Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Otherpeople - Memory Gag

Otherpeople – Memory Gag

Ok so one of my favourite bands who have emerged in Glasgow in the past few years since first hearing their song Whooplash is Otherpeople, and as it happened they recently...ok quite recently released their debut EP Memory Gag, let me tell you about it.

The EP kicks of with the dark opener “OP” which feels a bit like a sweaty handshake, friendly yet unnerving which glitches itself out of time which acts as a lead in to the track which made me like the band in the first place “Whooplash”. I cant help whooping along to this every time I hear it, the track has a great infectious energy about it, and a great amount of personality as well provided by the vocals.

“Newman” has an almost 90's energetic manics feel about it, with a selection of tasty riffs and hook after hook and groove switches which keeps things fresh throughout the song along with some really tasty harmonies. This is followed by the latest single “I Am So Bored Of Acoustic Guitars” which is nothing short of fantastic, once again personality shining through the vocals and some cracking lyrics which may suggest they're not big Amy Macdonald fans. Once again this song highlights all the subtle sub sections of the songs which really gives the tracks a real hit when they want to get noisy and throw out some cracking anti guitar sections.

“Halloween” is up next which showcases the story telling ability of the band, and again has all the great guitar parts and harmonies which has made the EP a joy to listen to. “Goodweek Badweek” shows their use of grooves with another big chorus but with big hip hop sections verses, which I like but definitely came as a surprise, but still really works.

Overall this is a great EP as I've mentioned before the subtle use of dynamics and groove changes keep the music interesting while the personality shines through the vocals backed up with big choruses. More than worth the £3.49 it is on their bandcamp.


I'm back/Algiers

Hello and welcome back to the laziest blog in the UK,

Gonna kick things off again with a series of reviews and features from bands across the UK or wherever.

I've heard a bunch of great new bands over the year and found my love of discovering new and old music.

So first off lets go for Manchester duo Algiers,

They released their EP “Four Priests” a few months back on the awesome Big Scary Monsters. And be honest its a damn good record. This record is basically hook after hook. Being a duo it could be expected that the recording could be really empty and quite sparse and I don't think that could be further from the truth, the tracks have a clear, honest, direct nature with well controlled dynamics and great use of 2 part harmonies which gives the EP a great full sound. I really love the interplay of grooves between solid drums and riff laden guitars mixing between bashed out chords for big driving choruses. Each listen to this EP makes me want to listen to it again, you should probably check it out at their bandcamp.


Monday, 10 January 2011

Bands of 2011 : Carnivores


There are some bands who's big hooks and catchy draw you in, there are some bands that have awesome riffs you cant help but bang your head to and there are some bands that just have awesome grooves, some bands have all these things, one of these bands is Carnivores. Last year they released 3of my favourite singles of the year supported bands like And So I Watch You From Afar and Fighting With Wire and even found the time to head down to London to play a show. Lets see what their singer Kenny has to say for himself.

1.Hey, how's it going? Happy new year!

Hey man, happy new year! From what I can remember, it was a good one!

2.Any resolutions?

As a band, we collectively decided to play about a million more gigs this year as 2010 was a bit of a cop out!

3.How was 2010 for Carnivores?

2010 was generally great, we really moved on a bit as a band. We got a whole bunch of radio play, released some singles and played with some of our favourite bands! Awesome. On the other hand, we got sloppy and didn't gig as much of we should have. A cardinal sin! But, yeah, was a better than average year, our crowds got approximately 27% bigger, but we're still not giving Bon Jovi the shakes just yet.

4.Any high points? (Guess you guys did play on stairs and at the top of a tower!)

Yeah playing 300ft up at the Glasgow Science centre was pretty high. Any time I pass it, I can't believe we played up there! When we played Bar Bloc in Glasgow for our split single launch, it was ace, we played really well and had a great time. We also went down to London for the first time and it was stupidly busy. We were dead worried cause it was our first London show and we thought we'd be playing to an empty room, but it was so busy and there were folk singing along. There were a bunch of guys who drove down from Dundee to see us in Glasgow one night. I felt a bit guilty because the next day we announced we were playing Dundee in the new year.

