thought to look up Marmozets beforehand.

Moving on to the headliners. Well, awesome. Young Guns are pretty much straight up rock. Slight "emo" tendencies according to my housemate (lies). Diving straight in there with one of the band's heavier tracks, Elements, the set got off to a great start. There was a great balance between old and new material, something I'd been a little worried about given that the band are still promoting their most recent album and I'm not as keen on it as I was the debut. The crowd really got moving, although any attempts at a pit pretty much failed - Young Guns' music, personally, isn't exactly conducive to pit formation. Finishing with a trio of fan favourites in the form of Daughter of the Sea, Winter Kiss and Weight of the World, this was a triumphant return to Norwich for Young Guns and one that evidently went down well on this sold out night. The only thing lacking was an encore for this relatively short (45-50 min?) set. Ah well. Everyone seemed happy and that's what matters.

Marmozets set list (thanks to Josh MacIntyre for tweeting me this)
Onemanwolfpack, 9/10/11 - 12:13, Lives, Duels, The Perfect Beverage, Vexed

Young Guns set list (courtesy of it being on the sound desk right in front of me...)
Elements, Bones, D.O.A., Towers (On The Way), Crystal Clear, Brother In Arms, Stitches, Dearly Departed, Learn My Lesson, Daughter Of The Sea, Winter Kiss, Weight Of The World

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Randomness: Gig-going

Ah, the joys of posts purely out of boredom (and slight curiosity). The question is this: Is it really just me who is happy going to gigs on my own?

I'm just wondering, because, well, people seem to pity me when I tell them I go to almost all gigs on my own. Personally, I can't see the problem - I enjoy gigs just as much (if not more) when I'm on my own and I can't see how being with other people enhances that experience, apart from maybe discussing things afterwards. I have this blog for my babbles. And a bunch of poor, unsuspecting housemates who haven't yet learned that I will prattle madly at them if they ask me if I enjoyed a gig...

But: there are so many people who reckon going to gigs with other folks is better. So tell me, group-gig-goers: what makes going to gigs with your friends so much better than going alone?

On a side note: YOUNG GUNS SHOW TONIGHT. And yes, I am going alone. Hurray.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Band of the Week: Slowcoaches, Luminal and more!

So, I initially debated doing a weekly/monthly "Bandcamp Finds" type thing, but we all know I'm useless at actually remembering to post things, so we'll just stick with the semi-regular Band of the Week. With lots of Bandcamp-discovered goodness included.

This week's kicks off with lo-fi indie rockers Slowcoaches. Another band I found through the apparently excellent Tye Die Tapes. Their new EP is released tomorrow, after which they're going on tour round the UK. Check out said EP, We're So Heavy:

Next up, Maryland based Luminal. Indie rock with synths, mainly. The vocals can be slightly awkward in places, but the music's pretty cool. Check out the album Overdraft, which is free download from Bandcamp.

Following them, I think we'll have Special Benny, sort of ambient, indie-electro-ness. Oddly (or perhaps not), I found out about them through the hit BBC children's programme Horrible Histories. I figured I'd look up the cast, just to see what else they'd done and discovered that one of them was also in Special Benny. So I looked them up and pretty much fell in love. So here we have Toys:

In relation to this, I found that the same cast member, Mathew Baynton, also has a solo project under the name Dog Ears. Beautiful acoustic indie-folk type stuff. Mrs Winchester is a personal favourite, but let's just post the entire So It Goes EP:

And finally, let's have She Makes War, indie gloom-pop loveliness from Laura Kidd. Her new album Little Battles is due out at the beginning of April, but for now have a listen to last album Disarm. It's available for "name your price" download on Bandcamp. I.e., you can have it free if you want, but I recommend paying something for it - it's very much worth it.

Think that'll do for this week. Have a listen and pass it on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Band of the Week: more random discoveries!

Not Bandcamp discoveries this week (well, maybe a couple), but hurray for random 'net treasures.

First up (and yes, I know I've mentioned her several times before, shush), the delightful Aamir al-Loki. Goth-electro-pop. Check out her video for Don't here:
Next up, Fairy Meds. Female fronted punk rock. Another random Bandcamp discovery.

(tis free download, by the way...)

