Going Underground :: Apologies, I Have None

Finally back to good fucking punk rock.

The past month(ish) of Going Underground have been a variety of different genre’s from indie rock to piano pop. Thankfully, this week, I’m going back to roots and kicking it with some awesome punk stylings. This weeks Going Underground is all about Apologies, I Have None.


I think the first time I ever saw Apologies was at the Southsea fest (check out the video!), but I could have possibly watched them before. I drink a lot, and remember very little. All I know is the first time I saw the Southern four piece I was so invigorated by their hard hitting huge (Triple ‘H’) sound I had to take a trip to the men’s room to relieve myself.

The funny thing about this band is that the bands bassist, I’m pretty sure, is American, or sounds a fuck load like it. This, in contrast with three totally cockney accents and some silver tongue action, makes for some entertaining on-stage banter. Plus the American guy always wears a little bandanna which to me, is hilarious, sorry PJ.

Their sound has similarities to Against Me! in their early days, semi-distorted big open chords and shout a long vocal melodies. On record, the atmosphere of Apologies live show is not even close to lost. It’s just as upbeat and I’m sure anyone listening to this band on the bus, or “tube” as these lads most likely travel on, will look like a total twat when they smash their fist into the air with the meatiest grin brimming from ear to ear.

Apologies, I Have None are a band. I would recommend them. Even more so if you like music.

4/5 brews, though as the weeks go on, this rating system seems more and more pointless.


In a follow up article I’m going to put up all of the tour dates of the band’s upcoming tour with Crazy Arm. There are a few dates before that, and an abundance of songs, on their MySpace.

You can also “like” the band on Facebook, and buy their music on iTunes.

Promo :: My Chemical Romance – ‘Danger Days, The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys’

After a long wait for My Chemical Romance  fans, the new album/ rock opera/ phenomenon, whatever you want to call it has landed. The new theme, a futuristic comic book, designed by  Front man Gerard way himself. And of course with a new wave of music comes a new wave of merchandise, tour dates and trailer videos.

The band have been  releasing song trailers and surveillance videos creating more and more hype as more and more information gets released on the album. With the dramatic cult following behind the highly ‘Emo’ “Welcome to the black parade” under their belts,  My Chemical Romance have taken a risk with “Danger days: the true lives of the fabulous killjoys”  because it’s more raw, more edgey and is shedding the old persona of the cancer suffering, gothicism of the last album.

Though the songs released don’t have as much of a sheer punk rock edge as previously conceived,  the three songs that fans have heard are truly anthemic. The first, “Na Na Na / Art Is The Weapon”  really portrays a ready for action mood, it’s fast  paced and is catchy beyond belief. The video to this song was really the first big reveal to the fans about the album. With the band clad in bandito scarves, running around the desert firing ray guns at men in masks and white suits what could go wrong? The second song to be heard is slightly more like a ballad,  called ‘Sing’,  again very catchy, this song is very much a stadium tune. The latest song  to be released is called ‘Save yourself, I’ll hold them back’ it starts with a guitar riff  reminiscent of  The Foo Fighters. The structuring and bridges remind me of Cage The Elephant, with Gerard speaking over distorted guitar  waiting for it to just build up and explode.

So With the band running all over Europe at the moment and the website updating more than Phillip Schofield does his twitter, the hype is building thick and fast. I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of many MCR fans when I say , THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

By Choo/Chloe   Cooper


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egG7fiE89IU

http://www.mychemicalromance.com/shop

Going Underground :: Hans Island

It was inevitable. Sooner or later it was going to happen. I’m doing this weeks segment of Going Underground on an indie band, Hans Island. I know, shocking.

Apart from being named after the smallest of a section of three islands, you can tell from first listen that Hans Island clearly have a sound that could make a big impact. Though yes, it is ‘indie rock’, it is accessible and they all do have those weird boffy haircuts that so many of the kids these days seem to dig so much, there is definitely something special here – something that makes someone like myself want to write about them.



Despite all the mainstream factors, which by all means, if you enjoy, go ahead, the band have another side to the music. Its a rawness that almost borderlines on a grunge-esque sound, especially on songs such as Give Over and The Murphy Incident. The latter of the two tracks being highly reminiscent of the Foo Fighters in their earlier days.

I think the main thing that is interesting about Hans Island is that is difficult to put your finger on exactly where their niche lies. They seem to have been influenced by such an abundance of different genres, and unlike so many other bands, this is shown in such a transient way it feels almost as natural as morning wood.

