Feature: Sounds of 2016- Part Three




Sounds of 2016- Part Three


THIS coming week I have been looking ahead to 2016…

and the bands/acts/musicians that will making a mark throughout the year.  From U.S. treasures to British bands, there are so many passionate and great musicians making plans for the coming year- new recordings and tour dates; it will be exciting to see.  Time for the final 30 …






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Martha Paton




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Hannah Pisani


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Rosie Crow




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Meat Loving Vegans




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Vinyl Staircase




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Gemma Louise Doyle




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In Hoodies




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The Condors




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False Advertising




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Tiny Rhymes




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The Falling Birds



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Ruby Lane Music





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Sir Gant and the Invisible Force




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Lisa Marini




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Sophia Ben Yousef




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Their single All You Want is available from:



The Glass Child




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God Damn




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Beth Macari




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Little Violet




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Rouge United



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Lydia Baylis




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Mrs. Skannotto




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Feature: Sounds of 2016- Part Two




Sounds of 2016- Part Two





THIS coming week I will be looking ahead to 2016…

And the bands/acts/musicians making a mark throughout the year.  From U.S. treasures to British bands, there are so many passionate and great musicians making plans for the coming year- new recordings and tour dates; it will be exciting to see.  Time for the next 30 …



Lauren Housley




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Noah Clouds





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Them & Us



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Eliza Shaddad




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Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers




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The State of Georgia





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Feature: Sounds of 2016- Part One





Sounds of 2016- Part One




THIS coming week I will be looking ahead to 2016…

and the bands/acts/musicians making a mark throughout the year.  From U.S. treasures to British bands, there are so many passionate and great musicians making plans for the coming year- new recordings and tour dates; it will be exciting to see.  I start with the first 30 acts to watch…


Sofia Talvik




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Dana McKeon




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Lola Coca




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Jen Armstrong



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The Mono LPs




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Echo Arcadia




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FiFi Rong




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The Mouse Outfit




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Universal Thee




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These Your Children




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This Modern Hope




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Braver than Fiction



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The Black Fields




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Elena Ramona




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Jo Kelsey Music




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Ellene Masri




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Billie Marten




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Antifreeze in Summer: The Lyrics



“The Journey”

Mine’s a Double!


East End Boys

Hold On, Don’t Let Go

Love at Third Sight


“The Journey” (5:34)


Female pop star:

I don’t think I could have done this without the support of my friends, family…and…um…it’s been an emotional rollercoaster; like fate, you know?  Yeah, but like, it’s been one incredible journey…”


Give me a break honey, for Christ’s sake

You ain’t got a clue what a struggle takes

Been on a journey?  You ain’t moved a yard

Sounding like everyone else out there isn’t that hard

Putting nonsense lyrics over a contemporary composition

Don’t want to be an original just settle for tradition

But no, no, I’ll humour you girl

You been traveling the globe an emotional whirl

Nightly blood-shed violence; some geezer kicks your door

Another sleepless night and conversations with the law

That rite-of-passage that’s a hard ol’ life

Not obsessing on social media over shares, comments or likes

The ReverbNation charts; the YouTube views and shit

Your pouting Instagram photos; your epileptic fits

Male solo artist:

Man I have to work all day, like.  Why ain’t local radio playing my songs?  I put in all the clichés, you know; heartache and love so what did I do wrong?  It has a nice piano line and a chorus you can sing.  One Direction make it work so why aren’t I worth a damn…”


You wanna know why eh?  Because there’s 20 million like you

Want the green, won’t bleed red, all blue blood; black that ain’t true

All tweak and faked; no soul, emotion, no point

So long as you get the money you don’t care about this joint

Could get them buzzing with a catchy beat and slick rhyme

That would take some talent though; a little bit of time

But don’t bother yourself, no, it’ll be okay we’ll make do

Guess there’s a pioneer out there; a couple, a few?

Wanna make a difference then cut the talent show crap

Don’t give me that hard-luck bullshit; it’s all fallen in your lap

You ever seen a fight they didn’t show on Netflix?

I know you’ve dated so losers and no some no-good pricks

I’d rather have my music heard by a few ‘cos the hurt is real

Don’t give a damn ‘bout Kiss F.M. so long as I can feel…

Like me, a real person; saying what’s happening out there

All you sound-alike bands; your clean-cut and well-quaffed hair

Band member:

We’d like to thank our fans this year for supporting the album and inspiring the music.  It’s been really hard, but you know, but it has been our best year and one hell of a journey…


Excuse me mate, toss that work around; you even know what it means?

It ain’t a spiritual thing or emotional definition or a dream

It is physical progression, a movement then I’ll listen man

I don’t hear anything ground-breaking in your 3-chord jams

Foo Fighters riffs, Arctic Monkeys vocals, a girl on your mind?

It seems like miss what’s-her-name ain’t really been too kind

Ah bless, she broke your heart?  Must be the fucking first

Because everyone’s doing it the same and putting it all in verse

Why not pick your language carefully; do something quite bold

Because that whining and ball-bitchin’ is getting somewhat old

Throw in a key change; a nifty or sleepy chorus

How could something so fresh ever go and bore us?

Radio D.J.:

A new Indie band with a promising future.  Catchy choruses and stunning vocals that are getting people excited.  Songs that deal with very real-life issues and…


You been penniless lately?  Felt the sting of depression strike?

Or did some naughty boy in Nikes just run off with your bike?

Can’t afford a Caribbean holiday so you’ll have to go to France

I’ll put this all down in writing of the public give me a chance

How about you sleep alone or spend a night out on the street?

All those who struggle that you walk past begging at your feet

The kids with no happiness; no prospects, no fun

You have that silver spoon in your mouth; well they have a gun

When they get free they’ll document it over an industrial loop

Some liquid bass, cutting words; something more astute

May not be a chart smash; the teenage girls may get vexed

It won’t appeal to your Facebook posts, first-world problems, texts…

Death of the Sweetheart is here giving an even-hand education

Antifreeze in Summer in your veins brings about a new sensation

Let’s make a change and take it back to make the future bright

Because what we have right here?  Well (laughs) oh yeah…right

Girl band member:

Thanks to everyone that’s listened to us.  Those struggles we had this year with the chart positions and break-ups.  Having the fans’ confidence, like, has you know?  It’s been a real blessing; helping us every step of the way on this… incredible journey”.


Mine’s a Double! (3:32)



Oi, oi, don’t want no trouble

Oh boy if I get buried under the rubble

Savloy no-one’s going to burst my bubble

Oi mate, make mine a double!


Right it’s Friday that would make this wine o’ clock!

Except let’s start with beers wouldn’t want the lads to mock

Three layers-thick at the bar; what the ‘ell!

If that geezer knocks my pint I’ll send him to Hell!

Don’t want to fight just ignite a J.D. and coke!

Throw a Jagerbomb in there a Courvoisier, mad jokes!

I’ll fall on my arse I’m not a turtle; I’ll be straight back!

Show the girls some muscle; flash a little crack

By the time it comes to close I’ll be wasted on the street

Lying in a daze, ambulance and paramedics by my feet

Then it’s off to hospital me, Darren, Mick and Den

Hey hey by the morning break I’ll be back at it all again



Let’s break this down shall we?

Why not sort your life out.  What are you boozing for?

You know alcohol is a depressant so I don’t want to bore

But get a grip; have a life and maybe on a Friday night

You write a song, do something productive not star in fight

The hazy heads and expensive meds.; does it really make it better?

You’re A&E, D.O.A., D.U.I., D.I.V.; try choosing some different letters”.


Back at The King’s Head and Suzy’s looking pretty firm

Get another pint and yeah bruv, think it’ll be my turn

Take her to an alleyway and seduce her from behind

Then when we’re done I’ll walk her home; that would be kind?

Right now I’m, wankered; and man this pool table’s upside down!

(Laughs) It’s alright Daz; another Stella will turn it the right way round

I may be late for work again but the boss I know he’ll be mad

Screw it we’re only young once; having fun out with the lads

No harm done apart from some broken arm; he’ll walk it off!

(Landlord): Last call people!

You what?  I’m not having that, he’s well soft!

I pay that guy’s wages; what you looking at you mug!?

Let’s have five more for the road and get away from all these thugs!



Let’s break this down shall we?

(Starts to fade down):

Do I need to repeat myself, it just seems like…



Amelia (5:54)


Boys’ choir:

Three years in a row you’ve been voted the most popular girl’s name

For even-more years before you’ve been the boys’ favourite dame

Give it is this life and live it in the next

The wordplay you scream out every time you have s-e-x

Istanbul not Constantinople; an empire all-but purged

Amelia you’re breaking our heart; shaking our confidence daily”.


It must have been last Friday and I was at the local K.F.C.

I flashed my glance in your direction; you chatting at your friend Tracey

Your fake fur and false tan; that attitude was pretty real

Those bed notches on your cheek; this girl’s out for a thrill!

Was chatting shit to Dave whilst ordering my bargain bucket

As you looked my way tried to smile, but, oh man, fuck it!

I blew my nerve and paid my words you laughed that girlish coo

Tottering your 3ft heels to that outside Beemer; all shiny, new and blue

Kissing that cropped-haired guy with tattoos; a muscled prick I see

Your chaperone, dog with a bone, one-night man, she wouldn’t want me

That cheeky grin you threw me as that car pulled away

Gave me some false hope; I explained this all to expertly to Dave

So I left with the chicken and hope in heart; mayonnaise on jeans

We cracked a crude sexual one-liner; well you know what I mean!


A vision in Essex astro-suede those boys all like it rough

But behind it all Amelia is quite shy; she ain’t really that tough

The girl from west of Mayfair; the boy from the east of Hackney Wick

Yeah, this could happen so all you fools can just hit the bricks!

Now I down a can of Budweiser and head to the Club U.S.A.

