Monthly Archives: September 2013

Whitechapel Murders – Dune Hexalogy EP

Whitchapel Murders - Dune EP coverEven before you get to the music the arrangements of instruments in Whitechapel Murders let you know that what is come is not conventional. Comprised of two bass guitars (played by Dave Spars and Kyle Lopes) and drums (Chris Day) the trio make music that, so far, has been largely inspired by mid 20th Century sci-fi, so, following on from their debut EP predominantly based on Orwell’s 1984, we get their long hinted at work drawing on Frank Herbert’s epic Dune series.

Starting with a wall of sound the music coalesces into God Emperor which draws on the sounds of David Lynch’s film version of the book to create a soundscape that uses noise to paint a picture of the vast empire and the sprawling history and genealogy on which Dune is based.

(l-r) Dave Spars, Chris Day and Kyle Lopes

(l-r) Dave Spars, Chris Day and Kyle Lopes

At this point I’ll point out I am a fan of both the books and, in a sense, the film, and I think that without knowledge of these things the themes may not coalesce in the same way – that said, from a musical point of view, I don’t think this knowledge is essential.

It is in this first track that we get the sound that has marked Whitechapel Murders since their formation as the two bass guitars take turns to create what could be described as ‘rhythm’ and ‘lead’ parts while their sounds swirl together and are joined by the off-kilter beat of the drums to create not just a soundscape but a ‘spacescape’ appropriate for the subject matter.

Whitechapel Muders - Chris and KyleAs the EP goes on the tracks draw on everything from stoner rock and doom to extreme metal and avant-garde rock, with Dave Spars’ vocals barking and crooning within the mix adding an extra layer to the sound that comes to the fore at times but at others joins the instrumental noises to add to the atmosphere.

Each track has a title taken from the books and deals with motifs and ideas relevant to them so, on Atreides, we are confronted with the existential angst of the series lead character, Paul Muad’dib, while on Harkonnen we get a sense of the industrial destruction of the antagonists and Children of Dune and Arrakis, Dune, Desert Planet paints a picture of the world the stories are set on and its Fremen inhabitants conflict with outsiders.

Whitechapel Murders - Dave SparsThis all comes together on the EP’s epic closer Messiah which sprawls and swirls across eight minutes of jarring sounds, music and samples to create a dense piece that, like every track here, can at once get heads nodding and brains ticking depending on how you want to listen.

If heavy and noisy isn’t your thing then its unlikely you’ll find much in this EP, however, if you like to push the boundaries of music into territories that are less often seen and explore a dense world of sound, then Whitechapel Murders’ Dune EP is certainly worth exploring.

You can download the EP via the band’s Bandcamp page.

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Chaos Presents… Farewell To The Spoon – The Fermain Tavern – 28/09/13

Teaspoonriverneck

Teaspoonriverneck

As we are now well and truly done with summer festival season it was back to The Fermain Tavern on Saturday 28th September for the first show from Chaos Events since their annual festival back in July and this show was set to be something extra special as it was to be the final gig from heavy rock ‘n’ roll riff enthusiasts Teaspoonriverneck.

Check out a full gallery of my photos of the show on the BBC Introducing Guernsey Facebook page.

The night started out with The Phantom Cosmonaut so, for obvious reasons, I’ll skip his set and move on to Skid Rue.

Skid Rue

Skid Rue

Having made their name with covers of the likes of Motley Crue, Guns ‘N’ Roses and (appropriately enough) Skid Row the five-piece unveiled a set tonight with a slightly different spin as it was made up, predominantly of Foo Fighters songs.

Part way through the set frontman Stace Blondel explained the reason for the abundance of Foo’s tunes was that the band are preparing to play a themed night, so, it may not have been the bands usual set but that didn’t seem to be much of a problem. With five experienced players in the band they seem to have hit a high level of tightness as a quintet that meant even on the songs they were clearly less familiar with they still delivered a great performance.

Spatch and Trikki of Skid Rue

Spatch and Trikki of Skid Rue

While Stace was a bit more static that usual he still did his best to work the growing crowd and encouraged some to get a little closer stage as the set went on and the band’s renditions of the Foo Fighters material is some of the best I’ve heard aside from the band themselves or UK tribute act Four Fighters who visit the island a couple of times a year.

Coming from a more heavy rock and metal background I got the impression this helped the delivery of the songs as it is similar to where the actual band come from, rather than the many more pop acts who often try to recreate the sound.

Following a couple sets made up predominantly of cover versions, Of Empires were the first solely originals based band of the night.

