Tag Archives: rock

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/

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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/

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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/

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News From the Bridges – Nov 8th 2009

News From the Bridges – November 7th 2009

TrueBeat are looking for a new drummer!

Yes Truebeat are parting company with their old drummer (on good terms) because of commitment issues so the new guy must be dedicated and willing to go the whole hog. A car and the ability to do backing vocals are also very useful but not essential! Anyway, have a listen to  ‘em and see what you think; if you want an audition, get in touch at info@truebeat.co.uk. Catch these skasters in STAINES on Nov 26 2009  at The Hobgoblin   [www.myspace.com/truebeatuk]

WAXHOUSE are going into the STAKEOUT STUDIOS Hampton next week to start recording an EP with Chris Coulter … we wish them a pile of luck  [www.myspace.com/waxhouseband]

Melodramatic Surrey rockers ARCANE ROOTS have a new website they want you to visit : www.arcaneroots.com …. it is coming to life a bit more too with some live tracks and some demos up as well as a discography … but they would like to see more fans coming in tho! Click on, send ‘em messages, tell ‘em what you want and who you are!

Feltham eccentric yet sensible indie rockers “The Eccentric Sensibles
[www.myspace.com/eccentricsensible]  will be  in the Studio next week to collaborate with artist Lori Sims (acoustic), on a blinding new song entitled  “Player” . . .

Indie poppers AUDIO VIDEO DISCO [www.myspace.com/audiovideodiscouk] will be playing The Fighting Cocks Kingston-Upon-Thames Dec 5 2009  at 8:00P

Guildford’s Fab Four GETSETRADIO is coming to STAINES for all you lucky people – catch ‘em on Nov 15 2009  at 8:00P at OUR FAVOURITE STAINES venue The Hobgoblin w/ 8th Time Luckie [www.GETSETRADIO.com]

Twickenham punksters ANONYMOUS TIP (who will be playing STAINES Nov 26 2009  at 8:00P The Hobgoblin W/ True Beat) have been getting some seriously strong support from radio and hot reviews from tastemakers Subba Cultcha and Music Week

WITHOUT THOUGHT are lined up for two sparkling Christmas Shows… the first is Dec 19 2009      8:00P at Guildford – The Boileroom **Christmas Party** w/ Polar + JB Conspiracy and the VERY NEXT DAY the band plays STAINES Dec 20 2009  8:00P at The Hobgoblin (w/ Purge & Polar) [www.myspace.com/withoutthought ]

After a gob-routing shockingly successful show at the BUCKLE UP Rock Goblin, STAINES hometown’s favourite pop act MISS PINK SHOES is back in TOWN playing THE HOB Dec 3 2009  7:00P so if you missed ‘em in November come back and support this LOCAL ACT this  December.[www.myspace.com/misspinkshoesofficial]

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The James Warner Prophecies – Hob Staines

the James Warner PropheciesThe quixotic charm of The James Warner Prophecies is that their music contains a myriad of styles, oeuvres and impressions – much like J-Rock –  but theirs is less disposable pop in style and more harmonic indie in ambition. Thus we get thick slices of American Punk (i.e. think ‘Bad Religion’) laced generously with Brit indie folk sound reminiscent of ‘The Magic Numbers’.

So with The James Warner Prophecies you get melodic singing together with hardcore drum beats and haunting flute.  Yeah, I know it shouldn’t work. But it does.  Just.  Sometimes you feel poised on the edge of something a little too grand and opulent to be really honest …  but then the twinkle-in-the-eye  gentle humour of the band shines through,  and the result is an agreeable love fest of sound and virtue.

Benign Rasputin-like figure Joe Brown is the mighty front-man power-house lead singer/guitar of the band. Striding about the stage looking like a kindly ginger version of Edward Teach (the notorious pirate) – with an enormous burning red beard and a savage glint in his cruel eye. Instead of cutlass and sword, though, we get electric mandolin & guitar – but the results are similarly battle hardened with an abundance of inventive fireworks from the fret-boards and vindictive encounters with the spiteful strings of the mandolin.

Bringing some calm and beauty to the proceedings, Kate Rounding plays a mournful flute on many songs, plus the haunting chords on Korg. I understand Kate also adds violin to the mix – but we didn’t see her fiddle at The Hob. Lanky long-haired hippy Matt Anthony adds some low inventive and, ultimately, reassuring bass to the songs and the ‘Noel Fielding’ look-alike Dan Williams in assured and competent on drums.

The band moved ruthlessly from song-to-song keeping up the pressure and starting with an appropriately named tune ‘Braincell Piracy’ before launching into ‘King of The Killers’, then onto ‘Judas Stone’ and ‘The Itch’. The big end to the show was their ‘Set The World on Fire’ track (the unimaginatively named) ‘Mandolin Song’. This song has some fierce fretting from Joe (on mandolin) with audacious flares of light and fire from Kate and plenty of pounding crashing percussion from Dan and Matt. A truly exciting and heart pummelling joy of a song.

From my own point of view, I would prefer something a bit more languid and soulfully helpful from Kate (at times it seemed like her contributions were repetitive and almost go through-the-motions routine in content) and I would also like a little less sympathy from the band for the folk-country traditions of their home county (Derbyshire) and a little more hard driving rock from the ensemble … but that is just my personal taste.

