It has been a pleasure to be introduced to the work of Benjamin Joseph Edwards aka Miller Blue. Aged just 19, his music is new to me, but what a special talent he is! He’s up there with the any of the male artists that grace the charts of today and surely it won’t be long until his work receives the musical acclaim it deserves. His music, which is all self-produced, is a mix of alternative pop, R&B, soulful grooves and hip hop. The first single from his debut EP “Persistence” is Cold Hands, a brooding, soulful, slow burner filled with passion seeping throughout with aching vocals over a blissful, chilled out beat. Hand claps, subdued guitar and haunting backing vocals add to the overall mesmerising feel of this piece. Stripped back, cool and infectious, this song gets in your head and won’t go away, it’ll leave you singing it for days. The other tracks on the EP are also outstanding and show how much talent this guy has with all the facets of his eclectic sound coming together to make an amazing debut EP. Miller Blue – definitely one to watch.
Cross Wires - Your History Defaced E.P.
Quick review of the much anticipated follow up to 'Assembly' e.p. From these Essex new-wave heroes.This e.p. is just as good as the last,with all the energy and hook-filled retro punk we're coming to expect from Romford's finest.The echoes of the halcyon days of new-wave & punk are a constant in all the songs but in no way take over.The Cross Wires sound is very much their own & a fucking great sound at that! The e.p. is available to listen to on Bandcamp,so get on it! It's a monster!! Kicks off with 'Modern Art',rumbling bass,jabbing guitar and a proper geezer of a vocal,all added to by the sublime backing vocal.bit of an XTC feel to this track,loverly.Next up,'Shades of Light and Dark',energetic intro with a 'vapors'-like hook running through and another great vocal.oh and air-drumming is mandatory to this track.Just try and resist if you can.Track 3 is 'Tab Clear',once more a frantic intro leads into a wondrous piece of 'now-wave'music,there are a lot of bands doing retro sounding music but none who make it sound as current as Cross Wires manage to do.oh and there's a killer bass line in this track as well.This is a band right on top of their game and if they ever venture oop north then I'm there.would love to see them live.Next,'Last Stand',one of the standout tracks for me.Strong lyrics,very tuneful,cracks along like an indie track until the chorus.then hell is unleashed; heavy punk mayhem of the highest order,fucking love it.I bet this goes down well at gigs,be bodies flying all over the place.and finally 'Vultures' which vies with 'Last Stand' for best track on the e.p. A real d.i.y. old fashioned punk feel to it.Raw,aggressive,with a cool synth sound squelching in alongside a battering ram of a drum beat.Shades of 'Spiral Scratch' and that kind of vibe.All in all,another top batch from a pretty amazing band.cheers lads.please release some more stuff on cd or better still,vinyl.think you are made for that format.maddferret.
The Kavaliers - Taking Care of Business E.P.
Was well chuffed to get this e.p. in the post the other day.The Kavaliers are a young indie four-piece from Doncaster,who I've been keeping an eye on for a while now and have seen play live a few times.which is always a pleasure.Their influences are Stone Roses,Seahorses and Oasis amongst others and they have a sound that sits happily alongside all those greats.Do go and see them live if you get the chance,you won't be sorry.they look cool,play exceptionally well and have the right blend of arrogance and swagger that you want from a rock n roll band.And in Matt Brewin they have one of the best guitarists I've seen in a long time.Vocals are provided by Tom Statham,who just happens to have one of the best indie vocal sounds out there while drummer Jordan is superb.Bass on the e.p. is provided by Liam who sadly has now left the band but his replacement Lee is pretty hot too and looked to be settling right in when I saw the boys play at Tramlines.The e.p. has four tracks,starting with 'Living the Dream', which gets straight to it.all thundering drums,thrashing guitar and that amazing vocal,with the bass line snaking through all underpinned by a singalong chorus.theres a nice touch as well from a few lines that sound like they came straight from 'The Age of the Understatement' backed by a killer bass! Quality this! Second track 'First Sign' is even better,neat drum & guitar duelling intro leads into a great riff before Tom's best vocal of the e.p.I love this guys voice,full of a subtle power and energy,sounding like every indie fans dream.Drummimgs amazing on this track as well and the dreamy harmonies just add to the beauty of it all.an instant classic.The finest Manchester band to ever come from Donny!!Next up is 'Always Wanting More' great guitar riff backed up by more throbbing bass and a cool singalong chorus.great lyrics to this track too.a proper dance about,jump around in the pit,song.Bet the fans love this one live! Last track is 'Backed Against the Wall'.Has a really mature feel to it.A great vibe to the intro but a real tight feel,a band enjoying recording and getting into the groove.its a stomping,rock n roller with bits of brilliance coming through from all the lads.hope I can get hold of another copy of this cos the one I've got is gonna get some hammer.try and check out 'The Kavaliers' on soundcloud too.theres a few tracks on there well worth a listen.love this.cheers lads.madd ferret.
