There is a fresh alt rock noise coming out of Nottingham, the home of Earache Records. The noise is coming from a young three-piece by the name, Kagoule. They produce dark, heavy and powerful, melodic alt rock. Cai Burns plays a fuzz distorted guitar and sings while being perfectly complimented by Lucy Hatter’s rumbling bass, vocal harmonies; and Laurence English pounding drums.
Following several single releases, Kagoule release their debut album Urth. The three teenagers weren’t even born when Earache Records made its name releasing death thrash metal from the likes of Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror and Bolt Thrower. Urth is an intense and forward-thinking listen from a band ready to step forward and shake things up. The band have formed a dark, melodic, heavy and constantly evolving sound. The bass-heavy, distorted guitar led sound of Kagoule is reminiscent of the post-hardcore fuzz guitar of Fugazi and Mudhoney, and post-grunge alternative rock, MTV-induced mainstream crossover of Smashing Pumpkins. Listening to Urth, it’s easy to forget this powerful music that sounds so grounded and established, is being made by three so young.
Urth includes 11 great songs including recent singles Gush and Glue. Lucy sings lead vocals on the latest single, the wistful and bittersweet Made Of Concrete.
Cai explains how he came across the sound: “It came as a trapped sound in a Boss delay pedal box. Someone at the factory must’ve been humming in the right direction at the right time, the waves slipped through and the cardboard door sealed behind them. It journeyed over sea and land, benumbed by fear until I freed it from its torture and gave it a home (I think that’s how sound works right?) It was one of the first songs I wrote for Kagoule. I think I was 15. After the initial “Check out what this pedal can do” it hasn’t changed much, apart from the fact Lucy won the rights to sing it from me over a heated Beyblade tournament.”
Other tracks include the one-minute punk thrash of Empty Mug, complete with Lucy Hatter’s screaming banshee backing vocals; and the anthemic Smashing Pumpkins-esque It Knows It.
The album is produced by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A, The Fall) and Pete Fletcher (Childhood).
Kagoule – Urth tracklist:
Adjust The Way
Made Of Concrete
It Knows It
Urth by Kagoule is released via Earache Records.
Forthcoming Live Dates:
Sept. 17 – Vienna, Austria – Arena 3 Raum Bar w/ Ball Park Music
Sept. 18 – Berlin, Germany – Magnet
Sept.22 – Hannover, Germany – Lux
Sept. 25 – Dusseldorf, Germany – Zakk w/ METZ
Sept. 26 – Hambury, Germany – Reeperbahn Festival
Sept. 27 – Leipzeig, Germany – Ilses Erika w/ Ball Park Music
Sept. 28 – Prague, Czech Republic – Basement Bar
Sept. 30 – Cologne, Germany – Blue Shell w/ Ball Park Music
Oct. 01 – Brussels, Belgium – Witloof Bar @ Botanique
Oct. 03 – Portsmouth, UK – Dials Festival w/ Black Honey + Hooton Tennis Club
Oct. 09 – Nottingham, UK – Rock City w/ Sleaford Mods
Oct. 10 – Leeds, UK – Beacons Metro w/ Traams, Pins, Crushed Beaks
Oct. 18 – Manchester, UK – Carefully Planned Festival
Oct. 23 – All Years Leaving Festival w/ The Wytches, Speedy Ortiz, Chastity Belt
Goodbye: Tiny Fractures is the first single from upcoming album “Sugarmilk” by Glasgow based four piece The Dirty Blonde.
With an intro that’s likely to point your expectations to a standard cheeky indie pop tune, The Dirty Blonde have pulled off an excellent bluff with their new single ‘Goodbye: Tiny Fractures’.
As soon as front man Danny Gallagher’s vocals kick in, followed by guitar melodies that switch from treble soaked sunshine, to dirty distorted fuzz. We’d be lying if we didn’t admit to taking a mental double take.
The only criticism we can really level at the single is that the band’s previous release, the free download ‘Take You Under’, has a much more accomplished sound. That’s not to completely tear apart Goodbye: Tiny Fractures’, we just love the sheer 1990s art-rock of ‘Take You Under’ and were hoping for more of the same.
The Dirty Blonde have shown they are capable of writing solid, alternative rock tunes that exercise your speakers and your ears, along with more accessible pop rock gems. It will be interesting to see which road they choose for future releases.
Goodbye:Tiny Fractures is released by The Dirty Blonde via Two States Recording.
