27 April 2011

Speak & the Spells

First blogged about back in 2009, everything seems to have gone a bit quiet for the London group since then. They've set up a bandcamp, though, and uploaded some catchy surf pop vibes. Hope it's not another 2 years before someone blogs their as of then new material, 'cause this is super good. It's probably perfect for this hot weather, too, but I won't go down that route. Oh shit, did I just?

Speak & the Spells - Easy To Do

Speak & the Spells - Until Her

Bandcamp | Facebook

26 April 2011

BF Podcast #001

Yeah, decided to make a podcast this afternoon. Pretty slapdash with a big lack of preparation and also a cold, so don't be too critical. There are missed words and poor recordings and all. Fnx.

BF PD 001 by basementfever

1. Coke Candy - Heart Siq | Bandcmap
2. Marc Desse - Petite Anne | Bandcamp
3. Effort - With You | Bandcamp
4. Winter Villains - Icebergs | Bandcamp
5. Screens - Pop Logic | Bandcamp / via Pigeon Post
6. Among Brothers - Bare Teeth | Bandcamp / Facebook
7. Time Brings Age - Wake Up | Bandcamp / Facebook
8. Joanna Gruesome - Talking To Yr Dick | Bandcamp / Facebook

Marc Desse

Marc Desse
Is this good just because it's French? No. Does it help? Maybe, the lyrics could be rubbish I guess. Is this a stupid blog post, but is the music good? Yeeeeeeah. Love the incessant synth keying, and the whole feel of the track. It's kind of like a freshened up 60s sound I reckon, and I certainly want to hear more.

Marc Desse - Petite Anne

Bandcamp | Facebook

25 April 2011

David K Frampton

David K Frampton
Apparently some sort of bedroom project from a Brighton based electronic musician who has been around for a while, to me this sounds more like some pretty great dark, synthy psychedelic sounds along Arc Light or Red Psalm lines, made by a newbie, weirdo social recluse. In my book, that's a good thing - its eerie, minimal, electro given a dark and odd edge with the spoken vocals. Listen below or find out more at the links underneath the tracks, such as the free 4 track EP over at bandcamp.

David K Frampton - Mask 4

David K Frampton - Window Seat

Bandcamp | MySpace

21 April 2011


Jewellers Newport electronic cover
Speed is one of the names of the music blogging game. It's also something I lack. Heard about Newport electronic duo Jewellers a few weeks back, but it's taken me until the last few days to properly listen. What a fool I am. Incredible twinkling synth sounds that seem to me good enough for them to become pretty massive. This is intelligent, brilliant stuff. Don't leave it any longer to listen to these - below or at bandcamp where you can get the entire album for free.

Jewellers - You Don't Know

Jewellers - Weightless

Bandcamp | Facebook | Beaten by: yvynyl, Pigeon Post,
Music Fan's Mic, A New Band A Day and probably more

20 April 2011


Umber music cover
Sometimes it's the most unsuspecting of things in life that turn out to be some of the best and most refreshing - like an email I got from artist Alex Steward, who also goes by the name Umber. He asked me if I might be interesting in the ambient/folk music that he makes on his own. That's about all the information I got. Turns out that Alex might either be a bit modest or completely unaware at how just how impressive the music he makes is.

As This Is Fake DIY mentioned in the First On piece on Umber earlier this month or as Music Fan's Mic echoed, this 'ambient/folk' music is so much more than those two words might suggest. Far from the acoustic singer-songwriter drivel that one might expect, Umber's sound is minimal, stunning and frankly beautiful. Kind of the meeting place of post-rock and folk, guitar twangs gently besides delicate layers of piano, violin and slight electronic noise to create sounds laid back but entirely encapsulating. It's music that you want to listen to alone in the dark with no distractions and just get lost in its beauty.

Listen below or over at bandcamp.

Umber - Tomorrow We'll Throw Out Some Old Shoes

Umber - The Day We Left For Earth

Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud | Tumblr

19 April 2011


Wyla Zummer Zingle
Still not 100% sure what bedroom pop is, but I’m pretty sure this is it. Edward Madill is Asheville, North Carolinan musician Wyla, and he’s pretty ace. Deep vocals plod along next to a driving drum beat and synth line in Drive Forever before the song bloats to a satisfying mass of noise and feedback. It’s kind of super chilled out and inventive pop music, perfect on a lazy sunny evening.

Grab stuff below, or download tonnes of stuff for free at bandcamp. Apparently there's a full album out this summer, so keep your eyes peeled.

Wyla - You're The One

Wyla - Drive Forever

Bandcamp | Tumblr | Pipped to the post by PastaPrimavera

17 April 2011

Weekly Gig Guide: 18/4 - 23/4

Yeah. Weekly round-up of gigs from Brighton and Cardiff that I reckon will be good and that. Is this the worst gig guide ever?


