Arctic Monkeys Have Taken A Leap Off This Planet.

Album review- Arctic Monkeys: Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino

Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino hmmm… Turner and his mates have taken a jump with this one. A jump off this world, they want to take listeners to the moon in this sort of made-up science-fiction reality and they want YOU to stay at their luxury resort.

The band are boldly going back to basics with this one, in the sense of really stripping all that rock ‘n’ roll down and are looking inwards for inspiration. This really is the biggest step between albums that Arctic Monkey fans have ever seen. After reviewing interviews Turner also mentioned that he didn’t realise when scribbling, how different it would actually turn out to be.  Fans especially newer fans, that came after Turners gelled quiff and leather rocker look, are used to those spiky guitar riffs and echoing drums and I’m sorry to disappoint you but if that’s your thing then TBH&C is not for you. This album is for deep listeners and has a theme through-out, to be played in a quiet room.

The new tracks set the scene for a futuristic lounge with a vintage keyboard, and could be influenced from the likes of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, David Bowie and The Beatles at times. The whole album is pretty unsettling and almost changes your mood and gets you questioning the universe in which we’re a part of… Deep shit.

The Sheffield rockers seem to be pretty future thinking but is Turner attempting to make a statement about the current method in which the majority of the world access music, by not releasing any lead-up singles? “The aim seems clear, the Monkeys want to save the album, forcing fans to listen to their record as an entire statement rather than a collection of tracks” (NME). Another un-trend-like action that the quartet have taken is that with each purchase, fans also get a book containing the futurist-frontman’s lyrics. Is this so we can rip them out and stick them in our wallets for a rainy day?

So, if the Monkeys aren’t launching songs with electrifying guitars and hip-hop vibes then what are they doing? The R U MINE singer seems to trickle away at his piano and the rest of the band are almost forced into the shadows, with a few background fills and unexpected experimentation with synths. I mean what will come next an Alex solo adventure? Six albums in and the Star Treatment band are still refusing to be labelled by a particular genre.

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Picture: NME

All in all, this album has shaken up the world of traditional R’n’R with an addition of blues and jazz twisted with sci-fi. The normal lyrics of sex, drugs and alcohol have been traded for the likes of dancing in my underpants /I’m gonna run for government /I’m gonna form a covers band an’ all” 

These four musicians have fully submerged themselves into this venture, into this defined hotel and casino, and are inviting you to check in and do the same.

So ladies and gents, watch out for those dusty craters we’re not in Sheffield anymore.

Listen to Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

 

 

Arctic Monkeys: Do Believe the Hype

Arctic Monkeys – Do Believe the hype.

As predicted Arctic Monkeys are back and they’re going to take over the world, ahem, I may be a little excited… In fact, who isn’t excited after half a decade of minimal to zero Turner action? The odd collab here and there, karaoke every now and then, covers… Come on give us some new music! Finnnnnaly five years later ‘Brianstorm’ fans can stop speculating. The hype comes after the band announce their sixth album ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino’, which you lucky people can get your hands on this Friday! (11THMay).

AM slipped a few of their unreleased songs into the world at their comeback gig in San Diego, LA, last week and although the foursome have spent time apart, the music was seamless and I’m sure every member in the audience would have given a big five out of five stars for each new song they’d witnessed. Catch a glimpse of ‘4 Out of 5’ below, one of their highly awaited tracks.

Video: Youtube – thetaintster 

Alex and his monkeys are well known for their complex lyricism so, it’s no surprise that their upcoming album has a bizarre track list. With song names such as; ‘The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Front Flip’, ‘The Ultracheese’ and ‘Golden Trunks’, only adds to the anticipation to hear each track for the first time. There are rumours that the lyrics are deeply rooted with real life experiences. So, ladies and gents the time has come to unpick each word to find out who the sunglass-loving front man truly is. What is behind those shades? Will the songs reveal a ‘Certain Romance’? Does a band member only call when he’s high? I suppose the rock foursome are ‘the only ones who know’.

The band really are trying to pull out all the stops and create a real hype around their up-coming album, the secrecy up until last month was unbearable but now there are events appearing on a global scale! The oddest of them all has to be the announcement of a one-off mini film festival based in Sydney.  Fans down under will get the chance to watch five of the band’s favourite films at the Golden Age Cinema and Bar this weekend.

