Heather Leigh – Fairfield Fantasy

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Heather Leigh is a Glaswegian singer slide guitarist who I dont know much about. so this post is done completely blind, but she is just about to put out an album called I Abused Animal on Stephen O’Malley’s label Ideological Organ.

If Fairfield Fantasy is anything to go by then it will be a record of beautifully lilting psychedelic folk. Fairfield Fantasy has wafts of gentle psychedelic warped melodies, that give the whole song a dreamy quality. Even with the plucking of the strings there is a kind of warped almost de tuned feeling.

Heather Leighs voice literally feels like as if it is leaping out of the speakers. Her voice has a very theatrical feel, like a highly strung version of Dead Can Dance, kind of operatic and largely expressive.

The grainy analogue quality of the recordings really play into the songs hypnotic atmosphere. It has the ghost like quality, which feels very spiritual and beautifully trance like.

 

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Zeus – Motomonotono

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Zeus are an italian noise rock duo , bass and drums duo from Imola, who are heavily inspired by the likes of Lightning Bolt and The Locust. Infact they are on the former lead singer from  the Locust, Justin Pearson’s label called Three One Gee. As far as I know this label has put out all of the bands out put in the UK and the US, although I might be wrong.

Motomonotono is the pairs 4th album to date, right from the off it is jammed packed with thick heavy, stodgy noise. It feels like Lightning Bolt on speed as you can feel the sonic intensity screaming from the speakers. Mixing atonal notes with short sharp stabs playing on heavy syncopated drums that sound tinnie yet really powerful.

The album is littered with abrasive distorted screams, which feel very feel very scratchy. There are points where the bass feels very symphonic, which breaks up the pace of the fractured break beats. There are some moments which you could draw comparisons to the likes of Wolves in The Throne Room, with their black metal inspired moments of progressive melody.

There is also something quite eerie within the production that the duo have taken with them, the interspersing moments of drawn out notes fitting in-between the driving power blasts and almost jagged krauty repetitive rhythms. It has an urgency that is as exhilarating as their live shows.

They have basically taken the template of bands like Lightning Bolt and The Locust and sonically expanded it, by taking in a greater range of progressions. There are some elements of Tool’s approach to instrumentation, with the whole multiplex of poly-rhythms, that make this record a colourful affair.

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J Fernandez

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Justin Fernandez (aka J Fernandez) is a young singer song writer from Chicago, who’s is turning heads with his lofi and softly spoken psychedelia. Drawing references from the likes of Sparklehorse, Elliot Smith and Jim O’Rourke, but you could also add in hints of the Byrds and even maybe hints of Donovan and the psychedelic folk movement of the 60’s.

What Justin Fernandez does might not be entirely new, but he manages to capture so many emotions in at times very few words. He mixes very lushious psychedelic lofi melodies with dark downtoned lyrics. His use lyrical metaphores does have a bit of Mark Linkous feel, embraced with the emotionally earnest feel of Jim O’Rourke or Elliot Smith.

What he manages to capture on record is a very analogue grainy feel, which at its heart is very psychedelic and rich in atmosphere. The reverby guitars have shades of the Byrds mixed in with Doors like stodgy synths. You could be forgiven for making comparisons with Brian Jonestown Massacre, but the deeper you look the more you will find. There are nods in his sound towards the likes of other underground American artists like Kelley Stoltz and Jackdragg.

So Far Fernandez has just made a couple of releases through independent labels like Joyous Noise and french label Atelier Ciseaux. Here below is everything he has released do far.

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Blacklisters – Adult

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Blacklisters are a brazen post hardcore outfit from Leeds that specialise in making darkly comic heavy punk outpourings. Mixing thick heavy guitars with sinister sounding screamed vocals that for me recall the likes of Gay For Johnny Depp and the Locust.

Adult is the bands 2nd album and from the word go it explodes into life, quite literally. Bursting with ultra heavy guitar riffs that drive into the skull, and a screamed vocal style that feels like someone is shouting in my head. The basslines are thick and sludgy like tarmac, the drums resonate with a warm lively 3d feel sucking my ears in.

The whole production of the album owes a knowing and loving nod towards Steve Albini in its rawness. It very much succeeds in capturing the bands live energy, something which some people really struggle in doing. Comparisons can be drawn with the likes Jesus Lizard and Pissed Jeans, but for me there are also nods towards the likes of Girls Against Boys, Gay For Johnny Depp and The Locust.

The lyrics are in many ways quite comic, filling each song with a humerus rage that is in some ways quite homoerotic. So it’s kind of a comic take on the male testosterone. In amongst the noise and the heaviness Adult does hold moments of beauty with singular almost droning notes.

