Indieterria Review – “97/91” by The Battery Farm

Dear Readers,

If you spent more than five minutes on social media in the last two years, chances are that you have seen this viral quote on how David Bowie kept the universe together. The Starman`s gone and everything is coming apart at the seams.

Band`s logo

It`s hard to deny that we are going through some very dark days and finding hope may seem like an impossible task. But we believe that there is a force out there that is much stronger than bombs, violence or any orange impostor (or his blond counterpart) in office. That force is art/music and we have plenty of incredible artists among us who do an excellent job at repairing the fabric of universe and keeping us all sane.

The beauty of art is that anyone can make it and you don`t have to have top 40 albums to contribute significantly to the eternal quest of balancing cosmic powers.

We want you to meet a brand new band that we recently discovered, who are incredibly apt at channelling the internal anxiety felt nowadays and providing sonic catharsis to listeners. They are called The Battery Farm and come from our favourite place on Earth – Manchester.  Their debut single “97/91” is a powerful anthem of thundering drums, heavy guitars and haunted vocals.  It fits perfectly in the new emerging genre of post punk revival, mixing semi spoken vocals with musical fury. The song will prove ideal both in the mosh pit or in the gym and fans of Idles, Bambara, Sons and Avalanche Party should pay closer attention.

But there is more to The Battery Farm than soundtracking the moment. Its the way they speak in the interviews, how they respect and champion other artists, their ethics. We sat down with their lead singer Benjamin Corry for an interview and the first thing he tells us is that kindness is magic.  Among all the new bands that blow their own trumpet and proclaim that they are new Oasis, how absolutely amazing is to hear that there are artists who have a different approach to life.

This is our entire conversation with The Battery Farm. Worth reading. Every. Single. Word.

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  Where are you based and who is in the band?

Benjamin Corry:  Hello! We are The Battery Farm, a doom punk band from Manchester playing vicious, guttural punk music pulsating with rawness, honesty, pain and passion. We are Ben Corry (vocals/guitar), Dominic Corry (guitar), Paul Worrall (bass) and Sam Parkinson (drums)

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve?

Benjamin Corry:  Me and Dom formed the band on the back of our old band breaking up. The whole mentality since we started has been to put everything together piece-by-piece and just see how far we can get. So with that in mind just managing to get the band together has felt like an achievement. The idea for The Battery Farm only came about towards the end of last year, but actually getting to the point of being able to have a functioning band feels like an achievement. That sounds well trite but it’s true. We played our first gig a couple of weeks ago, released our debut single on 15th June and played our first festival on 6th July (R-Fest in Manchester). That’s the kind of start I wanted for us and so that’s an achievement in itself. Things have started with a bang and looking at what we’ve got coming up it’s only going to get better.

Benjamin Corry photographed by Richard McCann
https://www.facebook.com/richard.mccann.739

What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?

Benjamin Corry:  Our lives and the world we live in inspire us and drive our sound and our words. The songs me and Dom write are borne – both musically and lyrically – out of the sense of desperation we felt at the end of last year, when we’d just about had enough of everything. These songs are an aural lashing out at ourselves, at the rest of the world, at the human race, at politicians, at the sense of life closing in around us. Passion and fear and anger and joy and desire for something better are things that inspire us. Human stuff. In terms of artists we admire, bands like Idles, Evil Blizzard, Radiohead, Witch Fever, Nirvana and Sleaford Mods bleed into our sound. Idles in particular are doing something remarkable at the moment; I think they’re the most important band in the world. Their music is violent and frantic and pulverising but at the same time is laced with the most beautiful empathy and compassion. I think the world needs more of that. Kindness is magic.

Its all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written?

Benjamin Corry:  “97/91” was actually written a couple of years ago. I stumbled upon an article about the murder of Suzanne Capper in the early 90s and the moral panic about it in the newspapers at the time. The article went into excruciating detail about what happened which stayed with me for months afterwards. One of the big factors in the story affecting me in the way it did was the fact that it happened in Moston, north Manchester, which is where I grew up. It sort of brought a horrific sense of reality to the whole thing – I know the street it happened on, I’ve walked past the houses, I’ve grown up with the area being a big part of my life. And it still informs a lot of my writing. To be able to envision it all so clearly made it all the more horrendous. That got me to thinking about why I reacted much more viscerally to this particular instance than I would have to the miserable horrors that go on across the world daily. The answer was because I’m familiar with the setting. It only felt real because I could see it. That is what “97/91” is about – that murder is a jumping-off point to explore the cognitive dissonance that is ingrained into people across the world that allows us to be passive in the face of the mass, grotesque violence going on in far-flung places every day. It’s a frightening, dystopian aspect of the human condition and it’s not generally something we’re aware we’re doing. I guess that’s the worst part. The song is a flailing at the worst things people are capable of. The world can be a fucking horror show, “97/91” is essentially a desperate scream in the face of it.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Benjamin Corry:  We’re at Night & Day Café in Manchester on 2nd August, then it’s our first out of town gig at Sound in Liverpool on 28th September for Low Flying Records’ Musicians Against Homelessness weekender. Low Flying have basically put together a huge MAH Festival across Merseyside. We’re on the Saturday and we can’t wait. After that we’re playing at Whittles in Oldham on 24th October. We have a couple more really good ones to announce but we’re not at liberty to discuss them just yet.

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Benjamin Corry: E-mail us at batteryfarmband@gmail.com, or we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @hebatteryfarm

Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Benjamin Corry: Elvis. Every time. I’m fascinated by him. That voice, that face, those eyes, that sheer, raw, uncontrollable presence and charisma. It’d be incredible to see what he could do with our songs and our sound. I doubt he’d like us to be honest, but this is my fantasy and in this universe Elvis bloody loves the punk rock.

The Battery Farm in their rehearsal room

You can follow The Battery Farm on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://twitter.com/TheBatteryFarm
https://www.instagram.com/thebatteryfarm/
https://thebatteryfarm.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChp93XaDBuXnmYQY-o2bhFg
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6qWGopTzUjeSYmsXyQ8RIr?si=DfhOPdjFRgugNDIkLVLuAA

That’s it. Here`s another band to add to our “Must See Bucket List”. And if you have a chance to catch them live – do so. With artists like The Battery Farm we are more than optimistic about the future of music, and even the universe.

