Posted by: outroversion | August 17, 2015

Will Varley- Weddings & Wars

Will Varley Weddings & Wars

It’s come to a point now where if someone actually goes to the effort of making a proper music video it’s an event once more. Where from Michael Jackson to the advent of the viral internet there was a saturation of oneupmanship battling to get noticed. The idea of a concept video has become way too much effort for most artists who just sploot out an endless stream of online media in the knowledge their fanbase is strong enough to vaguely sustain them for another year with minimal effort yet endless touring.

So seeing this wonderful 8-bit video for Will Varley‘s Weddings & Wars was a chilled bottle of Oasis in a digital desert. I came across it as he’s supporting my new favourite band Skinny Lister, who in turn are supporting Frank Turner on his next UK tour. It’s going to be one hell of a show.

Posted by: outroversion | August 8, 2015

Dr. Dre- Compton [2015]

Dr. Dre- Compton

Back in the late 90s I was into Eminem right off the bat, the second he released My Name Is.

I first heard Eminem in high school. When Busta Rhymes first heard him, his reaction was to put his face through the windscreen of his tour bus. My reaction was symbolically similar…” ~ Outroversion January 2010

Thanks to that man, I was introduced to a whole new world of music and artists, the most noteable being Dr. Dre.

Later that year, I bought 2001. Wow. You better believe I was bootlegging tapes for everyone at my school trying to spread the word that there’s more to music than what’s shoved into our impressional ears by the mainstream media.

I’d never known an album to have 22 tracks or an artist to bring along all their buddies to be on it and I didn’t know wtf a “skit” was!

Dre knows how to do longevity. It doesn’t take anything away from G Thang that he raps about his “beeper”, it doesn’t matter that he hasn’t released an album in nearly two decades and is into his 50s, he’s still as relevant as ever.

Dre’s albums chronicle glorious snapshots in time and provides a legacy to anyone fortunate enough to be featured on one. His albums might have been the first time people heard Snoop, Nate, Eminem and Xzibit. Compton features the rising Kendrick Lamar, Jon Connor, Candice Pillay and Anderson .Paak among numerous others, all now part of a very exclusive fraternity.

I’ve put off listening to this album since it dropped as it does seem like such a big deal. But come on, the time is upon us.

We’re reminded this is a soundtrack to a documentary with the intro, the horns as if the start of a movie and an old style report on the city of Compton. The actual opening track features two young rappers, King Mez and Justus both yet to hit 25 and the unfortunate fact is it sounds like most other filler tracks on any given rap album. If this was freestyled and recorded live, that would be something. However, the unfortunate reality is they probably spent a long time writing their verses. Expect these guys to go the way of Knocturnal.

For every Still & Forgot about Dre, What’s the Difference, G Thang, Dre Day & Let me Ride there were tracks on the last two that are best left in the past but try to find a rap album without filler, good luck with that. I’ve got to say, this album does not start strongly but it probably should be mentioned that Dre doesn’t turn up until a few tracks in, but hey- now you’re starting feel it.

And Dre’s music is the kind you feel, it doesn’t pass you by. You get the impression nothing was given the green light on this album until he’d listened to it cruising through Cali.

His mastery of production is found in how well tailored his sound is. It’s like Eminem said “you don’t have to ask who produced it. You just know” and that’s an art in itself. Thanks to the eras through which he honed his skills, you get the brass and RnB, auto-tune is on the downlow and an artistic decision when used rather than how it is otherwise with an unfortunately overt dependency and modern evil in this genre.

There’s nothing particularly unexpected and it’s the familiarity that is the appeal of this album. Dre’s going to tell you how well his life is going, there’s going to be messages from the old gang, great beats and pantomime gangster posturing, nobody really wanted anything else.

And you know, a Doctor gives you what you need, not necessarily what you want. People wanted Detox. This isn’t what that was going to be but you needed closure and this is just that and it’s dignified. While people are talking about Eminem’s verse for one reason or another Dre has bookended his career and it’s been one that has been incomprehensibly successful, “Trying to get finances poppin, man I thought that was the object?“.

Snoop comes out of his stupour for a couple of verses, most noteably on One Shot Kill in which he genuinely comes across as a credible and genuinely talented rap artist rather than a gangsta version of the count from Sesame Street.

The spotlight on this album is certainly spread evenly among the guest artists but fucking hell Dre, this is supposed to be YOUR album. Fair enough not having Eminem on every track but he still kills it harder than anybody on the first 11 tracks by the time his spot comes along on Medicine Man.

This album is a chronicle of his career, well why not pay “hommidge” to the reason you haven’t had to release an album in 16 years!? I Need A Doctor should have been saved for this album, Medicine Man (M.M btw..) is the only thing 90% of people are going to come away from this album remembering. Deservedly so if that is the case, what a verse. Doc’s protege gives you those tingles on prescripton.

