What's in a name?
Having changed their name to Orphans, the band had to return to their former name Minotaur Explode, when they found out that Bono Must Die had beaten them to it and taken the Orphans title. But whatever you called them, Minotaur Explode can't be called boring. Creating the sort of intricate, audio onslaughts that have flung the likes of Meet Me In St Louis from the depths of the alternative underground to the bright lights of music press, this Dorset 5-piece certain seem to have what it takes. Their sound also seems to hark back to the days when Million Dead and thisGIRL were leading lights in the British punk scene.
Their new ep, Our Band Could Ruin Your Life, is an brief look at an exciting and creative young band. First track Stark's Pond kicks off at a rapid pace, driven along by some distorted guitars and a banging snare, it flits and changes in places while never losing its enticing momentum. You Can't Kill Robocop carries on moving forward with an excellent picked guitar line and some intense vocals, making this musical ride even more stimulating. Final track We Wear Invisible Masks, is a more dramatic tune while still featuring the band's jagged guitars and thudding drums, its a great closer to a great ep.
Minotaur Explodes - You Can't Kill Robocop
You can download the rest of their ep from their myspace
Photo by Sam Neill
After tonight's dismal display by the nation's football team, i need to cheer myself up.
I interviewed Bristol's Safetyword for Drunken Werewolf Magazine, which will appear in the next issue, and having not heard them before, I was thoroughly impressed by the scope and vision of their music. It doesn't actually sound like anything else my ears have had the chance to devour, its uncompromising without being angry, hopeful while being completely uncertain and experimental while maintaining an almost pop-like catchiness...in places.
Lyrically, its just as confusing and obscure. Citing inspirations such as historical oddities and apocrypha for example, the words seem to be a jumble of nouns and verbs, retelling ancient stories that have not be heard for centuries, all sung in laconic tones. These lazy vocals ooze out of the music and glaze over the stabbing guitars and flittering drums, simultaneously softening the attack from the instruments while leave the surface of their sound unsettlingly sticky.
Having self-released their debut album Man's Name Is Legion earlier this year, which you can purchase from their website, this four-piece are sure to boggle your minds.
Safetyword - Foot Oven
Safetyword - Pour Your Features Through The Mirror
To read my interview with the band, head over to DrunkenWerewolf's myspace for all the info on getting a copy of issue #3
The more open-eyed of you may have noticed that funfunfun has now osmosis-ised itself through the web membrane and into the social universe that is myspace. There's a link to our page over on the side-bar there, or for our lazier readers, right here.
On ourspace, you can read about the superb idea that i had, of expanding fff into the physical domain...yes a funfunfun zine! Weighing in at 8 pages of 4.5 inch by 2.5 inch readability, the fff zine should be available in the next few weeks (i'll keep you update) and will contain interviews, reviews and bands, all endorse by funfunfun and all made by me :)
In other news, Big Scary Monsters, awesome record label and friend of funfunfun, are having a competition. Here's the details:
"It's been a long time since we last ran a competition, so how about we make up for that right now? If you'd like to win copies of the as yet unreleased CDs from House of Brothers and Sam Isaac, plus some posters and other bits and pieces (ie whatever I decide to grab and throw in with the package), simply answer the below question: On this very blog, I recommended a Chicago band described as a cross between Sufjan Stevens and The Polyphonic Spree - who are they? Email your answer to email@example.com - Winner drawn at random on 1st Dec."
So go check out the BSM blog, Blog Scary Monsters (amazing blog name), for the answer and hopefully win some awesome music.
The new Scott Pilgrim graphic novel is amazingly awesome and soooo worth the year long wait and i can't wait for the new Mighty Boosh to beginning.
This is a really random post, hopefully funfunfun will be more structured next post. Here's a random tune to continue the randominity.
NWA - Straight Outta Compton
and go to fluxblog to get the song that inspired the name Scott Pilgrim.
Forever On The Edge
4 Or 5 Magicians debut single Forever On The Edge is out now on Alcopop Records. Its a 3 inch, 4 track selection of concise and beautifully crafted alt-rock songs. There's enough distorted guitar riffs and blistering drum tracks to keep your average rock fan happy but with the addition of wit and realism in Dan's lyrics, the band are lifted above the crowd of tuneless, thoughtless individuals that call themselves the British indie scene at the moment.
Highlight of the cd is track 4, a tongue-in-cheek rendition of the title track in the style of bluesy raconteur Tom Waits. The balls to actually put this on your debut release and the fact that they pull it off so well shows that the band really do have something special, or maybe they just don't mind risking trying something different
4 Or 5 Magicians - Tom Waits' Blues
Scarlett Johansson Is Scared Of Spiders
In a complete U-turn from the last few post of lovely, warm folkiness, i give you a track of cold, robotic, pumping electro-joy. To be honest I can't stand The Teenagers. I hate lazy sound of their music, the spoken vocals and out of tune singing. I can't stand the simplistic, boring arrangement of their songs and the monotonous drum-machine beat. And the worst part about them is their lyrics. All they seem to talk about is girls and fucking in the most arrogant, misogynistic way. I guess that why they called themselves The Teenagers.