M/R

Indieterria Review – “Red Hot Military Audition” by The Garage Flowers

Dear Readers,

They have been described as “explosive, dark and sexy” but that would be an understatement. The Garage Flowers are the most riotous, creative and bold four piece that London has seen since The Manics` infamous stay in the capital. In the era of safe pop music and forgettable starlets, The Garage Flowers have all qualities of proper rock stars: swagger, nonchalance, determination, perseverance and real, raw talent. On the record or on stage the band will hypnotise you, will grab your attention before you can blink and will leave you being absolutely, hopelessly in love with them. Had it been 1970`s The Garage Flowers would be Gods. Or maybe they were and now returned to show all the lads in parkas in the North how to do rock and roll properly.

The Garage Flowers in bloom. Photo by Sophie McCarthy https://www.facebook.com/sofielaurenmccarthy

2019 has already been very busy for the band. They have released acoustic version of their older single “Miss Maggie May” and premiered a proper belter “Panic Street Again”. They toured both internationally and on domestic front. Now they return with “Red Hot Military Audition” – their new single. On the cover you can see The Garage Flowers dressed in military attire that make one think of Manic Street Preachers (in the Holy Bible period) or The Clash. And we have to give it to the band  – they know exactly what they are doing. “Red Hot Military Audition” has the punk attitude of The Clash, with energy of Guns n Roses and melody line that James Dean Bradfield would love to claim as his own. There are even samples – something that Manics practised a lot on The Holy Bible. And yet, the song does not feel like a mash up of influences. It doesn’t feel dated either. It`s fresh, modern day indie record that you have on repeat and will sing to yourself without even realising it. Oh NME where are you in your large print format? We need your pages at the newsagents every week so bands like The Garage Flowers can look at us from every stand and remind us that rock and roll is still alive and kicking.

Give The Garage Flowers a year or two and you will see them on SXSW and touring large venues.

We have been lucky enough to be able to sit down with  Joe Capaldi – the voice and front man of the band and ask him few questions regarding the new single. You have no idea how busy and in demand those guys are!

Its only rock and roll but we like it! Photo by Eric Mouroux https://www.facebook.com/eric.mouroux

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  Where are you based and who is in the band?

Joe Capaldi:  The Garage Flowers are

Joe Capaldi on vocals/guitar from Kings Cross, London
Mike Serapinas on bass/backing vocals from Chiswick, London
Jonny Webber on guitar/backing vocals from Finsbury Park, London
Norea Persson on drums/backing vocals from Bethnal Green, London

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve?

Joe Capaldi: Our goal is as it always was:  to have a documentary made about us and have it narrated by Alan Clayson.

What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?

Joe Capaldi:  In college I’d wear cardigans (whatever the weather) and keep a bottle of red wine with me all the time. Taking swigs from it when the teacher would leave the room to get much needed attention. I also started messing my hair up consciously – with hair gum (before I wisened to hairspray) to look more like my obsession at the time – Bob Dylan. I loved the whole myth of him. Would religiously listen to his music, watch the few interviews that were on YouTube and screen “No Direction Home” endlessly.

The sleeve to Red Hot Military Audition single

It’s all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written.

Joe Capaldi:  I put together the riff before the band was even formed, and played it for Jonny one of the first times we ever met up. It was a lot faster then and had no singing. I always loved the title but everyone used to loathe it, I eventually won them over though, or just tired them with my stubborn way.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Joe Capaldi:  We’ve actually got some very exciting dates we’re finalising now. I’m not yet allowed to announce them though. “All apologies”  as Kurdt Kobain said in 1993.

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Joe Capaldi:  You can contact us directly through our email address – thegarageflowers@outlook.com

Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Joe Capaldi:  Ooooh great question! For me I’d say Tom Waits, at the moment I’m into putting instruments together that don’t normally go together, and creating atmosphere as well as great songs. I think he’d be great for painting a dark, demented atmosphere. VIVA WAITS.

Future looks bright. Photo by Elly Bailey https://www.facebook.com/EllyBaileyPhotography/

You can follow The Garage Flowers on social media at:

https://www.thegarageflowers.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/thegarageflowersband/
https://twitter.com/garageflowerss
https://www.instagram.com/the_garage_flowers/
https://soundcloud.com/thegarageflowers
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLTq_hTLgIq9HqMO78PkRng
https://open.spotify.com/artist/0GaTRMQodNVTRtNblmPIQW?si=c8GjOaFNScaFnjydYBRsfQ

We will update this blog in few days as there will be a video coming and we want to show you what the band has prepared! And obviously there will be tour dates to announce so please watch this space!

R/M

Indieterria meets The Howlers

Drear Readers,

As music scounts, the team at Vanadian Avenue, is always looking for new talents and exciting new music. We hunt high and low to bring artists with potential to the light and present them to our community. Sometimes we have to go to the dive bar to descover a gem, sometimes we receive an email with a great tip and in many cases, we hear from others in the business. Photoghraphers, managers, writers, bloggers, label owners – they all have their eyes opened as well and a word can spread quickly if a new talent is found.

The Howlers, a trio from London, were introduced to us by our good friends at These Bloody Thieves Records and after hearing their new single, “La Dolce Vita” we quickly understood why the label was praising them so highly. We sat down with vocalist, Adam Young to ask him about their music, background and their influences to learn more.


Adam Young (vocals and guitar)
Guus ter Braak (bassist)
Cameron Black (drums)

Official bio: Formed in May 2018, London’s Desert Rockers The Howlers have gone on to receive critical acclaim for their ferocious live performances and determination to uproot the current foundations of popular music, and are quickly emerging as one of the UK’s must see bands. Their debut single entitled “La Dolce Vita” is vailable to stream and download on all digital platforms. You can order the limited edition 7” heavy weight vinyl & “orange” casette at: https://smarturl.it/thehowlers

Clash Magazine says The Howlers have confidence of Arctic Monkeys and animalistic charms of The Cramps. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

The Howlers picture by Rob Blackham

Adam Young: The Howlers are Adam Young on vocals and guitar, Guus ter Braak on bass and Cameron Black on drums. We have coined the term “Desert Rockers” as a description of who we are.

