Rock

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.

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.

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.

Energy - Apparition Sound

Review by Mickey Nicholas. Energy are an across-the-pond punk quintet from Massachusetts, formed in 2006, with a relatively prolific body of work for such a young band. Their latest album, Apparition Sound, released in early February 2017, holds eight tracks for your listening pleasure.

Review of Energy's album

Review of Energy's album

The first track is Renascentia, which opens with a heavy metal sound, hard bassline and a repeating hook. It’s short, being an intro track, but it’s mood setting, it’s a brief but dark and energetic piece.

New Worlds of Fear has a very metal opening, ripped through with a harsh growl followed by the most surprising vocals- It’s a good singing voice, but given the general feel of the intro to the song I was not expecting what I heard. I was expecting screams and growls, but instead got smooth, clean, vocals. There’s a little bit of screaming, but the transitions between the two are flawless. It’s a good solid track to really open the album with.

Another Yesterday, track number three, has distortion running through it’s intro, but it may be the poppiest sounding track on the whole album. It has melancholy lyrics, but the catchiest riffs and a good chorus for singing along to. The guitar-work from both guitarists is fantastic.

Track four is Dead in Dreamland, which has a slow start- almost reminiscent of The Used, (if anyone still remembers them), but the song quickly picks up in tempo, the pace really well set by the rapid fire drumming. It’s a catchy tune, with a decent use of sound effects to augment the vocals.

Energy

Energy

The Infection starts with lonely piano, but leads into the drums and guitars. The vocals jump in with a new shift in pitch that takes you by surprise again. It’s got a kind of sombre sound, but it speeds up about half way through, with the guitars throwing riffs like shuriken. Its my favourite track from the whole album.

Pet Semetary, track number six, is a very pop-punk song with upbeat guitar, solid drumming and dark lyrics. It’s a fun little track, with a catchy chorus and a good melody to hum along to. A good example of the variety of sounds the band are capable of producing.

Number seven is The Shadowlands which sets the seen with a moody intro, marked by heavily distorted guitar and a heavy bassline. The guitar flips into a sharp riff and the drumming picks up and the whole thing starts to come together. It feels like a continuation of Renascentia and is probably the best song on the album to really hear the guitarists skill.

Final track, They, has a slow intro on the guitar gently easing into lonely vocals. The song stays slow for nearly two minutes before slamming into fierce shredding. The song sounds almost hopeful, at least compared to the previous tracks. It has a fantastic solo too, about a minute from the end, and nearly a minute long. An excellent album from start to finish.

LINKS & THAT


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 reviews and 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, please take a look at our Patreon Page and unlock some rewards. Ta blud.

Blunderbuster - The Legend of Hywel Evans

Blunderbuster Review by Mickey Nicholas. I’ve never been one to actively seek out folk music and it’s modern iterations. It’s not an active dislike of folk, but more of a passive disinclination. When I was younger, I always thought the only people who liked folk music to any degree were those kinds of people who talk about pre-industrial society as if it was infallibly better than nowadays. It was only better if you happened to enjoy hot and cold running typhoid, with free tapeworms for every subscriber.

However, as I’ve grown older and hopefully, wiser, I have taken some time out of my usual musical schedule to actually listen to folk-esque material, and I’m not as unimpressed with it as I expected. Most recently, I have been impressed by Staffordshire / Derbyshire quintet, Blunderbuster and their new album The Legend of Hywel Evans. The eight-track album constitutes folk-punk at it’s finest- earnest, loud and full of character. Blunderbuster ReviewThe singing across the board is enthusiastic, powerful and unique in it’s style, variations in pitch and tone give a rawer vibe to the music. I’m a big lover of violins and being a folk album I’d have been disappointed if the fiddling wasn’t up to par, but I wasn’t. The same can be said of all the band-members, who show a fervent proficiency in their selected instruments. You can hear the love that went into the playing.

The first song is Raggle Taggle, a steady intro into high energy story-telling. A good strong start out the gates for the album. It’s the kind of song that gets people stamping their feet and wondering if they should take up cider-fancying as a hobby.

The next song I’ll highlight opens with an accordion, and various sea sounds to build atmosphere, because it wouldn’t be a folk album without a fun pirate-themed song. It’s called Black Bart and it’s an interesting mix of paces and energies, moving between slower and softer traditional style instrumentals to fast punkier segments with explosive vocals.