I’m probably not qualified to review a rap album of such gravitas but as it is, I probably won’t listen to it again, there was nothing that stood out apart from the single verse mentioned above and the rest of that song isn’t up to the calibre he was shooting last century and the album certainly isn’t. *BANG* sorry.

Posted by: outroversion | June 5, 2015

Band of the Month: The Weepies

The Weepies

You know I mean it when I make a post these days! Yeah I mean it’s a married couple so you’re thinking Mates of State, Arcade Fire. In reality these guys have been going a long time, we’re talking 15 years. Yeah I dunno, I guess I’m a little behind the game these days… They’re nice to listen to so if you’re in that kinda mood, check them out.

Posted by: outroversion | May 9, 2015

Tired Lion- I don’t think you like me

Tired Lion

Heard this on soccer AM this morning. Australian. Emily Haines stylings. Thought it was worthy of an increasingly rare post.

Posted by: outroversion | April 11, 2015

Flashback: RHCP- Tearjerker

Red Hot Chili Peppers- Tearjerker

When someone talks over the intro, you know they mean business…

“Could you turn up the track a little bit, please?”

There’s probably a lot of songs written about Kurt Cobain’s death but that this is still potent without that in mind makes it so much more than that. First dozen times I heard it I didn’t know that it was, only after I pondered what this gorgeous track was about that I realised.

Only problem with this track is that it was on One Hot Minute which, despite actually being infinitely better than you think, isn’t particularly highly revered. Just figured if one person read this and heard it it’d be worth the effort.

Posted by: outroversion | April 9, 2015

2000 Trees 2015: Alkaline Trio to headline

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2000 Trees 2015

So there you have it! Illinois punk rock legends Alkaline Trio will headline the Mainstage on Saturday night, closing what looks to be another spectacular few days at Upcote Farm on the outskirts of Cheltenham.

Last night searching Alkaline Trio and 2000 Trees on twitter returned one solitary result, I don’t know if this guy had simply guessed and had no idea he was right or… well the alternative doesn’t bear mentioning!

It’s a bit of a different story now! Tickets will be sold out crazy soon, their fanbase is as dedicated as any out there and with good cause. They haven’t been able to release an album without it being declared a classic of whichever genre they’ve chosen to fit in at that moment.

During the middle part of their career, they did go a bit pop punk, not that there’s anything wrong with that but those fans of their original output were rewarded with albums harking back to their roots once the new decade hit.

You can probably be assured that this will be a whirlwind tour of their 19 year & 8 album career as they’re not here promoting a new album they just want a place at the best party of the year like everyone else. However, it should also be noted at the end of last year they played their two most highly revered albums Crimson & Good Mourning BACK TO BACK. Which, I mean… I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up but just- imagine that.

I mean I’ve put some of their best songs down the bottom for you to check out but I haven’t even mentioned Private Eye or Stupid Kid I mean, if you don’t know this band you’re in for a hell of a ride and if you do you’re going to get some of your wildest dreams realised this summer.

More Information & Tickets Here

Calling All Skeletons (2011)

~

This Could Be Love (2003)

~

Radio (2000)

~

Cringe (1998)

Posted by: outroversion | March 23, 2015

Death Cab For Cutie- Kintsugi [2015]

Death Cab For Cutie- Kintsugi

The introduction to the album No Room In The Frame reminds me of Brixby Canyon Bridge which was one of my favourite openings after they moved into the more atmospheric second half of their career. Lyrically this is obviously about Zooey Deschanel who I’m happy to blame for their easily ignorable 2011 release which marked the first strike of Ben Gibbard‘s illustrious indie career.

The pace of the first couple of tracks is foreboding, this could easily turn into another Codes and Keys and if that is the case I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s time to call it a day.

The Ghosts of Beverley Drive is the track the fans have been most excited about. This track spans their career, musically taking elements from I Will Posess Your Heart and Sound of Settling where lyrically it could have been on We Have The Facts or Transatlanticism. It’s good, let’s hope this is a sign of things to come…

OK, Little Wanderer isn’t very good but then  was on Narrow Stairs and that album is still considered flawless. This again is *sigh* about Zooey bloody Deschanel like the lyrics are so specific that he may as well have just written it for himself and kept it on his ipod for his own personal cranks. DCFC albums tend to be 11 tracks and come in at 45 minutes so when you get a filler track you’re entitled to be a little concerned.

Hold No Guns is right up there with the very worst tracks Ben’s ever written. We’re talking, Talking Bird, 90% of Codes and Keys, Little Bribes, add it to the list.

Good Help (Is So Hard To Find) is GREAT. It’s the You Can Do Better Than Me or Stay Young Go Dancing of the album in that it’s unlike their usual offerings and unexpected in the tone of the album. Nice one.

