Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Review of 'Magma' by Gojira


Magma sees the French metal champs maturing like camembert. In other words, they’ve turned soft. Softer but stronger.
Magma

Terra Incognita

The once-explosive drums have been lowered in the mix. And there’s less growling and more singing this time around. Once arguably one of the heaviest matter in the universe, Gojira have undeniably gotten soft.

But that isn’t to say they’ve pulled an Opeth – they haven’t forgotten they’re a metal band yet, thank God (or should I say Satan). ‘Only Pain’ for one certainly packs a punch, riding a groove that’ll leave your neck more toned than Arnold Schwarzenegger. And ‘Pray’ is a slowbuilder that swiftly erupts into some machine gun triplets. It’s enough to ward off the 1D fans. Although it’s undoubtedly toned down compared to the likes of From Mars To Sirius and Terra Incognita.

And this isn’t the only thing toned down - the showmanship seems to also have been reined in. Sure, Gojira have never been the spandex-wearing type to lay down flashy guitar solos, however they have dabbled in headscratching time signatures and unpredictable song structures in the past as found all over their sophomore album The Link (a personal favourite record of mine). This sixth studio album by contrast feels pretty straightforward – joints like ‘Stranded’ and ‘Silvera’ have clear verses and choruses and little noodling. And some of the riffage is more minimal than ever, sometimes too minimal, ‘Pray’ and ‘The Cell’ barely venturing beyond one note.


Of course, that isn’t to say the band’s creative juices have all dried up. Weaved into the mono-chugging are all manner of quirks to keep the listener perked including the schizophrenic percussion work on ‘The Cell’ and the screeching harmonics of title track ‘Magma’. There are even some curveball cuts such as stoner instrumental ‘Yellow Stone’ and the closing jam ‘Liberation’, a lo-fi mix of bongos and vaguely-balaeric guitars which drags on a little but otherwise ties off the album nicely.

Lyrically, the band are also still as creative as ever, having previously palmed off the usual blood-and-guts-death-metal-drivel for more philosophical and environmental topics such as spiritualism and flying whales and plastic bags in the sea. Influenced by the recent tragic passing of their mother, Magma sees the band’s two core members Joe and Mario Duplantier taking on mortality. A lot of it is fairly gloomy, but some of it manages to be surprisingly positive for a metal act, ‘The Cell’ ending with Joe asserting ‘we’ll find a way out right now!’, rather than ‘there is no escape, we’re fucked’

All in all, it’s Gojira’s prettiest album so far – a lot less brutal and in-your-face than previous efforts –proving much like Deftones’ recent record that metal doesn’t have to be ugly to function. And whilst perhaps dangerously stripped-back, it also feels like one of their tightest and most cohesive records, every song maintaining its own identity without feeling out of place. Maturity isn’t always boring. Magma is hot stuff.

TRACK TASTER:


Sunday, 26 June 2016

Review of 'Peach Panther' by Riff Raff


Houston rapper Riff Raff has always been an utter goofball. But he was once a goofball aware of his own ridiculousness. Now it seems, Riff Raff genuinely thinks he’s an amazing rapper, which is a worry for us all.

Back in 2014, Riff Raff delivered his debut album Neon Icon, which saw him declaring himself as ‘the white Gucci Mane with a spray tan’ and dropping nonsensical rhymes like ‘dyslexic in a four door mango lexus’. Riff Raff knew he wasn’t a poet and embraced this, like a bad b-movie revelling in its bad acting and awful CGI.   

By contrast, the rapper’s latest instalment Peach Panther essentially feels like the makers of Sharknado attempting a serious movie. In fact it almost makes me question whether Riff Raff was ever an intentional joke.

Limiting the subject matter to five things, Peach Panther sees Riff Raff rambling exclusively about his love of codeine, his love of Versace, the diamonds on his wrist, how much money he has, all interspersed with a few references to martial arts. There are no random displays of madness, no head-scratching skits about the moon or curious lines like ‘rap game Uncle Ben pulling rice out of the oven’. Other than a creepy song about a quinceanera (a fifteenth birthday party celebration for girls in Spain), his topics seem to run in circles so that the whole album feels like an endless trip on a hamster wheel.



