Tuska – Fine – Single Review

Tuska are a Brighton (England) based psychedelic rock group, featuring core members Richard Sturges (Guitar / Vocals) and Rob Weaver (Guitar / Vocals).

Tuska

Tuska

Thanks once again to Robbie for taking the time to write some thoughts…

Tuska has just released their début single Fine on the 4th and what an introduction it is. The entire track drips with this intoxicating sheen that harks back to summer days and balmy nights, a far cry from what we’re experiencing in these dreary winter months.

The drums in the opening moments are delightfully saggy and perfectly compliment each section, weaving in and out to introduce each repeat of that incredibly catchy chorus. With shades of Tame Impala in the vocals and melodic content, Tuska has brought something familiar yet pleasingly fresh to the table.

The guitar parts are artfully presented, with lots of character oozing from clever riffs. What makes this single come alive is the excellent production – there is a lot going on in the mix and each element gels incredibly well with the next. There is a ton of creativity going on here, with little fillers and effects propelling the arrangement beyond the sum of its parts.

Catchy to the point of cruel, Fine is a killer début single. Owing to clever song writing and careful harnessing of elements from psychedelic rock, Tuska has fashioned a hazy pop-rock song that is proving impossible to resist. Well done guys, I look forward to hearing follow-up material in the New Year.

To grab your free download of the  single you can do so from the Tuska website.

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If you would be interested in writing for the website – please do drop an email to tim @ emergingindiebands.com

Cafeine – New Love – LP Review

Cafeine is a solo project from multi-instrumentalist Xavier Cafeine who originally hails from Quebec, Canada. New Love is his third studio album – an eleven track LP which was released in America on February 17th and the first, since his relocation to the USA .

Cafeine - New Love - artwork

Cafeine – New Love – artwork

Thanks again to Robbie Gallagher for his thoughts…

After seeing press photos of an aloof Monsieur Cafeine and briefly researching his influences, I expected New Love to represent something of a post-modern love letter to the heyday of punk music, particularly the American take on the genre. And after listening, I believe this presumption couldn’t have been further from the truth; with inspiration reportedly ranging from the first-wave of American punk with bands such as X and The Flesh Eaters to more eclectic offerings such as The Gun Club and The Blasters, I expected cutting, nihilistic content full of bile and resentment. What lay beneath the surface was far from my expectations.

The titular début track, New Love, is an electrified slice of feel-good pop. Crisp and radio-friendly, it is the antithesis of what I had come to expect, but not a bad song by any means.

The following track, Electric, is a little more rock-oriented, with jangly guitar riffs and vocals which wouldn’t sound out of place in British indie groups. The track moves along at a good pace, thanks to the synergy between drums and guitars, and is my personal favourite on the LP.

Towards the end of the album appears No Love, a foot-stomper of a track with some nice riffs that chime nicely with the vocals, featuring subtle echoes which bounce around in the background. With a chunky lead synth and a pleasing piano section appearing out of the blue, this is a strong contender for the most varied song on the album.

An increasing sense of déjà vu washed over me as New Love progressed, and I realised that at its heart, this highly polished album lacks any palpable depth. This album is well-produced and easily-accessible, but lacks the creativity and complexity which necessitate further listening on my part. There is a lot of style and sophistication on offer, and if you’re looking for an enjoyable ride to take you into the Summer months, look no further.

New Love – Cafeine is available on iTunes.*

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*Purchases made through the iTunes link will result in Emerging Indie Bands earning a commission.

The Great Duck War – Eponymous Single Review

With thanks to Robbie for finding the time to review the eponymous three track Single by The Great Duck War, or, in his own words….

The Great Duck War - Eponymous Single - artwork

The Great Duck War – Eponymous Single – artwork

This is a track-by-track review of The Great Duck War’s eponymous EP, released February 15th.

More perceptive readers will have noticed that The Great Duck War only featured on Emerging Indie Bands less than a month ago, when the band were aptly summarised as a fledgling garage rock trio comprised of Reid Kurkerewicz, Noah Huber and Justin Huber hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

St. Thorlack features jangly guitars, crisp bass and a nice tempo change in the verse, with tortured vocals awash with delay and pleasing indie melodies. This is a fast and energetic track which sets the tone for the experience to follow, a no-nonsense, lumbering slice of garage rock with an air of desolation.

The atmospheric structure of Chicago Blastroid is comprised of a driving bass line and sparse drumming supported by shimmering chords. Before long the tempo rises and lurches into a wistful melody followed by gritty feedback oscillations, concluding much as it began.  This is the most varied track on the EP, with a variety of intensities and lots of grit to sink your teeth into.

Dial Tones features vocals awash with reverb before bass, drums and guitar set the groove and the tempo ebbs and flows like the ocean tide. Before long the familiar tempo change rears its head once more, a tremulous guitar lick and frantic percussion following each successive swell. The EP ends with a final crescendo descending into noise – a fitting conclusion to this manic set of songs.

This is a short but satisfying EP,  which is available on bandcamp and a great introduction to The Great Duck War.

Robbie who has now completed his degree is pursuing a career in the music industry and to find out what he is up to join him on Twitter.

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.

Talvihorros – Eaten Alive – LP review

Talvihorros is a solo project from Ben Chatwin, a Scotland-based composer and sound artist signed to Denovali, a German-based record label specialising in electronic and ambient music. Once again thanks to Robbie for his review.

Talvihorros - Eaten Alive

Talvihorros – Eaten Alive – LP artwork

Released on bandcamp in January 2014 the eight track LP, Eaten Alive is the latest in a line of releases for Talvihorros and was largely inspired by the difficulties faced by a close friend growing up in East London.

From the opening track – Little Pieces of Discarded Life


it becomes clear that Talvihorros is a musical project existing largely on a textural basis; you won’t find typical recognisable elements from rock and pop such as rhythm guitar or a drum kit in these songs. That isn’t to say there aren’t musical elements within these compositions, as compelling melodies and organic pulses are woven throughout the album, but they exist largely as electronic grains which meld with one another to create a dense soup of sound within which the listener can lose themselves.

Eaten Alive features layers of guitar and bass in the following tracks, which serve to ground the piece as a multidisciplinary work rather than purely digital, such as in track four – Objectum, in which guitar melodies weave and harmonise within a fundamentally electronic sound environment.

Perhaps the most memorable is the sixth track, The Secrets of the Sky, which contains several melodies which phase in and out of the piece whilst the digital percussion thuds away before being devoured by the roar gradually building in the background. This is my stand out track of the album as I feel it perfectly encapsulates the hypnotic, overwhelming beauty of Ben Chatwin’s work.

It’s obvious there is some kind of higher artistic goal within Eaten Alive, which is lacking from so much music in this day and age. Each track is lavishly produced and is testament to the vision of the artist.

This album is a satisfying blend of atmospherics and melody, and one I enjoy from beginning to end. If you like this album, check out the Talvihorros Bandcamp page and keep an eye on the Denovali record label. They’re putting on a two-day event called the Denovali Swingfest in Berlin and London this April and in Essen this October. Check it out!

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