The Passed is the latest EP from The Passing Fancy, the solo project of Wakefield based musician Paul Bateson.Kicking off with the reflective yet bouncy All I Wanna Do (Is Get Drunk Today), which instantly makes you want to be down the pub singing along to the chorus.Beer & Wine (I’ll Be Fine) screams of heartbreak, pulling at your heartstrings while also seeing a great take on traditional folk music by accompanying some wonderful strings along with guitars that meld together perfectly.The Passing Fancy then jump into a short sharp burst of garage rock on Let Me Know (Or Let Me Go) which sees a change in direction for them all be it a good one.Despite coming in at less than six minutes the EP is splendidly put together and with the promise of new music for later in the year it leaves me looking forward to hearing more from The Passing Fancy.
Aradia are an experimental post rock four piece from Portland who have self-released their self-titled EP.The drawn out, brooding intro to opening track Exile builds up a huge sense of anticipation before developing into a masterful track full of swirling guitars.Next up is Frantic a slow burner of a tune which leads you into a false sense of security before reaching a crescendo including a closing section which fits the title perfectly.Skin Changer follows the quiet/loud format which Aradia seem to do so well as well as demonstrating on this instrumental record that vocals are not always needed as excellent musicianship can speak for itself.The thought provoking Rotten has more than a shoegaze feel to it as well as featuring an introspective tone that ensures Aradia draw things to a close in a fine manner.
The latest offering from Wakefield duo The Do’s comes in the form of the single W.T.F, released on the independent label Philophobia Music.Full of menacing and fuzzy guitars, that has become a trademark of this extremely talented band, the track itself sees them keep up the fine form that has been demonstrated on previous releases.The chorus breaks into a glorious cacophony of noise that leaves you surprised that two people can make such a racket in addition to leaving you with the hope that W.T.F could be a teaser to a full-length record in the future.
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.
The Bleeding Obvious is the musical project of Wakefield’s Jessica Rowbottom and she has released her self-titled debut album, an incredibly well put together that I can loosely describe as electro pop but that encapsulates so much more. The Bleeding Obvious have also collaborated with over 40 musicians and vocalists on this album, so there are too many to mention individually, however it is tribute to Jessica that she has managed to get so many talented people on one album.
The spoken word intro to Splendid! Gives off the impression that it will be something entirely different to the wonderfully nostalgic piano house tune that it morphs into which makes for a brilliant start to the album that engages you immediately. After a bouncy interlude on Special Snowflake, the pace is slowed down on the melancholic yet endearing You and I (Always Fighting). The Bleeding Obvious cover a variety of genres which means this record is not something to be pigeon holed as can be heard on the understated dub tones of I, Human which then quickly jumps into the yearning ballad, Double Hard.
The jaunty beat of Not Dead (Yet) is contrasted by its sombre lyrics that when combined make for an outstanding pop tune. Put Your Arms Around Me is a delightful ode to a lover that makes you feel comfortable with the fact that it’s alright to get help from other people. Coming in a six minutes long Runaway is by far the longest track of the album, however it fly’s by with a smooth groove that allows the lyrics to tell this tale of unrequited attraction. The Bleeding Obvious continue to hop about through the genres on Can’t Come Home yet another great tune that’s tinged in reggae.
Rock Chick features vocals that have an element of the dramatic about them that is surrounded by a beat dipped in delicious funk in addition to having a customary epic guitar solo. The self-explanatory title of Bittersweet Goodbye encapsulates the feeling of being in a club at the end of the night within its brooding sound as well as the reflective lyrics. As The Bleeding Obvious draw proceedings to a conclusion on the swooning Me, Myself and I it’s shocking just how quick the time has flown and this intriguing, encapsulating record and with album number two apparently in the works I for one cannot wait to hear more from The Bleeding Obvious.