Denim Snakes are Russell Toomey (vocals & guitar) and Jake Ellis Scott (guitar & vocals) met in a twist of fate, when Jake escorted Russell’s date to the local pub. The two found they had a lot in common and began writing together. As for the date, a gentleman never tells.
Mattise Olsohn Clarke (bass & vocals) had been playing around Barry in a number of bands, and was ready to settle down to a rock and roll lifestyle, so he was happy to join. But Denim Snake were still missing a vital part of their lineup – a drummer who could put the fear of god into an audience. Scouring the deepest, darkest parts of the internet, they found Tom Hall (drums), and the circle was complete.
With a single launch planned at Camden’s Barfly on 7th August, and another two singles in the pipeline, Denim Snakes have already tickled the interests of BBC Radio Wales who first named them ‘Introducing Artist Of The Week’ and then ‘Artist Of The Week’, and have been pipped as one of Wales Online’s ’40 Welsh Bands to look out for’. Now they’re ready to grab the spotlight and take on the entire UK.
Denim Snakesrelease Stronger on 7th August via NOTV Records.
I haven’t been to Camden Town on a Saturday afternoon for many years. But I assume nothing has changed in that, the bars, shops and market stalls attract a cosmopolitan mix of bohemians, wannabies, has-beens and tourists looking for fake Michael Jackson Thriller leather jackets and bootlegged music. I love Camden for all of the above reasons. Well, maybe not the leather jackets!
But on Saturday 30th May, for one day only, Camden Town is congested with more music fans than tourists looking to buy an alternative look. The pavements are not only full of overspill from the pubs and bars but music lovers wearing Camden Rocks wristbands.
Camden Rocks Festival is a one day festival without fields, mud, enormous traffic jams down small country lanes, or the need to sleep rough (though this is optional). One wrist band allows entry to a 20 venues in Camden where no less than 200 bands play from midday to midnight followed by an after show party.
The venues range from small bars hastily rearranged to accommodate bands and small intimate crowds to the 1,000 capacity Electric Ballroom where the main headline is Bullet For My Valentine, who some have no doubt paid the £30 wristband entry price for alone.
Throughout the day there was a plethora of performances for a wide spectrum of rock fans. Whether revisiting your youth with the likes of old-time punks Anti-Nowhere League, loving the big hair of Michael Monroe & Gun, reliving the sound of The Ramones 1-2-3-4 thrash with the Richie Ramone band, chicken-dancing along to the recently reformed New Model Army or looking out for something new that may just kick on to bigger things, so if nothing else you can tell everyone you saw them when they were playing a gig to a handful of punters, one in a deep sea diver outfit in a Cuban cocktail bar!
No doubt many were hoping Glen Matlock would offer up a rousing set of Sex Pistols favourites. After all, he was responsible for writing the music for the best of Pistols songs. But like all of us, he is much older now; and stepped onto the stage with nothing but an acoustic guitar.
As with all festivals, choosing what to see and what to miss out on, is the most difficult part of the day. That, and attempting to stick to a plan. My plan was to get to Camden as early as possible and take in all 20 venues while undertaking short snippets of as many performances as I could and ending the day watching unsigned band The Parade @ Belushi’s and a few other headline acts. Unfortunately I failed miserably.
I was fortunate enough to be given a heads up by a PR company that Asylums would be playing The Cuban @ 4pm and that maybe I should check them out. I did, and definitely wasn’t disappointed. It was unfortunate for them and the punters that were unaware of just how exciting they were, that they played to only a handful of people. Their enthusiastic ‘ants-in-yer-pants’, pro-active and powerful performance was both exciting and mesmerising. Michael Webster (bass) and Henry Tyler (drums) keep things tight while Luke Branch (Vocals and guitar), Jazz Miell (guitar) jump about the small stage like two rabid psychiatric patients. At one point Luke jumps off stage and on to an innocent photographer, while Jazz throws himself around, pulling contorted faces akin to Stephen Merchant being consumed by Alien.
The songs are fast and furious. Think Weezer meets Lemonheads. Bubblegum punk pop at its very best. This performance deserves a much bigger crowd today. But I have no doubt Asylums will be playing much bigger venues and sold out shows once word gets out. Their set includes their current single, ‘Wet Dream Fanzine‘ and the familiar sounding, toe-tapping, sing-a-long ‘Joy In A Small Wage‘.
