Posts Tagged ‘Battles




The genre of math rock always did sound like the future when it first arrived out of America’s midwest a couple of decades ago, before it evolved into its modern form, with the British act Foals or the New York-based Battles heading up the underground alt-rock scene in the last few years.  It should come as no surprise that this futuristic genre has returned and is seemingly ever more fitting to modern life with each appearance.  It enjoyed a short hiatus between Foals albums, but now seems back stronger than ever with Manchester’s Everything Everything turning it into something ready for the overground, taking the intricate jazz rhythms and moulding them into something beautiful and harmonious from its earlier foundations.  This evolution is joined by Cast Of Cheers, a four piece from Ireland, adding yet another country to the math rock map.  They take the genre’s signature staccato, rapidly-knocked beats and follow it tap for tap with the high guitar notes.  We imagine the tablature of this music to look as impossible as reading hieroglyphics in a sandstorm, so heaven knows how they get through the recording process.  We’re glad they do if the efforts produce music of this quality.  Why do we love it so much?  Well, there’s a theory that suggests it’s to do with the way in which our brains work.  The thoughts inside our minds are not linear, but are instead a rapid firing of neurons that are jumping about all over the place.  Therefore, when we listen to the off-beat and half-beats of math rock it sits better with how our brains like to digest information.  As I said, it’s just a theory.  Either way, it still requires a shit-load of skill and creativity to carve out something so complex, let alone make it enjoyable and melodic.  Bloc Party nailed it pretty well, but that was more down to Matt Tong’s extraordinary ability with the sticks and so they only really dabbled in this end of the rock spectrum.  Cast Of Cheers are slap bang in the centre of the movement and with tracks such as Goose and Strangers they even pour in stories of love and hope alongside the clever arrangements.  The outstanding track, Auricom, is so layered with beats that you can literally select to follow any one of them and find a groove to fall for.  Their arrival comes as our attention currently finds itself on Ireland and it’s burgeoning post-punk scene, with the likes of  Jogging and Not Squares also opting for maximum power.  As if their music isn’t forward-thinking enough, Cast Of Cheers have also gone and released their debut album, Chariots, for free on their Bandcamp page, so head there for more. Like. Now.  Our culture’s evolution is so subtle that you won’t ever feel like you’re in the future, for it will always be your present, but the progression of music can transport you there in an instant with the likes of The Cast Of Cheers.   (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:         THE CAST OF CHEERS – AURICOM

Hear them here:         THE CAST OF CHEERS – DECEPTAPUNK




Following our recent post about We/Are/Animals, we are pleased to be able to bring you yet another Welsh band that churn out some of the most interesting, exciting, powerful music around.  Gallops are a four piece from Wrexham whose courageous music first marched into view with their song, Lasers, last summer.  Since then the NME and even the BBC have taken note of their incredible, sharply-dressed music.  Comparisons to the likes of Foals and Battles have bounced around like naval mines, which is a fair and accurate description, but there’s also waves of variety bobbing away, which broadens their soundscape.  Tracks such as The Fangs take the kind of synthetic leap into the space age that Jean Michel Jarre plunged into years ago.  This is a particularly useful comparison when it comes to the vocals too, as there simply aren’t any!  This is entirely instrumental music, played with a masterful touch and a captivating, hypnotic magnetism.  Tunes such as Window FX start like a soundtrack to some computer game from the 1980s before building into the kind of theatrical guitar riffing that Led Zeppelin would feel proud of.  More often than not though, the field where they’re most often found grazing is the math rock of 2007.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that this means their sound is dated, as with most of the music from this genre, it’s actually very intelligent and well crafted, thus becoming somewhat timeless.  To be fair, if we re-visit Foals’ album Antidotes now it’s just as enjoyable as it was upon it’s release three years ago.  These comparisons are brightly shown off on tracks such as Werewolves and the pounding Miami Spider, where rock riffs that are as sharp as a banker’s pinstripe jam out, before stuttering as if they were being played by the super-computer, Deep Thought, over jerking beats.  It’s this dissonant jazz tempo that is especially interesting in all of their songs, with the instruments playing just as big a part in the rhythm as the drums themselves, flicking like a set of faulty Taser guns.  It’s very attractive, as the music follows precisely the same pattern that thoughts do inside the brain, firing electricity around in staccato bursts.  Get ready to plug yourselves in with a collection of music that gracefully manages to reflect on the recent past, whilst simultaneously sounding like it’s from the future.  (MB)

Find them here:        Myspace

Hear them here:       GALLOPS – MIAMI SPIDER

Hear them here:        GALLOPS – LASERS


The Gig List – Number 3

Two posts in two days – Aren’t you the spoiled ones! Saying that, already got a new Recommender due up too, so the posts are coming thick and fast now that my computer’s feeling better about itself. Nice.