To the local spot where the underage psychos all play away

The bouncer starts all shirty and wants to see some I.D.

I flash a nervous smile and a hand over a handsome bribery fee

Past the vomiting couple doing it doggy on the stairs

Through the doors to the Viper Room where hope battles with despair

Sweaty pissheads rhapsodise to Calvin Harris, Swedish Mafia or some shit

Rude boys slipping Es discreetly to 16-year-old girls well off their tits

To the toilets, ah yes, a confidence boost; every toilet door being pounded

Orgasms among the muted bass-lines all my confidence was compounded

Oh Amelia, you’re breaking my heart, you’re shaking my confidence daily!


So I fight my way to the bar, pushed asunder by some leery dick

One racist geezer shouts “mental oriental!”; Jesus some people are so thick!

Down another G&T, wish these V.I.P.s and G.I.T.s would R.I.P.

Although not in peace because you can’t hear a word among all this noise

No humanity just profanity; no eye contact, just people staring at expensive toys

Just about to call it quits whilst Dave calls up for a taxi

He turns and says “Ain’t that the K.F.C. bird and her mate Tracey?

Every eye swerves verve and every boy turns to perve

An angel from south of Highbury; these clowns all got a nerve!

Their Mockney accents and cheap lines: “You must have fallen from Heaven”!

Give us a break mate, what are you, like eleven?

Nah, I’m out of here; I accidentally brush Amelia on my way out

Grab my coat from the pink-haired girl with the purple lipstick pout

The girl on my mind she ameliorating my life; excuse my crafty wordplay

If I play it cool and causal, you know it might well be my day!


Alone in the July air as siren’s blare the fuzz are here

Cuffing all the hooligans; getting too fresh, seven too many beers

While the wagons pull away, see Amelia fumble for a Marlboro Light

I drift in and seize the chance and say: “Don’t I know you, right?

We share a lame old joke regarding queuing in line for our K.F.C.

I laugh all nervous and lean in, she smiles and kisses me

Dave distracts Tracey with a Shakespearean aside; I hail a cab

We buckle in and race up-town destined for my pad

Arriving at the curb we get out: “’ere mate, keep the change!”

Get heavy in the bedroom I show her my full histrionic range

It’s all a blur the next morning see the lipstick mark on my pillow

Knickers on the bed stand, radio playing that song about Amarillo

Walking back from the bathroom I see a note there and read it aloud:

Darling I don’t feel very proud.  I’m a career girl and don’t commit; I really had a ball.  Maybe I’ll see you in K.F.C. (lol) or maybe not at all

I wipe away a tear; that girl stole my heart and…

Oh shit, she stole my phone, wallet, everything!

What a mug I can hear it now, the boys’ choir they will all sing:

Boys’ choir:

Easy son, it’s not your fault don’t let her get to you

By this time tomorrow she’ll be dumping number 2-0-2

That girl she ain’t a true love; not a true love see mate

You two were different classes this ain’t your fate

A decent and naïve boy a fine motor but second-hand car

Just thank your stars you didn’t end up with that vixen Amelia”.


Amelia, you’re breaking our heart, you’re shaking our confidence daily.




East End Boys (8:12)



This is Death of the Sweetheart and Antifreeze is Summer.  Rhymes not slick as the streets or pack that dizzy beat; but last night, saw this…


Joe: What the hell, you seen Facebook status, who is this Tina girl all hating?

(Reading it out): “Joe Buckley is a real prick and should die”.  You hear that mate?

Hero: Just let it go mate; it’s only social media so don’t let it grate

Blow it off bud, we’re next in line get your coinage primed

Joe: Nah fuck that; Claire Menzie liked this post; what a bloody joke!

Share, like, comment?

Claire that Dyke must be on something!

Hero: Who the Hell is Tina anyway

That girl I saw you with the other day?

Joe: Just a girl I dated, so overrated

Wouldn’t want to procreate so hit it hard to third base

Then she was all in my grill; wouldn’t let me go until…

Kept saying she wanted to date; hung up wanted to chill with mates

Now she’s posting this scorn for all and sundry to see

Look, now; likes are up to 6; comments now up to 23!

Hero: I’m having the spicy zinger burger.  You?

Joe: True, alright I’ll let it lie

Even though I hope that bird dies

Look mate it’s that fine piece Amelia

She’s be the top of my bucket list

The finger-licking chick I’d like to kiss

Speaking of buckets, Tina can kick it when I bring it

Fuck it!

Hero: Just cool it mate, you ain’t thinking at your best

Just let’s go home and get rid of all this stress

Joe: Nah get the boys and the Ford Fiesta

When Amelia bends can see the crack in her jugs, ah!

Pray one day she’ll let me mess with her

Get the rest of the boys from the Isle of Dogs

That girl has got me down and grinding me cogs

Know you’d rather spend a night chatting reflective pronouns

I’d rather take revenge; that bitch the low-blow, hoe-down

So let’s get ourselves sharpish into town

(Across town the girls offer their retort…)


Claire: Oh Tina, that slag Joe is cussing you bad

That post I commented; said he’d like to cut me bad

What a tool a loser, he’s so sad

Truth must hurt; that ain’t a man he’s a lad!

Tina: Look at the Facebook status

That Chelsea slag Tina really hates us

Current location: Camden

Let’s go in tandem, get the rest of the girls

Get The Swifts crew

Take on that boy and make him blue

Thinks I’m a slow-honed, low-boned, hoe-down

I’ve seen his mum and galactic bum; takes one to know one!

(Girls all laugh)

Claire: Woah, stop the car- the light are still on

Tony Turner’s Deluxe Knives and Guns

Let’s grab a pistol for fun the geezer owes me one

Tina: Yeah, sure; ain’t that your man Rebecca?

Rebecca: Nah boy was crap in bed; like a 2-inch pecker

Guess this is his way to over-compensate

But nah, it’s cool, we’re sweet, we’re mates

Claire: Be quick mind, we’re going to be late

Tina: Relax Joe’s retarded; doubt he can even drive

By the end of the night he’ll wish he ain’t alive

Not lucky enough for suicide

How dare he hurt my pride!

(Across town…)


Hero: Mate, this is going too far

Let’s just grab a quiet pint at the bar

In the morning you’ll be over her

Instead of mock her; have that bird Amelia

Joe: Yeah she’d be good for my ego

Great for the show and blow; a walk down death row

Rich: What you talking about Joe?

Joe: Shut up Rich just drive this shit bro!

Don’t go so freaking slow put down the toe

Tina’s current location: Camden

Damn man, she’s so near!

Just want her to disappear

Rich: Woah, that girl; ain’t that her girl Stacy?

Claire, Rebecca, Tina, Trish; man they look pretty tasty

There they are by their Peugeot 306

Walking into the bar and taking Instagram pics

Hero: Woah look at the new post; that girl’s real sick!

Joe: What!  Oh come on; that girl gets on my wick

Okay, we’re here, that’s it!

(Back to the girls…)


Rebecca: That guy across the bar ain’t that Nick Goldfini?

Is it him or global warming melting the ice in my martini?

Trish: That’s a Lambrini you div; you’re stirred and shaken

He always orders doubles that lout; look at the glasses he’s breaking

Spray tan, all mouth, a yob; could I be any clearer?

Rebecca: Ark at her, why don’t you look in the mirror!

(Girls all laugh)

Tina: Yep soon as I see him won’t be fun

I’ll make the boy a Joe-k; excuse the dodgy pun!

Claire: Let’s make it to the Banbury Estate

Know some spots there a couple of close mates

Tina: Wait, The Filth might be there with their lot

Every night there’s someone there getting shot

Rebecca: Chill hun; it’ll all be sweet

Got a shooter and ten ready feet

Don’t give a rat’s about that twat!

(To the boys…)


Joe: Says on Facebook she’s off to the Bambury Estate?

We’ll seal them off to seal their fate

Put the hammer down don’t wanna be late

(Fellow drive shouts abuse): Shut up mate!


Act I and our gangs are balkanised and dehumanised

As it progresses we are witness to an incredible journey

Go sit back because mine’s a double

Because man there’s going to be trouble

Death of the Sweetheart, Antifreeze in Summer act II:


Joe: There’s The Swifts crew but between me and you…

(The two gangs meet)

It’s all spoilt girls, just… Oi Tina, what the Hell!

Tina: Don’t give me that all you do is yell!

Joe: Where you get off telling all those lies?!

Tina: Christ boy, just open your eyes!

Think you have an alibi?

All you do is screw, cheat and lie!

Joe: Excuse my righteous indignation

Back at Dance Station you gave no clear indications

That night we met you wanted no strings

Then you kept bugging me, my phone never stopped ringing

What happened; thought we were in it for the fun?

Oh shit, wait; that girl got a gun?!

What’s the Hell’s going on!

Tina: Relax man, it’s firing blanks

Like you that night to God I thank

Joe: Funny stuff but she’s a nut when goaded

You tell me that pistol ain’t loaded?

Tina: Look I’m sorry should have left it at sex

Joe: No fair play, I was perplexed but I did wrong

You hear that?  From the club there; this is our song?

You want to dance along?!

The composition changes to a Latin dance as the lovers dance


Tina: Alright you soppy monkey

You move like King Kong mind, not funky

Joe: Think you’ll find he’s a hairy ape

Just like Becks your blonde mate

(Tina laughs)

Tina: Oi, quiet she’ll hear you

For now I just want to be near you

And Becks will be a mum in 26 days

Not sure about the dad; they’re running the D.N.A.

Never really wanted it to come to a fight

Just kiss me and we’ll dance instead tonight!

Sirens blare. 


Hero: Oh Christ what am I doing here?!

Just wanted to stay home with a beer

We’ll be arrested and I’ll have a record

Why do we need this trouble and negative discord?

