EP Review :: Bop – Remix Your Mind (Med School Records)

You know that kind of music where you listen to it, and you startyi tyikping withdoutg reiaodng it bask becoaouse youefre ennjoying iit thaft mcucvh? This EP will more than likely have that effect, although I don’t have any black and white proof that this actually happens.

Of all places, Russia is leading the way in chilled DnB/Dubstep hybrid material. What’s even more striking is that as far as Discogs goes, you’ll be hard pressed to find any more than the real names and, if you’re lucky, a 4 word description of the artists on this remix-of-an-original EP. This begs the question; where exactly did they fucking come from? As it happens, this is the result of a remix competition held by Med School Records, Hospital Record’s (see: Liquid Drum N Bass) sister record label. If you’re a music producer, you’ve probably entered something similar at some point. It’s probably a good job you didn’t enter this one – I dare say you would have lost disastrously – but don’t despair yet. This is a good sign – new talent is always emerging, and by the looks of things, big labels are looking to push them. It’s about time to shake off the tired shackles of Jump Up and Wobble Bass, and delve into the realms of the weird, the dark, the original, the artistic, the intense.

Two words sum this 5-tracker up for me, and probably for you too; Soul Food. True power in music is possessing the ability to alter someone’s state of mind, and that’s exactly what this does. I don’t want to drop tired clichés (god knows there’s probably enough of them already,) but just like in the video – wait until night, get in your car, turn it up, and  just drive. It’s something special.

BUY: http://shop.hospitalrecords.com/product/medic19

Bop “Remix Your Mind” EP (Med School Music)
http://www.medschoolmusic.com

Album Review :: Jamiroquai – Rock Dust Light Star

Jamiroquai have been around for 18 years and have produced some dancefloor classics. Now, they are back after a five year break but does ‘Rock Dust Light Star’ live up to any expectations we might have had after their previous albums?

Jamiroquai’s music has rarely fallen outside the “acid-funk” genre that best describes their sound and has generally been a hit across the board with young and old listeners alike. The changing faces of the collaborators have always been fronted by the effervescent Jay Kay and his outlandish hats. It has been argued that Jay Kay is best known for those hats, his love of fast cars and his penchant for famous (or not so) women, however, in terms of his music, there’s no denying there’s some clear songwriting ability, knowledge of how to seduce people with some of the best bass riffs around and some sustainable funk that’s maintained the band’s presence in the music industry for almost 2 decades.

Rock Dust Light Star has echoes of early 80’s disco combined with the synthesisers and technological tricks of today’s electric generation. Jay Kay’s vocal is, as always, up to scratch and the lyrics are (mostly) imaginative and interesting.

The majority of this album, the 7th for Jamiroquai, has a Saturday night pre-drinks vibe with a whiff of a lazy Sunday afternoon; a good album for the weekend. It’s the kind of album that may grace the Radio 2 playlist or an ’easy-listening for the over 30’s’ album but you’ll probably hear a track or two track on Radio 1 or have seen Jay Kay’s (awkward – after insulting the show’s judges) performance of “White Knuckle Ride” on the X Factor. All things considered, Jamiroquai seem to know how to create music for the masses and are understated but seemingly popular, with this album debuting at number 7 in the UK album chart.

After listening to the album a few times, the band have certainly found comfort in the familiar disco-ball funk that we would expect from them, with songs such as ‘White Knuckle Ride’ and ‘All Good In The Hood’ combining funky bass-riffs, falsetto vocals and sultry saxophones but unfortunately, songs such as ‘Blue Skies’ and ‘Never Gonna Be Another’, which stray from the usual dance-material and creep into the clichéd-pop category , fall short of the mark.

The opening and end of the album are good, with catchy songs and memorable instrumentals but there is a slight dip in the middle. Jay Kay singing cheesey ballads isn’t something I would expect and for me, doesn’t work, but the typical Jamiroquai funk will make me listen to the album, just not on repeat.

Perhaps it’s time, after 18 years, for the funk-veterans to move over and let new dubstep and electro bands take over the dancefloor? [J]

Thanks to Mercury Music for sending the album for review.

http://jamiroquai.co.uk/

Interview :: Buffoon

The Belgian rockers give an exclusive interview to follow up the release of their brand new album


Buffoon

Buffoon

Taking time out to speak to exclusively speak to Moon&Back music, Buffoon members Peter Vleugels and Dave Schroyen share their personal views and insights into the band that are making headlines. With a frank honesty and dash of humour, the Belgian rock n rollers have their own unique views of life, music and everything else in between.

