Dog Toffee – The Future Has Been

What’s this! A debut EP released 20 years after being recorded, confused, read on…

Future Has been Cover

The story of Dog Toffee starts in the mid 90’s at the latter end of the Manchester rave scene when Factory ruled and Oasis were emerging into the super force that they became. It had all happened in Madchester, the Smiths came and went, pills had popped and a certain Order was becoming not so new.  Dog Toffee played all the venues that counted, eventually finding their way into a studio to record what was to be their debut EP ‘The Future Has Been’.

The story twists and turns several times at this point but in essence they got signed to Sony S2 which quickly became ill fated as the label wanted them to change the vocalist and overall style of the band. This was never going to happen and they parted their ways, continued on eventually recording and releasing 3 albums up to their split in 2006.

The band reformed and finally released ‘The Future Has Been’ on the 24th of March 2017. What strikes me is considering this was recorded in 1996, it sounds so fresh. What the hell were Sony thinking about all those years ago, who knows but perhaps that A&R void has long since been filled.

‘The Future Has Been’ opening track starts with ‘No Contest’ that bounces energy, short and sweet as it is, a perfect opener & a blue print for the rest. Melting into place is ‘King’, sounds almost a reprise in the first 10 seconds but very much its own. Love the mood/temp changes. Backing vocals throughout I am quickly warming to Dog Toffee with their no nonsense rock n roll.

‘Defiance’ departs a tad into a 50’s era groove, think Showaddywaddy on acid locked in a room with Motorheads gear. Doo wops are absent, instead we have some skull shafting power chords, cool, loved this one very much. On to ‘Belgrove’, another old school rocker, instantly there, hooks a plenty, I’m sold. Final track ‘Won’t Miss You’, it’s bolted on the end and sounds like a few songs bolted together medley like. Over two mins for the vocals to kick in, it’s noise noise driving noise.

Overall a solid powerful EP is on offer that should have been released 20 years before but I’m not complaining, just glad to have it on my speakers all these years later. I’m sold, it’s a great release.

Dog Toffee, The Future has Been debut EP April 24th 2017

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Johnny Come Latelys – Judas Factor (EP)

Not for the first time have Johnny Come lately graced the words of Canned Static and for good reason too. Their previous carnation, the (EP) Messiah Complex Part 1 breezed fresh air over a predictable & sanitized music scene that we are all choking on.  The eagerly anticipated ‘Part 2’ manifests itself as ‘Judas Factor’, at least I am assuming this is the part 2, it certainly follows through and more…

johnny-come-latelys-judas-factor-1

The 4 track EP kicks off with ‘I Am’, surprisingly more melodic than the previous EP but certainly no sprinkle of cheese here. Synths creeping in over an offbeat guitar, contrasting lyrics, “I am, you are” etc, clever and interesting, after death there is no resurrection. Not for the faith hearted.

‘I Was A Child’ is a lovely song about growing up, the innocence of life through young eyes, pre indoctrination. Particularly like the chorus with the dreamy backing vocals. I feel the real message in the last line “Intoxication, violation, example set, vindication”. Clever stuff.

‘Freedom’ has a cracking bass line, my favourite bass line over both EP’s. Bass envy to one side, synths return spacing out the void with swirling drones, nice touch, not to mention cool as…  I guess Freedom is pretty much the spirit of Johnny Come Latelys, it typifies their mission or fight, goal if you like. Freedom from politics, greed, corruption etc, you get the picture. It’s a solid track with a strong message.

“A Man is Only as Good as His Word” is our final track, again the message is strong delivered with grit and determination. Not the strongest of the bunch but stuck on the end it… well, ends the EP well…  all’s well and ends well. Not a bad track by any means, probably the best message here but, for me, the three preceding songs score higher in the killer department.

Overall, ‘Judas Factor’ is a big thumbs up, and I’d go further to say it has excelled beyond the ‘Messiah Complex Part 1’. Get your copy over on Band Camp, it’s available at the price you choose… another big thumbs up.

A part 3 is promised so watch this space.

The Cult of Free Love – ‘Love Revolution’

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TCOFL Press Release Image

Harking from somewhere in deepest North Wales, no doubt on a high following Wales’s recent successes in the football arena, this enigmatic collective are certainly making a name for themselves. Their last release ‘Love is All There Is’ completely sold out, yes sold out in these difficult times for non-major label bands. Not an insignificant number either.

