Foxes! - Foxes!

Foxes!

Foxes!

Released: Jan 16 2012

Genre: Indie Pop

Label: Big Salad

Rating: 8/10

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By: Dan Titcombe

Foxes! offer a breath of fresh air within the indie pop music spectrum, through their captivating rhythms and simplistic, yet infectious melodies. Foxes! husband/wife partnership gifts them with an innocent aura which separates this straightforward indie pop from other upcoming bands.

Their self-titled album ‘Foxes’ is a compilation of 12 songs, each with their own atmosphere but with enough familiarity to defines Foxes! as a band with exceptional talent.

Amongst their many standout tracks is ‘The Panda Bear Song’ which flaunts an innocent and childlike motif, held up with a toe-tapping drum-beat, harmonic lyrics and an outstanding guitar technique which showcases the beauty that this band can achieve through their music.

‘Welcome to the Jivin’ starts with a style which sounds, as the title sounds, very close to that 1930s sound – a real slice of nostalgia and exceptional demonstration of diversity. ‘Welcome to the Jivin’ has a relaxing keyboard melody, a great drum beat and a fantastic rhythm section, which combined with the right tempo creates yet another beautiful song on this outstanding album.

Another admirable track is ‘Oh Rosie’. This song has an incredible guitar piece which closely eludes an almost chaotic atmosphere and when the song starts to break down you can really sense the emotions bursting at the seams.

Foxes!, with their eponymous debut, offer their own truly unique take on music with this record. This album could quite possibly kick start this band and place them on the path to success. Foxes! is most certainly a name to look out for.

Foxes! – The Panda Bear Song

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So, after a week’s break for Easter Sound-Revolution can once again introduce three new tracks into your weekly playlist. This week’s offerings perhaps don’t stray across the musical spectrum as much as usual — some rather traditionally composed tracks from three under the radar bands and artists.

Various Cruelties – Neon Truth

The debut single from Various Cruelties comes in the form of Neon Truth – feel good, soulful pop music. Various Cruelties have a striking resemblance to  The Spencer Davis Group – Liam O’Donnell’s exemplary voice putting a modern spin on 60’s pop music. Neon Truth is a superb demonstration of what Various Cruelties have to offer – vocally powered British pop. Perhaps VC could be a band to restore some people’s faith in the controversial but ever-present topic of conversation – ‘is pop music as good as it was 50 years ago?’ – if the answer to this is no, then Animal Cruelties could have a good chance of success.

True Widow – Skull Eyes

True Widow‘s, to say the least, rather elaborately titled album ‘As High as the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth‘ has been bathing in favourable reviews for the past month or so now and Skull Eyes is, in our opinion, is the most likeable track on the record. True Widow create downbeat, post-rock. In all honesty, True Widow are pretty miserable sounding, but they create honest and emotive music – and at least it’s suitable with the miserable late Spring weather hitting those in the UK.

Clara Engel – Madagascar

Toronto born Clara Engel, sticking to this weeks traditional trend, creates music with no nonsense and no gimmicks. Engel sticks to minimal production to re-enforce the strength and dynamics of her vocals – and rightly so, and her voice is nothing short of brilliant. Engel creates music for fans of acoustic/folk music who like to let their imagination a little loose when pugging in their headphones. Instrumentals are used throughout Engel’s music rarely and thoughtfully – saved exclusively for the climatic moments to accompany her vivid lyrics.

Magnetic Man - Magnetic Man

Magnetic Man - Magnetic Man

Magnetic Man

Magnetic Man

Released: Oct 11 2010

Genre: Dubstep

Label: Columbia Records

Rating: 4.2/5

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Magnetic Man is the name of the project between renowned dubstep produers: Skream, Benga and Artwork. With all three members playing a huge part in the scene as individuals, by forming the first ever dubstep supergroup Magnetic Man have suggested that they’re serious about pushing dubstep out from the underground and into the light. As would be expected, the self-titled LP has been subject to plenty of hype, skepticism and mixed expectations.