5.After 3 great singles last year, how are you following them up?

Thanks, glad you enjoyed the singles! We're going to be releasing a mini-album in March/April which will include remixed/remastered versions of the singles alongside 3 or 4 brand new songs. It's going to be called 'Nights of Infinity'. We're still working out the best way of releasing it cause we're still an unsigned band with no budget but we've a few ideas. Saying that, if anyone wants to give us a few grand, it wouldn't go a miss!

6.What's the big plans for this year

Our main plan for 2011 is to try and do a tonne more gigging and get to places we've not been before. We've already got a few shows booked for the north of Scotland in late-January but we're looking to get in touch with more promoters round the country. We'll hopefully get the record out in the Spring and have a headline tour booked for then. We're going to try and play a few festivals this year too. That's a big ambition for us, we want to entertain as many people as possible.

Other than that, we're just going to be working away at raising the profile of our band, writing new material and having fun playing live, cause we love it.

7.Who else should we be keeping an eye on this year?

If I was you I'd keep an eye on signs of an impending apocalypse. All these dead birds and fish turning up must mean something untoward brewing. I've been doing my research just in case. Usually by watching Ghostbusters and Armageddon 3 or 4 times in a row.

Musically, i'd say Citizens, Fatherson, Kitty the Lion, Pacific Theatre, Dave Hughes, Lightguides and Penguins Kill Polar Bears are all worth a punt on making some wonderful music this year.

There's a really great bunch of bands all over Scotland making really interesting music at the moment. Which is great. Scottish music has been a bit stagnant for a few years, so it's awesome to see some vitality for a change. Although I can guarantee that the only bands to get signed will be, for the most part, safe, predictable and boring as fuck.

8.Who would win in a fight between you and Pacific Theatre?

Ha ha, that's tough! Well, lets weigh up the options; our drummer is a martial arts expert and our bassist keeps a shinty stick in his car. On the PT side, Murphy's dad is a former Police officer so I think he'll have a few tricks up his sleeve. I don't think we'd ever fight each other, it would be far more productive if we teamed up to fight crime.

9.What would be an idea gig for you guys?

We love strange gigs – strange venues etc, so maybe us playing in a shopping centre or in a hospital, something wild like that would always interest us. I think we're the sort of band who just love entertaining people. Our music is a bit serious so live, we like to have a laugh, jump about and crack open the beers. As far as playing with other bands go, we'd love to support Foo Fighters, Weezer, The Hold Steady or The Dillinger Escape Plan. That would be ace, mainly to get to see bands we love every night!

10.Parting Thoughts?

That St Mirren would be MENTAL to let Hugh Murray go out on loan. Ermm, yeah...stay cool, stay frosty and watch True Lies on a regular basis.

Kenny x 
Thanks Kenny, if you want to check out Carnivores be sure to head to their myspace or head down and see them on Wednesday night at tuts, have a look at the Penguins Kill Polar Bears Interview from Saturday!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Bands to watch in 2011: Penguins Kill Polar Bears & ticket competition!

Penguins Kill Polar Bears

 When it came to thinking about the bands that people should be keeping an eye on in 2011 these guys were one of the first names to come to my head. After the release of their great debut EP "Dawn" the band went from strength to strength playing dates down in Wimbledon Calling, supporting acts like Twin Atlantic, Twilight Sad and Errors and ofcourse being featured in our live award...ok not as cool as supporting Twilight Sad but still pretty good. With the impending release of their new EP "Vessels & Veins" and a huge headline tour I managed to track them down and ask them a few questions. After the interview theres a little competition to win tickets to see them on Wednesday night at King Tuts with the awesome Carnivores & Scores.

1. Happy New Year, how are you all doing?
We're good, but Bloated! We've basically just eaten so much over the Xmas period that we look like The Pixies when they had their comeback tour. We have the combined mass of a small planet.