OK, it’s been a mad month through May in Brighton. Not only did we have many strange and beautiful highlights here for the ‘Brighton Festival’, but we had our annual mad weekend of new music with ‘The Great Escape’, which is fast becoming Europe’s leading new music festival! It’s brilliant that we Brightonians embrace new music so well. I figure it’s a blend of having an alternative atmosphere inherant in the city, having a large young population of students, having a great number of small and mid-sized venues dotted around the centre of town and also a little sprinkling of the sea air probably adds to the madness too!

This years Great Escape saw the acts such as: Yeasayer, The Ting Tings, The Young Knives, Vampire Weekend, The XX, Late Of The Pier and The Futureheads to name but a few! Best named bands gotta be split between either : Soiled Matress & The Springs or Brighton’s own Maths Class – brilliant!

And so we look on to what’s in store through the rest of the summer and turn our attention to two American bands edging onto many radio’s playlists currently. Remember, this is ONLY a guide to what’s on, the rest is up to you : check out the bands, locate the tickets, get to the venue etc. My aim is to simply make you better informed. Nice.

First up – THE BLACK KIDS. They are from Jacksonville, Florida and bring with them a sunny disposition and energy in their tunes. It sounds a little as if The Cure’s Robert Smith is fronting The Go Team, if you can imagine! Great riffs and sing-along chorus’ burst out of each song. Live they’ve supported acts such as Kate Nash, Friendly Fires and more recently Cut Copy, all of which would’ve been cracking evenings I’m sure!

ACT:                    THE BLACK KIDS
VENUE:                CONCORDE 2
COST:                  £ 8.50
DATE:                  Thursday 10th July 2008

Next up is New York oddballs – BATTLES. I’ll attach a video for their single Atlas, as trying to describe their sound is nigh-on impossible quite frankly. Guitar-led indie with weirded-out vocals by singer Tyondai Braxton make up a unique and experimental soundscape. Brilliant riffs and hooks whip the listener up, it really is excitingly fresh stuff. Have a listen…then go get some tickets as I reckon this gig will be very, very cool!!

ACT:                    BATTLES
VENUE:                CONCORDE 2
COST:                  £ 11.00
DATE:                  Tuesday 15th July 2008

Other highlights coming up include; THE PRESETS @ Barfly, Friday 27th June (£8.00) and OK TOKYO (more about these guys in next post of The Recommender me thinks) @ Freebut, Friday 13th June (£6.50).

Recent brilliant gigs of awesomness that appeared in our city included; MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS @ Barfly, FRIENDLY FIRES @ Concorde 2 (note-best guitaring I’ve seen since Johnny Greenwood!), HEARTS REVOLUTION @ Ocean Rooms and UFFIE & FEDZ @ Ocean Rooms. If you missed them, nevermind, just make sure you look out for them next time around as they come with my stamp of approval all over them. Yummy.

Before I end, I gotta say yet another well done to Henron at Ocean Rooms for managing to book the best DJ’s and dance acts on the planet. This club is now going down as one of the finest in the UK for its cutting edge Electro night, usually every Friday. The media are all over it – so should you be!

See you down the front some time soon…


The Recommender's Flickr Photos

March 2020



The Hype Machine




Part of Vice blogging network




Add to Technorati Favorites


mp3 blogs


Loaded Web - Global Blog & Business Directory








CLUB SMITH (Previously known as THE HAIR)


Mike Bradford (MB) - Creator and Contributor (UK)

Olivia Gable (OG) - Contributor (Austin, USA)

Matt Allfrey (MA) - Contributor (UK)

Natasha Ryan - Photographer (New York, USA)