Mimi Soya – ‘I Can’t Stand Pop Bands’

By Phil Micallef Before getting round to even listening to this EP from Brighton quartet Mimi Soya, there are several pre-conceptions that I can’t help but notice upon looking at the CD artwork.  The bright, mainly pink-orientated, cartoon-like colour scheme, along with a photo of a female vocalist with dyed red hair to boot (never   →

The Sonic Boom hits Sheffield

Last night I went along to The Academy in Sheffield to see one of my favourite bands – Sonic Boom Six – after an email from Laila reminding me it was on. Plus it coincided nicely with my wife‘s birthday, so she got dragged along too. Arriving fashionably late, about 40 minutes after doors opened,   →

CHEW LiPS – Unicorn [Album Sampler] (Kitsuné)

One of the first bands announced for next year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas, CHEW LiPS are quite literally a band going places. Signed to the unimaginably hip French electronica label Kitsuné, they seem to be perched right a-top the cutting edge.  At this point one might be imagining the next Crystal Castles; a blaring cacophony incomprehensible to   →

Johnny Foreigner – Grace And The Bigger Picture (Best Before)

Johnny Foreigner is doing all the things that no-one else will do. In Waited Up ‘Til It Was Light JoFo [as they have been affectionately abbreviated] released one of the best records of 2008 and the best debut from a British band in many a year. Grace And The Bigger Picture still has everything the   →

The Chemists – ‘A Love Like No-One Else’ (Distiller)

Budding Bristol pop-rockers strive to fill stadiums. It’s too easy to criticise a band that plays with a foot in both rock and pop camps. The age-old adage for music writers is to bear frustration at ‘yet another band that hardly treads new ground’. With a well-trodden and stale genre concern, it is better to   →

A Wilhelm Scream, Polar Bear Club, A New Day – Camden Underworld, London (05/09/2009)

By Phil Micallef. Having missed the Reading festival a week earlier for the first time in five years, I took some scant consolation in the fact that two of the bands that I would have wanted to see the most there were both barnstorming the stage tonight in Camden Town. Before tonight’s all-American co-headlining duel   →

Suicide Bid, The Filaments, The Grit, Mouthwash – Garage, London (15/08/2009)

UK dub/ska/punk ‘super-group’ collective return along with the re-union of one of Essex’s finest exports. By Phil Micallef. Due to a concoction of rushing into London straight from work and somebody’s ingenious idea to shut down the Victoria line (for arguments sake, let’s just blame Boris Johnson – it’s easier that way), I unfortunately only   →

GuilFest 2009

Guildford’s family friendly festival; choc full of nostalgia and breaking talent. Friday Ginger has never been so strangely out of place. A mid-afternoon slot in a festival shrouded with nostalgia should have been the perfect setting for the ex-Wildhearts front-man. Sadly, much to his bemusement Ginger’s good time rock n’ roll garnered little response from   →

Gossip – Music For Men (Sony)

What do Beth Ditto and Susan Boyle have in common?  Welcome to Gossip’s ‘tricky’ fourth album. Beth Ditto is fat.  And a lesbian.  When Gossip burst into the mainstream with Soulwax re-mixed ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ she found herself to be something of a new media-darling.  Journalists delighted in highlighting her obvious and   →

Without Thought – Get Down And Give Me Infinity (Regretamine Records)

Guilford’s Without Thought peddles that all-too familiar brand of post-hardcore, the style that’s seemingly serving as the model for contemporary rock.  They feature low, heavy riffage adorned by vocals that swerve from screams into more melodic passages, providing the listener with both metallic brutality and a soaring pop-sensibility. In essence the group bridges the gap   →