The Sheffield mob have also announced the opening of a series of pop-up shops, again on a global scale. On the records release date (this Friday!) and the following weekend you can get your hands on some limited-edition merch that, I bet will make you look good on the dance floor… Shops will be in Sheffield (obviously), New York, Sydney, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo.

Of course, we have to talk about their up-coming tour which pretty much sold out instantly, no surprises there. Talk about band demand of the year, I mean if you haven’t got your hands on a pair of tickets, then I’m assuming you’re currently in the process of working out how the hell you’re going to get into one of the stadiums (without security seeing). Don’t worry the ‘Arabella’ artists are touring for a good few months, you’ll have more than one chance to try…

Coming to an arena near you, check out Arctic Monkeys UK tour dates below

06/09/2018 ARENA MANCHESTER, UK SOLD OUT

07/09/2018 ARENAMANCHESTER, UK SOLD OUT

09/09/2018 THE O2LONDON, UK SOLD OUT

10/09/2018 THE O2LONDON, UK SOLD OUT

12/09/2018 THE O2LONDON, UK SOLD OUT

13/09/2018 THE O2LONDON, UK SOLD OUT

15/09/2018 ARENABIRMINGHAM, UK SOLD OUT

16/09/2018 ARENABIRMINGHAM, UK SOLD OUT

18/09/2018 FLYDSA ARENA SHEFFIELD, UK SOLD OUT

19/09/2018 FLYDSA ARENASHEFFIELD, UK SOLD OUT

21/09/2018 FLYDSA ARENASHEFFIELD, UK SOLD OUT

22/09/2018 FLYDSA ARENASHEFFIELD, UKSOLD OUT

24/09/2018 3ARENADUBLIN, IRELAND SOLD OUT

25/09/2018 3ARENADUBLIN, IRELAND SOLD OUT

27/09/2018 METRO RADIO ARENANEWCASTLE, UK SOLD OUT

28/09/2018 METRO RADIO ARENANEWCASTLE, UK SOLD OUT

Mike drop.

The Most Anticipated Album Releases of 2018

What We Know So Far…

February 9th: Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending

Franz Ferdinand is returning with a new band member, Julian Corrie, who’ll add electronics into the music, they’re trying new things but frontman Alex Kapranos says “It’s still us”. Music in their up coming album is said to be based on real experiences so you’ll definitely get a glimpse into their rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. Check out their first single ‘Always Ascending’ below.

Video from Vevo Youtube

March 9th: The Fratellis – In Your Own Sweet Time

After four albums the Scottish trio are extremely excited to announce their fifth album ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’. They will embark on a tour across Canada and the US before touring the UK ending on their home turf in Glasgow. The Fratellis have release their first single ‘The Next Time We Wed’ from the album. Have a listen below.

Video from Vevo Youtube

May 25th: Snow Patrol – Wildness

The Northern Irish-Scottish band have teased fans with content from their upcoming album ‘Wildness’ which is their seventh studio album. In an interview with NME, lead singer Gary Lightbody revealed he had to over come writers block an in fact every song that had been written for the album has been scrapped and replaced by new ‘mind-boggling’ material. They’ve started to announce festival dates. Up to now you can grab tickets to BBC’s Music event ‘Biggest Weekend’ to catch a glimpse of their new material. Watch a sneak peak of the the new content below.

Video fram Vevo Youtube

Unscheduled and TBA:

The 1975 – Music For Cars

Lead guitarist and vocalist Matty Healy has teased a potential release date being 1st June! According to Rolling Stones, the singer-songwriter states that ‘Music For Cars’ “[Is] definitely the end of an era”. Does this mean it’s the end for our beloved boy band? Fans might also notice that the foursome are reusing the name of one of their earlier EP’s. According to an interview with NME Healy reveals “We’re using it as the album title now because of how meta and self-referential everything has become in the world of The 1975, and ‘Music For Cars’ was always my favourite title of everything we’d ever done, so it kinda made sense to wrap it up that way.” Up to now the track list is very hush-hush but via the frontmans’ Instagram, fans have been delighted to see potential new tracks one of which is called ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God bless America’.

