Nietzsche wrote that if you write with blood, then it will be found that the blood is spirit. I have always found, whilst profound he is also extremely difficult to decipher at the best of times. Given the context of this stream then I agree with his sentiments. what follows from this introduction is myself writing with great pain. Pain does control you (control is another emotion that I speak myriad as well), it tightens around the chest and does prevent you from living. Breathing…relaxing…it makes you lost…it fills you up and distracts you, to the point where all you can think about is this indescribable pain. This angst that won’t disappear. Yet the pain sets you free, and it can only be released through writing. If you can’t put it into words then release the pressure cooker and write. Don’t stop writing. Write to distract, to extract, to eject, to repel, to expel. Then and only then will you not be controlled, then and only then will the pain and the blood that is ink on paper will set you free. You won’t be a slave to the pain. Living to serve this emotion that gives you nothing in return.

You won’t get any pleasure back. The feeling that you have lost your right arm, when all your right arm is serving to do is suffocate you and drain you from all your resources and reserves you have built up over the years to prevent situations like this from happening.

Its difficult to describe exactly what I felt that week, when it ended suddenly, yes I saw it coming a mile off. I wasn’t exactly surprised. But the situation was in hand, it was indeed under control. Control, there it is again. We want control. We want power, we want the upper hand to feel like we have it all to gain. yet we have everything to lose at that point….what goes up must come down, or so they say.

Even now when writing his, trying to wrote as if I am outside the box, that I am over this period, this situation, like its some profound piece of writing worthy of an introduction. Pah. Yeh right. I have been over this piece several times, trying to erase anything over emotional so as to not digress from the point. Even now it is incredibly hard to avoid sounding like an idiot. Narcissue looking into the river, cursed to forever fall in love with his own reflection. Im constantly reminded of Dalis art whenever I speak about myself, or whenever I hear of anyone else speaking in the third person

I remember a documentary in train fares a while back and there was a man who would always write letters to National Rail if a journey if his was ever delayed, and rather than count the words of the letters he was writing to give a sense of the magnitude of the task at hand when he was complaining, he would measure it by the time it took to wrote these letters, he would measure the time his train was delayed by and how long the journey itself was delayed by if he was on the train, and if both of these instances happened in the same experience, and write a letter timing himself to the same timeframe; so if his train was delayed by five minutes and took half an hour longer to get to his destination (say his journey normally takes an hour), then he would write a letter for one hour and thirty five minutes and send that to National Rail. This kind of compares to what I am doing with this task at hand here:Anytime I feel depressed, find myself thinking about her, looking at her Instagram, Twitter, or any other forms of social media she may have (I mean I am writing this after seeing a YouTube video of her and her daughter) and take to write a bit more here, about whatever I am feeling, even if it is just adding to a certain paragraph. I also find myself editing bits of it when I am actually feeling a degree more normal than I have done, I mean I am not completely back to feeling one hundred per cent however it is a darn sight better to what I have been feeling, which has got to be a good thing right.

But back to control, I guess you could say with the task I have given myself then maybe I am subjected to control, that whilst I was under control before in the worst way possible – financially, emotionally and mentally – then I am still putting myself under the constraints of control once again, in order to move on and feel free. Putting my blood as ink on the page through my keyboard. Written in blood. Sounds warped when you phrase it like that, just using different methods but via the same process. Am I hypocritical or a walking contradiction?
What’s the last thing you remember? I had a glimpse into the past…Beginning to piece together the fragments, like photographs. No, as paradoxically as it sounds, like echoes of the negative you see of a moment that once was, photographs are actually positive. Of course, no-one takes a snapshot of moment of people in tears, funerals, wakes, deaths, etc. And even then it is bittersweet, there is still an element of happiness attached to it. So no, in short. I wouldn’t say it was like photographs. I’d say it was more like, a jigsaw puzzle. But again, that’s not quite right. A jigsaw puzzle is a deliberate, intricate maze of joins, so when it falls on the breaks you can piece it back together again without glue. More like a glass or your phone where the screen cracks down the middle? where no matter how much glue you have or how hard you try…the pieces won’t fall together again.