As a standalone track the finale is just that piano one that he’s insisted on putting on the last few albums. The title, Binary Sea however, says everything about the album and time we live in. The number of people who will actively listen to this album is a fraction of those that will have it on their hard drives. Maybe they’ll listen to the first few tracks which at the end of the day, aren’t entirely gripping and move on or look on last.fm for the ‘best’ tracks and just check those.

The incentive to listen to an entire album is not what it once was but Death Cab make albums. There’s no other band I’ve listened to their albums from start to finish as much as these guys. It always felt to me like their albums represented a different mood and obviously they’ve been fairly clear about where this stands on that scale. So if you’re ever feeling like filling in the cracks of your life and embracing the person they’ve made you, that’s when you want to listen to this.

Stream the album here

Posted by: outroversion | March 11, 2015

Download: SXSW 2015 Playlist 75 Tracks

sxsw2015

SXSW 2015

Jawws, Alex G, The Miseries, Birdcloud, Bloods, Built By Snow, Carnival Kids, Happyness, The oOohh Baby Gimme Mores, The Vaccines, The Bad Lovers, Kevin Devine, Lucette, Summer Cannibals, The 69 Cats, Baby Bee, Bad Cop, Well Hung Heart, Ian Moore, The Snaz, Twin Peaks, Dellacoma, Ume, JPNSGRLS, BORNS, King Charles, HOLYCHILD, Amsterdamn!, The Zombies, Rebecca Perl, Spring King, The Prettiots, Bleachers, Heyrocco, Greighwolfe, Port Juvee, In-Flight Safety, Genevieve, Hamish Anderson, Indevotion, The Magnettes, MC Lars, Death Valley Girls, Air Bag One, The Wind & The Wave, Gifted |007 of RAW, The Bros. Landreth, The Accidentals, Kosha Dillz, Girl Pilot, The Delta Riggs, Walking on Cars, Armstrong Leigh, Hooka Hey, Quiet Company, Night Terrors of 1927, Moon Honey, Hector Bizerk, Skylar Spence, Hawthorne Heights, Chaos Chaos, Agosto, People’s Blues of Richmond, Nive Nielsen & the Deer Children, Guy Blakeslee, Schaffer the Darklord, B. DOLAN, Cold Mailman, Yip Deceiver, Intimate Stranger, Dear Boy, The People The Poet, Adil Omar, Great Ceasar, The Family Crest

Torrent

Torrent Download

Direct Download

Posted by: outroversion | February 26, 2015

2000 Trees 2015: More Acts Announced

 Idlewild // We Are The Ocean // 

The Subways (Thursday Headliners), // And So I Watch You From Afar // 

Black Peaks // 

Acollective // Creeper // Great Cynics // Blaenavon // Lloyd Yates // 

Jake Isaac // 

Get Inuit // Rebecca Clements // Bare Knuckle Parade

Posted by: outroversion | February 9, 2015

2000 Trees 2015: The Amazing Snakeheads

The Amazing Snakeheads

Some bands just grab you, you know. You might listen to Glasgow’s The Amazing Snakeheads’ recently released debut album Amphetamine Ballads and enjoy it but not be totally sure why.

That they are playing 2000 Trees this summer is both a testament to the ear for quality the organisers have as well as a sign of the sway they hold on huge upcoming acts.

If you asked people who were listening to Wu Lyf a year or two ago and asked why they liked their music they’d have been hard pushed to give an answer that weren’t just vague references to the personae that NME had created around them. Due credit though, they had a certain passion which brings me onto a certain Dale Barclay

Passion is what frontman Barclay has in truckloads, the kind you can’t fake or put on for the cameras. He’s sure as hell riled up about something. Their live shows have become amazingly intense adrenaline fuelled pageants that are so close to boiling over your brain is telling you you’re not safe there, but how the hell are you supposed to turn away from this spectacle?

Indeed he is the only remaining member of the original line up and if the human race comes down to a bar fight for survival he’ll be sticking around a long time after the rest of us are left with wine bottles lodged in our throats.

There’s elements of hardcore (the raw instrumentation punctuated by repeated snarled lines) but Snakeheads see themselves as Rock & Roll, the purest kind- the kind you take intravenously. The brass is a surprise inclusion but just as menacing as the guitars, vocals and lyrics and adds another element to proceedings.

When the bass is bedding sparse drumming, the guitars are squirming and the brass haunting your soul you wouldn’t be far off comparing such aspects of their debut to some of Nick Cave’s more menacing moments.

These guys could have been around in the 80s and be seen as an underground punk band in a time where they were ten a penny and besides, you already had the best in the game back then. These days, we need people like Dale Barclay to inject some passion into us, to awaken our fury, to check if we still bleed.

Here It Comes Again

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