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Album review: EMILY WOLFE – Outlier

EMILY WOLFE - OutlierCrow’s Feet [Release date 25.06.21] With one album to her name to date Emily Wolfe – who has a recently released custom guitar the Epiphone Sheraton Stealth, Emily Wolfe – she has decided to stretch her musical boundaries on this … Continue reading

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News! The Boo Radleys are back after 23 years with new single and video!

The Boo Radleys

Wake up! The Boo Radleys are back after 23 years with a fantastic new single, minus their lynchpin songwriter and guitarist Martin Carr. Can they still cut it? You decide. They had a chequered career which included the ‘NME Album Of The Year’ – Giant Steps which featured a stunning array of tunes including Barney (and me) plus the thrilling track of grand proportions Lazarus which stills sounds massive today. They were labelled one hit wonders to the Joe Public, yet to the music heads they were forward thinking with that Scouse psych sound which launched the sound of future bands like The Coral and The Zutons to name a few. Nice to have them back I say… Read on…

Critically-adored sonic explorers, The Boo Radleys return with their first new music in over two decades, releasing the dark beauty of A Full Syringe And Memories Of You on Thu 8 July 2021. Originally immersed in the category of cult band for those in the know thanks to their 1993 classic album Giant Steps, the last music fans heard from Merseyside-originated band was 1998’s Kingsize, their final album for Creation Records. Led by pure, creative restlessness The Boo Radley’s first new music in almost a quarter of a century stems from reconciliation, chance meetings and curiosity.

A Full Syringe And Memories Of You is layered with instantly recognisable vocals, rich orchestration and the type of instant, alt-pop sensibility that found them swept into the mid-nineties mainstream. The single isn’t to be a one-off release from the band. Promising a full-blooded return, The Boo Radleys include A Full Syringe And Memories Of You on an upcoming, to-be-confirmed EP with album sessions and rehearsals for a tour later this year all in advanced stages.

Singer-songwriter, Simon ‘Sice’ Rowbottom says of the new and unexpected release: “A Full
Syringe And Memories Of You tackles the religious hypocrisy that privileges the longevity of life above all other measures of worth and seeks to redress the distorted view that life is always worth living whatever the cost.”

Having originally formed in 1988, The Boo Radleys developed a reputation for adventurous genre-indistinct songwriting, starting with 1990s Ichabod and I, which emerged on Lancashire’s Action Records and gained such a response amongst discerning music fans that Creation put a deal on the table. Their rapid follow up, Everything’s Alright Forever was released to positive reviews in 1992, but it was the following year’s Giant Steps, acclaimed by NME as the album of the year, that secured The Boo Radley’s status as unpredictable sonic explorers with few peers. The Boo Radleys were famously swept into the slipstream of the mid-nineties, British guitar pop revival, with 1995’s runaway hit, Wake Up Boo, lifted from their UK Album Chart Number One album, Wake Up! Their 1996 follow up, C’Mon Kids! took a thrilling, more caustic turn out of the retro, anthemic sound of the era, yet brought the band further success with three Top 40 singles, including What’s In The Box? (See Whatcha Got). The four members, including influential guitarist and songwriter, Martin Carr, retreated from life as The Boo Radleys shortly after the release of sixth album, Kingsize. Having been largely out of contact since the end of the sessions for that final album, all members of The Boo Radleys have come together in recent years to discuss future plans. As a result, The Boo Radleys in 2021 are Tim Brown (bass/guitar/keyboards), Sice (guitar/vocals) and Rob Cieka (drums). Martin Carr does not appear in the current line-up.

Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

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Geddy Laurance and Michael O: Split EP

Geddy Laurance and Michael O split EP COVERGeddy Laurance and Michael O: Split EP

Safe Suburban Home

DL/ Cassette

Out Now!

BUY HERE

Louder Than War Bomb Rating 4

 

New transatlantic Split EP from indie artists Geddy Laurance and Michael O released with two accompanying videos via the Safe Suburban Home label.

