At Sound-Revolution our main aim is to to promote independent bands and artists – and to show our readers that there’s much more to music than the regurgitated and generally unimaginative chart music that’s enforced on our everyday lives.

2011 has already been an exceptional year, with more artists than ever emerging from both sides of the musical spectrum – continuously reshaping the landscape of music. The fast paced nature of new music is what makes the future interesting, but getting access to this can be difficult – so we’ve done that for you. James Murray has explored and selected some of the best offerings of the year so far.

20 // Thomas Dybdahl – From Grace

Perhaps this first choice bends the rules a little. From Grace was originally released as a single in 2009 – and will be making another appearance on the new album Songs in July. Okay, you caught us out, July’s the seventh month of the year – but From Grace is a sublime demonstration of heart-warming acoustic music; it would be offensive not to pick out a track from the forthcoming LP for this feature. It’s not often you come across a voice as unique and solid as Dybdahl’s – and it’s even less common for such a strong vocalist to be so instrumentally competent.


19 // Underground Railroad – Russian Doll

On June 13th Parisian three-piece Underground Railroad proved that they could offer a whole lot more than the raw, omnipresent indie rock sound of their past. White Night Stand is an experimental, forward-thinking rock album – and no track showcases their transformation as well as stand-out single Russian Doll. New-found influences from Radiohead and Liars shine through, and that’s never a bad thing. When a band can switch styles, involve all kinds of different musical elements and boost their captivation at the same time, it’s pretty obvious that they’re doing something right.


18 // Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks

There’s a bit of love floating around at the moment for back-to-basics indie pop. As interesting as futuristic, experimental sounding productions can be, sometimes it’s nice to relax to something a little less intense. LA five-piece Foster The People have mastered the stripped-down pop sound, most notably with their highly successful debut single Pumped Up Kicks. Simplistic guitar riffs, steady drums and chirpy whistling make up this cheerful single – and it’s contagious, feel-good nature makes it practically impossible to hate.


17 // Various Cruelties – Neon Truth

Every so often you come across a band and just can’t understand why they aren’t more widely recognised. And there are few collectives that warrant this complement more so than Various Cruelties. Sharing similarities with successful pop bands of the 00’s, most obviously Jamiroquai and Maroon 5, Various Cruelties seem to have adopted the successful musical formula of their predecessors. Although not the most innovative of tracks, Neon Truth is a refreshing pop song with no loose ends. For a slice of effortless, enjoyable listening it doesn’t get much better than this.


16 // The Tamborines – Black and Blue

And now, introducing this feature’s ode to lo-fi – no, it’s not Wavves – it’s London’s own The Tamborines (minus the ‘U’). Band name spellings aside, Black and Blue is fast-paced, fuzzy, up-beat shoegaze. For too long our friends on the other side of the Atlantic have been leading creators of the distorted-pop sound. Exagerrated distortion of vocals and guitars can transform a good pop song into hipster ‘garbage’, but with good clarity to the vocals and carefully thought out production The Tamborines need not worry about elaborate media criticism.


15 // The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Heart In Your Heartbreak

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have made an impact from absolutely nowhere. Their debut album released back in February resulted in universal acclaim, and lead-up single Heart In Your Heartbreak put the limelight on this New York indie-pop collective. Although their self-titled debut received favourable reviews, the infectious power-pop outfit that we know of today are still a fresh addition to the music world. With a chorus that just has to be sung aloud, Heart In Your Heartbreak is a highly memorable single from a band revelling in their breakthrough satisfaction.


14 // Funeral Party – Where Did It All Go Wrong

Although not yet a single choice, Where Did It All Go Wrong is one of the many highlights of debut LP The Golden Age of Nowhere. It’s rare that a mid-album track is produced with such intricacy – and intros and outros don’t get much better than this. Beautiful keys introduce the track in contradictory style – as lyrics focus on inadequacy and despair. And an intense vocal conclusion ties up a solid track well-worthy of recognition. Funeral Party have well and truly hit the ground running – and their radio-friendly style won’t be leaving playlists for some time.


13 // Atari Teenage Riot – Rearrange Your Synapses

If Sound-Revolution appeals to a niche readership, then ATR are probably the odd-one-out in this feature; but that’s exactly why we love them. No artists or collective is musically comparable to the pioneers and masters of ‘digital hardcore’. The first LP in a decade entitled Is This Hyperreal? is without a doubt a fan pleaser, but as they say “why fix something that isn’t broken”. Musical evolution is a great thing – but manipulating a sound already somewhat overwhelming would be quite a task; it seems wise to leave that to another generation of musicians.