Arctic Monkeys 

Rumours rumours rumours! Every indie/rock/alternative loving fan is either struggling to contain their excitement or is exhausted with having to wait for new AM material. The band have be ridiculously tight lipped about the whole project but this is the year! 2018 will see the Northern English band return with a whole new sound! With several festival dates now announced, we’re expecting new music to be out by Summer. Front man Alex Turner, according to NME has been ‘touring with Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Dean Fertita – and, of course, the legendary Iggy Pop. [Apparently Turners] drums drums sound as swaggering and slick as anything he’s done with Arctic Monkeys – hopefully he’ll bring some of that vibe to the next album’.  

Bastille

The band’s frontman Dan Smith recently spoke to NME about the band’s third album, saying: “We never really stop writing and recording, but I can confirm we spent a lot of this year [2017] writing our third album.” You can expect an apocalyptic party record as ever from Bastille. They have also hinted about a mixtape containing other artists. It’s full steam ahead for the four and extremely intriguing for fans!

Muse

Electro-rockers Muse, haven’t been hesitant to promote their upcoming album however there is still no title or release date. 2017 was a huge year for the band, with them spending the majority of their time on stage touring. What did they do in their spare time you may ask? Of course like any band  running on a high, they raked up some studio time. According to the band itself, a new song ‘Thought Contagion’ will be released soon. According to Forbes, “[f]rontman Matt Bellamy has recently stated that the album might not arrive until 2019…but late 2018 looks perfect at the moment”.

The Prodigy 

There seems to be a lot of bands returning this year and the old school dance band The Prodigy are one of them! Back in 2015 they announced that they would no longer release studio albums. Fast track that three years and here we are, the Essex threesome are hard at work on their seventh album after joining forces with BMG. EVP from BMG Korda Marshall has said “The Prodigy are one of those bands who define an entire sound and can justifiably claim to be among the architects of contemporary music”. Will this album be one of the most important records of 2018?

Worth a Listen: Trevor and the Joneses

The Las Vegas based band that brings Britpop vibes to the stage.

Trevor and the Joneses released their second album ‘Take You To Stay’ earlier in 2017 and it seems to be just want what Sin City needs! The instrumental sections throughout bring a calmness, then in contrast distorted guitars bring a real sense of rock ’n’ roll.

The album opens with Squares and it is what I can only describe as a modern Stone Roses tune. There’s an electric riff that runs throughout the song bringing a real ‘Waterfall’ by the Roses atmosphere. It will have your foot tapping and the instrumental section could cause a serious dose of head-bobbing whilst driving. It’s the sort of song you’d have playing on a summers day, it has that feel good, chilled out aura.

The second song ‘Gotta Run’ is upbeat and more Blur like. With a quick tempo and simple lyrics, it’s an easy song to listen to again the song is mainly instrumental. Reiteratively it seems to have that electric riff running through the track. Maybe this is a trademark of TATJ?

The album showcases an experimental side to the quartet with each song being slightly different. For example ‘Broken Bones’ starts with vocals that immediately remind you of The Arkells and with a bellowing base it gives off that underground impression that you probably don’t realise exists in LV. There is a real mix of atmospheres and cross genres going on, it would appear the band aren’t really sure what direction they’re going in.

After speaking with singer-song writer Trevor Jones I get the impression that a lot of his tracks are improvised when he’s strumming away on his acoustic guitar. He realises he’s playing an unfamiliar tune and later improvises vocals that don’t really make sense. To listeners the lyrics will make sense to them somehow, that’s the case with most song-writers … right?

As you progress through the album, ‘On my mind’ seems to stand out from the rest but not necessarily in a good way it sounds very young boy band-esque and the vocals are a little whiney, thankfully the guitars keep the standards up. Moving onto ‘Found’ there is as slower tempo and has absolute Oasis vibrations going on, even in the sense of some of the lyrics … “I’ve been lost, but I’ve been found” think of ‘Half the World away’ – “I’ve been lost, I’ve been found but I don’t feel down” and ‘cause it’s all too much for me to take”, think ‘Roll with it’. Found is probably a favourite of mine from the album.

The band definitely has a sense of 80’s/90’s rock ‘n’ roll, so when asked what artist/bands influenced them, it was no surprise when the foursome said that they all sort of meet in the middle on the classic rock scene. Clearly this was baked into their brains as young people. Names such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Oasis, Happy Mondays, Black Revel Motorcycle Club, The Who, Robin Hitchcock and The Rolling Stones all came up as major influences.

