Categories
EP Reviews

EP Review: SLOW KING – Infinity Bang

Slow King is an indie-electronic monarch I’ve only just discovered through a new EP titled Infinity Bang which released a couple months back.

On the whole, it certainly delivers that alternative singer-songwriter aesthetic. 21- year-old Jacob Powlett is undoubtedly a very talented musician and producer and this EP shows an impressive scope of genres, including lo-fi hip hop to indie to even dancehall, coming together in a really smooth and quite tasty package.

My favourite songs on Infinity Bang are definitely Show Me and Shallow. The drums on both track sound really solid and I feel the guitars on Show Me are well played and give me 90’s hip hop vibes in the verses. I think that comes from the jazz-styled articulation of the finger picking, giving the track some deep groove and a head-bobbing sensibility. I also really like the super sticky chorus that has been stuck in my head whilst writing this review. Powlett sings “show me what you want” harmonized with various layered auto-tuned backing vocals, creating this really cool group effect making you want to sing along.

Then moving onto Shallow, which is a lo-fi instrumental, seeming to be cut from the ‘beats to study to’ playlist-cloth. I really like the change in the drums at the 1:45 mark, turning into a more aggressive kind of dancehall rhythm. Slow King has a great ear for arrangement and definitely knows how to manipulate the space and texture within his tracks, creating something atmospheric but also danceable at the same time.

I love the side-chained synth and sweet bass tone throughout Hearts, which was the lead single off the EP accompanied with a pretty sick music video. However, I feel the vocals in the track are missing a certain level of attention and they wash over the track leaving little impact. I’m not sure if it’s the distorted vocal effects or just not getting enough takes to truly capture Powlett’s singing chops… But in my opinion, the final vocal parts in this particular track leave a lot to be desired. This is my one true gripe with Infinity Bang though, as the rest of the EP is really quite impressive.

Written by Sam Harrison

Categories
EP Reviews

Tundra: Life’s A Beach review

An EP that has been teased for quite a long time has lived up to the hype, Tundra’s second EP Life’s A Beach is a defining moment for Sudbury’s loveable punk trio.

Having already had a mind-blowing start to 2018 with a surprise support slot with Yorkshire rockers Marmozets at Cambridge Junction in February, the band are about to make more waves in the local scene with these fun, memorable tracks.

Pink Eye kicks off the EP, which contains a laugh-out-loud skit relating to Charles Xavier of the X-Men, showing off the classic Tundra sound of thrashing drums and catchy lyrics and although the chorus is as simple as “We Don’t Care!” it’s as infectious as the chorus to Vacation (Cheer Up Chuck) from their debut EP Pretty Bird.

The fun doesn’t stop there though, with a track that just screams 00’s pop-punk in the shape of Walking Stick. Here we see a different side to guitarist Caitilin Pegley’s vocals which have more of a punch to them than what we’ve heard previously from the band, perfectly fitting in with the hard-hitting drums of Elliott Rodger-Brown and Elliot Booth’s sludgy bass lines which helps create an exhilarating sound not only on record but live too.

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Credit: Burnt Out Media

Following on from the previous two tracks, the EP takes a more reflective turn with Swimming Shorts. If you were looking for that song for your summer playlists, then this is it. An utterly stunning six-minute long triumph which builds up with Booth and Pegley’s intriguing vocals into an absolutely barnstorming minute and a half worth of full-blooded instrumentals. If you haven’t heard this track, you’re truly missing out, easily a Track of the Year contender!

The fun and thrill of Life’s A Beach turns up several notches with the oddness of Strobe Lights And Loud Noises. Hectic instrumentals and the shoegaze-feel of Pegley’s vocals makes this, albeit a short one, a loveable and welcome track.

Get Lost marks the end of the EP. The track definitely has a very tight alternative-punk sound with Booth’s vocals here being one of my highlights oLife’s A Beach. At moments the track is very comparable to Loser from their debut EP, though this track has definitely shown how fast the band have matured and honed their creative abilities.

The EP also contains a live version of the band’s crowd-pleasing track Vacation (Cheer Up Chuck). This track caused a large stage invasion at the band’s headline show at the BurySOUND Grand Final in March, and the live version is something to be heard!

Life’s A Beach is a defining moment in Tundra’s already memorable history. BurySound winners, supporting Marmozets and now this thoroughly entertaining EP in the bag… Tundra are a band that needs to be heard right this very minute. With Life’s A Beach they’ve cemented themselves as one of the best bands in the East. Watch this space because if this is anything to go by, big things awaits…

Life’s A Beach is available on all streaming services. 