Braver then Fiction-king of crows e.p.
I have just had the most enjoyable time reviewing this e.p.it got better with every play.What a little corker it is,thanks Guys.Sheffield's 'Braver than Fiction',well Sheffield based,(there are a couple of band members from 'darn sarf',but don't hold that against them).Genre defying; a bit alternative,a bit bluesy rock,a touch of soul,a smidge of indie-folk (I made that one up!),you get the picture.musically eclectic,but all the more brilliant for it.There is a genuine passion for making and playing music that does become apparent the more you get to know the tracks.The e.p. was recorded live in one day with the bare minimum jiggery-fuckery ,as few tweaks as could be deemed necessary as a testament to 'Braver than Fictions' love of the live arena,a place where they are best observed,their natural habitat as it were.The band have already had lots of media interest and garnered quite a following even though they only formed in 2013.Their debut track 'your little fantasy' having a lot to do with that.Go check it out,it's widely available in all the usual places on t'internet and that.
So,to the e.p.First up,the title track 'King of Crows' begins,funnily enough,with a crow crawing or whatever it is crows do,then one of the guys shouting 'I've got the king of crows' before a bouncy,boogie-woogie opening salvo of keys,bass & drums leading into Mel's distinctive husky vocal.A fab guitar solo breaks it up aided and abetted by some fine drumming from skins man Paul.Theres a nice funky little keyboard melody running through as well.A proper toe-tapper this one,finished off nicely with hand claps and a sing-a-long chorus.Track 2 is,after much deliberation,my favourite on the e.p.'Candle-Blind' starts with a dirty,jazzy bass-line & finger clicks before the Hammond organ sound rips through.a slower tempo to this one,with a sound like late nights,smoky clubs and shady characters lurking in the shadows.Then the vocal slides in.Slow,sexy and sassy.Beautiful.the kind of singing that reels you in & captures you!! Martins guitar floating above just adds to the feeling before more sumptuous vocals add the knockout blow.One helluva voice! Next up is 'Mr.Jones(fear of falling) begins with a nice little guitar work followed by a burst of keys from Jason before the rest of the band jump in to form a tight uptempo bluesy number.lyrically superb,as are all the tracks here.I defy anyone to keep still while listening to this track.Adams bass pushing it all along in fine style.Oh and did I mention the singer's quite good as well! The final track is in my opinion another contender for favourite on this e.p. 'Once Bitten,Twice Shy' has got Blues/Soul Standard written all over it.A classic,nothing less.A slow,soulful piano starts it all off followed by a thumping drum before it evolves into a track of outstanding beauty. A powerhouse vocal etched in pain and longing,the emotion pouring out.Could be Etta James or Aretha singing this,sublime! There is also a bit of a keyboard masterclass on this track,with the rest of the band as tight and bang on as ever.The perfect ending to an amazing debut release.Bravo,Braver than Fiction,fantastic.Madferret.
