Review: Wounds – Dead Dead Fucking Dead (EP)

Having already established a redoubtable reputation for their explosive live sets at home and abroad, Wounds take aim at an unsuspecting public with Debut EP Dead Dead Fucking Dead. Wounds are possibly one of the most surprising acts to emerge from Dublin’s murky underground in recent times, assaulting the senses with a potent brand of hardcore punk fuelled by manic drums and dangerously addictive riffs. On a first listen it heralds memories of hearing The Exploited for the first time as a teenager.

The EP explodes out of the blocks with ‘Trees’ and ‘Ugly Mouth’ setting their stall out that they mean business with chugging riffs and furious drums accompanying shout-out-loud choruses throughout. They build up momentum and energy each time like an unstoppable juggernaut to reach an almost explosive crescendo with highlight and penultimate track ‘Pyramids’. This caustic racket leaves the rest of the songs seeming relativley tame by comparison due to the sheer strident and incendiary nature of this caustic racket.

This is a band that demands your full attention, to be honest it would be very hard not to comply as this EP is captivating from start to finnish. These guys are well worth the ones to watch tag which has been bandied about by sections of the musical media in Ireland and elsewhere, they can add another voice to that call from now on.

Wounds – Pyramids

Dead Dead Fucking Dead is released on March 29th. Wounds will play Dublin’s Odessa on April 9th and Psychofest in Twisted Pepper on April 24th.

Toddla T Mixing It Up

What the hell are they putting in the water in Sheffield?

Over the past few years there has been a steady stream of talent emerge from the post industrial city of Sheffield, current favourite Toddla T certainly deserves much more attention. He has been making a name for himself for a while now but 2009 was a big year for T which saw the release of album Skanky Skanky and his own Fabriclive 47,  both showcasing his ability to effortlessly shuffle through genres and styles at a reckless pace while rattling soundsysystems with his electro dancehall riddims.

Why are you telling us this I hear you say, because if you haven’t heard him yet it’s time you did and I have come across a few free remixes for you. It certainly looks as though he has picked up where he left off with latest remix of Dancehall Queen Lady Chan’s ‘Sticky Situation’. It’s full of  the electro riddims and thumping bass which have become his signature, coupled with Lady Chan’s husky voice and flow makes for a track capable of blowing up any dance floor. The other two mixes are of the same high standard and The Metros is a particularly fun, catchy mash-up of the original adolescent indie with a touch of reggae, electro beats and looping  MC-ing. Here’s hoping that rumours of a new album this year are founded.

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Mp3: Lords Of Flatbush – 999 (Toddla T Ross Orton Remix)

Mp3: The Metros – Clubhouse Riddim (Toddla T Remix)

Two Door Cinema Club

Yes these guys have probably got more attention than other new bands so far this year but it’s not undeserved. The Bangor three-piece have released a pretty solid and tight debut album in Tourist History which is brimming with energetic cheery indie tunes and at just over thirty minutes it doesn’t over stay its welcome. Thankfully the quality of their debut translates well to live performance as anyone who saw them rock out Dublin’s Button Factory earlier this month can verify.

Apart from drawing your attention to the obvious talents these guys possess there is also an ulterior motive here, I did a review of latest single ‘Undercover Martyn’ for DailyMusicGuide which you can read here. This is far from my best work but the song like the album is great and if you haven’t heard it yet it’s about time you did.

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Introducing: Losers

Sometimes you are lucky enough to stumble across a real gem completely unwittingly and that was the case yesterday when I was dually introduced to Losers. The inaptly named group are the combined talents of Eddy Temple Morris,  XFM Remix stalwart and Tom Bellamy of Cooper Temple Clause fame. Up until now these guys have been making their name as re-mixers for the likes of The Prodigy and Empire of The Sun .

So far their stuff is impressive and that’s after only two tracks, new single ‘Flush’ and ‘No Man is an Island’ which is is raspy heads-down electro at it’s best. The former is slick, catchy as hell ghetto fused electro which enlists the on point vocal abilities of Riz MC & Envy, who deliver pinpoint tit-for-tat rhyming so sharp they could cut themselves.  The video is  a work of sheer genius. It’s been a while since something so imaginative has been released, akin too a Victorian opium induced trip fueled by animations from Monty Python.

So far so good, if their future material is up to this standard we shall all be a lot better off.

Mp3: Losers – No Man is an Island

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Losers single ‘Flush’ is released through Distiller records on April 5th.

New Mighty Stef – Thank Christ for the Kids

A nice Paddy’s Day surprise today from Dublin’s finest troubadour The Mighty Stef who has returned with new material for the first time since releasing the splendid 100 Midnights last year. The track is called ‘Thank Christ for the Kids’ and is accompanied by the video directed by Jessie Ward & Susie Morrell and stars Michael Winder, Domino Whisker and the kids of Dublin.

I have seen this guy play live a few times in the last year and he is definitely one of Ireland’s best talents at present, lets hope there’s a new album to boot.

