I went to see Editors past Saturday. The opener was a band called : “The Twilight Sad”.
It was the first time I heard of them. And what a surprise it was. It has been a long time since I was impressed as much as I was this Saturday.
The Twilight Sad is a Scottish band that is influenced by shoegaze and in their later work they combine this with some industrial. Although I like both of these genres, it’s not a certainty that this will work. I like whipped cream and I like chicken, but I’m never going to put whipped cream on my chicken. But anyhow, it works…big time. On top of it the singer has a great voice and has a heavy Scottish accent as a result the vocals can remind you a bit of Glasvegas. The difference being that the vocals here are edgier. And well Glasvegas is about sadness , The Twilight Sad digs deeper. The music radiates an ominous threat. This is because they build their music the same way post-rockbands like Mogwai ( another great Scottish band). When you think of it Scotland has some really amazing bands. There’s obviously more to Scotland then Whisky and Nessie.
On top of that they made something clear to me. There is one thing that my current favorite bands have in common : they’re all influenced by shoegaze. Thank you, The Twilight Sad, for this moment of self-indulgence.
And Editors? They were pretty good too…
Everybody has something they want in life. Some people want to be famous, others want to annoy as many people as they can in their lives. You have people that want to have the largest stamp collection in the world. One of the things that I want in life is to know as many good bands as I possibly can. I’m never going to have the biggest music knowledge in the world, in my home country or in my hometown . This something I get reminded every week. But my love for music is big enough to rise above this fact, I have a thirst for new music that can never be satisfied. Maybe I’m an addict. Every now and then I discover something new that makes it worthwhile to be an “addict”.
My new poison is True Widow. There’ll probably thousands and thousands of people who already know this band. But I didn’t, so what? True Widow are Texan band whom describe their music as “Stonegaze”. This actually not farfetched at all. They play something that is a blend of shoegaze, Stoner doom metal , Sludge metal and early 90’s styled alternative rock. Especially the vocals remind me of that period. Ahhh, the glorious early nineties when I was full of pimples, wore lumberjack shirts, good music was played on the radio and there was still music on the music channels. Besides this thought this band just seems to unite everything that is good in modern rock.
Now for a more detailed description of their music. I already said the vocals remind me off alternative rock in the early nineties. It’s not the grunge styled vocals. There is no lashing out in the vocals, it’s actually rather monotone but it’ doesn’t bother me at all. I can’t put my finger on it, but the vocals remind me of somebody. Maybe the female vocals remind me of another great band that nobody knows : 2:54. It certainly gives the music a unique atmosphere. The music itself is actually rather straightforward. Don’t expect complicated riffs and rhythms. No, no way. It’s just perfect music to calmly nod your head to. With music that isn’t fast and hasn’t got acrobatics in the vocals, rhythms or guitar playing it’s hard to stay exciting, not to become boring. This shows me that making this kind of music isn’t easy, it does need a kind of virtuosity. A virtuosity that these musicians luckily possess. If it were that easy to create simple no bullshit music, well there would be millions of AC/DC’s . So hats off to these two lands and miss.
It’s that time of the year again. Although it’s still more than two months away, the shops are full of Christmas decoration. Balls, balls, balls and a drunk fat white-bearded guy, that’s what it’s all about. Anyway this brings me to the following question. Do you already know what you want under your Christmas tree? I do! The new album by Caspian, it’s called Dust And Disquiet.
Caspian is a post-rock band hailing from Massachusetts. One of the characteristics of post-rock is the alternation between silent and louder parts. Caspian play a dreamy, mellow kind of post-rock with rare outbursts. The fact that the outbursts are so rare makes that the music has a kind of tension, because you know that the outbursts will hit you suddenly like a sniper. And on their new album they even use vocals on one song. Which is a rarity in post-rock.
But now that I think of it, there’s another album I’d like under my post-rock uhm …Christmas Tree…Any album and I do mean any album of the Chicago-based Russian Circles. Russian Circles is on the other the side of the spectre of post-rock…It’s harder hitting than most post-rockbands. Yet they keep the organic feel that is created by the duality of the music. As always it’s best you listen to it for yourself…enjoy!
Good bands never come alone. You have The Big Four in Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. You have the Peaceville Three in My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Anathema. And you have Mastodon, Baroness and Kylesa, which I’d like to call the Georgia Three. In the wake of The Big Four and The Peaceville Three there were and still are dozens of bands who are either influenced by them or copy them. At least 90% of those bands are unsuccessful in their attempt to do what their heroes do. With the Georgia Three this is no different.
