Tag: The Birthday Party

Live Footage: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Perform “The Mercy Seat” Live in Copenhagen

Currently comprised of Australian-born founding member Nick Cave (vocals, piano, guitar), Australian-born multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis, Australian-born Martyn P. Casey (bass), British-born George Vijestica (guitar),  American-born Toby Dammit (keys, percussion) (a.k. Larry Mullins), Swiss-born Thomas Wydler (drums) and American-born Jim Sclavunos (drums), the renowned indie rock act Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds can trace its origins back to 1983 when the band formed after the breakup of Cave’s and multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey’s previous band The Birthday Party.  Throughout the band’s 35 year history, the band has gone through a series of lineup changes, but they’re known for featuring a cast of internationally-based collaborators — and perhaps most importantly, as one of the most critically celebrated and original post-punk, alt rock and indie rock bands of their era, managing to write and record material across a wide range of sounds, styles and genres — i.e., after the release of 1988’s Tender Prey, the band shifted from post-punk to experimental rock for a series of albums; 2008’s Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! found the band playing gritty garage rock; 2013’s Push the Sky Away found the band increasingly incorporating synths after Mick Harvey’s departure in 2009.

Additionally, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have a long-held reputation for being one of the more intense live acts around and interestingly enough, the members of the band filmed one show, during their 2017 world tour — their Copenhagen stop — and presented in cinemas across the world for one night only as Distant Sky — Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen. September 28, 2018 will mark the release of the digital and 12 inch vinyl release of a limited, special release EP of the audio from the show. Of course, it’ll feature this urgent, live rendition of the gorgeous and moody “The Mercy Seat.”

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Currently comprised of founding trio Jack Lantern (vocals), James Burgess (guitar), and Tom Pitts (guitar) with new additions Victor Jakeman (bass), Tom Pitt (drums) and Sev Black (keys), the London-based punk act Claw Marks can trace their origins to when its founding trio were in Austin, TX for SXSW with different bands back in 2013 — Lantern and Pitts were members of Human Hair, while Burgess was a member of Boneyards. As the story goes, Lantern, Burgess and Pitts got lost waling down a highway in the Texan desert when they came to the realization that they wanted to make something much more aggressive, that would channel the likes of Swans and The Birthday Party, but while maintaining the pop sensibility that won Human Hair attention. Ultimately, they felt the need to prove that you can make records that could sound like The Jesus Lizard or The Pop Group — without taking yourself too seriously.

For several years, the band primarily existed as a live outfit, playing raucous, riotous shows across their native London — including a memorable 3am first gig at an abandoned pub. “It was my birthday, and intoxicants may have been involved,” the band’s Jack Lantern recalls. “The show cemented us as a band, because we were playing in the confines of a place that was so similar to the spine of what we were trying to put across. The place was dilapidated, the walls were falling down, and when we started playing, the ceiling started shaking, and dust was raining down on us. And then somebody let off a fire extinguisher halfway through the set, and we were covered in dust and foam.”

With the addition of Jakeman, Pitt and Black, the band continued to develop their overall aesthetic, balancing a chaotic live, stage presence with very specific ideas about lyrical imagery and content. “It’s abotu putting weird images to song,” Lantern, who is also a poet says in press notes. “Usually, they’re a bit disgusting – an armpit full of lice, for example. Or a crab covering your arsehole and stopping anybody from trying to climb in there. We’ve got one song about evil, silent cops staring us down while rubbing their truncheons in their mouths. You know, that kind of thing.”

However, their debut album together has taken five years to write and record — with some of the songs dating back to when the band first started. The members of the band kept returning to East London’s Sound Savers Studio, where they were afforded time and space by co-owner Henry Withers, who was a former bandmate of Lantern’s, to continually refine the material, and eventually their overall sound. In fact, every time they returned, the songs evolved in a rather unpredictable fashion. “I’ve been telling people that the album aged like a fine wine, because it took so long to come together,” Lantern says. “But actually, I’d liken it more now to a slab of rotten meat. We allowed it to fester, and every time we came back to it, there’d be more flies buzzing around it, and this new form of bacteria growing on the chords.”

