The Jim Jones Revue ‘High Horse’

29 11 2010

As it’s rapidly approaching the month of December, I’ve been asked to submit my ‘Albums of the Year’ and all that jazz for various places, and while I would rather choose to listen to the odious Gillian McKeith’s “I’m afraid of spiders” song on constant repeat than compile these types of lists, it’s an unavoidable part of the job.

Still, records by the Smoking Hearts, the Drums, Dan Sartain and more made it a little easier and one of the picks of the bunch was ‘Burning Your House Down’ by the Jim Jones Revue. This band are so far up my street it’s unreal. What a voice.





Frostscald Records

26 11 2010

I have to say, it’s been a busy ass day readers. This morning I interviewed the mighty Jimmy Mistry about Strictly Come Dancing and the lovely Flavia Cacace (ooh, the lovely Flavia Cacace…) then wrote reviews of the new records by N-Dubz (na-na-NIGH!) the Black Eyed Peas and a few others, so I figured, since I was having a bit of a mainstream time of it workwise, I’d post up a label profile I wrote a few months ago on Frostscald Records for Metal Hammer magazine (hey, it makes sense in my head) which is intended as a short, bullet-point style introduction to their roster of acts.

Am I the only one to reference Kylie and Dannii Minogue in a feature about black metal? Most probably..

The Rest In Pieces

Frostscald Records

Now that they’ve been released from prison for church burning and attacking people with axes (as you do) Swedish four-piece Domgard have finally made their first album Nifelhels Skygd [6]despite forming over a decade ago. With a re-jigged line-up and a gaping hole left in the band after former singer Illbrand committed suicide, the self-confessed friends of the dark forces below (we’re guessing they don’t mean the Minogue sisters) offer huge slabs of old school traditional black metal which is as aggressive as it is bleak.

Perennially happy chappie Svart’s (AKA multi-instrumentalist Draug) latest two EPs Forolorad [7] and Namnlos Och Bortglomnd [7] illustrate two striking takes on the human condition with the former a hypnotic and considered release that is quite beautiful in its ugliness and the latter being more concerned with rage and venomous riffs. If Forolorad is full of self-loathing then Namnlos… is brimming with hatred for everyone else.

Enthral’s hard to find first album Prophesies Of The Dying [6] gets re-released and re-mastered this month and unfortunately it still suffers from a horrible bass sound which sounds like a pensioner after too much beans. With complex arrangements and lyrics about anti-religion, madness and depression a go-go, this low budget reissue is for fans only.

 Doom band Finnr’s Cane’s debut Wanderlust [8] gives thrills and chills in equal measure and while at times the record is deceivingly delicate, it’s a fantastic piece of work. Blending old folk chants with occasional blast beats, the trio’s music is ambient, introspective and experimental and fans of Opeth and Katatonia will no doubt take to their tunes.

Deriving inspiration from old pagan tales and mythologies, Drapsnatt’s second effort Hymner Till Undergangen [6] suffers from a keyboard that’s too high in the mix and their decision to keep things “simple, atmospheric and brutal” has been both a hindrance and a benefit. Their Burzum-like ferocity is exciting for some parts, but the quieter musical sequeways just sound lumpen and unimaginative.

Lekamen Illusionen Kallet (which is often abbreviated to LIK) is the musical guise of Graav and Frostscald have reissued all three of his albums-2003’s Ma Ljuset Aldrig Na Oss Mer [5] 2005’s Besvartade Strofer [6] and 2007’s self –titled swan song Lekamen Illusionen Kallet [6]. While his first release is far from essential listening and features out of time drumming and bog standard black metal flourishes, the next two are a definite improvement thanks to tighter song structures and slower tempos. Recommended for fans of Joyless and Forgotten Woods.

Edwin McFee





Isn’t This Pretty?

25 11 2010

Soooooooooooo, as expected, the Gaslight Anthem absolutely killed it on Monday night and, truth be told, I’m still a little under the weather from all the merriment (yup, I’m a total lightweight). I’ll post up the review in a couple of weeks once it runs, but in the meantime, have a look at this amazing poster my brother bought me for my new place (which he has dubbed “the Passion Pad”). Isn’t it nice?

Here’s a closer look. I love the EC Comics/Tales From the Crypt homage. Now all I need is to find someone to drive me to Ikea to buy a frame for it. Oh the trials and tribulations of being the Young McFee….!





And It’s Probably Gonna Fade Like A Tattoo That Hides The Shame

22 11 2010

For the last six months or so, I’ve more or less been constantly listening to all three albums by the Gaslight Anthem. While their first one ‘Sink Or Swim’ is easily my favourite (I like it when bands are a little rougher round the edges) this year’s ‘American Slang’ is great too, and it features in the top five of my ‘albums of 2010’ list that I’ve sent to the different mags I write for for their end of year polls.

Tonight, I’m reviewing the band at the Ulster Hall and I have to say I haven’t been as excited about a gig in a long time. Last night they covered Lizzy’s ‘the Boys Are Back In Town’ in Dublin, so here’s hoping we get something similar this evening and if they play ‘1930’ I will almost certainly lose. My. Shit.





