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Friday, 14 August 2009

The Temper Trap - Conditions

The Temper Trap:
Release Date: Aug 20 2009
Label: Liberation Music
Genre: Alternative Rock

Sound-Revolution Rating:

‘Science of Fear’ and ‘Sweet Disposition’, released earlier this year, introduced the world to Australia’s newest alternative rock four-piece. Consisting of melodious guitars, with lead singer, Mandagi’s falsetto vocals over intensified rhythms, ‘Conditions’ brings an album of epic breakdowns and engrossingly powerful song structure.

Un-commercial could be a name adopted by the band, but non-generic would be much more reasonable. To the open-minded, ‘Conditions’ is a well crafted album with extremely powerful vocals, enough to make the hairs on the back of ones neck stand up.

‘Conditions’ debuted at number 9 in the Australian charts, being released in the UK on the 10th August. Hopefully The Temper Trap will be as successful in the UK and across the globe, despite their differentiation from indie and alternative rock making it big presently.

James Murray, 14 August 2009

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Golden Silvers - True Romance

Golden Silvers:
True Romance
Release Date: Apr 20 2009
Label: XL Recordings
Genre: Alternative

Sound-Revolution Rating:

London’s timeless musicians, Golden Silvers, through delivering an album of debonair, light-hearted alternative rock, in addition to becoming a performing success, have picked up Glastonbury’s prestigious new talent competition in 2008, on top of performing across the UK, including Glastonbury in 2009.

The trio of musical romantics, fronted by vocalist Gwilym Gold, released their debut album ‘True Romance’ in April, with a cheerful instrumental collection of drums, keyboard, and bass accompanying the themes of ‘true romance’, ‘lost loves’ and ‘dying from a broken heart’. Undoubtedly, the lyrics are rather clich├ęd in relation to the mythological appearance in ‘Arrows of Eros’; with “cupids lazy dart”, however, the execution of the lyrics are sublime in lucratively expressing emotion and song-writing ability.

Collaboration of drums and strings creates, at times, a quixotic representation of mellow, alternative music, with clear influences from 70’s disco in more up-beat tracks “Queen of the 21st Century” and “True Romance”.

The trio’s appearance resembles that of a new-rave indie one; the likes of Empire of the Sun or MGMT; yet the band’s front man, Gold, has expressed his preference of dispersing from any generic indie band conception as much as possible. The album itself seems to some extent too melodious and modest to be categorised as straightforward indie.

Golden Silvers, thus far, have been a pleasing and warming success. Categorisation of music is not a major issue; rather, it is embedding Golden Silvers onto the radar of innovative music and wider-scale acknowledgement, more than possible for this budding trio’s serene style.

~ James Murray, 05 August 2009

Friday, 31 July 2009

Dan Black - Un

Dan Black:
Release Date : Jul 13 2009

Label: Polydor
Genre: Indie/Electro/Pop

Sound-Revolution Rating:

Dan Black – Un

Last year Dan Black’s 'HYPNTZ', a mash up of Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Hypnotize’ and Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ created a build up of some small-scale recognition in the direction of the pop-electro tyro; however, the album version of the track – ‘Symphonies’ takes away many aspects of the original’s raw rap vocals, replaced by even more-so melodic lyrics, drowning the track in generic unremarkableness.

The album is continuous in producing very melodic synth-vocal tracks, and succeeds in creating an album with varying tempo’s and moods, with the fast tempo of ‘Pump my Pumps’ in contrast to the very slow and somewhat phlegmatic ‘Ecstasy’. ‘Alone’ and ‘Yours’ are great dance floor tracks, making it practically impossible not to move about when played out loud. Furthermore, Black is a good live act, not leaving any aspects of his work left behind in the studio when performing on-stage.

Black’s ‘Un’ contains some good tracks, and is effective through its simplicity; as an album to remember, it’s not so successful, being more of an album to forget in the future, but nevertheless having some short-term appeal. As a whole ‘Un’ is a fairly Un-original, Un-exhilarating and Un-sophisticated release, however, more than successful in creating a final feel-good electro-pop album, which unarguably deserves much more recognition than the artist has so far encountered.