A look, clasped hands with no warmth or care….just convenience. I know it. I wasn’t ignorant. It was there, staring at me in the face like horizontal rain. Didn’t stop me feeling it was over. There was still fire in my belly. Coursing through my veins like beer just poured down throat…feeling like I’m invincible like I can do anything. And thats the point; anything. That feeling I could do anything. Where did that loss of control go? control is the holy grail when you re born into this mess. ‘too much silence can be misleading’. I’m doing the same, scared if she doesn’t let go in the same timeframe, i may be subject to ridicule. That’s striving for control. That’s ridiculous. Let go of all ammunition and breathe in between spaces or words. Breathe. Yet, I suppose this is the price I pay for loss of control, this is the break in the bend. It’s the closest of calls. Ultimately, the reason I am alone. So sang Jesse Lacey.

Beer…opened cans strewn on the floor, sweet amber nectar oozes and fuzzes as I pop open a can. Just my luck, as I wasn’t thinking as I bolted up the stairs, therefore creating pressure, more head then actual beer. Don’t want my housemates to know I have another problem…beer, much like my belt, another notch, much like my bedpost, don’t tell mum.…coffee and the occasional cigarette are my vices, or so she thinks. what she doesn’t know wont killer, oh hell I never cheated, we all have thoughts but thats it they are just thoughts. They’re not reality, reality vs some dark twisted fantasy where you are wishing for freedom against the control and a set of societal norms laid out for you like fate. Yes I made mistakes, I brought them home, used them and slept twith them to prove a point, to prove I weren’t shy…but more so to forget some girl I fell for who didn’t want me who only wanted help pursing what they couldn’t have…

I’ve done things I shouldn’t, brought people back to my room or house or flat I shouldn’t…I made mistake and I wear them like the necklace round me to remind me who I am now, who I am today.

The only light glaring in front of me from the laptop and the techy lights on the keyboard., like the embers of a smoked cigarette in my ashtray on the windowsill. They are the only memories I have that still burn bright into the present, bright yet slowly fading into the past, feelings till linger, anger still rotting….words for once fail me. If I did dare to be loquacious then I fear that would be the point where I wouldn’t be able to stop. Not talking but crying, who wants that, eh? The only memories I have, and like my feelings right now in the aftermath of this cacophony, but I know time in this context helps, it does and you might not think it eases the cavernous numbness…they say it doe but i think it negates the whole point of help, but in the long term it does. it will fade and burn away…and you can breathe out the poison, like you breathe in the nicotine for a sweet short term release and breathe or at least in naive way hope that you breathe out the poisonous tar.

They say words fail you at given points, again at funeral, failed exam, redundant, a friend betrayal, a partner not being all they cracked up to be once the rose tinted glasses are pushed up on your head to keep the fringe out your eyes. Dry them…dry those grey eyes. Dry those pretty eyes I could get lost in. How is it that your eye liner never runs? how is it that you remain so perfect, despite this destruction that was your undoing.… Dorien Grey…

As that’s what would happen…tears falling, Like the the smoke falling out of my mouth. You have nothing to cry about. Those memories leaves you unscathed. Its just past tense to you. Prose that is redundant boring. A closed book. A possession put away in the attic years ago and you forget about the next day for years to come, only to open Pandoras box and for it to all hit you in the face again. And you’re trying to find≠ Hope again but its not there…its not…its gone…am I finding hope or am i finding that point it went wrong? I don’t know thats for you to know…I am not too sure of who I am because there are several of me. They float up from me like the phantoms from that box we could accidentally open in the future and slink off to commit acts for which I may or may not be responsible.Its all thats helping. Thats the beer, not the looking for hope…this isn’t Dawson’s Creek.

I’m trying to find the words but it is exhausting. Scholastic career renders that out of you. And unfortunately words do fail me., for once on this occasion Not at the content, but how the form manifested itself. Now is not the time for analysis or definition…its how we move forward, which you seem to excel in. I spent most of my life writing essays, and it bores me. Words fail me. If I was asked…properly…backed into a corner from those who care….i wouldn’t stop…who wants that…who wants a crier at 27 years of age who repeats constantly, like the last 2 and half years running through my mind, trying to find the moment where it went wrong, so if I could go back and trust me I want to judging by this last week I would stop myself from begging and trying and fighting. I would stop myself from going there and plummeting us further in the cavernous nihilistic state….who just fights all the time. Fight. the word…such a negative connotation. again with the negative…yet I could have walked away thousands of times…but i stayed and thats got to count for something right.

