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Louder than War’s Ioan Humphreys falls head over heals with more insanely catchy indie from Say Sue Me.
Old Town is the first single taken from Say Sue Me’s forthcoming second album ‘‘Where We Were Together’’ and was released on 9 February 2018. Recorded in Seoul, this indie rock/pop four piece from Busan, South Korea have featured in LTW before, and have yet again produced an insanely catchy single filled with hooks and layers that draw one in and smothers you in hugs.
A gorgeous riff and insistent drum beat runs throughout the track. This band remind me so much of Pavement and this latest single, has beautiful echoes of Box Elder. Yet, the song comes from traumatic beginnings and is full of sadness and longing for a time and place no longer possible.
Elegant chord changes and Sumi Choi’s ethereal vocal delivery make this song an instant classic, and coming from such a young band, who know what is to come from their debut album.
Play this single to death and catch Say Sue Me on tour as soon as possible. Great stuff!
Mar 16-SXSW Festival, The Belmont ‘Korea Spotlight’ Austin, TX USA
Louder than War’s Ioan Humphreys has a listen to some experimental and unsettling sounds from Song, by Toad’s roster in the form of Zed Penguin.
Zed Penguin started in the winter of 2004 when Aussie traveller Matthew Winter found himself in Edinburgh, Scotland making music on a four-track recorder and putting them up on MySpace under said name. Soon after being absorbed into the thriving live music scene of the city, Zed Penguin became a four-piece that also included Japanese composer Atzi Muramatso on cello, James Metcalfe (The Pineapple Chunks) on bass and Casey Miller (STONES) on drums.
However, a brutal attack on Winter in his beloved adopted city would temporarily halt the momentum of the releases and also dramatically change the creative process with which Winter drove Zed Penguin. Months of recuperation and rehabilitation later and fast forward to 2018 and Edinburgh label Song, By Toad are readying the release of Zed Penguin’s long awaited debut LP A Ghost, A Beast on 23 February 2018.
The Source of My Dreams by Zed Penguin - YouTube
Ahead of its release, the video for one of its lead tracks can be seen here. The cryptically titled The Source of My Dreams is an incredibly dense and unsettling piece of music which is accompanied by an equally sinister and striking set of visuals.
Soaring, reverb soaked feed backing guitars; echo drenched (almost spoken word) vocals and a focal performance by Winter make the relatively short 2.42 track an intense and uncomfortable watch. Seemingly channelling bands like The Telescopes and MBV, Zed Penguin make uncompromising sounds and find the beauty in noise and brooding malevolence. I bloody love it.
Talking ahead of the release of the album, Winter says “It makes me feel good that something good could happen after such a disaster. So it took a lot longer than it should have, but I finished it and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done with my entire time on Earth.” Beautiful stuff.
A Ghost, A Beast is released on 23 February 2018 by Song, By Toad records.
IDestroy – video for Lemons and UK tour dates (with The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing)
IDestroy are a pop-rock power-trio from Bristol. They live up to the name, although grammatically they should be called WeDestroy I guess.
Old School guitars – immediate songs -influences from punk, riot grrl, alt-rock… they seem to be forever touring. March sees them crisscrossing the UK as tour support for steam-punk- death-rock-horror-punks The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – who are soon to unleash their demonic Double Negative album. (Review will be up soon on LTW)
IDestroy have an EP – Pure Joy of Life out too in March and based on this lead track, Lemons it’s gonna be a cracker which should propel them into the next level – Radio TV festivals and stardom…
We won’t hold it against them that they chose to premiere it on TeamRock yesterday …. because basically they are a great fun band who’s singer Bec Jevons has the same tuff-gurl androgyny as the young Joan Jett. Lemons channels the Beasties Boys atitude, You-Really-Got-Me guitar and Tone Loc beats and would be a Top Ten chart-smash in a parallel universe where the Internet Never Happened.
IDestroy - Lemons (Official Video) - YouTube
The Pure Joy of Life EP is out on 9th March 2018 on CD and Vinyl – Preorder here
John O’Groats band Neon Waltz follow up their outstanding debut album with a new EP, Bring Me To Light.