There’s something innately ‘indie’ about a split EP. The very idea of sharing a release by splitting it right down the middle. Sharing the glory with a kindred spirit. Safe Suburban Home may be a reasonably new label yet it’s this somewhat old school indie aesthetic that they embody. The fact that the EP comes on cassette feels like the proverbial cherry on the cake. Don’t worry, there’s a download to be had too. Over the course of 4 charming tracks, we’re introduced to songwriters Geddy Laurance and Michael O.

Known locally as Ged, Geddy Laurance has played drums with legendary indie-punks Boyracer and has sung, drummed and played bass for acts like Downdime, City Yelps and Wonderswan. He currently plays drums for The Vat-Egg Imposition (who, coincidentally, might just be your favourite new band if you give them a listen). If all that wasn’t indie enough, Boyracer released material via the genuinely legendary Sarah Records and Slumberland Records. To say Ged has indie pedigree would be a huge understatement.

Ged starts with a gorgeously whimsical solo track, Just One Of Those Things. A flurry of acoustic strums, breathless drums and delicate lead guitar create an undeniably lovely tune. The track swoons and sways like all classic indie-pop should as it takes us on a melancholic wonder through the night time, the sky lit with shooting stars. It’s also an ironic song about facing complex situations with a simple, “it’s just one of those things”. Ged’s second contribution comes in the form of the blissfully dreamlike Prolonged. A song of hope and encouragement for environmental activist Greta Thunberg; the track effortlessly floats along with a beautiful sunlit melody.

Press eject and turn the cassette over and we’re introduced to Bay Area indie veteran, Michael Olivares (or Michael O for short). The self-described “part time musician for life and hire” sings in psych-pop act The Mantles. He started down the solo path sometime around 2013 with occasional assistance from members of local acts like The Oilies, The Art Museums and The Bananas. His first offering on the split EP finds him in a blissfully reflective mood. See Me Again is a quirky slice of jangle-pop that has a laid-back, impromptu vibe that recalls the spirit of lovable oddballs like Kevin Ayers. Flesh Flies is a similarly chilled slice of acoustic bohemia with an intimacy that puts you right there in Olivares’ front room. Two effortlessly charming tracks inspired by, “occult activities, science, isolation, and the great outdoors”.

Ged and Michael have created an EP as indie as Robert Forster’s sun-dappled daydreams. If you enjoy the sweetness of The Field Mice and the subdued eccentricity of Syd Barrett, you’ll find something to your liking here. If all this wasn’t DIY enough for you, the cassette comes with a reversible cover with each respective side designed by Ged and Michael. A real treat!

Check it out on Bandcamp

Find Safe Suburban Home on their website as well as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

All words by Andy Brown. You can visit his author profile and read more of his reviews for Louder Than War here.

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Fixers: The Sun, The Moon, The Wind, The Sea – album review

FixersFixers: The Sun, The Moon, The Wind, The Sea

(Dolphin Love Records)

LP | DL

Out Now

As we wander ever further into the stagnant, murky waters of 2021, a large dose of multi-coloured escapism is required from time to time. Enter Fixers. Back with a bang, these crafty Oxfordian psych poppers have just let rip with their long-awaited second album, the follow up to 2012’s We’ll Be The Moon. Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint.

Continuing where the first album left off (the melancholy chime of Good Night serves as an intro to the opening track, You And I), this second effort opens up a psychedelic broom cupboard of sound, vision, noise and colour, taking the listener on an acid-spiked train journey into the inner realm, and then back home in time for tea and cakes. Synth soaked psych-pop delights such as Swan and This Is Warmth sound like the Merry Pranksters hijacking an OMD recording session, whilst Jack Goldstein’s falsetto reaches new heights on the likes of the filthy glam stomp of Altruistic Love and the Beach Boys campfire singalong of Hex.

Elsewhere, silver and gold collide with squelch and harmony on the epic Rosetti Fields, while A Touch Of Your Invisible recalls Ram-era McCartney with its willow patterned pop harmonies reaching for the starry sky. Twisted carnival vibes abound on the gloriously unhinged Skies Above, only for the album to end with the lilting torch ballad It Won’t Be Long, eventually building up to an epic crescendo.

