Spirits in the Sky with Satellite Ravens

Space rock then. There can’t be many bands that have, on the surface, defined a time, a place and a level of inebriation than Hawkwind, yet it is largely their influence which has led to the emergence of Satellite Ravens. The tie-dyed heartbeat which thrums through their music is all oil on lightbulbs and whooshing guitar effects, a technique which has never entirely disappeared for reasons both musical and otherwise (none of which we condone, obv). Every decade has had their own take on the style, from Spacemen 3 in the 90s to Monster Magnet to Flaming Lips to, more recently, Comets on Fire. Satellite Ravens have an extra twist in that lead Raven (indeed, most of the time, only Raven) is primarily a bassist, meaning that the psychedlic stew is bolstered by a very pleasing funk flavour.

For drinking purposes, though mescal infusions would seem apt on the surface, we can’t miss the opportunity to mention Space Rock Pale Ale which promises nuggets of alien technology.

http://www.satelliteravens.com

https://www.shortsbrewing.com/beers/space-rock/

Slim Loris and the Country Rock Sound of Sweden!

The Alt-Country boom in the mid-90’s was quite a thing – country as a genre had long been derided as rhinestones and fake smiles, but even before the commercial rebirth of Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, bands had openly embraced the genre and added their own sympathetically subtle embellishments. Acts such as Giant Sand, Wilco and The Handsome Family brought the dust-swept art of story-telling into ultra-cool indie territory, despite (or maybe even because of) their heartfelt love of the simplicity of the music and the lyrics.

Though alt-country (or, if you prefer, Americana) has settled into its niche quietly now, the ethics and sound are appearing in the most unusual places. Perhaps the gold-standard of these is Slim Loris, a band based in Gothenburg, Sweden, who are producing some of the most life-affirming music you can imagine, whilst keeping a firm grip on reality.  The first track to be aired from their forthcoming EP, “Wild & Untamed”, is “Burning Elephant”, one of the rockier tracks but still brilliantly melodic and wholly satisfying…

Which brings us to booze. What to pair? Presenting the combining of American and Swedish culture:

SoundCloud

https://soundcloud.com/slimloris

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/artist/4i1M26n7NN5vINKv3VfuHu

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYvykGoHrbiiBqa33Ia_pPA

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slim-Loris/214253388610637

Twitter

https://twitter.com/SlimLoris

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/slimloris/

Website

http://slimloris.com/

Survival of the Fittest – Survival Code’s Latest Single

Cooking and music – do they go together? Dublin/London duo Survival Code don’t strictly answer the question definitively but we’re hedging our bets with a “no”.

Their latest single, warmly praised by Hot Press (ho-ho) Not Working, is stridently upbeat despite the point the song is making, reflecting the incredibly energetic live shows the pair are well known for.

Although we wouldn’t recommend tomfoolery in the kitchen, there must necessarily be a suitable beverage to which one can enjoy Survival Code’s new track. Avoiding the obvious Guinness, we’ve though long and hard about what fits their melodic yet heavy brew – we found just the thing: malt, coffee, 5.8%. Marvellous!

www.thesurvivalcode.co.uk

www.facebook.com/thesurvivalcode

www.soundcloud.com/thesurvivalcode

www.spotify.com/thesurvivalcode

After Hours Post-Rock with Broken Islands

Broken Islands may be the most heart-breaking listening experience of your year – or maybe the most uplifting, such is the strange brew of raucous guitars and honeyed vocals. Post-rock may have had a somewhat tumultuous hay day, evolving from sheets of amplified power chords to orchestral, if rather directionless, suites of floppy-haired yawning. It was a brave attempt to bring classical techniques to rock and indie music but it failed as bands either misunderstood what they were trying to integrate or took themselves too seriously to an alarming degree. And then there’s Broken Islands.

Broken Islands are the band post-rock should have used as its template for glory. Exceptionally grand and widescreen in scope, this is utterly thrilling, indeed the temptation to wheel out cliched phrases of rapture is almost too much to resist. Listen to the track “Crown” and you risk arrest if not moved to tears. It’s a stunning testament to a band who have only unleashed themselves on the world when they had fully developed as both a band and songwriters. Their album, Wars, has just been released (on red vinyl) and is a potential game-changer.

What to accompany this emotional experience? Well, the band are from Canada so it would be nice to bring that into the mix. Lo’, please enjoy a heart (and body warming brew from those good people at Canada Dry

https://www.canadadry.com/recipes/warm-ginger-apple-rum-punch

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-475951978/sets/wars

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/5gpCj0xQj8BwdG3uXPUJRr

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvEJQKLM-qaFjTvMXxUMkWg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebrokenislands/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/broken_islands

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/_thebrokenislands_/

Website: http://www.thebrokenislands.com/

For Greasy Garage Rock, It Has to be Vulpine Smile…or is that Vulpint?

