Phone Home

From New York in the USA emerge brothers John Vallarelli (percussion) and Michael Vallarelli (electronics and keys) with their blend of instrumental electro-maths in the shape of Phone Home.

Phone Home - electro-maths from the USA

Phone Home – electro-maths from the USA

Tunes appear irregularly by Phone Home, but when they do are worth taking time to spend time to enjoy. Synthetics and keyboards are flitted with pads and drums as they deliver a fleeting temper of sound that flight their way into the ears akin to a dart hitting target guided by feathers.

The weightless synths and traditional keys float around the room in abandon, to be tethered by a looming percussion weighing down the arrows giving the material a depressed tonality to which the mind finds cohesion and the longer played the more the measured constructs resonate.

After a two year break of blankness, it transpires that Phone Home are calling up the audience again and plans lay afoot for an EP later this year. There is a commonality of theme in the latest material which will strike established audiences of their sound, yet the duo have been able to transform into something which has evolved with a more angular posture.

If you are a regular reader, you will have come across numerous bands who only release material every few years, which is caught as it appears and if this is the route for Phone Home, I wish them all the best as it is worth bridging the gaps.

Perhaps appropriately I have selected a track from November 2013, but don’t be frightened to catch their more recent single which surfaced in February or the forthcoming EP.

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Ways – Single – Phone Home is available on iTunes.*

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Fat Heaven

Fat Heaven is the new-wave trio of TravisdogGaylacat and Jack from New York in the USA.

Fat Heaven - eponymous EP - vinyl

Fat Heaven – eponymous EP – vinyl

Time to lace-up the 14-hole DMs, the only sadness being an apology that it has taken me since October to get to Fat Heaven. Big-cat claws of percussion fire out of the speakers in raging fury, accompanied by mewling guitar and ill-tempered bass whilst the vocal adds the sneering contempt.

It would not be remiss to draw references to The Ramones as Fat Heaven eschew the pop theatrics that beset many US bands working in this sphere. The trio attempt no concession to radio-play, preferring to gouge out their own direction of travel without interruption and as you would anticipate I can’t help but recommend you spend time in their company.

Fat Heaven scrawl wide blood stained chalk marks across the room as knuckles are bared to fretboard in frenzies of chords. If you were wondering what you could pogo to from the material of the ’10s this a band you need to add to your playlist.

The only positive side to my lengthy delay in getting round to Fat Heaven is that in the intervening period an eponymous EP has surfaced.  Play it loud, then louder still – thank you Travisdog, Gaylacat and Jack – you have made the year seem so much better than it was.

Those of – oft fused with a hot knife DM soles to keep in that air – will know precisely why I chose to use Roxy to share with its subliminal reference to the iconic Covent Garden venue.

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S / T – Ep – Fat Heaven is available on iTunes*.

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Manett is the vehicle for the psychedelic-dream creator Rosa Bordallo, based in Brooklyn in the USA to bring her musical ideas to life.

Manett - psychedelic-dream from the USA


The sounds swirl into the room gently enveloping the listener in an embrace of tantalising melancholia. The waves of sound seem to compress and expand, giving the material a silky texture. Synthetic loops spiral out of the instrumentation, whilst an ever present pulse threads through the melodies which is joined by a delightful vocal that drips sadness giving a sense of an underlying darkness.

Manett delivers music that inveigles its way into the soul and the audience finds themselves captivated by the contrasting textures of light and brooding moods. There is something ethereal to the compositions, which are always drifting past just out of reach as the various elements weave their imagery.

An experienced musician, Rosa, is able to write material that contains complex layering, but when it arrives in the ears the brain is not left in a conundrum as the dichotomies flow easily.

The latest release, a three track single, Stigma-Style is being released on the 28th and available on bandcamp. The closing number is Treehouse.

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Under Surveillance

Under Surveillance from Charleston – West Virginia – in the USA is the rock quartet of Eve Marcum Atkinson (Vocals), Phil Hatfield (Guitar), Phil Crace (Bass) and Randy Brown (Drums).

Under Surveillance - rock from the USA

Under Surveillance

With a few years under their belt Under Surveillance undertook a vocal change this year which has given an added range to the out-put. Lightly touched guitars play in the upper registers as the quartet deliver a fresh zing to a crowded arena. The tautly tied drum skins give the percussion a bouncing timbre that captures the attention as the bass is given sole responsibility for anchoring the tent, but don’t be fooled, this doesn’t sound lopsided as the band utilises this point of difference to give the music an engaging spring to step.

Under Surveillance produce material that minds of a Sidewinder elegantly skimming across the desert sand in fascinating curves of footprint. Their fleet-footed compositions engage the audience for the very fact of the ease of delivery.

It will be of interest to follow their vocal transition which finds Under Surveillance with a new formula.


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Mike Meagher

Mike Meagher from Groveland, Massachusetts in the USA is a self named alt-rock project.

Mike Meagher - alt-rock from the USA

Mike Meagher – alt-rock from the USA

Scampering around the room like an infestation of cockroaches Mike Meagher delivers a soundtrack which speaks of societal disapprobation. The festering tumult of darkly spaced sounds rake the linings of the timpani with malcontent, as scowling bass leads the foray whilst an ominous percussion harangues the systole and diastole to tachycardia. A blistering guitar harking of stadium rock gives the out-put wings whilst the vocal gives the music deeper resolution.

Those of longer memory will recall the correct pronunciation of Meagher.

An experienced musician – Mike Meagher, has taken time to finesse his ideas, as he has previously shirked from voice and this added dimension finds the music of far greater significance and rounder proportions. The resulting out-put would fit live venues, but as a committed solo performer, creating tracks through the labour of love, creating each constituent part, expect never to see Mike Meagher appearing anywhere near you soon.

Which doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the music at your own party. I would advise a wide dance-floor as the gathering will soon be flowing with their own air-guitars.

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The catalogue of songs is available on bandcamp.

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