Author Archives: Tommy Royds

ep: Love Among The Mannequins – My Uncle’s Ball of Lightning Will Put an End to Your Warped Psychology

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Members of Brighton based four-piece Love Among the Mannequins have been swamped in their other music capacities: Alex Petersen does Vincent Vocoder Voice, Steven Stride strums in Chalk while Tobias Hayes new project Eugene Quell saw him proposing onstage to his girlfriend at a recent gig in London. It’s fab to see new projects forming (and relationships blossoming) but all the pleasing to see LATM still doing the rounds.

The lengthy titled My Uncle’s Ball.. takes a lunge towards the darker elements of your favourite Q And Not U or The pAper chAse record. Inspired by Milton Rokeach book “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti“, a work the band refer to as “an absolutely fascinating insight into the human condition, and our extreme talents for performing phenomenal acts of creative self-deception to stay “sane”, even if the price is – in the eyes of society-at-large – “insanity””, this EP is a gutsy appetiser for the next full-length, which for everyone’s sake shouldn’t be too far away now.

split: My Heart In Your Hand 10″

Slow-churning and sparingly bleak emo from 5 bands across the globe. Check out their individual pages: Human Hands (UK), Nebraska (Australia), Asthenia (Japan), Manku Kapak & Duct Hearts (Germany).

Each copy has been painted and printed by German label time as a colour with copies divvied out between strictly no capital letters, Blue. September. Blue., Mum Says; Be Polite, Stereo Dasein, Caleiah, Desertion Records & Red Panda Records. Now that’s what I called good distribution.

album: Crows-An-Wra – Kalopsia

Kalopsia, the debut LP from Cornwall ‘space punks’ Crows-An-Wra sees the band experiment with 9 tracks of dizzying post-hardcore. Peeling away at their old screamo sticker, the four-piece find new comforts with increasingly weirdo hooks, extra reverb and accompanying guest vocals (tracks 6 & 7). Go fetch this on pre-order via UK’s labels Barely Regal Records, Wolftown DIY & Boslevan Records, Adagio 830 (EU) or Middleman Records (US).

ep: Vincent Vocoder Voice – Full Heart, Deaf Ears

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Vincent Vocoder Voice is the brainchild of Brighton musician Alex Petersen, formally/currently of Love Among The Mannequins. His highbrow influences include the books of Sartre, Ballard and John Gray, the music of Swans, Cursive and the 20th century polystylistic composer Alfred Schnittke (wow). Haunting and quirky, hear VVV’s new EP Full Heart, Deaf Ears on virtual release via Sonic Anhedonic Recording Company (Eugene Quell, Chalk.)

single: Grubs – Dec 15 / Gym Shame

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Snappy three-piece Grubs are becoming so popular that Shazam is now taking note (as I unashamedly detected at the Los Campesinos! show in London last night). In a matter of minutes do the trio (who star members of Trust Fund, Joanna Gruesome and King Of Cats) whiz through infectious pop that veers unintentionally to Rose Melberg’s back catalogue of bands. Available on funky double A-side transparent flexidisc single on Cool Your Jets (UK) and Aloe Music (US).

song: Adult Jazz – Spook

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In their heyday, bands like Jonquil and Youthmovies left their own noticeable mark on the jeering folk-rock being played by their counterparts Anathallo and Efterklang in the US and Denmark. As a band you need to be tight (which means practicing lots), be prepared to fork out on a recording that isn’t too scrappy and if you want interesting percussion, then that’s a whole other cost altogether. Whether this may have led to their subsequent departures – Youthmovies disbandment in 2010 and Jonquil’s move to writing pop music, is perhaps a matter for another time.

From both their retrospective graves of experimentalism do they pass the baton to new Leeds-based Adult Jazz. Keeping themselves to themselves, certainly stocking up on tickets before they ride the festival circuit later this summer, do the band shock and enthrall with song ‘Spook’, a captivating 9-minute plus journey that dots together stunning vocals, sparse guitars and brass sections with quite-so less conventional african drum tones. Startling happy to incredibly sad, stay alert for Gist, their full-length out next month on Spare Thought.

album: Eric Funn – No More Blue Tomorrows

There’s something very appealing about DIY house show folk singer Eric Funn, whether it’s his characteristic vocal style (he goes really low), the lyrics (“miss the Mississippi“) or his rough recording style, it feels like simplicity at its best.

Eric is quick to question his one-take to live cassette sound “Please don’t think that because I use a seemingly simple recording method that this album was just slapped together”  and similarly as his latest album No More Blue Tomorrows is concerned “A lot of my earlier work maybe erred on the side of being quirky or whimsical as a way to avoid putting anything on the line emotionally.  For this one I wanted to write about what was really on my mind and I hope that people will be able to relate to some of the stuff I’m singing about.  These songs mean a lot to me personally and I hope they’ll mean something to the lives of the people who hear them.”

Eric runs his own record label, Funn Folk Sounds and lives in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

album: Radiator Hospital – Torch Song

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Philadelphia’s Radiator Hospital (Rad Hos) are back with their latest LP Torch Song! Frontguy Sam Cook-Parrott brings a whole new meaning to the word singer/songwriter (if a redundant character still exists) nailing the pinnacle of what every chirpy pop song should entail, plain sailing fun and quirky hooks. Purchase at your peril from Salinas Records (Swearin’, P.S Eliot).

split: Emo Side Project / Coate / Boy Parts

Fantastic 3-way split out on longstanding US tape label Keep It Together. Emo Side Project return with their Owen/The City on Film acoustic bum-out, New Zealand’s Coate lay-down two twiddly numbers that will appeal to old Grown Ups fans and going last, Missouri’s Boy Parts showoff more of their pleasing, upbeat Small Brown Bike overtones.

MeAndGoliath – New songs + split w/ Autarkeia

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Kent screamos MeAndGoliath have treated us to some new songs following a lengthy gap from their 2009 release.

First up are three tracks taken from a split with Autarkeia. Film nerds/those acquainted with this particular genre won’t be disappointed to hear a sample from indie Me and You and Everyone We Know.

If that wasn’t enough already, here’s three more songs recorded in April 2014. I tell you, that drummer has got some forearms on him.