Fixers have triumphed again, serving up a gloriously optimistic psychedelic salad to take away the four walls of the present, a wet dream for nightmarish times. Well worth the wait.

The Sun, The Moon, The Wind, The Sea is available to buy digital and on limited edition gold vinyl on the band’s Bandcamp page.

Follow Fixers on Facebook.

~

All words by Sean Diamond. More writing by Sean can be found at his author’s archive.

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Album review: TIGERCUB – As Blue As Indigo

TIGERCUB – As Blue As IndigoBLAME Recordings [Release date 18.06.21] Fans of Brighton based Tigercub have been waiting patiently for this, the band’s second album, after releasing their well-received debut in 2016. In between times main songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Jamie Hall has been busy … Continue reading

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Album review: VARIOUS – Party For Joey

VARIOUS - Party For JoeySweet Relief [Release date 25.06.21] The Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians and music industry workers who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. One of those … Continue reading

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W H Lung new single Pearl In The Palm and albums news!

W. H. Lung

Photo credit: Adrian Davies.

W H Lung are fresh out of lockdown with a new sound that spells a MkII reinvention of their original Krautrock electronica from the stables of Everything Everything, Working Mens Club and the Manchester dance and house scene. LTW have had them on their radar since writer William Metcalfe mentioned them here back in 2019 as an up and coming talent. I’ve since listened to their debut Incidental Music and was amazed they didn’t hit our Top fifty albums that year. I may have missed out but they’ve dragged me in with the excellent new tune Pearl In The Palm. Read on and listen…

We were raring to go,” says the W H Lung vocalist Tom Sharkett of the band’s desire to keep the momentum going after the huge success of their debut album 2019’s Incidental Music, a vivacious concoction of krautrock, synth pop and infectious grooves, which topped end of year lists with the likes of Piccadilly Records and Resident. However, it quickly became apparent that a repeat performance was of no interest to the band. “We were 100% sure on it not being Incidental Music part 2.”

The resultant Vanities is a bold electronic leap forward into the dance music they love. A record that is direct, punchy and potent – an ode to the dance floor that they had missed over the last year or so. Singer Joe Evans explains. “We wanted to move away from easing people in and grab them by the heart straight away. I reflected on how we played live shows and romanticised about launching onto the stage in a bundle of energy and starting the party, no messing. The directness comes from making music more intuitively, and more from a place of fun. We were writing music that affirmed how much we missed dancing in sweaty rooms, enjoying the company of a collection of beautiful friendly strangers.”

Pearl in the Palm is the first single. “A transition from the old W. H. Lung to new,” says Tom. It marries pulsing synths, galloping drums and a vocal take that is both caramel smooth but also fervently intense. Directed by Joe himself, the video was shot in January across the beauty of the Irish midlands in Co. Offaly and Co. Laois. “Another source of inspiration for the album was getting out into nature,” he reveals. The core songwriting duo had moved from Manchester to Todmorden before lockdown and enjoyed the Calder Valley scenery. “Sitting with and walking in the abundance of the natural world has fed into some of the playfulness and light spirit of the album.”

The story of the video speaks to that connection with nature so everything was shot outside, in the rain, in the cold, in the quiet of the early morning. There’s water, there’s forest, there’s bog, there’s a donkey. We wanted to say something about creative expressiveness too, which comes through in the amazing outfits. I think there’s also something in the video about spontaneous living and flowing with the unexpected. Like, a balloon? I’ll have a day out with it!”

Perhaps most remarkable thing about Vanities – aside from the unflinching new sonic leaps it takes – is that the band have taken a dormant year void of live experiences, sweaty clubs, or anything resembling fun times, and have made an album that makes that world feel palpable – that you can crawl inside it. Lockdown gave me the time to pour work into myself and out came this wonderful album,” reflects Joe. It was strange at first and I missed seeing my mates and having a laugh and dancing but this album is a direct reflection of creative flow brought on by the space given to us.”

