Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Wot Gorilla?


Imagine, if you will, a vast melting pot of influences, of vibrancy and deliberate musical sleight of hand, dashed together with the inventiveness of Cap 'n Jazz, the forthright post-hardcore edge of Kidcrash and the arithmetic adroitness of Seattle's Minus The Bear. Jellify this and set it to mould, the resulting sonic experience will sound rather close to Halifax's own Wot Gorilla? a band who, by their own description, sound like a 'schizophrenic patchwork not clever enough to be given the illustrious prog tag.'

Wot Gorilla? formed in late 2008, kicking out their first release - a self titled EP in the last few weeks. This record has scope and vision aplenty, sidewinding guitar tones that gradate seamlessly between the less astringent parts of an Algernon Cadwallader tune and the aforementioned Minus The Bear. Keyboardist, guitarist and lead singer Mat Haigh dispels lightly baked, harmonious vocals throughout - for me, conjuring at times an almost Head Automatica, Daryl Palumbo-esque croon, with less gravel, more tranquility.

The opening track 'We Go Way Back Like Spinal Cords And Car Seats' soars with melody from the offset, and no great effort is needed to keep the audience's attention as turn-on-a-dime drumbeats and fretboard intricacies relay more than enough flirting with the frayed edges of the American west indie-rock sound to keep my foot tapping. The four minute dreamflow of 'Qwerty' feels like a gentle caress for the most part, breaking into a partnership of diligent picking and lofty, snowfall vocals, eventually cantering to a finish.

Whether this is self indulgent music is irrelevant, the outpouring of technical proficiency does well to marry itself to the fabulous melody on offer throughout this record. The hot and sticky harmonies are by no means gimmicky, the wondrous segueing between themes steers clear of the 'verse chorus verse' pop punk snake pit, and the lyrics display a more than candid view of the world, picking up on the ever present Joy Division worship that populates much of the modern music landscape, and tailing off with poignant self reflection.

This record is self released, imbibed with enough confidence to stand tall without swallowing itself within the music. I highly recommend this, a great first outing from a group that I hope continues to impress me with their delicious brand of post hardcore-come-indie rock.

3 of the 5 tracks from the EP are currently streaming on their Myspace

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Hevy Festival


Year after year, the twin behemoths that are Reading & Leeds lurch onward and onward, carving up a spectacular finish to the years festival season, dwarfing any 'lesser' festivals as they cry for attention. Every now and then the order is bucked, particuarly when a smaller festival creates as big as a stir as Kent's 'Hevy Festival' has managed to in recent months.

Hevy Festival takes place at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park between the 6th - 8th of August and with a such a stellar line-up it screams to be considered as much more than a pre-amble to late August's Reading & Leeds weekend.

Taking to the four stages will be the legendary New York Post Hardcore kingpins Glassjaw, a certain headliner along with London's very own Punk supremos Gallows. The Rock Sound stage sees a cocophony of mutant sound as the headbanging influence of Napalm Death and Sepultura collides with the nimble pop sensibilities of Dananananaykroyd and the gymnastic awe of Pulled Apart By Horses.

Further line-up announcements have seen Canadians Fucked Up added to the bill, along with Comeback Kid, The Subways, The King Blues, Rolo Tomassi and Madina Lake. A thoroughly eclectic mix and match of Punk, Metal and Alternative Rock.

Tickets are priced at £69, see for more details.

Rogue Wave


Notable Indie Rock mainstays Rogue Wave released their fourth opus 'Permalight' not two months ago, to a rapture of heated praise. The group of five musicians from Oakland, CA, blend together a dreamy soundscape of mid tempo pops and crackles with the introspective lyrical heartbreak of lead vocalist Zack Rogue, in such a way that seperates them from other notable scene luminaries such as Fruit Bats, Nada Surf and The Shins.

Permalight sees a rejuvinated band format disinclined towards rehashing an already well explored sound, and as a record 'Permalight' pushes itself further from the acoustic veined rock-rooted harmonies of 05's 'Descended Like Vultures' and grasps hold of the electro-synth induced habit already so very championed by acts such as The Postal Service. Automated drum beats and pulsating keyboard twinges shoot this band with a heavy dose of twee pop and sunshine, sure to be a welcome inclusion in the eyes of the Owl City fanbase.

As a whole this record cannot be lambasted for it's electronic switcheroo, bands progress, bands experiment, and so the tapestry is woven. Chock full of good weather tunes, this record has a good chance of clinging on into the summer months where it could remain as a soundtrack to many people's festival season.