12 // Young Legionnaire – Chapter, Verse

Yourcodenameis:milo and Bloc Party are two bands with very different influences (despite Moakes making an appearance on a YCNI:M track in 06). In a rather unusual but so-far intriguing band formation, Young Legionnaire were born. From the ashes of one of the most influential post-hardcore bands of the 00s, Paul Mullen seems to have rectified that unmistakable Yourcodenameis:milo sound and given it a refreshing twist. Chapter, Verse is quirky, choppy, heavy and typically post-hardcore – it’s no surprise they’ve made an impact in such little time.


11 // The Vaccines – Wolf Pack

What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? Honestly, we expected a lot. When it comes to hype, The Vaccines were pretty much the rock music equal to Justin Bieber. The lead up to this debut LP really did verge on ridiculous. Luckily, it lived up to most people’s expectations. The highlight of a raw-sounding, at times country influenced rock album comes under the name Wolf Pack – an upbeat, typically indie track with hard-hitting guitars that exert an undeniably infectious aura which will lead to two minutes and 24 seconds of uncontrollable toe-tapping and head-nodding.


10 // SBTRKT – Wildfire

Just this week various websites put up the stream of the self-titled debut album from EDM innovator SBTRKT. And the lead single delivers one of the most deadly basslines of the decade so-far. Melodic vocals from Little Dragon keep this track’s appeal on the surface – tender female vocals overlay a deep and grimy instrumental – and it works. There’s no question that SBTRKT is a good producer, but his self-titled album will surely make him yet another of the reputable artists emerging from this new wave of early-hour dance music.


09 // Emmy The Great – A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep

If you’re not yet aware of the new Emmy The Great album Virtue, then you need to get out from under your rock and introduce your ears to a female vocalist destined to change the face of folk.  Virute is one of the most lyrically significant releases of the year, and A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep is no exception. Along with deep lyrics packed with imagery and powerful messages comes a genuinely beautiful voice and an all-round talented musician. It’s only a matter of time before Emmy The Great captures the imaginations of women and music-lovers worldwide.


08 // Friendly Fires – Hawaiian Air

The kings of feel good indie-pop, Friendly Fires, finally released Pala in in May – the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut album. It was never going to be easy to follow-up an album that’s already lead to festival headline slots – but Friendly Fires couldn’t have got it any more right. Hawaiian Air conforms to the typical Friendly Fires style; borderline silly basslines and synth-effects give us a taster of what to come before Ed Macfarlane’s eccentric vocals put the icing on the cake. Friendly Fires are simply one of the most fun and dance-friendly bands around.


07 // Dutch Uncles – Cadenza

Incredible keyboard loops, infectious basslines and one of the most diverse voices in new music – it has to be Dutch Uncles. Yet another export from Manchester’s recent outflow of incredible new bands, this five-piece have created one of the most exciting surprises of the year with their beautifully crafted self-titled album. Dutch Uncles are one of few bands that can convert incredible talent and musicianship into genuinely good music – Cadenza is everything you want from an indie-pop record: refreshing, memorable and as a result of it’s intricacy – enduring.


06 // Burial / Four Tet & Thom Yorke – Ego

And now for the most exciting collaboration of the year. Fans of new music got understandably excited when rumours started going around that these three were working together – and rightly so, as the results were incredible. The sublimity of Burial’s productions are no secret – add the quirkiness of Four Tet and the calming voice of Thom Yorke to the equasion and you’re left with an end-product that you can’t bring yourself to take off repeat. We’ll just have to hope that this single wasn’t a one off – as more material from these three could potentially be highly influential.


05 // James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream

When James Blake started to make his name known outside of the vast, underground dubstep landscape there was simply nothing comparable to his productions. Until the likes of Jamie Woon swiftly followed, soft, vocal dubstep was a completely new concept – but a concept taken on-board with open arms. He might not be alone now, but there’s no doubt that the London producers debut LP changed peoples perceptions of dubstep forever. Love it or hate it, James Blake is an innovator of  forward-thinking music – and The Wilhelm Scream is a beautiful example of his talent.


04 // Yuck – Holding Out

It’s a rarity for bands to become as established as Cajun Dance Party once were, pack it in and come back with a new band – but it’s even less common for an established band to come back with an even more polished and potentially successful sound. Holding Out is one of many perfectly composed rock tracks on their self-titled debut album, released earlier this year. Lo-fi guitars, continuous high energy levels and widespread comparisons to Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr looks pretty promising on the eye, and it’s equally satisfying to the ears.