‘Fresh’ off a well received gig in Jersey the night before the band were clearly up for it and from the start Jack Fletcher was all over the stage with Matt Berry acting as a second centre of attention, albeit a more static one anchored by his guitar.

Matt and Jack of Of Empires

Matt and Jack of Of Empires

This dual focus that the band have built over recent shows has really worked to their benefit, giving their performance a much more rounded feel that, with the songs they already have, highlighted by singles Carla and I Am The Night, has seen them become something of a highlight of Guernsey’s original music scene.

While the crowd seemed a bit reticent tonight, with many clearly saving themselves for the headliners, they still seemed to go down well and, with a few months off the live circuit coming up to make an EP, I can only see them growing as people get the chance to hear their songs on record in the near future.

Teaspoonriverneck

Teaspoonriverneck

For the best part of the past decade Teaspoonriverneck have been a highlight of Guernsey’s live music scene having played every major festival, most venues and with five records under their belt they have been one of the most prolific of bands the island has ever seen, so tonight marking potentially their last ever show there was a major sense of emotion in the air as they took to the stage and launched into new song Keep It Down.

From there the four-piece stormed through a set taking tracks from all their releases and more new material and delivering it all in a manner that was possible the best set I have seen the band deliver (though to be honest I find it hard to remember them ever giving a bad show).

Steve and Brett of Teaspoonriverneck

Steve and Brett of Teaspoonriverneck

The crowd in the busy Tav were packed to the front from the start with heads banging for the entirety of ‘The Spoon’s’ hour long set and energy built until the band were called back for two encores, but I might be getting a bit ahead of myself.

With a twin guitar sound on some tracks and keyboard on others the band really have developed a psychedelic hard rock style comparable to the likes of Monster Magnet at times but largely all their own and it was clear that Teaspoonriverneck were going out on a high.

A highlight of the set came in the form of sprawling new track Carousel which combines most of the elements the band have committed to record over the years in one package, this was preceded by George and Blonde Witch of their self titled debut and just how well the material all set together was clearly demonstrated.

TeaspoonriverneckEnding their set on new track Medusa it wasn’t long before they were back on stage for a roaring rendition of Eaten By The Devil which kicked off a ferocious mosh pit and, even after that, the crowd didn’t want the band so were treated to epic rendition of Rust In Space before Teaspoonriverneck left the stage for the last time with many in the crowd still calling for more.

Over the years I have seen many bands come and go but few have had the send off and crowd reaction like Teaspoonriverneck got tonight and their absence is likely to leave quite a gap in Guernsey’s music scene, but, with a posthumous EP looking likely, it seems that, while the band may be done live, there may be one final thing to still look forward to from Guernsey’s “Wizzards of Fuzz”.

Here’s a video of the double encore thanks to Plumb:

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BBC Introducing Guernsey: September 2013 – Last of the Light Brigade

Last of the Light Brigade and friends

Last of the Light Brigade and friends

The September 2013 edition of BBC Introducing Guernsey marks the show’s fifth birthday, so for part of the show I took a look at some of the acts I’ve featured over the years.

My guests this month were indie-rockers Last of the Light Brigade who are embarking on a tour of the UK in October and have recently released a trio of singles, working with The Animal Farm.

Not only that but as Guernsey’s regular hip-hop event, The Get Down, marked the genres 40th birthday earlier in the month we took a little look at some of the island’s offerings.

The show is available to listen to online until Saturday 5th October here.

Tracklist

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Mutation – The Frankenstein Effect and Error 500

Mutation - album coverA few weeks ago I reviewed the debut album from pop-rock duo Hey!Hello! featuring Victoria Liedtke and Ginger Wildheart and I mentioned the Ginger led project that was released along with it via PledgeMusic, Mutation.

So here is my review of the Mutation double album that is about as different from Hey!Hello! as Ginger Wildheart is ever likely to get.

The pair of CDs are mainly a collaboration between Ginger and Napalm Death’s Shane Embury, but with a host of other musicians joining in as well, ranging from members of Ginger’s touring band to Mark E. Smith via British rockers Hawk Eyes and Japanese noise merchant Merzbow, this creates, as you might expect, one of the most unusual collections of music on offer today.

The Frankenstein Effect album coverThe first disc of the set, The Frankenstein Effect, starts in comparably run of the mill form with pop-rock rubbing shoulders with elements of extreme metal that combine blast beats and shredding guitars with the kind of hooks we expect of Mr. Wildheart.

