Thursday, 13 September 2018

What do you mean you don't have 'Dear Science'?

At this blog we pride ourselves at being on the front line for new music. We go to those gigs that cost £3 a ticket, we stand at the front, we dance, we enjoy ourselves, and then the following morning we write down what we remember, then we go on Spotify and listen to these new bands, and tell you lot about what we love.

That said, we aren't hipsters. We do like established bands, we do like older bands and old music. With that in mind, I've come up with a new feature for the blog. Every now and again we're going to go into depth about one of our favourite albums of all time, telling you why we love them, maybe sharing a story about the album or spilling our guts about the emotions the album evokes. Maybe you've heard it, you also love it, it's nice to read about something you love. Maybe you haven't heard it and the piece inspires you to go listen to it. Maybe you hate it and can't understand why anybody would like this crap. Or maybe this is just for us, to jog our memories and to try and put into words the buzz we get from great music.



I'm kicking this off with ‘Dear Science’, the third album from Brooklyn’s TV On The Radio, one I'd honestly consider as the greatest album of the 21st Century, an album I have bought 4 times, and an album that turns 10 years old in a couple of days.

September 2008, the United States was just about to embark on an unknown journey. In 4 months time, the 44th President was about to take up residency in the White House. A Black democrat from Illinois who changed the world with one word, Hope.
Music in 2008 was also embarking on a change. Pop, was suddenly at the forefront. Lady Gaga with her Bowie imagery reminded us that pop isn’t just for teenage girls, setting the world alight with her first album ‘Fame’. Katy Perry was kissing girls, Britney was Womanizing and Pink was saying “So What". Even the guitar bands had gone poppy, Coldplay released ‘Viva La Vida’ and even Kings Of Leon had shaved their faces and made songs about fiery sex. Step up TV On The Radio, who had gained a following with their second album ‘Return To Cookie Mountain’, especially the single ‘Wolf Like Me’ which was everywhere!

Wolf Like Me was the first TV On The Radio song I ever heard, it was on Project Gotham Racing 4 and Guitar Hero 5 on the Xbox. I loved it. I downloaded it illegally, and it was on every mix cd I made.
I was working in a skate shop in 2008, and a colleague brought in Dear Science and put it on. After one listen I went and bought it on CD. I would listen to it all the time!! In 2010, which was a the first full year I was with my then-girlfriend (now wife), she had asked me to get her an iPod Touch for Christmas. I did. It was cool, so I got myself one too. The first album I bought off iTunes? Dear Science. I also found a second hand copy of the album in a pawn shop, it was a quid, so I bought that too, and it lived in the car. In 2014, me and my then-fiance took that second hand copy of the album on a 3 month trip around Europe. Driving through Germany, the album inspired me to put my foot down on the autobahn, the album also calmed the impending road rage when driving around Milan. After our trip, we bought a record player and started a vinyl collection. The first record I bought? Well, I think it was a battered De La Soul record, but the first brand new vinyl I ordered off the internet was Dear Science. I love this album.

So why this album? Why not TV On The Radio’s second album? Critically, the second album is better, and it has ‘Wolf Like Me’ on it. For me, though, I think the band really found and perfected their sound on the third album. The production is slightly improved and the album as a whole is more accessible, easier to listen to, catchy and lyrically stronger. The band, somehow, improved on perfection, and Dear Science may very well be my favourite album of all time.



The album starts with a bang. “Halfway Home” burts in with a fast drum beat and vocalist Tunde Adebimpe “baba-ba-ba”ing, picking up directly from where the anthemic Wolf Like Me left off. The eerie vocals of loss and love are juxtaposed next to the drums and quick clapping, relaxing the mood with a synthy backdrop. The high pitched chorus arrogantly displays the vocal range of Adebimpe, with Kyp Malone’s backing vocals delicately calming the track; seconds before he and fellow guitarist David Sitek melt your face with a guitar hook that will raise you too your feet. This isn't the first time this album will make you dance, it's a wonderful way to open up.

