Stellarscope – March Of The Lonely – LP review

Sometimes it surprises me how long I have been reviewing bands and it was back in 2010 I first took a look at Stellarscope.

Stellarscope - March of the lonely cover art

Stellarscope – March of the lonely cover art

On the 8th October 2013 they revealed their latest release, the 14 track LP March Of The Lonely. Opening with Stay Away From Me there is a recognizable sound, though perhaps more matured as the instruments blend more subtly in to each other. This is a delightful opener and if nothing followed, worth the price of the LP on its own.

Fashionably Late, Again is another fine delivery which finds the band squeezing in the style that Tom Lugo has a penchant for – Shoegaze.

Damn, I Hope Your Happy and you can probably guess by now why this LP is such a treat for me purely for the song titles. This takes a new tangent of exploration and is somewhat space rock in the ears.

Set The World On Fire brings in connectivity from across the globe as the track swims in incantations of tribal dance.

Breaking the pace we find Never Fit In with a more considered pace and the evocations of Stellascope are given space to fill the room prior to sloping into the ears.

Overblown immediately ups the ante and you can feel yourself in the world of Las Vegas. Though why Overblown and Las Vegas should have hit my head in one sentence I am not absolutely convinced was the intention, but for me the pick of the release for its gemstone spark in my head.

Next up is One Terrible Place – a shimmering glide of vocals and percussion.

Status Quo isn’t a pastiche of the iconic British band, rather an interesting switch of emphasis as delay is sliced on vocal and the guitars are left to reverberate in the background and intriguing track for the contrasts.

Hypervolicity Stars is next. A sound of echos, rising and falling. Stellarscope are utilsing this LP to identify the diversity of sounds and for long time fans it makes perfect sense.


It Is Too Late once again ups the ante with rock melodies subsumed behind the gauze that defines the sound of the band.

At just shy of eight minutes Island Universe gives the listener a retrospective of March Of The Lonely, as pace and texture flow across each other like melting silica.

All For You brings forth distortion with little of the accustomed planing as the trio once again gather the audience by the scruff of the neck like kittens to proffer us new experiences of Stellarscope.

Conversely Up In Smoke lands us in familiar territory though it takes time to reorientate to after the previous tracks.

Concluding with the title track March Of The Lonely, Stellarscope has throughout the LP once again set out their wide ranging stall over about fifteen years of ever exploring and they are now very comfortable in asking the audience to come to them, rather than the other way round.

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Vegas With Randolph – Rings Around The Sun – LP Review

Vegas With Randolph have just released their fourteen track LP – Rings Around the Sun.

Vegas With Randolph - LP review - Rings Around The Sun

Vegas With Randolph – cover of Rings Around The Sun

Opening with You Set The World On Fire which at just under four minutes lets the listener settle into Rings Around The Sun with sounds that contain the familiar, yet demonstrates the evolution of the band over the years as the lyrics take us through some of the significant scientific, astrological  and other figures in history.

Salt Water Taffy takes the sounds to a more centrist garage rock tilt with a space-rock undercurrent. I particularly enjoy this track, which was featured just a few days ago.

Cool Things shakes the release in to full flow with a track that picks up the pace with a summery rock feel to it.


Next up is Nikki’s Plan takes the story of life goal and delivers a more thought provoking lyrical concept yet keeps it in tune with the up-beat and effervescent nature of the story so far. It isn’t easy to maintain the journey that is Vegas With Randolph as within four songs we have had four distinctive styles, yet this is the essential core of who they are and why it is always a pleasure to review their material as although they maintain that creative streak and continually wrong-foot the listener, there is at the heart of it the unmistakeable sound of the band that keeps it all coherent.

Almost to prove the point – Broadway – a blues rock number lasts for all of 40 seconds of pithy commentary.

Empathia is classic rock and roll and a fine addition to the release.

Everybody Wants An Atomb Bomb is somewhat jingoistically anthemic and not for me.

Julianne which opens up the second half of Rings Around The Sun more than makes up for it as the melodic guitars sail across the room astride a soul searching vocal.

Snow Day has a delightful almost symphonic introduction before hurtling back to the core sounds of the band.

Late June is my pick of the release as it shows the band in full flow and showcases their talent.