Blunderbuster Review

Hywel’s Song is the heart of the whole album. It’s in this song you can really get to grips with the influences of the band, and the singer really flaunts his voice. It’s got a kind of Frank Turner kind of feel to it, with acoustic guitar, but there’s also a Dropkick glaze over the top. It’s a fun song.

The last one I’ll write about is the band’s own take on a traditional drinking song, Wild Rover. Kind of adopted by the Irish and the Scottish as a drinking song. Which it definitely is. It’s a fun way to end the album.

Links & That

 

GadZukes - Fight The Silence

Gadzukes Review by Mickey Nicholas,Photography by Jean-Louis Fressier at Bobital 2016

It’s cold, dark and wet. It’s nearly winter. Heavier coats, thicker jumpers and scarves aplenty. People practically mainline hot chocolate to stave off the winter blues. It’s not what I would call appropriate weather to be listening to cross-channel folk-rock family group GadZukes’ E.P. Fight the Silence. I don’t mean to say it can’t be listened to in the bitter months, rather that it deserves to be listened to in warmer weather, with bluer skies and shorter trousers. Maybe flip-flops. It’s made up of five tracks, and is an excellent showcasing of GadZukes’ musical talents, foot-tapping their way into ear-worm status with folk-rock anthems, edgy pop-rock hand-crafted for top-down driving and acoustic-fed dream-weaving.

13690677_1737729849825578_2334812051343817432_n

The first song, Ignite, is an indie-rock song that needs a little scene setting. Imagine, it’s spring break, you and four friends have decided to spend the holidays taking a road trip to an old hunting cabin. It’s a hot day- not unpleasantly so. You all climb into a sporty number with an open top, don your sunglasses and crank up the radio and feel the breeze running through your hair. It’s the song that comes before the creepy gas-station attendant gives you an ominous warning. It’s a driving song. It’s upbeat. It’s what happens when T-Rex and The Libertines have a holiday romance. It’s got a catchy hook, and has bits you can sing along to. A good, solid opener.

Gadzukes ReviewThe next song Getting It On, stars with a hard rock riff before moving into a catchy female-led track. It’s a little more country-rock than the first track. It moves like the tides, sweeping from mellow moments and building into foot-tapping territory with rapid fire lady-vocals.

Now for something a little different. Track three, In my Dreams is ethereal, atmospheric, a kind of semi-psychedelic folk track with haunting female vocals. It’s a pretty track, sweeping up from gentle to powerful, adding layers over the course of the song. It’s like watching someone build a puzzle, the colours, the shape is easy to see to start with, and as they go the larger picture takes shape. At first listen it comes across as a simple song, but that’s only because it’s so seamlessly structured.

Funk basslines and sing-along “yeah-yeah”s and “ooh”s mark out the fourth song on the E.P. Sweet Aroma. It’s probably the highest energy song out of the five, with it’s clean riffs and harmonising vocals. Folk rock put on it’s anthem suit, and took us out dancing.

Gadzukes Review

Before reviewing Fight the Silence, I was told GadZukes were 40% steampunk. Pirates in the Sky, the last song on the E.P., is a folky, pop-esque rock track that contains that 40%. It’s not any old acoustic track with gears glued on. It’s a story for the most part. Folk-pop swerves into a sort of dream-like narrative, gently winding it’s way into your head with a catchy chorus and acoustic guitar. It’s a good way to end the E.P.

Links & That

 

Rusty G's - Low

Review by Joey StoateCheck out Joey’s awesome music blog right here.

After a brief stint supporting the seminal GUN last year, Milton Keynes based two-piece Rusty G’s are preparing to unleash their debut album, Low, upon the world this May, and the band were lovely enough to send us over a copy to review. Have the duo delivered on potential found on earlier releases?

Rusty G’sLow Review of Rusty G's Debut Album Low

1. Oh Yeah 2. Crawl 3. Taking Over 4. I Don’t Want This 5. Don’t Belong 6. The Killer 7. Waiting 8. Static 9. So Low 10. Losing You

Wasting no time, the record hits straight away with Oh Yeah, a perfect embodiment of the band’s style and overall mission statement. With the pompous alt-rock tones oozing all over the record, fans of bands like Superheaven and Dinosaur Pile Up will feel right at home here. The riffs on display are infectious, opting for a sleazy, run down feel that totally captures the more grunge-oriented leanings of the record in tracks like Crawl, and the subtle notes of psychedelia add an extra dimension to stave off familiarity for too long.

