Category Archives: metal

Foley Artist – Live at Hobgoblin, Staines – Aug 18

The craftsmen know as foley artists try to create realistic ambient sound for movies … that’s why the horses in the movies always tend to clip-clop their hooves, even when  travelling on sand or grass… the foley artist has added the sound ‘after’ filming with a couple of coconuts.  Foley Artist is also the name of a rock band that I went to see on 18 AUG at the best music venue in Middlesex – the Hobgoblin, Staines.

Foley Artist create monster sounds on a magnitude totally exceeding your expectations. Instrumentally adept, their output seems jammed firmly betwixt hardcore and hard rock – little nuggets’ of tungsten embedded between two tectonic plates. A tough nut to crack, although I hope the band eventually breaks firmly into the classic hard rock seam. At this stage vocals can be a bit hit-and-miss, but you can forgive this slight aberration as you are blown away by the style and substance of the astonishing white-hot guitar magic. In fact, their sound brings to mind – ahem – Led Zeppelin (yes, really). Bluesy, smoky, blameless, armour-piercing rock and roll, blood and flames.

These swindlers played a short set at The Hob (due to feeling under the weather.)  But the band provided enough material to get a reasonable idea of the quality of their sounds. Tunes like ‘Shadow Boxing’ from the ‘Gorgeous Dog’ E.P demonstrate the innovative guitar trickery and licentious  percussion. ‘Brad Pitts Beard’ is ice cold and angular. Satisfying bass-play from man-mountain Olly Nunn creates a bed of chewy textures for the finely detailed fretwork and interwoven vocals. Songs like ‘Wheaties Box’ are heavy, headstrong and banging. Laced with streaks of silvery guitar and full of time juxtapositions, with tempo-changes aplenty.

Bold bass-play, excellent guitar instrumentation from frontman Matt Searle together with the percussive fireworks from James on drums, mean that Foley Artist are ones to watch as they negotiate up the rocky road. Good luck lads.

© Neil_Mach
August 2011

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/foleyartistmusic

http://foleyartist.bandcamp.com/

Advertisements

Mortdelamer at Staines Hobgoblin – August 04

Finishing off a successful 9 date tour at the Hobgoblin, Staines (our favourite music venue) the Swindon based 3-piece prog-rockers “Mortdelamer”   played an amazingly invigorating and inspirational set to the happy throng. Claire (lead vocals and guitar) Joe (on bass guitar) and Sean (on drums) stormed through a set of thoroughly honed songs, properly aired and exhaustively rehearsed after days on the road.

‘Chasing Lights’ is a chiming buzz-saw wormery of textures and sub-texts. Dank themes crumble like biscuits around the molten guitars. Claire’s voice cuts through the chords and chains like acetic acid through cloth, before the number ascends into the loftiest of metal frameworks.

‘Choices’ is a gap-toothed fallen-angel of a song, distraught chords and edgy rhythms suggest a kind of corrupt architecture for Claire’s splendidly miserable vocals.

‘Mistakes’ grates like a rake dragged into a storm drain… but the kindly echoing vocal content, reminding me of Alannah Myles, lifts the song from it’s velvety sludge to a more glistening position above the shoreline.

‘Man With 2 Heads’ has a pronounced reggae beat and those other worldly vocals, before  liquid guitars leak and spill over the jaggedy moonscape. Disconcerting grinds and blinding wah-wahs add drama and potency to this outstanding track.

New song ‘Leech’ from the superb Leech E.P (I urge you to get it now) is a blues number that starts smoky in the background before becoming emblazoned with fire and ice as the composition moves on – cracking and fragmenting into explosions of pure emotion as the song reaches it’s heroic destiny.

If you like ‘Karnivool’ or ‘Skunk Anansie’ and you take your rock without sugar or cream and, preferably, bible-black, then this is definitely for you…

© Neil_Mach
August 2011

Links:

http://www.mortdelamer.co.uk
http://www.myspace.com/mortdelamer
http://mortdelamer.bandcamp.com/

Demure – Staines Hobgoblin, March 21

If a maverick fez wearing buffoon maven is lurking in your waking dreams, threatening to whack a pair of rumba shakers up your kilt then you’re probably being persecuted by the songs of Demure.

