Check 'Em Out, Singles/Songs

Check ‘Em Out: HMLTD – Art for All Senses

366938

                                                                                        HMLTD’s Facebook Page

Once you come across HMLTD you will not be able to shake them.

Picking up from the legends of Post-Punk: Devo, Pere Ubu, Cabaret Voltaire, Gang of Four to name but a few, HMLTD are worthy of carrying their flag because like all of those mentioned prior they push the envelope with all that they do. This is clear once you both listen to them and see the band.

Is This What You Wanted? has a hell of a groove to it with the electronic drum beat, the simple but irresistible guitar and bass lines that gel so effortlessly. In the first couple of lines spoken to us are the words ‘Triggered by your cold diatribe’ this is interesting because when the same opening verse comes back around it turns into a diatribe. With the vocals becoming shouts and anger being directed into the microphone. At the point that the anger comes though the music follows its lead getting tenser and tenser but it then dies down, the guitar and bass are relived of their duties and just the vocals and beat remain. Right until the end when everything speeds up and stops abruptly.

Satan, Louella and I is a little more traditional in its structure but it is no less as dramatic or gripping as Is This What You Wanted? or any other of the tracks listed here. Helped by the choral addition of a few female voices which adds to the creepy vibe of Satan, Louella and I. As it opens with a guitar line that would fit straight into a horror scene where the monster is stalking its prey without the prey realising. But that dissipates into the steady build of energy with blasts of horns, notes of piano, leading into a pulsating mark around 2:26 where the vocals become more driven, with some very nice inflections exclaiming that not everything is clear i.e. ‘Not every church is strong, Not every city’s wrong, No struggle is in vain’  (backed by a vocal melody you would hear in a church choir) these are some powerful statements that points out that some truths, assumptions and institutions are not as concrete as they seem. Adding more depth to the HMLTD’s overall appeal. 

Music! is a somewhat glitchy affair with dark lyrics wanting to travel to the North Sea for a myriad of reasons, the odd lonesome sounding keyboard that plays in the interlude only adds to the oddness. Then it rises again before lulling into a slow abstract glitch to close. You are unable to guess where anything will go and that in itself is a reason to check them out.

To The Door mixes cowboy, wild western guitar and attitude with modern electro theatre. Here the vocals as ever have a sharpness to them delivered with menace, arguably aimed at the vote to leave the European Union, ‘But the streets are lined with Filth, The scum will rise to the top, In glass buildings they throw rocks, So I’m moving to Leipzig’. But that us just my take on it I could be completely misinterpreting it. The unexpected shift in styles slowing the track down but not taking away any of the impact. With To the Door being a top song it also is a great summary of HMLTD.

To say that HMLTD are this genre or that genre would be disrespectful to the band. But what is undeniable is that they are a violent force of creative freedom that is a most welcome revival of Post-Punk striking against the mundane stagnant mainstream.

Advertisements
Standard
Singles/Songs, Song of the Day

Song of the Day: The Maccabees – Kamakura

                                                                                       Kamakura

The Macabees have been disbanded earlier this year playing their final gigs in July admittedly I was never an avid follower however the music did cross my ears via my twin brother playing them from his room.

So knowing that they had a good number of decent songs it was a nice reminder when they popped up on my Spotify suggestion playlist. This song from the final album Marks to Prove It (2015).

In short I have had this song on constantly there is just a wintry quality that is fitting with the changing seasons. The lyrics are sombre throughout but in particular of not ‘saying a word because it breaks her heart’ add to the melancholic feel to the track. Furthermore the stripped back verses are gripping and then loosen up into a more expansive chorus with a thin string like sound backing creating a shift that is very effective in moving you.

I guess it is one of those instances where you find a song that fits not only your mood but the weather and environment around you increasing your level of enjoyment.

Standard
Singles/Songs, Vinyl

Vinyl Vindication: Wye Oak – Spiral/Wave is Not the Water (7′ Special Adult Swim Singles)

20171008_232859 (2)

                                                                                                     Spiral

There are fewer things I have bought as quick as this very special 7 inch. Spiral is one of my favourite tracks so much so that when I heard them warming up with it at The Soup Kitchen back in 2014 I threw my arms aloft and made a instinctual gleeful noise of some kind.

