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Music

All Female Rock Outfit ‘The Nyx’ Drop Punchy Debut Self-Titled EP

As the disparate strands of The Nyx’s sound collide and blend, mix and match, you realise that away from the lazy labelling and journo driven love of scenes and pigeonholing, it’s all just rock and roll. It always has been and as this ferocious London girl-gang fire off salvos of underground rock swagger, punk attitude, garage rock rawness and grunge intensity you can envisage the nods of approval from everyone from Joan Jet to Courtney Love to…well, even Grace Slick.

It’s fierce, sure but is full of melody, it is snarling and confrontational but in a way that comes naturally. And if Fire Breathing Lady is the track that entices you across the threshold, the remaining songs which make up their recent E.P. don’t disappoint either. Hideaway shimmers and grunts in equal measure, Myself rocks and broods and Home is wonderfully melodic and nothing short of anthemic.

The secret to the continuation and success of guitar bands isn’t going to be found in musicians hell bent on fusing their respective genres into strange new progressive hybrids or who seek to push boundaries that probably only exist in their minds. Salvation lies with bands like The Nyx, bands who aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel but are more interested in taking it out for a spin, enjoying the ride and leaving the street peppered with some hard to remove tire marks along the way.

The Nyx are no strangers to the live music scene and are set to perform on 29th June at Black Heart in Camden, followed by more unannounced dates throughout the remainder of the year. More information about the band and their upcoming live dates can be found on their social media pages.

Music

A&R Factory Present: Vertebrae

Vertebrae, an independent alternative rock outfit hailing from London, has released their latest studio endeavor, a single entitled ‘Half The Time.’ The melodic new track has debuted with an accompanying music video, one that’s actually quite well shot. Thus, between the song and the video, Vertebrae is a bit of anomaly in the alternative indie scene: their sound and visuals are both articulate and well-produced.

Even though their self-classification of “alternative” is technically most apt for their music, it’s worth noting that Vertebrae’s sound infuses more than a bit of pop music as well. The hook of ‘Half The Time’ is absolutely brilliant, conveyed beautifully by a strong lead vocalist. For a three piece outfit, Vertebrae has a massive sound. It’s not clear how much additional instrumentation was added in the production process, but there’s an explosive nature to ‘Half The Time’ that makes it feel especially “full.”

Lyrically, ‘Half The Time’ is about as strong as any other pop-tinged alt-rock track. It delves into navel gazing and self doubt, two themes that are fairly common in the genre. The conviction of the performance, however, is top notch, selling the authenticity of the sound. Visually, the music video is spectacularly excellent. The band has even gone as far to shoot it in 4K, and it’s superb 4K, too. Was that entirely unnecessary? Probably. Is it exceedingly cool? Absolutely.

‘Half The Time’ is certainly the kind of single one could spin endlessly for a long while. The strong production and fantastic performance on behalf of all three members of Vertebrae makes the single one of the stronger alt-rock efforts to come across my desk thus far in 2017. They’d be a band worth taking a serious look at seeing live if you live locally in London or surrounding areas. ‘Half The Time’ is well worth the download.

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Music

A&R Factory Present: Tenderhooks

Tenderhooks are a light hearted alternative rock band, embracing all areas of good music from blues to soul to jazz, bringing enriching tendencies to the musical table. Markus Leinweber the lead singer, and musical connoisseur for the keyboard and saxophone is the band’s chief personality, a quintessential British façade, whilst Benassi the lead guitarist, Paul Wheeler the guitarist, Phil Macnamara the bassist, Alex Marino on the drums and Nick Kreel the keyboardist all are vital pieces to the Tenderhooks puzzle, making the band complete in every shape and form. After releasing their forth album Loving Sword they have released a pragmatic music video for their first single from the album Brighton is Falling, revealing a genuine side to British life, portraying the artists on a corporeal level rather than superficial frenzy. Climbing to success, Tenderhooks have released their third music video ‘Blue Sky Train’ and are recording for the new album at the Metway Studios in Brighton.
Tenderhooks kickstarts a series of episodes with ‘Brighton is Falling’, creating a backstory to their music, which ultimately sets the unique band aside from their competitors in the indie-rock scene. Lead singer Markus Leinweber takes charge of the song with a traditionally British rock and roll attitude with similarities to the likes of Jamie T. The whole song builds up a lively atmosphere with an upbeat melody throughout, accompanied by a chirpy rhythm on the keyboards and a bouncing beat surrendering a vivacious ambience by the bassist and guitarist. Leinweber devilishly throws himself into the heart of the music by displaying a passionate performance, and this persuades the audience to join in the enthusiastic environment.