As the disc moves on however things take a decidedly more abstract form, as genre barriers are not so much broken down as atomized to create something that at various points brings to mind the likes of everything from Deicide to Reuben.

My highlights of the first disc are Friday Night Drugs and Carrion Blue – the former of which really is the first to launch us into full on Mutation territory but keeping a hugely catchy chorus at its centre while the latter, which rounds off the disc, combines everything heard across the other nine tracks and treads the line of total musical schizophrenia in a way that makes it a great song.

Error 500 album coverError 500 is slightly different beast, and beast is certainly the right word.

From the start there is a more industrial feel here with the presence of Merzbow seemingly making its mark in a much more pronounced form which adds an extra layer of extremity to proceedings.

It is here that the collection starts to fall apart on one level as parts of Error 500 become near unlistenable, while other parts veer back to Ginger’s more well-known melodious work, but the two don’t quite sit together as well as on The Frankenstein Effect.

That said there are still highlights, particularly the two tracks featuring Mark E Smith, Mutations and Relentless Confliction, whose voice perfectly suits the music it is put with. Another highlight comes in the form of the final track, Benzo Fury, which brings to mind Atari Teenage Riot or Nine Inch Nails at their most ferocious and, much like Carrion Blue, does a good job of combining the various sounds on the disc into one grand noise.

Ginger Wildheart and Shane Embury

Ginger Wildheart and Shane Embury

While the Mutation project is certainly not for the fainthearted, and is flawed at times, what it does that is always impressive is demonstrate exactly where music and imagination can take you when you have the opportunity to just lay it all out.

With a release of Error 500 coming on Ipecac Records it seems the wider world, beyond Ginger’s PledgeMusic campaign, is set to hear some of this and, while I doubt I will be regularly listening to the whole album very often, if you have an interest in what can be done with music when musicians of different styles get together, it is certainly worth checking out, if you are prepared for a good dose of noise.

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The Best of WWE at Madison Square Garden – Blu-ray

The Best of WWE at Madison Square GardenA couple of recent happenings within the world of World Wrestling Entertainment seem to have finally made this collection of matches possible as it seems the name WWF no longer needs to be censored and, more importantly from a pro-wreslting fan standpoint, Bruno Sammartino is back on the good terms with the McMahons and co.

So what we get here are more than 8 hours of matches and memories from the arena that has become WWE’s spiritual home over the last 50 years, New York’s Madison Square Garden.

As an arena it is famed for both sport and music but, for me, it will always be associated with WWE and, after watching this its clear to see why.

With 22 matches (on the Blu-ray edition) we get, essentially, a history of the WWE from the early 1970s until 2011 featuring the likes of Ivan Koloff, Bob Backlund, Harley Race, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, The Rock, Steve Austin, Triple H and CM Punk (amongst others) and the aforementioned ‘living legend’ Sammartino.

Bruno Sammartino

Bruno Sammartino

As is to be expected the visual quality of the early matches is not as sharp as some and it is clear they were really originally only filmed for CCTV broadcast rather than TV (or HD Blu-ray).

What this gives us, particularly in the opening Koloff vs Pedro Morales world championship match, is a chance to get some insight, through a new commentary track from Jim Ross, who tells the story of the fight and lets us know about the performers in ways some other current pro-wrestling commentators can only dream of.

While the matches on the first half of the disc are generally excellent, either in technical terms (e.g. the Backlund matches) or due to their notoriety (e.g. the main event from Wrestlemania I) the interviews are generally not quite as absorbing as they mostly just toe the line of saying how amazing the atmosphere at MSG always is and how great the WWE’s ‘hometown’ crowd in New York always are, something that comes across from watching the matches.

Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania X

Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania X

The exception is, unsurprisingly, The Iron Sheik who is his usual baffling but candid self and talks about being offered money by another promoter to break Hulk Hogan’s leg and jump ship with the world title in 1984.

For me the first ‘half’ of the set is highlighted by confrontations between Mr Perfect and The Hitman and the incomparable ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at Wrestlemania X.

Unfortunately the second disc wavers a bit.

Starting out with what would (and should) be a forgettable Survivor Series match that only really seems to be included as it is the debut of the man now known as The Rock, there are a few more matches here that, while they have potential, are often from TV and too short or are too promo and ‘moment’ heavy.

Triple H and Cactus Jack

Triple H and Cactus Jack

That said we do get a couple of classics, including Cactus Jack’s WWE debut against Triple H in 1997 as well as The Hardy Boyz going up against The Dudley Boyz in the Royal Rumble 2000 tables match, but, despite these the second half doesn’t have the weight of classics of the first.

