Acoustic indie pop acts are ten a penny. Drop into any bar across the country and you will be met by a young man or woman strumming away in the corner and offering you their heartfelt lyrics. Unfortunately due to the sheer volume of artists who are looking to find a niche in this scene it is often difficult for them to have their voices heard. Four acts a night and seven days a week in virtually every bar in every city and town across the UK. Think about it. Think of all the singer/songwriters standing together in a line. You would have to be stupid, brave, or ignorant of the size of the competition to even consider dipping your toe into the acoustic pool. So where does adullboy fit into this? Well he's neither stupid or ignorant so armed with his three track demo I'm going to say he's bravely wading into the deep end and hoping that he will float to the top. He may well achieve that to. With his songs he's tentatively exploring the social commentary style of the punk poets, but keeping it all within the framework of the indie troubadour, and it's this partial shading that is allowing him to embrace a sound, that while familiar, has a bit more of an edge to it than the material that many of his peers are releasing. I wouldn't be surprised if these demo recordings were in hindsight considered as unpolished gems when an album proper is released.
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
There is a time in every artists life when they stand still for a moment and take stock of where they are.
For some they can look on their past endeavours and comfortably embrace them.
They come to the conclusion that the path they are on fits and there's no need to alter the course they mapped out.
Then there are those who cast an eye over the material that they have produced and decide that was then and this is now.
If that is what they settle on, then from that moment on multiple artistic options will open up.
The latter is where it seems to be that Roscoe Vacant is at, but what can be done with the songs that are now partially in the rear view mirror?
Well with No Attack/No Decay he has simply revisited them and polished off the songs to provide a watershed moment in his career.
A springboard that he can leap into the future from.
On one hand it neatly represents the past as a sort of closing chapter on that part of his career, but for those unfamiliar with his material it simultaneously can be taken as the first chapter as he strikes out for pastures new.
It's akin to how a major record label will sign an act up who have already released multiple recording independently, and then prior to their major debut they release a taster of the best of the past.
So what we have is a release that screams the king is dead, long live the king.
Who knows what the future will hold for this often angry folk punk troubadour, but if No Attack/No Decay is a rejuvenated opening salvo then I'm happy to climb on board and join him on the journey.
Buy No Attack/No Decay - http://roscoevacant.bandcamp.com/
Back catalogue - http://roscoevacant.wordpress.com/music/
Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Healthy Junkies - The Lost Refuge
I like a band who look at a nice neat genre hole and resolutely refuse to be pushed into it.
That attitude shows a certain degree of courage, faith in what they are doing, and respect for the audience as they are aware that most of us don't need anything dumbed down for us.
Healthy Junkies are that sort of band.
A mish mash of influences, a clear understanding of who they are, and enough attitude to carry the material across with conviction.
Calling them a punk band would possibly lead others to mistakenly consider them as being of a certain limited sound, but that would miss the point as they are what I would call a 'real' punk band.
One who grasp the idea of free expression, of foregoing glancing at a rule book, of setting out to chart their own path.
They operate on the edge of something a bit more meaty, but keep the melody in sight.
Sort of a new wave post punk angle on it.
Interesting, entertaining and full of chutzpah.
In Evil Hour – The World Bleeds Out.
Everything about 'In Evil Hour' screamed stereotype when the CD slipped from the envelope.
Lowest common denominator punk that is frankly starting to bore the arse right off me, but then I placed the disc in the tray and all my preconceived notions were hammered into submission.
Political sussed - and intelligent enough to get the anti establishment message over without resorting to using words of one syllable - the band have restored a bit of my lost faith in hardcore.
Just in time to.
The US influences are stamped heavily across the tracks, but personally I would rather have Bad Religion, or even AFI, over the Exploited so you wont find a complaint from me in that department.
It is of course early days for the band, so who knows what lies in the future for In Evil Hour, but they've certainly kicked off in fine style with an album that can grab the attention from the first chord and begs to be played again and again.