Donovan Wolfington – Stop Breathing

There hasn’t been a lot of posts from my side recently. But there are times in a life when other things seem more important.

Donovan Wolfington

Have I ever told you, that girls in bands make every band more interesting? Well just think about Sonic Youth or the Pixies. Anyway my point being a band playing Emo or Indie, with distorted guitars, feedback and kind of lo-fi-ish vocals, add some female harmonies and you’ve got me interested.

Donovan Wolfington are a band from New Orleans in the US. They play a great blend of the beforementioned music. When you are into some doodely guitars, with brizzling guitars and crashing drums, you definitely can’t go wrong with this band. They just released their new album via digitally via their bandcamp page. It will be released in a few months phyiscally via Community Records.

Continue reading Donovan Wolfington – Stop Breathing

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Olde Pine

Olde Pine

all we know is where were going
but its a place i haven’t found

Sometimes you come across some music by chance, by accident and you keep sticking with it. Sometimes you can’t get hold of a record – blimey, I’d pay a fair bit to get Olde Pines two EPs on vinyl – so you have to retreat to listening to music on the web. I keep coming back to their site. Listening to their songs. They are worth it!

While a lot of emo records come with a very melancholic tone and mood, Olde Pine manage to keep it upbeat throughout all of their songs. That said, the lyrics are a lot less jolly than the music leads you to believe. Break-ups, end of a relationship stories, growing up are reoccuring topics. But that seems to be a fact for most other current emo releases. So lyrically Olde Pine don’t stand out from the crowd. So what makes this band unique? Continue reading Olde Pine

Joyce Manor – Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired

Joyce Manor

Two chords are all it takes to get drawn into this record. What follows is a quick fix of lo-fi pop no wave teenie punk galore. 9 Songs – less than 15 Minutes. If the band wanted to make this album some kind of statement, then well done guys.

Usually I can listen to the album in its entity twice on my way to work and believe me, it’s not a long way to work. I love putting this album on in the morning. Especially when it is freezing outside. It gives you a right kick up the arse. Full blown noise, crashing drums, rumbling bass and soar vocals. The major difference to the odd punk band from around the block does exist though. It is the melodies and harmonies that lie hidden underneath the carpet of dirt and dust. I guess it is this sexy, unsexy appearance of the music that turns my inner music-loving-girly-instincts on. Continue reading Joyce Manor – Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired

Mineral (or how this is not the last post about this band)

She stepped outside into the morning air
To watch the cars go by and let the sun dry her hair

It’s cold outside. Winter has returned after misleading us into believing it had just been here for a short stint. Apparently it just took a little detour round the corner, like a hurricane, keeping all quiet in the midst of it before letting all hell loose again. I am living in the middle of the biggest city in Germany and one would guess that snow is not a common good given all the global warming etc. Ha, how foolish a mistake to believe.

I will always associate the kind of music Mineral play with life in the USA. Somewhere in the Mid-West, where you can’t get from one place to another without using a car. Some place with lonely wooden barns painted in red, a windmill attached, fields of grain along straight lanes of black tarmac. Cliché basically. But this is what I feel, when listening to those sounds. You can feel the summer dirt crawling up your nose, the dry earth under your palms when you sit on the brown, dried-out grass, staring at the blue sky and the few white clouds above. This music exemplifies the “other” America. The one us Europeans hardly think of, when referring to the USA. Continue reading Mineral (or how this is not the last post about this band)

Just Went Black – Embracing Emptiness

Some things just won’t go away. You can spend days, weeks, months or even years not thinking about them, but they will haunt you. Somewhere in the back of your head, they are stuck, left a brand or just vanish and reappear like a tiny ghost that haunts the abandoned building at the edge of your town. At some point it might even become a tale of the past, a fading memory of once cherished times. But in the end, it will never leave you.

Just Went Black

I remember moving to Liverpool in 2007. It was the first time I left home to live all by myself. All I took with me was a suitcase, a backpack, my electric guitar, a sleeping bag, and a brick of cigarettes and a bottle of Jameson I picked up at the airport before heading over to the UK. The first few hours in what was going to be home for the next year, felt awkward. It was a flat consisting of 8 bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room. I didn’t see anybody for two days. The first thing I checked after dropping my belongings into my tiny room (it was not bigger than 8 square meters, but the bathroom was about the same size, I even had to close the d00r to be able to open the wardrobe) was the fridge in the kitchen. I thought to myself that I might be the first person that had moved in. Inside was a packet of ready salted butter and a can of Fosters. So I wasn’t all by myself then.

My internet connection did not work until two or three days later. I did not have a clue what to do. I did not know anybody. I did not know the English – and believe me, Scousers are one particular bunch of people – or what they spend their days doing. So I turned to one thing, I was familiar with: My MP3 Player. It was the USB-type that you could directly plug into your computer. I bought it off one of my schoolmates a few months before. The storage was 2 GB, which wasn’t an aweful lot, and I had only five or six albums on it. I think one album was from Alkaline Trio, one was probably Fuel For The Hate game by Hot Water Music. I don’t remember exactly what else was on the little thing, but I do vividly remember one album. It was more of an EP, really. It was Embracing Emptiness by Just Went Black. I honestly cannot remember how I got hold of this EP, I guess some of the drinking that took place in the years that followed these first few days in the UK might have played a certain part in that, but this EP was like heaven.

