Friday, 28 December 2018

Bands to watch out for in 2019



Following on from last years post, here are the Bands/Artist in my sight for a great 2019. Some of these bands are already doing well and i'm expecting to see some massive things come this way - there's a playlist at the bottom so feel free to check them out without going looking.


The Reytons
A band I've mentioned a few times. This Doncaster based Indie Quartet really have that Yorkshire indie sound. This years EP 'Alcopops & Charity Shops' really got me, particular Harrison Lessor! Became my slightly overplay track earlier this year - and deservedly so. We're getting out to see these lads and Feb and I cannot wait! Want to watch them? Tickets here


Anteros
We've shared a few bits about Antero's throughout the year, I believe they're destined from even more in 2019. This London Indie Pop band has a mix of influence from the likes of The Cure, Blondie, No Doubt - and it really shows in  their music. 


No Hot Ashes 
Quartet from Stockport, branded as post-pop-discofunk.
Their Debut EP "Skint Kids Disco EP" was released March 2018. The band is receiving pretty good success so far, listing on some major festivals and embarking on tours. The speed of their uprising is only going to grow over the coming years.
Fancy watching them? check out Neighbourhood Weekender which is listing these guys amongst many upcoming and already established bands


Tigress
5 Piece band from Chelsford, their first EP was released in 2015 and has clocked over 1m plays on spotify. Since then the band has released a few more EP's with a strong reception but not reaching that high number, yet. I'm confident of their 2019 progress!


Corella
Manchester Indie-Pop quartet has had a good few years, hitting some pretty major festivals and even featured on a few major Introducing playlists.


Alice Merton 
German Canadion British songwriter who's doing very well in France. She has several singles and an EP out. Alice also featured on Tom Odell's Jubilee road.
If you're interested Alice Merton is  touring the UK in marchTickets here

Lady Bird
3 piece punk band from Kent, a kind of mix between Blur & The Streets meet Rage against the Machine. Touring in March too


SWMRS 
OK this one’s a little stretchy as the guys are already doing well in the US and also breaking the UK. Brought onto my radar a while back now as Joey is the son of Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong.
If you're interested the band are touring the UK in march - Tickets here



Lets not forget the artists picked out last year who've been having a really good year, and I can only expect more in 2019. I’ve added some of their latest stuff to the end of this year’s playlist too.

Le Boom
False Heads
Sam Fender
Shame
Sea Girls
Weekend Debt

YONAKA 






Saturday, 15 December 2018

2018 it's almost over

As I lay reminiscent of the last 12months I realise the grip music has on my life is ever stronger. I've broken my personal record of gigs having seen over 50 bands this yest (excluding the other bands I also saw at festivals).
The last few months saw the likes of Blossoms, Ben Howard, Interpol, Anti-flag, Poets of the fall and so much more I haven't written up here either for one reason and another.

As well as some great gigs earlier in the year: False Heads, Sea Girls, Weekend Debt, Meat, The Cure, Pale Waves, PYRO, Able's Army and so many more!

I picked my old Epiphone SG more this year and even moved across to Bass which has been eating my time for the past month - as plan my next ventures for 2019.

So who really made 2018 so great?
Well how about this list of amazing EPs/albums released in 2018

Ben Howard - Noonday dream
Blossoms - Cool Like You
Prodigy - No Tourists
Andrew WK -  You’re Not Alone
False Heads - Less Is Better
Sisteray - Sisteray Said
Interpol - Marauder
Lily Allens  No Shame
MXPX - Mxpx
Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises
Poets of the Fall - Ultraviolet
Robyn - Honey
Sam Fender - Dead boys
Sea Girls - Heavenly War / Adored
Shame - Songs of Praise
Tom Grennan - Lighting Matches
Tom Odel - Jubilee road
Years & Years - Salo Panto
YONAKA - Teach Me to Fight / Creature / FWTB 

There really are loads more spanning all genres, this is the list that I played a fair bit this year

And some not so great, but equally worth noting:
Florence and the Machine - High as Hope
Artic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Looking back to last year's who I think will make it big this year:

Yonaka
Sea Girls
Weekend Debt
Sam Fender
Le Boom
False Heads
Shame

How did I fair? I think some are really making it big and some are still working it, but I have faith.