03 // Wild Beasts – Albatross

Boasting one of the most elaborate falsetto voices in music, Wild Beasts have brought their indie rock sound back once again with Albatross, the lead single from their new album, Smother. Previous full-length Two Dancers was welcomed with critical acclaim, and Wild Beasts have kept up the good form with Smother. Albatross is a fine example of how to create a raw and edgy indie record with an overall tranquil sound. The Kendal four-piece have wrapped-up the beauty of Britain’s Lake District and transformed it into a universal piece of musical nature.


02 // Jamie xx – Far Nearer

The xx are an incredible outfit, and their 2009 release was one of the best received albums of the year. Since then The xx have lost a band member and stayed relatively low-key – except for Jamie Smith, who goes under the individual pseudonym of Jamie xx. His incredible productions were brought to the public eye when he remixed Gil-Scott Heron’s latest and last ever full-length I’m New Here. With Far Nearer Jamie xx proves that he’s more than a remix producer – capable of pushing the boundaries of dance music production to exciting new highs.


01 // The Antlers – I Don’t Want Love

It wasn’t until The Antlers released their third album, Hospice, that they got much recognition – but since Peter Silberman transformed his solo project into a collective The Antlers have started to make their mark on modern music. I Don’t Want Love is a beautiful composition lyrically, vocally and instrumentally – an all-round faultless single from yet another incredible album. Vocals so dynamic are hard to come across, especially in indie rock, but when they can be implemented to such hauntingly beautiful effect the results are outstanding. The Antlers just keep on impressing.

By James Murray:

Hailing from ‘the Highlands of Scotland’ Le Reno Amps create, in their own words, “Good music”. Their new album Appetite is out on April 18th. Sound-Revolution took some time to speak to Scott Maple about the new album, touring and all things Le Reno Amps.

Le Reno Amps // Press Shot

Le Reno Amps // Press Shot

S-R: Le Reno Amps seem to be a very active band in the studio, what are your personal feelings about Appetite compared to earlier releases?

LRA: We’re very pleased with how Appetite has turned out. We had a lot of strong songs, so we were able to add a bonus 6-track EP for early uptakers.

With Lindsey – our previous bassist, leaving after the touring commitments for our last record were fulfilled – and us having limited funds, we went back to ground and did the majority of this album ourselves. So on one hand we had the luxury of time to really go to town on the tracks, but on the other we were fighting against the sonic limitations of home-recording versus pro-studio.

At the end of the day I think we managed the right balance, sonically it’s not got as much sheen as our last effort (recorded with Andy Miller at Chem19), but musically it’s got more depth and scope.

S-R: Would you say Appetite is a development on your earlier sound? What did you do with this album to make it stand out?

LRA: We’ve brought in elements of all our previous recordings to this record – from our debut LP (us writing and recording as a duo, choral-style vocals), through ‘So For Your Thrills…’ (Country-tinged songs, introducing other players to the mix) to ‘Tear it Open’ (Rockier numbers, performed with a ‘full band’ rather than a duo). So yes, it’s a development – we’ve (hopefully) taken the best parts of our previous ventures and melded them together.

As for making it stand out – well you’ve said yourself that it’s difficult to tag, we’ve created our own genre, so we’re outstanding in a field of our own.

S-R: The artwork for Appetite certainly catches the eye; can you explain your thoughts behind it?

LRA: Skulls and Breasts.

Le Reno Amps - Appetite // Album Artwork

Le Reno Amps - Appetite // Album Artwork

S-R: There’s not really a genre tag that could be easily associated with Le Reno Amps, so how would you describe your own music?

LRA: When people ask what kind of music it is, we often answer flippantly – “Good music”.

Rather than try to write a ‘rock’ album or ‘country’ album, we try to write an album of good songs. We’re into a wide range of music, so that must feed into our songwriting. It’s completely organic and whilst it’s not an attempt to fit to any kind of genre, it’s equally not an attempt to not fit any kind of genre. Capisce?

…and I mean, at the end of the day we play drums, bass, guitar and vocals, so just how different can the songs be? It’s not like we crack out the Tuvan throat singing, banging techno or chamber orchestra.

That’s the NEXT album!

Le Reno Amps – Bad Blood

S-R: Once the album is released what are your plans – can we expect tour dates or any festival appearances?

