Our friends at Criminal Records in the UK are making headlines again with a couple of very intriguing artist announcements. First and foremost, The Kut has sold out their “Love Hate Vampire Shotgun System Circus” Tour AND is about to commence recording their debut album AND they have a new video AND…well that’s it but, needless to say we are pretty stoked about it. Maha (lead vox/guitar), Fidan (drums/vox) and Alison (bass/vox) are on fiyah at present and we wish them nothing but continued success. Can’t wait to hear the new stuff!
Speaking of new stuff, checking out the newest band to sign with CR is an absolute must. Argonaut is a 5-piece ensemble that hails from London Town and are criminally good in their own right. Lorna (vocals), Abby (keys, guitar, vox), Nathan (guitar), Paul (bass) and Rob (drums) cite a variety of influences that have paved they way to a remarkably original sound…thankfully none of those influences was Englebert Humperdink! But seriously folks, theirs is a sound awash in gritty guitars, driving drums, siren-esque vocals and just a hint of dissonant angst…very cool.
This just in… Eureka Stockade, my favorite alt-country band from the other side of the pond have just released their latest single “All Alone”. As with their previous tracks we’ve shared here, the sound feels much more like Georgia or Tennessee rather than England’s Cambridge. But between the steel guitar (which I’m always a sucker for), the ambiance set by the cello, the joyous drumming, and the earnestness felt in the Michael Stipe-like vocals…I don’t really care where they are from.
Once again, Eureka Stockade deliver well crafted musicianship, meaningful lyrics, and a soulful delivery. Talent, genuineness, uniqueness. Across all genres, those are the qualities we applaud here at Froglix.
Well, today we pay a bit of homage to New Order yet again. Peter Hook features in autoKratz‘s latest single “Becoming the Wraith”; and, the bass line melody contributed by Hooky is absolutely unmistakable. Combine that signature bass with the hookalicious chorus and you have a recipe for an electronica anthem. And for those of you better-versed electronica aficionados, check out the entire Becoming the Wraith EP. I’m sure you will more greatly appreciate the remixes, especially the Night and Day mixes by French producer Alex Gopher.
I was in Mississippi visiting my grandparents for the summer when I first heard them. I had snuck out of my room to catch Saturday Night Live and the musical guest that evening was…you guessed it…Big Country. It was their American television debut and I was completely blown away. Their sound was unlike anything I’d ever heard and, almost instantly, they became my favourite band of all time. I bought every album and, even now, listen to at least one Big Country song just about every day. I count it among one of my good fortunes in this life that I was able to watch them “grow up” as a band right before my eyes and ears and, needless to say, I was quite taken aback the day I learned of lead singer Stuart Adamson’s death. Distinctly I remember my friend Josh, a huge BC fan as well, and I commiserating, reminiscing about our favourite songs just trying to make sense of what, to us at least, was a senseless tragedy.
Fast forward to 2011. I am scanning for Facebook fodder one Friday afternoon when I happen upon a curious post from Treading Lemmings frontman Quinn. Big Country is back together? What? How could this be? Soap opera scenes of characters who had been killed off in early episodes returning after a case of mistaken identity flooded my consciousness. Is Stuart back with us and, more importantly, has he seen and/or spoken to Elvis? Inquiring minds want to know. Alas, ’tis not the case. I am somewhat perplexed to find The Alarm’s original front man, Mike Peters, has joined the band for it’s 30th Anniversary tour. Oh…and I suppose they are going to change their name to the Big Alarm now too. That’s just great!
Having not yet even heard this new incarnation of my most beloved band, I wanted to hate them. However, try as I might…I just couldn’t. I scoured YouTube for live footage of performances and was once again blown away by what I heard. Maybe not so much as before but a respectable amount of “blown awayness” for sure. Bassist Tony Butler still sounds amazing as do the other members of the band. Peters, thankfully, is not trying to be Stuart or evening like him. He’s just being himself…and it works.
“Another Country”, the track featured above, is the band’s first new single in over (12) years. It was produced by none other than Steve Lillywhite who worked with the band on their first two albums. European concert dates in the early part of 2011 gave way to additional dates in the Spring. Hopefully, they’ll be making their way across the Big Pond as I would do just about anything to be able to see these cats live.
Take a listen to the “flash forward” above and be sure to check out the band’s 2011 live performances on YouTube.
I had to do some double checking of things with Eureka Stockade. For example, are they really from Cambridge? The one in England?? I have to say, the sound is quite American to me. The pedal steel guitar playing a prominent role in “Without You” does make me think Nashville. And other tracks like “Violence” and “All Alone” made me seriously wonder if they could be from Athens, Georgia. I actually did double check….it’s still Cambridge, England.
And with tracks titled “All Alone”, “Without You”, and “Through Every Darkness”, one might be afraid these could be country-western songs where you lost your job, your wife, and worst of all your dog. Don’t worry; they aren’t. Eureka Stockade is a solid four piece, delivering vocally driven, well-crafted, alt-rock tunes with a decent range of different sounds. “Without You”, with that pedal steel guitar is a masterful acoustic ballad and really is a bit country. “Violence” is on the other end of their spectrum, being more Athens-inspired rock. If you like both of these tracks, then you should be happy with everything in between.
Our friends at GoldRat have sent us a new song, just in time for summer. “Marcus Lives” effortlessly flips the switch from angular guitar rock to straight ahead pounder. I dug GoldRat the first time around, but in the short time that’s passed, I’m impressed with the strides they’ve made. Their sound is tighter and more confident and I love their ability to go to the edge of completely losing their minds, but remain just short of bedlam. The relaxed vibe I dug remains, there’s a smooth chorus, the guitar parts in the bridge are excellent, and it seems like “Marcus Lives” finds another gear around the 1:45 mark. All of it keeps me excited about GoldRat and lands them on my summer Ipod mix. Well done, guys.