One Day, After School (ODAS), began life as Wakefield musician Dean Freemans solo project which has since developed into a full band which now seems to have found a settled line-up.Having released various singles and EP’s in the past ODAS have now released their debut album, The Invisible Anchor, on Philophobia Music.ODAS describe themselves as Post Everything I’ll try to steer away from too many post rock/punk references as the band have quite clearly stated this for me.
Opener Deepsleep’s pounding beat drives through this instrumental track full of swirling guitars as well as understated keys, which combine for an exhilarating start to proceedings.21st Century Winters somehow manages to breeze effortlessly through the quiet/loud contrast which leads nicely into latest single Hammer & Anvil a brooding tune which stays with you long after its conclusion.The progression of ODAS’ sound can be acutely heard on tracks such as Arc which leads you into a false sense of security before building into a crescendo that is rapidly followed by the album’s title track which sees the band revert towards their sound on previous releases showcasing how much variety The Invisible Anchor carries.
It’s hard to see that the title of, When I loved Music, Everything Was New, isn’t reference to the recycling of bands influences in music which is inevitable, however the virtuosity displayed on the guitars make for a standout moment on the record.The somewhat muffled tones of Becoming Dust make for a shoegaze feel leading into the swooning beginnings of For Coca Cola which builds up into a wall of sound and feedback.The Invisible Anchor continues its rich vein of form with There Is Nothing For You Here which features the quiet and loud balance that ODAS seem to hit so well before being brought to a fitting end by the exquisite Escape Notes which is about as close to punk rock as the band gets.
Although it has been a long time in the make ODAS’ debut album was worth the wait and it somehow manages to leave you with hope despite the occasional post fatalism feel it has as well as leaving you longing for a shorter wait for album number 2.
London’s Divisionists have released their debut album, Daybreak, on the independent label Mount Watatic Records. With distinct melodies that hold this record together, Daybreak has a real sincerity to it which offers the chance for listener and musicians to unite.
Divisionists ensure that the album gets off to an impossibly good start with the mightily impressive Say Can You, a rip-roaring tune that harks back to guitar pop of the 90’s accompanied by fuzzy riffs that tear through the song. The aptly titled Dream Landscape sees some understated tones in addition to the soft guitars that swooon through this track and although the vocal content is low, when they do kick in they are special which allows Divisionists to show that less is sometimes more.
The band also cover a plethora of genres throughout Daybreak which allows the album to remain interesting for its duration and songs such as The First Casulty have more of a traditional rock sound to them, however there is enough of a twist taken on this kind of music to avoid a repetitive sound of the past. The ability to slow the pace right down is also demonstrated on Colours (Song For A Spaceman), a tune who’s key to its effectiveness is held within its simplicity.
All Fall Down sees the band dip their toe into a folky sound which features lyrical content that pulls at your heartstrings making for an emotive moment on this excellent record. Daybreak is brought to a close with its longest track We Must Be Careful a grand tune leaving you yearning for more with glorious harmonies in addition to a virtuous guitar solo rounding off a superb debut album from the talented Divisionists.
Independent label Clue Records have started 2017 off by introducing their new monthly subscription service Clue Club. There will also be a single released by a different act each month, as well as there being ‘zine created by said act available to subscribers as well as a whole host of other goodies such as t-shirts and a compilation CD featuring all of the releases that will be a part of Clue Club. The first release as part of this monthly records club will be the split AA-Side from Leeds bands Fighting Caravans and Colour of Spring.
The opening track is, It’s A Nice Ride (To Be Fair), from Fighting Caravans who having toured extensively have gained a reputation as an explosive live band which sees their shows full of the unexpected which keeps the audience captivated. Full of encapsulating melodies that swoop through the song in addition to fierce lyrical content which takes hold of you making this brilliant tune absolutely fly by. When accompanied by the sublime sounds the band put together It’s A Nice Ride (To Be Fair) ensures that Clue Club would be well worth subscribing too.
Up next is Colour Of Springs offering, Frail, yet another great find from clue featuring a brilliant opening riff that dives straight into the heart breaking vocals that gives this song a real anthemic feel. There’s more than a touch of shoegaze to Frail, which is a truly exceptional tune that builds and builds until it reaches a climatic wall of sound. On the back of this AA-Side it’s easy to tell that Clue have done it again and released a couple of belters that make Clue Club, coming in at under thirty pounds, well worth subscribing to.
