5 Artists to Dig Your Teeth Into This Halloween

With Halloween upon us, we give you five artists to sink those fake teeth into (along with all those leftover haribos) on this frightful October night. No tricks here, only treats.

Momus

An eclectic, sexual pop-provocateur, Scottish-born Momus is a musical force to behold, and one of the first true post-modern rock stars. His back-catlogue is almost as hard to pin down as the man himself, ranging from the biblical acoustic re-telling of sorts on “Circus Maximus”, to the synth-infused dramatism of “Tender Pervert”. He may have lost sight in one eye (resulting in his now iconic eyepatch), but the man’s never taken his sight off becoming the ultimate musical enigma.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre

You may have first heard of The Brian Jonestown Massacre through their infamous (albeit unfairly edited) potrayal in 2004 music documentary “Dig!”, alongside The Dandy Warhols. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, regardless of their often rocky past, are now reknowned as psych-rock behemoths, their 26 year-long career traversing the underground depths and substance-induced heights of psych. Anton Newcombe, frontman of this now cult band, may have had an eye for danger and recklessness in the past, but he’s always had an ear for writing some of the best melodies in the world of music.

Fad Gadget

It’s a real mystery as to why Fad Gadget, aka Frank Tovey, has been so unjustly overlooked when it comes to his contribution to electronic music. First bursting onto the scene with the idiosyncratic single “Back To Nature” in 1979, he became a major influence for the likes of Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Trent Reznor and Boy George. Fad Gadget’s harsh electronic pop, fused with his biting social commentary, made many realise that you don’t need to dress up the truth behind a well-tuned six-string, when the truth sounded just as good bouncing between coarse synths and club-cut basslines. A fad gadget among tedious toys.

Warren Zevon

When Warren Zevon was diagnosed with a form of cancer in 2002, instead of undergoing treatments he believed may incapacitate him, Zevon instead went into the studio to record his final album, The Wind. Only two years earlier had Warren Zevon performed his song, “My Shit’s Fucked Up”, live on Jools Holland, unbeknown of the significance and irony of such a performance, and how his strong sense of self and his humour, in the end, became his legacy. This kind of bleak humour and self-awareness are threadlines that can be traced back all through his career and his songs, with Warren often found ruminating over his tumultuous life, or using his songs as vehicles to tell mini-stories, his tongue-in-cheek lyrical flamboyance his best weapon.

Rodriguez

The story of Sixto Rodriguez is as humbling a tale as ever. The focus of 2012 documentary “Searching For Sugar Man”, the film follows two South African fans search for the musician, who had disappeared off the face of the Earth after two albums, released in 1970 and 1971. It’s a heart warming story, as Rodriguez’s albums became more popular in South Africa than albums by the likes of Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. Rodriguez, hailing from America, was himself completely unaware of what was happening in South Africa. He became a cult figure to those people, and there were legends created about his apparent disappearance into oblivion; how he set himself on fire on stage and had died as a result. The conclusion of the documentary has a much happier (and a less mythical) outcome than the legends that had surmounted overtime, but his music itself will always remain a treasure for the people of South Africa, as it was once their own fabled lore, obscured from the rest of the world.

Advertisements

THE BLACK WAX : VOL. 1 (Curated by. Chris Herbert)

After taking a leisurely yet well deserved vacation from my services for The Black Wax, I felt compelled to mark my return with a few tracks I have been digging over the past few months. There are a variety of rumours surfacing online that I was fired by the boss of the company for my non- compliment attitude and overly expanse music knowledge however this simply remains a myth. I felt that I had to step back and do some soul searching before I could give any kind of worthwhile opinion on the current state of music, so here I am.

