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alternative brit-pop England flashback Housemartins Hull indie pop

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
 

Categories
alt-rock alternative Argonaut Criminal Records England featured artists indie London The Kut United Kingdom

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

Categories
alt-rock alternative Damn Vandals England featured artists indie London new release news rock unsigned

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

Categories
alt-country alt-rock Cambridge Cracking Tunes England Eureka Stockade featured artists new release United Kingdom videos

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

 

Categories
electronica England London United Kingdom videos

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

 

Categories
alternative electronica England flashback synth pop

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

Categories
alt-rock alternative Criminal Records England featured artists indie rock The Kut videos

Sometimes All We Need is a Little Closure

artist: The Kut | genre: alternative, indie, rock | label: Criminal Records


Straight from our friends at Criminal Records, Froglix is stoked to present for your viewing and listening pleasure “Closure” from Britain’s The Kut.  Cool song, cool video, cool band…and I would suspect some cool chics to hang out with.

– Drago

Categories
England flashback ska

Flashback :: The English Beat

The English Beat on [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mirror-in-the-bathroom/id35843516?i=35843518&uo=4″ title=”The Beat on iTunes” text=”[object Selection]

For the Flashback this week we present for your listening and viewing pleasure the Titans of Two Tone…The English Beat. From 1978 – 1983, Dave Wakeling, Ranking Roger, et al were at the epicenter of all that was Ska and the (3) studio albums released during their run have become rude boy classics.  “Mirror in the Bathroom,” from I Just Can’t Stop (1980) is one of my absolute favourites and, even though  the original line up has long since broken up, Mr. Wakeling  still gets a certain swagger in his step when this one comes up on the setlist.  Take a listen…and you’ll see why.

– Drago

Categories
alt-country alt-rock Cambridge Cracking Tunes England Eureka Stockade featured artists new release reviews United Kingdom

Discovering Eureka Stockade

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

Check ’em out on [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/eureka-stockade/id314810937?uo=4″ title=”Eureka Stockade”]

Eureka Stockade

listen now:
Without You    Violence

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.

– DMitch

Categories
alt-rock alternative England flashback Manchester videos

Flashback :: Stone Roses

Check out The Stone Roses on [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/music-video/fools-gold/id325818392?uo=4″ title=”Stone Roses on iTunes”]

The Stone Roses self-titled debut  album was released in the Spring of 1989 and although the track featured in the video above was not on it, there were quite a number other of notable tracks including, but not limited to, “I Wanna Be Adored” and “She Bangs the Drum.” Classics one and all. The album received critical acclaim and there are many today (including yours truly) who still consider it to be one the best British albums ever released.

Founding members Ian Brown and John Squire had finally broken through and had nothing but an open road ahead…that is until they  entered into a nasty dispute with their then record company, Silvertone Records.   Finally, after trip through the British courts, the band emerged victorious and began work on their second and final album. Second Coming was released in 1994 and it too had it’s share of memorable tracks…but none more so than “Love Spreads.” There are plenty of “Manchester purists” out there who would argue “Fools Gold” was band’s crowning achievment.  I, however, would respectfully disagree.

It’s somewhat surprising to think that The Stone Roses only released (2) albums before disbanding in 1996 for, you guessed it, artistic differences.  Even so, in the short time these cats were together they put out some seriously good music.  Have groovy Friday my friends…

– Drago