Track Review: Svelte- I Don’t Miss You

TRACK REVIEW:

 

Svelte

 

 

I Don’t Miss You

 

9.6/10.0

 

 

I Don’t Miss You is available at:

https://soundcloud.com/sveltemusicuk/i-dont-miss-you

RELEASED:
1st November, 2015

GENRES:
Electronica

ORIGIN:

Bristol, U.K.

____________________________________

IT has been a fraught week to say the least…

With a lack of Internet connection, I have been forced to catch up and tackle reviewing head-on.  I have known about the work of Mary Spender before and love her voice to death.  When I heard about Svelte (a duo she fronts with Jacob) I was keen to dive in and investigate.  It brings to mind- when listening to the duo’s music- about a few things.  I am thinking of the importance of diversity, duos coming through and Bristol music- in addition to geographical sound break-down.  I have been listening to a lot of ‘90s music at the moment and bemoaning the lack of quality in some modern music.  There are few music-lovers that can deny the majesty of the ‘90s: the decade is music’s finest and cannot be topped in my view.  The range and diversity of music on offer (in the decade) is staggering.  From Grunge and ‘Britpop’ through to Pop and Dance, it was a decade that will never be equaled.  As the ‘00s drew in, music did suffer a slight dip- although some fantastic albums and acts came out.  It has only been the past decade that has seen a real drop in form.  Whether music is exhausted or the talent is not as startling; I long for the days of the 1990s and all it had to offer.  When I review great acts- and the finest music coming out- I see some potential and quality.  Our very best and brightest are those that do not simply put in the bare minimum effort.  Those musicians that had a great upbringing- tied to some excellent musical tastes- who really strike the imagination.  Blending genres and sounds together; doing something unique and imaginative- that is what gets the top honours and applause.  The ‘90s were so magical because of the variety and depth of music that was out there.  The phenomenal Dance/Trance movements and ‘Britpop’ regency was just the start of things.  It is near-impossible to reign-in and define the ‘90s for all it provided and stood for.  Musicians should take note and look at what came through then.  Too much of today’s music is stale and unadventurous.  Svelte are a duo that are just what the music world needs right now.  I have heard too many boring and lifeless solo acts come out; bands and groups that copy others for their own means.  When it comes to the Bristol two-some, you will struggle to compare them to anyone else directly.  Promoting a sound that marries harder Rock edges with Electronica bliss; stunning vocals and terrific compositions into a whole that is hard to beat.  Not too much is known of the duo and their biography: when they came together and who influences them; when they are playing live and what the future holds.  What I do know is they are busy recording and preparing a new single.  The duo have a nice little concept at their feet: they are going to be releasing a single on the first day of each month.  A lot of acts are too concerned with E.P.s and rushing material out there.  Svelte have ensured they have a steady stream of music coming without leaving gaps in-between.  With a new song arriving each month, fans get a chance to see how the duo’s developing.  This month saw the release of I Don’t Miss You: a song that ranks among their finest and shows just what a stunning act they are.  On December 1st a new song will be unveiled and it will be exciting to witness.  Before I investigate the music itself I am reminded of duos and what they offer.  In previous reviews I have mentioned the dynamics and subject matter of various duos.  London two-pieces are among the most diverse and memorable.  Duos from other parts of the U.K. offer different sounds and themes and that really got me thinking.  Whether it is the relationship status of the duo- they could be partners or friends- or where they hail that moulds their sounds.  It is that music formation that provides some sensational music and wonderful interplay.  It is the harmony and bond of the duo that appeals to the musician and writer in me.  Whereas bands can be quite unwieldy and impersonal; solo acts somewhat lonesome and singular- the duos are a different prospect altogether.  Most tend to be a boy-girl make-up (there are some exceptions) and I always love hearing what they come up with.  Whilst a lot of their peers deal with Pop and Folk concerns, Svelte are more mindful and ambitious.  Commentators and reviewers have noted the myriad mix of genres and sounds.  That stunning and unforgettable central voice perfectly sits with vibrant and passionate compositions that are among the most original and daring out there.  Svelte are based out of the city of Bristol: a location that has provided some of music’s very best, it is not shocking to see another terrific Bristol act.  Perhaps inspired by Bristol legends Portishead and Massive Attack, the duo is adept at weaving ‘90s Trip-Hop/Electronica with something contemporary and fresh.  Bristol is showcasing some wonderful acts at the moment and some of the U.K.’s most ambitious and original examples.  Whereas London is perfects leading music’s charge it is Bristol that is providing the most interesting and impactful sounds.  I am a big fan of Electronica and its prowess so Svelte are a duo that I am keen to support and follow.  With a new song due in the coming days, it is a great time to get involved with the Bristol two-piece.  With few like-minded peers, they are an act that are giving music a kick and breathe of fresh air.

It would be all well to review the latest track and just leave it there you’d think.  For a more comprehensive investigation of the duo it is worth seeing how their latest cut stacks up against their previous fare.  Being a fairly new proposition, there is not a great archive of music to contrast and compare.  Both members have made music before Svelte- I am a particular fan of Mary’s solo work- and Svelte is something different altogether.

  Sleeping Tonight was released four months ago and begins with a buzzing and vibrating electronic slam.  A heavy and hard beats sees lyrics looking at clothes hitting the floor- not to be collected until next morning.  Looking at a central figure that is in a daze and drunken; we look at twilight tangling and unwise decision.  Mary’s voice is perfectly suited to ascribing a scene of ill-fated bonds and disenchanted ideals.  Soulful and rich, it marries with the strumming and stridulating electronics.  Riffled beats come in and tangle with hollow echoes.  A composition that develops and alters as the song progresses, it is a song that constantly keeps you guessing.  A memorable and sing-along chorus makes the song accessible and nuanced to the masses.  It is the interplay of the duo that really captivates and they blend their individual talents into the mix.  Such an energetic and snaking composition backs and propels a wonderfully striking and emotive vocal.

  Façade arrived a month after Sleeping Tonight and begins with a different tone and objective.  Lighter and more sleepy, the beats and electronics are more restrained early on.  Mary’s voice is more romantic and soothing than on Sleeping Tonight.  Feeling slightly exhausted and bereft, our heroine wants the ground to swallow her up.  Having her soul and identity taken away, that sense of suffocation and disability comes to the fore.  Lost and hopeless, you root for her and wonder what has caused this sadness.  Perhaps a relationship has broken down or a friend has betrayed her trust.  It looks at a boy who has left others “an empty shell”.  That inimitable and varied voice- that goes from a husky chocolate to something sensual and velvet- rules the track.  Whereas Sleeping Tonight saw the composition on an equal footing, it is the voice that takes the lion’s share of the honours.  Pin-sharp and haunting the one moment; meaningful and raw the next, it is a wonderful performance.  The beats are kept minimal yet provide a stormy and evocative backdrop to the song’s themes of betrayal and heartache.  A leap forward from their earliest cut; it shows how agile and varied Svelte is.

   Lipstick Melts begins with a passionate and intriguing compositional beat.  Mary’s voice is at its most sensual and direct; propelled by a punchy beat, the song is as stunning and picturesque as its title.  Our heroine’s world is “ending tonight” and gets the listener immersed in the song.  Rapture is arriving and perhaps a romantic explosion is due.  There is that sense of not letting go and separating.  Whether a relationship refuses to break or the lovers are not moving on, it is a song that begs for deeper interpretation and exploration.  Mary’s voice seems more confident and assured here whilst Jacob’s guidance and swathes are at their most daring and stunning.  The entire song perfectly merges classic Trip-Hop glories with something contemporary and modern-day.  Original and deeply personal, the song showcases the duo’s consistent songwriting and evolution ambitions.  Not sounding like any other track they have produced, few other acts are able to sound completely different and consistent at the same time.  Svelte change subjects and directions from track-to-track without compromising ideals and originality- each number shows a new skin and concern; a distinct theme and idea.

In October, the duo put Time (Put It All Together) out there and once more it signaled a new move and motivation.  Primal and urgent from the offset, it is a dominated and pressing electronic beat that gets into the mind.  Our heroine’s voice is both relaxed and passionate as we see blurry views and auto-focus being ascribed.  Trying to put their pieces together, there is a mystique behind early lyrical ideas.  Having wasted time on a central subject- a boyfriend or former lover perhaps- our heroine will not spend another moment “feeling blue” and “feeling used”.  The song develops into something more uplifted and spirited.  The electronics augment and raise- whilst being underpinned by a constant electronic burble- and the composition expands and ignites.  Detailed touches and elements come together- electronic guitar strings and processed vocals- to create an atmosphere that is heady and exhilarating.  Emotive and impassioned, the song is one of the duo’s most memorable and stunning.  Mary’s voice is at its most instant and wondrous here.  That busy and accomplished composition perfectly pushes and propels her performance whilst creating its own gravity and personality.

With every release, Svelte become more confident and stunning.  Seemingly at their most inspired, the last couple of months have seen them at their very peak.  With the talent on display- sensational vocals and tremendous compositions- they are capable of changing course and colour seemingly effortless.  I Don’t Miss You continues subjects of romantic concerns and separation whilst covering the topic with new life and a new angle.  The finest cut the duo has unleashed, it is the perfect summation of their joint talents.  It ensures future singles will be much-anticipated and celebrated and I can see some amazing numbers arriving.  At no stage has the duo ever slacked or dropped the ball and I would love to see an E.P. or future album arrive.  There is so much quality and range to be found so the options are out there for Svelte.  With a new single coming each month, it is a wonderful way to get constant Svelte music- something daring and amazing with each new venture.