Ultimately, Claw Marks long-anticipated full-length album Hee Hee reportedly is an unapologetically and nasty collection of punk rock songs that thematically speaking range from the absurd to the political — but much like Tom Waits, the songs having a fucked up, off-kilter, whiskey-fueled vibe. “Swallow U,” Hee Hee‘s latest single is noisy and furious punk rock centered around distortion bathed guitar chords, forceful drumming and howled lyrics and while sonically, the song brings to mind Rollins Band‘s Weight and Get Some Go Again but with an absurdist bent, as the song according to the band is literally about a man who walks down the street, eating everything in his path. What makes the track intriguing to me is the fact that it effortlessly meshes art rock with furious, mosh pit friendly punk.

 

New Video: Surreal and Cinematic Visuals for The Horrors “Something to Remember Me By” Feature Hilarious Commentary on Fame and Consumerism

Over the past five or six years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the London, UK-based indie rock quintet and JOVM mainstays The Horrors. And as you may recall, the British blogosphere darlings comprised of of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion), can trace their origins back to the early 00s, and to a shared interest in obscure vinyl collecting, DJ’ing, and a mutual love of 60s garage rock, and 70s and 80s New Wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus. In fact, as the story goes, the band’s founding trio met during repeated trips back and forth between their hometown from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London.

By 2005, the British indie rock band’s founding trio recruited Haywood and Spurgeon to complete the band’s lineup and began rehearsing, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics’ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Unsurprisingly, their 2007 debut, Strange House featured their garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the album’s first two official singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of music journalists, music critics and fans. And since then, each of the band’s albums — their aforementioned 2007 debut, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous — have garnered both critical praise and commercial success, as they have all charted within the UK Top 40. Along with that, Skying and Luminous received international attention, including attention from this site.

V, The Horrors’ aptly titled fifth studio album was released last week through Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding with the sound that’s won them national and international attention over the past two albums; in fact, the album’s first official single “Machine” seems to have the British indie rockers incorporating elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the abrasive, industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog.

“Something to Remember Me By,” V’s second and is a propulsive, dance floor-friendly track that features a sinuous bass line paired with shimmering and cascading layers of synths, four-on-the floor drumming and a soaring hook — and to my ears, the track seems to have the band drawing influence from late period New Order — i.e., Get Ready and Music Complete — with an underlying, swooning Romanticism, making it arguably their most instantly memorable song they’ve released to date.

Directed by Max Weiland, the recently released video for V’s second single is a cinematic and weird video that directly comments society’s obsession with celebrity and the music industry’s attempt to take advantage of that, as Weiland explains in press notes. In the video, a strange and menacing mega-conglomerate uses the bandmembers’ desire for fame to harder their blood, sweat, tears, semen and more to make ridiculous consumer products for mass consumption — with the most hilarious one being The Horrors brand dildo. 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays The Horrors Return With Their Most Dance Floor-Friendly and Trance-Inducing Song to Date

Over the past five or six years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about the London, UK-based indie rock quintet and JOVM mainstays The Horrors. And as you may recall, the British blogosphere darlings comprised of of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion), can trace their origins back to the early 00s, and to a shared interest in obscure vinyl collecting, DJ’ing, and a mutual love of 60s garage rock, and 70s and 80s New Wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus. In fact, as the story goes, the band’s founding trio met during repeated trips back and forth between their hometown from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London.

By 2005, the British indie rock band’s founding trio recruited Haywood and Spurgeon to complete the band’s lineup and began rehearsing, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics’ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Unsurprisingly, their 2007 debut, Strange House featured their garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the album’s first two official singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of music journalists, music critics and fans. And since then, each of the band’s albums — their aforementioned 2007 debut, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous — have garnered both critical praise and commercial success, as they have all charted within the UK Top 40. Along with that, Skying and Luminous received international attention, including attention from this site. 