False heads tunnel vision e.p.Sometimes as a reviewer you get sent stuff that blows you away,this is one of those times.Full on Grunge Rock from that part of Seattle known as London Town.If you didn't know you would swear these guys were from the u.s. and from the same time sphere as Nirvana.who they have obviously been heavily influenced by and that's no bad thing.this e.p. just kicks ass from start to finish.starts off gently enough with a nice bit of guitar on track 1 'Anything Else' then bit by bit it transforms into a bit of a rocker with a soft vocal & scratchy guitars over the steady beat of the drums.kicks on soon enough with a full on grungy instrumental thrash interspersed with wicked lead breaks & chugging riffs that will blow you off your seat.very Nirvana-like this one.oh yeh.'Fall Around' next.reminds me of weezer or someone like that.Scuzzy,dirty opening salvo,throbbing bass and a cool,cool vocal soon descends into a full on thrash before settling down again before the next full on attack.tuneful punk rock of the highest order.track 3 'Remedy' begins with a thumping drum beat,jangly guitar and a vocal sound & style that has me in mind of 'Hole'.the instrumental break that comes up soon after really assaults your eardrums in the best possible way before the oft repeated vocal line and more scuzzy guitar smash you to oblivion.this is music to be played very loud!! Final track 'Without a doubt' is probably my favourite.Awesome driving bass opener then machine gun drum beat.more dirty,sleazy guitars with an angrier angsty vocal.heavy & punky with a shout-a-long chorus.lead riffs are superb.this one was made for the mosh pit.you will be tapping your foot and nodding along to this,no question.hard and driving all the way right up until the final thunderous drum break and all out sonic guitar assault.what a way to finish!! Superb.if you are a fan of alternative rock/grunge or American punk you need to check this band out.or even better buy their new e.p. But if you do,you must play it very fucking loud.lets rock!! Madferret.
Back to Tramlines with a very sore head for another day of top music,laughs & surprises.I wasn't sure what to expect but knew after Saturday that it would be very good.went first to Melt to watch a young band that I'd heard a lot about called The Rusbies.i knew the legendary Twisted Wheel man Jonny Brown was a fan & wasn't surprised to see him there waiting to watch the band.there were a number of local musicians there including Kieran Crook from The Sherlocks.Nathan,Jake & Tom looked ready to give everyone a great show but although they started off well the sound wasn't particularly good,with Nathan's mike packing in altogether after a while.The lads then had no option but to end their set early,leaving everyone a bit disappointed,but more on The Rusbies later.I then had a tricky decision to make between going to watch The Struts,who everybody seems to be raving about at the moment or nipping to Rocking Chair to see young Barnsley singer Lauren Tate,whose set had been put back a bit.I have been following this talented young lady's career for a while so I thought why not.i can always see The Struts later ( I was told after that they were fucking amazing by the way).so down the stairs to a room so dark I didn't know how many people were actually there until the lights came on after.minimal stage lighting with just Lauren and a guitarist perched on stools.she really looks the part with bright green hair,heavy make-up and punky clothes,but when she sings you are instantly mesmerized.Her voice is beautiful.Powerful,gravelly & rich with the power to move you in ways you wouldn't think possible.she did a version of Sam Brown's 'Stop' that brought a tear to my eye,such was it's emotional charge.Lauren also writes her own material now and I would recommend you look her up online & buy her new e.p. which was recently released.you will have to go a long way to find someone with more raw talent and ability than this lady.A sure star of the future.after catching my breath I made my way back up to Crystal where Leeds band 'City of Lights' were playing.they were loud and heavy and well received by the crowds of happy punters.they played a storming set and were bouncing around the stage energetically,especially the frontman who had a real prescence.Next on here were 'The Dunwells' who came highly recommended but I'd never caught them live before.What a joy they were.they just grabbed the crowd by the balls and held on tightly.brilliant songs,party like atmosphere and just a treat to be involved.will definitely catch these guys again soon.was wondering who to watch next when I got word of a secret gig back down at Rocking Chair featuring The Rusbies and a certain Mr. Jonny Brown.i was down there in a flash and it looked like word had got round as there were quite a lot of very excited people milling around.there was a massive buzz surrounding the place as we all headed downstairs.first on The Rusbies who seemed to have forgotten the debacle of earlier as they played with a passion and energy far beyond their years.these guys have not been together long but you wouldn't know it.Indie with a (post) punk