Tiger Bay – Sesh. Love. Sun. Style

A music project created by Brad Hunter, Tiger Bay, as he had so many new musical ideas that he didn’t feel were being fulfilled in his path at the time. Part of the Cardiff’s music scene, you could say his latest release “Sesh. Love. Sun. Style” is a concept EP, each song showcases each element. I wrote this E.P shortly after splitting with my old band “Nuclear Lullaby” in 2018. I wanted something fresh and exciting for me. I have always been inspired by Britpop bands and so most of the influence behind this release has been the likes of Blur and Oasis with a hint of Radiohead. My favourite band of all time is Biffy Clyro mainly because no album has a defining genre. One minute its heavy, then its soft, then its folky so you never know where you are heading. The name of the album was created by describing each of the tracks in one word e.g. Track one= Sesh, Track two= Love etc…So you end up with Sesh. Love. Sun. Style.”

First, we have a track that’s explicit and represents an argument Brad had with his girlfriend. The song actually does sound like an Oasis type of structure but with the elements of Biffy Clyro’s “I don’t care” attitude… well, I suppose both bands had/have attitude problems. I really love the intro into the track, it’s like a noisy wave of the noughties nostalgia again. For a self recorded EP, the mix on this track is spot on to showcases the opinionated nature of “I Love It.”

An ode to love, “Partner in Crime” is weak at the knees in love with the meaning of love. A song that would be perfect for a wedding dance, it’s filled with all the aspects of easy listening, acoustic and a pure message of love. It’s warming and somewhat cheesy, but as The Beatles said All You Need is Love. The fragility and rawness of the track makes it feel that we’re there with Brad recording the track. It’s human and a wonderful message as there really isn’t enough love in the world right now.

Written in the sun in California, “Rum & Coke” is a feel good, coming of age track. It seems that the subject is revolved around finding yourself in a time you really needed to do so. The lyric “I landed face down” implicates the emotion of failing but the continuity of the track proves that Brad just got back up and dusted himself off to try again. The last track, “So Edgy” has that 90’s alternative rock style to it which is definitely making a come back right now. This has to be the stand out track of the whole EP, probably because it’s the track you can relate to the most. Brad implied “Cardiff is full of hipsters, but not the real ones, the fake ones who claim to be hipster and arty/edgy but never support the live music scene or give a f*** about art at all, so that song is a sort of mick-take regarding Cardiff’s epidemic”. This could also link with people being on their phones at gigs even though they bought a ticket to see the artist, but that’s just the world we live in right now. People don’t seem to want to share experiences anymore with humans, only their devices. 

A lush EP of some great songs. I’d definitely be interested to hear the songs polished off in a studio, but the raw, self-produced sound compliments the emotion of it all.

Favourite Tracks: I Love It, Rum & Coke, So Edgy

Score: 7.5/10





The Creature Appeal – You Shouldn’t, But I Know You Probably Will (Review)

Local indie band, The Creature Appeal, from Birmingham released their debut EP in October 2018 which has already had quite a lot of streams on Spotify as well as their debut single having over 6,000 streams alone. They’ve been played on BBC Introducing a fair few times too. Implying that they hope to release new tunes quite soon, I’m interested to see where the band lead too. Indie bands are prominent at the moment which I’ve already exclaimed in a previous review post. 

“Nine” begins with a vibrant melody on guitar that soothes our ears for the EP ahead. The song may be situated within an indie genre as the vocals seem very Liam Fray (The Courteeners) & Van McCann (Catfish & the Bottlemen) but the production of this track feels a bit too bright and in your face to be an indie rock track. It feels a bit more pop-punk orientated. Reaching just after the half way mark, it takes us into a half time groove that really fits the song nicely. Indicating this breakdown means that something big is going to happen, in this songs case; the last chorus (pioneering part of almost every song structure). A full, full of wit track.

A far heavier approach to their songwriting, the riff sounds like a tone that Queens of the Stone Age would play. “Where Will I Find You Tonight?” is a track that symbolises the band’s effort to not just stick a few songs together to make an EP. “We took inspiration from things we had in our everyday lives: heartache, bus rides and nights out. We tried to make these themes consistent throughout the EP to tell a short story about a failing relationship as we wanted the project to be more than just a collection of tracks”. This song is a lot different to the first track and a stand-out one in their discography. Including a fun sample of “You Heard What I Said”, the song keeps you entertained all the time.