And then... let's have letlive., who I've also mentioned a couple of times before in relation to their amazing live show. Progressive post-hardcore loveliness. Here's the latest video for Muther:

Next we'll have Cloudkicker, which is another Bandcamp discovery. Instrumental metal. Great for sticking on while working, I find. Let's have Discovery, since that's the album I actually have. There's loads of them though. The title track of this one is especially awesome.

(all of his albums are free downloads, if I remember rightly...)

How many's that? Four's not enough, surely?Ahh, I know what we can finish with. I rediscovered this piece of awesomeness last week and completely forgot to share. This is Pistol Youth's acoustic cover of Flo-Rida's Low. It's rather brilliant, as are Pistol Youth in general. Indie/alternative rock.
Off you pop.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review: Emilie Autumn at Nottingham Rock City, 10/3/12

"Tell me no stories and I'll tell you no lies..."

(Please note that the beginning of this review was written earlier today while I was killing time waiting for the train. Hence any random asides. Feel free to ignore bracketed stupid comments. Anyone not wanting to know setlists should look away NOW.)

I attempted to draft this last night, but my pen died so here goes attempt 2:
Sitting in the sun outside Nottingham Castle (which looks nothing like the one in Robin Hood, by the way), the intensity of last night's show seems a long way off. However, given that my legs ache like hell and I'm still rather gig high, now seems as good a time as any to try to capture the emotion.

This show marks the first time I've ever really queued for a gig, which should be a good indication of how much I love Emilie Autumn. After queuing for two and a half hours for doors, then another hour and a half waiting inside, I was beginning to get fed up. I'm not a patient person at the best of times and combined with my fear of crowds, my patience almost snapped after a teasing false start. The situation was remedied ten minutes later with the most dramatic entrance I think I've ever seen. Against the electronic tones of "Best Safety Lies In Fear" the Bloody Crumpets took to the stage. The Bloody Crumpets being Captain Maggots, the Blessed Contessa and the Naughty Veronica. Emilie Autumn's... fellow cast? We'll get onto that. Last to grace the stage - Queen of Rats, star of the show, Emilie Autumn. As "Best Safety..." segued neatly into Four O'Clock, the show got well and truly under way.

(and now at Nottingham Station)

I'm tempted to to a run down of the whole show, track by track because it rather needs it to capture just how theatrical it was. However, that isn't how reviews are supposed to work, so let's just pick out the important bits. The set was heavy on new, as-yet-unreleased tracks from upcoming album Fight Like A Girl. Normally this irritates me, but the point of this tour is as a sort of album preview, so we'll let that slide. Besides, they were pretty great tracks. "Girls, Girls, Girls" has a wonderful dark carnival vibe, while Gas Light harks beack to EA's Enchant album. My personal favourite of the new tracks though has to be Time For Tea. Sounds lovely, yes? Dainty, yes? Think again.

What's different about Emilie Autumn's shows (at least compared to what I've personally seen before) is this: this is music as theatre. It's not just a group of people on stage playing music.

(and I think I just saw someone who was at the gig. Going by the attire, anyways)

Where was I? Ah, music as theatre.

(aaaand change platforms)

Music as theatre. Probably most noticeable on "Girls, Girls, Girls", which involved EA playing the role of guide in a tour of The Asylum, with the Bloody Crumpets as inmates.

(getting sidetracked by station stuff. Will resume once on train)

(ohmygod, I just saw a train leave the station exactly on time)

Ahem. It's now more than 3 hours since I got off the train and it's proving a little difficult to pick up my thread. Right, music as theatre it is. Well, we sort of covered that. Then there's the fact that not the entire show is songs. Each Crumpet got their own little segment. Captain Maggots introduced everyone (eventually. She rather struggled with Contessa). The Contessa lead the audience in a (supposedly) mystical chant involving something to do with fingers and toes which lead into the opening of God Help Me (wonderful track). Veronica, who has a background in burlesque if I remember rightly, performed a gorgeous feather fan dance to EA's instrumental track "Dominant" and then proceeded to 'corrupt' a pair of fans in the fan favourite Rat Game. (Look it up). Finally, Captain Maggots got a second shot at the limelight with some fantastic fire-hula-hoop-dancing-thing. There was fire. And hula.