LRA: Well, we’re doing gigs around Scotland for sure – we already took a trip up to the highlands and we’re playing around the central belt in the week of release. Not having a dedicated band (remember, we’re technically a duo with a cast of supporting players) makes logistics harder than we’d like for longer tours further from our Glasgow base. Jason, our drummer, lives up North and has commitments with his own band, Cuddly Shark. Mandy, our current bass player extraordinaire is based in Glasgow but she also has commitments with her band, Super Adventure Club, so it’s a balancing act and one that we’re still perfecting.

In the third edition of Essential Listening Sound-Revolution presents three brilliant forthcoming tracks -a mixture of bass music, indie and folk.

Boxcutter – LOADtime

Barry Lynn, better known as Boxcutter is one of many huge dubstep talents releasing material on Scuba’s Hotflush Recordings. The boundaries of dubstep are being pushed and manipulated as much as ever, and with LOADtime boxcutter demonstrates how a track can be completely unique, but never stray far from its original purpose – to be executed on the dancefloor.


Sarabeth Tucek – Get Well Soon

The dreary and mellow nature of Sarabeth Tucek is the perfect music for complete relaxation. New York based Tucek has an incredible voice – for fans of vocal/acoustic folk music her forthcoming album Get Well Soon should certainly be explored. Big things are expected from Sabareth, already having her name placed aside Brian Bell’s from Weezer in his new project The Relationship. Look out for the new album Get Well Soon released in the UK on April 11th.


Cold Mailman – Pull Yourself Together and Fall In Love With Me

Last but certainly not least is this gem by Cold Mailman. Out on February 14th, Pull Yourself Together and Fall In Love With Me is a beautifully executed indie pop record. The preogressively uplifting instrumentals evoke mixed emotions as the dreary male/female vocal combination at no point escalates. The album Relax; The Mountain Will Come To You is out now on Fysisk Format.


Following the release of the brilliant Seething Is Believing (reviewed here) it was only right for Sound-Revolution to catch up with the Leeds group to find out was behind the new album and what we can expect in the future. Thanks to bassist Joe Tilston for talking to us:

Photography by Adam Gassan

S-R: Seething Is Believing hits the shelves late March. Your fans have been waiting for this since last summer, do you feel pressured by the release delay and are you happy with how it’s turned out?

RH: We were more confident about this album than any previous releases, even before we recorded it, so the wait hasn’t knocked our feelings about it. We’re just itching to know what everyone thinks of it and 7 months is a long time to wait for feedback!

S-R: Seething Is Believing sounds somewhat different to previous records, perhaps heavier. Would you agree that your sound has adopted or progressed since Inhale/Exhale?

RH: A lot has happened since Inhale/Exhale, relentless touring and a change to the line up are inevitably going to effect what we do. We made what essentially feels to us, a punk album, both honest and hard hitting. What people take from it with regards to progression and improvement is down to them really. It’s much harder for a band to be objective when making statements like that about their own music.

S-R: Are there any musical influences that you’d say affected the song writing and production of your new album?

RH: Having a new member has no doubt changed the balance and approach to the writing, Sean just wanted to get involved and write some music he loved playing so we obliged and wrote something we all wanted to rock out to. I couldn’t specifically sight any musical influence that has effected this album, but on the production front we wanted to make the album the most honest representation of what we do live, where with Inhale/Exhale we didn’t hold back on any production tweaks and over dubs we wanted to steer well clear of anything like that on Seething Is Believing. The back line was done live and in the track order you’ve been given it, and we approached all the over dubs the same, in track order and nothing we wouldn’t be able to pull off lie.

S-R: You’ve got many tour dates lined up from April onwards, can you give Sound-Revolution any information regarding festival appearances?

RH: We’re off out with the King Blues and Sonic Boom Six for the beginning of April which we’re very excited about, followed by a short stint in Belgium and France. When we return from France we do a run of shows with Fishbone and a one off show in Moscow! Taking my mind beyond April is a bit of a struggle, but the festival shows are starting to come through, nothing juicy confirmed just yet, but we’re definitely playing Rebellion this year and a festival called Boomtown fair which is shaping up really nicely.

S-R: After the albums official release the focus will surely be on touring. Are you nervous or excited about sharing the new album with fans? What do you think their reaction will be?

RH: Definitely excited about playing the new songs, most of them have had a good airing already and they have gone down pretty well. People singing the lines back before the song has ended is always a good sign!

S-R: Releasing Seething Is Believing to a worldwide audience is a great achievement. Do you think the record label complications have now settled down for the better?

