Put Another Cross by the Side of the Road. Freeloader
ahead of the 'Freeloader II' album Rum Bar Records releases a first
single capturing Nat Freedberg's rough and clearly used voice in a
pleasant rock setting. After a little run up on the guitar the song
starts a groove that has faint traces of Led Zeppelin. "Give me no
quarter", appears to be the tip of the hat here. Put Another Cross By The
Side Of The Road is a straight up honest song. Beside the flashy guitar
solo the song is what it is, a rock song with a great groove. Nothing
more but certainly nothing less.
title song of the new Abrasive Trees EP is a mysterious affair.
Electric charges fly out of my speakers. Despite the light suggested by
electric charges, Without Light is a dark and dismal affair. The title
is totally right as there's no light in sight in this music or it should
be in the lighter intro before the dark takes over. From twilight and
shades to pitch black. At certain intervals an upcoming release is
suggested, but like a thunderstorm remaining in the distance it never
comes closer. Over it Matthew Rochford singtalks his lyrics. Although at
first listen nothing much seems to happen, besides the suspense that is
built ever stronger, there are details to be noted. A lead guitar
melody, and a second one, a few isolated piano notes. Close to six minutes
without release is not easy to sit through, were it not that the
darkness does become impressive and not oppressive, making Without Light
more than just a listening experience. Can it become any darker? I believe it can. Just continue listening to the EP. The artwork does suggest some light though, like a slim consolation.
even a year I ago I reviewed Beabadoobee's debut album 'Fake It
Flowers' on this blog. Instead of touring for two or three years, corona
kept her at home and here's a new single already. Again she hovers
between pop and alternative, but more towards the pop segment of music.
Not that a lot happens on Last Day On Earth. If this really was the last
day, it should even be called disappointing. It isn't though. This
single is simply a nice song sung with a light voice placed somewhere
between happy and sad, where the many harmonies are full of life. The
musical basis of the song sounds like a looped guitar sequence that is
repeated over and over. Variation is built in by a keyboard sound and
the harmonies, including two male voices, perhaps of Matt Healy and
George Daniel of The 1975. with whom Bea Kristi worked on this single. A
nice introduction to the upcoming EP, 'Our Extended Play', it is.
from Italy are becoming a weekly feature on this blog. Radio Days
released its first album in 2015 and in 2021 will release its fourth,
'Rave On!', in June. Lose Control is an extremely nice introduction. The
single is uptempo, friendly, poppy and rocking at the same time. The
influences are the right mix of U.S. alternative rock and British pop of
all fairly recent ages. So think the better songs of Weezer or
Fountains of Wayne mixed with the rocking side of The Kinks and
Supergrass or Oasis. This results in a song that can be sung along to
within minutes and enjoyed under all circumstances. The kind of pop that
is so easy to get used to and like. From the familiar sounding guitar
intro to the dynamics that are built into Lose Control. Sweet pop and
roll it is.
Darling is Lukas Mayo from Christchurch in New Zealand. Looking at the
music scene over there from literally the other side of the world, it
feels like more people release records there than there are
inhabitants. Pickle Darling is a new name for me, picked out of the
newsletter of Flying Nun Records. Mayo may declare that Blushing is a
song like he never wrote and made before, for me it's the first ever and
made me listen for a few reasons. The beginning is extremely
elementary. An acoustic guitar and two voices, both not natural. In the
second half of the song one of the voices is treated electronically even
more, as in smurfed, changing the feel of the song totally. The
electronic percussion that is added and a keyboard sound repeating the
same notes over and over, makes the second half almost a different song.
Delicate versus brash. Time to stop blushing as my introduction to
Pickle Darling asks for more soon. A good thing an album, 'Cosmonaut, is
coming up soon.
pop from Utrecht with a front row seat for Annelotte de Graaf better
known as Amber Arcades on this blog and elsewhere. In information I
found Tessel is called a surfpop band. Now I'm hearing a lot in this
single, but surf? It comes a lot closer to 70s pop with a soul twist,
like The Doobie Brothers with Michael McDonald in the driver's seat.
