Marmozets

936e653d59226bb

Been yonks since I did a band plug and quite a while since I wrote anything about music on here at all. Plenty of potential stuff to write about but nothing that’s quite captured me as much as this little band, Marmozets. Hailing from Yorkshire they deal in math rock, emo, and post-hardcore with an ear for a catchy chorus. Fronted by vocalist Becca McIntyre with a debut album due soon I think they’re ready to set the rock world alight for the first time in ages.

With two EP’s to their name so far and a handful of singles these guys have already shown a great diversity in their abilities. The first EP, Passive Aggressive shows a real pop sensibility with, dare I say it, hints of Paramore in their choruses Becca’s vocals sound so similar to Hayley Williams but she pushes it one step further with a scream that would put a lot of metal bands to shame. They show a real ability to experiment and throw everything they’ve got at us in a barrage of news and overall great musicianship. Their math rock influences shine through on a lot of tracks too, Onemanwolfpack has sections reminiscent of Rolo Tomassi and EP closer The Perfect Beverage at times sounds like The Fall of Troy. But never far away is this sense of mainstream rock and roll, I often pick up an aura of early Biffy Clyro and hence the potential for Marmozets to break out of a niche and perhaps one day headline arenas like the Biff. Their second EP, Vexed, is a lot heavier overall the title track is an absolute screamer. But again the collection is littered with catchiness and the final track, Arrive Alive, will have you repeating the chorus over and over in your head. With their latest singles we get a taste of what to expect from their debut LP, with a more polished sound the band have retained their heaviness along with the infective choruses that’ll get you singing along.

These guys are the most exciting British rock band I’ve come across in years and their record looks set not to disappoint check out their EP’s now, both of which you can get free, and let’s help transform this group into superstars.

Advertisements

Deafheaven

DeafheavenIt’s been a long while since my last band plug post and that’s mainly because there have been a lack of awesome bands that I’ve discovered. But when I heard Deafheaven’s new album, Sunbather, a few weeks ago the band immediately became something I needed to talk about. It’s hard to define the bands sound really as it combines elements of a huge amount of genres and also has something that is completely different from anything I’ve ever heard. Having originally been conceived as a two-piece, founding members George Clarke and Kerry McCoy have been through various touring and recording members but have always maintained their unique style.

It would be hard to describe Deafheaven as any one kind of music but due to their screaming vocals and the fact that they’re signed to Death Wish Records it may be they are seen from the outside as a metal band. The problem with this is that any pigeon holing of this band is vastly limiting their appeal. These guys are not a metal band, they’re not an indie band, they’re not even necessarily a rock band; they are a musicians with a clear cut artistic goal that have managed to create music that is so strikingly personal and raw that it can not be defined as a genre of a music only as the art that it is. There first studio album Roads to Judah didn’t have the sublime production that was to be found on its follow-up but it still holds the bands vision and signature sound that you will become accustomed to after listening to one track. It’s their new album, though, Sunbather, that really is nothing short of a masterpiece. It ebbs and flows through speedy metal beats and riffs swarming their way into psychadelic fades and dreamy waves of music. Its bold music that is both brutal and beautiful.

With two great studio albums under their belt and an ever-growing fan base let’s hope Deafheaven are a band that will continue to push boundaries and create great, unique music. If you scroll down I’ve put this new-fangled Spotify play button so you don’t even have to leave this page to get into perhaps the most exciting band of the year.

Kvelertak

KVELERTAK1

Recently while I was looking for some good new music I stumbled Norwegian metalers Kvelertak. Their new album Meir which was released last month drew me in immediately and in the week since I have become rather addicted to the groups blend of heavy metal, hardcore, punk and, at times, even classic rock.

