Hailing from Fife in Scotland comes the brooding-rock duo of Alan Wyllie and Graeme Currie who form Milton Star.
As regular readers know, I do have a predilection towards deep notes and there is absolutely no chance I could avoid asking you to spend some time with a rich baritone vocal, add to which a morose funereal procession of purple velvet oppressive cloud encircles the room, Milton Star is an out-fit I highly recommend taking time to get to know.
Summoning images of crimson welts dripping blood, Milton Star is not to be taken with a razor-blade to hand as the luxuriant sounds encase the mind in a beautiful sadness that draws illimitable inconsolable perspectives from the darkest recesses of the mind. I am led to Leonard Cohen as Milton Star circulate with their reflections.
The compositions contains textures which belies only two players as Milton Star combine intense melodic formulations with a continual flow of under-current, which gives the sounds a depth of exploration that most multi-player line-ups fail to deliver. The duo are experienced musicians who have used their knowledge to form an entity which is able to afford the audience an emotionally complex journey of discovery.
How the pieces would transpose to live performance is another story all together, as Milton Star deploy various instruments and techniques to produce their luxuriant recordings.
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PAWS is the Glasgow / Edinburgh, Scotland, based garage rock trio of Phillip Taylor, Josh Swinney and Ryan Drever.
Rumbling fuzz careens out of the speaker and tumbles around the room like a mesmerising bundle of energy as PAWS deliver control and enthusiasm inside flashes of inspiration. This is another out-fit that has languished in my inbox for too long and since their email back in 2011, they have gone from strength to strength.
PAWS is able to develop tracks which speak of darker moments, without leaving the listener downbeat as the tales relate directly to the audience and it is of no surprise they have been able to take their sounds, which transcend national boundaries to audiences in the USA and across Europe developing an ever more loyal fan-base along the way. Concentrating on live performance, their irregular formal releases are invested with the connection of the stage, replicating in the studio the joy of playing.
Having gone through the difficult early years, including a slight change in line-up PAWS have found themselves a key element for many other established touring bands and if justice is served it won’t be long before they are able to break the barrier and headlining significant tours themselves.
Youth Culture Forever – Paws is available on iTunes*.
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Seaside Sons from Ayr in Scotland is the rock ‘n’ roll quartet of Jason Skimming (Lead Vocals), Pav Cathcart (Guitar), Craig McGinn (Bass) and Campbell Sproat (Drums).
The gritty rock driven sounds of Seaside Sons soon have you bouncing along with the beat. It is good to hear how bands have developed particularly with the advances in technology, however it is always a pleasure to be reminded of what the raw material sounds like and the quartet deliver immense peals of driving music that tears its way into the soul.
Influences dating back to the late ’50s are melded with every decade following and the resulting out-put has a timelessness to it, whilst simultaneously sounding completely fresh. The cupboard, bare of frippery gives the tracks a realism and communication with the listener that is unrivalled by any developments in equipment, which is perhaps why the four piece rock band is a seemingly irreplaceable format for direct relationships with the audience.
About a year old, Seaside Sons are gaining a burgeoning local following, which I would expect to see replicated across wider geography in short order and I look forward to the follow up to their début four track EP – Weekend Rockstar which came out early this year.
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alansmithee from Livingston in Scotland is the psychedelic collective of Alan Smithee,Ryan Macpherson (bass), Andrew Burns (Guitar / Vocals), Ruaridh Macpherson (Guitar / Vocals) and Joe White (Drums).
Imperceptibly progressing, alansmithee cloak the room in a kaleidoscope of swatches as the lo-fi production adds a further layer to the psychotropic nuances of sound.
Enveloping the senses in gauze, the muffled and muted sounds feed into the brain, leaving the listener wreathed in cathodoluminescence which sparks the mind to wander through flights of inward discovery. The audience lays transfixed by the mélange of guitars and vocal which drifts into the ears, whilst the bass and percussion take over the cardiac rhythm.
alansmithee are able to invest much within the pieces of music, whilst also delivering wide spaces for exploration, much like a Dadaist image and it is the duality of the half-defined and fuzzed sounds that provides the out-put with its fascination.
With a few years behind them now alansmithee are gaining ever greater abilities to craft the compositions, which makes them an out-fit I look forward to hearing much more of in the future and pleasingly a new single is set for imminent release.
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Mummy Short Arms based in Glasgow, Scotland is the alt-rock septet of Cameron Findlay, Craig Brown, Dean McClure, Fraser Gillies, James Allan, Stuart Brown and Gary Pinkerton.
Mummy Short Arms
Back in 2011 I received an introduction to Mummy Short Arms and finally have caught up with that email. Sparse releases and sporadic live performances mean that although late, I haven’t missed a great deal in the intervening period and this year sees them starting to release new material after an LP in 2012.
Singularity may be a better genre definition of the band as they deliver an iconic experimentalism that is wrapped inside understandable refrains. Mummy Short Arms have the ability to write what on the surface are easy to grapple tunes, yet underneath the calmness lay depths of contortion as the players conjecture on individualism within societies strata.
I am hoping that a release earlier this year – Face Full Of Sand – is the precursor to a full LP as it is in long play that the real value of Mummy Short Arms comes to the fore.
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