Single Review: Les Techno – Closer Look

Les Techno

Les Techno borrows from the best of the eighties to create a track of confidence and swagger that’s fun and frivolous in equal measure.

Les Techno has played and sampled many different types of music throughout his career, and not just as an artist himself, but working with others to bring out the best in their music. Working with genres from hip-hop, to pop, to punk in the past, Les has decided to settle on an 80s pop vibe for new single Closer Look, which reminisces about the very best the decade has to offer.

Closer Look opens with spacey 80s synths that are full of David Bowie swagger and Duran Duran beats. This track really wouldn’t feel out of place amongst the greats of this era, but is also brought up to date with some newer production techniques that make it much crisper and emphatic. It even has slight hints of U2 and Bon Jovi as the guitar plays around the track, letting loose in eurythmics outbursts throughout (in fact, saying that, Eurythimics is another influence here).

Closer Look

Les’ vocals are really on point here, perfectly fitting in with the source material and dancing around the rhythm with a finesse and dexterity, as little hooks and nuances brighten up the track throughout.

Although Les has worked with hip-hop artists such as Run DMC and Mobb Deep in the past, there is no sign of any influence here, and instead he sticks relentlessly to a pop vibe. Maybe if he ventured out a little, it would have given the track more of an edge that it needs to really stand out on its own merits. This isn’t to say it’s not a decent song, as what it does, it does very well, with catchy pop connotations and a broad melody that really swings it forwards until it ascends into a mighty chorus.

The track ends by fading out in a typically 80s fashion with Les repeating over and over “The closer I look, the “deeper you hide”, playing on the record’s simplicity, but also getting his message across with verve and guile.

Closer Look is a love letter to everything great, musically, about the eighties, and you can tell the artist is having fun here. He does exactly what he sets out to do in creating a strong track that’s light and airy, and will have you looking back to some of the greats that are sadly not with us anymore. It’s a reminder of a decade with some outstanding and revolutionary music, and this is where the track undoubtedly draws its powers from.

Score: 3.5/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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Single Review: DannyDosha – Kelsey 2

DannyDosha

DannyDosha releases new single Kelsey 2, and with it we’re invited into a world of inventive melodies, clever contrasts, and inspired vocals.

DannyDosha (Daniel Maurice Barry) was always going to have an eclectic sound to his music. Growing up with a hip-hop producer as an uncle and a cousin as a mix-engineer, he had wide access to a plethora of musical influences, including old vinyl records ranging from Sade to Biggie, and anything in between. This influenced his tastes to no end, giving him a thirst for the many different music styles out there in the big wide world, and broadening his mind beyond whatever was in the charts at the time. It’s no wonder new single Kelsey 2 features an extensive number of influences, but what’s more intriguing is the way DannyDosha skillfully manipulates them into a track worthy of high accolades.

Kelsey 2

Kelsey 2 fades in with dirty guitar changing back and forth between four chords before DannyDosha’s echoed vocals sweep over the top menacingly. His hip-hop undertones and the vocal production help form the basis of the guitar based track, creating a uniquely experimental sound that’s almost psychedelic on the one side, and dark and mysterious on the other. The lyrics continue this atmosphere as DannyDosha sings of heartache and angst, with the listener able to hear the emotion and hurt throughout: “would you recognise my pain, could you pacify my pain”. The overall sound is a mix that’s rarely heard, drawing influence from guitar heroes gone by such as Prince and Jimi Hendrix, but pitting this against hip-hop undertones.

If you think it already sounds intriguing, half-way through the track is where it gets really interesting. Drums eventually make a grand entrance by being slower and akilter to everything previous, which makes it feel like they’re trying to drag the track forwards by the scruff of the neck. This juxtaposing of musical tones and rhythm shouldn’t work, but somehow it does; it makes your mind swim with an assault of ideas, contrasting speeds and layered vocals. An underlying guitar solo gradually sneaks in to defy normal melody once more, and tests the skill of the artist and production team to keep everything perfect so that it’s cleverly out of sync, but still appealing. You can tell Dannydosha’s been studying the ways of jazz to progress his music, as the off-beats and notes collide to create something beautiful. The track continues until everything suddenly syncs up at the very end, cutting out and leaving you wanting more.