Jettblack In This Month’s Metal Hammer

22 11 2010

Check out this month’s Metal Hammer for my three page Access All Areas feature with Jettblack and Reckless Love. I had a blast travelling around Ireland with the boys and doing lots of touristy things, though I swear I must have had my photo taken beside that Phil fuckin’ Lynott statue outside Bruxelles about a million times at this stage.

Anyway, Jettblack in particular are top blokes and a lot of fun to hang around with, so check them out if you haven’t heard them. Aside from the cock up with the byline, the piece looks ace and it’s one of my favourite things I’ve written all year, so if you like tales of booze, birds and debauchery then have a gander.

I also filmed some footage of the lads for their new single ‘Slip It On,’ so I will keep you posted whenever that sees the light of day.





Green Lantern Trailer

17 11 2010

Yup, the Green Lantern trailer has hit the web and it stars Van Wilder, Party Liason in the lead role. I don’t think it’s going to be as good as the Captain America and Thor films, but I’m still looking forward to seeing it.





News From The North Weeks 65-66

16 11 2010

Can you believe in another couple of months I’ll have been doing my NI news column in Hot Press for three years? Time flies and all that, so here’s a bunch of recent ones for your reading pleasure.

News

Words: Edwin McFee

Vol 34 Issue 22

As we get ever closer to the unveiling of the Beat Poets’ debut album, the band continue to build up our expectations with new single ‘Gravity,’ which is another superb slice of stadium rock. Released on Nov 15, the four-piece officially launch the track with a gig at the Hideout in Warrenpoint two days before it goes on general sale via all digital platforms and they’re also currently making a video for the aforementioned tune too. Support on the night comes from the Q, Firefly and Brendan Fitzpatrick and admission is £5, so make sure you clear the diary this Nov 13 and go and support one of our brightest hopes.

Speaking of promising acts with bags of potential, the mighty Not Squares release their debut album Yeah OK on Nov 27 and play a launch gig at the Bunatee in Belfast in celebration of the release. These days, the rave/punk outfit have slimmed down to a three-piece, but they’ve not lost any of the intensity that made us fall in love with them in the first place and the record is an absolute belter. Support on the night comes from their Richter Collective label-mates Logikparty and there will also be sets from Deformative DJs and Obscene Strategists DJs too.

Also releasing their debut album this month are the soul punk behemoths that are Dirty Stevie. Nine years in the making, A Beginner’s Guide To Levitation is the culmination of months of hard work and while we haven’t received a copy yet at the time of going to press, we’re sure it’s a suitably raucous affair. The Dirt will be selling copies of the slab of wax at the launch gig at the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast on Nov 13 and support comes from We Want Blood and Gascan Ruckas.

 Have you always fancied a career twiddling knobs? Are you one of those people who love to take established tracks and mould them into something different? Well, if your answer to those questions is “yo’ damn right” (or even just a simple “yes” for that matter) then you may be interested in General Fiasco’s latest plan to let their fans remix their sublime single ‘Ever So Shy.’ The winning entry will see their version released via the band’s record label Infectious and all you have to do to enter is click on this link http://www.tracksandfields.com/requests.php?request_id=217 for their terms and conditions. You’ve got until Nov 25 to channel your inner Baron Frankenstein, so good luck!

News

Words: Edwin McFee

Vol. 34 Issue 21

Not content with touring around Ireland (and indeed the world) celebrating 20 years in the alt rock business and releasing their first ever live record We’re Here To The End this November to boot, Larne/Ballyclare legends Therapy? are already eyeing up album number 11 in a bid to capitalize on the creative momentum gained with the mighty Crooked Timber. Yes readers, NI’s greatest export (sorry Mr Lightbody) are hatching plans for next year and as I write this very missive they are holed up in a rehearsal studio in Derby and honing their new tracks. Earlier this month, this writer caught up with the band’s frontman Andy Cairns and he had this to say about the new slab of wax.

 “We’re looking at going into the studio in March, 2011. We’ve got the bones of 14 tracks written already. We’re gonna make it a ten track album, and we have some working titles already. We want to keep in the deeper and darker vein. We had a habit over the years of making a really noisy record followed by a poppy, alternative record but we’ve got out of that. If you like stuff like ‘Unbeliever’ it’s down that alley.”

But before all that of course, we’ve got the so-called Troublegum and More shows to sate our thirst for their own unique brand of awkward rock and they play Cyprus Avenue in Cork on Oct 23 and 24 and Vicar Street, Dublin on Nov 5 so if you haven’t got a ticket yet we recommend you get one pretty sharpish for these once in a lifetime shows.

Keeping things slightly alternative, do you remember how last issue I was complaining about the lack of live action in the South Down area? Well, it seems like someone somewhere was listening as a brand new venue called the Hideout has just started operating this month in Warrenpoint. Located above Jack Ryan’s pub, the space was launched in style with a gig from Fighting with Wire last week and upcoming shows include the Vortex (featuring Bonehead ex of Oasis) on Dec 11 and And So I Watch You From Afar on Dec 23 and we’d like to wish everyone involved in the venture the best of luck.

Finally, John D’arcy and his “Great Bunch Of Lads” have released a new single via the infamous Good Vibrations label. Entitled ‘Get Over Yourself,’ the song is the singer’s finest moment to date and you can download it via his Bandcamp page here:  http://johndarcy.bandcamp.com/track/get-over-yourself.