Every Time I Die – Cardiff 11/12/11

Rock Sound Riot Tour – Cardiff University – 11/12/2011
Every Time I Die
Trash Talk, Defeater, Spy Catcher

It’s pissing it down and near-freezing outside on this dreary Sunday. But rather than hiding under the duvet lamenting the coming working week, we’re down the front for one of the year’s best line-ups, courtesy of Rock Sound magazine. Continue reading

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Hawk Eyes – Mindhammers EP

Previously known as Chickenhawk, this Leeds four-piece produced one of 2010s stand-out albums in Modern Bodies, so we were eager to get our ears around something new from them. The Mindhammers EP is a delicious stop-gap before their new album hits next year, with five new tracks.

What surprises us most is that there’s a couple of tracks here that fail to ignite anything inside us. ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ and ‘Eleven Years’ don’t quite meet the anticipation we had built. Not that they’re bad tunes; but after an album without a single dud track it’s a shame not every tune here has us moshing in our seats. The latter shows that the band may be looking towards taking a less chaotic route, with a little Biffy Clyro to the vocals before it eventually succumbs to making a massive fucking racket.

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Every Little Smile – Various Artists

A bit late with this, what with PC problems and me never blogging ever.

Every Little Smile is as charity compilation album started by Hayato Imanishi, the guy behind Cyclamen and Withyouathome . It was started in the wake of the awful flooding that struck Thailand in July, with all profit going to Thailand’s Red Cross.

As if donating to a good cause wasn’t reason enough, what you get for your money (only around £5/6) is an album chock full of gorgeous music; much of it by bands us here in the UK will never have heard of. Leaning heavily towards the post-rock side of things, this will be of interest to ears that are friends with anything between Explosions In The Sky and Isis. Continue reading

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Uneven Structure – Awaken

There’s an album coming out at the end of the month, and it’s going to be one of the best albums of the year. It’s also likely to be one of the best things to happen to heavy music in years.
This is Uneven Structure’s Februus, out on 31 October through the bloody fantastic independent, Basick Records.

I get excited about a lot of albums, but I haven’t been this excited about an album in years.

Februus’ reviews are beginning to emerge, with Rock Sound giving it 8/10 and the ever-reliable Dom Lawson backing it. It’s a good sign that big things will come their way, that goes for band themselves as well as the label behind them.

Be excited with me.

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Tellison – Edith

Oh yeah, this came out on Monday.

For all the love for heavy music I’ve been channeling lately, Tellison’s second album – The Wages Of Fear – has had a massive impact on me. It’s easily one of the best albums of the year.

I’m also pretty adamant that they wrote the album inside my head.

I’ll be seeing them at the end of the month. I am pretty damn excited about that.

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OK @ ifor Bach 28/09/11

OK, Alphabet Backwards & Cafe Zürich
Ifor Bach, Cardiff – 28/09/11

In what couldn’t be more different from last night’s Between The Buried And Me show, Ifor Bach tonight plays host to something far lighter; swapping intensity for fun, but again confined to a room hot enough to be classed as a sauna. Thanks to excellent recent single (‘Lego’) and an appearance at this year’s Cardiff Big Weekend, it’s safe to say OK are having a good year, and it looks set to continue with another new single to launch – ‘Young Girls Hearts’.

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Between The Buried And Me Live

Between The Buried And Me & Animals As Leaders
Ifor Bach, Cardiff – 27/09/11

I’m surrounded by guitar-heads who would vomit if they knew how I struggle to put a few barre chords together. But tonight, in the sweltering confines of Clwb Ifor Bach, even the most proficient guitarists in the audience are left with their jaws on the floor alongside mine.

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What’s So Good About Goodbye?

One year ago today, I found out that one of my favourite bands – Telegraphs – had decided to call it a day.

