Moonstrips - We Love You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Moonstrips - We Love You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Packaged in superb album art evoking the oddball designs of Storm Thorgerson, Moonstrips’ new record We Love You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah brings a very live, rough and tough sound probably best appreciated on vinyl …

Review by Jay Plent.

BansheeVa - BansheeVa

BansheeVa - BansheeVa

Cambridge’s music scene has always had a surprising hardcore undercurrent to it. What other city can produce names like Pink Floyd and Mallory Knox, bands so utterly on the opposite end of the rock music spectrum? …

Review by Jay Plent.

Sexy Singles In Our Area - December 2018

Thanks to all the musicians who submitted there work this month, we’re happy to present the tracks that brought 2018 to a close!

If you want to be considered for future editions of Sexy Singles In Our Area please send embedable audio and a brief bio or fact sheet to reviews@stabbedpanda.com

Articles like this are made possible by our Patreon supporters - if you'd like to be one of them and unlock a plethora of cool stuff, please visit our Patreon Creator Profile.

Additionally, you can now check out, (follow and share please!), the official new Spotify Playlist for this blog.


Chance by ArcM

Hailing from Melbourne, Victoria, ArcM aim to provide “noises and sounds with vocal tapestries”

The music video for Chance is a charmingly simple animation accompanied by the track, itself consisting of retro drum samples, simple chord layers and lush vocal harmonies. A deceptively minimal backing for a track as deep as this.

Find ArcM on Twitter or SoundCloud


Robinson Crusoe by Billy Qvarnström


The heavier styles seem to enjoy staying underground, so it’s a treat for us to include Billy’s work here. Released late December, Sweedish multi-instrumentalist Billy Qvarnström displays his aggressive djent-come-mathcore instrumental ability and adept production skills with the title track from his Robinson Crusoe E.P.

Ideal for fans of Meshuggah, Gojira, Lamb of God, etc.

Listen to more on SoundCloud or find Billy on Twitter.


Oceans by Dusky Sunday

Dusky Sunday are a duo from Suffolk, UK, who provide gentle, up-beat contemporary folk à la Fleetwood Mac, Gabrielle Aplin, etc.

Oceans is the band’s debut single and comes along with this adorable single-take music video. The track is beautifully catchy, with solid just-interesting-enough backing. You will have this in you head for days after listening, be warned.

Find Dusky Sunday on Twitter or on their website


Razorblade by Blake Red

BlakeRed

Based in Chigaco, Illanois, Blake Red is an emerging alt-metal solo artist. Her brand of powerful, passionate rock is inspired by the Seattle grunge, (Alice In Chains in particular), movement but also contains compositional nods towards contemporary alternative artists.

Razorblade is taken from Blake Red’s debut E.P., created with Grammy award-winning producer & engineer, Darryl Swann. We hear sections of ambient, modulating guitar set between big riffs and well thought-through leads under her strong vocals.

Find more on Instagram or Twitter


Elevators by Wyldhaven

Imagine a gentle, unobtrusive Daft Punk. Imagine if dance music hadn’t been abducted by morons. That is the sound of multi-instrumentalist and producer Wyldhaven.

Released early in December, Elevators combines intriguing samples with lofi, almost acid-jazz chords and traditional dance rhythms. The result is that you end up dancing to something you wouldn’t expect to.

Follow the band on Twitter


Oops by Little Brother Eli

Oxford disco-rockers Little Brother Eli are an interesting concoction. A modern indie-rock ensemble, utilising abrasive synths and electronic production elements.

Oops showcases the band’s diverse influences sequentially: a pop-rock verse; pre-wubstep pre-chorus; a catchy, 1975-esque chorus; and electronic disco bridge that reminds us of Vulfpeck. A band to watch, for sure.

Follow the band on Twitter or Facebook


Vanilla by Owain Felstead

Young, evidently passionate Welsh singer-songwriter Owain Felstead combines contemporary boy-band influences in a way that’s much less vacuous than his contemporaries, (that’s a good thing)

In addition to being an able songwriter and vocalist, Owain displays his beat-making & production prowess in Vanilla. The track includes solid, dance-able rhythms with intriguing sample-mangling.

Follow Owain on Twitter or YouTube


Mystery Girl by The Rewind

An up-and-coming rock band, The Rewind promising an authentic rock-and-roll experiences. Although that conjures images of codpieces and 5-necked guitars, we hope they’re a tad more self-aware.

For fans of Cheap Trick, Tom Petty and Peter Frampton, Mystery Girl demonstrates vocalist Josh Decker’s respectable range on top of a respectably solid backing track.

Find more on the band’s website


Sexy Singles In Our Area - November 2018

Thanks to all the musicians who submitted there work this month, we’re happy to present our favourites to you now!

