Great extended plays
5 January 2022
Artist: ROBIN GUTHRIE
Who: Scottish trailblazer best known as a founder and
sonic dreamweaver of legendary trio Cocteau Twins
Recent works: 2 EPs, Mockingbird Love and Riviera, and
one full album called Pearldiving, all released in 2021.
Guthrie was born 60 years ago, on 4 January 1962. Happy B. to the heart and soul
touching musician. To celebrate his birthday, he just released (yesterday) another
EP titled SPRINGTIME, containing 4 instrumental, synths painted pieces with an
instant soothing effect.
Imagine this: an eagle flying, with its wide wings spread, over a high mountain, with
a bright blue sky on top of it. All nature, all beauteousness, all cinematic magnificence.
Get the picture? I’m sure you do.
Dim the lights, sit down, relax, open your mind and
your ears and let yourself float on these moony waves…
ROBIN GUTHRIE: Facebook
Photo by Violette Guthrie
13 December 2021
Artist: ROBIN GUTHRIE (Scotland)
Who: Co-founder of Cocteau Twins (1979–1997)
New EP: RIVIERA
It has been a busy year for the Scottish musician. Last October he brought us his starry-eyed Mockingbird Love EP, followed in November by his first longplayer in nine years, called Pearldiving.
(photo by Violet Guthrie)
And here’s another EP titled RIVIERA.
An instrumental 4-track one with a featherlight, heavenly and spiritual magnificence. Stardust everywhere. If you’re not into all that festive end-of-the-year fuss (like me) play
all Guthrie‘s 2021 releases on repeat. It’ll give you (and me) a mind-relaxing, soothing,
and idyllic feel. Sparkling vibrations for the midnight hours. Guthrie transfers you to a blissful place.
ROBIN GUTHRIE: Facebook
First-class extended plays
6 December 2021
Who: A five-piece band based in Eastbourne, East Sussex.
Comprised of Freddie (Vocals), Joe (Guitar), Seb (Bass), Archie (Synth)
and Liam (Drums) the band suck listeners into their world through
a dynamic surge and zesty, modern approach. Their music is purely
about a feeling, told from the depths of their hearts and delivered
with a hint of mystique.
Influences: Oasis, Tame Impala, The Strokes,
The Vaccines and The Courteeners.
New EP: ENTHUSIAST
“The EP looks into a relationship breaking down. It’s about
riding out the sad, bad, mad times, in order to reach a place
of peace. Titled Enthusiast, as it takes a certain type of person
to be able get through the tough times and to look for the light.”
Turn Up The Volume: This 5-piece hit the big time with four ardent
pop sockdolagers. They bedazzle with reflective wholeheartedness
(Foreign Land / Fade In) with energetic pizzaz (Someone, Anyone) and
one of the best singles of 2021, I repeat, one of the best singles of
2021 with Blame It, an instant masterstroke with frontman Freddie
going out-of-his-mind on the epic chorus. Wow!
(Photo by Eva Pantel)
Video clips for…
– BLAME IT –
– FOREIGN LAND –
You can blame anybody,
but not Marlow
Their enthusiasm is off the charts…
22 November 2021
Artist: LEG PUPPY
Who: Techno misfit from London
New EP: FIVE
“Five tracks all over Five minutes, not one
mention of heartbreak, love and moving on!
Turn Up The Volume: This 5-track EP with five of Leg Puppy’s
Top-5 hits is what you need to kick another awful virus year in
the mouth mask face.
40 minutes of brainwashing dancefloor frenzy starting with the sassy
electro-rock stomper ‘Tears‘ delivered with trance-tastic Voi Vang vocals,
followed by a black paranoid sabbath orgy, a technotronic jam called NDA,
a schizophrenic Luid 23 juggernaut and a razzle-dazzle roller coaster doing
your dope profile in to end this Doomsday party.
FIVE is the EP to start and
end all Xmas diners with…
LEG PUPPY: Facebook
8 November 2021
Artist: LEE ROGERS
Who: Singer-songwriter from the small town of Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland.
