all that’s left for you is doubt…

Not long ago, I featured a purely ferocious band out of Manchester called Delphic and their single Counterpoint with its beautiful arpeggios, bleeps and blips. It’s great to see that they’ve been getting a lot of attention recently. They’ve scored a pretty sweet gig as openers for fellow Mancunians, Doves, on their UK tour and now comes a brand spankin new single simply called Doubt.

Doubt is Delphic’s signature pop moment to date. Booming drums, an absolutely ridiculous bassline and a bangin’ chorus. One listen and you’d think you just heard a New Order track with a more melodic Kele Okereke from Bloc Party on vocals. The promotional film accompanying the single also further demonstrates Delphic’s run of striking videos. This is a band that truly understands the importance of the entire package. Sparkling electronic pop coupled with videos that are worth watching is quite the combination.

These guys are going places…

Delphic on Facebook
Delphic on MySpace
Delphic on Twitter

“Doubt” by Delphic. Taken from the forthcoming Polydor release, “Acolyte”

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these guys can’t get huge fast enough…

It’s a good time to live in the Brooklyn area these days. A wealth of talent just seems to be springing up from every crack in the pavement from Bushwick to Red Hook to ’round the corner from the Kellogg’s Diner in my dear Williamsburg. There just seems to be a new solid local band doing their thing and better than most that have come down the pike. This is especially true in the electro genre. The rest of New York City better step its game up because right now BK is the spot thanks in no small part to bands like Infernal Devices.

This Brooklyn duo writes ab fab electronic pop ditties that are both danceable and head-boppers. Theirs is a sound that is rooted in 80s electro but is also bursting at the seams with classic songwriting sensibility. The song featured here called Fast Enough illustrates their sound to a T. Put this bad boy on in dimly lit room or dance floor, close your eyes and let your body sway. Almost as if it were the result of a mix of Technique-era New Order and Kavinsky fronted by Jeremy Greenspan of the Junior Boys, Fast Enough has already found itself burrowing a hole in my head for the next month. Not like it’s a bad thing, mind you.

If you find yourself loving this song as much as I do, It needn’t be said that I had better see you at their next gig which is next Wednesday the 21st at Union Pool in Williamsburg as the Devices play the CMJ Music Festival.  Word.

Infernal Devices on MySpace
Infernal Devices on Twitter
Infernal Devices on Facebook

“Fast Enough” by Infernal Devices

in the limelight – white lies…

White Lies

To Lose My Life

Fiction/Geffen

 

We have arrived. Enough of all the sweet talk. Tired of the accolades bestowed upon the four singles released to date. By now, you know the record went to number one in the UK charts and the NME tour is underway with the Soft Pack and Friendly Fires as I type. The question remains: Is this album really any good? The answer is below, Suede-heads, so let’s push things forward, shall we?

1. Death 5.01

The debut record begins with the debut single and what a single it is. I’ve spoken about the song before but let me remind about my feelings on it. Mega-single. Simply said. Dark, menacing but yet there remains a glimmer of hope. A light at the end of the tunnel, if we must add a cliche. It’s got what you want in a pop song. A great set-up, vocals that make you raise your head upon first line and then…the big chorus payoff. A nice little build-up to the most “rock” sounding guitars we’ve heard in a pop band in quite a while. One thing we’ve come to know about White Lies is that they know how to write anthemic choruses that stick to your gut and it all started here.

2. To Lose My Life 3.10

Speaking of anthemic choruses, it doesn’t get much better than Let’s grow old together and die at the same time! It should be noticed by now that this trio learned their music history well. You want to write a good record? Start it off with a bang. The title track and third single wastes no time in seducing your ears and keeping up the pace. This is a dark dancefloor stomper for shadow dancers everywhere. Goth kids, I’m looking at you! This is a song that will make you finally put away the Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy records for a while and tune into the present.  A love song for the hopeless. When there’s nowhere else to turn, we turn to each other and it’s all we need.

3.  A Place To Hide 5.02

Upon first listen, you’d start to think that this song would quite nicely on the second Editors record before realising this is much more immediate and intense than anything off that record. If nothing else, this song confirms that Harry McVeigh can really sing. The song continues the theme of the first two tracks in its examination of death and the impact is has on how one looks at life. We want to hide away from our past, our mistakes, the fact it will all end at some point… or in the context of the record: After staring death in the face with your fists clenched, the gravity of it all finally weighs you own and you realise you’re no different than anyone else. 

I need to lay off eating so late before bed…

4. Fifty On Our Foreheads 4.22

Yup. More darkness. More death. Fear sets in even more. This song features some of my favourite lyrics on the record.  For example: “We were a dozen to the project with a galaxy of questions and all we heard was lies about the truth – No choice but to be obedient like prisoners of war caught on the wrong side of morality and youth.” The song rides a wave of keyboards which remind of Movement-era New Order but on a more fully-formed scale. These boys learned their lessons well.

5. Unfinished Business 4.19

Single number two and quite possibly the darkest song on record. More death. It must suck to have been murdered by your girlfriend like that. Think about that the next time you dance to this song. Beginning with an eerie organ and McVeigh’s crackling croon, the song tells a tale of our protagonist visiting his love except for the fact he’s a ghost. If it’s any solace, it should go great in a goth club. One caveat though: It features the weakest chorus of the four single released to date.