Subverting my expectation from the off, I Don’t Miss You arrives with merriment and urgent rush.  Light and upbeat; busy and catchy, you get tripping and funky bass with echoed vocals and electronic motifs.  Unlike any introduction they have released previously, the listener is immediately taken somewhere different and new.  Our heroine arrives in the spotlight- after the insatiable and stunning opening phase- to give evidence and testimony.  The song is about- and the tale really concerns- “a claim to fame without the fame” and a story of “when you were young”.  The initial sentiments get my mind delving into possible interpretations and truths: maybe we are looking at a tabloid star or a fake star?  Perhaps it is a former lover that is bad news?  When Mary sings a “soldier without a gun” a photo-taking (during a summer holiday) there is an insight into a relationship and a break-up.  That lack of bravery and backbone- on behalf of the track’s male role- we get a window into a callous soul and someone that has caused pain and hurt.  It is clear there have been arguments and debates raging.  The chorus looks at the heroine strangely at peace and unaffected.  Not missing him/things as much as she should, it is evident the relationship was not as solid and meaningful as it could have been.  Many songs investigate relationship wreckages and the nature of the wake.  Whilst most singers and acts are filled with anger and accusation; we get a more dignified and mature approach to the subject.  As gripped as I was by the vocal and lyrics, the composition gets equal billing and does not demure into the shadows.  Not as heavy and pulsating as some of the past songs- Façade for one- the track lets a lighter and more open composition exploit the urgency and quality of the vocal.  It appears the song’s hero- although that seems like a grandiose word for someone not at all heroic- was looking for s life simpler and less complicated.  It seems like euphemism for commitment and seriousness.  When things were getting serious and deep he has retracted and run.  Someone in in for the wrong reasons- and maybe interested in only the physical- the first signs of purity and meaning have caused him to become immature and cowardly.  Not allowing this to cloud her soul and cause her true heartache, our heroine has a very pragmatic and dignified assiduity to her retorts.  Not casting blame or sounding too vulnerable, the lyrics are perfectly measured and delivered to project that sense of moving on and strength.  As the song develops, my thoughts look elsewhere.  Whilst the lead wanted a simpler love and relationship, it seems he could not stomach a simple life and existence.  When it comes to a “simple wife” and normal job, it seems he wants something more.  Our heroine has provided advice- to protect the man from hurt- and it may have backfired somewhat.  The two were looking for different things and different lives.  Having parted ways and separated there is not that recrimination and slander coming through.  Whereas our heroine is in her hotel room imagining possibilities and seeing the world- able to travel and cut loose a lot more- she is freer and happier.  Not being tied down and obedient- it seems her former beau wanted someone diligent and stay-at-home- there is that emancipation and new lease on life.  Our lead is at her very best and looking forward to new challenges ahead.  A healthy approach to love and break-up; I Don’t Miss You is a new take on a common theme.  It is that composition-and-vocal combination that really comes into play throughout.  Little details are thrown in here and there- from fragmented electronics to processed vocals- to create atmosphere and emotion when needed.  Svelte do not clutter the song and have made it simple enough to breathe and inspire.  From beginning to end it is a track that delights the senses but compels you to think.  A personal tale and survey, it is a song that many people can relate to.  Many women (and men for that matter) would have had that relationship that was due to shatter.  Perhaps it was not real love- or a relationship that would have gone the distance- where there is actual positives to take from its cessation.  Mary’s voice and talent ensure the lyrics are cliché-free and contain some real stand-outs.  With Jacob, the duo has created a song with a wonderful rich and vibrant composition tied to a true-to-life and emotional lyric.

Both parties bring their talents and skills together to create a wonderfully nuanced and memorable cut.  The vocal is consistently impassioned and urgent- two words I use a lot for good reason- and the conviction and drama are all there.  Not heavy-handed or too dramatic there is plenty of life and light to be found too.  Soulful and Pop-based; with a Rock-sharp tongue to boot it is a voice that is constantly stunning and agile.  The lyrics contain some lovely little sentiments and images- the idea of (the hero) being a “soldier without a gun” and the sense of plot and development stand out- to create something that will be played again and again.  The composition is probably Svelte’s best as it draws in their past heaviness and weight with something crisper and more developed.  Pulling in so much colour and so many different emotions, it is a sound that perfectly augments the centre whilst standing out on its own when needed.  Bringing those elements together, the production values are assured and polished.  Allowing both clarity and raw emotion, we get a production that perfectly suits the song and ensures each element comes together seamlessly.  The finest moment Svelte have created, I Don’t Miss You is a song that gives 2015 a mighty send-off- who knows what December’s single will contain?  All I know is that Bristol’s finest duo are in rich form and are in no danger of slowing any time soon.

Knowing Mary Spender and what an accomplished musician she is, it is no surprise Svelte are such a stunning force.  Jacob and Mary have a solid bond that comes through in their glistening and multi-layered sounds.  I Don’t Miss You reconciles Mary’s previous sounds and ideas with something more adventurous and multi-coloured.  I have checked their previous singles and Svelte seem to be getting stronger and more confident with each release.  From their initial unveilings, the duo has stepped up a gear and sound at their peak here.  On December 1st we will get a new song and a fresh chance to hear one of Bristol’s best new acts.  The chemistry and intuition of the two players radiates in their music which reminds me of the ‘90s’ very best moments.  Music’s king decade boasted consistent quality and a range of sounds that has not been matched since.  Electronic motifs and Pop wonder sparred with harder Rock gems and everything in-between.  What Svelte have produced is something (a song) that mixes all these elements together with a vibrant sound of 2015.  Too many musicians and artists are concerned with playing it safe and honing themselves from the off.  Our duo is one of the most stunning and original out there and will go on to big things.  With so many artists out there at the moment, it is hard to decipher which will be the ones to watch in 2016.  There are some great bands and solo acts emerging, yet it is the duos that are sticking in my mind.  Before I complete the review, I am going to return to my original points about duos, geography and sound variation.  I feel the band market has reached a bit of an impasse at the moment.  There’s a few good bands emerging yet I find there is little innovation and originality to be found.  Aside from the likes of Everything Everything and Royal Headache- two of my favourite acts from this year- there are still too many that are too limited and stale.  Once upon a time ago we had acts that displayed vibrancy and stunning songwriting; a power punch of emotion and passion.  Something is missing this year and I hope 2016 unveils some genuinely great and worthy acts.  There are some impressive solo acts out there, but for my money, there are not enough.  It is the duos that will provide the best possibilities in the coming year.  This year has been a damp and disappointing one for mainstream music so we cast our eyes to new music.  Whilst it is hard to get a grip on all the fantastic acts coming out, we can at least swim through the mist and uncover those worthy of fond affection and support.  Svelte have hit about a great concept- when it comes to releasing a new song a month- and are no gimmicky act at all.  Their music ranks among the most refreshing and immense coming through right now.  If those gorgeous and passionate vocals do not get into your mind then that detailed and soul-hitting composition will win you over.  The duo pen lyrics and music that will resonate with many listeners and tap into the concerns and experiences of the average listener.  It is only left for me to see what the future holds for Svelte and how they compare to their contemporaries.  With Bristol heating-up as a musical centre, I am not shocked to find another tremendous act come out of the city.  Since the early-‘90s Bristol has been showcasing some of music’s most agile and innovative musicians.  Not just workaday Pop/Folk acts, Bristol is more interested in harder and darker Electronica layers; songs that are detailed and challenging.  I hope Svelte play London very soon as it would be a great chance for the capital to witness one of this country’s brightest hopes.  A duo that has their eyes set on the future, the connection Mary and Jacob share is electrifying.  In a live setting I can imagine something rather wonderful unveiled.  I am not so down on the music of 2015 yet I think something has to occur: a kick up the backside to get tongues wagging and musical minds inspired.  What we have at the moment is a mainstream that is rather average and unpredictable.  New music is perhaps providing more consistency and quality but there are still issues and concerns emerging here.  So many acts replicate others and do not really push themselves and their sound.  Whether that indicates a lack of talent and intelligence, I am not sure.  No matter because the likes of Svelte are providing plenty of salivation and insight into what 2016’s sounds will be.  After a stressful and frustrating past week, I Don’t Miss You is a song that has provided some solace and uplift.  There has been a glut of sensational music this past few months so it is wonderful to discover an act that are bringing the magic back.  I shall be keeping my eyes primed to Svelte’s social media feeds in the coming weeks.  When December hits us, that first day will see a brand-new Svelte number.  Whether it harks to their sapling single or carries from where I Don’t Miss You left off?  It may be dystopian and dark or it may be a joyous overhaul of emotions.  Who knows, huh?  That is the great thing about the Bristol act.  Such a diverse and fertile duo, they keep surprising and delighting with each release.  If you have not heard them then make sure you check out their latest track and dive into their past- they will be names to watch for sure.  For all uninspired bands and solo acts looking for a way to improve/alter their music then look no further.  Svelte show how it should be done and will compel and inspire others to…

PUT the invention back into modern music.

 

 

________________________________________________

Follow Svelte:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sveltemusicuk/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/sveltemusicuk

 ___________________________________________

Music:

https://soundcloud.com/sveltemusicuk/

Feature: The November Playlist (Part Three)

FEATURE:

 

 

The November Playlist (Part Three)

 

 

 

 

THIS is the final part.

