Sunday 30 September 2018

Jet Lag? Who needs time zones.

OK it's been about 2 weeks since you've heard from any of us on the blog. Though it has been a very busy time musically and such.

You don't need to wait for a full write up, headover to social media and follow us for frequent updates, shares and exclusive links
Instagram & Facebook: @alifeofmusicrocks
twitter: @alifeofmusicro1

Personally I spent a week across the pond in New York City for what technically was a Holiday and being a quest at a wedding... But was more like a week long party with far too much Tequila. At 18 that's a Holiday, at 30 holidays want to be a little more chilled. Oh well.

Over in New York Sony Music held a special event for the largest technology in their Audio portfolio. With special guest Tom Odell. It's fair to say that the sound quality from their auditorium Sony Hall is something above and beyond immense! The sound was so clear and diverse I want to see all my gigs there, literally blown away.

Also got a pair for WH1000XM2s noise cancelling headphones... Another set of audio immerse which are highly customisable! If you're looking for upper end wireless over-ears check them out.

Here's a few snaps from Tom Odell's showcase of his new album in Sony Hall. It's everything you'd expect and more. If you get over to NY you have to get into the Hall and see someone, anyone!


That's all for now. Coming up over the next few days, False Heads! I'm going to do a seperate post because it's too much to do in one go.

Thursday 13 September 2018

What do you mean you don't have 'Dear Science'?

At this blog we pride ourselves at being on the front line for new music. We go to those gigs that cost £3 a ticket, we stand at the front, we dance, we enjoy ourselves, and then the following morning we write down what we remember, then we go on Spotify and listen to these new bands, and tell you lot about what we love.

That said, we aren't hipsters. We do like established bands, we do like older bands and old music. With that in mind, I've come up with a new feature for the blog. Every now and again we're going to go into depth about one of our favourite albums of all time, telling you why we love them, maybe sharing a story about the album or spilling our guts about the emotions the album evokes. Maybe you've heard it, you also love it, it's nice to read about something you love. Maybe you haven't heard it and the piece inspires you to go listen to it. Maybe you hate it and can't understand why anybody would like this crap. Or maybe this is just for us, to jog our memories and to try and put into words the buzz we get from great music.

I'm kicking this off with ‘Dear Science’, the third album from Brooklyn’s TV On The Radio, one I'd honestly consider as the greatest album of the 21st Century, an album I have bought 4 times, and an album that turns 10 years old in a couple of days.

September 2008, the United States was just about to embark on an unknown journey. In 4 months time, the 44th President was about to take up residency in the White House. A Black democrat from Illinois who changed the world with one word, Hope.
Music in 2008 was also embarking on a change. Pop, was suddenly at the forefront. Lady Gaga with her Bowie imagery reminded us that pop isn’t just for teenage girls, setting the world alight with her first album ‘Fame’. Katy Perry was kissing girls, Britney was Womanizing and Pink was saying “So What". Even the guitar bands had gone poppy, Coldplay released ‘Viva La Vida’ and even Kings Of Leon had shaved their faces and made songs about fiery sex. Step up TV On The Radio, who had gained a following with their second album ‘Return To Cookie Mountain’, especially the single ‘Wolf Like Me’ which was everywhere!

Wolf Like Me was the first TV On The Radio song I ever heard, it was on Project Gotham Racing 4 and Guitar Hero 5 on the Xbox. I loved it. I downloaded it illegally, and it was on every mix cd I made.
I was working in a skate shop in 2008, and a colleague brought in Dear Science and put it on. After one listen I went and bought it on CD. I would listen to it all the time!! In 2010, which was a the first full year I was with my then-girlfriend (now wife), she had asked me to get her an iPod Touch for Christmas. I did. It was cool, so I got myself one too. The first album I bought off iTunes? Dear Science. I also found a second hand copy of the album in a pawn shop, it was a quid, so I bought that too, and it lived in the car. In 2014, me and my then-fiance took that second hand copy of the album on a 3 month trip around Europe. Driving through Germany, the album inspired me to put my foot down on the autobahn, the album also calmed the impending road rage when driving around Milan. After our trip, we bought a record player and started a vinyl collection. The first record I bought? Well, I think it was a battered De La Soul record, but the first brand new vinyl I ordered off the internet was Dear Science. I love this album.

So why this album? Why not TV On The Radio’s second album? Critically, the second album is better, and it has ‘Wolf Like Me’ on it. For me, though, I think the band really found and perfected their sound on the third album. The production is slightly improved and the album as a whole is more accessible, easier to listen to, catchy and lyrically stronger. The band, somehow, improved on perfection, and Dear Science may very well be my favourite album of all time.

