Hailey Livingston – Clap Black – LP Review

Hailey Livingston is an RnB creator from Los Angeles (USA) who released the LP Clap Back on the 11th.

Hailey Livingston
Hailey Livingston

An eleven track album which contemplates the complexities of interpersonal relationships with friends, lovers and family.

This is an atypical recommendation to the music typically featured and although instinctively not something I would typically recommend, particularly with numerous tracks adding vocoder effects, which, as longer stay readers always finds me antagonistic, I do strongly suggest adding to the playlist of ‘essential bookmarks of life in the ’10s’.

The sheer depth of emotional connectivity makes Clap Back an album of its time with a narrative of contemporary confusions of life in a world contrasted by pixelated and physical relationships.

The three, to me, stand out tracks of the eleven on the album are the opener Meet Cute, which sets the tone for the release as a whole with its heady fires of early day relationship expectation and latter day confusion.

The sixth song – I don’t Hate Men?, a piano led composition, is a more melancholic and jaded perspective of disappointment and abusive power imbalance.

My pick of the release being the penultimate song, Elegy, which though of sad countenance recalls fondest memories of strong familial ties.

Clap Back – Hailey Livingston is available on iTunes.*

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40 Shillings On The Drum – Beggars Who Believe – LP Review

The English celtic-rock sextet 40 Shillings On The Drum released the LP Beggars Who Believe on the 25th of August.

40 Shillings On The Drum

40 Shillings On The Drum

Prior to heading anywhere near the play button – do have plenty of space in which to dance and ensure you turned up the volume.

As regular readers know when a fiddle comes to fore and takes leading role I am likely to be best amused and the opening track Ode To Old Reilly is by necessity my pick of the release.

The second piece Beggars On The Street doesn’t let the side down either with agit roots of societal inequality taking centre stage with a blistering track of forment reflecting of a country in which 25% of families have less than £100 available to spend at any one moment in time and even of those other 74% with a few more pennies available – the average debt (excluding housing mortgage) is approaching £20 000 such is the disconnect between the theoretic of socio-capitalism and its reality other than for the 1% – hence that missing digit.

Just because I haven’t selected an audio to run alongside the third song Brighton Belle doesn’t mean things have gone downhill – merely as you will know – no more than one in three tracks are made available for stream on an album review and as there are only six on the album and two have already been streamed it means from here on in it is only text. A less angry number as it roars around the room and minds the listener they really need to be listening to Beggars Who Believe with others, in live performance, at an unlicensed lock-in at the local.

Blind Drunk – sadly informs that we are already in to the second half of Beggars Who Believe with a track that lowers the temperature in a song to sing alongside.

The penultimate song – A Dance With Jack Ketch turns up the tempo again as a rockabilly-blues temperament skips through the eardrums and I posit that you will instinctively play this again immediately

Closing out the album is The English Coast which has another change of focus as a piano surfaces – delivering a melancholic backdrop to the ballad.

Despite all the anxiety and realities of life 40 Shilling On The Drum in Beggars Who Believe are able to reveal a roughly twenty six minutes LP that makes the listener delighted to be alive.


Beggars Who Believe – EP – 40 Shillings on the Drum is available on iTunes.*

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Na’an Stop – Eponymous – LP Review

The US ska quintet Na’an Stop release their eponymous LP on the 3rd.

Na'an Stop - eponymous LP review

Na’an Stop

A nine track reveal in which the quintet put in to the display cabinet a range of ideas for consideration with songs threading through different moods and tempo allowing Na’an Stop to showcase their considerable talent, yet not surfacing as a hodgepodge of ideas, rather a roughly thirty three minute album the listener immediately wants to replay.

Opening with Lazy Suzan – a track regular readers will know, having been reviewed a couple of months ago.

Next up is Why You Runnin a song of similar temper, though with a heavier dub step.

Positivity brings a different balance to the table with a guitar led soul feel to it with piano playing a mood setter in a track that switches through tempo and mood, that minds of early summer café evenings.

Rapids skips to caribbean sunshine with deeply carved moonstomps as the notes sharply and cleanly drop in and out of earshot and my pick of the release for its booming bass.

Halfway is marked by Big Box a track which on its own is worth the cost of the LP as brass pipettes tiny breaths giving the song a broad sonic range.

You has a soundscape of its own as the instrumentation submerges behind the vocal giving it spotlight – and we are not let down as the voice is able to carry and pinpoint the stretch of octaves without faltering.

Question heads back towards soul territory with big dips that swoop through the room.

The penultimate track Hot Coffee is another track I recommend heading towards as it offers a new space for the quintet, and uniquely on the release, an intricate instrumental only composition enabling the listener to hear distinctly the structures of their songwriting.

