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Manchester

Get high on the dystopic delirium in Heavy Salad’s tropic psych rock cocktail, Weirdest of the Weird Shit

Even though you probably don’t need a track to affirm that we’re living in an era as twisted as Shaun Ryder’s melons, there’s no understating the vindicating catharsis in Heavy Salad’s tropic psych rock cocktail, Weirdest of the Weird Shit.

The track transcends sonics to deliver a mind-melting invitation to get high on the dystopic delirium as part of a collective experience and let the hallucinogenic waves within the ebbing and flowing guitars crash over you and brighten the psyche’s palette. The multi-layered harmonies play an even more crucial role in embodying and imparting vividly hazy hues as they alchemise with a synergy that Heavy Salad has meticulously honed since their 2019 debut release.

With mantras to live by flowing throughout lyrical surrealism in the beachy Lynchian fever dream, you’re free to explore brighter corridors of perception, safe in the knowledge that logic has become an extinction event and the only thing you can really change is the way you engage with our shared illusion.

Weirdest of the Weird Shit is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Follow Heavy Salad on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Manchester gutter punks The Battery Farm thrashed out against the indignity of modernity in ‘House of Pain’

From the offset of their career, The Battery Farm have launched aural assaults to elucidate the filth that lies in the stitches of our Tory sleaze-slicked social tapestry. Their most recent single, House of Pain, is no exception as it brings forth a new brand of furore while leaving the snarky antagonism by the wayside to deliver a necessitated depiction of the brutality endured by the working classes.

The protestive volition within the vocal delivery couldn’t make it clearer that the last straw has been drawn in response to the indignity of modern survival; it finds a feral way of communicating that shame shouldn’t be carried by the people doing what they need to get by; it should rot the souls of the late-stage capitalists forcing the masses into degrading subjugation.

With thrash punk drum fills hammering the discontent into House of Pain and Dominic Corry’s guitars carrying their signature kaleidoscopic with industrial dissonance effects to visualise the foreboding and unforgiving climate, the visceralism within the stark reflection of post-Brexit reality couldn’t be more affectingly astute.

If you needed any more convincing that the Manchester-based gutter punks have moved into their Motorhead era, the B-side single, Time of Peace, should suffice. The exposition of living in a time of perpetual crisis is all the more impactful with the atrocities of the conflict in Gaza playing out before our powerless eyes as even the Labour party leader condones the international war crimes.

Stream House of Pain on Spotify or watch the official music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Manchester-based producer Tao Mitsu liberated his listeners with his transcendent mix, Just Let Go.

With textures and melodic progressions that go beyond immersive to offer aural escapism, when you’re enmeshed with the pulsating rhythms in the latest instrumental mix, Just Let Go, from the Manchester-based producer Tao Mitsu, space and time may as well cease to exist.

By starting with emotional impulses and constructing musical landscapes around them, each creation of Tao Mitsu is an evocative trip tinged with the full spectrum of human emotion rather than just riding euphoric waves. The fragments of melancholy within the groove and bass-driven ambient techno beats in Just Let Go capture the bittersweetness of loneliness, encompassing the primal pain of heartbreak and the first teasings of hope that appear on the periphery.

Just Let Go may not carry the definitive Manchester sound, but with the cover art depicting one of the cosy corners of the iconic Night & Day Café, Tao Mitsu succeeded in paying homage to the vibrant and eclectic music scene via his nostalgia-driven, transcendently liberating leftfield electronica anthem.

Just Let Go reached the airwaves on August 13th; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lynden. accentuated the sweetness in his bitter-sweet indie symphony, You

Jumping off raw emotion as a precipice, the Manchester-based Indie singer-songwriter, Lynden. delved deep when orchestrating and writing his love song, You.

His husky-with-melancholy vocal harmonies make his porously impassioned lyrical proclamations even sweeter to fall into as they ring as assuredly as the gentle acoustic guitar chords against the angular guitar fretwork.

The Cigarettes After Sex inspiration is easily legible within the euphonic atmosphere, but Lynden. stopped at wearing the inspiration on his sleeve instead of assimilating the whole outfit in his quintessentially authentic hit that you’ll need to prise from my playlists from my cold, dead hands.

With John Davis (Blur, Jamie T, The Kooks, Inhaler) in charge of mastering, there was little chance of You falling flat. I always keep my ear to the ground for fresh original acts in my home city; Lynden. was the first artist in a long time that made me prick them up.