Open Roads is an acoustic led piece and the construction of the song demonstrates Vegas With Randolph have a full handle on making the most out of compositions.

My Lost Colony finds the band once again in a more reflective mood as the deeper notes are given space to set the mood.

The penultimate and title track runs at over five minutes and is the longest piece on the album and the listeners find themselves in another completely different mood setting.

Closing out the LP is Drops of Gold and Vegas With Randolph complete a delightful journey around the Rings Around The Sun with a flourish.

An appropriately named LP given the vast distances musically that the audience is taken, which the band carries off with style.  As with previous releases by the band there are various bonus tracks depending on the format you get hold of the LP so I won’t cover these in the review.

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Golden Blonde – Gwen – LP review

Golden Blonde is a collaboration between Sydney (Australia) born musicians Adam Guzowski (vocals/guitar/clarinet/tenor recorder), Austin Buckett (Rhodes/Hammond/B-3, synths, Fujitone/percussion), Hugh Deacon (drums/percussion) and Joshua Becker (bass guitar), with vocal contributions from Amy Wilson on certain tracks. This is a review of their eleven track debut release, Gwen, which came out on the 2nd September 2013.

Golden Blonde - Gwen - LP review

Golden Blonde

The album begins with Lint, a track which juxtaposes thumping percussion and tormented vocals with a hint of OK Computer-era Radiohead about it. From here on this release takes a slightly more conventional approach, but is no less noteworthy for it. Guitar melodies overtake the digital in terms of presence but both exist comfortably within the mix.

Birch Bark is full of unsettling vocal harmonies and melodic passages and evolves nicely throughout its five minute timespan, leaving the listener wanting more.

You Lead Me is a particularly satisfying track, featuring raw rat-a-tat-tat percussion and gloriously hideous electronic samples played along to a smooth vocal drone. In fact, I think this song encapsulates the fabulous attention to detail Golden Blonde has, along with their ability to twist the listener’s emotions.

Relatively sparse and short at just over two minutes, Teeth in Open is an understated track which once again features those marvellous vocals and candid guitar work.

We Begin weighs in at a lengthy six minutes and succeeds largely in the captivating reversed electronic synth and that sweet percussion.

Oak and the first minute of Joan come across as little more than unusual fluff before the latter opens up into something far more than could have been expected. The fluttering piano gives way to eerie electronic sounds before the swaggering intro of Triage. Dual male/female vocals are joined by over-driven guitar chops and somewhat tribal drumming, which merge to form a fascinating track unlike anything I’ve heard this year… In a good way.

Clarinet opens out into a huge slab of sound, with indecipherable lyrics jostling for space amongst the beeps, whooshes and hip-hop percussion. Penultimate track Fuji begins with a polyphonic undertaking of 8-bit proportions accompanied by stripped-down vocals. The square-wave melancholy continues throughout the piece, before album finale Gwen wraps up the proceedings in a somewhat progressive and highly electronic affair which leaves the listener feeling satisfied.


This album was a great listen for me, as it offers experimentation alongside talented craftsmanship and tight instrumentalism. Sometimes bands try too hard to be “different” and end up producing little more than earache or a mixing disaster. Thankfully Golden Blonde have steered this project in the right direction and I look forward to subsequent releases with more than a little excitement.

Thanks again to Robbie for another great review. To find out more about his thoughts on the world in general join him on Twitter.

Golden Blonde website

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Singleton – Uncovered – LP Review

Singleton from Ukraine release their new ten track LP Uncovered on the 21st September 2013. There is an interesting music scene in The Ukraine and Singleton are a band I have followed since February 2012 with their melodic vocal led indie rock.

Singleton - LP cover for Undercover

Singleton – LP cover for Undercover

Breathe In Breathe Out has a video to run with it, which I featured just four days ago and it is fine opener to the release, providing familiarity to ease the listener into Uncovered.

Next is Drown which is a strong piece of work as it builds from a haze laden piece to a more powerful rock derivative with the vocal drowning in the instruments. Appropriately named and a well thought through composition.


Puzzle comes next which again shimmers into the room as cymbals are deployed to reflect the quizzical sentiments of the lyrics and deftly played quivering strings round off the context of a fine track.

