Sunday, 28 June 2015

Apollo Junction - Blood on Hands

So, for my final SuperSundayBlog outing, I wanted to bring you one last post, and believe it or not, we're staying in Leeds. Leeds, we are still in you. Still in you we are, Leeds.

This is the first time I've featured my next bad though, and I'm really happy to be doing so. I'd like to introduce you to Apollo Junction, who have really sweetly sent me their brand new EP to take a look at/listen to.

As always, I'd like to share with you all the necessaries before we begin.

Here's their twitter feed:

Here's their Facebookz:

Here's their website:

And here, above *points* ^^ you'll find a link to watch the video for the quite motherfudging brilliant title track from the EP, "Blood on Hands".

I love this and to be honest, it was totally not what I was expecting to hear, so it's always nice to be a bit blindsided - especially when it has such a brilliant opening riff. I defy you not to want to rock out to it when you hear it.

What's surprising about the band is how much variety they cram into their tracks, without it sounding overdone or too much of a clash. There are some obvious rock out moments like the brilliant opening riff - but they also manage to combine this with some great tinges or electronica too, which stop them sounding like they're just treading one solitary path, second track "Woke Up" is a prime example of this. The tracks are topped off with really great, powerful vocals from lead singer Jamie, who sings like he bloody well means it...

So, another great EP for your summer playlists and out very soon, get some Apollo Junction on your gramaphones, people. Its what they were designed for.

Vendettas - Long Island Iced Tea

So, here we are again as we continue with SuperBlogSunday - and this time we're heading in quite a different direction. No, not Cleethorpes...

Again, eagle eyed readers will remember I featured this next Leeds based band, Vendettas, earlier on in the year. If you'd like to go back and read my previous post (and check out how bloody awesome they are) then you can do so HERE.

As always, le necessaries:

You can find the band on Twitter here:

You can find them on Facebook here:

And you can find their website - to purchase the tuneage thereof, here:

And you might also want to look at their YouTubes Channel

Now then. Their new single - called "Long Island Iced Tea" will be out on 3rd July, via their website and via iTunes. I've been dead dead lucky and had a sneaky preview of it, and readers it is TREEMENDOSSSE. It's a perfect bit of mod-revival rock. It's got superb riffage, excellent harmonies and it's another of those tracks that you only need one listen to, to get totally stuck in your head. I've listened to it about 12 times, so you can only imagine what it's like in there now. If you like your music full of energy, with great guitars and perfectly rock-star-awesome vocals then on 3rd July spend some of your hard earned pennies on this fantastic track. You will not regret it. Vendettas surely are one to watch.

Provincials - Ascending Summer EP

Ascending Summer EP cover art

Hello and happy near the end of the weekend thank you very much where did it go I want my money back etc. Long time no speak. Well, its been about a week or so - so I thought it was about time I brought you another Super Blog Sunday.

Today's post features a band I've been lucky enough to post about before - Provincials. If you missed the post the first time round and want to check it out, you can read it HERE.

They're now back with a brand new EP and I'm lucky enough to be featuring it on these pages again, courtesy of the ace bods at PinDrop.

First of all, here are the necessaries:

You can find the band on Twitter here:

You can find them on Facebook here:

You can find their bandcamp page (which is where to download their new EP from) here:

Now then, if you want to watch the video for the song "Landing on Water" which is the opening track of the EP, here is the link:

This is another lovely EP from a band that have such a delicacy of sound and pure beauty to them, it makes them perfect, breezy summer listening. The songs have a jazzy, airy feel to them and vocalist Polly Perry has a stunning voice, which seems to run in perfect harmony with the instrumentation and complement the brightness of the music. This is an EP which is quite different to the type of music I usually feature on here, and is very welcome to listen to.

Also worth noting if you're a fan of Flights of Helios (and why wouldn't you be?) that tracks 3 and 4 of the EP are their remixes of an earlier Provincials track called "When The Light Changes" - both are really worth a listen if you're into both bands.

If its easy, warm, bright summer music you'd like - get this EP on your playlists now!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

WhiteMoor - Pause and Effect

Happy Sunday one and all. It seems like we've blinked and yet another weekend has gone by faster than a packet of ready salted lasts in my hands (about 30 seconds). It also seems like a long time since I (that's me, thegeneral) brought you a post of my own. Time has not been kind to me recently, dear readers, but thankfully, I find myself with enough free time to bring you yet another tres marvellouse band to listen to.

