Happy Hour is Starting Early Today

Twas many a moon ago when a certain English gentleman, Marty I believe his name was, was here from the Great Isle visiting a friend of a friend.  I don’t think I had known him for more than (5) minutes before, naturally, I felt it my solemn duty to pester him until he told me the name of at least one band from the UK that no one was yet listening to here in the States.  After several not so veiled threats of violence he finally gave up a name.  “The Housemartins,” he said.  “The what Martins?” I replied.  This cat was setting me up for sure.  “The Housemartins,” he said again.  “It’s boppy English music played by nerdy white guys.”  Oh…this I just had to hear.

He lent me a cassette (I told you it was a while ago) and the first song I heard is featured above.  ‘Me and the Farmer’ was released as a single in August 1987 and then later released as part of what would be both their 2nd and final studio album The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death.  Quite honestly, while I dug this tune and another song from the same album called ‘Build’, the rest of the album didn’t thrill me.  It did however make me curious enough to procure a copy of their debut release entitled London 0 Hull 4.  I was (and still am) completely enamored with tracks like ‘Happy Hour’, ‘Flag Day’, ‘Sitting on a Fence’ and ‘Think for a Minute’.  The music was the furthest thing from complicated and yet seemed to sparkle with a certain brilliant simplicity that was quite intriguing.  What I struck me most, though, was that it was, and still is, instant sing-a-long music.  Take gander at the vid above and see if you don’t agree!

– Drago

 

Criminally Good

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.

– Drago

Damn Skippy

artist: Damn Vandals | genre: alt-rock | label: unsigned

New music is already on the way in 2012 from our favourite/rehabilitated juvenile delinquents from Great Britain.  We are pleased as punch that Damn Vandals have a new EP that is expected to drop at the end of February.  We can’t wait to hear it.

Previous Posts featuring Damn Vandals: Crodile Rocks, OuterSound and Vandalism at it’s Finest.

– Drago

Eureka Stockade :: All Alone

artist: Eureka Stockade | genre: alt-rock, alt-country | label: Cracking Tunes

[itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/all-alone/id478899535?i=478899536&uo=4″ title=”Eureka Stockade – All Alone”]

Eureka Stockade - All AloneThis 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.

– DMitch

 

autoKratz :: Becoming the Wraith

I feel like we’ve been on a bit of a New Order theme here in the last few months. Back in June we had a Joy Division flashback. Then two Friday’s ago we featured New Order’s “Blue Monday” for our Friday flashback. And then just last week we mentioned Andy Hawk’s cover of “Temptation” making use of the mandolin (which is awesome by the way).

autoKratz

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.

 

– DMitch

 

Blue Friday

Much like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, so it was for the remaining members of Joy Division. After the tragic death of vocalist Ian Curtis, bandmates Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris were faced with a very difficult decision…would they keep pressing on or simply quit the music scene altogether.  Well the answer came quickly and press on they would.  The addition of keyboardist Gillian Gilbert completed the original line up of what would become one of the most critically acclaimed post-punk/new wave bands of all time…New Order.

In early years, their sound was somewhat a continuation of what they had begun with Joy Division but they soon picked up on the dance vibe emanating from New York and began building the most appealing of those elements into their songs.  “Blue Monday” is the absolute epitome of their transformational sound. Oh…and by the way…it’s one the best selling 12″ singles of all time.

Somehow…I think these cats were on to something but take a listen and dig it for yourself.

– Drago