6.  E.S.T.  5.04

One of the harder tracks on the record along with Death and one that saddens me the most. Somber doesn’t begin to describe this one. Our protagonist is on death’s door (what else?) and is telling his loved one he is leaving behind to carry on but keep him in their memory. Sung to a plodding beat if the line, “I’m only going where you’ll be someday so don’t say rest in peace in your prayers” doesn’t get to you then you simply have no pulse and that’s the end of it.

7.  From The Stars 4.53

Understand that I’m operating under the assumption that most of you have heard the singles to this point and vocally, Harry McVeigh reminds me of a young Julian Cope. If you don’t know who he is then go look up the Teardrop Explodes and come back to me. For the rest of you lot, the comparison I feel is more than justified and it really shows here on From The Stars. The song itself is a solid midtempo track that keeps wiht the overall theme of the record but shifts to a third person point-of-view telling of a rich man wrestling with his personal demons after appearing indifferent during a funeral earlier in the day. 

8. Farewell To The Fairground 4.18

The fourth single taken from the record and this one does not speak about death! This one is another for the shadow dancers in the club swaying and pumping their fists in the air to another great chrous. The song decries the deterioration of a town and all the suburban dreams that went with it. I take it back. I guess this song does have to do with death, after all. My bad. 

9. Nothing To Give 4.12

After all that, we finally come to a slower piece. The comedown from FTTF, if you will. Nearing the end of the record it almost appears that we’ve reached the point of no return. Hope is gone. Energy is better off being saved then spent in trying. Regrets are many and time is short….and not she’s leaving. 

10.  The Price Of Love 4.39

or…another song about death or… the record’s last gasp, whichever you prefer.  Love the strings in this one and the highlight is Harry’s plaintive vocal especially in the final chorus. Great way to end the record.

 

So once again. Is this record any good? Let me say this. This is one of the best debut record I’ve heard in quite a while. The best thing I can say about it is that it doesn’t sound like a debut record. White Lies have written a record that most bands wouldn’t get to until album number three when their development matures to the point where they have found their message and are able to display the confidence in the music and themselves. White Lies have already done it. The record has the songs, the hooks, the lyrical maturity and that intangible quality to make the listener fall in love all over again. The last trait is one that has been missing for quite a while and one that even an optimist like myself was fearing was gone forever in this day and age of blog favourites and the disdain for the slow burn. 

I could go on and on about this record but let me just say that I don’t expect this record to sell millions in America. It’s too dark, too multi-faceted, too English and too intelligent for a brand of listener who is more interested in Miley Cyrus and American Idol than a band unafraid of examining the more morbid and macabre side of life. 

One more thing. Are they original? Heavens, no. That small issue is rendered meaningless when a band manages to write songs as good as these here. The production by Ed Buller and Max Dinghel capture the essence of what made the dark post-punk bands sound so good. If you were a kid who grew up idolising bands like the Comsat Angels, Joy Division, New Order, the Wake, the Chameleons, the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes, meet your new favourite band. They simply have the goods. 




anyone afraid of dragons?

“here we start the dislocating
found so far from what we dream
hammered down and resurrected
we burn the scars of what we bring
and now an time of new beginning
alone the past will never end
you will never catch me thinking
it can ever be the same”

If you haven’t yet noticed, I’m an Anglophile. If I had a choice in the matter I’d have been born right around the mid to late fifties in England so that way I’d have formed a band like all the other disaffected youth combing the streets of Leeds, Manchester, London, Liverpool, Bristol ot Sheffield. The talent pool was immense and much of the music that came out of the time frame helped to shape me and many others around the world in such beautiful music that ushered in a wave of limitless influence. 
One band who learned their lessons very well is known as Dragons. Informed by such luminaries like Joy Division, New Order, & Depeche Mode, Dragons come to us with a healthy dose of aggression in songs like the title track from their debut record Here Are The Roses, or Condition as well as more tender moments in songs such as Where Is The Love. With solid arrangements and an emphasis on songwriting to accompany the sonic backdrop, this is yet another band from across the pond that begs to be ringing in your ears. Pick up the record now here and see for yourself. For more info, be their friend on MySpace. After all, it is the place for friends, innit? 🙂

there goes the fear, here come (the) doves…

Thank heavens! The Doves , or simply Doves, are back! It’s been a long time since the epic Some Cities record and if the first single Jetstream is any indicator whatsoever, this may be the most eclectic and perhaps best Doves record yet. Channeling some serious New Order vibes, Jetstream is the most danceable Doves song to date for sure. I’d be very interested in hearing the remixes to come from this! 

The single is taken from the band’s fourth record entitled Kingdom Of Rust, out 6 April in the UK. The USA release date is the familiar TBA. If you hurry, the band has Jetstram available as a free download on their website for two weeks only. A word of caution though: I’ve tried to get on the site and it’s been crazy busy so if you get yours, let me know!

Kingdom Of Rust tracklisting:

‘Jetstream’
‘Kingdom Of Rust’
‘The Outsiders’
‘Winter Hill’
‘10.03’
‘The Greatest Denier’
‘Birds Flew Backwards’
‘Spellbound’
‘Compulsion’
‘House Of Mirrors’
‘Lifelines’

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