“I Need to Know” has a lovely production and the instruments blend together to create a warm, secure environment for the insecurity of the track. Saying that, it feels that the vocals don’t dynamically shift and it feels a bit repetitive after a while. I really like how the bass is doing anything that it wants, it’s free but still melodic. Only thing missing is a memorable hook-line that you will never want to get out your head. “Circular Sunglasses” is a hip, down with the kids kind of track. A tune that fans will be screaming out to the play when you’re playing live. The 4 piece band say they draw influences from the late Viola Beach, Kings of Leon & Arctic Monkeys to list a few. They’re currently unsigned and are currently gigging promoting their latest release. As a whole, the EP is original and filled with versatility. You get to hear the boys rock out a bit, then chill us out with some easy listening melodies. 

Favourite Tracks: Nine, Where Will I Find You Tonight, Circular Sunglasses

Score: 7/10



Muse – Simulation Theory (Review)

One of the most famous trios of all time, Muse released their highly anticipated 8th studio album 2 months ago today. With hitting number 1 in the UK album charts, the album takes Muse towards their electronic influence. With a lot of fans dissing Muse for not sticking to their pioneering stadium rock tunes, this album takes us through an aesthetic, colourful science fiction journey. Cooperating a huge sound for a trio, Dominic Howard (drums), Chris Wolstenholme (bass) and Matt Bellamy (lead vocals/guitar), you can hear influence from Jeff Buckley in Matt’s vocals, which sore us through a nostalgic sound that is “Simulation Theory”.

With the protagonist realising he is in some kind of simulation, he eventually ‘awakens’ and attempts to escape from this false reality. If you’re asking me, “Algorithm” would be perfect for a Black Mirror episode (if you know, you know). Vocals don’t arise until the 1.36 minute mark, by then, we are ready in anticipation for Matt’s warming vocals. The song doesn’t feature many lyrics, in this case, Matt really does stretch out each word to be longer then it actually should be. As for the instrumentation sounding quite game like, the imagery implies that this would be a perfect song to play if there ever was a war between, not necessarily robots, but technology as a whole. It’s a strong opener for Simulation Theory, and has a different approach for Muse (mainly the production), but it still is them down to the tee.

One of the biggest tracks on the album hears the return of similar guitar effects to the Origin of Symmetry era. As for the subject of the track, “The Dark Side” deals with mental illnesses; paranoia and depression. Mental health is probably at it’s most powerful in the world right now, so releasing a track from one of the world’s biggest bands implies that yes, even the most famous people in the world struggle too. The Dark Side deals with a perfect balance of the alternative rock and electronica that Muse desired for. This compliments and details the instruments perfectly… basically, you can hear everything spot on in the mix and the blend of it all works amazingly. 

“Pressure” was released in September as a single. Matt Bellamy explained that this is a heavier song for Muse and talks about the pressure that their fans build to keep playing in their previous styles. Pressure takes us into a sort of “Prince attempting to play with EDM beats over a heavy guitar” kind of sound. As for the orchestral parts, it feels like the band just said “oh, we should have some orchestral arrangements as we haven’t had that yet on the album!”, so in other words; forced. The music video has elements to the Back to the Future franchise, but technically it’s better as Terry Crews is in it… random.

terry crews pca GIF by E!The overall arrangement of the track is definitely more pop orientated and mainstream for my liking, but that’s a personal preference.

Using a vocoder effect on the microphone (similar to The 2nd Law’s ‘Madness’ ) instantly makes this song sound unusual. It sounds like Matt Bellamy is trying to be like Justin Timberlake, aka sleazy and smooth. It just doesn’t work that well in my eyes. “Propaganda” is about manipulation of the truth and lying. It’s a dig at governments and leaders who showcase “fake news”. Well, NOW we know who Matt is aiming this at. It’s the production that draws me into this track more than anything else. Produced by Timbaland, Rich Costey, Angel Lopez, Federico Vindver & Muse themselves, the production is in your face and can’t be ignored. Perfect for Muse.

