Issuu on Google+


Discovery Eddie Gibson | Editor-in-chief This Issue: Interview with Demons of Ruby Mae, album reviews, track reviews, editing and layout design. Other: PR for Falcon Music and freelance for The National Student.

Jordan Helm | Senior Editor This Issue: Overall art direction and design, including the front cover creation. Other: Writer for Games Nosh.

Matthew Clewley | Writer This Issue: Review of Tides of Ruin’s “Salvation Comes Too Late”, and interview with Tides of Ruin. Other: Broadcaster for 6 Towns Radio.

Rob Birchall | Writer This Issue: Review of Oaths’ “Lover Another” and Ballsdeep’s “A Thousand Nights”. Other: Event sessions at The Rigger, Stoke-on-Trent.

Olivia Hine | Writer This Issue: Pop Corner contributor; review of Anne Steele’s “What’s Mine”. Other: Freelance vocalist.

1

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

Letter from the Ed Discovery – the feature everyone seems to want more of. It’s always a pleasure looking through the emails in the Music Review Database inbox, because once in a while, there’s an email from a musician; sometimes the drummer and often the guitarist, looking for a few words of constructive criticism. We believe there’s always a diamond in the rough, a cliché I know, but it’s a reason to keep looking through the ever-increasing amount of emails. This web-zine would be minimal without musicians getting in touch, so please be in touch folks, you don’t have to have the Do Re Mi to be featured on our website, or in MRD’s Discovery. Music Review Database’s Discovery lets you decide what you like. It’s interactive, allowing easy access to YouTube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Twitter, and Facebook pages. This web-zine is like the website, only a little fancier and specific to what we consider Discovery artists. You may remember the Discovery Weekender we put on in the fourth quarter of 2013 – covering a range of artists spanning from the depths of our email inbox to last.fm’s recommended artists. Of course, if you know it, you’re not discovering – but we’re not about to go on a crusade to find music nobody has heard before in a last.fm styled ‘2000 listeners and under’. So please, enjoy the reviews and of course the music. Thank you for reading and listening, Eddie Gibson


Artist List Anne Steele 2 Astralia 12 Ballsdeep 18 The Cannanes 14 Clubs. 4 Daniel Johnston 14 Delamere 5 Demons of Ruby Mae 3, 15, 16 Five Mile Smile 9 Fuuku 12 Gavin James 3 Highlives 6 Jack Watts 11 Josef K 14 Lend me your underbelly 10 maquinas 9 Novella 4 Oaths 18 OVOD 20 Patersani 10 Red Sonnet 7 Sorren Maclean 5 Starfire Rainbow Jellybean 11 Tides of Ruin 17, 18 Tuath 7 Valsaland 6 VISION FORTUNE 19 Vök 8 Will Varley 13

Events

It’s far too easy for music blogs and websites to say ‘go to Glastonbury where you’ll find X, Y, and remarkably Z’. So instead here’s three of our personal picks for music festivals to attend from May - July, mentioning some remarkable X, Y, and Z artists. Who cares about Reading / Leeds or Glastonbury for that matter? For good quality music at an affordable price, these are the ones you really should be attending. If you can’t afford these, then there’s always day tickets which are usualljust over a third of the price.

All Tomorrow’s Parties, Iceland July 2 - 4 £43.50 Belle & Sebastian / Iggy Pop / GY!BE Tramlines Festival, Sheffield £30.00 July 24 - 26 All prices are for your standard weekend ticket.

... And if you’re unable to travel to Reykjavic for All Tomorrow’s Parties, then i’m sure their will be YouTube videos. Lunar Festival, Tamworth in Arden £94.00 June 5 - 7 The Fall / Sun Ra Arkestra / Wilko Johnson

Pop Corner ‘Pop’ and ‘Discovery’ don’t exactly go hand in hand – seeing as the genre pop essentially means the popular, but I’m determined to find something which can be defined as pop music, but not actually popular, yeah...

Anne Steele “What’s Mine”

To begin with, this track is strange, my main reason being because the lyrics that are being sung sound like something a younger girl would perform and therefore it doesn’t sound quite right when matured cabaret performer Anne Steele performs them. Yes that’s picky I know. After reading about all her awards, achievements and sold out concert halls it was slightly disappointing to hear what I can only describe as ‘childish pop’. Tracks like this one are a waste of someone with enough talent to be performing so much more. I hope it gets more likeable throughout each time it’s played. -Olivia Hine

Facebook Twitter

Bandcamp YouTube May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

2


Track Reviews

Gavin James “The Book of Love” Facebook Twitter YouTube Last.fm

Up and coming Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James has found his feet, signing to Capitol Records seemingly overnight after a string of well-received singles in his native Ireland. He’s attempting that crossover to the United States of America via his recent covers and personification of appearing to ‘appeal’ to the state-side audience. That’s fine, but it does put James in a much constricted formation of musicianship. He’s at his best when singing his own songs, no doubt about that - “Remember Me” is a great example of James’ work as a writer and performer. His voice wild, song tame, though respecting his own guitar skills. On his cover of “The Book of Love” James loses his potential. It’s very hard to cover songs which serve such mass importance to the originator and the originator’s audience. As a big fan of The Magnetic Fields, I consider all covers to be ineffective at replicating the mood, and meaning behind Stephin Merritt’s bleakness. Sure, James delivers a slow

Demons of Ruby Mae “Summer Night” Manchester-based duo Demons of Ruby Mae are producing eloquent minimalistic inspired alternative rock through rare live performances and professional near-faultless recordings. Multi-instrumentalists Jonny Gavin and Adam Rowley are both individually talented, Gavin with his lavish vocal range and Rowley with his perfectionism.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Last.fm 3

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

“Summer Night” begins with a feedback drone Peter Kember would proudly call his own, establishing the solitude in Demons of Ruby Mae’s aesthetic musical arrangements. Electronics have been utilised in the style of The XX, with simplicity akin to your four-

and remorseful version, but it lacks emotion. You argue with his vocal ability, but I counter with Merritt’s delivery - almost, effortless, letting go, not forcing his sorrow on the listener. With James’ and Peter Gabriel’s covers, all emotion is caught up in the attempt to sound emotional. Jeff Buckley perfected it with his cover of “Hallelujah”, James unfortunately falls flat with this - though, as a recently signed artist with a good backing both in Ireland and across the pond, his ability and song-writing should take him far beyond that of recording covers. James is a very solid artist and has a good future ahead of him writing songs, and performing as a singer-songwriter. Perhaps this cover doesn’t sell Gavin as an artist, but it does highlight some of his strong attributes an acoustic styled musician, with a strong voice - not quite the vocal power of Merritt, but eagerly replicating his passion for “The Book of Love”. Respectable cover by James, just not quite the complete piece of music “The Book of Love” demands. -Eddie Gibson chord chart toppers. There’s a tingle of emotion attached to “Summer Night”, reminiscent of the intellectual night time artists like The National and Nick Cave. Gavin’s almost remorseful vocal resonates with the eerie instrumental which includes a healthy dose of ambiance and faint child-like backing vocals. It’s almost a given that Demons of Rub Mae will produce a strong quality release every single time they announce a new single, with “Summer Night”‘ being one in a string of very good singles. “Summer Night” was released on February 2 through AWAL distribution, with a planned EP due later this year. Check it out when it drops, and if you ever get a chance to see these live... do it. -Eddie Gibson


