Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Felix Wickman "Dry Hands"

Felix Wickman comes across with a very very nice sound. What caught me at first was the melodies. They reminded me slightly of the UK band named the Engineers. As the record plays
I soon notice his voice evokes that another UK artist "the late great" Matthew Jay. The arrangements in these songs are very high quality and it's something you would expect to come from some very well known music producer.

As you go even further on this disc you hear a bit of an influence possibly derived from early Ryan Adams or early Jesse Malin. Clearly the 4th song "Dead Ends" appears to be the best. What I like about it most in this particular song is the guitars. The guitars oddly remind me of how Autolux would play them live and can also remind a person partially of guitars from My Bloody Valentine records. In his lyrics they could possibly stir controversy or draw a person's attention for they are very catchy, very revealing and attention seeking.

Ian Curtis or Adrian Borland would write lyrics that evoke this style and at the time not many people thought twice about what was really in those words and people start thinking a lot more after they had come to pass. Felix Wickman is clearly no Beck but if one thing is for sure this is a very interesting record and the fact the styles change in such a positive manner it is what adds to the experience in listening to this record. So few artists today make a record with this many positive style changes going on throughout.

Check out Felix Wickman and find out more about his "Dry Hands" EP here

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

HC-B Group - Soundtrack for a Missing Movie

In a very precise manner: these guys rock. I thought they rocked from the beginning, then after several listens to the album, I went on their MySpace and found they’d signed to Hidden Shoal Recordings, who operate out of Perth (where I live) in Western Australia. In fact a band that a couple of friends of mine are in are affiliated with Hidden Shoal; needless to say it is a respectable label. Soundcheck For A Missing Movie is a newly recorded work and is yet to be released, the name of the album made me think of Cinematic Orchestra.

The CD’s opening track, sounds akin to something that would be on the Fight Club soundtrack; if the Dust Brothers weren’t in control. Maybe not so much Fight Club, but like, any good movie in which someone has a crashing realisation. Crashing being the operative word. They have seemingly random vocal recordings underneath their songs, much like Godspeed do, though HC-B make it work better. Especially when coupled with their guitars, which have very similar elements to those of A Northern Chorus.

Make no mistake; this is instrumental post-rock with attention grabbing orchestral construction. There’s a sweet guitar bit in track 5 (sorry there were no available track names for this release) that made me think “yes, yes, yes, this rocks” but in a heads-down manner. Then track 6 complemented 5 by having a beautiful introduction, turning into a beloved post-rock number full of decided stalls, accompanied by plenty of crescendos. The music goes hand in hand with the energy of the promise of rain in the air on an overcast day . HC-B really are something special.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pigeon Lane - How Sweet, How Kind…

I listened to this LP heaps, I knew I liked it, I gave it a rest for a couple of days to mull it over. Days passed - then I put it on loudly. And, yes.
The first song ‘Judy’ is like jumping into pool that is overflowing with guitar pop sweetness. It’s beautiful and refreshing. The following song “All Together” has a really melodious hook before the chorus, one that you can’t help but sing along to.

This is what I know about Pigeon Lane: they are from Koln (pretend the o has the two little dots above it), I find myself wanting to listen to them when I am feeling relaxed especially when I am with my girlfriend; it’s a good morning to mid-afternoon listen, it’s a more romantic version of Silver Screen’s “The Greatest Story Never Told”.

As an LP How Sweet, How Kind… stands really well, you can appreciate it, and listen to it with ease. Full of sweet love songs, brimming with indie-pop emotion that you can chill to. Put it on in any company, as it’s not going to offend anyone, oh, and the CD-case insert is printed on a healthy matte paper stock, I love matte paper.

It took Thomas Weber approximately one year to record this album in his home recording studio, he is still happy with the result. I am too, in a less accomplished way; but equally as happy because it’s one of those albums that reminds you how good indie-pop is, and makes you thankful that guys like Weber decide to make music.

Go to for your folk-pop fill.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nebraska Pop Festival [Edit]

Here is a graphic I did for the Nebraska Pop Festival.
You can check out what is going on at:

This is the new logo, I am much happier with this.
(This was the old logo)

Werewolf Police - Ruin My Night LP

The artwork on this LP is some of the [independently done] best that I’ve come across. There are numerous tweaks, a couple of tilted boxes, slight colour changes, and a font that is subtle and different from most Sans-Serifs that appear on independent releases. Note that they maintain cred with the text stamped on the physical disc (smartly done), and the ‘Arial’ black on white information print-out (as pictured above).

Now, onto the important stuff: I’ve listened to this release numerous times. Cruising past the first two songs is relatively easy, the 3rd song Talking To Walls; is money. It should have been the first song, with the sweetest intro; comparable to a Born Ruffians guitar arrangement. The difference is, unlike Ruffians, Werewolf Police don’t have the “fashionable band” onus that BR do, which leaves Werewolf Police to make delightful indie-pop for everyone to enjoy (even your mother). The LP chills out on the last few tracks, in a collected manner.