Yes, those brave post-grunge pilgrims were playing the Hob, Staines again last weekend, with an increasingly enthusiastic crowd egging them on.   And those powerful songs that they play tend to dig deep troughs into the metaphysical mind and fiddle around in those darker recesses  of your  consciousness.

Demure have clearly been standing on the bar (rather than leaning against it)  in recent months and the ‘new’ guitarist they have broken in- Tekin Mustafa- allows the front-man lead vocalist Johnny B  some welcome release –  ensuring that he is now able to provide fire, urgency and gravitas to the overall performance,  and securing the visual presence of the band. The extra band member also allows Philip Price (lead guitar)  the time and space he needs to play a source of inspirational lead melodies and the polished breaks we are used to,  pushing the sound of the group towards the skyline.

Whilst not down playing the general strength of character and heartfelt nature of the Demure songs, there is also a sense of sly fun with these boys – even in their darkest passages and gloomiest moments.  And this sense of fun combined with a commitment to create strong and beautifully arranged pieces,  forms the basis for their work.

The band turned out a couple of strong new songs on the night.  ‘You me and everyone else’  had a venetian style string overture to it,  followed by a see-sawing crisis of rhythms and the chrysalis of some folk sounds.  Then thin slices of guitar garnished the chords, and the echoing vocals lead on towards an amalgam of funky moments.  This was an histrionic ape-dance of a song and  a bit of a departure  from the  dramatic,  thoughtful  grunge of Demure’s earlier works.

Demure can be relied upon to play a damn solid show with rollicking roll-out rock and touches of old-water gator-skin grunge.  Tremendously exciting and hugely professional  (just listen to those unsettling military style drums by Neil Rawles on ‘You Say’ or the shimmering guitars of Philip on ‘1 Vision’. )  This enjoyable band showed  that they  possess  the  ability to consistently grow musically and also prosper in the business.

More genuine than a cockney sparrow and more alive than a mamba down the Y-fronts,  this edgy band is a fun passport to a post-grunge hay-ride.

© Neil_Mach
March 2010

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/demure.fans

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




Feedburn This

A Word Like Attack – Hoboblin, Staines

If you prefer your metal to be post-punk post-apocalyptic and rhythmically complex then A word like.Attack is for you. This Southampton based five-piece post-hardcore band played the Hob, Staines last week bringing all their sounds from the school of foundry steel with them.

There is no lack of drama or feeling in A word like.Attack’s hammer and tongs attitude and carefully welded songs. ‘Move the Still Life’ fairly trips along, getting under the skin like an alien bloodsucker. The song even has a hummable verse and a clean vocal style from frontman David Berner. But the dissonant guitars veer around the central themes, creating an infestation of loopholes in the rhythm and building up undue pressure before spewing out ice cold shardlets of pain.  Softer touches such as breathy supporting vocals from Joe Edwards (also programming) appear thrillingly fleeting before a frenzy of sleepless night growls and those harmful inner voices raised as a dangerous black magic by Rich Berner on guitars.

‘He’s Going Through a Lion Phase’ is as hot and as dark as a blacksmith’s apron – contaminated with iron filings and fierce white-hot chips of swarf. Shards of steel poke through and fly around the soundscape – fluttering dangerously close to the candlelight of your sensibilities before burning your heartstrings. This is a hammering, thundering onslaught of a song – cemented together by the technical prowess of Adam Guest on bass guitar and the start-stop rhythms, harsh beats and power noise components from Alex Urch on percussion.

The crowd at The Hob, Staines enjoyed negotiating the factory gates of this doomy darkly brooding band and carefully populating their world of gray and black, ice and cold.  Incongruous rhythms add to the anguish and the vocals from Dave seemed like they are squeezed out through a tortuous mincing machine. But the band is bursting with creative energy and has a factory grade stage presence to match their technical mastery and guitar based instrumentation.

‘Good Luck in Your Future Endeavours’ features all those same progressive rhythms, dark cold metal chords and cemented dark metal strings all cold-hardened together to form the kind of melody that pierces your heart like a stiletto. This exciting band creates more tension and release than one of  Beth Ditto’s suspender belts.

