With material dating back to 2016, each of different iteration, there is always an undercurrent of melancholia which sweeps through the room on taking a listen to the back-catalogue and when one starts to explore so the further one wishes to delve in the wistful tones of music.
A couple of tunes surfaced on the 3rd and serving as an introduction to a band I look forward to hearing more from in due course – the keys led Silver Ashtray.
The English acoustic rock band Narrow Plains release the single I Should’ve Known on the 2nd of February.
A sprightly rock’n’roll number that has the listener stepping through the room in good humour.
Their signature sound of acoustic guitar always lends the music by Narrow Plains a sense of the roots of rock. The backbone is provided by the surrounding electric guitars that create the depth of the compositions with percussion, in this instance, generating the trotting tempo bringing I Should’ve Known alive while the vocal conducts the direction of travel and over all architecture.
I merely hope it isn’t another two years before I come back to Narrow Plains.
Sandtimer is a melancholic-folk band from England.
Sandtimer and I have been exchanging emails since 2016 though I have never quite managed to align timing – so it is a pleasure that I have finally been able to get my act together with their latest song – New Year Morning – which came out on the 1st and is the first reveal from their forthcoming LP.
Their back catalogue of releases comprises of music which is of varied approaches to folk influences drawn from around the world that is tinged in sorrowful countenance, expressed particularly by the distinctive vocal with its rich baritone intonations to where the listener instinctively, initially, steers attention. The surrounding layers, sometimes delivered as a duo other times as a quartet, doesn’t seek to fight the voice, rather, adds depth of texture to complement and enhance the overall output and when the ears head towards the instrumentation they discover equally as impressive performance with the weaves of frequencies creating intoxicating flows of sound in which to experience the wistful compositions.
Sandtimer are a case in point where the sum of the parts is far greater than the individual constituents.
The English darkwave quartet Stupid Cosmonaut released the LP Digitalis on the 5th.
Stupid Cosmonaut – Photo by Paul Mallinson
The six track, roughly thirty eight minutes, album (available on bandcamp) has a dystopian oppressiveness that fills the room in shadows of synthesised guitars, distant, yet unrelenting, percussion and immersive electronica.
Though dark in presence, Digitalis, is nonetheless an entrancing LP of ambient soundscape in which the listener feels their body and mind becoming as one with the music and far from feeling threatened by the hidden menace finds themselves hypnotically attracted and desirous of exploring the many layers of the compositions.
My pick of the release being the longest track, running at thirteen minutes, the second on the album – Rephlex.
The Oi Oi’s is a relatively new English brit-blues trio.
The Oi Oi’s
For those of us who haven’t been able to catch them live since their first performance in April they did recently reveal their début single.
Holy Moly rumbles through the speakers akin to a heavy steam engine pressing down on the sleepers. A bass guitar which seems to surface from underneath the floorboards cracking the pins underfoot marks out the territory of The Oi Oi’s as they challenge the sub-woofers to a duel accompanied by a drum-kit struck so hard the listener can envisage the whole set bouncing around the stage with the riffs of guitar bending through the room like a meandering river forming oxbow lakes whilst the vocal, almost incidentally, threads through the composition.
I mean to cast no aspersions towards the vocal content as without it Holy Moly would be incomplete and is an integral part of the song, however, the combinations of instrumentation and percussion is that which fully captures the attention.
It is of little surprise that the guitars are threaded to almost double their length, to enable rapid string change as I can’t image they last a full set on any occasion it would also not come as a surprise that along with the drum-kit having a surfeit of spare skins and sticks there isn’t also a plaster cast on-hand to support broken wrists.