At The Drive-In: Top Five Tracks

At The Drive-In Top Five

At The Drive-In are back with new album Inter Alia which has emerged 17 years after the seminal Relationship of Command. At this point comparing it to their back catalogue which I've lived with for so long would be unfair, so I've decided to not even attempt to review it because...it needs time to breathe.

What I can say however, is that the new release has rekindled my love for one of the most important bands I've had the pleasure of listening to. If you don't like this band, it's almost certain that our music tastes are going to clash violently, because the energy, artistic flare and aggression installed in every single piece of ATDI's music has been seminal to my musical upbringing.

Because I like a bit of a challenge, I decided to sit down and try and select my personal top five tracks ever created by this band. It was difficult. Especially because Relationship of Command IS one of the greatest albums of all time. No question.

Despite this fact, I managed to carve just five tracks from their marvellous back catalogue to present to you all. By no means definitive. Enjoy!

Fun fact: I've actually been blocked by this band on Twitter. I think for being an annoying fan boy around ten years ago. If you do happen to read this lads, how about unblocking me? kthxbi.

5. One Armed Scissor



It's THE song that everyone knows. There's a reason for that too. It's a bloody good song. Vicious, jagged riffs, punctuated with Cedric Bixler Zavala's vocal stabs of cryptic poetry before it crashes into a chorus punctuated with Jim Ward's screams of GET AWAY. Perfect.

4. Lopsided



Melody has to be taken with a pinch of salt when referring to At The Drive-In. Whilst there's no doubt this band no how to craft a hummable tune, they often bury it underneath layers of absurdity and angst. For Lopsided however, the melodic guitar lines of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez are allowed to breathe freely and fill this track with a carefree - almost danceable vibe - promoting swaying and groove as opposed to moshing and spite.

3. Cosmonaut



Moshing and spite here, as opposed to swaying and groove, Cosmonaut is one of the most brutal hardcore songs ever captured to tape. Yes, there are heavier tracks and yes there are faster tracks, but there has never been a song delivered with so much passion and intent than this. You can almost feel the emotion bleeding through the speakers when you stick this on.

  2. Rolodex Propaganda




Not so controlled chaos is the only way to describe one of the more abstract cuts off Relationship of Command. Like a mad scientist at a catastrophe convention, the El Paso five piece threw everything including the kitchen sink at this track, even recruiting Iggy Pop for guest vocals on the chorus. Abstract in lyricism and musicality, Rolodex Propaganda kicks into gear and dares you to hold on, and only the strongest will survive. Fortune favours the brave and to the victor go the spoils, make it through it's running time and you'll be itching to take another ride around.

1. Invalid Litter Dept.



In many ways Invalid Litter Dept. is At The Drive-In's piece la resistance, a masterpiece of showcasing every side of what this band is capable of. Unique lyrics? Check. Controversial subject matter? Check? Non-con-formative song structure? Check.

This track packs the entire arsenal and empties the bag of tricks into its six minute run time, finding time to transform from a meandering foggy riff into full on alt tock destruction. The build is paced beautifully and that breakdown...oh the breakdown. It will have you headbanging as if you had never heard of neck surgery, and jumping up and down as if you were raised in the deep bush of Australia.

And dancing as if on the corpses ashes...obviously.




Jamie Lenman: Live @ The Craufurd Arms 04/05/17

Jamie Lenman Live @ The Craufurd Arms

Jamie Lenman is one of rock's great characters. If his impressive back catalogue of tunes hadn't already made that abundantly clear, then his stage attire sealed the deal. The former Reuben frontman strode out in front of The Craufurd Arms faithful, sporting a World Cup 2002 Ronaldo haircut, whilst dressed head to toe in dazzling white. What a guy.

Of course when you create music as arresting as Lenman's, a t-shirt and jeans combo just isn't going to cut it. The attire is truly justified as soon as the music starts, with new single Waterloo Teeth kicking off the gig under a hail of percussive crashing and banging, an apt introduction with the track soon bursting into it's full alt-rock glory.



A new album is on the way, and as is commonplace with such things, touring cycles usually adjust. This time round Lenman has decided to strip things down personnel wise, and is accompanied only by a drummer. As a two-piece the sound loses none of it's fullness, which is always a worry when you take band members away from the equation. if anything, it has given Lenman a chance to truly command the full impact of these songs for the first time, and he seems to revel in the responsibility that it's all or nothing.