we start to question our actions, question ourselves

I guess I could argue that hardcore music helped me a lot in taking a different approach to life. Maybe it is this analogy I could draw with my three years in Liverpool. I learned a lot about myself, I learned a lot about the adult life, about who I wanted to become and who I was at that time. I realised that I had made a lot of mistakes, that I behaved like a dickhead. One of the things that hurt most when growing up, is realizing what kind of a prick you were. I always thought of myself as being quite mature. Especially when it came to girls and relationships with them, I always thought, I acted humble and mature. I was very wrong. Truth is, that I was no better than any other guy at school. Maybe I was even worse. My inflationary use of the word “love” after a few weeks I had a crush on someone did not help anybody. To cut a long story short, I didn’t make myself a very popular figure with girls by the time I left school. I thought leaving the country wasn’t only a brilliant opportunity to study abroad and pep up my own CV, learn a language properly etc. I also felt it was an opportunity to start completely from scratch. No preconceptions, no horror stories about how I behaved like a dick, how desperately I was screaming for attention and so on and so forth.

Finally it did not change anything. Even though I might have changed over the course of the three years I spent abroad, I could not change who I was. Also I wished for it to happen, it didn’t. It did not come to me in a flash, nor did I only realise this just now. It was a slow process taking place deep within myself. I don’t think one can change the person one is. Not completely anyway.

it`s no compromise to trust regardless the burden of the past

After all i think I turned out quite a decent person. It took some time to get used to growing up. Now it takes time to get used to living an adult life filled with responsibilities and so on and so forth. It also took some time getting used to who I was.
What this has got to do with this records you might ask yourself (if you haven’t given up on reading by now). As I mentioned earlier, this EP was the soundtrack to the first days and nights. I spent them listening to these 6 songs waking up, slam-dancing in my tiny room during the day and before I fell asleep. The sheer power of the songs, the anger in the vocals brought me to life whenever I needed reminding that I’m not by myself. Besides the true hardcore moments this record cherishes precious melodic moments. The end of “Twice as Sure” is almost as powerful as the whole song even though it doesn’t consist of much more than a guitar reverb. It is the fitting end to a tour de force of anger, hope, compassion, friendship and solitude. Maybe you’ll think it’s depressing or sad, but it gave me so much hope and reliance.

I never got to see Just Went Black live, which I regret when watching the videos in this article. They broke up a little while ago. Head over to their bandcamp page to listen to their whole discography. If you’re hooked on that sound, visit their facebook page for info on their new bands. They’re well worth checking out!

You Blew It! – Grow Up, Dude

Before you continue to read this article, please do me the favor and click the play button and listen to the bloody album.

Thanks. Now we can start.

You Blew It! – Grow up, Dude

From time to time, there are albums that just blow you away. They remind you of better times, take you somewhere you think you had long forgotten. When I first put this album on my record player, with the needle crackling quietly until it found the groove, I was nothing more but curious to hear what would come out of my speakers. I never imagined I would be in for such a treat.

I was home, incomplete though.

Yes the album starts slow, a little plucking of a guitar and a thin voice. But as soon as the lyrics above have it my ear, I know immediately what I had been missing. This is it. An album about what I always wanted to say when growing up. Countless hours in a practice room with my friends all of a sudden made so much sense. If this album had been around 10 years ago it would have been the soundtrack to my youth, to growing up, to falling in love for the first time, to my first cigarette, to my first nights out drinking sweet alcoholic drinks and not caring about living a serious life. When I think about it now, I bloody miss that time. It is amazing how every single song on this album holds at least one line that I would have loved to have written in my diary, if I had ever written one that is. The sense of growing up that this album transports is so vivid and colorful that it should be written in ink on every teenagers body. Anyway, before I get too carried away with the lyrics (but fucking hell, they manage to just not fall off the knife’s edge into the melted cheesepot that is lingering for some fresh bread) there is more to this record that makes it so damn exciting. Continue reading You Blew It! – Grow Up, Dude

BBC Longlist

Winter has been coming. I am not sure why, but looking at the BBC’s Longlist for the ones to watch in the next year, I feel we have reached a pinnacle of nuisance. Bloody hell, what is going on with new music?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the list is very British. Not necessarily in terms of the origin of the bands but far more in terms of the musical output that seems to have managed the cut. A disco bouncer (A*M*E), dreamy post-dubstep that we had two years ago in the form of SBTRKT or James Blake (AlunaGeorge), drugged up rap (Angel Haze), Florence + the old rapper (Arlissa / Nas), the complete Ms Mrs rip-off (CHVRCHES), an 80s band that has been creating some buzz throughout 2012 (Haim), a cockney stoner (King Krule), the next Ben Howard without the surfer edge (Kodaline), a minimalistic Adele (Laura Mvula), the new Mumford & Sons with a bit of distortion (Little Green Cars), the new Vaccines (Palma Violets), a five years too late version of Vampire Weekend (Peace), a female fronted Joy Division (Savages), the new R’n’B superstar that is just at least a year too late on this list (The Weeknd) and a piano Damian Rice (Tom Odell). As you see, I’ve managed to go through the whole list without creating excitement for any of those bands on the list.

I really hold the BBC in high regard, their endless endeavor for finding and promoting local talent is indisputable. This list though, is a confession of failure and should be considered a massive cry for help from the music industry. If those bands and artists are to shape the next year I sincerely hope someone will either shoot me now or put me into hibernation until next year is over.

Music, Pop, Culture and stuff

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