I’m thankful for technology. The ability to delete a large portion has been far easier than it was once was few years back. Everything broadcast on social media. The block button, again, on social media. Blocking judgemental strangers who wish for you to be kept behind closed doors away from the past that mattered and you cant pretend it didn’t matter or still doesn’t. Cos it does.

Lies fall from your mouth like the beer I struggle to swallow. Like the viciousness and bile I cant digest. That row was predictable, Just like my state of mind in its aftermath. Like all the rows before it. One can’t pinpoint the moment but the rows feature the same clues. Widened eyes, thrown possessions, words not meant, curses and a child stuck in the middle of this existential crisis. Ours. Stuck in a moment we can’t get out of. Fast approaching our thirties and scared shitless. Fast approaching more responsibility that we have to face up to, and I should have at some point faced up to you and you should have got to known the real me. Not the idiot trying to impress everyone who really needs a mute button on most occasions. Bu the real me…we were there in that conversation…and I was so exposed…yet you were so pious. Yet all that stood between us and still does minus the rules is silence. Cavernous pit of silence. The silence plays truant and inflicts pain repeatedly; this isn’t me; what if it is. Is this what you wanted to know? Is this what you even wanted?

Questions about my image are unnecessary because my portrait already hangs on your finest wall like a piece of cutlery you’d rather forget about. but it sticks so well to whatever it is that adds up to my face, hair and voice you’d imagined. My image, how I hold myself in front of whomever I am speaking to or in the presence of. Constant questions about my image. Body fascism, another form of control. Yet you’ve fallen for the exact same thing. Pious. Is history repeating itself again. Will she do the same to you that I did, or will she be controlled? If the boot fits, or the cutlery on the wall – who cares about the facts, who cares altogether.

We all wander in a dark, collective abyss that can be home to no man or beast, with only our insecurities to keep us company and we pass the time by criticising the hell out of each other.
To be human is to be constantly evaluated by other humans, and not all of us are happy to do it quietly. Still, just because our lives are full of rampant judgment delivered with all the subtlety of a subpoena wrapped around a hatchet does not mean we can’t learn to deal with it efficiently. We all know I can’t deal with it efficiently.

The subject of control rears it’s ugly head again, like a pressure cooker. Bring me in a situation where a conclusion presents itself that I don’t like, self destruct button all over again, destroying everyone in my path…anyone I’m bitter of and jealous of who I don’t like…This was done to finagle a outcome for your gain…This is not veritable none of it is. This all just versions of events that we all believe to be true. All joined together like pieces of a jigsaw.

This isn’t me. I don’t do this, yet I silently crave human closeness. A contradiction perhaps…yet I run from bodies like no-ones business. Misunderstood. Dry humour….Died down two and half years ago…poison…apple given. Taste. Knowledge acquired. Now I wish I never knew.

One needs to fortify to build the fortress again. But I can’t pick up the pieces on the floor…I have to walk over them…making sure the pieces still lie there untouched, unmoved, still in the shadow…twinkling in the twilight. I watch my reflection through them, gliding through the pieces…my reflection is jagged…like my soul. Jagged and remembering memories…good times…broken by the bad. Like a warped record…trapped by the static…or dvd stuck on pause…repeating the same moment over and over again…much like we did…flatlining until it was too late.

And now she reviles you, like you revile your own craving…


REVIEW: Wild Beasts – Smother (10/10)

It’s always good to see a band come back fighting. Wild Beasts were pipped to the Mercury Award Music Prize from The xx less than a year ago, but no matter they’re back with another album that once again provides promise, beauty, poignancy yet with enough modesty to leave us coming back for more and shows why we fell in love with them in the first place.