Neon Waltz bring a shimmering intensity to the indie scene. Always memorable and accessible, their music manages to be both wonderfully baleful and catchy at the same time. Fans have already been charmed by their stunning debut album Strange Hymns and are ready for the next chapter. This has come in the form of their latest EP, Bring Me To Light. The title track is joined by three previously un-released tracks, Watch It Fade, Schoolhouse and Enlightened By A Fall. Neon Waltz themselves describe the EP thus:
‘People were patient when we took our time to get our first record just right, to us it seems only fair to give them a little extra back. The Bring Me To Light EP is, in a way, a sort of sign-off on Strange Hymns. We’re proud of what we’ve done so far and now we’re excited about the future.’
As usual, the only problem reviewing Neon Waltz tracks is finding fresh superlatives to use. The songs on the Bring Me To Light EP are no exception. Fans will already know the title track. It is a stunning anthem dedicated to doing it your own way and no other, no matter the cost.
The keyboards on Watch It Fade back the outstanding, hypnotic repetitiveness of the layered vocals. The song is soulful and very fine; the music luxuriant. Jordan Shearer’s vocals are crystalline and peerless. Music to lift you to a higher plane. Schoolhouse has a pleasing simplicity. Melancholy and heavenly, this is the truest ballad Neon Waltz have produced. As usual, they manage to make it sound effortlessly perfect.
The EP ends with a short track, Enlightened By A Fall, a slow, sparse and fittingly transcendent way to end an exquisite collection. It shows why Neon Waltz soar above many of their contemporaries.
Neon Waltz - Bring Me To Light (Official Audio) - YouTube
For those unfamiliar with the band, the haunting beauty of the Caithness landscape seems to have seeped into the fabric of the music. The scenic desolation of the North-East of Scotland has endowed the bands output its atmospheric splendour, setting them aside from the bands around them within their own special niche. The six members of Neon Waltz work bring together stupendously good drums and keyboards, topped with achingly fine guitar phrases and crystal clear vocals, Neon Waltz are pure quality.
With a packed schedule of live dates currently underway, the band are touring extensively in February, March and May across the UK. If majestic, soaring indie music is your thing, you definitely need to catch Neon Waltz this year
Tax The Heat are back with another British hard-rock-drenched modern classic. Fusing classic riffs with catchy hooks gives us another gorgeous set of ear-worms to enjoy.
The Bristol boys in Tax The Heat manage to tap into that British hard rock vein but twist it just enough to turn it into something fresh. Change Your Position, like Fed To The Lions before it feels like a really cohesive record, the songwriting is more complex and mature on Change Your Position and has a slightly more commercial feel. This is a record with plenty of instant hits if a slightly less rocky sound than its predecessor.
Change Your Position, All That Medicine, Cut Your Chains and Taking The Hit are especially catchy, listen once and these will attach themselves to your Auditory Cortex like a bulldog. Proper feel-good rock that will have your foot tapping and the chorus lyrics burned into your hippocampus for decades to come. This stuff forces a smile and a bounce in your step!
Make no mistake, this is a super strong record though, not much filler here. Highlights are My Headspace, Jack Taylor’s drums and Antonio’s bass working together to form a driving wave of fuzzy rock and JP’s guitars weaving in and out of the baseline with Alex Veales vocals adding balance, absolutely brilliant and over far too quickly! In a similar vein, Wearing A Disguise is just as enjoyable, simple and effective song structure with bass and drums grabbing your attention whilst the guitars and vocals almost play with each other over the top.
Change Your Position is again produced by Evansson (Steve Evans), with whom band have a strong relationship and it shows through on this record. Very crisp production and full of energy. Recording all parts at the same time in the same room, rather than individually really suit their energetic rock and roll vibe.
If you like your rock with a little-added roll, this might be just up your street. A fun, uncomplicated and compelling rock record.
TAX THE HEAT - 'Change Your Position' (OFFICIAL VIDEO) - YouTube
Liverpool’s most celebrated cabaret club ‘Garlands’ is back by demand as its doors re-open at its spiritual home on Eberle Street this March. Famed for its wildly entertaining cabaret shows, disco’s and acts its back in full effect as it lines up its new weekly events. A club which first opened in 93 Garlands more than made its mark within the world of clubbing as LTW.com also takes a quick look back at its history.