Kelsey 2 is interesting, vibrant and refreshing. It’s not often you’ll here a track that features elements of rock n roll, hip-hop and Jazz that works so well. Everyone involved would have had to be at the top of their game to mix and produce the perfect off-key sound that keeps the listener guessing where the track will go next.  DannyDosha has hit on something really special here, and if Kelsey 2 is anything to go by, we’ve got a lot to look forward to from this artist.

Score: 5/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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Review: Solaya Love – Illustrious

Solaya Love

Solaya Love releases new record Illustrious, giving us a peek into her eighties obsession that’s brought bang up to date with strong production and a passion for EDM.

Solaya has always enjoyed her music since childhood, and not just listening, but figuring out how it all works. When she was young she’d have dreams of hearing songs, and wanted to learn music theory so she could write down all the melodies when she woke up. This obsession with not just enjoying music, but understanding it has led to the artist joining forces with producer and DJ John Atonic. With a similar affliction towards melodies, together, instead of using pre-made loops, the duo used software synthesizers to create sounds from scratch. This has all been brought together on new album Illustrious, where passion for music and the knowledge behind it has created a very interesting and seductive record.

Let It Go starts off with synthy piano and Solaya’s vocals sounding immediately alluring as she shows off a variety of ranges before the EDM beat kicks in. It’s a gentle start to the record with influences ranging from 80s pop to 90s R&B. Solaya uses her voice to great effect, raising it up to introduce a chorus that works really well.

Illustrious

I Like Music is where we really get to see the skill of Solaya and John Atonic combined with the software synthesisers really coming into play. The melody is hypnotic and the electronica is on point, with Solaya even throwing in a semi-rap reminiscent of Blondie’s Rapture. The track is based around the appeal and transience of music, but brought down to earth with simple lyrics and poppy tones.

Feels So Good starts off simple but soon enough the strange beat and intermittent vocals really take you over. The chorus is one of the strongest on the record and Solaya really gets into her groove with some sultry vocals brought up-to-date amongst clever production techniques reminiscent of Haim.

All Or Nothing’s is also worthy of note, with synthesized horns forming the basis of the melody as it strides around 80s bass before being enveloped in a chorus of heavy beats. There’s definite influences of Ellie Goulding here, but the 80s vibe really sets it apart.

Zen Up begins with a strangely scary voice stating “A lot of people say man up, I say Zen up” before dance beats kick in amongst influences of world music. Lyrics are based around heartache in love, and how this can be overcome by techniques of meditation. Sexy Silk then switches things up completely with some of the strongest vocals on the record amongst some of the most interesting production and melodies. Solaya bends the track to her will amongst sensual but tongue in cheek lyrics that work well against the drive of the track.

Never Waken ends the record in fine fashion with a live dance mix, showing the skill and understanding between Solaya and Atonic. Nothing is misplaced or feels bleak as the track makes great use of synths and sampling bass lines, with high hats used to great effect to push the song into a creatively overwhelming chorus that relies on anything but the norm.

Illustrious is an album of creative ideas that uses the 80s as its base, but brought into the present with impressive production and strong vocals. Solaya uses the beats to find rhythms for her voice to dance around in ways that others would find difficult, with the playful beats taking the listener on a melodic journey that’s always interesting. Solaya uses 80s influences to her advantage with Atonic able to second guess every note in the production, making Illustrious a very fun and exhilarating listen.

Score: 4/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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Review: Max Lee – Colors Of Noise

Max Lee

New Album Colors Of Noise from Max Lee bends the listener to its will as it takes you on a journey of psychedelica and experimental music through interesting but short-lived tracks.

