THE Southern states of America have alway been very proficient in the art of rock ‘n’ roll, boasting a long and impressive lineage which can be traced all the way back to the foundations of the blues.
Given that its an area that’s been so ingrained into the history of the genre, it should come as no surprise that it remains a fertile breeding ground of creativity to this day.
One of the major proponents to emanate from the Lone Star State to this day, White Denim have thrilled fans with another thrilling collection of hard-hitting and blues tinged guitar music on ‘Stiff.’
A band that defy convention at every single turn, Primal Scream’s entire career has been an exercise in unrepentant and at times gleeful subversion from the prevailing trends of the time.
Awash in a sea of placid and non-committal material that’s all too happy to adhere to the prevailing zeitgeist, Bobby Gillespie’s seminal outfit have made a habit of standing proudly aside from the crowd and pushing the industry forward.
Having released their first full length record since the dystopian odyssey known as More Light, the band have once again remained in their own distinct lane with the amazing Chaosmosis.
Expanding their sound to traverse both electro and the starkness of 80’s synth pop, Primal Scream’s latest full length is a vivid and thrilling journey which charts everything from torrid love affairs to the deep oppression of the human spirit, tracks such as ‘Trippin’ On Your Love’, ‘I Can Change’ and ‘100% or nothing’ are sure to become staples of Primal Scream’s set and attest to the band’s continued cultural relevance.
An album which had a similar effect upon the band’s presence was XTRMNTR, an album which now nestles alongside Screamadelica as a bona-fide classic and an outing which pushed the band forward into an abrasive new direction,
Embracing electronica to a similar extent as their newest record but using it for much more visceral means, XTRMNR was an impassioned, outraged and downright discontented assessment of the world that they saw around them and spawned classic tracks such as ‘Swastika Eyes’, ‘Accelerator’, ‘Exterminator’ and its iconic opening gambit ‘Kill All Hippies.’
It’d be remiss of any music fan to overlook Primal Scream’s innate penchant for reinvention and it’s a phenomenon that’s definitely worth re-visiting after discovering the treasures which lurk within their latest record.
No matter what their intentions or whatever unavoidable issues may lead a band to leave their fanbase dismayed and announce that they’re about to embark on an indefinite hiatus, it can sometimes act as a death knell for that group’s future prospects.
Their eventual return may be lackluster, it may be nothing more than an avenue for them to exploit what loves remains within a music lover’s heart and pay an exorbitant amount of money to see them play the old hits and briefly reach the heights of their former glories.
However; for Liverpool’s The Coral, this couldn’t be further from the case.
Returning with the pysch tinged Distance Inbetween, the band reconvened on a grand scale and have pushed their output in an unforeseen direction that pays homage to bands such as Neil Young, Can, Love and even Piper At The Gates Of Dawn era Pink Floyd.
While the new album may be comprised of 12 disparate yet equally entrancing tracks that have completely revolutionised what the previously held perception of the band was, it’s important to remember that they are a band that’s been consistently great since the outset of their career.
This is undeniably evidenced on their eponymous debut album from 2002, a record which features everything from the radio friendly antics of ‘Dreaming Of You’ to the eerie, ska indebted ‘Shadows Fall’ and the manic sound of’Wildfire.’
A band that are resolute in their penchant for warping the audience’s expectations of their output, it’s staggering to see just how far they’ve deviated from their initial mission statement while retaining the spirit of what made them great in the first place.
In an industry which is open to so much innovation and technological advancement, it can often be hard to truly mark out a niche of your own within the immensely competitive world of dance music.
With so many new artists trying their utmost to jostle for position and attract a fanbase, it’s a genre in which no half measures will do and the only surefire way to cultivate the success that all acts crave is to make something so astounding that it simply can’t be ignored.
In the case of Glasgow’s Roman Nose, that’s exactly what they’ve succeeded in doing upon forthcoming EP Jacked Up On Mercy, a superb collection of wholly atmospheric dance music which is menacing and euphoric in equal measure.
With standouts including the Kavinsky-esque opener ‘Bloodstains’ to the bombastically glitchy ‘Black Pope’, it’s an EP which is ambitious in scale and has the potential for genuine crossover appeal.
A group which unquestionably paved the way for groups such as Roman Nose to make their presence felt, Daft Punk’s Discovery has recently celebrated its 15th anniversary yet every single tracks maintains an unparalleled vitality.
The album which saw them retain their house roots while employing their natural affinity for huge hooks and more traditional structure, tracks such as the lolloping ‘Superheroes’ ‘High Times’ and ‘Crescendolls’ to the disco tinged ‘Digital Love’ and landmark ‘Aerodynamic’ continue to inspire budding producers to be that little bit more bold to this day.
Parasite EP is an promising debut from youthful Glaswegian post-punk outfit Bite. The record is full of solid song writing ability. With jagged, looped guitars often taking a back seat to ever-present menacing synths. The EP manages to sound both dark and upbeat and shows a great deal of hope for future releases.
Brash, impassioned and exporting a vigorous form of rock and roll that put the world on notice, the shrillness and anger which often makes its way into BITE’s recent EP shares the spirit of the dearly departed Amazing Snakeheads on their only full length record Amphetamine Ballads. Filled with a litany of sordid tales and with a mood that paved a new middle ground between the atmospherics of film noir, highly strung post punk and rugged delta blues, the band’s one full length album was more than enough to ensure that their dissonant ways will be remembered for years to come. From employing motorik structure within the fiery “Here It Comes Again” to channelling the seedier, more macabre side of life upon tracks such as “Flatlining”, “Where Is My Knife” and “Memories”, the success of Dale Barclay’s visceral trio sent ripples through the Glasgow scene and reassured those bands of a more eccentric disposition that the cream rises to the top.
AS divisive as any artist in the past 30 years, Kanye West is either reviled or adored depending upon who you ask.
An artist that is uncompromisingly loyal to his vision, West’s career has been one that has saw him push hip-hop’s zeitgeist in bold new directions, tampering with sound, style, delivery and much more to constantly revolutionise not only his public persona but the creative world at large.
For an artist that now sees his every bravado-filled utterance met with a completely polarised reaction, West is sure to only exacerbate this trend with The Life Of Pablo, his seventh full length studio album and one which sees him characteristically striding off on less well-trodden paths.
From the righteous message and ambient production of ‘Ultra Light Beams’ and ‘Wolves’ to the scornful, defiant and dismissive declarations that punctuate tracks such as ‘FML’, ‘Famous’ and ‘I Love Kanye’, The Life Of Pablo is one of the 21st Century’s foremost creative entities relishing in the disdain and continuing to deliver the goods in a way that justifies his self-promoting rhetoric.
Given the pop culture phenomenon and figure of public derision that he’s became, listening to his landmark debut album The College Dropout epitomises the changes that he’s underwent in the 12 years that’s passed since its release.
The Kanye of The College Dropout is an undeniably self-assured figure but one that is still attempting to discern exactly what his legacy should be.
Touching upon a wide ranges of topics such as our image-centric society and the monotony of 9-5 jobs to the importance of family, the benefits of persistence and his own near fatal car crash, tracks such as ‘All Falls Down’, ‘Spaceship’, ‘Slow Jamz’, ‘Get Em High’ and ‘Last Call’ remain among the finest that he’s ever produced and brought the world’s eyes upon an ambitious young Chicago native that would go on to change the music industry in ways that many would like to refute.
He may not be the most endearing of public figures but separating the indiscretions of the individual and diving headlong into their art will reveal the profound effect which ‘Yeezy’ has had upon culture in the years that followed The College Dropout’s release.
Eccentricity is at the heart of many a great rock ‘n’ roll band, that little edge that separates them from the pack and ensures their music would never be characterised by stocism or a lack of personality.
