Saturday, January 15, 2011

De Staat: Mechanically inclined and loving the 'machine'

Psycho industrial alt rock band 'De Staat' recently announced that they will release the follow up album to Wait For Evolution on March 14th in the UK. They new album, aptly titled "Machinery" promises some heavy duty shennanigans, sonic shoot 'em ups, thundering rhythms and unforgettable sounds.

Machinery is described by the band as a "gut-inducing slab of psycho funk." It's a dark sonic adventure that takes the listener through underground caves of blues, funk and electro where halal butchers, serial killers, whistleblowers, rats and sweat-covered bodybuilders cross paths. 

"I often hear we sound like a machine when we play live," says lead singer/songwriter Torre Florim. "I thought it would be fun to expand on and emphasise the mechanical elements in the music."

Continues Florim, "We played a lot of rhythms, and also created crazy sounds with the guitars. I didn't want to exclusively focus on the rhythmic parts, but instead wanted to change the way we approached the tools of a conventional rock band setup. During the process of writing and creating the music, the album developed an industrial flavour that reminded us of a machine."

If you're feeling mechanically inclined -

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DEVO Perform "Fresh" on David Letterman

Akron, Ohio's finest export since Canadian Tire, just performed what could possibly be the most exciting electro rock TV performance ever on the David Letterman Show on Tuesday June 15th.

Dig this sonic, Boogie Boy apples my fellow Spuds and learn from the true masters of electronic shennanigans. Welcome back, DEVO!!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

DOM: Is It Really That Sexy Living In America?

Quite possibly one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the lo-fi world of online guitar synth rock is the Massachusetts three piece DOM.

The band recently put together a magnificent low budget promo video for their song Living In America (no, not the James Brown song), recently released as part of their Sun Bronzed Greek Godz EP (available on vinyl via Burning Mill Records). Check it out on YouTube.

LIA sounds like it was recorded in their bedroom, but evokes wild abandon, trash pop and rock and optimism. The video explores girls in bikinis, skateboarding and other daredevil juvenile delinquent shenanigans. Best lyric is "It's so sexy to be living in America." Although, truth be told, I could think of ten other places I'd rather be living.

Dom's music has been described as "sunburned guitar pop with fat hooks and stargaze synchs that sound triumphant, heartbreaking, and totally immediate." I, for one, would have to agree. The key to the band is their unslick production and Beach Boy harmonies. It's deliberately low-fi, hopeful and messy but it works incredibly well.

Another one of their songs, Burn Bridges, also makes for essential listening.

Watch this band. Things could get dangerous.

DEVO, Cheeseburgers and the Best Album of Their Career

Bob Mothersbaugh's distorted guitar shatters your skull at the begining of What We Do, the second track from Devo's phenomenal new album Something For Everybody.

It's been a long ride since their 1978 Eno-produced debut album Are We Not Men?, but through the years and beyond all the music trends and muscial innovations, Devo have miraulously weathered the storm, and comfortably adapted to the techno-savvy world of the Internet, mobile phones and iPads.

This album proves the band have always been ahead of the game. Finally everybody seems to be catching up to the band's theory of De-evolution.

When you usually hear a new album, there's always three songs that aren't up to scratch. Not so on Something For Everybody. For the new kids on the block, power and punch and pristine electronica and dangerous rock guitars fuse together like a Black & Decker power drill.  Metal heads will love this album because it balances synth pop and guitar art rock set to a unstoppable rhythm track. 

This is art rock at its most exciting. I bet you Nine Inch Nails will be flipping out to this platter.

What's intriguing is how a band like Devo can toy with subversive pop irony and cleverly generate it into a yellow sunshine, executive robot monster killer sound.

When the band formed in 1973 it was all Boogie Boy and Akron, Ohio eccentricity. Then by 1980, things became slicker with Freedom Of Choice. MTV discovered the band, Whip It made Devo a household name in redneck middle America, and towards the latter albums, they became victims of their own game.

What was Devo thinking when they joined forces with Disney to create a kiddies' version of themselves in DEVO 2.0?  A few years later, the band slapped a lawsuit against McDonald's for ripping off their likeness.  No wonder I never trusted Ronald McDonald,
Twenty years after the release of the album Smooth Noodle Maps, Devo are back with a vengeance, equipped with a killer sound and 12 pop masterpieces that effectively detail the depravity, hypocrisy, global chaos, irony, and stupidy of the human race. The riffs, the beeps and the beats are neatly crafted into hypnotic pop melodies with an eerie edge.

"What we do is what we do. It's all the same, there's nothing new. Eating and breathing and pumping gas. Cheeseburger cheeseburger, do it again." This is a perfect example how Devo can turn an ordinary mantra into a nuclear pop reality nightmare.