Stacy: Which of you called the law?!

Mick: They could have heard you in Cheshire with that mouth of yours!

Stacy: Hey Mick, how would you like a gun in the mouth?

Mick: From what I hear you’ve been sampling guns further south

(Cat calls and howls from the gangs)

Stacy: Yeah, well I’d put a bullet in your brain

By the time I find it I’d have serious finger pain

Mick: Or menstrual pains, you’re such a psycho!

Gun cocks as an approximation of The Rumble (from West Side Story) kicks in


Tina (talking): Hey, hey, just stop, put it down!  It’s all okay me and Joe and cool now.  We had a chat and want to move to Norfolk.  That was the plan to just get away from London.

Joe (talking): Get away from the gang life and start a music store.  Still up for it babe?

Tina: Course babe.  That incredible journey.

Police car door slams.

Police officer: Metropolitan Police.  Nobody move!

Hear the gangs run and disperse.


Hero: Oh God, I don’t need this stress

Why does everyone here want to imitate the U.S.?

Settling feuds with the click of a gun?

Rather be home with Seinfeld re-runs

What happened to the country, we used to be sane?

Now everybody wants to blow everyone else’s brains out

Used to be Great Britain now we’re two-faced U.S. louts

Can’t wait until August when I get to finally emigrate

Female Police Officer: You might as well stop there’s nowhere to run!

Stacy: Who are you to talk pig; I’ve got a gun!

Police officer: Don’t move, don’t move!

Hero: Guys, guys stop, need to call my mum; she’ll-

A shot rings out and hits the Hero.  Screams and cries from the gangs.

Ah!  Ow; oh crap.  (Cries).

The score goes to strings and piano.


Didn’t really want to be part of a gang

Just didn’t fit in and was all alone

Was good people of my age wanted me to hang

Got to get away from the stress I felt at home

Wish I had told my parents

How sorry I am and how much they meant

Mum drinking heavily when she thought I wasn’t looking

Dad counting his mortality in possessions the cancer really shook him

One losing her mind in spirits; the other losing his body through disease

Most days wrapped up in myself never hear their mortal pleas

Through all my loneliness and depression they always cared

Put me first and in return I was never really truly there

I’m sorry I was a burden; I’m sorry I love you!

Now it’s too late if I make it and wake

Just want a chance to be a better man with a  sounder plan

These messed-up friends in their dead-end world

These East End boys let the West End girls shoot them…

Police officer: DOWN!  Nobody move!

Joe and Tina run.

Joe: Got to stop, he’s dying!

Tina: He’s gone babe; no use in trying

Female Police Officer (on radio): I.C.1. male, 22-year-old; gunshot wound to the chest…

Ambulance Crew: So sorry guys did out best; nothing we could do; can I call anyone for you?

Police Officer: Stacy Pilkington, you’re under arrest for murder!

Nobody else move you’re all under arrest!

Rich: What?!

Rebecca: You heard her!

Rich: All of this because of a Facebook post for shit’s sake!

Rebecca: We didn’t start this; where’s Joe and Tina; they’re our mates!

Ambulance speed away.  Hear Hero’s phone beep.

Answerphone: You have one new message.

Hi sweetie this is your mum.  Just heard there’s a shooting in Islington.  Not sure if you are near?  Just being overly-cautious but with me and your dad being unwell- just worried about you.  Just wanted to say we love you.  Oh, it’s Mum by the way (Dad in the background says “he knows!” as both laugh).  Call us back; love you.

Hear feet stomp and out of breath sound as Joe and Tina get into car and program satellite navigation.

Sat Nav: “Choose your destination”.

(Taps it in)

“Is Norwich, Norfolk correct?”

(Taps again)

“Calculating distance: 123 miles.  Set as new destination?”

Slight pause.  Tap again as turn engine on and drive away fast.


Hold On, Don’t Let Go (5:30)



It’s Christmas Day and all I want to do is blow my mind away

Can’t smile or think; just numb, I’m not a human any more…


I know it can be lonely and appreciate how bad it can feel

When people think you’re overreacting; try to walk in your heels

There are people who have it worse in the world” they say again and again

What  fucking good is that?  You know how I feel; you in my brain?!

You know how it feels to daydream of an eternal sleep?

Every time I see happy lovers all I want to do is hide and weep

Depression is a black dog; hundreds of shades and dozens of breeds

So how do I know which is biting me and when they’re through with the feed?

When you find yourself on the ledge don’t look down just up

You’re a ledge yourself; don’t think there’s never much hope in that cup

It’s half-empty now but soon enough it’ll be 5/6ths full

All those people that put you down will seem so very small

You stand tall and follow those dreams; make a better world

Those scars will heal, you’ll find a foothold; fall for some great girl…

Who makes it all seem better; makes you a brand-new man

I know it sounds impossible but men and women you can do it…you can.


I don’t know how you feel but I know that you can touch

The soul is just a counterbalance for a heart that feels too much

I know you pray for sunshine when all you get is snow

But please don’t give in; hold on, don’t let go!


I ain’t never kissed a girl or shared my bed at night

I’ve never felt the blinding light of those blessed with perfect sight

But I have hope I’ll write it down in a five-and-a-half minute song

And those who feel just like me would happily sing along?

You’re so low but just know just how far you can truly see

It sounds unlikely, you can smother that beast, and then you’ll be free

No platitudes just gratitude; just the person you used to be

The booze we used to numb ourselves just crumbs in a champagne glass

Lift that flute don’t refute the brute- raise a toast to a bygone past

You see the boys in the band and those Pop stars who have it so easy

Don’t let it knock your voice and aim; don’t let it make you queasy

Don’t compare yourself, just prepare yourself; they’re jealous of what you’ve got

You’re beautiful and strong; if life gives you a gun then take a shot

You don’t need all that jewelry; those B.M.W.s and Mercedes Benz

They are so much poorer than you; your riches they can’t comprehend…

How much stronger you are; your scars are static veins

The honour badge you know it’ll end; it’s only a temporary pain

We’re all in the same boat so let’s all row against this tide

This hell-ride, runaway bride; bad side, brain fried

We’re tongue-tied, happiness dried, just wish you could hide



Look I’ve been there; in fact I’m going through it still

Always so tired of being tired; sick of being ill

Don’t have a lot of excitement; no money or real friends

This ain’t an unquenchable thirst curse I know one day it’ll end

Like a verse I guess that’s played for too long

As a reminder of how far I’ve come I’ll sing along

Because that song made me who I am for better or worse

I’m going into clichés, I’m sorry it’s just a verse

Don’t pray to God he ain’t there; this is all down to you

If you’re kicked down into the gutter be sure to look at the stars

Because only something so bright and distance knows how lonely you are

I’m walking Hell and I’ll keep on walking to those who understand

Just hope these words motivate you in the best way that they can

So I’ll leave it up to you with this because I believe it sums it up

That vessel that was once half-empty is now a full-up cup

When you can’t climb out the hole your heart is far too torn

One day you’ll wake and realise that this morning you’re reborn

Repeat chorus *2 


Love at Third Sight (4:14)



It was love at third sight; the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen

An angel with Prada wings; the heroine in all my dreams.


It’s Saturday; I’m down on my luck my wallet clasp is bent

Had to hock the last of my porn DVDs to make this month’s rent

Need to blow off some steam so fumble into a local Costa Coffee

Almost have a cardiac arrest when I see the queue in front of me

The middle-aged woman taking for-bloody-ever to decide

Barista keeps cool but inside he’s planning a double homicide

She goes for a double-shot vanilla, triple-shit hazelnut Frappuccino

I ask for a beer to lighten mood; he sighs; not the worse he’s seen though

Grab a copy of The Sun and make my way to a vacant near-by seat

Dodge the city bankers and the woman with babies swinging from her teat

I flick to the sports pages when an angel sits just ten feet away

I completely ruin the ambiance as my Crazy Frog ringtone plays


I let Mum bounce to answerphone; girl didn’t notice it, she’s alone

Playfully manipulating her bright-blonde fringe distracted by her smartphone

There’s a little glance it’s furtive; man, the most beautiful I’ve ever seen

I keep it together and smile back gotta keep this dirty mind spring clean

Whilst she goes to the counter I read the first page

Some Manchester bird with her breasts out; Simon Cowell’s wage raise

Oh look!  A bit about terrorism… continued on page 34

Our government bombing innocent countries; what the fuck we voting for?!

Prime Minister stands proudly grinning like a constipated school boy

Doesn’t have a grasp on reality; let’s overthrown them let’s destroy ’em

Along with his cronies taking the ‘great’ right out of The British Isles

I’m getting wound up sodistract myself with a quiz about menopausal piles



She smiles again I’m nervous so I make shapes with my underground card

Casually quaffing the Americano and trying not to sweat too hard

A barista lets out a scream, got burnt on that milk-making steamer

Drops a cup in his best French; think we’re going to need a cleaner!

As I scribble a crude anatomy on the receipt from the pawn shop

The girl licks the chocolate from her lip and makes my jaw drop

And my phone!  Oh shit!  The battery’s out; people are staring!

Fumble it back into position and shoot a smile; that’s quite daring!

Giving my T-shirt a pull a man says I’m the loudest chap he’s ever met

Never been in a coffee shop with such a delightfully honest etiquette!

This could well be like Paris except for that unmistakable sound

Of Westminster City Council tearing a historical monument down



I digress as I recall my mother’s advice about not punching above my weight

Guess it’s not that extrapolatable, it just helps me to relate

I’m getting nervous so I read the sports page: Arsenal lose again!

A local beggar comes into the place creating looks of disdain

I plant some gold in his palm; he hooks away my half-empty Americano

Cheeky sod!  The girl smiles, seems my generosity has really charmed her

She goes to leave but a crowd blocks me; walk brazen in front of my gaze

Where did that girl go?  Which way; oh man, oh my days!