Catch my post in 2 weeks where I map out 2019, who I think is going to be big and upcoming albums.

Monday, 19 November 2018

30 Day music challenge

So we've been on a little blog post hiatus this last few weeks.
Whilst music has still be life, we've been to loads of gigs, missed a few too :(. 
Listened to new albums and been sent a ton of messages (we're trying to get through), but I promise we'll be coming back to this soon.

In the meantime we're still as active as ever on Facebook & Twitter sharing away... New music, gig pics, tickets and more.

Facebook: fb.alifeofmusic.rocks
Twitter: tw.alifeofmusic.rocks

Here's something cool we came across, 30day challenges and we've been doing this one so feel free to join in on Facebook with us each day. 

We'll collate all the suggestions and see what music really rocks people's lives




For now. Mx


FYI - found out the original came from @Nick_Frost he's also got some other challenges music/TV and more! worth checking out if you enjoy them :)

Friday, 12 October 2018

Head to Head Challenge - #1 - 5 Songs to Change a lifetime. Metallica Vs Jimmy Eat World

Here at A Life Of Music Rocks HQ we often get into music related debates between ourselves, whether it be hypothetical banter about the best fake band names or whether it be serious discussions about each others musical taste.
Whilst we all have eclectic tastes, we don't all like the same bands - and often have conflicting views.
In a bid to settle a debate a challenge was set - create a playlist of 5 Songs to change the mind of your opponent.


In the Red corner Chris, our resident Metal Head, who's music tastes ranges from Neneh Cherry to Metallica, and everything in between - if it be Chemical Brothers or Katy Perry, there is no genre left untouched in his playlist. Chris has often jokes at our tastes in the "pop-punk" genre.

Over in the Blue corner is Richard, who'd like to tell you his genre is 90's & 00's pop-punk, but the fact is his music genre is everything. Brought up on Queen, Elton John, the Animals, Spice Girls, Sex Pistols, Eminem, Pavarotti and so much more! His music taste is eclectic, but he's more than happy to admit he doesn't like The Beatles or Metallica.
In his word's "my problem is that I feel some bands are one dimensional, they churn out the same song over and over and their fans fall for it every time, this led to the debate with Mr Foxon. Maybe I am just saying every song sounds the same to wind him up or maybe it's because every song I hear from Metallica on the radio merges into one..."


On a recent discussion around Jimmy Eat World tour Richard and Chris came to blows about if Jimmy Eat World were actually good. Richard claiming that Jimmy Eat World are class live and a really good act, whilst Chris branding them Soulless Pap, boring, no better than One Direction, and a great band if you want to drive 29mph.  With that, Richard hit back at Chris and Metallica, from here the gauntlet was set.


Richard to create a playlist on 5 Jimmy Eat World songs.
Chris to create a playlist on 5 Metallica songs.
Avoiding the obvious singles and major albums the two got to work to musically challenge 30+years of ingrained taste & opinions.


First, Richard listens to Chris' 5 Metallica songs


Sooo where to begin, well this little experiment has come about as I can't hold my tongue and enjoy throwing controversial thoughts out there, especially towards Mr Foxon, who as we all know has a deep love for all things metal. Thinking logically I am just going to blitz through in the order he made the playlist.

The first 'song' is King Nothing, and to be totally honest it is a whole load of nothing, it is the stereotypical Metallica song, repetitive guitar riffs, gravelly voice and angry lyrics (at least I assume they are angry, certainly sound it). I had to check several times the name of the song as I was convinced it was enter sandman even at the end of the song there is a very quiet vocal which says of to never never land... At this point I was thinking this is shit and is totally going to ruin my usually enjoyable drive home and he'll it's even a Friday. 

Now as I am writing this, after having the initial listen, I am kind of thinking Mr Foxon has made his playlist tactically and chose a shite song to begin with to soften my attitude towards the next track. Well he didn't need to, it was a live recording of No Leaf Clover, it is I am sad to say decent, certainly get into my massive playlist for long journeys. 

