• POLYSICS - eee-P!!!

    Gen 10 2011, 13:50



    Originally posted @ Nokia Entertainment

    After a brief hiatus following the “graduation” of vocoder and synth player Kayo, Japanese New Wave Pop Punk band POLYSICS made their return as a 3-piece in December with the new 5 track eee-P!!!

    As the band are far more prolific with releases in their native Japan this only came to my attention today, resulting in much verbal self-abuse and back to back plays of the EP’s lead single, How Are You?



    The band have wisely chosen to not even try to replace fan-beloved Kayo and have taken it upon themselves to trigger sequences during live performances with Bass player Fumi taking on Kayo’s vocal role for their back catalogue, and the introduction of chiptune to retain the use of all those quirky electronic blips n’ squeaks for future releases.
  • Live Review: Skunk Anansie @ Brixton Academy

    Nov 29 2010, 12:33



    [originally posted @ Nokia Entertainment]

    Still one of the greatest live bands I’ve ever seen… but after notching up my eighth Skunk Anansie gig, and the first I’ve ever watched from anywhere other than the pit, the show was unfortunately my least favourite to date. But this has absolutely nothing to do with the band’s performance, but rather due to my lack of intoxication from the pit euphoria.

    Never the less, the band seize my full attention early as they kick off the show with Stoosh opener, Yes It’s Fucking Political, rather than the predictable new album opener or lead single, keeping the setlist epic through Charlie Big Potato, Because of You and finally, Wonderlustre opener God Loves Only You before bringing it down a notch for some of the more pop friendly tunes that dominate much of the setlist.

    Unfortunately, new tracks My Love Will Fall and The Sweetest Thing don’t translate well live due to the vocal overdubbing employed during the choruses of the studio version, but this only serves to give the band a certain homely appeal.

    A nice touch comes in the form of an Intellectualise My Blackness teaser that segues into Wonderlustre lead single My Ugly Boy, and the three track onslaught of On My Hotel TV, Tear the Place Up and The Skank Heads finally; since without pit influence; makes me flail about as wildly as those who were, and for this reason alone, I’ll keep coming back for more.


    Edit this setlist | More Skunk Anansie setlists
  • The Gracious Few

    Nov 18 2010, 14:43



    Originally posted @ Nokia Entertainment]

    Take a big-hitting 90′s alt/rock band, throw in a little greed and egomania, and the seeds of discontent sow themselves. In this case, what remains are The Gracious Few.

    Now I’d like to believe the name isn’t a poke at the behaviour of former +Live+ bandmate and lead singer, Ed Kowalczyk, but I just can’t help but feel that it might. Just as Ed; though he claims otherwise; seems to have done by titling his recent solo debut, “Alive”…

    And so, Chad Taylor, Chad Gracey and Patrick Dahlheimer’s side project for the proposed 2 year hiatus took the driver’s seat after Ed Kowalczyk; without the band’s knowing; obtained sole publishing rights to +Live+ songs, subsequently initiating a full disbandment (nice one, friend!). Good thing transgressions don’t factor into my music consumption!

    Sans singer, they recruited Candlebox’s Kevin Martin, who then suggested touring bandmate and guitarist (credited as a fully fledged member) Sean Hennesy to complete the line-up upon hearing that guitarist, Chad Taylor, was no longer interested in playing solos.

    Already released Stateside in September, The Gracious Few’s self-titled debut hits the UK on the 22nd November. I have my reservations regarding it’s potential for success on these shores, since we alt-rockers are a dying breed. But for those of us biding our time, awaiting the resurgence… The Gracious Few’s debut is serving up everything we’ve loved and missed from the genre… well, at least everything I love about it.
  • Gorillaz @ The O2 – Quite literally embarking for Plastic Beach

    Nov 16 2010, 15:36



    [Originally posted @ Nokia Entertainment]

    Sunday isn’t the best day to watch a live show for several reasons… mostly due to the looming misery of Monday morning. Couple this with planned engineering work on the only London underground line that serves North Greenwich, and it just nearly becomes too big a chore to bother.