We have to say the band is having a month that other acts can only dream about:  you signed to These Bloody Thieves Records, released a single and the video debuted though The Clash website smashed 10 000 views in less than 48 hours. The Howlers did not just take off – you sky rocketed!  Are you able to catch up with everything that has been happening around you?

Adam Young:  It has been about 4 days since we released our debut single and we’ve achieved so much with Radio 1, Radio X, Clash Magazine and others. The views our video has racked up, everything has been a bit surreal. I have to admit, it has been a bit of a struggle to keep up with everything but were lucky enough to have a team around us of amazing people who are as much part of this band as we are.

The video to “La Dolce Vita” shows you being observed while playing in an empty theatre. It has a very dystopian feel to it. It was directed by Sam Crowston (The Blinders, The Pagans S.O.H, The Surrenders). How do you remember making of the video?

Adam Young: All I remember is it being an incredibly long and exciting day. We filmed the video in Sheffield so we drove up there and then back to London in the same day in order to try get to a gig that evening. The theatre was an amazing space that Sam found but I’m still washing chalk dust off my equipment (laughing). Sam is incredible. He’s one of the best content creators out there at the moment and a great lad too. He made the day a good laugh and he works his little northern arse off so we can’t thank him enough.

Your single comes with a striking black cover with an emblem of a cowboy throwing his lasso into the air. Visual presentation of a record is often not appreciated enough. Please tell us who designed the sleeve?

Adam Young: Between Sam, ourselves and a host of illustrators, we must of created 50+ designs and nothing really hit home. We got close but no cigar so in the end, I ended up doing it. I just sat down with my laptop and taught myself everything I would need to do, to get what was in my head onto the page.

“La Dolce Vita” comes with a B side, an acoustic and haunting ballad “My Apologies”. We would love to hear the story behind this track. 

Adam Young: The track is actually a monologue of how my life was at the time. Nothing was going my way. I was struggling with my mental health, financially and I just couldn’t get a break until I met someone who changed everything. They know who they are and that’s all that matters! The song was never meant to be recorded. I finished it the day before and we were about to pack up and leave the studio and I decided to lay this track down live. And it just happened in one take. I tried to do another one and fucked it up so that’s why “My Apologies” has this raw, primal nature (laughing).

There are two distinctive releases of the single: 7 inch vinyl via Rough Trade Records and an orange limited cassette via Brutalist Records. We can’t believe you bring cassingle back!

Adam Young (laughing): Nothing’s sexier than rewinding cassette though, is there? In all seriousness, we wanted it to be a bit nostalgic and a bit different.

You will be touring relentlessly in support of “La Dolce Vita” around the country. Where can we see you live?

Band picture courtesy of Rob Blackham

Adam Young: Here, there and everywhere! We are playing the length of the country, going back to some of our favorite cities. We are really looking forward to Hull, Liverpool, Sheffield, London as well as the other cities like Manchester, Southampton, Brighton & Nottingham. Those places have always shown us so much support. People in northern cities are some of the kindest we have met so we are looking forward to playing all the dates really.

You have built a reputation as a live band – your shows are wild, unpredictable and fierce.  It would not be an exaggeration to call you one of UK`s must see bands. How do you prepare before the show? Do you have any pre stage rituals or do you prefer to go with the flow?

Adam Young: We do actually. Guus gets shitfaced drunk (god knows how he manages to play) and Cam has his little moment of calm. He warms up and stretches like our very own little Ghandi. I basically act like King Kong banging on my chest getting all pumped up. To be fair, when I start doing that right before we go on, usually one of the boys takes the opportunity to clip me one, giving me a cheeky whack. Bastards!

The Howlers are no strangers to receiving backing from industry heavy weights. BBC Introducing called you “loud and ferocious”, while Jack Saunders of BBC 1 described you as band that is “here to make a difference”.  It must have been a proud moment for you to hear your music on the flag ship program on the Beeb.

The vinyl promo of “La Dolce Vita”

The cover of the single

Adam Young: It was a surreal moment! You know, every band wants to hear their tunes on Radio 1, that’s a given, but to actually achieve it is another animal entirely. We were like excited little school boys. We can’t thank Jack and the BBC enough, as well as John Kennedy for playing us on Radio X. They are all worthy of a few beers in our books.

There is a saying in the music industry that manager is make or break of the band. But having a right label is also critical. Please tell us about your relationship with These Bloody Thieves? You are label mates to some of the best new acts on indie circuit, including another London band that we admire – False Heads.

Adam Young: These Bloody Thieves have been amazing with us! Rob Hirst, the owner, has a heart of gold and he knows we love him. We had a lot of interest in the early days of the band but Rob was the first person we met and spoke with that wore his heart on his sleeve. He gives everything and allows us to be creative in our own way. The first time he saw us, we played the same night as Arctic Monkeys in Sheffield. The venue was dead as a result but Rob stood front and centre. He’s like another father figure alongside our manager Mike. We couldn’t ask for a better bunch of lads to work with. I know our label mates like The C33’s, Feral Family & False Heads all appreciate his hard work. Someone get the man a drink!

In a recent interview with The Line of Best Fit you described “La Dolce Vita” as a song that is about being yourself no matter what. You also spoke about being ridiculed and ostracized for trying to find your own way. If you had a chance to speak to those who did not believe in you in the past – what would you want to tell them?

The casette promo of the single

Adam Young: I wouldn’t want to tell them anything to be honest. I bumped into someone in the pub recently and whilst asking me what I was up to, they turned round to me and said: “You should be thanking me really then, for bullying you at school”! What do you say to that? Guess that sums up my home town very well. There’s an old saying round here that goes “strong in arm, thick in head”. I never understood the meaning until that moment I stood in a ropey boozer with a second rate pint…finally all clicked! (laughing)

Last (in) famous question. We have some tough competition for the next PM recently. If you were able to govern the country for one day – what would you do? What policies would be important to you?

