Welcome to; Radlands, the fourth album from Mystery Jets. Written and recorded away from their home comforts, at a remote location in Austin Texas (see trailer here).
The album’s title track opens the show and is instantly more guitar based than their previous release; Serotonin, which featured a lot of 80′s style synth. Taking its name from the famous line in Jerry Maguire; You Had Me At Hello boasts an adventurous baseline and the Americana influence takes form through the introduction of Harmonica, a first for the Jets.
An early confessional arises in Someone Purer. Creating tension and bearing some of the woes dwelling the boy’s minds. “Won’t you take me down to the creek? Wash away our sins and sleep, I feel so tired as though I might not wake at all on the other side”.
Greatest Hits seems like a nostalgic retrospective on the bands previous achievements, while the lyrics suggest it’s really reminiscing about a love lost but never forgotten, leading un-expectedly into The Hale Bob, that sounds like it could easily be taken from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Sister Everett is named after a nun that tried to convert singer-guitarist Blaine Harrison on the plane to Texas. Aptly accommodating heavy organ sounds and a choir to finish.
Track-name aside, Lost in Austin strangely loses the newly acquired American twang and takes up an almost Brit-pop character, including building choruses, thrashing guitars and punchy drums.
The Jets have matured so much as a band and this overall downbeat record is the perfect example of their progress. A fine album.
Tomorrow will see the release of Lianne La Havas‘ brand new single; Lost and Found. La Havas’ voice is beautiful and her range is quite incredible, but the funeral march pace of the track and the saddening lyrics – “You broke me and taught me to truly hate myself” – allude to the fact that underneath all of the beauty, there is in fact a tortured soul. You can tell when somebody truly feels what they are singing and this is a prime example, the emotion is unmistakeable.
Lianne La Havas will be touring throughout May, June and July, with a mixture of headline dates and festival appearances. I have no doubt in my mind that she will be a household name by the end of the year. Check her website here for more details and tour dates.
Went Away is the third single to be released from The Maccabees fourth album; Given to the Wild.
The synth that has defined this album apart from its pre-decessors lays the path for Orlando Weeks’ nostalgic vocals. The White brothers introduce the trademark Maccabees pinching guitar over the top and slowly they build to transform the track into the racy little number it becomes. The line; “I never went away,” is bellowed out by a group chant in a round with Orlando’s hunting vocals and the longing atmosphere of Went Away come’s to light.
To be released on May 28th on Fiction Records.
Check out the rest of Given To The Wild to get a better idea of why this album went straight into the chart at No 4.
Bury My Bones is the first taster of Frank Carter‘s (formerly Gallows) debut album with his new band; Pure Love. You can download the track for free on their web-site – therealpurelove.com.
Opening line; “I’m so sick of singing about hate” is quite clearly Frank’s explanation of why he made the move from Gallows. Guitarist Jim Carroll is a talented man, which he exploits during a powerful solo three quarters of the way in. In this first instalment from PL, it doesn’t sound like the pair are using their capabilities to their full potential. I’m not sold just yet. The main riff isn’t enough to support the song and Frank sure does shout better than he sings. In a Nutshell – not as good as Gallows but let’s see what the album has to offer.
Yesterday’s Record Store Day was a complete success with sell out releases from The Clash, Sex Pistols and Iggy pop but despite the awe of re-releases from music icons of this magnitude, Arctic Monkeys RSD release R U Mine is the record that is on the path to unstoppable success.
The track sees the band re-unite themselves with the fast paced vocal arrangement and falsetto backing that launched them into the limelight on their debut album; Whatever people say I am that’s what I’m not but this time with fuzzy, distorted, blues-rock riffs and James Dean style haircuts.
The song itself, along with its accompanying video, really give you the feeling that the band are enjoying themselves again. Having been personally invited to support The Black Keys on their US tour, this year could see them finally break America.
Bombay Bicycle Club enter and the Wolverhampton Civic Hall roars with applause. An opaque screen blocks the audience from the band, strangely taking up the fourth wall rather than trying to break it down, an interesting take on the live experience. The curtain drops and exposed are a sextet of eager individuals, including tonight’s support act, Lucy Rose. By the second song the band are absolutely nailing it, the stage has exploded and everyone in attendance are blown away. They break into Evening/Morning and the lyrics ‘I am ready to owe you anything’, seems like a literal translation of the bands feelings towards their fans. Rose joins the band playing a timeless Stratocaster for Beggars. Their drummer Suren de Saram is top draw and is quite clearly the unbreakable backbone to this band.
The lights dim and Lucy Rose joins lead singer/ guitarist Jack Steadman on the piano. The rest of the band exits, a spotlight illuminates the two and Steadman breaks into an astounding falsetto, honestly if you closed your eyes you could imagine Rose was the one singing. Steadman showing of his multi-instrumentalist talents as they breeze through the haunting song.
The set draws to a close and the room is dumbfounded. Steadman politely engages the audience for the final time; “I have been in a terrible mood today, thanks for cheering me up.” Honestly Jack, no problem, it was our pleasure!
Monday saw the release of The Futureheads fifth studio album; Rant – the entirely a cappella follow up to 2010′s, The Chaos.
The boys have stripped themselves right down and eliminated the security of their instruments in this ambitious and somewhat risky endeavour. If, like me, you remember being instantly gripped by the ‘ah, oh oh’ vocals at the beginning of their massive 2005 hit cover of Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, you might already have a soft spot for what you are about to hear.
One of the most interesting tracks Rant has to offer is a beautifully arranged cover of the Black Eyed Peas’ Meet Me Halfway, that the band have turned into a haunting love letter to a selfish lover, the song will also work as one half of a forthcoming double A side single, along with a cover of Sparks’ The No.1 Song in Heaven. Their take on Kelis’ Acappella, is a fitting addition to the album but sadly lacks on its execution.
Brilliant versions of their own songs; Meantime, Robot, Thursday and Man Ray, prove that this album is a showcase of the bands versatility. An affectionate cover of Richard Thompson’s – Beeswing, boasts impressive but simple round-singing adding life to the lyrics. An a cappella album wouldn’t be complete without some traditional folk songs and my favourite of the bunch has to be ‘bleary eyed’ drinking classic- The Old Dun Cow.
Rant sees the band do justice to so many other people’s songs and seeing as their biggest previous success was a cover version, they have proved themselves as master mimics of the highest order.
The Futureheads have released this video as the first taster of what to expect from their long-awaited and warm-welcomed return.
Taken from their forthcoming, entirely a capella album; Rant (available from 2nd April), The Old Dun Cow is one of the classic folk drinking songs. If this video says anything about what to expect from the rest of the album, then the boys have really outdone themselves and the risk of taking on such an abstract concept will definitely pay off.
The second single to be released from M83′s 2011 album; Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Following the success of top 40 single Midnight City, Reunion showcases the bands ability to release solid pop music, without losing the super-cool personality they have built for themselves over the past 11 years.
The intro makes you believe you are about to hear the quintessential, epic 80′s pop track but when the vocals come in (sounding very Temper Trap/Big Pink) it is realised why M83 is now competing up there with the most recent of pop acts.
To be released 7th April. ilovem83.com
^^^This, sounds like a poor mans version of this: