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.

Paul Lewis – Faster Than The Sound Of Speed – EP Review

My apologies to Paul Lewis and yourself as this has been languishing in my inbox since prior to the release of Faster Than The Sound Of Speed which was made available on the 29th January.

Paul Lewis - Faster Than The Sound Of Speed - EP review

Paul Lewis

Those of more curious thought may recognise Paul Lewis from the English band Priory Jones And The Mission, Faster Than The Speed Of Sound is an alt-rock solo EP.

Opening the eighteen minutes release is Never Gonna Be Free, which has a retro ’60s mersey-beat to it, to which a fuzzy synth has been over-layed, that has the effect of slowing down the piece giving it a spectral presence that drifts around the room in hazy flows of sound.

Everybody’s Gotta Reason comes next which is my pick of the release, as a heavier percussion pummels its way around the room, to which the heart finds itself matching tempo as the guitar joins in the pace, whilst a superb vocal cuts a swathe across the landscape as notes and reaches are hit pitch-perfectly by the voice as a medley of synthesised choir gives the track its defining presence.  Four and a half minutes that you just want to extend further in time.

Following is Show Me, a luscious blend of synth-wave and rock combinations which again is hazed, whilst the vocal threads between sharp clarity and gauzy veils. Paul Lewis is able to deliver this rolling flow of mutation and sparkle without it ever seeming forced and the mind is drawn to thoughts of surf ebbing and flowing on the shoreline. A cleverly composed piece of music, which captures much in its brevity of just under three minutes.

The closing track, is also the longest, running at a couple of seconds below six and a half minutes – Thinking It Over reminds me of one of a song previously featured Tim as Paul Lewis imbues the piece with a rolling tempo with a busy vocal narrative that gives the track an inherent urgency, whilst the instrumentation flows expansively and again rather than sounding discordant and indulgent it is perfectly pitched and the listener finds themselves drifting into a capsule in which time stands still.

Whilst each track is somewhat different to one-another Faster Than The Speed Of Sound does not leave the audience feeling they have been listening to a random selection of tracks as when taken as a whole there is a natural progress which takes the mind from the retrospective to the future.

There are two additional tracks on the Deluxe Version of the EP with a slightly different track order.

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Faster Than the Sound of Speed (Deluxe Version) – EP – Paul Lewis is available on iTunes.*

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Move Until Motionless – Drop The Bass – Single Review

On the 30th January Move Until Motionless aka M.U.M. released their début single – Drop The Bass.

Move Until Motionless - Drop The Bass - artwork

Move Until Motionless – Drop The Bass – artwork

The chances of me asking you to spend time with dub-step is as you know fairly remote – as for reviewing a track? Well to my ears the English duo Move Until Motionless have something special to offer. I ask you to set aside preconceptions and turn up the volume.

Pulling in waves of tenor with looping synthetics Drop The Bass adds an infectious Dayan and Bayan percussion giving the track an impressive cohesion between EDM and Indian sub-continent tradition that can’t help but inject its way into the very essence of the audience. M.U.M. hold the listener in extended bars before steeply escarping the rhythm and quickly reverting back to a new build-up.

Drop The Bass deserves to keep the strobes and bodies busy this year.


Drop the Bass – Single – múm is available on iTunes.*

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Craig Lawlor – If You Knew – Single Review

Craig Lawlor is an alt-rock solo performer from England.

Craig Lawlor - If You Knew - artwork

Craig Lawlor – If You Knew – artwork

Released on the 24th January his debut single – If I knew. A track I enjoyed for the assimilation of various
styles into a coherent piece of work.

This is not going to make your brain wrestle with conundrums, neither will it send you off to count the number of forks you have in the cutlery draw as Craig Lawlor wrestles with a jauntiness that is melded with some persuasive minor chord strings and vocals that captures the attention resulting in the audience being left with a sense of melancholic isolation.

A track to add to the ‘moments of reflection’ playlist.

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If You Knew – Single – Craig Lawlor is available on iTunes.*

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Vienna Ditto – Hammer And A Nail – Single Review

It was back in September 2013 that I first wrote about the avant-garde rock English duo Vienna Ditto. Plans are afoot for a début LP – due on the 4th May. In advance the single Hammer And A Nail.

Vienna Ditto - Hammer And A Nail

Vienna Ditto

Set for release on the 23rd February, with fortune as darkness falls and temperatures drop as I type I found Hammer And A Nail in my in-box.

The track takes a sultry Marriconne twist as a wurlitzer glides around the smoky vocals, beguiling the listener to cuddle up close and enjoy the unctuous oily massage. One is minded of a more subtle version of Déshabillez Moi by Juliette Gréco and how could that not warm up a winters evening?

Having featured the Feeling Good back in June – also planned to be on the album, which remains un-named, what I can be sure of – is – that it will be well worth grabbing hold of with outstretched arms when it does arrive. I am led to believe masters are expected to be completed in the next few weeks and I have been assured of early ears and will certainly let you know my thoughts.

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