Monthly Archives: September 2013

CocoRosie – Live Review (The Brighton Dome, Brighton 27 September 2013)

CocoRosie, queens of the different, the strange and the outsider, live at the Brighton Dome was always going to be a good show. A band that divide critics and audiences alike, you can say what you want about the records but live they are still a wonderful thing to behold.

The Brighton Dome had the perfect vibe and location for their legions of loyal and equally strange but wonderful fans. Those not seated around the auditorium bristling with anticipation, stood in front of a washing line strewn with clothing while odd ambient tones mixed with samples of helicopter blades played.

CocoRosie

CocoRosie

A figure with his face hidden walked out to the synths and continued the sound. It intensified, changed, became a beat and gained a rhythm. Then Sierra Cassady bounced onto stage like a hyperactive toddler and all of Brighton fell in love. After a few verses of harp and opera courtesy of her powerful classically trained voice, sister Bianca and beat boxer Tez joined them on stage to massive applause. All clad in matching striped ponchos, the group shed them at different stages over the evening, the girls taking centre stage and trying on new outfits off the washing line, prancing around like naughty children trying on mums clothes. Behind them the two members of the backing band had their own raised platforms, all four flanked a dressing table with a large, ornate mirror that sat in the middle of the stage.

On record CocoRosie’s music veers all over the place, defying genre and categorisation. Live this effect is ten-fold, you never know what to expect next. One minute during Black Poppies you’re enjoying a kind of lo-fi opera performance before suddenly you’re taking part in a pumping acid house rave. Songs like Rainbowarriors and Far Away start off quietly then build and build into psychedelic dance freak outs, aided by the amazing beat boxing of Tez and the colourful, trippy imagery projected onto the screen behind the band.

In fact Tez came close to singlehandedly stealing the show, his deep voice and beats underlying songs as if it was an electric instrument or a drum machine. Half way through the show, he’d given his fifteen minutes in the spotlight to show off his skills solo, to a greatly appreciative audience. Winding his beats up and down, body popping and grabbing at his throat to illicit all number of strange sounds. When the band rejoined him on stage, Sierra amped up the adorable factor by cart wheeling back into the centre, dressed in a ballerinas tutu and hot pink bra. Her constant dancing played well with Bianca’s more introverted approach and the two joined regularly in the middle to sit in front of the mirror, apply makeup and marker pen to each other’s faces and sing while holding hands.Sierra at one point stared into the mirror brushing her hair and singing to a bird propped onto the side of the frame.

There was a real party atmosphere in the room with fan favourites Werewolf and R.I.P. Burn Face continuing the adventures into dance music. The crowd loved it and went especially crazy for CocoRosie’s infamous cover of Kevin Little’s Turn Me On. I saw them play this song three years ago and then it was too sincere and slow. Now, however, with the girls embracing their fun side it’s a highlight of the evening with a prowling Tez and pirouetting Sierra encouraging the crowd to bust out their best moves.

Brighton’s finest are out in force. Hordes of perfectly dressed lesbians in bowler hats, piercings and punk haircuts mingle with stylish hipsters, ageing supermodels and Europeans beauties with dark, deep, brown eyes. CocoRosie love their audience too, skipping back on for an encore with endless blown kisses into the crowd. They were persuaded to stay on for longer by just cheering alone for an improvised jam that starts with Bianca smashing her fists up and down the grand piano that sat to the left of stage. Before that though was the excellent K-Hole (with added trumpets) and new track After the Afterlife in a much funkier style to that of the album. While classics like By Your Side, Lemonade and Noah’s Ark were missing it made no difference to the near perfect show which continued to everyone’s delight in an after party in the front bar. Bianca strutted behind the desk dropping 90’s pop classics while Sierra watched from the balcony above still dancing like a maniac. The diehard fans drew round desperate for a hug or a kiss, of which the girls were very happy to oblige. Friday night in the heart of Brighton on a warm September evening; the perfect place for some CocoRosie.

By Josh Bennett

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Swearin’ To Release New Album, Surfing Strange

Wichita Recordings have announced that they will be releasing the brand new album by Philadelphia indie punks, Swearin’. The album titled Surfing Strange will be released on November 4 and will be available on CD/DL/Vinyl.

The band have also posted a brand new track Watered Down that features on Surfing Strange.