This is made worse by the fact that Riff Raff’s arrogance now seems real and Kanye-sized. The song '4 Million' sees the rapper boasting about how he made 4 million dollars last year. Indeed bragging can sometimes come across as funny when it's done ironically, but here Riff Raff simply comes across as douchey and a bit annoying like the kid at school that won't stop showing off their new bike.

In the end the most likable aspect of this album turns out to be the beats, and even these are nowhere near as exciting as on Neon Icon. Drawing from a similarly narrow scope as the lyrics, the instrumentals are all hefty trap numbers, and whilst some such as ‘Mercedes’ have some seismic enough bass to leave a mark, they can’t quite distract from the hamster wheel effect.

All in all, creativity is what’s missing from Peach Panther, the track ‘I Don’t Like To Think’ perfectly summing up the songwriting process. Riff Raff has become the most shallow and predictable trap rapper possible, continuing to push his clownish image but leaving behind the clownish musicianship that made him so interesting.

TRACK TASTER:

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Music Festival Toilet Survival Guide


Toilets - most of us are familiar with them. That is until we go to a music festival. Suddenly, toilets take on a whole new scary and alien form and the whole act of relieving one’s bowels becomes a disturbing and traumatic experience.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. As somewhat of a festival veteran, I’d like to guide you through the art of festival toileteering as learnt the hard way.

So, without further ado let's weigh up your options.

The Portaloo


It looks like a TARDIS, except it’s smaller on the inside. That blue industrial paper usually used for cleaning windows with is actually for drying your hands with. And the semen-like liquid coming out of that dispenser is actually soap. But let’s not get too snobby about it. This mode of toilet is luxury compared to the rest. It’s got a door, which means a certain degree of privacy (unless the lock’s broken). 

The Open Air Urinal


This metal trough is used for urinating into. Some people choose to defecate in it because some people are degenerates. Easy access makes up for a total lack of privacy. The biggest downside to this mode of toilet is that you need to be a male to use it (unless you’re brave enough to trial out a she-wee). 

PRO TIP: Don't mistake it for a sink like the dude in the video above


The Dreaded Cesspit of Doom


Also known as a shit-truck or a slurry pit, this evil contraption consists of a bunch of flimsy cubicles built over the top of a giant cesspool into which everyone collectively does their business. The cesspool gradually fills up as the festival progresses, the resulting stench increasing day by day, eventually transforming into a biological weapon. Cubicles contain no toilet paper or soap, no toilet seat, on most occasions no ceiling. The lack of roof leaves them open to the elements. Doors usually consist of saloon-like flaps that start at chest height and end at the knees. A total lack of comfort and a total lack of privacy is ensured.


Alternative modes of toilet:

The Improvised Toilet - e.g. a bucket, a bottle, a hat

The Caveman approach - honour the traditions of your ancestors and go in a bush


The Deserterfind a public toilet outside the festival grounds and do it the civilised way


Back to Pre-schoolwear a nappy!

Lad PointsPiss on a stranger’s tent. Better off, piss inside a stranger’s tent. Better still, piss inside your own tent all over your own belongings because YOLO.




So, which is your best option?


Now that you're familiar with all the modes of toilets, it's time to establish which mode is the best. What better way than to compare each one's stats in a carefully-calculated chart.


Portaloo
Open-Air Urinal
Dreaded Cesspit of Doom
Improvised Toilet
Caveman Approach
Deserter
Back to pre-school
Lad points
Privacy
8
1
6
3
1
10
10
1
Home comforts
5
2
1
1
0
10
1
1
Accessibility
5
10
5
10
10
-20
10
10
Cleanliness
5
3
-666
1
1
8
0
1

Bloody hell, I feel like I'm writing my dissertation all over again. As you can see, I've given each mode of toilet a score from 1 to 10 - 1 being the lowest quality, 10 being the highest. One can clearly surmise from this study that the Portaloo comes out on top, racking up a total of 23 points. An all-rounder - this mode of toilet has a flush and a door and reasonable level of accessibility and cleanliness.

Meanwhile, the Dreaded Cesspit of Doom should be avoided at all costs, accumulating a score of - 654 points.

Of course, your particular festival may not even have portaloos. Reading festival for instance seems to favour only the Dreaded Cesspit of Doom. In other words, this whole study is actually quite pointless...