Beginning with a rhythmical guitar part sounding badly out of tune, it initiates a feeling low kind of mood, or that something bad is going to happen and this is exactly what “Break It to Me” is about. “Break it to” usually means to reveal information that someone doesn’t really want to hear. In Matt’s case, he’s wanting someone to give him bad news, probably to make him stronger as a person. Lyrics Don’t dress it up but don’t beat around the bush, And don’t cover it up but don’t push it underground deals with Matt trying to find out the truth from his partner, friend, anyone (that part’s never really identified). This track has a subtle eastern music influence on it, with the choruses having a memorable indian esque hook line, just a shame that it’s drowned in autotune. The track reminds me of Korn with a pop arrangement – an experimental tune that will definitely grow on you.

The next track takes us more into this era, sadly. It’s modern and fits perfectly in the mainstream charts right now. That’s sad to me because it’s not necessarily “real.” Mainstream music is usually overproduced and doesn’t sound ‘human’. Ironic really, Muse were just looking for a song that was simply “Something Human”… bad joke, i apologise. It’s a shame as the concept of the song deals with going home and seeing loved ones after a long time of touring. The production just implies that when he gets home, machinery will still be everywhere, just like it is when they’re on tour. It’s a tricky one as I think this is what Matt intended to have the production like. There’s no escape from technology, it is simply everywhere we go. Longing for Something Human means connecting with someone else, not your mobile phone. This song is heartbreaking as in a way, we are all trapped by technology. Black Mirror really did warn us…

“Thought Contagion” features vocals influenced by a theremin melody that Matt created. The track describes that in today’s age, ideas that may well be incorrect, will still have a big power over what you do. Basically, leaders of the government have these bad ideas and they have great power over you, but what can you really do about it? I guess write a song in Matt’s case. The sleazy bass line takes us from the beginning, straight to the end. It’s the glue that holds all the pieces together. Towards the end of the track, Matt plays a synth-like guitar solo which you can just hear would blow a whole stadium away. Even though, it’s primarily electronic, Muse definitely made this rock, leading back to their old alternative rock approach to their music. I’m sure some of the old fans like this song, as it really is another stand out, stadium track. 

Beginning with a vocal phrase that reminds me of something that Dua Lipa or Ariana Grande would have in their songs, it definitely wasn’t something that I was expecting from a Muse track. I don’t know how to react.Get Up and Fight” is simply put as a pop ballad. It’s cheesy and is something that you probably would hear in the Eurovision song contest. It’s a protest song to an extent, as it’s about reaching goals and telling people to simply get up and fight for what they believe in. It’s a bit too trashy for my liking and not something that I’d listen to again. The backing vocals from Tove Lo makes it somewhat more cope able. 

It seems that Matt Bellamy has a preferred vocal phrasing that he does. That has it’s pros and cons, cons being that it gets repetitive and pros being that he can simply be identified. I’d love to hear him sing a bit more out of his comfort zone because we’ve been hearing near enough the same vocals all the way through the album. “Blockades” is another example. Saying all that, as you get older, your voice matures, this could be the exact reason why Matt’s voice is usually situated in his preferred vocal phrasing. The flying arpeggios in Blockades are assertive and can’t be missed. This is the Muse that I love. Floating in synthesisers and 8 bit goodness, Blockades is FFO: New Order, OMD, Yes.

Starting with an effect that reminds me of The 2nd Law’s production on Madness (again), “Dig Down” is about hope and being optimistic. The message portrayed is strong and was lacking slightly in the album. The instrumentation isn’t that exciting and isn’t memorable. With elements of a gospel/blues arrangement, it’s still pop orientated. It really feels with this album that Muse changed the way they thought and decided to create more mainstream music, maybe to please more people OR they simply had a different approach to their music that they were hearing. 

The last track on the standard edition is “The Void”. Matt exclaims in this track that the power is in our hands and no one else’s. Not in the government’s power, it’s in OUR power to change, to become a better world. It’s great that Matt has these views and stands up for what he believes in, but it’s never really indicated what exactly he is fighting for or what we need to change to become a better world. With an element of Stranger Things (even the artwork for the album was designed by Stranger Things artist Kyle Lambert), Muse have transported us back to the 1980’s with some good songs. The message that they are signalling is that we keep moving forward as a world. In that case, why are they making it sound like the 80’s again? It’s a revival, a comfort as such, to a time when things were simpler and we will get there again.