You will be available to stream You on all major platforms, including SoundCloud, from August 9th.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bay Bryan’s debut LP is a reverie of ubiquitous art-folk revelation

Life often imitates art, but LPs which emphasise realism and naturalism to such a vivid degree that you find yourself open to the purity and vastness of reality on this 1,000-mph spinning rock are a little harder to find, making the debut album, The Meadow, from Bay Bryan a ubiquitous revelation.

With vocals as diaphanous as the quiescent folk motifs, the omnipresent grace of the 10-track release becomes a paradox in its freeing yet arrestive proclivities. With sounds of the forestland flourishing in the same vein as Cosmo Sheldrake’s nature-sampled work in the opening singles before the LP embraces some folk traditionalism and elevates it through tantalisingly minimalist guile, The Meadow unravels as a release you should consume whole so that the euphonic album can return the favour.

There may be a lot to lament in this Anthropocene. Yet, as euphonically alluded by the Colorado-born, Manchester, UK-based artist, beauty still exists in the totality of our existence. Allowing the release to spill the solace of resonance; around the brushstrokes of pure rapture are conjurings of pensiveness, which give the LP as much soul as the euphoric dream-like layers.

The concept album may portray the tale of a protagonist trapped in an endless daydream, but with the infectious flower child celestiality, you may just find the inspiration to forego reality too, if only for the duration of The Meadow.

The singer-songwriter is often gratifyingly guilty of bringing their theatre-making talents into their imaginatively cinematic soundscapes, which have garnered rave reviews and airplay from BBC Radio 3. In an era when there is so much hate and fear, artists able to implant us in the sanctity of a daydream away from the waking terror are worth their weight in gold; Bay Bryan may just be the richest artist in the UK.

“I want you to stop. I want you to breathe. And for the next 30min I hope that you let yourself go —immerse yourself in world of the meadow —and get lost with me in it’s golden hue. The adventure is yours for the taking.” ~ Bay Bryan

Stream The Meadow via Spotify

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Emissaries of Anxious Angst, The Empty Page, Have New Resonance in Their Arsenal with the Release of Big Nasty Palpitations

After hearing a preview of The Empty Page’s latest single, Big Nasty Palpitations, during their support slot for BERRIES at Gullivers in March and witnessing the visceral fire that has been lit under the Manchester-based emissaries of anxious angst, all it took was the impetus of the angular guitars and subversive anthemics to convince me that it would be the quintessential indie pop hit of the summer.

It may not be your archetypal boy meets girl before releasing a ‘better off without you’ single in the Autumn. The 80s industrial augmented hit is a testament to where society will stand this summer, with conflict scattering rubble like confetti and blowing equally sizeable holes in our assurance that the world is a safe place where your liberty can’t be stripped away at the whim of a sadistically malignant narcissist.

For the anxious, feel your palpitating heart catch in your tight throat under the duress of buzzsaw riffs that are now definitively back in trend. For anyone privileged enough to not know what it feels like to go under when it appears fabric of tangible reality has been pulled from beneath you, grab a snapshot of the dissent into consternation.

Kel said: “Everyone I know has paper-thin mental health at the moment. The world is run by terrifying people who have little regard for us powerless humans who are just trying to get on with our lives. I woke up one too many times with the fear and reached for a pen at 3am to get those grim feelings out of my system. We’ve always been a socially aware band, and the new album definitely has a glittery, dystopian thread running through it that I think is very apparent on this track.”

Big Nasty Palpitations, produced by Morton Kong at Eve Studios, Stockport, hit the airwaves on May 26 ahead of their sophomore LP, which is set to drop later this year.

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Review by Amelia Vandergast

Americana Meets British Acoustic Indie in Champagne on the Rocks’ Sentimentally Cinematic Single, Golden Hour

UK singer-songwriter, Champagne on the Rocks, tantalised timeless Americana tones and tinged them with British acoustic indie in his latest cinematically rendered single, Golden Hour.

With choruses that made me nostalgic for Semisonic, Deep Blue Something and The Calling while simultaneously affirming that Champagne on the Rocks has what it takes to become a sonic legacy in his own right, you’re damn right we were arrested by the elevated weight of Golden Hour. When the winding Americana guitar solo hits, the stripped-back sentimental hit which will allow all of your most-cherished sun-soaked memories to manifest in your mind, the track transformed into a virtuosic triumph. Repeat attention is practically mandatory.