Resigned I scoop the underground ticket; no eye contact don’t want my anger to transfer to them

Although secretly I hope all these lovely people take a running sprint straight into the Thames

Then I see a note left on a table; 11 digits, her name… XX

Today is my day; can’t help beaming mate; oi, oi, success!



Things are on the up, hail a taxi can’t believe my luck

Just then the paper flies out my hand, out of sight…

Oh f-!

Feature: Death of the Sweetheart- Antifreeze in Summer




Death of the Sweetheart


Antifreeze in Summer


IT has been a long time since a zeitgeist really swept across music…

and really brought about movement and change.  My favourite music is Rock and Jazz Rock; Jazz itself and ‘90s sounds- love the ‘60s and ‘70s masters too.  Recently I have been getting into the U.K.’s early-2000s Garage/Hip-Hop blenders- the likes of The Streets and Dizzee Rascal.  The former has particularly compelled me; listening to Original Pirate Material (the debut from The Streets) and you get that confidence and genius; the amazing and unique sound- an artist with a rare and special voice.  Mike Skinner (The Streets’ human voice) followed up that debut with an even better album- the peerless A Grand Don’t Come For Free.  This was a concept album that looked at the British streets and drinking culture; the seedy figures and everyday concerns- music that spoke to the working-class and those often ignored in music.  A stunningly intelligent writer with a  savage wit; Skinner ensured his music packed serious poetic cut with tremendous compositions- resulting in music of the highest order.  Dizzee Rascal emerged at the same time with his 1-2 wonder: that phenomenal debut Boy in da Corner; its no-less-impressive follow-up Showtime.  Those albums showed two of Britain’s best- in fact possibly the only- rappers; writing music that documented the concerns of the youth- the struggles and issues they faced.  Perhaps it was a product of the time- and captured a feeling and desire- but I’d like to think that spark could be recaptured.  Being quite unhappy as-of-late; I decided to see if I can write something positive.  Over the last few days I have written a five-track E.P. I hope to get out next year:


The Title:

Antifreeze in Summer

A play on words that looks at the problems of the modern times.  Antifreeze (in this context) refers to heroine; how people with nothing bad in their life- who have privilege and advantage- turn to the drug and try to ‘cure’ themselves.  It also refers to global warming and the changing climate; in addition to the depression people can feel when all is sunny and bright- themes that are explored in the E.P.

The album cover would boast a striking central image.  Inspired by the photo below; it would be a similar shot that perfectly documents the themes and ideas of the E.P. – something that is haunting, beautiful and memorable.

The Collaboration

Having written the lyrics; I will be working on the compositions and basic instrumental tracks.  I am hoping to pitch the songs to a singer I know- who has the perfect voice for it- and contribute to the vocals.  It essentially will be a duo project- vocals switch and you get two different perspectives- that brings in collaborators.  Because a few of the tracks have female ‘voices’; there will be a few female singers involved- that can play characters and add their talents to the mix.  Listen to the likes of Boy in da Corner and A Grand Don’t Come For Free and that is the sort of sound I am going for- vocalists that add a raw and street-level sound- expect for the final track which would showcase a soulful female voice.

There will be the odd sample thrown in but in terms of compositions there is a chance for other musicians.  A lot of the music will be composed by the band/laptops but there will be harder guitars and beats; some liquid and funky bass- bringing some great musicians into the fold.

The Making/Funding

I hope to get the tracks started and rolling in the spring; with the view of releasing the E.P. by the end of 2016.  It would be funded via a Kickstarter campaign- to afford the recording and production- where the backers would be offered rewards.  This would include appearing in the lead music video and lending their voice to the album.  I hope to record the album in London and Manchester; there will be home recording too giving it a D.I.Y. feel.  Because it is an ambitious album- even though it is quite simple- it will involve a lot of studio time (in addition to home recording).

The Tracks

Antifreeze in Summer would be a five-track E.P. that would tackle modern-day concerns.

“The Journey” (5:34)

A track that pokes fun of pious musicians that describe everything as a journey.  Tackling Pop stars with few issues and problems; it is a song that looks at real struggle and real music- cutting down bland bands and acts that sound alike and say nothing new.  The track would marry a hard and heavy beat with electronic fever; tying in some moody and edgy strings- similar in key to Catch Me If You Can’s score- and guest vocals.

Mine’s a Double! (3:32)

This would be one of the most direct and assaulting tracks.  Hard and primal; it would address the drinking culture and the types that numb themselves with alcohol- not giving a damn how much destruction they cause.  Looking at a central figure and his guest to get as drunk as possible; it would mix with contrasting voices- the hero getting smashed and causing trouble; the narrator then tries to talk sense to proceedings.

Amelia (5:54)

A tale that sees the hero goes to K.F.C. at the weekend with his friend Dave.  There is meets a girl called Amelia.  She is very different and has a boyfriend with a B.M.W.  Making brief eye contact in the queue our man is smitten even though they are very different- she has expensive clothes and different tastes.  Later that night the hero and Dave go to a local club where there is chaos and mayhem.  Amelia is there and they are separate all night- our hero unable to break through the crowd but they meet outside.  Going to the hero’s place, they spend the night- our man thinks this is love and the real thing.  Seeing a note left by Amelia; she has just used him and he’s another notch for her.  Taking inspiration from the song Cecilia– the song paraphrases the lines “Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart/you’re shaking my confidence daily”.  It is a love story from different perspectives.  Taking in the sights and sounds of a London night; it has flavours of early-career The Streets.

East End Boys (8:12)

The most ambitious track on the E.P. it would parody West Side Story.  Looking at a gang of girls- in the sense they are social media-obsessed and rather shallow- called The Swifts from Chelsea; an East End gang called The Isle Dogz (they hail from Isle of Dogs).  The song’s lead male starts in K.F.C. with a friend when he spots Facebook.  A row and battle starts because of an offensive comment Tina made about Joe.  Tina and Joe are the former lovers; Joe stopped calling her and she was too clingy.  Just as comments are being left on the post the boys decide to confront the girls; the gangs both meet in Camden one evening- after the girls stop by a gun shop on their way.

The lovers lead their gangs and argue in the street- the gang members all taking verbal shots at the other- until the two dance and kiss in the street.  The police have been called and the gangs run from the sirens.  They get to the Banbury Estate (Islington) where things get heated.  Until this point one of the Isle Dogz (the narrator) has been cautious and apprehensive- he is the only one that wants this to stop and not be there.

The second act sees the lovers arguing and trying to keep control.  Both want to escape to Norfolk for a quieter life but are dragged in by debt, drugs and gang loyalty.  Just as the gangs are heated and at their fiercest- after a silly dispute- one of the girls find a gun.  As they rumble, the narrator gets caught in the crossfire- as he slumps to the street.  Just as he bleeds and slips away he regrets not having been honest to his parents- told how much they mean to him.  His mum and dad are struggling but look after him- his depression and issues- but he never said how much it meant.  The narrator dies.  The guilty girl is in shock- “Now I kill too, because now I have love”- paraphrases West Side Story’s immortal line- as sirens blare once more.  As our hero drifts away, the gangs circle his body.  As the stretcher is lead away arrests are made and the story ends- Tina and Joe makes it away in a stolen car and headed for Norfolk.  The final sounds we hear is a voice message on the hero’s phone- his mum apologising and asking him to call her- and the satellite navigation setting route for Norwich- as the two speed away.

The song utilises the West Side story The Rumble and a harder rock sound- blending with something orchestral.  It features guest vocals- from gang members to police- but the central sane voice is from the narrator- who watches the madness unfold.  There would be a few parodies of West End Girls– paraphrasing the odd line and borrowing composition snippets- but would look at gun violence and the need to ape the U.S.; the gang culture still faced- how the young feel the need to eradicate one another for respect.  There would be plenty of wit and humour among everything giving the song balance.  The track would bring in previous characters/songs- Amelia is in K.F.C.; the opening line would see us announce the song/band; stating we’re having a double (before the tale begins); claiming it to be a huge emotional journey.

Hold On, Don’t Let Go (5:30)

An emotional and redemptive final number that looks at anxieties and depressions- people facing their bleakest days.  The hero expels his own troubles and woes; how people can’t grip how serious things are- and understand what he’s going through.  It has a positive message that implores everyone to hold on and know things will get better.  That honest and raw emotion is backed by the E.P.’s most simple and sparse composition- strings and a piano line; a classical guitar tumble that adds some light and energy- that promises things will get better; giving guidance to those in a similar boat.

As Is Now…

The lyrics are all written so it is a case of getting the compositions sorted and the ‘band/act’ formed.  I am really pleased with the subjects, lyrics and ideas that have come out- I have not suffered any blocks or struggled to get the thoughts down.  I hope it comes to light very soon and that that sound- The Streets and early-‘00s- captures something missing in music.  There are a few good Hip-Hop/Garage acts yet few that actually address subjects away from love and money.  Whilst The Streets and Dizzee are not at their peak- The Streets lost credibility and momentum after the sophomore album; Dizzee is declining- it seems like there is a need and hole to be filled.

Hope that 2016 brings serious happiness and improvement for us all; and some great and




Track Review: Ted Z. and the Wranglers- Go Find Your Heaven



Ted Z. and the Wranglers



Go Find Your Heaven


9.6 /10.0



Go Find Your Heaven is available at:


September, 2015

Americana; Folk


California, U.S.A.