Favourite Tracks: Algorithm, The Dark Side, Propaganda, Break it to Me, Thought Contagion, Blockades

Score: 7/10

She Makes War – Brace for Impact (Review)

Finally getting round to sitting down and reviewing this really great album. For people who don’t know, Bristol based, Laura Kidd has her own solo project called She Makes War. Think delicate, angelic vocals over powerful, melancholy grunge ballads, pretty cool huh? She Makes War is FIERCE. With already 3 albums and 2 EPS under her sleeve, “Brace for Impact” is her latest album. Released on the 5th October, it’s already had thousands of streams on Spotify. Also, the album made the official charts, as an independent record, that’s absolutely amazing work. In 6 days time, Laura and her band will be supporting Lonely the Brave for a few dates on their tour, 2019 is already off to a wonderful start for She Makes War. 

Starting off the album is the heavy single that is “Devastate Me.” “This is a song for the heavy-hearted” is the clear entrance to a timeless track. I personally feel that this song is about how time goes past so quickly and it’s a *middle fingers up* song to the listeners to “get your act together, live to the full.” Who knows, that’s just my point of view. Even though it sounds like a strong 90’s alt rock track, it has that refreshing sound of this era with Laura’s British accent making it feel a lot more personal. The powerhouse of the drums (Dan Whitfield) are in your face throughout, implying “there’s no escape, you’ve got to listen to this track.” In conclusion, it really is a big opener for this strong album. 

There’s a sense of insecurity with London Bites” that draws you more and more in. The track begins with quite dark chords and these scary like vocals that sound like lost souls trying to find their bodies. Basically, it’s gloomy as hell. As for the lyrics, it feels like Laura is singing about a past that she struggled with and had not found the strength to talk about. The vulnerability and anxiety lie deeper which makes the song a whole new level of personal. The arrangement of the track is huge, making the anxiety and sense of feeling empty a lot more comforting. It’s a safe haven. It’s a song that shows, it really is ok to not be ok. 

A melodic driven ballad, Strong Enough” sits nicely next to two intense tracks. “Don’t let go darling, we are strong enough” implies maybe a relationship falling apart, but Laura is really persistent to make sure it works. A lot different to the first two tracks, which is always great, the diversity with this track shows that Laura really does have a lot of different approaches to her music. She’s not afraid to experiment and that’s what makes being an audience listener/member so honourable to watch, plus it makes it so much more personal. This piano guided track is covered with heartache and intimate moments for the album. We can all relate to this track in some way or another. 

A heavy start filled with anger is quietly hushed around the 20 second mark to a much quieter approach. Undone” is about coping with the loss of someone and having someone reply “life goes on.” It’s completely natural to mourn someone and with this song, it makes the whole coping process feel a lot more human. Mourning someone leaves us feeling empty, and some of the time, angry. The imagery of this crosses with the track so perfectly. As for the music, everything comes together so well, and the vocal phrasing is memorable to the point that this track will probably be stuck in my head for the next 5 days (I’m not complaining.)

Just before half way through the album sits the captivating “Then the Quiet Came”. I think this could well be my favourite track off the album, the production is beautiful. The track begins with a raw demo of the track played on an acoustic guitar with no effects on Laura’s voice before reaching the main mix. The stripped back beginning makes you sit in your tracks thinking “wait, this is different, I like this.” The lyric “the water washed us clean away” begins the full band arrangement which takes us through a dream alt-pop journey. For a song that really is uplifting, the subject is quite sad. “I picture myself getting older, but it’s not with you” indicates a falling out of love motion happening. I really like the imagery of having this sad topic with some angelic, happy chords over the top. A true sense of independence blooming through the track and another nod to heartache. 

The 80’s has arrived… again. “Fortify” travels us through what feels like a surreal, psychedelic adventure through space. A lot different to the other tracks on the album, this shows another variation to Laura’s music. Fortify means to protect or even strengthen against an attack. The story is never really identified fully, but it does seem that it’s about becoming independent and being happier on your own. At the end of the day, you must always be happy with yourself before entering a relationship. The synth’s remind me of a fiction, video game, maybe this track is fiction and has a hidden meaning? I’m eager to find out the true meaning behind this now…

“Weary Bird” goes back to the alt rock path. Reminding me slightly of what sounds like an Elastica meets Nirvana arrangement, the grunge-esque of the track travels you back to the 90s. This is a track that you’d definitely head bang to live (or in your bedroom.) If you ever do get chance to see She Makes War live, make sure you actually WATCH and don’t go on your phone. You must get the full experience (so I’ve heard). I’m still due to go see/hear. In conclusion, it’s a great song. I personally feel it doesn’t sit as high as the others (not good to compare, I apologise), but it’s still a great contender.