Each distinct episode thereafter contributes to the exclusive experience Tenderhooks have to offer. ‘Curtain Twitcher’ exhibits relaxed indie vibes, where ‘Blue Sky Train’ embraces the quality of jazz music. The slow-paced drumming and soft harmonizing vocals of ‘Curtain Twitcher’ recalls the guising complexion of the likes of The Beatles and Courteeners. The song’s anaemic structure recreates a summery complexity, extracting high spirits from the track through care-free grace rather than a troubled fixation that belongs to the alternative rock scene.

What makes ‘Blue Sky Train’ a fresh alternative to the Tenderhooks sound is the affectionate impression the idyllic saxophone marks on their listeners. We become lost in the charming mystery, where Leinweber’s kindred vocals and the jaunty instrumentals transforms the atmosphere into a celestial state. The band refashions a 1960s-school disco setting, almost like a scene from Grease, exploring all jovial concepts of a national pride in brass music. A combination of benign rock and old school blues, Tenderhooks comprises of inspirations from Madness, Ian Dury and Ray Charles, forming a complete feel good attitude to alternative rock.

Throughout all three episodes of Brighton Is Falling, Tenderhooks lights a spark in a classically British sound, reviving the true sound of rock and roll. They add comedy to each episode, and by humourizing British culture, they reveal the side of music which isn’t as glamorous as it may seem. From exposing the hard truths of signing to a record label, to dodgy gangsters and even making a joke out of Brighton hipsters, Tenderhooks are realists and that is what fascinates their listeners. The combination of indie-pop, jazz and rock and roll is a canny technique which shares both old school British rock and new age alternative-indie. Tenderhooks are as bold as ever with their attitude to rock music, and that is what the rock scene needs, an invigorating stance on music culture.

https://www.facebook.com/tenderhooks/

Words By Aly Mchugh

 

Music

A&R Factory Present: The Great Malarkey

There are quite a few folk, punk, and blues acts in the independent scene. There aren’t very many bands that combine all three of those influences in a fascinatingly coherent and eclectic way, however, and that’s what The Great Malarkey strives to do. The bizarre London-based outfit is preparing to release their sophomore studio endeavor, an album entitled ‘Doghouse.’ In anticipation of the full release, the band has dropped the first song off the record, ‘Duck n Dive.’

Duck n Dive’ may be one of the most surprisingly brilliant songs to come across my desk in months. At times, the song sounds like it’s bleeding out into the street from Preservation Hall in New Orleans. Then, moments later, the tune sounds like a Paul Butterfield song before morphing again into Tom Waits’ ‘Rain Dogs.’ There isn’t a style of Americana-esque music that isn’t melded beautifully into ‘Duck n Dive.

Jam-packing a song with that much sonic influence could easily go awry, but The Great Malarkey has exceptional chemistry. The production quality of the single is superb. It’s cleanly produced and sounds beautiful, but maintains a very loose atmosphere, as if it was recorded with a handful of well-placed room microphones. The comradery of the performers, which is especially present in the opening of the song, makes it completely and utterly infectious to listen to.

Lyrically, the song is chock-full of blues and folk influence, a rambunctious blend of Chicago and delta blues that’s further layered with several generations of folk music. When the growly male vocalist comes into the song toward the tune’s halfway point, The Great Malarkey harness Tom Waits in his prime, as if ‘Duck n Dive’ is a song off ‘Swordfishtrombones’ or ‘Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards.’

To add a cherry atop the cake, there is a very punk mentality to this performance. It’s complex and layered, but has an undying aura of levity. There isn’t an ounce of pretension in this music, which is a lovely change of pace for a critic like myself that digs into intensely pretentious “folk” acts on a daily basis.

Duck n Dive’ is one of the most joyfully fun and lovable singles to come out thus far this year in the indie scene. It should put ‘Doghouse’ near the top of your list of records to check out in the community this year.

https://www.facebook.com/thegreatmalarkey

Words By Brett David Stewart
Music

A&R Factory Present: Kings

Hailing from Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, the four piece indie rock outfit Kings has released their latest studio endeavor, a single entitled ‘Drowning.’ Drawing influence from 80s pop music citing the likes of Michael Jackson and Queen, the foursome is striving to make their name known in a contemporary independent music community chock-full of rock groups. Thus, is Kings able to separate themselves from the pack and create a sound that’s authentic? Let’s dig in and find out.

Out of the gate, ‘Drowning’ is a very well-produced effort. Kings clearly connect in the studio, and their musical camaraderie is abundantly obvious, especially in the electrifying guitar solo section and the brief, but remarkably effective vocal harmony parts. At three minutes long, ‘Drowning’ feels especially punchy. It’s a track one could listen to a dozen times over without fully realizing it.