What follows is a trip through emotions and a journey into sound. Much like Radiohead did with 'Ok Computer', this is a guitar band pushing the instrument into new territory. Second track ‘Crying’ will remind you of Radiohead as much as it will remind you of Prince, its held together with a funky bass-line from the wonderful Gerard Smith, who sadly passed away in 2011. Track 3 is “Dancing Choose”, a kind of angry social commentary about attention seekers and media whores, whose meaning may get lost in the upbeat music and rhythical rapping, another song that fucking rocks. We're only 3 tracks in and this album is stunning. Can it get any better?

It can! Once we have had our bones chilled by ‘Stork & Owl’, we come to track 5, ‘Golden Age’. The first single released from the album, with accompanying music video, is a chance to showcase Malone’s vocals, however it's the uplifting music that takes centre stage here. With synth, trumpets and more clapping, the song tells us that it's ok to believe in Utopia, it's ok to think things will get better, and, coincidentally timed with the inauguration of Barack Obama, it's ok to Hope.


Next up we are to be haunted. ‘Family Tree’ is a beautifully crafted nightmare. An intelligent look at forbidden love. A collision of differing ideas. The strings and the piano, along with the painful vocals will turn you to tears. A poem, of bygone times and interracial relationships, where old ideas and traditions have killed the idea of love. “In the shadow of the gallows of your Family Tree, there's a hundred hearts or three, pumping blood to the roots of evil to keep it young”. A tragedy that is still relevant today, with LGBT rights still outlawed in many parts of the world, and many parents forbidding these ideas in their children. Forbidding love itself.

‘Red Dress’ follows suit, an anti war anthem that is as sexy as it is angry. With Track 8, ‘Love Dog’ lowering the tempo once again, once again atmospheric with a complicated, jazz drum beat from Jaleel Bunton, and if you ever get the opportunity to see this wonderful band live, it's the drumming that will impress you the most.

As we get to the tail end of the album, the music keeps the high standard going. ‘Shout Me Out’ a song well ahead of its time, paving the way for the indie-pop that was to follow in the later years, starting softly and building to a dancy drop that the Chemical Brothers could fit into a DJ set, with a wicked guitar solo to boot.

Fans of Breaking Bad will know the second to last song. ‘DLZ’ got a second breath of success when it was used in the popular TV Show. A catchy, almost trip-hop tune, and possibly the most accessible song on the album, while still maintaining an air of anger and the anti-war subject of the album.

‘Lover’s Day’ ends the album, and how can you end an album on a higher note than a song all about sex. A gender neutral song about the spice of life. A sex song that doesn't sound like other sex songs.


So, there you have it. My thoughts and views on an incredible album. One you should all take the time to listen to, one I think you will enjoy just like millions of people have. I'm sure we will talk about TV On The Radio some more on this blog, they are still going strong and still pumping out fantastic music.

Happy 10th Birthday, Dear Science. Thanks for the memories.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Sisteray - Sisteray Said EP

There's several things I like about blogging, apart from the fact it's a great way of storing those memories of gigs that fade over the years, it is the meeting new bands and listening to new music!

Today... Punk Rock, Mod-revival, 4 Piece, Sisteray and their soon to be released EP 'Sisteray Said'. 

The EP is released under Vallance Records, produced by Jonathan Hucks (who's worked with the likes of False Heads) and has guest vocals too from Lucie Barat and Kat Five.

Wannabes, available on Spotify now, continues the theme of 15 Minutes. Another hit out modern day society, with a hit of upbeat guitars rifts and a catchy chorus.

Rumour Mill, kicks right in with a marching drum beat leading into sweet, impacting, keys rift! The chorus is head bouncing and makes even the most hungover head want to get up move! Well harmonised and produced track, which has a rollercoaster of ups and downs! 4minutes of lush listening, if this track doesn't hit the charts I'll be surprised.

Algorithm Prison, also available on Spotify, a hit out at social media companies and their mass farming and data selling! It's got one of those hook bridges you'll be chanting at everyone you want to fuck off.

Sisteray Said, the title track, starting with progressive bass line and punk distorted guitars. WMCYW! Well it's only 2mins long and I wanted more more more! But that's the only pit fall. The track is another chanting, stick in your head chorus. A well designed and constructed track.

