Record Reviews – Sept 2014 (Part 2)

Record Reviews – Sept 2014 (Part 2)



Big Smoke London Town – Album

From the first track, all I could think of was ‘hold on to your hats’!

Dustaphonics are about as incendiary as you can get when it comes to rockin’, rollin’ hard nosed blues.

Haley Red is that ‘perfect storm’ of 50s siren styling, inflecting the odd squeal for effect in her vocal performance and oozing sultry sex appeal. Dynamite stuff when applied to the driving, in-yer-face Dustapohonics sound.

Believe me, this is a whirlwind and a thoroughly enjoyable blast through all of the eleven songs.

Opening with ‘The Message’, followed by the sister track ‘When You Gonna Learn’, you barely have time to catch breath before the title track grabs you by the scruff and you’re off again.

The band only change gear when we get to track 9 and what a gorgeous slice of twangy, low-down dirty blues its is. ‘Fire Dance’ also happens to be a great instrumental.

This album may only be their second full length outing, but Dustaphonics have dispelled that myth that second LPs can be difficult. Not on this evidence.

The rest of the field should beware !


Magnetic Mind

When The Morning Comes b/w Mumbai Firefly

It is not difficult to see where Magnetic Mind take their influences from. I would suggest Jefferson Airplane, July, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Big Brother and The Holding Company perhaps?

‘When The Morning Comes’ is most definitely a vehicle for Ellie Foden and Paul Milne to display their harmonising skills with this Jefferson-inspired foot-tapper.

‘Mumbai Firefly’ is an instrumental which rocks along at a decent pace while interspersed with folk-style backing vocals.

All in all, a very nice example of the psych scene today. All you Mousetrap Fuzz for Freaks regulars will love this.


Groovy Uncle With Suzi Chunk

Barefoot In The Car Park b/w Wet Weekend – Single

Glenn Pragnell is the mastermind behind Groovy Uncle. A loose collaboration of musicians hand-picked for individual projects.

Suzi Chunck has worked with various bands as a session singer and released a solo project last year to rave reviews.

Here the pair join forces for a pop/radio-friendly rant at our obsession with our warmer weather; ‘Barefoot In The Car Park’. For some reason, Katrina and The Waves sprang to mind and not for the obvious comparison. It is not a bad song. Maybe just a touch ‘commercial’?

The flip side, ‘Wet Weekend’ is a more dreamy affair and probably my preference out of the two songs. The guitar work gives it a slightly edgy, darker feel, but again, a good song.


The Impellers

My Certainty  – Album

When the Legere Record label sends a new disc to NUTS Towers, I can’t wait to hear it. Their roster rarely disappoints and this release is no exception.

The Impellers are a Brighton-based outfit and ‘My Certainty’ is their third album.

When it comes to raw funk, you would be hard pushed to find a better band around right now.

Main man, Glenn Fallows leads a water-tight outfit with the superb Clair Witcher on vocals. Every influence you can think of is here among the 14 original tracks. James Brown, George Clinton, Prince, Barkays, Chuck Brown (anyone remember the ‘Go-Go’ fad from around 1980-81?) with a touch of Masters At Work / Nu-Yorican  flavour thrown in for good measure.

‘My Tears (Are too Good For You)’ sounds like it could have come from a Lyn Collins or Vicki Anderson solo project. The title track, ‘My Certainty’ is a laid-back  ballad with a nod to Marvin Gaye during his early 70s output.

‘Last Dance Of The Moai’ is a stone-groove ripe for bright colours, flared trousers and afro hair. You’ve seen clips of Soul Train, right?

‘Sworn In Enemy’ takes us into the Jazz-Funk world, while ‘Put The Man In Egomaniac’ puts us back on the good foot.

If the usual radio and podcast funk and soul specialists don’t pick up on this album, they must be either mad or unaware. I have also seen The Impellers live and they are even better. Not to be missed.


Los Chavales

Asulado – EP

Another offering from Spain, this time in the form of Los Chavales. A four-piece outfit from Santiago de Compostela with a very nice blend of Hammond-led beat and garage.

‘Freno Y Orgullo’ and ‘Casi Nada’ are danceable freakbeat belters, while on the flip side ‘Cien Anos’ continues the mood. ‘Xa Non Quedan Homes’ is the odd-one-out, being a product of a Britpop influence.

This appears to be their only recorded work to date, but there is a great deal of potential, based on this EP.


Galileo 7

False Memory Lane Album

Just in case you’re not quite ‘au fait’ with Galileo 7’s front man Allan Crockford, here’s a quick history lesson.

Allan started his career as a member of The Prisoners, the legendary and highly influential 80’s band from the Medway delta. With fellow Prisoner, Graham Day the pair went on to form both The Prime Movers and The Solar Flares as well as working with others on various projects over the years.

Today, Allan is a member of Graham Day and The Forefathers as well as fronting Galileo 7.

‘False Memory Lane’ is their third album and is far from the Medway garage that Mr Crockford might be associated with. The writing is at times, whimsical, then a bit ‘tongue-in-cheek’. The songs display all the finest qualities of that area of popular music where the likes of Ray Davies reside. Classically English and (dare I say it?) working class.

Astute observations, well-crafted lyrics all backed up with carefully-thought-out rhythms and riffs.

‘Don’t Know What I’m Waiting For’ is about as close as you get to a pacey garage track, whereas ‘Fools’ is (for my money) a brilliant song that has become a personal favourite. In short, there is not a duff track on this album and definitely a must for those of you at the softer end of the psych and garage spectrum.

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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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September 18, 2014 By : Category : Bands,Front Page,Music,Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
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