We’ve had a bumper month for review requests this month! Here’s what our chief knobhead; Fat Bloke With No Tattoos, thought of the albums, EPs & singles we received. However, we encourage you to listen to the music and decide for youself.
Paraphernalia is a cool, trippy & relaxing album. Beautifully blending drums, bass, synth, brass & guitars with retro-sounding samples in the vein of Public Service Broadcasting, it’s the brain child of Simon Jason Smith and Findlay MacKinnon who both live in the Midlands and are fully immersed in the local scene.
Single: Little Me
By Tamara Jenna
Soundcloud An impressive debut single from Birmingham's Tamara Jenna. Addressing one of the most pressing issues of today; anxiety from her own experiences and perspectives. Tamara has worked with David Mccabe of DMC Recordings and together they have produced a beautiful track that doesn't have any airs & graces, just. Definitely one to watch.
Album: Cancelled Rearranged
Bandcamp Worcester post-punk quartet Skewwhiff are back with their 2nd album and it's a cracker. Pumping ska-punk beats and scuzzy guitars which always leave room for the lyrics which deal with the bands' staple subject matters of mental health, social anxiety, female objectification and ageing.
Single: Spooky Feeling
Bandcamp This is a darkly-funky disco track from Birmingham's Waler (Vincent Gould & John Napier). There's no frills here, just minimalist, efficient musicianship, scant of superfluousness. This should be being played in the most dimly lit discos all over Digbeth and beyond.
Single: I Was Meant To Love
By Leon C
Leon C Music Another beautiful folk-drenched introspective track from Leon Chatterton. Introspective & reflective, it's a real antidote to the banal & superficial modern pop scene. In an age where young acoustic performers are tempted in to synth-pop to escape the 'acoustic' label, it's good to see a 19 year old who's committed to producing his art, his way.
Album: An Insight Into A-B
By Sean Duggan
Facebook This is an incredibly soulful acoustic album from Sean Duggan. With faultless vocals & guitar work, the album bleeds with Paolo Nutini & Ray La Montagne vibes and it’s not difficult to imagine Radio 2 being all over this. Produced by Jamie Russon at Mooses Music Hole, Sean plays everything on here and having caught him live recently, I was mightily impressed.
Album: The Bridge
By R John Webb
Bandcamp Packed with swaggering Americana-folk this is a fantastic debut solo EP from Ryan Webb, formerly of local legends Rhino & The Ranters. Opener Guajira will have you tapping, clapping and dancing from the instant you press play and is followed by the brilliant & eerily catchy We Are The Subterraneans. Deadlands, evokes images of a misty battlefield during the American Civil War. The EP closes by the emotional & reflective These Strings Of The Old Guitar. Pure Genius.
Album: Wolf On The Stares
By The Psychotic Male Voice Choir
Facebook Gloriously gloomy & alternative d.i.y. This album is anti-commercial & anti-cool. With songs recorded “in one take using one guitar, three pedals and an amp with incorporated drum machine and looper”. A booklet of visuals included with the CD perfectly compliments the strange yet compelling sounds that you’ll hear. It’s not for hipsters.
Single: Loaded Gun
By Marlow Sounds
Facebook A nice indie-sound from West Brom's Marlow Sounds. Citing bands such as Oasis & Ocean Colour Scene as influences, this track has a gentler, more Embrace feel to it. Some nice synth touches help this feel much more contemporary than those influences but it could do with a bit of a tempo-shift part way through to really grab you.
By Thunderous Jones
Facebook Living up to their name, the debut single by Midlands band Thunderous Jones sets of at a racing pace of seemingly 80s-hair-metal inspired screaming rock. The song gets a bit more up to date with a more Linkin Park feel and while it’s not breaking the mould, it's sure to go down well with fans of classic rock & metal.
By Millie May
Bandcamp A very atmospheric track that's nice to listen to. Millie has a distinctive, breathy vocal style that, in this song, results in words being lost, leaving it lacking significant meaning. I'd love to be able to discern the lyrics more. Helpfully, the lyrics are on the Bandcamp page but upon reading them, they don't really provide much to think about and the track seems to be more style than substance.