It was following the success of last month’s Garlands ‘Gathering’ event and overwhelming public response, the Liverpool club is now set to re-open its doors for good, with its big re-launch on Saturday 3rd March. Back with more outrageously wild entertainment set in its magical atmosphere, its crazy fun for all in a safe place. Garlands has set the standard for three generations of clubbers over the last 25years with 2018 all about introducing the clubs ethos to a new generation of clubbers, which will be brought to you by the original people behind the club when it opened.
Weekly events – will include Saturday’s regular night ‘Garlands Made Me Do it,’ which launches on Saturday 3rd March, with an ‘Alternative Disco’ night on Saturday 31st March and a special Easter bank holiday club night ‘Bunnies of the Garlands Mansion’ on Saturday 1st April.
The ‘Carry On Miss-behavin’ afternoon garden parties will run from Sunday 25th March and Garlands very own adult-themed cabaret night ‘Life Is a Cabaret’ every Friday with a special Mother’s Day afternoon show on Sunday 11th March (below) and returning on Sunday 27th May is ‘Bedlam.’
Also a special one-off nostalgic event (4pm to 6am) on Saturday 6th May bank holiday brings some of the biggest club nights of the last 2 decades together, Garlands, Society, 051, Carry On Miss-behavin’, Back To The Anthems and Sunrise over 2 floors and all under one roof.
As the club returns to its spiritual home on Eberle Street, key events are planned throughout the year, during the tenth anniversary of the capital of culture, Gay Pride and of course to celebrate 25 years of Garlands in October. The team is set to take the Garlands Gathering tour across the globe, stopping off at major cities across the UK and internationally from Ibiza to Dubai, so look out.
Garlands History – Enjoyment is everything
Launched in 1993 Garlands nightclub became an overnight success and has now become the longest established Saturday resident dance night in the country. Synonymous with glamour, craziness and its own unique ambiance creating an environment where clubbers can be who they want to be, knowing they are in a very safe place.
Garlands has set the standard for three generations of clubbers, spurning a host of pale imitations and copycats as well as births, marriages and civil partnerships! It has played host to some of the ‘best times of our lives’, remaining supreme for nearly 2 decades: placing at the forefront of our philosophy the taking of risks, together with extreme entertainment and inventiveness and portraying and excusing the clubs and our clubbers wildest behaviour – with its infamous catchphrase and get out clause ”Garlands made me do it“.
The clubs flyers have been displayed in the Tate Gallery (above), and Isabella Blow, discoverer of Alexander McQueen and now sadly deceased, made Garlands the setting for a fashion piece in the Tatler. Proving that there really is NO place like Garlands. The monopoly that so called ‘super clubs’ have on DJs has driven Garlands to become more extreme with their entertainment. So we now reject these DJs who come and go, and instead give their patrons quality music that is always moving forward in an environment, where for the customer – ENJOYMENT IS EVERYTHING.
Following the success of two highly-praised albums with chamber prog duo iamthemorning, Russian virtuoso pianist Gleb Kolyadin affirms his musical authority with his self-titled debut album.
Solo albums. They get a bad press. Especially from musicians who’d be classed in the progressive rock genre. Look at the history; the outlook is bleak with the occasional sunny spell. So Gleb Kolyadin – pianist in iamthemorning, winners of Prog magazine’s 2016 album of the year – may well be prejudged guilty by association. But hang on…
Mountains of mounting accolades have already appeared in the music press for the Kolyadin solo debut alongside testimonials from his peers – Anathema’s Daniel Cavanagh, drummer Gavin Harrison, Nick Beggs and Marillion’s Steve Hogarth (the latter duo also feature on the album) all speak in glowing terms of the man’s ability. It’s a record that comes as a collaborative work with the musicians, each highly regarded in their own right and not forgetting to mention (as many have) Gleb’s iam percussionist Evan Carson, recording their own parts separately, starting with Gleb recording himself on grand piano in Moscow in the Winter and Spring of 2017 at the famed Mosfilm studio.