Let Me Down is soft but heavy at the same time (?!) and this dynamically makes the song a lot more stronger. It feels like it lacks a lot of the balls as the other tracks have but it does sit nicely at 8th. Towards the end of the track sits a breakdown of a simple guitar solo, comforting the simple arrangement of the song. Next is a lot more brighter sounding track called “Dear Heart” which introduces Laura singing about a break up while playing a ukulele. A real, beautiful track. It’s somewhat the most confident song on the album. Laura is really being mature with every aspect of the words that she’s singing. It sounds like she was dealing with the break up and has now DEALT with it. Definitely the happiest sounding track on the album, it really is a wonderful piece of music. 

Taking roots back to the 90 alt rock sounding triumph that we’ve heard quite a fair bit on this album is the heavy-hearted “Love This Body.” It deals with self-love. You can tell it’s a big dig to beauty companies and people who think they can simply put on a face and it’ll make them ‘love themselves’. Beauty standards on social media and just everywhere in the world are disheartening for women. It annoys me because people believe that simply painting your face will make you ‘beautiful.’ Grow up. I stand with Laura and honour her for standing up for what she believes in. “Hold On” is an indie fused track that has a bold chorus that really does stand out. It has a sound that reminds me of a strong feeling of someone looking over your shoulder and making sure everything’s ok, in other words, it’s caring and taking care of you through Laura’s journey. 

“Miles Away” doesn’t feel miles away, it’s close and comforting to hear. The orchestral backing is humble and easy listening. The track deals with being abandoned and feeling left out from a close friend. If you’re a 90’s grunge, a soft dream pop ballad, 80’s psychedelic synths kind of person, this album is right up your street. If you’re not, give it a try, it just might surprise you. Before you know it, the mesmerising song comes to an end and so does the album…well, in that case, let’s play it again…

Favourite Tracks: Devastate Me, London Bites, Strong Enough, Undone, Then The Quiet Came, Fortify, Dear Heart, Miles Away

Score: 8/10





The Tenmours – Maze (Review)

Formed in December 2013 by Alex Johnston-Seymour & Ross Tennant, the talented songwriting duo became an important part in Folk Fusion. Folk fusion is fused with folk, rock and world music – all genres that will definitely get your feet stomping and your jaws dropping. They’re known for creating a true energetic experience at their live shows. I haven’t yet seen The Tenmours play yet, but that will definitely change this year. “Maze” was released back in October 2018 and the band, joined by their additional session fiddle player, are definitely in store for a bright 2019. 

What it means, never scared “Moving On.” This song has a sense of freedom and contentment in the way that it’s a shrug to whomever the band are moving on from. A strong song to kick off the EP sees the band gelling harmonies together to create this big fusion of influences. It’s like Mumford & Sons, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley & Seth Lakeman all dipped their powers into this magic cauldron and created The Tenmours.

“No Place Like Home” is a different path towards traditional folk. The world music side really does shine in this song. A beautiful arrangement surrounds the depths of this dark track. It’s the type of song that you’d jam or even dance round a campfire with your friends. Three quarters through the track, the percussion is changed to a straight beat with the song being at his loudest. Wonderfully crafted song with Jeff Buckley-esque vocals at times. 

Sitting half way through the EP is “Lady of Gold.” A softer song to the rest of the tracks until we reach the half way point, leading us back to their Folk Fusion roots. The first half of the song is somewhat heavenly, making us feel like we’re soaring through the sky. There hasn’t been a bad song on this EP so far and I don’t think there will be one either. The band are able to put all their personal experiences and beliefs into their own compositions, if that’s not talent, god knows what it is. 

