Everything In Transit Weekly – #1 (29/03/10)

March 28, 2010

I decided to make a weekly Sunday Spotify playlist, which is apparently “free time day”, because shops close a little bit earlier and everyone’s head feels rusty, here’s the rundown of the first edition.

Opening the playlist is a super song from my blog’s namesake album ‘Everything In Transit’, by JACK’S MANNEQUIN, which doesn’t half help me get up in the morning! After my morning coffee it is well followed by REFUSED’s Hardcore-hit single New Noise.

My most listened to song’s of late, according to my Last.fm are DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL’s album-track Saints and Sailors, and FRANK TURNER’s cover of The Postals Service’s District Sleeps Alone Tonight.

Recently the more lo-fi section of the music world was stunned at the the death of Mark Linkous who died by his own hand last month, the closest he had to a hit was from his main project SPARKLEHORSE, which leads nicely to the beautifully epic song Lit Up from THE NATIONAL’s debut album.

Elsewhere there are songs from two of the best underground bands about, THE AUTEUR’s opening bomb as well as DEAF HAVANA’s most recent single, i closed it off with ANDY WILLIAMS classic song, Moon River, which never fails to remind me of Hollywood in the 1930’s, wicked romance!

Listen to Everything In Transit Weekly – #1 (29/03/10)

James In Transit // james.everythingintransit@hotmail.com

Refused to reform!

March 28, 2010

It has been reported today that Swedish Hardcore band Refused, who called it a day in 1998 are to reform. An event I’d put in the same category as The Smiths re-tying the knot or The Sex Pistols doing it gracefully.

If your unaware of Refused, when Black Flag split up in 1986, Punk music was to divided into more traditional style 3-chord punk influenced off The Ramones and New York Dolls, which, as well as developing a faster more technical style of music which would be known as Hardcore-Punk, namely bands from the new york hardcore scene such as Sick Of It All and Minor Threat

Now as a musician, you want to do one of two things; create a genre, or define one. The chances of either happening are slim enough, but to achieve both takes more than a cake recipe.

I was never sure what happened to Anarchy, but its no secret that it became less cool to protest. People dialed-up, and found forums behind their keyboard in which to voice their opinion instead of forming a band over such issues. Bands like The King Blues and Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly are recent examples of artists willing to vent frustration through music, but what about hardcore music?

Correct me if I’m wrong but hardcore music just seems like its there for the sake of hardcore music, for the sake of being angry, not for the sake of making a difference. Thank God Rage Against The Machine reformed, so i can coin them “the exception that proves the rule”. Never the less, Refused were in my opinion, among the last set of people that really had something to say.

Congrats Hardcore-Punk fans, Refused are back, feel free to start smiling, even if you have to put your hand over your mouth.

Download “The Shape Of Punk To Come”

Or listen on Spotify

EP Review: The Gold Coast – To The End Of Our Days

March 27, 2010

The Gold Coast are a 5-piece hardcore band from Sheffield, releasing their first EP, To The End Of Our Days.

This EP opens with Black Lungs, vocalist Luke Impett has that style of hardcore vocals that i adore, taking a page from More Than Life’s “cry-core” leaflet and forcing a broken style of screaming which compliments the dark, dissonant music heading into two older songs which hold as much weight as the first.

What strikes as me as exciting is that they don’t rely  on beatdown’s to get by, unlike most hardcore bands, you can tell that these musicians are actually talented rather than just, horny. As i’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I’d take a consistent release over one good song mixed with a few other boring, filler tracks, and with bands in this genre they seem to just produce outright crap that boys can get girls to, and this EP is a treat after sifting through endless amount of music I’d rather put in a box, in my attic…and then burn my house down.

While this EP is consistent however, its only 3-tracks long, and while its a great advert for the band, it asks the question, could they hold this quality into a full-length release? we will have to wait and see.

