Tuesday, 26 July 2016
In the words of Kyle from South Park - "I learned something today". That thing was that it is indeed possible to heart a band so hard that you think you might burst.
TTNG (formerly This Town Needs Guns) are the band I'm talking about and I have loved them since I first heard them about 4 years ago - being a relative late-comer to their music.
I'm not normally given to hyperbole in the extreme, but my God, you're going to get some in this post. I have genuinely not been as excited about an album coming out since the band's last, which was released back in 2013 - and I was excited for that - like combusting excited.
So you can imagine what the last three years have been like.
It's rare for me to find a band that fill me with as much joy as these guys do. If I could put my finger on every single reason why, I'd distill it, bottle it and wear it like a perfume, because the sort of happiness they impart in my brain is something I rarely experience any other time.
Before we go any further - here are all the necessary links you need to get yourself acquainted with them:
Their bandcamp page:
Their Twitter page:
Their Facebook page:
The band (now a trio) feature the sublime, heartbreaking vocals of Henry Tremain and brothers Tim and Chris Collis, the latter a brilliantly idiosyncratic drummer, the former - surely one of the most accomplished and talented guitarists in recent years.
Disappointment Island (apparently it's a genuine Island off the south coast of New Zealand - and not, as I feared they'd name it after, my tits), has actually been a real labour of love, pretty much taking three years to put together and release.
Listener, it will not let you down if you decide to commit to it. Over the last few weeks, they've tantalisingly released 3 of the tracks (Coconut Crab, A Chase of Sorts and Sponkulous Nodge), whetting the appetites of the fans who've waited so long.
In its entirety, there isn't a single duff track on the album. After the first two tracks, the third, "Consoling Ghosts", kind of slows the pace down and feels slightly more pared back and this continues with the following number, "In Praise of Idleness". For some reason though, this reminds me of "+3 Awesomeness Repels Water" from the band's previous album - though I have no clue why (maybe because I'm weird?)
Other than the 3 outstanding teaser tracks the guys released - the song which grabs me most from the album is "Destroy the Tabernacle", it's just got an amazing, wide open sound to it and feels the most out and out dirty and scuzzy (not a bad thing).
If intricate, mathsy, tappy, floral, beautiful guitar sounds are your thing, this is your album. If you want powerful, clean, pure vocals, this album is your must buy. If you want a band with real intelligence, heart and soul - please buy this album. Just buy this album, OK?
It consistently amazes me why these guys are not as well known and well played in the UK as they are in the States. It needs to change.
On a personal note, I need to say that when I've been going through tough times and the world has seemed like a confusing and unfair place to be in, TTNG's albums have given me solace, sustenance and the strength to get up and face another day. There are lots of bands I love - but none more so than Henry, Tim and Chris. So thank you for keeping me going and thank you for such a wonderful new album. You guys are the best.
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Hello again amigos. It's not been quite so long this time, but I can't promise I won't always be so previous, if you get my drift.
I'm here for a super quick update, and to bring you some more great new music.
Way back in January you might well remember me posting about the absolutely brilliant Shamu, who released their debut single "Dive". I adored it and highly recommended you all went out and spent your pocket money on it.
I'm thrilled to say that Jon and Sam are back again with their second release, a track called "Jump Ship" which came out yesterday (May 30th).
So here are all the necessary necessaries:
Shamu's Bandcamp page:
So I first of all recommend you go off and have a listen to it - and of course follow that up by buying it and giving the lads your support.
This is yet another absolute corker of a track. It starts off feeling stripped and paired back - before opening out into a nicely flowing bit of electronica.
The sounds get bigger as the song moves on and it's such a clean, rippling sound, the sort of music that makes your heart soar.
Jon's vocals are as always, sweetly unassuming and they pair really beautifully with the watery-trickly-feel of the beat. (actually that sounds a bit odd reading it back, but the synths do feel like flowing water).
Anyway, if all that hasn't made you think I'm a total dipshit, then as I implored at the start, get supporting Shamu, because they are super and I'll fall out with you if you don't.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Well hello there. Yes. It's been another long while, and I must stop beginning posts with an apology, but there you go.
Anyway, I'm back yet again and thrilled to at least be bringing you some wonderful new music to listen to by way of saying sorry and all that. Sorry.
Around 12 months ago I was hugely pleased to feature a great new band called The Contravenes. If you so wish, you can go back and read my previous post on them HERE. Time has literally flown by, literally flown, literally.
Anyway, the great news is that the band are back and they have an absolutely splendiforous new single to unveil to us eager listeners.
First of all, here are the necessaries:
Here's the band's Twitter:
Here's the band's Facebook:
Here's the band's Soundcloud:
And finally, here is the video for their awesomesauce new single
Like their last track "Loaded Gun", this is an absolute corker - the riff at the beginning is one of those kick arse blinders that really gets stuck in your mind after just one listen.
It's got a brilliant 60s feel to it, without being a pastiche - but there's so much more to it than just that, it's a song that kind of blindsides you a bit. Just when you think it's staying in one safe place, it pops off in another direction with some really chippy guitar picks and earthy vocals.
I seem to feature a fair few bands from Leeds on the blog and The Contravenes are another such group. This new single is really worth a listen and buy. In fact, if you'd like to - here's the link to their single on th'iTunes: itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-of-the-lost-single/id1080076718
Give this great group a real feature in your Summer playlists - car window open, drive on, blast it out. I love these guys and I hope you will too.
Monday, 28 March 2016
Hello amigos. It's been another long while, hasn't it? Whilst I know the blog has taken something of a backseat over recent months, it doesn't mean I haven't missed it, or been thinking of ways to start up again. Life's just got in the way for all the wrong reasons and it's been a long slog of a winter.