Adam Young: That’s a good question. I really wouldn’t want to govern to be honest. Inevitably, whoever comes to power, never lives up to what they promise. As a working class member of society, I’d say leveling the playing field a bit would be a good place to start. There’s no need for corporate bigwigs to get million pound bonuses when there are queues at the dole office and we have teachers and doctors using food banks. I guess I would go full Robin Hood. Green leggings and all!


You can follow the band on their socials:
https://www.thehowlers.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/thehowlersuk
https://www.facebook.com/thehowlersuk/
https://www.instagram.com/thehowlersuk/

Articles:
https://www.clashmusic.com/videos/the-howlers-share-electrifying-new-single-la-dolce-vita
https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/new-music/discovery/the-howlers-la-dolce-vita
https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/the-howlers/the-howlers-la-dolce-vita/7-inch-plus
https://www.rgm.press/2019/06/13/the-howlers-la-dolce-vita/
http://northern-exposure.co/introducing-the-howlers/
https://gotothetop.co.uk/the-howlers-fiery-desert-rock-debut-la-dolce-vita-brings-an-uplifting-message-about-self-identity/

“La Dolce Vita” is out now on 28th of June and the band will be on tour with shows in Sheffield (Cafe Totem) on June 21st, Liverpool (Jacaranda Records) on June 22nd, their home town (London) at the Macbeth on June 28th, Southhampton (The Heartbreakers) on June 29th and Brighton (Hope and Ruin) on June  30th. July will see them play in Hull, Manchester, Notthingham, Tramlines Festival and many others, so visit their websites for more details.

The summer is very busy for the lads so catch them on the road. We give them a full seal of A&R approval and 4 stars of of 5 (and that’s unheard of). Nah, only kidding! It’s full 5 stars and a hug!

Till next time,
R+M

Indieterria Review – “Magic” by Hot Minute

Dear Readers, 

June is all about reviewing new singles and discovering new artists. We start in Greater Manchester and will slowly move towards different scenes across the county.

We wanted to hear about the music from the artists directly, so we made an open call to musicians in the area. The response was amazing and we are thrilled to be presenting these mini reviews to you.

Hot Minute were the first to get in touch with their music. This all female pop group has been together for only couple of months but their chemistry is undeniable. All three girls are studying and living in Manchester and their first single called “Magic” turned a lot of heads and had many feet tapping.

Hot Minute logo

They call themselves a “synth-pop outfit” and this is a very fitting description. “Magic” is a perfect marriage of the 80’s bubblegum pop a la Bananarama, Alphaville, Sandra and Tiffany with crisp, modern production. There are obvious references to K-Pop/J-pop in their sound and promotional aesthetics. Brilliantly neon pictures taken by Rhian Melvin have a strong dystopian and futuristic feeling to them, a cross between Nar Shaddaa and Los Angeles out of “The Blade Runner”.  The beat of the song is fast, the groove is right and the lyrics are easy to remember – by the second chorus you’ll catch yourself dancing around the kitchen singing along. And this is exactly what you’d expect from a good pop song. It has all the right proportions, it stucks with you for hours and you can listen to it on repeat for three days straight without getting bored.

What’s the most important, the girls can play and sing well. In the last decade, pop music relied more on looks and autotuning than singing abilities and it is  refreshing to see that the talent is being brought back to the mainstream. The harmonies in “Magic” are just magical. Believe us, the song is simply irresistible. In short – this is a proper pop banger. You will fall in love with this track, just like we did. In the first 10 seconds. And if you don’t, then we are sorry to say, but there is no hope for you.

The trio photographed by Rhian Melvin at Jimmy’s in Manchester (or maybe in some dive cantina on the Smugler’s Moon?)

Intrigued by their sound, we asked Hot Minute a few questions and this is what they had to say:

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria. Where are you based and who is in the band? 

Hot Minute: Hey! We’re Hot Minute, Manchester’s newest all female synth pop trio comprised of Keely Hutchinson on vocals, Courtney Williams on synths and Bella Casson on guitar.

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve (festivals, radio plays, meeting your musical heroes, EPs, albums released)?

Hot Minute: This is our debut single release as Hot Minute and for us it couldn’t have gone better! We’ve been playlisted by YouTube Music and had an abundance of really lovely blog coverage and some radio play.

“Magic” front cover. Magic is strong with this one…

What inspires you? What artist or genre had the biggest influence on you?

Hot Minute: Our inspirations are women in the industry, Japan and K-Pop. In terms of bands, we love CHVRCHES, Muna, The Midnight, Depeche Mode and The Human League.

It’s all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written?

Hot Minute: Magic is about taking the negative and turning it into a positive. The message of the song isn’t exactly a happy one but the tone and feel of the song is very upbeat. We started this band based off the mutual prejudices we’d experienced separately, taking those negative experiences and making them into something we could use to benefit us and we mimicked that in our first single to get that point across. It’s not the cards you’re dealt it’s how you play them.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Hot Minute: We aren’t touring currently, but we have a gig in September with Section 25 in Blackburn!

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Hot Minute: You can hit us up on our email itshotminute@gmail.com and you can also find us on our socials:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/itshotminute?
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itshotminute/

Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Hot Minute: This one took a lot of thinking, but we eventually came to the collective decision of Daft Punk and we’d probably go for Alucard Studios. That was a tough one!

 

Or read more hot reviews for “Magic” online:
http://indietronica.org/2019/05/30/hot-minute-magic/
https://anerdyperspective.com/2019/06/05/hot-minute-magic-debut-single-review/
https://thegirlsattherockshow.com/listen-to-hot-minutes-new-single-magic/
https://reverbium.com/2019/05/29/manchester-synth-pop-band-hot-minute-release-new-single-magic/

The trio is probably the first ever pop band that we have reviewd on Indieterria. They are worth every blog post and every review, as we think the girls have not only talent but a huge potential to become something special. Given proper opportunities, they could turn into international stars in a very short period of time! We will be following their progress closely and if any pop music scout is looking for a new discovery, then here they are.