Welcome back Devo. Life's been really rather boring... until now.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Joe Bonamassa's triumphant London Hammersmith Apollo gig paves the way for Black Country Communion

Joe Bonamassa played his biggest concert ever at the London Hammersmith Apollo on Friday May 28th. 5,000 people were in awe.
The guitar slinger from Utica, New York, started playing Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix licks at the ripe age of eight, opened shows in the US for B.B. King at the age of 12, and John Lee Hooker at the age of 14. Now, at the age of 33, and having won Breakthrough Artist of the Year at last year's Classic Rock Awards, Bonamassa is championed by the likes of Eric Clapton, and makes Jeff Beck sound almost prehistoric.

Joe kicked off the festivities with The Ballad of John Henry, and continued to slay the audience song after song including Last Kiss, So Many Roads, So It's Like That, If Heartaches Were Nickels, Further Up the Road and Sloe Gin.

Last year, Slow Hand guested at Joe's Royal Albert Hall gig, but this year, Joe invited Jethro Tull's pied piper, Ian Anderson, to the stage to perform to Tull classics - New Day Yesterday and Locomotive Breath. The audience went wild.

Next up, Joe dipped back into the Ballad of John Henry album and performed Lonesome Road Blues and Happier Times, plus the Zepplinesque Jimmy Page dazzler Blue and Evil (the latter from Bonamassa's stunning new album Black Rock).
In 2009, Bonamassa played the London Royal Albert Hall to great critical acclaim, however, was was noticibly apparent at Friday's Hammersmith Apollo gig was that Joe has definitely veered into a heavier blues rock style that leaned more towards Jimmy Page than Clapton or Beck.

Ballad of John John Henry
Last Kiss
So Many Roads
So It's Like That
If Heartaches Were Nickels
Further On Up the Road
Sloe Gin
New Day Yesterday (feat - Ian Anderson)
Locomotive Breath (feat - Ian Anderson)
Lonesome Road Blues
Happier Times
Blue And Evil
Three Times A Fool (part VIDEO)
Blues Deluxe
Young Man Blues
Woke Up Dreaming
Django/ Mountain Time
Bird On A Wire
Just Got Paid

One wonders if Bonamassa's energetic and trippy heavy blues rock guitar direction will lead to Joe's next chapter in rock and roll history books with his new rock supergroup Black Country Communion with Jason Bonham, Derek Sherinian and Glenn Hughes.

Heaven 17 celebrate 30th Anniversary of Penthouse And Pavement

Sheffield-bred electronic pop group Heaven 17 recently announced they would embark on a nationwide UK tour in November to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their seminal 1980 debut album Penthouse And Pavement.

The band consisting of original founding members Martyn Ware (keyboards, vocals) and Glenn Gregory (lead vocals) recently performed a studio session with LaRoux for BBC 6 Music.

With a recent sold out tour of Germany earlier this year, and rave reviews of a recent H17 documentary that aired on BBC 2 Television entitled Heaven 17: The Making of Penthouse And Pavement, the band that was a spin off from the Human League, has suddenly re-captured the attention of the general public.

They were one of the first British electronic bands to mix synthesizer music with bass guitars, horns and strings. Although Penthouse And Pavement wasn't a commercial success in terms of sales, what it did generate was intense critical acclaim from the music press, in particular with the songs (We Don' Need) That Fascist Groove Thing and Let's All Make A Bomb.

Penthouse And Pavement was one of the first electronic music albums to combine political left wing lyrics with synthesized dance music. When Fascist Groove Thang was released, it was banned from British radio for having lyrics that were deemed too controversial. Now, thirty years later, the band's anti Thatcher sentiments seem to be relevant again, now that the conservative government is back in power.

What is interesting about the album is the consistency of the songs in both the lyrics and music. The album veers between electronic funk in the title track Penthouse And Pavement to radiant electronic synth classics like Geisha Boys and Temple Girls, Play To Win and I'm Your Money.

The recent BBC 2 documentary also revealed how Martyn Ware was kicked out of the band that he originally founded (the Human League), only to be awarded with a record contract of his own which led him to quickly form Heaven 17 (the name of the band was taken from the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange... a band that was formed in 1980). If that's not ironic, what is?

Heaven 17 - November UK Tour:
The Story of Penthouse And Pavement:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

DEVO confirms track listing for new album "Something For Everybody"

Akron, Ohio's finest "DEVO" just confirmed the track listing for “Something For Everybody” – their first album of new material in 20 years. Stop the train, I'm coming!!!

The track listing was a result of an innovative online Official Song Study that DEVO recently ran on their official website - Fans from around the world were asked to listen to sixteen new DEVO songs, and select their favorite twelve. The twelve songs that received the most votes made it to the final cut of the album.

The album, which includes the single “Fresh,” is released by Warner Bros. Records in UK on June 14th, followed by a US release on June 15th. The album will be available on CD, Vinyl and as a digital download.

CD Track listing is as follows:

1) Fresh
2) What We Do
3) Please Baby Please
4) Don't Shoot, I'm a Man
5) Mind Games
6) Human Rocket
7) Sumthin'
8) Step Up
9) Cameo
10) Later Is Now
11) No Place Like Home
12) March On