Whether you’d prefer to call it variation or poor transcendence, it’s fair to highlight that the record doesn’t follow any set pattern. Opening with Flying Into Tokyo, the use of emotive strings suggests that the Magnetic Man debut album would be completely different to anything heard previously; however, when second track Fire follows, it leaves the opener seeming unnecessary and irrelevant. By placing a melodic instrumental piece before a hard-hitting track with coarse vocals, it can only be assumed that the three-piece aimed to make an impact through divergence – when in realitiy the track ordering just seems to jar unnaturally.

Earlier this year when the album was in its late stages, Benga labeled Magnetic Man a pop act. Between the interview and the album release, singles Perfect Stranger and I Need Air have been pop successes. Featuring the vocals of Angela Hunte, I Need Air reached #10 in the UK and got into the top thirty in both the Belgian and Danish music charts. The majority of tracks on the LP don’t cohere to the female vocal pattern, however, what makes the record more universal is its uplifting production. Purely instrumental tracks, Ping Pong and Anthemic break away from dubstep’s associated dark and menacing vibes by replacing them with trance-esque synths that overlay hard-hitting basslines. The concoction is unfamiliar and risky, yet impressively fluid.

As impressive as Magnetic Man is as an innovative full length, it isn’t flawless in meeting its intentions. Although each track attempts to be original, it seems that at times the most important production factor is overlooked – to be captivating. Box of Ghosts and Mad are experimental tracks that most obviously seem to meet this criticism, ironically generic despite attempts to create something, as the title of Skream’s recent solo LP suggests, Outside The Box. As a record, Magnetic Man is a collection of tracks that have changed and will no doubt influence the future of dubstep. The real impact of Magnetic Man will be seen in the near future – will dubstep continue to unfold as the future sound of dance music, or will it remain concealed and crawl back underground into its dark, grungy hole?

~ Article by James Murray

Listen To: I Need Air, Perfect Stranger, Fire, Ping Pong

For Fans Of: Skream, Benga, Artwork, Rusko, Katy B, Flux Pavilion

At Our Heels - Misanthropy and Godlessness

At Our Heels - Misanthropy and Godlessness

At Our Heels

Misanthropy and Godlessness

Released: Aug 10 2010

Genre: Hardcore Punk

Label: Creator-Destructor Records

Rating: 4.2/5

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Misanthropy and Godlessness, the newest and heaviest instalment of punk from California based record label, Creator-Destructor Records showcases some of hardcore’s best concealed talents. With a total running time of just under 30 minutes, it might seem that the At Our Heels debut full-length has been somewhat cut short; however, the incessant intensity throughout the LP ensures overall satisfaction.

Opening track, Through Their Teeth acts as the records crescendo; an introduction to the album’s theme before erupting into later, more aggressive arrangements – “faithless and heartless, godless misanthropes, left to die”. The album adheres to hardcore punk’s typical denotations, offering deep, aggressive lyrics, written to evoke anger and general chaos when envisaging live shows. The key change at the opening of The Old Gloomies helps to accelerate the records punch, on top of demonstrating the groups ability to write diversely. Immaculate production breaks up tracks and makes transcendences unnoticeable, Unholy seamlessly progressing from its predecessor – the work of production duo Aaron Hellam and Zack Ohren certainly not going unnoticed.

Technical ability, until the latter half of the LP is restricted – simplicity being the key in making the record captivating. The guitar riffs mid-way through The Recluse and furthermore in Detach / Withdraw showcase the abilities of the guitarists, marking a turning point in the record which delivers flawlessly in maintaining the listeners interest. The five piece are unarguably extremely talented; despite currently being very underground, Misanthropy and Godlessness deserves to be a ‘must have’ for any hardcore fan. Comparable to the likes of Trash Talk or Blackhole, At Our Heels have made the perfect start to a potentially successful career. Plenty of touring and a forward-thinking follow up record could be the perfect combination to leap frog this talented group into the hardcore scene’s spotlight.

~ Article by James Murray

Listen To: Teeth & Bone, The Recluse, Non Sum Qualis Eram, Epitaph

For Fans Of: Trash Talk, Blackhole, Ceremony, Bracewar, Cruel Hand