Categories
EP Reviews

EP Review: KYANOS – Lost In Blue

Ok so picture it now – it’s late 2017, maybe early actually, actually probably not. It’s like roughly late 2017. I’m at a gig in Bury St Edmunds’ The Hunter Club and a certain bass player from KYANOS approaches me drunk. He rambles for a while as I try and make out what he’s saying… turns out that KYANOS are planning a big release in the form of a rather large sized EP. Cut a year and a half down the line, many rumours and a couple of single releases later, we have today – the release of Lost in Blue.

Following the release of singles So High and title track to the EP Lost in Blue, this release really sees KYANOS come into their own and produce a sound that continues to excite and sooth at the same time.

EP opener How Much? sets the tone for the record, showing us just where they plan on taking us over the next 7 tracks. Providing signature KYANOS reverb soaked lead guitars that drive each section into the next. Perhaps one of the more traditionally structured songs we’ve heard from the band, moving between hook and verse for the first half of the song. This is then brought to a holt as the tempo increases and the band show us a stranger side to them. To me this shows that the band aren’t going to give us an EP confined to musical boundaries, as the synths kick in I know I’m glued to my earphones for the next 20 minutes.

The EP continues to move at KYANOS’ own pace as what was our first taste of the EP ‘So High’ plays us all into the most blissful sleepy daydream, singing the words “CLOSE YOUR EYES AND DRIFT ON BY” into our comfy daydream. We’re soon woken up by lo-fi instrumental Dive Into My Mind’s Eye, Gently, urging us to groove as drums beats and bass lines lock in tightly. The synth sounds on this particular track remind me of early Nineties house music, perhaps what’s helping me want to dance?

Title track Lost in Blue is up next, a personal favourite of mine. The track takes us on a journey through hooks in vocals and lead guitars good enough to give, well, actual pop music a run for its money? We’re soon transported to that familiar daydream state and the band shows us their more articulate side with interweaving jazz parts and tempo changes keeping us on our toes.

A change in feel again with Hit The Snooze, a slightly different side to the band than we’ve seen before. Delayed hand claps, swirling synths and a spoken word-esque vocals makes me think KYANOS have taken a leaf out of King Krule’s book? Regardless, lyrically I believe this is a shining moment for frontman Sam Golding, keeping the apparent themes of dreaming and the sea that the record has given us so far but also a different quirk to the lyrics we’ve not seen before.

Final two tracks Sunrise and Dopabean are perhaps two of my favourite in terms of their musical ability and genius over all. Sunrise is another slice of original KYANOS pie. Sweet yet soft melodies playing around with each other with a tight rhythm section that’s solid yet shows intricate jazz playing. Not only this though, it also has what appears to be a song inside a song as towards the end of the track Golding sings the melody and lyrics to So High over the top of the track. At this point it starts to become clear that perhaps the reoccurring themes in the record might be a concept? A breaking the forth wall kinda thing. Although that may be some Black Mirror shit I’m rattling on about.
Finally we have Dopabean, starting the sound of a radio skipping through stations, each time landing on a different track in the EP; this progresses into an acoustic track that appears to be a different track altogether from Dopabean itself. Leading me more into the conclusion that this EP is very self-aware and confined in a concept. As this section ends we hear a riff not to dissimilar from that of something an indie-rock band might produce. This then heavily progresses into a full blown ‘KYANOS does The Flaming Lips’ vibe that makes the perfect closer to what has been an incredible EP.

Top musical talent, top song writing and incredible production (p.s it’s self produced by the way). I’m new to the blog so not sure if we do ratings? Marc, do we do ratings? I don’t care! 10/10! TOP WORK.

Written by Harry Dale.

KYANOS are playing the Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival all-dayer alongside SINK YA TEETH, THE GLITTER SHOP, PET NEEDS and THE CATCH on Saturday May 4th at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds.

Categories
Gig Reviews

Stretch Soul Gang @ The Con Club, BSE

In an area which is heavily dominated by indie and rock music, it was a welcome change to go to a funk and soul gig, and when Stretch Soul Gang are about you know it’s going to be a good one.

Motherfvker, a covers band from Ipswich, opened the night with a variety of brilliant covers. The best track of their set was a rather surprising cover of Childish Gambino’s Redbone, which was enhanced massively by the lead singer’s powerful vocals and guitar player’s sweet riffs throughout. A really nice way to kick off the evening.

The headliners of the evening were Stretch Soul Gang, a six-piece group from Sudbury who are one of the most-loved bands in the area. It’s a shame that the group only have the two tracks available to listen to on streaming services, but it’s those two tracks, the glorious Open Up Your Eyes and Ain’t Got No Money, that really got the adoring crowd moving.

What I personally love about the group is that everything about their sound is inch-perfect. Whether it be the tightness of the instrumentals, the impeccable vocals or the savvy crowd interaction between tracks, the Gang are really on to a winner.

The Gang’s setlist is one which is full of great soul numbers, Sharks At The Wheel shows off guitarist Alfie Row’s flawless falsettos whilst Poncho Villa and Ungrateful (featuring local rising star Steven Bamidele) gives us a taste of things to come with the band with an EP set for release in the immediate future.

Stretch Soul Gang are headlining Homegrown Festival this year, so if you want to have a great night grooving to some great original tracks and come away with a huge beaming smile on your face, then get yourself there. Because these guys are one of the best live bands around.

Thanks to Wigwam Promotions for organising a great night!

Categories
Track Reviews

Track Review: Stretch Soul Gang – Open Up Your Eyes

We are so so pleased to be premiering the new track from Stretch Soul Gang: Open Up Your Eyes.

Off the back of a great 2017 for the band which saw them narrowly miss out on winning BurySOUND and releasing their first single Ain’t Got No Money, the Gang are back with another enthralling track which will get you off your seat and dancing away.

Open Up Your Eyes is the first track from four soon-to-be-released tracks which will make up the group’s first ever EP.

Stretch Soul Gang got together in 2014 and have been grafting ever since, honing their original music, taking inspiration from the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Anderson Paak and A Tribe Called Quest.

The song starts off with smooth saxophones and hand-clapping before lead vocalist’s Alfie Row’s trademark vocals kick in. His voice combined with groovy baselines and the rapped verses from Jamie Hicks really shows why Stretch Soul Gang are one of the most loved bands in Suffolk.

A staple of their live sets (which you all really need to get to), Open Up Your Eyes is an enjoyable, funky gem of a track. And like we said before, there’s still way more to come from Sudbury’s Stretch Soul Gang, and we can’t wait for it.

Band Members:
Alfie Row- Guitar/Lead Vocals
Jamie Hicks – Rap
Benjamin Mason – Tenor Sax/Backing Vocals
Louis Hicks – Alto Sax
Max Bridges- Bass
Camden Clarke – Drums/Backing Vocals

Open Up Your Eyes by Stretch Soul Gang is out TOMORROW (30th March) on all platforms!

The song was recorded at their drummer Camden Clarke’s studio, click the link here to find out more: https://www.camdenclarke.com/

Upcoming Shows:
1st April – supporting Huey Morgan @ The Bassment, Chelmsford
30th April – Neil’s Jazz and Blues in West Kensington, London
9th June – Homegrown Festival, Barrow nr. Bury St Edmunds

Be sure to check out our track reviews tomorrow (30th March) of TUNDRA’s Swimming Shorts and The Glitter Shop’s Sleep!

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