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We will also be hosting a special evening on Sunday, March 20th @ Vibe Bar, Brick Lane to screen the new Vincent Moon and Efterklang film “An Island” along with a screening of Mogwai and Vincent Moon’s film “Burning” and a DJ set from The Slow Revolt.

Not to be missed! FREE ENTRY


The Hurt Kingdom is the first EP by UK-based 3-piece To Bury A Ghost. This review has been long-time-coming and its about time those of you who aren’t familiar with TBAG to get a taste of them.

They might not appreciate this but there is a certain Muse quality about this EP. As well as being quite poppy and simplistic, the songs are lathered in beautiful string arrangements and huge distortions. Its like a more post-rocky Muse – or you might say similar to The Boxer Rebellion. In the second track “Coming up for air” the drum pattern has an enthralling sway to it, with added delay and distortion soaked guitar lines. Its unplaceably familiar.

To Bury A Ghost don’t hesitate to dabble with the orchestra, a curiosity many bands lack these days I feel. The opening track “Bithday” opens on quite an uneasy note with a discordant brass-section chord, followed up by the intervention of a stunning violin melody.  Strings are quite present throughout the EP and actually, bring to mind Radiohead. I’ll stop name dropping, but there are certainly quite a few elements here that point elsewhere. This isn’t a criticism, but an observation, it doesn’t take away from the fact that The Hurt Kingdom has a beautifully evocative cinematic quality, and a noisy rocky side. I’d certainly put these down as ones to watch!

A cherry on top of the cake? Yep. A Lee Malcolm from VESSELS remix at the end. Now thats a mighty fine cherry!

myspace.com/toburyaghost

 

Alright The Captain are an instrumental 3 piece on Field Records alongside acts such as Maybeshewill. ATC are releasing their debut full length album Snib on February 7th (next Monday).

This 10 track album shows real promise for the band, and I must say is one of the most interesting releases I’ve heard for a long time. The sheer volume, complexity and variety could only come from individuals with a taste for experimenting – without venturing into the realm of the undigestible and pretentious. A lot of it actually sounds quite tongue in cheek and ridiculous (in a good way) which makes it all the more fun.

I particularly love how each musician is discernible and adds their own dimension to the sound. On one hand you have a mathy, scrappy guitarist who tears out simple satisfyingly metal riffs, beautiful and sometimes folky melodies, then all out Fuck Buttons style noise. On another hand you have a bassist with a real sense of what a bass player should really do; IE complement the rhythm section as well as make you feel the rawness of abrasive low-frequency noises (listen to Mega Mega Drive). The way Todd on bass uses his effects reminds me of current electronic/dubstep artists who write tracks based around successions of distorted bass synths that they tear apart and put back together again, rather than actual notes. Its hard to describe because its quite a primal pleasure but if you listen to THIS 2.37s in, you’ll get what I mean.
And finally on the third hand you have Ash the drummer who holds everything together with an almost jazzy feel and who isn’t afraid to keep things simple when needed. In the track ‘Soundtrack your Death‘ for instance, the drop at 1.10s is particularly effective because everything is focused towards, well, the crushing drop (no shit).

I think its interesting how all these known ingredients put together creates a unique sound. You could call bits of this album, math-rock, post-rock, prog, metal, jazz-metal, space rock… and so many other things- and for this reason it cant be any of them but something entirely new as yet unnamed.

They’re on tour in the UK so get out and see them- you won’t disappointed. Tour Dates are HERE
myspace.com/alrightthecaptain

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Sam Thomas is a London based composer and multi-instrumentalist whose music blends influences from classical music, rock, folk and no doubt many more. This extremely interesting piece, not so interestingly named Continuous Soundtrack, is a 27 minute long epic which progresses from heart-wrenching orchestral sections, to head-stomping rock riffs, to cheesy folk ballads and I could go on. It presents musical themes and shapes that perpetually evolve quite dramatically to incorporate numerous instruments and contrasting feels. I think this is as cinematic as it gets, being completely instrumental, it takes its listener on a surprising and grand journey.


The level of skill involved in conceiving a piece like this is quite unthinkable for one person, but Sam Thomas has done it, and to an excellent standard. It may not be to everybody’s liking due to its somewhat experimental nature, but for dreamers, musicians and prog (in it’s broader sense) enthusiasts it is an experience like few others.

