BarryGruff’s June 2015 Playlist


A regular monthly feature to the blog; a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured during the month.

June was another pretty fine month for new music. We had new tunes from Girls Names, Sextile, Hibou, Velvet Morning & Hooton Tennis Club ahead of their respective, forthcoming new albums. There were excellent new singles from Hyde & Beast, Freedom Fry, Dan Amor, Slow Riot, Tomorrows, Alaska Wilson & PANKHABILLI.

Also featured on this month’s playlist are great tracks from Seazoo, The Statics, CZARFACE, Peaness, Energy Slime & Pale Honey. Yeah, so, June was good. And that’s all before mentioning the interview with Ric Rawlins about his new book, ‘Rise of the Super Furry Animals’ – read it here.

Listen to BarryGruff’s June 2015 playlist below.


Hyde & Beast – ‘Hard Times Good Times’


Retro loving psych-rock duo Hyde & Beast have announced their return with news of a forthcoming new EP, Hard Times Good Times.

Released on July 24th, the EP is the first new material from drummer-turned-songwriting duo, Dave Hyde (The Futureheads) & Neil Bassett (The Golden Virgins), since their superb and emotionally heavyweight second album Keep Moving last August. Preceding the EP’s release is stunning title-track, ‘Hard Times Good Times’, and it’s a doozy. Fitted with ballsy riffs, a stomping beat, glam rock era groove and some stonking blasts of brass, it is topped off with some sweet 60s-style pop harmonies, for a sumptuous slice of retro rock ‘n roll stomp. As with all their work to date, ‘Hard Times Good Times’ really feels like a labour of love. Harking back to late 60’s / early 70’s classic pop, it bears more than a shade of similarity with some stellar names from those days – The Beatles, T-Rex, Wings & Faces to name but a few. Fairly decent company to be in, no?

Hyde & Beast’s new EP, Hard Times Good Times, is out on July 24th. Ahead of that why not get acquainted with the title-track below?

BarryGruff’s Albums of the Year 2014


So, it’s that time of year again, yeah, it’s favourite albums of the year time. Loads of great music this year, some old faces and plenty of new ones too but for those of you who care, here are my 25 albums of 2014. Enjoy!

25. Second Storey – ‘Double Divide’

24. Beach Day – ‘Native Echoes’

23. Globelamp – ‘Star Dust’

22. Sex Hands – ‘Pleh’

21. The #1s – ‘The #1s’

20. Attaque – ‘ON LY YOU’

19. Shit Robot – ‘We Got Love’

18. Mowbird – ‘Islander’

17. Oh Boland/Me & My Dog – ‘Delphi’

16. Jamie T – ‘Carry on the Grudge’

15. Pharoahe Monch – ‘PTSD’

Following on from his 2011’s W.A.R, comes fourth solo LP, PTSD (aka Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a loose-concept album which sees Pharoahe Monch speaking as a weary independent warrior against the industry machine and dealing with the struggle of the black male experience in America. It’s dense, raw and sometimes painfully raw, as he relives harrowing memories of his struggle with addiction, depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s all draped with his familiar top-notch storytelling, cavernous vocabulary, thought-provoking rhymes, precise delivery and thought-provoking metaphors, placing him right up top of the current hip-hop pile.

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Albums Roundup : Teleman, Hyde & Beast and Gulp

Gulp Season Sun 2014

Notoriously shite at keeping on top of albums, or moreover, reviewing them – here are three albums that have been entertaining my ears over the past while.