Overall the EP is a beautiful modern punk rock piece, it's showing why the band is taking the festivals and industry by storm in just 18 months. 
Get it pre-ordered, get a tour ticket, enjoy!

The EP is out 7th September, on all media formats CD, Cassette, Digital, Vinyl etc. There is also a limited edition Vinyl for you retros out there.
The launch party is Thursday the 6th, in London, and is also followed by a UK tour
Tickets here

29 Sep – BLACKBURN – Electric Church
03 Oct – BRIGHTON – Hope and Ruin
05 Oct – BRISTOL – Mothers Ruin 
06 Oct – OXFORD – The Cellar
08 Oct – SOUTHAMPTON – The Joiners
10 Oct – LEEDS – The Lending Room
11 Oct – SHEFFIELD – Cafe Totem
12 Oct – LIVERPOOL – Jacaranda
13 Oct – READING – Oxjam
17 Oct – LONDON – 100 Club
18 Oct – ST ALBANS – The Horn 
20 Oct – HULL – Ulltra Festival

Check out more from social media:
www.sisteray.com
www.facebook.com/sisterayuk 
www.twitter.com/sisterayuk 

www.instagram.com/sisterayuk 



Out. Mx

Thoughts of Her(bs) & Give me something new x2!

When it comes to checking out new music, it doesn't take long for the topic to spiral out of control - hell the topic was never in control... Pansamientos Loco!

So what's gone on this last week or so? Well I've got a mixed bag of tunes - rolling through all the best genres Alt, Punk, Indie, Garage, Electro coming up.

Before that I'm going to do what I don't do enough of and give you a little more on alomr HQ's. I've spent the last week on and off updating the site. Well as I find time outside of the day job to do it anyways - if only my day job was designing websites, not software, I'd find it much easier. Alas www.alifeofmusic.rocks fresh new look is coming along!

We also collectively discuss and review the various submissions we get or stumble upon. Often we struggle to stay on topic long enough to form a consolidated opinion, especially as us 'Mcfly Fans' don't always agree with the 'Natty Dreaklock White Metal Head'. (Nothing like brotherly name calling to reaffirm loving friendships)

This week we somehow ended up creating some amazing cover art and lyrics for the fictional Folk SKA album 'Thoughts of Her(bs)', courtesy of Chris' thoughtful roadtrip pics 



Anyway there's a little more insight into how our minds tick when given a little creative prod.



¡Vamanos! Tiempo para el trabajo...  La Musica 😍

As I said before we've got a range of music for you beautiful people. Fresh tunes, new faces & old faces, pre-releases to suprise releases.

Let's start in chronological order

False Heads Yellow was released, I've touched on this several times now, so get over and listen to it now you can. It's fucking amazing! Spotify here.
The guys are touring and I highly recommend you watch them, at £4 a ticket it'd be rude not too (check out FalseHeads.com). I may even have a spare ticket or 2 to the Manchester gig on 28th September so feel free to reach out to us.

Regiment - Halifax based Alt Trio fell into earshot. Having listened to their 2016 EP which has an Alternative raw post-metal undertone, their 2018 release Mr No Name draws on those raw talents with a garage/indie almost pop-punk feel at times. I'm hearing 2001 GreenDay and early White Stripes tones. There's a highly professional quality to the recording and certainly signs of growing improvement, I think these guys are one to watch over the coming year.

On a side note got a listen to Tristans other project TheSinglesClub and it's yet to be released single the The One. The track is a large step away from Regiment, this is an Electro-pop band. The track is promoted as an 80s track and it certainly falls into that bracket.
Singing with more conviction you can hear more vocal maturity over regiment tracks.
At the start sounds similar to MGMT, although left me wanting a little more as the song drew on.
The beat is as you'd expect from elecro-pop, it is well executed and I could see being remixed very well into other genre's. 
The track itself was short 2mins and feel I wanted more verses - that could be the copy I was sent. Lyrics wise is a love/break up song (I'm my personal opinion not the sort of song I'd normally listen to, but gives good expectations for future releases and shows the range of music styles)


