Stencil issue 54
Stencil Magazine reviews Vanishing Island here (p. 153) …”for those looking for something that’s outside of the box and scratches many levels of atmosphere”. Ambivalent but interested – my favourite kind of review, quite often (as it implies a genuine effort to engage).
Plugged in Brighton gave the single, Perilous Seat, its first write-up in their 13th issue: “pop through a prism […] It’s almost a waltz, not quite a sea shanty but certainly quality, adult pop”. Wonder what they’ll make of the album? (That’s by far the most accessible, song-shaped track on there, as you’d expect. Even scored some airplay on Kerrang Radio.) We’ll find out…
Otherwise, doing another free improv Safehouse gig as part of the Wildcard Quartet, on 24 April at The Verdict. Comfort zone? I have none.
More band gigs coming up too – news on them as & when.
EDIT: Another review came in just after this post, from Whisperin & Hollerin. It’s very generous indeed – “tidy hooks and imaginatively-crafted moments of atmosphere and even pangs of emotional depth“, among other things. Always cool when someone sees what I was aiming at. Read it here.
I fucking hate January (and February, but that’s another story). Only remedy’s work – been rehearsing with the band for an upcoming gig and some recording next month, and finalising my next release… due out early May, probably.
More news on the gig and other doings – it occurs to me there’s not a lot of stuff online with the band, which we’ll have to do something about – as and when, as ever.
Here’s a stranger to daylight, staring back at a camera and talking to Mass Movement about his 10 favourite LPs. I now understand why vloggers do that thing of having loads of apparently pointless fast cuts even if it’s just them talking (to edit out all the times they blew their lines or dried up. Try giving a semi-improvised speech for a quarter hour without deviation, hesitation, repetition or several annoying facial tics… even the most glibly confident would struggle. Still, interesting to try – although I don’t think I could make a “career” out of it). These aren’t the definitive 10 – more the ones that seemed significant that day – but I hope this small addition to the huge reef of pop cult lists is entertaining, anyway. And it’s nice to be asked.
…Reproduced here because it’s bootleg as fuck – a paper zine with minimal web presence, and if you don’t live in Brighton you’re unlikely to see a copy. Both ends of the magnet!
Back soon with gig news…
There’s also a review, courtesy The RingMaster: “a mix of challenge and seduction but most of all a fascination leaning towards needing more”… Hey, I’ll take it.
Here are the links:
Sonic Shocks interview “my feet were floating a couple of inches above the floor and everything was blue round the edges”
Whisperin and Hollerin interview “I got a lot of abuse growing up in England with an Irish surname, so it feels good to parade it now”
Riff Media interview “I’d be seduced by power […] my hands coated with blood and my soul shrunken to a burnt piece of popcorn, then end my days in front of a firing squad”
…There’s stuff about songwriting, inspirations and the dodgy reality of being an independent artist in 2018. Also, the EP’s being streamed by Puregrain Audio, here. So yeah, you can listen and/or read as the mood takes you – with more to come yet.
With thanks to David Page and Joe Bridge.
(Actually, there was one other recent gig review – of the electric band, by Plugged In Brighton, here.)
The 11 June Hope & Ruin gig, written up in issue 4 of Plugged In Brighton. Grab a copy round town, unless distance and/or the forces of entropy prevent you (you’ll just have to move to Brighton). Anyway, it was a very nice night, good to see the other acts getting due credit. While we’re here… Can I direct you once more to the zine’s latest Mixcloud, which features an old track of mine? Here it is.
The new EP’s scored a great review in Monolith Cocktail, which describes it as one of my “best releases yet” – and the in-depth write-up concludes I’ve “seldom sounded better and more imaginative”. Have a look, see if you agree (and read all the other stuff too… It’s a great gateway into loads of interesting music).
On a related subject, another shout out for Plugged In Brighton Mixcloud 2 – which features a track from the EP. Here’s the playlist: Frank & Beans – Card Song/ Big Slammu – Chicken Pocks/ Young Francis – Short Hair Girl/ Bitch Theme – Tigerlily/ Rotten Foxes – Mullet/ Matt Finucane – Not Too Far/ Sit Down – Candy Bar/ Ditz – Two/ Negative Measures – Chained/ Red Shores – Cold War/ Clt Drp – Merry Go Round/ King Bee Buzzkut
There I am on the cover of Plugged In Brighton 2… And here, with their kind permission, is the interview from the same issue:
It was lovely to be asked, and they had some kind words about Ugly Scene too:
“the songs are art rock without being limp and inhabit a weird version of our world […] Matt is raging against whatever is there” … among other things.
There’s good info on local bands in there, so pick up a copy if you live in this hipster gulag – or check their facebook page (link above) and mixcloud, if not.
A new write-up for the EP here – “This is not your standard Brit-Pop”, featuring “innovation, with sound experimentation, layering and fluctuations within the music’s structure itself, ranging from full-fledged psyched out Pink Floyd-ish granderie at one moment, then over to stripped-down Bob Dylan-like moments of minimalism and pensiveness”.
Good to know it’s doing what it was meant to.
According to this great in-depth review, the EP marks “a welcome return to the music scene, and once again defies categorization”
…Which is very good to know. If you read the whole entry (I’m about halfway down it), you’ll find several interesting new artists to hear.