The fact it is a live version and is flawless helps draw me but the main selling point is that it is done in a style that I just didn't believe Metallica capable of, it's my opinion now that they just release the same songs to the singles chart for there fans who are radio listeners, and not the Natty White Dreadlock guys who go all out for the album's.

Next up was Fade to Black, no word of a lie it actually starts with a guitar being picked and no distort, are we sure this is really Metallica?? Where is the heavy necked, gripped strumming and distort turned up to 11. This is a really chilled song, even when the distort strumming kicks in at the 2 minute mark it's a chilled song, vocally is impressive to, there is still the undertone of gruffness but it doesn't make me want to hide behind the sofa until the bad man is gone. I can be totally honest and say this is a top song, well played Mr Foxon!


Oh wait hang on here comes the tricky 4th a track called Creeping Death, back to the one dimensional hard thrash angry voice. This song just reminds me that we are all individuals and you have to respect everyone's personal taste, even if your personal taste is crap. Nothing more to say on this one.

Last song, getting close to home by this point, with my usual taste in music I can be through a full album in the 30 minute commute, jesus Mr Foxon could you have picked longer songs??? Anyway back onto point, last song - Die, Die My Darling. Best song out of the 5, it's fast but still with the metal features. I am going to call it a twisted metal, turns out in further research it's a Misfits cover, explains a lot but go to say it is an awesome cover. 

Misfits do it better though hahaha!

Conclusion - 3 very good surprises and 2 standard Metallica. Has Mr Foxon chose those 3 as they are different to everything else or are there lots of hidden gems in the 10 albums they have churned out? Maybe I should spend some time listening to them to find out, time is tight though especially as Pinky and Perky are constantly bombarding me with new music that I just 'have to listen to', what I do know though is that this is a great idea and I think we should do it again!!!


Over to Chris and Richard's 5 Jimmy Eat World songs




Before today, I described Jimmy Eat World as the musical equivalent of finding fluff in your pocket. They don't make me feel anything, a beige band, inoffensive and quite boring. Let’s see if the lad can change my mind.

First song, Believe In What You Want. This isn't going to make a fan of me. Lyrically, I'm guessing it's a moan about people who follow trends rather than, well, Believing What They Want. I like that, the song, musically isn't something I could get into, there are bands that do this kind of thing better. That said, I wouldn't switch it off.

Now, this is more like it! Second song, Blister. It’s a bit Emo, but that works for them. It’s loud and it’s catchy. I bet this song is great live. Yeah. Enjoying this, I'll add this to a playlist for driving. Reminds me of bands like Thrice or Alexisonfire, just without the growling and screaming. Ok, I'm awake. Ace!


Third song, Polaris. Great song title and I really like the album cover. First thing I notice is the production value, they must have had more money for this album. Bit of a brit-pop vibe with the music, with a different vocal approach. Still sounds like the same band, so I appreciate that, change is good. Yep, like this one too, very atmospheric.


Haven't I heard this one before? Like, wasn't this the 2nd track I listened to? Track 4 is Big Casino. It is very similar, I'm getting a Billy Talent vibe, which isn't a bad thing. I do feel like I have heard it many times before, though. Nothing special, but it's a decent track that was probably on an American teen flick.


I have definitely heard this song before. I think its on the same album as The Middle. It sounds like that ‘Salt, Sweat, Sugar’ song, that was Jimmy Eat World wasn't it? Its called The Authority Song. I'm not into this one as much. I just feel there are bands (Weezer, Alien Ant Farm, Incubus) who do this kind of thing better


This has changed my mind a bit, all their songs don't sound the same, and they are a pretty decent band. The thing I noticed most though, is the lyrics. This band are great at lyrics, I will listen to more for that reason alone. I'm very glad I took the time and gave them a chance. So thanks for that, Ricky.


So there it is, we so easily cast judgements on bands from 1 or 2 overplayed songs, sometimes it just takes a little steer to the right songs, from a fan, to introduce you to something you would previously blown off.
I have to say, listening to both playlists gave me a new insight into 2 totally different but often criticized bands. And I'm loving some of the tracks! Check them out, hope you enjoyed the read!