The Blu-ray comes with a few exclusive extra matches two of which are decent if throw away in the grander scheme of things and one of which that really should have acted as the main feature’s final match as we get CM Punk vs Alberto Del Rio at Survior Series 2011, the start of Punk’s epic 434 day title reign – but then again I’m a super-mark for the Best In The World.

CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio

CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio

In the end this is not quite an essential set but does include some fascinating matches that haven’t been released on DVD/Blu-ray or in fact seen in a long time and it does act as a good chart of the history of the WWWF/WWF/WWE with several performers talking ‘out of character’ in ways we haven’t heard much before.

Certainly this is a must for the devotees but for the more casual fan may have some elements that are hard to grasp, though if they make it through could prove a valuable education in the biggest company in the pro-wrestling game.

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Marnie

Marnie posterHow do you follow up a pair of movies, potentially your best, which are part of the reason your name still resonates 50 years on?

Well, if you’re Alfred Hitchcock it seems you take the MacGuffin from one, add the star and part of the style of the other and throw in a bunch of psychoanalysis and an ill-advised sub-plot based around possession (not supernatural) and rape with a dash of Sean Connery and you end up with Marnie, the film that followed on from Psycho and The Birds.

The movie starts out as a reasonably interesting thriller following a girl who’s stolen a large amount of cash from her employer and how she might be escaping from it and her reasons for doing it (sound familiar?). From there however things soon descend into what is largely a confusing mess of ideas, at times awful acting (mostly from the bit part players but it still has an effect) and some less than inspired camera work that simply seem to hint what we are seeing here is the beginning of the decline of the “Master of Suspense”.

Sean Connery and Tippi Hedren

Sean Connery and Tippi Hedren

Throughout Marnie there are a few truly tense scenes, one in particular, done mostly in silence, where our ‘heroine’ is attempting to steal from her employer is a piece of Hitchcock’s well known genius, however for every one of these there are scenes that just don’t sit right, Marnie’s (‘Tippi’ Hedren) ship bound ‘encounter’ with Connery being a prime example.

What comes out of this, having recently seen both Hitchcock and The Girl (films which deal with the period immediately preceding this), is that what we are seeing here is Hitch’s view of women taking over his previous ability to make a film tell a thrilling and engaging story and, while there is still a story to get involved with on at least a basic level, it is so shrouded by so many other factors, it is hard to find.

Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren

Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren

When it comes to the characters it is also hard to engage as none are particularly empathetic, so we are stuck either rooting for a thief (albeit one with a psychological explanation) or, essentially, a self-confessed rapist so that, while the films denouement does manage to, finally, emotionally engage, it is tinged with a sense that we shouldn’t really be wanting anyone to come out of this on the ‘winning’ side.

Maybe I am taking an oversimplified view for the story Hitchcock is trying to tell, but, he sets the film up very much as being one where we should be rooting for someone and there should be a winner and a loser, as it sits very much in his version of Hollywood we’ve seen previously in The Birds or Rear Window (less so in Psycho).

Marnie - Sean Connery and Tippi HedrenInstead this notion is muddied by an overabundance of psychoanalysis and crime that was, clearly, an obsession of either the screenwriter or Hitchcock himself and sits strangely with the characters leading to a very troubled view of mental illness. In something that was clearly a melodrama or horror this might not be as troubling but, for the most part, Marnie has the feeling of being set in ‘the real world’, though elements of the design do hint at a more expressionistic approach this is never fully realised.

In the end Marnie feels like the third of a trilogy that started with Psycho and continued with The Birds, but, falls very far short of those two leaving me with the feeling that, in this case, two out of three ain’t bad, and here we are seeing the beginning of the end of an astonishing directorial career.

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Buffalo Huddleston Trio – Sky High E.P. on Niche

The Buffalo Huddleston Trio

Update: The Niche website has now been taken down, scroll down the page to read the full review

Last month Guernsey’s Buffalo Huddleston Trio staged a night at the Cock & Bull to launch their debut EP.

I reviewed the EP, Sky High, for Niche Showcase and you can read that by clicking here, or on the screen grab below.

The EP is available for download through the band’s Bandcamp page or in physical form directly from the band at their gigs.

Buffalo Huddleston grab

For their debut release the Buffalo Huddleston Trio have released a five-song EP of pure summery optimism that perfectly captures all that is great about summer in general, and, in the case of one song in particular, summer in Guernsey.