I received their first EP while I was reviewing for the now defunct Rock Midgets. They didn’t have a gimmick, they didn’t fit into any obvious sub-genre and there were few bands to easily compare them to. They just played rock music. It’s tough saying that, it conjures images of something very basic and stripped-down, this wasn’t the case. It was rock on an epic scale, with a grand sound. No, not like Muse. Do you see why it’s hard to describe them effectively? Bah, pigeonholing is a horrible thing.
It was love from that first EP onwards, with every further review earning four out of five at the lowest from me.

When their album, We We Were Ghosts arrived, I was mildly worried I had built up too much expectation. I needn’t have been concerned.

HUGE in places, We Were Ghosts continually builds songs dynamically towards soaring choruses and jaw-dropping closing moments; just try ‘We Dance In Slow Motion’ and the breathtaking ‘I Don’t Navigate By You’ on for size. Both tracks were singles, and almost every song here is catchy enough to find a slot on a radio playlist, yet none bear the clichés or compromises you would associate with such accessible music.
Rockmidgets Review

I finally got to see them play live, and only saw them twice at that. I was pretty surprised at how grateful they were towards me just for voicing my opinion. But they liked my kind words so much I got my name in their inlay card, leading to the very odd sensation of realising your name has been mentioned in the same paragraph as Brice Dickinson. I rarely look at my reviews as being of much importance, but if I influenced just one person to listen to them, I’d be ecstatic to have introduced that person to such a good band.

They had a second album ready to go, but it was not to be. There was no money to get that album made.
How many good bands have seen this happen whilst major labels pump out drivel you’ll have forgotten the following week?

It’s a shit business.

But, despite the lack of a record deal, we got that second album.

They put The Light From Dead Stars on their blog the following December.

For Free. It’s still there, and that’s the main reason for this memorial post!

Go here. Download it. For Free.
If you don’t like it, you lose nothing.
If you love it, share my frustration that such a good album was denied release.

I was always going to like it as an album, which frustratingly damages my verdict to those who’re fed up of my constant raving.
But, even without being fully mastered and released, it makes their début album – that I gave 5/5 – look weak by comparison.
I thought it was just the circumstances giving me rose tinted glasses (or should that be earphones?) So after a few spins I left it for a week. It hit me exactly the same.
Every element of We Were Ghosts was improved upon.
The songwriting was a real step up: with some very strong numbers. Many of Darcy Harrison’s dramatically improved lyrics have that wonderful quality of making you connect them to something in your life even if the song isn’t remotely about that. The male/female vocals I loved so much were impressive, with bassist Hattie Williams’ vocals on ‘Someone’s At the Door’ in particular stopping me in my tracks a number of times.

It’s grand and dramatic without a hint of pomp or pretension, and it’s riddled with anthems that should have filled arenas. ‘We Are So Far From Home’, ‘Accidents And Emergencies’, ‘Bobby’, ‘I Will Make A Home For You’, all songs that will stick inside your head and have you singing along after only a few listens.

It’s a massive shame it didn’t work out for Telegraphs; for them, for those lucky enough to have found them, and especially for those who never got the chance to.

But hopefully, if you’re in the latter group, you’re not even reading this.
Hopefully, you’ve already clicked the link up there and you’re already listening and seeing what I saw in them.

Music is the best and worst thing in the world sometimes.

Thank you, Telegraphs.

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2000 Trees 2011 – Part 4

Saturday

Waking up to torrential rain wasn’t the best start, in fact we just lay there for a bit refusing to get out of our tent… Continue reading

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Cardiff Big Weekend (well, big friday, anyway)

More 2000 trees tomorrow, just wanted to write about the Admiral Big Weekend that was on this past weekend.
I went to the first day, due to Funeral For A Friend headlining, with the bonus that a mate from work’s band would also be playing.

Admiral Big Weekend is one of those free events that has live bands, a fairground, stalls and the like, that brings in swathes of total filth to pickpocket, fight and drunkenly ruin your day. But, there was FFAF… So needs must.

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