Thats it from us 3 this week!

Much love Michael, Richard & Chris


Mx

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

October's new music

We get a lot of music sent to us, some good, some not so much - each to their own in taste. We just share what we personally like, keeping true to our own tastes, rather than sharing for the sake of sharing.

So what's on the agenda, let's start with Scottish duo Pyro, since we came across these fellas at Gentle Giant Music Festival and I've been tracking their tracks, and we keep getting a real treat on each one. They are a Grungy, Indie duo with a unique set up and a talent for catchy lyrics.
There's been quiet a lot of singles dropped this year and I'm certain that this duo are destined for more than we see. The quality and originality in their music I'd expect to see higher play counts, which is frustrating, you all need to get on them!

Anyway I got a sneak peak at their latest track "Don't Hold Back" which is released later this week. Carrying much of tones and lyrical story telling that follows from their last track "Regret Or Forget" and "Too Far Gone", this new track has an added layer of upbeat and slightly faster tempo. Really like the build up straight from the start! They are really good live to, so if you're in Scotland or see Pyro billed elsewhere, get down and support them.

If you can't wait to hear them check out their back catalogue on Spotify, new single link to follow later in week.


Other tracks we're diggin this month are from Manchester, and that's indie rock quartet The Covasettes  and their track 'Top Drawer' which is reaching a rather phenomenal number of plays.
We got another sneak peak from these guys on their latest track 'Wild', which is out on 12 October.

The single is a clean and well produced track, for a band with only a few singles on Spotify they really are shining through and, I believe, on the brink of something big!
The track starts with a high pitched rift and memorable chorus, leading to some nice bridges and tempo changes - I'm wondering where these guys have come from, what's their background.
Just 2 listens and I'm wondering how come I haven't heard these guys sooner! Already wondering when / where I can get to see them!

Check them out and I'll drop the Spotify link when singles released.


Final track for today is Derby Alt Rock Grunge band Marvin's Revenge with 'Overlook'. This is a pretty nice chilled out track, with an almost Stone Roses feel to it, actually much better than their first EP (which is also pretty good, but much less redined)

At times their sounds is familiar, but frustratingly I can't put my finger on why.
I enjoy of well the lead guitar and bassists work so well together, the rifts bounce off each other in perfect symmetry.

I got some other submissions, check them out in this months playlist here : Playlist

The New Consistent (almost sounds like Mike Skinner meets Synth pop, wasn't my cuppa but you may find something you like)

Stiofan (unique sound, ballads, meets rap, meets pianos - vocals are just a little too close for my liking, but check it out you might like)

Strawberry Mountain (these were a little up my street. Get ready for some synth, spacey, pedal fx's, dreamy alternative elecro-pop. I oddly like their sound - it's a nice relaxing tone. I'm not sure where it sits in my mind. I need to do some more listening)

So that's what we've been checking out this week, more to follow through-out the month.

Mx




Tuesday, 2 October 2018

False Heads...False Heads... & co

Quick heads up... This started as a short review of False Heads 2 gigs 28th September Manchester and 29th in Preston. It is a long read, but hopefully it will give you all you need to know about this trio (and their support)...

28th September
Normally after landing in from another country, be it work, an energetic holiday or relaxed holiday, all I wanna do is crash out under the duvet and pretend this world doesn't exist, until Monday morning.

Well if there is anyone who's energy is enough to pull you out of a JetLagged stupor, two days in a row, it's Luke, Jake & Barney aka False Heads. Now regular readers and followers will know these guys are one of our top hitters to see. Heck, I think this is the 4th gig this year we've been to see them.. and I'm about to tell you why, again.

I'd been awake 36hours and spent a week partying in the big apple. I'd managed to get a few hours shut eye before my phone went off, several times, it was Richard excited and wanting to do the usual pre-gig phone call. I missed it for another hour sleep (sorry, again).
Waking up, chucked on my FH tee and went out to pick up Richard for the gig.