Sisteray are a band that lands in my shuffle frequently or billed at festivals were at, and yet whilst 'listening' to them - I haven't truly listened to them, until recently. This London based Punk/mod-revival band will suit you False Heads fans, and visa versa. They are a rock and roll band with more mainstream tones, it's clear why they are on the up and up.
This morning I received their latest EP 'Sisteray Said'. Watch this space! I'll give you a run through later today as I listen to it.
Check out the run down here Sisteray Said


Jon Tessier has released an Indie/Alt Garage track 'Hold me, Hold me' From EP Slice Of Paradise. Jon is a Brazilian/French artist with background in several bands and this is a solo project exploring new sounds. Listening to other Spotify tracks he's trying various lines touching upon Pop, Alt, Indie and Garage.
'Hold me Hold me' is a decent deep tune with a good strong beat and lovely guitar rifts. It's a simple 3 piece set up, but that's doesn't take away from the sound.

All for now! I'll be back shortly with more on 'Sisteray Said'.

Mx


Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Foxon's thoughts - The Mest Edition.


Let me start by being honest. While I had heard a lot about Mest over the years, I had never actually heard any of their music. For this reason, I was designated driver for the evening. My wife, ALOMR’s Jen, put a few of their songs on in the car on the way, and that was my first Mest experience.

We arrived a little later than the guys, just in time to see Kill The Masters, a band we had seen a couple of weeks ago, supporting The Papashangos in the most random of venues. I am putting together a piece on The Papashangos very soon. As for Kill The Masters, they are a noisy trio from Bolton who ‘make no apologies’. It's fast aggressive punk rock, fronted by 2 singers, even with the odd rap thrown in. They do a couple of unexpected covers too, I'll avoid ruining the surprise, go see these guys. The set was closed by an absolute banger “Drugs In The Sun", a comedic anthem about… well, drugs, in the, erm, sun.

Next up we saw Switzerland’s Slimboy. A band who jumped between punk rock, indie and alternative rock. The highlight for me was the emotional “Sorrows”, a song I will certainly be adding to Spotify playlists from now on. The set itself was superb, dare I say band of the night? For me, at least, they were. They have a tight and honed sound, really catchy vocals and they drop into some heart pounding metal riffs.


Prior to Slimboy, the only swiss artists I'd ever heard we're melodic metal, female fronted, Nightwish clones Lunatica, and Tina Turner. So I can proudly say Slimboy are my favourite band from Switzerland. However that is by default, so I'd rather say they are comfortably in the top 5 bands I've seen live this year. Awesome band, check them out!!

Which brings us to our main event.
My second Mest experience of the day, my second Mest experience ever, and a Mest experience that even some of their very dedicated superfans don't get.
I didn't know any of the songs, I wasn't drinking, yet I enjoyed this so much. The atmosphere in The Alma was electric, everybody punching the air, singing along and moshing like crazy. The band played off this electricity too, with beaming smiles from ear to ear, they played what seemed like anthem after anthem. It struck me that this band are a big deal. A much bigger deal than I gave them credit for. The people I spoke to had stories about Mest, one couple at the show met at a Mest gig a number of years ago, my wife had Mest stories from highschool with her friend who she was excitedly sending pictures to all night.
I have been on Google and YouTube since the gig, and got to know and understand the band a bit more. They are a big deal, a much loved band, and a great band at that. I was part of something really special, in our little town. It’s a wild memory I will cherish forever.
Now I have MY Mest story.




More on this event:

Mrs Jen Foxon's post here.
Michael's thoughts Here.
Have a look at what Rick had to say Here.

MEST!

Seeing Mest, for me, was a teenage dream come true. My good friend introduced me to them when we were early teens. Now, that's a good few years ago, yet the feeling I get from music is still the same. Front row at the Alma in Bolton transported me back to that time. A time when punk rock and pop punk really got me, with each and every shouty anthem i listened to, I felt alive, young and free.

I'd never actually seen Mest before but it was everything I expected, everything I wanted.

When we got home sleeping was a feat: ears ringing, belly full of rum, Cadillac replaying over in my head. Alive, young and free!

Punk rock as fuck. 4 bands. 4 really brilliant bands and although the people count didn't dip into 3 figures, the atmosphere more than made up for it.