V, The Horrors’ aptly titled fifth studio album is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through  Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding with the sound that’s won them national and international attention over the past two albums; in fact, the album’s first official single “Machine” seems to have the British indie rockers incorporating elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the abrasive, industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog. 

“Something to Remember Me By,” V’s second and latest single is a propulsive  and trance-inducing, dance floor-friendly track that features a sinuous bass line paired with shimmering and cascading layers of synths, four-on-the floor drumming and a soaring hook — and to my ears, the latest track seems to have the band drawing influence from late period New Order — i.e., Get Ready and Music Complete — with an underlying, swooning Romanticism, making it arguably their most instantly memorable song they’ve released to date. 

New Video: The Surreal Hieronymus Bosch Inspired Computer Simulated Visuals for The Horrors’ “Machine”

If you’ve been frequenting this site for the past few years, you’ve likely been made very familiar with London, UK-based indie rock quintet and JOVM mainstays The Horrors. Comprised of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion), the British indie rock quintet can trace their origins back to the early 00s and shared interest in obscure vinyl and DJing; in fact as the story goes, Webb met Badwan, who was a member of The Rotters and Cowan met during repeated trips back and forth from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London, and the band’s founding trio bonded over a mutual appreciation of 60s garage rock, new wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus.

By 2005, Badwan, Cowan and Webb recruited Hayward and Spurgeon to fill out the band’s lineup, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics‘ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Interestingly enough, their 2007 debut effort, Strange House featured the garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the band’s first two singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of both the national press and fans. Since then the band’s each of the band’s first four albums — their aforementioned debut, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous have all charted within the UK Top 40 — with Primary Colours, Skying and Luminous receiving international attention.

V, the London-based indie rock quintet’s fifth full-length album is slated for a September 22. 2017 release through Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding upon the sound that won them attention both nationally and internationally. And as you’ll hear on the album’s first official single “Machine,” the band incorporates elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog, as well as a bold and decidedly different direction for the band.

Produced by Jon Emmony, the recently released visuals for “Machine” feature some surreal and nightmarish-looking creatures moving to the song, and as he explains in a lengthy statement, the video is actually “based around the concept of computer simulation. The creatures formed from sections of cut and twisted from insets, crustaceans and bone are arranged in sculptural compositions inspired by artists such as Hieronymus Bosch; finding the surreal within mixed forms and scales. The movement for the creatures is powered through generated simulations — randomised numbers and splines are generated and the position of each creature along these splines are calculated; seemingly without reason but born from the choices of software. 

“If left, taken away from an edit, the creatures would continue to exist and their movements would evolve. Simulated hair adapts to changing wind speeds and directions, again manipulated by randomised mathematics. For me this was an exciting way to create digital imagery as having an element of control removed and then decided by a computer seemed fitting with the track. Machines inside machines.” 

New Audio: The Horrors Return with a Decidedly Industrial Take on Their Sound

Comprised of Faris Badwan (vocals), Joshua Hayward (guitar), Tom Cowan (aka Tom Furse) (keys and synths), Rhys Webb (bass) and Joe Spurgeon (drums, percussion) the London, UK-based indie rock quintet The Horrors can trace their origins back to the early 00s and shared interests in obscure vinyl and DJing; in fact, as the story goes, Web met Badwan, who was then a member of The Rotters and Cowan met during repeated trips back and forth from their hometown Southend-on-Sea and London and bounded over mutual appreciation of 60s garage rock, new wave and post-punk — in particular, The Birthday Party and Bauhaus.