Trevor and The Jones are planning a run of shows for the spring and are continuing the recording of 2 other albums that were being worked on simultaneously with ‘Take You to Stay’.  You can expect builds off the guitar based sound from the first album ‘There was Lightning’ with other instruments including keyboards, melodica, and sitar by Barnaby Gallagher on the title track. The band are also excited to announce that for the first time on bass, an influence of one of their influences, John Fallon, formerly of The Steppes will be making an appearance.

Below: Give their latest album ‘Take You To Stay’ a listen via Spotify.

Worth A Listen: William Patrick Owen

William Patrick Owen: First Person Singular

WPO brings you a fresh bite of Neo-Folk, when listening to his debut album ‘First Person Singular’ there’s a lot of experimental vibes going on with a twist of apocalyptic folk. He draws on a rich heritage of 60s style fingerpicking folk guitarists like Nick Drake and Bert Jansch and applies to it an updated dreamy melancholy, creating introspective soundscapes with a deeply psychological lyricism.

The album opens with the flickering strums and raucous vocals of ‘Settle Down’, soothes with the longing of ‘Lilac Thunder’, internalises with the guilt-ridden ‘Homme Fatale’, and mellows to a naturalistic hum on ‘Dionysus and Apollo’. The first songs are invigorating and life-affirming, with a hint of punk; this dissipates into songs you could cry, sleep or simply relax to.

The singer-songwriter grew up in South East England and being just a skip away from London say’s he was almost living in a bubble. As his twenties hit and he step foot into the ‘real world’ the bubble seemed to burst causing an eruption which ironically helped to create the musician that he is today.

Owen has recently been influence by the likes of James Blackshaw and Six Organs of Admittance. As he first put pen to paper Jeff Buckley was a major influence and in terms of his more acoustic and calming approach to music, Grouper and Juliana Barwick could be recognised for his more ambient style.

The album is inherently biographical and not; idiosyncratic and accessible, it is a sharing of the songwriter’s entire self but an expose of the common modes of being in postmodern life. Williams acoustic mindset to such deep meaningful matters is quite different to what is out there at the moment. I feel many will be able to relate with his music, I admire the boldness of some of the lyrics and the album has a sense of free speech, at times it is shocking but leaves you wanting more. It is music that begs to be listened to carefully.

Below: Check out First Person Singular via Spotify.

 

2018 We’re Expecting You

 

Who to look out for this year!

Stereo Honey

The growing popularity of Stereo Honey comes by no surprise. Their indie rock modulations that express pensive sadness has clearly touched the hearts and minds of many, their music is very easy to listen too. With a similar sound to Wild Beasts the London-based foursome have just released ‘Monument’ an EP that they’ll be performing songs from in upcoming shows and festivals. Including Great Escape Festival and the Neighbourhood Weekender alongside the likes of The Courteeners and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Watch this space!

Video from Vevo Youtube

Black Honey

The Brighton based indie foursome have actually been around for some years, very under the radar, just the way they like it according to lead vocalist Izzy Baxtar “If it was my way we’d still be a secret band”. However, their songs are too good to be kept in the dark. The band released two EP’s in 2017 ‘Somebody Better’ and ‘Dig’ and have been touring and supporting Royal Blood across Europe, including dates at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds and London’s Ally Pally. The frontwoman quotes that she feels “like [she’s] really coming into [her] own with a new direction concerning hip-hop drums,” citing Canadian documentary ‘Hip-Hop Evolution’ as one particular influence. The latest single ‘Dig’ which honours the last moments of a relationship before everything falls apart has been a great hit across mass audiences of indie fans. You can catch the band in the UK this June at the huge Finsbury Park.

Video from Vevo Youtube

 Isaac Gracie

Not only 2018 but if this kid can put his worries aside he could take the up-coming years by storm. His acoustic work is addictive to listen to, it has that head-bobbing, foot-tapping thing going on. In his 2017 EP ‘The Death OF You AND I’ in particular the song ‘Since the Death of You and I’, takes on more rocky riffs in between melodic versus. It really takes you by surprise. For an awkward anxiety riddled artist the talent seems to pour out of his lyrics. In a previous interview with NME they quoted Gracie to [be causing the biggest ruckus the UK’s music scene has witnessed yet]. After the release of ‘Terrified’ in November Isaac is jumping into 2018 with European dates. The long-haired bedroom-songwriter will be back in the UK on 27th January.