Although Sam’s influences may be obvious at times, they are so diverse that when stuck together back-to-back like this, they make for one huge adventure that feels like experiencing all musical development from Debussy right through to today’s Mono via The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Radiohead and Muse. I am aware of how bold this statement sounds but if you locked them all up in a studio and told them to write a 27 minute instrumental track, it wouldn’t be a million miles away from this. Every part when listened to, sounds as complex and thought-out as the next. The guitar takes off on rampant solos, the bass grooves away, the drums mix things up by changing and crossing time signatures, and the violin will make you cry.

What’s more, the production on this piece is stunning considering how many different layers there are. The distorted bass sound is fat to the point of making your face scrunch up, and the violin, once again, will make you cry. About two thirds of the way in, the track also goes into an peculiar psychedelic section with unusual percussions and bass harmonics, brilliantly panned and produced to make even the sanest person feel a bit mad. Finally, the guitar probably being the central instrument, presents various well-manipulated sounds (although one in particular is ridiculous). Overall it’s fair to say this is an opus worthy of any contemporary composer/producer/musician.

If you’re intrigued and willing to put on a pair of headphones for half an hour, you can download Continuous Soundtrack for FREE (oh yes!) at samthomasmusic.com – and needless to say, I recommend it.

For the sake of giving him a bit of press, I’m told that this piece is part of his plan to promote himself as a composer for film and TV. Basically, anyone is welcome to use it as a score, free of royalty obligation. The only condition is to credit him clearly… sounds like a bargain.

Happy listening!


(Above: Front cover of What The Blood Revealeds 2007 EP)

What The Blood Revealed are an instrumental 4 piece from Scotland signed to Bad Mammoth Records. I first came by them last year and haven’t stopped listening since. Their music seems to combine influences from modern rock and metal, as well as classics like Pink Floyd. For me its the perfect blend of the beauty of “post-rock” with the rawness and ballsyness of “post-metal”. They’re directly in between both sub-genres with monster riffs and distorted heavy sections, and soft, serene melodic passages in which delay pedals rarely go amiss. For fans out there who aren’t mad about the “post-rock” sound, this EP might seem a little obvious because the common structure behind each track is one of the oldest tricks in the book; start quiet, build, and go heavy. That being said, this is still a good trick and they make it work terrifically.

In terms of the production and sound quality, for an EP it sounds impressive, but I hope they raise the bar when they do an album. These recordings are already quite exciting as they are, but done to the same standards as Explosions in the Sky‘s ‘Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place’ for example, it would be mind blowing!

The 3rd track ‘Evolution is not a Theory’ is definitely the highlight of the EP, its one of those tracks I consider to be cornerstones in music like ‘Mammoth’ by Pelican. The power that it generates when the heavy section kicks in is astonishing to such a point that it feels like they couldn’t possibly push their wall of sound any further. Its like hitting the ground after bungee jumping with a faulty rope. The lead guitar part is quite simple but it creates one of the most dramatic soundscapes I’ve ever heard. I call it a ‘cornerstone’ because the overall effect this track has is so intense that it makes me think no one can surpass it, and if anyone were to try, the two would immediately be compared. I highly recommend this EP for post rock enthusiasts, and for you metal-heads who are looking for something less aggressive  than The Ocean.

As far as I know they gig in Glasgow and Edinburgh, they’re due to start recording an album in the new year and they may or may not go on a tour next spring (I’m guessing they’ll keep us informed). They also recorded a second EP in 2009 which is worth a listen…

(Above: Front cover of What the Blood Revealed‘s 2009 EP)

I’ll update this post when I learn more. For now, go to their myspace (link to the right) and listen to their tracks. Follow this link to get both EPs for £7! badmammoth.bigcartel.com

Saiga are a new instrumental 3 piece from London. Their material is currently being developed and they are due to start gigging in 2010. This is one of two videos filmed during rehearsals made to preview the bands music. News and live dates coming soon…

Link – saigamusic

(Above: Saiga logo designed by Louis Bloomfield – louisbloomfield.wordpress.com)

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