Black Ribbon is the latest project from Tim Metcalfe who has previously released material under various guises, as well as being part of several band. This record sees Metcalfe team up with the independent label Philophobia Music, of which he has been a stalwart since the label’s incarnation 10 years ago.
As soon as the screeching industrial synths of opening track, Receiver kick in you know your instantly onto a winner with this album before the darker, more brooding tones of Cowboy can’t help but remind you of Trent Reznor in his heyday. The infectious beat of tracks like Surveillance is a recurring theme throughout Strobe, the tune immediately lodges itself in your head before building into a rousing finale.
The distorted synths and guitars of Plug X make this a must hear, stand out tune that despite coming in at over six minutes long, I for one would have happily had it carry on for twice as long. Although I have spoken about how Strobe is dipped in nostalgia Black Ribbon do more than a good enough job of giving it a modern twist as can be heard on the understated, melancholic Cop Slang. This album really sounds like it could soundtrack a video game from my youth especially on album closer, Tulsa which feels like your preparing to face an end level boss, while also concluding what is truly an exceptional record.
Wakefield’s Chloe Juliette Beswick has released the album, Popwitch on independent record label Philophobia Music.
The hauntingly atmospheric Intro leads superbly into the wonderful lo-fi shoegazey tone Apocalypse Eyes which immediate puts this record onto a pedestal from which it does not return. Beswick also displays she is far more than a one trick pony and is able to cross between genres with ease on the brilliant Roses which is full of breezy indie pop guitars that allows you to lose yourself in its undeniable charm.
Popwitch also contains a raw, emotiveness which can be heard on the slowed down, blissful track Treeface that surrounds you in a cocoon of sumptuousness. The hypnotic vocals really soar on this record and really help in taking tracks like Little Rooms before the brilliantly brooding slow burner Covered in Hate brings this excellent album from a uber talented musician to an end.
Piskie Sits now seem like virtual veterans having been around for a number of years under various line-ups and have released yet another superb single courtesy of the Philophobia Music label.The band have now perfected their sound which is delightfully dipped in the 90’s alt-rock scene.The track itself take its lo-fi sound to make an instant floor filler along with a chorus that gets straight into your head, making for yet another fine effort from the Wakefield band.
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.
The excellent Philophobia Music have unearthed another gem, the superb Shot Down EP from Dark Horse, the new project of Wakefield musician Matt Knee featuring Rosie Doonan on vocals.Opening track, Dark Horse really highlights the greatness of Doonan’s vocals which they continue to be throughout the record, however it as about the music too and Knee doesn’t let us down with some wonderfully crafted tunes.
Although there is a strong retro theme on Shot Down it manages to keep its own sound as can be heard on Autumn which has a groove to die for as well as harbouring a truly infectious making it an unadulterated pop moment.The record ends with its title track which really stands out for me with guitars verging on psychedelia without stepping away from the folk sensibilities that Dark Horse have demonstrated.I highly recommend this EP and the only issue is that at three tracks it is way too short which definitely leaves you hanging on for more so I can’t wait to hear more from them.
Wakefield based band Piskie Sits return with their third album, Stick and Twist, courtesy of the local independent label, Philophobia Music.
The band have featured on here in the past and they still no disappoint with their spectacular brand of lo-fi indie music. Opening track If You Listen To Me kicks off with a beat that entices you into the track before hitting you with some emotive vocals on the chorus that gets this record off to the perfect start. The melodic Guitar Anti-Hero is one of the bands more poppy moments, a tune that has a swooning feel to it, while the rousing Doctors & Nurses quickly followed by the beautifully introspective Ffactions shows the versatility of the talented Piskie Sits.
There is a distinct lack of filler on this record which makes it a thoroughly enjoyable listen which is highlighted on tracks like Knowing You, Knowing You which is rife with catchy hooks that couldn’t fail to get anyone moving. The sublimely understated Who Do You Love leaves you with a sense of yearning, which is then contrasted by the rip roaring Us Three that features a riff that goes straight through you. Stick and Twist really is a brilliant album that passes far too quickly, however Piskie Sits do manage to bring proceedings to a wonderful conclusion with a lovely subtle touch on Been Lucky.
You can get the record along with loads of other great stuff from Philophobia.