Nice Place

Alex (Vocals / Guitar), Stefan (Bass) and Shohei (Drums) from London in England recently got together to form the shimmering-indie band Nice Place.

Nice Place - shimmering-indie from England

Nice Place

One could be forgiven for thinking that Nice Place are a long-term staple diet on the music scene, rather than a new entity, with only three songs I have been able to hear and their first gig played on the 19th of August.

Echoing, delayed guitar teases the ears as a fixated bass insists it has places to go and the drum-kit keeps a tension wire between the two. Immediately marking Nice Place as a band that should be on the ‘moments to remember’ playlist and to round off the sound is a vocal which has the relaxation those of many years experience often fail to convey, covering much territory, without ever sounding stretched.

It is the innate ability that the trio have to cohesively paddle furiously underwater, leaving the listener with only a sense of elegant voyage that is the true testament of Nice Place and it shouldn’t be too far off that they strike far wider audiences.

I wish Nice Place every success in their journey into the choppy waters of the music business, as they have much to add.

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Red City Noise

From Lyon in France comes the carnage rock trio of Dorian (Vocal / Guitar / Distortion), Alex (Bass) and Ed (Guitar / Backing Vocals) who make up Red City Noise.

Red City Noise - carnage rock from France

Red City Noise

Music which hammers into the head like a snarling, rampaging polar bear is where you need to think of Red City Noise.  The music fractures planes of claws across the room and no matter how you duck and dive the hammering nails will gouge. A sublimating distortion crawls, like a limpet, across the room to clasp itself upon your head and the more it sucks the brain the more engaging it becomes.

I am minded of the apocryphal dinner parties of sipping live monkey brain as Red City Noise gorge their way across the room, devouring all before them. The scouring guitars scavenge the spaces, whilst percussion threshes the mind in an eviscerating hollowness as bass spits out fragments of bone and a defining vocal disembowels the entrails.

Red City Noise have a congruence which salves the audience for its very approbation, as they challenge and reconfigure with an unremitting industrial threshing machine that rattles around the head.

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Black Lodge – Red City Noise is available on iTunes*.

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Meat Market

Meat Market from Oakland in the USA is the garage rock quartet of Ian, Jeffrey, Jake and Alex.

Meat Market - garage rock from the USA

Meat Market – photo by Raphael Villet

Subsumed inside polarities of sound lays a sharp and sardonic reflective of life being lived. Meat Market deliver their music within string bending distortion that shards the speakers prior to scattering around the room.

Better known for live performance than recorded material Meat Market is a band who have much to offer the wider world and I hope to hear news of the follow-up to the eponymous 2012 ten track LP.

The music hurtles across the ears in a tumult of coincidences which the quartet manage to herd into formation like a seasoned shepherd rounding up sheep. The ears are boxed with a continual flailing which Meat Market deflect with some mastery and rather than emerging with a bloodied face, the audience turns around with a wide grin and thankful for having spent the time.

Not for the first time do I find myself reviewing a band on the roster of the label underthegun with good reason.

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Invasions a dream pop quintet from Toronto in Canada is AlexBrianMattBrian and Ara.

Invasions - dream pop from Canada


The mystique of Invasions emerges from the lo-fi connotations. Kick off your shoes and let the warming waves of the quintet wash over the body; Strip away the clothing and just revel in the warming jets of mist that flow around the room as the band mutates betwixt the instrumentation as an unstoppable stream of warming instrumentation disperses its scent, whilst the vocal slides though the instruments like a panther stalking prey.

Configured to entice the pleasure zones, Invasions portend of delights to come and the triumphalist bugle which intersperse many tracks sits as a valedictory triumphalism which suits the minds eye of the audience. Displaced sounds weft across the room, floating like ethereal spirits for the ears to hone towards yet fail to capture as the group meanders off the direction of travel.

Individual tracks are not overly long, yet the brain is convinced it has been on a lengthy stay as Invasions combine both simple constructs with variations on a theme providing sounds which capture the imagination. I just need another lay down to absorb the atmosphere.


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Straight Arrows

Straight Arrows a garage rock band from Sydney, Australia is Adam, Owen, Alex and Angie.

Straight Arrows - Garage Rock from Australia

Straight Arrows

The lo-fi reproductions and enough reverb to confuse an echo are based on classic rock ‘n’ roll, delivered typically within less than two and a half minutes enrapture the listener. Living up to their name Straight Arrows deliver a sound that isn’t complex, though it is a band immediately heading on to my ‘play this now’ playlist.

Coming up to three years since their debut LP, Straight Arrows have the freshness of a band just starting out as they maintain a high voltage enthusiasm for producing music to sing-along to, even though the lyrics are distorted into the almost undecipherable, but it doesn’t matter that the audience is singing completely the wrong words. This is a band who want their listeners to have a good time and the band delivers that every-time they perform or release material.

The fact that it is pouring with rain, cold and dark outside as I write doesn’t matter at all, this is like a carefree night out mid-summer. Thanks for making it a better day Straight Arrows.


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