His musical inspiration was drawn from classic voices outside of the tensions in
his homeland. Bill Withers, Marc Cohen, Tom Waits, and the like were all bright colours
from a musical palette far away from the often-grim surroundings of Northern Ireland
at that time. Rogers’ voice and sound pull from the vast well of timeless Americana,
all the while underpinned by the authentic writings of his life and its surroundings.
New EP: DARK NOTIONS
Rogers: “I don’t like the idea of songs sitting silently on hard drives. These ones were
written to be heard and I kind of like that they don’t fit with anything else other than back
to back together on their own EP… For this EP I wanted to hark back a bit to the excitement
of holding a piece of music in your hands, reading sleeve notes, taking in the artwork and looking at something other than your phone while listening. There’s so much missing from
the whole experience these days. I still love the ritual of pulling a CD case open, or putting
the needle arm onto a record on the turntable, and I really think the contents of this EP
lend themselves perfectly to that.””
(photo by Ken Haddock)
Turn Up The Volume: This is high-quality songwriting. From riveting grooves
to soul-stirring balladry. Compelling stories, masterly arrangments, instantly
sticking melodiousness, and a magnific Americana voice. Arresting work.
Discover and enjoy all six beauties…
Besides the five original songs Rogers also included his remarkable cover of the 1977
Bee Gees’ massive disco hit Stayin’ Alive. Remarkable as he slows the song down in a mesmerizing way and because his warm and melancholic vox – instead of the brothers’ helium vocals – changes the resonance totally. A gem of a cover…
LEE ROGERS: Facebook
(Sublime EP artwork by Lee Rogers)
3 November 2021
Band: PEEPING DREXELS
Who: Post-punk misfits from South London who announced their past UK gigs with this message: “Come through to the show of your liking to witness the degradation of our already poor physical and mental health in musical form.” Say no more.
EP: BAD TIME
This amazeballs extended play came out back in April, but before last Saturday night, I had never heard of this London gang of outcasts. But seeing them turning up the heat in the historic Paradiso Club in Amsterdam as part of the yearly (actually 2 editions per year) London Calling Festival, a showcase for up and coming bands (mostly from the UK), was pretty fucktastic and made them the talk of the night.
Why? If you start with some early Talking Heads‘ mania, followed by crashing Apocalypse drones, then you switch to some casual piano touches and 60s echoing guitars, and you end in a depressive lullaby way and you do all of this in one song with a flabbergasting resonance you’ll understand why the whole venue went apeshit and left their sweat on
the beer-drained floor for the whole wall-of-barbwire-sledgehammer-beats and post-punk orgasms filled gig.
Need a reference? Last Saturday Peeping Drexels made me feel what I felt so many times when seeing their mates Fat White Family slash and trash stages. You know, that feeling of pumped-up confidence to go out in the street and kick some fascists’ asses. Hell bloody hell yeah!
Enough talking. Do your miserable post-lockdown state of
mind a favour and buy yourself some more BAD TIME.
Right here, right now…
PEEPING DREXELS: Facebook
Well, my camera went apeshit too, last Saturday night
25 October 2021
Who: Brighton-based project of musician/songwriter
Mark Benton and Tom Chadd along with their eclectic
troupe of performers.
New EP: FOOLHARDY
Released: 22 October 2021
Turn Up The Volume: One track (Foolhardy) was recorded in a studio,
one was (Old Joe) taped live at St. George’s Church in Brighton and three
pieces (Deadweights / Tidal Wave / Foolhardy) were canned while in quarantine
last year and one is a remix from the title track.
Seadog are daydreamers who translate their reflections into floaty pop melodies,
with Old Joe as my standout favorite. Smooth synths and starry-eyed vocals fortify
the overall relaxing atmosphere. Feeling blue? Than this EP is a fitting companion.