Teleman – ‘Breakfast’

Teleman‘s debut album, Breakfast, is a charming yet bittersweet bundle of a indie-pop songs with a instantly loveable quality, which like all Saunders’ work (Tap Tap & Pete & The Pirates), has substance to match the immediacy. A master class in guitar pop, they eke out a sweet spot between pop and indie, in a not too dissimilar in class to Blur at their very best. From ‘Lady Low’, a limpid, loungey and airy number sporting a full on devilish saxophone solo, to the sparse and paranoid fuelled ’23 Floors Up’, with light, gentle almost floating melodies, accompanied by minimalist synth tones, this sublime standard never falters. Nor with ‘Steam Train Girl’, ushered in by pulsating guitars before the rest of band gradually filters in, layering psychedelic-tinged synths over rhythmic drums or ‘Mainline’, where colourful synths dance with ragged guitar riffs to stunning effect. Amid the beautiful sweeping guitar-pop, psych textures and Teleman’s splendid crystalline pop sensibilities, Sanders vocals are strikingly fantastic as ever. As is his dazzling knack for descriptive lyrics that effortlessly conjure of vivid scenes. It may be still too early to tell but perhaps Breakfast will help shine a brighter light on Saunders’ talent and provide him with the credit his talent deserves – third time lucky and all that jazz.

Hyde & Beast – ‘Keep Moving’

For their second album together Hyde & Beast, drummers Dave Hyde and Neil Bassett (of Futureheads and Golden Virgins respectively) have strutted back into view with a set of rootsy late-’60s/early-’70s inspired jams. Heavy on a retro vibe, it bears comparison with stellar names from those eras – The Faces, T-Rex, Wings & The Kinks to name but a few. Given that the pair have apparently endured a pretty rough time of late, you’d be forgiven for expecting album number two to be a maudlin affair on the back of bereavement and breakups. Yes the lyrical content is overwhelmingly tinged with sadness but it is strangely uplifting. At times heart swelling, blissful and almost psychedelic, ‘Like I’m Grass’, ‘Forever Your Own’ & ‘BA BA BA’ and at others harsh, gritty and rumbling, ‘Keep Moving’ & ‘Blue’, with bouts of gentle, classic pop ‘Open Your Heart’, ‘Blown Away’ & ‘A Dark Mistake’. The confidence and ambition of both the arrangements and songs, mean that Keep Moving a overwhelmingly joyous listen as they borrow from all the aforementioned bits and pieces, blend them together to create a stunningly diverse collection which vastly surpasses it’s predecessor. It should also go some way to dispelling all those drummer jokes.

Gulp – ‘Season Sun’

One of the upsides to Super Furry Animals’ hiatus has been the impecable side-projects it has spawned; Gruff Rhys has been in sparkling form as has Cian Ciaran. Not to be out done, SFA bassist Guto Pryce having teamed up with Lindsay Leven for side-project Gulp, has delivered a bewitching debut in Season Sun. A wonderfully charming mix of interesting sounds and textures, the pair distil flashes of psychedelic sunshine, shimmering pastoral pop and breezy psych-folk. In doing so they create a rather unique sound that, while quite summery in essence, you couldn’t quite say it’s ‘happy’ such is unease in the fabric of the music. Leven’s sultry vocals take centre stage, floating over analogue synths, woozy guitars and fuzzed up bass guitars through the waltzing ‘Game of Love’ and ‘Grey Area’, and spaced-out dreamer ‘Hot Water’. And steering the LP away from a potential course toward the sickly sweet, are the hypnotic ‘Clean and Serene’ and the rumbling, rambling bassline, hypnotic rhythm and Django Django-eque stomp of ‘Vast Space’. Two inspired moments of sheer brilliance that like the rest of the LP will grow and seep into your senses, and leave you better for it.

Hyde & Beast – ‘Blue’ + ‘Keep Moving’

Hyde & Beast 2014

After a three-year absence, Sunderland duo Hyde & Beast strut back into view with some riffy new jams.​

David Hyde (The Futureheads) and Neil Bassett (Golden Virgins) last joined forces in 2011 and their debut album, Slow Down, was heavy on the retro ’60s/’70s vibe and had the feeling of two mates enjoying themselves in the studio, unperturbed with trends. ‘Blue’ follows suit, with a stomping riff and glam rock era groove reminiscent of T. Rex (or more recently The Black Keys), with Hyde adding some sweet, pastoral 60s-style pop harmonies to top things off. ‘Blue’ has been on constant rotation during my settling in period over here in Vancouver but with the long wait for new material over, a lack of internet meant this post had to be put on hold, till now. Every cloud has a silver lining though. This morning they shared their new single, ‘Keep Moving’ with the world. It continues with the glam-infused rock but slowed down, and zoned out into dreamier, psych filled pop pastures. No idea if and when a new LP is coming but for now there are two top quality jams to sink your teeth into.

