French Leave

French Leave loosely base in Leicester in the UK is the shoegaze trio of Chris (Vocals / Guitar), Olly (Drums / Samples) and Rich (Bass).

French Leave - Shoegaze from England

French Leave – Shoegaze from England

For some reason I had to fling my windows wide open even though it is dark and cold outside as the wings of French Leave fluttered into the room. Their unfettered lightness of step demands spaciousness and confined spaces do not do them justice.


The trio have a mastery of composition as they combine the fantasy world of the Blitz Club with Pet Shop Boys and turning it all in to music of today. There is an expressiveness that wreaths the listener in a shimmering light of reverb before taking them away on a journey of glowing joy.

French Leave is able to draw the mind away from the scourges of life in a wondrous flight of fancy that you never want to end, akin to the folding dining table from which they take their name, the more you need greater room the trio have spaciousness to offer. I am sure you have had that dream where you can leap impossible distances – the trio make it all seem possible with their superb constructs.

Only just celebrating their first birthday French Leave is a band to get to know early in their career.

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In Our Youth is available on bandcamp.

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Morning Smoke

Morning Smoke is the alt-rock quartet of Milo, Max, Isaac and Chris from Brighton in England.

Morning Smoke - alt-rock from England

Morning Smoke

Heavily reverbed guitars drift across the room, whilst persuasive drum and bass provide a solid and surprisingly forceful back-bone to the tracks, as a shadowy vocals flickers between the sounds. Impressively, given the pulsing lower registers, Morning Smoke is able to avoid the smoky drift from becoming obscured and the listener is left with both a sense of fulfilling rock and simultaneously allowed to relax in the ethereal wafts of sound.


A couple of years behind them Morning Smoke have begun to spike their fan-base with an active stage presence over the summer behind them along with a new single Hunger set for release on the 1st December, which follows-up their EP In Euphoria, which came out earlier this year. If they are able capitalise on live performances over the coming months, 2015 should see a rapid upturn in their visibility.

The combinations of psychedelic shoegaze and pumping rock, gives the quartet an out-put which the listener wants to play again to capture the full effects of the compositions, that theoretically should collapse into a heap of cacophony but don’t as Morning Smoke skilfully melt the two into each other.

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Night Mechanic

Night Mechanic from Portland in the USA is the alt-rock quartet of Andre (Vocals / Drums), Chris (Guitar), Brandon (Bass) and Pat (Guitar / Keys).

Night Mechanic - alt-rock from the USA

Night Mechanic

Those of you who have been with me these past five years of reviews will know well how I physically threw out a keyboard and the player on a suggestion they may like to join my band back in the ’70s and you will also chuckle, as I do, how thirty odd years later I enjoy the addition of keys, which have swept their way through 2014 across both Europe and the Americas as I pontificate about their new dimensions that they allow rock bands to explore and here we find ourselves with Night Mechanic. However, the effects achieved by keys now, do add a new dimension, not a whirring grind of pretentiousness as it was at the time.


Scour away the soil and you will find an underlay of Americana- blues to which Night Mechanic have added some infectious contemplatives, giving the output scintillating layers of texture. There is a thrusting movement to tracks, which the bass and percussion keep in momentum, whilst the guitars swing between melody, rhythm and chord attack as the synthetics develop a pillar of persuasive inclusions which are allowed to meander in the horizon, yet add a significant perspective. A vocal that sits tangentially to the instrumentation rounds off the over-all delivery that captivates.

A new LP – the nine track Day Surgery is set for release on the 21st, which marks a significant progression from their release of April last year will, with fortune find them in a stronger position next year.

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Morning Fuzz

Morning Fuzz from New York in the USA is the rock quartet of Frank (Vocals / Guitar), Chris (Bass / Vocals), Michael (Guitar / Vocals) and Jesse (Drums).

Morning Fuzz - rock from The USA

Morning Fuzz

As evidence that there is no need to play around with a tried and tested formula of four people plus instruments and drum-kit and you have the foundations of rock band – Morning Fuzz  – are an example. Not seeking to change the world, rather add to it, the quartet deliver solid rock more than competently.

It is the infinitesimal nature of a combination of between ten and sixteen strings betwixt them that makes reviewing emerging rock bands such a pleasure.  In theory it should have all been heard before, but it never has and Morning Fuzz add a delicious temperament to the genre without ever trying to break the mould.

An interesting band, who it will be of more than cursory intent to follow as they have a sound which has the potential to easily accommodate big stage stadium performance, whether they ever have the opportunity, time alone will tell. Intriguingly, they equally have a style which suits the more intimate venues and well worth getting out to see playing live I would posit.

Whilst transposing smartly to recorded material, Morning Fuzz is almost certainly at their best in live performance, where the inter-play would be far stronger (I imagine) and perhaps why all the best rock bands get round to live recording of their LPs, as studio recordings almost inevitably dilute the real feel of the out-put. That said, as they are only playing in the USA and I am based in the UK, I am nonetheless grateful for the Studio releases I can get hold of. I would council they release a live LP to really showcase the sound.

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Chasing Ghosts – Morning Fuzz is available on iTunes*

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Dios Mio

Dios Mio a dream rock quartet from London in England is Helena (Vocals), Julian (Guitar), Chris (Drums) and Karl (Bass).

Dios Mio - ambient rock from England

Dios Mio

Formed over the summer of 2013 Dios Mio have a sound which belies their relative age as a unit. Already working hard they have released four tracks in the releases and are securing themselves a live performance schedule. Melting melodies fuse inside the constructions and with plenty of delay and reverb the quartet is able to add considerable layering to the music, leaving the listener resting on down pillows.


When a band puts such hard work to the base of their career you can’t but help to wish them well, more importantly Dios Mio do have something of considerable value to add the the world of music and I wouldn’t expect it to be too long before they become far better known with a steady stream of touring dates as this is a sound that suits pretty well most venues and nights.

Whilst of consistent quality and evidently seeking a  defined and shaped sound there is also an earthy grittiness to which the audience can relate and I hope this is not lost as Dios Mio progresses.

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