The marrying of imagination and reality is always a rocky one. The utopian images in your head will always look like what Sir Kenneth Hugo Adam would do to please Sean Connery, but the dystopian vicissitudes of real life sometimes yield a canvas scrawled by a crayola wielding maniac who sniffed too many grammes of bath salts. (more…)
Greetings, readers! Sorry if the intro is curt, but we are in an emotional groove and we can’t get out. Singles (or stuff we decided it was singles):
Tramlines 2012: Sunday 22nd July
We asked people on Twitter and Facebook to send their reviews of Tramlines. About 3 people answered (ok, 4, but that was a spambot). Here’s another review by Simon Roberts. (more…)
Hey, here’s some videos to get your week started. It’s a strange menagerie of styles, sounds and looks, but that’s the tip of the iceberg of what’s going on in the heads of the editorial team (a de facto dictatorship…). (more…)
Tramlines 2012. It was a long experience as somehow I thought I could manage to get as many bands as I could if I did half-sets.
I probably shouldn’t plan gig attendances while surrounded by chemicals in the analytical lab.
In the spirit of inside jokes (I.e. the quest of the perfect name for a label), here’s my caffeine-fuelled review. (more…)
Singles Reviewed : Hey Sholay, Screaming Maldini, Rumour Cubes, Simian Ghost, Dinosaurs are shit dragons, Black Gold of the Sun
Greetings, readers who know the historical inaccuracies in Oliver Stone’s JFK. He didn’t took crazy pills, he overdoses on them. I preferred him when he was writing mental things like Scarface or Any Given Sunday, though…
This week’s singles come courtesy of Tacos Los Latosos, the best tacos in ALL of Mexico City. You know it, I know it, God knows it. And you wouldn’t go against God, would ya? Unless you don’t believe in Her (yes, God is a female), in that case, then those tacos aren’t the best. Shit.
Ah, singles, right:
Picture this: a small cramped practise room in the heart of (well, near one of the football stadiums, dunno which team). 6 musicians, all from very different backgrounds. Not a single guitarist in sight (well, there’s one but he is not playing guitar) and a bass player that was AWOL, saving the world from the evil forces of Pitchfork and Robert Christgau. (more…)
Never fear the ides of March
for what a cold blistering night tried to ruin
three bands stepped up to save
A swell night at the Harley was to be had (more…)
Screaming Maldini. An explosion of schizophrenic pop, where chaos has a structure and where the wall of sound is done by a proper mixing of instruments and a choral delivery, not an overdose of pedals.
This band also has a secret lair. We sent an interviewer in late November but heard back from them. Then we sent another one. Nothing. Then I went and after getting picked up by their personal chaffeur (driving the buggy from Diamonds are forever), he drove me to the secret location/Lair of Maldini. I can’t reveal much but it’s volcano shaped and near a park.
Anyways, we liked the band, specially their EP Secret Sounds(review) and also we had the pleasure of catching them at Peace in the Park (review). And so I met the band (sort of), in a darkened room. I could see shapes and someone in an executive chair looking at me while cradling a cognac (which I was offered a thimble, that’s how nice they are).
Oh, right, interview.
Screaming Maldini – Secret Sounds
That probably was the worst pun-passing-as-a-post-title this excuse for a website has tried to use. Sorry for that.
Anyhoos, music, yeah. Screaming Maldini, a band wearing all pink (allegedly) and making quite a racket both on record and live (cheapo plug) have just released (a couple of months ago) their European début, Secret sounds, a short EP (only four songs) full of mostly happy, sugary sweet pop that becomes as loud as grunge, but also as wistful as the dreamiest of dream pop.
Between the off-kilter lyrics (gotta respect the Kookaburra mentions, those birds rule!) and the instrumentation bordering into math rock territory (yeah, I called it), the frantic pace of these 4 tracks is a breathe of fresh air on a gloomy August night where the news are about fires in your third favourite city in England.
But let’s leave the horrid state of the world aside and let’s talk about this lovely band. ‘Secret sounds’ (a song that was included on last year’s Screaming Maldini and the Kookaburra) is a perfect choice for an opener. Like previously mentioned, it’s happy and sunshiney, but for a few moments you wonder if it’s a true state of euphoria or just your daily dose of Librium/Soma kicking your endorphins.
Ah, ‘The Silver Mountain’. I swear I’ve heard this one live (memories of Peace in the Park) and a wry smile comes to the memory of that day. Again, happy thoughts, a wall of sound approach (via voices) and loads of cool little sounds added to the mix (flutes, siren whistles, etc). The “pa-ra-pa-pa-ra-pah!” refrain makes me think of a thousand 70s pop songs mashed together and signalled to the future (via AM and spacio-temporal distortions).
But those two happy songs are only the line and sinker. The real hook here is the marvellous ‘Restless hearts and silent pioneers’, easily the real gem of this solid release. The pace is still brisk, but the amalgamation of voices and musical ideas is very organic. The ending is fantastic and will not spoil it for you.
Said ending segues into ‘The first raindrop’, which is Maldini back to their upbeat, syncopated
Questions abound after the 4 tracks of this EP: Who is Maldini and why is he/she/it screaming? What became of The Situationists? Is it acceptable to daydream driving through Baja California/Big Sur when you listen to ‘The first raindrop’? Why do they wear Mexican Pink clothes? Is this edition better than Screaming Maldini and the Kookaburra, their EP from last year? All possible inane questions padding up this review. Just giving into this EP of cool ditties. Worth your time. Catch them live too, they are always a hoot (and sometimes a holler).
Words: Sam (who else? Fucking spamming this place as of late)
Peace in the Park 2011 was held at the Ponderosa park in Sheffield. The free event included many a local act, with volunteers asking for money for a wide variety of charities. The music was good, the food range was exquisite and the bathroom lines were infinite. A beautiful day filled with great music, here’s a few of the many talents that played that day. (more…)
l-r: Gemma, Neal, Alex, Andy & Stephen
I’m slurring my words and my friend, Sr Huevo* is even worse. I tell him, “Don’t fucking say a word” during the interview I’m about to do with Nottingham/Sheffield-based band Japanese Sleepers, “Not a word!” Sr Huevo shakes his head like he actually understands what I’m trying to tell him.
“All my lyrics are really sad, I find it hard to write lyrics that are…it sounds really emo doesn’t it!?” Says lead singer Andy whilst discussing his musical style.
Sr Huevo: “You need to cheer up mate”
“It’s cliché but the best artists seem to come out of heartbreak or existential crises. I went through all my songs on iTunes the other day and tried to look for songs that are happy, lyrically positive and it was out of 6,000 songs I could think of maybe like, 14. This is why my lyrics are so sad!” Continues a chuckling Andy.
Sr Huevo: “Was this Spice Girls by any chance?”
Andy: “Yeah the one Spice Girls album that I’ve got!”
In my addled mind, Sr Huevo may as well be Michael Parkinson right now. This is going to be great…