Posts Tagged ‘Not Squares

07
Aug
10

THE RECOMMENDER – THE CAST OF CHEERS

THE CAST OF CHEERS

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

07
Mar
10

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 76

NOT SQUARES

We kick off today’s post with a band that could’ve easily been passed over by The Recommender, but thankfully this Belfast band have a well-oiled PR company.  They sent us the below single by email and rather inexplicably we missed it first time around.  Any successful blog gets way too many emails to cope with, short of employing an attractive secretary (note to self), but as the waves of requests pour in we do our best to check them through.  Perhaps lately we’ve been rather rubbish, but pleasingly this PR company followed up with a second email.  With our attention caught we’re finally able to bring you this trio from Belfast.  Although it’s reflective of the math rock we saw a couple of years ago, it’s actually a refreshing sound, following a seemingly endless stream of synth pop thats recently been pummelled into blogger’s inboxes.  It’s interesting that the below tune is perhaps best appreciated whilst watching the video, (also included below), for it really does make you pogo like a mad bastard.  This is fearless music, of the geeky dance punk variety that Foals were great at, with their alternating delicate, rapid guitaring, but minus their intellect.  It’s  music for music’s sake, free of cares and rather brilliant in it’s execution.  Words are, well, pretty much irrelevant, short of a repeated mantra, for it’s all about the energy and abandonment.  Basslines sing along to your racing heartbeat and the tight drumming seems to forever wind upwards.  We know Foals have seemingly grown up with their latest track, Spanish Sahara, which although utterly astonishing, has a video more akin to Snow Patrol than Not Squares.  Ironically it’s this latter Northern Irish trinity that ultimately reminds you of the plucky riffing and energetic fun Foals previously mastered.  Their second single is out on Richter Collective now.   (MB)

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:        NOT SQUARES – ASYLUM

TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford

1, ,2, 3

We love a good songsmith here on The Recommender.  By ‘songsmith’ we mean the kind of people who can churn out a charming, effortless song, whilst having plenty of tunes left in the metaphorical bag ready and waiting to follow up.  This duo from Pittsburgh seem just the sort, with tracks that are not only instantly enjoyable, but consistently good and the songs come with that rare, magical ingredient of feeling like you’re already familiar with them.  It’s a strange skill that I’m sure even they don’t understand.  We believe it’s the same ability to write a song that Paul McCartney was speaking of when he used to suggest, “I don’t actually write songs, they were already in my head and I just play them out loud“.  This is music with a lot of soul and simplicity, with a kind of singalong abandonment that all good tunes have.  Beck used to manage it with ease.  Their track, Confetti, (listed below), which is out now, has a wonderful troubadour beat that hits their name-checked 1,2,3 clap that We Will Rock You once punched out so successfully.  It’s stylish and full of defiant vocals, although it also occasionally reminds us of Olly Knights, from Turin Breaks (remember them?).  Still, it has plenty of originality and individual craft.  They step things up with their track, Going Away Party, seeming to plug things in and it works just as well with the added volume.  This is music best produced by Americans, with it’s courageous design and it’s preference for suiting sunnier climates.  We suggest that you pick a bright day, crack open a drink and focus in on these songsmiths, for they promise to be a space well worth watching.  (MB)

Find them here:       Myspace

Hear them here:       1, 2, 3 – CONFETTI

TinyRedLineForBlog.jpg picture by odelaybradford

LUXURY LIVING

With the guitars well and truly put back away, we can now turn to the more familiar blog territory of electronic pop.  This selection has promise though, before you accuse us of being all Discodusty!  This trio name their home stomping ground as the incredibly over-trendy Hoxton, in East London, where you would do well not to trip over the numerous winkle pickers, a place where you’d feel naked without a trilby hat or a ‘peach-fur’ moustache.  It seems a perfectly fitting backdrop for this tidy, on-message, delicate pop music.  Neon Gold will no doubt be rubbing their hands and turning on the charm to get behind these guys soon enough, so Wolf Gang and so Penguin Prison is their sound.  The latter of which Luxury Living remixed to wonderful effect, with his track, Something I’m Not.  They aren’t reinventing the electro pop wheel here, but why would you when it’s spinning so freely.  As methodical as it is, it’s still fresh, smooth, sophisticated and consistently uncluttered music.  They aren’t afraid to let the music wander at length when it hits the best part of the song and the vocals seem to marry alongside it perfectly.  Their songs are made for the night, with their arpeggiated synths and the sexual pop beats that move your feet for you.  The charm offensive is completed with the deceptive lyrics and high pitched vocals, that sing of surviving and being driven mad.  It would be dismissive to suggest that it’s in any way easy to tick this many electro pop boxes, so rather than use the context of recent artists to judge these Hoxtonites, we should instead enjoy their quality skills and already perfected sound.   (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        LUXURY LIVING – EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE AMAZING

Here them here:        PENGUIN PRISON – SOMETHING I’M NOT (LUXURY LIVING REMIX)




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