By 2005, Badwan, Cowan and Webb recruited Hayward and Spurgeon to fill out the band’s lineup, and reportedly their first rehearsal together featured two covers — The Sonics’ “The Witch” and Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Jack the Ripper,” interpreted in the tradition of previous garage rock covers such as those by The Fuzztones, The Gruesomes and others. Interestingly enough, their 2007 debut effort, Strange House featured the garage rock take on “Jack the Ripper” as its opening track; however, it was the band’s first two singles “Sheena Is a Parasite” and “Death at the Chapel” that caught the attention of both the national press and fans. Since then the band’s four full-length albums 2007’s Strange House, 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous have all charted within the UK Top 40 — with Primary Colours, Skying and Luminous receiving international attention.

V, the London-based indie rock quintet’s fifth full-length album is slated for a September 22. 2017 release through Wolftone Records/Caroline Records and while being the band’s first batch of material in three years, the Paul Epworth-produced album finds the band experimenting and expanding upon the sound that won them attention both nationally and internationally. And as you’ll hear on the album’s first official single “Machine,” the band incorporates elements of the Manchester sound — in particular, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the industrial electronica of Nine Inch Nails and Earthling-era David Bowie while retaining the band’s rousing and anthemic hooks; but by far, the song may be among the most swaggering and assertive songs of their growing catalog, as well as a bold and decidedly different direction for the band.

New Video: Barry Adamson Returns with Sexy Slasher Film-Inspired Visuals for Latest Single “They Walk Among Us”

If you’ve been frequenting this site at some point over the course of its almost 7 year history, you’ve come across a couple of posts on the renowned Manchester, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and filmmaker, Barry Adamson. Tracing the origins of his musical career to stints a member Magazine, Visage, The Birthday Party, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Adamson has had a lengthy and critically applauded solo career, in which he’s recorded and released 8 full-length albums, 7 EPs and a retrospective compilation, including I Will Set You Free, one of my favorite albums of 2012.

Now up until last year, it had been some time since I had written about or heard from Adamson. In 2013, the Manchester-born and-based musician and singer/songwriter rejoined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for the recording of Cave’s critically applauded Push the Sky Away and over the subsequent few years, Adamson was busy composing soundtracks and getting more involved in film; however, Adamson released Know Where to Run last year, an effort that found the renowned multimedia artist and multi-instrumentalist pushing his sound in a number of different directions with the album’s material drawing from film noir, pop standards, jazz, dub, trip-hop and indie rock — but in Adamson’s imitable style.

Adamson’s 8th EP, Love Sick Dick is slated for an April 14, 2017 release and reportedly the EP will thematically explore the deepest, inner workings of a lovelorn, sad sack bastard in all of his downhearted, paranoid, self-flagellation and grief paired with a sound that the renowned British artist and producer has dubbed “futuristic blues” — and as he explains in press notes, ‘The blues is the blues and if the heart aches then that’s the sound that will come out, whether you are playing guitar, a synth, a piano or performing futuristic guitar solos on your iPhone!” Of course, Love Sick Dick will also further cement Adamson’s reputation for writing, playing, sampling and recording every note, frequently employing the use of new technology to replicate his sound both in the studio and live.

Love Sick Dick’s second and latest single “They Walk Among Us” is a sultry and propulsive track in which Adamson’s husky baritone crooning is paired with a dance floor-friendly production featuring stomping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of shimmering arpeggio synths, ominously swirling electronics, a sinuous bass line and an infectious, ear worm of a hook to create a song that evokes the murkily foreboding, late night prowl of someone looking for action while being remarkably cinematic — as though it could easily be part of a soundtrack of a psychological horror film. Interestingly, as Adamson explained to the folks at Dangerous Minds the song and its accompanying, “‘They Walk Among Us’ explores the conviction of who or indeed what lies beneath the mask we present. The fantasy, the illusion, and all too often foreboding reality.”

Directed by Adamson himself, the recently released video also stars the Manchester, UK-born artist as a debonair English gentleman walking back to his flat, when he comes across a stunning woman, who he invites back to his place — but it ends with a horrible and bloody conclusion that hints at the fact that people aren’t what they seem or what they really are.