I'm not sure legally I should have been driving, my head was fuzzy and felt like marshmallow man, but ahh nothing a little Weekend Debt and carpool karaoke couldn't clear tho.
...Tell me it's over, tell me I'm not ready....
...you bite your tongue, you clench ya jaw...

Anyway, 5pm few Jack Daniels down and were on the way to Manchester. I'm wondering if I can hold out till 10pm when the lads hit the stage at Jimmy's NQ Manchester. We have a few support acts at this sold out event, of which I have no clue about... I didn't do any homework.

Holding a few spare tickets I gave a them away on twitter, for a pint, and one of the lads who got a ticket recommended Manalishi the first support act.  Got to say these guys we're pretty good, it's early and the venue is getting packed pretty quickly, Manalishi are a borderline heavy grunge alternative band, eerily a little too vocally similar to Kurt Cobain at times. They have a raw energy that did just what they were supposed to, and warmed up the venue, they were a nice support act!

Gotta be honest I didn't even know there was a 2nd support, so given Jimmy's was now full we opted to move to the front whilst the obligatory cig break/bar run happened.
Then we got a pleasant surprise, local band called Dirty Laces came on - now when you think Manchester band, what comes to mind? Surely, It has to be, right? Well yea, following a similar image and even stage presence, these lads were like a young Oasis. It was a pleasure, they are a tight band and kinda took the oasis britpop with some hard rock / blues rifts they are an alt act you need you check out!
Key track I noted was ''In Time'



We're getting merry and a little deaf, but Dirty Laces exit to a pretty loud crowd, break down their equipment and False Heads begin to set up. It's being streamed live by Show Stream, I gave the camera guy a nudge and made sure his camera had enough swing... I could see tonight was going to crazy!

Only a few more days left and it's a sold out event, Luke won't be holding back and there is some lovely new material to showcase!

The lads start and from the outset we're hit with that hardcore punk indie crack rock False Heads are becoming renowned for. They're hitting major radio stations and getting a lot of noise from their latest track Yellow, and the available now EP, Less Is Better.


From the outset the chemistry between the lads is locked in, it's crazy, well orchestrated.
Each time I see them I see something new, it's like when you watch a film over again and see a scene in more detail.

The depth of sounds, tempo switches and more over their ability to take one of their tracks and rework it for a live audience, slowing it down at times or inserting minor changes really show off the skills and tightness of the trio.



The tour was a showcase of their new EP, but we were also given a number of new unreleased tracks. Once again I'd love to give you more on those, but, well I was pretty much immersed in the gig and not taking notes. Want exclusive listens? buy a ticket :P

Genuinely though I was loving the new sounds, they seem to pick up on some of those higher toned rifts leaking into HELP YOURSELF.
If you haven't seen anything about a False Heads gig and haven't seen our previous posts. You're basically given a thorough thrashing of pure punk attitude entertainment accompanied by this mashed-genre live music


Luke does what he does and embellished the front man role more than anyone else does now-a-days... If it's the obligatory on your knees guitar solo or climbing and jumping off things, he does it. Even a little into the crowd action this time!

I'm pretty sure if this was a sell out crowd at Madison Square Garden he'd likely be smashing a guitar every track and ensuring that no amp was left unturned! Pure rock and roll. But don't let that take away from the music talents, this is, as I said, a well orchestrated act!


Jake spends much of the time providing that Interpol-esq, Carlos Denglar, cool, calm, collected bass playing. Often coming in for some face to face guitar strumming with Luke, the two work together well. Almost good cop bad cop routine, a nice Ying and Yang going on. That's not take anything away from Jake's performance! That guys working hard, getting hot, sweaty and providing that sweet sweet bass-line!


And in the back, Barney, holding it all together, smashing those drums like they were the face of that M'Fcker that just pissed on ya chips.
To be fair, Barney shares much of front man responsibilties too, providing contrasting falsetto vocals and does much of the Inbetween song talking and thanking, whilst Luke tunes the his guitar (very quickly tbh)

Collectively, 3 different characters, and I mean pretty different from their presence on and off stage, their music interests and more (check out our interview earlier, links still on spotlight).
And as I said before, it comes together in such chemistry.