Technically brilliant this band deserves to go far. May the God of luck be with them all the way.

© Neil_Mach
March 2010

PS:  Since this gig the band has announced that they have ‘broken up’ – they say they have taken the music as far as they can…

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/awordlikeattack

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




Feedburn This

Four Wheel Drive – High Roller – Album Review

Four Wheel Drive

High Roller

With their catchy head banging compulsive choruses, sweet as honey-trap guitar licks, and piping hot lead guitar breaks with vocals that gasp for air due to their hi-octane dependency – Four Wheel Drive put on one hell of a live show.  So I expected nothing less from their new album “High Roller” –  produced by Misha Nikolic at Monster Track. (Half Ton Records). And I was not disappointed.  With production as slick as the suntan oil found on the damp smooth parts of a Texan sports-illustrated swim-wear model, this exuberant offering is drenched in tequila, whiffs of marlboro smoke and is as taut and as tempting as a showgirls G-string.

From the first track, ‘White Lines’ (for me the stand-out track on this recording) with its backdrop of crisp ‘n crunchy rhythms and croaking charcoal vocals, this album springs to life with the kind of vitality you thought was lost back in 1980.

These boys seem to have time travelled here from the Bon Scott era – but that is no bad thing.  ‘Cos back then we got treble the excitement, a pressure cooker of rock n roll antics and music as hot as a hookers hosiery. It is about time we reinvested some of our latent energy into supporting and backing this kinda pure and simple rock and roll.

‘Blood on the Walls’ is another wheezing rasping romp from the feelgood southernmost-point of the 4WD catalogue of rock. This song is a hot-tub of hoochie-coochie tension and you call feel the warm Dixieland sun smiling through each high-note. ‘High Roller’ encompasses startling cascades of percussion from Will and some shrieking vocals from Jamie – that are stretched as tight and as dangerous as a nervous holdup man’s stocking mask. This is one of their many AC/DC sounding tracks – a real motoring, hammering song that rivets home its message deep into your skull.

‘The Visions Gone’ was created with short brisk brush-strokes and has those bar-room blackjack stubbly lyrics and swaggering sneering cocksure vocals you’d expect in that kinda low-down dirty dive.  ‘The Game’ has the trills and juicy jolts of jostling guitar chords enlightened by lyrical lead guitar, and  also  embracing  some  embroidered work by rhythm guitar and percussion.
This is the first of a few Stonesy tracks from the 1970’s.

‘Six Foot Poster’ is old style rock n roll with a boogie sounding cheese-board of bite sized flavoursome bits n pieces. ‘Big Fat and Ugly’ has an enduring bass led background, rumpy dumpy thumpy bass-lines and some powerfully expressive moments. ‘ Rough around the Edges ‘ also sounds like Rolling Stones (circa ‘Tumbling Dice’ era) with counterpoints of puncturing sweet high notes against a compelling backdrop of thrumming chords.

‘Take a Drag’ takes you further back into rock n roll history with some dog-eared Eddie Cochranesque old-time rock n roll including some gee-tar licks that even Chuck Berry would approve of.

‘Time to Go’ is another of my favourites. Tight as a Vegas strippers garter this one, with luminous lead, timely harmonic twists, and  even a harmonica break. And this song incorporates a classy twin guitar tournament. This is one helluva tune . “Roll up ladies and gentlemen it is time to go… ” and tickets for this rock n roll groove train are up for grabs.

If I had any criticisms of the album they would be few.  This is an exuberant offering and at times the execution is tantalising.  Perhaps there is nothing crucial here. Furthermore, it could do with a few big fat slabs of chiming guitar in places and some even more memorable riffs. And, alas, that fine rumbling-tumbling percussion heard on the ‘High Roller’ track is not found elsewhere.

But HIGH ROLLER  is feelgood, red-flamed, hot-blooded unashamed rock n roll. And about as good as it gets.

