Album Reviews

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has released his debut solo album ‘We’re All Somebody from’ Somewhere’ and it is actually quite a gem to this reviewer whose rocking, started in the 70's. Not released with any great hoopla, the music on the record speaks for itself. Having lived with the record for a week, it’s been a staple in the car with the sunshine out to accompany the listening.

Opener ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ is a song of raw emotions and with a superb guitar solo at the end (that fades too soon), it’s a great start to the record.

Tyler co-produced the 15-track album alongside T-Bone Burnett and Dann Huff and was based in Nashville last spring to work on the project. He is since quoted as saying “Country music is the new Rock ‘n Roll.” 

This album is about far more than country though. His 19-city solo U.S. tour, is called ‘Steven Tyler’s Out on a Limb’ and that’s what the album is, one of the great rock n’ roll voices playing the songs he wants to outside of ‘the band’ format, just not sure what took him so long.

The funk comes in on the title track whilst, it’s an industrial vibe on ‘Hold On (won’t let go)’ and then the ballad ‘It Ain’t Easy’ and a steel guitar on a highway song, ‘Love is Your Name’ then, it’s a pop song with ‘I make my Own Sunshine’.

‘Gypsy Girl’ could well be the first song termed ‘Country’ on the record. Indeed it’s a record of many styles, many songs and if you love Aerosmith, then there is already a loving fan-base for this record, but also, as a stand-alone album it certainly holds it’s own as a, top down on the car, highway driving record!

It’s not a record trying to re-invent the wheel, it’s just a guy still plying his trade all these years down the road and still having a good time and yes, the album includes a new version of 'Janie's got a Gun'

Pete
9/11

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Kat Healy is a singer-songwriter from Edinburgh and for all our listening pleasure, she has released a new ep entitled ‘Wolf’.

A beautiful voice that envelopes the listener in aural honey. Five songs that glide by blissfully with the piano, and cello as the layer on which Kat’s voice rests and soars in equal measure.

Created in the quiet solitude of Schwarzwald in Germany, under the wintery sky of it’s mountain range, the songs were carefully constructed and then brought home to be recorded live over two days, with long time friend and collaborator Garry Boyle at Slate Room Studio in Pencaitland.

Have suffered the lost of her father in 2015, this is Kat’s first recording since. It’s stripped back, emotionally charged and so gentle, that it’s easy to fall in love with this record after the first listen.

Vocals & Acoustic Guitar - Kat Healy
Piano - Thilo Pfander
Harmonium - Thilo Pfander
Cello - Graham Coe

Pete

9/11

Website

 

Following the release of 2 successful EPs during 2015, Oxfordshire 5 piece Little Brother Eli release their debut album Cold Tales kicking and screaming into the world.

I’m not sure of the musical heritage of Oxfordshire outside of Radiohead, but I suggest the amount of bluesy, garage rock bands can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Little Brother Eli make a great place to start. Think of a melding of Zeppelin riffs, Black Keys energy and chuck in a bit of Biffy, and you’ve got LBE sussed out. Oh, and do yourself a favour, listen with the sound turned up on a stereo rather than headphones, and open the windows for that authentic festival experience because that’s surely where this band are destined to belong.

Anthem opening track Oceans and the equally sing along Dreams are surely destined to be live favourites with the sweat soaked front rows singing back the lyrics to the band while they get on with the business of the downright dirty, filthy riffing.

Roll Away changes pace (slightly) with its lovely verse and chorus before again descending into damn heavy riffage, whilst keeping the mood laid back.

Gold starts with acoustic guitar and wouldn’t be out of place if you heard this on the back porch of a Louisiana homestead backing onto the Mississippi. Southern boogie, courtesy of the home counties.

Title track, and album closer Cold Tales showcases the fabulous vocal skills of Alex Grew. At just over 5 minutes, its the longest track on the album and seems to nicely sum up the collective 9 tracks that have passed previously. It acts as a Sunday morning hangover track, counterpointing the Saturday night adrenaline soaked previous cuts.

Where on earth the band get their inspiration from is irrelevant if they are making music this good. Who cares that they are from middle England, and not the Southern States. These guys already stand alongside much more experienced and established acts as those previously mentioned. They’ve got riffs, they’ve got balls, they’ve got attitude and most importantly, they have got some damn fine tunes. This is a band going places.