Though when many people think of sixties music they conjure up sounds of pop and woozy psychedelia, we’re always partial to a slice of garage rock, the true precursor to punk and a style which has never lost its appeal. With exponents such as The Sonics and The Wailers, their unhinged breed of blues-inflected trashy, fuzzed-to-the-gills rock was a breath of fresh air and inspired anyone with a guitar, an amp and forgiving neighbours to kick out the jams and have a go themselves.

Jumping forwards to today and the model of garage rock still hangs heavy over White Stripes and Royal Blood, though their adoption of modern pedals and effects has seen them attract a much wider audience than their ancestors. Enter Vulpine Smile, a Cambridgeshire band who combine the blues progression and scuzzy guitars of yore but combine them with a soaring vocal which is very much in the Jeff Buckley mould. Their single, The Way it Flows, could not be more Booze and Reviews-friendly, both title-wise and content-wise, being intoxicating enough to make you feel half-pissed before you even start on the liquid refreshment. Talking of which, there can only be one tipple to drink along to Vulpine Smile, especially considering their musical heritage…

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vulpinesmileband/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vulpinesmile/

Flying Tonight! Ikkarus Touch Down With 01800

As you might imagine, we strongly oppose drinking and driving at the best of times. To clarify, we have the same view of flying a plane and drinking, not as abstract a comment as you might think, with Ikkarus frontman, Javier, having a secret life as an airline pilot. Ikkarus have elements of contemporary rock, alongside an early 90’s sound, which evokes aural memories of Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The funk elements is an odd addition to the mix but for the most part works well, cutting through the guitar and vocals and changing the structure of the songs enough that each track has a very definite personality of its own.

Though based in Mexico, Ikkarus have a sound which is typically alt-rock American, with dashes of Linkin Park more than a little liberally scattered through the tracks. Lead single from the album, 01800, showcases the band at their top speed, a punky, vicious track which grabs hold quickly and refuses to let go. It’s a primer for an album which varies from bouncy rock to atmospheric washes of sound which go beyond mere genre sterotypes.

What to drink with Ikkarus? Well, no alcohol, so that’s tequila out – here’s an alcohol-free margarita, livened up with jalepenos!

Pink Milk to Listen to but What to Drink?

Sweden’s Pink Milk are a male and female duo who excel at contorting deafening sound into strange and wonderful sculptures. Their sound is both hypnotic and bewildering, as much influenced by the spectral Gotland backdrop in which their album was recorded in as the dark ideas spewing forth from their minds.

Their earlier singles have received rave reviews from the likes of Clash and 6Music, in particular their disarming song and video “Detroit” and their slowly unraveling cover version of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is”, which is turned inside out and becomes both a lowing lullaby and sinister entreaty. As an entity, they are a testament to how minimalism can actually be huge, expansive and incredibly powerful, and their album, Purple, a rare treat. And that drink to accompany your listening experience? Oh, yeah…

http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink1wx4755.html

 

Links:

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/pinkmilktheband

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6pfkVhn2nBIYUEu9nKHdLV

Youtube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvRWoJAz6IGcGmuw3qqah9A

Facebook:

 https://www.facebook.com/pinkmilkmusic/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/pm_theband

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/pinkmilkmusic/

Website:

http://www.pinkmilkmusic.com

 

Grappa Music – The Wondrous World of Johann Sebastian Punk

We’re delighted to add grappa to our list of beverages to enjoy music to, not least because it gives us the opportunity to push Johann Sebastian Punk into the spotlight.

Since 2013, Johann has been aggravating the Italian music scene cognoscenti (and anyone else in his way) as he embarked on a determined campaign to bring his remarkable personae and music to an audience being spoon-fed plastic sound. It wasn’t an immediate success. In fact, it wasn’t much of a success even after the immediate lack of action had passed. Although supported by a loyal band of fans in his home country, there was no way the Italian media were going to stand for his unconventional look and sound, both of which apparently change with the weather – often during the same day.

So, he was launched his latest album, Phoney Music Entertainment, to a much larger audience, specifically targeting the UK, a place renowned for taking rebels, waifs and strays under its wing and nurturing their wayward talent. We’re not sure if Johann needs nurturing, his album sounding so robustly confident, that if anything it’s us that need gentle encouragement. Although portraying himself as something of a court jester, Johann is actually on a serious mission to get audiences to demand more of their “pop stars”, both in terms of material and as artists. We readily accept appalling music as either a joke or a trivial annoyance, but in truth, it’s grating and mood-adjusting for us and depriving musicians of genuine talent and worth the airtime and platform they desperately crave.