Wild Beasts have never been one to hide away from living up to their name, at least lyrically speaking anyway. All of their work has showcased themes of sex, lust and desire. Difference is this time around they relish singing about the idea that sex can be bad. There are no romantic ideals from Thorpe this time, that is to say all emotional ties go flying out the window. Yet later on in the album we do see Fleming, on the track “Invisible” contrast these thoughts with small specks of the fact that relationships based on sexual intent, be it bad or otherwise, can sometimes come back to haunt us unless both people are on the same page (emotionally at least) “you have walked through my dreams, I want you to see this”. As well as on “Deeper” where he laments “The breakfast is all laid out/ Waiting for you to arrive”. His quivering vocal suggests he missing something, or someone once lost and this is a perfect way to really convey that sense of absence.

Thorpe’s prowl on “Lion’s Share” is reminiscent of Kate Bush’s draggy vocals. We feel the vulnerability here as showcased by uneasy piano coupled with Thorpe’s predatory lyrics “I take you in the mouth, like a lion takes it’s game”.
“Bed of Nails” is another personal favourite. The opening drum pattern as well as when Thorpe’s falsetto kicks in easily suggests a Hercules & Love Affair comparison. It’s here where Shelley’s Frankenstein influences really come to light “When our bodies become electrified/It’s alive, it’s alive, its ali-e-i-e-i-e-i-i-i-ive” layered on top of swooning guitar; it makes for a beautiful track.

“Smother” is ,without doubt, very deserving of every plaudit and praise that comes their way. They have taken observations of the landscapes of lovers, delving deep into the detachment of unabashed wanton desire. If ‘(500 Days) Of Summer’ and ‘Blue Valentine’ took the love story and turned it on his head, then ‘Smother’ has looked at the love song from a different angle. As much as it leaves you cold with their blunt observations, this album is also an invitation to listen to the beauty of exactly what happens “post-break up sex”.


Click here to stream the album and listen to it in its entirety, on The Guardian’s music website

REVIEW: Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math (9.5/10)

As many of you are aware I’m always on the hunt for new music to expand my aural palette and was pointed to this band by a review of their latest album from RockSound who compared them to “Brand New and The National, being happy [and] being sad”. Slightly disconcerted upon first listen to find this doesn’t give justice to this band at all (specifically the references to The National), but actually combine a wider of variety of influences to really drive home this album’s ambition and intricate complexity. Influences such as the vocal styles of Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse, the orchestral arrangement of Biffy Clyro, and other great bands like Pavement and Weezer layer what, is arguably for me, an album that will no doubt feature on the best of 2011 lists toward the end of the year.
“Deer” kicks off the proceedings with a poignant and melancholic feel and I’m instantly reminded of Isaac Brock’s vocals from Modest Mouse. “Mighty” is another stand-out track if not only for the fact that of the sheer scale and orchestral arrangements that are reminiscent of Biffy Clyro on their later albums. These comparisons aren’t lazy or sloppy carbon-copies oh no. They take their influences and build them layer by delicate layer, developing their sound in their own right but one that pays homage to the greats.
“Pensacola”, lyrically, is the most visceral and exhausting track I have ever heard. It hears like a letter to Andy Hull’s (rhythm guitarist/vocalist) therapist; “I hope eventually you’ll se what you’ve been turning me into” “I’m the greatest that man that never lived” “I’m tired of talking to a wall, if I could talk to someone else” “My daughter she barely eats, she barely sleeps, she barely speaks” “I never knew what I could become” are all lyrics that again punch home his pain in a wry fashion. And it seems with every verse he quickly utters and gets off his chest; that he gets over it. Either that or he is just everyone else, with issues just that little more honest and to the bone.
It’s at times like this we notice the contrasts in the album. It’s at the most upbeat when we notice after a few more listens how full of melancholy the songs actually are. At its most melodic the songs are actually full of hope.
The songs that stay with you are the songs where Hull really lays himself bare and to the ground; songs like “April Fool” – typically crushing as you’d expect. “Pale Black Eye” feels like a delicate whisper, idealistic and yet with such thundering grooves to not ever let you doze off from the album’s throughline. One gripe is that the grooves can be overdriven and distract you from the song itself but that’s minor and you can forgive it when you reach the middle eight and you feel Hull brought to his knees. Viscerality if you will.
Speaking of which “Virgin” feels like a goodbye to someone. And an angry one. The rhythm section and children gang like vocals hear like a marching band.
My only gripe with this record is that sometimes the extended soloing can fruitlessly meander on “Leaky Breaks”, the guitar reverbs really show off the beauty of this album and it would have been a far more poignant song without the soloing around the halfway point. Having listened to their previous work this seemed to be a recurring problem, however they have cut down on this a lot this time around but it really interrupts the flow of the record especially when I have enjoyed absorbing myself into the rest of the tracks.

