Friday, July 18, 2008

Nowheres Nigh

New Parts & Labor!
I'm very excited about this. After loving last year's Mapmaker, in particular opening track Fractured Skies, I was highly anticipating and rather anxious about their new output. Could they continue with the intensity and ingenuity of Mapmaker? Well... they may have.
Their new album Receivers comes out in November over here and the first track available off it, Nowheres Nigh, is the most pop-friendly song they released. Mellow vocals and a subtle ringing guitar float out of your speakers and it could be any American alt band, it sounds a bit mundane. Horrified I listened on and breathed a sigh of relief when I hear the glitchy oscillations of synths and the hammer of distorted six-strings, supplied by new recruit (and hottie) Sarah, that typify a P&L recording. There's more vocals than usual, or they're clearer in the mix, and the drums have been push back to a less prominent position which gives the track a less powerful, more accessible feel. They sound like a standard four-piece band in places, but luckily pump the grungey guitars and keys enough by the end of Nowheres Nigh to make it more than standard.
Not the most inspiring initial listen but there's plenty in there to keep me hopeful for the goods come November.

Parts & Labor - Nowheres Nigh

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Bookhouse Boys

Over the month or so that i've have been absent from this blog I have had music bombard me from all angles and quarters. TV, magazines, gigs, festivals, websites, emails even just walking along the street, all of varying quality and I shall divulge you with some of them in the near future. The first ones I want to bring to your attention is The Bookhouse Boys.
An email plopped into my inbox only a few days back from the London 9-piece and I haven't been able to stop playing their track Dead since. With so many in the band, you'd expect them to make a racket and they certainly do. The intro to Dead is a bombastic, deafening surf riff, like riding on a 50 foot wave made of lava and full of sharks, it breaks into a commanding country verse, sounding a bit like Murder By Death, who they are in fact supporting at The Borderline later this week, before crashing into another big, trumpet-fuelled riff for the chorus. Its abrasive and confrontational but catchy enough to enjoy first time and I bet they put on a great live show.
Already working hard on their debut album, which is set for a August 18th release, theirs is a name I'd drop in casual conversation as sure to be big soon.

The Bookhouse Boys - Dead

Friday, July 11, 2008

Johnny Foreigner + Dananananaykroyd @ Proud Galleries

The main room of Camden's Proud Galleries was buzzing like a very excited bee as I arrived, slightly late, for the night's proceedings. The crowd, already titterlated by overpriced Kopparberg cider, cheap Camden market food and, from what I heard, a formidable set from Tubelord, seemed anxious to see two of Britain's most exciting indie-rock prospects.

Dananananaykroyd were too many in number and instruments to fit on the venue's tiny stage so they had to over flow a guitarist onto the floor by the side of the stage. It was unneeded, to be honest, as from the first song to last singer Callum scaled the barrier in front of the stage to dance, command and generally run riot in the crowd. The band's self-proclaimed “fight-pop” is fuelled by chirpy, scuzzy guitars and duel drumming that hits you like a boxer's left and right hook and all this boundless energy is funnelled through their hyper frontman, who screams, wails and mutters in his thick Scottish accent. The set is a blur of old favourites like Some Dresses with its full band chanted intro and thudding rhythm and SongOnePuzzle, which finished off their set, with Callum literally running circles round the crowd during the instrumental intro, finally ending up on stage as the song, and mayhem, broke out. One of the drummers had to leave the stage after headbutting his hi-hat and gashing his eyebrow but he return and soldiered on til the end of the set. The new tracks that interspersed the oldies were all off their recently released ep “Sissy Hits” were riotous and very well received by the baying audience. A breathless, non-stop, congenial set.

Following Dananananaykroyd is a challenge but one that Johnny Foreigner were more than willing to take up. With only half the number of members as their tour buddies, and now label mates, you'd be forgiven for thinking they wouldn't be able to match Dan...aykroyd for intensity and dynamicism but you'd be wholeheartedly wrong.
The Brummie trio attacked every song with rigour and purpose and buoyed by a favourable crowd, the band put on a fine display. Playing the majority of their debut album “Waited Up Til It Was Light”, of which most of the audience knew the words, Alexei hammered his guitar with a stunning technicality while yelping out pronounced lyrics into the depths of the microphone. Backing him, Kelly pounded her bass as she stomped and pouted around the stage and Junior's tight, electrifying drumming held everything together. As the set progressed and the band grew in confidence, every song got better and better. The End And Everything After was noisy and jubilant, and was followed by Hennings Favourite which raised the level and temperature of the room as the crowd started moving around. Recent single Eyes Wide Terrified got the biggest crowd sing-along with its poppy, catchy chorus but the band must have been full of assurance as even though their album had just come out, they threw a brand new track – I didn't catch the name - into the set and it was awesome. You could tell by the amount of sweat pouring down Alexei face the effort and passion he was putting into the performance as he rallied vocals across the stage with Kelly on Cranes And Cranes And Cranes. Old favourite Sofacore is torn through, given extra impact by the combined energies of the threesome and the night ended on the double blow of Yr All Just Jealous with its squealing guitars and girl/boy vocals and Absolute Balance which beginnings softly, fragile keys built to an bruising climax and then all fell silent. The crowd left wanting more and JoFo are sure to give but not tonight as they climb off stage absolutely spent.

Dananananaykroyd - Some Dresses
Johnny Foreigner - Sofacore

For more photos of the night, check out my flickr

p.s Sorry for the completely lack of activity on funfunfun recently. I promise to start making more regular contributions from now on.