 

Enjoy…

 

 

Bird

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Bird

Official:

http://www.birdofficial.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/birdinmusic/?fref=ts

 

 

Echo Boom Generation

 

 

 

 

Follow Echo Boom Generation:

Official:

http://echoboomgeneration.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/echoboomgeneration/?fref=ts

 

IV Rox

 

 

 

Follow IV Rox:

Official:

http://www.ivrox.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/IVRoxofficial/?fref=ts

 

Mrs. Skannotto

 

 

 

Follow Mrs. Skannotto:

Official:

http://www.mrsska.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/skannotto/?fref=ts

 

 

Night Wolf

 

 

 

Follow Night Wolf:

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/nightwolfuk

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/nightwolfuk/?fref=ts

 

Hannah Boleyn

 

 

 

Follow Hannah Boleyn:

Official:

http://www.hannahboleyn.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/hannahboleynmusic/?fref=ts

 

Hannah Dorman

 

 

Follow Hannah Dorman:

Official:

http://www.hannahdorman.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/HannahDormanUK/?fref=ts

 

The State of Georgia

 

 

 

Follow The State of Georgia:

Official:

http://georginalashbrook.wix.com/thestateofgeorgia

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/thestateofgeorgia/?fref=ts

 

The Bandicoots

 

 

 

Follow The Bandicoots:

Official:

http://www.thebandicootsmusic.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TheBandicootsMusic/?fref=ts

 

Universal Thee

 

 

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/universalthee/?fref=ts

ReverbNation:

http://www.reverbnation.com/universalthee

 

Svelte

 

 

 

 

Follow Svelte:

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/sveltemusicuk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sveltemusicuk/?fref=ts

 

Jade the Moon

 

 

 

Follow Jade the Moon:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jadethemoon/?fref=ts

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/jade-the-moon

Goldbirds

 

 

 

 

Follow Goldbirds:

Official:

http://goldbirdsband.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/goldbirdsband/?fref=ts

 

 

Fifi Rong

 

 

 

 

Follow Fifi Rong:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/fifirongmusic/?fref=ts

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/fifirong

 

 

The Emsee

 

 

 

Follow The Emsee:

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/emseeVideos

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TheEmseeMusic/?fref=ts

 

Kobadelta

 

 

 

Follow Kobadelta:

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/kobadelta

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Kobadelta/?fref=ts

 

Play Erase Record

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Play Erase Record:

Official:

http://playrecorderase.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/PlayRecordErase/?fref=ts

 

Black Lady Soul

 

 

 

Follow Black Lady Soul:

BandCamp:

http://blackladysoul.bandcamp.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/BlackLadySoul/?fref=ts

 

The 48ks

 

 

 

 

Follow The 48ks:

Official:

http://www.the48ks.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/The48ks/?fref=ts

 

Eliza Rickman

 

 

 

Follow Eliza Rickman:

Official:

http://www.elizarickman.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/elizarickman/?fref=ts

 

 

Chenai Zinyuku

 

 

 

Follow Chenai Zinyuku:

Official:

http://chenaimusic.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/chenaimusic/?fref=ts

 

Ruby Macintosh

 

 

 

Follow Ruby Macintosh:

Official:

http://www.rubymacintosh.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ruby-Macintosh-262222443806442/?fref=ts

 

The Glass Child

 

 

 

Follow The Glass Child:

Official:

http://www.theglasschildofficial.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/theGlassChildFans/?fref=ts

 

The Tuts

 

 

 

 

BandCamp:

http://thetuts.bandcamp.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/thetuts/?fref=ts

Alison Levi

 

 

Follow Alison Levi:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/alisonlevimusic/?fref=ts

Official:

http://alisonlevi.com/

Steve Heron

 

 

 

Follow Steve Heron:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/steveheronmusic/?fref=ts

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/steveheron

This Week’s Albums: November 23rd, 2015

This Week’s Albums

 

 

November 23rd, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

IT is a case of “Something old, something new/something ‘borrowed’, something…

 

that doesn’t rhyme”.  I do a D.J. gig every week at The Stoke Pub and Pizzeria (https://www.facebook.com/TheStokeGuildford?fref=ts); I have the opportunity to play four different albums: one that is ‘old’ (to my mind, anything pre-1985), something ‘new’ (released brand-new that week); something influential (and has inspired a genre/other acts) – in addition to dealer’s choice (any album I choose).  Having done this for over a year-and played everything from Graceland to Pearl Jam; FKA twigs to Beastie Boys- it is enormous fun.  I get to talk to people about music; play some awesome stuff- turn people on to some great/forgotten sounds- well, I try to!  I shall publish this every week; try and highlight some fantastic albums- maybe some you have forgotten about.

 

The Old:  The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)

 

10/10

 

It goes without saying that this album ranks among the ‘60s’ very best.  The third album from the U.S.-U.K. force, it ranks as Hendrix’s most scintillating works.  Reconciling the electric Funk of Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, the album benefits from a cavalcade of studio innovations- back-masking, chorus effect, flanging etc. – to create an album that defined the decade.  Aside from the obvious classics on the album- All Along the Watchtower, Voodoo Child (Slight Return) stand out- there are a host of gems.  Opener …And the Gods Made Love sees Hendrix mix spirituality and love with something raw and conflict.  It is not just the psychedelic and jaw-dropping guitar wizardry of Hendrix that sticks in the mind.  With Noel Reading and Mitch Mitchell providing stunning backing, you get an album that takes you somewhere truly magical.  A completely immerse experience from beginning to end it inspired a wave of Hard-Rock albums and bands.  Whilst others have tried to replicate Electric Ladyland’s sonic innovation and sheer quality; none have come close.  Not surprising the album ranks as one of music’s all-time best.  Audaciously accomplished and far-reaching it’s a record that does not dim with age or repeated plays- a masterpiece that keeps revealing new shades, colours and emotions.

 

DOWNLOAD: Crosstown Traffic; All Along the Watchtower; Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

STAND-OUT TRACK: All Along the Watchtower

 

 

The New: Adele- 25 (Out Now)

8.5/10

 

It is one of the most hotly-anticipated albums of the year and with good reason.  After the mass-selling and huge acclaim of her previous album (21) Adele concentrated on family life.  Suffering from writer’s block leading up the album’s creations it was unsure whether 25 would ever surface.  Fortunately the young singer had a breakthrough in 2013 and the creative juices flowed.  Adele refers to the album as a ‘make-up’ creation; this shows on a lot of the numbers.  There is redemptiveness and love among the recriminations and doubts.  Although the album suffers some lags- Send My Love (To Your New Lover) and Love in the Dark could have sat on the studio floor- the album brims with confidence and intent.  Hello is an obvious lead-off track that has gained record YouTube views and sales figures.  Adele stretches words and vowels to create something mind-spinning and intoxicating.  The music and lyrics is a perfect match and at every stage she gives the material complete heart, soul and dedication.  That inimitable and dramatic voice makes tracks Remedy and Water Under the Bridge sound essential and gripping.  It will be fascinating to see where Adele goes from here but based on her current album the signs are promising.  One of this country’s most astonishing talents, it is a relief to hear Adele back- let’s hope there will be no more writer’s blocks!  If you want to discover a true singer show how music should be made, then ensure you get your copy of 25– an album that is flying off the shelves!

DOWNLOAD: Hello; Remedy; Water Under the Bridge

STAND-OUT TRACK: Hello

 

 

The Influencer:  Aaliyah- Aaliyah (2001)

9/10

 

Few people I speak to are familiar with Aaliyah, which is quite galling.  Without her (and her self-titled album) the likes of Beyoncé would sound completely different.  A young artist taken too soon- she died in a plane crash after filming the music video for Rock the Boat– Aaliyah is an album that changed the game.  Drawing Funk, Hip-Hop and Electronica into the mix, the album showcases synthesized vocals and fragmented beats; manipulated vocals and choppy guitars came together to truly highlight Aaliyah’s unbridled talent.  More Than a Woman is the album’s true highlight: that catchy hook sees Aaliyah’s vocal ride in the mix.  Showing her sensual side to maximum effect, it boasts a truly spectacular vocal.  Throughout the album Aaliyah shows her mix of maturity and sexuality to great effect.  The likes of Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado looked at Aaliyah and its innovative production- without this album their careers may have gone very differently.  One of the best Soul albums of the decade (the ‘00s) its highlights- Rock the Boat, Try Again and I Care 4 U– see the combination of exceptional production- Timbaland and Bud’da were among the producers- blend seamlessly.  With so many singers indebted to Aaliyah it is only right you discover an album that redefined and changed the Pop/Soul landscape upon its release.  With its influence still being felt, there is no escaping its wonder and brilliance.

DOWNLOAD: Rock the Boat; More Than a Woman; Try Again

STAND-OUT TRACK: More Than a Woman

 

 

The ‘Other One’: Metallica- Metallica (1991)

 

9.5/10

 

I have featured Metallica in my D.J. sets before- their Master of Puppets was on the block- and it is great to come back to the legendary U.S. band.  Obvious stand-out Enter Sandman must rank among music’s most forceful and memorable tracks- those riffs and vocals are hard to forget- but the album is so much more than that one track.  Tracks Nothing Else Matters and The Unforgiven rank among Metallica’s very best- whilst displaying sensitivity in spots- and signaled a move away from the thrash and grab of previous albums; here they were embracing something less harsh and more refined.  Boasting intensity and true Metal production values- no gloss and polished studio crap- it was not an avoidance of past glories; simply a progressive step forward- the band almost invented a new genre (Progressive Thrash, if you will).  The album saw the band’s fanbase explode massively.  Whilst previous albums seemed bloated and directionless, the band streamlined and focused their attentions.  Making their music more commercial- whilst not compromising integrity and ethics- it sees them at their very peak.  They never recaptured the same dizzying highs in the careers, so for that reason alone, Metallica stands as a truly singular moment in Rock history.

DOWNLOAD: Enter Sandman; Holier Than Thou; Nothing Else Matters

STAND-OUT TRACK: Enter Sandman

 

Feature: The November Playlist (Part Two)

FEATURE:

 

 

The November Playlist (Part Two)

 __________________________________

THIS coming week I am going to be releasing a three-part feature…

That looks at some of the biggest names to watch.  I am going to be (in following parts) look at some great bands and solo acts; in total there will be around 75 different acts featured.  In a week that has seen some horror and violent atrocity around the world- in Beirut, Baghdad and Paris- and some unity and music distraction is much-needed.

Little Sparrow

 

 

Follow Little Sparrow:

Official:

http://www.littlesparrow.org/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/singinglittlesparrow

Echo Arcadia

 

  

Follow Echo Arcadia:

Official:

http://www.echoarcadia.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/echoarcadia/

 

Melinda Ortner

Follow Melinda Ortner:

Official:

http://melindamusic.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/melindaortnermusic/?fref=ts

Sarah Collins

Follow Sarah Collins:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/SazzleCollins?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sallycollinsmusic/?fref=ts

Los and the Deadlines

 

Follow Los and the Deadlines:

Official:

http://www.losandthedeadlines.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/losandthedeadlines/?fref=ts

 

Sir Gant and the Invisible Force

 

 

Follow Sir Gant and the Invisible Force:

Official:

http://www.sirgantmusic.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sirgantinvisibleforce/?fref=ts

 

Sophia Ben-Yousef

 

Follow Sophia Ben-Yousef:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/sophiamusicuk

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/sophiamusicuk/?pnref=lhc

Lydia Baylis

Follow Lydia Baylis:

Official:

http://www.lydiabaylis.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/lydiabaylis/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

 

Jonnythefirth

 

 

Follow Jonnythefirth:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/jonnythefirth

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jonnythefirth/?fref=ts

Spy from Moscow

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/spyfrommoscowmusic/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/SpyFromMoscow

Gemma-Louise Doyle

  

Follow Gemma-Louise Doyle:

Official:

http://www.gemma-doyle.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/gemmalouisedoyleprofessionalvocalist/?fref=ts

Terrorista

 

Follow Terrorista:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/trrrorista/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/TerroristaMusic

Gypsyfingers:

 

 

Follow Gypsyfingers:

Official:

http://www.gypsyfingers.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/gypsyfingersmusic/?fref=ts

 

Gelato

 

Follow Gelato:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/GelatoMusic/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/GELATOMusicYeah

False Advertising

 

Follow False Advertising:

Official:

http://www.falseadvertising.co/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/falseadv/?fref=ts

Emily Kay

 

Follow Emily Kay:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/msemilykay

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/msemilykay/?fref=ts

RKZ

 

Follow RKZ:

Official:

http://rkzuk.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RKZUK/?fref=ts

 

Issimo

  

Follow Issimo:

Official:

http://www.issimomusic.net/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/issimomusic/?fref=ts

 

Allusondrugs

 

 

Follow Allusondrugs:

Official:

http://www.allusondrugs.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Allusondrugs/?fref=ts

 

The Moth Lantern

 

Follow The Moth Lantern:

Official:

http://www.themothlantern.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/themothlantern/?fref=ts

 

Little Dove

 

Follow Little Dove:

Official:

http://www.littledoveband.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/LittleDoveBand/?fref=ts

 

Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers

 

 

Follow Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers:

Official:

http://www.archideep.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/archideep/?fref=ts

 

Josh Haynes

 

Follow Josh Haynes:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/joshaynes

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/joshaynes?fref=ts

Ivy and Gold

Follow Ivy and Gold:

Official:

http://ivyandgoldmusic.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/IvyandGoldBand/?fref=ts

Waiting for Wednesday

 

 

Official:

http://www.waitingforwednesday.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/WaitingforWednesday/?fref=ts

Ellie Rose

Follow Ellie Rose:

Official:

http://ellierose.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/theellierose/?fref=ts

Track Review: The Mouse Outfit (Feat. Truthos Mufasa & Black Josh)- Sit Back

TRACK REVIEW:

 

The Mouse Outfit

  

Sit Back (Feat. Truthos Mufasa & Black Josh)

 

9.7/10.0

 

Sit Back is available at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXLPWi1B5DI

RELEASED:
19th May, 2013

GENRES:
Hip-Hop; Funk; Reggae

ORIGIN:

Manchester, U.K.

____________________________________

HAVING had a good run of musicians coming to my attention it is…

great to see another come to the block.  Today I am reminded of a few different issues: among them is the variation and cross-pollination of sound; the bands and acts of the north in addition to Hip-Hop/Funk stylings.  To start with, I am amazed by some of the music coming through this year.  A lot of artists have taken the time to think about what goes into the music and its creation.  That said, there are too many acts and bands that are not being bold and varied.  I raise this issue, because a lot of bands and solo acts are simply producing simple and unimaginative tunes.  It is okay so long as those ‘simple’ songs are memorable and original.  The trouble is, not only are a lot of the songs unspectacular; what you find is they get stuck in a rut and never really push their imaginations.  When you limit and confine yourself you risk running out of inspiration and steam.  If you produce something narrow and limited then the fans will get bored and the music is a lot more forced.  Those with elasticity and freedom (to their sounds) are those with the greatest chance of success- and feel a lot more natural and relaxed.  I mentioned this as my featured act is among the best genre-splicing and creative I have heard.  I shall get to them but wanted to raise a sort-of ‘mini point’.  When it comes to experimenting with sounds and genres it can be a risky game.  What with the range of genres and sounds out there, you have to make sure what you are doing sounds true and meaningful.  If you just toss sounds and ideas together it comes off as unprofessional and insincere.  If it all hooks together- and you hit the nail on the head- the resultant music can amaze and inspire others.  Before I raise a couple of new points, let’s have a look at today’s act:

Members:

Chini – Production/Keys/Recording Defty – Bass/Videos Pitch – Production/MPC/Percussion Dr Syntax – Vocals Sparkz – Vocals Truthos Mufasa – vocals Joe Luckin/Adisa Allen – Drums Phil Ratcliffe – Guitar Sam Lewis – Sax Jack Tinker – Trumpet We also have occasional guest vocals from various MCs including Verb T, Black Josh, Dubbul O, Jman

The Mouse Outfit was founded in 2008 by Paul Hooley (Chini) + James Defty after they met at an audition in Manchester. They formed a band and began producing music with a number of local musicians + vocalists. Defty started a jam night, in order to meet local talent, called ‘In the Loop’ (where rappers would freestyle to live breaks from The Mouse Outfit band) Here, they began crafting a live show with hip hop and funk breaks combined with original grooves. The band started gigging locally and around the UK with various changes in line-up. Chini was a teacher at a music college in Manchester and noticed a talented student drummer Adisa Allen (Deese) who joined the band in 2010. After uploading a track to BBC Introducing they were asked to perform a session at BBC Maida Vale studios for the Mark Lamarr show on BBC Radio 6. Another of Chini’s students, Ian Garland (Pitch) joined in 2011 as a beatmaker. Pitch had been working with Dr Syntax and he soon started working with the band as well. ‘In The Loop’ regular Sparkz was asked to feature on a track and after recording several singles he also became a regular member of the live show. In 2012, Defty + Chini also began producing music videos after working with a local filmmaker Tom Doran. Defty took a greater interest in video and began filming + editing a stream of music videos. Chini continued producing music with local rappers + musicians and recording them in his studio over his own beats and beats from Pitch + the result was ‘Escape Music’ their debut album released in May 2013. The Mouse Outfit has remained independent and Defty and Chini continue to manage all aspects of the band including tours, merchandise, social media and promotion.

I was introduced to The Mouse Outfit by a music contact and peep- with a great standing and reputation- and baffled how they escaped my attentions for so long.  One of social media’s most ironic and jaded aspects is how great acts escape the radar.  Although The Mouse Outfit have a lot of fans and followers; it seems few people are sharing posts and spreading the word to others- thus ensuring newbies like me stumble on them by accident, sort of.  What the Manchester band offer is a myriad mixture of sounds.  From sweet-leaf bliss and peace to fuc***-up guerilla attack- across to mind-melting raps and riffs- you have a band that are getting rightful acclaim.  It brings me onto the subject of Manchester and the north.  I have mentioned how productive and fervent London is; it seems Manchester is not exactly slouching.  The northern city has always produced some of music’s very best- from The Stone Roses to The Smiths- but over recent years it is London that has been stealing some focus.  Whilst the capital is under the critical radar; Manchester gets a bit of a dim light when it comes to attention.  That is a shame, as The Mouse Outfit have a sound and talent that should not be overlooked.  Manchester is putting forth some of the U.K.’s best new bands and acts.  Due to the community music scene and the comradery the artists have; we are seeing a lot of relaxed and stunning music come through.  Less anxious and limited than most; the music of the north is among the most startling coming out.  Too many new bands and acts are getting hooked up with traditional genres and music configurations- guitar-bass-drums etc.- and not embracing something more interesting and unexpected.  The Mouse Outfit blend Hip-Hop hardness into Reggae mellowness; unite Rap’s street-wise and urgent messages with something electrifying and universal.  It is hard to really nail-down the sound (The Mouse Outfit) produce.  Safe to say you will find few other acts like them on the scene.  Having garnered a huge following across social media; the band are preparing new moves and a busy 2016.  One of the most inventive and exciting prospects in U.K. music; so many new faces and fans are flocking their way.