In conclusion, ‘Simple Math’ makes for a complex and rewarding listen. Manchester Orchestra have done themselves proud by paying attention to every detail in the making of this album. From the guitar reverbs, to the production, to the vocal arrangements, grooves and melodies. I would strongly advise listening to the labum with good cans or good quality speakers and that way you’ll get the most from this epic album and band who are slowly but surely soaring above their counterparts and peers.

Released: May 10th (via Columbia)
Favourites: Simple Math, Deer, Virgin, Penascola

REVIEW: Queens Of The Stone Age – Queens Of The Stone Age [Remastered Re-release] (9/10)

Somewhat belated review of their reissue Queens put out toward the end of March. Sorry guys but I’ve been a little busy. Is it pointless to review an album that has technically already been released before?

The answer is no. If you had asked me upon the re-release of ‘Rated R’ to review the album I would have said no, for the simple fact that at that point, before the re-release it was already in print and you could easily get hold of it in record stores and online for a decent price. Whilst we are on this topic Joshua Homme didn’t agree with the re-release of that album, but the decision was taken out of his hands as his band had already parted ways with Interscope by that point; legal issues etc.

So why review yet another QOTSA re-release? Are they quite simply living past glories? Have they run out of ideas for new material? Again, the answer is no. No-oen has heard the new material that they are recording at the moment and I’m sure we will hear at least a couple of new songs on the UK tour this May. There is no point pre-empting what the new material will sound like. Obviously it speaks volumes that there are large majority of the Queens who think that ‘Rated R’ was their first album. Then again for whatever reason this album has been out of print for ten years or so. Homme has said himself that there is a need for this album to be put out, it has been a very long time since the songs that feature on this album have been played live, plus you would have been very lucky before the re-release to have got your hands on a copy for a very decent price. I saw on Amazon that it was going for $79 and was put up by a further $20 when it was announced that they would be remastering this album from the original tapes for a re-release. So in short there is a need; these songs come from the same family as the most well-known albums ‘Rated R’ and ‘Songs For The Deaf’, whilst ‘Rated R’ is more varied and dynamic and ‘Songs For The Deaf’ has a beefier and clean sound in terms of production, as you’d expect – the debut album has a much more raw feel and just crackles with energy. It was refreshing, and still is, to hear tracks like “Regular John” (which is the best album opener I have ever heard) and “Avon” at their most visceral at their most heavy, without any overdubs. There’s no need for them. With simple effects and using the switches on your guitar and fiddling with the amp the band have created the typical Queens crunch which makes the overall soundscape of the album very different from what you might find on other albums of other rock bands.

Their remastered rerelease of the debut album is amazing. It’s warm and dry like the desert, it has grooves that are constantly switching up, notably on “Give The Mule What He Wants” and “Walkin On Sidewalks”. Even listening to the original tapes at the time of it’s release, there was no way of knowing where Josh Homme would go from here, it’s not even a snapshot of the late nineties; this LP is still relevant as what it was back then and it’s blows most of what’s around right now out of the water.

I love how the bonus tracks aren’t just added on to the end of the original track list and are merged with the the rest. Makes this an essential copy nonetheless. You get tracks from the era as well as a track from the Kyuss/QOTSA split EP, makes it a must have for any hardcore fan.

Not as good as ‘Rated R, which offers more in terms of a variance in different styles on that record, plus the presence of Nick Oliveri on ‘Rated R’ is one you can’t ignore (however I do like their earlier work and I know he’s not coming back -_-), so I’m going to give it a nine.

REVIEW: Gorillaz – The Fall (8/10)

It appears surreal to say the least to have another Gorillaz album drop less than a year after the release of ‘Plastic Beach’, usually there’s a four to five year gap between each record; more than enough time to truly digest each effort.