RH: We’re definitely in a posotive position now. The original plan was record it and get it straight out, which would have been great at the time, but having this extra time to plan the release more has left us in a stronger position with it all.

S-R: When Sound-Revolution interviewed Random Hand last summer we concluded with your 5 top records. What would your favourite records be at the present?

RH: A question like this always ends up feeling like the most difficult… what on earth am i listening to at the moment. I actually made a huge effort this year to listen to all the stuff we get handed on tour. Every time we finish a tour i end up with 17 CD’s that go on a pile and never get played, because i didn’t have a CD player or the time. but we came up with the genius plan of setting up a stereo in the kitchen and now every time i’m cooking has a different soundtrack, and we’ve found some real Gems. The Stitch Up ‘Set your alarm’ has to be one of my favorites, along with ‘Happy Days with the…’ Babylon Whackers. Broken Nose and Tyrannosaurus Alan’s albums have both been getting healthy amount of air time as well, go check em out!

Watch the new video for single ‘Bones’ below, taken from Seething Is Believing.

Brown Recluse - Evening Tapestry

Brown Recluse - Evening Tapestry

Brown Recluse

Evening Tapestry

Released: Mar 15 2011

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Label: Slumberland

Rating: 2.7/5


Evening Tapestry is a psychedelic pop record with an aura of nostalgia. Groups such as Brown Recluse aren’t common in the contemporary pop landscape, their sound reminiscent to the likes of The Flaming Lips and The Beach Boys. Although this is a record that would sound much more prominent fifty years ago, similar bands such as Tame Impala have revelled in compliments left right and centre over the past year – so their sound isn’t completely dated.

Brown Recluse is a very orchestral band, making the most of their six person line-up to experiment with all sorts of quirky instruments. Atypical melodies and sluggish tempos recur throughout the LP. The lyrics throughout Evening Tapestry suggest the Philadelphia based group are very much in touch with nature, with constant references to weather and scenery. Storytelling with heavy use of metaphors offers at times deep and powerful descriptive versus; although the lack of instrumental diversity and short track length can leave the listener at points lost and confused.

‘Monday Moon’ is the stand out track on the album, reinforcing the LP’s theme – “I went out, for a ride, to feel the wind against my skin”. The track stands out from the rest of the album due to its chord change mid-way through the song, following the lyric – “tapestry that came to be was woven by the spiders in your mind”. The instruments adopt a temporarily less jubilant melody that works perfectly with the vocals, a grand demonstration of how traditional instruments can evoke mood and atmosphere.

As a psychedelic pop record, Evening Tapestry is solid and interesting. The nostalgic vibes throughout are brilliantly executed – but a contemporary twist could really transform Brown Recluse from a good band, into a good band with relevancy. Although there are a couple of tracks that stand out, the general theme and melodies persist throughout the whole record. The musical combination that Brown Recluse have chosen is a good one, but by the end of a full-length it becomes somewhat tedious and uninspiring. For psychedelic rock fans this is a must-listen record, but for those of us craving a record with insight and forward thinking vibrations, Evening Tapestry isn’t the most outrageous.

Written for The 405

Brown Recluse – Impressions of a City Morning

~ By James Murray

Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner

Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner

Gold Panda

Lucky Shiner

Released: Oct 11 2010

Genre: Electronic / Experimental

Label: Notown Records

Rating: 4.7/5


Lucky Shiner, the debut full-length from Essex based Gold Panda is a refreshing take on electronic music. It’s unusual for UK based independent artists to rise into the limelight over the past few years, but Gold Panda is proving that innovative, forward-thinking music is budding on either sides of the Atlantic.

Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Caribou — just a few names that have reveled in critical acclamation over the past few years. Gold Panda is the newest artist to add to the list, as his euphoric LP is without a doubt one of the most creative and experimentally inspiring records of the year. Lucky Shiner is a very precise record, emotive and passionate throughout, with no drawn-out moments or lackluster filler. If every record is a portrayal of its creator, then Gold Panda is a wise perfectionist. Such a statement would generally be passed as pure assumption, however, releasing a steady bundle of EP’s over the past few years in combination with a little touring, it would seem that ‘perfectionist’ wouldn’t be an overly arbitrary description.

The record opens with You, a choppy, very much jagged ensemble with heavy use of vocals. The elements throughout the track are somewhat conflicting, but rather than producing a jarred final result, somewhat ironically the cut vocals over melodic synths collaborate impressively cleanly. The LP’s most inventive moment comes four tracks in under the title of Same Dream China. As the title suggests, the track takes a cultural approach, combining a range of Eastern drums and patterns to emit a wonderfully elegant melody. The track isn’t outstanding solely because of its unique production, Same Dream China is more than that, it’s a truly atmospheric and uplifting four minutes of electronic sublimity.