One band which exhibited that in a big way across the course of their brilliant debut album Operator is London’s Telegram, a group that seemed intent on throwing everything they possibly could into the melting pot and delivered a record that’s nothing of short of exhilarating and delightfully unpredictable.
Boldly striding into genres such as kraut-rock, post punk, art pop, new wave, glam rock and anything else that was deemed appropriate, Operator is a whirlwind of disparate yet somehow cohesive tracks that keeps the listener on their toes from the punchy ‘Rule Number One’ all the way through to ‘Aeons’ ‘Godiva’s Here’, ‘Under The Night Time’ and the anthemic ‘Taffy Come Home.
Bearing this creative spark in mind (not to mention the clear influence of Brian Ferry’s vocal style upon Telegram frontman Matt Saunder’s delivery), Roxy Music’s landmark Country Life serves as a perfect accompaniment for the burgeoning band’s thrilling exercise in experimentation.
The band’s fourth album and one which built upon the admirably forward-thinking tracks of their previous outings, Country Life saw one of Britain’s greatest bands on swaggering form and utilised a myriad of intstrumentation, aesthetics and lyrical topics to make what was a confrontational yet utterly magnetic record.
With such a great deal of mundanity in the music industry, it’s time to pay homage to those pioneering acts who refuse to be confined by any arbitrary distinctions of genre, style or subject matter.
Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out.
A phrase popularised by psychedelic adventurer Timothy Leary, these words of wisdom have been clung to by rock ‘n’ roll fans ever since their very first utterance in 1967.
The trippy, the mind-expanding and the sonically wondrous; hazy and mesmeric guitar music has been an ever-present force ever since the liberal days of the 60’s and continues to capture imaginations to this very day.
One modern band who specialise in a chaotic, blues informed and entirely immersive brand of psych rock is Night Beats, the Seattle based trio that left us in awe with their brave new LP Who Sold My Generation.
Filled with allusions to the acid-laced sounds of the 60’s whilst remaining refreshing and very much of the modern era, Who Sold My Generation is an exercise in woozy rock n’roll that wastes little time and leads you on a trip besieged by enrapturing solos and enigmatic flourishes.
Given its transcendental nature, a perfect accompaniment for this new release is a record from one of the forefathers of bluesy, psych indebted guitar as we know it today- the late Jimi Hendrix.
Widely regarded as the icon’s finest work, his 1968 album Electric Ladyland was crucial in paving the way for intermingling between the age old traditions of blues and the warped sounds of psychedelia.
Featuring seminal fare such as the unmistakable ‘Crosstown Traffic’, the magnetic ‘Gypsy Eyes’, the onslaught of solos and inventive use of feedback known as ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return) and his legendary re-imagining of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’, it’s a record which prompted many to attempt to imitate Hendrix’s feral playing style but very few have even came close.
With the weather outside extremely dreary and February firmly reacquainting us with reality, it’s an ideal time to venture off into the unknown with the assistance of these two masterclasses in counter-culture.
It’s no secret that there’s something about the dark, depraved and lawless which attracts rock ‘n’ roll fans. It’s been a truism ever since the days when Elvis’s uninhibited gyrations left parents in convulsions and incited a full blown moral panic.
A band who relish the controversy and danger that forward-thinking music can stir, Fat White Family’s new record Songs For Our Mothers is an album which is as menacing as it gets in the modern era.
In an era where we thought we’d heard everything, Fat White Family’s gritty and malevolent take on post punk is subversive enough that it is sure to resonate with anyone that’s perhaps disenchanted by the relatively ‘safe’ rock ‘n’ roll which many bands trot out on a regular basis.
With this in mind, we’ve married Songs For Our Mothers with Iggy And The Stooges’ seminal Raw Power; an album which was constructed with malicious intent and challenges its listener to wade into the squalor.