If you want to be considered for future editions of Sexy Singles In Our Area please send embedable audio and a brief bio or fact sheet to reviews@stabbedpanda.com

Articles like this are made possible by our Patreon supporters - if you'd like to be one of them and unlock a plethora of cool stuff, please visit our Patreon Creator Profile.

Additionally, you can now check out, (follow and share please!), the official new Spotify Playlist for this blog.

downloads_logomark_color_on_white@2x.png

Take A Hit by Carter Fox

Carter Fox is a producer and bassist based in Philadelphia. We’re pleased to present you with a track from his album Epoch, released in August.

Take A Hit is a chilled-out jam with emelents of jazz fusion and world music, very Ozric Tentacles and we 100% dig it. We can also hear elements of Victor Wooten in his bass playing, and Herbie Hancock in the composition.

Find Carter Fox on Twitter or visit their Website.


Rescue Ship by Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset

A blend of classic pop & rock songwriting with a satisfyingly up-to-date twist. These chaps know how to write a hook that sounds familiar yet fresh.

Matt Steele himself reminds us of a young Elvis Costello, whilst this track’s quirky, lop-sided riffs lie somewhere between The Black Keys and Queens Of The Stone Age. One of the best things about this job is the amount of bands that we’ll be keeping an eye on for years to come - The Corvette Sunset is one such band.

Find Matt on Twitter


Little By Slowly by Foll

From Hartlepool in the UK, Foll create quirky, sample-heavy electronic music with nods towards Dosh, Bonobo, Four Tet and Tortoise.

Little By Slowly is a demonstration of how mangled samples can manage to feel ambient despite abrasive glitching. Much of the instrumentation here is sample-based, but it does include live instruments.

Follow Foll on Twitter or drop them a like on Facebook


Piece Of Me by Ryker Sear

Ryker’s vocal style is similar to Taylor Swift, (that’s a compliment, we like Tay-Tay), so it’s tricky not to draw comparisons to similar female-fronted pop-rock, (Carly Rae Jepsen, Leslie Carter, etc)

The truth ,however, is that this isn’t a simple pop track. There’s some cool glitchy hits and cinematic effects towards the start, (matching the retro visuals), a level of interest you just don’t get in contemporary pop.

More of this please.

Find more Ryker Sear on Twitter or YouTube.


Head In The Sand by Sea Legs

Imagine a track that combines influence from The Beatles and Wilco into an uplifting package that belies the idle, procrastinatory lyrics on top. Well, you don’t have to thanks to Head In The Sand as they’ve done just that.

This Leeds trio have managed to create a unique, indie sound without being tiresome or wanky. We truly believe that’s the sign of genius and are excited to hear more from this band in the near future. Good job lads.

Listen on SoundCloud or find the band on Facebook.


Trip My Play by Risky Motion

Hailing from Austin, TX, David Roseboom composes the material for Risky Motion as well as providing much of the instrumentation - as skilled an unique a vocalist as he is a keyboard player and solid guitarist.

Trip My Play combines chaotic synth patches and distorted instruments with dreamy textures. This would be equally at home at a psychedelic music festival or a jazz club.

Find more Risky Motion on Twitter or Facebook.


Lucid Control by HF5

Wrapping-up this months edition is HF5, with their brand of chaotic, distorted industrial electronica. This music clearly takes influence from Nine Inch Nails, The Crystal Method and Chemical Brothers but does so with a fresh perspective.

Lucid Control is an intriguing ear-worm, managing to take control of your inner-monologue whilst providing only the most vague of melodies - if you’re able to pick a melody out of the glitch-scape HF5 have created, that is.

Check out HF5 on Twitter or listen to more on SoundCloud.


Sexy Singles In Our Area - October 2018

How was your October? Satisfyingly spoopy? Did you get bored of people saying “spoopy”? Yeah, us too. Anyway, we’re happy to share some of the music that came to our attention during the month of October.

downloads_logomark_color_on_white@2x.png

If you want to be considered for future editions of Sexy Singles In Our Area please send embedable audio and a brief bio or fact sheet to StabbedPanda@hotmail.co.uk

Articles like this are made possible by our Patreon supporters - if you'd like to be one of them and unlock a plethora of cool stuff, please visit our Patreon Creator Profile.

Additionally, you can now check out, (follow and share please!), the official new Spotify Playlist for this blog.


ED-209 by Dark Smoke Signal

It’s hard to know if we’re supposed to be scared of robots, or embrace their tinny superiority. This eerie synthwave track is a fantastic, driving force for this post-Stranger Things, post-Vapourwave era.

Bristol-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Alex Pope, AKA Dark Smoke Signal, combines his 90’s nostalgia with a love of heavy metal, angular samples and straight but appropriately catchy melodic hooks.

Listen to more on SoundCloud or follow on Twitter.


Angels With Dirty Minds by Operation Neptune Spear ft. Nexus 2089 & SLaM

A crazy concoction of metal and darkwave: groovy riffs, angry vocals and synthetic textures. Don’t let the thumbnail fool you, this ain’t no chill-ass vapourwave.