Surprises has a more up tempo pace, which registers on the higher notes, providing a different sentiment to Uncovered than the opening three tracks with a more forceful and aggressive sound.

Closing out the first half of the LP is my pick of the release Northern Star which plays with chords and keys, providing Singleton the opportunity to showcase their undoubted abilities as musicians and composers.

Snowstorms and Hurricanes continues with similar creativity as the Singleton gain the confidence to extend the ranges of their sounds and once again the slightly accented voice of Alina Fedorova provides superb context with a softly delivered vocal which blends into the music.

Not Your Part opens with a sound that reminds me of Roxanne by The Police before veering into their own territory once again and building the track in progressive waves of sounds that gain force and direction as the track develops.

I particularly enjoyed This Train for its very jocularity as the audience is taken on a rock ‘n’ roll clippity hop as the quartet bring out the dancing shoes.

The penultimate track All The Words maintains the higher tempo with a more rock focus in which the band is able to deliver a new dimension to the sound of Singleton and a space in which they are able to deliver music of the highest quality as mesmeric guitar and percussion rolls stutter in rapid fire and a fine piece of work. It would be interesting to hear this direction explored further in future releases.

We reach the conclusion of forty minutes of Uncovered with I See The Land and this finds the band in the more familiar territory with the music building texture upon texture as they explore the atmospheric laden sound that is Singleton.

I recommend adding Uncovered to your playlist when it is available, as Singleton offer some very well composed music which is delivered with confidence and in context.

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Fonija – Mojot Pekol – LP review

Fonija –  Deni Krstev (Vocals / Guitar), Stefan Ristovski  (Bass / Vocals) and Kristijan Lafazanovski (Drums) from Skopje in The Republic of Macedonia have a new LP – Mojot Pekol – set of release on the 2nd September 2013.

Fonija - LP cover for Mojot pekol

Fonija – LP cover for Mojot pekol

The ten track release opens with Izlezi and the ears immediately know what they are dealing with – raw raucous new wave. Superbly tempered sounds tumble in to the ears as Fonija is able to get across the rage of it all, within a sound that bristles with sharpened edges.

Next is Sakam Da Zgrešam which has an intense percussion / bass combination that retains a tight control on the track as it spills across the room in a flurry of activity.

Ovoj Den is a fine piece of work as it rapidly builds to its tempo. I particularly enjoy the way that the vocals throughout the LP sit as something of a juxtaposition to the frenetic proceedings on the instruments as a calming influence serenely conducting activities.

Reminding me a little of  999 Ova Ne Sakam Da Bidam is a more melodic construct, whilst retaining the fire and passion of the rest of the release and shows Fonija in a slightly different light as the compositional skills are brought more to the fore.

Closing the first half of Mojot Pekol is my pick of the release Se Budam Pak which within its fleeting two and a half minutes does all that any piece of music needs to do. Creative, expressive, tight and a full storyline. Sublime.


The tracks, although originally named and written in cyrillic are transliterated, though not translated, as best as possible for the purposes of the readers of Emerging Indie Bands.

The second half of LP opens with the title track Mojot Pekol which has something of an american indie pop feel to it and as it surfs around the room the face can’t help but spread into a grin. The sharp change in tempo at just over two minutes into the track catches the listener unawares to test if they are still paying attention, before settling back into the rhythm for the final minute. I like this for its cheek.

Tuka Si continues the release in good stead with under two and a half minutes of thunderous rock and the absolute confidence of the trio is given a spotlight as it it hasn’t already in the LP thus far, as Fonija flips the switch and heads over to influences from the likes of Shonen Knife from Japan.

Sedam I Čekam is worth the value of the LP on its own as the powerhouse of the trio re-engages through the speakers with a delightfully earthy high energy number which just demands being replayed immediately.

Sadly we now come to the final two tracks on the release Ne Postojam which retains the frenetic energy of the rest of the release with more than a hint of shoegaze as Fonija continue to raise surprises throughout the release.

Concluding with Najdolgiot Pat which brings to a close 26 minutes of superb output and wrapping up a ten track LP inside half an hour, as you know,  just by its very nature gets my vote.

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