When it comes to looking at The Mouse Outfit in depth, it is pertinent to look at their back a catalogue- see what evolution has occurred and how they have developed.  Their E.P. Check Your Pulse was released in 2012 and was a blistering start to their music career.  Featuring Dr. Syntax; Get Ready starts with some heavy and military drums.  Mutating into horn blasts and screeched vocal- an ecstatic female voice- and you get an urgent and arresting start.  Something “busy brewing up” are some of the first words and you sense something quite dangerous and epic.  The fast-flowing rhythms are punctuated with horn blasts and rolling drums.  With M.C. Presto featuring on Who to Trust and you get another side to the E.P.  More laid-back and Hip-Hop based than other tracks; here is a song that features slick production values and a terrific central vocal.  Backed by tease and a sexy back-beat and you get a song that has a distinct kick and charm to it.

Shak Out was released shortly after (their debut E.P.) and featured Sparkz on vocals.  A low-down and elastic bass sound heralds a hard-hitting and determined Rap.  A street-savvy and attacking assault our hero has more energy than the Duracell bunny.  The raps are fast and high-energy.  Never stopping for breath or relenting, the song is a frantic and gun-fire attack that changes contour and sound as the song develops.  From the energetic beginnings, the song goes into Reggae territory with a more relaxed and seductive vibe.  Picking back up and continue its plight, the song has a great mobility and sense of the unexpected.

In 2013, the band united Sparkz and Dubbul O in one of the best songs to date.  A rolling and romantic piano line leads to a fresh and slick vocal that pays testament to vibing beats and exhilarating sounds.  Slicker Than Average is a song that sees “poisonous fumes” invade our heroes’ space and mindset.  Looking at some of the harsher aspects of life (and music) it is another song that alters dimensions and dynamic as it progresses.  Variating between free-flowing and hypnotic Rap; the track goes settles down into a more sedate and chilled groove.

This year The Mouse Outfit conspired with Bam (The Jungle Brothers) and produced What’d I Do?  A funky and feet-moving beat puts me in mind of classic Soul- James Brown and his peers- and unites with a commanding central vocal.  Profanity and home truths are laid down as the central vocal sees the hero swagger with braggadocio.  Doing “something right” that passion and energy bursts through the speakers.  Complete with attitude and intention, we see a rap that shouts its own name.  Boasting his credentials and musical flair; that confident lyric is juxtaposed with a smooth and memorable chorus declaration.  With Bam providing some restraint and contrast, it is a short track that stays in the mind.

Over the course of the years, The Mouse Outfit have changed their sounds to fit their ambitions and mood.  Ensuring the core sound remains true- keeping that cross-pollinating vibe strong- they address changing themes and new concerns.  By collaborating with so many artists you get new insights and voices coming to the parapet.  This allows the act to create restless and diverse music that is resonating with the listening public.  The musicianship and compositions are always daring and stunning to witness.  Whether fusing with Hip-Hop maestros and young rappers, The Mouse Outfit ensures their lead is giving a stunning backing.  The songwriting has grown in confidence and stature since their earlies days.  I find with each passing year the band widens their horizons and become more daring and brave.  It is the songwriting confidence and collaborative spirit that ensures that quality control is on the highest order.  I know The Mouse Outfit have released a double-vinyl release (that drew together a lot of their singles) but it would be great to hear a new L.P. next year.  They have plenty of ammunition and arsenal in their locker; seeing that spread across and album would give new listeners an insight into their mindset and future ambitions.

If you look at their SoundCloud account (https://soundcloud.com/themouseoutfit) it is stunning to see how many songs The Mouse Outfit have produced.  One of the most prolific and dependable acts in the U.K., there seems to be no end to their ideas and intentions.  Sit Back featured on Escape Music– the compilation they released in 2013- and is one of the finest tracks they have produced.  A perfect introduction for new listeners, the earliest notes really stand you to attention.  With Truthos Mufasa and Black Josh providing their support, you get some sedate and soul-soothing piano notes in the first instance.  Welcoming you in and teasing the senses; that captivating parable sound sees the beat notch up and the vocal come in.  Early words advise (whether the listener or a particular figure) “smoke dope” and go “watch cartoons”.  That idea of sitting back and chilling is prescient; that need to “slide into your heaven”.  You can picture the scenes and images as those words are elicited.  We will all have an idea of the type of person being ascribed.  Whether we are looking at Truth Mufasa or someone outside the circle, the commitment and urgency in the vocal cannot be overlooked.  You begin to smile as that arresting and captivating voice rides the beat wave and marries with that piano underpinning.  Uniting some Reggae-tinged vocal/vibe with a building beat and it is an opening salvo that will draw in every ear and mind.  Just as you think the song will continue along these lines, the Hip-Hop readiness and testament of Black Josh hoves into view.  Seamless linking together, the song changes its course and accelerates its heart.  We have “one for the mind/two for the money” (whether documenting dope or some other contraband) and there begins a riffling and rolling rap that catches you by surprise.  Making sure you can get your head around the words and idea- well, you may struggle.  Such is the fever and intention laid forth, you have to go with the flow and let the rap take you over.  Our hero has a spiked imagination and is an “extra-terrestrial” creating something daring and huge.  A resident of “M14”; there are dizzying scenes and declarations put to tape.  Filled with doubts and anger, there are so many ideas thrown into the melting point.  From profanity to religion; along to ambitions and the realities of the street, you are drunken by the hypnotic rhythms being put out.  Exhilarating and tornado-speed, it is a parable you go back to and unpick.  Our hero is filled with doubts and anger for sure.  He is separating himself from the crowd and trying to make his way, yet there are fears and stresses plaguing his thoughts.  As the walls start to close and that sense of suffocation reigns, it is the chorus that comes to the rescue.  That drop-smoking and relax-your-mind melting seems like sage advice given the circumstances.  Perhaps not the most medically-advisable solution to the issues at hand; it at least offers restraint and comfort for Black Josh.  The anxiety and passion with which he spits makes the song a sizzling and ballistic assault to the brain.  If the song continued along these lines- and simply extended the rap onwards- it would be tiring and rather overwhelming.  Breaking up the missives with something reflective and chilled and you get a song of contrasts and seamlessness.  It is never unnatural or strange- hearing those disparate sounds and elements come together- and you get a delicious fusion of Reggae and Hip-Hop.  Stating “you won’t know life ‘til you try to escape”, the blissed-out chorus gets a gradual kick-up through the gears.  Not returning to that rapid-fire scat of before; it is an ascent that sees a definite fear.  Looking at pissed and drunken visions- even tales of mermaid-kissing are in there- you feel like you are caught between a dope-fueled hallucination and a gritty insight into modern-day Britain.  There are a lot of street-level concerns and concrete ideologies; ravaged and wracked souls having to retreat from life.  Maybe assessing the population as a whole- people that are wasting their lives or self-destructing- or concentrating on a particular person; you get a real sense of reality and realisation.  It feels as though our man has seen too much and been through a lot.  As the song progresses, you get a drive-by view of fat-fried chicken and late-night drunkenness.  Each new verse offers fresh angst and anger.  Each presentation is salvaged by that reflective and caution-laden chorus.  As it is told- “it goes on and on…”- these realities continue unabated.  Ambulance sirens and pub debacles mix with stunned realisations and personal confessions.

Sit Back is a song that needs repeated listens to take everything in.  Such is the breadth and quality of the tune, you instinctively come back to reexamine and investigate.  That stand-out chorus becomes more relevant and impressive with each new view.  Those heady and head-spinning raps showcase some exceptional talents and lyrical genius.  Something that is not just reserved for lovers of Hip-Hop and Rap, you get a track that can be appreciated by all.  There is a definite funk that mingles with the edgy and straight-talking flows.  Each element works wonderfully together and nothing seems forced or out-of-place.  The production values are exceptional and do not give unsure focus to any aspect of the song.  The composition propels the vocal and gives it a wonderful backing.  Provoking such a sense of adventure and atmosphere; the beats are hot and the piano notes teasing and tender.  It is the songwriting and vocals that impressed me most.  Whether you absorb every word and sentiment- you would need to have listen a few times to pen them all down- it does not matter as it is that flow and energy that captivates the most.  The twin talents of Truthos Mufasa and Black Josh work wonderfully together.  It is almost like a father-son relationship with regards the chorus and verse.  Whilst the verses are heavy and angry; filled with anxieties and concerns, it is that chorus that brings it down to Earth.  Perhaps not the wisest fatherly advice you could hear- smoke some weed and chill- it at least advises relaxation and chance to breathe.  As a newly-bred convert to The Mouse Outfit, I have checked their songs out and that which best assesses their sound and appeal.  Sit Back is a song that is perfect for any season, reason and mood.  It compels the listener to pen their own tunes and write lyrics down (or maybe just me as a songwriter) but at the very least it gets inside the mind and compels something quite wonderful.  If you have not discovered a stand-out song from one of the U.K.’s most urgent and stunning acts, then make this the natural starting-point.