Despite drawing from a well of inspiration that’s likely older than many of its members, Kings does do a fine job of sounding entirely contemporary. There are hints of Queen, for example, in the solo section, but it never feels dated or derivative. Kings have combined modern indie pop rock with some more “classic” influences, and that’s something that isn’t done often. It’s a fruitful culmination of styles, and ‘Drowning’ is surely a track that could get concert halls moving.

If there’s any criticism to be levied at Kings, it’s that their music, while entirely inoffensive and well executed, doesn’t break down any walls, either. The sound is slick, but safe. The vocals are smooth, but the lyrics are forgettable. ‘Drowning’ is a great song to add to one’s spring or summer playlist, but it’s not a dynamic piece of music that’ll linger on beyond this summer. It’s carefree radio pop that’s also well done.

That’s not a bad thing. It exhibits Kings’ massive potential and offers them a foot in the door by hooking an audience with their catchy anthem. It seems very likely to me that Kings could later produce music that is profound. Right now, their focus is quality pop music, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

It also helps that Kings’ music video for ‘Drowning’ is very good, a simple performance on soundstage in black and white, but an effective and memorable one at that. Hence, ‘Drowning’ is very much worth the time of anyone seeking an enjoyable indie pop rock song that while not entirely groundbreaking, is fun in its own right.

https://www.facebook.com/KINGSIVVI/

Words By Brett David Stewart

Music

A&R Factory Present: CAVEPARTY

Charging in like a thunder storm, brand new youthful alternative rock band CAVEPARTY  revives rock and roll culture with their first single release ‘No Lies’. The band originating from Liverpool sets to introduce a persona from the North, which is utterly shown in the way the bands blissful-grunge attitude compliments a rousing characteristic in the music.  From one division, there are similarities of Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood, and whilst there are elements of Pink Floyd and Tame Impala, CAVEPARTY engages with a sound of a sanguine rock-punk, which is what  music of 2017 lacks, and what the underrated band delivers.

The bands dominance is asserted from the get go, with a thunderous punk entrance from the lead guitarist. The vocalist merges effectively with the ongoing flawless melody, resembling a 90s rock feel. The band described ‘No Lies’ as a song “being about frustration of being lied by someone who doesn’t know the whole truth”, and this interlinks with the build up of the guitarists’ steady beat to a big blow out with a thumping, rebellious guitar solo. CAVEPARTY  embrace a mutinous perception which is connected between the lyrics and the euphonious melody.

After a short hiatus, CAVEPARTY  makes a come back into the live music scene which is sharper than ever. Moving away from new age indie-rock, CAVEPARTY plays into a smart idealisation of old school punk-rock, where the true musical masterminds were formed. Cave Party offer a considerable amount of liberation to their fans, introducing a rare contemporary sound into rock and roll culture.

https://www.facebook.com/docavepartyhard/

Words By Aly Mchugh

Music

A&R Factory Present: Lost Beach

Hailing from the beaches south of Los Angeles, LOST BEACH combines the sentimentality of sun in your face, while pining for the unknown in what we call indie rock n roll. Native Texan Jonny Perdue came to California to further his pursuit in music, finding guitarist and collaborator Steve Stout via a chance encounter while both playing for siblings of two different bands. During his time on the coast, Jonny met Hermosa-raised drummer Davey Latter and bassist Zacc West, also linking up with keys player Davey Allen after seeing his performance at a soundcheck in LA. “Perdue,” meaning lost in French, and the band’s residence on the coast inspired their moniker LOST BEACH. From Otis Redding to Elliott Smith, the group draws inspiration from the sounds of older records and a DIY mentality of self-production.

Lost Beach will be releasing singles in the coming months in anticipation of their self produced full length LP later this year.

Music

A&R Factory Present: Needle Points

Needle Points is a psych-boogie outfit from Philadelphia formed in 2013. Their music, largely influenced by sixties and seventies vibes, is what punk music would have been if Keith Richards invented it. They have toured the east coast twice, including shows at Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival and Georgia’s Savannah Stopover Festival and recently finished a 30-day national tour with mewithoutYou in November 2016. They have also supported bands such as Temples, Dead Meadow, Fat White Family, Sun Club, Spank Rock, CRUISR, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and many more.

Needle Points’ first release Bom Tugangu (2013) , intended as a collection of 4-track basement demos to book shows with, was met with acclaim locally and even internationally. The album, along with their raucous, face-painted, animal suited, hair-for-days live shows, led them to a record deal with indie label PaperCup Music in 2014. With the label, they released a 7-inch for “Cripple Street” a song that has since been picked up for use by Converse for showroom play.