Happily, I'm back for a one off posting and it's good to be featuring an absolute favourite of mine - The Everglows, who, as many of you know are a band I've featured a lot on these pages and admire greatly. You can read alllllll my previous mentions of them here, and treat yourselves to some of their back catalogue.
You can Twitterise the band here:
You can have a look at their Soundcloud here:
You can find their Bandcamp page here:
They're back with a brand new single called "Let It Out" and it's an absolute corker of a number to get you in the mood for the lighter nights and hopefully better weather that's around the corner. Have yourself a little listen to it: https://soundcloud.com/theeverglows/let-it-out.
It's got a brilliantly catchy hook to it (something these guys are really good at) and a rocky,earthy guitar sound which makes the track rollock on at a fair old pace. Slightly reminiscent of Riverboat Song in feel and time signature, the rhythm of the guitar flows in the same way. It's the sort of pattern I love in music, repetitive, deeply catchy and all-too-easy to get stuck in your head after just one listen.
This, as all the band's other tracks are, is really worth a listen - and I implore you to go and revisit the guy's back catalogue for a treasure trove of brilliantly memorable psychedelia.
Make "Let It Out" an essential part of your Spring playlist - I know I will! The band will be releasing an album (I believe) in the not too distant future - if this is the standard they're setting, it bodes really well for the future...
Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Hello again, gentle blog readers. It's been another while, hasn't it? There's been an awful lot of awful going on Chez TheGeneral and time has somewhat slipped away in a haze of something unmentionable (clue: life has been a breadless shit sandwich)
Nearly a month has passed without so much as a murmur, but I'm back again (briefly) to bring you glad tidings of great joy about a brand new EP from a wonderful act I've featured on here more than once.
If you're a regular visitor to this page (HI MUM I CAN SEE YOU!) you'll recognise the amazing Mutes who I've written about a fair bit. That's because I love them so. And I want you to as well.
James from the group is just about to release his 3rd solo EP called "Inertia", and the band's 4th in total. It comes out on 23rd February.
First of all, the necessaries:
The band's Twitter:
The band's Facebook
The band's Bandcamp
I've been lucky enough to get a preview of "Inertia" this week and it's every bit as brilliant as I hoped it would be. It's a perfect mix of guitars, synths and shoegazy-breathiness.
Lead track from the EP is called "Less Existence" and if you go to their bandcamp page (linky above), you can stream and pre-order this track, like, now, dudes. I love the harmonies in it and the gentle repetition - it's got such a breezy depth to it and a feeling of space. The synths in it are just dinkily perfect and offer a great catchy hook.
The other main highlight on the EP for me, is "Soft Spots", which is simply beautiful - with its haunting guitar pick, and again, some dreamy, ethereal harmonies. This is real memory music, it's something to treasure and revel in. Every time you listen, you'll hear something new - and the EP bears repeated visits to get to the heart of it.
In total there are 6 tracks on this collection and every one offers something slightly different to the one before. Put 23rd February in your diaries and get this beauty downloaded - it's essential Spring listening!
Friday, 22 January 2016
Hello. A blog post from me these days is rarer than a bacon roll at a barmitzvah, but I'm once again just poking my head above the musical parapet to bring you glad tidings of great joy and a wonderful new single from two of my favourite chaps ever.
Last year when north east boy wonders TUSK split, I was more than a little bit sad, and I did wonder if we'd ever hear from the guys again, but I was absolutely made up to hear that Jonathan and Sam from the band had gone on to form a new duo called Shamu.
Good things come to those who wait and today sees the release of their debut single "Dive". Before we go any further, here are all the necessaries:
And here you can see the video for the song:
It's a brilliant, brilliant first release and showcases some fantastic, dubby beats, crystal clear mathy guitars (I LOVE MATH ROCK IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW) and a superb, slightly off kilter vocal.
The trend at the moment seems to be melding electronica with more rocky based guitar sounds, and sometimes this results in an end product that doesn't quite work and can't quite make its mind up what it is. None of that here. There's a real attempt to fuse the two genres successfully which, for my money, works really beautifully.
It kind of goes without saying I'm really looking forward to seeing how Shamu progress as an act - Jon and Sam have been really missed and this is such a welcome return.
Go listen, watch and buy. At once.
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
For the second blog of the day, I'm really pleased to be featuring a new artist who I have had the pleasure of featuring before, but not as you might recognise.
If you're a regular reader of the blog, you'll know way back at the end of 2013 I featured a wonderful group called Emperor the Stag. If you need a quick refresh, you can read my posts on them here
Fantasy to Bleak was a superb album and one that I listened to a lot during the months after its release.
A week or two back I was contacted by Nick Webb from the band who asked me if I'd consider giving his new track a bit of a play - I was more than happy to, and that is what I am featuring today.
First things first, here's a link to it:
It's very very worth a listen. This feels quite a way removed from Emperor the Stag and their music. Nick's managed to put together a track here that is gently wistful and dreamy, with a richly understated vocal. Again, if you're a regular reader of these pages and you remember me reviewing a band called By Toutatis - Nick's music has a similar feel - read my posts on them here. The Downs has that kind of edge to it, with more of a guitar based sound. Again, just like my last post, this is the perfect antidote to Christmas music, but something that is eminently worth listening to right now and into the new year too. It's a nice, mellow sound, one to chill out to and forget the world.
I'd love it if you made this part of your December playlist and gave Nick your support - this is a brilliant song and I hope we hear more from him in the months to come.