Death And The Penguin an indie rock band from Brixton in England is Tobias Smith (Vocals /Guitar), Christopher Olsen (Guitar / Keyboard / Vocals), Andrew Acred (Bass / Keyboard /Vocals) and Timothy Brennik (Drums / Percussion / Vocals).
Death And The Penguin
On first sight looking at the line-up and instruments of Death And The Penguin you may fear, as I did, that it would be too much production and not enough thought, I am delighted to say that is far from the case. The quartet blend the available range of sounds within beguiling melodic compositions.
Running through the themes of the music lay space-rock inflections which have much air underneath their wings, which is in stark contrast to the initial thoughts you and I may well have shared, of compact and loud sounds. I always enjoy bands who are able to manage to hold a leash on their potential fire-power, utilising the various formats available in sympathy with the compositions.
Formed last year Death And The Penguin have their début seven track EP, Accidents Happen, set for release on the 5th May.
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Moral Panics from Stoke-On-Trent in England is the indie-indie quartet of Andy Gannon (Guitar), Dan Johnson (Vocals / Guitar), Tom O’Neill ( Bass) and Jazz Smith (Drums).
Smartly combing shoegaze, dance and Britpop but paying homage to none Moral Panics confidently stride their own path and it is a direction of travel worth pursuing. I have to confess, it took me a second listening to get tuned, so if it doesn’t strike a chord first time, leave it a few days and come back to it, as I did.
I can envisage this as being ever on the fringes of many audiences, as it lies in an isolated pool, yet connecting with the soul.
The rationale behind my hesitancy was that it sounded contrived, but on further accepting these are musicians approaching the arena from alternative creative backgrounds, of course they will cast aspersions to genres, whilst drawing from them and if you give them time to gel, you will I hope, find music that has something to offer.
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The Tommy Drums an alt-indie rock band from Cheltenham in England is Sam Jones (Vocals / Rhythm Guitar), Jamie Cairney (Lead Guitar), Fraser Hopkins (Bass) and Jack Quance (Drums).
The Tommy Drums
A delightful sound emanates around the room, permeating every nook and cranny as The Tommy Drums deliver their angst riven material. What I particularly enjoy about the quartet is the way they control the delivery speed, which must have been tempting to hurtle like the hare passing the starting gates at a greyhound night of racing.
By controlling the pace The Tommy Drums provide space for the well composed songs to gain traction, leaving the listener captured both in the melodies and moment. That isn’t to say they can’t harry along the music, where appropriate, and the audience is left in no doubt this is a band with much potential to travel far.
Whilst deploying the two guitars to give the tracks more solidity The Tommy Drums do not ignore the bass / percussion spine of the sound that are equally given room to be heard over which rings a well suited vocal.
I was looking forward to spending a few more hours listening to the music, but sadly so far the repertoire doesn’t extend that long, I look forward to when it does.
So, having commented how I particularly like the tempered measure, here is one of The Tommy Drums faster songs….
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The Endgame from Durham in England is the independent rock band of Sarah Tyler (Lead vocals / Guitar / Percussion), Dave Hay (Guitar), Guy Millen (Bass) and Chris Johnson (Drums / Backing vocals).
Reminding of Chrissie Hind as Sarah sings, how could I not be engaged? What more should I say? Oh Ok – you insist… When you are as engaged in the voice it easy to forget the backdrop, but The endgame offer something in to which wrap the ears.
The quartet define their sounds in an equilibrium of despair and hope as the music resonates around the room in a calming sense of gloom. Delightful caresses of bass kiss the cheeks as from above pierces the guitars which sway rhythmically and in the ether lays a sympathetic percussion. It is the backward compositions which raise The endgame above the parapet to the minds eye.
Effortlessly the band marks a differentiation as the music offers to the listener a sound that clocks naturally, whilst they forgo simplistic connectivity in the weaving sounds that engage the audience.
I have had the pleasure of taking a listen to the eleven track debut LP Shifting Circles and already this hits my – must get back to this – playlist.
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Indian Summer an alt-rock quartet from Coventry in England is Nathan Wood (Guitar / Vocals), Benjamin Scott (Guitar / Vocals / Synth), Tim Hegan (Bass) and Sam White (Drums).
Shimmers of shoegaze feed through the guitars as Indian Summer deliver music which lives up to the band name, somewhat mournful, yet with that lightness of late autumn sunshine. Formed mid 2013 the quartet recorded an eponymous five track EP in December that they have released as a pay as you like download on bandcamp in which they explore some of the different influences of the players.
The quiet backdrop of electronics adds a warmth to their sound which would otherwise sound quite sharp to the ears as they tighten the strings and voices to the higher registers. As you know, being a fan of stretched bass, it sits at the opposite end of the fret to my personal taste, nonetheless no less the engaging for it.
Indian Summer have made a fine start and have the ability to write tunes with catching melodies, whilst having a depth of emotional context and I would anticipate that with more experience and confidence they will be releasing material which snares a broad international appeal.
My choice of track for the introduction to Indian Summer is unsurprisingly one in which they allow the bass and percussion to rumble a little.
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