I suppose “surreal” is maybe the best term to use here, as in most respects this doesn’t feel like an album and more like a “P-sides”, primary reason being that this was recorded all across 32 days between Montreal and Vancouver on the Escape to Plastic Beach US tour last Autumn using various applications on an iPad and recorded mainly by Damon Albarn himself. So in a lot of ways this feels more like a solo album and less like a Gorillaz album.

I have no doubt that this album will be met with lots of criticism, most of which can be found just buy using Google and reading your typical music magazines and other related websites. But remember when it was first announced that Albarn would be forming Gorillaz, he wanted to cut out the nonsense that comes with being in your typical band that is moderately if not highly successful in the industry. He wanted to cut out the promotion, tour cycles and boredom of waiting on the road etc etc. You get the picture. What he does here is taking that notion but amplifying it to spread across an entire album. Hardly any promotion except word of mouth, dropping it as a “free” download around the end of last year and announcing that it would be physically released around the time of Record Store Day…I can think of only one other band that can get away with dropping releases purely out of word of mouth without being accused of pretentiousness in the slightest. And we all know the band I’m referring to here, right?

So is it a typcial, linear album full of typical song structures of verse chorus verse chorus? No. But it is still solid and consistent throughout and more than anything is an undeniable portrayal of how innovative and inventive a songwriter that Damon Albarn is.

Having said that I can tell you now that there are no “Clint Eastwood”s, there are no “Dare”s and there are no “Feel Good Inc”s; this is an album meant to be listened to and digested all the way through in its entirety. There aren’t any typical single-worthy tracks that one could so easily find on previous Gorillaz albums. However tracks like “Revolving Doors” will leave you humming along to hours after first listen

There seems to be far less pressure involved here. Slow, gentle and beautiful listens. Full of ideas and experiments from a man trying out the latest technology and what it could contribute to Gorillaz in the next chapter of their career.

Through lack of post-production and creativity bound by studio time and boundaries this feels delicate and unrestrained, slow-burning, relaxed and easy on the ears; in fact it could very easily fall into the category of easy-listening. “Joplin Spider” is another standout track, “Hillbilly Man” and “Little Pink Plastic Bags are other notable highlights but “Detroit takes you out your dream-like state and snaps you into a reality where you realise this was made with an iPad; which is shame really as Damon Albarn has been clever enough to craft it into something masterful and clever almost as if these were leftover sessions from mucking around whilst recording in the studio for ‘Plastic Beach’.

For all the criticisms that this album will no doubt receive, please ignore for a second whilst listening to this album and just let it wash over you. It really is beautiful and breezy. We can only imagine what this album would have sounded like if he had taken these, ideas and at times what feel like initial skeletons of tracks, into the studio and beefed up the production to turn it into a fully-fledged album. Maybe. But we more or less know that Albarn wanted a different feel for this and he didn’t want to turn out this album in the typical way.

Aside from a few minor flaws here and there, this is a good solid album considering the time and tools he recorded it with. I’m going to give this album an eight 😀

The King Blues – Punk and Poetry (7.5/10)

It has been said that a Tory government is good for no-one but the protest scene. Well, so says The King Blues frontman Itch Fox, and bringing his band into this theory is true to an extent. The King Blues have had a lot to protest about, whether it’s their personal circumstances within the band – one of their key members leaving – or the recent cuts, make no mistake they are “f*****g angry”. Despite the band’s internal struggles what you’re left with on this album is very raw. The album pairs the musical strengths of Itch and Jamie Jazz (guitarist) but what has stayed the same consistently throughout is Itch’s lyrics and delivery.

“Last Of The Dreamers’ kicks off proceedings and sets the tone of the album nicely; addressing the government’s victims and a call to arms if you will. It leads into “We Are F*****g Angry”, a protest anthem for the “students, workers and unemployed”. “Set The World On Fire” is a personal highlight as it harks back to their earlier work on ‘Save The World – Get The Girl’. Even “The Future’s Not What It Used To Be” brings back the reggae, ska flavour of their earlier work.

