I got back to reviewing some local music for the October issue of the magazine. Although, I have not had that much coming through to me lately, I have no idea why. surely bands want reviews to help them promote what they do? Anyway, the batch I did rustle up were all of a rather stupidly good standard at least!
Slick and polished indie pop-rock from Witney lads formerly known as Million Faces. This is some precision stuff, well crafted, developed, played and produced. Full of plenty of hummable melodies that will have audiences bouncing and toe-tapping along happily, it really comes across as tailor-made for arenas and big festivals like V. So if bands that play grubby venues and DIY festivals is more your bag then move along, if you like commercial, refined poppy stuff (and I mean that to be a good thing) then this is spot on.
Channelling the ghost of Jeff Buckley more authentically than anyone I have heard Luke takes a massive stride forwards with his music on this release. Combining the Spartan elegance, vocal athleticism and emotion of recent solo excursions with the driven, upbeat melodic indie of his Doll Rats days to amazing effect, this is a record that sends a shiver down your spine on every listen. The key to everything lies with the vocals, Luke’s voice gently coaxing the poetic and deep lyrics to life, making them dance round with an energy of their own, soaring and darting around like a Swift’s aerial acrobatics in the evening sky. Simply stunning stuff, this record really deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.
Record of the month!
For a band so young Port Erin are veritable veterans, and it shows in this, their third full length album. A fantastically complete work, the production is tight and judged perfectly, slick enough to impress, raw enough to sound real. The band’s usual Jazzed up influences are present here, but are tempered by a more pragmatic approach to song writing, more linear and immediate than before and with a greater focus on riffs and melody, although the underpinning bass and drums are still funky as hell and the sort of thing that will get you moving whether you want to or not. Straddling so many genres, you can’t pigeonhole this, it is beautifully unpredictable, veering schizophrenically from acid-jazz to fuzz-pop, via dalliances with Pulp-esque theatrical indie and searing psychedelic rock. Any band than can come up with a song titled “Just Riding my Bike, Man!” deserves to be applauded, just before being committed for observation.
Winston & Goldstein – In the Eyes of the Other (LP)
Not my usual bag this, but my word it is an impressive thing! Part soundscape, part ambient darkwave music this is a recording that burrows into your soul and proceeds to grab handfuls of thoughts, emotions and memories and pull on them like a puppet master, taking you on surging, emotional journeys round a strange subconscious world. At times I felt like I was dreaming, at other times I wanted to scream. Very much a cousin to Boards of Canada or maybe a laid back Crystal Castles, if that is your bag then you will love this. eart is soul searching,