Now if you're a fan of the blog (once again "hello mum!") you'll know full well I've featured today's band before. But if you're not familiar with the blog (in which case, a thousand curses upon your person), here is my previous post on the rather fantabulous WhiteMoor HERE.

The band are back with their new album, called "Pause and Effect" - which has an offical release date of 25th July. Here are the necessaries:

You can Tweet them here:

You can Facebookz them here:

You can find their website here (and preorder the album)

However (and if you've read the news today - oh boy. Apparently Michael Gove doesn't like us starting sentences with However. He can fuck off), what can I tell you about "Pause and Effect"? Well, first of all it's cocking fabulous. Secondly, it does mark quite a departure for the band. This is perhaps their heaviest sounding album to date - and that is by no means a criticism. There's a darkness to these tracks and a feeling of isolation and depth that has found its way to the surface here, which is both surprising and a joy to listen to.

The band have added distortion, feedback and all round general fuzziness to these songs to give them an almost ethereal distance and space. "Codes" is a Mansun-esque masterpiece and previous to that the frankly brilliant "Be The Last" has an excellent stop-start feel to it about a minute in, which wrong foots you in a way you don't expect. "She Makes Me Fly" provides a break from the fuzz - it sounds still and quiet by comparison and comes at just the right time in the album, giving a relaxed and chilled feel. Last track from the collection "Until Tomorrow" is a super way to finish, it has an anthemic feel to it and provides a reminder of the sounds they explored in their previous record "Horizons" which came out in 2013.

WhiteMoor are a really under-rated band and this new collection of songs is a big departure for them, but not an unsurprising one. It's a superb album, definitely worth adding in to your summer playlists for those times when you need something with just an extra bit of depth to it. Get it pre-ordered now!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Dreaming Spires - All Kinds of People

All hail Tuesday afternoon, a time for a tea break and a chance to unveil some more really great music on the blog.

I'm once again playing catch up - but today, happy to be bringing you another stellar review from my compadre theexistentialist, who has put down his tea mug to put finger to keyboard and bring you a feature on another brilliant act from my friends at PinDrop Publicity, The Dreaming Spires. I hope you'll agree that they're as good as we say they are.


The Dreaming Spires – All Kinds of People

Back in the day, when thegeneral and I were kids, a coveted slot on TV meant an appearance on Top Of The Pops. Well, TOTP has gone. But, The Dreaming Spires have gone one better… they’ve had an appearance on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show! Get yourself over to this link to see them performing live on Sunday 7th June on said weekend programmage:

Further information on the band can be found here:

Their Twitterz, Facebookz, Soundcloudz and websitez:

Their performance on Andrew Marr is utterly superb, and totally justifies Marr’s introduction of them as “one of the best live bands in the country” – a truly brilliant live performance. The Dreaming Spires open their live performance of All Kinds of People with a fabulous, pounding bass line. This is a song that is chock-full of wonderful, chunky 60s guitar riffs. They are a band that owe a lot to the BritPop of the 90s. But they are not merely derivative, and embody all the best bits of the 60s nostalgia that provided the basis for the genre that me and thegeneral grew up with, and leave aside any of the more run-of-mill bits. You definitely do need All Kinds of People on your current play list, or a playlist of “the best live bands in the country as recommended by Andrew Marr"

You can find a link to buy the band's second album "Searching For The Supertruth" below and the single itself will be released on 10th July - review of the album will follow very soon:

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Blast From The Past: Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible

Welcome to a special Tuesday afternoon blog post. Today, it's another in thegeneral's occasional "Blast From The Past" series in which an album or artist that really means something special, is put under the musical microscope and probed, for reasons.

Today, I'm once again handing over the relay baton to my compadre theexistentialist - who wanted to write a piece about an album that is, unbelievably, 21 years old this year - Manic Street Preacher's "The Holy Bible". Thank you, once again for another brilliant post and for talking about a record that means a lot to anyone who grew up in the early 90s.


Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible

thegeneral’s tea-drinking buddy (well, we do other things besides drinking tea, but I’ll not mention that here in case our mothers are reading), theexistentialist has decided to do a “Blast From The Past” post (whilst drinking a big mug of tea).