Mrs Foxon x x x

A post shared by Jen Foxon (@jenocifero) on

More;

Read Mike's thoughts Here.
Have a look at what Rick had to say Here.
Read the Mr Foxon's post Here

Mest! Bolton August 2018

When I saw this Event I nearly fell off my chair. Mest, MEST! When it comes to pop-punk Mest sits at the top of our list, and Favourites from the late 90s post-punk with Goldfinger, Millencolin, MxPx, Anti-flag.

20years of good music, but circumstances fought against us with seeing Mest live. Until they announced a tour... with a gig at our hometown - Bolton. 
There was no consideration, I went on and booked 4 tickets immediately. Me, Richard, Chris & Jen.

Hosted by Rawcus Events (check them out!) The venue was the Alma, a small venue with a capacity no more than 150 - although the tickets sales unfortunately didn't sell out, or fortunately for us, as we got to meet and chat with all the bands and particularly Tony Lovato!

 Michael, Tony Lovato, Richard

Zapian were good, decent way to start the day. Shame to miss the earlier bands but it was all about JD and we were mostly there for Mest anyway.

Sitting down listening to Zapiain, the venue was empty with just Me & Richard and the other band's members. Spotting a Millencolin tattoo started a conversation with Arron from Red Winter (Apologies if I get the names wrong, I've stalked the Facebook page for band members names) the guys were friendly and happy to divulge a few stories and tales from previous gigs. All I'm going to say is if they guys have wine on the stage, just don't stand right at the front unless you can duck inadvertent roundhouses!

The Liverpudlians, Red Winter, hit the stage with decent tunes and witty banter, engaging the crowd and really doing the Supports job of warming everyone up. It's no wonder they've had the chance to support some big names (such as Blink-182).
'Garry', the guy at the back in the red shirt, certainly enjoyed it.

I really like Nobody's Hero and the Some Friend you Were.

A post shared by A Life Of Music Rocks (@alifeofmusicrocks) on


The lads were good and sounded much clearer than my video (phone recording next to a speaker was always a bad idea).
I can tell you they are in our vision now and we'll be tracking their gigs.


The day continued with Kill The Masters, fast paced, not too serious, Punk band from Bolton. Chris' run down does more justice so head over and check out his post (Here). We headed over to the bar and heard an acoustic version of Jaded coming from a side room, peeking in we saw Tony & Adrian playing, turns out this was for Meet & Greets so we stepped away (after the song).



Slimboy came one, Swiss pop-punk band, having heard a few songs we were excited for these. They are good, really, really good. Richard and Chris elobrated more so want more info head in that direction! :P



During all of this I Adrian (I later found out the name) came over and said Hi. I fucked up, made a terrible, drunken, shameful mistake if asking if he was a roadie helping out ... (Earth swollow me whole please)... Nope turns out he's a guitarist in Mest. Should have checked out the touring band more!
Anyway turns out Adrian is very friendly guy and lead singer of 'Assuming We Survive' - Turns out these guys are fucking awesome, check them out, similar sound to Fall Out Boy... But heavier and without the Twee lyrics, actually not like Fall Out Boy, AWS are a true pop/punk outfit in buzzing listening to this back catalogue!!

Over to Mest, we had the opportunity to chat to Tony a few times before the set. Needless to say I was buzzing. We stumbled upon Meat 18years ago when Richard mistook What's the Dillio for What's the Dildo - then we found Wasting Time, and Mo Money, a year later UnknownDestination.
We've buzzed for Mest for years and the on/off band has meant we haven't had the chance to see them. Then it happened, in our home town and we were on it.

The guys were amazing, smashing out classics from Cadillac to Jaded to Long Days, Long Nights. We spent the entire time singing, moshing, circling, it was amazing and everything I ever expected.


A post shared by A Life Of Music Rocks (@alifeofmusicrocks) on

It only got better from there, after we spent a little more time with Tony, giving him cigs, talking about music and the tour.
He told us about a little boy he met the night before, a 7 year old, he was telling us about him refunding the ticket money for his mum to buy him some toys for Christmas. Really showed a side a him that was more than just a pop-punk legend.