Vanities is a very rare beast of a record: an album created in solitude that feels bursting with vitality and the love, promise and transcendence of shared dance floor experiences. Just in time for when we crave those the most…

New album released 3rd September 2021 on Melodic

Live dates:

31 Jul – Deershed Basecamp, Yorkshire
8 Aug – Get Together, Sheffield
2-5 Sep – End Of The Road Festival
16 Nov – Scala – London

13 Dec – Brighton – Concorde 2

14 Dec – Birmingham – Hare + Hounds 2

15 Dec – Leeds – Brudenell Community Room
16 Dec – Glasgow – The Hug + Pint
17 Dec – Manchester – Gorilla
18 Dec – Bristol – Rough Trade

Pre order album here.

Forewords by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

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Album review: IAN McNABB – Utopian

IAN McNABB - Utopianwww.ianmcnabb.com [Release date 05.03.21] Utopian is the final part of a trilogy Ian McNabb began with ‘Star Smile Strong’ (2017), and continued with ‘Our Future In Space’ (2018). Recording took on a very different approach during 2020’s global pandemic, with … Continue reading

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Video Premiere! Hongza – Cure Me

Indie-rock’s finest offering, Hongza releases his music video for Cure Me, following his recent EP, Gen Z. Have an exclusive first look at the video here at Louder Than War.

With growing support from Live Nation, Apple and Spotify, the buzz that is surrounding London-based, Hongza is no secret. Combine this with a TikTok influencer career and Hongza’s reflection on Gen Z life becomes more and more apparent. His open and warm attitude towards being a musician is one that adds to his endearing character and is helping him harvest the success he deserves.

Speaking to Louder Than War exclusively, Hongza states, “Cure Me was one of the first songs I wrote for Gen Z. It means so much to me because it’s about coming out of a bad place through growing up, finding love & comfort from the closest people to you. I wanted to capture all the things that helped to cure me on film and turn it into the video. Pure & Authentic moments.”

Cure Me can easily be applied to the world’s current pandemic situation. The track is about finding your true friends, spending time with your family and learning to love yourself during a rough time; Hongza applies this message to the world as we slowly ease out of lockdown,

“Cure Me [was] originally about growing up and recovering from a break-up but I realised the track is more than that. It’s about surrounding yourselves with people that support you and help to mend you during such a hard time like lockdown. My friends, family, girlfriend are the people that have kept me sane during a tough period of my life. I always thought my mental health was so strong, but lockdown showed me that it wasn’t. I’m so glad to have had these people in my life help me come out ‘normal’ coming out of lockdown.”

Have an exclusive first at the video look here!

~

All words by Jasmine Hodge. More writing by Jasmine can be found in her author’s archive. Jasmine is also on Twitter as @ObviouslyItsJaz 

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Happy Mondays tour diary entries: LTW share Gaz Whelan’s tour notes as he releases new single with The Magic Village

 

Happy Mondays

LTW presents extracts from Gary Whelan’s Happy Mondays‘ tour diaries. Honest, insightful and of course a bloody good laugh! We share a few snippets from his on-the-road memoirs as he right now releases the new tune with The Magic Village – Say Who You Are.

Teaming up with old mates Magic Village is Johnny Evans (vocals) Wayne Edwards (bass, guitar, keys) and Whelan on guitar/vocals… a tight and like-minded trio who played together in Gaz’s former band/project Hippy Mafia. MV’s first release is an acoustic cover of The Stone Roses’ Ten Storey Love Song, out just a couple of months ago.

To this their latest, Say Who You Are, is a number which struts out true to form with that well known Manchester confidence and ‘one love’ mindset, but yet with a real presence of mind and a kinda half yearning for some transcendence. It’s a summer tune we could all do with a bit of right now.

Running along with its strong calming chorus and captivating hook SWYA also diverts from the norm with an awesome set of bars and slick rhyming in the middle eight performed by John Orpheus (the rap artist who also worked on Whelan’s Hippy Mafia project). Look out for the single on Bandcamp and all the usual platforms.. and keep up to date with MV on Twitter.

The post Happy Mondays tour diary entries: LTW share Gaz Whelan’s tour notes as he releases new single with The Magic Village appeared first on Louder Than War.

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