Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mid-Week Excursion


Have you finished listening to that cover of The Strokes by my fave Brunei band right now, The Monopolist? Click on it. Okay, let's move on.

I've had a very long week. A very, very long week.

But that long week was extremely good. Amazing, even. Many times it was insane.

I went to London for a succession of gigs that left me in such a mangled state this Monday morning that right after my two-hour lecture (during which I struggled to stay awake) I fell onto my bed like a piece of brick being thrown down the KLCC.

So, what was I up to that left me in such pitiful conditions?

First, observe this video of Crystal Castles live. I was there, holding that camera trying my hardest not to fall down and get stampeded over a crowd in full adulation of Alice Glass. Yes, it was so deliciously violent I almost lost my shoe several times.

The next day, I went to see Japandroids, supported by Tellison and Yuck. Truth be told, this was the weakest of the three gigs I went to. But this is like saying the elephant is smaller than a whale and the Empire State building, or that Batman Begins is not as good as The Dark Knight. Dammit, it's still so, so good.

Here are some videos for your (and my) enjoyment.

Tellison ripping it up with a new song from their (yet-to-be-recorded) second album.

Japandroids, also with a new song

Then came Trood's T-Time, which congregated four awesome bands starting with the letter T in a small pub venue in Kingston. It was like a more awesome version of Sesame Street.

This video down here is a playlist. Click on the arrows on the side to cycle through videos from that night.

And now I'm back in York again!

Next gig to look forward to? Well, it's Evolution Festival in Newcastle, which is this weekend. Should be amazing.

Rage Against The Machine tickets should come this week too. So many things to look forward to! Not to mention my last paper of the year in three weeks!

Then I'm off to Brunei. I'm excited to finally get to see all these awesome Brunei bands I've been listening to from 3,000 miles away.

Fun fun fun.

Signing out

Over and out

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Ask me anything http://formspring.me/mujahidjohar

Early Weekend Break

Hi guys,

I'm going to London tomorrow, so I won't be updating until at least the weekend. So hopefully by then I'll have a band of the week to be featured.

Signing out

Over and out

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The BruNews Flash (11/05/10)

I haven't done any of these, but here's some news in the Brunei music world for you.
Karacoma recently unveiled the album cover and the full track list for their upcoming album, titled 'Shattered Dreams'. You can view the pictures HERE.

The Monopolist was recently approached with a contract proposal. Other than Hazwan saying it might not be the right time yet for them, I haven't got any further details as to whether this is going forward or not. They've also made their recent acoustic session with Pelangi FM available to download. Highlights include a great cover of The Strokes' Someday, and acoustic versions of their own songs, Moving In Time and Second Best.

About a week ago, Voize.My announced the winners of AVIMA 2010 via Facebook, with the site calling it “World’s 1st Online Music Awards Festival," with tongue firmly in cheek of course. Although not quite as successful as VIMA 10, Brunei still managed to bag a few noteworthy awards. You can view the full list of winners HERE.

All Klubai Organisation will be holding a free 'Meet the Fans' event on 30th May, so be there or be square.

On 15th May, the band Epic Frequency will be debuting their single 'Shades of Gray', while alt rockers Nation of Hydroge recently had their radio debut of their single 'Pemusnah', with a gig being planned on June 6th at the National Stadium. Local and regional favourites D'Hask collaborated with Adeb of P2F fame on the track 'Pergilah,' which enjoyed its radio debut on Saturday.

That's it for today!

If you have any news you'd like to share, e-mail me at mujahidjohar@gmail.com or add me on Facebook.

Signing out

Over and out

Monday, May 10, 2010

Brunei Band Of The Week: Hero For The Day - Shattered Dreams


[If the player does not show up, click HERE to view post in Tumblr]

Shattered Dreams (Hero For The Day)

Now it’s time for something different.

Now technically they’re a band from Brunei, since they formed as a trio there. But Syam (frontman/guitarist) is a Singaporean who lived in Brunei and had to leave because of the compulsory National Service. Bryant ‘Ozozo’ Leong (bassist/backup vocals) is a Bruneian born and bred, but left for Singapore to study. David Chin, the drummer, was left behind.

And now they’re a fourtet, with Arneez on drums and Ardillah as second guitarist (who are both brothers and Syam’s cousin). They’re also based in Singapore now.


Don’t be. All that should be irrelevant because at the end of the day, Hero Of the Day (see what I did there?) is an energetic band in the alternative punk rock mould that takes in elements from The Ata… Oh wait, let the boys tell it themselves. Take it away, boys!

Life would be much more easier if each band had their own well-done, professional-looking presskit. And by life, I mean my attempt to introduce you to bands.