Max Lee has never been one to conform to a popular structure, and new album Colors of Noise is testament to this. Spread over 18 tracks, the record charts a progressively experimental and psychedelic look into the artist’s world, drawing on influences of rock guitar and piano melodies to hold everything together. The shorter running time of tracks may confuse listeners at first, but it is all testament to Lee’s unconventional and brave way he creates music, with the a showcase of his unsatisfied and complacent attitude to life. This creates a beautifully turgid atmosphere throughout that Lee thrives on.

Finder’s Keeper, with its psychedelic guitar and reverb-laden vocals doesn’t throw you gently into the record, but allows you to know what to expect in the following tracks. The music and production is raw and ready, which helps the track push forwards on a beat of its own with all the energy and refinery you’d expect from the artist.  If you’re looking for influences here, think of a cross between Lenny Kravitz and The Strokes.

Colors Of Noise

No Debt is a completely different beast altogether. Being slow and sultry at first, gentle guitar strings are gradually built up before steady and intelligent drums are added to settle things down. Lee once again shows off his patience in setting up a track before it disappears as quickly as it’s begun. In fact, this is true for many of the songs on the album, with the longest being around the 3 minute mark, but many around 1 minute. With a great resilience, the artist revels in going against the norm and has a willingness to move away from the conformity of song structure, allowing more ideas to flow through tracks with shorter playing times.

Another interesting theme throughout the record is snippets of randomly mixed in conversations and sounds. This helps create an unusual conformity to the tracks which is used as a buffer to make the shorter track running times seem more coherent. History is testament to this idea with light and airy tones sitting well against the faster pace, and almost whispered vocals against a live sound draw you in and paint a picture that a more produced track wouldn’t.

2livealife changes things up with edgy drums and a more electronic style. The track feels like being lost in a dream as Lee takes you on a journey through a musical wilderness of sounds and ideas. SXE uses the similar ideas, but takes this to another level being devoid of many vocals with heavily distorted sounds creating a feeling of being lost in a forest of experimental haziness. It won’t be for everyone but it’s full of clever instances that must have been fun to create.

Forever draws influences from later work by British band Radiohead, with strong guitar work and rock ‘n’ roll melodies ever present against mysterious but well structured sounds, whereas BTWN manages to break up the taliend of the record nicely by using a more hiphop/electronica vibe with a steady piano beat keeping everything in check. It features a plethora of ideas, and you can really hear the pain within Lee’s vocals as it leads to a fantastic ‘drop’ into the chorus that works really well.

Part Of Everything feels like a missed opportunity as the track fails to lead anywhere compelling or noticeably different from the prior musical snippets, but the record does end on a high with Breath. Once again we’re allowed to let our imaginations take over as Lee swims his way through a heavy atmosphere of sound that gradually clears into piano-laden riffs. This leads us away from the darkness and to vacant attitudes of life amongst catchings of conversations: ”it’s just a part of the lifecycle”, we here over and over as the track progresses. It’s a beautiful end to the record and a track Lee should be proud of.

Colors Of Noise is an impressive work of ideas that, for the most, manages to throw together fragmented ideas into beautiful wholes. The low-running track times allow Lee to constantly experiment with ideas throughout, and although at times it feels certain themes are repeated, on the whole this works well to show off the artist’s talent for structure amongst chaos. It would have been nice to be able to pick out more lyrics amongst the singer’s heavily covered vocals, but at the same time this may take away from the visualisation of the tracks that bend and warp their way through the listener’s mind. Colors of Noise is a twisted fantasy ride, and Max Lee has truly written this record for no one else other than himself, which is commendable.

Score: 3.5/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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EP Review: J’Moris – Extra EP

jmoris

J’Moris releases his new EP ‘Extra’, focuses on trap beats set against a southern drawl, creating an impressive sound that fits the artists vocals perfectly.

If you want to listen to a rapper brimming with confidence at the moment, look no further than J’Moris. Being born in Fort Worth, Texas during the 90s had a huge influence on the rapper, and his southern drones and exuberance take over on the tracks he creates, playing an important part in the music. Like many an artist,, J’Moris is a victim of circumstance. He allows his background to flow through the Extra EP, drawing upon his upbringing against a crack epidemic landscape, and honouring the way family and friends helped him ‘play the game’ to keep his nose clean as much as possible in a tough landscape.

