New Music Worthy of a Listen

Desert Mountain Tribe

A psychedelic cult kick to the head! Once you hear this trio you're going to want put them on repeat. Can't help but point out similar characteristics to The Black Angels with their simple rhythms to kick the song off, then the ever increasing intensity that builds up to almost breaking point, but Desert Mountain Tribe do it so, so well.

Veteran musicians having all played in other bands and together as DMT for the last 4 years. They have a 'big' sound and you'll be surprised to know that its created by 3 men and 3 instruments only.

We're struggling to find their full length album (Either That or or the Moon) on Apple Music South Africa. It might be a temporary glitch but make sure you set a reminder to check these guys out. Video links below:

Desert Mountain Tribe

 

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Brand New - The Devil & God are Raging Inside Me

Who can believe thats it been almost 10 years since Brand New released their ground breaking album "The Devil & God are Raging Inside Me"!? Although ranking number 31 on the Billboard Top 200 the album has since been elevated to cult status.

Album Cover:

I will admit though, I only just recently got into the band and the album. I knew of the album & that the band existed, but I hadn't given them a chance until recently & now I can't seem to turn them off.

The album produced 2 singles "Sowing Season" and "Jesus" but so far the tainted anger and emotion of "Degausser" takes the win followed closely by "You Won't Know" and "Not The Sun". Its near impossible to find an original video of Degausser, but here's a slightly messy version filmed at The Lollapolooza Festival 2015.

Often classified as Lo-Fi Emo the band had always expressed an angry, foot stomping attitude but this album even more so. Whilst recording the album each of the 5 band members (actually 4 but the producer on this album acted as a fifth for the duration of recording) were plagued with a death in the family which seemed to give the album its sombre yet aggressive tone. Death & Illness became two of the most prominent themes for the album & they seemed to carry these themes into subsequent albums.

Since this album, Brand New have gone on to release 2 studio albums "Deju Entendu" & "Your Favourite Weapon". Althoughh producing a sound comparable to a lot other modern rock bands, they definitely have a uniqueness to them which grants them a spot in your collection.

Download "The Devil & God Are Raging Inside MeHere

 

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Silversun Pickups Strike Again! But Not Gold

Silversun Pickups have for a long time been up there as one of our favourite bands. Since the first time we heard 'Lazy Eye' on Guitar Hero they have been close to our heart. After jamming along to 'Lazy Eye' we scoured the web for more info on the Los Angeles based band & ended up purchasing every piece of recording they had ever put out there. We still keeping telling ourselves (& others) that soon everyone will know who they are, & to be honest we really didn't want everyone to know who they are because when that day comes, early fans lose a sense of entitlement. That piece of their music that was once so personal is lost, ask any early Kings of Leon fans what i'm talking about & they'll know.

Lazy Eye

Killer tracks that appeared on early Silversun Pickups EP's included greats such as 'Kissing Families' & '...All the Go inbetweens'. They also released an acoustic set which although not groundbreaking, is an interesting attempt at proving their acoustic & live playing ability. There's also a collection of sort of dance remixes which also not groundbreaking, but an interesting listen.

Carnavas was their first full length studio album released back in 2006 & included the two noticeable tracks 'Lazy Eye' & 'Well Thought Out Twinkles'. Their second album Swoon followed 2 years later & included our favourite Silversun Pickups track, 'Panic Switch' alongside other greats.

Panic Switch

These two albums defined, for us at least, what a musical masterpiece was supposed to comprise of. Lead vocalist & guitarist Brian Aubert's ability to truly vocalise & express his emotion not only vocally but also through his soaring guitar solo's is something a lot of modern bands cant seem to clamp down. He has this ability of bending his voice to drive raw emotion. His guitar riffs are simple & can easily be taught but his solo's are mesmerising & so well placed.

Christopher Guanlao is another stand out member of the band. His drum tracks are synonymous with a lot of their tracks that they almost stand out as lead instruments. High tempo with quick shuffles & sometimes even in stark contrast to the bass or guitar tracks - yet always perfectly on time.