    But money is money, so one persists, and hopes things won’t go as bad as one might expect. Which they don’t. In fact, the suspended service does the favour of forcing me out of the tried and trusted O2 commute routine, and I find myself using the Thames Clipper service for the first time ever. An experience so very fitting when attending a show from a band who’s latest album has a nautical theme. So much so that one might even suspect a conspiracy.

    Then there’s the case of Sunday syndrome. The idea of an all-out party night holds no appeal. Which plays out well too since the atmosphere of the show is one best enjoyed seated, admiring the work of Jamie Hewlett accompanied by the incredible musicianship of the Gorillaz band and a plethora of guest appearances.

    Playing a far more polished set than that of Glastonbury earlier this year – a show I still believe was slated unjustifiably – we get all the expected hits. De La Soul’s support guaranteeing the likes of Feel Good Inc and Superfast Jellyfish (should have been a summer single), Kano and Bashy dropping new rhymes for Del Tha Funkee Homosapien parts on Clint Eastwood, Yukimi Nagano (Little Dragon) on To Binge and the super cool Empire Ants (Little Dragon supported too), Bobby Womack in town again for Stylo and Cloud of Unknowing, and the biggest surprise of the evening comes with the appearance of Neneh Cherry on Kids With Guns.

    Mark E. Smith made it in for Glitter Freeze too, but as with Glastonbury, it’s merely white noise when played live. If anyone knows Damon Albarn, please do me a huge favour and tell him to raise the synth in the mix for future performances.

    Sadly, there was no Mos Def and no Shaun Ryder; who apparently had better things to do like appearing on “I’m A Celebrity…” Hmmm.

    Oh, and no Pirate Jet (Seriously?)… nor did we see any of the proposed technology they were looking into to bring 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel to the stage with the live band.

    Though, we did get a special appearance from Daley for a performance of coming single Doncamatic, which is released next week Monday and received it’s video debut today. I’ll admit that when I first heard the track a couple weeks back that I got the impression Daley was a girl! – Sorry dude, but your voice IS all velvety and lush!

    ps. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble owned Broken!

    pps. Use the Thames Clipper the next time you go to the O2 if you haven’t yet done so.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins – The Fellowship

    Ott 8 2010, 13:05



    [Originally posted @ Nokia Entertainment]

    I was keeping a blog record of the progress of The Smashing Pumpkins track-at-a-time mega project Teargarden By Kaliedyscope, but somewhere between the transition from the old blog to this one the posts never quite made it over, but no biggie… someone was nice enough to quote a few of my words under the “reception” header of the the album’s dedicated Wikipedia page for previously released track, Freak. Thank you kindly!

    I’ve since missed the opportunity to blog about the following release, Spangled. Unfortunately it’s not really the kind of Pumpkins song I’m in tune with personally, but then that in itself emphasises Billy Corgan’s diversity as a songwriter. So there, we’re up to speed now.

    Anyway, there’s another release due sooner than the release ratio thus far as The Fellowship makes it’s way onto the Vampire Diaries soundtrack (yes, another on bites the dust, but let’s not stake our favourite artists for all this vampire bandwagoning. Getting music to the masses is important for sustaining a career in music, you know!).

    Now, the band have contributed exceedingly good songs to soundtracks in the past; Eye for David Lynch’s Lost Highway, Drown for the era-snapshop soundtrack to Singles, and the amazing The End Is The Beginning Is The End from the atrocious should-have-killed-Clooney’s-career Batman & Robin.

    The Fellowship maintains this track record with another electronic-heavy track dominated with spiralling synths that sound a little 8-bit before the entire composition comes in – win!

    I, for one, really like the track, but judge for yourself. I found it over at some kind of awesome where you can catch an acoustic performance of what’s likely to be a future Teargarden release, Jesus Needs A Hit… Billy duffs it too!
  • Indaba & Marcy Playground partner up for crowdsourced remix album

    Ott 5 2010, 11:59



    Originally posted @ Nokia Entertainment

    As an alternate rock kid of the 90′s, seeing the return of bands like Skunk Anansie, Soundgarden and of course, Marcy Playground has made for a great year or so.

