Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet

Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet is Henke Wermelin (Vocals), Carl Ederfors (Drums), Håkan Jansson (Bass), Sarah Görsch (Piano), Josef Wikström (Guitar), Mattias Gyllström (Trombone) and Jonas Hultberg (Saxophone) an alt rock band from Göteborg in Sweden.

Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet - Photo by Emelie Wermelin - alt rock from Sweden

Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet – Photo by Emelie Wermelin

Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet is something of a change from many of the bands that wing their way to me from Sweden. The material oozes of Americana country rock to which the band adds a Scandinavian twist, but in the main musically essentially fairly upbeat and uptempo, to which the lyrics superbly wrestle with societal inequalities.

The core quintet function on multifarious levels choosing to add the players of trombone and sax as the occasion arises to add even more dimensions to individual tracks.

It is the ability of Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet to take a what is essentially fairly one dimensional and add a spectrum of textures that attracts the ears. The cohesion of the wide open American Plains and the landscapes of Sweden somehow makes sense and it almost as-though that is what the band is aurally painting for the listener.

This isn’t music to play just before heading out on a hen / stag -night, but it is something to add to the track list towards the close down of an evening with friends. Resonant of a great evening of intelligent and wide-ranging conversations.

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The New Black Is Blue – Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet is available on iTunes*

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Sweet Jane

Sweet Jane is Danda (Guitar / Vocals),  Ruairi Paxton (Bass), Donagh O’Brien (Drums), Neil Paxton (Keys / Guitars / Vocals) and Conor Paxton (Guitar) a psychedelic rock band from Dublin in Ireland.

Sweet Jane - rock from Eire

Sweet Jane

You are left with the feeling Sweet Jane is the music that Hawkwind would have put together had they had a tighter reign. There is a potent chameleonic wave of tempos and sounds that drift lazily across the room, billowing progressively, to create music that completely wraps the head in its various textures.


Whilst the music is multi-layered with a range of sounds meeting the ears, it is not confusing, allowing the listener to relate to the out-put and become involved. Sweet Jane is a group of well versed musicians who handle their compositions gently, allowing the widely spaced refrains plenty of time to express themselves before blending in the next phrase, which gives the tracks fluidity and creating the over all effect of music that is emerging from smoke.

It was a few months ago that Dan, from the independent label Reekus Records, also based in Dublin, made contact, but this occasion, the slow progression from email to review suits the music well and I look forward to spending time in the future held by the soft embrace of Sweet Jane.

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RAU

RAU is Maggy (Guitar / Vocals), Kay-Uwe Dörflinger (Drums) and Jim Albrand (Bass) an alternative rock band from Cuxhaven in Germany.

RAU - alternative rock from Germany

RAU

The music fairly tears into the room with a percussion that wraps itself into the head and involuntary the body joins in with the frenetic beat being set by the double time tempo. Whilst the overall effect is one of a band in a hurry, RAU, keeps it all under control creating a smartly composed  out-put.


This part of Lower Saxony is a fine hotbed of creativity as established readers will recall another find covered last year on the old site. Introducing a range of influences, including reggae and US indie, RAU successfully take the lighter textures and give them a sanding to deliver a darker rock effect which holds together extremely well.

The vocal is finely delivered and creates a good contrast to the gruffer instrumental accompaniment lifting the music to a creativity which is a great addition to the world of music. I look forward to hearing more of RAU in the future. Their six track release Keine Sau Kennt RAU which sees them showcasing the breadth of their sounds, from the slower pace folk derivative to the higher tempo, which in my view is their core strength, should find them make a more decisive impact and build their audience.

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Lolita

Lolita is an indie pop band from Koprivnica in Croatia with the line-up of Antonio Hanžek (drums), Charles Cmrk (bass) and John Grobenski (guitar / vocals).

Lolita - indie pop from Croatia

Lolita

There is an easy relaxed style that Lolita delivers with vocals in English and clear influences from ’60s brit-rock it would be easy to dismiss this as nothing much of anything at all. To discard it so quickly would, in my view, to be make a mistake.


Whilst not seeking to turn the world of music upside-down, the trio throw up some interesting markers. The recorded material has that distinctive sound of recordings made pre MP3 multi channel recordings, which immediately captures the ear as genuine and heartfelt, with the music laid out to stand or fall on its own right. I am also reflective of the fact that much of the music I hear coming out of the former Yugoslavian conglomeration as they have devolved into their separate and distinctive states typically is of far gruffer and vitriolic texture and this of itself marks Lolita as worthy of note with their more exuberant, though not naive, take on region. Valuable music has to be taken in the context in which it is created and while the notes may not sit naturally on my ears, I raise my hat to these guys who are striking by their very difference from that which locally surrounds them.

Having had the opportunity to take a listen to their eight track LP Lipstick Pop, I can confidently say Lolita is worthy of far more than a cursory glance.

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Fonija – Mojot Pekol – LP review

Fonija –  Deni Krstev (Vocals / Guitar), Stefan Ristovski  (Bass / Vocals) and Kristijan Lafazanovski (Drums) from Skopje in The Republic of Macedonia have a new LP – Mojot Pekol – set of release on the 2nd September 2013.

Fonija - LP cover for Mojot pekol

Fonija – LP cover for Mojot pekol

The ten track release opens with Izlezi and the ears immediately know what they are dealing with – raw raucous new wave. Superbly tempered sounds tumble in to the ears as Fonija is able to get across the rage of it all, within a sound that bristles with sharpened edges.

Next is Sakam Da Zgrešam which has an intense percussion / bass combination that retains a tight control on the track as it spills across the room in a flurry of activity.

Ovoj Den is a fine piece of work as it rapidly builds to its tempo. I particularly enjoy the way that the vocals throughout the LP sit as something of a juxtaposition to the frenetic proceedings on the instruments as a calming influence serenely conducting activities.

Reminding me a little of  999 Ova Ne Sakam Da Bidam is a more melodic construct, whilst retaining the fire and passion of the rest of the release and shows Fonija in a slightly different light as the compositional skills are brought more to the fore.

Closing the first half of Mojot Pekol is my pick of the release Se Budam Pak which within its fleeting two and a half minutes does all that any piece of music needs to do. Creative, expressive, tight and a full storyline. Sublime.


The tracks, although originally named and written in cyrillic are transliterated, though not translated, as best as possible for the purposes of the readers of Emerging Indie Bands.

The second half of LP opens with the title track Mojot Pekol which has something of an american indie pop feel to it and as it surfs around the room the face can’t help but spread into a grin. The sharp change in tempo at just over two minutes into the track catches the listener unawares to test if they are still paying attention, before settling back into the rhythm for the final minute. I like this for its cheek.

Tuka Si continues the release in good stead with under two and a half minutes of thunderous rock and the absolute confidence of the trio is given a spotlight as it it hasn’t already in the LP thus far, as Fonija flips the switch and heads over to influences from the likes of Shonen Knife from Japan.

Sedam I Čekam is worth the value of the LP on its own as the powerhouse of the trio re-engages through the speakers with a delightfully earthy high energy number which just demands being replayed immediately.

Sadly we now come to the final two tracks on the release Ne Postojam which retains the frenetic energy of the rest of the release with more than a hint of shoegaze as Fonija continue to raise surprises throughout the release.

Concluding with Najdolgiot Pat which brings to a close 26 minutes of superb output and wrapping up a ten track LP inside half an hour, as you know,  just by its very nature gets my vote.

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