Some actual survival tips


  • Bring your own hand sanitiser and toilet paper. Even glamping-area-portaloos will run out. Forget these essentials and you're going to have a bad time.
  • Don't dose up on anti-diarrhoea pills to stop yourself from pooping - this will only mess up your digestive system and give you extra discomfort for the weekend.
  • Respect your fellow man. No-one except you will think it's funny to leave a turd on the toilet seat. You're not being a lad, you're being a selfish asshole.
  • Try a festival abroad. Outside the UK, some care seems to actually be put into the maintenance of toilets.
  • When it comes to the Dreaded Cesspit of Doom, never look down into the abyss below. You're better off being blind.

Toilet Trivia


  • An estimated 8.2 million meters of toilet paper is thought to have been used at the four biggest UK music festivals in 2012. That equates to 5,000 miles of toilet paper.
  • In 2005, Reading Festival's flushing toilets were closed down after one festival goer banged a tent peg through one of the main plumbing pipes.
  • In the same year, 168,750 gallons of human waste were taken off the festival site. That's more than the entire weight of this ship...



Friday, 17 June 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 17/06/2016: Disclosure, BADBADNOTGOOD, Snoop Dogg and more...


I'm off to Ibiza for a week to fry my skin and damage my liver, so there won't be any Best and Worst New Tracks of the Week section next Friday. Hopefully, this selection will keep you going in the meantime...

THE BEST:


'Feel Like I Do' - Disclosure ft. Al Green


Of all the letdowns of 2015 – the cancellation of that new scary Silent Hill game, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, my second-hand toothbrush business failing to take off – Disclosure’s Caracal LP was probably the most hard-hitting. But it’s okay, we can all thankfully stop crying ourselves to sleep about it now, because Disclosure are back already to reclaim their awesomeness with a new infinitely-better EP Moog For One. There are less slow synth slogs and more sample-based funky jams – ‘Feel Like I do’ being my favourite track of the bunch featuring vocals from sultan of smoothness, Al Green.

'Let Me Down' - Lily Elise


Yes, seductive female pop is not in short supply. There are practically thousands of other songstresses out there on the interwebz sporting the same breathy vocal style as Lily Elise. However, they didn’t think to create a song as catchy and fun as ‘Let Me Down’, so that’s their problem. The lovelorn lyrics and slinky synths add to the charm.

'Melt' – JONES



See above - London artist JONES is yet another artist tackling the seductive female pop market, only her track takes a happier and groovier route than Lily Elise’s. If you’re in need of a summer anthem to melt to, look no further. POUR YOURSELF AN ACID BATH AND SLIP THIS ON.

'Your Head/My Head' - No Violet



Good rock should always have an unhealthy dose of angst in it. These Bristol rockers are practically drunk on angst, singer Ellie Roswell’s vocals being sighed out with a mixture of apathy and pain, matched by some brilliantly horrible screeching guitars. How can a riff be so ear-piercingly jarring and yet so curiously addictive?

'Lavender' – Badbadnotgood ft. Kaytranada



So far, I haven’t heard a bad single off of this Canadian jazz trio’s upcoming album. It’s all been blissfully GOODGOODNOTBAD (pretty sure I used that pun two years ago on this blog, and it wasn’t original then). The Canadian jazz/funk/soul trio’s latest gloomy single ‘Lavender’ is no exception, and features electronica wizard Kaytranada, who adds to the groove. I'm particularly liking the jazzy chord progression in the middle there.

THE WORST:


'Kush Ups' - Snoop Dogg ft. Wiz Khalifa


Combining weed worship and gym worship, Snoop and Wiz Khalifa deliver this awful anthem for stoners and bros alike. Music for the two most vacuous types of human being.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Review of 'Levitate' by Lone


Lone’s music has always been impossibly feelgood. Take the feeling a child has being told they’re going to Disneyland, combined with the feeling of falling in love, combined with that first beer buzz you ever had as a spotty-faced teenager. Take that combined level of euphoria and multiply it by ten. Lone’s music is still more feelgood than that.

Fuelled by nineties nostalgia but carried out with a forward-thinking ear for arrangement, the electronic producer has continued to change up his style with every release reviving early rave on 2012’s Galaxy Garden, dabbling in dusty boom bap on 2014’s Reality Testing, and now tackling jungle on Levitate.

The pace has been picked up since the last album. Opening with ‘Alpha Wheel’, the listener immediately finds themselves riding some speeding Ridge-Racer-esque chord stabs, Lone reigniting the dizzying brightness of Galaxy Garden. This is followed by 'Backtail Was Heavy', booming drums reminiscent of The Prodigy accelerating the track along, overlayed with Lone’s signature psychotropic synths.

Third track ‘The Morning Birds’ is the first real speed bump, a percussionless piece that revolves around some woozy vocals. It’s very beautiful, but Cutler doesn’t really do anything with it, fading it in only to fade it out once it gets tiresome.

In many ways, this is Cutler’s biggest flaw on Levitate – he doesn’t take the time to develop each track like on previous records. Ambient closer ‘Hiraeth’ is the other example of this, whilst ‘Breeze Out’ also feels a little underdone. Were the album longer it could get away with these moments of filler.

That said there are some songs here that offer enough progression and change of direction to keep the momentum of the record up. ‘Triple Helix’ is insanely fun – the flurry of chord stabs creeping in suspensefully like a rollercoaster approaching its drop. ‘Sea of Tranquility’ meanwhile breaks into some surprise jungle breakbeats, an interesting twist in the track that keeps the listener on their toes.

These moments show Lone is still very much in touch with his creative side, proving he's more than retro revival. This isn't just a rejuvenation of jungle - as always his unique chord choices (each one warmer and fuzzier than a childhood memory at the beach), his intricate percussion rhythms and his arsenal of psychedelic effects make for an entirely original genre that Lone is the lone practitioner of.


TRACK TASTER:

Saturday, 11 June 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 11/06/2016: DJ Khaled, DJ Shadow, Nails and more...


A lot of marmite choices this week. You’ll love them, or hate them. It’s been a curious week…


THE BEST:


'Behemooth' - Moulettes


Tired of the same old-fashioned four-piece rock formula? Try this bonkers band on for size. That’s a bassoon and an electric cello, in case you were wondering what those freaky alien instruments were. Comparisons have been made to nerdy 70s prog-legends Gentle Giant, which I hear, although I’d argue these Brighton-based mutants are a league above on the crazy table. In other words, they’re everything I look for in my music.

'CRYBABY' - ABRA



‘I am not Poseidon/ but I ride him through the rip tide’. I don’t know what the heck that means, but I’m loving it. The self-proclaimed DΔRKWΔVE DUCHΞSS delivers this quirky but tasty slice of pop cheese, her echoey vocals dancing over the old-skool beat. Most importantly, there's some 808 cowbell in there. Enough said.

'For Free' - DJ Khaled ft. Drake & Nineteen85



When was the last time Drake saw sunlight? He’s been putting out hits so often lately, I’m surprised he finds time to leave the recording studio. Still, I shouldn’t be putting him down, considering he’s just blessed us with this new summery jam. The smooth head-bobbing beat comes courtesy of Toronto producer, Nineteen85. As for DJ Khaled’s contribution – as always a mystery, although he seems to have main credit for the song as usual. He takes the time to shout ‘we the best!!!’ at the beginning. I guess that’ll have to do…

'Bergschrund' - DJ Shadow & Nils Frahm



A producer actually worthy of his DJ title – Californian electronic artist DJ Shadow teams up with Berlin-based beatsmith Nils Frahm to deliver this glitchy instrumental banger. A ‘bergschrund’ is a cleft found on a glacier or mountain according to my internet research (never know, may come in handy in a pub quiz) and certainly sums up the jagged, icy atmosphere of the track.

'Life Is A Death Sentence' - Nails


What a beautifully romantic song title in time for summer, plus such a pleasant little breakdown there at the 50 second mark. Yes, US grindcore act Nails are back, and they’re sounding heavier than ever, impossibly heavy, so heavy they’re likely to develop their own orbit soon. Non-metal fans may liken this to nails down a blackboard. Metal fans will liken it to nailing a porn star. At least you could never criticise them for being too subtle.

THE WORST:

'Britain’s Coming Home (Brexit Song)' - Mandy Boylett


Regardless of which way you choose to swing your vote in the EU Referendum, I think we can all agree this is trash of the highest order. Team Brexit need to put some serious work in if they stand any chance of matching the likes of Gruff Rhys’s ‘I loveEU’.  

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Review of 'Coloring Book' by Chance the Rapper


Chance continues to champion his own brand of happy-clappy rap, this time hurling in some Harry-Potter-wordplay-wizardry and a horde of guest stars to heat things up.

Hip hop's most cheery artist, Chance the Rapper, is back. Last time he gave us a full-length album was back in 2013 with Acid Rap. I've been getting pretty ravenous since then. Last year's Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment offering Surf sadly didn't satisfy my appetite - whilst it did feature Chance, he only really appeared on half the tracks, the rest dedicated to trumpet noodling and an abundance of guest features. In fact, the whole album seemed overcrowded with guests to the point of being claustrophobic, made messier due to some clumsy mixing (although it must be said, the beats and bars were tasty!)


What Surf sounds like

This new album Coloring Book I hoped would be more wholesome, although a glance at the tracklist's crowded list of credits suggested someone might have invited too many guests to the party yet again. Worse still, the guests appeared to be of questionable quality including the likes of Lil Wayne, Future, Young Thug and Lil Yachty - pretty much the hip hop axis of evil all on one album. Just reading their names made me throw up in my mouth a little.

A listen of the first track 'All We Got' also suggested that the clumsy mixing was back, Kanye's robo-vocals seemingly fifty decibels louder than everything else. I know Ye likes to be the centre of attention and all, but drowning out the rest of the track seemed to me a bit over-excessive.



Deciding to channel a bit of Chance-inspired-optimism, I prayed things would get better as the album progressed, and to my pleasant surprise they did. For one, the mixing improves after the first couple tracks. Secondly, the awful guests decide rather courteously not to be awful. Lil Yachty's auto-tune warbling on the track 'Mixtape' is tolerable (although he could still learn a thing or two about pitch-correction from T-Pain who turns up a couple tracks later). And Young Thug actually decides to ride a beat for once. Sure, I'm still not keen on his vocal tone, but I'm sure there are people who find Chance's kid-like-inflection and 'ugh' ad-libs equally annoying, so it's all horses for courses.

As for the issue of overcrowding, Chance doesn't let anybody steal his limelight. Whilst on Surf he might as well have been an extra, the Chicago rapper claims lead role on every track on Coloring Book, his rapping skills overshadowing everyone else.

When he's not forming Harry-Potter-themed tongue-twisters like 'Any petty Peter Pettigrew could get the pesticide' on 'How Great(a line that certainly appealed to my nerdy side), he's pushing his flow to acrobatic limits and throwing out creative rhymes as on 'Summer Friends' (when was the last time you heard a rapper rhyme 'long hair', 'armchair' and 'timeshare'?). His subject matter is also some of his richest to date. Drugs make up a lot of his lyrics, but unlike his weed-anthem-writing contemporaries, he uses them as a metaphor for deeper stuff. 'Smoke Break' for example is less about not having time to get high any more, but rather not being able to spend time with his girlfriend. 'Same Drugs' meanwhile isn't about drugs at all, ‘we don’t do the same drugs no more’ used simply as allegory for him and an old friend no longer sharing the same passions and interests.

As always Chance is able to get introspective whilst staying wholly fun and entertaining. There isn't a serious or preachy moment on Coloring Book, despite it's focus on providing morals. Even his most confrontational track 'No Problems' is delivered with a sense of love, audibly laughing with joy during the hook to a backdrop of gospel vocals. His overwhelming positivity occasionally borders on mawkish, his Christian-side coming out and leading to cheesy tracks like the D.R.A.M.-sung 'You're Special'. However, for the most part it is done with a child-like charm and innocence that makes you wish you were that wide-eyed kid again immune to nihilism.

This most likely explains the title Coloring Book - Chance seeing the world like a child with a coloring book. It's all one big display of simplistic, playful joy. If Acid Rap felt slightly samey and Surf felt slightly overcomplicated, then this album sits happily in the middle of the two.