The sound here isn’t entirely perfected, however. Whilst instrumentals are strong, vocals can seem forced and begin to grate when hitting the higher notes. The hammy, artificial impression they unfortunately put across hampers the sound of several tracks, more notably those taken from the band’s E.P. Taking Over.

To find another criticism in the album, the most obvious issue here is song structure and length. Each of these songs kicks your ass for the first two or three minutes, but when they reach the four minutes plus mark, fatigue starts to set in and I find myself skipping to the next track, especially coupled with the uniform song structures utilised throughout the release.

12549091_10153360176861769_355995462152027923_n

The band’s intricate and considered use of distorted ambience adds some much needed grime to the otherwise fairly lo-fi production, keeping proceedings from ever getting too neat and tidy, too clean. Instrumental performances here are absolutely stellar, with particular praise going to the tom-work throughout the record, accentuating the punchy, stomping elements of each track, especially the superb Static. When they’re found, solos are short, punchy and incorporated seamlessly, such as their use on songs like Crawl.

In Low, Rusty G’s have delivered on the promise given to us in the past and then some. With an album full of alt-rock delight, issues like vocals and song structures become lost in the positives. Powerful, catchy, and dripping with yet more potential, Rusty G’s deserve the mainstream attention they’re so inevitably braced to receive.

8/10

Links and that: Rusty G's Website Rusty G's on Facebook

Low  becomes available on 9/5/16

 

Rootwork - Gallows Humor

Review by Joey StoateCheck out Joey's epic music blog over here.

Back in late November of 2015, I described Rootwork as a Queens Of The Stone Age-esque stoner rock band, and a very interesting one at that. Having caught the tail end of their set supporting Black Peaks at the Guildford Boileroom, the band impressed me within the short time I was fortunate to catch them. Now, entering the new year, I’ve had some time to come to grips with their latest E.P., Gallows Humour, and boy, is this a strong start to 2016.

Kicking off the record with the crushingly heavy Code Talker, I realise that my earlier comparisons in past reviews to bands such as QOTSA may no-longer apply. Opening the record with a riff not unlike something you’d expect from tech-metal titans Meshuggah, the sheer power behind the guitar work on this track is exhilarating, even playful in it’s groove-laden bounce, and the band’s use of clean vocals only prove to highlight their uniqueness. The Farnborough trio’s evolution into proficient technical metal has been incredibly elegant, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t start the song over again as soon as it ended the first dozen times.

12109309_305894239581354_8783858922694947899_n

Continuing on, we come to arguably the most radio-friendly track, Burning Shame. This time, we’re treated to what sounds like echoes of bands such as Lower Than Atlantis in the instrumentals, and even shades of Foo Fighters in the song’s vocal delivery. However, it’s very difficult to pick out specific bands when speaking about Rootwork, and that’s one of the best things about the trio. However, don’t let those comparisons fool you, Burning Shame isn’t afraid to bring the riffs back once more, and this time it’s just as heavy.

When we come to the third track on the record, however, the influences here are clear, in the best way possible. Dead Man’s Jacket has Mastodon written all over it, straight down to the song’s haunting verses, climbing chorus and fuzz-laden guitar lines. The song’s major interlude around the halfway mark adds a psychedelic tinge to proceedings, leading the track to probably end up the most intriguing on the record, once again leaving the audience with another chaotic crescendo.

Review of Rootwork's E.P titled 'Gallows Humour'

Closing the E.P. is final track Nothing’s Left For You. Taking the haunting, ethereal verses the band seem to write so well and melding it with gentle, finger picked guitar lines, creating an atmosphere thick enough to envelope the listener completely. Harmonised vocals add another layer of intricacy to the already rich soundscape before coming to a head with a cacophony of absolutely earth-shattering riffs throughout the piece. Clocking in at nearly eight minutes, the song absolutely justifies it’s extended running time with a plethora of riff variations, keeping the listener on their toes, stopping them from getting too comfortable with the way the track is ticking along.

Rootwork have delivered something truly special here. Whilst borrowing from some genre-spanning names, the band have served up a completely new take on the tech-metal scene. Hell, I’m not even sure what to class this as. One thing I do know, however, is that if there’s one thing you should be doing in 2016, it’s keeping an eye on the boys in Rootwork. Don’t expect this E.P. to be such a hidden gem for much longer.

Score : 9/10

Links, etc: Rootwork on Facebook Rootwork's Website