The album Ghost Train is out now:


 Hold On9.4

Joseph Ratcliffe9.4

Go Find Your Heaven9.6



Bitter Hands9.5

Ghost Train9.6

Ball and Chain9.6

Sam Whitaker9.4




Go Find Your Heaven; Bitter Hands; Ghost Train; Ball and Chain


Go Find Your Heaven


WITH the final days of the year upon us; Christmas even closer…

it is worth reflecting on the year’s music and which albums are worth noting; the individuality of some of music’s best- in addition to  the variety of Americana/Folk acts emerging.  The best and brightest albums from this year have been synonymous with acts that have pushed the envelope and injected colour and originality into their sounds.  Kendrick Lamar and his album To Pimp a Butterfly has topped critics’ list of 2015’s best.  The Hip-Hop gem has seen black politics come to the fore and his timing is wonderful.  Now more than ever an album like this needs to exist: something that blends outrage and anger with self-examination and urgency.  Critics and fans have embraced the album and its meaning; that relevant and needed sense of disgust and rebellion- mixed into Deep-Jazz threads and hard Hip-Hop beats.  Elsewhere, Courtney Barrnett emerged with her album Sometime I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.  That collection was celebrated for its humour and anger; the mixes and contrasts delighted the public.  Not a Rock ‘n’ Roll album that reinvented the genre; it didn’t really need to when it came down it- Barnett put so much originality and invention into the music as it was.  In a music world of rather bland and tired Rock acts; Barnett went further and expanded the lyrical themes of her peers- creating something deeper and more compelling.  The final album- that gained recognition and widespread acclaim- was Jamie xx’s disc, In Colour.  The immersive and multifarious soundscapes fluid compositions were unlike anything out forward this year.  Throw in accessibility, heart and dreaminess and you have an album that has resonated with listeners and critics alike.  Jamie xx crafted something minimalist yet widely expansive: an album that grows with each listener and shows so many layers and intricacies.  My point is that these albums are as distinct and original as any.  Critics have not embraced the fetid and asinine releases from Rock heavyweights and chart-friendly acts.  It would be disheartening to see a list compiled of top-40 records and the dross played across Kiss F.M. and Heart.  As the music-buying public has related to the outsiders of music- those that stray away from the pack- it shows 2016 will be a similar year for endeavor and quality I have slated the lack of great bands coming through- the best albums of the year have been largely created by solo acts- yet there are some quirky and bracing bands that are causing excitement.  This is my last review of the year- and the final California-based assessment for some time- so it is fitting we comes to a band that not only portrays that uniqueness and vibrancy music needs; they are a group that does not concern itself with fitting in and mainstream expectations- just making music the way they feel; doing what sounds right to them.  Before I get to them, it is worth looking at the necessity for variation and personality in music.  The artists and albums I highlighted resulted from musicians who have spent time and effort; differ hugely from the chart-friendly acts and those gracing the covers of Pop magazines.  From hard, grizzled and compelling Australian Rock (Barnett) to hypnotic Hip-Hop politics (Lamar) – via the stunning soundscapes of England’s Jamie xx- and you have consistency and contrasts a-plenty.  Each album drips with authority and passion; each stays in the mind and provides nuance and strength- this is what acts should be looking at when crafting their sounds.  There are far too many artists that stick too closely to others; do not delve deep enough and provide originality or anything exceptional.  You do not have to reinvent music to come up with unique music, alas- just put more thought and attention into things.  In terms of the bands of 2015- and focusing on the mainstream here- there have been few truly unexpected treats and wonders.  Whilst it has been the solo artists making biggest impressions; the bands of the underground are more convincing and enduring.  One of these rather special groups comes in the form of Ted Z. and the Wranglers.  Looking and listening to them you may expect them to emanate from Nashville or the Deep South- they have a certain Country flavor; one of the red states’ artists.  The blue state boys hail from California and mix Country flavours of the south with Americana tradition and outlaw Blues.  The mix of sounds and themes has electrified listeners and really struck a chord.  Before I continue on my point, let me introduce you to my featured act:

Ted Z and the Wranglers, of Southern California, deliver outlaw country-charged rock. Ted’s catchy story-songs are fully-realized tales of love, regret, getting older, and getting in trouble. The band stirs up its Americana influences, featuring quick picking and bluesy slide guitar over galloping train beats and swinging shuffles.


The Wranglers are Dan Mages (bass), Mike Myers (drums, vocals), and Ted Z. (lead and slide guitar, vocals). The band has honed its sound on big stages and in biker bars alike. They get audiences dancing and bring them back for more.


Ted Z and The Wranglers were signed to Rip Cat Records in 2015. Their first label release, Ghost Train, was recorded at Yellow Dog Studios in Wimberley, TX and produced by Monty Byrom (Big House, Eddie Money).

The good ol’ boys of Ted Z.’ sojourned to Texas to record their album (Ghost Train) to give it that authenticity- find inspiration from the state and create something with its heart very much set there.  What you get from the album is the work of a band that has few limits- they do not define themselves to be Californian or Texan.  The music they offer is from a band who have been around for a while and are in no danger of slowing down- one of the most hard-working and ambitious groups on the scene.  Americana is a genre that is being given new lease of life and motivation lately.  A lot of the Americana artists I have reviewed this year have emanated from the U.K. – acts that have faux Americana accents; yet are keen to provide their take on the genre.  It is one of those musical avenues that appeal to the romantic and daring: people that want to create something memorable and long-lasting.  Americana is not just about Folk/Country blends and rather stilted and defined themes: you can stretch the genre and you have enormous possibilities.  Ted Z. and the Wranglers are inspired by the likes of Jack White and Bob Dylan; they go hard and electric when they need to- Folk-tinged and reflective at other times.  After the release of the album; the boys have been touring and taking their music on the road- this will continue into 2016.  If you have not met these rebel-rousing, fun-having boys then make sure you correct this- they will be an underground band making their way to the surface real soon.

Ghost Train shows the band at the height of their power.  The most compelling and complete work they have ever produced; it sees them embrace all their idols and influences- from Elvis Presley to Jack White- in an album of heart, granite; passion and wonderful American vignettes.  The band’s 2014 release Like a King showed the boys increase their confidence and scope to create something that topped their early promise and work- songs like Rather and Afraid of Dying.  The band steps up their game and sound tighter and more additive than ever.  The title track has a relentless wave and drive to it; the vocal yearns with soulfulness and intention- the lyrics show that unique and distinct Ted Z. and the Wranglers flair.  Virginia is one of their most impassioned and romantic numbers up until this point.  Chasing rivers downtown; our man is love-sick and cannot get over it- that yearning and pain comes to the surface.  Tomorrow ends the E.P. with reflectiveness and some need for love.  Investigating dreams and the future; it is a song that has sensitivity and honesty.  The band have improved and stretched their sound since their last E.P.  Ghost Train takes the softer and more introspective moments and broadens the horizons and genres.  There are more Blues-Rock jams and harder sounds here; the band has become more adventurous with their themes- taking their pen across the country and through strange avenues.  The music is more nuanced and the volume turned up; there are fewer weak moments and the group infuses more colour and weight into their music.  The likes of Elvis, Dylan and Jack White make appearances in different forms- the previous work was more restrained and defined- and Ted Z.’ have created an album that builds on early promise and develops it impressively- without losing their personalities and core sound.  With that rate of progression and ambition it will be great to see what the Californian band come up with in the next year.  I can see another E.P. created that reflects their current malaise and desires- something that continues where Ghost Train left off.  Their current album is one of the most immediate and bold I have heard in a while; so much depth and diversion to be found- something all bands should look towards.

Go Find Your Heaven is perhaps the truest reflection of Ted Z. and the Wranglers’ sound.  It brings together all the themes and threads of Ghost Train– marrying a variety of genres and sounds.  The introduction mixes Blues and Acoustic strands to elicit something romantic and upbeat; calming and reflective- something both complicated and simple at the same time.  The listener gets drawn into that beautiful and soul-pleasing sound; making you wonder just what is coming next.  That initial intrigue builds and flourishes from the initial seconds.  The electric guitar becomes more prominent and hard-hitting; it twangs and drives with determination and pride- infuses electricity and feet-kicking energy into the mix.  With our hero’s voice committed and solid- reminding me a little of Bruce Springsteen- it is 3 in the morning; the girl beside him looks familiar (“she looks just like you”).  In a God-forsaken town- that seems to be dragging her/our hero down- there is that need to go find Heaven and something more idyllic.  Those yearning and heart-rending vocals are among the most impressive and pure the band has ever come up with.  The percussion remains committed and propulsive in the early moments- supporting that vocal and making the emotions and lyrics more urgent.  The girl has been forced into a shotgun wedding- with whom we are not made aware- but you start to dive into the song and the scenes being projected.  The band have always had one part of their mind in the past- no surprise given their make-up and look- but this song has the feel of ‘40s/’50s America; perhaps somewhere down south- a simple town with rather old-fashioned and immoral ideals.  With its heart and images torn from the pages of classic literature- that forced-love and suppression-against-the-tide- and you have a song that seems familiar and relatable.  With “angels of mercy” and cowboys into the song, you get something that definitely places its heart down in Texas.  The central figure (the heroine) needs some salvation and an escape from her life as it is.  Our hero will wait for the girl- as he implores her to go find her truth and Heaven.  As seasons pass, there is that need to break away from the entrapment and suffocation.  The song never becomes too heavy-handed or forceful; never slight or too tender- a perfect blend and balance of emotions.  The band remains supportive and tight throughout the track; ensuring the lyrics are given a chance to shine whilst providing plenty of atmosphere and evocation.