TRACK TASTER:

Sunday, 5 June 2016

INTRODUCING: Japanese Fighting Fish

`

It’s time to interview another batshit crazy band. Meet Japanese Fighting Fish.

They’re a Leeds-bred London-based alt-rock four-piece with a new exciting album out called Swimming with Piranhas.

According to their website bio, their band name was christened to them by ‘the mysterious Ishii’. Their album title Swimming with Piranhas meanwhile is based on true events, frontman Karlost and drummer Sweetman having journeyed to Ecuador to live with the Quechan tribe where they dipped their toes in the Amazon.

Clearly a wild bunch, I was unsurprised to learn that their music was equally wild:



Confrontational lyrics, aggressive riffs, tribal percussion and war-cry-vocals make for a selection of rugged fight anthems. Fight anthems with a cartoonish twist I may add. Founding member and vocalist Karlost does not simply sing, but performs each track - delivering a theatrical range of yelps and trills and squeals and snarls. I'm reminded of a more gravelly Mike Patton. I'm reminded of my ex is the morning. The sounds of a crazy person.

Perhaps it isn't a 'performance'. Perhaps the band are genuinely nuts. In any case, their brand of fight music is undoubtedly demented, infused with the groove of funk, the campy horror of metal and the raw energy of punk.

It’s the kind of music an armless boxer might enter the ring to. It's the kind of music the West Australian army will play if there's ever another Emu War. It's jukebox music to fuel a bar brawl at the retirement village. It's the kind of music I play when tasked with getting rid of the spider in the bath, a twenty minute duel involving much screaming in which I usually resort to gingerly approaching it with a vacuum cleaner.

But that's enough of my own trials and tribulations. What about Japanese Fighting Fish? Eager to dig up some personal secrets about this mystical band, I jumped at the opportunity to interview Karlost from the group. Read on for stories of bearded Batman, blood-spattered guitars and loop-offs with Ed Sheeran…

Cute artwork...


First off, if your band was a pizza what toppings would it have?

K (Karlost): Pizza is a difficult thing ...we’ve got a vegan ... he will drink your blood but he won't eat chicken! So we are going to have to split this 75/25... on the 75% hot hot hot jalapeños, sliced and cooked until crispy pepperoni, noisy yellow peppers, olives (not too many), vienetta ice cream (mint), jelly babies, a scattering of only orange smarties finished with chilli oil from the highest point in the Italian mountains!

Our pizza tastes like our album a different mouthful of oddness every time. On the 25%, veg and shit! 

You guys name Faith No More as a big influence. I’m a complete and utter Mike Patton fangirl. Favourite Faith No More album?

K: Faith No More are tooooo much we love them a lot, I'm really enjoying the new (ish) album Sol Invictus at the minute but you can't beat The Real Thing, pure joy! I bloody love them all! And Mr Bungle! Ahhhhhh!


Tell me more about the ‘mysterious Ishii’…

K: Ah you speak of the mysterious one Iishi ... certain things we can never speak of! He is still with us you know in spirit! A beautiful man with a crazy look in his eye, responsible for naming the band and inspiring our madness! He loved his cocktails as well! Top lad on a night out! Sometimes his samurai sword would cause problems, door men being shirty and all that but with a wink of his eye we are inside VIP! Crazy times but unfortunately he passed shortly after meeting him! 

One of your older songs is called ‘Don’t Wanna Be Bat, Man’. It has a rather crazy video. How did you get Batman to agree to it?

K: We got Bale... Affleck had moved in and beat both myself and Bale to get the role in the movie Batman vs Superman, it was decided with an ultimate warrior competition and an arm wrestle. Me and Bale then had to decide who would feature in the music video (Bale realised this was his last chance to don the suit, it made him feel like a 'big Man Braappp') Needless to say Bale won and got the part. One condition of the role was he had to grow and dye both his hair and beard orange?! 



I did wonder about the beard! The title of your new album ‘Swimming with Piranhas’ is inspired by true events, right?

K: Of course it's true! A story of luck, a canoe, a short swim, and what can only be described as an act of stupidity! Never and I repeat never try to actually swim with Piranhas but the album on the other hand is kind of a survival guide just in case you find yourself in a canoe surrounded by flesh eating fish!