© Neil_Mach
February 2010
Download the High Roller Album now for just £6:99

——————-

Tracks:

White Lines
Blood On The Walls
High Roller
The Vision’s Gone
The Game
Six Foot Poster
Big Fat and Ugly
Rough Around The Edges
Take A Drag
Time to go

Produced by: Misha Nikolic
Half Ton records 2009

All compositions: Lailey /  Austwick

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/4wdtheband

http://www.fourwheeldriverock.com/

http://www.monstertraxstudio.com/

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




Feedburn This

Raw Glory – Hard Rock Hell III – Prestatyn

Raw Glory was formed in 2006 as a vehicle for the accomplished professional musicians, drummer Mick Underwood and guitarist
Cosmo (along with their ‘old bassist’ Johhny Heywood) to keep the rhythm rocking.

The combined talent and  the significant antecedent histories of these three notable rockers (Cosmo and Mick were playing professionally back in the 1960s) together with their new bass player Andy Hodge and their flamboyant frontman Paul Manzi, easily earn them a place in the ‘Rock Royalty’ section of the lexicon of popular music  With these credentials, they really should be sipping margueritas on a sunny tropical shore somewhere.

But it is not enough to rest on your laurels, especially if you wanna live a rock n ‘roll lifestyle to the extreme … these guys are still out working every week – making  new music and recreating their old fire and magic at local venues around West London.

These guys still rock.  They still perform out-and-out guts and glory assaults on the tender eardrums of unsuspecting punters any given Saturday night.

Big dirty tunes like ‘Bad Girl’ are overblown heavy metal anthems stylistically blasted through with bombastic beats and heavy riffs. These songs crash out of the Raw Glory speakers in waves and waves of sound, drowning the audience, and making ‘em gasp for air.

I am at that ‘dangerous age’.  So, when I had my first “sound attack”, inflicted upon me by Raw Glory, I clutched my heaving chest.  My arms went stiff like a starfish, but at the same time, my legs turned to jelly. Then my ears started to drum, hiss and crackle intermittently and, finally, a shooting star whooshed up the left side of my brain and fired out of my pineal gland like a flame blasting from a blow torch.  I thought that I would never recover.  Wow – this is potent stuff.  If heavy metal was illegal then Raw Glory would be ‘class A’ – and this stuff they are still pedalling would be the equivalent of 100% pure Colombian.

The rest of the audience at Hard Rock Hell also suffered severe  “Sound Attacks”.  We even had a taste of the kinda magic that drummer Mick Underwood could still evoke on the skins. It seems unlikely that there was a better, faster, fatter performance on the drums over the entire three days of the festival.  And guitarist Cosmo also cranked up the angst and let fly with furious laments, banshee cries, whispers, whelps and raining chords.  It was all there in the sound attacks that he performed for the crowd at Prestatyn.

But it was the singer who stole the show from his distinguished colleagues and turned a modest pub sized gig into a major tour de force suitable for a stadium-sized sell-out.  The tail of the peacock, the enlarged claw of a male fiddler crab and the overblown curly mop of hair upon the head of wild rock singer such as Paul Manzi or Robert Plant are all sure-fire signs of male virility. Here was an alpha-male strutting the territory of his stage in glorious dominance. The truest definition of all that is, and ever was, so macho. He said that he owed everything to Led Zep.  And the band’s startling rendition of ‘Whole Lotta Love’, to round off their set, proved this to be true.

Like the rest of the eager audience I was swept away by the sheer vibrancy of the Raw Glory act – and my favourite number “White Lies” was still ringing in my ears several hours later. Raw Glory is the sum of all that is noble and  strong in the world of heavy metal and rock n’ roll.

And they prove that you don’t have to be youthful to be vital.

I wish them many, many more years of rocking.  Good Health!

© Neil_Mach

December 2009

http://www.rawglory.co.uk/

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




Feedburn This

Four Wheel Drive, Hard Rock Hell – Part 2

Four Wheel Drive

Blessings

Four Wheel Drive at Hard Rock Hell III – Prestatyn North Wales-
Part 2

I worry about Danny (the singer from Tribal Law) all night. I worry about  4WD missing their chance for glory.  First thing in the morning I go down to see the Hard Rock Hell management.  They say they have been inundated with fans coming up asking about Four Wheel Drive. They confirm to me that 4WD will go on. The band will play at the end of the ‘day’ on the Old Skool NWOBHM Stage  – They will have a slot right at the end of the afternoon on this (smaller) stage set in the Queen Victoria pub (within the camp.) They will go on after the likes of Dumpys Rust Nuts and Hammerhead etc. It is not a grand stage.  It is not even a great setting. But it’s gonna be just right …. just right because those other old skool bands will warm up the crowd in all the right places. And what about Danny from Tribal Law?  “No news” says the man …. “But I hear he is OK”.