flavour,they really play some blinding stuff.Self penned tracks like 'none the wiser','is this what my life's about' and 'shrunken heads' had the crowd rocking.even spotted JB bopping along to the beat.if you want to see what the fuss is all about,get down to the plug on august 22nd for their headline show.ones to watch for sure.Then came a massive roar as Jonny Brown took to the stage for what must have been a very hastily arranged little set.he borrowed guitars from the lads and ran through a few Twisted Wheel classics that the crowd requested.'Big Issue',the brilliant 'Strife',which was sung back to him word for word by everyone there.Even at times forgetting the words during 'Who stole the sun',it hardly mattered because everybody else knew them.he seemed to be enjoying it as much as the fans and it will surely go down as one of those 'I was there' moments.A truly perfect end to a magnificent couple of days.Hurry up Tramlines 2015,I'm waiting.madferret
Finally got to my first ever tramlines.didn't bother with a ticket for the main stages as the plethora of bands and acts playing the fringe stages was top class.there were some amazing line ups at pubs and bars all around the city.some clashes were inevitable and hard choices would have to be made.I have to say in all my thirty plus years of going to gigs this was easily the best I have ever been to.Only made it to 2 days,Saturday & Sunday but was gobsmacked at the quality of venues & bands,the organisation & general feel good factor on the streets surrounding all the venues.next year I will be doing all 3 days without a doubt.first up for me was Scarlett & Saffron at the Rocking Chair on Furnival Gate.great little venue this.downstairs into a pitch black basement,small & sweaty.probably holds about 50 or 60 max,top stuff.these guys hail from Cleethorpes/Grimsby area and have loyal band of followers every where they go,all nutters too.the shouts of 'we're the Scarlett & saffron' before during & after each song bringing a smile to my face.good tight rocking sound in the style of bands like Green Day.Singer Rob really belts em out & they have a great sound.after this I had a walk up to Carver street & a visit to Crystal past all the (what seemed like) thousands of happy smiling festival goers.This was also my first time in Crystal and the bar itself and the stage set up were superb.this place also had the weekends best line up with more great bands than you could shake a stick at.Massive thanks must go to Neil Hargreaves at Aggressive Management for pulling all these bands together and making it all work.was also good to see legendary band photographer 'Trust A Fox' at both days here and the shots I've seen so far are amazing.First up here for me was 'Dirty Sterling' from Scunthorpe.top indie band with some great tunes and more attitude than a bag of Gallaghers.their set was well received by all,especially their travelling band of fans,The Dirty Army'.even the fact their drummer wasn't with them and they had to draft in a late replacement couldn't spoil the party.top stuff.back to Rocking Chair after this for Doncaster's 'Kavaliers'.love this band.indie with a lean towards Stone roses at times.vocalist Tom,Matt on guitar and Jordan on drums have recently changed bassists but you can't tell to hear them.seamless and extremely talented.theres something very good going on with these boys and I can't wait to hear the upcoming e.p.Once more back up to Crystal for another Cleethorpes/Grimsby band.this time it was the Psyche Rock Gods who go by the name of 'Kismet Ryding'.this is one helluva great band with singer Mike having a ball on stage,always dancing about with a big grin on his face.their recently released e.p. 'look,see,don't,trip' is well worth a listen.they are also really nice lads and always up for a chat,as are the next band up 'The Darlingtons' who played Crystal on both days,such is there popularity.these guys have some of the best songs around at the moment but their live show is something else.Dark & atmospheric,soulful but full of thrashing guitars and crashing drums.and when they start to throw themselves around the stage you are hooked.Kiran's voice will reel you in and keep you wanting more.make sure you get to see them soon.Last band of the day for me was 'The Sherlocks' at 'Plug'.there is a buzz around this band at the moment and they always put on a good show.they are one of the hardest working bands around and this gig was their third of the day,all at different venues and towns.the band consists of brothers Kieran and Brandon Crook (vocals and drums) and Josh and Andy Davidson (guitar and bass).This was the biggest stage & setting I've seen them on and they really looked the part and had the 'Sherlocks Army' bouncing from the off.they played all the crowds favourites and even threw a couple of new songs in for good measure.its easy to see why these boys are talked about so much with their sound being so accessible to all.check em out on all the usual spots or go on iTunes and get their e.p. 'first bite of the apple'.this was the perfect end to my first day of Tramlines and left me eagerly anticipating the next days fun & games.madferret.