In the fall of 2014, Needle Points worked with Dr. Dog frontman Scott McMicken on their recent release Feel Young. McMicken produced the album and lent his talents as a second guitar player and keyboardist to several tracks. The band decided to leave PaperCup earlier this year and form their own label NeedLove Records on which they released Feel Young.

Needle Points, a band of artists, have also worked hard to develop a marketable aesthetic. Everything they have done and worn since their formation in 2013 has been meticulously curated. Their psychedelic taste and party vibe has helped them develop a loyal social media following, notably in their nearly 13,000 Instagram followers. The band members have also always designed and created their own merchandise. Their talents were recently validated when Philadelphia based clothier Free People purchased one of their t-shirt designs. The company released their Needle Points shirt in department stores and boutiques nationwide in July 2016. Free Peoplealso cited Needle Points as their “favorite band” in a 2015 blog post, and used their track “Needlove (City Walls)” in a YouTube commercial featuring model Alena Blohm. Other brands such as Billabong, Marc Jacobs, and Harper’s Bazaar have also featured Needle Points songs in their work, and they signed with the Discovery Channel, NASCAR, and TLC for televesion in August 2016.

Music

A&R Factory Present: FALSE HEADS

Having been hailed by Iggy Pop as one of his favourite bands of the moment, declared “the future of rock n’ roll” by ex-Ramones manager Danny Fields, signed up by The Libertines drummer Gary Powell to his 25 Hour Convenience Store label, given Pete Townsend’s studio to record in, and named as one of their tips for 2017 by both Fred Perry Subculture and This Feeling, it’s fair to say that there’s a hell of a buzz swirling around the young East London trio False Heads right now.

The Independent, NME, Clash Magazine, Q Magazine, Artrocker, Drowned In Sound, BBC 6Music, Radio X, Kerrang Radio (where the band were playlisted), and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens have also all waded in with support and praise for the trio’s delinquent, punk-driven assault, that finds them caught somewhere between the early grunge of Foo Fighters, the infectious songwriting of Pixies, and the snotty punk attitude of The Buzzcocks.

Following their remarkable ‘Thick Skin’ and ‘Weigh In’ single releases in 2016, False Heads went on to perform at The Roundhouse in London for the Punk Weekender event, played an acclaimed set at Camden Rocks festival, live sessions for BBC Introducing and Radio X, and were even interviewed by The New York Times. Meanwhile their avid fanbase continues to grow as the excitement around the trio builds.

False Heads will now return in 2017 with their ‘Gutter Press’ EP, featuring a string of hard-hitting tracks, including Iggy Pop favourite ‘Slew’, and two stellar new tracks ‘Twenty Nothing’ and ‘Comfort Consumption’.

The new EP delivers five tracks that capture False Heads perfect riot of energetic, leering bawdiness, and set a huge marker for a band whose remarkable rise is seemingly unstoppable. With their frenetic live shows taking on a life of their own, False Heads have also announced their first dates of 2017, with select shows across this February and March.
False Heads ‘Gutter Press’ EP will be released through 25 Hour Convenience Store on March 10th 2017. The band have also partnered with Pledge Music on the new release, with exclusive signed pre-orders on vinyl and CD, along with other merchandise, available from HERE now.

LIVE

23 Feb – MANCHESTER – Dive NQ

24 Feb – LEEDS – Milo Bar

25 Feb – SHEFFIELD – The Rocking Chair

11 Mar – LONDON – Nambucca

17 Mar – BRIGHTON – Bleach

WEBSITE / SOCIAL NETWORKS;

www.facebook.com/FalseHeads

www.falseheads.com

Music

A&R Factory Present: MYFEVER

MYFEVER is a rock band residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Not that it particularly matters when you hear them. If it did, then it wouldn’t exactly make sense to you that brothers Weston and Garrett Hine have somehow managed to capture an authentic energy of West Coast and marry it to a ‘90s sensibility, all while being from Northwest Florida and still in their mid-twenties.

After ten years of playing music together, the core-member Hine brothers have attentively distilled their love of alt-arena rock into a truly memorable and truly modern expression of the genre.

To compare MYFEVER to a homogenized list of names, with the purpose of winning you over, would be pointless. Their offerings deserve more than a casual stream or well-intended earmark. This is burn-worthy music. Theft-worthy music. The point is, you’ve got a date with MYFEVER, so show up.

See The Light is the band’s debut album, released May 2015, followed by their Twin A couplet in early 2016.

Find out more here

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