Phoney Music Entertainment sees Johann honing his technique (this is his second release) yet drifting from the shoulder-shrugging classic pop of “Tragedy” to the quasi-disco squelch of “The Quintessential” – none of it should really work together but it does – primarily because we’re programmed to accept rock/ballad/rock as a template that has to be stuck to. It’s a quite marvellous record, full of joy but at the same time making us feel somewhat gloomy that this is but a sparkling raindrop in a somewhat sorry puddle. But the album and do your bit.

https://www.facebook.com/johannsebastianpunk/

https://soundcloud.com/johann-sebastian-punk/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/56zl6Mvbe1S3nPWI8MGFin

Steampunk Records Roadshow Tour

Steampunk Record Label tour is now fully underway and there’s still chance to catch a huge array of cyber Victorian talent near you. Drawing on influences as varied as cabaret, classical, punk and, most especially, the exploding Steampunk scene, their live shows are a maelstrom of sonic and visual drama, with audiences as likely to be turning heads as much as the band themselves.

BB Blackdog

Headliners (and indeed, featuring the label head honcho) BB Blackdog has over 600 gigs, 76 original songs, showcases at everywhere from Berlin to Los Angeles to London and countless festival appearances, including, Bearded Theory, Sonic Rock Solstice, Whitby Goth festival, under their collective belt. BB BlackDog have become a live band not to miss – determinedly using no overdubs, they thrive on playing simple catchy music whilst remaining fiercely independent
Links
http://www.bbblackdog.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/BBBLACKDOG
https://www.facebook.com/BBBLACKDOG

 

Feline and Strange

Feline & Strange has embraced the Victorian/Futuristic fashion ethic and infused it into not only their appearance but also their sound. The alien troubadours, masquerading as dapper Berliners to human eyes, combine ear-chilling vocals with an electronic collapsible cello to deliver dizzying supernatural sounds and otherworldly goings-on. Having toured extensively around the world, including, inevitably, the Steampunk World Fair. Their latest album, Out, will be accompanied by a UK-exclusive box-set in September.

Links

http://www.facebook.com/felineandstrange

http://www.felineandstrange.com

The Wattingers

Skeletal gutter-blues three-piece The Wattingers take their inspiration from the American Gothic simmer of films like Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Night of the Hunter; the surreal and oozing worlds of Alejandro Jodorowsky; and the unhinged brutality of bands like The Birthday Party and The Butthole Surfers, whilst retaining the wry humour of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Links
http://karaokenoir.wixsite.com/the-wattingers
https://vimeo.com/thewattingers
https://www.facebook.com/thewattingers/

 

The Dark Design

The Dark Design occupy a musical space somewhere between Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds and the Sisters of Mercy, combing rock-opera, theatre and murky secret societies, though that still tells only part of the story. Many of the Dark Design’s members are actually fully-functioning automata including the self-propelled autoglock, and their robotic drum-kit. They also play a variety of weird and esoteric instruments including hurdy-gurdy and the tubitar – yep, that’s a hybrid of a guitar and a tuba.
Link

 

 

…and not forgetting, the vivacious compère, Jezebel Steele

Encouraging their fans to dress in similar Steampunk attire to themselves, this is the first glimpse of the Steampunk musical onslaught. Remember to raid their merchandise stall for musical treats too!
Also appearing on the tour will be:  Sweet liquorice; The Big Fibbers; Automotone;
; Return to Chaos

 

The Pavillion, Llangollen – 30th Sept

The Lab, Northampton – 6th Oct

Musician, Leicester – 7th Oct

The George, Belper – 13th Oct

MEN, Heanor – 14th Oct

The Roadhouse, Birmingham – 15th Oct

Museum of Water and Power, Brentford -20th Oct

The Albert, Brighton – 22nd Oct

 

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/steampunkrecords

 

Yak- ‘Semi-Automatic’

Alt-rockers Yak are back with their latest effort ‘Semi-Automatic’ and it’s one of their best yet.

The track takes a little while to get going, unlike some of their previous work, but once it does, it turns into a tour de force of fuzzy guitars and resonant basslines that chug along in the typical style of the band.

The trio, hailing from Wolverhampton embrace their UK roots with a sound that that screams heavy brit-pop-rock for the modern age.

What drink?

I feel like the best place to listen to music like this is a seedy rock’n’roll club where your feet are submerged in an inch or so of some kind of alcoholic floor cocktail, so for that reason I think a good few coronas or craft beers would go down nicely with Yak’s ‘Semi-Automatic’.