The only reason i'm putting these lot on funfunfun is because the awesome Blamma! Blamma! boys have turned their new single Starlett Johansson, a homage to filmstar Scarlett Johansson, into six minutes of exciting, heart-racing, ear-pounding, suspense-building dance music which far outreaches the depths and subtleties of the original.
Starlett Johansson (Blamma! Blamma! Scared of Spiders mix) - The Teenagers
If you really have to, you can buy the single from here
Michael Rossiter first caught my attention when i saw him support Slow Club in Nottingham back in June. To near empty room, he demonstrated a determined maturity by producing an expert display of traditional folk and country songs with a current feel and an amazing aptitude on plucked instruments. His fingerwork was incredible, dancing over the strings instinctively, and added to that a great voice and some memorable tunes, it was a really impressive performance.
Since then i've been captivated by the three songs from his website, a triplet of bouncy, twangy stories. I find it odd how Michael hasn't found much attention from outside his hometown of Leeds, where he plays the majority of his gigs, but i guess that with the influx of singer/songerwriters recently, its hard to stand out in the crowd.
Michael's recently put new tracks on his myspace, which i'm happy to say are as good as the old ones, and also that he's started to play in a band...well a duo, Broad & Rossiter's City Waltzers, who create a bluegrass sound that seems miles away from their Yorkshire origins.
Michael Rossiter - Sweet William And Lady Margaret
Michael Rossiter - Love Henry
Broad & Rossiter's City Walters - Stewball
Its been a busy, yet quiet year for Emmy The Great. When singer/songwriters such as Kate Nash, Remi Nicole et al have been getting press coverage and media attention, Emmy has been waiting behind the scenes. She released an impressive ep, the My Bad ep, over the summer but she has been prominent has a backing vocalist for many of London's coolest and most hyped acts. Her next single, Gabriel, comes out this month and she's also taken part in the awesome Kruger magazine's Singles Club.
Hold On is a bouncy, hopeful number containing Emmy's characteristically clever lyrics and a lively guitar line. You can download her other track Paper Trails from the Kruger website
Emmy The Great - Hold On
Les Savy Fav @ The Scala
Tim Harrington, lead singer of headliner's Les Savy Fav, is an energetic performer.
Marching on stage as the band open with the raw riff of The Equestrian dressed in a top hat, tweed jacket, big boots and a checkered scarf covering his face, he immediately patrols the stage with a arrogant authority. He throws his microphone in the air, pulls angular shapes and passionately rasps his lyrics into the air. He enters the crowd after only a couple of songs and scales the Scala's balcony, where he dangles himself upside down from the railings with the help of two obedient ladies, all eyes on him. I wonder what the rest of band have come to think of these antics as they end up playing to no one, just the back of heads but Harrington is such a imposing presence that its impossible to keep your pupils off him. His stature and looks are not those of your standard rock n roll star but not many frontmen have the same energy, charisma or endearing enthusiasm with which Harrington displays tonight and the crowd attempted to reciprocate those qualities.
Its clear from his playful and passionate demeanour that its all about the fans for Harrington, thats why he's here and he wants to make them as much a part of the evening's events as the band themselves. Like the reluctant individual he pulls from the crowd during The Equestrian and rides like a stallion around the stage or the stage invader he captures during the intro to The Sweat Descends, who he sits on and dry humps for half the song. These people will go home with the largest smiles spread across their faces. Harrington wants every person to go home feeling something about the performance. He acts out lyrics, miming, making sure we understand what he's so impassioned about, making these sung stories even more vivid. When he enters the crowd a second time, kneels on the floor and without asking the surrounding crowd lowers themselves down to his level. It feels like storytime at school, its intense and personal, until everyone jumps up and dances as the drums kick back in. Harrington has so much adoration for the fans that during his mid-set banter, he marries the crowd and the band in a life-long union that i don't think either will ever think of breaking.
After a set of infectious classics, strong new tracks and many antics, the band reappears to encore, Harrington dressed in a nightgown. They burst into Who Rocks the Party and having been on fire all night, Tim and co. continue in flaming fashion. Its too much for some fans, who leap on stage causing a wave of dancing, smiling freaks to follow suit. By the end of the encore, the stage is swarmed and as the last chords ring from the distorted guitar a lone bearded figure stands in front of the stage modestly applauding and as the crowd realise they all turn and applaud Tim back. because even though he's modest, he really was the star tonight.
Les Savy Fav - Patty Lee (Radio 1 Session)
Les Savy Fav - Rage In The Plague Age (Radio 1 Session)
Les Savy Fav - We'll Make A Lover Out Of You (Radio 1 Session)
For more fuzzy or out-of-focus photos, check out my flickr