Bangor University Students’ Union’s English Language Newspaper ...more

Browsing: Music

Here at Seren we like Jake Bugg. Avid readers of these music pages will remember we gave his debut album 5 Serens back in October, and it sounds as good now as it did then. It seems that it isn’t just Seren that likes Jake Bugg though – its everybody. This can probably be attributed more to the sycophantic overplay of ‘Lightning Bolt’ by Radio 1 than the universal appeal of his album, and this in turn has generated an… interesting following at his live shows. I’m not quite sure what the crowd at the Manchester Academy was expecting;…

Enter Shikari formed in 2003 in the southern town of St.Albans. Extremely quickly, they gathered a large and dedicated fan base. Well known for their unique sound, energetic shows and eccentric behaviour, they have become one of the UK’s most successful recent exports. On the back of an incredibly successful album launch, with the band being nominated for numerous awards, it’s easy to forget they’re just humans like me or you, but I managed to catch up with Rob Rolfe, drummer of the band since their inception,  just as he was buying some gloves… Hi Rob, how are you?…

It shocked music critics almost as much as when he ditched folk for electric. In 2009, the shop shelves and online stores were suddenly boasting a seemingly unannounced (there was very little publicity about it, for certain) Christmas Album entitled Christmas in the Heart. By Bob Dylan. (Sic!) I remember waking up to this news in October three years ago. “What is he like?” was my natural reaction. In retrospect, it seems silly to have been so surprised. How can his fans or, at least, listeners, expect anything but the unexpected from Bob? This is a man whose eccentricities endear his…

1. Stefan Wilson suggests… ∆ (Alt+J) – An Awesome Wave After starting in fairly low-key circumstances in 2007, ∆ have gone from strength to strength. An Awesome Wavecombines so many genres of music, it’s impossible to categorise it into a single one. Perhaps an umbrella title of ‘Alternative’ works, but I feel this does it a great injustice. There are stand-out tracks, such as ‘Breezeblocks’, ‘Dissolve me’ and ‘Bloodflood’, but such is the quality of the entire album, even the weaker tracks do not let you down. In addition to rave reviews, the band recently won the Mercury prize. A definite highlight…

Before his recent gig in Bangor University’s PJ Hall, Frank Turner took some time out to talk to Joe Russell. Here’s what he had to say: So, how was the main tour? Good, yeah. I mean, tonight’s day two of the solo leg so I’m still changing gear but prior to now the tour’s been amazing. The vibe was to do venues that weren’t Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol and obvious cities. It’s been good to play in different places. You last came to Bangor two years ago… Yeah, the last time I came here I played in a guy called Ian’s kitchen…

¡UNO! is, incredibly, Green Day’s eighth studio album release, and part one of a trilogy of albums to be released in the coming months. Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day’s frontman, declared earlier this year that “every song has the power and energy that represents Green Day on all emotional levels”. A big claim from the man behind the punk tour de force that was American Idiot, and the revered classic that is Dookie. ¡UNO! is, in some respects, a departure from the recent protest/concept albums, American Idiot, and 21st Century Breakdown. But is retrogression, or progression?  “Nuclear Family” is a strong opener,…

Released 21st September, Mumford and Sons’ long awaited second album, Babel, has smashed 2012’s sales records worldwide, becoming the fastest-selling album of the year in the US, which is no mean feat for any band. Within the album, there is an endearing assimilation of bluegrass, Irish folk, gutsy strumming, and interesting cross rhythms associated with classical composers long dead. For strong yet simple harmonies, “I Will Wait” is the most recognisably ‘Mumford’, but the best for me is “The Boxer”. A bonus track on the ‘deluxe version’ of Babel, it features Jerry Douglas and Paul Simon. It appears on…

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…

1 6 7 8 9