Hailing from the “bowels of deepest, darkest South Yorkshire”, (that’s a quote, not a judgement), Operation Nepture Spear are a force to be reckoned with.

Listen to more on SoundCloud.


Procrasturbator by DARMA

And the award for best song name goes to…

A quirky video with Saved By The Bell-esque visuals and music reminiscent of a less-lethargic Kurt Cobain. DARMA also claim to be inspired by The Bee Gees and ABBA, although those influences aren’t as obvious. It’s a big, big sound for 3 Manchester/Sheffield dudes.

Watch more on YouTube


An Invisibe Man by David Guez

Shot in the ruins of Chateau de Montceaux, near Paris, this gorgeous video complements the David’s gorgeous music. He cites Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder and Kate Bush as influences - these all come through very clearly in this strong, well-written track.

If we were to criticise, we could say that the track feels out-of-time and reminiscent of 1990-early 2000’s hits. I’m sure many of us see that as a positive thi- DAMN KIDS AND THEIR INSTASTORIES… I’ll stop…

Check out this website for all manner of listen links.


Break My Heart All Over Again by Paul McKeever

When I see a silhouette of a cowboy hat on a track thumbnail I instantly say “boy, howdy, I’m gonna hate this” As it happens, Paul McKeever’s music is much less abrasive and irritating than popular country music. Yeah, I don’t love country music. No, I’m not sorry.

A soulful voice backed by tasteful chords and simple rhythm, I can see this track being a real hit in the middle of a live set. There’s a couple great chord choices in here as well - nothing shocking, but enough to make it clear that this Scottish songwriter knows what he’s doing.

Follow Paul on Twitter or find more on Spotify


Too Late by Kev M

Reminiscent of early Dylan, this is a gentle, sway-along acoustic track. I can tell that our readers will either love or hate Kev’s unique vocal style, but you will at very least find it endearing.

Follow Kev M on Twitter or check out his official website.

Sexy Single In Our Area - September 2018

A selection of music, new and old, that grabbed our attention during September 2018 from around the globe.

Omar Addis - Roll of the Dice

Our first single, and one of the sexiest, is taken from Omar Addis’ new E.P.: Double Digits. Released on Sept 19th, these tracks blend contemporary pop vocals with electronic rhythms and weaving, psychedelic guitar lines.

Listeners may hear references to Coldplay and recent Radiohead, but in a refreshingly well-produced and musically intriguing package.

Listen to more on Omar’s SoundCloud page, or keep up-to-date via Facebook.

KdotMelody - Windows

Here we have a brand new single from rapper KdotMelody, produced by Semantic ONE. Windows comes from their up-coming single SPECTRUM, releasing in October to all major platforms. This new music video, dir. Hattie Hughes, shows the duo enjoying the rare London sun.

KdotMelody has a smooth but clear flow, which is complemented by Semantic ONE’s track - contemporary flourishes with a satisfyingly 90’s feeling vibe.

You can follow KdotMelody over most socials: @KdotMelody.

Penny Mob - 21st Century Kids

In a similar vein to a Bad Religion track from 1994, 21st Century Kids is Penny Mob’s reflection on the millennial generation’s attachment to the internet, technology and all the associated superficiality, (crikey, that’s a good word).

Penny Mob believe themselves to be more than a band: “It’s the coming together of people, of anyone who dreams to be a part of something, and who carry the same feelings inside that we do and all human beings do.”

Get more info from the band’s Facebook page, or listen to more on SoundCloud.

ag. - All Falls Down

An artful collaboration between Ross Quinn and Andrew Goddard fresh off the back of successful DJ and production careers. Remeniscent of Bonobo, Maribou State, Burial and Four Tet, the duo’s latest track All Falls Down is an emotive and ethereal one.

Their debut single, Warped Minds, was very well recieved and recieved great support from BBC Introducing.

Listen to more on Soundcloud or stay up-to-date on Facebook.


downloads_logomark_color_on_white@2x.png

If you want to be considered for future editions of Sexy Singles In Our Area please send embedable audio and a brief bio or fact sheet to StabbedPanda@hotmail.co.uk

Articles like this are made possible by our Patreon supporters - if you'd like to be one of them and unlock a plethora of cool stuff, please visit our Patreon Creator Profile.

Sexy Singles In Our Area - August 2018

A selection of music, new releases and old, which landed in our inbox or otherwise arrive at our ear holes during August 2018 from around the globe.

He Arrived By Helicopter - Cold Damn Truth

A new single from the latest project by Christian Gibbs, formerly of Morning GloriesFoetus and Modern EnglishHe Arrived By Helicopter is a project leaning more towards the improvisational sound textures of guitar processing and loops with occasional synthesizers and samples. Sometimes Gibbs performs solo with a few amps or sometimes with a band, often instrumental. Cold Damn Truth is the exciting first single from debut album The Shiny Hostel.