~ James Murray, 31 July 2009

Monday, 13 July 2009

Sonic Boom Six - City Of Thieves

Sonic Boom Six:
City of Thieves
Release Date: Apr 20 2009
Label: Rebel Alliance Recordings
Genre: Punk

Sound-Revolution Rating:

Sonic Boom Six – City of Thieves

The band infamous for their multi-genre sound clash is back with a third studio album; and Sonic Boom Six fail to disappoint. City of Thieves, with its musical combination of punk, reggae and grime brings an overall fun sounding album, however, with a collection of sincere themes and stances; the political lyrics focusing on Britain as a capitalist society and the many problems left as a result of it. ‘Welcome To The City (Of Thieves)’ helps to primarily set the left-wing slanted political views of Laila Khan and the other members that persist throughout the most part of the album.

The second track on the album, ‘Back 2 Skool’, emphasizes the importance and lack of adolescent individualism. Mid-way through the album, ‘Rum Little Skallywag’ is a showcase of the bands reggae sound – touring with the likes of Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake reflects the bands ska and reggae influences. Despite the political sincerity throughout ‘City of Thieves’, Sonic Boom Six have displayed that their songs aren’t wholly serious. ‘Strange Transformations’ lyrically describes the effects of alcohol through the metaphor of physical transformation of man into animal. On top of the lyrical humor, samples are used at points throughout many tracks in the album to add humor and some lightness to the at times, fairly deep and strong-minded lyrics.

The third studio album by this musically and culturally open-minded band from Manchester has displayed great music writing on top of a great socio-economic awareness of not just Manchester, but Britain as a whole. Sonic Boom Six have received little commercial success from the mainstream media; however, gaining an opening slot at Reading and Leeds festival will undoubtedly expose their music to a wider audience.

~ James Murray, 13 July 2009


The Ghost of a Thousand
New Hopes New Demonstrations
James Murray

Friday, 3 July 2009

Enter Shikari – Common Dreads

We must unite. The clear political viewpoints of this once small 4 piece band from St Albans, England, are emphatically displayed throughout the brilliant follow-up album to ‘Take to the Skies’. The debut album, peaking at number 4 in the UK album charts would initially seem hard to beat for a very different band, combining hardcore music from both the metal and electro sides of the music world; nevertheless, Common Dreads has proved to be an intense and once again very unique journey through dubstep, drum and bass, hardcore and rock – all mashed up into a matchless album of politics, escapism and good times.

The contrast in sincerity from track to track allows the political side of the album to become emphasised more effectively without becoming monotonous, opening with ‘we must unite’, to conclude with ‘we’ll be forever against this’. By leaving messages of unity and togetherness with the audience, this cleverly ties a sentiment of intimacy between the listener and the album. Away from the political side of the album, the music in itself is highly unique. ‘Havoc A’ and ‘Havoc B’, created to act as interludes clearly contain dubstep influences. The up-beat ‘Wall’ is drum and bass influenced and ‘The Jester’ possibly contains aspects of European hardstyle. This array of electronic genres underlying heavy rock riffs creates something truly original to the ear – not failing to disappoint in terms of innovation.

Common Dreads is a fantastic album in terms of construction and differentiation from the rest. Enter Shikari have pulled the boundaries of rock and electro even closer than with their debut album. The Common Dreads tour begins in October, after several festival appearances including Reading and Leeds and Glastonbury.

Review by James Murray

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Grammatics - Grammatics

Grammatics – Grammatics

The argument that generic indie rock is becoming omnipresent, getting monotonous and similar is undoubtedly a talking point at the moment; generic is anything but a label suited to this new ‘indie’ band from Leeds, with great song writing skills, very diverse vocals and deep instrumentals, with the use of Cello’s executed by Emilia Ergin throughout the album.

‘Shadow Committee’ slowly brings us into a Grammatics journey of complexity, each track dramatic in the arrangement of instrumentals, often giving the album an overall royal feel. The album flows perfectly; the choppy riffs and vocals shift into melodic anti-climaxes, flawlessly moving on to the next theatrical track right up to the final track. Each track is filled to the brim with a vocal and instrumental combination of sound, making the album seem very busy and at times almost endless.

One criticism of the album is the perhaps over-complexity of some tracks; despite the effectiveness of dynamic vocals and instrumentals, other critics are pointing out that sometimes their sound seems over-complicated which perhaps somewhat over-impresses some audiences. As a result of this, the band seems to have created a very much ‘love or hate’ situation – appealing only to those who can appreciate the very dramatic sound.

Grammatics are still fairly unfamiliar with the majority of music fans and indie fans in the UK, despite a rise in recognition as a result of the release of this generally highly acclaimed debut album. In October Grammatics will tour the UK with Bloc Party, offering a great opportunity to expose their music to an audience who may appreciate their unique, non-generic indie sound.

Review by James Murray