Track Reviews II “Sentences” is the latest cut and first single from Novella’s upcoming debut album Land. It’s been an album many have been waiting for, and everything seems to be going to plan for the now five-piece from London via Brighton. It’s an exciting period isn’t it? Signing with Sinderlyn, a subsidiary of Captured Tracks to release your debut of hyped nu-gaze bringing back the sounds of the 90s AND the 60s.

Novella “Sentences” Facebook Twitter Soundcloud Last.fm

Throughout their early stages, Novella have proven to be a prolific outfit with some extremely good songs lyrically and musically. Where others in the genre are reaching out further towards textured sounds of a layered electric guitar solely, the members of Novella focussed on delivering a package. They achieved this on their self-titled EP which included few flaws, only production value of the recording held it back in my ears form being one of the strongest EPs in years. Tracks like “Don’t Believe Ayn Rand” and “He’s my Morning” added lyrical content to their

Clubs. “Luminous” “Luminous” is the latest single from Clubs. one of Leicester’s up and coming artists with an indie pop / rock sound, but aimed and angled towards jangle as opposed to Foals Foals Foals. After a successful stint with their single “Carry You”, Clubs. have set out to record an EP, titled Wild Alive, with “Luminous” being the first single taken from it, and it’s a delightful return.

Facebook Soundcloud YouTube Twitter

Instead of ignoring the obvious modern British indie rock influence, Clubs. do in fact hold a greater meaning beyond this 2006 - 2009 constituency of music. They’re far more British Sea Power than Wild Beasts - just the

previously dominant shoegaze / noise rock sound influenced by the likes of Spacemen 3. Land needs to follow-up their self-titled EP with a few bangers, and their previous release “Land Gone” does this - “Sentences” doesn’t fully replicate this. Sure, it has the traits of Novella, but the progression and vocal differences don’t exactly scream single. If anything “Land Gone” has the capacity for air-play, or recognition within the shoegazing community (or what’s left of it.) “Sentences” sounds more like a warm-up than the real thing, a track one with substance, but no real affinity with holding up an album. That’s not to say this is weak - it just pulls away from that krautrock sound established in their previous few releases, without matching the shoegaze sound of their EP. There’s still plenty more to come from Novella. -Eddie Gibson

way I like it. It’s not too overpowering either, sometimes this sound can appear stretched and covered in tinted reverb which isn’t at all necessary. You can be a dream pop band and replicate Slowdive’s energy - but you won’t be able to replicate the emotion. Clubs. have done well to set themselves free from this copycat nature many British bands seem to have these days. “Luminous” is three minutes of catchy jangle pop in the essence of Aztec Camera, capturing their jangle pop sound, but taking it to it’s modern level - music you expect from artists like this. There’s almost an expected influence from the 80s / 90s artists with the new generation of British bands - Clubs. are one of them. -Eddie Gibson May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

4


Track Reviews III as if Delamere have suddenly changed direction, because that’s not the case. They’re still the musically strong quartet they were the first time I heard them play in Stoke-onTrent - shamefully an opening act instead of a headliner.

Delamere “Bright Young Things” Facebook Twitter

Soundcloud YouTube

Delamere shook things up on their previous recording “Headstong”, one of the tracks on their EP Bright Young Things. The self-titled track from that EP differs, but stays relevant to their now - like “Headstrong”, but less tame, more individualistic skill as opposed to the unit from their previous single. It’s not

“Bright Young Things” only adds to their already strong catalogue of alternative rock / pop - giving the listener something more than a pop song with a Fender. The opening guitar riff sticks throughout, and not only that - it doesn’t wade in and out, it stays predominantly on the left side of the recording, and never fails to break except during the err seductive.. interlude between verses. “Bright Young Things” is riddled in Delamere’s simplicity, but never fails to hone down on their strengths - strong vocals, very good production technique, and mastering their own instruments to fit their chosen genre / sound preference. As far as Delamere songs go, this is the icing on their newly baked cake. That’s not to say their previous songs are now ‘out of date’ or something - they’re still strong and stand up well next to these latest Delamere songs since singing and achieving their fulfilled production sound. These older

Sorren Maclean “Way Back Home” “I’m just one more local on the way back home,” sings Sorren Maclean on “Way Back Home”, a track from the EP of the same name. Maclean’s already found his feet, and they’re supporting Idlewild, a big step in the young singer-songwriters quest for folk stardom. “Way Back Home” is an anthem - not for Scots or the very secluded folk from the Isle of Mull, but for people all over. There’s a

5

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

songs are actually underrated, and unfortunately underrated by the quartet themselves - so much that you can’t even access them via their own YouTube or Soundcloud anymore. “Colour Me In” can be heard here, “Vampire” here, and “Heart” is nowhere to be found. These few, especially “Colour Me In” show how Delamere have advanced over the years. First of all, “Colour Me In” is a very solid track, compared to “Vampire” just the recording differences highlight Delamere’s need for equipment behind their raw music. “Bright Young Things” encompasses these production techniques, and the bands own ability to perform without the need for studio enhancements - but it does add to the glorious sound the quartet now can create easily. It was a necessary step to remove the rawness from their music, and they’ve successfully taken this raw sound in to the studio to smoothen it out, as their music does intend to do. “Bright Young Things” has way more things going on than their previous recording “Headstrong”, and because of that, “Bright Young Things” is now their defining song. -Eddie Gibson charming sentiment to ‘home’ in this track, and Maclean’s lyrical strengths suit the not so magnificent acoustic arrangements. This is partly down to the genre being somewhat dated to those outside the Radio Two clique, but because the Americano sounds are coming through where others like King Creosote bypass. Nonetheless, this is a very good effort by Maclean. -Eddie Gibson

Facebook Twitter

Soundcloud YouTube


Track Reviews IV from the actors, to the video production team, then the audio guys - and about 20 instrumentalists.