EP-titled track Extra entices us in with high hats and electronic trap beats set against bass-laden synths and scattered samples. As J’moris’ vocals kick in we’re reminded of all the confidence and drive the rapper has in bucket loads. His southern drawl is immediately noticeable and used to great effect, as he slinks his way through the track littered with clever wordplay and biting lyrics: “From 9 to 5, 5 to 9, I’m out making plays. See, I’m something special. Far from the regular. You may do it BIG but I do it EXTRA.”

Extra

Misbehave takes us right back to 90s hiphop and R&B; this is all mixed in with trap beats and a gentle piano creating a beautiful contrast to the rest of the track. J’Moris’ rhymes and rhythms are on form here as his vocals dance around the beats, finding rhymes where others would fail. Pretty gnarly lyrics based around threesomes and debauchery might feel hardcore to some, but you have to be impressed by the way the singer sinks his teeth into the bones of the track, even if you’re not a fan of explicit content. Reminding of early Biggie Smalls at times, it’s also brought bang up to date with little nods towards Wiz Khalifa here and there as the undertone of electronica continues.

Not At All draws comparisons to Kendrick Lamar with fleeting layered vocals and a fast-paced lyrical assault set against a story of circumstance, suiting the rapper well: “I ain’t never had shit, not at all back against the wall, screaming fuck em all”. Speed Boat finishes the EP in style with the most polished track of the record, focusing heavily on trap, and even having fleeting influences of British grime and pop. The beat switches up constantly amongst the onslaught of lyrics, and the way J’Moris forces himself forwards through wordplay is extremely addictive. This hypnotizes the listener into being dragged along with the track, hanging on the rapper’s every word.

The Extra EP is an impressive onslaught of ideas and rhythms that show the rapper still has plenty to say. Being influenced by both the old and new gives the EP a timeless quality, with J’Moris distinct style filtering through and bubbling to the surface amongst stories of upbringing, debauchery and malice. If the rapper can keep up this energy and grit on his next full-length, it’s going to be something to truly look forward to.

Score: 4/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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Single Review: Post Death Soundtrack – Chosen Sons

Post Death Soundtrack

We take a listen to the new doom-laden track Chosen Sons from Post Death Soundtrack, featuring strong and forthcoming lyrics based around the terrors of extremism.

Some bands out their thrive on hard-hitting messages, and Post Death Soundtrack are one of those bands. Not afraid to tackle the difficult topics, band mate’s Steve Moore and Jon Ireson throw themselves head first into a world of extremism by putting themselves in the position of the people involved, creating a track of menace and hard-hitting messages.

The track starts with bass-laden mellotone synths that hit you straight in the heart. Vocals then kick in as Steve Moore provides almost innocent pitches that contrast devilishly against the anger-filled screams that are overlaid after every sentence, bringing out the true darkness in the track. As it continues to slink along at a menacing pace, electronic drums join in to keep the beat steady, before Moore suddenly shouts out: “The perfect place for hope to hide”, and we’re mercilessly thrown into a rollicking chorus that brings death and destruction alive.

Being a scathing commentary on extremist groups, the music and lyrics are all quite fitting. Moore tries to put himself in the shoes of one of these misguided humans and uses his sarcastic and biting lyrics throughout to really push home a message of hate, and drive through the feeling of terror that extremists can bring upon the innocent.

Chosen Sons

The production helps to make the track a perfect voice for a rallying cry against hate. A simple but effective breakdown of near silence creeps forward before you’re once again awoken by the dominating chorus and left wondering what could go through the heads of hate-mongers: “We bow down to the beast, the lord, the one”.

The melody is what focuses the track and holds everything together, with the production cleverly heightening the atmosphere and giving the song a pulse of its own. As it tosses and turns from the heavy and menacing to the sinisterly refrained and contemplative, the listener is left to question the many layers and issues that are brought to the forefront. As doom-laden strings dare to push the track forwards into a punishingly final statement, the vocals full of passion and political message take one final breath before the track fades away into nothingness.