The setlist draws from all areas of his musical repetoire. Fizzy Blood re-visits the crushing thrash of his Muscle Memory double CD, Parties Break Hearts harks back to the Racecar...days of Reuben and there's even time for the acoustic guitar to get a run out for his folk inspired tracks such as Shotgun House and If You Have To Ask You'll Never Know.


The ability to entertain has always been one of Jamie Lenman's strong suits, and his between song banter is some of the best I've heard. He's a very funny man, and manages to referee the transitions between trudge death metal tracks and bluegrass ho downs effortlessly. He's more than aware that this isn't your straight forward live experience, and manages to coach the crowds mind set into embracing the shift in atmosphere as if it was nothing.

It helps of course, that the songs he leads into mainly consist of bangers. Highlights include new songs Mississippi and All of England is a City, the break neck Six Fingered Hand and the Reuben classics Some Mothers Do Ave' Em and finale Cities On Fire.

It's a great night of music, shout outs to the two support bands HCBP and Frauds who were also excellent, and I suggest you check them out immediately.

Jamie Lenman has promised to release more new music as 2017 progresses, and if this Craufurd crowd was anything to go by, it will be more than well received. One of rocks great characters is back, and he sounds better than ever.

Setlist

1. Waterloo Teeth
2. Fizzy Blood
3. Parties Break Hearts
4. No News Is Good News
5. Mississippi
6. Mexican Wave (Kerbdog cover)
7. I Ain't Your Boy
8. Blitzkrieg
9. Shotgun House
10. If You Have to Ask You'll Never Know
11. It's Hard to Be a Gentleman
12. Best Enemies
13. All the Things You Hate About Me, I Hate Them Too
14. All of England Is a City (New Song)
15. Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
16. Gary, Indiana
17. The Six Fingered Hand
18. Cities on Fire



New Music: Fall Out Boy - Young And Menace

Fall Out Boy Mania

There has been a recent spate of former "emo" bands coming back and releasing bonafide pop bangers. Panic! At The Disco did it last year, last week we had Paramore come back with quite possible the best song they've ever written in Hard Times...


...and now Fall Out Boy are back with a slice of EDM spiked madness.

Young And Menace is the sound of Fall Out Boy on LSD. With production values straight out the OWSLA school of DJing, it's a track which doesn't pull any punches and is a completely new take on the bands sound.

I've written before about changes in a bands direction and how this can be problematic at times, but for Fall Out Boy it doesn't seem forced, if anything it feels like natural progression. After all, they've always been a pop band at heart.

The message behind the track itself is nice as well. Here's Pete Wentz's explanation of it all...

“There’s a lyric in the song, ‘trying to send the world a message, I was young and a menace,’ that reminded me of growing up in the suburbs of Chicago. I didn't look like anyone there or feel like anyone – I felt like an outsider in my own town. It wasn't until I discovered punk rock and that community that I realised I did fit in somewhere in this word – with the other people who didn't fit in.”

Young and Menace is the first taste of new music off the band’s forthcoming seventh studio album M A N I A, out September 15th on Virgin EMI UK/DCD2 Records.

You can listen to the track below. Electro nonsense, or EDM inspired brilliance. You decide!






Record Store Day 2017: Top Picks To Look Out For

Record Store Day 2017

It's Record Store Day on April 22nd! If you don't know what that is...well it's a day celebrating record stores. Pretty self explanatory, and in the age of the digital download, it's a nice nod to the sanctuaries of the physical format which rely upon music fans dedicated custom.

Artists always put out limited edition releases to celebrate the date, and 2017 is no exception. In fact 100s of artists have committed to putting out some new merchandise this year, and I've decided to support the cause and tell you all to GET DOWN TO A BLOODY RECORD STORE AND BUY THESE, YEAH?

The Cure's Greatest Hits & Acoustic Hits




Goth pop rock icons The Cure are releasing both their greatest hits and acoustic hits (which I can only assume is the greatest hits...but played acoustically) on vinyl. You should own the greatest hits already, but picking it up in alternate formats is always recommended.

Gerard Way - Into The Cave We Wander




Laid back, sleepy vibes from the former My Chemical Romance pairing of Gerard and Ray Tovo. This is brand new music from the guys, and is being released alongside another new track Pogi's Cavern, both of which were created to accompany the comic book series ‘CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE’.