Valsaland “Fåån” Facebook Twitter

Bandcamp YouTube

Valsaland is attempting to bridge the gap between the audio and the video market by combining the two as ‘projects’. It appears on paper as a one-man band sort of structure - but the deeper you go listening to Valsaland’s music, the more you understand that there are many minds at work here -

The man behind Valsaland is called Goblin Mikkanen, a Swedish videographer and musician - “Faan” being a puppet of his video work. But “Faan” isn’t just a side order to the main meal which, presumably would be the video - it’s in fact the main order. Put this down to Swedish innovatively, or I don’t know.. the Scandinavian flair - the fact remains, post-rock can be played, produced, and desired by just about anyone that puts their mind to it, and Mikkanen has so easily geared his music up for soundtracks. This does offer up the casual listener, but brings back fans of the videos. I’m not interested in the video per se, more Valsaland as an artist, and “Faan” as a track; because without the music, the video would be meaningless, it plays to the track. “Faan” doesn’t push any buttons for the avid post-rock fan, but for the casual, part-timer, it can open doors to a greater world out there. It’s the kind of music you want to hear on epic vidya, or during the build-up to a key

Highlives “What We’re Built On” Highlives are a Bristol-based pop punk quintet. “What We’re Built On” is taken from Highlives joint EP titled Split. At 4 minutes and 37 seconds long, I can safely say it has everything pop punk requires. Areas drift off into nothingness, but the main bulk sticks and (if you’re a big pop punk fan,) resonates with the listener. My main criticism would be the production. Unfortunately when you record anything

moment in a Ben Stiller movie - never over the top, but always keeping the audience entertained. Here we find the essence of postrock music, and the true sounds behind the instruments. It’s far too easy to go out and listen to Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor - the latter being more of a chickflick combustion of emotions than actual recorded music. Valsaland puts his music on a plate so the listener can take what they want from it. They don’t have to actually become a massive fan of ‘“Faan” the musical’, but a guest to Valsaland’s creativity. The guitars are well produced, and the vocals come in at just the right time, with enough weight to take listeners through the sound-video experience. Without the visual, “Faan” stands up on its own - interesting post-rock from Sweden’s Mikkanen, quite the talented act. That’s not to say it’s a solo effort - Valsaland is far from it. There are actually approximately 20 instrumentalists involved with Valsaland’s recorded music, and it would be terrible not to give them a shout. Lead by Mikkanen, sure, but certainly not outweighed musically. -Eddie Gibson punk related in a studio or have it mastered, you can remove so many of the nitty gritty sounds which are so attractive to listeners of raw punk. The vocals are solid, guitars are at times too soft and monotonous, and the percussion doesn’t sound interesting enough. Still, a very good effort - at their best from 3:15 onwards, which really does standout compared to the few minutes prior. -Eddie Gibson

Facebook Twitter

Bandcamp YouTube May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

6


Track Reviews V lodic to me anyway - maybe not to the average pop listener, but if you’ve listened to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless on full blast, you’ll realise why this recording is melodic.

Tuath “Viholliseni Maala” Facebook Twitter

Soundcloud YouTube

Tuath (pronounced two ah) are an Irish shoegazing two-piece - enriched in nationalism, and the music in which they believe to be the neutral ground between politics and music. Self-announced as the first ever Irish language noise rock band, Tuath blend the drones of noise rock with the melodic and sensual sounds of shoegaze - at least it’s me-

“Viholliseni Maala” is the English title - the actual Irish language title is “I D’tuath De Mo Cuid Namhaid”, a beast to take in. If you haven’t recognised the title, it’s because you’re not a fan of The Brian Jonestown Massacre; or just haven’t heard their 2012 album Aufheben. This is of course Tuath’s cover of the TBJM original, and it’s adequately on par with the original in my opinion. On TBJM’s version from Aufheben, the vocals manage to get lost in the Clinic-esque production, where the drums sound like their coming from your neighbour’s garage, and the guitars are upstairs. Tuath took the tempo and slowed it right down, without losing the context of the songs original rock song structure. Reverb and delay embark on their voyage in quick strums introducing the listener to the TBJM chord progression. The sound is matched by Tuath’s quality at replicating and taking an original sound to their own level. The drums are slower and

Red Sonnet “After Elnéthé” Red Sonnet evoke the spiritual nature of, just that really nature’s spirit. They’re folk at heart, but you can from just one listen to “After Elnéthé” will reveal their strangely progressive rock sound - stuck in the 80s image and sound wise, but created in modern day England. Red Sonnet are like Enya, but not quite. It’s lacking a finishing touch - a sort of personality which you really need to maintain

7

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

lively - sounding unique on the ear. Then the vocals kick in, and it’s quite surreal actually. Tuath clearly don’t hold the vocal power to sing freely on Capital FM, but they do the job their music compliments. This is of course shoegaze, the scene which celebrated itself two decades and counting ago - Tuath are in no way bringing a noise rock revival to Ireland, but by singing 100% in their, THEIR language, they add a personality and character beyond the band name, and beyond the music. The music just happens to be pretty good with raw sounding percussion and incredibly well produced guitars. There are not many flaws with this cover, the only criticism I can actually give the track is the needless 20 second fade out which burns a hole in my ear drum. Ignoring this burning sensation, “Viholliseni Maala” actually comes across as a very good cover, executed well by the Irish duo. Their EP doesn’t hold as much character being down to Tuath sounding relatively new to the genre, but that’s not to say it’s interesting. Everything about their music to their political stance is interesting. -Eddie Gibson throughout your music - such as Current 93’s “All the Pretty Horses”. That being said, the eeriness of “After Elnéthé” is stunning. It seems to take me back to every single viewing of Scarface. Remember that ethereal synthesizer music? Yeah, “After Elnéthé” takes on that vibe - calming, though quite disturbing if you don’t give it enough time - because there’s a lovely little acoustic guitar section which can cross your path unnoticed. -Eddie Gibson

Facebook Soundcloud

Bandcamp YouTube


Track Reviews VI It actually led me to become a keen listener and follow of Vök’s progress as an outfit - interviewing the trio in their first Q&A outside of Iceland. They kindly created a mix for Music Review Database’s 2nd anniversary featuring their music and some of their influences.

Vök “If I Was” Facebook Twitter

Soundcloud YouTube

Icelandic trio Vök return with “If I Was”, a single taken from their upcoming second EP titled Circles. Their previous EP Tension featured a range of styles from new age to nu jazz including a reworked version of “Before” - the song which attracted me to Vök in the first place.