Track 1 is called Drone, well named as it does what it says on the tin. A brave first track, most bands would put this on last to drop the vibe right down for their gentle experimental exit but these boys/girls aren’t playing too safe.

Track 2 ‘Jaya Deva’ is more what TCOFL (sorry I got lazy there) are all about. Very much a far eastern vibe going on with some infectious electronic soundscapes & hypnotic Hindi vocals.

Track 3 has so 80’s electro beats in there, can’t get OMD out of my…

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Black Cat White Cat debut album “9 Wild Lovers”

black-cat-white-catThe debut album from Sheffield outfit Black Cat White Cat.The album is to me Twin Peaks small town Americana removed with a polished nice use of guitar vibroverb/ vibrato it has textures that appeal but i think in the song writing department a bit more of the story telling ethic and less of the broken hearted me me me self self self femme fatale tales of wooooh and conquest would enhance the overall impact the band has on the listener.The album is polished and professional.Vocalist Angela Basson has an alluring voice that complements the stylish blues swamp rock sound perfectly.The band play well together and would not have been out of place in Dylan’s Movie “Masked and Anonymous”  but in the song writing dept I think a trick or two was missed.Check it out this band has potential.

https://blackcatwhitecat.bandcamp.com/releases

Future Islands (turning point)

A bunch of seemingly misfit types from Baltimore, USA are very much in demand these days with their relentless touring and recording on the fly. Those early years of intensive ground work have finally started to pay off in the currency of popularity, quite rightly so. It is not just hard work and determination that is propelling these chaps into the realms of a more mainstream band. It just so happens that they are very good.

Every band needs a turning point and in the case of Future Islands that turning point came about during an appearance on the David Letterman show in 2014 (their first TV appearance).

The performance was nothing out of the ordinary to what would be a normal day at the office to these guys but it exposed their brand to a whole new audience whom otherwise had never heard of them. Crazy dancing to one side, what made the real cherry sit nicely on this cake just happened to be that lovely track “Seasons” from the album “Singles”.

The zany chest punching dance routine of vocalist Samuel T Herring could initially be overlooked as a gimmick, but soon you find yourself being sucked in, digging it, a bit of a “yeah, it looks a bit weird but I get it” eureka moment. From that point on, you’re hooked and start to notice the other cool things about this band. The bass player is holding a well knackered bass. The synth is parked on its flight case with a laptop for company. What I love about Future Islands is that rough and ready this is what you get feel that this band have. You know you are watching, well seasoned veterans and everything is second nature to them.

Letterman-01

Future Islands could serve a real purpose in delivering a message to all the mainstream manufactured trash out there. Watch this band, they are the real deal and this is how it should be.

David Bowie’s passing statement from Kate Bush

There have been some loving touching statements from some of Bowie’s long time collaborators like Tony Visconti Brian Eno and from one of Bowie’s own musical hero’s Scott Walker but the statement that had the most affect on me was the one made by Kate Bush printed by the Guardian.

Kate Bush has paid tribute to David Bowie in a rare public statement printed by the Guardian this weekend. Read her remembrance below.
David Bowie had everything. He was intelligent, imaginative, brave, charismatic, cool, sexy and truly inspirational both visually and musically. He created such staggeringly brilliant work, yes, but so much of it and it was so good. There are great people who make great work but who else has left a mark like his? No one like him.
I’m struck by how the whole country has been flung into mourning and shock. Shock, because someone who had already transcended into immortality could actually die. He was ours. Wonderfully eccentric in a way that only an Englishman could be.
Whatever journey his beautiful soul is now on, I hope he can somehow feel how much we all miss him.

BOWIE X

 

 

Elvis the debut album 1956

I am listening to Elvis’s first album on heavyweight 180 gram vinyl LP record released in 1956 that is 60 years ago.For many people this is the album that started it all although some cite Little Richard some Jerry Lee Lewis some Chuck Berry as being the spark that lit the flame in terms of popular appeal Elvis was the one that made the biggest commercial impact as soon as the needle touches down on the platter and the opening lines of Heartbreak Hotel jumps out at you you know you are listening to history.

elvis first LP