Recorded at Punch Studios.

Catch Tundra at the Bury Fringe All-Dayer on Saturday 5th May and at the Riverwalk Fundraiser on Saturday 16th June, both at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds!

Categories
Track Reviews

Track Review: The Green Brothers – Something To Lose

Alternative-punk trio The Green Brothers have finally released their debut single Something To Lose and it’s a really great introduction to the band.

The trio have previously released tracks on SoundCloud however this is the first track available on all platforms, and it’s a track well worthy of that status.

Something To Lose opens with a belter of an introduction with a super bass solo accompanied by thrashing drums straight before the high-tempo laid-back vocals kick in. The song follows this same pattern throughout to great effect which leads into ferocious instrumentals towards the end of the track.

The Green Brothers have been playing a lot of shows recently, notably at The Cambridge Junction’s Fiver nights supporting Gaffa Tape Sandy and The Lost Volts and in venues around London.

2018 looks to be a good year for the band, with their aim being to gig as much as possible and to release moe tracks throughout the coming months!

Something To Lose is a real statement of intent from The Green Brothers, it’s available on all platforms, and the music video is available on their Facebook page!

Categories
Track Reviews

Track Review: Gaffa Tape Sandy – Beehive

What a year Gaffa Tape Sandy have had.

The golden trio of Kim, Catherine and Robin have played on multiple stages across East Anglia, and were selected to play on the renowned BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury Festival which was without a doubt one of the best sets of the weekend. Not forgetting the release of their hit-laden EP Spring Killing, featuring the absolutely huge Water Bottle and Pink Neck/Train Wreck.

Off the back of this, the band went into the studio to record their most recognisable track from their live sets, Beehive.

The song, released with help from Antigen Records, is a classic Gaffa Tape Sandy track packed with a memorable riff and an incredibly entertaining chorus. This song is incredible and is without a doubt the band’s best song yet.

The garage rockers from Bury St Edmunds are on to a winner with this pulsating track which is full throttle from the start to finish. And when they perform Beehive, they really turn it up a notch.

BSE’s best band? You bet.


Catch Gaffa Tape Sandy at their upcoming tour dates:
October 26th – The Big Moon, Cambridge
October 27th – V Bar, Colchester
December 2nd – The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds

Beehive is OUT NOW! Available on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp! Get it or stream it right now! You will not be disappointed!

Categories
Gig Reviews

Gaffa Tape Sandy and Cathedrals and Cars @ The Hunter Club, BSE

The 10th anniversary of BBC Music Introducing was celebrated at The Hunter Club in Bury St Edmunds on Friday evening (6th October) with interviews and sets from two of the biggest BSE bands, Gaffa Tape Sandy and Cathedrals and Cars.

The night kicked off with short sets from each band, and interviews conducted by the one and only Graeme Mac, with this part of the night being broadcast live on BBC Radio Suffolk. Click here and listen to the show!

Cathedrals and Cars were up first with their full live set and wowed the slowly-filling room with their incredible art rock sound. Highlights of their 30-minute set were the set opener Elevator, the lively Art School and the pleasing The Concierge. The band is currently in the midst of releasing new material, and it’s hotly anticipated since they haven’t released an EP since early 2013, though they did tease a new track called Wheeler Street, which as always sounded amazing. The real highlight of the night was the exhilarating A Piece Of Me Died In Europe, arguably the band’s best track, a darker track than usual but showcases the band’s intelligent songwriting and electrifying riffs.

Gaffa Tape Sandy closed the night with an emphatic set which proved they are the best band in Bury St Edmunds right now, what with coming off the back of playing the Introducing stage at Glastonbury this year. Opening with the classic Smart Dressed Guy (in which frontman Kim Jarvis broke a guitar string) and the acclaimed Water Bottle, the packed crowd moshed and crowd surfed all set long to the euphoric garage rock beats on display. Other highlights from their set include the pounding Transylvania and Pink Neck/Train Wreck, both tracks from their recent EP Spring Killing. The band were quick to shout out their manager Joe Weaver, and present Graeme Mac with a cake to celebrate the 10 years of BBC Music Introducing. The band were supposed to finish with the absolutely huge Beehive, though were called back onto stage by the baying crowd wanting another track. Coming back out, they played another song from Spring Killing, the smooth Collarbones.