Being veterans of the music scene for a while now, do you feel that you are now both as a band and individually at the peak of your musical and creative natures?

Dave: As a band we are at some kind of peak, because we’ve been playing together for a while now and aside our EP ‘Baloney’ this is our first effort at a full size cd. We worked hard on the songs and sound, we’re very proud of it. Individually I still need to record what I consider a masterpiece, maybe in a next life ???

Peter: Buffoon exist already more than 10 years. When I was 12 I started with writing own stuff, recording them on cassettes with an old microphone of my dad.  So, for me, writing feels very natural. Somehow, I need this. When I look at the way we play today and go on with each other, and I listen to new demo’s I recorded, I think we just on our way. Destination unknown. That’s a good thing! Creativity is not so predictable, you know. It just happens or it doesn’t. That’s life. I don’t think this is some kind of a peak, it’s more like getting out of the valley of laziness.

Do you find differences between audiences and their responses to your music in different countries, if so where is your favourite?

Dave: We only played Holland and Belgium , Dutch people tend to talk more, loud during quiet songs.

Peter: I think there are natural differences in main culture. In both countries we speak the same language, but it’s like Dave says, they seem to be more extravert in Holland . Belgian people are more introvert. We think more. They shout more. Girls in Holland start dancing on songs like GIRL or GLITTER AND AMORE. In Belgium , where people are more introvert, they would need more like a collective vibe I think. You see, we think more. They just dance. That would be a nice song!

Considerred a super group in your native Belgium, how do you as a band respond to a tag like that, good, bad, indifferent?

Dave: We are just a bunch of friends having a good time making music !

Peter: Indeed. I feel lucky about that. I feel we fit good together in this band, we’re just having fun really. If people consider us as a super band, I let them think that way. As I say, we Belgians think a lot.

With this being your first major album released to an international market, what are your expectations for it?

Dave: Lots of gigs, all over the globe,…

Peter: We take chances with our both arms open. It would be a pity not to enjoy the pleasures of some spontaneous recognition, if that might happen.

Who would be your target audience beyond your native shores?

Peter: Polynesian girls with flower tattoos on their bellies?

Dave: Nerds from outer space…

Who were the major influences behind the album and its songs. Both musically and personally?

Dave: Old school : Weezer’s first 2 albums, Pavement, Built To Spill, Pixies, Spoon, Supergrass…/New School : Dr.Dog, Surfer Blood, The Shins, Blitzen Trapper, Wolf People (great band from UK!),…

Pi: Let’s not forget Big Star, Modest Mouse, Raconteurs, John Lennon, Folk Implosion, Stephen Malkmus, Fence, Sparklehorse, The Beatles, The Lemonheads, The Who, Guided By Voices, Ween, Teenage Fanclub, Smithereens, Lou Barlow, The Kinks, Avi Buffalo, Fountains of Wayne, The Posies, Nirvana, …and my dad of course.

Will you be touring the UK on the back of this release?

Dave: That would be great ! Please book us now.

Peter: Yeah, please do. Just mail us: vleugels_p[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Do you prefer recording in the studio or being on the road?

Peter: During home recording, I feel adrenaline too. I love mixing a lot. I can’t wait to do the mix when I just recorded something. That’s a creative and emotional part of my brain. Playing gigs is more a full body experience. Different sensations! Both feels awesome. It’s al part of our musical behaviour…

Dave: 2 different worlds, I prefer the live shows, more adrenaline!

As a band are you very rock and roll style mayhem or is it quiet, controlled fun?

Dave: Daytime : quiet controlled fun, Nighttime : very rock and roll style mayhem.

Peter: Everyday feels like another day. There are more rock’ n’ roll days, quit days, loud moments, intimate moments, chill moments, holidays, controlled days,… Thata’s all part of every day life I think.

Jonathan Whitelaw


Buffoon’s official website is here: http://http://www.myspace.com/buffoontherockband

A special thanks to Buffoon’s UK label Jezus Factory Records who can be found here: http://www.jezusfactory.com/

Album Review :: Tinashé – Saved

Tinashé’s debut album, released earlier this year, would best be summarised as a colourful and varied collection of indie-pop tracks, lyrically reflecting the geographical journey from his birthplace in Zimbabwe to locations in the UK and his experiences throughout.