Our man is not right for the girl (“I’ll never do”) and that sense of letting-her-go-for-her-own-good shows some maturity and class.  Maybe that sentiment is a reflection on the town and culture of the times- and indicative of the south many decades ago- whereas the land offer happiness and hope.  Perhaps the heroine needs to go to the big cities or California- somewhere safer and moral-driven; where something happier lies.  Our hero comes to the microphone yet his heart is heavy- Nashville is making him feel blue- and there is that sense of loss and heartache.  The man has taken the paychecks and spent it all on booze; there is that old-time charm to the song that makes it constantly engaging and fascinating.  With its novel-like development and feel, Go Find Your Heaven is an original and compelling song from one of the U.S.’s most original acts.  Whilst our man is trying to move on and find something new- his girl just won’t do; they are too different- he seems unable to move past her.  His new girl looks like the last; he has subconsciously chosen someone like her- clearly unable to get past the separation.  The track shows two different people from two different worlds.  Whilst the heroine seems destined for the city and a wealthier life- where things are done differently- the hero seems prone to stay in the south among the loose morals and strange figures.  It is a testament from a hero who wants the girl badly yet knows they are not right for one another.  The lyrics have simplicity at heart yet compel deeper thought and interpretation.  That chorus seems more relevant and haunting with each interpretation- as the full weight of emotions becomes clear.  The final moments see the band unite and express that loss and hope in a rhapsody of acoustic strings and Americana reflection.  The compositional coda offers some closure to an extent although there are mysterious and questions unanswered- you wonder how it worked out for the duo.  The band come together beautifully to showcase some fine finger-picking and tenderness; plenty of emotion and soothing undertones.  By the final moments you hear that chorus once more and become engrossed in that endlessly-compelling and beautiful sound.

Across Ghost Train, there is so much range and depth; a variety of moods and themes explored.  Among the softer and romantic moments stands Go Find Your Heaven.  A song that looks at miscast love and heady desires; it shows a vintage backdrop against ever-relevant and relatable heartache.  The band come together wonderfully to present a song that is the album’s best.  Dan Mages’ bass keeps the song level and focused; ensuring all the themes and sounds are held together perfectly- not allowing anything to become undisciplined or loose.  Mike Myers lets his sturdy and impassioned percussion whip up a lot of emotion and force- giving the song its needed urgency and grit.  Our front-man Ted Z. stands out front with a dedicated vocal performance- and some superb guitar chops- to give the song its heart and conviction.  Backed by a wonderful and polished production; Go Find Your Heaven is a song that will linger in the mind and gives you a true impression of the band.   If you have not heard Ted Z. and the Wranglers do what they do best then you need to start here.  It shows a songwriting progression and confidence that will see them do great business in 2016.  Few bands are deft and able spreading themselves across multiple genres and themes.  Having been together for a while- and having such a close bond- the Californian boys demonstrate why they are so popular and loved.  I hope their music gets more exposure in the U.K. as it will not only create new fans and admirers; it will motivate other bands to rise up and follow their lead- a new scene and sense of fun in this country.

Ghost Train is filled with songs that stick in the mind and compel the imagination.  The work of a passion for music; a love of many genres and artists- they have few limits and boundaries when it comes to their sources- it golds together in a creation that brims with passion and fun; there is emotion and reflection too- everything the modern listeners desires and demands.  The boys of Ted Z. and the Wranglers have a great sense of humour and have crafted a band that have an everyman appeal and a knowing wink to them.  If you hop to Facebook- and see their biography- their interests are listed as hop-making and metal-detecting; academia and latex clothing.  It is an insight into the minds of men who want to embrace the public and let their personalities shine.  So many musicians are stuffy and insular; they do not reach out and provide anything human and impressive.  So many bands sit and write music; they get into the studio and release the songs- it seems procedural and robotic to an extent.  The Californian band had a ball making the music and wants to keep that degree of fun and frivolity burning bright.  The next year will see them perform in California and bring their inimitable Americana blends to their state-mate folk.  It would be great to see the U.S. band hop a plane and come play in the U.K.  We have so few bands like them; it would give people here a chance to encounter something fresh, ambitious and hugely impressive.  We have some rather offbeat and quirky acts that evoke Americana sounds and sensations of bygone days; it seems rather forced at times and not as authentic as you’d hope- hardly a wonder when you consider they are British.  Our Americana boys are authentic and pure; their music is the result of shared passion and ideals- I would love to see more from the group into the next year.  Before closing it is worth looking at the best from this year and Ghost Train– the latest album from the Californian band.  With Hendrixk Lamar and Jamie xx providing some of 2016’s best albums- their mix of raw emotion and expansive dream-scapes- the music world desires artists that go further and stray away from the predictable.  So many bands this year have come and gone without leaving much of an impression at all.  The critics’ end-of-year lists have revealed what is making them tick- and what the general public wants- so it is worth looking at artists with a similar ambition and personality.  In 2016 I think we will shy away from bands that have an Indie/Alternative sound- and look to Foo Fighters and Nirvana for influence- and see the rise of the solo artists and duos.  The band market is still relevant yet the solo artists are doing things differently and creating more nuance and surprise.  When it comes to the hopes of the band realm we must look to the underground and their brightest shining through.  Ted Z. & the Wranglers are not your average guitar-slamming Alternative players that sounds replicated and insipid- they are a bona fide band who do things different and have a very unique personality.  Ghost Train is a collection of songs that mix Blues-Rock riffs and Garage undertones; Country romance and Folk introspection- plenty of interesting characters and sights; wonderfully lines and stunning choruses.

   Hold On begins with a familiar and bracing introduction- a little like Cocaine (Eric Clapton’s version) – but then mutates into something smooth and flowing.  An upbeat and uplifting song that has a redemptive and inspiration message: keep holding if you have no hope or feel alone.  Joseph Ratcliff boasts sparkling Blues guitars and a merry swing: a song that swaggers and dances.  The lyrics look at a giant called Joseph Ratcliff- slayed by our hero in his garden.  The quirky and vivid images tie in romance and pennies in wishing wells.  Kansas is another racing and itinerant track that pays tribute to the state.  There is a central romance and the need for embrace- there is fever in the morning and Hell burning through the night- as you get drawn into that effusive and gripping vocal.  Trouble is one of the album’s most contemplative and calmer numbers.  A little of Dylan comes through- the vocals are quite scratched and strained- and you get a semblance of ‘60s-‘70s Folk.  Perhaps the most accessible number on the album; it has a radio-friendly kick but retains the unique take of Ted Z. & the Wranglers.  Bitter Hands has a bulldozer and delirious opener that see echoed and distorted strings marry a racing, train-like beat.  That Americana core is emphasised- money woes and relationship troubles against the backdrop of the wonderfully varied land- which shows the band having a ball in the studio.  Catchy chorusing and united vocals highlight a song that is indelible in its appeal and nuance.  The title track is a calm and reflective thing (to start with).  Looking at music’s lost- the ghost train full of stars- we see the likes of John Lennon paid tribute and assessed.  It is an original take on a delicate subject- the legacy these great musicians and figures have left- dealt with affectionately and with great heart.  With the likes of Ricky Nelson and Jim Morrison riding that train- he has “whiskey on his mind”- it is a vidia and terrifically evocative song.  Ball and Chain is a rousing and merry track that has a definite Blues kick to it.  One of the most electric and impassioned vocals on the disc; there is a little element of Elvis to the vocals- a stunning mix of Rock ‘n’ Roll heritage and White Stripes-esque Blues.  A feet-kicking, hoe-down stomp; it is a tremendous band performance that is tight and utterly stunning.  Sam Whitaker is a more modern take on the Blues.  You get that stomp of Jack White with a bit of The Black Keys.  Making it more accessible to the younger generations; it manages to take its lyrical heart to more traditional areas- that will appeal and spike the (slightly) older listeners.  It is one of the album’s most energised and rousing tracks- it never relents its charge and kick.  Postcard returns to that more traditional Americana/Folk sound; it has a quivering vocal- sides of Elvis come back into the mix- and themes of romance and vintage ideals.  With its heart in the 1950s, you imagine yourself in an old novel or black-and-white film.  Among the romance and purity is wit and humour scenes- dentures flying and chaos in the fold- as the band seem at their most assured and effortless.  Another catchy and nuanced composition backs the track wonderfully.  Broken is one of the most distinct songs on the record- perhaps the softest and most reflective.  A heart-bearing and haunted track it sees the hero bare his soul and show his scars.  Reminding me of early-Dylan and Neil Young it showcases a very mature lyrical voice- some of the finest lines across the album- as philosophical questions and inner-pain is explored.  A wonderful album from a band…

WE all should take to heart.



Follow Ted Z. & the Wranglers:

















Track Review: Even in Arcadia- Electric Thumb



Even in Arcadia



Electric Thumb





Electric Thumb is available at:


September, 2015



Glasgow, U.K.

The E.P. Blue Prints is available at:



Electric Thumb9.3

City in the Dark9.2

Weave a Web (Acoustic)9.2


Electric Thumb


ON this rare occasion…

I get to review a band from an area of the U.K. I have not visited for a while: that would be Scotland then.  Before I reach my featured act, it is worth bringing Scotland into the mix; in addition to looking a Grunge/Alt.-Rock sounds- plus the need for some escapism in music.  I have not had a chance to review a Scottish act for some time.  I believe the last time I did it was the fellow-Arcadians, Echo Arcadia (wonder if the two bands know each other; should have a special Arcadia-related party) – so it is great to be back in Scotland.  Having finished another L.A.-based review, one can see the huge shifts going to Glasgow- not just in terms of geography (the L.A. of Scotland, maybe?) but the musical styles and acts coming through.  What I love about Scotland is there are so many D.I.Y. acts emerging: unconcerned with record label approval; there is a more honest and hard-working bunch of musicians coming through.  In Glasgow and Edinburgh (other parts of the country too) there are a lot of bands emerging that play the heavier side of things- as opposed to solo artists and duos for instance.  I am not sure whether it is a ‘Scottish thing’ yet there seems to be a predominance of Alternative/Rock bands coming out- each bringing something new to the table.  The thing that amazes me most about the bands of Scotland is that work ethic and honesty that comes out in the music- the emotion and raw touches that few other areas do so well.  I am not sure whether it is down to the people- and particular characteristics indicative and exclusive to them- or something else; whatever it is (is) leading to some fantastic music.  In addition to Echo Arcadia- a band that plays dreamier Alternative sounds- I am close with Universal Thee- a Grunge/Alternative band in the mould of Pavement and Pixies.  Perhaps the closest comparisons with Even in Arcadia, I was interested to see what the band was about and what they could offer.  Being female-led, it also reminded me of the aforementioned Scottish acts- each of who have a female lead/joint-lead vocalist.  There seems to be a different dynamic and way of working in Scotland- greater equality and originality; stronger bonds among bands which is resulting in more natural brilliance and surprise.  One of the main reasons I have slated a lot of bands this year- the last time I shall bandy this feathered bow about in 2015- is the cessation of originality and emotion; the music is either predictable or copycat or lacks any depth and memorability- leaving you rather annoyed and underwhelmed.  Bands that come through who are new and fresh; who leave impressions on the mind- leading me to my featured act.  Before I continue with a new point, let me introduce Glasgow’s Even in Arcadia.