Listen to more on SoundCloud

Michael DeLara - I Wish (I Could Have Known You Better)

A simply-arranged by very characterful track accompanied by an equally charming lyric video. This track is from the one man show Living Between The Lines, written by and performed by Californian Michael DeLara. Warning, this chorus is a real ear worm.

Listen on Spotify  or visit Michael's website

Ninja Sex Party - First Date

NSFW Warning - Ninja Sex Party are not for prudish. Imagine a blend of the biggest comedy and parody bands from Steel Panther to Flight of the Conchords, presented with charming animations and larger-than-life characters. First Date is taken from NSP's new album, Cool Patrol, in which they recruit TWRP as their funky, synthwave backing band. Having been active for nearly a decade, the band have hit the big time comparitatively recenty. As we've followed them since the very early days, we're excited to see where this takes them.

You can watch more, (like, lots more), on NSP's YouTube Channel or grab a copy of Cool Patrol over here.

HANNIE - Cheap Talk (Remix)

HANNIE deliver their high-tempo pop-funk vibe on their remix of LENN's Cheap TalkHANNIE is made up of pianist Hannah Koppenburg and guitarist Annie Wagstaff. They have a combined Instagram following of over 200k and have used their success on the platform as a launchpad for their own project. HANNIE have released three singles to date with coverage from Wonderland and KickKickSnare, as well as features on Spotify’s New Pop Revolution and NMF playlists.

Check out HANNIE's website or Facebook Page

Brian Owens - Ring Of Fire

The critically acclaimed album Soul of Cash features tasteful arrangements of Johnny Cash's classic tracks and is now available on vinyl. Owen's rendition of Ring of Fire caught our ear immediately - it's easy to go over-the-top when arranging classic tracks, but this rendition is pure and splendid. Co-produced by former Jack White drummer Daru Jones and featuring the skills of Robert Randolph & The Family Band, this album aims to show you where soul and country meet.

Visit Brian's website or purchase this disk from SoulStepRecords.com

33850014-copy_orig.jpg

Jong SL - Driving Away

Toronto-based Jong SL tells us that "DrivingAwayis about wanting to run away from the reality of losing someone". The single was released this month and his musical influences are clear: Mac Demarco, Allen Stone, Coldplay. The artist's first E.P., Ice Cream, was bright and uplifting in stark contrast to his new release.

We strongly encourage you to listen to Driving Away and Jong SL's back-catalogue.

Visit JongSL.com or listen on Spotify

All In Orchestra - Fast&Smooth

The All In Orchestra are an interesting lot: live electronic music combining classical and contemporary instruments. This track, Fast&Smooth is from their upcoming live album performed New Stage of Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petesburg. All In Orchestra describe themselves as "multi-timbral Contemporary Instrumental Music from the Northern Capital of Russia."

Listen to more on SoundCloud or watch a full live set right here.

Julius LeVallon - Thinking In Curves

Don't let the simple video fool you - this gentle, ambience evolves into a complex and layered track. LeVallon's album Moraleda is out now on digital platforms, following the quick depletion of all physical pressings. The album was recorded last winter on the outskirts of a village in Spain, surrounded by howling dogs and endless olive groves.

Listen to more on BandCamp


If you want to be considered for the next installment of Sexy Singles In Our Area please send embedable, public audio and a brief bio or fact sheet to StabbedPanda@hotmail.co.uk

Articles like this are made possible by our Patreon supporters – if you’d like to be one of them and unlock a plethora of cool stuff, please visit our Patreon Creator Profile.

patreonlogo

Sexy Singles In Our Area - July 2018

New and old music which we've discovered, or otherwise had thrust into our ears during the month of July 2018.

The Micronauts - Acid Party

The lead single from the new album by Christophe Monier’s left-field techno and acid house project, The Micronauts. Inspired by dark sci-fi series like Real Humans and Black Mirror, this acid house track tells the story of a female android who violently frees herself from her patriarchal imprisonment.

Listen to more on SoundCloud or visit the official website

Ryan Kinder - Stay

Ryan Kinder's new single Stay confirms his command as a triple-threat writer, powerhouse performer and guitar wizard. This hard-hitting ballad delivers a compelling emotional message. Kinder captures the intensity of the lyric and melody with a virtuosic vocal and high-impact guitar solo, all of which heralds his place in the spotlight as a newly unfettered and independent artist.

Listen on Spotify, or find more info on RyanKinder.com

Blue Alatar - Eesabigguntho

A boystrous, crunchy rock track layered with glitch FX and an eastern-sounding melody. The 2nd single from Blue Alatar's up-coming debut album, Irradiated Hamster Alert. Along with this single, we're treated to an abstract audio visualisation video that matches the intriguing audio.