What’s been flamboyantly described as “an emotive exploration of self-identity; a story of two parts with interweaving leitmotifs,” the album’s central concept weaves through an elaborate tonal and thematic structure and accented at various points by vocal contributions. You can guess that for the musos and those with a suitably technical musical vocabulary, there are going to be moments of mouth watering intensity. However, for those of us who can simply sit and admire the dedication and craft of a musician who has been classically trained, there’s still more than enough to appreciate at our own level.
First impressions arise within a few moments of Insight striking up; have you loaded up ELP’s Works Vol 1 or 2 by mistake…and as the piece progresses, there are earworms that recollect the style of the great and late Keith Emerson while the flying synth work is very Wakeman-esque. It’s a compliment though to be able to reference the instrumental vitality and flair of those two prog rock masters in the work of young Gleb who turns out to be very much his own master. Kaleidoscope is exactly that – flying again, Wakeman-like across the electronic keys with diversions into the piano while Theo Travis’ flute weaves a path in and out. Again, dig out your Tarkus, Trilogy and Wakey albums and admire some exceptional drumming flown in by Gavin Harrison and the evocative presence of Tatania Dubovaya.
As you’d maybe expect from a classically trained musician, there are various piano interludes that pepper the album that range from the grand and stately – White Dawn – to pieces with a more classical edge and the dramatic arrangement cum music hall/silent screen medley of Echo/Sigh/Strand. Elsewhere, as the solo aspects start to evolve, there’s the impression that while the collaborators have been left to add their own interpretations, they’ve certainly been pushed to the limits of their skills by the quality on show.
Antimatter’s Mick Moss adds the first vocal contribution to Astral Architecture; a title that suggests something grandiose, yet it’s a stark and emotive piece, otherworldly and flowing. Steve Hogarth adds a contrasting presence to the lengthy and more experimental Confluence and Best Of Days. The former has a bare, hold your breath, quality during the prolonged spaces before a more swaying cinematic feel takes hold, Hogarth briefly adding a spoken word part, yet he’s much more in his comfort zone on the latter. A piece favouring a strong Marillo character, it carries some of their recent F.E.A.R sentiment, singing of the storm beyond our bubble, alongside a slowly building and swirling carnival texture.
Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess, himself no slouch, joins on Storyteller – a meeting of minds where the contemporary electronic jiggery pokery he favours, flows from a device as a steady rhythm provides a sturdy foundation.
Prolonged exposure confirms that this is the work of a genuine virtuoso breaking new ground while keeping a finger on the pulse of familiar reference points. Part riveting, part intriguing and part dazzling, a century ago they’d be hailing “bravo maestro.” For now though, the unassuming young man will be content that hopefully, as Steve H proclaims in Best Of Days, “it all worked out like I hoped it would.”
You can watch the lyric video for The Best Of Days from the album here:
Gleb Kolyadin (Iamthemorning) - The Best of Days (feat. Steve Hogarth, Marillion) - YouTube
Frank has just released the title track from new album Be More Kind, which is due out May 4 via Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor Records. Watch the video here:
Frank Turner - Be More Kind - YouTube
Speaking about the new track, Turner says; “Be More Kind, the song, is at the heart of the album, both lyrically and musically; when I finished it I could see the rest of the album coming together around it.’’
Produced by ex-White Denim members Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block, alongside Charlie Hugall (Florence And The Machine, Halsey), the album was heavily influenced by the poetry of Clive James. Struck particularly by a line which read “I should have been more kind. It is my fate. To find this out, but find it out too late” – Be More Kind captures Turner reconciling the personal with the political.
Says Frank; “A lot of older, wiser people tend to say things like that, that the things that come out in the wash at the end of a human life are the way you treated the people around you. In the modern world, that’s a lesson that all of us, myself included could do to learn.”
NEW ALBUM – BE MORE KIND
RELEASED MAY 4 2018
BE MORE KIND WORLD TOUR 2018 ON SALE
13th Manchester, Academy SOLD OUT
15th Dublin, The Academy
18th Belfast, The Limelight
20th Aberdeen, The Garage SOLD OUT
21st Edinburgh, Liquid Room SOLD OUT
22nd Newcastle, O2 Academy
24th Sheffield, O2 Academy
25th Liverpool, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
27th Bristol, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
28th Exeter Uni, Great Hall
30th Cambridge. Corn ExchangeMAY
st Southampton, Guildhall SOLD OUT
2nd Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
4thLeicester, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
5th Oxford, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
8th Hull, City Hall
9th Norwich, UEA
11th London, Roundhouse, SOLD OUT
12thLondon, Roundhouse, SOLD OUT
13thLondon, Roundhouse, SOLD OUT
14th London, Roundhouse, SOLD OUT
London-based indie-pop outfit DECO keep up last year’s momentum with new single Wild One.