Video from Vevo Youtube

 Brooke Bentham

21-year-old Brooke Bentham was popping up in all places during 2017. Talk about breaking the festival scene, the singer-song writer performed songs from her debut album ‘The Room Swayed’ at the likes of Latitude, Reading and Leeds and Green Man. Listening to her music you almost feel a blanket of sadness cover you as she brings heaps of emotion to light in the songs ‘If I Was Dead’ and ‘Have to Be Around You’ Her lyrics seem to be ahead of her times, almost as if a wise woman with words of wisdom has spoken. It’s easy to forget that’s she’s only just entered her twenties. Bentham has a Northern Soul about her, being from just outside Newcastle and I personally think this adds to the sentiment of her symphonies. Brookes music is a classic mix of alternative rock mixed with Angel Olsen moody vocals. After releasing ‘Loosing Baby’ in October you can look forward to a tour kicking off late January.

Video from Vevo Youtube

Yonaka

The band who describes themselves as ‘dark alt pop with heavy riffs’ who supported Drenge throughout 2017 has four up-coming UK dates starting this month! The four-piece from Brighton dropped their EP ‘Heavy’ in October and with their mix of rock, hip-hop and pop, their songs have aspects that most people would enjoy. The band is building a reputation of having incredible live shows that are oozing with energy.

Video from Yonaka Music Youtube

Sam Fender

I think Fender has managed to fill a gap in the indie music scene as you can forget about love songs. His material includes topics such as government issues, fake news and harassment. His self-released single ‘Play God’ entered the market in early 2017 and the best thing about the single is that it was recorded in his own garden shed… you’d never know. Sam Fender clearly understood that any show is worth a shot and after gigging in local pubs, he ended up supporting the likes of Hozier and Catfish And The Bottlemen. Later in 2017 he released the single ‘Millennial’, I’m pretty sure millennials can relate to this song on many levels, it’s a response to the media’s negative portrayal of youngster in this century. Expect more brilliant songs from this 21-year-old as Barny Barnicott (previoulsy worked with Arctic Monkeys) has been mixing his music and oh how radio-ready it is!

Video from Vevo Youtube

The Band Who Put Reading On The Map!

The Amazons: MTV LIVE STAGE

The Amazons, I’d heard a few of their songs on the radio and always found myself turning the volume up especially during the that electrifying guitar riff in ‘Black magic’. So, when I won tickets to their MTV Live gig I was intrigued to find out what all the fuss was about.

First things first, let’s talk about the stage. I’ve never seen anything like it, there’s a normal stage but it’s inside what can only be described as what looks like a huge metal children’s climbing frame. The audience where scattered around the platform with no room to swing a cat, no more than fifty people could fit.

MTV Presenter Becca Dudley starts the shows by introducing the Reading foursome and the band don’t waste any time, they’re straight into a song from their number one album ‘The Amazons’. The audience seems to be pretty young a fusion of die-hard fans and people who like myself, are pretty new to the group of rockers.

Watching their performance, it is crystal clear that the members of the band have a great relationship. Their interaction with one another really showcases this. At times, it was almost as if they’d forgotten they were onstage in front of an audience. Front man Matt Thomson soon engages the young mob of fans hurling his wonderful pumpkin orange hair around.

Mid way through the gig, microphones are passed around and questions are asked to the band directly from the audience. When asked about the cover of their Album which includes a picture of a torched Ford Transit van located in Reading. The boys laughed the question off admitting that they had an idea to set their tour bus ‘Big Suze’ alight… and so they did. When asked why their answer was simple, “Reading’s a commuter town. It’s the kind of place that people want to get away from. We want to celebrate it… put Reading on the map”.

amazons

The band seems ridiculously enthusiastic and you can almost smell the passion for future success in rock and roll. It would seem that British guitar based music is in trouble at the moment, whether it’s the eternal feud of the Gallagher brothers and Blur or Kasabian saying that they’re the only ones who can “save guitar music from the abyss”. Matt and his band of progressive music members seem to be rocketing through this rough patch gaining fans from bands like Cat fish and the Bottlemen.

The music was good. Really good! This band has riffs in buckets and their performance of ‘Ultraviolet’ seemed to bring energy to the crowd. At the time, The Amazons were looking forward to festival performances at the likes of Glastonbury, Isle of Weight and Reading and Leeds. These boys are going head first with the big dogs. Watch this space, they’re here to make some noise!

Watch The Amazons – Back Magic music Video

Video from Youtube: The Amazons