Vök haven’t left their nu jazz / ethereal electronica sound behind on “If I Was”, if anything, they’ve taken it beyond what anyone could have expected two years ago. The production is vibrant compared to the minimalism of their past - including synthesizer stabs rotating between the left and right side of the recording, creating this chaotic IDM vibe. The electronic bass beat only adds to the introductory dark soundscape - Silent Shout-esque. Instead, the direction takes a turn, the bass becomes somewhat uplifting, carrying the vocals of Margrét Rán deep into unknown territory, somewhere in between a chorus and a verse, but it could be justified as an abyss in all honesty. Vök clearly are a very talented group musically, creating the music of 90s trip-hop past with one foot always on

the experimental trigger. “If I Was” continues their transition from another Icelandic band, to the go to Icelandic band in a period where it’s local and exported musical culture is arguably at its strongest. They always seem to leave the listener wanting more, partly down to their strong performances on record, but because “If I Was” is short at three minutes long - much like their others, but far more concise and packaged as a Vök single. Yeah, it’s a cliché, but the world really is Vök’s oyster, and at this rate of producing quality music, they’ll easily make an impact on the European and North American music market as a live act, and at festivals - possibly as the understudies of an influence like the iconic Icelandic Björk - but more likely on their own two feet, where they actually stand as strong electronic musicians without a point to prove. The fact Vök are Icelandic doesn’t take anything away, or add any character. They speak in their native language, and for that credit should be given, it’s not easy to break the festival barrier in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. -Eddie Gibson

May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

8


Track Reviews VII “Mofo”, taken from their self-titled EP, reflects their love/hate relationship with Fortaleza. The Portuguese language - is understandable if you speak Portuguese. If you don’t speak Portuguese, then it doesn’t really matter, they’re in the alternative clique of musicians where the music speaks for itself.

maquinas “Mofo” Facebook Bandcamp

Soundcloud YouTube

maquinas are a Fortaleza (Brazil) based noise rock / shoegaze trio - in the heart of Brazilian alternative music with odd genres for the Brazil audience which usually conforms to pop or the electronic chart pop. maquinas completely stick their middle finger up to the mainstream by playing their alternative sounds.

9

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

In a Sigur Ros-esque way, foreign (to me, the English speaker) artists with their native language deserve praise for entering the worldwide market, especially as English speaking reviewers / listeners take closer attention to alternative music lyrics, especially when spoken in English. But masquinas play a blend of shoegaze / noise rock, which has often been associated with guitar layers and creating soundscapes rather than a chart hit pop hook - My Bloody Valentine / Slowdive, the pinnacle of shoegaze/dream pop, they take great pride in blending melodic sounds with interesting lyrics, mostly used vocally as an instrument, but also as a key factor in the representation in their music. What masquinas have with “Mofo” is a strong opening track which introduces listeners to their music, and carries them

through for several minutes in an attempt to capture a fan from local, national, and global audiences. Musically, it’s nice on the ear - ‘nice’. Not overpowering to a point of listening to Japandroids through laptop speakers, but just enough of the light and heavy elemtnts to seem attractive on the ear. They take influence in the artists and albums of the 90s - Ride comes to mind. It’s hard to fathom two decades separate maquinas and their predominant influence. The odd listener may even think this is a cut from the 90s, but it’s not - and saying that is a real compliment, there are many shoegaze influenced artists around the world who crave for a ‘sound’ over style, and maquinas seem like one capable of achieving this sound, without detracting from their personality as an artist and style, as they are not from Slough, but Fortaleza, Brazil. Its interesting music at the very least, fitting to their influences, but not overly self-involved with their past-time love for 90s alternative rock. A partner to the sounds of the past, rather than a fan. -Eddie Gibson

Five Mile Smile “The Villain”

strange at the very least - though that’s not my prerogative here.

Five Mile Smile are a Belfast based threepiece who play a range of music, most familiar to alternative rock - but they have dashes of hard rock and blues, though more suited to alternative rock as their latest track “The Villain” suggests. Their bio reflects a relationship possibly previously tarnished, but now fixed, or it could be a matter of being together in the right place at the right time. Splitting up in 2000 and reforming in 2014 to a couple of hundred Facebook likes seems

“The Villain” seems to be influenced by the sounds of 80s / 90s alternative rock. It’s reminiscent of an R.E.M song, though “The Villain” could easily have been written and recorded in the 90s. Either way, it’s actually a neat little track and shows Five Mile Smile at their best. -Eddie Gibson

Facebook Soundcloud

Twitter YouTube


Track Reviews VIII known as the SPL. Patersani are part of the Glasgow music scene, and have lately been gaining support - as appearances on the live stage have appeared successful. The three piece containing two brothers, and one friend play the ‘traditional’ indie rock music, in a post self-titled Kasabian sense. Though their past sounds appear more indie folk based. The transition to electric isn’t quite the devastating divide Dylan encountered, but it shows Patersani’s developing sound from where they were seven months ago, to where they are today.

Patersani “The Ugly Friend” Facebook Twitter

Soundcloud YouTube

Whatever political or religious (and even football) state Glasgow is currently divided by, there’s one thing those from Glasgow can agree on, and that’s their quality music scene. It’s not just Glasgow of course, but Scotland as a whole is bursting with personality after personality, where a local man with a guitar can be just as respected and

“The Ugly Friend” still splits my opinion. Usually there’s a side my opinions stick to, because the fence was smashed in years ago, but somehow “The Ugly Friend” has ended up in no man’s land. Initially, my unfavourable opinion latches on to the production, which is nothing short of messy quite frankly. Whether this is intended is up to the listener to decide, but the opening guitar riff which is consistent throughout, takes me back to when The Cribs’ “Moving Pictures” sneaked on to my iPod. Too much tremble and noise leads to earache. Then there’s the refrain: “Da da da da da da,” alien noises reminiscent

Lend me your underbelly “Dark” Lend me your underbelly; that’s a strange name for an artist, but it’s not for one man band Dutch multi-instrumentalist Christian Berends. “Dark” is taken from his second album Hover. There’s the cover art (pictured left,) scary isn’t it? Lend me your underbelly is an experimental rock / post-rock project recorded by a musician once involved with metal, and that past existence doesn’t show, but it does al-

of a Taylor Swift demo before one of her writers pens a hit. This refrain, although at first gives me pop pains, does actually catch on. It’s not as repetitive as it may seem, the same applies to the rhythm guitar with its production. Positives; there are always positives. “The Ugly Friend” isn’t my cup of tea, this sound hasn’t been my cup of tea for years. The whole British indie rock craze circa 2006 present bores me to bits, but that’s not to say Patersani failed with this track, because they’re far from it. It’s actually a rather interesting track from the beginning to close, and the tempo shift / breakdown at the end offers something more to the Glaswegian trio. They’re lacking a dynamic because there’s no actual bassist in the setup - sure, it’s on this track but it doesn’t come through. You can tell the recording is amateurish because of the guitar and percussion sounds. This is a catchy track, but won’t go too far in its current recorded state. The vocals are the standout, almost faultless, and recorded well - just figure out the recording of the guitars and percussion and you’re set. -Eddie Gibson low emotional elements and soundscape torment which some listeners have come to expect from the likes of Giles Cory, the solo project of Dan Barret from Have a Nice Life. It’s colourful with ambient recordings, and above all “Dark” is interesting; fully worth the 11 and a half minute duration of varied post-rock recordings patched together. -Eddie Gibson

Facebook Soundcloud

Bandcamp YouTube May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

10


Track Reviews IX Starfire Rainbow Jellybean; it doesn’t particularly read well, but as artist names go it’s kind of distinctive in a world full of ‘the’. I’d love to give some background information on Starfire Rainbow Jellybean, but the truth is I don’t actually know a detailed history about them and what they’re doing. I do know that it’s a quintet, and their main influence is... as you can see, disco.