For this post, I’m going to tell you about the Manic Street Preachers 3rd LP, The Holy Bible. This is theexistentialist’s all-time favourite album… well, probably. I can think of a lot of other albums that I like a lot. But this is the one that I am always drawn back to.

The Holy Bible was released in 1994 – pub-quiz-type-music-fact-fans: In fact, it was released on the same day as Oasis’ debut Definitely Maybe. And, in 1996, the Manic Street Preachers reached their commercial zenith, with their 4th album, Everything Must Go, which latched on to the BritPop zeitgeist. However, prior to this, back in 1994, the Manic Street Preachers were in a self-destructive mood, and released this -  one of the most uncompromising and harrowing albums of all-time. 

It was, of course, the last album they recorded with Richey Edwards, and it is impossible to listen to it, without reading it as his suicide note. But, really, that is a shame, as it means the album is not appreciated for the astonishing recording that it is, since it has become wrapped-up in the myths surrounding his disappearance.

The Holy Bible is intense, and grabs the listener, and literally forces them into the dark, fearful and bleak world that Richey inhabited. It is ferocious, angry; but behind the wall of noise, it has an all too obvious tortured and tormented soul.

The Holy Bible is a work of art; since, in some ways, it is a concept record. This is an album that could never have produced a hit single, not just because the songs are uncompromising, harrowing, and unrelentingly bleak, but because they work best, and only really make sense and reach their emotional depth within the context of the album as a whole. 

Like a concept album, the listener is drawn deeper and deeper into the world and sound of the record. Unlike a concept record, there is no overarching theme, linking each track. However, the mood and tone, and sequencing draw the listener into the tortured heart of the album. Rather than focusing on one single concept to hold the album together, The Holy Bible is held together by the sheer intensity of the atmosphere and its emotional depth.

It is the album I keep coming back to, because whatever mood I’m in, it seems to resonate. If I’m angry, the rage and fury of The Holy Bible provides a release. If I’m depressed, the bleak despair of The Holy Bible is a comforting expression of I feel. I love the album and it bears repetition, it probably is my all time favourite record. 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Stereo Off - The Long Hot Winter

Howdy. Long time no catch up. Well, it's been over a week. I love what you've done to your hair while I've been away. No, it's OK, I won't tell your Mum. Just slip £10 in the envelope and post it through my letterbox - then we'll say no more.

OK, so in my absence I was contacted by a fantabulous act I was lucky enough to cover at the start of last year - Stereo Off. You can read my previous post on them HERE.

Stereo Off are back and my intrepid tea drinking, glittery nail polished companion theexistentialist has taken some time away from the kettle and the nail file to review it for me (thank you, once again!!)


Stereo Off - The Long Hot Winter

theexistentialist was excited to have the opportunity to review Stereo Off’s long-awaited 2nd EP.

Their debut, NY EP 5 Songs, was released way back in January 2014, and was reviewed by thegeneral (see above for linkage)

Their 2nd EP, The Long Hot Winter, is due for release in the coming weeks (thegeneral will update when it's properly due out). Here's their bandcamp page where you can go and download all their other stuff while you wait:

In the meantime, the band’s Facebook page and Twitter account can be accessed, by following these links:

Like their debut EP, The Long Hot Winter comprises of 5 tracks, each of which are excellent examples of the 3-4 minute pop (alternative pop, that is) song.

theexistentialist absolutely loved this EP. This is definitely an EP for the hip indie kids at the cool indie disco (an old curmudgeon like theexistentialist probably would not be allowed into one of Stereo Off’s shows). (*thegeneral chips in, "you're 31, shut up. When you're as old as me, then you can say that"... :D) 

Stereo Off are pure electronic indie-rock - very cool and very danceable. This is an EP of these indie rock styles cut through with some icy overtones of electronica. Very danceable beats and clean rhythms coupled with crystal clear vocals. 

It is an absolute delight to listen to, as it makes me feel like an achingly hip 18-year-old indie kid. And, despite the icy electronica its very warm and joyful, and a deliciously upbeat EP. Essential Summer listening. 

Stand out tracks are opener "Hotel Mirror" and the brilliantly rocky, anthemic "Supercooler". Definitely one to get on your playlists when it is released.