They might be called Hot Minute, but hopefully they will stick around for a long, long time.

M+R

P.S. A big thank you to Pete Eastwood who told us first about the group and who made this interview possible!

Indieterria meets Membranes

Hello!

Forget the saying “never meet your heroes”. Sometimes you just have to meet them! When we heard that John Robb is working on a new material, we immediately knew we wanted to speak to him about it. John is not only a musician, magazine editor (he runs the wildly popular Louder than War magazine) and journalist. He is also a poet, a modern philosopher and an artist. His works have been shaping musical landscape since 1977 and Membranes are considered as one of the most influential punk/alternative rock outfits in the history of British music.

We sat down with John a couple of days before his (sort of) homecoming gig at the Manchester Ritz to discuss the new album, forces of nature, our place in the natural order of the universe and performing with a choir! It was a huge pleasure and priviladge to interview our childhood hero, so if you have one, don’t wait and apporach them. Disappointments happen, but so does the magic. And for us it was a magical experience.

Membranes photographed by jay3008

Membranes
John Robb (vocals, bass)
Nick Brown (guitar)
Peter Byrchmore (guitar)
Rob Haynes (drums)

Official bio: This one comes with their own Wikipedia entry!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Membranes

“What Natures Gives… Nature Takes Away” is your first studio album since 2015 and a follow up to the acclaimed “Dark Matter/Dark Energy”. Four years is a long time. Can you tell us how this album shaped from its conception to the final mixes?

John Robb: We got busy. We didn’t expect the last album to go as well as it did and we were sidetracked by touring and life. All the time though the idea of the next album was germinating (ha!) like a seed. There is no rush for a band like ours, we are not a teenage hit machine. This stuff is art and art takes time. Just create when you are ready. Don’t wait for permission on how and when you create. When it was ready, it was ready. There were always ideas and when they had a grand scheme to fit into to with the nature thing then it all fell intom place. Making a record as epic and ambitious as this is, of course, a gamble. The underground scene has lots of rules and you are expected to conform by them! In many ways underground music is even more tightly regulated by what you are perceived to be allowed to do than the so called mainstream. Alternative music is often not that alternative, is it?

The album’s title, quickly brings connotation to the famous Bible verse “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). Was it something you wanted the listeners to notice and think about? Are we, as human beings, at the mercy of the forces of nature?

The front cover of “What Nature Gives”

John Robb: Yes, the album is about the beauty and violence of nature. It’s also about how we are the nature and as you say we are at the mercy of the forces of nature. We are at the mercy of its ebbs and flows. We do our best to try and break away but we are just chimps in suits. We like the idea of biblical preachers against a stormy sky shouting at nature. Like the good book can even have any control on the mighty forces already unleashed way before a god was even invented. As human beings, we are merely navigating this swirl of wildness and hoping for the best.

The “natural theme” is omnipresent on the record. Looking at the song titles, one cannot miss multiple references to animals (“Murder of Crows”, The City Is An Animal”), plants (“Demon Seed/Demon Flower”) or forests (“Deep In The Forest Where The Memories Linger”). Are we looking at concept album, or “dark rock opera” as one of the reviewers called it?

John Robb: “Dark rock opera” is a pretty cool term! There is a concept running through the album but it’s not as literal as it sounds. The songs take the themes of nature but each song is its own entity but the tracks run in an order. For me, it’s very much an album with each piece in place and not loads of tracks chucked together. Like a book with chapters! “A Strange Perfume” is about the power of pheromones and the powerful primal instinctive urge of the perfumes of our own scent whilst “A Murder Of Crows” is about the dark power of crows – their mystical power, their smartness and their cunning cruelty. The song also looks back on the roots of the word “murder” back to the plains of India where it is an actual Hindu word. “Demon Seed/Demon Flower” is a dark dub built around the themes brought up by Baudelaire – it’s a Baudelaire dub! It’s about how sex runs right through nature and we celebrate the voluptuous flowers trying to attract each other’s attention in the battlefield of life. “Deep In The Forest” is a celebration of the tomblike silence at the centre of the darkest first, a place where you can hear nature sigh in its eternal woody silence. It’s also part of a theme for the perfume we are working on with Lush which will be called “A Strange Perfume”! It smells of the erotic dampness, leaf mould and autumnal richness of the forest – a place where your memories linger for eternity.

Back cover of the new album

Two songs, however differ from the rest, thematically and musically. “Pandora’s Box” and “Mother Ocean/Father Time” seems to be inspired by classical Greek mythology.  Can you tell us more about them?

John Robb: “Pandora’s Box” is the apocalyptic end piece of the album. It is about the power of love and lust and the curveballs that nature throws at us in life and that moment in time when you have to jump in and open the box.

“Mother Ocean/Father Time” is about the ocean and it’s also about my grandfather, a French Canadian who used to work on the cable ships as they crossed the Atlantic in the early 20th century. They used to call it the most dangerous job in the world. Eventually he stopped over in London for a couple of days and had the briefest of dalliances with my grandmother and was never seen again. I liked that mystery to their brief affair, that intensity of the moment against the backdrop of the mighty ocean. The music was written to reflect that with the riff being the churning of the waves and the salt stained seas, another celebration of the sheer power of nature. I used to live by the sea and loved that line between suburbia and the wild ocean. On one side the thin veneer of civilisation and on the other the wild and mysterious depths.

The record, which is set to be released on June 7th, is a double album full of intriguing guests: Chris Packham, Kirk Brandon (Spear of Destiny) and even a 20 – person choir. You have previously worked with Estonian female choir Sireen for festival slots and BIMM choir for a tour in the UK. Which choir have you employed on this occasion?