Starting out with Chillin’, a track that has been a part of frontman Mike Meinke’s (aka the eponymous Buffalo Huddleston) repertoire for some time, we are thrown into summers by the sea as a picture is painted of friends and music mingling with youth to create something that I think most people in Guernsey, or living by the sea anywhere for that matter, could identify with.

Second song, 7/8ths, brings things back into the now, showing that the trio’s optimistic outlook is not only a nostalgic one. Once again music is a motif here, combined with discovering a new love and the combination of the two is expressed in a way I’ve not previously heard.

This may all sound like to get the meaning behind these songs, maybe you’d have to be a musician, well, I don’t think that would be the case as the ideas dealt with are done so in a way that is so universal I think they are things we can all relate to.

These two tracks sum up many of the ideas and motifs dealt with across all five tracks but it’s The Experience of Life and Breath that really show how the band, and Mike’s songwriting, manages to take a positive outlook on situations where many other musicians might find a way of making a more melancholy song.

Sound wise the Buffalo Huddleston Trio are something a bit different as they combine a guitar and vocals with violins and backing vocals and I was concerned that, on record, the lack of drums and bass might effect the sound. Well, I needn’t have worried as, much like their live shows, the combination is fantastic as Sarah Van Vlymen and Becky Hamilton’s violins and vocals fill out the top end of the sound while Mike, both vocally and with his method of playing guitar, fill the middle and lower ends creating a fully rounded tone.

This all combines with some great recording work from Simon Prince to create an EP that is both the kind of thing you can stick on and get lost in and enjoy, but also find some deeper meaning in too and showcases a trio who are more than capable of being one of the most widely appreciated and acknowledged acts from Guernsey.

And here’s a video of the band playing live at their EP launch:

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Time Bandits

Time Bandits blu-rayI have vague recollections of seeing some, or possibly all, or Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits as a youngster but have to say; it never really stuck with me, so, beyond my more recent fascination with Gilliam’s other work, it had largely passed me by until now as it has been re-released in a newly restored, Blu-ray, version by Arrow Video.

From the start its very clear this is a Gilliam film as it has that feel that his movies, particularly the ones from the 1980s, have which is almost indefinable but comes about from the way he uses the camera, along with the slightly twisted production design and characters, to create his own universe in a way few others ever manage.

We start off the movie in the home of our hero, a young boy called Kevin, and are thrown into a contemporary (for the early 1980s) setting that has a feel of a proto-Brazil with technology beginning its take over of adult lives, while Kevin is fascinated with history and his more traditional toys which drive his imagination.

Time Bandits minotaurSoon Kevin is thrust into an adventure, with the titular time bandits taking in everything from Sherwood Forest and the Napoleonic Wars to Ancient Greece and a fantastical past realm of ogres, giants and evil.

While this gives the film a somewhat episodic nature, it never totally takes on the awkward nature of some other episodic films as each is linked by Gilliam’s unique style that, like many of his other films, ties things together even when some other elements may not.

Time Bandits - John CleeseWhat particularly struck me is how Time Bandits seems to bridge Gilliam’s work with Monty Python and his own ‘solo’ work as, not only is the script a collaboration with Michael Palin, but the film also features John Cleese and Palin on-screen, as well as having been financed by Handmade Films, the same people who put up the money for Life Of Brian.

This is counterbalanced by many of Gilliam’s own troupe of regulars starting to come together with Jim Broadbent and Ian Holm, amongst others, standing out in small roles while bigger names like Sean Connery add another level to the casting which has become another, often surprising, aspect of Gilliam’s movies.

Time Bandits - Sean ConneryAs the film goes on the settings become more fantastical and Gilliam shows how he is one of, if not the, best at using miniatures and matte paintings, along with real locations and stage work composited to make something that is fantastic in a way few others can do and brings to the fore the idea that here we are looking into a child’s imagination as much as Gilliam and Palin’s.

This gives the film a feeling that seems to be common between both childhood imagination and Terry Gilliam’s work that is summed up by a line spoken by one of the bandits, “You’ve just got to believe it”.

Time BanditsIn terms of the film as a whole, for me it was not entirely successful as it aims to be a family film, but I would suggest there are elements that would lose children (as they once did me) while at the same time some of the films perspective may lose many adults but, for people with the right sort of mind, it is certainly enjoyable even if it does, at times, lose coherency.

In the end Time Bandits is far from Gilliam’s most successful film, but it has a lot of what was to make his best work so good in an early form and that, combined with a lot of the charm and impressive technical nature of it, makes for something that is genuinely enjoyable on several levels at once, and it features one of the most genuinely giant feeling giants I’ve ever seen captured on-screen.

