Great to see Shikari getting right back to what they do best, having a complete disregard for any sort of genre boundaries. Undoubtedly, there was a shift to the more electronic side in their last record ‘A Flash Flood Of Colour’. That seems to be the case again, but in a different sort of fashion, think more the electronic segments of ‘Common Dreads’, that’s more the ballpark this new track seems to be in. Bassist Chris Batten’s cleaner, more melodic vocals play a massive part in conjunction with the infectious electronics throughout, with Rou’s harsher vocals giving the record more of a heavy edge.
Exploding straight in with a harmonious, chanting choir, the track is immediately set for something huge. The intricate melodic riffs that Sleeps have stamped their unique sound on and made their own in such emphatic fashion ring throughout the track building up to this massive breakdown, that sounds sort of like, dare it be said, very Slipknot-esque for a few seconds. Not to take anything away from the originality though, the whole song has the bands trademark sound plastered all over it, and if the rest of the new record is to be half as good as this, it could be their finest work yet.
Not many people around the music industry have such an individuality as Beans on Toast, and as ever that’s the case with his new track ‘Lizzy’s Cooking’
A good old serenade sort of track, an appreciation for the other half, for something as simple as their cooking. It actually captures what Beans On Toast is about so well, such a simple sentiment goes with his style of songwriting. It’s not groundbreaking and deep, it’s a sweet, fun love song, sometimes music doesn’t need to be any more than that.
It’s just hard to listen to the record and not be happy, like a lot of his music, there’s always an honest and relatable charm that makes it so addictive and easy to listen to, ‘Lizzy’s Cooking’ is no different.
Band Of Skulls have released their third record ‘Himalayan’.
It not only captures that trademark sound of the band, the massive stop and start explosions of guitar in ‘Asleep at the Wheel’, and the big distorted solo in the title track ‘Himalayan’. But There’s also this big soulful element to the album, tracks that focus predominately on Emma Richardson’s vocals like ‘Cold Sweat’, a piece of music that actually wouldn’t sound out of place in a Bond film, must be pretty good then right?
On top of all this there’s even a couple of more anthemic, stadium filler type tracks, ‘You are all that I am not’ in particular is a highlight of the album, an incredible bit of work that captures this whole different side that the band possess.
Band Of Skulls in all fairness are a band who probably haven’t received the level of admiration they warrant, they’ve been doing rock and roll properly since their beginning, and Himalayan is further proof of that.
“Break Our Bones” is the extremely impressive bluesy debut from JJ Hodari.
It begins as a very simplistic stripped back vocal and guitar combination, with each pluck of a string ringing out in an almost old Western style, the sort you could imagine playing out over a desert scene in an old cowboy film.
However, the track builds as it goes along, it begins to incorporate a subtle drum beat with a vocal backing track and piano, before finishing with a much larger atmospheric sound that has a possessive intensity about it that keeps you encapsulated until the very final chord fades out.
The White Stripes’ “Fell In Love With a Girl” is arguably one of the most recognisable tracks around, and now it’s been given a much more robust treatment than its probably used to by post hardcore outfit “Frameworks”, and it makes for one hell of a racket.
If there’s anyone in music who knows proper rock and roll, it’s Mancunian hero, Johnny Marr. It’s safe to say the ex Smiths man has been around the block more than most, refusing to sit on the legacy of the iconic Manchester band, working with the likes of The Cribs, Modest Mouse and Paul McCartney, and not to mention picking up the “Godlike genius award” along the way.
So one might say his latest solo record is in pretty good stead, to say the least, to be another fantastic bit of work. And in doing so, one would be completely correct.