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.
Imaginary Tricks is a new project founded by Mike Visser formerly of Sacramento band Frank Jordan are due to release their debut album Skommel. The record is set to be released on independent label Friendship Fever Records and is coming out fresh on the back of the bands successful jaunt to the famed South by Southwest.
This is an album that’s full of layers in addition to transcending genres which allows Imaginary Tricks to work without boundaries as can be heard on opening track Mr. Big. Idea. There is a wide variety of songs on Skommel especially on tunes like Lights Out which starts with a smooth intro before building into an excellent gritty and rugged affair. Night Owl which has hit written all over it features some wonderful harmonies as well as silky guitars that go along with a delicious chorus that instantly gets you singing along.
The imagery used on Bird is exemplarily once you hear this dream like tune you can’t help but feel a sense of freedom which takes you to a special place once the guitar solo kicks in and with all these components it’s easy to see why this was the lead single for the album. Its’ not just the tunes on Skommel that are fascinating, Visser also demonstrates excellent song writing abilities, as he tells the tale of his father’s immigration from South Africa to the United States on No Ordinary Guy that has a simplistic charm to it. The record ends with the hushed tones of the delightfully introspective Ease that builds up into an emotive song that wraps up a superb debut effort from Imaginary Tricks as well as showing they have all the tools to make this project a success.
SUNFACE is the solo project of Daniel Longmore, from the band Trash, and he has returned with his latest release, courtesy of Clue Records, following up from last year’s acclaimed debut EP.
The EP kicks off with lead single Stay Happy, a delightful tune that swoons along beautifully as well as being more than ably aided by the sumptuous tones of Abby Bettz. The jangly guitars of I’m Not Always Sad sees Longmore really wear his heart on his sleeve and shows that less is sometimes more in terms of words on this fine track. Melt does exactly what it says on the tin and gives you a feeling of melting away whilst listening to this dreamy, indie pop number.
Longmore says ‘Silver Lining is about fancying the fuck out of somebody’ which does seem to be the perfect description of yet another piece of mastery from this accomplished singer/songwriter. The lo-fi recording of this EP really does add to its charm and can be heard on the wonderfully introspective Two Things that draw this thoroughly enjoyable record to a close.
Teesiders Cellar Door are set to release their latest single, War Paint, and as usual I was not left disappointed by this great band.
The single itself is pretty difficult to find fault with and sees the band take on a slightly heavier sound than I last remember which is no bad thing at all when you hear the end results.The guitars are absolutely fascinating and along with the ‘put on your war paint’ vocals that get you singing along straight away, make from a truly incredible tune.Cellar Door haven’t left anything behind on B-Side Fugue a more melodic track that still doesn’t hold anything back, the only downside you could find is that two tracks aren’t enough from Cellar Door and that this superb single does nothing but leave you wanting more.
London five piece Evans the Death return with their latest album, Vanilla, on the excellent Fortuna Pop label. Whilst the band keep some of the poppy hooks and sensibilities that were a feature of their previous records, they also display a more experimental and raw sound that can be heard straight away on the superbly fuzzy and psychedelic opening track, Haunted Wheelchair.
The wide range of styles covered on Vanilla really stands out on the following two songs with frantic Suitcase Jimmy contrasting the melancholic, No Limitations, in a wonderful fashion to keep up the fantastic start to a record from a band I have admired for a long time. Evans the Death also show a new found maturity in their sound that’s certainly no bad thing and it can be heard on tracks such as the sublime Cable St. Blues.
Hot Sauce is definitely a personal highlight of the album with a bassline to die for that give it a strange funky ballad sound before ending with a fascinating wall of noise. There really isn’t a bad moment on Vanilla as can be heard on the swooning Armchair Theatre which complements brilliant shoegaze moment in the form of Welcome to Usk. The slow and lingering European Bison brings this superb album to a close and is yet another celebration of the amazing Evans the Death.