It is an exciting time for new music, in no small part due to acts like The Mouse Outfit.  I have been looking around for artists that are different and unique.  You get a lot of great act coming through, yet few differ from the pack.  I love Rock and Indie bands but find there are too many sound-alikes and a real lack of difference.  It has forced me to expand my horizons and looks at other genres.  Sit Back is a track that has been out for a while, yet shows the Manchester clan at their strongest and most arresting.  At the moment, the guys are performing across the country and conduction interviews/promotion etc.  Having just played Camden’s Jazz Café, they are on a real high.  The following year should see them producing new music and conquering new territory.  I am not sure how much of the world they have seen- when it comes to performing outside the U.K. – because they have a sound and passion that could translate well abroad.  I know finance is an issue that plagues every musician; The Mouse Project could well be future stars across the U.S. and farther afield.  It is vital we embrace and support the best new music out there.  When it comes to this Manchester outfit, the signs are all promising and exciting.  They have been performing for years and produced a string of dazzling and unforgettable moments- you feel their finest times are still ahead of them.  Before I finish up, I wanted to circle back to my original thesis: with regards Manchester, Hip-Hop/Reggae and new music at the moment.  Inventiveness and originality is something that is much-needed and lacking.  Aside from the originals and ambitious acts there are far too many that do not stick in the imagination.  Those that dip deeper and are braver get the biggest acclaim and remain in the mind.  The genres of Hip-Hop, Rap and Reggae are still genres that tend to be niche and under-appreciated.  Go into any music store and you have a proliferation of Rock and Pop- few aisle inches are dedicated to other styles of music.  Mainstream radio still strays away from going beyond safe and comforting borders.  With the likes of B.B.C. Radio 6 and others embracing the best of the underground, it is high-time other stations and outlets follow suit.  Music should be celebrated and promoted to the masses if it possesses quality and potential.  Too many stations are obsessed with what is mainstream and marketable: Music that rules the charts is not indicative of wider tastes and needs.  If you listen to The Mouse Outfit; they are an act that do not push people away and want to stay in a corner.  Embracing and pioneering, their music brings people into their dazzling and scintillating world.  The fast-flowing Raps fuse with jagged and pummeling beats.  The sun-drenched Reggae vibes unite with some Hip-Hop attitude to create music that defies expectations and easy labelling.  I know a lot of Ska and Reggae outfits that mix in elements of Hip-Hop and Rap yet none with the degree of success and wonderment of The Mouse Outfit.  Manchester is showcasing some wonderful musicians at the moment; it is an exciting time to be there and it will be wonderful to see what 2016 produces.  I cannot wait to see what the next year comes up with.  It is likely The Mouse Outfit will be creating a lot more buzz and excitement as we head into 2016.  I am not sure whether a new E.P. or album is imminent; I suspect they will be performing around the country and dropping a few tunes along the way.  It is only left for me to direct you their way and get involved in their multifarious and genre-splicing gems.  If you are a hardcore fan of the genres they play- Hip-Hop, Rap, Reggae etc.- then you will find authenticity and a lot of relatable sounds.  If you are not overly-familiar with the genres- or find the current crop rather off-putting and underwhelming- then you should not let The Mouse Outfit pass you by.  What the band provides is something wholly unique and brand-new.  They expertly cross-pollinate and tie-in genres to create something truly memorable.  For new music to inspire and motivate, we need to embrace artists that do things different and have their own voice.  Musicians with passion, energy and innovation are those that are going to survive and make it to the mainstream.  The Mouse Outfit are one of our finest acts and more people should latch their ears in their direction.  Too often one misses out on some truly wonderful music due to the worst traits of social media- sometimes great acts are not promoted and shared as often as they should.  Make sure you investigate The Mouse Outfit’s music and discover something fresh and alive.  Not just an underground act reserved for niche clubs and avenues they are a band that can…

TAKE the scene by storm.

_________________________________________________________

Follow The Mouse Outfit:

 

Official:

http://www.themouseoutfit.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/themouseoutfit/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/themouseoutfit

___________________________________________

Music:

_______________________________________________

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MouseOutfit

_____________________________________________

Gigs:

https://www.facebook.com/themouseoutfit/?sk=app_178091127385

Feature: The November Playlist (Part One)

FEATURE:

 

 

 

The November Playlist (Part One)

 __________________________

THIS coming week I am going to be releasing a three-part feature…

That looks at some of the biggest names to watch.  I am going to be (in following parts) look at some great bands and solo acts; in total there will be around 75 different acts featured.  Today I am kicking things off with some terrific musicians to watch out for in the coming year- and my favourite track of theirs.  In a week that has seen some horror and violent atrocity around the world- in Beirut, Baghdad and Paris- and some unity and music distraction is much-needed.

Ellene Masri

 

 

Follow Ellene Masri:

Official:

http://www.ellenemasri.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/masriellene/?fref=ts

Elena Ramona

 

  

Follow Elena Ramona:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Elena-Ramona-323928237668916/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/elenaramona90

Yearbook

Follow Yearbook:

Official:

http://yearbookoldbones.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/yearbookofficial/?fref=ts

NINA

Follow NINA:

Official:

http://www.ninasounduk.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/NinaSoundUK/?fref=ts

Jo Kelsey and Niels Bakx

 

Follow Jo Kelsey and Niels Bakx:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/JoKelseyMusic/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/jokelseylalala

Vinyl Staircase

 

 

Follow Vinyl Staircase:

Official:

http://vinylstaircase.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Vinyl.Staircase/ 

Chess Galea

 

Follow Chess Galea:

Official:

http://www.chessgalea.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/chessofficial/?fref=ts

Braver than Fiction

Follow Braver than Fiction:

Official:

http://www.braverthanfiction.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/braverthanfiction/?fref=ts 

Dana Mckeon

 

Follow Dana Mckeon:

Official:

http://www.danamckeon.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DanaMcKeonMusic/?fref=ts

Jingo

Follow Jingo: 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jingomusic/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JingoMusic

Ina Reni

 

 Follow Ina Reni:

Official:

http://inareninow.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ina.reni/?fref=ts

Lucas

 Follow Lucas:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/LucasMusicSceneUK/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/lucasmusicuk

Billie Marten

 

 Follow Billie Martin:

Official:

http://www.billiemarten.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/billiemarten/?fref=ts

Jasper in the Company of Others

  Follow Jasper in the Company of Others:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jasperinthecompanyofothers/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JasperITCOO

Marisa Rodriguez

Follow Marisa Rodriguez:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/marisarodriguezmusic/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/marisasingsalot

Gold Phoenix

 Follow Gold Phoenix:

Official:

http://www.goldphoenixband.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/goldphoenixband/?fref=ts

Lauren Housley

 Follow Lauren Housley:

Official:

http://laurenhousley.co.uk/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/laurenhousleymusic/?fref=ts

Meat Loving Vegans

  Follow Meat Loving Vegans:

Official:

http://www.meatlovingvegans.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MeatLovingVegans/?fref=ts 

Elizabeth Ajao

 

 Follow Elizabeth Ajao

Official:

http://www.elizabethajao.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/elizabethajaomusic/?fref=ts 

The Updraft Imperative

  Follow The Updraft Imperative:

Official:

http://www.theupdraftimperative.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/theupdraftimperative/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf 

ADI

 Follow ADI:

Official:

http://adiulmansky.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AdiUlmanskyOfficial/?fref=ts 

Fola

 

 Follow Fola:

Official:

http://www.officialfola.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/officialfola/?fref=ts 

Manda

 Follow Manda:

Official:

http://mandaofficial.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/mandaofficial/?fref=ts

Rouge United

Follow Rouge United:

Official:

http://www.rougeunited.com/

Facebook:

http://www.rougeunited.com/

Jen Armstrong

 

 

Follow Jen Armstrong:

Official:

http://jenarmstrong.tv/official/Home.html

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jenarmstrongm sic/?fref=ts

The Mouse Outfit

Follow The Mouse Outfit:

Official:

http://www.themouseoutfit.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/themouseoutfit/?fref=ts

Track Review: Meat Loving Vegans- Bad Move, Stanley

TRACK REVIEW:

 

Meat Loving Vegans

 

 

 

Bad Move, Stanley

 

9.6/10.0

 

Bad Move, Stanley is available at:

https://soundcloud.com/meatlovingvegans/bad-move-stanley

GENRES:
Alternative-Rock

ORIGIN:

London, U.K.

The album Lost in Fiction is available at:

http://www.meatlovingvegans.com/#!lost-in-fiction/citr

TRACK LISTING:

Bad Move, Stanley– 9.6

Plasticine Dreams9.5

The Ballad of Gosport9.5

YOU- 9.5

Darlin’- 9.5

Why?- 9.5

Daniella- 9.6

You Ain’t No Dog– 9.6

Together We Stand- 9.5

Goodbye Granda- 9.6

DOWNLOAD:

Bad Move, Stanley; Daniella; You Ain’t No Dog; Goodbye Granda

STANDOUT TRACK:

Bad Move, Stanley

Lost In Fiction is the debut album by London formed band Meat Loving Vegans. Recorded mostly in frontman Dex’s bedsit in Lewisham, South London, as well as Lounge Studios in Acton and mates houses in London, Woking and Gosport, Hampshire. FANX.

www.meatlovingvegans.com

Released September 19, 2015
© 2015 JSA Records.

Credits:

All songs written by Dexter Krenal except ‘You Ain’t No Dog’ written by Dexter Krenal and Ben Toon.

Dex – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Synths, Percussion, Arrangements, Production, Mixing & Mastering.
Clayton Saunders: Backing vocals on track 3.
Maxine Stowe: Backing vocals on track 3.
James Quinn: Keyboards on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 & 9.
Dario Corsetti: Tambourine on track 9.
Corinne Thomas: Backing Vocals on tracks 5, 9 & 10.
Charlotte Hodgson: Backing Vocals on track 10 & Viola on track 7.
Ryan Jones: Backing Vocals on track 9.
Vika Juganzon: Backing Vocals on track 9.
Mathieu Robert: Bass on tracks 4, 5, 7, 8 & 9.
Josh Haynes: Cello on track 9.
Xav Mingus: Backing Vocals on track 10.
Hann Clef: Trumpet on track 10.
Alice Bradley: Artwork.