19/4: My First Tooth - Ten Feet Tall | Buy tickets
21/4: Jamie xx - Clwb Ifor Bach | Buy tickets
21/4: Metronomy - Clwb Ifor Bach | Buy tickets
24/4: Bijou Fest (H. Hawkline, The Method, more) - Gwdihw
| Buy tickets
24/4: Loose Easter Fest (H. Hawkline, Threatmantics, more)
- 10FtTall / Undertone | Buy tickets


19/4: Metronomy – Digital | Buy tickeys
19/4:Jeniferever / Speak Galactic / Among Brothers - Green Door Store | Buy tickets
21/4: A Hawk And A Hacksaw – Ballroom | Buy tickets
21/4: Asobi Seksu - Audio | Buy tickets

16 April 2011

Releases: Best of the Week

Yeah, I know today's Record Store Day and there are some brilliant, exclusive releases at indie shops around the UK and indeed world today, but next week has some decent releases too, I reckon.

Week starting April 18:
tuneyards whokill album cover
tUnE-YarDs – w h o k i l l (4AD)

tUnE-YarDs - Powa

Freeze The Atlantic – Colour By Numbers EP (Alcopop)
The Slits – The John Peel Sessions
Bass Drum Of Death – GB City (Fat Possum)

14 April 2011

Joanna Gruesome

Joanna Gruesome demos
What to say about new Cardiff 5-piece Joanna Gruesome? A comment on the name? A comparison to the gazey, jangly twee pop of the likes of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart or Yuck (or countless other earlier bands)? A reflection on the brilliantly distorted bending guitar work or the top driving bass lines? A thought on the sometimes slightly iffy (hey, it's still early days) saccharine vocals?

Joanna Gruesome - Talking To Yr Dick

Joanna Gruesome - Pantry Girl

Bandcamp | Facebook

13 April 2011

Hear Hums

Hear Hums press shot
From one side of the Animal Collective coin of influence - yesterday's "world"-y World Map - to the other, with the glitchy experimental pop noise of Hear Hums.

Hear Hums are a two-piece from Gainesville, Florida, and consider themselves an experimental and visual band. It's pretty easy to see why this would work, Hear Hums music is driving, complex, kaleidoscopic soundscapes that brings forth visions of colourful and swirling shapes even without the actual visual accompaniment. Bubbling electronic sounds, crashing cymbals, clicking rims and rickety snares, woo-and-ahh-ing vocals, and often bending or looping guitar strums all coming together to create something otherworldly and wonderful.

They're about to head out on tour in the US, but UK people are probably going to have to be a bit patient to see the visuals and sounds working alongside eachother. I bet it's bloody good though. Listen to stuff at bandcamp, or grab whole album Psyche Cycles, released back in December, for free (with permission from the band) here.

Hear Hums - Woo

Hear Hums - BXYZ

Hear Hums - Ay

Bandcamp | Facebook | Blogspot

12 April 2011

World Map

So-called ‘world’ music has seen a huge revival in recent years, at least partly thanks to Animal Collective. The African influenced sound is pretty well known for its ‘tribal’ feel; layers of vocals, a gaggle of percussionists and generally stuff taken on by a group of people. Where Brighton-based artist Calum Bowen, aka World Map, differs is that he ambitiously attempts the sound alone.

Surprisingly it comes off incredibly well. Often sample heavy with plenty of brilliant Afro-influenced chinking and gliding guitar work and also supplemented by drum machine topped off by Calum’s unusual but effective vocals, it all comes together quite brilliant. Although at times it can be a little hit and miss (songs, for me, can sometimes lack a little direction or focus and at times rely slightly too heavily on samples), the consistency is about the only criticism that you can make. There are some real gems here.

How on Earth this would work live I doubt even Calum himself knows, but let’s just enjoy what we have rather than worry about the future, eh? Grab stuff below, or head to bandcamp for a full album of material plus a host of new songs as they come.

World Map - Wouldn't It Be Nice

World Map - Vulcan Shield

World Map - Needles

Bandcamp | Tumblr | Nicked from The Pigeon Post

11 April 2011

Zuper Zine: Drunken Werewolf

Drunken Werewolf zine Mystery Jets front cover
Drunken Werewolf is the work of Tiffany Daniels. She's a Bristol based writer who freelances for the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and God Is In The TV Zine, but she also does what many bloggers and writers aren't quite brave enough to do - publishes her own zine. Up to issue 16 at time of writing, and spread around the country as quickly as Tiffany can, it's a refreshing, honest and enthusiastic look at new and exciting music. I emailed Tiffany some questions about herself and her top zine and she answered them. She also suggested some new music listening, which can be found throughout the post.

