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.
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 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.
West Yorkshire based Cold Summer’s latest release is the, Fight To Survive EP and continues on from the post hardcore bands excellent back catalogue sin their formation in 2011. There is also a an extremely strong DIY ethic installed within Cold Summer where they have self-released previous material in addition to promoting their selves which has led to support slots for Funeral For A Friend, Brawlers and Milk Teeth amongst many others.
The record itself begins with Bear Eats Wolf which begins with a short and almost ethereal soundscape hitting you with a wall of sound that leaves you hanging on in anticipation for the rest of this exciting EP. A Time Imagination Forgot To Inspire, shows a more melodic side to the band without losing the edge to this angst driven music. Cold Summer also show they can have more accessible moments on tunes such as Car Crash (In Progress) before upping the ante yet again on the wonderful Coins Fall (But Don’t Make It).
I’m an absolute sucker for a bassline so the intro to Waiting had me gripped immediately, the track also has the contrasting vocals that switch from aggressive and gravely to harmonious seamlessly. Fight To Survive is drawn to a conclusion brilliantly by Something, Nothing, No-One which continues with more hard hitting riffs that feature heavily throughout. Although the band remind of acts such as Billy Talent they offer far more than being any sort of imitation to anyone else in addition to providing a truly inspirational record that I can honestly say doesn’t have a bad track on it.
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.
Little Japanese Toy have released their first new material in over ten years as part of Bitching Cassettes release for cassettes store day. Originally due to be a split from Napoleon IIIrd and Mi Mye things developed into what can only be called Little Japanese Toy’s poppiest song yet. The track is led by stutter guitars, before building into an emotive crescendo that ties up a truly fantastic tune. Taking things to the other end of the spectrum the B-Side is a rather experimental, instrumental only affair that contrasts the lead track superbly.