Is it true the track ‘For Queen Marilyn’ was written spontaneously during a jamming session? Were any other tracks conceived this way?

K: ‘For Queen Marilyn’ was one of those magic tracks that just happened instantly as in first time luckily our producer, Tom Bullen, pressed record... ta da!... ended up being one of our favourites!



Explain the inspiration behind the song ‘Provocative Cat’?

K: The cat is the old me, this tale was a reoccurring situation for me in a year of my life being single in the middle of Headingley and Hyde Park in Leeds. The girl in this story ...well that's a secret!

I imagine you dudes have played some wild live shows. Funniest gig story?

K: We are the most accident-prone band you could meet. We have all bled at some point, a week before our summer of festivals our drummer 'did a Grohl' but instead broke his arm. Gareth's guitar is covered in blood ... grim … months and gigs of the stuff! He doesn't clean it ever as each drop is a trophy! Actually, out of us all Matt, is your safest bet in an unsafe situation!



What does the future hold for Japanese Fighting Fish?


K: For the future? Well we aim to infiltrate the music scene to the heights of Ed Sheeran, my Ginger nemesis… there ain't enough room in this town for both of us ... we will have a loop off! And I will defeat him! In a Darth like fashion! Don't you try stop me (breaths heavy with hand over his mouth 'LUUUKE') in actual reality (here comes the science bit) we are touring in September. The album is out on June 17th 2016, get involved in Facebook japanesefightingfishuk or Twitter @jffuk, or visit our lovely website www.japanesefightingfish.co.uk and find out all the latest information. Our videos are all on YouTube Channel JFFish and our tracks available on all digital platforms blah blah! Ace! Well good to chat see you at a gig come and say 'hi', our next show is at Ritzy in Brixton June 18th! 

Friday, 3 June 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 03/06/2016: Swans, Death Grips, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more…


Colin Stetson, Les Claypool, Michael Gira’s wife – ignore the headline, this week’s all about the crazy features.

THE BEST:


'DayDreamz' – Holly Flo Lightly


Conscious bars, a beautifully sung hook and a smooth and luscious - this new upcoming UK female rapper has it all. It's a tasty little aperitif to her forthcoming EP Aperitif. Plus, there's an album on the way called Breakfast Epiffanies. Lots of future stuff to get your mouth watering.

'Confessions pt. II' - BADBADNOTGOOD ft. Colin Stetson



Feeling sax-deprived? Colin Stetson ought to satisfy your needs. Teaming up with Canadian jazz trio BADBBADNOTGOOD, the saxophonist offers some crazily creative horn skills that’ll have you raising those jazz hands in standing ovation. I’m intrigued to know what happened to Confession Pt I?

'When Will I Return' – Swans


As the left-field rock veterans gear up for their supposedly final album, I can’t help but feel both excited and sad. If ‘When Will I Return’ is anything to go by, this will be a sufficient climax to Swans’ career. Michael Gira has even roped his wife into doing the vocals in a bid to give it that extra sense of quirkiness. Given she’s not a professional singer, she does a great job.

'More Than The Fairy' - Death Grips ft. Les Claypool


NEW DEATH GRIPS? ALREADY??? Having barely dropped their most recent album, the experimental hip hoppers are back with this new avant-banger. MC Ride yells about fairies over a bunch of loopy noises that are borderline-trash/borderline-art. Crackpot bassist extraordinaire Les Claypool is also involved. It’s suitably out there.

THE WORST:


'The Getaway' - Red Hot Chili Peppers


It’s hard to believe these are the same wild rockers that used to write funky sex anthems and play gigs with nothing but a sock on their cock. Indeed Frusciante left, but that’s no reason for everyone in the band to sound more worn-out and subdued than Coldplay.

'POC THAT STILL A RYDA' – M.I.A


M.I.A fans must be in it for the beats, because these clunky lyrics combined with her flat delivery are unlistenable. This is what the rapper herself has to say about the song: ‘This song is a mix of all the songs on my upcoming Lp – had to do a remix to let u know , i been poor , i been rich , i been brown , i been black , i seen white and i been around the world a few times ay ay ay ay . LOVE IS THE ANSWER what the question is i don’t fucking know. we in this together.