The album starts with a bang. “Halfway Home” burts in with a fast drum beat and vocalist Tunde Adebimpe “baba-ba-ba”ing, picking up directly from where the anthemic Wolf Like Me left off. The eerie vocals of loss and love are juxtaposed next to the drums and quick clapping, relaxing the mood with a synthy backdrop. The high pitched chorus arrogantly displays the vocal range of Adebimpe, with Kyp Malone’s backing vocals delicately calming the track; seconds before he and fellow guitarist David Sitek melt your face with a guitar hook that will raise you too your feet. This isn't the first time this album will make you dance, it's a wonderful way to open up.

What follows is a trip through emotions and a journey into sound. Much like Radiohead did with 'Ok Computer', this is a guitar band pushing the instrument into new territory. Second track ‘Crying’ will remind you of Radiohead as much as it will remind you of Prince, its held together with a funky bass-line from the wonderful Gerard Smith, who sadly passed away in 2011. Track 3 is “Dancing Choose”, a kind of angry social commentary about attention seekers and media whores, whose meaning may get lost in the upbeat music and rhythical rapping, another song that fucking rocks. We're only 3 tracks in and this album is stunning. Can it get any better?

It can! Once we have had our bones chilled by ‘Stork & Owl’, we come to track 5, ‘Golden Age’. The first single released from the album, with accompanying music video, is a chance to showcase Malone’s vocals, however it's the uplifting music that takes centre stage here. With synth, trumpets and more clapping, the song tells us that it's ok to believe in Utopia, it's ok to think things will get better, and, coincidentally timed with the inauguration of Barack Obama, it's ok to Hope.

Next up we are to be haunted. ‘Family Tree’ is a beautifully crafted nightmare. An intelligent look at forbidden love. A collision of differing ideas. The strings and the piano, along with the painful vocals will turn you to tears. A poem, of bygone times and interracial relationships, where old ideas and traditions have killed the idea of love. “In the shadow of the gallows of your Family Tree, there's a hundred hearts or three, pumping blood to the roots of evil to keep it young”. A tragedy that is still relevant today, with LGBT rights still outlawed in many parts of the world, and many parents forbidding these ideas in their children. Forbidding love itself.

‘Red Dress’ follows suit, an anti war anthem that is as sexy as it is angry. With Track 8, ‘Love Dog’ lowering the tempo once again, once again atmospheric with a complicated, jazz drum beat from Jaleel Bunton, and if you ever get the opportunity to see this wonderful band live, it's the drumming that will impress you the most.

As we get to the tail end of the album, the music keeps the high standard going. ‘Shout Me Out’ a song well ahead of its time, paving the way for the indie-pop that was to follow in the later years, starting softly and building to a dancy drop that the Chemical Brothers could fit into a DJ set, with a wicked guitar solo to boot.

Fans of Breaking Bad will know the second to last song. ‘DLZ’ got a second breath of success when it was used in the popular TV Show. A catchy, almost trip-hop tune, and possibly the most accessible song on the album, while still maintaining an air of anger and the anti-war subject of the album.

‘Lover’s Day’ ends the album, and how can you end an album on a higher note than a song all about sex. A gender neutral song about the spice of life. A sex song that doesn't sound like other sex songs.

So, there you have it. My thoughts and views on an incredible album. One you should all take the time to listen to, one I think you will enjoy just like millions of people have. I'm sure we will talk about TV On The Radio some more on this blog, they are still going strong and still pumping out fantastic music.

Happy 10th Birthday, Dear Science. Thanks for the memories.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Sisteray - Sisteray Said EP

There's several things I like about blogging, apart from the fact it's a great way of storing those memories of gigs that fade over the years, it is the meeting new bands and listening to new music!

Today... Punk Rock, Mod-revival, 4 Piece, Sisteray and their soon to be released EP 'Sisteray Said'. 

The EP is released under Vallance Records, produced by Jonathan Hucks (who's worked with the likes of False Heads) and has guest vocals too from Lucie Barat and Kat Five.

Wannabes, available on Spotify now, continues the theme of 15 Minutes. Another hit out modern day society, with a hit of upbeat guitars rifts and a catchy chorus.

Rumour Mill, kicks right in with a marching drum beat leading into sweet, impacting, keys rift! The chorus is head bouncing and makes even the most hungover head want to get up move! Well harmonised and produced track, which has a rollercoaster of ups and downs! 4minutes of lush listening, if this track doesn't hit the charts I'll be surprised.

Algorithm Prison, also available on Spotify, a hit out at social media companies and their mass farming and data selling! It's got one of those hook bridges you'll be chanting at everyone you want to fuck off.

Sisteray Said, the title track, starting with progressive bass line and punk distorted guitars. WMCYW! Well it's only 2mins long and I wanted more more more! But that's the only pit fall. The track is another chanting, stick in your head chorus. A well designed and constructed track.

