Biffy Clyro – Opposites

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Were you a fan of Only Revolutions; the slightly disappointing yet door opening follow up to Biffy Clyro’s fourth record Puzzle? If you were, you’ll most likely have time for the 20 (22 if you count the pointless instrumentals that litter the close of each disc) tracks that fill Opposites. Yes, in this double record Biffy have not only made part two to their last record, but they’ve also graced us with part three.

Whilst it lacks in the cutting edge Biffy had five or ten years ago, its power is undeniable to the point that you want to spend time at the gym listening to it so come the summer you can don a pair of obscenely coloured  jeans, grow your facial hair and feel comfortable with your shirt off rocking out in slightly damp fields. Safer than Twin Atlantic or the Foo Fighters and with only moderately more vigour than Snow Patrol command, Opposites (especially Disc2) simply drags through three tracks or so before the next “big” track in the hope that a few power chords will spur you on. In those big tracks of course, the energy of Grohl and co’s most recent effort Wasting Light is almost there. The anthemic chanting that comes with fellow Scots Twin Atlantic’s debut effort is one of the underlying features of much of what’s most likely going to become a “single heavy” double record.

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For those people who were worried that the likes of Black Chandelier were a bit plain for The Biff’, there’s huge disappointment behind the gatefold CD as Little Hospitals and WooWoo appear to be the only tracks that come close to “edgy”. Not that radio-friendly music is necessarily bad, but listening to The Fog, Victory Over The Sun, A Girl and His Cat, the baffling Spanish Radio, Trumpet or Trap or album closer-proper Picture A Knife Fight and tell me that you’d be happy hearing them over the airwaves and I’ll show you someone who still believes that “guitar music” is a genre.

So Simon Neil and brothers in arms, if I may address you directly; you’ve made almost one and a half hours of music that will (without some of the slower tracks) aid me in going running and will cement your place as one of Britain’s stadium bands after playing second fiddle for years. Well done. Zane Lowe will throw words like “epic” and “awesome” around whilst teenage girls will “relate” to your tracks; let’s not dwell on what you’ve lost in the process though eh?

4/10

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Today in Fireworks: The Computers, Everything Everything, Stagecoach and Swiss Lips

Today, The Computers released their new video for Disco Sucks. Filmed mostly in Berlin it doesn’t really signal a big gap between their debut album and now, aside from the bluesy vocals that take less from Pulled Apart By Horses and more from Amy Winehouse in parts. Disco Sucks is slow, but still pretty great. Catch them on a free tour next week (info here)

Stagecoach have unveiled a new track from their forthcoming debut record which will be out in May. Threequel may not be a belter like Map to the Freezer, Jonah Lomu or We Got Tazers!, but its an indication that Stagecoach are more than ready to take the step up from second fiddle to being their own headliners on the big stage and, having heard some of the rest of the record live; I can confirm that they most certainly will do so.

Manchester indie-dance-pop outfit Swiss Lips are gearing up to make it a big year, and in honour or a man who had an incredibly large 2012; they’ve covered mr Frank Ocean‘s track, Lost. It sounds like, well, Swiss Lips. Forget what you know about this track. It’s also a FREE RUDDY DOWNLOAD!

And finally, I reviewed the new Everything Everything album Arc. I’m very upset that Sound Influx have dropped the decimal system, so when you read that number, know I wanted it to be a .5 or .6. Read the review by clicking the artwork to your right.

Take care of each other
Braden

The Delayed Albums of 2012 List: Part Two

You may have noticed that the last post stopped at album 11 of my album list of 2012. So, without further ado, let’s pick up where I left off.

10. Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
Opening the top 10 with a record comprising of one man, a guitar and a heck of a lot of soul from folk music was a good choice. Whilst TNLN might not be the best Tallest Man… record, that just shows testament to how good Christopher’s music truly is. Don’t believe me? Listen to the whole thing just below.

9. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
Latest estimates reckon that Channel Orange has sold around 40,000 copies on vinyl alone. Considering that this album is yet to be officially pressed onto vinyl that’s an even more impressive feat from “the acceptable one” and hugely talented member of OFWGKTA, Frank Ocean. Even the things in the middle of the epic tracks (namely Fertilizer) standout.
Stream the whole thing here


8. Title Fight – Floral Green
Title Fight’s second album came pretty quickly after their debut, but in no way does that demean it as a record. Floral Green stands up, shouts and demands to be recognised as one that not only signals to Title Fight’s peers of the past, but refuses to accept that their breed of rock can’t still sound fresh and they succeed. Proof you say? Listen to it all below.

7. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Coming off the back of so much talk, An Awesome Wave was never going to fully live up to the expectation built around it; but that’s not to say that the Leeds/Cambridge band didn’t make a bloody good go of it. Breezeblocks proved to be a standout of the year and in adapting their own music to their own individual tastes, Alt-J made a unique sounding record that challenges their contemporaries, even if it’s not perfect. Listen to it below.