Released by:

JSA Records

Release date:

   19 September 2015

____________________________________

FOR the past few days I have been concentrating on…

some rather eclectic sounds and something quite different.  Taking me all over the place, it has been great to hear what the music world is offering now.  Few can deny the range of music available at the moment, yet it is hard to get a real handle on it and discover all the great acts out there.  My featured act are one of the most distinct bands coming out of the U.K. at the moment and offer something quirky and eccentric into their Rock and Alternative motifs.  It would be hard to compare them with any other act which raises a few issues: concerning uniqueness of sound, London bands and making a sound that counts.  Music is at its very best when the artists involved go the extra distance and separate themselves from their peers.  I have bemoaned the lack of originality some artists produce; always depressing to hear, it puts you off investigating that act further.  With so much variation and possibility available, why would you want to sound like any other act out there?  I can see the temptation of embracing your icons and dedicating your music to them to an extent.  When you mimic another act then you are only going to gain a certain amount of respect and fan-base.  It is those artists that stand firm and think outside the box that are going to remain in the memory the longest.  It is hard to be truly original- a sad fact that is becoming more evident- yet it is paramount in a music world where there are dozens of acts emerging by the week.  My featured band have taken that on board and made great strides separating themselves from the pack.  That inimitable and odd sound has a strange beauty and a definite heritage to it.  Recalling Punk and Rock legends, you will struggle to bring a particular name to mind.  Before I continue on my point let me introduce my featured act:

Meat Loving Vegans are quirky alternative rockers from London formed in May 2015. Eccentric rough-around-the-edges vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and producer Dex fronts the band, and keyboard virtuoso James, madman genius composer Matt hammers the bass and insanely artistic drummer Sam complete the infectious line-up.

The band’s debut album Lost In Fiction was made over 4 months in 2015, and released 19th September 2015 on the band’s own label JSA Records. Lost In Fiction was mostly written, recorded and produced by Dex in his bedsit in South-East London, Lounge Studios in West London, a garage studio in Woking and other generous folk’s houses in London and Gosport, Hampshire.

Inspired by the front man’s colour blindness, the image is bright, colourful, clashing and striking, with a power house sound that matches the look. When you go to a Meat Loving Vegans gig or listen to a recording, prepare for in your face, engaging, and genuine tales of English council estate life and debauchery, to heart breaking send offs, sandpapered love songs, and everything in between.

Although the songs are based on rough subjects, ultimately they stand for pulling together with those that matter to make the most out of what you’ve got. Even if it’s not a lot”.

London is holding a lot of great bands at the moment and it is always great to hear an act so unique.  When you consider how many musicians are coming through at the moment (in London) it is challenging filtering them down to the very best.  Being a fan of Los and the Deadlines and a few other London stunners, I am always keen to add to the portfolio.  When encountering Meat Loving Vegans they strike me as an act that is not concerned with following others or fitting into any moulds at all.  There is so much lyrical and thematic variation in their sound they are restless and never sit still.  The subject matter ranges from social issues to love without stopping for breath.  When you listen to the vocals and instrumentation it is clear these boys mean business.  There is an urgency and passion I have not heard in a while; a real drive and sense of attack.  When it comes to producing harder and heavier sounds a lot of contemporaries do not consider emotion and atmosphere.  Too concerned with filling quotas and trying to fit into expectations, so many bands negate the importance of sonic depth and invention.  Meat Loving Vegans’ sounds are meaty and raw; they are vibrant and rugged.  Whilst no two songs sound the same, there is so much variation and colour to be discovered.  Their Lost in Fiction album is testament to the band’s range and talent.  A record packed full of tantilising offerings and fast-paced gems they are emerging as one of the country’s most promising bands.  When it comes to 2016 and seeing which acts are worth following, you can be sure eyes will be trained to Meat Loving Vegans.  Although their social media numbers are on the rise, they are one of these bands that will get true recognition in time.  The artists that show originality and something unusual are those that are going to stand the test of time.  Too many modern bands and acts lack diversity and a unique voice; the likes of Meat Loving Vegans are given the scene a much-needed injection of quality.

I chose to focus on Bad Move, Stanley as it’s the album’s lead-off track and the first experience of Lost in Fiction.  The song begins with bubbling and computer game-like electronic pips that go into meaningful and pioneering guitars.  That combination is quite a dizzying and nice touch that gets you invested straight away.  Just as you guess where the song is headed you get a rampant and Blues-inspired guitar pattern that takes it in a new direction.  Graveled and masculine, the notes strike through the speakers and give the song some emotional punch and urgency.  When our lead arrives at the microphone, his voice is filled with sarcasm-cum-direction as he is laying-into the central figure.  Stanley is letting people dictate his life and is “bank account friendly”.  Perhaps too soft and naïve for the world, it seems people are stomping him and getting into his business.  The “vampires” of life are creeping into his life and making him a different person.  A song that implores (the hero) to toughen and change his ways, you cannot help but sympathise for the lead.  With odd phrasing like “sonic letter” it is a song that mixes real-life with something more oblique and strange.  In the initial stages the vocal pace and sound remains static in its charge and delineation.  Backed by a propulsive and gravitational guitar pulls, the percussion and bass guide the song and create something harsh and dangerous.  As you go inside the band’s world- and what they are imagining- you get another shift in dynamics.  Moving away from the straight-ahead Punk attack of before; you get something more open and breezy.  As the chorus comes into life, important questions and concerns are asked.  Our man asks when serenity will come to him.  Tired of living off a “can of beans” it seems life is kicking him in the shorts.  Having just ascribed Stanley and his inability to make his way in life and you start to dig inside the lyrics.  Perhaps putting themselves in the mould of Stanley- the first-persona native of the chorus seems to be about Stanley rather than our frontman- the band asks when Stanley will man-up and take charge.  It is a track that does not judge or put the boot in; it implores the hero to rebel against the forces and struggle and find bravery and guts.  With a little bit of Blur in the vocals- and the merry swing of the chorus- and you get some British sensibilities and a semblance of the ‘90s.  Catchy and compelling, you are powerless to resist the lure and charm the song has.  After the diversion into open Pop and rousing vocals, the song goes back to its constricted and rushing sound.  Turning a 180-degree skid we are back into Punk territory as our lead is assessing the song’s subject.  Stanley needs to speak up and “grow some balls” it seems.  Perhaps lacking quite as much empathy as one would hope, the song looks to make changes for the better.  The anti-hero is being trodden on and dictated so the words are designed to bring about change.  Tired of Stanley being eclipsed and silenced, our lead’s voice is replete with meaning and passion.  His words are there to be heard and understood as the band whip a storm behind him.  That circling and rousing compositional sound adds meaning, focus and menace to proceedings- the song gets harder and heavier by the second.  As the emotions start to rise and swell, you have to wonder whether the song’s central figure will change his ways.  The architect of his own downfall, Stanley is being led down a bad road it seems.  As the lyrics end and the music takes charge you start to root for the hero.  It is quite sad to see someone being dictated and controlled; especially so here as the suffocation and potency grows as the song develops.  Whether it is a group of people (controlling Stanley) or society in general you get a real sense of dread and concern.  In the final moments, the opening lines are reintroduced and a final chance to hear the band stick it to Stanley.

Rich with musical invention and depth you have a song that shows how good Meat Loving Vegans are.  That Punk-styled vocal is direct and compelling throughout.  The entire band is in-step and tight from the beginning to end and Bad, Move Stanley is the highlight from Lost in Fiction.  The lyrics are filled with wit and venom; motivation and kick to inspire change in the hero.  A subject and scene we can all relate to, there is a sense of poignancy and patheticness to the subject.  A man (Stanley) being trodden-on and dictated, you cannot help but feel sorry for him.  The band ensure Stanley gets the message and tries to change his ways as the sonic assault rarely lets up.  Never predictable and one-dimensional, the composition switches from focused Punk to something richer and more colourful (in the chorus).  Reminding me of the likes of Blur, Sex Pistols and The Clash and you have something quintessentially British with a universal skin.  Tremendous and raw production allows the song to electioneer with full force and it is a track that will prompt you to come back and reinvestigate.  The lead-off and stand-out from Lost in Fiction, you cannot ignore the quality of Bad Move, Stanley.  With so many British bands suffering lack of inspiration and direction, it is wonderful to hear an act vibrant and original.  Plenty of nuance and depth can be heard and it will appeal to a wide range of music fans.  A song to blow away autumn cobwebs, make sure you check this gem out.

