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Album Review: Marmaduke Duke – Duke Pandemonium

 
By on Tuesday, 12th May 2009 at 4:00 pm
 

Marmaduke Duke Duke Pandemonium coverBack in 2003 two of Scotland’s leading noise-smiths got together with the idea of forming a band based around the idea of concepts and making a soundtrack to hedonism, decadence, deviance and dancing. The band in motion is ‘Marmaduke Duke‘ formed by Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro and P J Reid of Sucioperro.

After forming in 2003 it wasn’t until 2005 that the bands debut album ‘The Magnificent Duke’ was released, this was mainly down to the duo’s commitments with other bands, this is the same case and reason why new album ‘Duke Pandemonium’ has been put on hold since 2006, with the sudden rise and success of Biffy Clyro the band felt it would be best to release the album when they could tour it.

Live the duo are joined by fellow Biffy brothers James and Ben Johnston with appearances also from drummer Fergus Munro and a masked culprit known only as ‘The Duke’.

‘Duke Pandemonium’ is a synth direction for the band and is the second part in a three-album trilogy. Mixed by Rich Costey (Muse, Mars Volta and Foo Fighters) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins) the band has created an album uniquely different to anything they have released before. Songs that take you back to the childhood days of the school Casio keyboards and take you forward to a world you aren’t sure what’s going to happen, but the one thing you do know is it sounds damn good. There are even moments for the most hardcore of Biffy fans with song such as Silhouettes which harnesses a riff that could sit happily on a Biffy album if it wasn’t for the electro feel and sound of ‘The Duke’.

In all Simon and Reid have created quirky witty pop music that is sexually ironic fun for all to behold. With single Rubber Lover already doing the rounds the album is set to be released via 14th floor records on May 11th and will be available to buy via download and CD.

Download: Rubber Lover, Silhouettes, Skin The Mofo and Kid Gloves.

 

Bands to Watch #108: The Good China

 
By on Monday, 20th April 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Good China (side)Recently I stumbled across a band from the far stretches of Australia. This Aussie 8 piece goes by the name of ‘The Good China

Being compared to early ‘Architecture in Helsinki’ TGC are upbeat, uplifting and irresistibly charming, they also offer moments as cooled and chilled as cult pioneers ‘The Postal Service’.

Yes there may be eight people in the band but lead single ‘All nothing’ is a breath of fresh air to the music scene at the moment. Lyrics about being a three year old are not just witty but add a certain depth to the song that you can’t help but like. With the introduction of the violin and various other instruments ‘All Nothing’ soon becomes infectious summer pop you can’t shake from your head.

After forming during the close of summer 2008, the Melbourne based band have received extensive radio play, self-produced and released their debut E.P. (including selling over 300 copies) and have performed at various festivals. With such a promising start to their career after a short space of time it looks like TGC may well be in for an eventful few years.

The Good China are ‘toe tapping-handing clapping’ their way into our lives. Watch out for them in the future, as they have certainly just become my new favourite band and if you like quirky violins, subtle guitar, witty lyrics and a sheer passion for something that sits so effortlessly into the music scene ‘The Good China’ will be a sure fire hit with you also.

 

Album Review: The Xcerts – In The Cold Wind We Smile

 
By on Friday, 27th March 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

The Xcerts (side)Scottish songsmiths The Xcerts have arrived with an impressive and eagerly awaited debut album, ‘In The Cold Wind We Smile’.

The band, made up of trio Murray Macleod, Jordan Smith and Tom Heron, hail from opposite ends of the U.K., Aberdeen and Exeter.

Meeting at the age of 13 at school in their hometown of Aberdeen, singer Murray and bassist Jordan formed The Xcerts. Things started to take shape when they moved to Brighton in 2006 and met drummer, Tom. Since then the band have played relentlessly throughout the U.K. and gathered a loyal following which has helped them this far.

While recording the album in North Wales produced by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Idlewild, Ocean Colour Scene) the trio suffered both family and personal heartache. This is reflected in content of the album, which contains some of the most up-front and passionate lyrics I have heard in a debut album. It also effected the band’s point of view; in their own words: “It’s about finding a place where everything will be ok”.

Songs full of hope and looking to the future are uplifting and heartfelt to all. Lead single ‘Crisis in the slow lane’ re-emphasises this with a chorus that epitomises the album.

The Xcerts have written an album that is full of anthemic and unstoppable songs. Songs that make you look to the future, think about the past and songs that you can just connect with.