Golden Hour is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chxmist drops an instant electronic classic to turn up all night called Rather Be

Seducing our inner party mode with punchy electronic drum lines to start the weekend with, Chxmist does his hometown of Dublin rather proud with a rather excellent soundtrack for summer on Rather Be.

Chxmist (pronounced chemist) is a Manchester-based project formed by the exceptional electronic producer and DJ Conor Barry.

Pitched vocals and garage grooves complete the sound forged from an ambient project birthed during the national lockdown of 2020.” ~ Chxmist

Scintillating with an assortment of delightfully crisp and saucy music to get enthusiastic about, Chxmist demonstrates so much quality in boatloads as we feel happy and free-flowing excellence to munch on for hours on end here.

Rather Be from Manchester-based electronic music producer and DJ Chxmist is a rocket-fueled mission that Elon Musk might listen to. This is a superbly lit experience which didn’t need too many vocals. Each ear shall feel thunderbolt stuff from a hearty meal of a song that shall change moods and get many dance fans excited. For good reason too.

This is addictive music which will get the body moving. Turn it up.

Listen up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

 

Your Words: Jon Kenzie avoids the weaving observations on Two Plus Two Is Five

Sung with a calm intensity and reminding us of that soulful blues to sip on all night long, Jon Kenzie looks for the all-important truth inside a lie-filled world on the catchy new track to meditate with, Two Plus Two Is Five.

Jon Kenzie is an experienced Manchester, UK-based indie blues solo singer-songwriter and music producer who loves to fuse folk and soul into his wholehearted compositions.

He has truly worked his way up from the grassroots, first playing on the streets and in the clubs of Manchester and then travelling Europe and the States, performing in every town that he comes to.” ~ Jon Kenzie

Taking our minds into a truly introspective soundtrack which has been made with so much poise and ingrained brilliance, Jon Kenzie sizzles our earlobes in the best possible way. This is quality stuff from an honest poet who sings with so much glorious class and love for his craft.

Two Plus Two Is Five from Manchester, UK-based indie blues solo singer-songwriter Jon Kenzie is a rather intriguing single for anyone who believes that humanity is actually going backwards. Thinking about the past and sending us a quality track to learn from, this is a must-listen single if you like things super bluesy and real.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Live Review: The Dirt Turned Poetry into Psychedelic Theatre in Their Launch of Agitator

Agitator by The Dirt

It takes some talent and ingenuity to bring poetry out of the insular arena and translate it into psychedelic theatre; that was exactly what the Dirt achieved during the live launch of their debut LP, Agitator. If the pen is mightier than the sword, the duo dropped an atom bomb onto the crowd who made the Dirt t-shirts in-vogue.

Following the moody post-punk sets from Bloodworm and Dim Imagery, Pray for Mojo devilled the capacity crowd with their ear-blistering staunchly 70s rock rancour; their White Walker cold guitar tones cut through the atmosphere of their massive sound that I didn’t think the Peer Hat PA was capable of.

The Dirt started their set with the palpitatingly exhilarant standout single, Ignorance is Bliss; beneath the psychonautic vortex of guitars lay a brashy caustic backbeat, visceral enough to reminiscence Nine Inch Nails, but even Trent Reznor himself couldn’t match the sharp convictive stage energy that Jack Horner arrested the room with.

Veering straight into the second single from the album, Power Junkie, the Dirt maddened the Madchester sound to the nth degree; Sachiko, armed with her Rickenbacker and a pedalboard that lights up like Blackpool illuminations, drove through her guitar lines through the narrated credence of how insurmountably trodden on the masses are. More than keeping their finger on the pulse of current political scandal and sleaze, The Dirt grips the liberties taken by our disaster capitalist leaders by the throat to squeeze out the odious juice.

Towards the end of the set, the experimentalism amplified around the demands to match the dissenting nature of the Dirt and get off the fences we have got cosy on in recent years. From Cyberman-ESQUE deliverances of vocal lines to wailing psychedelic static capable of tripping switches in your mind that have gathered dust through inexposure to aural innovation, it was an unforgettable performance that exceeded all expectation.

Listen to Agitator on Bandcamp, or grab a vinyl copy from the Golden Believers Records page.

Review by Amelia Vandergast