I recently (well, it was a couple of months back actually) had the great pleasure of spending some time chatting with Brighton based ‘supergroup,’ BAD FOR LAZARUS. You can ‘eavesdrop’ our conversation by buying a (copy?) of this month’s ARTROCKER MAGAZINE (which is now available exclusively as a ‘tablet’ publication) …… or you may just want the easy option and click here!
BAD FOR LAZARUS made the long trip to Glasgow from their Brighton home for a show at the city’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy venue. You probably weren’t there … so you can read a little of what went on here.
Maybe it’s the sharp suits and sort of machine-gun riff attack, but Brighton’s RUNNING DOGS have a kind of Mod feel about them. They’re certainly busting with energy as this limited edition double-A-side single would indicate. (Both tracks are also available in digital format.)
They have recently supported acts as diverse as Rizzle Kicks; Pigeon Detectives and the mighty Sham 69!
You (as well as me, I guess) can find out more about RUNNING DOGS from their website, here.
Meantime, here are the videos that accompany both tracks on the current release:
Maybe it’s because I’m sitting here here this dreicht Sunday morning with a stonking great hangover …. but this is just what I need to gently get me into gear for the rest of the day!
NIMMO AND THE GAUNTLETTS are a young band formed of old school-mates and currently operating out of London and Brighton. They released their debut EP earlier this year with the following video showcasing the title track.
Vocalist Sarah Nimmo has a refreshingly honest approach to the band’s first sojourn into the world of commercially released music:
“I hope ‘Young Light’ is not only a statement of where we are now but also an indication of where we could go. I think it is evident that we are still finding our feet stylistically but we learnt a lot from the recording process and working with producer Ian Grimble.“
With the band set to spend the summer months writing and recording new material, it shouldn’t be too long before we hear the benefits of such a positive approach.
I know – I did say that I wasn’t going to be able write many (if any) ‘reviews’ as such, on LOUD HORIZON any more. But I really must make an exception and give a brief mention of the new album from Brighton’s off-kilter artrockers, SHRAG.
‘Canines,’ is the third album from the band and those who have heard and loved the first two will know what to expect here. Guitarist / vocalist Bob Brown is quoted as saying he wanted to make an album that was ‘musically, a bit deranged.’ Isn’t that what SHRAG always do?
The dual boy-girl vocal attack is still as fresh and quirky as it was on their debut offering, with Helen and Stephanie’s delivery at times sounding like a primary-school choir!
But – all sweet and innocent? You’ve got to be kidding! From the swirling Hawkwind-esque intro to opening track ‘Tears Of A Landlord,’ to the Beatles-esque final bars of album closer, ‘Jane With Dumbbells,’ SHRAG give the listener ample doses of sexual innuendo, dark moods and menace. Of course, there’s plenty of bounce and frivolity as well – and some more laid back moments such as on the excellent ‘Chasing Consummations,’ which factors in some lovely, moody strings.
Then there is the pulsing drone and Strokes-like beat of ‘Tendons In The Night’ throughout which the short sharp vocal stanzas make me think (weirdly perhaps) of early Devo, with the keyboard break sounding like You Say Party, and Bob’s deep voice reminding me of Sons and Daughters! All within the space of four minutes! (In fact – I take all that back ….. check out ‘Fight’ by Sons and Daughters – it’s on their early ‘Love The Cup’ mini-album!)
You could also perhaps make a case for the following track ‘On The Spines Of Old Cathedrals’ taking on a New Order form, what with (what sounds like ) programmed beats and prominent bass-line. Next again, and ‘Devastating Bones’ takes another turn in direction, this one a resounding Glam stomper!
But what I love most about SHRAG is that while they may occasionally remind me of other bands, they sound simply like ….. SHRAG.
They can do no wrong! Is this any better than their previous releases? It’s hard to say, since they too were so strong. It’s hard to improve on perfection!
(Released through Fortuna Pop! + WIAIWYA on 2nd July 2012)
Brighton has over the past decade or so, built a reputation for spawning new, innovative, quirky artrock type bands. Indeed, some of my favourite bands have their roots in the sunny environs of the South Coast town.
But where you have a more balmy, temperate climate and a fertile ground for cultivating bright new music, these conditions will also encourage the growth of a less attractive, more irritating and aggressive type – RAGWEED!
This three-piece DIY punk band seems to be a thorn among roses. There is no denying them their space – not that they need much of it with only the third of the five tracks (‘Sunshine’) hanging around for anywhere near as long as three minutes!
There is a certain quaintness (if such a word can be used relative to punk music) about the CD that arrived here at LOUD HORIZON. It seems to embrace the DIY ethos, with the sound quality somewhat distant and hazy, like it’s been recorded in someone’s kitchen. Initially, I found it to be a bit annoying, but it actually somehow seems right.
In general, the songs are like a combination of your three chord ‘cretin rock’ bands (e.g. Teenage Bottlerocket) and the more threatening noise of some generic hardcore bands. It’s all pretty fast and furious and with five songs in marginally more than eleven minutes, RAGWEED sound like a band in a hurry.
It just goes to prove that even in the field of music, where you have flowers you have weeds. But perhaps they can grow together in harmony – or even discord!
(Self-released and available, I presume through the band directly.)
(7.5 / 10)
Is it a Venn diagram that you used to draw at school? You know – the one that involves maybe three circles that overlap? Yeah – that’s the one:
So – draw your three circles, and name them ‘Pop- Punk, ‘Rock’ and ‘Dance.’ Now, see that bit in the middle where the circles all meet? Insert the words ‘SHOOT THE DEAD.’ You got it.
That’s pretty much where I see this particular single (says the man who failed his Maths higher twice and was kicked out of Music class after second year with a condition now widely accepted as ‘hard of thinking.’)
This is the second single from Brighton unit SHOOT THE DEAD and although perhaps not exactly my bag, personally speaking, I can see this appealing to a great many people given the right exposure.
The video for the lead track ‘The Rage,’ features below, so you can see for yourself just how accessible this song is. However for me, it is the second track ‘Hypnotised’ that commands most attention. This would be more cup of tea. If it’s mathematically / geometrically possible this song seems to somehow expand that area in common with all three circles, by increasing the size of the ‘Rock’ and ‘Pop-Punk’ while still retaining a portion (albeit smaller) of that tagged ‘Dance.’
I don’t ‘do’ ‘Dance’ music as you may already have gathered so bands like The Prodigy and more so Pendulum leave me pretty cold – and quite nauseous in the case of the latter. The synths make the sound just too sickly for me, and while this feeling is quite diluted with the overall mix of genres in ‘The Rage,’ Andi’s vocals take a harder and rasping edge on ‘Hypnotised,’ and consequently act as an aural antidote. The integration of a brass section also offsets the zippy sound of synths whilst the chorus is catchy, and combined with the Wham-esque drums the whole track is instantly more commercially accessible.
Maybe I’m talking bollocks …… this type of music is not exactly my forte (no shit, Sherlock?!) but I’d certainly suggest that SHOOT THE DEAD are a shot in the arm for a rather stagnant and sterile commercial / chart market.
(Self-released and available through all major download sites from 26th March 2012)
With a unique combination of frenetic rhythms, driving bass, searing guitar riffs and Andi’s dynamic vocals, SHOOT THE DEAD are gaining a burgeoning reputation for their hi-octane performances.
Check out their forthcoming dates, and watch the video for their new sing ‘The Rage,‘ here.