A bewitching live version of Old Joe…
A creepy video clip for the title track Foolhardy
Full EP on Spotify…
19 October 2021
Band: CRUX (great title)
Who: Up and coming indie
rockers from Newcastle, UK
Debut EP: DEATH AT THE CASH MACHINE
CRUX: “We’ve tried to capture different aspects of the chaos and despair that penetrates modern living drawing on a number of themes, from zero-hour contracts and austerity to sexual predators and dodgy nights out. Some of the songs are particularly character-driven, with ‘Radgie Gadgie’ and ‘Incel’ both being based on real people, but also on archetypes we’re all familiar with in our day-to-day lives.”
(Photo by Chris Ord)
Turn Up The Volume: History, unfortunately, repeats itself over and over again.
The past few years greedy power-addicted charlatans (the likes of Trump, Johnson, Erdogan, and Orbán) got elected by a scary majority of autocracy-supporting people. Sexism, racism, and inequality are back from never being away. Add the devastating coronavirus crisis and the never-ending nuclear race and it looks as if the world is
heading towards self-destruction.
Crux tackle most of those inhuman issues and more in this 6-track extended play,
lyrically and sonically. From the pumped-up Royal Blood-like stomper Living In Dystopia
on they ignite all cylinders. Smashing slam Big Market (do I hear echoes of prog-rockers
Yes track To Be Over track of their 1974 album Relayer here in the intro) rocks hard.
Furious whirlwind stormers Incel and Radgie Gadgie speed up your bloodstream
while the decibels reach an illegal level. Slaving Away has a glowing glam groove with
an instant impact on your body langue and closer Agent Orange is a tremendous tour
de force combining The Black Keys drones, a wham bloody wham-bam chorus, and a surprising, classical choir climax. A spectacular finale of a spectacular EP.
The scary signs of our modern times led Crux to a far-out EP triumph.
– LIVING IN DYSTOPIA –
Stream full EP here…
CRUX: Facebook – Instagram
4 October 2021
Band: HUX FLUX
Who: A quartet from Gothenburg, Sweden. They call their reverby sound ‘Trashdance’, influenced by punk, dance music and garage rock. They produced by legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, The Sonics, Dirt Bombs etc).
New EP: BANANA BRAIN
“Our personal influencers are a bit different, but as a band I would say that
Thee Oh Sees inspire us on the experimental part, Night Beats for the overall
sound, and The Coathangers for the versatility and attitude. We take our
music very seriously, but as ourselves we are more of the playful types.”
Turn Up The Volume: Expect four glorious chaotic psychobilly grooves
à la slash and trash legends The Cramps, sounding as if they were recorded
in a filthy basement far away from a thing called studio. Smells like punk spirit.
No arty-farty nonsense for Hux Flux whose frontwoman’s voice balances
somewhere between a Riot grrl version of Betty Boop and a young Marianne
Faithfull smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Devilish cool, right? Absolutely.
Check your stereo before you press play…
HUX FLUX: Facebook
27 September 2021
Band: SONIC TIDES (Liege)
Who: Belgian 5-piece that produces a big subversive sound
ranging from noise rock to psychedelic. You can dive into their
duality between dissonant sounds and hypnotizing and
(photo: Gaux Mar)
Info: “The release of this EP is the result of the group’s work during the pandemic,
traveling between several atmospheres; frantic and dissonant sounds of “Foreseen
Failure” to melancholy vocal harmonies and the soaring atmosphere of “Through
My Bones”. This debut EP offers a glimpse into the alternate universe of Sonic Tides.”
About the artwork: “We were fortunate enough to be able to work with Robby Staebler
aka UVWAYS (All Them Witches) for the artwork for the first EP. We have always greatly appreciated his creations and visuals. He made the artwork for the EP directly from our
music. It was both an honor and a pleasure to be able to collaborate with him.” ”
Turn Up The Volume: From noise bulldozer Foreseen Failure to Black Sabbath
drone with a blues edge The Grass Grows. From bass-driven slo-mo jam Disruption
to quiet/Loud/quiet tour de force Through my Bones that leaves you behind, puzzled
and dazed with your ears ringing for a couple of minutes. An intense experience.
Top debut EP.
Test your speakers here…
SONIC TIDES: Facebook