9/11

Keith @kjsmith4082

What do you get when you cross Tuung with Diagrams ? Or more specifically, Mike Lindsay from Tuung and Sam Genders from Diagrams ? The result is Throws which happens to be the output of a planned meeting and get together to chew the fat.

Now based in Reykjavik, Lindsay invited his old mate Genders over to catch up on life, and they decided the opportunity was too good to pass up and the result was the self titled debut album, released in the UK on the ever reliable Full Time Hobby.

So what does it sound like ? Well, obviously, there are Tuung influences of persuasive pulsing lo fi, and quirky upbeat electronica a la Diagrams, yet the sum of the parts is lively, fresh and appealing.....just like that Icelandic air.

The 2 voices harmonise perfectly - Lindsay with his earthy flat style, and Genders with his falsetto top end, over a mainly acoustic heart to the record. Iceland seemingly has influenced the recording extensively - check out the ethereal and downright beautiful Sun Gun which utilises the sting backing section of Sigur Ros who themselves go by the name Amiina. It’s difficult to not get the influence of Sigur Ros out of your head once you know when the recording took place, and indeed what you might imagine a meeting of Tuung and Diagrams might sound like, and that is certainly no bad thing.

Opening track The Harbour, starts rather unexpectedly with thumping bass drum and electric guitar set to echo mode, before the almost Floyd-like harmonies implore us to “please, won’t you stay, in the harbour”, then moving onto Bon Iver territory....This has been an ear worm for a couple of days now.

Punch Drunk Sober - the second track released ahead of the album, is a synth driven electronic vibe - think John Grant from his Pale Green Ghosts album, rather than Queen of Denmark.

Silence in Between changes direction again, with a simple acoustic guitar opening, and again some soaring string backing - a gorgeous 2 1/2 minutes.

The quite bonkers album closer is the 6 minute Under The Ice, which is partly narrated, and partly sung - seemingly about some sub aquatic encounter with a woman who then turns into an albatross.....maybe Lindsay distills his own Icelandic moonshine ?

This is an album that wears its influences very clearly, none more so than the country of Iceland itself. For me, a little more Tuung and a little less Diagrams influence would have been perfect, but you can’t argue this is a worthy addition to both artists' output. Quirky, energetic, at times sublime, and always interesting. Looking forward to catching up with them at End of the Road later in the year.

8/11

Keith @kjsmith4082

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An album with a fire burning bright in it’s very soul is how best to describe the latest album fromToronto three piece Odonis Odonis called 'Post Plague' on the Felte record label.

Opening track ‘Fearless’ jumps out of the record, electronics blasting, and a Kasabain style vocal from across the water. ‘Needs’ the second track takes a different approach vocals wise, more urgent and menacing. This is NIN territory with no electric guitar in sight, played loud is the only option by the way! Each song is original, varied in style and powerful in presentation.

An underground staple in Toronto, the band broke out in 2011 with their debut, Hollandaze. They then began turning heads with their live shows and their follow up LP,' Hard Boiled Soft Boiled' was Polaris Prize nominated.

Now it’s time for the global step with, 'Post Plague' with it’s industrial, electronica and ear shattering stance. Dean Tzenos' vocals sit upfront, delivered with a intensity that is admirable, Denholm Whale's bass lays groundwork and Jarod Gibson delivers the core rhythms. I have always reckoned a 3 piece is the most powerful combination, here is another band to prove that point.

Speaking about the 'Vanta Black' track, lead singer Dean Tzenos said "The time for half measures has passed. We need to be bold to make the changes needed to ward off an impending doom. Enough of constant overanalysing and overthinking that has stopped progress. We need to look deep into the abyss and jump head first into the darkest substance ever known, vanta black."

It's time to check this band out

Pete

9/11

July Euro tour

15 Utrecht, NL @ TivoliVredenburg
16 Haarlem, NL @ Kliko Festival
17 The Hague, NL @ Grauzone Summer Festival
18 Antwerp BE @ Het Bos
19 Gent, BE @ Kinky Star (Gentse Feesten Festival)
20 London, UK @ The Waiting Room
22 Paris, FR @ Supersonic (free show)
23 Stuttgart DE @ Secret venue

Bandcamp