Starfire Rainbow Jellybean “Get it Together” Showcase Bandcamp Soundcloud Last.fm

The members of Starfire Rainbow Jellybean are Paul J, Dorothy James, Kayleigh Thompson, Peter Worthington, and Frank Sun - as one of their few artist pages says. All except Paul are English born living in San Francisco, where the disco is still alive, apparently. They have few recorded songs, and they’ve actually chosen their best to share around, a cover of Thunderclap Newman’s “Something in the Air”, arguably the great one-hit wonder featuring The Who’s Pete Townsend, not quite the predecessors of Led Zep, The Yardbirds with their “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” - but still, a good start for a cover.

Jack Watts “Push Blue”

Facebook Twitter YouTube Last.fm 11

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

Jack Watts is a Brighton based singer-songwriter. He’s 20 years old and has his influence heavily in the folk rock sound circa 1990s. At just 20 years old, Watts is young, very young in fact, and he’s about to release his debut EP titled Red Shortbread. If his EP follows on from this take - “Push Blue”, then I can envision a very successful and sustainable career in the English folk / folk rock music scene - and it’s definitely something which can make the ears of America, given the power of his predecessor and (I don’t think he’ll mind me saying and likening) major influence Jeff Buckley. It’s the famous Buckley

“Get it together”, aside from the opening instrumental, is a pretty good cover - and that’s because they’ve changed the lyrics aside from the refrain: “We have to get it together.” The instrumental does pick up, the initial timing is just a little off at the start which sets it back. Musically, it’s produced well, almost too well considering they’re relatively new to recorded music (as much as I can make out.) Too well indicates the fineness of their sound, sometimes when a song has been overproduced it can come across as painting over the cracks. That definitely seems the case here, much of “Get it Together” sounds computerised bar the vocals / bass and lead guitar. The rhythm guitar is an annoyance the track could do without. Retro 70s disco band, that’s what you get with Starfire Rainbow Jellybean, they’re only really going to appeal to people that like retro 70s disco music, but they’re giving it a good go. -Eddie Gibson wail which Watts makes his own. But there’s more familiarities to Buckley’s music, than his voice - even through the vocal similarities are present. “Push Blue” plays on the loud/quiet/loud aesthetic famous for post-rock, but less so in alternative rock. It’s a skill not often explored in music, and Watts has certainly created a track with an excellent dynamic. His guitar work is very creative, not too over powering but still present on the left / right speakers, criss-crossing as lead guitar really should. Yeah, “Push Blue” is very likeable - perhaps a little too attached to Buckley’s past, but there’s years of progression ahead. -Eddie Gibson


Track Reviews X Astralia are a Spanish three-piece, confusing I know because the name Astralia really should be for an Australian band, or a Men at Work tribute act. The Spaniards create instrumental rock which borders post-rock and ambiance, as instrumental rock so often does. Astralia being one of many instrumental rock artists who play for the love of the sound and music; the gifts of atmospherical music at its finest.

Astralia “Atlas” Facebook Twitter Bandcamp YouTube

Facebook Soundcloud YouTube Twitter

“Atlas” is a track taken from the album of the same name released in 2014. It’s actually their second album, so they’re not quite newbies when it comes to releasing music, and “Atlas” really shows why they’re not new, and why they deserve some listeners. This track is the epitome of their about page / foundation as an artist: “After drinking from different musical styles, decided to create songs with new sounds, new atmospheres, new textures.” Above all, Astralia create music from their heart and soul, taking in the nature that surrounds them, using imagery

to give their listeners a little something of what they see, perhaps in and around Barcelona their city in Spain. Musically, “Atlas” is professional. It sounds like a track Mogwai would create around 2001, a compliment to both, still - Astralia prove their ability instantly. The guitars mix well with the percussion, and of course the bass is there as an instrument, not as a secondary guitar. No vocals mean some listeners may not care for it, but for those that listen to post-rock, and more so instrumental music; you’re bound to get something out of this. This is another example of under the radar music waiting to be noticed. The post-rock community could pick Astralia up quite easily, it doesn’t take a lot to determine quality and “Atlas” certainly has it. With two albums under their belt (both worthy of a listen by the way,) they can continue growing as a trio. -Eddie Gibson

Fuuku “Imam Cobain (Remix)”

songs of late; “Imam Cobain” being one of their latest and best remixes on their Soundcloud page.

“Imam Cobain” is one of those songs you need to tread carefully when commenting on. Plenty of backgrounds and music listeners swing on this more than the 2015 General Election. I don’t like the original here, but I am actually glad it’s in Silvana Imam’s native tongue - Swedish, but because of that it’s actually less likely to appeal to the Western audience this music is aimed at. Thankfully, I’m not here to discuss Silvana’s lyrical content, but Fuuku’s electronic remix.

The synthesizers suggest a deep house / trance instrumental remix, but there’s more going on here than in Silvana’s original. They both complement each other, but the Fuuku remix seems dominant over the original, The tempo is raised, with deeper bass drums carrying Silvana’s voice. Fuuku even play over the sample break - an interview with Cobain himself. Fuuku’s seamless remix offers a different musical perspective to the original, something all electro heads can enjoy. -Eddie Gibson

Fuuku are an Italian trio from Northern Italy, and they’ve remixed quite a few popular

May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

12


Featured Discovery: Will Varley

Will Varley “We Don’t Believe You” Facebook Bandcamp

Soundcloud YouTube

“We Don’t Believe You”, a cut from Will Varley’s upcoming release Live at The Lighthouse. It’s a tone all too familiar with fans of Varley, sadness without the comic relief his music has become known for. I first heard Varley’s music at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2013 - not actually at the festival, but at the tenting ground where he played a couple of songs at 2am because CFF wouldn’t have him on their actual stages. Be it explicit lyrics, or just because CFF is very family oriented; it seemed like a massive mistake by the festival organisers, because Varley’s short set equalled that of The Levellers and Bellowhead. It’s a testimony to Varley’s musical output and continued quality through his five such years releasing music with collective label Smugglers Records. This is where Varley belongs as a musician, in and amongst artists of the same nature. But his character and quality surpasses a collective, as Xtra Mile Recordings certainly

13

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

thought when they picked Varley up after he played a show supporting Frank Turner - an honour shared with Billy Bragg, Varley and Bragg arguably ‘better’ than Turner’s lyricism and musical output. Varley (now sharing the same label) owes part of this to Turner, but in all honesty Varley’s music deserved to be picked up by anyone, literally anyone because it has the potential to go far in a British folk scene so often dominated by mediocrity. There’s not enough honest voices, and Varley is the one the genre has been searching for.