Upon seeing the limited pressing it was a must have. Visually a striking red vinyl with a  tripy cover and a contrasting white border matches the music. Spiral is a wonderfully captivating spiraling track. From the effect layered vocals that echo and delay swirling around your head, the pulsing bass alongside the guitar add to the sense of surrealness.

Spiral ends by adding a beautiful glockenspiel, keyboard or synth(?) sound that joins the familiar instrumentation then after it has been playing for around a minute it is interrupted by static before coming to a close on a lone glockenspiel(?) or keyboard line.

Wave is Not the Water flows just like its title suggests there is a very natural feel that comes across from the totally man made electronics. Vocally it pulls from the same place as the A side but they are not delayed but just as serene.

Instantly this 7′ has become a prized possession of mine and a piece of music that I do and will cherish for as long as I am breathing.

Standard
Singles/Songs, Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence (Single)

                                                    The Sin and the Sentence (Official Video)

This is the best song they have released in the last 4 years plus it’s more memorable than everything on the whole of Silence In the Snow (2015).

It’s the lead track of the forthcoming album (out 20/10/2017) of the same name. Packing a hell of a punch with Heafy screaming again after not doing so for the last LP, because he put his voice out on tour and he was worried of the potential damage caused. But to many ‘fans’ the screaming is welcomed with open arms since it was a sore point for many when it was no longer present. Some complained about it and are still irritated that they have changed. As bands always should. Change is what Trivium do. Get over it ‘fans’ who don’t like how they sound now and go listen to Ascendancy! If that is your Trivium stop moaning and stick to that record it isn’t going anywhere (sorry that is something that really irks me).

The Sin and the Sentence has killer hooks that come in multiple forms, both the clean vocal melodies and harsher have their contagions. As ever the riffage is layered on super thick from the guitars, leads, rhythm rule (provided by Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu). New drummer Alex Bent really frees the band up as he can do everything. He and Paolo Gregoletto are a great duo instantly playing brilliantly as a rhythm section. Many of the passages will stick with you.

The Sin and the Sentence is a stupidly triumphant return that will please every Trivium fan no matter which Trivium they prefer.

Standard
Singles/Songs, Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Good Foxy – Easy Money (Single)

No automatic alt text available.

                                                                        Easy Money Single

New single from the Clitheroe greats is as joyful and summery as they come. The vocals are a delight to the ears light over the clean crisp upbeat rhythm guitars, bass happily plays along with the drums are a perfect match as ever. The solos are as ever air guitarable reverbed and all more awesome for it.

The single is just as good a quality as all their 1970’s influenced psychedelic music is, which is music that is missing from a lot of peoples libraries and Good Foxy are there to fill that gap in. Even if you don’t know that there is a gap once you listen to this single you’ll know that there was.

Easy Money is easy listening.

Standard
Singles/Songs, Song of the Day

Song of the Day: 3 Minutes to Midnight – High Windows

Image may contain: sky

                                                        High Windows (Listen and Buy from their Bandcamp page here)!

If someone asked you to describe what makes a song/piece of music special what would you say?

For me it is that unmatchable joy or emotional connection that can only be experienced/made through music. High Windows is such a track. I was honoured to be in the presence of the band when they performed it live reminding me why I love music.

At its core it is a classic rock track built on Jonathan Parks’ vocals and crazy guitar wizardry that mixes funk with more traditional rock and blues, getting your foot taping, head nodding but has a dancy quality also. For the first 54 seconds that is all you hear Parks’ class 1970’s-esc guitar tone and his singing.

Sam Leigh’s bass and David Stutt on drums join the fray giving a hint of the epicness that is about to come. The musicians slowly construct the layers, quickening the pace leading you into the HUGE chorus. By the second time it comes around you will be singing along belting it out in your room, it’ll make your soon to be released shower singles for sure.

3 Minutes to Midnight have put out a single that is tremendous, in addition to the gradual expansiveness of High Windows raising it to a high, high place indeed.

Go listen, like, follow and all that… FacebookJonathan Parks Music Facebook, 23 : 57’s SoundCloud, Jonathan Parks Music Twitter.

 

Standard