Title track on the EP “Maze” is heavenly influenced by Eastern music. One of the tracks that was posted as a video on the pledge campaign for the EP. This Maze is another avenue for the band to find and another path to explore. With Robert Plant like vocals, this song is like an acoustic track off Zeppelin 3: downbeat yet powerful. The isolation in this track and the parts that are just silence are tense, leaving us wanting more. Another great song off a great EP.

A heavy pluck of a guitar string begins “Escape of the Naturist.” It’s a warming drone that begins another great Tenmours track. They definitely have their own original sound that’s influenced by not only music, but influenced by own stories and things around them. This is probably my least favourite track on the EP, nevertheless, the song is strong and is definitely for fans of; Seth Lakeman, Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake. A strong EP for The Tenmours, hope to catch one of their live shows soon.

Favourite Tracks: Moving On, No Place Like Home, Lady of Gold, Maze

Score: 7.5/10



The Equatorial Group – Apricity (Review)

Think Fleetwood Mac but more folk orientated. The Equatorial Group are a group of friends from the East of Sussex. With many things in common but primarily being the same influences in music and life, the five piece band create a gentle landscape with their subtle but powerful compositions. Released on May 25th, Apricity is honest.

The smooth vocals in “Lights Shine” remind me of the control that Dido delivers through her pop songs. The folk ambition of the track is pure and nothing seems to be missing. The production as a whole is quite angelic and is the perfect music to just chill out and listen too. I feel this song may have had a reference towards the arrangement of Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. The bright harmonies create this wave of emotions of what feels like the end of a relationship. ‘I wallow in delusions of grandeur of a life that I have seldom seen” is a lyric that really stood out to me the most in the track as it means I wallow in my own head of the way that things are presented. It could be that the artists are feeling insecure with the way they look and being took to the place where the lights shine could be the reassurance of anxiety and feeling healthier. Beautiful song.

“Juggernauts” is a story that takes us constantly from the start to the finish. A truly breathtaking composition. From every pin point of the instruments; subtle drum rolls, a discrete walking bass line, rhythmical guitar chords, and those gorgeous vocal breaks in the main vocals really creates this honest song. A juggernaut usually means a large vehicle or a powerful force, so when the singer sings “we’re more like juggernauts,” I was really confused. It then hit me that juggernauts metaphorically can mean destructive and unstoppable, just like the relationship in the story of this track. The almost six-minute track really does float on a cloud of feelings. As the song’s time signature changes, it has a more progressive feel which is understandable with the band, as progressive music is honest and very emotional, just like them.

A lot more upbeat but still sits in the minor key of heartache is “Surrogate Funeral.” It’s about feeling alone even though you’re with someone at the time. This is the first track on the album that features male vocals as the lead and even though technically they may not be as strong as the females, the emotion throughout his voice is delivered perfectly for the isolation of the track. I must say that the production of the album so far has complimented the band even more. We already know how talented they are but with the engineering and mixing of Dave Lynch with Christoph Skirl at Echo Zoo Studios, and mastering by Antony Ryan at RedRedPaw, it has really took the band to the next level.

“Toy Shark” ; a track that you can definitely hear the American roots influence. It’s like a cross of the country atmosphere that Dolly Parton portrayed in Jolene and Fleetwood Mac’s “Gypsy.” Female vocals dominate once more. As a whole, the song is good, but doesn’t feel as powerful as the first three. Something is lacking and I feel it’s the more emotional approach. They really hit the nail on the head with all the topics they’ve mentioned in the first 3 tracks, but this track seems to be lacking the identification it’s screaming for. The arrangement as a whole is a different approach to what we’ve heard so far, which is great.

Drowning in a tremolo effect, the guitar parts at the beginning of “Burning” are like waves crashing against the sand, making us feel that this song is going to be angelic and floating above our heads. Suddenly, the vocals come storming in with a gentle, blues attitude. This track was what’s missing on the album so far; moodiness. We’ve heard a lot of heartache and sad songs, but this is just pure dark attitude. The jazz-blues essence of the track is sleazy and a completely new sound for the americana band. Like. A LOT.