Why We Binge Drink” performed live at the Occupy London proceedings in 2011. It takes a theme to many of his themes, statements of happenings and opinions followed by the progression of questions - story telling done right: “And you’d think they would stop starting wars before they tell us where to smoke.”

His music is brought together by his voice, i’m not talking about his actual vocal skills, but his voice as a folk. Varley’s music often comments on politics, it’s not always the case but these are his best - check out “They Wonder

You can listen to Varley’s Live at the Lighthouse EP on May 4, or see him at one of his gigs on his May tour. -Eddie Gibson

“We Don’t Believe You”, although not as powerful and revealing as his past political songs, is a refreshing take to political music. Varley talks about the lies of MPs, regardless of who’s actually in government; it’s a sorrowful soundtrack to what would be a stage Varley’s music ranges from comedy to em- version of The Thick of It: “And they’ll lie all pathy for all things beautiful. A song heav- day in Westminister, and theyll lie all day ily focussed on the former style is “Advert in court, and theyll lie about it later on the Soundtracks” - “So mix red and blue you get evening news reports, until theres a hundred purple haze it fills the sky on Election Day, thousands bodies lieing on the desert floor, it’ll choke you down at the polling station; and they’ll point their guns at Russia and the fascists will blame it on immigration.” // they’ll start another war.” You would be mad “So I’ll put my hands and lay down my arms, not to call this poetry. Varley proves time plug me into the matrix and the Facebook and time again that his music can appeal to a charms, and I’ll buy all the things that you wider audience, and an audience which feels want me to own, my wife can give birth to a the same way as he does. Be it a disregarding mobile phone.” ‘diss’ track to Westmininister with “We Don’t Believe You” or an educational look through The latter, “King for a King” - “Well your civilisations past on his Key Stage 2 RE song teenage years scar you like daggers, your in- “Weddings and Wars”, Varley’s music has a Normandy, lacking bit of something for everyone, folk or maturity; drink like “After him in second place came Nick a fish, smoke like a Clegg on his Game Boy Advance. I said: no folk - this is the sound of an Earthchimney.” This be‘How you doing Nick? What level you ing one of the best ling with a voice: on? and he said: ‘Level five,’ I said: ‘What examples of Varley’s “Adam and Eve were game you playing Nick? He said: ‘Tetris,’ I strands of bacteria.” work - intelligent lyricism involving re- said ‘Level five is pretty easy to get to on And he’s coming to a Tetris Nick.” venue near you. alism and nostalgia.


Take Me Back Daniel Johnston “Story of an Artist” “Story of an Artist” is often overlooked in Daniel Johnston’s discography. It’s track eight on 1982s Don’t Be Scared, an overlooked Daniel Johnston album - with the charismatic “I Had Lost My Mind”, but “Story of an Artist” is far from the smiles and laughter of “I Had Lost My Mind”, even if those smiles originally were hidden by dark, twisted lyricism. It’s the darkness in Johnston’s lyricism which has attracted so many to his music, this is

The Cannanes “Fawn Summer” The Cannanes are the epitome of indie rock. Australia’s very own alternative rock group have gone through many member changes since their formation in 1985, but have been consistent in their musical output. Their latest album Howling All Night was released in 2013 featuring “Fawn Summers”, a brilliant Cannanes song instrumentally and lyrically. As underrated as The Cannanes are, they’ve never really had anything worthy of being

Josef K “The Missionary” Josef K’s The Only Fun in Town was the only album released on their record label Postcard - regarded ‘the sound of young Scotland’ in its heyday. Only four artists were released on this label: The Go-Betweens, Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, and Josef K - a solid list of independent artists if I’ve ever seen one. Josef K being the arty post-punk Scottish rockers known now as a major influence on many of today’s British indie rock, but by few, their

down to the beauty hidden inside - angelic to the music fan, hideous to the outsider. As an outsider musician, Johnston is often disregarded as amateurish even now as an iconic singer-songwriter icon. “Story of an Artist” is one of Johnston’s most beautifully written songs, with heart-breaking piano accompaniment. This is not to be overlooked when venturing through Johnston’s past. -Eddie Gibson

Facebook Twitter

Bandcamp YouTube

ground-breaking. They write interesting songs which never tire, with “Fawn Summer” being one of these excellent oddities in their discography. It’s a ‘hit’ compared to their usual obscure indie sounds - this is down to the two chord guitar, and Yo La Tengo-esque sound. If you’re checking The Cannanes of the 80s, make sure you stay to check out their newer stuff too. -Eddie Gibson

Facebook Soundcloud

Bandcamp YouTube

album The Only Fun in Town is still regarded as a brilliant debut. “The Missionary” was released as a single in the following year. This single is fierce even for Josef K’s standards. The jangly ‘twang’ guitars are addicting, gruesome and distorted beyond belief, but addicting. It’s a fast paced track and one of Josef K’s best - criminally overlooked due to it not being on The Only Fun in Town. -Eddie Gibson

Facebook Soundcloud

Last.fm YouTube May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

14


An Interview with Demons of Ruby Mae From the vocal depths of Cincinati Ohio to the musical shallet of Salford - Demons of Ruby Mae evoke the greatest of sounds, in such short numbers alike their duo compatriots of heavier music. But it’s not all about venemous noise when it comes to recording as a two piece. Manchester based via Leicester, Demons of Ruby Mae are Johnny Gavin, and Adam Rowley - both interchangable musicians while on stage and in the studio, with one thing staying the same, Gavin as the primary vocalist. Their key instruments? It’s almost unrecognisable due to their multi-instrumentalist vibe, but Rowley’s performances on piano have been spectacular, and Gavin’s guitar work is at times, beyond that of a band based in Manchester via Leicester. Live appearences can be a rare occasion, and when they do put on a show, it’s definitely not to be missed - almost always a provider of up and coming musicians of artists they listen to, but uniquely finding musicians which fit to their style - a very strange style for a duo which holds a greater influence on their audience than they’ll be willing to admit.