“Headbutt” and “I Want You” take a step away from the subject matter. It’s these couple of tracks, “Headbutt” that give a glimpse as to what the album could have sounded like had the band’s troubles not have occurred and had the sshambolic actions not been undertaken by the present government. However, as different as these tracks sound from the rest of album, they don’t stick out like sore thumbs and flow cohesively with the rest of the tracks. In fact they’re the most energetic songs on the record and stay with you long after the first listen.

As a pedantic criticism, “Dancehall” comes much to early for my liking. Usually interludes come at a halfway point but this song is number 4 in the trackl;ist which is more or less at the beginning of the album. However it slows down the pace of the album at that point very well after the fanfare of earlier tracks of “We Are F*****g Angry” and “Set The World On Fire”. Otherwise, it’s not simply good enough or punk worthy to clarify your punk stripes by constantly referencing how punk you are, whic The King Blues seem to do throughout. Emphatic swearing aside, which these days is common and not necessarily a bad thing, by naming the album ‘Punk and Poetry’ as well as affirming their anger on almost every track is again not punk enough and just comes across as cheesey, it hardly raises a few eyebrows. Otherwise there’s a fantstic musicianship present on this album, and Itch Fox is, at least at present, one of the very people not only in the industry but in the public eye ready to stand up and be counted. I can count few people on one hand who have the intelligence and eloquence to criticise and lambast the apathy and state of things to day. Can you count anybody one one hand after Scroobius Pip, Frank Turner, Nicky Wire from the Manics, Itch Fox, and Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari? Ok maybe Billie-Joe Armstrong and Rise Against but at least anybody after that? No! Well there you go. There’s few other musicians after that who maybe rell off soundbites to just promote their album or tour, but those are hardly people who I can take seriously and make it believable from their world-worn experiences and standpoint.

There are flaws on this album, it’s not perfect. But politically speaking it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in a while.

REVIEW: Metronomy – The English Riviera (7/10)

You can’t beat wackiness, especially in music. Metronomy, thus far in their career are no exception. What with working Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud for her debut album and the rather odd titles given to his bands bodies of work – Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe). Joespeh Mount has established himself to be a very much an off-centre sort of character. The dance-indie hybrid has been doing the rounds for a while now. Battles, Friendly Fires, Klaxons and Delphic are all however equally good, don’t come without their quirks. Staccato riffs mixed with synths and falsetto synths make for an original and intriguing initial listen.

It seemed apparent by the time they released ‘Nights Out’ (2008) that these random styles tended to get in the way of the band’s potential progression and development in their songwriting. The wackiness is noteworthy here, as it’s seems almost non-existent; out goes wackiness in favour of a more bold theme and concept which is seaside towns (James Mount is from Totnes in Devon, which is hardly coincidental) and a love of nostalgia.

Seagulls calls with violins playing over instantly pulls us in and sets the scene for an endearing and somewhat twee listen. “We Broke Free” features a meandering bassline that contrasts perfectly with Mount’s high-pitched vocals, “Everything Goes My Way” has a handclap driven groove showcasing the duets of drummer Anna Prior and Mount. “The Look”, however, is a definite stand-out track, about growing up in smalltown England – bittersweet nostalgia as its finest. When the 80s synths punches in, it just reaffirms the forgotten days of innocence in our backyard with blues skies, baking sun and birds tweeting in the distance; all of which drive home the ups and downs when taking a trip down memory lane.

Where The Libertines’ romantic view of England was groggy, hazy, gritty and bare to the bone rock ‘n; roll, Metronomy’s England seems deep rooted in old-fashioned summer holidays of the past, like a photograph bathed in sepia. Up against their earlier work it certainly is strides ahead and the album as such is major progression for the band. What can sometimes hold the album back from true greatness are his lyrics which can be hardly be described as inspirational or indeed exciting. Seems like he has going to Noel Gallagher for tips (“Champagne Supernova” anyone?) .

But on the whole creating a new sonic identity, especially whilst reshuffling members doesn’t necessarily work for every band but it seems that with Metronomy they have succeeded in mastering a new sound whilst attracting new audiences and keeping their old fans still intrigued.

Nice one.

I have nothing interesting to say…