Tag: Emo

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Monument – Bros Canoeing Album Review

Monument – Bros Canoeing! Album Review

Monument Bros CanoeingI was sad to hear Monument were splitting, but pleased that they left us with this posthumous  sophomore album.  I reviewed their debut full length Goes Canoeing back in Summer 2011 for Roomthirteen.com and it’s an album I still have on regular rotation, so was eager to hear this new record.  Goes Canoeing I described as “raw, emotive and oh so melodic […] backed by jagged guitars, odd time signatures and complex progressions […] a distorted, fuzz-laden sing along world of goosebumps and screamed-raw throats and punched fists.”  I wont argue with my past self, it was (still is) a great album and this latest offering is, pleasingly, no less emotive, and like its predecessor, promises to be an album I’ll be listening to many times.

The “I’ll find a way” chant at the start of opener 3 Musketeers, backed by fiddly guitars and energetic drums, pulls me back in to their world like I’ve never been away.   This is a great way to begin the album: a gloriously uplifting sing along tune with a hint of melancholy, which for me sums up the feel for the rest of the record.  The hint of sadness permeates throughout; with little string touches here and there to give you goosebumps and quiet interludes, like the lovely Reggaenomics, it does lack some of the carefree spirit of its predecessor, but this is well balanced by an upbeat core of melody keeping everything grounded.

Bros Canoeing! does have a less frenetic sound than their debut and tones down the raw vocals for slightly softer edges and a more refined feel, but in no way is the record over produced. The band thankfully retains their edge with vocals on the edge of cracking, riffs that are complex but played with assured confidence and odd timings and impressive flourishes from the drums.

It’s hard to know whether finding out the band had split prior to hearing the album has coloured my judgment when listening, but it seems obvious that emotions were running high during the recording process; there’s a kind of ‘fuck it lets go out in style’ attitude which oozes out of every note and makes each tune crackle with energy.  This album is a great way to start if you don’t know Monument and is also a must have for fans.  Get it.
Buy the album on Bandcamp all proceeds go to Charity.

Now Playing – Picks For May 2014

There has been so much good music to distract me of late that I think it warrants a full ‘now playing’ post in addition to the usual little list on the home page.  Not all is new in terms of release dates, but its all new to me and, I think, worth passing on.

 

Flesh World cover imageFlesh World – MLP
I seem to hearing about this album everywhere lately (championed by MRR and The Quietus amongst others), but the great reviews are deserved – this is a fantastic album.  Post-punk with memorable melodies, wrapped in warm fuzz; it’s dark and moody but also catchy and infectious and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it.  The album is available through Bandcamp at a price to suit you or from La Vida Es Un Mus webstore.

 

The Good Wife Cover ImageThe Good Wife – Love Songs
This is available for free via Bandcamp in an unmastered format as unfortunately The Good Wife is no more.  Apparently the band split up shortly after recording this album but even in its unfinished form it holds some monstrous tracks and serves as a reminder of how great this Brit noise-rock band were.

 

Perfect Pussy Album Cover ImagePerfect Pussy – Say Yes To Love
Noise-punk mob Perfect Pussy seem to be making a name for themselves in recent months which is great to see. Their new album is a lesson in raw fuzz and sludgy production; there is nowhere to hide from the barrage of harsh guitar noise and the vocals are sometimes lost in the grime. However, the album is also full of energy and attitude and has an oddly optimistic edge; despite the sometimes startlingly personal lyrics, warm melodies still manage to seep through. Find it here.

 

Benny The Jet Rodriguez Cover ImageBenny The Jet Rodriguez – Home. Run
This is going to be my Summer 2014 album,  although it came out last Summer – oh well, I may be late to the party but I got there in the end. This is lovely; sweet and catchy, like a cross between Make Wave, Little Big League and Cayetana (in my humble opinion). You can listen on Bandcamp but unfortunately it’s not available for download; so far the only distro in the UK I’ve manage to find it on is Strictly No Capital Letters so I recommend you get over there and buy it now.

 

Mountain Cult Cover ImageMountain Cult – LP
This is another old one, it came out in August 2012 according to Bandcamp but is well worth checking out if you can afford to ship it from the US (no download code available unless you purchase the LP unfortunately) . The album reminds me somewhat of Clinic but much more lo-fi, scuzzy and punk-edged. This is a dark and moody record with great bass lines, jangly guitars and almost unintelligible vocals, I really can’t get enough of it. Listen here.

 

Everyone Goes To Space Demo
Everyone Goes To Space – Demo

A recent find on Bandcamp from this Brazilian group, and one of the most satisfying emo records I’ve heard this year so far. It’s very much in the style of Dowsing, Annabel, Nai Harvest and the like but with a heavier edge at times – great melodies, great to dance to and available here.

Nai Harvest – Hold Open My Head EP Review

Nai Harvest - Hold Open My Head
The new EP from British Emo duo Nai Harvest is one that I’ve been listening to a lot recently.  Since catching them at Swn festival last year (even despite the terrible sound quality at the venue that night)  I’ve been curious to hear some new stuff from them and this record is lovely, really fulfilling my need for something mellow yet upbeat.

The EP has four fantastically catchy tunes, they are so melodic and sing along I’ve been catching myself humming them at random moments and I have no doubt they’ll worm their way into your life in the same way. The vocals are sweet but not sickly and the simple yet effective riffs round things out nicely. Tunes like the opener, Rush, and title track, Hold Open My Head, blossom in all the right places from gentle verse to melodic sing along chorus and I especially love the moments where the 90s inspired guitar takes over; when that classic, full, yet slightly muffled production suddenly morphs into open jangles I always end up with a smile on my face.