John Robb: I like working with guests. I think rock bands don’t have to be so rigid. We have done so many collaborations over the years. We played in Mexico last night and did a live collaboration with a local band who are called Descartes A Kant (who are really worth checking out). We had one rehearsal and a get on stage kind of affair and that is the kind of risk taking that always creates great art. The choir we used on this album is recruited from BIMM – we can’t afford to fly an Estonian choir around. It’s the price you pay for having ideas bigger than your budget. I put the call out on Facebook for a choir and Claire Pilling, who teaches singing at BIMM college came back to us and recruited the choir. It was great working with the Sireen choir who I saw play a festival in Estonia 5 years ago and asked if they wanted to do a gig with us straight after. They said yes and we played two amazing and brilliantly received gigs in Estonia with them which is where this album really started.

We want to ask you about another person who is featured on the album – dame Shirley Collins, the force behind English Folk Revival of 1960s and 1970s. What an incredible woman. She is 83 years old this year and just released her new album herself. Was it hard to convince dame Collins to appear on the record? It does look a bit like Metallica/Marianne Faithfull collaboration!

John Robb: Shirley is amazing. I met her through filming stuff for Lush, the cosmetics chain, who have created a media channel which I film content for. She was in Lush one night at the launch of a film about her and it was great to meet her. She is a wonderful woman. I asked her if she wanted to do a piece for the album and an hour later she was reading this great piece about the South Downs and the power of music and how it comes out of the very soil of the surrounding hills. Her description of the flowers and birds in the Sussex hills is so evocative and perfect and one of the highpoint of the album for me.

“What Nature Gives” comes with an incredible sleeve artwork that is actually a Gothic Victoriana painting by artist Valentine Cameron Prinsep, a relative to Julia Margaret Cameron, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. The title of the painting does sound like something Nicky Wire would come up with: “At The First Touch Of Winter Summer Fades Away”. How did you come across this piece?

John Robb: I did a Google search! I was putting key words from the album and then searching through images and hoping something powerful and evocative would come up. What I needed was a piece of artwork that would reflect the themes of the album: the transient nature of nature, life and death and the passing of the seasons and the second that image appeared I know it was perfect. I like it because it is the seasons and death and also because its quite erotic and tragic and full of flowers and lingering and tragedy – just like the album!

The release is being promoted by leading single “A Strange Perfume”, where the band members are shown singing among the ballet dancers clad in black. The video is surprisingly dark and has some sort of nervousness to it. It was directed by Anya Cinnamon Machin – visual artist and cinematographer based in Manchester. Please tell us more about the story behind the video.

John Robb: The song itself was about the erotic power of scent. A celebration of the sensuality of all five senses like in the Kama Sutra where all the subtlties of attraction are celebrated. The idea was to have a ballet dancer as we hate mimed band videos and prefer something a bit off kilter. I think the world is a bit too full of blokes pretending to play guitars in videos and we didn’t want to throw another one out there. Anya is a brilliant young film maker from Manchester and it was a pleasure working with her. We are collaborating on a new video with her now – an animation. We wanted “A Strange Perfume” to be dark and shadowy and also to take an influence from the film Black Swan. That edgy tightrope walking film about the nature of intensity and madness – all themes that we are fascinated by.

Not sure if somebody else observed it before us but there is a strong representation of females on that release: from the Persephone/Demeter figures on the cover, to guests such as dame Shirley Collins, to video director, choir members and ballet dancers in the videos. Its very uplifting in the male dominated industry.

John Robb: Yes! Great that you noticed. We wanted to make a record that broke down the traditional “4 blokes against the world” nature of rock music. There are many bands that are great at that and some of them are my favourites but there’s no point in us joining that eternal queue. We were bored of that macho conservative world and thought of ways to break it up. Using the choir was one. The human voice in harmony is one of the greatest sounds imaginable and to hear that harmony in a modern world that is full of shouting and not very much listening, is quite something. Having that many women around, changes the dynamic of things and the sound and texture of the music. It was great to have guests like 84 year old folk singer Shirley Collins on the album, firstly, because we love her music and, secondly, because we want to celebrate age and wisdom and the beauty of older people. Jordan is on there because she is one of my best mates and an iconic presence who defined punk with an artful brilliance that made her so key. She had inspired us when we were growing up.

Right after the release of the record, you embark on a tour that will take you all over the UK (Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool among other dates), Europe and even to Mexico. What can we expect from you on stage?

John Robb: The music is still physical and will be played in a physical way. There are many epic moments but you can still dance to it. We will bring the choir to as many gigs as we possibly can and try and make something spectacular if we can.

In an recent interview with GigSluts you jokingly said that Membranes can only operate on a grand scale. Here’s our last question: imagine you have no restriction of any kind (financial, timely or artistic) when it comes to the production of your upcoming gigs. What do you go for? Las Vegas residency, grand opening at the Carnegie Hall or Michael Jackson-like world tour?

John Robb: I would love to play epic events like the Carnegie Hall! We did check how much it would cost to hire once and it was a lot! (laughing) We’d love to play at the Griffiths Observatory in LA, The Royal Albert Hall in London or the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. All brilliant locations with the choir and a sense of the spectacular. I love off-the-wall locations. We played the top of Blackpool Tower a couple years ago and we love cinemas where we can use the screen to play a film! I would also love to play caves or in the middle of a forest. Or have this 3D immersive light show that I have been working on. Just need the money to make it all work. Of course, it’s all very ambitious but ambition is the driver in breaking barriers in art, isn’t it?

Listen to Membranes on their official Spotify chanel:


And follow them on their socials:

http://www.themembranes.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/membranes1
https://www.facebook.com/themembranes
https://www.instagram.com/themembranes/

Membranes new album is available at:
https://louderthanwar.com/shop/the-membranes/the-membranes/

Membranes will play Ritz in Manchester on Saturday the 8th of June with supports from Glove, The Pack (Theatre Of Hate), Liines, Queen Zee and HENGE.
More information about the event can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/events/226440181569176/
Last remaining tickets  can be purchased from: https://www.seetickets.com/event/the-membranes-henge/o2-ritz/1308269

We will be in the front row, so expect a detailed review from the frontlines!
Till then,

Malcia and Rita

Indieterria review – Burn by Edits

Dear Readers,

Liv and Chris aka Edits (self portrait)

After reviewing excellent single from Manchester trio Hot Minute, we are back with more new music to discover. We are so happy we decided to do an open call for bands in Merseyside area to send us their songs and describe them on their own terms. This month we are publishing those mini interviews and learning how diverse and absolutely amazing scene up north is!