Now, about the song itself, it’s a relentless three-and-a-half minutes of post-hardcore with a dash of pop punk. Right from the start, it drags you into the moshpit with its electric riffs and energetic drumming, unwilling to give you any time to even have a second for a breather.

For easy comparison’s sake, imagine Senses Fail, Taking Back Sunday and Amber Pacific brought up a baby together under one roof in a TV sitcom entitled ‘3 Punk Bands & A Baby’. This is what that baby would become when it grows up.

Yeah, go on. That sitcom is going to work, I tell you. I’ve got the script for the pilot episode ready. I just need a TV network to sign me into a multi-million dollar deal. C’mon, anyone?

So if you like that song, (I know I do!), then here are some links for you to indulge yourself in more Hero For The Day.

Download the MP3 HERE.

Visit their myspace HERE.

Become a fan on their Facebook page HERE.

Signing out

Over and out

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Live At Leeds 2010

It's been a really long while since I've done any gig reviews. So I'm coming back with a bang. Or a whimper. Let's see how this plays out. In all honesty it's probably going to end up somewhere in between. A whimbang, perhaps.

Lame introductions aside, the noise-fest that was Live At Leeds 2010 started for me in the Cockpit, with noise-rock outfit Dolphins who hail from Bradford. Now I caught them in the last 10 minutes of their set, but they still managed to cram a whole lotta (good) noise in those ten minutes.

About an hour after Dolphins, Rolo Tomassi strolled onto the stage in front of a packed Cockpit, an amazing feat considering it was only 2pm. But hey, this is Rolo Tomassi we're talking about. One of the best and original live bands in Britain, they didn't disappoint. From first album Hysterics favourites such as 'I Love Turbulence' to new songs such as 'Party Wounds' from the Diplo-produced (!) Cosmology, Rolo rips up and dominate the stage, reciprocating the enthusiasm and adoration of the fans.

I Love Turbulence

Party Wounds

After Rolo's devastating set, we stayed at the Cockpit for Vessels for a captivating half-hour set of blissful experimental post-rock. Like Rolo Tomassi, they played to a fully packed Cockpit. The crowd is more subdued this time, but only because Vessels' music is not a mosh-monster, but an epic sonic journey.


Then we ventured into the depths of Leeds University, ending up at what seems to be a student hall/cafeteria made-shift into a venue fit to house rock stars. Well, Castrovalva do have the attitude of rock stars, but (or maybe because of that) their songs sound purposely obnoxious and bland. For all their promise of being weird0-rock, they don't really sound strange. They just sound plain annoying.

Castrovalva - Donut

These Monsters are a far less irritating outfit, even if they did unwittingly repeat a Castrovalva joke about the Hadouken! banner behind them. If you haven't noticed from the presence of the saxophone player, These Monsters aren't your typical hardcore band. There's definitely a fair amount of subtlety hidden in those ear-killing riffs, and the saxophone adds some much appreciated, for lack of a better word, groove.

These Monsters - Call Me Dragon

As we took an hour break after These Monsters's destructive performance, we met up with my friend Sam who studies at the University. As we watched a game-show narrated by a Richard Hammond armed with a ridiculously-written monologue at the back of a fast food restaurant by the name of Mahmood's, the sun was starting to set and the second half of our Live At Leeds experience is still yet to come.

Of course who better to start the evening than a favourite of yours truly, the truly wonderful, the incredibly amazing, the sheer goodness that is, Tubelord. This threesome-turned-foursome gave the crowd an awesome show that the lack of space in The Library did not deserve.

Tubelord - Night Of The Pencils

After that Tubey wonderfulness, we headed back to The Refectory where Castrovalva and These Monsters were. We were greeted to hundreds of people all singing the songs of Blood Red Shoes. Sort of a reversed White Stripes if they went grunge and a bit disco, it was quite a formidable party we got ourselves into.

Blood Red Shoes - Heartsink

The headliners for the Refectory, or the owner of before-mentioned banner, is a different kind of animal. Hadouken! is, to me, just slightly less annoying than Castrovalva. But that doesn't take away the fact that they completely hypnotised the crowd with their on-stage presence. The audience followed the frontman's every command, except for what was clearly (I hope) a joke request for someone to perform the Worm in the middle of a frenzy of amicable violence.

Hadouken! - Mic Check

Of course I would've rather chosen a different way to end the night (perhaps Johnny Foreigner would've been the preferable alternative) but it was absolutely not a bad way to go. As we took the penultimate train of the night back to York, we knew it had been one hell of a day in Leeds.

Signing out

Over and out