Swearin'

Swearin’

Formed in 2011 in Brooklyn, Allison Crutchfield (guitar) and Kyle Gilbride (guitar) had been making demos for nearly a year before inviting Keith Spencer (bass) into the equation. The trio eventually added longtime friend and Philadelphia resident Jeff Bolt on drums, releasing their demo EP, What a Dump, shortly thereafter. The demo received instant praise from Brooklyn’s indie punk scene and beyond.

In 2012, Swearin’ released their debut self-titled LP on Salinas Records. This record will also be released in the UK and Europe on 21 October by Wichita.  The album caught the ears of all at Wichita Recordings in London who will give the record its first official release outside of North America.

If Swearin’s sample track Watered down is typical, the music is more accessible than their indie punk tag suggests. It’s actually quite sweet with the vulnerable lyrics illustrated by the refrain, “My head is up in the willows/And I know why you are lying”.

Swearin’ will be bringing their live show across the Atlantic for the first time this October when they head out in support of Waxahatchee across Europe.

You can catch Swearin’ live on the following dates in October:
19 – Gathering Festival, Oxford (Tickets: http://gatheringfestival.tumblr.com)
20 – SWN Festival, Cardiff (Tickets: http://swnfest.com/tickets/)
21 – Shacklewell Arms, London (Headline show) http://www.shacklewellarms.com/listings/eventdetails/21-oct-13-swearin-the-shacklewell-arms/
22 – Scala, London (Tickets: http://www.seetickets.com/event/waxahatchee/scala/718269 )
23 – Heartattack & Vine, Newcastle (Tickets: http://www.ents24.com/newcastle-events/heartattack-and-vine) 24 – Broadcast, Glasgow (Tickets: http://www.pclpresents.com )
25 – Sound Control, Manchester (Tickets: http://www.nowwave.co.uk)
26 – Workman’s Club, Dublin (Tickets: http://www.tickets.ie/event.aspx/waxahatchee-the-workmans-club-26-October-2013/29QZ7)
28 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (Tickets:http://www.seetickets.com/Event/WAXAHATCHEE/Brudenell-Social-Club/723987 )
29 – Green Door Store, Brighton (Tickets: http://www.seetickets.com/event/waxahatchee/the-green-door-store/724102)

Surfing Strange will be available to buy from November 4 2013.

By Kate Dexter

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Odonis Odonis Share Brand New Single, Are We Friends

Toronto’s Odonis Odonis are set to release their latest single, Are We Friends. The song, already a staple of their live shows, is a continuation of the blistering fury exposed to the public earlier this year in the form of the Better EP.

Odonis Odonis

Odonis Odonis

Though they’re known for sinuous surf riffs, this track has the band at their most elemental: insistent industrial rhythms and noise. Are you ready for this? The song begins calmly enough, there’s bit of New Order in the mix, but builds with waves of panic peaking and breaking each time Dean Tzenos sings “Are we friends?” His voice becomes more frantic, his question is never answered hence the desperation heard in the vocals. The song transforms into punk as the vocals turn into screams.

Towards the end, a child-like rhyme is added to the nightmare. It’s got appeal if your mood matches. Well-constructed and a bit naughty, “You can give me oral/It may seem immoral/But are we friends?”, this song wouldn’t sound a miss in a heavy rock club.

Are We Friends is the next step for the band following the release of their Better EP which came out in April 2013 via Buzz Records.

You can catch Odonis Odonis live on the following dates:
15-19 October – New York, CMJ Music Festival

The band will be joined by Buzz label mates HSY and Weaves at both this year’s POP Montreal and CMJ Music Festival in New York.

By Kate Dexter

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Down The Machine Give Away Free Download Of Single, Everything I Am Not

Leeds’ alternative rock/metal band Down The Machine have released Everything I Am Not as a free download single.

Frequently compared to the likes of Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and NIN, Down The Machine’s blend of alternative hard rock with elements of industrial electronics continue to appeal to many hard rock fans. They have received airplay worldwide and appeared at various UK music festivals in recent years.

Down The Machine

Down The Machine

Experimenting more with an electronic background intro than on previous tracks, Everything I Am Not has something different. Driving, broody depths reminiscent of Billy Idol’s White Wedding or even Depeche Mode at their dirtiest. The vocals are strong, clear and attractive despite the high range and inevitable shout volume. The tortured line “You are everything that I am not…” will have resonance with many.

