Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales - Everything Boom!

100% pure dynamite! Good time rock 'n' soul from Berlin!

Hey boys and girls, you lookin' for a good time? Well who the hell isn't these days?! If the news ain't depressing enough the weather is! Fortunately there's always the sweet delights of music. And they don't come much sweeter than this here garage and soul belter from Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales. I only recently got tipped off about them but their debut album has been blasting out from my speakers for the past few weeks. I may be late to the party but I'm hoping to make up for it by playing this belter loud.

With their mix of soul, rock 'n' roll and garage rock they sure ain't no soul-searching navel gazers. This is music to be played loud, music to soundtrack the good times, music to party to, music to get drunk to. It's an album that'll have you phoning your mates up at 3am to tell them you love them. Better still, invite them over to share in the good-time party vibes. With 100mph drums, wailing saxophone, crunching guitars and Maiorano's feelgoood songs and lyrics it's bound to get the party started.

If you like what you hear you'll be pleased to find the band have some UK and German gigs next month, hopefully in a town near you. Leave yer blues and the door, get down the front and have a blast. It would be impossible not to!

Upcoming Tour Dates
19.10.16 – Hamtorkrug, Neuss, Germany
20.10.16 - St. Moritz Club, London, England
21.10.16 - The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool, England
22.10.16 - The Lexington, London, England
26.10.16 – Yorckschlösschen, Berlin, Germany
04.11.16 – Komplex, Schwerin, Germany
24.02.17 - Wild At Heart, Berlin, Germany

Click here for more on Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales.
Click here for Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales on Facebook.
Click here for Off Label Records.

The Fuits de Mer Guide to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (Ltd. Col 7”)

Thanks for all the fish! Three wildly different takes on a British TV-Theme classic!

This limited edition 7” has been out for a few weeks now but is still available from the Fruits de Mer website. Well worthy of your investigation and your pennies it features the spacerock theme tune from the TV adaptation of Douglas Adams' sci-fi classic, re-imagined by Astralasia, Icarus Peel, and The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies. The track 'Journey of The Sorcerer' was originally by The Eagles. Who woulda thought eh fact fans?!

The Astralasia version is a driving piece of galaxy-spanning electronica, just the ticket for a journey into the unknown. Icarus Peel takes it to a more reflective soulful level complete with Hammond vibes and guitar wig-out. The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies take is straight out of the Ladbroke Grove speed 'n' squat scene of the early '70s. Get groovin' freaks!

All copies come with a bonus CD featuring additional remixes and an additional version by Quantum Surf Rocket Garage Dolls plus new music from Astralasia and Sendelica's Pete Bingham. A bumper package!

Out now on a limited edition colour vinyl 7”.

Click here for Fruits de Mer Records.

Soft Hearted Scientists - Golden Omens

Modern life is weird! Prolific Cardiff collective's 7th long player!

It's been a busy few months for me and I've not always been able to post here as often as I would have liked. One release I definitely didn't want to let slip through the net is the latest opus from Soft Hearted Scientists. Hot on the heels of their recently reissued debut Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth comes Golden Omens, their latest album of new material, this time on a double CD. Split into 4 parts, it's a song cycle that once again helps us see the world with fresh eyes. This is a band with a seemingly bottomless well of inspiration from which they conjure up tunes to delight and entertain us.

There's a Robyn Hitchcock lyric that goes something like “a sideways glance in a full on world”. I may have that slightly wrong but it sums up what Soft Hearted Scientists are all about. Their songs are rooted in the ordinary and everyday but make you see the world anew, opening your eyes to the inherent weirdness and absurdity that surrounds us when we step back and examine what's going on around us. Odd juxtapositions and associations abound.

Not only that but musically they continue to come up with the goods. Gentle pastoral folksiness one minute, into soundscapes and Barrett-esque whimsy the next. As hinted at on the album sleeve, Soft Hearted Scientists are the musically equivalent of jellyfish, fascinatingly odd and funny, they swim beneath the surface, are endurable and ever present, and might just sting you. Encounter them and life is never quite the same again. Dive in and swim with them!

Click here for Soft Hearted Scientists' website.

The Wicked Whispers - New 7" single + upcoming shows!

Good news! The Wicked Whispers have a brand new 7" single out now on Electone Records. A double A-side affair, the 2 tracks are 'If I Set You Free' and 'Zodiac Girl'. In support of the single the psychedelic scousers have lined up some happening shows for October.

Check out the suitably colourful video for 'If I Set You Free' below and read on for the gig info!

The band play :
LONDON - Thursday 6th October 2016.
This Feeling at The Water Rats (+ West of The Sun / velettes)
Event page:

LIVERPOOL - Friday 21st October 2016
Buyers Club (+ special guests DUSST & The Probes)
Event page:

BIRMINGHAM - Thursday 27th October 2016
Hare & Hounds Kings Heath (+ special guests Lee Southall (The Coral) +Ulysses)
Event page:

Cyanna Mercury - New video + forthcoming debut album!