Ultimately it is an exciting headrush of an album, deserving of finding an audience for sure!

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The St Pierre Snake Invasion – A Hundred Years in A Day

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A hundred Years In a Day is the long awaited debut album from my favourite Bristol punk / hardcore outfits The St Pierre Snake Invasion.

Following on from the Everyone’s Welcome To My Opinion ep, from back in 2013 Hundred Years and A Day waists no time in setting about with big riffs and hard pounding drums and of course sarcastic lyrics.

Their very much a band that come from the Shellac and Mclusky school of song writing. Pushing the boundaries with some of the hardcore music fans find alienating. What St Pierre do is nothing new, some of the other reviews have been making comparisons with Arctic Monkeys for their use of big riffs and witty lyrics.

For me they have more in comparison with Peel favourites Half Half Biscuit then it does with Alex Turners outfit. The actual track listing does kind of read like a set list of songs that Nigel Blackwell would concoct.

The barded riffs help deliver a force driven feel and an energy, that perfectly captures the bands live energy. I can pretty much feel the spittle fly out of the singer, Damian Sayell’s  mouth, the production is meaty and thick feeling.

The songs are a wash with sarcasm, taking pot shots at  cultural personalities (David Ickarumba) BBC paedophilia scandal (Sex Dungeons and Dragons) and pop culture (Rock N’ Roll Workshops, If The Only Way I Essex Then You Can Kill Me Now).

Hundred Years And A Day is the record of a band that don’t give two figs about whether they are cool or not, they are the sound of dissatisfaction.

You can order their album from their bandcamp page as well as major online distributors.

https://soundcloud.com/tspsi/sets/a-hundred-years-a-day

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Dalek – Masked Laughter (Nothing Left)

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<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/123548675″>d&auml;lek – Masked Laughter (Nothing's Left) Official Video</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/deadverse”>deadverse recordings</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Nothing has made me more excited this year then hearing about the return of one of the most exciting and boundary pushing hip hop outfits, Dalek. Daleks sound is a kind of fusion between hip hops poetic lyrics and heavy shoegazey drones and clunky kraut rhythms, which at points can be really hooky whilst also feeling like you are being beaten over the head with an Iron pole.

They originally broke out of the alternative hip hop scene stateside back in the late nineties / early 2000’s with the likes of Cloudead, Why?, Bus Driver, Beans OBE, Asop Rock, Saul Williams and Mike Ladd. Basically they offered up something that was rallying against the mainstream culture of hip hop, pushing avant guarde experimentation within the hip hop scene, paving the way for the likes of Death Grips and countless other outsider artists.

Daleks live shows are really cathartic experience, with stand off vocal delivery and walls of squealing noise coming from distortion effects and decks. Their songs are layered with atmosphere which at times can make them a quite un easy experience.

So they dropped this track earlier in the year Masked Laughter, which very much takes off from where their last record 2009’s Gutter Tactics, the New Jersey outfit hit the drones right from the off. At first the droning feels kind of quite warm but kind of turns quite brilliantly into something nauseating and uncomfortable (but not in a bad way). The beats have the feel of two bits of rustic iron being banged together which feels very referential to the German Kraut rock movement.

The vocals are right down in the mix, which I think is quite a deft move. With the fact that you have to turn the track up to a certain volume to be able to hear Daleks lyrics. It gives the track quite an interactive feel. The lyrics feel as if they are talking about the social divide going on in America at the moment and their dissatisfaction with the way things have been going.

Which ever way you look at Dalek they have created quite a unique style of production, that many other rappers would find difficult to deal with.

They are touring the UK in November with a Bristol show on November 24th at the Exchange! it will be immense.

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Marlon Williams at the Gallimaufry

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Last week I found myself up in the Gallimaufry up on Gloucester RD, where I happened to stubble across a young crooner by the name of Marlon Williams. I say I accidentally stumbled across him, but I was up there because my friend, the rather excellent Ema Sierra was supporting.

Marlon Williams is one of those singers whose voice defies his young age. taking in a wide range of influences from Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and Scot Walker through to Anthony Heggarty, James Vincent Mc Morrow and Justin Townes Earl into his own fusion.

The New Zealander definitely felt at home with the Gallimaufry’s comfy setting. Standing solitary with his big chunky acoustic guitar, his warm voice rattled within the buildings walls. Opening with a note so pure that you could feel everybody’s heart stop.

Hem played a mixture of his own songs taken from his debut album and few choice covers from The Ink Spots, Towns Van Zant and Ewan Maccoll

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