2. Any resolutions?

Less Talk, More Rock!

3. Are you excited about your big new years revolution gig next week with Flood Of Red?
Yeah definitely, we're all pretty stoked for that one. King Tuts is one of our favourite places to play and we haven't played there since the summer so we're just excited to play there again. The fact that we'll be playing with some cool bands is just the cherry on a really nice cake. Think we'll have a loudness war with Carnivores on our hands though... easy!

4. How do you think the band have progressed since the release of Dawn
It's almost as if Dawn's been a springboard for us, we weren't really doing much before hand and then Murray our manager came on board and helped us to put out the first EP, since then it's been nothing but gigs. Lots of people got into it which is a big confidence boost to us, it makes us hungry to do more.

5. Feeling any pressure now you've got labels on both sides of the atlantic and a big headline tour or just exctied?
Pressure? No. The fact that there are people on the other side of the pond who have shown an interest in us and want to put our music out over there is humbling more than anything else. As far as the tour is concerned, we just can't wait to get out there and play! We've been itching to get back up to Inverness after the last time we played there and there's lots of places on the tour we've never been so, yeah, we're like kids at Christmas!

6. Whats the new EP like?
                                         It's pretty loud. Probably the only way we can describe it.

7. Whats been the highlight of the past year?
There's been lots. Releasing the EP, first tour, opening for Twilight Sad / British Sea Power / And So I Watch You From Afar, playing a charity show dressed as Zombies, adopting/kidnapping a girl from Finland in London, we just called her Finland.

8. How do you hope to expand over the next say 6 months, any idea of fest slots etc?
I guess we'll just take it as it comes. We'd love to play as many festivals as possible, it just depends if any of them want us to come play for them. It's something we've never done before. Our friends in Make Sparks used to put on a festival at Lunan Bay on the east coast of Scotland which is pretty much the most perfect beach in the UK. We're twisting their arm to put it back on again. Beach + BBQ + good bands = ideal weekend!

9. How Do Penguins Kill Polar Bears? surely the commute must be killer for a penguin hit man to start with.
You back a Penguin into a corner and it'll do some damage. Didn't everyone think George Foreman would destroy Ali? Look how that went down!

10. Parting thoughts?

We're not really political but... if we all had a penny for every time Nick Clegg lied, could we all afford to pay for University?

So PKPB will be playing at the awesome King Tuts on Wednesday night in support of Flood Of Red as part of the New Years Revolution festival. And they've been nice enough to put up a pair of tickets for you to win! What nice guys eh? My question is how would you take down a polar bear? Email your answers to soundsurroundsblog@gmail.com or answer on the facebook page here.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

End Of The Year Award Things...Songs Of The Year

I was tempted to do single of the year but i opted not to how about 10 or so songs of the year. The tracks that have really perked me ears up from artists. There could be so many here and as i write this intro i hope i dont go a bit overboard but here we go...(20 songs later...)

Songs Of The Year
(in no particular order)

1. Randolphs Leap - Going Home
2. Paws - Violent Vicky Violet
3. Bear Bones - Diving Bell  
4. Miaoux Miaoux - Snow
5. Mitchell Museum - Warning Bells
6. Over The Wall - Settle Down
7. Other People  - Hello
8. Super Adventure Club - Hip Hop Hot Pot Pot Noodle 
10. Carnivores - John Actor Is Monkfish
11. Three Blind Wolves - Captain Of A Ship
12. Admiral Fallow - Squeeling Pigs
13. White Heath - GG
14. Futuristic Retro Champions - May The 4th
15. Trapped In Kansas - Towerblock
16. Esperi - Made For Life 
17. Blue Sky Archives - Crash Your Face
18. The Lava Experiments - Liquid Pig
19.Be Like Pablo - Julianne
20. The Cinnamons - Welcolme To The Business

Ok So i couldn't stop myself here's not 10 or 15 but 20 tracks that i loved last year from scottish acts, i reserve the right to add even more, what can i say its been a good year for scottish music.