Overall the EP is a beautiful modern punk rock piece, it's showing why the band is taking the festivals and industry by storm in just 18 months. 
Get it pre-ordered, get a tour ticket, enjoy!

The EP is out 7th September, on all media formats CD, Cassette, Digital, Vinyl etc. There is also a limited edition Vinyl for you retros out there.
The launch party is Thursday the 6th, in London, and is also followed by a UK tour
Tickets here

29 Sep – BLACKBURN – Electric Church
03 Oct – BRIGHTON – Hope and Ruin
05 Oct – BRISTOL – Mothers Ruin 
06 Oct – OXFORD – The Cellar
08 Oct – SOUTHAMPTON – The Joiners
10 Oct – LEEDS – The Lending Room
11 Oct – SHEFFIELD – Cafe Totem
12 Oct – LIVERPOOL – Jacaranda
13 Oct – READING – Oxjam
17 Oct – LONDON – 100 Club
18 Oct – ST ALBANS – The Horn 
20 Oct – HULL – Ulltra Festival

Check out more from social media: 

Out. Mx

Thoughts of Her(bs) & Give me something new x2!

When it comes to checking out new music, it doesn't take long for the topic to spiral out of control - hell the topic was never in control... Pansamientos Loco!

So what's gone on this last week or so? Well I've got a mixed bag of tunes - rolling through all the best genres Alt, Punk, Indie, Garage, Electro coming up.

Before that I'm going to do what I don't do enough of and give you a little more on alomr HQ's. I've spent the last week on and off updating the site. Well as I find time outside of the day job to do it anyways - if only my day job was designing websites, not software, I'd find it much easier. Alas fresh new look is coming along!

We also collectively discuss and review the various submissions we get or stumble upon. Often we struggle to stay on topic long enough to form a consolidated opinion, especially as us 'Mcfly Fans' don't always agree with the 'Natty Dreaklock White Metal Head'. (Nothing like brotherly name calling to reaffirm loving friendships)

This week we somehow ended up creating some amazing cover art and lyrics for the fictional Folk SKA album 'Thoughts of Her(bs)', courtesy of Chris' thoughtful roadtrip pics 

Anyway there's a little more insight into how our minds tick when given a little creative prod.

¡Vamanos! Tiempo para el trabajo...  La Musica 😍

As I said before we've got a range of music for you beautiful people. Fresh tunes, new faces & old faces, pre-releases to suprise releases.

Let's start in chronological order

False Heads Yellow was released, I've touched on this several times now, so get over and listen to it now you can. It's fucking amazing! Spotify here.
The guys are touring and I highly recommend you watch them, at £4 a ticket it'd be rude not too (check out I may even have a spare ticket or 2 to the Manchester gig on 28th September so feel free to reach out to us.

Regiment - Halifax based Alt Trio fell into earshot. Having listened to their 2016 EP which has an Alternative raw post-metal undertone, their 2018 release Mr No Name draws on those raw talents with a garage/indie almost pop-punk feel at times. I'm hearing 2001 GreenDay and early White Stripes tones. There's a highly professional quality to the recording and certainly signs of growing improvement, I think these guys are one to watch over the coming year.

On a side note got a listen to Tristans other project TheSinglesClub and it's yet to be released single the The One. The track is a large step away from Regiment, this is an Electro-pop band. The track is promoted as an 80s track and it certainly falls into that bracket.
Singing with more conviction you can hear more vocal maturity over regiment tracks.
At the start sounds similar to MGMT, although left me wanting a little more as the song drew on.
The beat is as you'd expect from elecro-pop, it is well executed and I could see being remixed very well into other genre's. 
The track itself was short 2mins and feel I wanted more verses - that could be the copy I was sent. Lyrics wise is a love/break up song (I'm my personal opinion not the sort of song I'd normally listen to, but gives good expectations for future releases and shows the range of music styles)

Sisteray are a band that lands in my shuffle frequently or billed at festivals were at, and yet whilst 'listening' to them - I haven't truly listened to them, until recently. This London based Punk/mod-revival band will suit you False Heads fans, and visa versa. They are a rock and roll band with more mainstream tones, it's clear why they are on the up and up.
This morning I received their latest EP 'Sisteray Said'. Watch this space! I'll give you a run through later today as I listen to it.
Check out the run down here Sisteray Said

Jon Tessier has released an Indie/Alt Garage track 'Hold me, Hold me' From EP Slice Of Paradise. Jon is a Brazilian/French artist with background in several bands and this is a solo project exploring new sounds. Listening to other Spotify tracks he's trying various lines touching upon Pop, Alt, Indie and Garage.
'Hold me Hold me' is a decent deep tune with a good strong beat and lovely guitar rifts. It's a simple 3 piece set up, but that's doesn't take away from the sound.

All for now! I'll be back shortly with more on 'Sisteray Said'.


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