You can download ‘Blue’ for free below while ‘Keep Moving’ is out July 28th. You can stream both below right now.

Video: Hyde & Beast – You Will Be Lonely

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Duo Hyde and Beast, comprised of drummers from The Futureheads and Golden Virgins, have announced ‘You Will Be Lonely’ as the next single from their wonderful album, Slow Down.

The joyful toe tapping twangyness and timeless melodies of ‘You Will Be Lonely’ is absolutely infectious. If you haven’t heard the album yet, I would urge you to rectify that ASAP. 

The single will be released on November 14th through the duo’s own label, Tail Feather Records.

Hyde & Beast – Slow Down

So many side-projects fail to live up to expectations or reek of self indulgence. However, Hyde and Beast (comprised of the drummers from The Futureheads and Golden Virgins) have created something utterly lovely, perfectly summery and sunshine clad.

Sounding nothing like the jerky-arty-pop-punk purveyed by the Futureheads, Slow Down opts for a more retro ’60s/’70s bluesy sound, taking inspiration from T-Rex, The Kinks and Faces.

It paints a swirling psychedelic vision of pop from another era. Rather than a rehash of what other people have already done, like The Bees did with Octopus. 

The record meanders slowly, slinking through a wonderfully stripped and organic bunch of songs. From the psych-rocking opener ‘Never Come Back’ or ‘ (And the) Pictures In The Sky’ to the beautiful mellow of ‘Last Chance For A Slow Dance’ or the toe tapping twangyness and vocal harmonies of ‘You Will Be Lonely’.

Slow Down is a great album and deserves to be listened to by as many people as possible. They have melted down the ’60s and ’70s to create something new and timeless, it is with repeated plays it reveals it’s true value.

Slow Down is out August 15th on their own label, Tail Feather Records.

 Download: Hyde & Beast – (and the) Pictures In The Sky

Hyde & Beast – You Will Be Lonely

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Video: Hyde & Beast – Never Come Back

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Last month saw Hyde and Beast announce themselves with the wonderfully rockin’ ‘(and the) Picture in the Sky’.

The duo, made up of The Futureheads’ Dave Hyde and ex-Golden Virgins’ drummer Neil Bassett have followed it up and unveiled their first single ‘Never Come Back’, out on August 8th via their very own label, Tail Feather Records. The retro ’60s/’70s inspired sound remains intact but is fleshed out with a sweet psychedelic edge.

Their debut album, Slow Down will be released on August 15th on their own label, Tail Feather Records.

Introducing: Hyde & Beast

Futureheads drummer Dave Hyde has joined forces with ex-Golden Virgins drummer, Neil Bassett (Yes, that’s two drummers) to make Hyde and Beast.

Following an almost accidental coming together, experimenting with songs in Bassett’s Sunderland studio, they decided to start their own label, Tail Feather Records and release records.

It is very different to Hyde’s day job with The Futureheads, the fine purveyors of jerky-arty-pop-punk. This is much more of the ‘classic’ rock canon, opting for a more retro, ’60s/’70s inspired, bluesy sound – think Faces, Humble Pie mixed with a touch of T-Rex, or more recently The Black Keys.

There is an album coming soon. They’ve enlisted help from some friends, most notably Field Music’s David Brewis and The Futureheads’ vocalist/guitarist, Barry Hyde.

Check out Hyde & Beast’s video for ‘(And the) Pictures in the Sky’, taken from their forthcoming album. You can grab it below or sign up to their mailing list on their website.

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Download: Hyde & Beast – (and the) Pictures In The Sky