Black Honey – “Somebody Better” (video)

27 Mar

When we write, we often find that the first line is the hardest one to come up with. We can agonise for ages over how to start a piece and where to go with it. Once it is in place, everything seems to flow on. It’s odd really, mainly because we’re fascinated by how and why our mid should work that way but also because many of the bands we like are so damn good at beginnings.

Take Black Honey for example. Over the years, having introduced themselves with a wonderfully mysterious beginning, the Brighton four-piece have proven themselves masters of the intro. We’ve had the hazy, retro pulp-rock openings of ”Spinning Wheel”, ”Madonna”, and ”Corrine”; the Helter Skelter freneticism of ”All My Pride”, and the surprisingly madchester-like swirl of “Hello Today”, amongst others.

Most recently they have treated us to “Somebody Better”, a quintessentially Black Honey track with a bombastic opening, storming middle and vibrant crescendo. It also has a wonderfully off-centre video that is as colourful and vibrant as the track (as well as being a little NSFW) mixing retro and faux-retro into a devilishly cool package, a bit like Black Honey themselves.

There’s something a little Gwen Stefani about Izzy’s vocals (no bad thing at all) as the soundscape created washes out into a heat-blurred horizon; the drums and guitars leading the charge over the top as they kick back in.

In the ongoing game of Black Honey vs the world, put this down as another win for the coolest Brighton gang around.

Get to know Black Honey: Facebook / Twitter

Crystal Bats – “Anyone”

14 Mar

It’s been over three years since we last heard from boys of Crystal Bats when they released the smooth 80s sounds of “Falling In Love”. Since then there has been relative radio silence from the pair, though we know they’ve been working with other artists and on other projects. In all honesty, we weren’t sure we would ever hear from them again but they have emerged once more from within the dense fog of dry-ice that they surely inhabit.

Their new track (which we hope is the start of a lot more music from the duo) “Anyone”, picks up where we left off but with added maturity, sophistication and a dash more drama.

The 80s influence we loved so much is still very much to the fore and “Anyone” sounds like it could be part of the soundtrack from a buddy cop movie. It’s easy to imagine our hero walking the streets, late at night, wracked by the inner turmoil of whether to go against his captain’s order to save his friend (he will).

The vocal is soft and elegant, the synths and guitar lines subtly emotional and smooth and then there is the Prince like wail of a power solo towards the end to top it all off. It’s so delicious you’ll be pulling your jacket sleeves up to your elbows and hastily growing your designer stubble before you know it.

Get to know Crystal Bats: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Public Service Broadcasting – “Progress”

13 Mar

After the mega success of 2015’s The Race for Space, those magnificent denizens of chords and cords, Public Service Broadcasting have returned with a brand new single and much teasing about a new album.

All is not quite as it was however, evolution and (dare we say it) progress continues within and the duo is now a trio. Having been involved for sometime as a multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Mr JF Abraham (erstwhile of the Professor Penguin parish) is now a fully paid-up member of the band.

“Progress” is also the first single* from the band to feature a guest vocal, with Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell providing a swirling vocal hook that is so subtly infectious you’ll find yourself singing it absent-mindedly in the shower. With its trademark PSB guitar lines and atmospheric electronic sound, it is everything you’d want from the band with a little added something. It’s subject matter however is still up for debate.

With samples about the coming of machines in factories and ‘Why I believe in progress’ the title of a Henry Ford essay, we could assume it (and the forthcoming album) is about the modernisation of manufacturing, industry, the dawning of the age of mass-production and the beginnings of modern capitalism.

J Willgoose Esq is saying nothing though, not yet anyway so we’ll have to wait and see. Given that the band is about celebrating human achievement, it’s interesting (and fun) to ponder on what is in store. Especially as they have just announced a show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, the press release for which notes cryptically that it is ”a room steeped in rock music history and of great relevance to the new record…” As a venue that historically was at the heart of London’s Irish community (that originally came over during the industrial revolution) that played such a role in the development and expansion of London itself, perhaps the album will be about our nation’s capitol itself?

Who knows? We can’t wait to find out though.

*The Race for Space’s ”Valentina” featured vocals from The Smoke Fairies but wasn’t released as a single so technically this is accurate.

”Progress” is out now and available to stream or download here.”

Get to know Public Service Broadcasting: Website / Twitter / Facebook

Avec Sans – “We Are”

4 Mar


There are few certainties in life, death and taxes are two but we’d add ‘Alphabet Bands loving everything Avec Sans do’ into the mix. We’ve talked about how much we love them, loads and after years of waiting for it, their debut album made our records of the year list for 2016. Mind you, even we were intrigued when they announced that they would be releasing a re-work of album track “We Are” as their next single. What a decision it was though.

Alongside their usual producer, the super talented Benbrick, Alice and Jack enlisted Max Dingel and Mandy Parnell (who, between them, have worked with everyone who is anyone and made them all sound amazing) for additional mixing and mastering duties.

The result is a version of a much loved album track that is as bright and effervescent as its accompanying video.

Now starting with the proud exclamation of ”We are”, the track dives headfirst into the chorus and a sea of rich, vibrant colours and textures. A warm neon rainbow of melody, electronic flourishes and sharp danceable beats washes over you as the compulsion to groove takes over. It feels bigger, bolder and more confident than its predecessor. It’s Avec Sans turned up to 11, and we love it.

”We Are” is released via Beverly Martel Records on 3 April and a limited edition cd release is available to pre-order now.

Get to know Avec Sans: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Mega Emotion – OK Maybe OK

17 Jan

Mega Emotion

After what feels like an absolute age (two years) Norwich electro-noisemakers extraordinaire Mega Emotion are back, and this time they’ve brought a cowbell. And a baby.

That’s right.

A cowbell.

Not only is it a cowbell, but it is a cowbell on which is played a maddeningly catchy rhythm. One is surprisingly tricky to recreate using just your mouth when in an open plan office surrounded by colleagues who have no clue about what the hell you are trying to do. So we’re told.

The baby, aka the cutest Run DMC tribute act we’ve ever seen, features in the video below and is getting her rock on to the fuzzy caterwaul and grind of guitars, stomping driving beats and PiL era Lydon vocals. It’s a frenzied howl at the moon of a track, cacophonous and fervent while at the same time, pulsating and danceable. The electronics whir into life like the beginning of the robot uprising and the whole things just crashes headlong into you as your ears and soul are shaken and shuddered into submission.

With a whole new guttural layer to their chaos-pop sound, Mega Emotion are back and resistence is futile.

”OK Maybe OK” is taken from the forthcoming debut Mega Emotion album, ‘Move, Motherfucker’ and is a available now as a single from iTunes.

Get to know Mega Emotion: Website / Facebook / Twitter