Edits were the second band to get in touch with their music. They are childhood friends who combine studying with recording and writing their own material. Described as atmospheric electro pop, Liv and Chris cite MUSE, Royal Blood, The 1975 and even Nine Inch Nails as their influences.  Their debut single “Don’t Speak” came out in 2017 and was followed by self produced/self released EP “Re – Surface” a year later.  The band rounded up 2018 by releasing another single “Cold”.

On their new single “Burn”, there is more than just electro -pop to Edits. Firstly, what catches your attention is the vocal range of Liv Westhead who is first dramatic mezzo-soprano on indie circuit we came across. Think Amy Lee of Evanescence meeting Lisa Gerrard. Liv could hold her own in any genre really, from folk to Viking metal and even opera without missing a note. But then her type of voice is not called dramatic mezzo soprano for nothing.  Chris Abbot comes in with guitars to create melodic lines that range between indie outfit to industrial noise.

Edits place themselves comfortably among new coming  electronic indie bands such as White Room, The Ninth Wave, Drusilla or La Mode. Burn – came out on June 14th is opposite  o previous single “Cold”. We think it would be a good idea to have both songs pressed as a Double A single on a 7 inch in the future. Just imagine crystal clear vinyl with “hot” and “cold” side – who would not want that in their record collection? But its time to let Edits speak for themselves:

Burn – single cover

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria.  Where are you based and who is in the band?

Liv Westhead:  We’re Edits: Liv (vox /synths) and Chris Abbot (guitar) and we’re based just outside of Manchester in Northwich, Cheshire.

Tell us something about the project – are there any goals that you managed to achieve?

Liv Westhead: We’ve known each other since we were 15 but we really got serious about Edits whilst we were at The University of Salford studying Popular Music & Recording, which is why Manchester feels like home to us. Highlights for us have been playing at Warrington Music Festival and Chester Live and just some of the great reactions we’ve had to our music from blogs which makes you feel super proud.

What inspires you? What artists or genres had the biggest influence on you?

Liv Westhead:  Growing up I was obsessed with the band Muse so I think they have a much bigger influence on the band than some people think. I’ve also always sung in choirs so a more classical/choral sound has always influenced my vocals. Nowadays, I love bands such as Mew, Biffy Clyro, Interpol, The Twilight Sad, Chvrches, Daughter, Radiohead, Everything Everything and Nine Inch Nails. We both love guitar driven music but often with some electronic elements.

It`s all about the music – and we want to hear about your new single. Is there a story behind the song, where and how was it written.

Liv Westhead:  Our latest single Burn was written very quickly actually, which I think is how the best songs come about. Chris had this idea down in Cubase and then I just started singing the melody over the top. Every song for us is different, sometimes I write at the piano and have chords and melody for a whole song, sometimes Chris writes an instrumental and then the vocals are added afterwards.

I wanted Burn to be the opposite of Cold which was our last single back in November. Cold was all about the inability to feel and bottling up all your feelings. Burn is about finding that raw spark inside of you and the feeling of invincibility I get whenever we play live. It’s probably our heaviest and angriest song so far.

Are you touring? Where can we see you playing live?

Liv Westhead: We have a couple of gigs coming up, firstly at LiveBars in Warrington on the 20th of June and then at The Salty Dog in Northwich on the 4th of August. We’re currently looking for a Manchester date so fingers crossed!

If any bookers or promoters want to get in touch – what is the best way to contact you?

Liv Westhead:  You can contact us at: contact@editsband.com

Imagine you can record an album with any artist, dead or alive in a studio of your choice. Who would be on your record?

Liv Westhead:  I would have to say the band Mew. They do some gorgeous harmonies and vocal layering and I would love to sing with them. Also, my favourite producer is Rich Costey who’s produced some of my favourite records ever (including Mew’s Frengers) so it would have to be with him! It terms of studios I don’t really know but I’d love an excuse to go to New York!

Edits are just warming up. Can you take the heat?

Listen to “Burn” here:

http://hyperurl.co/burn-edits

You can follow the band on social media:

http://www.editsband.com
https://twitter.com/editsband
http://edits.bandcamp.com
https://soundcloud.com/editsband
https://www.youtube.com/user/editsband
https://instagram.com/editsband
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6fwe92CcXSydfsBqpZRAfD?si=Fzlpd1m7QgWpuc6oiAfDHw

 

We are going to keep an eye on the band and so should you! This project – despite being still very young – has already shown a lot of potential. A seal of approval from us as A&Rs.

Much love for the band for sending their music in!

Mal+Rita

Indieterria Reviews: Mudlark

Hello!

It is a common knowledge that Wales has a strong connection to music. From Ivor Novello, Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones to Budgie, Funeral for a Friend, Manic Street Preachers and Catatonia, Welsh music has always been a step ahead of everybody else, setting new trends and refining musical tastes for decades.

The money might be in London, but the talent is definitively hidden among the valleys and it’s our pleasure to introduce our readers to the best of new acts that Vanadian Avenue has the privilege to discover.

Come Clean /Swansong cover by Robert Paterson

Our today’s guests, Mudlark hail from the beautiful town of Caerphilly. At the beginning, it is worth mentioning that their name is quite original and what’s even more important, it fits them like a glove. In the 18th and 19th century England (especially in the capitol) people scavenging through the river mud in search of valuable items to sell were called either mud searchers or mud lurkers. Usually they belonged to the city’s poorest residents, yet they enjoyed a great deal of  independence, respect among other dwellers and could keep all their earnings to themselves. Nowadays, the term is attributed to treasure hunters, amateur archaeologists and even metal-detectors looking for World Word II souvenirs. When we say the name fits the band well, we mean the listener has to literary “dig” through many layers and intricately constructed melodies to discover and appreciate the true value of their music. Multidimensional and complex creations are Mudlark’s trademarks.