    Intended as a solo project from frontman John Wozniak, Leaving Wonderland… In A Fit Of Rage was ultimately released under the band’s name in July 2009. Now, the album’s had the remix makeover… with a twist!

    Having seen Bloc Party do it before with Hunting For Witches whereby one user submitted remix was selected for their 2006-2007 fan club download only album Christmas In The City, so I know it’s certainly not a fresh idea, but this is on a far grander scale and makes use of one of our favourite things… community.

    Partnering with Indaba Music; a collaboration platform for an international community of musicians; Indaba Remixes From Wonderland is the first album to be produced entirely with crowdsourced remixes hand-picked by the band from submissions on Indaba Music. The winners are set to receive royalties from album sales too… Nice one boys!

    Here’s what Wozniak had to say:

    “I wanted to make this record to show people what the online music community is capable of. I believe the talent reflected in these tracks speaks for itself. This community is thriving. It’s thriving because musicians feed on inspiration they get from other musicians. Music is not meant to be a solitary endeavour. It’s something we like to do with other people. But maybe you live in a remote part of the world, or have problems with mobility because you’re physically disabled, or have severe social anxiety, or simply can’t find other musicians in your locale who share your musical interests. Indaba side-steps these limitations, giving musicians all over the world a way to get together and create anyway, which is revolutionary.“
  • Review: Skunk Anansie – Wonderlustre

    Set 21 2010, 16:28



    I’ve made no small claim as to what Skunk Anansie meant to me throughout my teen years, and those which I longed for their return. With this in mind I’ll admit to being a little annoyed when the band returned to announce the release a greatest hits compilation when all I really wanted was a heap of new material to quench a 9 year dry spell.

    Thankfully, somehow within 18 months they’ve managed to deliver a world tour, 3 brand new and dynamically different tracks for the aforementioned greatest hits compilation – each fresh yet so classically Skunk Anansie, effortlessly slotting-in among the remastered hits to seal the gap in their absence – and now, a brand new 12 track studio album, Wonderlustre. So as I stand at the dawn of a new band chapter within no real time at all, I retire my annoyance knowing that the band made all the right choices.

    So, the question you might be asking right about now might go something along the lines of “How does an album you’ve only dreamed of for 9 years actually stand up after said time?”

    Well, I’ll get my one and only gripe out the way – There aren’t enough tracks in the vein of Charlie Big Potato and The Skank Heads. The epic soarers and pop choruses are brilliant as ever of course, but there are tiers of Skunk Anansie fans that I’ve observed over the years, two distinctly different from the radio fans. Those who came to know and love the band through front woman Skin’s gay icon status, and those who love the fierce musicianship that comes to the fore in their heavier tracks. Unfortunately, the latter drew the short straw with Wonderslustre… but no biggie.

    I’m picking The Sweetest Thing or You’re Too Expensive For Me as the follow up single to My Ugly Boy. Anyone care for a wager?

    [originally posted @ Nokia Entertainment]
  • Review: Skunk Anansie – Wonderlustre

    Set 21 2010, 16:27



    I’ve made no small claim as to what Skunk Anansie meant to me throughout my teen years, and those which I longed for their return. With this in mind I’ll admit to being a little annoyed when the band returned to announce the release a greatest hits compilation when all I really wanted was a heap of new material to quench a 9 year dry spell.

    Thankfully, somehow within 18 months they’ve managed to deliver a world tour, 3 brand new and dynamically different tracks for the aforementioned greatest hits compilation – each fresh yet so classically Skunk Anansie, effortlessly slotting-in among the remastered hits to seal the gap in their absence – and now, a brand new 12 track studio album, Wonderlustre. So as I stand at the dawn of a new band chapter within no real time at all, I retire my annoyance knowing that the band made all the right choices.

