Monday, September 26, 2011

Album Review//Squarehead - ‘Yeah Nothing’ // Musical Mathematics

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not very knowledgeable on the recent revival of the American surf pop sound, influenced mainly by The Beach Boys, and spearheaded by the likes of The Drums. But from just listening to Irish three-piece Squarehead’s Yeah Nothing, I can only surmise that it’s a good thing.

Infectious rhythms, vocal harmonies and sing-along choruses are provided in very generous portions, with the overall effect akin to watching montages of attractive youths under the summer sun doing whatever it is attractive youths used to do in the sixties (play volleyball and adjust their bikinis all day, I believe).

Read the rest of the review on Musical Mathematics.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Music Videos: Three Trapped Tigers - Reset / Tubelord - My First Castle

It's the Big T Music Video Weird-Off! Well, not exactly, but it easily could have been. Two of my favourite bands starting with the letter T have both come out with quirky videos that complement the songs they accompany perfectly. Three Trapped Tigers feature a surreal origin story of a Superman/prophet-like Matt Berry, and Tubelord has gone for a showcase of household items with a running text which sort of explains what the video is about.


Tubelord ≈ My First Castle from Sean Roy Parker on Vimeo.

Who's the winner? I'm leaning towards Three Trapped Tigers and Matt Berry. It's just so incredibly insane it works.

Free Downloads: Wake Me Up When All The September Cliches End

As per usual whenever I haven't posted in a while, I make a post apologising for my long absence and then I provide you with a list of legal free downloads for you all to greedily click away and listen without spending a dime AND being guilt-free about it.

Shapes - The Pasture, The Oil 

While Shapes's Monotony Chic is one of the best releases this year, let's not forget their excellent EP The Pasture, The Oil. Shapes is a noisemongerer of progressive hardcore, and The Pasture, The Oil is a fine showcase of that. Six tracks of heavy-as-you-like Brummy mathcore owing to the likes of Blakfish, Meet Me In St. Louis and Glassjaw, it was a bargain when you had to pay for it (the CD is just GBP 5.00), and it's completely unmissable as a free download.

Download Shapes's The Pasture, The Oil HERE.

Joshua Keogh - Keepsake

  Joshua Keogh - Keepsake - EP by youngexeter

Joshua Keogh is a young singer-songwriter who mixes soulful folk with elements of acoustic pop. While that's not the usual stuff you'd expect to read about here, it's certainly one of my favourite chilled out EPs of recent times. For fans of Joseph and David and Bombay Bicycle Club. 

Download Joshua Keogh's Keepsake HERE.

Sun Buffalo - The Friendly Pyramids 

Remember Sun Buffalo? Well, they've come out with another EP, and again it is available to download for free. The Friendly Pyramids has a more defined sound that takes its cues from the best of shoegaze and grunge, with garage pop vocals (and the welcome introduction of woo-oohs into the mix) at the forefront this time around. If that doesn't entice you, then please, just check out Ghost Part II.

Download Sun Buffalo's The Friendly Pyramids HERE.

Big Scary Monsters September 2011 Sampler

  Weapons by Dad Rocks!

You can stream the whole sampler on Punktastic's Soundcloud HERE.

IRPAH worships Big Scary Monsters. Without Big Scary Monsters, I would't have nearly as much love for weird time signatures and jangly guitars as I have now. So a free sampler from them is like godsend. Here we have a varied mix of music. New signings Algiers and Hymns (Sam Manville of ex-Blakfish) share the stage favourites such as Dad Rocks! and Kevin Devine. If you're a fan of BSM or just wondering what the fuss is about, this download is really, really recommended.

Download the Big Scary Monsters September 2011 Sampler HERE.

Bottlesmoker - Let's Die Together In 2012 

I cheated on this one a bit. I've already included this on my Free Music For All column on the third issue of the Musical Mathematics zine. But I'll excuse myself by saying this is a preview for you all to make you buy them zines. Well, rumours are the third issue might come out free anyway, so, urm, yay? 

Indonesian folk poptronica (I've completely made that genre up) mixed in with dream-drone hazy pop, it's a b-sides album with a quality exceeding most bands' actual albums. Experimental yet accessible, Let's Die Together In 2012 is a surprising success that deserves more than it's b-sides label. 

Download Bottlesmoker's Let's Die Together In 2012 HERE


So there you have it. Five excellent free downloads to keep you listening through the weekend. It's certainly a very varied mix of bands, so I hope there's something there for everyone. Enjoy! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Review // B>E>A>K - ‘The Yellow Edition’

Sunderland-based B>E>A>K is fun, fun, fun. The Yellow Edition, the latest in a series of releases by them titled The Life Of Birds, follows that theme of danceable instrumentals layered with trumpets and organs, flowing guitar lines and some groovy bass.

The core members in B>E>A>K consists of members from Coal Train, The Lake Poets, Field Music, Razmataz Lorry Excitement, This Ain’t Vegas and Boxed Roomer. With such a dizzying array of musicianship, it’s tempting to label them as a ‘supergroup.’ But far from just an amalgamation of all these bands, B>E>A>K is a fresh offering that soars the skies on its own merit.

Read the rest of my review of B>E>A>K's The Yellow Edition on Musical Mathematics