Screamy heavy metal like Kvelertak is normally not something I would listen to, while I appreciate there are a huge number of good bands that fall into their category like Mastodon, MachineHead or Lamb of God I’ve always found that type of shouting to be a bit too much for me, melodramatic maybe and I’ve always opted for music with a less deliberate kind of shouting rather than screaming like Gallows. However when I whacked on the first track of Meir there was something about the group that despite the shrieking vocals really grabbed and dragged me into a new world. Perhaps it has something to do with their being Norwegian, perhaps its because the music really is just so well written that it would be impossible not to. Despite being grabbed immediately it wasn’t until later in the album when I became fully aware of how insanely awesome these guys were. Throughout the record there are awesome riffs and shades of a load of different genres but the shit really hits the fan when it gets to track eight, Nekrokosmos and as the song draws to its close it leaves you thrash riff that will keep you head-banging for ages, or all the time it takes your iPod to play the next track and your treated to another of the same calibre. There’s even an air of Foo Fighters in Tordenbrak and the final track eponymously titled Kvelertak has an essence of Led Zeppelin in there while the whole time being as heavy as an elephant sized stack of bricks. Their first album also called Kvelertak is more of the same and holds its own charm even if I don’t like it quite as much as Meir.

With two albums under their belt both of which being rock hard slabs of the finest metal music has to offer surely things can only be looking up for the mighty Kvelertak. Go give them a listen and tell me I’m wrong.

Pretty Lights

PLLDubstep is dead and gone, murdered and trampled into the ground by pop music and Skrillex taking the form and bending it into something it never should have been. However glimmering out from the gaps in the clouds you get a few artists who still take dubstep to new levels the best of which I have ever come across, conveniently for this metaphor, goes by the name of Pretty Lights. I’ve heard the odd track of his being banded around our house for the past six months or so and had always been impressed until yesterday I finally got down to listening to him extensively, so far I’ve listened to probably just over half his discography and pretty much every song has blown me away.

The first record I put on was his second album, a double LP called Filling Up the City Skies and I was greeted with something I didn’t quite expect. The album was a lot more chilled than his newer stuff that I’d heard before and it seamlessly combine hip-hop rhythms with warbling bass creating some of the most atmospheric tunes I’ve ever heard, the whole two discs of the album doesn’t contain one bad song and it creates a mood that I could, quite happily, just sit in all day every day with.

Then I moved on to some of his more recent EP’s all of which came out 2010 there was, Spilling Over Every Side, Making Up a Changing Mind and finally, Glowing in the Darkest Night. Every EP had it’s aura but all still managed to encompass the distinctive flavour I’ve come to love. Interspersing pumps of rhythm from electric guitars with dubstep bass and hip-hop beats, it literally doesn’t get better than this.

As I write this I am listening to his first album, Taking Up Your Precious Time, and am hearing a very different sound still. Much less electronic and much more jazzy with more rolling bass lines and synth tones being sprinkled over the top. It just begs the question why this guy is not huge? Why is he not a household name? He creates music unlike any other on the scene but yet it’s Skrillex who becomes the breakthrough dubstep producer, it just doesn’t compute but anyway before I go into a rant about the hideous state of the world go and listen to some Pretty Lights post me a comment to let me know your opinion.

 

Die Antwoord

Die Antwoord (3)This is going to be one of my weirdest band plugs mainly because I don’t even know if I like Die Antwoord, but when I started watching their bizarre music videos over Christmas I wasn’t able to shake them from my mind and since then all I’ve wanted to do is find out more about these freaks. Die Antwoord consists of South African duo Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser and although not ever really considered a full member their DJ, DJ Hi-Tek. They define themselves as a rap-rave group and have pretty much coined the term Zef to describe their music.

Now the majority of you will know Die Antwoord for ‘Enter the Ninja’ their youtube hit that has now reached over 14 million views. Enter the Ninja is a decent indicator as to what this band are, they have a constant question mark over their heads asking are these guys for real or is this just a big piss-take? Looking at their other songs the answer will become no clearer to you. You will frequently come across something similar to Enter the Ninja; Fatty Boom Boom, for example features the same kind of simple hook that sounds like it was written by a three year old but is it ripping on current pop culture or not? Their are other songs that are much more enjoyable listens, my favourite is Fok Julie Naaiers which I think is slightly more normal sounding, but I use the word normal very loosely in this instance. Their first album $o$ is of course strange but their follow up record Ten$ion I found a much more enjoyable listen but it’s impossible to deny the production qualities on both. The track Baby’s on Fire for example wouldn’t sound out of place in a UK night club but is immediately better than any of the dance music around in the country today simply for the value of their weirdness.