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression Live at the Royal Albert Hall



How good does that sound? Well the rest of the concert sounds just as good, so go buy this. It features classic tracks such as the above, as well as cuts from Post Pop Depression, which was pretty great. And yes that's Josh Homme and Matt Helders up there with him, amongst other notable names.

The Lumineers - Seeds 1: Long Way Home and Angela



One of the more creative releases this year, this exclusive 10" inch vinyl shows the progression of two of the bands most popular tracks from their No.1 sophomore album Cleopatra (Angela and Long Way From Home) from initial demo, through recording to the live entity.

Placebo Feat. David Bowie - Without You I'm Nothing




This will be the first ever pressing of Without You I'm Nothing, the Placebo single featuring the vocals of David Bowie. Originally released in 1999 on CD only, it will be released for the first time on vinyl exclusively for Record Store Day 2017. A track which has only become more poignant with time.

Toto - Africa/Rosanna


Two massive 80's hits and it's being released on AFRICA SHAPED VINYL. So...well there's nothing else to say really. Interesting fact, a friend got married to a panpipe version of Africa. It was good.




Introducing: InTechnicolour

InTechnicolour Band

On this somewhat overcast Easter weekend, what better way to celebrate than with a slice of groove orientated stoner rock, compliments of Brighton-based quintet, InTechnicolour.

Comprised of members from the likes of Delta Sleep, LUO and The Physics House Band, here are a fully formed band of technically gifted musicians cutting loose and playing music that’s about as far removed from their day jobs as it’s possible to get, and doing it better than a good portion of their contemporaries.

New single Doomer features an explosive riff which evolves into a dark, hard rock rhythm reminiscent of Era Vulgaris Queens of the Stone Age, with it's complex song structures and melodic vocal delivery.

You can listen to the track below.


The band have previously been quoted as saying that they "literally have nothing to say about themselves", but they were kind enough to answer the now infamous introducing questionnaire.

They explain the beginnings of their journey into the world of music, the influences on them and their sound and recall an incident concerning a sought after album in a record shop in Lisbon.

You can read it in full below, enjoy. Oh and pick up their new single, yeah? It's out now.

1. What is your favourite album and why?

Dave: I'm really enjoying King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard at the moment, I stumbled across their album 'I'm in your mind Fuzz' on holiday in Lisbon. I walked into a really nice record shop (can't remember the name) and I asked the gentleman behind the counter what was playing on the turntable, he explained it was 'King Gizzard' and I asked if I could buy it. He then proceeded to tell me it was the only copy in the shop and he hadn't heard it all the way through yet... so I asked if I could buy it immediately and then left. I think he was a little annoyed...

Tobie: Mine has to be White Pony by Deftones. I grew up with that album consistently bouncing back into my mini disc player (yes I was THAT cool). Its got all the aspects of what I love about music rolled into one album. It's angry as fuck in places, in others is haunting and beautiful... it's just an awesome album from start to finish!

2. What is your least favourite album and why?

Tobie: I don't really have a 'least favourite' album. Lots of albums let me down and aren't as good as I was expecting them to be, but I cant say i've got a special reserved place in my head for the worst album of all time. Even St Anger had some redeeming features... only 1 or 2 though.

3. If you had to describe your music in three words, what would they be?


Dave: Fun.to play.
Tobie: Loud as Fuck!

4. What made you start making music?

Dave: I grew up in a little village in the North East of England where, after the age of 12, there was literally nothing to do. But my path into music was definitely influenced by my father, he used to play guitar every night in the kitchen when I was trying to get to sleep.

At around 11 or 12 I went round my cousin's house and he had loads of Iron Maiden posters across his wall. A couple of weeks later he gave me all his Maiden, Megadeth and White Zombie CDs and I was hooked. From then on I started playing bass every night after school for about 5 hours, and now I'm trying to learn guitar properly...

Tobie: I won a singing scholarship when I was 10 to a private all boys choir school, which I promptly turned down as I was starting to discover my dads Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe CD's. When I ditched the scholarship, I was pushed into being classically trained, 2 hour lessons twice a week with an ex army major turned singing teacher!

When I was stood learning how to control my diaphragm in a dated living room in Yorkshire, that's when I decided that instead of learning other peoples vocal lines it would be way more fun to start to make up some of my own. That's how it all started for me.

