Tag Archives: alternative

ALBUM REVIEW: Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life // The Wombats

In case you hadn’t heard, The Wombats are back.

They’ve been spoiling us over these last few weeks with singles such as Turn, Cheetah Tongue, and, most recently, Black Flamingo since their initial single release of Lemon To A Knife Fight off this, their fourth studio album.

But now, finally, their album is upon us as of Friday. Three years after their last album was released, was Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life worth the wait?

In short, yes.

The first four tracks on the album are the four singles: instant recognition, guaranteed head-nodding, potential lyric belting (especially on Turn, an indisputable feel-good, sing-along tune). For me, this was a very strong start to the album, although also a bit risky: once these four tracks are over, I am thrust into the album proper, with no hope of an upcoming track whose familiarity I can take comfort in.

It’s lucky, then, that the first unknown track, White Eyes, is catchy as all hell, featuring familiar Wombats-esque playfulness with their new ‘grown-up’ edge which they seem to have adopted for this album, no doubt a consequence of trading in Liverpool for Los Angeles, something which Murphy touches on in I Only Wear Black.

While we’re on the subject of catchy tracks, which by now we all know is The Wombats’ bread and butter, some notable mentions must be made for Lethal Combination, Dip You In Honey and Ice Cream, with all of these tracks having successfully nested into my brain after just a couple of listens, and Dip You In Honey quenching my thirst for some twangly guitars, falsettos and Beatles style riffs.

As far as moodier songs are concerned on this album, you would think I Only Wear Black would be a contender from the title, but this one is surprisingly upbeat and dripping with their usual sardonic lyricism. Instead, I would say their moodiest track on the album is the finale, I Don’t Know Why I Like You but I Do. But, think less Isabel from Glitterbug and more Anti-D from This Modern Glitch. Its lyrics are heartfelt and candid, but the track is still punchy, with the mounting guitars and drums from verse to chorus being one of those things in music that you can’t quite put your finger on. Something about the way the highs and lows marry together, the way the tension builds and the song’s identity transforms from one thing to another creates some sensation that you can’t vocalise. I don’t know why I like it, but I do.

Shut Me Out – The Clause

The Clause are a 4 piece indie rock band from Birmingham, made up of Pearce Mcmenamin, Niall Fennell, Jonny Fyfee and Liam Deakin.

Inspired by the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Kooks and Arctic Monkeys, they have developed a substantial following on Twitter, and in the last few days have released their debut single Shut Me Out which has sparked excitement throughout social media. The single gained over 1,000 listens on Soundcloud in just two days.

This track reminds me largely of Catfish & The Bottlemen, however certainly has an original sound to it, and fits right in with the indie rock scene at this moment in time. From the guitar playing, to the drumming, accompanied by the distinctive tone of the vocalist, it really is indie rock at its best!

The band have got two gigs coming up, one on February 6th at the 02 Academy Islington, and another on March 4th supporting The Taskers at The Rainbow in Birmingham.

From the response the track has got already, I can tell it is going to be a big success, and The Clause are definitely a band you should listen out for!

 

Looe Festival 2015

Hey Guys,  I spent last weekend at Looe Festival, which took place in Looe, Cornwall (if you hadn’t guessed)! In comparison to festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds, Looe is rather small. It mostly shows local bands or ones that aren’t so well known, which is what I loved about it. There were however some acts that were pretty big, such as Johnny Marr, the guitarist from The Smiths!

The first act I really remember from Looe were called Oompah Brass. Oompah Brass are a band which play well known songs using brass instruments. They call themselves a ‘rock n roll Oompah band’. I will link you to them performing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, at a different venue but they also performed this at Looe. If you ever happen to be somewhere they are, definitely take a look, even if it isn’t the sort of music you would usually listen to.(I will certainly listen to them again!)