The CGI video accompanying the track is just as dread-driven, featuring dark, twisted forms that fade in and out against a black background. These twist and turn in cryptic way’s as the music forms a sinister dance against the images on screen. It leaves you thinking there’s an evil presence growing with not much you can do about it, and brings memories of Netflix’s series Stranger Things and the realm of the demogorgon. The video perfectly portrays what Moore and Ireson have tried to create within the music as the video journeys through it’s own cryptic hell.

Chosen Sons does exactly what it sets out to do by creating a dark and morbid atmosphere based around some harrowing source material. Moore and Ireson were brave to attempt a track with such sinister depths, and manage to portray the atmosphere menacingly throughout. With it’s doom metal influences and strong chorus and lyrics, the track shines above the darkness if you focus on the messages it’s trying to portray. A strong effort from the duo.

Score: 4/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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Single Review: Joel Phil – Monster

Joel Phil

Joel Phil returns with new single Monster, taking the listener on a journey of passion and intensity through piercing lyrics and a strong vocal performance.

Joel Phil has never been one to hold back his emotions, and his new single Monster once again gives the listener full access to the artist’s range of thoughts and feelings. Born and raised in Brooklyn to Spanish/Dominican immigrants, identity has always played a strong part in Joel’s life, and this time he’s used this theme as a basis for the darker tones apparent throughout the single.

Piano held against a quirky synth riff opens the track before you’re quickly introduced to Joel’s sultry vocals. The singer gradually grows into the melody, and you can really tell he believes in what he’s singing. With vocals reminiscent of the late, great, George Michael, the song also focuses on similar themes that the artist covered throughout his solo music career; at times smooth, at others intense, and driven along by a heavy helping of lust. It isn’t a surprise these themes form the basis of the track – it was originally written for the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack.

Monster

The lyrics are a strong part of the song, and make you realise the singer was in a hard place when he wrote them. The hard-hitting nature is perfectly portrayed throughout with all the vocal ranges and dexterity you’d expect from the singer, and the way he pours out his heart is almost soul-destroying: “Minds been taken, soul’s been aching, I feel undone.”

In places the production could be a bit stronger to truly raise up the track, especially in the chorus which needs a boost to help differentiate from the verses. There is, however, a nice break down section of floaty choir-like backing vocals mid-way through that contrasts really well against the intensity in the rest of the track.

Monster has passion in bucket-loads, and the source material sees the singer bravely putting his emotions on the line. The track is trying to give as much to the listener as it possibly can, and with a bit of a polish it could have that energy it needs to take it to the next level. If Joel Phil continues to put as much passion into his music as he does here, things can only get better.

Score: 3/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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EP Review: Weather McNabb – Cubicle Zombie

Weather McNabb

Weather McNabb releases new EP Cubicle Zombie, featuring impressively dark lyrics built around genre-hopping sounds and strong choruses.

If Cubicle Zombie is anything to go by, Weather is not a happy bunny. She’s always been quirky in her music, but here, she has a really chip on her shoulder and uses the EP to vent her troubles. Ranging from the way society likes to put us in boxes to controlling us through menial office work, these are just a couple of gripes on the record, and the morning you listen, the deeper and darker the lyrics become.

Good Morning opens up the EP with a dirty guitar riff which is quickly accompanied by electronic drums and a foreboding atmosphere; Weather then joins in on vocals to a ska beat and jazz drums. It doesn’t stop there though, with plenty more styles being introduced as the track continues – piano based sections one minute to a pop chorus the next.  It’s an inventive track that jumps around everywhere and at its most jaunty when a backing brass section kicks in. It all comes together against languid lyrics of “cubicle zombies sitting and rotting”, taking a swipe at people who settle for less, which is a situation the singer is seemingly glad she’s managed to avoid.

Cubicle Zombie

Adapt starts off in sultry fashion with Weather’s vocals taking centre stage as she once again sings of the disappointment of working a job you don’t like for ‘the man’:  “your soul’s on sale from 9-5”. She really has a grudge against office jobs doesn’t she? Once again the chorus soars high and really shows the artist’s talent for grabbing the listeners attention through a strong knowledge of how to breakdown a song before building it back up with plenty of layers.

War Paint creeps even further into the dark with more ill-lighted lyrics and connotations backed by a strong melody, all set against thumping drums and a beat that bellows forwards – if you think of a cross between british bands Bloc Party and Florence And The Machine you’d be on the right tracks. Even though the material is sombre, Weather is having fun here and it really comes through in the production, helping make the track an EP highlight.

Time Machine shows that the artist can do pop really well, taking tips from Taylor Swift’s Reputation album with futuristic sounds, empowerment lyrics, and the recent trend for talking sections. User Error finishes off the EP with a beat that centres around the singer’s volatility, and really comes alive as the track progresses by adding guitars, synths and a real anguish in the singer’s vocals. Weather’s lyrics are at their most poetic yet, but she still refuses to step away from the somber material she loves.

Cubicle Zombie samples from an impressive array of genres to create a dark and twisting EP that will have the listener captivated throughout. Weather’s use of intense lyrics and a downhearted look at the state of society creates a toxic atmosphere that she relishes in and is able to bend to her will to create some impressive melodies. Where the EP really shines are the great choruses that are frequently enveloped around sinister verses and use a plethora of genres to create tracks that become hard to pigeonhole, but all sound deviously menacing. Cubicle Zombie gives you a different aspect compared to a lot of music out there, and be warned, you might just up and leave your office job after listening.

Score: 4/5

By Jamie Parmenter

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Album Review: LeeSun – Singing You This Song

LeeSun

We take a listen to UK-based artist LeeSun’s new record Singing You This Song, and with it take a glimpse into the singer’s current state of mind.

LeeSun has never been afraid to bare her soul through music, and new album Singing You This Song is testament to this. Lyrics are unashamedly honest throughout as the artist deals with many issues including personal pain, loving oneself, and equality between humans. This allows for a record that people will be able to connect with on a personal level and really share in the singers vulnerable world.

Album opener Wishing starts off with gentle acoustic guitar and LeeSun’s vocals grabbing you like a warm hug; think of it as a cross between Norah Jones and Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes. It’s very effective, and the technical but simple guitar works in conjunction with LeeSun’s vocals seamlessly. For all the warmth in the vocals, the lyrics are full of pain and suffering, with the singer struggling to deal with her emotions amidst personal turmoil: “I weep inside, I feel your tears, I’ll help carry your burdens and help you stand tall.”

My Life switches things up with childlike vocals against genre-hopping sounds and rhythms that create a strange but memorable atmosphere. LeeSun experiments with different genres such as surf music and honkytonk, with a smattering of trumpets bringing to life something that’s difficult to pigeonhole, but strangely effective. The artist is having fun here, with lyrics showing strength in personality, and a wanting to branch out and live her own life.

Singing You This Song

Dry Your Tears slows things down with guitar plinks forming the basis against more haunting vocals and tantalizing guitar riffs that flutter in and out to tremendous effect. It’s a track about suffering and personal growth like much of the material on the record, but it’s never as cleverly used or put against such a strong melody as here. LeeSun is not afraid to express herself and it comes through brilliantly in this track that twists and turns, leaving the listener guessing where it will go next.

The Week You Loved Me’s gentleness allows it to progress nicely with simple editions of violins in the background and layered vocals to rise the track up, whereas It Is What It Is (a classic British saying, by the way…) is a humbling track that borrows from Irish music, English folk, and has tinges of Tom Waits. Leesun caresses the listener in with sultry vocals and lyrics based around carrying on, no matter what.

With the album starting off strongly amidst lots of experimentation and ideas, it does settle down towards the end and relies instead on simple melodies and song structures. Everything Dies is a sad and slow number, mainly focusing on vocals against minimal guitar that could have benefited from stronger production. Album closer We’re All Made Of Stars is again soft and slow, but creates more atmosphere in managing to be both sweet and sincere at the same time. It sounds like a song a mother would sing to a child as a lullaby, but with more substance.