There are plenty of heavy guitar riffs to keep a rock audience members’ head shaking happy but there’s something of a wider appeal here. This would be great to hear in a club. It’s a track that you would notice and want to hear again. Building from “You are a bruise on me/A stain I can’t clean…” to “Tell me why there’s nothing more than this”, it grows with desperate plea and frustration – the very stuff of youth; confusion, anger and lust. There’s a hook, it’s rock and it’s cool.

Currently recording their second album for release in 2014, Down The Machine founders Steve Wilson (Vox) and Dan Millikin (Guitar) announce the new additions of David Preston (Drums) and Darren Johnson (Bass).

By Kate Dexter

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Self Defense Family and Goodtime Boys To Release Joint Single

On 11 November, Palm Reader Records will release a joint transatlantic project from Self Defense Family and Goodtime Boys.

This intriguing record will have Not Considered a Flight Risk by Self Defense Family on side A. The songs progressing pace, lyrics and vocals bring a new feel but these elements are partnered with familiar undertones that are consistent with traditional rock. The song is an eye opening introduction of what is to come in the near future from Self Defense Family. The band is going on a tour of Europe with Touche Amore later this year.

Self Defense Family

Self Defense Family

The splits’ side B will host Dream of Life by Goodtime Boys with verses of controlled energy which lead the way to a chorus of chaos. The split record only has an extremely limited number of 700 copies left as the 100 clear copies have been on sale and already been pre-ordered. With only 700 copies of this unique taste of today’s rock/hardcore genre, it is a must pre-order for any die-hard fan.

Self Defense Family tour dates are below:

Goodtime Boys

Goodtime Boys

December (supporting Touché Amoré)
4 – The Fleece, Bristol
5– The Cockpit 2, Leeds
6 – Audio, Brighton
7 – Waterfront Studio, Norwich
8 – Rock City Basement, Nottingham
10 – Stereo, Glasgow
11 – Underworld, London
12 – Roadhouse, Manchester

By Luke Bennett

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Son Lux Gives Away Free Download Of New Track, Easy

On 29 October, New York’s Son Lux, from Joyful Noise Recordings, is set to release his third studio album titled Lanterns. To celebrate this news, Son Lux is giving away his latest track, Easy, as a free download from Soundcloud.

Son Lux

Son Lux aka Ryan Lott

Son Lux (aka Ryan Lott) is most known for his musical project with Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti, S/S/S, which lead him to win the NPR award Best New Artist of the Year. The new record is on track to be nine songs long and contains many contributions from other musicians from bands such as The Punch Brothers, The Antlers, Dirty Projectors and Bon Iver.

Along with Son Lux, these artists are indulging in what can only be described as experimental post-rock alternative hip hop electro fusion. Lanterns will include the single Easy with its eerie introduction and echoing electro samples that leave the audience pressing play, over and over again. Lanterns will also include the unique Lost it to Trying, a sprint of tight musical brilliance which makes anyone want to live out their day in double speed. Joyful Noise Recordings are releasing 500 copies of a ‘colour in colour’ vinyl edition of Lanterns as well as 1200 copies of a ‘split colour’ vinyl edition. Each copy is hand numbered accompanied by a thumb print of Son Lux himself. Get pre-ordering now.

By Luke Bennett.

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Lumerians Release Video For Smokies Tangle

Following the release of their The High Frontier LP in the summer, Lumerians have now released the video for album highlight Smokies Tangle.

The video is a short film entitled Smokie and Lady Chronus, written and directed by Geoffrey Lillemon, that chronicles a bizarre, otherworldly love affair.

Lumerians Smokies Tangle

Screen shot from Lumerians’ Smokies Tangle video

Lumerians is Tyler Green, Chris Musgrave, Jason Miller and Marc Melzer. Formed in early 2006 while most of the members were working at an experimental music label in San Francisco, their shared affinity for Krautrock and esoteric occult mythologies resulted in after-work jam sessions and recording.

In their new LP, out now through Partisan, the Oakland band thrust forward with inspired exploration, Afrobeat’s ritualistic rhythms, post-punk guitar noise and cracked-glacé synth-lines culled from perverse 1970’s sci-fi soundtracks.

It’s a cacophony of sound in which Lumerians acknowledge the role noise and rhythm has always played in transcendent and ecstatic rituals the world over. From the repetitious drums of tribal animists to the penetrating electronic pulses of neon dance clubs, The High Frontier sets scope outward, points blindfolded at a star map and sets off full blast without making course corrections.

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