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Hey!Hello!

Hey!Hello!This is a review I’d meant to write a good while ago and comes with a disclaimer that I’m sure will mean anyone who knows me will instantly click away… anyway, here goes.

I have been a pretty major fan of the work of Ginger Wildheart for quite some time and bang on about him fairly relentlessly to anyone who gives me the hint of an opportunity, I have all (I think) of his records and have pledged on all the PledgeMusic campaigns so far, but, in writing this I have done my best to approach it from as clear a view as possible, like I do with any other album I review on here, no matter the supposed status and stature of the band in question.

Right with that out-of-the-way, anyone still left reading, let’s get onto the self-titled debut album from new band Hey!Hello!

Victoria Liedtke and Ginger Wildheart

Victoria Liedtke and Ginger Wildheart

When this album was first announced words like “a combination of ABBA and the Sex Pistols” were used to describe it and, while they may be simplifying slightly, they serve as a good introduction to the idea at work here.

What Hey!Hello! is largely comprised of are a bunch of bright and breezy pop tunes with a punk edge rammed firmly in, mostly in the form of buzzing guitars and (at times brutally) honest lyrics – so far, so what Ginger Wildheart has generally aimed to do on all the albums since Earth Vs The Wildhearts way back in 1993, what makes this different seems to be two things.

First is the air of positivity coming from the chief songwriter; second is that this has clearly been written for a well-conceived project. So, rather than writing songs and recording them with the, at times, erratic and revolving door-like line of the Wildhearts, or under the auspices of his solo project, here he has teamed up with singer Victoria Liedtke to create this specific set of songs giving the whole thing a much more cohesive feel, particularly when compared to 555%, Market Harbour or Valor Del Corazon.

Ginger WildheartAnyway I think that’s the comparisons done now too. So, what we get on Hey!Hello! is Ginger at his pop songwriting best and freed from any shackles of expectation made by his previous outfits with a new collaborator who can deliver the sweet vocal tones needed for to counteract his vocals to make this work.

While Ginger wrote the songs and played the instruments its clear that without Victoria this album simply wouldn’t work. This is obvious from the off as the duo banter back and forth on a song that captures much of the spirit of what is to come, Black Valentine, which is pure dynamic, double-fronted, pop-punk for grown ups.

From there this what we get, for at least the first half of the record, with Swimwear being another highlight thanks to a short but discordant solo amidst choruses designed to get lodged in your head.

Victoria LiedtkeFor the second half of the album, things get shaken up a bit.

While still retaining much of the positive pop vibe we get a few tracks that have a slightly more minor edge to them, particularly highlighted on Lock For Rock (and other sporting clichés) and The Thrill Of It All, with a good dose of grammatically and emotionally clever lyrics thrown in too and this sums up pretty much all of the album except for one song which stands out from the crowd.

While still a great song that again uses the dual vocals excellently, How I Survived The Punk Wars doesn’t really sit well with the other tracks on this album as it address some of Ginger’s recent critics directly while summing up his ongoing philosophy on making music with the repeated phrase “Ask lots of questions, don’t eat the bullshit”.

While still very much in a pop-punk genre this is by far the hardest song on the record and hints (very lightly) at the other project Ginger Wildheart had on the go at the same time, Mutation.

Ending on possibly the albums most technically daring but viscerally least satisfying track, We’re Outta Here, Hey!Hello! has a lot to like about it for both fans of Ginger’s previous work and people who just like good, guitar based, pop-rock and, fairly typically, it doesn’t always go the way you’d expect but it goes the way it wants to and feels like it should – which is a triumph in a world where pop has, very often, become a dirty word.

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BBC Introducing Guernsey: August 2013 – Vale Earth Fair and The John Wesley Stone

The John Wesley Stone at the Vale Earth Fair

The John Wesley Stone at the Vale Earth Fair

For the August 2013 edition of BBC Introducing Guernsey I reviewed the Vale Earth Fair festival which took place on Sunday 25th August and interviewed Hillbill and Tinshack from The John Wesley Stone about the band’s second album, Shiraibu.

You can read my review of the Vale Earth Fair here and my review of Shiraibu here.

The show itself is available online via the BBC iPlayer. here, until Saturday 7th September but if you don’t get a chance to listen here’s the tracklist from the show:

Tracklist

And here’s a video of The John Wesley Stone playing a few months ago:

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