Download the track for free from BandCamp, SoundCloud, Newgrounds

The Human Project - That One Percent

Promoting their new album, politically-charged tech-punks The Human Project revealed their new single That One Percent. The Human Project can be counted among the cream of the crop when it comes to European skate-punk and technical punk rock scene. Recently touring with the likes of A Wilhelm Scream and sharing stages with Less Than Jake, Mad Caddies, and Agent Orange, the band have attracted fans internationally from their touring efforts.

The album, Clarion Call is available on BigCartel now.

Powderhead - Mad Phil

13173735_607397796093090_7749664067854738842_n.jpg

Powderhead represent one of the hardest working, most consistently gigging bands from our neck of the woods. Their debut album,Don't Let Them Win, is now available to the world, along with it the music video for Mad PhilPowderhead combine modern and classic rock influences to create a wall of sound you can smash your face into.

Get more info and watch the new video on Facebook or download the album via BandCamp

Sailor Beast - My Favourite Ex

An oddly hypnotic track from multi-genre producer Sailor Beast, heralding the release of her debut album this month - expect elements of reggae, trip hop, hip hop and funk. Sailor Beast represents the quirky, passionate, 100% independent music that we love to promote.]

More info on Facebook, or listen on SoundCloud.


downloads_logomark_color_on_white@2x.png

If you want to be considered for future editions of Sexy Singles In Our Area please send embedable audio and a brief bio or fact sheet to StabbedPanda@hotmail.co.uk

Articles like this are made possible by our Patreon supporters - if you'd like to be one of them and unlock a plethora of cool stuff, please visit our Patreon Creator Profile.

Blue Alatar - Irradiated Hamster Alert

IHA-Cover.jpg

British Cinematic-Rock studio band, Blue Alatar, have revealed their debut instrumental album: Irradiated Hamster Alert. The 10-track album combines elements of heavy, modern rock with crunchy, psychedelic synths and cinematic sound design. Exciting tracks keep listeners on their toes with epic orchestras, groovy riffs and soaring guitar solos. The album has received praise from steampunk MC Professor Elemental, amongst others.

The bands cite a variety of influences: riffs and solos are influenced by classic and modern rock bands from Whitesnake to Black Stone Cherry; whilst Ozric Tentacles are responsible for inspiring the various synth textures and arpeggio patches. The big percussion, orchestral elements and sound designs are inspired by film composers Hans Zimmer and Bear McCreary. Of the new release, guitarist and project-leader Liam Taylor says: “Irradiated Hamster Alert has been an on-and-off project for several years. It tells the story of a radioactive hamster, Gilbert, overthrowing a tyrannical robot panda. Storytelling through instrumental music isn’t easy, but I found it a uniquely engaging challenge. Music isn’t meant to be taken seriously - I hope that comes across.” The music of Blue Alatar, whilst largely written by Liam, features long-time collaborator Si Pettit, (Subterranean Popular), on bass, 12-string guitar and as co-writer.

Based on Rise of Pandapoppolis, we are excited to hear the album in full. It promises to be an exhillirating blend of genres with creative sound design and flashy guitar-work.

Irradiated Hamster Alert will be available to the public on September 8th 2018, over Spotify, most streaming services including Blue Alatar’s BandCamp.

LINKS

Gad Zukes - Anyone Out There?

32683131_2067832670148626_5566229692370911232_n.jpg

Review by Liam Taylor. Today I'm listening to the new 5 track +1 bonus track E.P. from Gad ZukesFight The Silence. Opening with a satisfyingly crunchy guitar-driven stacatto, Take Another Shot is an upliftingly combative rocker. The combined female and male vocals put me in mind of Fletwood Mac and Steeleye Span, (if that's not a complement then I'm afraid we can't be friends), but with modern-feeling production, riffs and vocal harmony.

The reggae-infused Make It Happen has a Police-esque rhythm section and catchy vocals. Of particular note are the Stewart Copeland style drums. There's a slightly jarring electro 2nd verse which I imagine would work really well for live performances. It's not so effective on the record, (IMO), but it does serve to add dynamic variety to the piece. The chorus is charminly uplifting: "look towards the future; make it happen, make it happen."

Track 3 is the softer, low-tempo How Can I. There's some interesting chord choices which make this much more than a standard, formulaic ballad. The track features some gentle, tasteful guitar playing along with a steady rhythm section.

Electric Vibe opens with a vocal hook which quickly sets the tone for this memorable stomper. Some expert ukulele playing thickens out the rock ensemble to a degree you wouldn't expect of a ukulele, and also adds a unique sonority which helps the track stand out. Some deft drum fills and walking bass lines remeniscent of early Status Quo will get this track stuck in your head.

28947632_2041732969425263_1858163514459929041_o.jpg

Track 5 starts small - oddly, something in the lead vocals remind me of Jemaine Clements. Perhaps the aquatic theme is putting me in mind of the Moana Soundtrack. As the track progresses, it developes into the kind of massive anthem in which we'd usually expect cheap Millenial Whoops, but GadZukes manage to avoid such cliché.