An incredible night of live music, but a thankful reminder that without people like Graeme Mac, and the incredible people at the Washing Machine and Hunter Club, there would be no music scene in Bury or even in Suffolk.

The next Washing Machine event is Saturday 21st October where Dingus Khan headline The Hunter Club, with support from Sun Scream and KYANOS!

Gaffa Tape Sandy’s new single Beehive is out 20th October, and will be available on all streaming services and iTunes!

Categories
live

Homegrown Festival Showcase @ The Hunter Club

An outstanding night of live music at The Hunter Club proved that East Anglia has some of the most diverse and extraordinary talents in the UK music scene.

The night, hosted by Barrow’s Homegrown Festival, kicked off with Cambridgeshire’s own Tom Lumley. The singer, along with his very own backing band, proved to be the perfect warm-up for the night ahead with his mix of indie-pop packed with electric riffs and anthemic lyrics, a real crowd pleaser. It’s no wonder why he has already supported acts like The Hunna in recent months. Having recently released a new single Just Like The Light and with last night (29th September) being the first date of a tour which covers the length of the UK, there’s no reason why Lumley can’t go on to become an even bigger name in not only East Anglia but nationally. This was his first gig in Bury St Edmunds, and hopefully there is more to come.

Next up to the fold were Ipswich’s Underline The Sky. In a set which was unfortunately marred by technical difficulties, though this was not the fault of the band, they pulled off an excellent set which really got the crowd going. The band have a great back catalogue of music, having released one full=length record and several EPs, and their setlist proved it, rip-roaring their way through their 30 minute slot. Though their own songs were excellent, the ear-catching part of their set was their pop-punk take on Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Getting Back Together, a fantastic cover. Underline The Sky undoubtedly put on a great show, aside from the few problems. The wait for even more new music continues…

Sudbury’s smooth groving Stretch Soul Gang were the next band to showcase their talents, and they totally did. A packed crowd danced their way through an astonishing set from such a unique group, not many people can say they’ve seen a soul/hip-hop/jazz group. No word of a lie, they are possibly one of the best bands I’ve actually seen live… excellent showmanship, inch-perfect falsettos, soothing basslines, and a great set of songs like the tunes Ain’t Got No Money and Sharks at the Wheel prove that Stretch Soul Gang are one of the most promising acts in the East. They had the audience in the palm of their hand, and there’s no doubt that in the not-so-distant future they’ll be entertaining even bigger crowds, and playing even bigger stages.

Last to entertain the packed out venue were Aldeburgh’s Fick As Fieves and they rounded off a superb night of live music with a bang, The trio’s indie rock lifted the room, a very polished performance. The band’s music appears on Spotify’s The Indie List, and it’s no surprise off of the back of this performance with their energetic stage presence, catchy riffs and pounding drums. Having formed only a year ago, it’s fair to say that the trio have come a long way in such a short space of time. The band teased us with new material which sounded just as good as their current work like Label Us and Insomnia. Championed by BBC Introducing Suffolk, they are definitely set for bigger things.

An exciting night showcasing some of the best musical talents in East Anglia. A huge shoutout to the people at Homegrown Festival for organising the event, same again next year?

 

Homegrown Festival 2018 tickets are on sale NOW on the link below!
http://homegrownfest.co.uk/tickets/4592101812

Categories
Gig Reviews

The 545 @ The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

Five of the best bands from in and around East Anglia played an outstanding night at The 545 music event at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Friday night.

Stone Deepe opened the night with their alternative rock entertaining the growing crowd. If you didn’t turn up early to see these lot, you missed a great set. It was their first time playing in Bury St Edmunds and it certainly won’t be the last. Their setlist was inch-perfect to getting the crowd going, who they thanked for coming. Their set closer Get In Line was a fantastic way to end their inch-perfect set, a proper indie-like sound to it.

Next up were the post-punk sounds of one of Bury St Edmunds’ most promising bands SIAH. Although they are relative newcomers to the BSE music scene, they have a great collection of tracks to work with, especially the beautifully-named Feline Friends and the punchy A French Girl featuring “the angellic voice” of their drummer. Susie Smokes is always a great live song and with their debut record out next year, and an already large following, big things await the band.