Cinema could almost be a happy song. The lead guitar has a sprightly
jump in its playing, were it not that the whole song seems to be hidden
under a blanket. This belies the happy sounding guitar solo. Reading
back on my review of debut single 'Family Time' the sound is becoming a
trademark of Tessel. As a whole it is clear that Cinema is well built up
and a song that it is easy to relate to, next to the fact that it's
great to hear Annelotte de Graaf sing in a new song. That has been a
while. Great move, Tessel.
New folk has not gone and still brings forward new and interesting songs. Gold, that can't be denied, uses every trick in the book known to bands like The Oh Hellos, The Lumineers and many other hey-ho or ho-hey bands, as I call them. Gold adds to the whole as the harmonies between AJ Dean-Revington, Tara Wilcox and Chess Whiffin are stellar, of the kind that "breaks up the sky", as they sing themselves in Gold. The floortom drumming sounds familiar. Even our Dotan made a trademark of it in 'Home'. It gives Gold the pace the song can use in the right moments, creating a contrast between verses and chorus and great dynamics. The Wandering Hearts went all the way to Woodstock, yes, THE, to record its new album with Simone Felice and David Barron. If Gold is anything to go on, the trip paid up. With memories of 'Rumours' Fleetwood Mac hidden in Gold, the link to older pop fans is made as well.
how different Keel Timing is, Manchester Orchestra has certainly heard
of The Beatles. The psychedelic effect on one of the vocal parts is
classic The Beatles from 1967. The rest is not. Keel Timing is classic
pop/rock and electronic song. A true hybrid it is. After a short,
percussive intro a driving rhythm is introduced that the band let no let
go off until the very end. At the start of the verse the electronic
pulsing is set to pasture for a short while, the drums driving the song
with the bass. In between Django Django percussive guitar rhythms can be
identified, fitting quite well here. Here and there a short eruption of
enthusiasm is allowed before the band is reigned back in to continue the solid
propulsive rhythm. Keel Timing is the kind of song that I can dance and
listen to. As I wrote a true hybrid it is.
Young is a song that surprises in a few ways. The song as it starts is
not that surprising though. An American band playing music in the realm
of early Chicago (Transit Authority) or Blood, Sweat and Tears with a
more rocking edge to it and a little less jazz. Grant Glad's rough voice
fits the song and the unforgiving title extremely well. In between of
that rocking a saxophone finds its way for the whole of the song, as do
keyboards, instruments not found in the six man/woman line up of the
band. And then some really nice, soulful backing vocals are added. These surprises
slowly but surely unfold during the song. In the solo the tempo is
brought down totally and a jazzy interlude in which the saxophone takes
the lead again after a previous uptempo solo. Andy Meyer more or less takes over
the song and sends it in a totally different direction. The soulful keys
by Erick Anderson do the rest. Interesting song, Die Young is.
In the guitar intro I thought that The Sweet was resurrected. That would have been quite a feat considering that three of the four Brit glamrockers have traded the temporal for the forever. Quite soon I was brought out of my revelry of things long past. Pale Lips is a band in the here and now with a female front. So more Suzy Quattro than The Sweet to remain in the Chinn/Chapman realm. You're A Doll is not a new song. Pale Lips released its album 'After Dark' in 2019, but releases You're A Doll on single now. Pale Lips is a band from Montreal in Canada and far removed from the music I usually hear from that town. Arcade Fire, Patrick Watson, e.g. Somewhere off of main street some rock and roll aficionado's do reside. With a nice boogie rhythm sped up, a little thin sounding organ like they don't make anymore. Singer Jackie Blenkarn has the right girl sound in her voice for this kind of song. Last week I happened to hear Bow Wow Wow on the radio and Jackie goes for Annabella Lwin's crown alright. In You're A Doll Pale Lips brings together pumped up rock and roll and girl pop, in other words, experience and teenage longing. The mix works a miracle in You're A Doll.
Wout de Natris
Listen to our Spotify Playlist to find out what we are writing about: