ARTIST: The Battles Of Winter
RELEASE: At Once With Tattered Sails
RELEASE DATE: 23 September 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Post-Rock, Post-Punk with a bit of Alt-Rock and Indie thrown in you say? Well, 'The Battles of Winter' reply swiftly and smartly with their brand new album 'At Once With Tattered Sails'. In what could be the most well produced album I’ve heard from a non-major label in quite a while, the band weave through many sounds to create a dark and atmospheric post-punk album; helped substantially by the amazingly deep and heavy vocals of the album.
'At Once With Tattered Sails' begins with ‘Falcons’ an eerie, post-punk laden track with an intro that uses a slower tempo styled post-punk beat that eventually leads into a hypnotically dark coldwave inspired chorus. ‘Falcons’ sounds like a twisted indie song, full of elements that you could imagine being bright and colourful, turned into a cynical, industrialised landscape. This morphed indie track suits the band profusely though, and a song like ‘Falcons’ does nothing but display the bands most talented tendencies. ‘Hale Seizer’ (see what they did there?) goes even deeper into a perverse darkness, this time with much more minimalist instrumentation, until the rollicking noise rock inspired chorus. This track begins to showcase the deep and thought provoking lyrics, which would not be so out of place if they were read as poetry. The rattle, twangy guitars at the tracks second half maintain a distinctive 80’s coldwave feel, connecting the band back with its musical and artistic roots. The brilliant, two minute punky song ‘Wrong Port’ shows the listener that the band are not solely tied to slow, downtempo, strumming… Rather they show their talent in pulling off what seems to be a much darker, sped up version of an Opera Multi Steel song.
‘Hare Hunter Field’ could be the best song on the album, its slow, quiet beginning seeps into an almost slowcore ballad… The vocals hover spectrally in the mix, as the slow tap of the drum slowly shift, the guitars echo slowly with a reverb style distant in the mix and the track shifts into a heavy, noise ridden track. Everything is highlighted further through the mature and brilliant production and mixing on the album, and occasionally the band show touches of post-rock that make them sound even better with 'Death in a Lemon Grove Part I & II' & 'Shot Down Over Tokyo' being prime examples. ‘Slow Burning Country’ turns the albums sound almost completely alternative rock, but occasionally the band mix this in together with post-punk elements, especially the vocals, which maintain the same profound delivery throughout the entire album. This track highlights the fantastic capabilities of the drums as well; the heavy beat punctuating into the mix, coupling fantastically with the heavy rock of the guitars. Towards the tracks end, the vocals transcend into a higher and impressive registry that gives the music a wild element of ‘surround sound’ quality. ‘Love’s White Thread’ holds back again on instrumentation and instead uses the vocals as the forefront of the sound and the song morphs around it. Although it may appeal to some listeners, ‘Love’s White Thread’ seems less fluent than previous tracks. It also doesn’t show as much of the bands brilliant song writing skills of as other tracks. But, anyway…
‘Sainted Galleries’ is also a contender for the albums greatest song, especially in its magnificent instrumental section in its centre, which slowly and surely brings vocals into the mix. The song brings together sounds touched upon earlier in the album (coldwave and alternative rock especially) and ties it together with the rat-a-tat beat of classic 80’s post-punk, the vocals maintaining their value for the entire entrancing song. 'At Once with Tattered Sails' is not so much an album about performance (although the performances are all brilliant) rather it is an album about sounds. For the listener, the band has conjoined and crafted all sorts of majestic and dark sounds together; thus the sounds on the album come across as truly great, but it is the band who have melded them together so very well to make them even better. Nothing but praise should be handed onto the production and mixing on 'At Once with Tattered Sails', which feels empty, open and echoed all at the same time. Similarly, the vocals are genius; a reminder that post-punk and coldwave music doesn’t have to have distant and low volume yelling to be fantastic. The vocals on the album fit well with the lyrics, displaying a tasteful throwback to the eighties alternative music scene.
While some may feel the album reuses itself too much, I feel that partially that is part of the appeal of the music. For example, pop music vocal deliveries vary from song to song so the average listener thinks each song itself is completely different because of the vocals (that’s pretty much mainstream pop summarised for you). But 'Battles of Winter' maintain the same, deep and echoing voice on nearly every track, which I genuinely feel makes the music ever more powerful. The album showcases everything that should be done in the genre, and how a band should go about producing and mixing an album; achieved cleverly through performance and sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: Teen Brains
RELEASE: Translucent EP
RELEASE DATE: 12/09/16
RECORD COMPANY: Witchgirl Recordings (UK) / Citrus City Records (US).
Teen Brains eponymous 2015 EP was one of the most wondrous releases of the year. Steeped in a nostalgic beauty, it was endearingly fragile and at times uncertain. This year’s follow up 'Translucent' sees them in an altogether more confident frame of mind. There’s a strong psych sensibility throughout which gives the record more focus, although there are still plenty of pleasing whooshing noises.
READ ON -
'In a Haze' sets off on a phaser-fuelled psych journey. It meanders, but only just. Someone, somewhere has this all planned out. Glorious reverb ushers in 'Isolation' which is the kind of jangly jaunt that is earning Diiv many plaudits at present. The lush melodies are a marvel. There’s a hint of a darker 80's edge on 'Wash Away' with its flanged guitars and intricate guitar lines. The psych influences come out strongly in the rhythm section, adding an insistence to the track. Its big chorus surely means it will shortly usurp Tame Impala from mainstream radio playlists soon?
Closing track 'Translucent' is more contemplative in pace. Its woozy wahs and undercurrent of fuzz and delay create a hazy feel, but this is definitely at the more muscular end of the gaze spectrum. The chart countdown sample maybe gives a hint of where Teen Brains hope to head – straight to the top of the charts. They certainly feel like a band with a plan.
'Translucent' is out on 12th September via Witchgirl Recordings in the UK and Citrus City in the US.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.
London-via-Norwich psych-pop outfit 'Teen Brains' have released the first single from their forthcoming highly anticipated EP 'Translucent' thats penned in for release on September 12th 2016 via Witchgirl Recordings (UK) and Citrus City Records (USA).Read more
by Primal Music Blog
ARTIST: The Marbles Jackson
RELEASE: Notes To The Dust
RELEASE DATE: 05/04/15
RECORD COMPANY: Feline Frequency Recordings
Every musical artist worth their salt with a dream of recording & releasing a body of work physically either on Vinyl, Cd or Tape will eventually run into a brick wall when it comes to funding their musical adventure’s because in every walk of life imaginable the mantra remains the same - ‘Money Makes The World Go-Around’. These days artists have a wealth of ways to generate cash (without gigging themselves to death) with one medium also allowing them to expand their fan-base at the same time! That pretty cool medium of garnering funds is called - Crowdfunding. One such act to do so are UK based sonic adventurers ‘The Marbles Jackson’ who after a successful crowdfunding campaign, raised enough funds to not only release their debut album ‘Notes To The Dust’ digitally but also fund a Vinyl release! Hailing from Hakney over in London Town - ‘The Marbles Jackson’ are: Terry Kirkbride - Guitars, Vocals, percussion & Mouth Organ, Naoko TakaHashi - Guitars & Backing Vocals, Smon Gwynne - Keys, Guitar & Sound Effects & Mikey Belfast Gibson - Bass and what they have created musically is nothing short of beautiful. Most of the tracks were written by Terry Kirkbride & Naoko Takahashi except - 'Nowt Will Ever Be The Same' & 'I Want Never Gets' by Kirkbride and 'What Remains' by Simon Gwynne. The album was Produced by Kirkbride and Takahashi, Engineered, Recorded and Mastered by Mark Jasper @ Sound Savers, Hackney, London & Mixed by Takahashi @ Shabby Road Studio, Hackney, London.
We have picked a few of our favourite tracks from ‘Notes To The Dust’ for the purposes of this review and you can read what we thought about them below:
Track 1 on this very impressive release opens up a portal to a world of daydreams, shoegaze & dream-pop. ‘If Symptoms Persist ( Nothing Wrong With Me )’ is a slice of laid back sonic heaven on a grand scale reminiscent in parts to early 90’s musical stalwarts such as Spiritualized & The Verve. Anyone new to this band is in for a treat as this is the entry point to a musical adventure you could only ever dream about. Beautiful in its conception with dreamy vocals and addictive guitar lines, it will evoke memories of life & love and have you floating on a wave of tone & reverb. Absolutely blissful.
Light & dark tones are magnified to shimmering brilliance on the albums second track - ‘Murder Mile Sunshine'. This is stunning. You stay fixed on the main vocal while a maelstrom of swirling effected guitars, immense backing vocals, lazy drum beat & hazy samples immerse you in a world of dreamscape infused shoegaze with immense psychedelic swirls.
‘Requiem For The Have It All’s’ - is a journey track. Beautiful vocal harmonies lead you in and caress your eardrums with intricate guitar lines, delayed tones & stunning ethereal vocal swells all intertwined around it's post-rock 'esque core. One for the headphones! Check it out:
Passionate, emotive & immense are all words that can be used to describe the feelings you get when you listen to track 8 on this stunning release. ’Running Man’ is a blissful ride through addictive guitars stabs, beautifully immersive reverb drenched vocal lines & swirling backing tracks that tells a sonic story through the medium of sound waves. Check it out:
It’s a strange thing these days for any band to touch this listener as deeply as ‘The Marbles Jackson’ have. Their attention to detail on every single one of the epic tracks on this release will stay with you long after you have finished listening to them & that’s a great thing in my opinion. Somehow they stick in your subconscious and you end up humming their tunes or speaking their lyrics at absurdly different & weird times of the day & for me that’s the mark of a great song and the total embodiment of a great band. I’ve been following the journey of this band intently ever since they got in touch with me about airplay on a radio show in early 2014. They haven’t disappointed & this album is a stunning body of work by a band that will leave you with a sweet taste in your mouth after every listen. Sonically sound & immensely beautiful ‘Notes To The Dust’ is album that every music fan should have in their collection. If you missed out on pre-ordering the album during their crowdfunding campaign, don't panic, you can still get your hands on a copy of 'Notes To The Dust' as it is available to order on Vinyl through www.RoughTrade.Com & will also be available via iTunes & the labels BANDCAMP PAGE from the release date.
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave, but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. He also currently writes for Canadian based online music webzine ReplicantEars. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
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With 2 blissful EP's behind them, a highly anticipated debut album entitled - 'Notes To The Dust' - on the horizon & a successful crowdfunding campaign, we caught up with the brilliant London based noise merchants 'The Marbles Jackson' and drilled them with a few testing questions! Check out their answers below:
1) Who are you? Tell us about the formation of the band & your history?
We are The Marbles Jackson, a Hackney based four piece band. We've been playing live since late 2011 and released 2 EPs. The Marbles Jackson consists of: Terry Kirkbride (main voice, drums, guitars), Naokoko (guitars, the other voice, drums on one track), Simon Gwynne (keys, electric guitar) and Mikey Belfast Gibson (bass, percussion). Before forming The Marbles Jackson, Terry played drums in Proud Mary, Noel Gallagher and Oasis and that. Naokoko is a performance/installation artist. Two of us are the main songwriters of the band. We are releasing our debut album in April (vinyl in May), which is so exciting.
2) Who are your biggest influences?
Terry: My grandmother, Kitty Malloy and Charlie Watts.
Naokoko: Patti Smith and Meredith Monk.
3) Describe your sound?
Loop meets The Carpenters! (Naokoko: My mum loves The Carpenters...)
4) What inspired you to start making music?
Terry: It was the only thing I’ve ever been interested in, coupled with the fact that I’m hopeless with everything else.
Naokoko: As an artist, I was always interested in sound, so I had a go at making music.
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5) What do you love about shoegaze?
Terry: I always had a keen interest in other people’s footwear. You can tell a lot about the person by what they have on their feet.
6) Why is it important for the world to hear your music? What kind of message would you like to share with international listeners?
Judging by the soul destroying shite out there at the moment, The Marbles Jackson are the only saviours of the human race!
7) What are some of your favorite bands or albums?
Twin Peaks soundtrack, The Verve (Early Stuff), Spacemen 3, Mazzy Star, Billie Holiday.
8) We know that you guys are crowdfunding for your next release. Would you recommend this method to other artists? Why?
Absolutely! It’s hard work, though. If your target is realistic and if you engage with your fans, it’s a really good way for DIY bands to get your music out there. If it goes tits up, it’s only yourselves to blame.
9) Musically, what are your bands plans over the next year?
We’ll just shut our eyes, keep playing and see what happens.
Big, big thanks to the band for taking the time out of their debut album preparations to get involved in this interview! You can can still pledge up on their crowdfunding site, to not only get your hands on their forthcoming debut album on Vinyl, but 10% of funds raised above their final target will go to - Disability Rights UK. An even better reason to get pledging. You can do so by heading here:
Del Chaney - The Primal Music Blog - March 2015 - Dublin, Ireland.