This review has turned into a non-review and is in severe danger of degenerating into random babble, so let's bring it to a close. Closing the main set with new track One Foot In Front Of The Other (actual title? Maybe not.), the ladies left the stage to applause and shouts for more. So of course there was the inevitable encore, which consisted of two piano led tracks - the beautiful Mad Girl and then Thank God I'm Pretty which turned into an audience sing-along. Finally, the Crumpets rejoined EA on stage to perform a sort of farewell dance and when they finally left again the house lights came up to Monty Python's classic "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" which resulted in another audience sing-along and a lot of very happy fans. The only fault I can find is that the music was almost entirely played from a backing track, but given that it's very electronic based, I can just about forgive that. Besides, the theatrics more than made up for it and EA's voice is pretty much perfect live.

That'll do, yes? Here follows a just about correct setlist - some bits (in the middle especially) might be in the wrong order, but it'll do.

  1. Best Safety Lies in Fear (instrumental/sampled)
  2. Four O'Clock
  3. Dr Stockhill (spoken word) <- I'm informed this is the title, but might be wrong
  4. Fight Like A Girl
  5. Time For Tea
  6. How To Break A Heart (poem)
  7. The Art Of Suicide
  8. Liar
  9. Take The Pill
  10. God Help Me
  11. Dominant (instrumental)
  12. Girls, Girls, Girls
  13. Rat game
  14. We Want Them Young
  15. Gas Light
  16. One Foot in Front of the Other
  17. Encore: Mad Girl
  18. Encore: Thank God I'm Pretty
Spread the Plague...

Oh, did I mention there was tea, biscuits and cake flying around? What other reason do you need to go to a show?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Band of the Week: Emilie Autumn

Finally! Finally, I have got round to making a post about the woman who is quite probably my favourite musician EVER. And all it took was the fact that I'm seeing her live this coming Saturday. One second, flailing is required.


Ahem. Moving on. So, an introduction to the world of Emilie Autumn. There is much in the way of classical influences, electronic violin and romantic literature references. Oh, and tea. There is always tea. The music is self-styled "Victoriandustrial". Take this to mean electronic-based with a lot of classical influence as just mentioned. Do not expect to find any actual industrial, although she does come fairly close. To be fair, a lot of Ms Autumn's music is closer in style to darkwave or ethereal wave than to industrial (for which read: not close, but closer than industrial) and on the Enchant album, the style swings all over the place from jazz to tango to various rock elements. So, instead of tangling myself up in knots trying to define exactly what Emilie Autumn does, let's just have some samples, shall we?

From Enchant, check out How Strange, Chambermaid, Second Hand Faith, Castle Down and What If.

From A Bit o' This & That, check out By The Sword and the cover of Monty Python's legendary Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

From the Liar/Dead Is The New Alive EP, check out Mad Girl.

From Laced/Unlaced, check out Unlaced, Manic Depression and Face The Wall. (not such a fan of the classical half of the album. Classical's not my thing.)

From the 4 O'Clock EP, check out Organ Grinder.

From the Girls Just Want To Have Fun/Bohemian Rhapsody EP, check out Gentlemen Aren't Nice.

And from the last album Opheliac, check out Shalott, Dead Is The New Alive, I Know Where You Sleep and Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches.

Think that'll do, yes? Oh, one last thing...

Not quite one last thing, cos I just remembered this.

Atrocious quality, but it's Emilie Autumn. Emilie fucking Autumn in a fucking bath. Singing. *fangirling*

Seriously done now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Band of the Week: Bandcamp discoveries

Bandcamp is a wonderful website and a most amazing tool for finding new music. So I thought I'd share some of my favourite discoveries.

First up, Brighton's dark cabaret finest Birdeatsbaby. Scrumptiousness all round. Have a listen to their new album:

Next up, the ever awesome One-Eyed Doll. Female fronted punk-metal-rock thing. Here's their most recent album:

And then, I think we'll have Norwich locals Fever Fever. I'd forgotten that I found out about them through Bandcamp until I saw them supporting Fight Like Apes last year and realised I recognised the sound. They have a free download of their track Teeth.

Then we'll have the deliciousness that is Jill Tracy. More dark cabaret, this time with a more classical, jazzy feel.

And finally, I think we'll have Fawn Spots, because their new EP just arrived today. Hurray for cassette tapes. Lo-fi indie rock. All fuzzy and awesome.

Think that'll do, yes? Oh go on then, we'll have a pic of the pretty pretty tape.