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Monthly Archives: July 2014

One rodent who must not be exterminated

With some lovely gifts from some lovely people recently, I have had the opportunity to go a bit mad on the album purchasing front. One such new album is An Anxious Object by mouse on the keys.

mouse

Signed to the small independent label Machupicchu Industrias (along with Tangled Hair, who I had the pleasure of seeing support Brontide the other week), mouse on the keys write music that, while nothing spectacularly new, contains an abundance of ideas and melodic passages.

Two pianos, two keyboards and drums are what it takes for the Japanese trio to make an exuberant mix of jazz, electronica and heavy grooves, bringing together elements of Neil Cowley, The Bad Plus, and fellow Japanese scamps Lite. The second track from the above album, Spectres de Mouse opens with furiously rolling drums and driving stabs before evening off nicely.

Though the above YouTube video may not do it justice, what strikes me about this album is how BEEFY the production is. Through a decent set of speakers, the sound is huge; the drums are particularly well balanced with an exceptionally punchy but defined kick drum. The wall of piano booms out like there’s no tomorrow. I would urge anyone to listen to the album properly, i.e. not through YouTube, to appreciate the depth behind the trio’s sound.

To contrast Spectres de Mouse, I will leave you with Forgotten Children, a tune that builds a soundscape upon a collapsing jazzy beat with chiming chords and a sombre melody. When you reach 2.10 and hit that groove………….it is so, so, so richly rewarding.

Enjoy!

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A very English party

As my new found friend Mr. Hayes has rightly pointed out to me, this band are pretty goooooood.

God knows I like a group that produce music from all weird angles, and Hot Head Show can count themselves highly on that list.

hotheadshow

Think Mr. Bungle, but drastically anglicized, replacing heavy with rockabilly country, weirdness with silliness and adding an exceedingly big dose of blues to the mix. There’s ska, bizarre lyrical story telling and drum roll after drum roll, getting faster all the time………it’s a potent mixture of rambunctious music.

Perfect, their second album released in  2013, has a few forgettable songs, but for the most part it is a joyous ride. Kansas, the opening track, is one such world music tinged blues fest. Invest your ears and make sense of it.