So we wait till the end of the ‘day’ for Four Wheel Drive.  We pass the time with the bands like Kingston’s Pig Iron (amazing Southern style raw metal) and Girlschool, Glitterati and Tigertailz.  Then we move into the Queen Vic ‘pub’ which is heaving with hot sweaty rock luvvas grinding to the sounds of Hammerhead.  For a few anxious moments it looks like Hammerhead don’t wanna relinquish the stage to the ‘new’ boys – Four Wheel Drive.  Paddy and Ben are standing at the back of the stage with sullen expressions upon their faces – well it is understandable,  this is their second day without booze ! God love ‘em.   But, anyway,  the stage manager (a rather short man wearing a cap that is too large for him and comedy eye-wear) finally tells old-timers Hammerhead to ‘F** Off’ and ushers on our hard working rock heroes…

The hairy festival poet introduces our boys and makes reference to their latest album.  He gives ’em a good, solid warm up and even goes some way to explaining why their gig had been postponed from the previous night.

For a few moments I thought that the crowd of NWOBHM die-hard fans would wander off from the area, but 4WD caught ‘em with an amazingly electrifying opening that cleared the way for a stupendous set.   Hooray!  Four Wheel Drive had finally made it. They had got to the zone before the zone had got to them…

The band’s balls-out Rock N’ Roll ‘attitude’ has accelerated considerably since the last times I caught ‘em live.  They are now less Southern Rockin in sound and stature and instead play a harder variety of rock / heavy metal. Yes, the Southern blues influences are still there but now the sound is brasher, bolder,  more self-assured.   Their’s is now mainstream variety rock, fit to fill stadiums – think the Australian rockers Airbourne to get an idea.

Paddy and Ben, stripped to the waist, played intertwining guitar solo arrangements and brazenly brash chords with flare and finesse and the excitement was truly raw and unpretentious. Will played Herculean drums with pride and pomposity, beating out the rhythm until the fragile walls of the pub began to tremble in sympathy.  The crowd roared with delight as the band ladled out the hits like ‘White Lines’  and ‘High Roller’.

The spectacle and the sheer brute force of this band were more than the ears (or eyes) could behold. Yet the Hard Rock Hell punters were screaming for more. As I looked around the venue I realised that scores more rockers were filing into the venue from next door (Stage 2) – which I assume was hosting Witchfynde.

The best man of the day, however, was – for me – the 4WD front man and bassist Jamie. He stands out like a tall icon of common sense and propriety in between the berserk frizzy mopped guitar twins. He holds his guitar high and shakes his black locks. His voice is so large it should come with its own planning application stapled to the front of the speaker boxes.  His voice adds another huge layer to the crisp sounds and textures going on in a flurry of activity around him. This band is so great and the sounds are so enriching, that you want to jump, jive and jig for joy.

In the latter stages of the incredible set, as Jamie introduced the band to the rapturous crowd and thanked Total Rock Radio and Hard Rock Hell for the opportunity to play the festival he also took out time to mention Tribal Law.  A shriek and claps rose up from the crowd. Everyone looked around to see where the gleeful noise was coming from.  “He is here …. He is here” a female voice squeals out.  Standing at the back of the crowd, hidden by a glass panel, was none other than Danny the lead singer from Tribal Law.  He had made ‘a full recovery’ and was watching Four Wheel Drive play their show.

After all that we had been through – that was truly the final blessing!

© Neil_Mach

December 2009

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/4wdtheband

The news item about the collapse of Tribal Law lead singer Danny Adams:

http://www.rockradio.co.uk/rock-news/singer-collapses-on-hard-rock-hell-stage/fzyc3rry/

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




Feedburn This

__________________________________________________________