We're graced by a light and summery bonus track, which keeps the aquatic vibe - in keeping with Loz's fantastic albm art. The Good Stuff features a charming acoustic guitar melody, country bass, simple rhythm and airy vocal harmonies. There's a bit too much too this track to call it "twee", and the cheeky lyrics keep it from feeling too dainty. I agree, we should all "make love... -ly cakes"

Altogether, Anyone Out There? is a solid disk. Fans of Fleetwood Mac, GooGoo Dolls and similar pop-rock acts will find plenty to enjoy here, especially given the diversity between the tracks. If you're lucky enough to get the opportunity to see Gad Zukes live, I highly recommend you take it.

If you like, you can read Mickey Nicholas' review of Gad Zukes' Fight The Silence.

Links


Oh, hi! Still reading? Well, that's helpful actually, because we have something to tell you: Stabbed Panda is an independent music blog, run by a handful of people for whatever trickle of ad money we can get. We hope we can keep uploading stuff here for a long time, and keep access to it free without resorting to hideous, intrusive adverts. If you'd like to show some support and help us do that, please take a look at our Patreon Page and unlock some rewards. Ta.

Professor Elemental - School Of Whimsy

SOWhimseyCover.jpg

Review by Liam Taylor. This month sees the release of School Of Whimsy from Chap-Hop MC extrordinaire, Professor Elemental. Along with guests, frequent collaborators and Mighty Boosh-esque comedy skits, the Professor guides new students through the finer points of being whimsical.

In the opening rap of the opening track, Words from the Headmaster, what strikes me the most is the Professor's flow. He's never been a slow or unskilled rapper, by any means, but the skill with which these vocals are performed makes an impact very early on. A short track, but impressive nonetheless.

Downside Up is a summer romp in which Ella Jeans's vocals put me in mind of Lily Allen / early Sia -style pop. Especially in the vocal harmonies, skanky guitars and horn section, all of which contribute to the summer vibe. The Professor is great at creating lyrics that make you think for a moment: "like Clark in a crisis, time to go change" (really now, I can't spell it out for you).

Now we're on to my favourite track from School of Whimsy - One Too Many. The combination of humorous concept, catchy chorus and deft vocal performance make this track for me. Lyrically the track is about the trials of being on tour, the logical solution is to clone oneself. In a whimsical twist, the Professor ends up dueting himself. The pacing of the chorus is particularly fun - it feels like it's on the cusp of going too fast, but that's most likely intentional to suit the mood of the track.

Track 7 is essentially the British, more accurate version of Macklemore's hit - especially given The Spoken Herd's similarity to Macklemore's vocal style. Jumble Sale features a jaunty piano loop, horns, organ and lyrics that imply this lyricist has actually attended a jumle sale, (or been in a Thrift Shop), at some point. Our guest rapper's flow is particularly impressive and entertaining.

132a0530.jpg

It's become a fad in recent times to embrace your anxieties, or at least to publicly declare them, (or maybe that's just my snowflakie echochamber?) It can get a bit gross after a while, but the subject is elequently handled in track 8, Nervous. A swinging romp through the Professor's apprehensions, which could be a nascent theme on this album.

Make Good Art pt2, (the follow-up to a track on the most recent Menagerie album, which we also reviewed), is similar in tone and rhythm to it's predecessor, but is more of the timid, younger brother. Timid isn't a bad thing, it's still "Good Art".

SQRL is a down-tempo whodunnit, (well, it would be if the title wasn't a massive clue), where the Professor awakens to find one of his shoes missing and his cuppa spoilt. Storytelling is one of Professor Elemental's strengths and this is a track in which he's able to create an immersive and engaging world in only a few minutes.

Tom's House is a sweet track, ostensibly dedicaed to Tom Caruana. Sabira Jade's simple but catchy chorus elegantly compliments Elemental's descriptive rap and the summer reggae vibe of the track.

Track 16, (and the final vocal track of the album), Good Morning is another example of Professor Elemental's rapping ability and punneriffic lyrics are certainly enough to get me out of bed in the.... well, maybe not the morning. Equally skillful is frequent collaborator, turntablist Nick Maxwell, who lends his aid to close the track - no baby scratching here though, these skills demonstrate precisely why Maxwell is on the Professor's roster. Good Morning got it's own video as well, embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

Sunskip, is an instrumental number by Tom Caruana featuring sampled vocals that get inside your head despite being hard to decipher, along with a driving rhythm, subtle but acid-like synths and charming flute, (or clarinet?), loop.

Overall, School of Whimsy is a fun, witty and unique album, which you can stick on repeat and still find engaging. Trust me, I have tried. The timing of the release is impecable, being as this is the first sunshine I've seen in months and the album perfectly matches my current mood. This will be my 2018 summer album, I'm sure it'll be yours too.