This 40 track genre spanning playlist plays host to some of my current favourite gem’s from up and coming artists such as Jorja Smith,  LA Priest, Tirzah, Jadu Heart, Tuff Love and Kagoule. It also features a collection of floor fillers from the likes of Zak Abel, Lil Uzi Vert and Kaytranda that are mandatory in reinstating my street rep and will have you dabbing til the AM. You will also be lending your ears to an array of stone cold classics that I feel deserve to remain dustless. I thoroughly hope you enjoy the songs I have selected. Live Fast, Die Whenever.
Image Credit: Meshes Of The Afternoon / Maya Deren (1943)

Album Review – The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood

 

Rating: 7.5/10


Considering they were former child actors, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Long Island brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario know a thing or two about taking inspiration from others and elsewhere in order to help establish themselves. “Do Hollywood”, the debut album from The Lemon Twigs, is a tour-de-force of influences, and pays homage to rock musicians of the ages. The D’Addario brothers seem to know how the recipe works though, and leave enough room in the mixing pot to add their own ingredients into the concoction.

The album’s opener, “I Wanna Prove To You”, with it’s 50’s American diner doo-wop bop and it’s Alex Chitlon, heart-on-the-sleeves style vocal delivery, is sure to have you donning the imaginary microphone and slicking back the hair. “These Words”, with its Elton John-esque carbaret piano interludes and its soaring chorus that would fit nice and comfortably onto an early 70’s Todd Rundgren record, or “As Long As We’re Together”, with it’s traces of MGMT, affirm that The Lemon Twigs are more than happy to wear their influences in plain sight, if it means they end up sounding just as good at times. The Lemon Twigs add just enough of their own individuality and style to make things exciting though, ensuring this isn’t just another horrible mish-mash of conflicting and confusing styles, a musical jerk-off, thrown together distastefully.

Jagged guitars and cyber synth leads inhabit “A Great Snake”; the last song on the album, and perhaps the most techinally impressive of the arrangements on the record, it leaves a far greater lasting impression than any of the previous songs, probably because it becomes the greatest insight into where the band could head next musically. With “Do Hollywood”, The Lemon Twigs have succesfully laid their cards out on the table, new and old. Just like a great snake, maybe one day we’ll see The Lemon Twigs fully shed their influences, and show us just what lies beneath the skin.

Discover: Her’s dreamlike new single ‘Marcel’

Photo by: Ryan Jafarzadeh Khamneh

‘An impressive followup to an already spectacular couple of singles’


Liverpool Dream Pop duo Her’s new single ‘Marcel‘, could quite possibly be the perfect way to drift into the not so welcoming autumn breeze, now that the end of summer gloom is setting in. It’s dreamlike, relaxing and it almost makes you feel like you’re on the beach, but in autumn. The beach in autumn? You must be mad.

The production is excellent, the tone is superb, the baritone of the lead singer’s voice is absolutely perfect for this genre and there is literally no critique to be had. They are most definitely a musical duo to watch out for and there’s no doubt these two guys have talent. Just keeping making music and we’ll keep listening.

Marcel‘ is an impressive followup to an already spectacular couple of singles, ‘Dorothy‘ and ‘What Once Was‘, which you can listen to here.

Track Review: The Circus Villains – Party Fodder

Hot on the heels of making their continental gig debut in Germany last month, Darlingtonian indie-rock foursome The Circus Villains (comprised of guitarist/vocalists Matthew Fisher and Luke Taylor, bassist Daniel Skilbeck and drummer Bob Mackenzie) pop their musical cherry with Party Fodder, their first single release. Slightly more ominous than its moniker would suggest, this slice of mid-tempo surf rock draws inspiration from the cream of British alternative music, bringing to mind artists such as the Wytches and Humbug-era Arctic Monkeys. A bubbling bassline and considered drum rhythm underpin Turneresque riffs and Fisher’s confident vocal. The ‘get out, stay out’ hook seems to be a cheeky, clever crib from Bob Marley’s ‘Get Up, Stand Up’, subconsciously or not, and its straightforwardness ensures that it remains in one’s head long after the final reverb laced stabs of guitar fade out. With its solid bedrock of indie influences, one could imagine Party Fodder residing comfortably on an iPod classic a decade ago, or being blasted at one of those illicit, Facebook advertised house parties, in which thousands of pounds of damage were done to family heirlooms. With those heady days gone however, it is much more likely that this will become playlist fodder, the ideal tune for student pre-drinking or playing at a slightly unacceptable volume back at a gaff after a night on the razz.

Party Fodder is released on iTunes and Spotify on October 15th.