The boys from the Hans get 4/5 brews. It’d be 5, but they are technically still a ‘indie’ band. I have my principles, damnit!



The band will be releasing their single You’ve Been Told on the 8th of November 2010. It will be available via iTunes, Amazon, Play.com, Tesco, 7digital, We7, Napster and some other places too.

You can find details on the album release party – where you can pick up a special limited edition copy of the single – here.

You can also listen to their debut EP on Facebook

Promo :: Frank Turner – ‘I Still Believe’

Hello, and welcome to the Frank Turner Minute

Touring the UK, Europe, the States, China and wherever else wants him has taken up the majority of Frank Turner’s time this year. The Winchester-born singer/songwriter never stops. Even when he’s got time to rest, he’s still busy doing covers, helping charities and recording a new EP. Rock & Roll – Frank’s new five-track stopgap – doesn’t come out until December, but here’s a taste of what’s to come.

Debuted sometime this year, ‘I Still Believe’ is Frank’s homage to his heroes. Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash all get a mention in this catchy new single. In true Turner fashion it’s a real crowd pleaser. Even before release swathes of people were singing the words back to him (good old YouTube), so I can only imagine what’ll happen now. This track will feature alongside ‘Pass It Along’, ‘Rock & Roll Romance’ and others on the new EP, as well as being included on his new album.

Watch the video, watch it again and then buy it off iTunes.

Rock & Roll is released on December 6th on Xtra Mile Recordings and Epitaph Records. Pre-order your copy here.

Going Underground :: Yashin

For this weeks going Underground I decided to do something of a more comical nature. Enjoy!

I’ve decided to write about the band Yashin. A band with a name which is as fucking stupid and crap as their music. This edition has been pretty much lifted from my personal blog, specifically from a post I wrote about the Vans: Slam Dunk Music Night, which took place this past Saturday (23/10/10).

“There’s two rooms, a punk one and a “scene metal” bullshit room. Which would you choose? I chose the shit one. It was fucking hilarious.

A band called Yashin. Total joke. Bunch of skinny jeans wearing, late twenty something arseholes, with more hair products than Tres-Emmé. These beautiful perms that would look perfect on the cover of Vogue. But fuck that! We can have great hair and still be in a tough guy hardcore band. Score!

So this pansy six piece execute their clearly choreographed bullshit while the loyal audience of 14 year old girls finger themselves relentlessly with every fringe flick and low grunty “OH.” I loved it. Better than any “Live at the Apollo” stand up I’ve ever seen.” So if you haven’t had the utter pleasure of hearing, watching and just being part of the incredible musical ineptitude of these fine young gentleman, please do. It will easily relieve any form of depression you may be suffering.

You can listen to them on their MySpace with such hits like ‘Jump The Fuck Up Manchester’ and ‘America Island, Scotland,’ probably. But don’t blame me if you feel like you’ve wasted a small segment of your life that you’ll never get back. Honestly, when will people stop taking a genre called “Screamo” serious? Really? Screamo? What ever floats your boat I guess.

Yashin get 5/5 brews for being that shit.

Album Review :: Robert Plant – Band of Joy

Veteran rocker and hell-raiser Robert Plant takes a different route and seeks to re-invent himself once more time.


band of joy

Robert Plant - Band of Joy © Decca/Universal Music

“Its not to hard to figure out, you see it everyday/And those that were farthest out have gone the other way.” The less than immortal words of Huey Lewis and The News’ 1986, “Hip to be Square”. Although perhaps a little more recognised as an established artist and influential figure on music than Huey, this lyric no matter perfectly describes the latest offering from Robert Plant. Arriving with the frankly hard to believe ninth solo album since 1982, the once Golden God delivers Band of Joy, a tribute to his band before joining Led Zeppelin. The rest is history of course.

Seeking to capitalise on his vastly popular and Grammy Award winning Pushing Sand with Alison Krause, Plant seeks to further himself from the harder rock and roll edge that has made him a household name and forever the envy of many teenage boys and girls for generations to come. Band of Joy however is far from a conventional rock album, its description more aptly described as folk and bluegrass. Certain buzz words such as “alternative” and “fringe” have also been notably present in general reviews and commentaries on the album, all desperately seeking to tag and brand the work of a man who is progressing through his life into his sixth decade and taking his music styles and influences with him.