You can enroll in the School of Whimsy yourself through Elemental's website,

Links


Oh, hi! Still reading? Well, that's helpful actually, because we have something to tell you: Stabbed Panda is an independent music blog, run by a handful of people for whatever trickle of ad money we can get. We hope we can keep uploading stuff here for a long time, and keep access to it free without resorting to hideous, intrusive adverts. If you'd like to show some support and help us do that, please take a look at our Patreon Page and unlock some rewards. Ta.

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Double Negative

182893.jpg

Review by Liam Taylor. Fantastical Victorian Steampunkers, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, are releasing their new album Double Negative this Friday, (March 9th). Pre-orders can be acquired through Bandcamp, where you can also stream the lead single and opening track, Supply and Demand.

This collection of tracks are all focused on the grim realities of life in Victorian Britain - track 1 is no exception. Supply and Demand puts vocalist Andy Heintz into the shoes of bodysnatchers Burke & Hare. Musically, it's a punky shout-along which is self-aware enough to not last longer than 2 minutes.

Our 2nd track, Baby Farmer is about Amelia Dyer, infamous for drowning unwanted babies in the Thames. The vocals are reminiscent of classic English punk - Sham69 and the like. The guitars here lie somewhere between traditional punk and NWBHM, especially the edgy intro riff.

Hidden focuses on guitarist & vocalist Andrew O'Neill's Magick obsession. It even features O'Neill performing The Bornless Ritual towards the end of an instrumental section.

Disease Control features a jarring coutnerpoint between "normal" and shouty vocals. It grows on you though, it's just a bit unexpected at first. Lyrically, the track looks at one of the Victorian period's scientific advances: John Snow's discovery that 1854's Soho cholera epidemic was waterborne.

Track 5 focuses on the gluttony and depravity of Prince Bertie, Queen Victoria's massively overweight son. The humorous lyrics in Obscene Fucking Machine appeal directly to the anti-monarchist in me, who doesn't get as much air time as he should.

648425.jpg

Occam's Razor remains prevalent in some way throughout the track. The track becomes even more intriguing when we reach a fast-paced vocal section, almost rap-like in it's deftness. Perhaps surprisingly,  this is is the first track the band have released about Jack The Ripper - although they're not fantasising about the mythos, rather pointing out the grossness of it being used to sell books.

God is in the Bottom Line is about child labour, which was commonplace during Victoria's reign. Fittingly, this is an aggressive track, especially with Jez Miller's frantic, hardcore punk drums.

The hillariously on-the-nose title of track 8 gives some hint as to it's content. There She Glows is a dissonant love song addressed to scientist Marie Curie, who pioneered experiments with radiation. Bassist & Vocalist Marc Burrows tells us “Her actual recipe book is still radioactive. You have to handle it with special gloves.

It's hard to work out whether the impassioned finale, There's Going to be a Revolution, is about historical unrest or the alleged Commie uprising we're, (apparently), living through. It's an odd choice to close the album - ending with a cavalcade of distorted guitars over a very repetetive riff and electronic-sounding drum loop. Maybe that's the point, they're making some kind of statement? A rare miss judging by the rest of the disk.

Overall, there's something on Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing's new album for punks, metalheads and anybody who's sick of the rose-tinted glasses through which Steampunk views a pretty unpleasent era. Musically, we're not breaking any boundaries but that's fine - the tracks are well-written, well-constructed and well-produced. They do much more than support the lyrics, which are compelling from both a poetic standpoint and a comic one. Worth a listen: 8/10.

Tour Dates

  • MON 12 MAR - Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

  • TUE 13 MAR - Newcastle, Trillians

  • WED 14 MAR - Edinburgh, Bannermans

  • THU 15 MAR - Birmingham, Castle & Falcon

  • SAT 17 MAR - York, Fulford Arms

  • SUN 18 MAR - Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms

  • MON 19 MAR - Cardiff, Globe

  • TUE 20 MAR - Chester, The Live Rooms

  • WED 21 MAR - Leicester, The Shed

  • THU 22 MAR - Exeter, The Cavern

  • FRI 23 MAR - London, The Dome

  • SAT 24 MAR - Southampton, Joiners

  • SUN 25 MAR - Bristol, The Exchange

  • TUE 17 JUL - Detroit US, Motor City Steamcon

LINKS


Oh, hi! Still reading? Well, that's helpful actually, because we have something to tell you: Stabbed Panda is an independent music blog, run by a handful of people for whatever trickle of ad money we can get. We hope we can keep uploading stuff here for a long time, and keep access to it free without resorting to hideous, intrusive adverts. If you'd like to show some support and help us do that, please take a look at our Patreon Page and unlock some rewards. Ta.

Navajo Ace - Five Turnings

Review by Si Pettit. Worcester isn't a place people normally associate with any particular genre of music. That's not to say that the musical output of the city itself has been lacking. Rather, it seems harder for any bands to really stand out there.