We loved Tony before, now it's on another level.
Hats off to you! You're something else! Class!

I can't really top that, we shook hands with Tony and Adrian and took our leave.





Mx











More on this event;

Have a look at what Rick had to say Here.
Read the honorable Mr Foxon's masterpiece Here.
Mrs Jen Foxon's ode to Mest here


Shaking Hands and Hey Jude


Wow what a night (and afternoon) Saturday was, went to see Mest at a small venue in Bolton with several support acts.

We didn't go with our blogging for ALOMR heads on, (I know I know we should be telling you all everything we do, every minute of every day, but I don't and we won't) however, we saw some great bands so I felt it would be rude not to share my thoughts, no doubt the other three will pull some absolute blinders of analysis when they get round to it, oh yes the four of us were all together for the first time at a gig since the old boys 30th!

I went mainly to listen to Mest (obvs), Slimboy and Red Winter (much more on these guys to come). We got there at 4ish and the first band had already been and gone (my fault i was given the option of getting a taxi or having another JD).

The second band were playing when we entered and were just wrapping up there set, next up were Zapiain, we had listened to a few of there songs before hand and am sure were very good but for some reason its a little hazy this part of the afternoon so I cant really give you much more than that....sorry.


(Red Winter - ALOMR photos)

I know Michael has touched on Red Winter but I liked them that much I am going to touch them again, hopefully not with a roundhouse kick to the face, we had a good chat with the lads before they went on stage, I insisted they needed to change the lyrics in one of their songs, sadly I had the wrong band and not for the first time in my life had cocked up (however another member of the ALOMR team made an even bigger balls up with a different band later on in the day... not sure if I will drop him in it or not yet). 

Once the guys got on stage and sorted out the sounds (Well done to the sound tech at the Alma by the way he did a great job of getting the bands on stage tuned in quickly!) they quickly thrashed through 6 fantastic skater punk hits, they had some good banter with the crowd and each other, they remind me of Blink around the take of your pants and jacket era, maybe a touch heavier but with the same fun and bounce that they had throughout there gigs.We will definitely be going to see these guys again and soon.


Kill the Masters - Yeah (courtesy of Michael)


A new band to us that we hadn't heard before were Kill the Masters, these guys are angry punk, they are coming at a time when it is probably right this particular style to resurface. The group is a three piece outfit with the guitarist and bassist switching instruments and vocals throughout and a solid drummer who holds it all together. 
They have some great songs with my favourite being Drugs, its a catchy song that even the Mums can sing along to even if the subject matter isn't the cleanest and did an Usher cover that sounded awesome. 
The guys are currently doing their first EP and should have it launched by December, keep an eye out for it although am sure we will give it a mention when it hits!

Slimboy, I don't know what to say about these guys, they are brilliant, yes I am a little biased as they picked me out to say thanks for singing along (I am the annoying dude on the crowd who sings along to every song in my monotone voice) and then got me to sing Hey Jude on the microphone with them. 

Their songs Sorrow, Believe in You and Whatever are there best in my mind but give them a listen and tell us which you think. I was told they have just finished touring with the Ataris so I am sure they are destined for big things and I hope to see them again soon leading there own show.



Slimboy - ALOMR photos

I would also like to point out that I did not take any videos or pictures at the show as I was having to much fun watching some great bands and would like to say thanks to Rawcus events for pulling this together, it was unbelievable to see these bands coming to our home town playing the last bastion of rock The Alma.

Finally onto the main event of Mest, wow 18 years I had waited to see them live and they did not disappoint, from start to finish I was wrapped up in a punk plethora that I still have a fuzzy feeling from now. Tony Lovato slams as stood about a foot Infront of me and all that came between us was a stood up pallet, I thought I wouldn't get any closer but the band were awesome and stayed around after the gig shaking hands and chatting to us all (even though all I could do was state in awe at a band I have lived since being 12 years old) the guys are heading to the studio when they get back home and I for one can't wait to hear what they come up with and to obviously follow it up with another tour... Where I hope to see them supported by Red Winter and Kill the Masters!



Riche xxx



MORE POSTS ABOUT THIS EVENT
Michael's Here.
Chris Here.
Jen's Here.