The atmospheric indie-pop of Deep City was up next, and it was just a sign that the night was just going to get better and better. It’s no wonder that they are compared to The 1975 with their track Slow sounding like a blend of some of The 1975’s best songs, absolutely fantastic. The Cambridge-based band wowed the crowd with the even-better swag Wht Hppnd. Deep City premiered a ‘new-ish’ track Classic to the crowd, and if that’s anything to go by, they’re with us for the long haul.

Bury St Edmunds stalwarts Cathedrals and Cars were the real highlight of the night with their sophisticated and polished art-rock and a fantastic set which warmed the crowd up for Hollowstar. Notable highlights from their set were the incredible The Concierge and their set closer A Piece of Me Died In Europe. Great songs, great live performance, tonight cemented Cathedrals and Cars as one of the best bands from BSE.

Last up were the headliners Hollowstar, from Cambridge. An absolutely electric set which blew the roof off The Apex. They told the crowd they had only been around for about two years, took me by surprise considering how accomplished and confident they were on stage. Their whole set sounded huge, sandwiched by a passionate speech from their frontman about mental illness, that led into the phenomenal Feel The Burn. The band dedicated their new song All I Gotta Say to their loyal fan base. They said comically that without their fans they’d be “at home wanking and playing FIFA”. Sounding absolutely huge, let’s hope they’re back in Bury St Edmunds sooner rather than later!

A fantastic event as always at The Apex. I’m already looking forward to next year’s 545!

Categories
Gig Reviews

Suburban Minds @ The Hunter Club, BSE

A great night of live music at The Hunter Club with stellar sets from headliners Suburban Minds, and from Sun Scream, Mandeville and The Getaway.

The night kicked off with the indie funk of The Getaway. A real toe-tapping performance from such a great band, especially considering “their guitarist fucked off to France for the week”. The foursome cracked out some great tunes, notably the tracks Cigarette and Seeing Red, laden with groovy guitar riffs and incredible stage presence from their frontman. A great set to open the show with.

Chelmsford garage rockers Mandeville were up next, and they were next level. It was their first time in Bury St Edmunds, and off the back of this performance, I’m hoping it won’t be the last. Their energetic set was a standout performance of the night, ‘High Roller’ a particular highlight out of a brilliant set of tracks straight off their latest EP Double Denim.

Bury band Sun Scream warmed up the growing crowd with their superb psychedelic alternative rock. The five-piece band ploughed their way through several tracks, opening with the haunting Sun Scream and then the thumping She which is such a great song to hear live, easily one of the best tracks from any BSE band. They are most definitely a band to watch on the Bury music scene.

And then the time came, the headline set from indie rockers Suburban Minds. Opening with the jingly White Things, the band already had the adoring crowd in the palm of their hands. The band rip-roared their way through some old favourites such as Leave It There and Car Seat, though their performance of Sunbreak will live long in the memory.

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Suburban Minds

Suburban Minds then went on to play the rest of their EP in full, with Addicted To A Daydream sounding so much better as a live track. It all got a bit too much for the lead vocalist, who went shirtless halfway through this track. It’s no wonder they are one of Bury’s most loved bands with their rousing choruses and insanely-catchy guitar riffs prevalent in the aforementioned track and in their EP closer Little Miss Modest, made even better with a great light show to accompany the music.

The group then treated the audience to a Weezer mash-up of Say It Ain’t So and Beverly Hills, where the bass guitarist and lead guitarist decided to follow the frontman into going half-clothed. After going off stage after this track, the baying crowd wanted so much more from the band, who instantly came back on stage and performed breakthrough track I Wanna Feel, their first ever single which still sounds so fresh today. At the end of the hectic show, the band said that they were going away for a while, but this will most certainly not be the end for Suburban Minds, who after tonight cemented they are one of the best live bands in Bury St Edmunds.

Suburban Minds Setlist

White Things
Leave It There
Car Seat
Sunbreak
Freak Like Me
Real Fears
Addicted To A Daydream
Little Miss Modest
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Say It Ain’t So/Beverly Hills (Weezer cover)
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I Wanna Feel

The Getaway’s social media: https://www.facebook.com/thegetawayofficia1/
Mandeville’s social media: https://www.facebook.com/mandevilleuk/
Sun Scream’s social media: https://www.facebook.com/sunscreamband/
Suburban Minds social media: https://www.facebook.com/suburbanminds/

Mandeville’s excellent EP Double Denim) is available to buy on https://mandeville.bandcamp.com (available to stream also)

Suburban Minds debut EP I’ll Exist Again When I Wake Up is available to buy on suburbanminds.bigcartel.com (available to stream also)