The vocals are pale against the guitars, but this works (which isn’t a surprise, but is always welcome) in Werewolf Police’s favour, though the problem with this is that the vocals often get overlooked. The influence Guided By Voices have had on Tynan Cooney’s singing are apparent, yet not oppressive, come to think of it, I’d recommend Werewolf Police to GBV fans who are looking for something slightly softer.

Ruin My Night is as though you were just chilling out eating a strawberry sundae. First you wait at the counter and buy it, then you take it to your table, and get into the sauce, and it’s sweet. You have a good sauce to ice cream ratio. Then toward the end of it, you are happy, but there’s still more ice cream in there so you keep going, it’s chilled and you’re content. ☺

Oliver North Boy Choir RIP

As said by the band in a recent e-mail that was received...
"Well, as some of you already know, it's the end of Oliver North Boy Choir. Camilla and Mikkel broke up last October, and since then it's become increasingly hard to find the time to record (well, with jobs, studies, children and whatnot). But we part on friendly terms, and we can guarantee that all band members will keep on playing music, just in new constellations.

And hey, it ain't all that bad, we've attached our last song :-). It's a synth version of our final single "Blackmail" and it won't be included on our forthcoming compilation, so it's sort of an exclusive. Btw, the compilation "Shameless Pop Songs 2008" will be out on Sunday the 22nd, and if you feel like buying it, we will love you even more than we do now :-). And take care, y'all!

Love, hugs, kisses / ONBC."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

the Benvereens

Sounds like a more kind, gentle and heartfelt version of Ryan Adams. Whether they are influenced by Ryan Adams i really don't know. But i know this for sure they come across as sounding a heck of a lot better lyrically and musically than most of the bands that are influenced by Ryan Adams. The first track "I'll Be Good" starts off so smoothly. And the transition from the first song to the second song "Red Red" is just perfect. The vocalist also reminds me quite a bit of recent Wilco songs.

With this self released album I am very content with the instrumentation overall. It would possibly help if they added more different instruments in there such as the one's most commonly used in Bluegrass bands. It would only add more excitement and interest to these already well written songs. Again with the lyricist. He has such talent that if he wanted to he could write about any topic that has a common interest amongst the people and produce very listenable music in many different genres.

Their Myspace is here

Friday, February 6, 2009


I should begin by stating my affinity for Asian indie-pop, Asia’s proximity to Australia leads me to view the Asian race as my friends. While the cultural differences are rather vast, the reality is; an Asian singing voice complements most leisurely musical stylings.

I did a google search to come across any information about this release, but I couldn’t. I assume this is a demo, which isn’t surprising due to the DIY look of it. All I could find on their myspace was some quotes and that they were from “Seoul, Korea/Tokyo, Japan”… There isn’t exactly a linear pattern for these songs, though they do have binding elements. Nevertheless:

The only excuse you have for not wanting to hear Bloom-Creation is that if you are deaf. This is one of the best bands I’ve heard over the past couple of years. It is a crying shame that they aren’t more widely respected and/or cited as one of the best bands around at the moment.

This demo reaches both ends of the spectrum; it isn’t hand-in-your-shirt-pocket-old-school-indie-pop. It’s as though they’ve changed the meaning of indie-pop. To such a degree that some might argue this label, mentioning the dark psychedelic side, but, like, whatever. Sometimes loud and sometimes soft, and always abnormal, it’s like they harnessed the weird aspects of Human Host’s 2004 Invisible Arteries and matched it with an atmospheric awareness as though a post-rock band had a go at making indie-pop. (it's a must)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hearts By Darts

Hearts By Darts are a band from Baltimore and I must say that I LOVE this album. You sould so check it out!

How to describe the music, well how does it make me feel? it feels like a warm and humid summer evening. It is music that makes you feel, and I'm not even sure that I am sure what I mean by that. But thats OK, good music should leave you confused. As there bio says Hearts By Darts create music that is both “comforting and strange”, and this sums up there music, it is at once wonderfully dreamy and uplifting while at the same time melancholy and haunting, traversing the apparent dichotomy of sad and happy and above all coming out as fantastic pop music.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Incredible Weapons - S/T

Don’t let the slow start to this EP throw you off. It takes 2 songs to arrive at “So Lip Sister” where the record really starts moving. Then it tones back down for the next track, yet this time, their subtle melodies are much more accessible, and you could put this album on at anytime of the day feeling it complemented whatever you were doing.

Incredible Weapons is a healthy release, there aren’t any ‘weak’ songs as such, yet I found they are scratching the surface of a few ‘genres’. They fit somewhere nicely in between indie-pop and folk, however, they try to incorporate several other elements. Although, I feel it necessary to add that some may argue this to be indicative of the band’s wide range of influences.

Note also that the CD’s artwork doesn’t necessarily reflect their sound, not to say that either are bad. But this doesn’t really matter considering this is essentially a ‘demo’ (a sweet one at that). The more you listen, the more you wish that you lived in the same city as Incredible Weapons, and that they played regular shows, so that you could go and see them all the time. - yep.