Invasions – No Darkness – Single Review

Invasions from Canada were reviewed in November and they have just released a new three track single – No Darkness.

Invasions - No Darkness - artwork

Invasions – No Darkness – artwork

Opening with the title track No Darkness reminds me of a spaghetti western. There is a feature of the music that Invasions delivers being that much of it has a cinematic feel. The shoegazy guitars are joined by violins in sections through the piece enhancing the orchestrated feel to the track, whilst a subsumed vocal glistens in the background.

Black Lagoon has a similar brooding lavishness in a more Lynchian style as a solid bass drum pumps through the speakers whilst the guitars echo around the room.

My pick of the release also happens to be the longest track, at three minutes six seconds, Unknown Pleasures goes to the off-beat with the five players working in unison in a flourish of melodramatic foot stomping rock ‘n’ roll.

No Darkness is available on bandcamp.

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March Division – Metropolitan Fragments – LP Review

The Italian band March Division released the seven track LP Metropolitan Fragments on the 10th June.

March Division - Metropolitan Fragments - artwork

March Division – Metropolitan Fragments – artwork

Opening with Friday Will Come a lament of wasting life in pursuit of the fruitless in a track that switches between pin point clarity and heavily masked – a fine start to Metropolitan Fragments.

Lonesome Prisoner is a groove laden piece with a pulse that rebounds through the bone marrow. This shows March Division at their finest as they combine the instruments and electronics with more than a nod to ’60s pop.

Uniting acoustics with computer code and an Indian-subcontinent timbre creates an intriguing space and Black Noon makes the whole EP worthwhile on its own in just a fraction over five minutes of fascinating merges of sounds.

Marking the half-way point is the shortest piece on Metropolitan Fragments at just about three minutes – Hangover Morning, which has an ambient experimentalism to its measured pace.

Out Of Sight is more derived from Americana as the track slips and slides around the room in an easy flowing piece of music.

The appropriately named Metropolitan Fragments continues its journey with another musical reference in the guise of Star Guitar and its space-rock theme which is my pick of the release.

Closing out the thirty three minute LP is Urban God in which March Division head towards an electro-dance number, to which again they add their own flourishes and surprises.

Given the variations of styles you may have the impression that Metropolitan Fragments is bitty, far from it. The tracks make perfect sense given the context and is enhanced by the diversity of influences, which despite their disparity contain the central theme of the release as identified in the opening track.

Metropolitan Fragments – March Division is available on iTunes*.

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Clear Red Water – Then & Now – Single Review

Then & Now is the début single from ambient rockers Clear Red Water, a four-piece from Lincoln in the UK comprised of James Childs (Vocals / Rhythm Guitar), Raury Milican (Lead Guitar), Mark Webster (Bass / Backing Vocals) and Jim Fryer (Drums / Percussion).

Clear Red Water

Clear Red Water

It has been a while since Robbie wrote an article as he has been completing his degree…

Then & Now opens with layers of harmony and muted percussion before launching into an infectious groove. While elements of the music may sound familiar, particularly within the vocals which are highly reminiscent of Thom Yorke, the track is passionate enough to never feel contrived.

This is a compelling piece of work which is produced to an excellent standard. If you’re after a slice of ambient indie rock check out Then & Now, which is available for free from the Clear Red Water BandCamp page. This is a fantastic début single and leaves me wanting more.

… Although missed for his input on the site – Congratulations are due as Robbie looks set fair for a 1st. Join Robbie on Twitter for more of his thoughts.

Tallulah Rendall – The Banshee And The Moon – LP Review

It was back in 2011 that Tallulah Rendall first featured on the website and a new twelve track LP The Banshee And The Moon has recently been released.

Tallulah Rendall - LP launch

Tallulah Rendall – LP launch

To call this an LP in isolation would be to do an injustice as the release appears alongside a book with carefully curated images, a CD and for a few a limited edition, 200 to be precise, Vinyl version.

Opening with Run Let The River Run the tone is set for the mystical magical journey of The Banshee And The Moon.

Canary is a bewitching tale of escaping darkness with a track that showcases the range of the vocal dexterity of Tallulah Rendall whilst the rolling music settles the brain into a tempo to be found through the LP.

Pieces is an anthem to the 21st Century with the confusion of isolation and self reliance within a world that on the surface appears contiguous yet is fractured. The track despite its contemplative lyric is an up-tempo blues derived piece, which gives it an even more powerful testimony. My pick of the release as this to me distils the essence of The Banshee And The Moon.

She Rises up is a folkloric track in which the guitar flickers as-though the wings of a dragonfly caught in the sunlight of the voice, whilst the darker pool of a pond lays beneath.

Next is Shine On a composition which finds Tallulah Rendall as the chantress in a lonely bar in an isolated town dreaming of a world of fleeting opportune moments in life which should not be allowed to slip by un-beckoned.

Go My Way is another showcase for the soaring voice accompanied by bounding bass notes which cascade across the room.

Opening the second half of The Banshee And The Moon is Hear Me Now which combines the darker textures of the LP with a shining light of rock riffs that gives the the LP a bounce and a fine example of how Tallulah Rendall can continue to surprise and delight the listener.

The Banshee provides a summation of the LP with contrasts of lightness and dark. Reflective of the realities of life which burn and flash, but remain within the control of the individual, were the will sufficiently strong.

Following the optimism of The Banshee – Land Away is responsive to the fatigue of the daily grind of monotony which stifles dreams in a finely crafted piece of music.

Trust In Me finds a balance to the conundrums, looking forward to a brighter space, as the music brings in extensive piano to explore lighter moods, which remain tempered with a sense of sorrow.

Eyes continues to find the light flickering through the tunnel of confused emotions that is The Banshee And The Moon with a Gaelic dance temperance.

Concluding with Lost In The Moonlight which offers a route from the darkness in a piece which extends a map through the complexities of life.

Tallulah Rendall has put together more than a musical journey in The Banshee And The Moon as the accompanying materials are integral parts to the whole journey.

To obtain the constituent parts of The Banshee And The Moon.

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Jubilee Courts – Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight – EP Review

Jubilee Courts from England have their début five track EP – Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight – set for release on the 4th August.

Jubilee Courts - Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight - artwork

Jubilee Courts – Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight – artwork

Opening an EP which reflects of life in urban alleyways City Flow which reminds of a time-lapse image of a busy road junction as the notes streak back and forth across the brain. The layers of sound flicker across the room before colliding into a kaleidoscope of aural imagery.

Next is Something Different which has a much more industrial feel to it as Jubilee Courts combine echoing shoegaze guitars with bass and percussion which lay down the under-pinning and predominate texture to the sound.

Outside Your House is my pick of the release as the band allows the music to flow more contextually through the whole piece with a resounding bass / percussion combination which tests the speakers, the synthetic sampler is given room to play more easily with the resulting out-put giving the track a sonorous presence, which is tempered neatly by the fragility of the psychedelic guitars.

Under The Sand Again is a triumph of of juxtapositions as the muffled vocal is allowed to express the context, whilst the guitars shimmer like sun bouncing off rippled seas and under-laying it lurks the spectre of unseen menaces as the bass roams like a circling predator and percussion dances in glee at the unfolding story-line.

Concluding  Go From the Blue Light into the Moonlight and what is a fine début EP by Jubilee Courts is Sunday Shift which is a well constructed composition as the band join forces and direction of travel to provide five and three quarter minutes of music that you just want to extend for eternity.


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