Chris Lazo is a Cardiff based musician who produces music under the Flailhead moniker has self-released his debut EP The Art of Absolution. The EP is an instrumental only metal record which came as a is surprise as I have not heard much of this kind of music without vocals, however this allows the virtuosity of Lazo’s musicianship to shine throughout. The Art of Absolution is full of hard hitting riffs as well as inspiring solos that contain a sense of urgency as can be heard on EP opener Omega Supreme. Melody is also key to Lazo’s musings on this record and you hear the influence of bands such as InFlames and Opeth on tracks like Diabolda and Purge. Although they take influence from others, Flailhead have enough originality to make this an EP that’s well worth giving a listen.
Southgate were a metal band from Portland, Oregon who formed in 2010 who have now since Taken on the name of Crackling Dawn. Adrift will be the band’s debut EP and is full of intense riffs that are prominent for the duration of this progressive metal record. Coming in at and epic 14 minutes this one-track EP takes you on a gargantuan voyage covering a range of emotions, that raises you up before sending you plummeting back down to earth. There is also plenty of melody on the record that often breaks down into more, calm serene moments with harmonious vocals that build up to the more deep gritty ones that make for a wide range of variety that allows you to stay engaged throughout Adrift.
Serge Bulat is a Moldovan born producer and singer/songwriter who now resides in New York, who has followed up his award winning Queuelbum LP with the Third World Walker EP. Bulat produces electronica that is more on the experimental side, however it has a fluidity and complexity that makes it difficult to pinpoint but is utterly engrossing.
The EP commences with previous single Third World River a brilliant ambient tune that allows you to drift away and that has garnered recognition for an ambitious, innovative video project. We are moved on to an unreleased version of Rec Shift Motel, a thought provoking track which features dark, illicit tones that loom over you. Idiots In Hell is a reworking of Bulat’s Idiots In Heaven track where he has collaborated with Argentinian music artist Clan Balache and it’s deep, understated techno sounds make for an enthralling journey. Third World Walker is bookended by another single, Walker which has a soft, droning beat that takes you through this sublime tune and draws this great EP to a conclusion.
Minihorse are a trio hailing from Ypsilanti, Michigan and on the back of their successful stint at South by South West they have revealed the video for the track Thriller. The song itself is a wonderfully melodic, fuzzy pop tune that gives off a distinct dreamy vibe and is taken from their recent Big Lack EP released on Friendship Fever Records.
The video was shot and directed by band member Ben Collins who has this to say about the plot, ‘The Chauffeur is preparing for another night of work. He’s got a number of pickups to make. A woman got burned in a house fire, so she’ll need a pickup. A man is drinking himself to death at the bar, so he’ll need a pickup too. Everyone gets picked up eventually. But some jobs are harder than others.’
Icelandic artist Sóley celebrates the upcoming release of her third album, Endless Summer, by giving us the video for lead single Grow. The video was directed by Samantha Shay in addition to being shot in Reykjavik during record snowfall which gives you an almost haunting feeling.
Shay has this to say about the video, ‘On the day of our shoot, a record snowfall hit Reykjavik, and we thought, how could we possibly make a video for an album called Endless Summer, but I realised through this process that Sóley is the Endless Summer, conjuring her incandescence. So there she is, in the middle of the snow all on her own, dreaming of the warmth she creates to surround her. This ability to be present with what is in front of us, instead of what we wish could be, is to me, the journey of the song, and Sóley’s journey that I tried to capture in Grow on the day of our shoot, a record snowfall hit Reykjavik, and we thought, how could we possibly make a video for an album called “Endless Summer”, but I realised through this process that Sóley is the Endless Summer, conjuring her incandescence. So there she is, in the middle of the snow all on her own, dreaming of the warmth she creates to surround her. This ability to be present with what is in front of us, instead of what we wish could be, is to me, the journey of the song, and Sóley’s journey that I tried to capture in Grow.’
Endless Summer will be out on 19th May via Morr Music and you can watch the video for Grow here.