June 30, 2013 by Robb Powell
Wow. Well this is rather smart isn’t it? I was planning on waiting until I was properly ready before launching this new site but then thought why not just jump right in with both feet and get started! So here it is. Welcome to the sparkly brand spanking new Band Of Badgers Presents website. Complete with added frills and tassels. Streamers and balloons galore. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a wee bit excited although I’ve had to put that on hold for a while so I can master some of the more technical bits to this new set up. There will no doubt be a few tweaks to be done here and there over the first few posts until everything is looking just right. I certainly won’t miss Blogger but it has served me well enough in building up a music blog people seem to be enjoying. I guess what I’m getting at is that although it caused me endless stresses, particularly with the longer posts, I nevertheless thank the site all the same. All of the previous posts will be available up there at the old blogspot address (click >>here<<) although I am toying with the idea of perhaps at least trying to import them into this new site. It would be great to have everything right from the very beginning of my journey in the blogosphere, here in one place. While I crack on trying to catch up with the planet-sized backlog I have however, this part of the blog move process is way down on the list. I have far too much amazing music and music-related stuff to share with you that just cannot wait.
If all went to plan, this first post was supposed to be all about my latest cloudcast up on Mixcloud. You can still head on over to the website (>>here<<) for a listen if you want to know what all that’s about but sadly I’m still having a bit of technical nightmare trying to embed the mixcloud player here on the website. Oh, these things do test us. I wasn’t expecting everything to be completely easy and plain sailing, that would be boring. I just seem to be going round in circles though and am aware my backlog is getting so much more loggier by the second. I have my Wood Festival review almost ready for publication too so that will be the next post on this new site, I expect. Or at least one of the next few. Rather than apologize for my constant delays I’m just going to crack on. At least you can say I’m consistent.
Let’s stay local for the moment as I’m off to a gig at The Charles Bradlaugh next Friday 5th July. Hosted by Northampton’s community radio Inspiration FM‘s presenter of The Band Review Show, Lea Stonhill, who has collected together four top local bands to play some quality live music. She’s really good at this and you seriously need to be checking out her weekly show on Inspiration FM. Every Wednesday 8PM to 9PM for all the top news on the local musician and band circuit. Lea also helps out with BBC Introducing Northampton so be sure to give that show a listen and check out too. If you’re not a reader of the blog from Northampton and are thus unable to hitch a lift on the back of a TARDIS or something, then you can of course still get clicking, listening and buying the music on offer from the four bands below.
For 3 little £s you can download this awesome 5-track self-titled EP from Dirty Fair. The four members making up the band met at University and only came together in 2011, releasing this first EP in January this year. I’ve duly given myself a smack in the face for not having sought them out before now to help in any small way I could have with promoting the EP by featuring them on the blog back then. I’m making up for it now, though.
It is a cracking debut, if you ask me and one that shows great promise for the second record Dirty Fair are already working on. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing what they have to offer in a live setting. https://www.facebook.com/DirtyFair
A bit of acoustic indie alternative pop with a touch of grunge from these guys. What a cool band name too. There’s just this one song up on their Soundcloud page at present but it’s certainly doing the right things and pushing all those right buttons for me. I want more, so I look forward to experiencing that live next Friday. http://motherdeerband.tumblr.com/
PARTY IN PARIS
Ah yes. It is indeed time for a lot more PARTYing IN PARIS. Did you see what I did there? Okay, I’ll calm it down a bit. I do just love it when I find a band who’s music really resonates with me on a fundamental level. These guys seem to do just that so I am stoked that after having just missed their gig at the Labour Club a few weeks ago, I can finally see them live thanks to this Band Review Show gig.
The band’s debut album Desolate is out on 29th July but available to pre-order from them >>here<<. They even released the tracklisting for it on their Facebook page a few days ago and there is also a sneaky peak at it below. I’m thrilled I’ll be getting to hear lots more tunes from them played live before getting my hands on the album.
