Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lovvers/Male Bonding @ Cowley Club

Too late to be an album review, so it's now a gig review. A couple of weeks ago I went to Brighton to see Lovvers and Male Bonding. The gig took place at the hip hangout The Cowley Club. Seemed like the Brighton version of The Smell or something. I got the impression it's like a secret club when there's not a gig there, and they have a book section and they have food available on thursday evenings. Only thursday evenings. The venue had loads of naked barbies hanging from the ceiling too, and I'm pretty sure I was stood next to the Blood Red Shoes drummer.

The Human Race kicked shit off by creeping everyone with a constant high pitched feedback noise which didn't stop at all, on top of some sweet lo-fi post-punk jams. The vox dude stood in the audience doing his spoken word like he was not in the band and walked around staring at the floor. They were actually pretty good except for said feedback, it hurt a bit.

After not much waiting around at all, Male Bonding came along, fiddled about with some really echoy microphones and started. They seemed to play a lot of songs, i knew about half of them. A lot of people seemed to dig them. I overheard the guy next to me saying that all he knew about Male Bonding was that they were signed to Subpop. I guess it's a good thing that they signed to them, as they are now a discussion point, or something. They were also pretty tight, unlike a lot of other lo-fi noisepop bands, who just seem to wing it. They always seem to have some cool screen printed merch. I picked up a tote bag.

Another short wait and Lovvers were off, vocalist Sean fell around in front of me and pushed himself backwards into the crowd and did a little crowd surfing. They were admittedly a little more messy than Male Bonding, I noticed quite a few mistakes but it was FUN. I was hoping that the singer would do some of the creepy YEEEEEAHs he did at the end of every song at Reading this year (I didn't go, I just saw on the videos), but he didn't. Not much else to say about Lovvers except they were awesome.

MP3: Male Bonding - Nothing Will Change (Live)
MP3: Lovvers - Society Jam

BUY: Male Bonding/Fair Ohs - Split Live Tape
BUY: Lovvers - OCD GO GO GO GIRLS 12" via Norman Records

Monday, October 5, 2009

Maths - Descent

Maths are a band I have adored for years now, I have followed them as they slowly progressed into the band they are now. Last year they released a much acclaimed split EP with Throats which brought them to the public's attention, they even gained a feature in NME putting them firmly in the “bands to watch out for” section for anyone who likes decent music. However after the release of the EP, a tour and a bunch of spread out dates over the country the band seemed to disappear into the woodwork, apparently determined to finish university/ other boring life stuff. After a few months of inactivity the band announced they were writing for their first full-length, something which had me jumping over the moon. The band opted to go the full DIY route and record it all themselves which only attracts me more to the record.

The album itself is a grower. I've only had it in my hands for a few days now but it hasn't stopped playing in my ears since then. Every time I listen to it I understand and enjoy it more. From the harrowing volume swells of the opening few bars of the first track “Belief In Sorrow” to the sobering piano melodies that introduce the closing track “Belief In Hope” I believe Maths' latest offering “Descent” is simply the best thing to happen to screamo in a long time. The record doesn't stop between songs and is better heard as a whole rather than the 12 separate tracks, that way you can hear how the album progresses and how the songs intertwine. Compared to the EP, musically ,you can hear some definite progression, conceptually-the EP is no comparison. The heavy parts are heavier, the melodic parts are more melodic and you will undoubtedly have certain phrases of songs stuck in your head for ages. The guitar work is a lot more proficient, it's still the frenetic chords sliding all over the fretboard and the drumming is even more chaotic yet still regimented. The thing that makes this album for me and what makes it a step up from the split EP is that it's so much more than just techy-screamo, it's unbelievably epic as well. Tracks like “To Be Frozen” and “Branches” have a certain quality to them that makes the hairs on your arm stand up and make you truly fall for the band.

“Descent” certainly does live up to expectations and I genuinely hope it takes them far especially as it has an appeal to far more than just a screamo audience. This one hasn't even hit the shops yet but I'm excited for any future releases. It comes out on Holy Roar Records on the 9th of November, until then you can hear a couple of tracks from the album on their Myspace and make sure you check out their dates as well!

MP3: Maths - Boundless
BUY: Maths - Descent CD for £7