One of the best names in rock is without doubt …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. With the release of last year’s ninth album, simply titles ‘IX’ they have a large and devoted following. They had already started by the time I had finished talking to Asylums and walked down to an almost full Electric Ballroom. I’m not too familiar with their hardcore American rock. But judging by the size and participation of the audience, they still rock… hard!
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead were tight, heavy, loud and very professional. This is not the kind of music I would normally listen to and certainly not see live; and that’s the beauty of an event like the Camden Rocks Festival. It allows someone like me to walk in off the street and take it all in without prejudice to witness music and see bands performing I would otherwise not get to experience.
Headliners across 19 of the 20 venues were as followers: No Sugar @ The Enterprise, Turbowolf (upstairs) & The Hyena Kill (downstairs) @ Barfly, Skarlett Riot @ The Stillery, Jettblack (Monarch), Michael Monroe @ Proud, Menswear @ The Cuban, Red House Glory @ Hawley Arms, Funeral For A Friend (main) & IC1’s (canal side bar) @ Dingwalls, Masakichi @ Fifty-Five, B-Movie Thieves @ Good Mixer, Black Moth @ Black Heart, Skindred @ Underworld, Rob Lynch @ Brewdog, Buffalo Summer @ Purple Turtle, New Model Army @ Jazz Cafe, The Parade @ Belushi’s and Bullet For My Valentine @ Electric Ballroom.
To end the day, my original plan was to take in several headlining shows by making a quick dash between around Camden Town taking advantage of the fact that most punters would choose one or another and the route between each one would be fairly quiet. I was keen to hear a song or two from the likes of The Parade, New Model Army, Funeral For A Friend and Bullet for My Valentine. But this is where the plan fell down. Blame solely rests with The Parade for playing such an amazing set!
The Parade are an unsigned band I have seen live before. They play powerful pop ballads, full of dark storytelling tales that, like their live performances are full of grit, intensity, and edginess. There’s a feeling anything can happen about their edgy shows. The band includes a backdrop of bass, drums and keyboards to the sexual chemistry between Matt Pritchard (aka Lupen Crook) and Jemimah Dean. They share vocal duties while Pritchard plays guitar and Dean, percussion. They command the stage and play the songs with sexual tension that has the audience transfixed. Their set includes last year’s single ‘Connector‘ and songs from a forthcoming debut album.
Blame The Parade for playing such a wonderfully tight and exciting set that I didn’t get to headliner hop round the venues at this year’s Camden Rock Festival. But I’m glad I saw them, as like Asylums I won’t be expecting to see them play such small venues for long.
Pale Honey are a minimalistic rock duo from Gothenburg, Sweden. Already likened to artists likes PJ Harvey and Sleater-Kinney for their intensity and directness, their debut single proper ‘Youth’ landed online just a few weeks ago. Bathed in a tone that conveys both nonchalance and sincerity in equal measure, the track premiered at Stereogum, who said;
“Youth comes in like a slow-moving storm; first, it’s just a drizzle, a solitary little synth line, then drums and Tuva’s low, slow vocals. But when her guitar explodes into the frenzied, nervy bolt of the chorus, she keeps her voice subdued, creating this sense of tension and control that adds an intimate, feminine layer to the song.”
Put together across three different studios in Paris, Gothenburg and Stockholm, many of the sounds were also recorded in the kitchen of producer Anders Lagerfors, who perfectly captures the group’s shifting intensity and spontaneity. Returning regularly to themes of disheartenment and melancholy, they describe the album as being, lyrically, very state-of-mind. It’s also about empowerment and, simply put, strength. The songs routinely flirt with the polite, before exploding into fits of distortion.
Tuva Lodmark (guitar / vocals) and Nelly Daltrey (drums) said the following:
“Youth started to take shape one summer that we spent locked up, sweating in our new rehearsal room. The playful guitar riff set the pace for the drums and the vibe was clear to us – the laid back sound gave the feeling of controlled coolness, which we later wanted to match the lyrics with. We recorded the song in Paris with our producer Anders Lagerfors and from there the song grew into the more wild, attitude-filled song, still keeping the simple playfulness. Being inspired by our ultimate decision – to start daring to make own music and just go for it no matter what (probably paired with the usual personal awakening that every Swedish summer brings after the cold, dark winter) the lyrics are about letting go, getting over things and just keep going with your head held up high and starting to earn your bruises.”