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Review: Black Box Revelation – Silver Threats

The Black Box Revelation will be unfamiliar to most around these parts but they have built a pretty solid reputation in their native Belgium for overtly over the top rock n roll excess. BBR are attempting to build on the much touted potential of debut Set Your Head on Fire with new album Silver Threats.  The formula remains much the same as before, youthful expression, attitude and recklessness fusing with fierce blues influenced rock ‘n’ roll, like some sort of bastard child of The White Stripes, BRMC, and The Stooges conceived in Belgium.

This like its predecessor is also very simplistic; two guys, lots of dirty bluesy guitar riffs and stomping drumbeats combining potently to produce a surprisingly ferocious noise level demonstrated immediately by album openers ‘High on a Wire’, ‘Where Has All This Mess Begun’ and ‘Run Wild’, all oozing with dirty, scuzzy rock n roll riffs.  Not to be pigeonholed they quickly shift gears into the more rootsy blues of ‘5 O’ Clock Turn Back the Time’ and the standout ‘You Better Get In Touch With the Devil’, a welcome turn of pace following the early bombardment which leaves you a little overwhelmed.

There is a distinct feeling that you are missing something on this album and that to fully appreciate these guys it would be to see them live while equally wondering how anyone could anyone survive such an assault, thankfully they demonstrate with ‘Sleep While Moving’ and ‘Our Town Has Changed for Years’ they are capable of less volatile material too. There is still time for pretty epic if at 9 minutes 20 seconds, somewhat slightly over indulgent ‘Here Comes the Kick’ which is the clearest indication of the band maturing as proceedings are brought to a close.

There isn’t really a lot of criticism that can be levelled at this record as it is what it is and doesn’t try masquerading as anything else. There is room for some improvement lyrically which is perhaps due to boisterous nature of the record and the vast quantity of youthful exuberance they candidly display. This maybe a little unfair however as unlike their aforementioned contemporaries their first language isn’t English. Apart from the sheer noise these two young guys manifest the one thing that strikes you is that they deliver their music with honesty and unquestionable confidence in both sound and ability. It is quiet refreshing to hear some stripped down roots-rock for a change with so many bands out there revelling in the 80’s keyboards and synthesizer revival.

Rating: 7/10

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Silver Threats is out now on T For Tunes

Introducing: Skp

Skp is a 20-year-old Belfast musician who makes music using Nintendo Gameboys and has been creating some fantastic 8bit electro tunes for almost a year now. To date he has played a number of live shows in his native Belfast and Dublin, one of which I was lucky enough to witness. For me this guy stole the show a few weeks back at a Richter Collective singles night in Twisted Pepper. His performance on the night was full of raw verve and vigour pumping out tunes to an appreciative audience, some like me were surprised to see through the darkness, behind all the equipment was an almost silhouetted figure going nuts lit up by a vague glow emanating from a set of gameboy’s, instantly reminding me of the famous Orbital head lights.

I’m a bit of a sucker for this 8bit sound which is probably down to a miss spent youth playing computer games but there is definitely more than a nostalgia buzz to this, there’s serious tunes here of that there is no doubt.

Mp3: Skp – Houston We Have a Problem

Mp3: Skp – Numbers Four Through Seven are Liars

Mp3: Skp – I Have Wolf Teeth

New Minitel Rose – Snake Girl

French 80’s fetishist’s Minitel Rose have returned to follow-up 2009’s A-Team and Knightrider inspired The French Machine, which succeeded in fusing the melodic sensibility of Klaxons’ with the over the top Justice-esque synths. The first sample from their new album Atlantique which is due out in May is a little different from their previous work, gone is the highly charged energetic electro and in is the mellow, steady, ever-growing drone of drums and synths. Still present is the overwhelming feeling of familiarity but not unoriginal, it’s like an old friend you haven’t met in a long time. It’s a good solid track which is still unashamedly French, not a bad thing at all and it’s certainly enough to whet your appetite for the new album.

Mp3: Minitel Rose – Snake Girl

The Brothers Movement on ‘Other Voices’ and ‘Ceoil Ar Imeall’

It was a pretty good week for Dublin’s The Brothers Movement with appearences on RTE’s Other Voices and TG4’s Ceoil Ar Imeall with the band playing tracks from their excellent self-titled debut album which came out towards the end of last year and is well worth a listen.

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Review of TBM album here

Echo and the Bunnymen ‘Proxy’ Free Download

To Celebrate the launch their US tour The Bunnymen are giving away ‘Proxy’, a beautiful shimmering melodic track  from their new album The Fountain. The Scouse post-punk legends have been enjoying a new lease of life since their reunion in 1997 and are still one of the best live acts around with amazing sets belting out over 25 years worth of brilliant tunes.

Let’s hope they are not state-side too long and make an appearance over here this year.

Mp3: Echo and the Bunnymen – Proxy