LeeSun has come up with some great tunes on Singing You This Song. The first half of the record is playful and sincere, with the artists vocals matching perfectly to the music’s will to twist and turn at the drop of the hat, and experimentation in melody rife and ready. This innovation does ebb away in the second half of the record, but we are still left with Leesun’s deft vocals to account for the slower pace, and lyrics that need to be heard and understood. Singing You This Song is an album straight from Leesun’s heart, and as such, it’s a very personal collection of songs that hits on home on many levels.

Score: 3.5/5

By Jamie Parmenter

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

EP Review: LUC – Glow

LUC

We take a listen to new EP Glow from futuristic garage-tronic duo LUC, which allows the artists to show off their experience in the music industry in a record littered with clever twists and turns.

Both members of LUC have a vast back-catalogue of musical allocations and hits, even if you haven’t heard of them. In fact, Kari Kimmel, one half of the duo, has often been described as ‘the most famous non-famous person’. Between Kari and producer/musician band mate Joe Corcoran, they have over 650+ film and television credits, and have had a hand in 5 platinum records between them. Being no strangers to the industry, it’s no wonder they want to stretch their legs by releasing some of their own material, and Glow is the perfect EP to show off the duo’s strong sound, perfected production techniques, and wistful vocals.

Glow

EP titled track Glow begins with a drum beat reminiscent of The Arctic Monkeys’ Do I Wanna Know, but quickly switches thing up with a more synth-laden sound that sizzles with Kimmel’s distinctive disco-pop vocals – think futuristic Blondie. The track meanders along before being transformed by a brief prelude of grungy guitars, bringing it to life. Strong melodies are Corcoran’s fortay, and he shows off here by creating clever sections that catch you off guard.

Over It has a more poppy feel, being bouncy, enigmatic, and reminding of a Charli XCX track. It even includes shouts of ‘Hey!’ and lyrics of strong female empowerment, with Kimmel having fun as she throws out some effortlessly cool vocals. The melody bounces off a guitar-based structure that throws the track forward at warp speed, never outstaying its welcome with a short playing time.

Extraverdant wouldn’t sound out of place on a Mission Impossible movie soundtrack (who knows, maybe one day it will with the artist’s soundtrack background), but this time the duo opt for a more haunting sound and vocals to match. It sounds like a more polished version of a The Kills track, which is a big compliment. Producer and musician Corcoran is a master at bending the listener to his will and hypnotising them into falling in love with his music, and it’s never more apparent on the EP than here.

Ghost releases the duo’s garage-tronic sound in full, with beats and spurts of nasty guitar once again playing mercilessly with Kimmel’s vocals throughout, whereas Running Down The Halls switches things up with a more formulaic track that’s a nice break from all the clever touches and production techniques on the rest of the record.

Lost In Love finishes off the EP in style with gentle guitar plinks turning into a futuristically retro track and synths taking centre stage amongst floaty vocals feeding on the heavy atmosphere. The song shows just how well Kimmel and Corcoran work together, as they each seem to second guess each other as the track itself works seamlessly to create a pretty ending to the record.

Glow is a strong achievement from a pair of very experienced artists who know how to create beautiful music. Not content with ‘painting by numbers’, they use their skills and knowledge to devise an EP that’s light and airy at times, but full of destruction and malice at others. This is all wrapped in a futuristic, synth-laden garage package that really stands out from the crowd. For all their work with others and their many awards of the past working for others, it now feels like their best route forwards is going to be as artists in their own right.

Score: 4/5

By Jamie Parmenter

Posted in Review Tagged with: , , , ,

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  • Artist: Judas Priest.
Record: Unleashed in the East.
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The whole album is a favourite of mine and every song is great in its own way.
It was one of the records which brought me finally to Metal Music, and Vinyl too.
'Unleashed in the East' was one of the first records on Vinyl that I held in my
hands, so this Album will always be a special one for me, and one of the best live
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