Its always been noticeable that they have a passion to include digital synths & effects into their music but this became more & more prominent in their work as they continued to release more albums. Their third studio album Neck of the Woods didn't have the same impact then the previous 2 albums. There was nothing as hard hitting as Panic Switch & their sound started to decay into a more pop sounding Silversun Pickups. But nevertheless the album was quickly added to our Silversun Pickups collection, but just not played as much as the other 2.

Their fourth album was a compilation album, sort of a greatest hits. It started in the iTunes top 100 albums & made its way to number 1 the very next day. Interestingly only 3 of the 11 tracks made it from their previous studio album 'Neck of the Woods'. This album was perfect, & left a very high standard for their next studio album to surpass.

On the 25th September 2015, Slversun Pickups released their long anticipated fourth studio album Better Nature.

It's being benchmarked against their collections album which was a masterpiece, but also against their previous studio album 'Neck of the Woods'. To be frank, this album hasn't locked me in. It seems as though they are sticking to their techno guns & the pop like synths are hear to stay.

Don't get me wrong though, its not a bad album by any means. There are still a number of great tracks to play but it seems unlikely that we'll ever pound away to something as golden as Panic Switch ever again... but only time will tell! Silversun Pickups have are working hard on new material & once they find that sweet spot, the niche of the market that loves them for them, they're set for big things. Looking forward to hopefully seeing them live in SA one day!

Get your copy of Better Nature on iTunes now!

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Highly Suspect - A Band Not Giving a F**k

I'm dedicating this blog post to a band I recently found on the new Apple Music service (more about this later). They're called Highly Suspect & if you're a rock lover & looking for something away from the contemporary garbage you hear almost every day, then it'll be Highly Suspicious (sorry) if you don't fall in love with these guys.

With all the censorship in the media & bands having to tone it down a notch or two in order to be considered for public broadcast, which is almost always a requirement in order to make it today, it is uncommon for a band to put all that aside & simply say 'f*ck it, we're doing it our way'. And that's exactly what Highly Suspect have done, & its refreshing. I've been so sick & tired of having to scour the net for real rock music because all i'm presented with on radio or tv is toned pop. Highly Suspect have broken the mould & presented themselves exactly for who they are, hard as f**k.

The band is a threesome comprising of twins Rich & Ryan Meyer on bass & drums respectively & then the front man Johnny Stevens on guitar & vocals. Their sound is sort of cluster f**k of Black Key's, Queens of the Stone Age & Royal Blood but with more f-bombs then all of them combined. But done subtly though. They don't seem out of place or forced, in fact they add a layer of emotion to the tracks which only Johnny could express.

Before I go on any further, familiarise yourself with their live version of their single 'Lydia' below:

Their lyrics are dark & so are their themes. Their debut album 'Mister Asylum' is a mixture of simple riff's with breakneck build-up & drops & then also highly complex guitar pieces with soaring melodies. In all instances there is no attempt at mediocracy, which the record industry loves so much. One of their tracks is even called 'F**k Me Up'.

Since their albums debut on the 17th July they have already made a wave in the rock world & I am confident that with such a powerful debut, they won't be pushed aside with the countless one-hit-wonders. Their sound has a uniqueness which separates them from the rest & if they keep on the same track I for one will be listening to their music for a long, long time to come.

Here's a video to their newest single Claudeland, dedicated to a friend of theirs 'Claude' who recently, by Johnny's own admission, had hit a low, low point.

 Do yourself a favour & give these guys a listen. Get their album here. In all honestly, we haven't had rock like this since the 90's.

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'Royal Blood' - Redefining Rock!

Its not very often that a new band comes along and shakes the foundation's of Rock n' Roll. I spend a good amount of my  time sourcing good, new music across multiple rock & indie genres and I always happen to find some good ones, but these good ones are usually only "good-ish", but not awesome. Nothing worth of a blog post, or even a Facebook post for that matter.

But every now and then I happen to find a band that entirely restores my faith in rock music all over again. Every now and then I find that band that needs finding, for my own sake. You know that feeling when you think every great artist has come and gone and creativity in the industry is dead and then all of a sudden you hear what you've been wanting to re-discover. The last band I felt this passionate about was Silversun Pickups. I have literally played everyone of their tracks to death and still find myself itching for them to release something new.