Joie De Vivre / Prawn Split EP Review

Joie de Vivre / Prawn Split EP Review

Joie De Vivre & Prawn SplitThe three tracks on this split EP from Joie De Vivre are solid; nicely melodic and full of their comfortable miserablist midwestmo. If you’re familiar with them you’ll find nothing unexpected here.  As usual I actually find that introspective feel, the downbeat lyrics and the familiarity that comes with them oddly comforting.   The tunes all have emotive vocals and a sweet, fuzzy, vaguely Promise Ring feel, my initial favourite is Tenspopet with its lively, jangly guitars and gently poppy tune.

Prawn I’ll confess I’m less familiar with, but initially I’m liking what I hear from them here –  an Emo base with some really nice post-rock style dreamy sections to the fore and a clear ringing guitar sound. Parts of Why You Always Leave a Note actually reminded me of Brand New in their quieter moments. Their second tune is much more like the Joie De Vivre tracks on the EP – it fits well with the overall feel of the record but is, a little flat in comparison to the first track featured here.  Overall, worth checking out and if you’ve not heard either band before this is a good place to start.

Swn Festival 2013 Day 3 & 4

Swn Festival Day 3 & 4 highlights

Saturday 19th
this is wreckage
This Is Wreckage opened my Saturday – this is a band that likes to play loud and dirty and the crowd were with them every step of the way.  The Swn guide quoted for fans of Big Black and The Jesus Lizard so this was one I couldn’t miss and I was more than pleasantly surprised. the bass was huge and dirty, the guitar was juicy and jagged and the vocals husky and nicely judged.

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Dowsing Album Review

Dowsing, I Don’t Even Care Any More, Album Review

dowsing cover imageHaving enjoyed Dowsing’s last full length It’s Still Pretty Terrible I was interested to take a listen when their latest album turned up in my inbox last week.  The verdict? Well the first impression is that this new record isn’t as instantly memorable; on an initial playthrough a couple of really catchy tracks stand out but many of the others blur into a Dowsing flavoured mush. So perhaps this is more of a grower?

In essential’s Dowsing’s sound hasn’t changed really;  the melodies remain strong and the overall tone still has a slighly downbeat edge.  It feels like they’ve buffed their mid-paced emo jangles to a smooth even tone here, but I’m not sure that’s the best thing for their sound because for me the record is missing something – perhaps it’s because in ironing out their sound they’ve taken off the raw edges that kept the tunes from being too sweet and sentimental.

The opening couple of tunes, If I Fall Asleep The Cats Will Find Me and Get Weird are catchy little pop tunes and overall the album has plenty of those but further in things do start sounding a touch familiar – I think it’s because without the raw sounding production and more emotive vocals and choruses of tracks like Get Dead! and What Did You Ever Do? from It’s Still Pretty Terrible this album lacks bite.

That said, I’m still rocking many of the tunes on offer No Offense To The Fun for example comes later in the record and it’s brilliant, serving to pull me back into the album with it’s more heavy duty riffs and super catchy sing along chorus.  So yes, it may have a more polished, evened out tone but there are enough cracking little melodies working their way out of the melancholic twinkling to keep you hooked in. Dowsing really do know how to pen a sweet and poppy emo tune and this album is worth checking out if that’s your thing.

Review Roundup August ’13

A roundup of releases I’ve reviewed over the last few months for Roomthirteen, links to the full reviews can be found under each snippet.

Drug ChurchPaul Walker
Seriously loving this album, and you should too if heavy duty yet melodic punk-rock is your thing. Paul Walker is the debut full length from Albany (NY) punks Drug Church (released via No Sleep Records) and it’s a corker.
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Nobody, EverEveryone Stood By The Side Of The Road (EP)
There is something very charming about Nobody Ever’s emo-tinged punk-rock tunes, minimal in style but with a gruff-edged vocal delivery, nice (high in the mix) bass lines and some cracking melodies; there’s nothing here not to like.
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Ovlov Am
Connecticut indie-rock band Ovlov’s debut full length for Exploding In Sound Records, is stylistically heavily 90s influenced and drenched in layers of scuzzy goodness a la Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine – their sound is dubbed popgaze in the press info which actually seems rather fitting.
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Two Inch Astronaut Bad Brother
Two Inch Astronaut have a strong 90s rock sound at times, bringing to mind bands like Pixies, Pavement and Shudder To Think but they don’t wallow in nostalgia – mixing in little touches that make sure you know they are living in the here and now; heady, heavy duty moments, great melodies and playful riffage amongst them.
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Things Of Interest December 2012

Just to finish off the year, here are a few things that have interested me lately.

In zines – I’ve recently acquired and read A Short Fanzine About Rocking.
A Short Fanzine About Rocking Winter 2012 It’s been going since 2001 but is only the second issue I’ve managed to pick up of this UK punk/metal zine, the clean, uncluttered style makes a change from a lot of the cut and paste zines I read and I like the writing style – some great interviews. At 80 pages (or there abouts) it’s not just a five minute read and kept me going for a few days so it’s cheap at £2.  Visit the tumblr for more info.

I’ve been listening to this great new album by Annabel non stop:
Annabel Youth In YouthI had the vinyl as a Christmas gift and it’s rather lovely but had listened many times to the full album on their Bandcamp so it’s already a favourite.

Coming up in the new year to get excited about is the new issue of Degenerate zine. This is by far my favourite zine of the moment both aesthetically and in content so I’m very much looking forward to that. A new album from The Bronx is coming early next year too which is always something to look forward to and hopefully a new issue of Tastemaker zine from Matt Average under its new moniker Us Und Them I very much enjoyed issue #1 of that. So tons to look forward to in 2013.