The Art Of Amputation

The Art Of Amputation from London in England is the five piece progressive rock quintet of Freddy de Lord (Keyboards / Vocals / Saxophone), Hugh Fox (Drums), Allan Harrod (Vocals / Guitar /  Keyboards), Mark Hyden (Guitar / Vocals) and recent addition –  Tim Harrod (Vocals / Percussion) – so recent there are no images of the quintet, hence the four below.

The Art Of Amputation - Progressive-rock from England

The Art Of Amputation

Mystical and mythical pirouettes of smoke spiral towards the ceiling as The Art Of Amputation deliver their contemplative sounds. I always feel that I must finally being growing up when I find myself writing about Prog-rock as the lingering notes are so far away from three chord ’70s punk, that one gets the feeling there should be more than one word for the general concept of ‘music’.

The superbly textured eddies of calmness that define The Art Of Amputation luxuriantly float around the timpani, but there is no pretentious over-play as the quintet utilise the instruments and voices to develop the theme of the composition not confuse it and the exquisite caresses between keys and semi-electronic percussion provides the audience with harmonics that need continually replay.

Whilst not – unsurprisingly – something for my everyday playlist, when in more considered mood, I can’t think of a much finer recommendation to accompany an evening with those of artistic and musical leaning.

A new single – Distorted Pop Song is slated for release on the 17th November and is most certainly a piece of music to get to know and hold close.

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Best Friends

Best Friends is a garage rock quartet from Sheffield in England, comprising Lewis Sharman, Tom Roper, Ed Crisp and Jonny Gaymer.

Best Friends - photo by Josh Rock Photography

Best Friends – photo by Josh Rock Photography

The sheer joy of Best Friends bounces around the room with their mash-up of surfy pop and garage rock and the listener can’t help become an active participant. The quartet are able to merge psychedelic trails of smoke into lengthier pieces, equally they can play tracks which are kept short and the content shorn of adornment, both leaving the ears happy and the body leaping around the room in delight.

A hard hitting percussion keeps the material at a trot as the bass lays down solid foundations for the guitars to weave their way through the music and a sharply defined vocal completes the format. Best Friends have an effervescence and enthusiasm, which they have retained through their few years of existence that allows them to continue to surprise established fans, whilst to those coming across the music for the first time will find common ground in the sparkle that glimmers out of the sounds.

Ever touring up and down the UK Best Friends play to enthusiastic audiences, who, like the quartet just want to party. The recorded material is a little scarcer on the ground.

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Happy Anniversary / Nosebleeds – Single – Best Friends is available on iTunes*

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Lawrence Bray

Lawrence Bray from Ampthill in England is a rock musician who those of longer eyes will recognise.

Lawrence Bray - rock from England

Lawrence Bray

Infusions of Brit-pop are melded with 60’s guitar driven rock with fastidious eye to detail. However don’t feel that this is a prescriptive remedy as the core of the sounds reflect of a life of incorporeal contextualism and the audience is left with a living being.

Those of older readership will recognise the Lawrence from ScenicLife with his distinctive vocal and surprisingly as a solo artist the sound is far stronger and less packaged as he allows himself to the space to explore the extremities of self extrapolation without it ever becoming a nascent sound as the few tracks that I have been able to hear are fully formed.

On live acoustic performance there is an implied vulnerability, on the other hand a three track studio release – BEST SERVED LOUD – finds a confidence which is nothing but a delight.

How this can be transposed to Stage, time will tell, but it will make for an intriguing transition. For a track I list inside my personal favourites of the year thus far Not Backing Down and I look forward to this being replicated in live performance.


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Desert Ships

Desert Ships from London in England is the dream-wave trio of Mikey (Vocals / Guitar), Daniel (Bass / Vocals), and Claude ( Drums / Vocals).

Desert Ships - Skyliner - artwork

Desert Ships – Skyliner – artwork

Like the shroud of a sunlit misty breaking dawn dew, the sounds of Desert Ships invoke of out-of focus shadows as the reverb and echo athwart the music whilst the psychedelic shoegaze oozes of atrabilious reflections giving the out-put an eerily haunting texture. The trio are able to make eight minute tracks a mesmeric dreamscape and even in shorter pieces running around the four minutes mark they allow themselves plenty of space in the calmly paced compositions to allow the mind to thread through entrancing imagery.

Desert Ships is not to be taken on a strenuous work-out in the gym, rather to be savoured in languorous mood where the sounds will let the mind drift in and out of flights of fancy.

Formed a couple of years ago Desert Ships have been able to carve themselves a space of difference and are unafraid and more importantly  have the innate ability to extend their tracks to tell their story, rather than cutting to meet the demand or brevity, without loosing the connection with the listener.

Those who know the trio already will find the five track EP – Skyliner, comes out on the 10th November a more atmospheric and intense sound than previous material. The release, which runs to twenty six minutes, is sufficiently engaging to hit replay immediately to further wallow in the loops and bends of the release.

As per usual, I have managed to select a track from the release and a demo version at that – the closer – Ausgang, which isn’t quite like the rest, as this is completely without vocal and you will have noticed that there are three voices listed in the introduction and these do, in the normal course of events, blend into intoxicating harmonies


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Broken Witt Rebels

Broken Witt Rebels is the blues rock quartet of Danny Core (Vocals / Rhythm Guitar), Luke Davis (Bass), James Tranter (Lead Guitar) and Anthony Byrne (Drums) from Birmingham in England.

Broken Witt Rebels - Blues Rock from England

Broken Witt Rebels

Ballooning guitars soar out of the speakers as Broken Witt Rebels carve out their space in a packed genre and the quartet bring a verve to the scene with combinations of rock driven excitement and the tempered nuances of British Blues and Southern Americana providing the audience with whisky soaked waves of sound.

The earthy rock is delivered through the interweaving guitars, which lay the core focal point and a moody bass steeps the music with growl, whilst percussion rounds up the strings into formation and a gravel strewn vocal steers the direction of travel leaving the audience reaching for one more dram.

Broken Witt Rebels have developed an impressive and well placed confidence which enables the quartet to play around with the core roots to emerge with something at once familiar whilst simultaneously of marked difference They combine the Alabama of Birmingham and inject it with the West Midlands to provide listeners with insightful and rootsy reasons to bring out the faded leather jackets.


Howlin’ – EP – Broken Witt Rebels is available on iTunes*.

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