I first saw Tinashé last year when he supported Noisettes at the O2 Academy in Liverpool.  Some supporting acts blend into the background and are muted by mindless chatter from the crowd as they eagerly await the main performer but with Tinashé, I found myself listening intently and making a conscious effort to remember his name and follow his progress long after the gig was over. Not only was he an animated, confident and engaging performer; he showcased a selection of soulful, catchy and upbeat tracks that left me intrigued as to what material, if any, he’d released, what he was working on and his music in general.

Disappointed, after the gig, that I couldn’t find much of his music online, I sat tight and waited for his debut album and what an album he produced…’Saved’ is a triumph of a debut.

Although difficult to compare Tinashé to one specific musician or artist, a cocktail of comparisons may give you an idea of his sound: If you added a cheeky dash of early Hoosiers to a pint of Jack Penate, poured it over ice, slipped in a bit of Bloc Party and added a thick slice of Jamie T to your glass for decoration, you’d get a taste of Tinashé.

Bearing those comparisons in mind, Tinashé’s drawn his sound from a blend of many musical influences, which are hinted at on the album, from artists such as Prince and Michael Jackson, who Tinashé enjoyed as a child, to the story-telling of 90’s RnB artists like the Notorious BIG who intrigued Tinashé whilst growing up in London.  This fusion of classic musicality and great songwriting is what gives ‘Saved’ an edge. It successfully binds traditional concepts like strong guitar riffs, pounding pianos and some strategic strings with an upbeat and captivating vocal performance throughout.

‘Saved’ would easily please pop-lovers and certainly intrigue the indie-folk. There’s elements of hearty RnB lyrics and noughties experimental indie-pop. You could read into every single line of all the songs on the album, or delve into the “About” section on Tinashé’s website (linked below) which will tell you the ins and outs of his varied upbringing and specific occurrences that influenced him but I think it’s best to listen to the album and read into it what you will; apply it to yourself or listen freely to the music without thinking too much. Either way, I guarantee you’ll find yourself nodding along or subconsciously remembering the catchy refrains.

Despite being a well-rounded album, I think the stand-out tracks are: Saved, The Feeling, Good Times, Mr. Presumption & Every Single Day.

It was when thinking about my favourite albums of this year that I listened to ‘Saved’ again and decided to look online to see how it had been received. There was little in the way of reviews or opinions so I figured I would bring some to the table and hopefully invite others to give him a listen. The album was released in early 2010 so this article isn’t really a “Just released!” – “New Album Review!” – “Fantastic New Music!” type of post, more  “Why haven’t we heard a lot more about this guy?!”.

Tinashé is now continuing his journey, gigging in the UK following his debut release. If you get chance to see him, go!

http://www.tinashe.co.uk/

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

Tinashé’s album is also on i-Tunes and Spotify.

[JC]

Album Review :: Buffoon – Familiar Sounds

Belgian indie veterans come together to release their first fully fledged CD in an attempt to broaden their listenership and our horizons.


Buffoon

Buffoon - Familiar Sounds © BUFFOON recordings/Jesus Factory Records

The country of Belgium is famous for numerous things. Chocolates, canals, Tintin and Trappist Monk beer. They are therefore not entirely synonymous with music beyond their flat borders. This is perhaps about to change however as the first fully loaded, fully comprehensible album from the band Buffoon goes on general sale. Poignantly titled Familiar Sounds, this latest effort from a Belgian band who are considered a super group in their homeland has a sound that is worthy of the international market.


Formed by their enigmatic leader, Peter Vleugels, a self styled and taught musician who learned to love music in the hazy days of the late 80s, Buffoon has become somewhat a popular alternative choice in Belgium in general. Formed from members of bands that could be loosely labeled indie, the lineup of Niels Hendrix on guitar, Mimi Van Den Put on bass and Dave Schroyen on drums, this amalgamation of talented young artists from the Belgian independent scene soon found their voice and direction, forming the band that appears in its entirety now.

With this latest offering in a long line of independent EPs and self published material, Familiar Sounds is a stomping introduction for a much wider audience than the band is used to. The initial interpretations of the band are not the usual eyes rolled response to yet another mainland European act desperately trying to conquer the already mass populated British and international market. Instead, a refreshingly original take on a relatively harder sounding indie theme greets the listener in a pristine, shimmering presence and production.

The opening track “Twisters” has about as much in common with the pre-formed stereotypes and skeptical nuances associated with Euro music as McDonalds has with gyms. The audience is instead treated to a roaring, up beat, high octane guitar anthem infused with a large dosage of electronica for good measure. The theme continues on with “Act as If” and “Did We Forget”, a more relaxed, slowed tempo rock lament. The eclectic guitar and bass of Hendrix and Van Den Put illict sweet memories of early Rolling Stones and Beck. Vleugels’ vocals, timing and tone make the audience weep at every note. The closing solo satisfies the listener as the damaged soul of the protagonist bleeds through the watts of the amplifiers.