Also gotta give a nod to their mate/roadie, who I didn't catch the name of, but does a lot of mid-gig support/fixing of the slighty smashed set.

This is a sold out Jimmy's, towards the end of a European tour, the lads a likely tired and well done in. But it's a stellar performance, high octane and somehow not bone breaking?!

I noted when I listened to Wrap Up when the EP dropped on my door, that it felt almost written for Luke to do his signature ending to gigs:

And that energy is what took me from flat out exhausted to full blown excited.

Also, ha, check out this picture.
What sums up a False Heads gig more than this?! 


You know, I've gone on a lot about Sold Out Manchester...



29th September
The next night the lads played The Ferret in Preston, an event which sadly wasn't sold out, much to the contrary... It was later billed as a free event.
Still buzzing from the night before, still not really timezoned in, I headed up to preston and met up with colleague, friend and fellow blogger Johnny (I'm sure he will be telling you some more details from Preston's gig over at Mixing Up The Medicine so check that space and blog)

The gig was much less busy, maybe quarter capacity at best. Which you could easily allow the lads a more relaxed less buzzed gig.
Nah, nope, ha! There was as much energy beeming from the lads tonight as last night. Albiet less to climb on, that didn't stop Luke almost breaking an amp!


Day 2 was a replica of the previous night, (see above) I'm not going to repeat too much. More new material and more fuck-yeah entertainment.

Being strictly audience participation tonight I didn't take many pics. I did however record some of the treat we got at the end, which I won't be sharing (apologies).

So what was the ending this time? Well even though it was a quiet venue, it didn't stop 'one more song' chant starting. And that's what we got, and it wasn't just another re-run. This was an very exclusive listen to some new material never played, so new there were no lyrics. My god, what a gig to be at. Polar opposite of the previous night, yet equally mesmerising.

I applaud you fellas, and, I, again, remind you, pick up this EP, listen to their previous EPs and follow these lads. They are, they have to be, the next big thing! They are leading a re-generation of the British independent punk/post-punk movement.

Fucking, False Heads, everyone!





That all said, I want to touch on the support acts over at Preston, firstly Salt The Snail dropped out, I was gutted, they sound amazing and I hear entertainment factor is 90s WWF... WMCYW?

However, as equally bizarre, All Hail Hyena, yep, they came out with sermon style lyric books, action figures on stage, roses, Jackie Chan DVD (*edit* VHS, proper old school), florescent paint and wearing Pajamas... That said these guys can sing and are a tight act, not to be taken serious lyrics, and they kinda take themselves not seriously but can really play tho. I'd like to hear some serious tracks too. Check out track Way Ho! It sums up their funky, fun attitude.

If you've stuck out this far, thank you, if you skimmed and looked at the pics and video, thank you also 😂. Check out the bands and support them.

Finally, Out, Mx

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Jet Lag? Who needs time zones.

OK it's been about 2 weeks since you've heard from any of us on the blog. Though it has been a very busy time musically and such.

You don't need to wait for a full write up, headover to social media and follow us for frequent updates, shares and exclusive links
Instagram & Facebook: @alifeofmusicrocks
twitter: @alifeofmusicro1

Personally I spent a week across the pond in New York City for what technically was a Holiday and being a quest at a wedding... But was more like a week long party with far too much Tequila. At 18 that's a Holiday, at 30 holidays want to be a little more chilled. Oh well.

Over in New York Sony Music held a special event for the largest technology in their Audio portfolio. With special guest Tom Odell. It's fair to say that the sound quality from their auditorium Sony Hall is something above and beyond immense! The sound was so clear and diverse I want to see all my gigs there, literally blown away.

Also got a pair for WH1000XM2s noise cancelling headphones... Another set of audio immerse which are highly customisable! If you're looking for upper end wireless over-ears check them out.

Here's a few snaps from Tom Odell's showcase of his new album in Sony Hall. It's everything you'd expect and more. If you get over to NY you have to get into the Hall and see someone, anyone!

 


That's all for now. Coming up over the next few days, False Heads! I'm going to do a seperate post because it's too much to do in one go.


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