I then went to see Raikes, who are a local band from a place called Liskeard, just up the road from Looe. Me and my friends had already heard of Raikes, and my friend even worked with them when she filmed a music video for them, so we went to see them to show support. They are quite an alternative/indie/folk band, and I quite enjoyed their set as this is kinda similar to what I listen to in my day to day life. If you are looking for something new to try and get into, I would definitely recommend taking a look at some of their stuff.

The last day of Looe was the one I was looking forward to the most, yes it was finally the day I would see Johnny Marr!

I started off my day seeing a band called King Creature, a metal and rock 4-piece from Cornwall. Again, they are not really the sort of music I would usually listen to, however I really genuinely enjoyed their set, and I even ended up buying their CD whilst I was there. One of the specific songs that springs to mind when I think of their set, is a song they performed called Power, so this is the song I am going to link you too. This video is of them performing at the Eden Project as a support act for Motorhead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4QVVgBCUHI

Next, I went to see a band called Calfari, and also ended up buying their CD at the end. Calfari are a 6 piece, Welsh country rock band. Most of their songs are Welsh, and therefore are sung in Welsh, however they had written one especially for Looe Festival, and it was in English! I was pleasantly surprised with their set, as I went there not really knowing what to expect from it. I usually enjoy knowing and understanding the lyrics to songs, but with this band I enjoyed it just as much without particularly having much of an idea of what the words meant. In fact the only idea the crowd were really given was “this song is called Rhydd, which in English means free” etc. You can find some of their music on their soundcloud which will be linked below, enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/calfariband

As the day went on, I was getting more excited for Johnny Marr, we made sure to get to the stage super early so we could get as close to the front as possible. Due to the fact we were there at around 18:00, and Johnny wasn’t on until 21:30, this meant there were going to be two more acts on before, and these were a band called ‘Ferocious Dog’, and another group called ‘Red Hot Chilli Pipers’. Yep, you heard right..Pipers!

So Ferocious Dog, another band I had heard stuff about but I had never actually seen- I would like to point out that a lot of these bands play at Looe every year, and therefore there were others who had heard of them. They’re a modern folk band from Nottingham, and again, are not usually something I would choose to listen to, but I ended up watching them and they did not disappoint! They interacted really well with the crowd, and the lead singer even had a Mohawk, and I got a selfie with him, so I can’t really complain can I? One of the songs I particularly enjoyed was one called Criminal Justice, you can find this and many more of their songs on their Soundcloud

 https://soundcloud.com/ferociousdog

The time is 20:45 on Sunday the 20th of September, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers are about to come on stage, and I am really excited! I had heard so many good things about this band from Scotland, who mix traditional scottish music, with famous pop/rock anthems, which they call ‘bagrock’. A couple I met at the festival, had even travelled all the way from Southampton just to be able to see them again, after seeing them perform at Looe in 2014! Their song choices were absolutely fantastic, they played the likes of Don’t Stop Believing, We Will Rock You, and even Avicii’s Wake Me Up, which they also performed to mark the beginning of Radio 1s Big Weekend. I had high expectations after being told so much about them, and they certainly did not disappoint. In fact, I would say they were one of the highlights of my weekend. Below you can find the link to them performing Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. 

Legendary guitarist from The Smiths Johnny Marr was headlining the stage on Sunday evening (if you hadn’t guessed), an absolutely fantastic end to the weekend. Almost 28 years since the Smiths split, and Johnny Marr has still got it! He came on stage wearing a dazzling red shirt and black jeans (including the traditional Smiths’ flowers in his pocket). He performed some of my favourites from his solo career, including Candidate, Generate! Generate! – of which he had the crowd shouting the words back at him- and New Town Velocity. However, not only was his set filled with many of his solo hits, but also included some of The Smiths’ absolute classics which many of the crowd knew every word to. The crowd erupted when they heard the unmistakable intro of Bigmouth Strikes Again. Looking around, you could feel the emotion. His performance of There is a Light That Never Goes Out was both moving and uplifting. But would you expect any less from This Charming Man?

Johnny Marr,  you rock!