Friday, 13 August 2010

Spring Offensive - The First Of Many Dreams About Monsters

So here is the new single from art-indie indepent band Spring Offensive, the fourteen minute single, free to download, coming fast on the heels of their self-released debut album 'Pull Us Apart'.

Inspired by 'The Grief Cycle', a five step insight created by psychiatrist Elisabeth K├║bler-Ross in an attempt to discover peoples methods in dealing with the difficulties in life, 'The First Of Many Dreams About Monsters' is broken down into several bite-size sections, and is as far removed from the bumbling up your own ass feel that comes from both concept records and also long tracks as can be.

If you have heard Spring Offensive before, then you will know exactly what to expect, drumming that provides a great backline to the band but is also original and challenging at the same time, while the guitar interplay is both bright and melodic working to its highest ability when combined with intelligently thought out lyrics.

'The First Of Many Dreams About Monsters' won't set the world alight, and I am still personally expecting better things from Spring Offensive but that aside, this is still a great place to discover the band.

3.5 / 5

Spring Offensive Myspace

You can download the single for free on August 20th by clicking here.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Grasscut - 1 Inch / 1/2 Mile

Grasscut are a band comprising of award-winning film and television composer Andrew Phillips and his as of yet unknown counter-part, Marcus O'Dair. Their first release together, '1 Inch / 1/2 Mile' has already gained favourable reviews, creating all the right noises from all the right publications and genuinely being touted as the new Gorillaz (because let's be honest, they aren't up to scratch anymore), but is it really worth all the fuss?

'High Down', the first track on the album is all based around a simple piano melody, with breathy almost Porcupine Tree-esque vocals colouring the song before the drums crash in with a dirty electronic bass tone. Seething up and down between quiet verses and loud chorus', 'High Down' is a psychedelic dream and a fantastic start to this release. 'Old Machines' is off beat and completely different but still, somehow maintaining some element of mainstream through its Nintendo-esque use of synths, could this somehow be the new school version of trip-hop, I definitely think so. 'The Tin Man' is a strange song to say the least, orchestrally, it sounds very much like a title song to perhaps a band movie, being epic and grandiose, but the use of the female vocals over an industrial use of the drums is both different and inspiring and really has to be heard to be believed. 'Passing' is more of what I would expect from a band compared to Gorillaz, a hip-hop drumbeat, but with an interesting arrangement assembled and layered on-top, it is strangely both bright and also extremely dark and moody with a series of electronic bleeps overshadowed by dark distortions.

'1 Inch / 1/2 Mile' definitely isn't an album for everyone. The connections to acts like Gorillaz may yet be to Grasscut's peril, there are definitely no 'Dirty Harry' or 'Feel Good Inc.'-esque tracks to be found here but I am certain that if you allow yourself time with this release that it will be more than fulfilling.

4 / 5

Grasscut Myspace
Collapse Under The Empire - The Sirens Sound

Could Collapse Under The Empire really become any more prolific than they already are? Afterall it only seems like yesterday that I was unwrapping their album to review and not long after here comes their latest release, a five track EP entitled 'The Sirens Sound' released via independent label Sister Jack.

After perhaps playing up to their influences on previous releases it is on 'The Siren Sound' that they really do find themselves in a comfortable home of their own. The lead single 'Grade Seperation' really showcases all the good elements to Collapse Under The Empire, electronic beeps with a droning underscore that can at times sound akin to Thirty Seconds To Mars before the drums and guitars crash in together to destroy the melody. It isn't all post-rock feedback though, there are real melodic hooks in the lead guitar playing, that played over and over really engrave themselves into your skull, something which the heavyweights in this genre still have yet to master. 'Beware/Lost' really masters the electronic elements that they have been working on since their inception in 2007 and along with some really tidy drum work and clever guitar play, it stays fresh without ever really moving on, the use of piano on this track really is bright and warm aswell, a welcome inclusion.

Collapse Under The Empire aren't exactly re-writing music, they aren't even rewriting the post-rock genre but what they have done is find their own little niche, which is a collection of the great instrumental bands, and knocked out a fine EP that you'd all be best checking out.

4 / 5

Collaspe Under The Empire Myspace