Pigeonhole: The Bled, More Than Life, The Dillinger Escape Plan

3.5/5

The Gold Coast on MYSPACE

James In Transit // james.everythingintransit@hotmail.com


Spotify Playlist Days Of The Week

March 22, 2010

For years now i’ve always challenged myself to name a song for every day of the week, and like naming all the American states, id always leave a few out. But at last, thanks to the Swedish amazing-but-surely-insomeway-illegal app Spotify, i typed in the days and made a little playlist. starting at the beginning!

New Order – Blue Monday – it was a toss-up between this and Bob Geldof’s more apt example of a Monday, but you can’t take anything away from this song, the best selling 12″ of all time and one of the best electronic songs that will ever be made, as well as one of the best song’s of the 80’s!

The Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday – Noted as one of the more depressing songs of all time, and also one of Rolling Stones best, i remember falling in love with this song after it was featured in the Clive Owen action/drama Children of Men, a beautiful acoustic version done by Franco Battiato as Michael Caine euthanized his wheelchair bound wife.

Jack’s Mannequin – Sleazy Wednesday – EP Version – I picked this piano/pop b-side for two reasons, not only did Mr Mannequin give me the name for my blog, but not really anyone in the history of music has ever really written a song about a Wednesday, it is a more boring day than the others…good thing Jack’s Mannequin can’t write a bad song!

Thursday – Running From The Rain – Another foil in my plan, NO ONE WRITES ABOUT THURSDAY’S EITHER!!! luckily a post-hardcore radar blip-come-emo godfathers have named their band as if it was so my playlist would have a ‘Thursday” section…thanks Geoff and Co! Using this loophole i could of picked a lot of songs, namely Understanding In A Car Crash or anything from War All Time (oddly not on Spotify), but went with this song, because it mixes Geoff’s emotive lyrics with more-epic-than-a-rainstorm style orchestration that makes me shiver.

The Cure –  Friday Im In Love – At risk you readers thinking i’ve become an “old-timer”, bands just don’t write songs this good anymore, nothing beats a song that plays on words…except a song that plays on words, sung by Robert “why-aren’t-you-my-uncle” Smith, that just makes you feel so shamelessly happy that its Friday!

Kids In Glass Houses – Saturday – Did i say bands don’t write songs “this” good anymore? i didn’t mean this good. I cant listen to KIGH without picking up my guitar, strumming less-well thought of chords for five minutes before letting the Welsh pop-punkers do it better. There’s some songs that hands down, simply deserved to of been bigger, a single in its own right but only reaching in 184 in the charts, which these days means only me and my mother bought it. never the less one of the most listened songs on my last.fm profile, along with the rest of this album!

Morrissey – Everyday Is Like Sunday – Okay, heres my “Mission Statement”: i believe The Smiths are one of the greatest bands that ever existed (yes, im one of them), and i don’t think enough people know about them, despite the millions they have sold. Sadly The Smiths broke up, if i was alive i would of cried, but didn’t that little fella on the microphone do good for himself, taking what The Smiths did, but making it more lyrically prominent, this was his second single and one of the most successful, speaking about a subject we can all relate to, the “strange depression” that surround things like nuclear war, out-of-season seaside town’s and the content, the last day of the week.

heres all 7 song’s bundled together in one little ball of playlist fun

Days Of The Week Playlist

EP Review: The Auteur – Nightcap EP

February 21, 2010

The Auteur are a pop-punk/rock band currently waving the scene with shows with Boys Like Girls and as well as past shows with pretty much every British pop-punk band worth their oversized smiles.

Their recent EP, Nightcap starts well, “Nice Hair, Nice Face”, has a foot-tapper of an  opening riff which, unlike some, doesn’t need to rely too heavily on the vocals to bring it forward, although Alex Rumble’s voice does put some sugar in my tea.

Taking heed from the Blink-182 and All Time Low’s music, but unlike a lot of new pop-punk bands, the vocalist doesn’t feel the need to be so whiney that it makes my kettle sound like Barry White. complimenting it with a slightly-British edge and delightful lyrics.

Another point that sets them apart from other bands is that they can actually make an EP that stays strong throughout, unlike most, Nightcap EP doesn’t have a weak song on it, but while there’s no track’s on here in need of a consistent skip, there’s also no stand-out radio-worthy song that would grab the floaters. Although from a personal point of view, consistent quality trumps a one hit wonder, which no doubt singles this band out as one to keep your eye on.