Overall, though, the band makes a positive contribution to the Rock / Folk Rock scene. The band members are a jolly hardworking crew with a capable and naturally talented energy. I Strongly recommend that you see their live show soon.

© Neil_Mach
October 2009

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/thejameswarnerprophecies

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Arcane Roots – Staines Hob October 4th

arcane rootsAND IT ALL STARTS with nylon . . .

It is Sunday in Staines and we witness another frenetic and electrifying concert by Arcane Roots.

This popular Surrey-based band is led by fuzzy mopped high-roller Andrew Groves with his cloying whimsical, skylarking highs and gurning crashing lows. It is like watching a glook trapped inside one of Mr Dyson’s see-through cyclones.

This ride is as gut wrenching as a trip over the Niagara Falls in a barrel. You get that sense of sublime grace and purity of spirit whilst you halt momentarily at the very edge of the precipice, but you are also very aware that in a just a few moments you will hurtle downwards, out-of-control, crashing into the destructive vortex below.

Yes, it is true that Andrew’s voice sounds like Mickey Mouse, after he has sucked up a helium balloon the size of a house, and has also been force-fed a mixture of amyl nitrate and ethanol (guzzled down with a keg of Red Bull.) And when he embraces his red guitar and begins to turbulently Flay and Play, you really start to believe that this Scissorhanded type creation is actually the work of a kindly yet absent-minded inventor who mistakenly added agricultural thrashing machines to the spindly arms instead of the normal working hands (or even scissors.)

Percussion and harmonies by Daryl and exquisite bass-lines and more texture with subtle tones from Adam meant that the smallish crowd at The Hob Staines had a lot to be pleased with. The set commenced with a howling and haunting ‘Nylon’ and grew more and more intense and fluently engaging- ending with a vastly exaggerated and hyperbolic blues number with searing and blistering guitar breaks from Andrew.

Powerful stuff. Please, please catch Arcane Roots soon.

© Neil_Mach
October 2009

Link:

www.myspace.com/arcaneroots

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East of Ealing – Bearded Theory Benefit

EoE SEP09

East of Ealing at Bearded Theory Benefit gig SEP 26 City Club, Guildford

East of Ealing play a fun mix of roots rock fused with traditional brick built and foundry forged foundation folk.

Folk songs are commonly regarded as the songs that express something about a lifestyle that existed in the past or is about to disappear- but that sense of the melancholy does not dominate the music of EoE. Instead, their songs are a lot of fun and puns are in abundance, with musical interludes sometimes surprising the audience when they rise up without warning, like the musical equivalent of Pop-Tarts.

The band also remembers that traditional folk music is an experience shared across the world. So, like Druhá Trava or Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, East of Ealing provides lessons aplenty on the subject of how folk music has evolved into what we now consider to be popular music and how the traditions have merged, emerged and altered into the various distorted forms we now recognise, along the way.

They provide some interesting and unexpected variations, along this tortuous path, and their shared sense of fun is welcome, as is their undeniable virtuosity.

For example, in an imaginative and fun song ‘the Great Unknown’, Moorish influences prevail, but the melody just puffs along like a ska number with Balkan folk flourishes. And for those who did not know that punk rock is a direct descendant of folk music (and I’m not kidding) East of Ealing provides plenty of references to this musical criss-  crossing from the reels, hornpipes and jigs of pure folk to the analytical and sparse punk melodies that can be heard in work by the early Pogues, and even The Clash

Along the way, there’s plenty of fun in the East of Ealing musical repertoire, with puns a-plenty and twinkle in-the-eye tongue-in-cheek antics, as we try to keep pace with the myriad of tiny musical one-liners and punch lines. But the substance of East of Ealing is dances, jigs and general merry-making. And the crowd at the City Club Guildford responded to the music with a hearty gusto …. reeling, jumping and dancing into the warm evening air.

There are large portions of Eastern European sounds in the EoE tunes-  in particular in the single ‘Black Ship’, and these sounds cross-over to more traditional Romany music and then back to punk rock, like other brands of rebel music similar in style and heart to that of Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa. Pre-Raphaelite beauty Stephanie Graffiti squeezes out some amazing sounds from her electric violin-  from Pink Floyd-esque ‘synth’ lushness all the way through to Led Zeppelin-style screeching ‘guitar’ breaks.

Jim Bean provides most of the voice and the looks (if the whole Pirate Shipmate look is your bag, baby), with a neckerchief, hearty hat and superficial smile. He plays a beautiful acoustic bass and also employs, at times, an electric squeeze-box to give the sounds more depth of image. Paul Castleman on drums, cannot be ignored. Paul is a talented drummer with a superb sense of the mischievous. Mik P plays the electric and acoustic guitars and often provides the kind of rawness and energy that lifts East Of Ealing from their trad-folk roots and prods, pushes and squeezes their sounds towards more lofty rock horizons.

East of Ealing are folksters tinged with rocker irony like ‘The Knitters’  and rockers mixed with folksy irony like ‘Korpiklaani’. I like that.  Get up and dance. Are we there yet?

© Neil_Mach
September 2009

http://www.myspace.com/eastofealing

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