“…like with any good outsider, the more you listen to the songs, the more natural they become, and soon those quirks become hooks”
A write-up for Threaten Me With Your Love, to go with this one from withguitars.
A nice write-up from an ace magazine… I don’t often get called “seductive in every sense” (more’s the pity). That aside, check it out – lots of cool stuff in there.
Take a look at this – the other artists are very check-outable, too, loads of stuff to read / listen to – give your mindbrain & earbulbs a treat.
(Just as well I take note of these things, as the review seems to have vanished. I’d think it was my imagination otherwise – MF In The Future)
The 13th August update of Unpeeled has very positive things to say about Glow in the Dark – “once in a blue one, you come across something of genuine interest”, for a start – and I’ve taken the liberty of quoting the entire review somewhere on here. Go to the site, though, it’s all good writing (and they clearly have excellent taste).
Wish me luck – or a gloriously messy death. x
GLOW IN THE DARK – album #2 – is now available from Bandcamp, Amazon, Spotify & iTunes. And the rest. My advice is get it from Bandcamp, where it comes with extras.
It’s been reviewed by Whiteboard Project, here. (Scroll down, it’s the second or third item.) It “will infuriate some and delight others […] Highly recommended”. Amen to that.
On top of this, I’m part of a brief tour from 15th – 19th August.
Two more reviews for Glow in the Dark, first from Stu Huggett in Brighton Source magazine:
…And second from Ringmaster Reviews, here. An ambivalent one, this – “at times not easy to get a handle on”, but “to ignore it would be a mistake”… and “a sinister caress with less than healthy intentions which leaves one rattled but needing to feel its shadows again”(!). Still, it’s in-depth, which is aces with me. And uncertainty isn’t a bad thing… I’ve evoked some colourful images in the writer’s head: my work is done.
As mentioned before, in a previous life I had a band called Empty Vessels. It started off as a duo with – hard as it seems to believe now – a heavy but mildewed drum n bass influence. What can I say… we were young, we were foolish, and guitar-based music seemed even deader than it does at present.
Anyway, it was a short-lived but intense period which we moved away from – inevitably, with hindsight – to become a very guitar-chord-based, oafish art rock trio; and even to make a tiny commercial dent. But at the time I speak of, we met a… polarized response. Some people loved us, some absolutely hated us; I just got off on the ructions, being a kid at the time. Very rarely, we’d get an insightful review from someone who might not’ve gone for the music, but appreciated what we were trying to do.
Such a review appeared on a literate and thoughtful site called Misfit City, which has been inactive for quite a while but recently started up again. Here’s the re-issued and updated article on EVs circa 2000…
It’s true what they say: be it ever so obscure, you never can escape your own past. But in this case, there’s nothing to run away from, and maybe something to be proud of. See if you agree.
Here’s another write-up for Hard Science from is this music? Good again: I’m a punk poet prepared to push the boat out, it sez. Damn right.
The BBC Introducing: South session takes place next Sunday, 24th June – more details as soon as I have them (probably tomorrow).
Here’s a nice write-up for the upcoming album at indiebandsblog.com …
And here’s one at withguitars.com
Appreciated, as ever. Live, the gigs are gradually pencilling in, circling like corner-of-the eye spectres… Also, just been offered a BBC radio session, so more news on that soon.
Here’s a review of forthcoming single Hard Science on God Is In The TV’s site.
It’s a good one: “If these two avant-pop tracks are anything to go by then the album should be, at the least, intriguing.”
Read the article, listen to the tracks when they’re released at the end of this very month, and see if you agree. (In fact, Hard Science can be heard on the Bandcamp player at the top of this page. If you like, you can watch the video, too.)
A positive write-up for This Mucky Age from individualist journo Indie Dad. It’s on the [sic] Magazine site here.
(Seem to recall he quite liked Episodes when it was first released in 2008, too – did I mention it’s just been re-issued by any chance…?)
A review’s always appreciated – even more when it’s favourable. So far, I’ve been very lucky.
This Mucky Age gets an interesting write-up from Peter Kemp’s music blog here:
It’s pretty shrewd; but then it’s a great review so I would say that, wouldn’t I? (He’s bang-on about the imaginary scenario of Degenerate Son, which seems to have puzzled some people.)
Anyway, check out Peter’s blog – I’m in very good company.
Oxford music magazine Nightshift has a review of Hands Up in its December 2011 issue: link to pdf here.
It’s filed under “demos”, but you can’t have everything: in a previous life, I grew up in Oxford and played in various crap 80s-charity-shop-leather-jacket-schoolboy-weirdo bands, so this is quite gratifying. Nice write-up, too. Ah, those dear dead days – I couldn’t carry on like that anymore, it’d kill me… and I’ve got an album to finish. Happy Xmas!
Nothing like positive coverage to make an egomaniac’s day worthwhile
There’s a good write-up for the album in this month’s BN1 Magazine. It’s not online yet, but can be found in print around Brighton. I’m a pirate and a rascal, apparently – also a devil may care rebel. Naturally, this is very gratifying. Favourable comments on the music, too.
A few more reviews (that I’m aware of) should appear soon, but this’ll do nicely for now.
[EDIT – the review can now be read on the More Press page. All copyright BN1 Magazine, all effrontery mine.]