I've never been, so for all I know there's a thriving indie scene that is just waiting to be taken advantage of by the ears of thousands, if not tens of thousands. The only two notable musicians to hail from the county that spring to mind, (or are the first two people on Google), are Dave Mason of Traffic, and Karl Hyde of Trance duo Underworld. If, however, and this is a relatively big if, there is a new act out there that can show the rest of the country that, yes, they do have a scene and it's just as good as anyone else's, then Navajo Ace are most likely to be the band that does it.

Navajo Ace describe themselves as a "new dynamic indie rock band from Worcester, UK". Boldly sallying-forth with their claim that they're "garnering themselves a reputation as an interesting underground band that make music with power and soul". I can't personally verify this, given that I don't live anywhere near Worcester, but I'll happily take their word for it (for now). Remember kids: Self-belief in your own brand is crucial. Today we're listening to Navajo Ace's 5-track debut E.P. Five Turnings.

As soon as first track, Tiger in the Tank, starts I'm struck with how much vocalist Adam Barnes sounds like head Decemberist Colin Meloy in the first 14 seconds. Consisting of Adam and his guitar, before drummer Crag Sharpe informs the rest of the band that the song has started properly now. As soon as Alex Stobart and Christian Burton chime in, (guitar and bass respectively), I was instantly recalling the subtly tempered rawness of British Sea Power. In particular, the breakdown at roughly 2 minutes in being very reminiscent yet not derivative, as the band make good use of dynamic changes to accentuate the energy with which the track had started, including a very self-reflective outro normally only heard in the music of established indie stadium acts from 2008.

Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses and close-up

Navajo Ace have managed to tap into a particular thread of post-millenial Indie rock acts like Abandoned Pools and The Tender Box , whilst retaining a little bit of the early 90's angst that recent Alternative Rock was all too eager to shed, deciding instead to try and 'mature'. Both Underneath Cars and Awkward Places take me back to 2006, (specifically 2006). Both tracks seem to be to halves to the same overall theme, though with their own unique configurations.

Even the music video for Underneath Cars (which is helpfully embedded at the bottom of this article), is reminiscent of the era it's emulating so well, even going so far as to set fire to Ernie and Elmo toys from Sesame Street. Either way, they directly connect with the angst that all of us have coursing through our veins whether we like to admit it or not. These songs perfectly capture that bittersweet prelude to adolescence, too young to care, old enough to know better, and everything's just happening around you all the time regardless of your input.

Five Turnings, for me at least, is the stand-out track, and that's not just because it shares its name with the E.P. It has a wonderfully triumphant-sounding vibe that you'd be forgiven for thinking was a lost My Vitriol track from 2003. The vocal line sounds almost nursery-rhyme-like as it follows the main guitar riff. The band have chosen to use a lot of elements often found in other acts of their ilk, including but not limited to the rhythmic patterns found on albums like Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World or British Sea Power's Do You Like Rock Music?, and riffs that would feel at home in a Doves setlist.

22792288_1690171581058359_442578880141585331_o.jpg

The final track, Drop The Needle, seems to follow on quite well from Five Turnings. That may just be the fact that they're in the same key, not unlike Underneath Cars and Awkward Places,  whilst Drop The Needle seems to relate well to its predecessor, it doesn't really distance itself enough to stand out. Especially after having heard the anthemic nature of Five Turnings once already. It does, however, end the E.P. on a high note, almost as if to say "yeah, things can be difficult, but pain is always temporary, and things do get better". That, or I read far too much into these things. Look, music is subjective, alright?

Overall, Navajo Ace's first E.P. is a well-constructed debut release, and the band themselves show a lot of promise. They seem to take themselves just seriously enough to write music reminiscent of the Power-Pop renaissance some of us experienced in the late 00's. Like any band just starting out, they're quick to show off their compositional ability, and they showcase it well. My only real gripes are that, whilst there's plenty of varied compositional elements in each song, they all share many of the same qualities that make it difficult for any of them to stand out on their own individually.

Despite that, the E.P. is well mastered, not succumbing to the same kind of overproduction that so many casualties of the loudness war have suffered in recent years. Regardless, Navajo Ace are well worth keeping an eye on whilst they navigate their journey through the Indie scene, and those of you that are inclined to do so can check out the links below.

You'll like this if you're a fan of: British Sea Power, My Vitriol, Doves, Jimmy Eat World.

Overall score: 7.5/10 - Shiny


Oh, hi! Still reading? That's helpful actually, because we have something to tell you: Stabbed Panda is an independent music blog, run by a handful of people for whatever trickle of ad money we can get. We hope we can keep uploading stuff here for a long time, and keep access to it free without resorting to hideous, intrusive adverts. If you'd like to show some support and help us do that, please take a look at our Patreon Page and unlock some rewards. Thanks and that.