Browsing: Music

I know what you’re thinking: hell no! But hear me out: The UK’s biggest exports are currently Coldplay and Mumford and Sons, which are very much the Dulux of music. You can dress it up as much as you like, but it’s still paint. It serves a purpose; it’s generally more expensive than you’d expect, and it’s only found exciting by people who don’t get out much. Then we have Muse, a band I have much adored in the past. Absolution is textbook melodrama, and a really fantastic album. However, they’ve become a pastiche of themselves, like a 21st century Kiss: superb…

Any lover of good music should, by now, have learnt to take anything that comes with considerable hype, with a liberal pinch of salt. Especially when the hype comes accompanied with comparisons to Bob Dylan. But comparisons to the American legend do a disservice to Jake Bugg’s self-titled début, which forges a sound unique to itself, without taking too much from it’s obvious inspirations. Radio listeners out there will have probably heard the single “Lightning Bolt”, a song that blends the sound of a street busker, with Johnny Cash circa “I Got Stripes”, before introducing them both to a heavily…

The ever impressive and critically acclaimed Joy Formidable will be playing in Bangor’s very own Hendre Hall tomorrow night! If you haven’t been to Hendre before, this is a perfect opportunity to do – its unlikely that you’ll see a band this good in such an intimate venue this side of 2013. Plus they’re from North Wales, so they’re practically a local band! They’ve supported bands like Foo Fighters, Temper Trap, and Passion Pit, and will be supporting Muse on their ‘2nd Law’ tour next week. Tickets should be available on the door. If you’ve not heard of them…

A die hard Muse fan writing a less than complimentary review of his heroes? I wish I could praise every single track, but there really isn’t much to praise. “Supremacy” is a good track, but too much like a Bond title theme. However, if you’re a fan of Bellamy’s classic riffs and wailing falsetto, you’ll enjoy it. “Madness” is an odd one. When I first heard it, I was scratching my head, questioning if this was a positive direction for Muse. However, after a few listens, I’ve completely fallen in love with it. Bellamy’s vocal is smooth, yet powerful. It…

Long Live The Struggle is a far cry in musical terms from any of The King Blues’ previous albums. Sometimes such a departure can work for bands. Each of The King Blues’ prior albums had been quite different from the one before: Their debut, Under The Fog, brought upbeat ska; and the follow up Save The World, Get The Girl complemented their already developed sound with a more popular stance. Punk & Poetry was heavier, but equally as accomplished as its predecessors, and my personal favourite. I like The King Blues. In fact, I really like The King Blues. They…

Bold, brash, and arrogant, or audacious, smart, and confident? Enjoy It While It Lasts balances precariously on the fence of brilliance and for the most part isn’t quite sure where it wants to fall. Spector are yet another proclaimed saviour of indie, bringing us slicked back hair, dodgy fake glasses, and sharp suits from that dodgy end of the Topman sale that no one ever seems to buy. For singer Fred Macpherson and guitarist Chris Burman this represents their last chance at mainstream success; previous bands Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man and Les Incompétents were commercial flops, but is Enjoy It While It Lasts…

If you’re a dedicated follower of musical fashion, there is no doubt you’ll have heard of The Vaccines. Their debut, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?, was a highlight in what was otherwise a poor year for British music. Well, unless you enjoy sobbing to Adele. At best it effortlessly combined the punk rock melodies perfected by bands such as Ramones with the steady indie rock sensibilities of The Strokes, but at times it was naive and rather green. Justin Young is a more than competent lyricist despite his own reservations, and at times it’s hard to distinguish whether…

I’m going to begin this review with some (negative) extracts from some reviews that I’ve read of the latest View album: “derivative indie-rock, competently executed but devoid of imagination” – drownedinsound.com “steady career decline” – Independent “eventually becomes intensely dispiriting” – clashmusic.com NO NO NO. Did they even listen to this album?! This is a worrying trend that I’ve noticed recently; ‘professional’ writers that seem to enjoy nothing more than denouncing bloody good efforts from British bands that not so long ago they were dishing out 9s and 10s to. Oh I get it, it’s simply not cool anymore to…