The new band that I am this passionate about is a band called 'Royal Blood' out of the UK. I happened to stumble across them will browsing the iTunes store. I liked the look of the their album cover and was surprised that I hadn't heard their name before seeing as though they were alongside some very well known bands.

I had a sample listen to the first track 'Out of the Black' and immediately proceeded to download the album.

Their sound is heavily cemented in modern rock blues, but a more grungy version. Some heavy build ups, flowing drums and extensive use of pedals gives them the perfect sound for a new age rock band, wanting to keep a little bit of old. Think Aggressive Black Keys. Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher are youngsters out of Brighton.

Jimmy Page in November 2014: "I went to hear them in New York. They were fantastic. Absolutely riveting, they're such fine musicians. Their album has taken the genre up a serious few notches. It's so refreshing to hear, because they play with the spirit of the things that have preceded them, but you can hear they're going to take rock into a new realm – if they're not already doing that. It's music of tremendous quality."

Now the interesting thing about Royal Blood is this: I knew they were a two piece band such as Japandroids, White Stripes etc - but I had no idea that they were a drum & bass two piece! Every sound you hear soaring through your speakers while playing their debut album (Self Titled) is achieved by the use of only drums, bass and vocals! I don't know of any other rock band that excludes the guitar for the bass, and Royal Blood do it so well! I guarantee if you listen to their tracks without having first read this, you wouldn't have even known.

They have proved that the unconventional can in fact be very conventional. Scrape together some money if you need to and go out and buy their self titled debut album, I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Here is a video to one of their tracks 'Figure it Out' and below it 'Little Monster'.

 

 

 

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Seether - Mark's Park, Johannesburg

I'm true lover of South African music, I am aware of the talent this country produces and also understand to some degree just how hard it is to make music a career in this country. No local band has proven to us that hard work will pay off more so than Seether. From the days of Saron Gas to their sign up with Wind Up Records as Seether they have been nothing short of phenomenal. I have watched them play to a show of only 10 still as Saron Gas to sold out live venues across the country as Seether.

Starting with their album 'Fragile' which i picked up at Phase2 in Fourways Mall I became obsessed with their sound. I collected every piece of material they ever wrote, until they started re-releasing all their material time and time again and it seems it still hasn't ended. I almost get the sense that maybe they are low on inspiration and the American Dream has maybe all but chewed them up, but then I remind myself that I can't think like that and that soon they will have another power album! But I really hope they do...

One Cold Night to me, is their greatest album and their acoustic set at Mark's Park in Melville at 17:00 on the 24th November 2013 reminded me of just what fantastic musicians they really are. You can feel their pride for their country and a mark of a good band is the ability to be able to create emotion and lock your audience into that emotion, either happy or sad and Shaun Welgemoed (or Morgan to the Yanks), knows how to do just that - and kudo's to you brother!

Long live Seether! But please give me something new soon (-;

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Xavier Rudd - Marks Park, JHB

Yeah ok I haven’t posted for a while... Guilty.

I remember watching Xavier Rudd one night in London at the Shepard’s Bush Walkabout and thought, 'Dam, this guy is good...’ I had listened to his music somewhat before seeing him live for the first time and I never realized that he was an absolute 1-man-show. I mean I’ve seen some not so 1-man-show, 1-man-shows - if that makes any sense at all. But Xavier’s pounds away at one instrument, pounds away at another, strums a different one and chants peace lyrics all at the same time.

Xavier’s array of instruments and talent blew me away. But unfortunately I cannot say I felt the same way I did that 1 evening in London as I did in Marks Park when he was out in Johannesburg... There was something that wasn’t quite the same. To be brutally honest - I was bored from about half way through his set.

I have a sneaky suspicion it had to do with his excessive chanting and his glorifying of the 2 African gentlemen he had on stage with him. I know Xavier’s been trying to get into the SA scene for a while, but I don’t think his approach was quite right. That, and the fact that he only seemed to have a quarter of his normal rig.

But nonetheless! I got to watch the hero live once again. And he is amazing! Don’t get me wrong. Ever. As soon as ‘Let Me Be’ played (his last track) all was forgiven.

Chat soon hombre's

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