Automatically, I feel emotional with this track. The album is in memory of Bradford Gross, making this album a whole other level of personal. “Farewell My Lovely” is a bridge of honesty of missing someone and running out of time. Helen Weeks’ voice is constantly angelic and never needs to do all the showing off to get her point across, she just sings the songs and makes every word have an emotion to it. An overwhelming song of being genuine in what you feel. The longest track on the whole album is “Electric Night.” Most of the track is dealt with solos upon solos which is a new adventure for the album. The album so far has been very melodic with only really vocals and harmonies, so hearing a new tone and instrument in this arrangement is welcomed with a big smile. As for the song, it deals with wanting someone with you and how its cold without them there with you. I really love how each sentence is pretty much answered with the next one and so on. It’s like reading a book that you never want to end. 

“Those Dudes” is probably my least favourite track on the album. Personally, I feel it just doesn’t escalate or dynamically go anywhere. It feels a bit like it’s tried to sound like everything else on the album so far. Saying that, the production and arrangement is still there and I have to give it to the band, they’re pretty tight and are really great songwriters. The album really does need some time to sit and study it to truly understand all the hidden nooks and crannies. I really like how more a less every title of each track has nothing really to do with the song itself, just like “Motorbikes.” Parts in this song you can really hear additional instruments being added into the set up, session musicians were hired for the album. Pioneering this track is the Hammond organ played by the engineer of the album; Dave Lynch. Other additional instruments include Sacha Kenward (percussion), Adam Seigel (saxophone) and Steve Russell (trumpet). 

The shortest track on the album, “Sometime in Spring” is a superb send off to such a personal, moving album. This would be a song that would get you up and jiving away with your friends. It’s definitely a summer (or spring!) feel good song that I’ll be playing throughout 2019. The Equatorial Group are Dave Davies, Twe Fox, Andy Tourle, Mike Tourle and Helen Weeks; a huge congratulations to the band for creating a wonderful album. 

Favourite Tracks: Lights Shine, Juggernauts, Surrogate Funeral, Burning, Farewell My Lovely, Electric Night, Motorbikes, Sometime in Spring

Score: 8/10



PaperWolf – Talk About It (Review)

It’s safe to say that the indie rock scene at the moment is probably at the biggest it’s ever been. PaperWolf are here to just prove that even more. The power trio from the south of London already have quite a good discography under their sleeves. The new EP “Talk About It” is a collage of all the colourful things that the band bring together to make them PaperWolf. Released on 26th October, let’s talk about… Talk About It.

Instantly from the get go, “Do the Right Thing” has that raw indie London sound. Camden’s music scene sounds just like this. You can smell the London air from the fumes of this track (in the best possible way.) The track is rather short but definitely involves all the great aspects of a true indie piece. The harmonies blanket the main vocals in a warmth, comforting way, making us as the audience feel calm. Some parts of the track feel a bit rushed, but I think the adrenaline glowing from the composition just covers all the track for pure enjoyment throughout.

Crazily enough, the verse began with what I thought was David Byrne singing. The track really does have that Talking Heads feel from the vocal arrangements. As for the actual music part of things, it gets quite repetitive and predictable. Feeling like it doesn’t have anywhere near as much adrenaline as the first track does, this is just “The Way We Feel.” Saying that, the subject of the song is never really introduced, they’re simply just listing off the way they feel which is actually kind of clever, making us as the audience think “what and why are they FEELING these things?”

“Danny Slow Down” has more roughness to it, as the guitar chugging and repeated vocal hook line indicate that this is influenced by punk rock. Half way through, the track changes to a higher key creating another path for the track. The key change feels slightly more pop orientated which isn’t a surprise as Ronald Maas (bassist/vocalist) has always been a pop songwriter, I reviewed his EP “Aries” back in 2018. In conclusion, the track is fun and reminds me ever so slightly of the aura that “Johnny B. Goode” always delivers when playing it back after all these years. 

The final track on the EP is “Get Away” which has a subtle guitar effect that sounds inspired by the 80’s music scene bands such as; The Cure and The Smiths. The lyrics get straight to the point of feeling forced to get away from a certain situation. The music really implicates that too, it’s somewhat unwelcoming. It can either go two ways with putting a track like “Get Away” as the final track of an EP as it could leave the audience not feeling welcome OR is a clever artistry position as PaperWolf are showing that this is “the end.” In my eyes, it’s definitely the second option and a clever way to finish a great EP.

Favourite Tracks: Do The Right Thing, The Way We Feel, Get Away
Score: 7/10