Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Funeral Party

Every once-in-a-while a new band comes along that simply blows me out of the water! 

This summer it looks as though California's FUNERAL PARTY are that very band. 

I've been loving this tune for a few weeks and have just managed to see the video. Check it out ...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Festival Season is Coming

The UK traditional summer of festivals is almost upon us. 

There will be sell-outs, failures, sunstroke, mud, controversy and scandal each and every weekend between May - September.

A trend that appears to have dominated the UK festival season, for the past number of years, is the newly-reformed bands that stroll right back into the headline spot. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I'm not sure but it seems to be working as a major ticket-shifter! 

In recent years we've seen the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, Faith No More and even the Sex Pistols put their "personal differences" behind them and get back together for a mutual love of reclaiming the limelight and the lure of a fat wad of cash!

Let's take a look at the pick of this year's festival headliners who may or may not be past their prime:

Fri: U2 - An interesting choice from Evis, U2 could go either way when they headline Friday night. Old classics, stripped down light show & minimal preaching = WIN! / Elaborate stage props, political rants & any material of their last album = FAIL! 

Sun: Stevie Wonder - The soul legend closes the show on Sunday for a safe singalong. Potential goosebumps moments a plenty here.

Fri: AC/DC - currently riding high with yet another greatest hists album cleverly disguised as the Iron Man 2 soundtrack. You know exactly what you're gonna get with the 3-cord giants - Angus Young hoping around the stage dressed as a schoolboy and lots of songs about young girls ... Classic!

Sat: Rage Against The Machine - When Rage reformed to play Reading/Leeds in 08 it felt really weird. For a band so obsessed with their own credibility and self-worth it seemed pretty hypocritical to milk the corporate cash cow but hey-ho. We all know what's happened since then so expect thousands of kids (who probably weren't born when it was first released) to lose their mind and limbs when "that" Christmas Number 1 finally kicks in!

Sun: Aerosmith - Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on stage together again! Could be mind-blowingly ace / could be mind-numbingly dull, it all depends on the song selection.

Reading & Leeds:
Fri: Guns'n'Roses - Okay, this is either gonna destroy every other performance of the summer or destroy what's left of the G'n'R legacy! Mad Axl returns to the UK a lot heavier (physically!) and angrier than ever before! The last time I saw G'n'R live was on the Use Your Illusion Tour at Wembley Stadium. The full line-up was on fire that day and one of the greatest live spectacles I've ever witnessed. So much has happened since then with Axl sacking the entire band and taking 15 years (and $13 million) to record one underwhelming album. I would love Axl to prove everyone wrong by a) turning up on time & b) delivering an earth-shattering performance ... I somehow doubt he'll do either though!

Sat: The Libertines - Not strictly the headline act (the excellent Arcade Fire have that honour) but the reformation that has both critics & fans frothing at the mouth. We all know that Pete & Carl have had their issues but it looks like they may well have sizable tax bills looming as the offer was "too good to refuse" apparently! The Libs were always an amazing shambolic spectacle in small indoor venues so it'll be interesting to see how they cope with that enormous stage in a big field. 

Sun: Blink 182 - The Cali pop-punks close the weekend with a mass-sing-a-long that'll keep the kids (young & old) happy. Anything Travis Barker does is pretty cool with me, the dude's got mad skills!


Come September we'll all know the winners and losers of the festival season. Keep checking in with EBTM for reviews of all this summers action!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Best video ever?!

So OK GO are well known for having great videos, but this one has got to a career best. To be totally honest, the song I can't remember for shit. It's all about the video. Apparently the whole video was done in one take and no camera trickery was used. It's absolutely mind-blowing! Check it out!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Destine/Eigth Wave @ Islington Bar Academy

Tonight is certainly not a night I would choose to go to. The fact that afterwards I spent more time discussing the fact that 80's legends Kiss are playng at the bigger (but not by much!) Academy venue next door speaks volumes about tonight. It's not that Destine aren't a good band- they definitely are- it's simply that I am far too old to be listening to it.

Before Destine though, I have to endure the horrible drivel that is Eigth Wave. Apparently an ex member of McFly is within their ranks. Even if this was a good thing (which it's not) it doesn't matter cause they are just shit.

Destine are from Holland. A stumbling block for european bands has always been the language difference. With the exception of a few bands, most never manage to break into the UK. Those that do tend to have a strong metal leaning- perhaps it's a sound that suits Europe? Certainly a pop punk band has never made it through. Destine are very much a pop punk band, sitting somewhere between the radio friendly buzz of Blink 182 and the kiddie pop of McFly. They know how to pen a tune, that's for sure. Each song in their set is like a sugar rush and, more obviously, is played with the kind of enthusiasm lacking from similar UK bands. The kids that are here (75-100) certainly seem to to be lapping it up, the bands slightly awkward English only adding to their charm. So can they make it over here? It's very hard to tell, if they do it will certainly be the first. They have the songs and they are a strong, tight live band. There's no doubting that they deserve a shot. As it always is though, it will ultimately come down to luck and the strength of the team around them.

Record Revival- Summercamp, Pure Juice.

Once again, I find myself on the tube flicking through old albums on my ipod that I haven't listened to in a long time and I stumbled across this little gem.

I know very little about the band. I remember picking up this album years ago after Kerrang got all excited about them. As far as I know, they dissapeared after this. A shame as this album is awesome. Each song is reminds me of moments of my youth. I guess the most obvious comparison is Foo Fighters, but truth be told they are a little more pop than that, sounding a lot like Gameface (another great band worth your time if you haven't heard about them).

The best thing about this album is the shifts in pace, from the slight Melancholy of "keep an eye on you" to the buzzsaw pop of "Nowhere near" and the pounding riff that holds down opener "drawer", there is a sense of identity to each song, not just an album of soundalike songs (all too often the case these days).

Beyond the Foos and Gameface comparison, there is even a definite hint of Beatles and Beach Boys in their sound, particularly in some of the vocal harmonies that bring songs like "play it by ear".

I don't think a band has ever been more perfectly named also. This album is pure summer and has certainly been the soundtrack to many a road trip and BBQ for me. As I said, I have no idea what happened to them. I don't even know if this album is still available, but if you do stumble across it- give it a shot, you won't regret it.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Slamdunk Festival 2010

Slamdunk festival's 2010 line up is gearing up nicely. Last years festival continued the festivals tradition of be an incredibly fun day out packed with great bands both old and new. This year is set to be the same. In fact, it's actually going to be even bigger with a Southern date added to proceedings. Taking place at the brand new Hatfield Uni Campus, could this see Slamdunk taking it's first step towards being the UK's first touring festival a la Warped etc in the UK. Would be awesome if it did!

Now about that line up- obviously there is still a lot more to come, but with headliners New Found Glory in place, things already look good. Sadly The King Blues pulled out a week after announcing, but with a re-formed Capdown also on the bill, fingers crossed they will not be missed too much. Set Your Goals and Four Year strong should add to the excitement for all those NFG fans as well. Beyond that, Breathe Carolina and Every Avenue add to the nu-school pop punk factor thatshould draw in all those day glo kids in.

Beyond Capdown, Out Of Sight are the only UK act on the bill so far, though this will no doubt change in the coming weeks. As for other US bands that are likely to join the bill, it's hard to tell, but I'm sure it's going to be strong as the festival has earned a reputation amongst bands as being a lot of fun and very successful for all who play it.

Looks like it's going to be a good one, so get down.

Friday, 26 February 2010

The Emo revival...

No, I am not talking My Chem or the "emo" genre that the Daily Mail created! Before all the silly haircuts, self harm and eyeliner there was actually something more exciting, and this summer it appears to be having something of a reunion.

With The Get Up Kids, Sunny Day Real Estate, Saves The Day and Hot Water Music all touring over the next few months, it's enough to make you think you have stepped back 7 or 8 years to the heyday of the scene. Back then it was backpacks, centre partings and thick rimmed glasses. Mix tapes, fanzines and an endless run of quality indie labels (Deep Elm, Jade Tree, Revelation to name a few).

So if you want to see where the sea of bland pop punk bands got their inspiration from, then head to one of these shows. Alternatively pick up Saves The Day "Through Being Cool", Hot Water Music "A Flight And A Crash", The Get Up Kids "Something To Write Home About" or Sunny Day Real Estate "Diary" and enjoy.

Now we just need Elliot, The Promise Ring, Boy Sets Fire and Grade to come over and it would be the best summer ever!