4/5

Nightcap EP is out now on LAB Records.

James In Transit // james.everythingintransit@hotmail.com

Ten Songs Volume I: Band’s You Need To Listen To

February 12, 2010
I couldn’t decide if this was a list of “ten up and coming bands” or “ten bands i think are underrated”, i guess this is just “10 bands i want to tell you about”, so if you haven’t heard of them before, they are here because i rate them!
[click pictures for Myspace page’s]

Deaf Havana
– Never doing anything by halves, Deaf Havana started out as a generic hardcore band, but with two lead singers. Various line-up changes and with a brief foray into a really good mix of indie and post-hardcore, they have now settled on straight-up post-hardcore for their debut album, they are the British version of Every Time I Die, and its the best British post-hardcore album I’ve heard since Funeral For A Friend’s debut.

More Than Life
– My friends call them “crycore”, which im not sure is a certified genre as of yet, but if there’s a band thats doing something in a sometimes stale scene then its More Than Life, opting for chords and song structure instead of a “blastbeat/beatdown/blastbeat/beatdown” (repeat till end), coupled with passionate broken screams. i want to hear more of this band.

Jose Vanders
– Maybe one of the most DIY artists around, when you buy her EP, she tends to say thank you with a hand-written note, her first EP got her plugs by Perez Hilton as well as a slot as the face of BBC3 (she’s cuter than at least 5 buttons!), she’s now on her third EP, Literature Lovers which does not leave my speakers! Staying just as lo-fi, indie and exciting as ever, just with a more polished sound, throwing out the Kate Nash comparisons for a slightly less-British. Much more welcomed this girl will warm your heart!
Download: Man On Wire

The All New Adventures Of Us
–  This is Arcade Fire infused lo-fi indie and its truly brilliant, its british but not overly, a mistake a lot of bands make nowadays. No one is sure if this band even exist anymore, the Myspace mentions that one member has left, but no sign of a break-up…its irrelevant, if this band aren’t huge, then there is no hope for you either.

Luke Leighfield
– The hardest working musician I’ve ever come across, for that reason alone he deserves every bit of success coming his way, its a good thing he is a decent musician too, he’s touring soon with Jose Vanders (above), his album is free on his bandcamp, but he’s a sample below in case you don’t want to risk your hard drive space.
Canterbury
– Canterbury have got the mix of indie, pop-punk and rock totally down, i think they may need a tiny bit more time on the radar before we see the very best from this band, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t blowing socks off currently. A band for the decade for sure, and like the bands above and below them on this list, they are produced by the best young producer in the country, Peter Miles, AND they are giving it away for free, we really get spoiled these days!

In Gratitude
– This band are super, there’s elements of pop-punk here, but its very indie. a welcome element of mature within the standard  “get the girls back to the van” approach, saying this, ‘Moving On’ makes you want to grab the nearest heartless idiot your next to and chant the heroic gang vocals that make the song sound incredible. With the right strings, this band could really get somewhere.
Download: ‘Moving On’

Lights and Sounds
– A great piano-driven indie-pop band from High Wycombe, started by Max Britton as a solo project, after two supports on a Hellogoodbye tour in 2007. The backing band soon followed, and they have since become one of the best pop-punk bands this side of the Atlantic, currently writing their debut album. if you like getting into music before it gets big then get in quick, they currently have a free EP on their Myspace above.

Matt Herbert
– The only artist from my hometown of Chelmsford that i feel the need to give a nod to. What makes Matt Herbert so special is that he used to be a punk, that now plays relatable, emotive 12-string blues, he’s a part-time truck driver by day and truly doesn’t deserve to be.
Download: ‘Saved Me’
Mathletes
–  Ok, its “just” pop-punk, but here is a band that is simply doing it extremely well, with some handy electronics coupled with some overly catchy riffs and well structured vocal melodies. a real diamond during my days browsing through the mud of myspace music. This band isn’t for someone who doesn’t put the “pop” side of the genre on the top of this list, but this post is about bands that aren’t getting the credit they deserve, Mathletes are bar far and away one of them.
Download ‘Badstreet USA’

Wildcard: The Riverclub
– One band that really should be been where You Me At Six are now, don’t get me wrong, YMA6 band are great, but this band brought something else to the table, instead of just shadowing our American counterparts and not it as well. they infused a rugged, British, indie element, which in 2010 would send them shitting over every Paramore tribute band in the UK. This band broke up a year or so ago and im not aware of anything new coming from the ashes, never the less, The Riverclub remain one of my favourite pop-punk bands!