On the question of whether these nutters are being serious or not I’m almost they’re playing caricatures. Watching various interviews with the duo on YouTube though doesn’t really answer anything one interview in particular involves Ninja losing it at the interviewer for asking if the band viewed themselves as conceptual art. But I think the interviews these guys take part in they are playing their parts during them. One of the reasons I believe it’s all a joke is from listening to previous projects of theirs. Ninja’s real name is Watkin Tudor Jones and Die Antwoord is not his first project with Yo-Landi. Their most notable project beforehand was probably Max Normal who were a much more straight hip-hop and when you listen to their tracks showing that the pair do know what normal music is. Another band of theirs was The Constructus Corporation which was more trip-hoppy but still infinitely more normal than Die Antwoord.

The biggest thing swaying me though is the bands videos. They are some of the most entertaining things I have ever seen. The aforementioned Fatty Boom Boom features a Lady Gaga lookalike giving birth to a prawn. All their official videos are incredibly well-crafted pieces of abstract film. The greatest thing the band have done is without their short film Umshini Wam which I will post at the bottom of this entry. Their videos are so good in fact that even David Lynch is a fan of the band allegedly he has invited them to his house for a coffee so maybe if we all keep our fingers crossed one day we might a feature length Lynch/Antwoord movie, I’m foaming at the mouth just thinking about it enjoy this fucked up shit:

 

Sum 41

sum-41-5002d9de07e67Sum 41 may seem an odd band for to be plugging on here, mainly for the fact that I have no doubt everyone reading this will have heard of them. Everyone I know will remember their early teens being littered with hits by the Canadian punk-pop outfit, their most famous obviously being ‘Fat Lip’. But the reason I feel this post is warranted is because it appears they’re a band that’s been forgotten, remembered fondly but no longer have a place on the iPod, however I would argue that if people gave their new stuff a listen they would be surprised at what they find, in my opinion Sum 41 have been improving with every album.

Back in the day I remember Sum 41 being a favourite amongst the boom of pop punk in the late nineties and early noughties, along with Blink, Good Charlotte, The Offspring and American Idiot-era Green Day. People first started taking notice of them with their debut album All Killer No Filler for a lot of people I think that’s where their love for them both started and finished. It’s injustice really considering this is actually their worst record, it’s eclipsed by the groups original EP, Half Hour of Power and a lot of the songs on the album were taken from that record the only good additions were the aforementioned ‘Fat Lip’ and ‘In Too Deep’ which are now the songs the band are known for. Their follow-up Does This Look Infected? was just as popular at the time and a far superior album. Although nowadays when I talk to people Infected? is much less remembered. When I go back and listen to the record now this is where you can start to see the potential for a serious band, they’re still joking around but there’s some very strong instrumentation and well structured and thought out songs.

It was in 2004 with the release of Chuck were the group really changed their focus and with it lost their commercial success and in retrospect the love of teenage fans. I must admit, I didn’t care for it when it came out I was still more interested in the jokey/poppy stuff that was coming out of Blink or Good Charlotte. Chuck saw Sum 41 start to write about some serious topics after the band had a near death experience on tour and were saved by a man named Chuck, the album though is not without its catchy hooks and fun songs but ultimately was a lot darker than their previous work and perhaps they were still maturing in their musicality as well back then. It wasn’t until 2007’s Underclass Hero that I began to take notice again, having matured massively myself I was heading into the darker side of rock moving towards the emo side of things and while everyone was looking elsewhere I cam across my old friends Sum 41 again and Underclass Hero was breath of fresh air. Combining the more complex emotions I was experiencing in late adolescence with the fun riffs and simplicity of the pop punk that had got me into rock music in the first place. It quickly became one of my favourite albums and to this day I still very much enjoy listening to it.

Their latest album Screaming Bloody Murder furthers their transformation into a serious rock group, the lyrics littered with pain and hurt that may have come from lead singer, Deryck Whibley’s divorce to his wife Avril Lavigne. The music on this record is so well structured it is at times hard to believe these are the same guys that brought us that simple pop music from our childhoods. Sum 41 produce music of top quality these days, go have a listen to their new stuff and I promise you won’t be disappointed, also their documentary to accompany Screaming Bloody Murder is a fun watch as well so here it is: