Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Ben Watt's rain-soaked number of pop-folk melodrama, "North Marine Drive", didn't exactly make him a household name when he released it a long time back. But it leaves behind the lingering air of cold nostalgia decades later.

Ben Watt, better known as one-half of alterna-pop British duo Everything But the Girl and now a successful DJ and remixer in his own right, humbly began his career with his debut indie effort, North Marine Drive back in 1983. While the album reached number one on the UK indie charts, the success of Drive was ultimately overshadowed when Watt teamed up with Tracey Thorn to create the band that became synonymous with a burgeoning sophisti-pop trend, taken to mountainous heights by other acts like the Style Council. Everything But the Girl displayed a keen sense of irony and literary wit that gave their brand of new wave bossa nova a sharper, biting edge. Later on, they would transform their twee sound into a grander, nearly cinematic form of electronic pop that not only brought them wider attention but much more lucrative rewards as well. Watt’s indie solo album was all but forgotten at this point, at times appearing in-print and then later disappearing from the market in accordance to the ebb and flow of EBTG’s success.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, May 10, 2013
Cambridge, England's Lychgate craft black metal that's heavier on artistry and atmosphere than it is on violence and vitriol. But that doesn't mean "Sceptre to Control the World", from their forthcoming self-titled LP, won't crack a few skulls, either.

Lychgate is of the black metal camp less concerned with bludgeoning you with speed and noise (not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you) than covering you with riffs and atmosphere and squeezing you to death gradually. “Sceptre to Control the World” rolls in like a thick fog, carried by coiling melodic guitar lines that wrap around both the rhythm section and one another. While running through lumbering death metal-esque passages and bursts of agility and vocal ferocity, the track’s first half is anchored mainly by the mid-paced sections where the focus shifts to the interplay of those guitars, which evoke ancient, occult mysteries more clearly than any lyric sheet could. The energy built up in those solo sections is let loose around the three-minute mark, as the band unleashes their full churning, blast-beating fury right up to the reflective, guitar-minimal finale. The song is a great indicator that intricate, musically-proficient black metal is alive and well, and Lychgate seem to be emerging as one of its strongest new voices.


 


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Apr 25, 2013
Wonderlick are one of the finest unknown treasures in the overwhelmingly vast world of indie pop and it's songs like "Sixteenyearoldgirl", their first sign of life in a couple of years and possible first sampling from their upcoming third album, that showcase their knack for the sort of great songwriting that deserves more accolades.

The loving four-minute tribute to all the Darias in the world is a little rough around the edges (hence appropriately tagged as “rough mix”), but it doesn’t stop the layered vocal harmonies, the ingenius hooks that get you singing along right from the very first listen and the brilliant lyrics from shining. They’ve not strayed anywhere from their past direction, but when a band focuses on what they do the best and the results are as irresistably affable as this, it’s impossible to complain. Most importantly, it’s got the timeless Wonderlick sound to it that stirs nostalgia from your personal good old days in an abstract way that doesn’t directly sound like anyone else: “Sixteenyearoldgirl” already feels like something you’ve treasured for years.



Tagged as: wonderlick
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013
It's a feeling we've all wanted to capture and bottle from time to time: infinite possibility.

Restorations manage to emulate that feeling quite regularly at their invigorating live shows, but on the second track from their sensational sophomore full-length LP2 they stretch their esteemed vision further than ever. A jangly intro leads into a wall of multiple guitars and a palpable rhythm section, but what sticks on “Let’s Blow Up the Sun” is the never-ending sense of promise. When the jangly guitars return, they’re constantly swallowed by the wall of rhythm. Restorations manage to get their listeners feet moving quickly, before truly opening up the map and showing them everywhere they can go.



Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013
The teaser seemed to herald greatness, but the newly released radio edit of "Get Lucky", the lead single from Daft Punk's forthcoming LP, Random Access Memories, doesn't quite deliver on the hype.

While the one-and-only Nile Rodgers holds up his end of the bargain, powering the groove with a smooth, tasty, and perfectly chilled throwback riff that’s love at first listen, super-producer Pharrell can’t put together a full performance on vox. He shines on both the pre-chorus and chorus, evoking Off the Wall-era MJ, but man are the verses dull and clunky. There, Pharrell’s wobbly, unfocused vocals clash with their crisp environs (which also makes you less forgiving of the vapid lyric; opening line: “Like the legend of the phoenix”). I really don’t know how certain parts passed muster. Luckily, the Robots swoop in afterward with a bracing vocoder hook that reminds everyone who’s running the show. All told, “Get Lucky” is a killer track that should’ve been a classic. I eagerly await the full album version and the copious remixes that I’m sure are being crafted as we speak.


 



Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.