[as always, the full-length songs i’ve featured are there as a sample, if you like the band then buy something. and if you represent or are an artist featured and don’t want the music featured, email me]

EP Review: Kid Conventional – Uncharted Waters

February 2, 2010

Kid Conventional is midlands troubadour Jack Weston who is quite a special kind of singer-songwriter, he’s the guy that plays your local open mic night, but he’s not someone you can ignore. His lyric-driven song writing may not be quite to everyone’s taste as far as singer-songwriters go, but an artist you can empathise with, the lyrics are written in a simple vain, but done really well.

The EP opens with ‘Escapism’, setting the tone for the rest of the EP with a melodious, fragile feeling that reminds me of Brand New’s ‘Deja Entendu’ era, trading the New Jersey arenas for a pub in the east-midlands.

In the hope of not sounding too unprofessional, Gary Kasparov is an absolute tune, putting his more delicate lyrics in the cupboard for 2’44mins as he reams out an acceptable amount of arrogance, “they will build statues of me, they will sing songs about me”, comparable again to Brand New’s equally confident “Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t”. By far the standout track on the EP, the kind of song that makes you want to pick up a guitar yourself.

Pony Girls brings a slightly more British vocal which suits the song, and the EP is wrapped up with “To The Sea”. I think in these days when you can make an entire orchestra from your bedroom, Kid Conventional does well to keep it stripped down and plays to his strengths, which is undoubtedly his lyrics, Despite this, there is possibly room for some experimentation in the last song, which creeps along a little slower than the opening three songs. but overall a decent, long-awaited four-track which is available for FREE on his bandcamp site.

3.5/5

Download ‘Gary Kasparov’

James In Transit // james.everythingintransit@hotmail.com

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Further Reading:

before the EP was a set of 4 demo’s on his Myspace,  one of those (Dodgems) is also on his bandcamp, but here’s my favourite:

download “Forever and Always”

nearer to the end of my own musical career i also took the liberty of covering one of Jack’s songs, one of those 3am decisions!

download One Of Twelve’s cover of Kid Conventionals “Pebbles and Shells”

Falling Out With The Boys

February 2, 2010

According to Pete Wentz’s blog, it has been suggested that Fall Out Boy is all over, with the bassist saying “I am the single biggest fan of FOB and if this is our legacy then so be it, I am proud of it”.

This obviously brought on a wave on young people screaming bloody murder, but over my morning coffee, after a university lecture and just before thinking about my next boring-like-being-old birthday, i decided that maybe its a good move for the boys from the fall out.

Thinking about the word “Legacy”, which in this age of music is becoming an obsolete term. Using Neil Young’s “its better to burn out than to fade away” theory, Fall Out Boy look set to leave a legacy in music as the kings of a genre they shaped. Be it their breakthrough album, From Under The Cork Tree, which brought emo/pop-punk into the mainstream, or Decaydance Records, that little side-label set up by Pete Wentz that gave you a couple of small-scale bands such as, Panic! At The Disco, Four Year Strong, The Academy Is… and Gym Class Heroes. What Pete Wentz and Fall Out Boy did for music was great, and in my opinion, they deserve to burn out and be remembered.

(FOB are also credit to how well  a band can do without relying on image!!)

There’s all too many bands these day’s fading down to the smallest pub in the smallest town, as well as bands who once had a legacy but insist on a comeback tour, both of these imply financial reasons, something Fall Out Boy shouldn’t need to worry about. As much as I’d love to see a final tour, having only seen them a couple of times at festivals, i think it’s a good decision, and will leave them well-remembered as one of the previous decades biggest bands. as well as the least attractive poster boys of the century so far!