Familiar Sounds closes with two contrasting tracks that perfectly sum up the album and band as a whole. “Strange” is another lazy, sun kissed rock number, excellently executed by a band that could quite easily be mistakenly taken from coming from an era and place far from their homes. Conversely the concluding track “Did We Forget? (Appendix)” serves as a less than harmonic, all together bizarre conclusion to an album that otherwise has a structural and musical hospitability. Possibly born out of Vleugels’ love for electronica and the musical freedom he has enjoyed under the blanket of international anonymity, “Did We Forget (The Appendix)” is a track that caters to the bands own preferences and in truth feels more like an in joke than a professional output to potential fans and album buys.

In all Familiar Sounds is an excellent introduction to a band that is perhaps unknown to most listeners within the UK and international listening communities. With a plethora of talent both on and off stage, Buffoon stands a competitive chance at making some headway in their quest for recognition. In a digitally dominated age such as this, bands like Buffoon have more than a good chance of breaking into the mainstream and with material like Familiar Sounds then they are in good stead.

Jonathan Whitelaw


For more information on the band, tours and availability of the album, check out their website: http://www.myspace.com/buffoontherockband

Going Underground :: Leagues Apart

“What happened to the scene? We lost it in the pages of the NME!”

Ian thought he’d banished me from this domain for good, but he was wrong. With Mr. Critchley in Spain, I’ve stepped in to let you know about another amazing UK punk band. They’re a band I’ve seen many times, and they to never fail to impress. Manchester’s least famous (but most loved) sons, Leagues Apart.


It’s hard to believe that these guys only started playing shows this time last year (almost), but with a year of experience under their collective belts they’ve gone from strength to strength. Their brand of fast paced, grufty punk is just what you need on a night out; there’s no way you won’t want to drink a beer once you’ve listened to these guys play. Jawbreaker, The Lawrence Arms, Dillinger Four and other bands of that ilk have obviously been a big influence on the band’s sound, but it’s far from derivative.

Their debut album To Anywhere was released earlier this year to rave reviews, and rightly so! It’s one of my favorite albums of 2010, that’s for sure. The guys are currently on tour in the UK with The Menzingers and were bound to impress any first timers in Manchester on Monday night. They’ve got two more dates on that tour before The Menzingers ship out, but it definitely won’t be your last chance to see them, that’s for sure:

  • 19th Nov. – The Portland, Cambridge w/The Menzingers
  • 20th Nov. – The Old Blue Last, London w/The Menzingers

Of course, if you’re from Manchester you’re probably quite familiar with these four already. I don’t really know if they need my promotion, because at least one of them seems to be at every gig ever. They must be raking it in! If they’re not playing they’ll be helping form human pyramids, crowd surfing or pinning someone to the ceiling. It’s always a party when these guys are about. If you haven’t managed to catch them this time around, keep a look out. Leagues Apart is a band you don’t want to miss.




Check out their official website
Listen to them on MySpace
Download To Anywhere on iTunes

Promo :: Crazy Arm & Apologies, I Have None UK Tour

“There’s nothing left for us in the city, I’ll take my chances on the road”

Crazy Arm are easily the best band to come out of the UK in many years. Their debut album Born To Ruin – or “Born To Run” as many dipshit record store workers have labeled it (it isn’t a Bruce Springsteen covers album!) – has been hailed by many of the well known faces of the punk rock world as being the best album of the year/decade/century.

Guys like Tom Gabel of Against Me! – “I can’t stop listening to Crazy Arm. Their album, Born to Ruin, is the best I’ve heard in a while.”

Also on the tour are the band Apologies, I Have None. I recently (about ten minutes before writing this) wrote an article on the band, you can read that here.


  • 9th Cavern, Exeter (TBC)
  • 10th Unit, Southampton
  • 11th The Croft, Bristol
  • 12th Hobos, Bridgend (+ The Living Daylights + Solutions + more)
  • 13th TBC
  • 14th Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham
  • 15th The Wildman, Norwich
  • 16th Santiagos, Leeds
  • 17th Everything Sucks, Cafe El Paso, London
  • 18th White Rabbit, Plymouth (+ Head Of Programmes)



Crazy Arm’s new single ‘Ambertown’/’Sweet Storm’ is released on 13th December (digitally on Xtra Mile Recordings; vinyl on Gunner Records).

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

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.