Archive for New Release

Have Mercy!

Posted in Music Review, New Release, News, Rock with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by Rex Bussey

Unless you’re re-inventing the wheel or trying to painstakingly recreate Turner’s Modern Rome using nothing but a handful of burnt matchsticks and a gorillas skull, you need to stop whatever it is you’re doing, right now, and listen to this.

Released just one month ago by Machine Gun Funk, a new(ish) act that hail from the exotic shores of far-off Manchester, this rather fantastic little blues number is pretty much guaranteed to become regular listening.

Like the very best blues songs, it’s all rasping depth and glorious resonance. It’s gorgeous, sultry, and easy on the ears. But it’s got an edge as well. Listening to it is like running your tongue along a switch-blade  or dousing your face in kerosene after a particularly rabid night out on the town; it might feel good, but it bites.  Flip to 1:26 and listen as breathy, heart-warming rhythms coalesce  into a singular, brain melting pulse of raw style. Better yet, drop in at 2:31 and listen to the pulsing drive of the bass pound your eardrums into submission.

The best bit? The drums. It is so very rare to hear them given the space they deserve, to hear them echoing about beneath the rhythmic snarl of the bass like some primal, interstellar heartbeat. Here, they shine.

Don’t just take my word for it though, give it a listen here. Remember to stay tuned for more Machine Gun Funk releases as well; there looks to be plenty more brilliant blues rock to come.


Whatever Happened to the Thin White Duke?

Posted in David Bowie, Music, Music Review, News, Pop, Review, Rock with tags , , , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by Rex Bussey

Bowie broke nearly ten years of radio silence when he released his new hit single Where Are We Now two days ago. The track rocketed straight to number one here in the UK, and news of the spaceman’s return rippled out across the cosmos, or the blogosphere at least. People are hailing his new track as a ‘brilliant’ return to form and an ‘outstanding’ effort. Does it deserve the hype? No, not at all. Here’s why

When Bowie clawed his way into the public eye in the early 70’s it was the novelty, the strange, alien vitality of his music that made it so appealing.

He was a writer of unwatched quality, but also an excellent innovator, and a keen pioneer. Five Years broke new ground, Aladdin Sane was a smorgasbord of complicated and wholly original textures, heroes was novelty personified. Bowie’s latest offering, however, is practically just a rehash of his 1976 cover Wild Is the Wind. Everything, from the gentle movement of the brass, the strange, lilting rhythm  the gradual, almost imperceptible lifts, all belong to his earlier, and much better work. In fact the only thing that really sets this new track apart is that it lacks the lyrical power, or the intensity of Bowie’s earlier slow songs. It’s more detached  more hollow than even the most solemn of Bowie’s synth pop dirges.

I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that, after a ten year hiatus, the ‘chameleon of rock’ has proffered up stale fare rather than a sumptuous banquet of vibrant new music. While Where Are We Now is certainly immediately recognizable, while it still evokes that same, dizzying sense of nostalgia, it’s more a product of the Bowie we know, than the one we love.

On Spiders, Hairspray, and Old Men That Sing About Sex

Posted in Motley Crue, Music, Music Review, Review, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2012 by Rex Bussey

Spiders are simple creatures bound by simple laws. When you cut the leg off a spider, the leg dies, but the nerves inside do not. Long after death the leg twitches madly, spasaming across the floor, writhing in a mad dance, a hopeless parody of life. Motley Crue were once the spider; brooding, ominous, genre defying. once upon a time they scuttled back and forth, playing hair metal, hard rock, even a little pop. They were never afraid to innovate and they influenced more bands than I could possibly count. Once, Motley Crue were a force to be reckoned with.

The Crue are not, however, whisky or cheese. They have not matured well.

Their  newest song is, I think, testament to that.  It’s called Sex, and it’s disappointing to say the least.

It’s a 3 minute slice of mediocre hard rock. It’s not original, particularly striking, or incredibly relevant. It’s marred by Tommy Lee’s overenthusiastic drumming, it suffers from an over-abundance of backing vocals and a rather flaccid chorus. Vince’s vocal performance is noteworthy; he sounds better than ever before, and Mick Mars hasn’t lost his touch. The riffs are still catchy, the structure’s acceptable, but it isn’t special, and it won’t wow you. It feels underwhelming.

After 30+ years of writing, recording and producing music, you’d expect the Crue to be on top of their game, to still be brooding, ominous and innovative, to produce something noteworthy, something powerful. Unfortunately Motley Crue seem hell bent on becoming a parody of themselves. They write and produce music that sounds identical to the mush they spewed out pre Baker. They have become the spiders leg; writhing about on the floor, twitching, a reflexive self parody, still desperately clinging to youth and vitality, still screaming about sex despite their flabby jowls and wrinkled faces.

Don’t just take my word for it though. Listen to it here, form your own opinion, tell me what you think.


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