Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: LightGuides - Samba Samba Samba // Musical Mathematics


Glaswegians LightGuides are a recent signing of one of my favourite labels Alcopop Records, and as with all things Alcopop, there is an emphasis on the ‘pop’. Taking their cues from fellow Scottish rockers The X-certs and Biffy Clyro, LightGuides play loud anthemic rock with admirably tight execution and contagious bouts of energy. This is the sort of sound that could fill arenas. Samba Samba Samba is massive pop rock at its best.  

Read the rest of my review on Musical Mathematics

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

35 Albums You Should Buy From PIAS-Affiliated Labels

I have no doubt that you have indeed heard about the riots in UK that started out in London. In the midst of that, the Sony/PIAS warehouse was burned to the ground, destroying catastrophic amounts of physical records stocked by independent record labels. The full list of record labels affected are available HERE.

Countless people’s livelihoods are affected here, not to mention the prospect of the creation of awesome future music by bands under these labels. Keeping that in mind, please help these fine people cope with this loss by buying digital downloads or any in-stock physical records.

This list is directly inspired by DevilMatt’s own list of 30 Ace Albums You Should Buy From PIAS-Affiliated Labels
, which I suggest you check out. Echoing his sentiments, this is not a ‘best-of’ list from a critical point of view. These are simply records that I have enjoyed over the years. You can buy them either directly from the record labels’/bands’ websites, or independent record stores such as Banquet Records and Rough Trade.  

Please also follow @_label_love_  on Twitter for details of and how to get involved with a fundraiser for those affected by the PIAS fire. 

Hassle Records
65daysofstatic - We Were Exploding Anyway
Trash Talk - Eyes And Nines
Blakfish - Champions
Tubelord - Our First American Friends
Rolo Tomassi - Hysterics
Rolo Tomassi - Cosmology
Cancer Bats - Birthing The Giant
Alexisonfire - Crisis

Young Turks:
Holy Fuck - Latin
The xx - XX

XL Recordings:
Discovery - LP
Gil Scott-Heron / Jamie XX - We’re New Here
M.I.A. - Kala
The Teenagers - Reality Check
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

4AD Records:
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Efterklang - Magic Chairs
TV On The Radio - Dear Science
Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

Best Before Records:
Dananananaykroyd - Hey Everyone
Johnny Foreigner - Grace & The Bigger Picture
Johnny Foreigner - Arcs Across The City
Johnny Foreigner - Waited Up Til’ It’s Light

Xtra Mile Recordings:
Crazy Arm - Born To Ruins
Dartz! - This Is My Ship
The Xcerts - Scatterbrain

Rough Trade:
Antony & The Johnsons - Crying Light
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Warpaint - The Fool

CSS -Cansei de Ser Sexy (Sub Pop)
Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)
Youthmovies - Good Nature (Drowned In Sound)
Forward Russia - Give Me A Wall (Dance To The Radio)
Enter Shikari - Take To The Skies (Ambush Reality)
The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic (Matador Records)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Free Download: B>E>A>K - The Red Edition

B>E>A>K is a strange one. Alter-egos of the Sunderland-based Coal Train (including an ever-expanding 'nest' of other musicians), the band has gained a reputation for the their theatrical, visually arty shows with their members wearing masks that resemble a familiar group of irreconciably angry avian characters. To add to this somewhat bonkers experiment, the band members have gone under monikers such as The Blue Tit, The Red Rooster and The Green Gannett and do their interviews talking in subtitled chirps.

But hey, this is a music blog. It's the music that really matters. So it fills me with great pleasure to impart to you that B>E>A>K has not ignored their musical sensibilities for artistic mad-hattery. The Red Edition is the first part of a series called The Life Of Birds, and if this is a sign of things to come, I can only wait in feverish excitement as they prepare for their next release The Yellow Edition.

It's easy to dismiss this as a gimmick, but then think of all the fun you'll be missing. Far from being pretentious, B>E>A>K> instead feels like a liberation from the idea of 'what's 'cool' and what's 'silly'. Abandon all your prejudices and let yourself loose. B>E>A>K> have, and they're all the better for it.

Official Website / Bandcamp / Facebook / Twitter

Here's the teaser video done for The Red Edition.