The sound of proto-punk at its most jarring, disconcerting and anti-establishment, it’s conceivable that there wouldn’t be as many bands that are willing to discomfort yet simultaneously engage the listener if it wasn’t for the sterling example of tracks such as ‘Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell’, ‘Gimme Danger’ and an abundance of others.
It’s time to dust off the cobwebs and allow yourself to be engulfed by rock ‘n’ roll at its most putrid.
The Temperance Movement have never shied away from their old school, tried and tested rock ‘n’ roll sound and their latest release White Bear (out last week) fulfil the band’s mission statement of stomping, swaggering rock music.
Taking it’s cues from 1970s hard rock á la Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and old favourite inspiration The Stones, The Temperance Movement manage to update this sound for the 21st century.
It makes perfect sense then, for us to pit The Rolling Stone’s iconic release Exile on Main St. TTM opened for The Stones during four European dates in 2014 after Mick Jagger himself gave the band his blessing.
To create Exile, The Stones escaped Britain’s tax, setting up camp in a French villa. Laced in heroin, the band jammed late into the nights in a sweaty basement. Producer Jimmy Miller has discussed isolating each band member in a different room of the villa to make the impromptu studio work. Although this is is a pretty PR story, the truth of the matter was that Jagger was barely there for the recordings. And many say that Jagger’s lack of involvement may have been the key to Exile‘s success. He’s often been quoted talking the record down and that fact alone could explain that.
With Richards at the helm of the creative process, recordings and writing, the record is an American roots piece of magic and this depressing week of January where the paycheck seems a lifetime away, is a perfect time to enjoy it all over again.
A career which spanned five long and illustrious decades, to describe Bowie’s tenure as a perpetual presence in the music world as ‘prolific’ would be a disservice. There’s never been a solo career quite like Bowie’s, a man whose knack for reinvention has been nothing short of inspiring and the consistent quality of his music is to be marveled at.
Often it seemed as though Bowie would be capable of circumventing the passage of time and living forever but unfortunately the 11th January 2016 will be forever marred as the day that the unthinkable tragedy struck.
With Bowie’s death providing us with a whole new perspective on an album that we’d already found ourselves entirely in love with, there was only one way to mark this momentously sad moment in music history.
With the contents of the deeply experimental and entirely majestic new album ★ sounding less like another fantastic body of work and more like a prophecy of what was to come shortly after, it’s entirely necessary to trace the roots of this incredible artist and venture back to the origins of his superstardom.
Operating in two entirely different time-frames, Bowie’s final epitaph and the exuberant sounds of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars couldn’t be further apart in both ambience and style yet his talent remains undiminished by the toll of the aging process.
We at TTV implore you all to not only immerse yourself in Bowie’s heartrending swan song but to transport yourself back to the days in which a bold, andorogynous figure with “screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo’ revolutionised the world as we know it.
★ and Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars are both available now via Spotify and Apple Music.
Announcing an early streaming release as a gift to fans on NYE, Hinds have unleashed their debut record via NPR and on first listen it’s pretty magical to see the progression the band have made in such a short space of time. It was only a few months ago we sat down with the Madrid all-girl outfit and discussed their plans for the debut record with the band laughing that they wanted to keep that low-fi sound they achieved with their demos by recording on their mobile phones. The garage pop record is a perfect first choice for the TTV Discover Listening Project, a stark contrast to the January bleakness with its melodic summer vibe.
This week’s iconic piece of music is The Strokes’ Room On Fire released in October 2003, the album was the New York band’s follow-up to 2001’s Is This It and includes three singles: ’12:51′, ‘Reptilia’, and ‘The End Has No End.’ The record is a massive influence for Hinds’ debut, with the band citing The Strokes as major influences on their sound from the get-go. The Strokes will release a new record in 2016, making it a perfect time to rediscover this iconic work of art. A top ten hit around the world, the record was worked on by Is This It producer Gordon Raphael.