Friday, February 27, 2009

Great Eskimo Hoax

Great Eskimo Hoax have had little exposure in the UK considering they have been playing and writing for over 3 years and on the verge of releasing their second ep. However, this is definitely not due to a lack of talent and originality; before Youthmovies and the more danceable Foals came into the spotlight, GEH were pioneering the angular math-rock that has influenced a recent wave of British bands. Strangely, despite a very English sound they are quite big in Japan (signed to the Rallye record label). The Birmingham trio unite the Oxford mathrock guitars of Youthmovies with the oddly whimsical synth sounds of Cats In Paris.

A beautifully unique sound, and at the same time they are easy to listen to. The subtle use of effects peddles, and simple guitars (as well as synths and glockenspiels) creating incredibly catchy hooks, melodic vocals (echoed and interspersed with shouty bits) coupled with quaint lyrics ("autumn leaves, fragile as snow") make for a really compelling sound and a special band who I’m sure are just about to hit the big time. They are touring the UK throughout April, be sure to get down to it if they're near you.

MP3: Great Eskimo Hoax - I Was An Englishman
Buy: "Of Many Victories" on Japanese import from Amazon

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dublin Duck Dispensary

How many times have you heard the words “noise pop” and “Ireland” in the same sentence? Probably only once; My Bloody Valentine. Well now you can get your chalk out and draw a second nice big vertical line on your chalkboard under the “noise pop”/”genre” word-use-together count. Dublin Duck Dispensary is Bobby Aherne, a musician hailing from the said island who creates experimental twee-noise-pop. Fuzzy guitars, crunchy vocals and occasionally jingling glockenspiels combined with his diverse influences ranging from Animal Collective to ABBA make for a fascinating listen. He's even got a Mamma Mia cover on his Myspace, well worth a listen, as well as The Last Bottle In The World, which sounds like The Strokes through a lo-fi noise filter.

DDD go underappreciated by locals; having been branded “truly frightening”. However; anyone who’s heard of No Age et al will know that the kids (me included) love this stuff. His 7th EP "Yykes Basket" is now available.

MP3: Dublin Duck Dispensary - The Last Bottle In The World
MP3: Dublin Duck Dispensary - Mamma Mia
Purchase: How to buy Yykes Basket EP

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Game Needed Me

Not many outfits can master the craft of creating near perfect emotion filled songs without playing a single gig or even having a definite line-up. However; The Game Needed Me seem to take these things in their stride. TGNM is a collaborative studio project consisting Cheltenham’s finest musicians, producers and promoters (Tim Rowing-Parker, Joe Summers, Jim Lockey, Geoff Cox & Rob Kimber). It is hard to put TGNM into a single genre, elements of maths rock (particularly in their song Nothing True) accompanying quirky vocals, piano and riffs that are verging on twee (see their song The Tooth Diaries) with the more upbeat Squares sounding like a more edgy slice of math pop. TGNM clearly have bountiful talent; their songs are beautifully well-thought-out. At times Jim and Joe’s vocals almost clash, yet the songs are all completely cohesive. Their EP will be released on February 23rd, and is currently streamable online.

From what I’ve heard, it's clear Arcade Fire and Minus The Bear are major overarching influences (The Game Needed Me being a Minus the Bear song), with other songs having scatterings of other influences to make them each unique. In summary, well structure out and tuneful snippets of math-twee goodness. Can you ask for more?

MP3: The Game Needed Me - Squares