With 2017 affording DECO Main Stage appearances at the likes of Y-Not and 110 Above under their belt, not to mention various headline tours and support slots for Declan Mckenna, Fickle Friends & Depeche Mode, it seems fitting that the London-based indie-poppers should start their 2018 with a bang.
New single Wild One builds on the familiar DECO formula, yet feels more ambitious and expansive than anything the band have released previously. A pulsating bass blossoms into the electronic anthemia on which the band have made their name, while button bright synths provide a sense of optimism and offset an underlying darkness that offers glimpses into an exciting progression. Familiar enough to keep loyal fans hooked, their first single of 2018 shows off a darker, more nuanced side to the band, ‘Wild One’ is both quintessential DECO, and the first taste of what’s to come.
Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons second studio release, back with more of that hard-hitting dirty guitar work that Phil Campbell does so well. But is this a record that stands on its own two feet or just an excuse to not retire?
Phil tells the story that the band was formed when his eldest son had a big birthday and they hired a band to play. Phil and his boys, along with Neil Starr were all together and thought that it might be fun to get up and bash out a few songs, they all had a blast. After Lemmy passed, Phil had more time and so they decided to take the same guys out to a few festivals and maybe write some material. Seven years later and this is the result!
Frankly, when the first news came out that Phil was putting a new band together with his sons and Neil Starr on vocals, I wasn’t really expecting much, maybe a re-hash of some old tunes, maybe a pretty good tribute band? What we actually got on their first EP was a set of five really great hard rock tracks with a huge variation in style, there was a quality here but not an especially coherent record. The Phil Campbell DNA was clearly still evident, but this wasn’t a Motörhead tribute act, this was something fresh and new, if not especially well finished.
Spiders and No Turning back were real high points from the Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons EP, both ripping tracks, dirty and fast with melodic hard rock riffs that hooked you in. I caught them live on tour with Airbourne and they were even better on the live circuit, full of power. Hearing some of their new material had me hungry to take a listen to their new record The Age of Absurdity.
Thankfully, what the boys produced was in exactly the same tone, fast and dirty hard rock full of great hooks and massive riffs. Phil’s characteristic style is never far away on this record, but this is clearly a band effort. Todd, Dane, Tyla and Neil bring a huge amount, this isn’t just the Phil Campbell show, Todd’s guitar work is seriously impressive in its own right and the two are constantly trading blows throughout each track.
The Age of Absurdity has a thicker, heavier production than the first EP, which I think brings it to life a little more and adds some real dynamic weight to the album. The opener Ringleader is an absolute classic hard rock track, dirty, fast and bursting with energy. Freak Show grabs you with a stunning riff but then takes you on a rollercoaster with raucous guitars balanced with a real driving groove from Tyla’s bass and Dane’s drums. This balance of dirty, raucous guitars balanced with a bottom end groove really sums up this record for me, there isn’t a weak track on the entire record, its huge riff after huge riff. They only slow down for Dark Days and Into The Dark, which showcases Neil Starr’s awesome vocals nicely and also the bands dark, bluesy, almost soulful underbelly. The lead solo on Into The Dark is a thing of beauty, wonderfully balanced and as smooth as silk, utterly divine!
For me, the picks of the record are Freak Show (that opening Riff is huge!) and Into The Dark (that Solo and the bassline!!), both so different but still managing to retain the DNA that is Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons.
Overall a big step up in production from their first EP and an honest hard rock record with some monster songs. I can’t help feeling that this is going to be one of those records that the band struggle to beat in future years, it been a real favourite of mine over the last couple of weeks that’s for sure.
PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS - Dark Days (OFFICIAL VIDEO) - YouTube
Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons website is here