I could begin to name bands that are not any good in their attempts. But that’s not my style, it simply doesn’t help anyone. It’s better that I ignore those bands and talk about the ones that do rock.
A band influenced by The Georgia Three and actually reaches their level of greatness is Dunderbeist. This is not a Georgian band so no, there isn’t a Georgia Four, they hail from Norway. Yes Norway. It may surprise you but there is more to Norway than Black Metal. They already released their debut album “ Second Hand Theft” in 2008, so it’s not a new band. Their latest album was released on the 2nd of march this year. I’ve gotten to know them with their 2013 album Songs Of Buried. It’s pretty similar with the older work of Mastodon. Yet the vocals are more melodic then the older work of Mastodon and the music itself is a bit more straightforward. I’ve rarely heard a band where the vocals and backing vocals blend so perfectly together. And they have something in their music that The Georgia Three don’t have in their music : humor. Just listen to Acheron. Well I don’t know if it’s intentionally or not, I haven’t read their lyrics, but when someone sings : row row your boat…well you can only laugh.
On the latest album they’ve taken another step and have become even more melodic and took a more rockapproach. But this time I can’t understand anything, because the lyrics are in Norwegian. But this shouldn’t stop you in checking this band out. My favourite band is Sòlstafir and they sing in Icelandic.
There was a time that I really disliked Heavy Metal and Power Metal. It was really not done according to my environment to listen to these genres. I actually had a good time laughing with those bands. Most of the jokes had something to do with puffy hairdos, an overload of patches and spandex trousers that are way too tight (hence the high voices). Laugh! Now!
Anyway I’m wiser and older now. And for me the rule is : the older I get the broader my musical taste gets. I learned that music doesn’t always have to be serious. It can be fun. Fun and having a good time is the keyword in Heavy and Power Metal. One of the modern exponents of this genre is Powerwolf.
Powerwolf is a German band (like most power metalbands), they also use corpse paint (which is common in black metal, not in power metal) and use classic gothic themes.
I confess that I’m not really acquainted with the band. I checked them out on Spotify and liked what I heard. So I bought their latest album Blessed & Possessed.
Needless to say it’s a great album. The tone gets immediately set when the album starts with titletrack, you immediately want to raise your fist and singalong as loud as you can. The album is filled with songs like this, packed full of bombast, keys that sound like a church organ, great songwriting and a fantastic singer. It’s just impossible to listen to the album without raising your fist in the air. And yes, you feel stupid when you do this in front of a mirror. My favorite song on the album is the third song Army Of The Night. Although you could say that all the songs have the same ingredients, the album never gets boring. You could compare it a bit with a good and long relationship, you know what to expect ,get once in a while a little surprise and it feels perfectly like it is.
I was wondering which band I was going to write about.
So, I was scrolling down my wishlist today and I came across Jesu.
Jesu is a band that is pretty well known compared to some other bands I tend to listen to.
I think you could decribe the band best as a mix of post-rock, shoegaze,doom metal with a poppy touch. The band was actually formed after the break-up of Godflesh. People who know Godflesh realise now that this band can only have a high quality-standard.
I could advice this band to anyone who has half a decent taste. You want a comparison? Think the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Rós,Godflesh (yes)and Mogwai in a blender. Hmmm yes, tasty!
They’ll release a collaborative album in february 2017 together with Indie Folk act Sun Kil Moon. This one will be special and I just know it’s going to be good!
But for now, enjoy this one :
Yes, I confess. I am a Lana Del Reyfan. Much to the scorn of my friends.
Is that unusual that I, more or less a metalhead, adore Lana Del Rey? No! Why not? I have a soft spot for melancholic music. My favourite bands are melancholic, I like listening to new wave and I think there isn’t an alternative band better than the National. And her music has a kind of Twin Peaksatmosphere. And Twin Peaks, my dear friend, is the best TVseries ever made
I’m certainly not the only metalhead that’s a Lana Del Reyfan. Both Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride and Johan Edlund have given her high praise. Because Lana Del Rey proves that melancholic music still matters in an era of the Tomorrowlands and shiny happy popprincesses.
It makes me dream. Wouldn’t My Dying Bride ft Lana Del Rey or Lana Del Rey ft My Dying Bride or Tiamat or Moonspell or Sólstafir be a great idea. Or hell The National ft Lana Del Rey.
One can only dream can he?