Oceans are Zeroes “Oceans are Zeroes” ( Independent, 2017)

Oceans are Zeroes impinge a power-pop sensibility on the hugest Mogwai-meets-Mercury Rev songs imaginable creating a wall of rock sound backdrop behind high and steely vocals. The initial effect is to be bowled over by a veritable tsunami of sound, breaking on the beaches and throwing out sparkling rockets rather than more humdrum flotsam and jetsam. It’s infectious and initially exhilarating, such an insistent rush of music. Continue reading “Oceans are Zeroes “Oceans are Zeroes” ( Independent, 2017)”

Dire Wolves “Excursions to Cloudland” (Beyond Beyond is Beyond, 2017)

Four tracks do not an EP make – not when they time-in at up to 12 minutes – so make no mistake, this release from Dire Wolves is a fully fledged album. Excursions to Cloudland is a mostly instrumental excursion into the sphere of tightened up jams, cut with hypnotic riffs and looping bass runs. Dire Wolves pledge an allegiance to the Space-Rock ethos of Hawkwind, and with ever present chirps of violin and strange electronic bleepings on opener Enter Quietly there’s certainly a good nod to the line-up of that band which included Simon House. Continue reading “Dire Wolves “Excursions to Cloudland” (Beyond Beyond is Beyond, 2017)”

Hat Fitz and Cara on tour in May

Some might say that they are the odd couple of low-down pre-war style country Blues but the gutsy Australian guitarist and Irish-born Cara compliment each other perfectly. Admittedly some of the compliments are a bit backhanded or a trifle waspish, but it’s all in good part and in service to the music.  And what music – gorgeously gritty guitar and banjo with low down growled vocals from Hat Fitz and soaring vocals, whistles and all the percussion from Cara Robinson.  Continue reading “Hat Fitz and Cara on tour in May”

Tonight we ride! Tom Russell has UK dates

Yes, god damn it, Tom Russell will be returning to these fair shores so late in the Fall that we may as well just go ahead and call it a Winter tour.  As usual he’ll be playing dates in all the major cities of the realm, and Farncombe.  Anyone know what the hell it is with Farncombe anyway, God Damn It? Tom Russell is still riding high on the acclaim that met his last release – the truly epic and majestic The Rose of Roscrae – which has garnered universal praise for its depth of storytelling and superb song selection – gaining a coveted 9/10 right here on Americana-UK with the comment that “Tom Russell hits the button with this saga of the American West”.  It’s Cowboy tales, and more, much like Tom Russell himself.  Continue reading “Tonight we ride! Tom Russell has UK dates”

Thad Kopec “The Shadow and the Caster” (Independent, 2017)

I found myself thinking of Ursula Le Guinn’s Earthsea, where young magician Ged unwittingly unleashes a dark shadow which pursues him relentlessly – until he finally faces up to it and discovers it is a part of his own being. The more prosaic interpretation of The Shadow and the Caster would be the literal one – of the shadows we all cast when we stand out in the light. So why the musings on otherworldly fantasy tales ? Continue reading “Thad Kopec “The Shadow and the Caster” (Independent, 2017)”

Big Surr “In Business” (Independent, 2017)

Being in love is such fun, isn’t it? When it stops being you against the world and starts being us against the world. To be understood. And supported. And to go cruising in a car laughing at all the poor saps around you who haven’t got – and never will have – this glorious indestructible shield against the world. In Business opens with Alright, which freeze dries those feelings and drops them in your pocket. With her perfect disdainful popular girl vocals Helen Van gives the restrained cool version of these feelings, with the understated “Since I’ve been with you I’ve been alright, I’ve been alright” whilst the underlying guitar hooks provided by the band betray the thrill down the spine truth of her emotions.  Continue reading “Big Surr “In Business” (Independent, 2017)”

Adult Karate “Indoors” (Plug Research, 2017)

This might be a hard sell, and to be straight from the outset there is not a shred of what most people would define as Americana in this release. Nor is there a touch of roots, or for that matter rocking. Adult Karate – which is for all intents and purposes KC Maloney – is an all electric band : yes, we’re talking synthesisers here. Continue reading “Adult Karate “Indoors” (Plug Research, 2017)”