Vocals – Hazel Gore
Guitar – Christopher Garvin
Bass – Chris Gore
Drums – Blair Martin

Even in Arcadia are a female fronted rock band from Glasgow formed in 2014. 

Intricate guitars, thought provoking lyrics, powerful female vocals and a hard hitting rhythm section blend together to give a distinguished sound. It is hard to class the band in one genre but they have been described as “New Wave vocals meet Punk Rock guitars”. Influences are varied across the band and include; Patti Smith, The Ramones, Nirvana, Blondie, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Blue Oyster Cult.

Despite only being together a short period of time, the band have already featured on radio stations across the globe.
In 2014, Even in Arcadia released their debut EP “Weave A Web”. The EP can be heard on their various social media sites.

In September 2015, the band released their new EP “Blue Prints”.

Just looking at the band’s influences- the likes of The Ramones and Patti Smith gives you an insight into their music and feel.  Not confined to a single genre- essentially creating their own sub-genre- the band have distinguished themselves as ones to watch; a group that should be making some significant moves in 2015.  When you are forming a band you decide what sort of sound you want to present- dependent and influenced by your idols I guess.  There are so many bands that do not cast their attention back and look at the legends of music.  So many young musicians have such ignorance of music; their attention spans do not go beyond the 1990s- as a result, you get a lot of predictable and immobile acts.  My generation have the warped opinion music is at its best now- it has been on a slide since the heydays of the ‘90s- and tend to concentrate on the established acts on the scene at the moment.  The best bands take influence from older-day acts and those that have already left their mark- making their own music much richer and rounded.   Although music has declined over the last couple of decades, there are plenty of great acts that are standing out and making a real difference.  Even in Arcadia have only been together a year but are showing signs they are one of those bands for 2016- that we all will be hearing more of in time.  Their latest E.P. capitalises on their debut work and ups the game: the group sound more essential and confident than ever before; honed and completely in control.  Grunge and Alternative genres are those that have been well-represented over the year; a popular choice for young bands as there is plenty of chance for raw edges and emotion- music that is exhilarating and hugely evocative.  Being a fan of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana- ‘90s legends when Grunge was taking off- it is great to hear an act that evoke a little of their spirit- whilst showing so many more sides and ideas.  Being winter- and with Christmas looming- we need some escapism as the days close in; let music do its work and take our minds somewhere else.  Already saturated and exhausted by the constant and mind-numbing array of Christmas-themed songs- the same tracks played over and over- I have been seeking music that differs completely and affords me the opportunity to find something genuinely new and great.  The guys and gal of Even in Arcadia are an act who I will be watching as we go into 2016; keeping an eye on what they are all about- seeing how Blue Prints resonates with music-lovers.  So far they have been getting great feedback with regards the E.P. – it was released a few months ago- and has seen their fan-base rise.  The next year will see the band do some touring and prepare some new music- whether they choose to release another E.P. – and let’s hope they are afforded the chance to tour beyond Scotland- come down to the south and enthrall the crowds here.

It is great to hear the latest sounds from Even in Arcadia.  They show a band with a lot of potential and future ahead of them.  If you want an insight into how Blue Prints differs- from their original work and how they have come on- then it is worth looking back at the earliest moments from the band.  Stuck in a Current was released last year and starts with a shimmering and subtle arpeggio.  That raw Punk sound and its sparse production makes the track sound live and urgent.  You do not get a lot of polish or sheen making the composition and vocal sound immediate and unfettered.  Whilst some of the vocals get a little lost in the mix; the song looks at being stuck in a current state of mind- the heroine is coasting and seems entranced in an unsettled mindset.  Reminding me of Patti Smith and Siouxsie and the Banshees, you get a clash of U.S. /U.K. Punk of the ‘70s.  The song has that sound of a jam- although a lot more rounded- and is built off few lyrics; repeating the central messages to get that claustrophobic and walls-closing-in sense.

   Weave a Web is the band’s debut E.P. and matches Stuck in a Current alongside two other tracks.  The title track begins with glistening and upbeat guitar strings.  Sounding more polished and rounded then earlier cuts; it has a sensation of ‘90s Grunge with a distinct sound of the Glasgow band.  The song looks at entrapment and struggling in a web.  Whoever has weaved the web- whether it is a lover or friend of the band- and causes intrigue and speculation.  The vocal has that reliably impassioned and cigarette-smoke allure to it that draws in the listener; impressed by that energy and raw edge that comes through.  With its heart between ‘70s Punk and ‘90s Grunge, you get a great mix of sounds that shows the band at their peak- as tight and compelling as they ever have.  The band’s distinct chorus work- that sees key words elongated and repeated into a mantra- mixes with a bold and energetic performance.  Our heroine is tumbling and falling.  Whether there is emotional discourse or something haunting her; some romantic ideals and intentions- you get the feeling of someone on the edge and losing some emotional ground.  The vocal is as strong as any on the E.P. whilst the band presents a different dynamic and blend- mixing Punk and Grunge yet injecting something softer into proceedings.  The entire E.P. shows confidence and commitment from a group with a great knowledge of music and its past.

   Blue Prints sees a development and step forward for the band.  Whilst they keep their Punk core and live sound intact; the production values are stronger and more polished- making the songs clearer and more decipherable.  In past tracks, the band has suffered some clarity and intelligibility issues: vocals get dragged too far down and there is problems understanding some of the lyrics.  The vocals are more assured and nuanced than before; showing greater emotional depth and ideas- more distinction and originality into the bargain.  The band has created an E.P. exploring different scenes and progressing their sounds.  It is a natural step that has brought in new listeners and made their songs more accessible without losing their grit, originality and live-sounding aesthetic.  Many bands tend to slavishly stick to their original sound and do not show any evolution or change- meaning their lifespan is limited and they have limited careers.  Even in Arcadia get stronger and more confident as time progresses; more inspired and assured- even though their debut E.P. is a stunning and hugely memorable effort.

I wanted to focus on Electric Thumb as it is the best representation of the band’s current sound ad direction.  Whilst they have not altered (or needed to) their core sound; they have shown some new sides and subjects- all brought brilliantly to life on Blue Prints.  Beginning with more kick and upbeat energy than any other track (the band has produced) you get some Pop melody and softness in the early exchanges- making it perhaps more accessible to some than other numbers.  The band come up with something full-bodied and catchy without expending needless energy and cluttering the sound- they craft an addictive little riff that brilliantly fuses with bass and percussion.  With some funky edges and a spirited heart, you get initial lyrics that look at knife-bearing deceit and something quite double-cross.  Whether the song’s title refers to online attack or has its origins elsewhere; you get the impression of someone attacking the heroine- although she cannot see the knife/their face as it is perpetrated.  The lead vocal has that distinct Even in Arcadia tone; although it sounds more trembling and anxious than I have ever heard.   These electronic weapons- bombs and knives being dropped and sharpened- give that initial impression of cyber warfare and vengeance.  With static I.P.s and sinister anonymity, you get a song that has an original and distinct side.  Even in Arcadia like to craft songs that stray away from the predictability of love and its perils- what 99% of other acts do to death- and dig deeper.  In these early moments you get a modern-day concern and ill uncovered and testified- an issue we can all relate to and understand.  The band infuses one of their most heady and scintillating compositions so far.  Putting their own stamp on Grunge and Punk flavours; you get a composition with more diversity than light than you’d expect.  My initial impressions develop as our numb heroine starts to withdraw and retreat.  Unable to feel the night and the light, there is some ambiguity and mystique to the lyrics.  Whilst there are one or two clarity issues still- it would be good to have the song’s lyrics on SoundCloud- you get drawn into that electric and wracked vocal that shows some vulnerability and pain.  Whether affected and struck by an enemy or central figure- or just enveloped by life, there is a relatable anxiety to the track.  The entire track seems to be about anxieties and fears of the modern age.  Whereas songs like City in the Dark explore drinking cultures and the binges and chaos around Glasgow- the early-hour scenes and characters that define it (for better or worse) – here you get something more personal and detached.  With the heroine letting her voice fully explore and delve into the emotion you get a little semblance of Wolf Alice- the same sort of lyrical ideas and vocal sound comes out in spots.  The band have stated in interviews how this song is related to physical anxieties and stresses; the strains and dangers of modern life- inspired by the likes of Foo Fighters and Pixies.  While it has the sound of those bands; there is a classic Indie feel to it- recalling other influences like The Cure and The Smiths.  Throughout the E.P., the Glagow band unites the ‘80s Indie/Alternative sounds with U.S. Grunge and Rock- via some ‘70s Punk.  It is a layered and deep sound that makes songs such as Electric Thumb so compelling.  You can hear the attention and details flood and strike as those central lyrics and themes- feeling numb with fear spreading through the veins- is reintroduced and isolated.  Even in Arcadia are a band that taps into modern-day concerns and issues relevant to the listener.  Not making the song too morbid or suffocating; you get plenty of light and melody in a composition that runs a gamut of emotions.  The band is at their tightest and more insistent here; they always sound urgent and essential- this is perhaps their finest moment.  It is no surprise the song is a live favourite as it has that sing-along chorus and a familiarity that will get many moving in time and dancing- evocative and reminiscent in equal measures.  As the track gets towards its closing moments, you get that chorus-heavy ride that ensures those key themes and ideas are punched into the mind- the building tension becomes palpable.  Our heroine never explodes or collapses under the weight of these emotions; she remains firm and buoyant to ensure the song has a dignity and composure to it.  Employing few lyrics- they repeat lines and the chorus predominantly- you have a track with an economical sense and knowledge of its strengths.  Were there too many lyrics it would distill the effectiveness and potency.  The vocals remain gutsy and on-edge throughout; making that tangible sense of anxiety more real.