Friday, 24 December 2010

End Of Year Awards Thing...Best Live!

Yep its about time i bothered to get my live award up i've still a few more to do but why not go with live first.
Now as alot of people do i go to alot of gigs, usually atleast 2 a week so over the past year i've seen...a good few bands(theres no time for maths) So who did i think was particularly special? Let me tell you.

Best Live....

I had the pleasure of catching Young Fathers this year at OXJAM festival and i was nothing short of blown away by this band. Now i'm not the most knowledgable on the Scottish Hip Hop scene however one of the names that keep on popping up is Young Fathers. Their live show is high energy, with big dance moves, and using the stage like their own personal playground, while working the crowd and really energizing the crowd and getting them involved, seeing a crowd full of people dancing like an albatross is still one of my highlights of the year. If you havent seen these guys live yet, you should as soon as you can.

I don't even know how many times i have seen pooch now(its starting to get a bit stalky), I saw them for the first time back in 2008 in Cassette and have been hooked ever since. Pooch are not one of those bands that seem to have a bad gig, they are a consistently brilliant live band. This band are pure attitude and have one of the finest frontpersons in the Scottish music scene. This band are a must see if you like your electro pop with a good slice of dirtiness. 

Penguins Kill Polar Bears
I first had the pleasure of catching these guys at King Tuts in the summer and was blew away by their intesity. Penguins dynamics in performance follow the dynamics in their sound it is explosive and a pleasure to the senses. Homebound from the "Dawn" EP is one of my tracks of the year. If you like post/alt rock but also have a soft spot for great melodies this could be the band for you. Go and see em.

Special Mentions

This year i could have given special mentions to a bunch of bands as there really are some darn fine live bands kicking around but for now lets go with Mitchell Museum, Hold Your Horse Is, The Lava Experiments and Here We Go Magic.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, 13 December 2010

End Of The Year Best OF Thing Or Something - Best New Bands Award

Well its the end of year on my lazy lazy blog, I'll be better in the new year i swear, but i'm gonna try and go through some of my favourite new bands, favourite songs of the year, favourite gigs, favourite release... lets start with...

Best New Band

Its hard to pick just one band for this section as i've had the pleasure of seeing so many great new acts start up over the past year but i'll narrow it down to say 3?(note i know this may not be exact but i've only been blogging for a few months be easy on me eh?)

What can i say about Paws? They are a fantastic no thrills catchy as f*ck punk rock n roll band. Their debut single "Violent Vicky Violet" is definetley one of my songs of the year. I've followed their progress since they formed and they have already cemented theirselves into the Glasgow music scene. They've toured around the UK had countless support slots and writing some damn fine tunes. I'm really excited to see what these guys do next.

Blue Sky Archives in my opinion are one of the best new bands/bands in Glasgow right now, they are a band who mix awesome hooks over dynamic alt rock soundscapes. I was lucky enough to catch their first official full band gig as a part of the RADAR gig at Nice 'n' Sleazies back in May and was blown away by then and since then they have went from strength to strength playing some great shows aswell as some European touring they are definetley a band to keep an eye on over the next year!


So Many Animal Calls are another bunch of young upstarts who have really caught my eye launching their free EP "Your House Is A Hospice" at the start of the summer which was looped a great deal in my media player, with their heartfelt blend of energetic punk rock i was very exicted to see them live and i actually had the pleasure of being at their first gig as well. At a packed out house in Captains Rest these guys showed a real statement of intent to what to expect from them. They've recently been in Chem19 after winning a grant and i peronsally cant wait to hear what comes from that session.

Special Mentions:

Theres alot of bands that could be in this category but these are just my personal standouts special mentions have to go acts like Verse Metrics, Loch Awe, I Build Collapsible Mountains & Finn LeMarinel.

Dont forget to check back over the next few days to check out my other awards...