15

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

A clash between the aethetic darkness of the Man in Black Johnny Cash, and the ever-evolving sounds of The National - Demons of Ruby Mae have unearthed a handful of heavenly music for their main core of listeners which in their past depended on the returning fans of a band which once was - The Chairmen. Like the listeners of their previous recording outfit - Gavin and Rowley have matured. Their age has risen, their interest in alternative music has soared, and the need to keep the soul surrounded by musical tunes has enspirted the lives of Gavin and Rowley, who focus on Demons of Ruby Mae as a side-project to their working lives, like many artists these days. I spoke with Adam Rowley (pictured right) to locate the demons in their music, and what the future holds for the duo behind one of the most haunting music out their today. -Eddie Gibson


Adam played synths and also sang with The Chairmen, and Jonny only sang (right?) as multi-instrumentalists, were you both skilled on several instruments through your youth, or is it something you both picked up while progressing as Demons of Ruby Mae? I was trained classically on piano as a child and naturally moved on to other instruments through my teens. I definitely think being in DORM has improved our talents on other instruments. As there’s only two of us it’s important for us to be as flexible as possible when creating new music. Do you feel more comfortable in the studio as a two-piece, being able to express your-

selves only to each other, than having a group of people wanting an input? Absolutely. With only two we have the expression we’ve always wanted. One great thing about having only two of us is that we get to use our voices as an instrument. In previous bands it didn’t have the same effect. The voice was battling for attention which should never be the case. Being able to interchange instruments such as on “You Got it Wrong” allows you to experiment the two-man dynamic even further, How do you decide who takes the lead vocals?

There’s no set way of deciding who takes lead with vocals. Mainly, the lyricist for the song tends to take lead, but as you’ll see - we try and harmonise as much as possible through songs. We think this is very important. What is the writing process like, do you contribute to each other’s songs, or is it individual efforts? Every song we write has input from both of us. Most songs stem from an individual idea and then created in the studio. We are not protective of our songs or ideas and actively approach other musicians to place their input in the song. You’ve just put out “Summer Night”, a change back to synthesizers and electronica ambiance - is this where you see your future music heading? Our influences prior to the Chairmen or any other band we’ve been in depict the way our songs are carved. “Summer Night” is electronic mainly due to the new instruments we have acquired. There is no promise that our next song will be as electronic sounding!! What plans do you have for the future? We have a busy year ahead - promoting both “Beneath the Surface” and “Summer Night” across the summer with some nice festival appearances before releasing our EP later this year. We’re also planning a homecoming show so keep your eyes peeled!

Demons of Ruby Mae “Summer Night” May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

16


An Interview with Tides of Ruin by Matthew Clewley

Why the name change from Behead the Bride?

Has Callum fitted in well with the drumming since his arrival?

With the departure of our ex-guitarist and ex-drummer we were stuck in a rut and the future of the band looked uncertain. Fortunately we knew two of the best musicians around and it only felt right to change our name to something we could all decide on. Plus, ‘Behead the Bride’ didn’t really make us sound approachable.

Will (Ex-drummer) and callum are two completely different drummers. Will focused on more traditional beats and helped us find our sound whereas callum built on this foundation and added his own flair. Both are stand up guys.

Do you have the same sound as Behead the Bride or is there a little bit more to Tides of Ruin than meets the eye? Tides is pretty much the same elements of Behead but Lankie and Callum have brought in their own ingredients and we have made a beautiful cake. Excuse the metaphor. How did you meet your guitarist Lankie? I (Pete) have known Lankster for a long time. We went to the same college and he played in a band with one of my best mates. He is a fun and unique, I had always wanted to be in a band with this lion.

17

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

You’ve got a song called “Salvation Comes Too Late”, what is that song about? Salvation was the second song that Dan and I wrote together and it is my favourite to play live. For me, it screams ‘power to people’. Its a song to help any person(s) when they feel like life is too much for them. How many songs have you wrote, do you have enough for an EP? We have written four songs and have a new one in the works so to answer your question yes xD We are currently working towards an EP so keep your eyes peeled guys.

After your next release do you guys feel it would be right to take your live performances outside of Stoke-on-Trent? In terms of gigging we would like to dominate our home town just because we love it here! We are looking to perform outside of Stoke and our plan is to move onto the other big UK cities; London, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham etc. See you there... Do you have a step by step plan on how to get your name out to more fans? Yes, we plan to utilise all of the major social media sites and band resources we can, because thats where the potiental fans are. Its great for informing our fans of the latest news, any new releases and up and coming concerts. My personal aim is to meet everybody who comes out to see us and become friends as opposed to fans. Do you have any plans on playing any festivals in the next year or two? Nothing yet Im afraid but the future hasn’t been written... Yet. We are working very hard to get any gigging oppurtunities so hopefully it will pay off.


METAL TRACK REVIEWS

with Matthew Clewley & Rob Birchall

Ballsdeep “A Thousand Nights”

Oaths “Lover, Another”

Tides of Ruin “Salvation Comes Too Late”

Ballsdeep, a four piece based in Stoke-onTrent that show their veteran skills both on and off stage are a band that certainly know how to make some noise.

Oaths continue stirring up a storm with “Lover, Another”, their latest track. The Manchester based quintet show that they are still pushing forward in the music scene, and grabbing peoples attention along the way. “Lover, Another” is their second single and it draws you in straight away. With an intro of coarse vocals leading into a fast paced and catchy beat - a solid start to any track.

Stoke-on-Trent metal quartet Tides of Ruin have released their debut song “Salvation Comes Too Late” for our ears to grace.

Throughout the track the band show knowledge and understanding of the current metal scene. The guys have pieced together the track brilliantly to keep the listener fully engaged throughout whilst creating a broad appeal to fans of different metal genres. Recently featured in Metal Hammer and constantly touring, these are definitely a band to look out for and to witness live. -Rob Birchall

The chorus is likeable and can get stuck in your head after a few listens, however the highlight of the track is the solo with slick musicianship carrying.

Already having played at the prestigious Bloodstock Open Air Festival twice, this band are one to watch out for. Currently they are in the studio working on the sequel to “A Thousand Nights” which was a fantastically hard hitting full length that had just the right amount of everything. Grinding guitar riffs, hell fire vocals, raging bass lines and pounding drum beats, these some up what makes Ballsdeep just what they are. -Rob Birchall

Previously known as Behead the Bride, they are back with a bite and are healthier than ever. With a chunky riff that sticks to you like a cactus stuck to your face, this song does everything a metalcore song should do.