6. METZ – METZ
Once you’ve got the Pitchfork Best New Music seal of approval and iconic label Sub-Pop behind you; it’s hard to fail and Canadian rock band METZ did just what they were expected to and delivered a record full of fast paced, agressive music that will drive your neighbours insane but drive the blood through your veins. Feeling like some of that? Listen below.

5. How to Dress Well – Total Loss
The second album from How to Dress Well makes the top 5 simply for being the most beautifully crafted record I heard in 2012. Mixing soulful yet soft vocals with classical sounds and heaving it all to the modern day with some stunning production and beats; Total Loss is sublime. Enter a coma, listen below.

4. The Maccabees – Given to the Wild
I got a lot of stick for putting this album where I did when I played the radio show of the year, but if you remember the beginning of the year, you’ll remember the insane critical acclaim from The Fly, NME, Clash, DIY and the Guardian to name just a few. If anything, I think this album has improved with age as the summer came and went and Given to the Wild became the perfect sunshine nostalgia. Regardless, 4th it is.
Child / Pelican

Side note: Any of the top 3 could have been my number one. It was a difficult decision and one, had I been feeling differently, would have gone another way. In DiS style, they’re all winners.

3. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Japandroids make the kind of rock music you always wanted to from the moment you picked up a guitar and top it with a heck of a lot of courage to form power hit after power hit. Every track on Celebration Rock sounds like a single and so much not like a single at the same time that you end up lost in the record until it finishes. That total immersion is a testament to how good this band really are and how Celebration Rock makes the top 3.
Listen in full below

2. Tall Ships – Everything Touching
I was beginning to think Tall Ships were going to keep releasing EPs for the rest of their careers when Everything Touching was announced. Now I understand that their tireless progress had all led to what is a stunning album of music that, for the most part, they weren’t mature enough to make when they formed. Some re-recordings take on new lives of their own (Books namely) and the new tracks simply take you on the kind of journey that only Tall Ships know how to. From T=0 through to the epic build and party of Murmurations; Everything Touching is unrelentingly enjoyable. Listen in full below


1. Lucy Rose – Like I Used To
The year that Lucy Rose had was lifechanging.Whilst she may still record music in her bedroom and be a naturally shy person, what her music has given both her and her thousands of new fans along the way has been nothing short of a fairytale. Like I Used To feels like every memory you’ve ever had, racing through your head at 2am to the sound of one beautifully soft voice and her guitar. That, to me; is perfection.
Sadly, I can’t find a stream, but here’s my three favourites from the record to try make it up to you.


So there you have it.
Watch out for the next few weeks for my tips for the year as well as a Sound Influx session!

Take care of each otheer
Braden

Mixlr and Mixcloud: Bonfire weekend show

I wish I was Jarvis Cocker

So, some of you may be aware that over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a few random tests of a late night Mixlr Radio show. For those of you who aren’t aware; Mixlr is a platform for online radio, meaning anyone can be an online radio DJ. I’m short of the proper equipment to put my own live vocals in, unless I pre-record, but I feel like the show needs go be live to thrive so anyone listening in also gets the benefit of “chat” based discussion.

My aim is to do a show every Sunday and my first proper show was last weekend. As it turns out, I think I’m going to see Pure Love this coming Sunday so the show will probably be Monday 9-11pm now.
Anyway, the point in this post is to publicise the first show and to let people know of the future shows.
http://mixlr.com/bradenfif is the link for live broadcasts or listen back by clicking the below image on Mixcloud. Thanks

Take care of each other
Braden

Hello again

I think its fair to say that when you neglect a blog for the best part of four months, its bound to suffer. There’s no good reason that this has happened. I’ve been writing and taking photographs; the kind of stuff that would usually fill this space. There’s been no shortage of new music and content for me to post about. I guess I’ve felt a little disarrayed with it all. There’s been an awful lot of blog coverage recently about the decline of the independent blog; something I’ve been aware of but attempting to deny for quite some time. Truth is, I was required by my university course to set up this blog. Twenty-odd new blogs added to the already over-saturated market was something that worried me and the barrage of coverage about their not being necessary got to me at times.

I got a lucky break with ThereGoesTheFear and I’ve been treated more than well there so far. By the end of the week you should be able to read an interview I did for them with the 1975, adding to interviews with The Subways (never made it to publishing), Young the Giant, Johnny Foreigner and Manchester Orchestra. They gave and continue to give me a great outlet for my opinions and work whilst giving me quite a lot of freedom in what I do.

Recently, I’ve been doing my best to up my game for Sound Influx also. Toby and Aurora who set up the site have been friends of mine for quite a long time and they were good enough to make me Live Editor of the site a few months back. I’ve still not got the hang of it, but I’m trying. Both of them are now at the same uni as me, which is a little strange, but I continue to use SI as a great way of publishing my work.
This of course, has led to the monotony of this blog’s updates and my lack of belief in it as a site led to the last few months silence. At this point though, I think I’m ready to just go for it regardless. The more I do, the busier I keep myself; the better I’ll become (in theory) and the more employable I will hopefully become. I’ve set up an online radio show that I’m going to attempt to do once a week so that’s another thing to post here.

The next week on this blog could look a bit messy. I’m working on it.

Cheers
Braden