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Eagulls Partisan Records

Eagulls have received fairly heavy exposure in the hipster press, earning praise from NME and Pitchfork. I had high expectations of the Leeds 5-piece but was not expecting this. Eagulls take an early 80s post-punk / proto-goth sound and give it a 21st Century twist. Opener ‘Nerve Endings’ could be ‘Script of the Bridge’-era Chameleons, complete with flanged guitars. ‘Possessed’ comes on like Julian Cope fronting My Bloody Valentine on a cover of the Cure’s ‘In Between Days.’ Closer ‘Soulless Youth’ not only sounds like early Killing Joke, but equals almost anything on their first album or ‘What’s THIS For...!’ Troughout the album, the comparisons flow thick and fast, with hints of the Banshees, PiL, March Violets, UK Decay and Virgin Prunes but there is enough originality to transcend the influences. Te guitars of Mark Goldsworthy and Liam Matthews are clearly influenced by Killing Joke's Geordie Walker or PiL's Keith Levene. Tom Kelly and Henry Ruddell are a tight and occasionally inventive rhythm section. George Mitchell has an urgent yelp that is distinctly individual but may not appeal to everyone. A change of pace and dynamics wouldn’t go amiss but overall this is a fine debut.


Love Letters Rough Trade

I thought this was a joke. I listened once and I thought, ‘is this all one big social experiment designed to prove that popular music is made for people who don’t actually like music?’ If you listen to the record backwards you can clearly hear some old Scouse bloke prophesising the return of “real music”, marked by the sacrifice of faux-bohos to the god of Insipid Popular Culture. Just after being set on fire and pissed on by five blokes who “make their own beats” (lies). BUT THEN, I got down off my high horse and gave myself a slap around the face for trying to be clever. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s shit. It revels in space; not planets and stars, but empty space. Te compositions aren’t packed with layers; I don’t think this record is about creating an atmosphere, I think it’s about having a bit of a laugh, ensuring you get commissioned for a shit-tonne of remixes by bigger artists and locking in those festival dates whereby people like me can swig on rum and dance to songs we don’t know because they’ve got a nice “groove”. Ain’t nothing wrong with that either, sister. It definitely grows on you, to the point where I nearly like it. A few more catchy vocal lines would have been swell but there’s plenty to toe tap to and I don’t think it’s music for idiots any longer. As a quick aside, although not as melodically interesting, this band really sound like N.E.R.D. For real.

We Are Catchers

We Are Catchers Domino Records

Melancholia and happiness often go hand in hand. When you get your hands on a band that succeeds in combining these two feelings subliminally, through sound, you can be sure you’ve found one to remember. Tat’s the feeling We Are Catchers’ debut LP drags out of you. Teir songs express the same kind of serenity the album cover portrays; a mixture of contemplative piano and exploratory surf-pop gets drenched in the terrific lyrical soup of its composer, Peter Jackson. As soon as the first tones of the album’s opener, ‘Waters Edge’, come out of the speakers, you calm down and get in the mood for immersing yourself in the music. Another number that definitely deserves attention is ‘Isabella’; nicely written, and rhythmical, it gives a great summary of what We Are Catchers has to offer: honest music, carried on the keys of a piano and supported by a soothing voice. ‘If I Fell’ feels like a well-placed climax of sincere happiness, only to fade out, while ‘Tousand Steps’, is a beautiful ballad that makes you realise the full potential of this composer. Of course, every coin has two sides; however much we like the piano that’swoven underneath every song, the timbre remains the same. Tere’s an overload of pianos, yes, but would the album evoke such a bombardment of emotions if Jackson’s signature instrument wasn’t explored as extensively? If you’re ready to connect with your feelings, We Are Catchers’ music lends itself perfectly to fill the silence while you’re home alone.

Pavlis Rosie Arnold Yarreth Plysier

30 /March 2014/

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