You can check Tides of Ruin out on their facebook page, ther you can listen to “Salvation Comes Too Late”. -Matthew Clewley

May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

18


WARNING

Not a country album! VISION FORTUNE Country Music The ambiance of Mas Fiestas Con El Grupo - VISION FORTUNE’s debut album - confused those believing they were picking up a compilation of 50s Latino music; they weren’t. It’s part of the VISION FORTUNE tradition of deceptively altering their audiences’ perception of what they’re listening to, even before they’ve clicked play. They don’t do this to be trolls, they do it so the audience can listen beyond their expectations. Their sophomore album opens with “Blossom”, and powerful dabs of bass and a reoccurring synthesizer riff simulating the futurist sound of the Tardis. Then they start singing, which is at times the most frustrating part to VISION FORTUNE’s music, because they don’t come across as the vocal kind, and they never really need to express the need for vocals in their music when the instrumentals can do the talking for them. The vocals do at times sound more like 12th century cult chanting than actual articulating words in the English language. Although, this does add to the effect VISION FORTUNE love to create on their recordings. “Cleanliness” an example of this, where the vocals work well with 70s electro sounds. These sounds appear throughout Country Music, “Tita” stands out for its short segments of alien-esque noises Eno would scrap because it would alienate his audience. “Tied and Bound” re-hashes the dabs of bass heard on the opening track, only to break in to the VISION FORTUNE way of non-linear song composition. Synth lines fade in and suddenly leave, layers of vocals suddenly appear and fade out in a reverse manner to the synths; and the percussion, well Can would be eager to replicate these sounds if it was still the 70s. What it does do for VISION FORTUNE is add a dimension to their music, something modern-day Radiohead are craving for specifically with The King of Limbs. It sounds like post-rock if it exchanged reverb for tempo.

19

MRD’s Discovery May 2015

The percussion on “Stalker” is actually frightening, it beggars belief how the members of VISION FORTUNE sleep at night with the repetition of this in their heads. It does however, along with “Habitat”, “Broken Teeth”, and “New Jack City” offer the listener an almost romantic attachment to their own lives, as if the listener needs something to grasp on to while listening - if you’re in danger, or walking down a very narrow alley in a strange part of town, don’t listen to Country Music. The best cut does come at the very end, as the sytnthesizer loop from “New Jack City” boils over. “Back Crawl II” features the most significant sampling, bass work, and percussion on Country Music; and trust me, there’s plenty of it. The bass sticks out like a pounding headache, only this sounds amazing - a nightmare which you don’t want to stop. Country Music doesn’t tick all the boxes for an experimental, krautrock, ambient album all rolled in to one. There are some obvious flaws in the dynamic approach to the recording, from the vocals, to the enhanced sound of overused synthesizers. One things definitely needed in VISION FORTUNE’s next release, and that’s some slight variation. They’re at their best when they’re putting all of this in to one - the “Back Crawl II”, “Dry Mouth”, and “Stalker” - what you could loosely define as ‘single material’, or standout tracks. There’s so much going on inside Country Music you forget where you are and what time it is, never allowing the listener time to reflect till it’s all over. But when Country Music ends, there’s this voice in your head, actually wanting you to repeat the process, like a harsh noise addict - only to realise that this is actually a very solid album, with well-thought out music and a level of professionalism you come to expect from that of Eno, Stockhausen, or Liebezit. -Eddie Gibson

8.7


OVOD Between the Days Electronic and ambient music using actual hardware equipment rather than layered software - Between the Days ladies and gentlemen. This is the solo project of St. Petersburg, Russia artist Ivan Lavrov, better known as OVOD on the ambient stage. Lavrov’s music ranges from deeply sincere ambient music of the night, to mid-morning drives around the park. Without even listening to Between the Days, one OST could summarise what the listener is about to witness through sound - Freedom Fighters. Okay, if you haven’t played Freedom Fighters then go back to your childhood, get yourself a PlayStation 2 and start playing one of EA’s few awesome games with actual quality synthesized and ethereal music - how game music should be done. OVOD probably hasn’t played Freedom Fighters, but if he did.. he could mute the sound coming from the TV, and start listening to his own album for one heck of an experience. That’s enough Freedom Fighters for now. Between the Days - Lavrov’s second album release under the OVOD moniker, is a listen which demands attention. You may think instrumental music is background music, but it’s far from it. Music from the likes of Mogwai and Brian Eno have devastating effects on the listener’s emotion - they actually tell stories on a subconscious level. Forget pop music’s message, instrumental music can decide whether or not you go to sleep at 10pm, or 4 in the morning due to the horrific state a Godspeed You! Black Emperor album can put you in. OVOD’s Between the Days doesn’t quite reach that extraordinary level of movement, instead, it

offers the listener a reason to keep listening. You’re instantly drawn in to Lavrov’s raw equipment - knowing that this is partly recorded outside in the garden, and mastered professionally in a studio. The mix between quality soundscapes and necessary guitar instrumental accompaniment is just about right. Post rock isn’t the genre Between the Days should be labelled as, but it does meet the usual criteria in a strange Talk Talk fashion. Tracks like “Kolomyazhsky” resonate with the more melodic-searching listeners, while “Swamp Helicopters” engulfs the sounds of your nightmares. The synthesizers can at times come across as too much, take “Butterfly Day” as an example - a well-worked track which builds over time thanks to the many synthesizer layers involved. A lot of work has been put in to create these sounds, though it seems it’s been overworked and somewhat claustrophobic. The original soundscape ambience manages to lose itself amongst the high pitched synth drones unfortunately. Between the Days does manage to regain some of the strength from the earlier tracks with the closer “When Rails Are Not Alone”, the uplifting end to what is an album full of mourning. OVOD’s music is far from relaxing, in fact Between the Days puts you on edge for most of its duration; this is good thing. From the start of “Flashback Voices”, the listener becomes a pawn in OVOD’s surreal world of synthesizer noises, each one a charter in his Freedom Fighters sequel. -Eddie Gibson

7.9

May 2015 MRD’s Discovery

20


MRD’s Discovery ISSUE01

1. Contributors and Letter from the Ed 2. Artist List, Events, and Pop Corner 3. Track Reviews I 4. Track Reviews II 5. Track Reviews III 6. Track Reviews IV 7. Track Reviews V 8. Track Reviews VI 9. Track Reviews VII 10. Track Reviews VIII 11. Track Reviews IX 12. Track Reviews X 13. Feature: Will Varley 14. Take Me Back 15. Interview: Demons of Ruby Mae 16. Interview: Demons of Ruby Mae II 17. Interview: Tides of Ruin 18. Metal Track Reviews 19. VISION FORTUNE - Country Music 20. OVOD - Between the Days musicreviewdatabase.co.uk May 2015

facebook.com/pages/Music-Review-Database twitter.com/MRDOfficial


MRD's Discovery