Maker – Girl Quit Your Crying EP

MAKERMaker hail from Medway – home to the likes of The James Taylor Quartet, The Prisoners and Billy Childish.  But though their music has an undeniable 1960s and early 1970s taste, it is a much more rich, diverse and complex  than the back-to-basic 1960s garage more akin to the aforementioned local heroes, and commonly referred to as the ‘Medway Sound‘.

This week Maker release their second EP. The title track, ‘Girl Quit Your Crying’ is full of a hazy blues, after hours lock-in complete with feathered haircuts, Double Diamond pint jugs and a Rod & The Faces swagger. Alessandro Marinelli’s gravel-throated bluesy voice underlines only one of many influences present on this solid 5-track EP. But the Maker sound is much more versatile, complex and multi-layered than a shallow retro posture.  Somewhere between then and now,  Maker sound unique in these days of shortlived fashions, reality tv and throwaway pop.  They appear to take influence from an array of solid sounds, styles and grooves and run, run, run with it.  They are not simply retro and not exactly contemporary.

Similar to the previous single, ‘Move Your Feet’, there is a strong element of early 1970s soul, R ‘n’ B and rock ‘n’ roll running throughout the whole  EP.  ‘So Serene’ and ‘Are You Watching Me?’ are full to the brim of a white-faced soulful funky groove.  Think Sly & The Family Stone fused with  a steam-charged rhythm n blues of Mick Taylor era Rolling Stones, a good helping of The Faces and etched in the post house music influenced rhythms of Primal Scream and The Stone Roses. Great stuff!

Maker look good and sound great.  They are Alessandro Marinelli (Vocals), Andrew Donaldson (Guitar), Gavin Donaldson (Drums) & John Austin (Bass).  The ‘Girl Quit Your Crying’ EP succinctly captures their authentic rock n roll, psychedelic, bluesy soul sound.

‘Girl Quit Your Crying’, ‘So Serene’ and ‘are You Watching Me?’ were recorded at the famous Rockfield Studio & Leeders Farm. The EP also includes two demos, ‘Lose It On The Second Turn’ and Stop My Heart Dead’, recorded at Ranscombe Studios in Rochester.

Girl Quit Your Crying EP by Maker is available via Kidda Records.

Innocense by Suspects – pure post-grunge garage punk rock

Suspects - Thomas Prescott and James (Jaff) MaySuspects are Thomas Prescott and James (Jaff) May. They come from Southend, and are a part of the ever-growing, pulsating Cool Thing Records that could very well be at the centre of the universe.

Their debut single, Innocense, sees the the two-piece arrive on the garage punk rock ‘n’ roll platform with a bang!

Innocense is an epic slice of back-to-basics, gritty, driving post-grunge garage punk rock.  Pounding drums, heavy big muff-drive fuzz guitars and an abrasive yet controlled, aggressive vocal delivery.  All of which fixates the listener like a rabbit to headlights or Elvis to prescription drugs.  From the off, Innocence explodes into action. 0-50 faster than Valentino Rossi. Ending way too soon, it leaves an empty burning hum and a spellbinding charm, before I select repeat, again and again.

Innocense perfectly depicts a sound that cuts like a switchblade through the endless pile of shallow, empty candy-sweet, non-confrontational drivel that envelopes the sleepy, zombie-like state we find ourselves in. Suspects are here to wake us up from our slumber and to shout from the roof tops FUCK POLITICS – LET’S DANCE!

Pump up the volume and jump aboard the Suspects train departing from Southend-on-Sea, as it steams head on to Garage Punkville!  This train is bound for freedom with its first class passengers Jack White, Black Sabbath, Queens Of The Stone Age and Black Flag.

Innocence by Suspects is available on Cool Thing Records.

Travis Pike Feelin’ Good with State Records

 Travis Pike & The Brattle Street East - State RecordsTravis Pike & The Brattle Street EastWatch Out Woman / The Way That I Need You
500 copies on 7” vinyl State Records
Release Date: 10th July 2017

With a career dating back to 1963, Bostonian living legend Travis Pike has had more than five decades in the music business, but the casual listener could be forgiven for not being familiar with his name.

Releasing only 2 singles under his own name on obscure labels (the ballad “Don’t Hurt Me Again”, backed by The Montclairs’ “Feelin’ Good”, released on Pike Productions to tie in with the film release – more about that in due course, and the incredible garage-psych classic “If I Didn’t Love You Girl”, credited to Travis Pike’s Tea Party, Alma Records, 1967), Travis first found his love of song writing when he composed the title track for “Demo Derby”, a 28-minute featurette produced by his father, James A. Pike, which ran as second feature to “A Hard Day’s Night” in 1964, enjoying much success as a result.

Joining the US Navy and stationed in Germany, he then experienced a degree of fame in Hamburg’s legendary Star-Club, billed as “Teddy Pike—Twist And Show Sensation”, before a car accident and resulting shattered ankle brought his twisting days to an abrupt end, and Travis returned to the US in late 1964.

Fast-forward almost 2 years to early 1966, and Pike Productions was ready to make another film, this time aiming to produce the “antithesis of the beach party flicks”, then very popular on the West Coast. While recuperating from his injury and operation, Travis taught himself to play guitar and got busy composing. 10 of his original songs were eventually used in the movie “Feelin’ Good”, including the 2 tracks presented here, featuring Travis himself backed by Oedipus And His Mothers, renamed The Brattle Street East; mixed race group, The Montclairs, who also made a brief appearance in the film, performed two more of Travis’ songs. As inconceivable as it seems today, the inclusion of such a group caused a major issue for the film’s distributors in the Southern states, who declined to book the movie unless the ‘offending’ scene was cut. To his credit, James Pike refused to censor his film; unfortunately, it cost him the level of success he had experienced with “Demo Derby”, and the film sank with little trace.