Good pals of ours, Cyanna Mercury, have a new video out for 'There Will Be A Time'. It's the 4th track to be revealed from their debut album, Archetypes, which is due out in November. The video is inspired in part by Alan Parker's 1984 film Birdy.

Dig in, get deep and enjoy!

For more info visit the band's website.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Suburban Homes ... Are Bored EP

Provincial punk punch on The Suburban Homes' latest EP!

The Olympics and Paralympics aside, 2016 has been a terrible year to be British. The dissatisfaction that many have felt across the country manifested itself in the Brexit result, quite possibly the lamest, most self-defeating revolution ever. A political own goal more embarrassing than England's form at the Euros.

We were led down this route by battling Etonians, whose austerity politics satisfied the reactionaries of middle England, bolstered as they were by the press, who blamed the country's ills on anyone without a voice, the powerless rather than those actually in charge. Benefit seekers and immigrants took the brunt of the blame, while corporations and banks continue to screw us over.

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Er... yes. Big-time!

Perhaps here's not the place for me to get this off my chest. After all it's just a humble little music blog. But It seems that the heart of angry protest still beats in pockets across the country. The latest EP from The Suburban Homes gives hope that the youth may save us from ourselves once again. Or at the very least make a damn good righteous racket while trying to.

The Crawley punks' latest was recorded before the Brexit referendum and doesn't address it directly but it does tap into that sense of desperation and helplessness that many marginalised communities across the country are subject to. That feeling that we all deserve better than what we get. There may be a poverty of imagination across our political spectrum and we continue to be passified by our homogenised mainstream culture, which is precisely why The Suburban Homes deserve to be heard. I don't think this 12” EP is actually available as yet but keep an eye on the band's Bandcamp page for more info.

Click here for more on The Suburban Homes.

Welcome To Shitsville
Small Town Boredom
Barbie and Ken
iPhone Suicide
Paranoia + Frustration = Constipation

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Fast Camels – Tales Of The Expected

Third LP from Scotland's premier neo-psych band!

Glasgow may be 5,000 miles from San Francisco, and nowhere near as warm and sunny but maybe it's looking out from a west coast onto a large body of water that induces a psychedelic mindset. Okay maybe not, but there's certainly plenty of that psychedelic mindset on the latest LP from The Fast Camels, one of the best neo-psych outfits in Britain right now. And plenty of the Glasgow-based band's inspiration comes from that other west coast. Check out their debt to Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit' on 'Watchmaker', or the dark acoustic vibes of 'Madame Matron' a track that would fit in easily on Love's Forever Changes.

It's been 2 years since their previous long player, Deadrooms And Butterfly Dreams, and 9 since their debut, The Magic Optician. There's been no major stylistic overhaul, with the band content to mix '60s psych influences with some '90s Britpop swagger. Though the band seem re-energised with a fresh batch of tunes that if anything surpasses their previous output, playing to their strengths in the studio and gelling like only a well-gigged and rehearsed band could.

The primary influences of US psych bands from '66 onwards (A support slot at one of the recent Love Revisited gigs must have been a boost and a validation) is there in the music but lyrically they couldn't be from anywhere else except these isles. The sense of humour found in their Kinksian vignettes is purely British, a tradition that goes right back to the days of music halls. Check out their dig at bar-room bullshitters on the title track opener, or 'Joy Of Roy', a character study that peers beneath the surface of ordinary everyday people to reveal their quirks and foibles. So musically it's a pill-poppin' trip down the rabbit-hole, while lyrically ripping the piss out of their acquaintances like only us Brits know how to do. A true transatlantic trip, and one you need to experience.

The Fast Camels are -

Drew Sturgeon: vocals/guitar
Mark O'Connor: vocals/lead guitar/12 string acoustic
Andy Rene: vocals/bass guitar
Joe Smith: drums/organ/vocals
Craig Jenkins: vocals/percussion

Click here for The Fast Camels' website

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Bordellos - Gary Glitter EP

A brave move to title your latest EP after one the music world's most reviled figures, but the The Bordellos are no ordinary band. The title track of their new release is not a celebration of the man but more of a lament for a time when mainstream music was colourful and exciting. Brian from the band explains - 

"It is a EP influenced by the sad decline of the magic that once could be found in mainstream music, now it seems to have all but vanished, music once could excite you entice you scare you make you feel uneasy or elated just by turning on the radio no matter what time of the day, this is our attempt at putting something slightly subversive back on the radio."

This theme continues through the other three tracks, 'Attack Of The Killer B-Sides' is a list of those classic tracks that are at least the equal of their more celebrated flipsides. Have a listen and add your own. 'Free Download Generation' is a satire of now, a time when new music is so omnipresent and readily accessible but little social or cultural impact. The final track 'Disco Pants' is a post-punk gem about community and retail therapy. How about that! Anyway it's a great EP and available (as a free download no less!) from their Bandcamp page. Get listening!