As an LP Lucky Shiner is outstanding; as an electronic record, and as an experimental record. Many tracks including India Lately and I’m With You But I’m Lonely are deep and invigorating; however, there are occasional points in the album that aren’t quite so momentous. Before We Talked is the biggest manipulator of the ‘cut and paste’ production technique. The track clearly aims to be adventurous, along with the remainder of the record, however, the end product is somewhat harsh in comparison to the inspirative vibes ever-present elsewhere. The final track on the record, entitled You (like the opener) is the ideal ending to the LP. Chillingly beautiful female vocals overlaying up-beat drum patterns and quixotic synths – Lucky Shiner is a record to remember.

– Article by James Murray

Listen To: Same Dream China, You (I), India Lately, I’m With You But I’m Lonely

For Fans Of: Animal Collective, Four Tet, Deerhunter, Caribou, Holy Fuck

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


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

&U&I - Kill The Man That Shot That Man

&U&I - Kill The Man That Shot That Man


Kill The Man That Shot That Man

Released: Oct 11 2010

Genre: Post-Hardcore

Label: ondryland

Rating: 3.8/5


Former members of the band Blakfish make their return with this debut EP as new band &U&I. The EP opens with heavy track Terror Back, which shows they still have the heavy post-hardcore sound of Blakfish, and can still show us some brilliant song structures and intense, sudden tempo changes. Second track, Chancer’s Paradise, is the highlight track of the EP, and shows them sounding most like their former band – combining shouting and clear singing for the vocals. The third track, Who Will Look After Adam, continues the sound of the first two tracks of the EP, where as penultimate track, The Boy With The Beard, is a much slower and stripped down track without shouting and including a piano part and sample before ending with a louder pounding sound that perfectly transits into the final track Don’t Die; perhaps the heaviest track on the EP and a great ending to a strong EP.

Overall this is a very impressive EP that develops the sound Blakfish had further. Although they do not quite match the brilliance of Blakfish’s Champions album, especially in terms of lyrics, &U&I continue a similar sound but also avoid making it sound exactly the same. If this is just the start for &U&I we can expect some amazing future releases from the band. This EP is a must have for anyone who liked Blakfish, and hopefully we will be offered some amazing music from this band in the future.

~ Article by Chris Fishlock

Listen To: Chancer’s Parade, Who Will Look After Adam?,

For Fans Of: BlakFish, Shapes, Meet Me In St. Louis, Colour, Secondsmile (more…)

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


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

I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan

I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan

I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan

I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan

Released: Jul 2010

Genre: Electronic / Experimental

Label: Hangman Ho Records

Rating 3.9/5


I Am A Man With a St Tropez Tan is the debut album from one of several projects created by Rick Senley. Within the first 20 seconds of listening, it becomes evident that Senley is a very inventive character, his music very much reflective of creativity, with its very experimental electronic style.

Although the album title may give little away, I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan is certainly not an up-beat record. Several tracks, such as Get Off, I Will Kill You sound suitable for a sci-fi thriller, with eerie distorted vocal samples and an intruding rhythm. It then comes as little surprise that tracks from the debut record featured on the thriller Killer Bitch, featuring Alex Reid.

Throughout the record Senley alternates between a rhythmic and a bleak experimental style. Black Female creates a spaced atmosphere, abolishing any kind of structure and placing a strong focus on unearthly synths and string samples. The more bleak and stretched-out experimental tracks often take a progressive approach, slowly drawing the listener into the assortment of juxtaposed sounds – creating a very hostile and effective overall effect. With such an array of experimental samples, Senely’s project is comparable to the likes of Aphex Twin, demonstrating his ability to create a great range of electronic music.

I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan is not strictly morbid and non-structural. Tracks such as Growl take a big-beat approach to electronic production; a Chemical Brothers style that could be appropriate for the dance floor, particularly suited to somewhere around the time of 5am. As a record, I Am A Man With A St Tropez Tan is very well produced. The general enigmatic and cinematic style results in a unique and very interesting listen, especially considering obvious financial restraints. Combining a range of electronic ideas, Rick Senley’s debut under this alias is an inspiring success.

~ Article by James Murray

Listen To: I Like Your Mouth, Homage, Ignorance Is No Defence

For Fans Of: Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, AFX, Polygon Window (more…)