DON’T WANT YOU TO GO
FATAL FAIRGROUND DISASTER
MONEY, SEX AND ROCK & ROLL
SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU BLEED
WE FLY KITES
FAILURE MAN (TAKE ME BACK)
The single Distraction is available for download via iTunes >>here<< and don’t forget to get pre-ordering what is going to be a smashing album of the summer. Click >>here<< to do that. I want to hear those clicks, folks!! https://www.facebook.com/PartyInParisband
Tantalizingly tasty, is one of the descriptions of Code500 up on their website. My ears are salivating at what they will get to hear next week. That provides a bit of a gross image, yes but just read this:
Code500 deliver a massive wall of sound. Best described as an alternative fusion of Rock n Roll, Trip Hop and Dance, their sonic explorations into layered melodies and heavy bass create a fusion of post-rock beats with a nod to the 90’s whilst remaining thoroughly of the now.
No Good Reason is good enough to whet that appetite but just take a listen to the beautifully delicate acoustic demo of Shadows below. Just magnificent!
And don’t for a second think I’m stopping there. Sharing crazy I know but there’s so much superb music from these guys you simply have to hear it. Hit play below and enjoy the Red Flag EP which was released in March last year. The EP is available to buy from iTunes, so please click >>here<< to do just that. It is made up of 5 spectacular, thoroughly immersive and interesting tunes. The level of experimentation the guys bring to the band is evident from the start. A hugely promising debut! I defy anyone who can listen to third track Trips To Heaven and not find themselves floating in some kind of paradise. This is transcendental music not unlike some of the stuff I’ve heard from Oxfordshire’s Flights of Helios, who I saw at Wood Festival recently.
More recently, Code500 released a new single, Another Life, back in January this year (available from iTunes >>here<<). This download also includes the track No Good Reason. While I’m going share crazy for all things Code500 I may as well offer you a link to go check out and buy their latest single Nothing As It Seems, via iTunes >>here<<. Friday is going to be one quality-packed night of entertaining live music. The best kind! http://www.code500.co.uk/
Impressed upon hearing the demo of the band’s The Greatest Lie Ever Told, my expectations for the arrival of their imminent EP were mighty lofty indeed. So high, in fact, I was worried I’d get a touch of vertigo. The wait for more tunes has been well worth it though, because wow, what a collection we have here in Chemical Friends.
That title track kicks things off with a force that will blast you right off the planet. Fear not, however because the tune is so damn good it will hold on to you with a bungee type elasticity to pull you right back in to hear the next two tracks!
Second track, and the one I first heard, The Greatest Lie Ever Told is just banging! It’s got it all and this little collection as a whole, bodes brilliantly for what we’ll have to come from this band. ‘We don’t need you, I don’t believe you…..’
No time to catch your breath with final track The New Twenty either. A stunning instrumental opening 25 seconds that gets even better with the launch of the vocals. Puppet Rebellion really grab your complete undivided attention and they do not let go for the world. This is a dashing debut full of charm and quality!
As many of you will know (and any new readers, a big warm welcome to you – thanks for checking this out), here at Badgers HQ, we (as in I), like to bring you not only the best in top indie music but also there’s a heck of a lot of FREE music I bring to your attention too. Puppet Rebellion are offering you this EP totally 100% FREE. So go get clicking crazy and download these three superb sensuous songs from the soundcloud page.
In fact, it is even easier than that because as the tunes are embedded here on this website you can simply click on the download button to each one. I should hopefully have a fantastic announcement due soon regards a live date this band may be playing later in the year. Make sure you keep posted for that! https://www.facebook.com/PuppetRebellion
SOME STORIES – UNDER A BANNER
Wolverhampton-based band Under A Banner have now released their single Some Stories, wholly in aid of the charity Help For Heroes. Not only this but they have set themselves a worthy challenge. To maximize the downloads of the single and thus the money they raise for the charity (ALL proceeds from each sale will be going to Help For Heroes).
The song is available to download from either iTunes >>here<< or Amazon >>here<<. These links are also up on the YouTube page for the video if you click on that above. Come on, let’s get this superbly crafted song in the download top 40 chart, all for a really great cause. http://www.underabanner.co.uk/
THE BEDROOM HOUR SHARE SOME THEMES
I cannot pass up the opportunity to mention The Bedroom Hour in this post. This is one of those bands that entered the sphere of my awareness a little while back but who I sadly didn’t get to listen to in time before the bombardment of so much other stuff. It is pretty much all great stuff and like I’ve mentioned before, there is often so much of it that some gets pushed down on the list. This is, of course an imaginary list. Well, sort of. There are countless lists and links I paste all over the place. This system works for me and there is too much of it to be any more organized, I find. At the moment anyway.