Whether it is my love of Scottish bands or a personal connection to the lyrics, The Xcerts possess something truly great about them and look set to cement them selves within our music collection after such a shinning debut.

Xcerts (Cover)‘In The Cold Wind We Smile’ is out 30th March through Xtra Mile and King Tuts Recordings. In support of the release the band will be playing a series of free and cheap shows. If you think on record they are amazing live you will be blown away. You can catch them at the below free (or very cheap) shows, including a rather fun looking show on Sunday on Loch Ness.

Sunday 29th March 2009 7.00pm – A Boat, Loch Ness – (Order tickets here or here.
Monday 30th March 4.00pm – 1up, Aberdeen
Tuesday 31st March 5.00pm – Fopp, union street, Glasgow
Wednesday 1st April 5.00pm – Rise, Cheltenham
Thursday 2nd April 6.30pm – Pure Groove, London
Friday 3rd April 6.00pm – Banquet, Kingston

 

Peter, Bjorn and John have Nothing To Worry About

 
By on Friday, 20th March 2009 at 3:00 pm
 

Peter, Bjorn and John (side)Peter, Bjorn and John‘ are back with another sure-fire summer anthem. After the release of 2006 single ‘Young Folks’ PB+J have been relatively quiet. But with the release of new single ‘Nothing to worry about’ it looks like they have rediscovered the magic that saw them reach chart success in 2006.

‘Nothing to worry about’ is the same infectious catchy pop that can put a smile on your face no matter what your mood. This time with more groove and the addition of the childish singing in the chorus, it is hard not to find yourself singing along. The backing vocals in the chorus make the song even happier and give it even more bounce, which sits perfectly against the laid-back ska feel of the drums beneath it.

As the song states “I’ve got nothing to worry about” and why should they or us in fact, with a song so ludicrously catchy it would even cheer Scrooge up.

Peter, Bjorn and John have got it spot on once again, expect this to be a hit that will make it feel like summer even on the coldest of days.

‘Nothing to worry about’ is the perfect warm up to the release of PB+J’s next album ‘Living Thing’ which is due for UK release later this year.

New album ‘Living Thing’ is released 3/31/2009 in the US.

 

Review: Mumford and Sons – The Cave and The Open Sea

 
By on Monday, 16th March 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

Mumford & Sons (side)The latest work from London based anti-folk heroes ‘Mumford and Sons‘, is one of their most uplifting and best to date. Although they are placed within the emerging London folk scene, there is something unique and magical about the four piece.

‘The cave and the open sea’ arrives with an intoxicating subtle guitar line that compliments vocalist ‘Marcus Mumford’ perfectly. With the addition of piano underneath, the cascading drums and banjo it is a song hard not to warm too. Especially towards the end when singer (Marcus) vocals become so passionate that they nearly reach breaking point. The song builds to a momentous ending that is as close to pop perfection that folk can get.

Due for release on 6th April on limited edition 10″ vinyl and download. Be sure to hear Mumford and Sons before everyone else does.

For fans of: Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale, Beirut and Woody Guthrie.
Like this? Maybe Try: Alessi’s Ark, Jay Jay Pistolet and Derek Meins.

 

Bands to Watch #96: Talons

 
By on Friday, 13th March 2009 at 5:26 pm
 

Talons (side)There is an underlying and growing scene developing in the Midlands, especially in the direction of Hereford and Worcester. One of the reasons for this is Joe at Idle Hands Promotions, who not only puts on touring bands, but also gives locals bands a chance to play. As well as being a promotion company, he also manages some of the area’s emerging talent. One of the bands he has taken under his wing are Hereford’s ‘Talons‘.

I first heard Talons supporting at my local venue. With a line up consisting of two violins and no vocals, it was hard to know what to expect. But what happened was nothing short of exceptional.

Their two track demo is uplifting yet dark at the same time. Think ‘Explosions in the sky’ with the ferocity and deliverance of ‘Forward Russia’ with added moments of pure ambience. Or as they say: “Talons possess a fascinating sense of urgency and drive, with a sound that both soothes and savages in equal measure”

The first track ‘Commiserations Buff Orpington’ combines the energy of hardcore with the complexity of Math Rock. The violins create an uplifting overlay that captivates and provides a subtle contrast to intensity of the guitars below.

This leads into the second track, ‘The Tragic Decline of Buff Orpington’ which is a sheer showing of the musical prowess that this band possess, with thundering drums and captivating guitar lines enclosed in a sonic mass of swirling energy.

Be sure to keep an eye out for this band. Talons deserve to soar to great heights, let alone the cult status they are clearly of capable of gaining.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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