5. Favourite swear word?

Sausages.

6. If you could create a band from musicians (excluding yourselves) living or dead, who would you choose?

Tobie: For me, it would have to be Jon Bonham on drums, Bootsy on Bass and Stephen Carpenter of Deftones fame on guitar. Not sure how that little lot would work together but that's their problem to sort out.
 
Dave: Nick Oliveri (Bass), Stewart Copeland (Drums), Tom Waits (vocals) & All three guitarists from Cult of Luna

7. Obvious musical skills aside, do any of you have any secret talents?

Dave: It's the sort of thing you learn in the school playground when you're bored of playing cops n robbers, but I can burp the alphabet.

8. What is your favourite childhood TV show?

Dave: The Simpsons, it's a boring answer but its the best show out there.

9. If you weren't making music, what profession would you like to attempt and why?

Tobie: I would still be writing if I wasn't doing musical things. It just wouldn't be in stanza's and rhyme. Probably in thicker paragraphs with a little more obvious meaning to it. I couldn't do a career if it didn't involve me creating something. 

Dave: I'd quite like to be a carpenter.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

Tobie: 'Eyy Up!' ... I'd love it if God was a Yorkshire man. 

Dave: Do you fancy having a couple of beers and listening to some Chicane?

You can catch the band at the following tour dates in May. (w/ The Physics House Band):

07/05 - Darwen, Sunbird Records
08/05 - Glasgow, The Hug and Pint
09/05 - Leeds, The Brudenell Social Club
10/05 - Bristol, The Fleece
11/05 - Brighton, The Haunt
12/05 - London, Kamio




New Music: Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.

Kendrick Lamar Humble video

If you're not a fan of Kendrick Lamar already, his new track which was released last Thursday might just tip the balance for you. HUMBLE. is a no nonsense straight up hit. With a hypnotic piano riff playing through out, it's aggressive and to the point.

Whilst stepping away from the live instrumentation of To Pimp a Butterfly, it manages to maintain that grandiose feel, despite treading on a more mainstream grounding.

Lyrically, it's up to his high standards, seemingly shouting down the loud mouths and show offs of the world, he asks them to "sit down, be humble". He also does his bit for the ladies expressing his distaste for the photoshop culture dominating the media nowadays. Which is nice, even if the way he does it is a little crude.

“I’m so fucking sick and tired of the Photoshop/Show me something natural like afro on Richard Pryor/Show me something natural like ass with some stretch marks”.

After declaring himself the greatest rapper alive on The Heart Part IV, he pretty much solidifies the claim with this track. And let's not forget to mention the video, which has got critics pawning over its art direction. He appears as "The Young Pope" sets fire to his hair and shows off his golf swing...all in one video!

If nothing else, that's worth a viewing. You can take a look at the video below.







New Music: Gorillaz - Saturnz Barz

Gorillaz Saturnz Barz

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's virtual band Gorillaz returned this week with four new tracks from their forthcoming album Humanz. They're entitled Andromeda, We Got The Power, Ascension and my personal favourite of the lot Saturnz Barz.

It's the groups first release in six years, and apparently includes a whole host of guest features. Not just any guest features mind, superstars. Some of the names rumoured include Grace Jones, De La Soul, Danny Brown, Pusha T, Noel Gallagher and Vince Staples.

This is part of what makes Gorillaz so great, the ability to welcome in a entire roster of musical guests from the entire spectrum of the sonic landscape. Which reminds me...you should really watch this video on deconstructing genre by Youtuber KaptainKristian. It's good stuff.



Anyway back to the best song of the recent release! Saturnz Barz features Popcaan, a dancehall general over in Jamaica who lays down the vocals in this track, which goes together just brilliantly against the backdrop of heavy sub-bass which will have your ribcage rattling.

Add to that concoction Albarn's vocals in the chorus and the creepy synthesizers and you have yourselves one hell of a return. 

As if all that wasn't enough, it's also accompanied by stunning visuals, which is now the standard for Gorillaz. After all, a virtual band needs to be pretty good...virtually. The music video sees the band wander around a haunted house before being transported into deep space. Standard procedure.

All in all, Saturnz Barz is up there as one of the best things Gorillaz have done and should be added to your playlist immediately. New album Humanz is released on the 28th of April.

You can watch the video for Saturnz Barz below.