    So, the question you might be asking right about now might go something along the lines of “How does an album you’ve only dreamed of for 9 years actually stand up after said time?”

    Well, I’ll get my one and only gripe out the way – There aren’t enough tracks in the vein of Charlie Big Potato and The Skank Heads. The epic soarers and pop choruses are brilliant as ever of course, but there are tiers of Skunk Anansie fans that I’ve observed over the years, two distinctly different from the radio fans. Those who came to know and love the band through front woman Skin’s gay icon status, and those who love the fierce musicianship that comes to the fore in their heavier tracks. Unfortunately, the latter drew the short straw with Wonderslustre… but no biggie.

    I’m picking The Sweetest Thing or You’re Too Expensive For Me as the follow up single to My Ugly Boy. Anyone care for a wager?

    [originally posted @ Nokia Entertainment]
  • Kings Of Leon get radio active

    Set 9 2010, 12:41

    [Originally posted at Nokia Entertainment]



    Typical of me I was standing by for the premiere of this yesterday, but then something else must have come up, ejecting the idea from my limited male-like memory slots.

    Now, I’m a part of the contingent of old school KOL fans disappointed with the direction taken by the band on Only by the Night – not a terrible album, just in my opinion lacking the country charm and let’s face it, the novelty of sons and a nephew of a preacher experiencing the hedonistic rock ‘n roll lifestyle.

    Come around morning (hehe) I gave it a spin and have to say that although I don’t feel Radioactive will ever conjure the same reaction I have to tracks like King Of The Rodeo and Taper Jean Girl, I am a complete sucker for a gospel choir chorus.
  • REVIEW: BRANDON BOYD – THE WILD TRAPEZE

    Ago 5 2010, 13:33


    [Originally posted @ insidenokiamusic.com]

    Solo albums, the inevitable self-indulgent need to liberate oneself creatively from the mostly unsung heroes largely responsible for the success of the band from whence one came, all the while preying on their established fan base. As a flag-flyer for the lesser credited band members this is something I have my reservations about… Apparently!

    Nonetheless, as a Comes With Music subscriber and an adamant discography collector of multiple physical formats from the bands I hold in high esteem, I can afford the luxury of completing these discographies for that purpose alone, and still take a chance on new music without the fear of a fad purchase that sits embarrassingly among the pride in my collection… and so, as a dedicated Incubus fan and collector I order a physical copy in the best possible edition I can find. Since a competitor had exclusivity for it’s first week of release, I forget about it until it arrives…

    Making it’s way into my post box, I procrastinate in giving it a spin for a day or so but give the included envelope-sealed accompanying letter from Brandon a read and soon get the impression that he shares some of my own concerns about solo material, making clear the fact that Incubus aren’t in any jeopardy whatsoever and that the songs merely came about from “pot meanderings”.

    Giving insight into Incubus’ songwriting process, Brandon modestly downplays himself as just a singer and lyricist, shining light on the rest of the band as the musicians by revealing that he’s presented with the sound which he then sculpts into a song. So in having some downtime before sessions for the next Incubus album, it’s understandable why Brandon chose to pursue the recording of the album, as the music in this instance is his.

    Addressing another one of my concerns, he also reveals that after considering which musicians he’d have session on the album, that he actually didn’t know any, and so, The Wild Trapeze is largely a solo album true to the term, bar the odd contribution on keys by producer Dave Fridmann.

    So, Brandon’s “not a musician” and I’m not tuned into song lyrics, so how does it fare? Well, compositions don’t have to be rich or complicated to be beautiful. In fact, I’m more inclined to melody, drone and string buzz myself… something The Wild Trapeze excels in and has made Brandon’s solo effort one of my favourite albums of 2010… so says the back to back plays I’ve granted it.

    Brandon Boyd – The Wild Trapeze and Incubus albums, EPs, singles and even a few of the rare 2004 live bootleg albums are available to download at the Nokia Music Store If you’ve got Comes With Music download the lot for free!