Thursday, 8 December 2011

Sleazy Skanking: Genre Slags At The Frog And Fiddle

Three glassy-eyed ragamuffins peek suspiciously at me through greasy dreadlocks as I swagger through their spliff’s aroma towards the Frog and Fiddle, feeling a little high-and-mighty with the prospect of blagging my way in as ‘press’ for the first time and thinking it’s probably safe to assume these lot are heading to the same reggae-infused stoner jam as I am. Tonight my good pals Emmett Brown are warming the stage for Bristol-based Zen Elephant and Brighton’s rabble-rousing Samsara; a motley crew of some of the most fantastically outrageous genre slags to have ever bounced the Frog’s sticky floors.

The Orchard – Dead Town EP

Their name may lead you to assume that they’re whimsical yodelling milksops with more beard than bollocks, but don’t be fooled – The Orchard will have your guts for garters. Their debut release, full of menacing, claustrophobic riffs and paint-stripping snarl, finds an unlikely balance between raw fury and chemically slackened sludge. They sound like Black Flag on thorazine, or Kyuss if someone had set them on fire.

Friday, 2 December 2011

MAG Fanzine December Issue

December issue of MAG fanzine is out, profiling the cider-swilling shenanigans of the Gloucestershire music scene. My second review for MAG, a review of Oui Legionnaire's debut EP, is out and ready to read.

Zoft - Electrically Haunted

For me, avant garde music is a thorny topic.  I studied music at a university that was obsessed with the stuff, and have many memories of lessons that were a little like having my eardrums sandpapered. In one classic incident a new teacher asked for our initial opinion to one particularly hideous piece to which I curtly replied “I think it’s pretentious bollocks”, only to find she had composed it herself. Surprisingly, however - despite my calamitous slagging off - I am actually a big fan of experimental music. I love dissonance when used in the right way, I love chaos and unpredictability and I love music with an intellectual stimulus, as long as there is also a visceral, expressive ingredient...