Fast-forward (again) almost 50 years to 2012, and Travis was able to locate three of the film’s original five reels, successfully restoring 6 music sequences, which he subsequently posted to YouTube, so at least some of “Feelin’ Good” can now be seen and appreciated by a wider audience than its original (limited) theatrical release would have allowed.

State Records are to release 2 of the tracks for the first time, officially authorised and sanctioned by Travis himself, as a limited edition vinyl 7” single in glorious MONO!

Watch Out Woman / The Way That I Need You by Travis Pike & The Brattle Street East is scheduled for a 500 copies limited 7″ vinyl single release on State Records on 10th July 2017.

The Love Family – New Single & Album for the (un)Beaten Generation

The Love Family - Traces [drone attack] Remix by Terry Lane
The Love Family – Traces [drone attack] Remix by Terry Lane
The Love Family
Traces [drone attack]
Remixed by Terry Lane
Available as a digital single via Grip Records on 24th March, 2017

THROW OPEN THE WINDOWS. DEATH TO TIMID POP!

Watching fads, scenes and sub-genres come and go, The Love Family have quietly gone about their business producing hard hitting slabs of power chord-driven post punk flavoured alt rock from deepest Medway through the past two decades.

With a forthcoming album and epic 13 minute remix of the lead track to boot, original members Gary Robertson and Paul Ireland have been spending time locked away in Kent’s  Squarehead Studio with producer Rob Wilkes and finding the unhinged freedom of not having to consider performing new songs live, a godsend.

“Allowing yourself the freedom to use multi-tracking and overdubs to produce a more perfect representation of what is in your head, rather than consider how we are going to perform songs live as a three-piece without any backing tapes, has been such a release,” said Gary Robertson.

Paul Ireland added: “That allowed us to work more as a group, rather than concentrate on our own instruments”.

The new album is simply called ‘Tracks’, consisting of an intro and outro version of new song, ‘Traces’ collate with the group’s 10 favourite tracks since their debut album ‘Out of Reach’ in 2013; and to celebrate their new found freedom to explore all possibilities, they asked Terry Lane to rework the lead single in whatever style he wished.  His re-imagining of the track is as far removed from the original as it is breath-taking in its behemoth drone monster-like production.

Unconventionally, the Traces [drone attack] remix weighs in at over 13 minutes.  The remix uses instrumentation from the original version while genetically engineering a hip hop beat to a slowly building, ever increasing wall of sound until it is unleashed like a wild pulsating sonic beast that gradually unravels before your ears, rolling forward into a space echoing experimental noise.

Traces [drone attack] will be released on 24th March as a digital download.  While the original versions of ‘Traces’ will be available on The Love Family’s second album, ‘Tracks’, which is scheduled for release on 12th May. Both will be available to buy from iTunes and Amazon and available to stream on Spotify.

For more information visit the official Love Family Facebook page.

The Pop Group Announce New Album, Single & Live Dates

The Pop Group Announce New Album, Single & Live DatesWith Honeymoon On Mars, The Pop Group open another chapter at a time when their iconoclastic contention is needed now more than ever. It’s a record that finds the band unwaveringly incensed and resolute in their mutative sense of innovation, as Mark Stewart elaborates: ‘it’s a stand against manufactured hate, a hypersonic journey into a dystopian future full of alien encounters and sci-fi lullabies’.

Recorded and mixed in various studios in early summer of 2016, working with Dennis Bovell and Hank Shocklee, the band realised a dream twofold collaboration, as Stewart concludes: “We’ve at last fulfilled a double fantasy to work with our two favourite sonic assassins, Dennis ‘Blackbeard’ Bovell and Hank Shocklee. We’re in awe as Dennis, the Captain Kirk of dub is taking us on a hyper sound voyage into the future, and Hank, as always tears up the rules totally upholding our faith in the absolute value of noise. We’ve gone completely off the map.”

Talking about working with The Pop Group, Shocklee said: “The Pop Group sound has a level of freedom, fun and creative musicianship in their recordings that is a special and rare find in today’s world. Their uncompromising spirit to be themselves and not worry about fitting into a musical box, sets them apart.”

Long-time collaborator Dennis Bovell added: “It’s been a great pleasure to be working with the guys again. They are truly beyond good and evil.”

The Pop Group – Honeymoon On Mars tracklisting:
1. Instant Halo
2. City Of Eyes
3. Michael 13
4. War Inc.
5. Pure Ones
6. Little Town
7. Days Like These
8. Zipperface
9. Heaven?
10. Burn Your Flag

UK Tour Dates:

Monday 14 November
Ramsgate Music Hall

Tuesday 15 November
Brighton Komedia

Thursday 17 November
Cardiff The Globe

Friday 18 November
Leeds Wardrobe

Saturday 19 November
Manchester Deaf Institute

Sunday 20 November
Newcastle Think Tank

Tuesday 22 November
Cambridge Portland Arms

Thursday 24 November
London The 100 Club

European Tour Dates:

Saturday 26 November
France Boulogne-Billancourt BBmix

Sunday 27 November
Netherlands Amsterdam Paradiso Nord

Tuesday 29 November
Denmark Copenhagen Jazzhouse

Thursday 1 December
Germany Berlin Volksbuhne

Tickets on sale from thepopgroup.net/live.