‘How Long’ is the latest single from Dundee band The View, and the first single released from their upcoming album ‘Cheeky For A Reason’. The band themselves have described the upcoming album as Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ done by The Clash, and if this single is anything to go by it’s going to be one of the most vital British albums of 2012. Unlike many of the indie bands that thrived post ‘Is This It’, The View have consistently delivered great music, if unappreciated. ‘How Long’ is a kick in the face of punk guitars and infectious melodies, urgently delivering the…

Was it poor marketing by Pontio or the apathy of students that caused the R1 night to be cancelled? So, this article was intended to be a review of the Nick Grimshaw night that was to be hosted by the highly controversial, vastly criticised and all-round success that is Pontio (sarcasm warning). However, due to what those in charge called an unexpected lack of interest, the night was unfortunately cancelled and handed over to the apparently more capable hands of Northampton University. But were the students really to blame or did the fault lie with Pontio’s marketing? Let’s discuss –…

Admittedly it’s February, but Seren is here to bring you a selection of the bands and artists to look our for this year! Obviously, you’d have had to be living under a rock not to have heard of Lana Del Rey so far this year, but seeing as her album’s just come out, she’s definitely one to watch. Her smoky voice is proving a massive hit with record buyers across the country already after the internet-phenomenon ‘Video Games’. Azealia Banks is another female artist making waves, her foul mouthed brand of electro-rap sure to worm its way into your consciousness…

You will never forget the first time you see a live band as brilliant and unique as The Destroyers, for me it was in a small, wet tent at Glastonbury festival, but for many Bangor residents last week it was in the University’s very own Powis Hall. The 15-piece jazz/gypsy/folk ensemble, in association with Racubah, electrified the hall on 3rd Feb with their huge selection of instruments, ranging from fiddles to trumpets to a hurdy gurdy. Usually host to exams and seminars, Powis made for a surprisingly lively venue, though this group of characters would have that effect on you…

It’s no secret amongst the Seren team that I love Madonna. I wish I could tell you why but I can’t; I just love her. So when Joey, our Music Editor, asked me to write a little about her I couldn’t possibly say no. This year Madonna is back! Her upcoming album, aptly named MDNA, is currently number one on the iTunes pre-order chart which, for someone her age, is pretty impressive. Madonna recently released the first single from her album. ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ (don’t even get me started on the spelling) is a tackfest from the off;…

There aren’t many better ways to start your long awaited third album than with a terrifying metaphor about how capitalism is about to crash around us. Enter Shikari don’t pull a single punch on this album, and in a time when many music fans are crying out for a mainstream band to go political, nor should they. ‘Gandhi Mate, Gandhi’ is contains a spectacular rant from the lead singer Rou, and is possibly one of the most incisive political commentaries you’ll see from a band all year. The band take aim at many subjects, from the Israelis dropping phosphorous bombs…

1: The King Blues- Punk and Poetry There’s nothing that can be said about this album that you won’t pick up just by listening to it. There’s been more creative albums this year, and perhaps there’s even been more well formed albums this year. But this is a slice of gritty, raw, REAL music. It wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve, and screams “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”. The brilliant songs and wonderful poetry help of course, but just for being the most true-to-itself album made this year, it gets the top spot. Best tracks: Set the…

Following an unexpected year out, a year that the band refers to as Matthew’s ‘trip to Disneyland’, Madina Lake are back on the road promoting their third studio album. ‘World War III’ has been a long time coming after bassist Matthew Leone was critically injured trying to stop a woman being beaten by her husband on the streets of Chicago.  Matthew took some time out of his busy schedule and sat down to speak to LJ Taylor at their recent Sheffield gig.  So what made you guys want to get into the music industry? Music is just sort of…

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