James In Transit // james.everythingintransit@hotmail.co.uk

Punktastic Made Me Want To Write

January 31, 2010

Punktastic is one of the biggest independent alternative-music websites in the UK. Its creator, Paul, announced on twitter for people to write about how the website may have changed them personally, in celebration of the sites 10 year anniversary. I penned a little something which Paul kindly posted on his WordPress blog, which I’ve also posted below.

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It’s a Wednesday morning, circa 2003, I’m walking to school and you can hear the sound of people wanting to get to where they’re going. It’s damp, but in that fresh, British-summer kind of way, and I walk into Asda and grab myself a copy of Kerrang. It was my bible, the idea of getting up early to buy it made it seem all the more worth it, as I’d be getting all the news before my mates. I’d get to school with all I had learnt on the walk there, heading over to my friends with the big news, “New Found Glory are touring!” i exclaim! Only for a subdued reply from my classmates, “news came out over the weekend buddy”.

The world was changing, you didn’t need to kill trees, or more importantly, wait until Wednesday for news, reviews and the chance to hear what other like-minded people think about music. i first found Punktastic in 2004 when Paul interviewed Brand New. Being my favourite band of all time, i slotted into the forums straight away, always reading, rarely posting. The sense of community was great, you could hear about new bands before they had recorded a song, some bands that got clocked on Punktastic could be made or broken to thousands of people if you were anything but “Another Girl, Another Planet”.

I never really cared for reviews until I came across Punktastic, I’d look at Kerrang and see it gave American Idiot 5K’s, and I’d simply disagree. Now if i hear an album i think, “i wonder what Paul thinks”. It was Punktastic that gave 14.5/15 stars for The Rocket Summers trio of albums, which i bought because “Punktastic liked them”. The fact that The Rocket Summer are now one of my favourite bands just underlines the influence they can give to readers.

After a brief foray into music, it seemed more than natural to start writing myself, the idea of promoting an opinion of a talent to people who may not of heard it is what made it exciting, weather I’m declaring the latest unsigned band as the best thing I’ve heard since You Me At Six were bed-wetter’s, or how I’d only play Hadouken’s ironically now-dated album when doing the hovering.

Punktastic has forever been my first second opinion, before I started wanting to form my own!

James In Transit // james.everythingintransit@hotmail.com

Album Review: Hadouken – For The Masses

January 28, 2010

Hadoukan had a great year back when people were still unsure what “grime” meant, and “Save The Rave” t-shirts were making me die a little inside. It is quite clear that even then, and in the present-day, that rave has well and truly been saved, so when these “grindies” were to come out with a second album, it was always going to be tough.

Opener “Rebirth” starts well, until that vocal starts, a completely pointless kind of rapping that i thought died out a long time ago. Track 4, “House Is Falling”, opens with the most over-used guitar progression of all time, but proves to be a highlight (however ‘light’ this ‘high’ may be). “Ugly” also has a decent synth line but for the masses? im not so sure.

Now, the lyrics on this album are seriously grim, with such poetry as “i wanna take your mind and soul/right to the core, right to the bone” in Mic Check and “i don’t know what you think you know, the whole world going toe-to-toe” in wannabe alt/rave album-track “Bombshock”. If there was anything holding me back from liking this album then its the lyrics, the worst I’ve heard in a long long time.

this being said, musically, there’s some really good bits, its achieves the presence they put across, of a group of young people who work their way around how to write a good song by adding lots of synths. It could have been better produced, a few dodgy synths and a bass-heavy mix would signal this album to sound good live or in a club, or possibly the pre-drinking album for a group of Saturday night morons.

This is unquestionably an album made for the audience that liked the first album, unfortunately many of which are now older, applying to universities, listening to The Smiths and have stopped getting pocket-money. It’s also an album that would go down well live among most drunk youngsters, and i wouldn’t mind attending, just let me put a sock in the singer’s mouth before hand.

2/5

James In Transit // james.everythingintransit@hotmail.com