Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fran & Josh - Better Off Alone (Alice Deejay Cover) / Days Like These


I've known Fran & Josh for quite a while now, but I've not really featured them here for a while now. So I thought I'd give you a taste.

This cover has been part of their live set for quite a while, and they do seem to enjoy covering it. When I saw them at The Well in Leeds, this song actually started a circle pit, which is quite an impressive achievement for an acoustic duo known for their mix of flamenco, ska, folk, funk, dance, and everything else in between and out of it.

They've been rightly described as "a glorious cacophony of melodic bliss," a description which transcends any attempt to classify them into a specific genre. This is quite handy, because you can't really put your finger on what type of music they actually play. All I know is, their live performances are always a joy to behold, and their skills on the acoustic guitar are never less than formidable.

This is one of their original songs (unquestionably my favourite), that's been in their arsenal for quite a while now, but seemingly continuously updated to reflect their ever-rising talent, and their musical interests. But what always stays in every new version of 'Days Like These' is that sense of overwhelming joy, of appreciating moments you can easily take for granted.

Signing out

Over and out

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: Tall Ships - There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here


Tall Ships has so far been the eternal tour support band, playing before the likes of Tubelord, Minus The Bear, Maps & Atlases, and soon 65daysofstatic, while repeatedly selling out their self-titled debut EP (now in its third pressing, and available on sale at Big Scary Monsters). But I say unto you, this new release will make them into worthy headliners fit to conquer worlds.

This second EP has been widely-anticipated by many, and rightly so. Every song here is absolutely breath-taking.

Opener Plate Tectonics uses geological analogies to express itself, which is a repeating theme in the whole EP, in that Science or scientific terms are used as analogical tools for emotions. This song talks of treacherous terrains and lonely landscapes, and is where Tall Ships definitely can apply the label 'math pop' most appropriately.

Chemistry (available for download/streaming HERE) starts off with a slightly slowed-down maths-y guitar fare, and morphs into a debut-EP-era Tall Ships beauty of a song.

The third track is definitely my personal favourite. Ode (or Ode To Ancestors) is a love song for biologists (not that I'm one). Hey, someone's got to fill that niche. With its lyrics about natural selection and ancestral traits to explain someone's perfection, it's no typical romantic fare.

The penultimate track, Snow, is a heart-wrenching eulogy accompanied by beautiful melodies and mournful vocals that builds up to a truly satisfying climax. Then the whole experience suddenly slows down as we come into Bearandblitz, an under-2-minutes outro that sounds like your heart regretting this record coming to its end.

But don't worry, you can always press play again from the start.

The EP will be out on 25th October 2010 and is available for pre-order at Big Scary Monsters and Blood And Biscuits.

If I had to give this EP a rating, I would give it 9 Jack Sparrows out of 10.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Free Downloads 4.0


My favourite way to apologise for not having posted for so long is by bribing you with free downloads. So here you go, you cheap, cheap bastards.


The Attika State - Genesis and Catastrophe / Leave Your Dignity At The Door

This particular download is a massive one, because it features 15 tracks from the same artist. The Attika State have recently released their new album, 'Measures', for which I'm still waiting to turn up in my mailbox. In the meantime, I've downloaded 'Genesis and Catastrophe' and 'Leave Your Dignity At The Door' for a grand total of 0.00 pounds. They're both wonderful pop punk records with their own share of rockin' choruses, catchy hooks and riffs, and a voice that's not actually annoying (a feature I find to be pretty common in pop punk bands).


Vessels - Ornafives

The drummer from Lost From Atlas once said to us that Vessels is the best band in the world. Though I respectfully disagree (it's actually Tubelord) there's a lot to be admired with Vessel's brand of post-rock. Here we have a song that's been part of their live set for a while now which has recently just been recorded. Subscribe to their mailing list on their website to get the track for free.


Mimas - Applications / Le Moustache

I'm going to Brainwash V Festival next week in Leeds, and one of the bands I'm most looking forward to is another outfit from Big Scary Monsters. Mimas, who will be releasing Lifejackets through BSM on October 25th, have made 2 songs from the upcoming album downloadable for free. You can get the links for both at Alter The Press!


Chickenhawk - Scorpieau

Chickenhawk is a vicious beast. Scorpieau is a vicious beast of a song. Download it.


Codes In The Clouds - Fractures / Don't Go Awash In The Digital Landscape

Codes In The Clouds are releasing a remix album of their brilliant album, Paper Canyon, as the aptly-titled Paper Canyon Recycled. You can download two full tracks (the others are excerpts) from the original release on their bandcamp, and also two tracks from the remix album.


As a bonus, here's a video of cats in a band, and a cat being chased by a dog... in a car chase scene!

Signing out

Over and out