The opening quadrant of songs sets a relatively calming, soothing sense of self being about the album as a whole. With songs such as “House of Cards” and “Silver Rider” championing this newfound sense of tranquillity and haunting obedience, Plant and his band deliver what is rapidly becoming the archetypal sound for the aging front man. Masterly crafted with a looming and hair rasiningly ghostly atmosphere, Robert Plant firmly stamps his foot down and eliminates any possibility that this album is another overly produced, mass marketed effort to throw on the re-hashed rock pile.

Band of Joy continues with the rich sounding “You Can’t Buy Me Love”. A much harder rock sounding song than Plant has produced in almost a decade, this track harkens back to his early solo years, not seeming out of place on an album such as Pictures At Eleven, his solo debut in the early 1980s. “Falling in Love Again” and “The Only Sound that Matters” follow, taking the sound and pace of the album to a much softer, bluegrass and delta soul direction. Pedal steel and slide guitars, provided by bluegrass legend Darrell Scott provide a meaty chunk of Americana from the Black Country rocker.

Rounding out the album is “Even this Shall Pass Away” the up-tempo, drum centric book end to the calming and soulful opening, eleven tracks previous. With a much more disjointed, highly amped and distorted guitar feel, this track gives long term fans of Plant and all of his previous incarnations and projects something to smile about. A song that would not feel out of place on a late era Zeppelin album, Plant still proves that his vocal range, although tainted by the inevitable rigors of forty years of hard living, hard drinking and harder women, is still a force to be reckoned with in the 21st Century. In all, this track is as disjointed in its sound as it is being placed on an album with a direction very opposite to its inception, something that has kept a singer like Robert Plant on top for a long time and hopefully for longer to come.

Jonathan Whitelaw


The album is available on general release. Tour info and previous discographies are available from Plant’s official website: http://www.robertplant.com

Germs Of Perfection :: Switchfoot

Sorrow

When I think Bad Religion, Christian Rock is the last thing that comes to mind. Well the latest band to add to Germs Of Perfection are Switchfoot. I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of these guys and Christian Rock, generally, sucks.  Regardless, I remained open minded.

The San Diego-based band are apparently known for their rowdiness, but have delivered a slowed-down, more chilled out cover here. Unlike other artists contributing to this record, Switchfoot decided to put their own spin on a more modern Bad Religion song and it turned out really well. ‘Sorrow’ is taken from 2002’s The Process Of Belief – Bad Religion’s 12th studio album. You can listen to Switchfoot’s take on ‘Sorrow’ here.

Germs Of Perfection :: Guttermouth

Pity

Guttermouth, I haven’t heard that name in a while. The last time I listened to those guys I was trying to work out the words to one of their songs. I think it was something about bullets…who knows? Well they’re the latest band to add to this wonderful Bad Religion compilation. These guys have almost been around as long as Brett Gurewitz and co.

For their contribution they’ve gone for one of Bad Religion’s early anthems, ‘Pity’. The original track was on the band’s, 1982 album, How Could Hell Be Any Worse. The same album features, the iconic, ‘We’re Only Gonna Die’ and ‘Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell’. Check out Guttermouth’s interpretation on a Bad Religion classic here.

Germs Of Perfection :: Cheap Girls

Kerosene

Cheap Girls are the lastest additon to the Germs Of Perfection roster and they don’t dissappoint. The ‘classic rock’ take on Bad Religion’s ‘Kerosene’ is not what I expected from the Michigan-based pop-punkers, but they’ve managed to provide another great, interesting addition to MySpace and Spin Magazine’s tribute album.

‘Kerosene’ is taken from Bad Religion’s eponymous Recipe For Hate album, an album of choice for many of the featured artists on this compilation. I first heard about these fine fellows the other night from Above Them. They’ve released a split with them on All In Vinyl, and you know what, it’s really bloody good. Cheap Girls can definitely consider me a fan.

Be sure to check out their cover on MySpace. You can get their split EP with Above Them right here.

Germs Of Perfection :: The Weakerthans

Sanity

Canada, eh? That’s where the next band to cover Bad Religion hail from. The Weakerthan’s have been compared to bands like Against Me! for their punk rock take on folk music and they’re really bloody good. Yet another band that I’ve heard of, but not heard much by. Then again, that’s what compilations like this are for aren’t they? Well, besides being a fitting tribute to one of the best punk bands going.

The guys have covered ‘Sanity’ from Bad Religion’s fourth album No Control, released in 1989. It’s a chilled out take on the classic song and, again, isn’t something I’d expect on a compilation like this. Be sure to check it out.