I digress (must be Tuesday – it isn’t, it’s actually Sunday). It has been to my own loss that I didn’t hit play on their tunes sooner because coming back to them now, I have been truly captivated. There is only one hour and that is THE BEDROOM HOUR. Their most recent song, heart will haunt has one of the most beautiful openings I’ve heard on a tune lately. Needless to say once I’d heard that I went straight back to their Themes EP to rectify my past mistake.
The opening track to that, Shadowboxer, was enough to get me parting with a little cash for the privilege of owning all 6 tracks. These guys certainly know what they are doing. You can preview the EP on iTunes but I urge you to buy it. Click >>here<<. It is also available from Amazon >>here<<. There are also some cracking tunes up on their Soundcloud page you should check out including the remarkable Nocturnal. http://www.thebedroomhour.com/
ALBUM REVIEW CORNER
With the millions of albums I currently have in my backlog to review I thought I best make a dent and get at least one done for this post. This is the first of very many more to come. Now I’m all set up here I really am hoping to catch up much quicker than I used to do on Blogger.
HORIZONS BY WHITEMOOR
Whitemoor teased fans with two sensational new singles in advance of the release of this follow-up to their self-titled debut album. Highlights and All I’ve Ever Known were two quite different tracks, both which leave your ears salivating with maximum slobber to hear the entirety of Horizons. The record certainly does not disappoint. If anything, it smashes all hopes and expectations that the hugely promising debut left in its wake. This is a band who knows their direction and Horizons cements this all the more.
This is indie rock at its utmost best but there is no pigeon-holing Whitemoor into just this category. The sounds on this album reveal them to be a heavily layered onion-like entity. Tracks like Horoscopes are a pure dreamy delight. The music creates a world you just cannot escape after opening track Highlights has already grabbed you firmly in its clutches. On Top Of The World has an elevating musical intro that throws you up in the air, catches you by the legs only to soar you back up into the atmosphere. No restraints. Crash helmets are an advisory. This song is perfect for mainstream radio play and I can already hear it being hummed by even the most casual listener. A summer hit! I love how it embraces an almost dance-like kind of vibe too, demonstrating the dimensionality of the band. They are experimenting and progressing with the sounds they can make come together, with some astounding results.
It is evident how each member is fundamentally crucial in what they bring to each track. While there is some exquisite guitar work on Embers which smashes right through everything, it still manages never to overshadow the cumulative contributions from bass, synth and drums. Everything always combines so perfectly. The ‘too many cooks’ proverb just doesn’t apply here. It’s like fate drew these people together to play as one.
Benny’s vocals are strong and resonant throughout but with the likes of Horoscopes, My Philosophy and Don’t Hold Me Down, he displays a haunting vulnerability so powerful it is moving. In fact if you feel the earth shake it’s probably the Himalayas being moved a few feet. He uses his voice as an instrument with some remarkable results. The record is bought to a close with This Is and it would make perfect sense to add the word different after it. It is a much calmer and slower song than any of the others on the album and sounds like Whitemoor completely stripped back. It is delicious! Things do start kicking off about two and a half minutes in but they keep being strategically reined in. It is sublime and just a brilliant way to leave fans ravenous for more.
With their stunning debut record, Whitemoor showed they meant business. They have returned to show they are the Lord Sugars of a cutting edge progressive indie rock sound. They know exactly what they are about and what they are doing. There’s not an i left to dot nor a t left to cross but the evidence proves this won’t stop them progressing even further with their next project. This is what REAL music is about. Five musicians and creative souls coming together to cook up the kind of tasty banquet Horizons is. I’ll have seconds and thirds now please. http://whitemoor.co.uk/
Well folks, that’s just about a wrap I’d say. Wow. New website. Exciting. *breathes*
Onwards I go then, I have to get off now to crack on with that backlog I never shut up about. Before I do though, did anyone watch the Editors live stream gig on YouTube last Monday? It was a fantastic show. Live from their gig in Berlin, it was great to see them back on the stage. Some of the new tunes from the album sound awesome. Nothing is like actually being present in the crowd so bring on the home tour later this year. The Weight Of Your Love is released on July 1st so do check it out. They’ve come back and done what they do every single time, for me. Produced something that sounds remarkably different to their previous work. It still has the Editors stamp, of course and there’s no getting away from the superb and dynamic vocals of Mr Tom Smith.
I have so much to come, I’m bursting with excitement myself. Watch this space!