It is great to see what Even in Arcadia have come up with.  Blue Prints continues to gain ground and wins new fans and support by the week.  The guys have toured the songs around Scotland and play King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow tomorrow (that has hosted the likes of Oasis) and will be a great chance for those songs to be heard by a new set of faces.  Electric Thumb is the band’s key cut from the E.P. that will go down really well among the new fans tomorrow- and see them gain fresh respect and support.  Having recorded the E.P. live- hence that live sound and feel to things- it gives Electric Thumb a really direct and emotional sound.  Gore lets her stunning and evocative voice hit its peak throughout the track.  Expertly letting the song’s anxiety themes bleed into the vocal; you get an emotive and nuanced performance that compelled me to repeat the song- to hear that vocal do its work.  It manages to summon up so many possibilities and ideas- bringing to mind the great Punk icons Patti Smith and Joe Strummer.  You get so many different sides and genres coming through- from ‘80s Indie to ‘90s Grunge- whilst retaining a distinct accent and originality.  Garvin ensures his guitar summons enough emotion and electricity to do the song full justice.  Mixing hard-hitting fears with something lighter and more introspective- you get melody and heart among the barbed-wire intensity and bite.  Never encroaching on the vocal or stepping too far out front; you get a performance that superbly lifts and drives the vocal- providing the song’s edginess and danger.  For a song that looks at smothered emotions and uncertainty; Garvin projects so much colour, emotion and riffs into the agenda- whilst offering something more soothed and contemplative when required.  Chris Gore ensures his bass keeps the song controlled and disciplined.  Given the weight and importance of the foreground, you need a bass player who can tie everything together and keep the sound stable- Core manages this with expertise and intuition.  Melodic and light when the song reflects; striking and viper-like when the volume is notched up- again, the instrument is used to drive the song and propel that lead vocal.  Blending wonderfully with his band-mates, you get an accomplished and nuanced performance- from someone who has been vital in shaping the band’s sound.  A player with a clear identity and determination; it will be great to see how this talent blossoms across future releases.  With Martin providing a stunning and masculine backbone; you have a drummer that has the strength and intensity of the Grunge legends- the Dave Grohls and Matt Camerons- but with an Indie/Gothic sensibility.  Because Electric Thumb ventures between genres and decades- going into Punk and Alternative grounds- you get a song that invokes Pixies and Foo Fighters; The Cure and Patti Smith- Martin handles everything with ease and produces a commanding and dramatic performance.  Backed by an assured and wonderful production value- it is a live-recorded song that has polish to it- you get plenty of clarity and energy coming through.  The highlight of Blue Prints; Electric Thumb is a triumph from one of Scotland’s most scintillating and promising young bands.

There are a lot of acts coming through at the moment; each one provides something a little different from the rest- it can be daunting deciding who the worthy ones to follow are.  Even in Arcadia have a great local fan-base yet their popularity stretches beyond Glasgow and Scotland.  Having been inspired by the likes of Blue Oyster Cult and Blondie- in addition to Grunge legends and Punk heroes- combined with their own voice and sense of style.  The combination works wonders in their music; sounds and sensations that have enthralled fans and lead to some big predictions- I can see the guys being festival headliners a few years down the line.  Ensuring their keep consistent and busy; Blue Prints is a confident and assured statement from a band on the rise- I shall review the E.P. below.  Scotland is a country that has always been synonymous with musical endeavor and quality- the likes of Belle and Sebastian, Primal Scream; Idewild and Orange Juice call Scotland home- yet few critics and media types focus their attentions here.  In addition to modern acts like Chvches and Young Fathers- the latter of who won the Mercury Prize last year for their debut album- are showing what pedigree and force Scotland has,  Whilst there are some great solo acts out of Scotland, they are more synonymous with their bands.  I am not sure whether it is a personality/community thing- Scottish musicians find inspiration when surrounded by others- or something else; it is a part of the U.K. where more people should focus.  Most of the Scottish bands I have witnessed tend to play harder Alternative sounds- as opposed to Pop and Folk for instance.  Glasgow is a cultural epicenter and a city that is showcasing some of music’s most tantillsing modern prospects- from Chvrches and Prides through to Catholic Action and Tijuana Bibles- all the way to the Synth.-Pop of WHITE.  It is not surprising Even in Arcadia sound so confident and ambitious given the sort of musical community and contemporaries they have.  Less bustling and compacted than London; Glasgow is nurturing some fantastic artists that we should all behold- set our sights away from the likes of London and Manchester for a while.  A lot of Even in Arcadia’s contemporaries have a sense of predictability to them- not showing great originality or presence- yet our featured act have distinction and clear personality.  Creating music that you can escape to and get lost in- a perfect antidote to Christmas sounds and the overly-gleeful parade of carols- and discover something wonderful.  Those female-fronted vocals give the music a depth and richness that few other bands possess- the likes of Chvches and Happy Meals boast tremendous female vocalists- and create lasting after-impressions.  If you go into the market and want to create Grunge/Alternative-Rock sounds, it is vital to create that balance of tradition and originality: have something that evokes a sense of the past yet sounds fresh and personal.  Too many acts replicate Nirvana or Queens of the Stone Age; have little ambition or ideas when it comes to things.  The acts that will succeed and flourish in the New Year are those who show something distinct.  I can see Even in Arcadia doing some good things in 2016.  It is clear they have more music up their sleeves; they want to tour as far as possible- maybe making their way down to London at some point?  Blue Prints is a stunning thee-track release that shows why so many people are following one of Glasgow’s best new bands.

   City in the Dark is the E.P.’s sophomore track that keeps the pace of Electric Thumb going.  Beginning with a primal thud and a carnivorous bassline, you get a song that evokes images and thoughts from the very first seconds.  From its raw and killer-on-the-loose beginnings, the introduction evolves and grows into something more harmonious and balanced- eliciting light and heart after a while.  Portraying the transition from darkness to light; the band have spent a lot of time crafting an opening that gets you to attention and readies you for what is to come.  In the city is the “darkest hour”; our heroine wants to be joined (she does not mention who) as you begin to immerse yourself in the lyrics and what they offer.  The composition remains support and light; it does not needlessly tumble and strike- allowing those vocals to come to the forefront and the lyrics to be heard.   Looking at souls “avoiding pain” once more the band emphasise a central message/coda to get inside the head- creating an unnerving wave and sense of unease.  The band step the composition up and provide necessary weight and urgency.  The percussion is especially notable; exploding and pummeling with insistency you get a track that builds in stature and emotion as the seconds progress.  One of those songs that seems destined for arenas and live performances- one that could unite and captivate the crowds into song- it has a catchiness and familiarity to it.  Recalling Punk masters and mistresses of the ‘70s; taking in modern-day (Scottish) acts lie Chvrches- you get a rounded and fascinating track.  Being one of the E.P.’s longest songs, it is given time and chance to develop and mutates- that central vocal has its own endeavours and ideas.  Building in intensity and precision; you get caught in the whirlwind of emotions and desires.  Whilst the song looks at the city’s darkness and the haunted figures that linger; there is some mystery to it- you wonder what has inspired the track and how it came to be.  One of the most rounded and emotive songs from Blue Prints; City in the Dark is one of those songs that could gain serious radio play very soon.

Weave a Web (Acoustic) shows a new angle to the debut E.P.-era track- giving it new life and meaning.  The lyrics are more decipherable and there is greater clarity on this recording- making the lyrics more relatable and tangible.  Our heroine seems trapped and is waiting in a safe haven; there seems to be a danger nearing in and you can sense that anxiety.  What you get from the song is more bare emotion and live-sounding flair than before- the song is less gritty but more haunted.  If you consider Nirvana and their live recording for M.T.V. – where they were unplugged and incredible- you could hear new meanings and nuance in their classics.  Stripping back their album tracks- they performed a few covers among the set-list- you got a chance to see a hard and vibrant band take things back and reveal some sensitivity.  Weave a Web works wonderfully when propulsive and granite; it has a new appeal and relevance when the guys take it back to basics- making it sound like a new and original number.  Our girl is in the web and waiting to trap her prey- her voice sounds even more gripping and dramatic on the original cut.  You start to wonder the origins of the song- who she is battling and what has caused this- and naturally you go to relationship grounds.  Backed by bouncing and flowing strings, you get a more honest and soul-bearing vocal- impossible not to think of Patti Smith when it is in full flight- that gives the song new dimensions.  One of the lesser-heard tracks on the E.P., it at least shows how adaptable the band are- reinventing their own material and offering a different sound.  Whilst they are an electric guitar-based band who plays harder sounds; it is nice to end with a song that has some emotional outpouring and something less busy.  Bringing Blue Prints down to an impressive close, you feel compelled to go back in and revisit moments; take in stuff you missed first time around- those layers and details that may drift by first time.  If you want to discover a great young band with a distinct sound and a sure future ahead, then spend some time…


WITH Even in Arcadia.




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