The Phantoms - Stop
This is the new single from this great four piece from Broxburn in Scotland.they play melodious indie/rock with a kick.I have had the pleasure of hearing them before so was delighted to be asked to give the new single a good listen to.It opens with a wicked bit of guitar before hell breaks loose with the release of a cacophony of sound from the thunderous drums backed up by a heavy bass line.A mean & moody vocal just adds to the intensity.This track is absolutely heavy as shit,but still manages to slow down for a great chorus that is so infectious even the little ferrets were singing along while I had it blasting out.yes,it needs to be played very loud.four and a half minutes of frenetic,anthemic brilliance.jump on this one straight away.The Phantoms are ones to watch.madferret
The Speed Of Sound-In a Blood Orange Sky
Here's a review of The Speed of Sound's second album which was released in 2012.Both their albums are widely available on iTunes,spotify etc.The album has a quite modern folk rock feel with a definite dash of 80's post punk/alt thrown in.Which is no surprise considering all the songs were written in that decade but sound fresh as ever.Vocally there is a hint of Lou Reed,Iggy Pop,bit of Jagger,great sound.Musically the sound alternates between Rock,verging on heavy/psyche to alt/punk with some great instrumentation along the way.'You've got to move too' starts the album off,zipping along with a jangly guguitar sound and scatter gun drumming.'English electric Lightning f6' up next.smart bit of bass at beginning followed by a virtuoso guitar performance on this (almost) instrumental track.stunning.'No Kicks' is another great track which will have you singing the chorus whether you want to or not.Track 4 'There's no one there' has an edgier vocal and a punkier sound.a song of despair and hopelessness,superbly played.has a fantastic guitar solo over a rat-a-tat drum line.really like this one.'Temporary Fault' is another with a punk edge,hammer drums,angsty vocal and jittery guitar.has the feel of losing it in bedsit land.lyrics are insightful and desperate.a wonderfully gloomy atmosphere to this track,'Joy Division' like!!Next,'The Changes',more solid drumming & shimmering guitars alongside a fine vocal.Track 7 is 'Uhrwerk'.It opens with a fine guitar solo and quickly turns into one of the best tracks on the album.Heavier,rocking sound,musical perfection with an instrumental section towards the end that will blow you away.8 is 'Sit by the River' and it sounds exactly like you are.An eighties indie feel,summery and upbeat.a foot tapping,head nodding sing a long.if you close your eyes you can almost feel the breeze washing over you.Some great .A nod towards environmental concerns on tracks 9 & 11,'Torrey Canyon' and 'Throw it Away',both tracks awesome with snippets of genius.I especially like the cool little guitar breaks on 'Torrey Canyon',reminds me of something,can't think what,I like though.Sandwiched between those two is 'Intercept'.Fourty two seconds of backwards magic! The final track and for my money,the best,is 'Overlooked'.a superb opening sound,very cool,subtle.Fuzzy guitars,tapping drum beat,lead breaks floating through the air and an understated vocal.spoken word comes in quietly with the bass and other players mooching along.has an indie sound to this track that a lot of today's new bands would kill for.guitar is sublime,this has got to be a live favourite.sure this would sound great at a gig or festival somewhere.These tracks have been around for a long time but that just adds to their quality,I think.cant wait to hear the new stuff when it's ready.would also like to thank John for the cd & amazing cover letter that came with it.legend!! So check this band out,you won't be sorry.madferrit
I was delighted to be asked to have a listen to the new single from the amazingly talented Wullae Wright.The single is taken from his masterpiece album 'The Orange Line'.The song is entitled 'Superhero' & is about cancer and all the fear & misery that comes with someone close having this dreadful disease.
The track begins with a gently plucked acoustic guitar soon accompanied by soaring strings before Wullae's vocal comes in.at once beautiful and melancholic,you immediately feel the passion in his voice.The lyrics are personal,poignant and heartfelt,pulling you into the moment.The guitar has a Spanish style flavour tinkling along with the vocal,interspersed with the majestic strings and crashing cymbals,all adding to the emotion charged feel to the song.This is felt most when the line 'where's my hero' is cried out,the pain and anguish is palpable.A beautiful,touching song from a gifted musician.
The single comes with an amazing amount of extras,including remixes,live tracks and alternate versions.also on the bandcamp page for this single are the lyrics in full.all monies raised are going to the Beatson Cancer Charity in Scotland.thanks Wullae Wright for sharing your talent with me once more.madferrit