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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Plain recognition

Wow, a blog about Blur, how groundbreaking! Well no, not even slightly, but sometimes you just need to respect one of the big players.

blur

Not content with contributing to Chinese operas or fighting internet crime, you may have noticed that Blur have released a new album and are doing the rounds on the festival circuit. Can’t say I’ve listened to the new stuff, but good for them.

As a youngun, I was rather taken by the band, a clear step above Oasis. And after blasting out a few songs that I hadn’t listened to in yonks, I felt compelled to share in the greatness.

Akin to Bank Holiday, Globe Alone is unashamedly loud and simple, with a glorious middle section from 1.27.

Aaaaahhh Villa Rosie, such a lovely riff indeed.

Sans brass; more dirt and unbridled energy: Popscene live at Peel Acres.

Well, that ought to do it, though there is oh so plenty more. So much more.

Enjoy!

Twiddlydee and Tweedledum

Come the 18th of August, I will be watching a reunited Fall Of Troy supported by an evolving Rolo Tomassi. For the latter, they just haven’t been the same since the two Joesphs left, ……but that’s a different discussion point for another day.

Completing the bill, and first up on the night, is a wee Yankee outfit by the name of Chon. Now, this band have got me thinking, and I mean really thinking. Anyone who has the unfortunate pleasure of being acquainted with myself, or who might have ascertained from posts on this scruffy blog, will be aware that I am rather partial to a slice of mathy goodness. And when I say ‘partial’, I actually mean it’s in my veins. Have I said that before on here? Strangest sense of deja vu there.

chon

Anyhow, Chon fall into this category. They are four supremely talented musicians creating three minute expert chunks of wholesome music. It stops, it starts; intricate passages pass by with a flutter; incredibly focused drumming is accentuated by each carefully selected bass note. I should bloody love this! And I do…….to an extent. The problem is, taking into consideration my naturally pessimistic attitude and the quartet’s American sunshine vibe, is that it’s all a bit twee. And twiddly. The Twee Twiddlers if you will.

Fall, taken from the band’s first full length release Grow, is my favourite track: the production is excellent, each instrument resonating with ample room to breathe; the tone of the guitars is a magnificent blend of nasal cleanliness and softened, compressed overdrive. Get to 0.49 and it really kicks in. The end may tail off a little with some arbitrary synth, but who cares! This is it, keep it coming!

And so, the gentlemen oblige accordingly. Grow is completely laden with inspired fretwork, lightning fast legato and understated bass backed by metronomic beats. And in doing this, it all becomes a little formulaic. How is it that a group can produce music where you have no idea what to expect with every passing second, but it all sounds very familiar at the same time? Maybe this is an unfair criticism. I listen to this genre of music incessantly but, for some reason, I cannot help but feel I knew a twiddly guitar line was fast approaching with Chon in a predictable manner. This is not something I normally think.

My esteemed Colombian pal (and tub thumper in our band) has gone as far to say it reminds of him elevator music. This is quite harsh, so I’ll take his opinion with pinch of salt. Quite honestly, if I heard this music in a lift, my ears would be pricked. However, I can ever so slightly see what he means, in terms of muddling along with slightly nauseating melodies.

Right, enough. I feel like I’ve talked myself into a stupor, when really I should just enjoy it for the sheer fun of great musicians playing compositions like this, regardless of the mood. And if you heard the riff at 0.58 from Perfect Pillow in a lift or trying on your next pair of black slip-ons from Clarks, then you are a lucky person. Because it’s a goodun.

Enjoy!

Japanese fun time

Very soon, on Tuesday 7th July no less, Soil & “Pimp” Sessions will be gracing the Camden Jazz Cafe as part of a three day Japanese music celebration.

soil

With their latest album, Brothers and Sisters, released last September, these relentlessly paced jazzers combine all manners of brass assaults and funk passages with a stupendous rhythm section. The ideal uplift really.

So, descend upon the Camden Jazz Cafe on 7th July – it will be guaranteed goodness received by your ears.