Being a new listener to Meat Loving Vegans I am pleased to hear a band that dares to be a little different.  They are not a divisive and ‘quirky’ band in a bad way at all.  What the guys do is stand apart with regards their sound but have a ubiquitousness and familiarity too.  Uniting the classic sounds of Punk and Rock, the compositions will strike an ear with those that really love their music.  With subject matter address key social issues and universal love, the band has a wide and striking palette.  I opened by stating how originality is waning and how few bands are going that extra mile.  Perhaps concerned with getting to mainstream level- and copycatting their idols to achieve this- the marketing strategy of artists is a little baffling.  The best way to gain long-term success is not to replicate the sound of (already established) acts but go the other way and do something new.  It is hard to be completely unique- given the sheer mass of other acts and how surprise is harder to achieve- but it doesn’t take a lot to stand aside from the crowd.  What Meat Loving Vegans do is synthesise bygone bliss with something very modern and relevant.  Their raw and passionate aesthetic boasts some determined and urgent vocals; compositions that pack nuance and emotion, yet never make proceedings too downbeat or unexciting.  Every track and moment resonates with strength and force; that crucial ingredient that gets the listener involved and motivated.  The capital is showcasing some of the country’s best and brightest bands, so it is no surprise to hear another (great one) come through.  Lost in Fiction is a collection of songs designed for the youth of today.  Tapping-into a rich vein of conscientiousness and awareness, the boys should be very proud of their achievement.  It is not often you get a band that balks ‘tradition’ and distinguishes themselves so.  I have heard enough acts that put me in mind of others and simply do what everyone else does.  Those that take the time to think of something personal and original are always the best to follow.  It is just left for me to assess the band’s future and give a small assessment of the album.  It is no lie to say the band will be ones to watch as we go into 2016.  Although they do not have a huge army of social media acolytes yet; this will change given time.  They are quite a new act and are still spreading the gospel across the Internet.

   Plasticine Dreams is a catchy and upbeat stomper that has some elements of The Clash and Blur in its sound and vocal flair.  One of the album’s more strained and melodic efforts, it is a distinctly British sound.  Looking at a man that leaves a fight with a “cut-up eyebrow” and a girl rebelling against her parents, we get mini-scenes from modern life.  The lyrics have an oddity and peculiarity but strangely they resonate with familiarity and reality.  From questions about life in space to dancefloor mellays, the song scans across the horizons and introduces us to some wonderfully engaging scenes and figures.  That central sound puts me in mind of Modern Life is Rubbish-era Blur and The Clash’s debut album.  One of the album’s highlights, it is a song that is hard to ignore.

   The Ballad of Gosport has some Dylan-esque harmonica amidst a serene and romantic sound that gets you hooked and seduced.  With our lead offering that distinct and accentuated vocal, you have a song that looks at the misery and boredom of Gosport.  Being from a town and area that I hate (shall not mention it) I can relate to the song’s core and themes.  Few bands really tackle home-town/local boredom with such humour and verve.   Combining underpinnings of Punk with Pop and Indie sensibilities it shows a different side to the band.  The guys always showcase humour and wit in their song; this number seems to be one of the most urgent and personal.  You can hear that fatigue and dissatisfaction of the “dodgy market stalls”.  The people on the dole are crowding the doorways and the people seem dead-eyed and lifeless.  Whether the Gosporters (if that is the collective noun for them) agree or not, it has made me curious (as to what the area is like).  A song that sticks in the mind long after it has finished, Meat Loving Vegans leave you with a smile for sure!

You starts with some bubbling bass before mutating with blissed-out and buzzed guitar.  The vocal is distorted and buzzing as we look at a central figure- the ‘you’ of the song.  A martyr for their cause and a real self-flagellating figure, the person is in danger of alienating themselves.  I get the impression the band are addressing a mutual contact as you cannot deny the conviction and menace in the voice.  The song never relents its determined down-dressing and warning.  Should they not heed this advice (the subject) is going to burn bridges and end up alone.  We all know someone that flails against common sense and logic.  The song has a great bounce and addictiveness to it that means you will go back and witness the song with new vigour.  Catchy and vigorous, it is one of the album’s shorter numbers; it never seems to escape the mind.  That stunning and meaningful lead vocal is impassioned and strong; the composition ducks and dives with purpose.  A beautifully British Punk excursion, you are hooked by the intergalactic strings and bursts of life.

Darlin’ is a calm and romantic thing to begin with.  A passionate and heartfelt song; it showcases the earnest and purity of our lead’s voice.  Laying his thoughts on the line, it is an upbeat and wonderful song that sees the band at their breezy and urgent best.  That punching and pressing beat drives the song and gives it a real heart and soul.  The song soon develops into something a little frayed and wracked as the couple begins to squabble.  Harking to better days- and when they were at their happiest- the love has turned a little sour.  Protesting for peace and common ground, our man wants to rekindle that spark and unity.

Why? begins with some yearning and languid strings that creates a woozy and romantic setting.  Showing some Alternative/Indie shades, it is a teasing and tender thing that soon builds upwards.  Imbued with Funk and Soul leanings, it flourishes and expands as the seconds tick.  A punctuation point for the album, it is a great instrumental that showcases how diverse and stunning the band.  Bringing in some cosmic and quirky electronics- together with a busy and restless beat- and the song keeps expanding and campaigning.  So much colour and life is brought in without a word being song.  You can imagine your own scenes and fill in the gaps.  Vivid projections and ideas come in and you can paint your own picture.  One of the album’s most impressive outings, it sees the band step away from the microphone and demonstrate what intelligent and tight musicians they are.

Daniella gets off to a woozy and scratchy start.  Hazy riffs then mutate into something melodic and upbeat.  The percussion and merry vibes spar with that head-hurting wooze that leads to our frontman’s vocal.  The song looks at a hero trying to write a love song (for Daniella you’d imagine).  Our frontman has ruined it and sabotaged the effort it seems.  The soon-to-couple are being put under the microscope.  Whether a former love of our hero, he is laying down some home truths.  With her new fella, their idea of romance is getting “high in Camden town”.  The two are embarking on an unwise romance that will obviously end quite badly.  The song’s heroine is not someone that would score most love songs; she seems to be one of life’s less attractive and appealing humans.  Our hero pisses over their bonfire and offer that wit and humour you expect from the band.  Whether the new couple ended up happily- you’d imagine not really- you are gripped by the story.  One of the album’s most full and brilliant compositions, the musicianship and sound is incredible.

You Ain’t No Dog kicks off with a primal and heavy slam.  The guitars are tormented and menacing from the outset.  One of the album’s heaviest and most concrete songs, the guitars chug and fight their way through.  Our lead’s voice is at its most spiked and political.  Asking us- and the people in general- if they are a “valued human being” there is a definite campaign at work here.  Are we valued and looked-after by our government?  Recalling the sound of Sex Pistols and their Punk snarl you get some gloriously additive strings and riffs.  Catchy and head-spinning it is a song that never relents it grasp.  Not a dog that should be kicked or overlooked, it is a track that rebels against suffocation and inequality.  Fight against societal ills and stresses; rally against the horrors of government and imbalance.  One of the best things about the song- aside from the chugging guitars and determined vocals- is that central message.  Showing another side to their songwriting; we have gone from love and ill-advised relationships to something modern-Britain and political.

Together We Stand gets off the ground with romance and tenderness.  That harmonica and serene string work leads to an aching and passionate central vocal.  The song looks at those that feel stuck and being empty.  If there is no one to catch you while you fall; we are all standing in this together.  One of the album’s purest and most tender offerings, you cannot help but be swept along.  You can hear that love and urgency in the vocal as our man puts his heart on his sleeve.  Whether addressing a particular friend, he is sending out positive vibes and inspirational messages.  Without cynicism and irony it is a track that compels you to sign along in unite.  Showing how much soul the band has, it is a nice contrast from their most angered and edgier numbers.

The album finishes with Goodbye Granda.  One of the longest and more widespread tracks on the album, it begins with an atmospheric and cinematic introduction.  Washing waves and the call of the sea; we evolve into some romantic strings and something quite soothing.  Mixing elements of Funk and Indie into the agenda, it is another pure song that lays its emotions on the line.  Perhaps another dear friend and comrade; our hero puts his voice into the fray with a heartfelt and direct plea.  Mixing wordless vocals with some of the band’s most emotive lyrics (“Can’t we have more time?”) and you  get a sad and reflective end to the album.  Like Blur’s This Is a Low, it is a sweeping and memorable number that addresses something quite haunting.  In the midst of remembrance and longing, you get plenty of energy and fantastic music.  Granda is being given a fitting send-off as the song mixes spoken vocals and some enflamed and passionate highs.  The band brings in some aching and choir-like backing vocals to bring the album to a terrific and wonderful close.

With a name like Meat Loving Vegans it is no shock the band is contradictory and diverse.  The album does not just rest on pure Punk and force.  From the scintillating opening to the passionate and emotional closing coda; you get a wealth of music diversions and colour.  Pop and Funk go into Soul and Indie.  It is a restless album that never suffers inconsistency and weakness.  Every track stays in the mind and compels you to come back for more.  One of the finest albums I have heard this year, the London boys deserve a much larger fan-base.  Given recent news in Paris- with regards the terrorist attacks and atrocities- we need to embrace something hopeful and positive.  Lost in Fiction has taken my mind somewhere safer and given me a chance to appreciate one of our finest bands out there.  Few can deny how dedicated and direct the band are throughout the album; the songwriting is so strong and focused at every turn.  It is not just the compositions that stick in the mind but everything about the music.  The lyrics mix wit and purity with something oblique and strange.  The vocal work is direct and impressive throughout and the band has such a connection and tightness to them.  If you have not heard Meat Loving Vegans I cannot recommend them highly enough.  An act (and album) you need to hear; make the day better and brighter and discover…

ONE of the U.K.’s finest young acts.

_________________________________________________________

Follow Meat Loving Vegans:

 

Official:

http://www.meatlovingvegans.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MeatLovingVegans?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/meatlovinvegans

Instagram:

https://instagram.com/meatlovingvegans/

Bandcamp:

https://meatlovingvegans.bandcamp.com/

 ___________________________________________

Music:

https://soundcloud.com/meatlovingvegans

________________________________________

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/c/meatlovingvegansofficial

_____________________________________________

Gigs:

http://www.meatlovingvegans.com/#!tour/c1677