The quintet was formed over two years ago and on the 5th of November 2017, they released their new double track single entitled “Come clean/Swansong”. You may remember them from their September release of an instrumental track “Ruth” that received very warm reviews from independent music websites and online zines. A well made, silent-cinema inspired video (known as “Frankenstein’s Ruth”) also helped to raise the band’s profile. We can promise you that the new release is as good as the previous one and shows that Mudlark are in incredibly great musical shape.

Mudlark picture by Rhys Morgan

Now let’s sink our teeth into the two new compositions. The first one track “Come Clean” is the shorter of the two, standing at only 2 minutes and three seconds. It starts with a longish atmospheric interlude but blossoms into a dynamic and structured sonic landscape at the end of the first minute. The band lists New York hard-core legends Minor Threat as one of their influences and the heavy, gritty guitars and distorted amplifiers are there but “Come Clean” masterfully covers them with haunting harmonies that reminds us of the classic Tool or maybe even more accurately, The Perfect Circle. Luke Powell’s powerful set of lungs shatter the poetic lyrics into shreds but somehow it goes perfectly well with the music. Our only complaint is that the track is a bit too short, yet it is a matter of individual taste. In our opinion, additional 20-30 seconds would allow the song to develop a bit better and keep its natural flow. It is not a big flaw, rather leave  the reviewer wanting more, which is a great thing.

Another great shot by Rhys Morgan

Second song entitled “Swansong” is much longer at 5 minutes and 13 seconds. Again slow beginning, with nearly spoken word vocals, mid tempo that gradually evolves into dramatic and vibrant finish. It is very hard to put it into a single genre – there is a bit of hard-core, a bit of progressive rock, mixture of clean and  growl vocals. If we could say, Swancong is something of a Faith No More, meets Fear Factory (Burton C Bell type vocals) with The Streets and a fellow Welsh metallers, Taint thrown into the concoction. Both songs were solidly mixed and produced. In short this is a professionally prepared demo from a band that`s on a good way to great things.

The double single comes with beautiful photographs taken by Alexandru Olteanu and cover art made by Robert Paterson.

Final mark: Highly recommended!

Promotional photography by Alexandru Olteanu

Mudlark
Luke Powell (vocals)
Wesley McCarthy (lead guitar)
Benjamin Morgan (rhythm guitar)
Nick Giles (bass)
Jack Williams (drums)

Hometown: Caerphilly

Bio: Lifelong friends from the Welsh valleys who write melancholic, poetic and dark oddities.

“Swansong/Come clean” two track single
Release date: 05/07/2017

Written and performed by Mudlark

Engineered by Rhys Morgan – https://twitter.com/rhysdrums
Produced by James Minas – https://twitter.com/minassound
Artwork by Robert Paterson  – https://www.facebook.com/robertpatersonart/
Photography by Alexandru Olteanu  – https://www.facebook.com/not.nanu
Video by Stone Letter Media  – https://www.facebook.com/stonelettermedia/

Second picture by Alexandru Olteanu

You can find more about Mudlark online:

Booking and interview requests:  mudlarkmail@gmail.com
Bandcamp:
https://mudlarkuk.bandcamp.com/releases
Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/mudlarkuk
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/mudlarkuk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/mudlarkuk
Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKwB_UXUDEVppX7dUrbNE2w

Swansong video:

Frankenstein’s Ruth video:

If you’d like to have your music featured on Indieterria, please send links to your Soundcooud or Bandcamp pages 3 or 4 pictures and a bio to rdabrowicz at yahoo dot com. Please note that Vanadian Avenue do not accept mp3 or zipped files. Also, please give us a week or two to listen to your music and write the review!

Thank you and see you shortly.
Rita and Malicia

———Update 2018/04/14————

Canvas EP cover

After several months of being relatively quiet, our favourite Caerphilly based hard rockers, Mudlark returns with a new digital EP  entitled “Canvas”. We are extremely pleased to announce that “Canvas” is even better than “Come clean/Swansong”. We sincerely loved their  previous EP and we thought that recording something even better will be hard to beat. We admit, we were wrong!

Instead of four tracks, “Canvas” offers only two new songs: an epic 11-minute long “Stare at the Sun” and nearly five-minuter “Death Lessons”. As before, all songs were written by Mudlark and produced by Rhys Morgan.

The first track “Stare at the Sun” opens with a prolonged beginning with heavy, distorted guitars and melancholic vibes that would make Paradise Lost turn green with envy. Luke Powell’s monotonic, almost spoken-word monologue reminds us of  Johan Edlund of Tiamat (circa “Wildhoney”era) that quickly turns into a scream and then morphs into a crystal clear singing. The music is again layered and each layer seems to represent a different genre. You can find progressive rock, metal, heavy metal, college rock, math rock and psychodelic music. All in one yet perfectly mixed into what we can only call a classic Mudlark sound.

In comparison to “Stare at the Sun”, second track, “Death Lessons” is composed with much more simplicity. It has a gothic feel to it and is much more heavier which we liked a lot. It starts slowly, builds up quickly and finishes with crazy guitars, galloping drums and heavy bass line. Mudlark prepared a black and white video to this song which you can watch it below:

We truly hope that the departure of  Nick Giles (bass), will not mean the end of the band. Mudlark has a lot of potential and very unique style that is hard to find among  post-britpop and alternative rock outfits that dominate the indie circuit.

We keep our fingers crossed and hopefully we will have the pleasure to review further releases from them.

You can purchase/and listen to Canvas online:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1swXNojvoh5fv8YQvKR9CF?si=MiRtRcLpQmarOWUBX9Qzbg
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1366468517
Bandcamp: https://mudlarkuk.bandcamp.com/album/canvas
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mudlarkuk/sets/canvas
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Mudlark_Canvas?id=Bokd5hokn76xetdrxsd5qq22jhi
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canvas-MudLark/dp/B07BVPFDCD/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1523700515&sr=1-1-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=canvas+mudlark
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRMy-NderSk

 

Malicia and Rita Dabrowicz