The closer is Lady which again strikes a space of difference with acoustic guitar and vocal leading the way in a ballad and another song in which the voice shines brightly.

An album that is definitely one to add to the collection the moment it becomes available.

Na’an Stop – Na’an Stop is available on iTunes.*

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Wax On Water – Procession – LP Review

The English dark-electro project Wax On Water released the LP Procession on the 11th.

Wax On Water - Procession - artwork

Wax On Water – Procession – artwork

Best played on a visit to Bracken Cave whilst flickering wings quietly filter dusk light as Wax On Water delivers a gothic moodiness that shrouds the listener in dark purple neon light whilst entreating all to lay in tethered oiled nakedness writhing with partners unseen through velvet blind-folds. Turn up the bass, kick up the volume and take pleasure in the tantalising album.

Opening with An Army which teeters through the speakers in fleeting and teasing embrace as the the discombobulated buffers of sound invite towards the cellar.

Next is Chelsea Fuck –  which is my pick of the release as a desirous eroticism spills through the room as the sensuous vocal nail claws the skin to the accompaniment of welt inflicting electronics that lash across the torso.

Sonic appears to loosen the bonds as pianoforte introduces the piece prior to evolving in to a mistress in stilettos striding around the room with tickling feathers flailing from side to side.

The fourth of the seven tracks is the teasing Fall And The Flame with its rising and falling bass lines that finds ears capturing sounds filtering form all directions.

Innate – is a track that is worth the price of Procession in its own right as the deep resonances of bass rattle the sub-woofers in to a wave of acticity.

Enamour spreads its wings from different trajectory in a number which hurries the pace in seemingly dismissive irritation.

The closer is the title Procession which bleeds synths through the speakers in angular schematics as though rolling slain and fed-upon bodies out of the door as sun rises whilst awaiting the next sun-set.

Those of you who read the site regularly will know I write articles with a 10 year old Pekingese – Gnotti – by my side who generally lets the sounds flow past while he sleeps through the dis-articulated hours I function. He decided to join in with this one as the hairs on my arm waved in the breeze. Which as an interlocutor into the thread of the review is perhaps somewhat disturbing to the mind – but like the bats in the cave – echo-location captivates imagery and as I weaved a thread of commentary unintended by Wax On Water – so Gnotti found passages he did enjoy for different reasons entirely.

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Procession [Explicit] is available on Amazon.*

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Them Rumblin’ Bones – Eponymous – LP Review

The Australian rock trio Them Rumblin’ Bones released their ten track début eponymous LP on the 13th.

Them Rumblin' Bones

Them Rumblin’ Bones

The opening track Cravings sets the mood for the album with a heavy dose of hard-hitting rock that rattles from the speakers in a power-packed just over three and a half minutes of screaming rock.

Next is Troublin’ Times, which buffers the punches marginally in a rumbling current of guitars and percussion highlighted by a classic heavy-metal vocal in a number that varies pace and texture.

My pick of the release is the third – American Songwriter, which is an altogether different frame of mind which has an extemporised flow of instrumentation and precisely snapped drums, giving it an organic flow that forms into intriguing, almost tactile shapes as it evolves.

Taste It takes the mind straight back to ’70s rock in a roomy upbeat tempo.

Bye Bye It’s Over – gladly doesn’t mark the end of the album, merely the end of the first half and discovers Them Rumblin’ Bones in full flow of rocking rock ‘n’ roll. Well worth putting on immediate repeat.

Dragon’s Tounge is as an intricate interweaving of brooding measured rock in approaching five and five sixths minutes of sub-woofer twitching bass-line.

The longest track on the album at beyond six minutes is California Sun, but none of the three hundred and seventy nine seconds are extraneous as Them Rumblin’ Bones deliver a jogging boogie-blues that has the audience bouncing along with the skipping drum-kit and bass. Worth the price of the LP on its own.

Woke This Man once again allows guitar to take centre stage in a whammy bar blousy funkadelic blues number.

If you are a particular fan of blues rock – Racing Red Lights is where you need to be heading, in what is the most emotive track on the LP.

Closing with Shadowbox A BillionaireThem Rumblin’ Bones, add another player giving the two six string guitars the spotlight as they snake around each other, not as lead and rhythm but as though one and once again allowing them to deliver a track that has the sense of being an organic being and the only regret is that it only last for a fraction over five minutes.

Experienced musicians, which is more than borne out in the manner by which they approached the album, as they selected to create the final thoughts in what can be considered ‘jammin sessions’, giving the just under fifty minute LP (available on bandcamp) the feeling that it is a living and breathing entity, enabling the listener to head back and discover something new each time.

I am already looking forward to the follow-up.

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