How did Drunken Werewolf start out? It was an online blog only firstly, right?

In 2005 I put a stupid amount of effort into a summer mix tape - all I can remember now is that it included Julie Ruin’s “Aerobicide”. Anyway, I didn’t want it to go to waste so I created a LiveJournal account to host it. That trundled along for a while, and was mainly used for uploading and re-uploading every b-side The Cooper Temple Clause ever recorded. It got more serious when people started to request Laura Marling b-sides, and then finally Thom Stone emailed me and asked me to host some of his songs, so I did. I’m not sure why he did that. I guess I should credit him more often.

So why the move from standalone blog to zine?

I’d been writing for online websites for a while, but some were confusing, others inactive, others didn’t suit my tastes... I was getting impatient with the pace and direction of most of them. Ultimately though, I started the fanzine because of a stray interview with Kat Flint. No one would publish it for me, so I though “Well screw this! I’ll publish it myself”! I didn’t want to put it on the blog because I wanted to give it proper meaning. I still think that although the internet’s very immediate, it’s also very disposable.

Tristen - Tadpole

What’s the manufacturing process like? Is it a cut, paste and copy job like ‘back in the day’, or is it designed on PC and mass-printed?

It’s a bit of both!

A team of illustrators design the pages of the fanzine because I’m terrible at art. I edit all the content and work out an A3 master copy – usually in Bristol’s Central Library, much to the annoyance of some. Last time I got pulled aside by an O.A.P. who asked me, “Shouldn’t you be using the UNIVERSITY printers?” to which I curtly replied, “I’m not a student, I’m the taxpaying public.” That told him.

When I was a student I used to print all 200 copies myself, mainly because the University of Liverpool’s printing prices were so low. Now out of financial necessity and time restrictions I have to take it to a print shop.

You currently use live journal for the online side of things. Do you get much hassle with it or do you think it’s a better platform than, say, blogger of wordpress?

I love LiveJournal, but I’ve had MAJOR hassle this week. Their server has been under a DDOS attack almost constantly. I set up a WordPress account at the beginning of the year and I’ve been meaning to move over there ever since. I’ve got big plans!

Without meaning to be rude, I can only assume the zine and blog doesn’t make you enough money to live off. What’s the motivation behind writing about music and bands?

It’s really difficult because in an ideal world I’d like to refuse payment for writing about music. I’m concerned receiving payment automatically makes you insincere, as a critic. It certainly jades you, and you’re at the will of your readership, which isn’t always a good thing. It’s hard to adhere to your original motivations. But then on the other hand, I need to make a living somehow, and I’d prefer to make a living doing something I enjoy and (something that some people seem to think) I’m good at.

In answer to your question – I write about music because:

1) I want the musicians I love to get the exposure they deserve.
2) I want people to agree with me.
3) I want to assert my (subjective) authority.
4) Sometimes other writers really hype up a band that are just bloody awful, and that annoys me. I feel like I have to counteract.

Hysterical Injury - Snow

How did you first get into writing about music?

Ha! No one was writing anything good about Ludes’ The Dark Art of Happiness so I volunteered on a site with the specific intention of writing them a good review. How fan girl is that?!

You’re based in Bristol. How do you see its local scene compared with other UK cities?

I lived in Liverpool for five years, so hand on my heart I can say that Bristol is truly underrated. Sometimes underrated by its own residents, which is a sad thing. There was a metal revival a few years ago, but anything is better than a legion of Beatles cover bands.

Do you have any major success stories with bigging up a band just before they became super-massive-big?

It’s hard to keep a perspective sometimes! I guess the biggest success story is Laura Marling, who was my first proper blog in 2005. I also interviewed her about hecklers, but that was for a short lived fanzine called Bored Youth.

I’m not sure she’s super-massive-big, but I put Caitlin Rose on the front cover of Issue 8, which came out in June 2009. DrunkenWerewolf also interviewed Esben & the Witch and Mumford & Sons for Issue 9, which came out the following October.

Mary Epworth - Dropout

Do you see Drunken Werewolf continuing until you’re old and grey, growing along the way or are you pretty content with the way it is?

I tried to enforce a week’s holiday on myself after Christmas and I failed. I’m a genuine workaholic. The only way Drunken Werewolf will stop is if I get a paid job that is the exact equivalent, freedom of content and all.

And, crucially, what portable MP3 player and computer media player do you use?

I’ve got a rubbish £30 one from Argos – I’m not even sure of the brand – and I use Winamp!

Blog/website | Facebook | Twitter

10 April 2011

Weekly Gig Guide: 11/4 - 17/4

Doing a gig guide. It covers three whole cities. Wow.


11/4: Earth - Millennium Music Hall | Buy tickets
13/4: Pete & the Pirates - Millennium Music Ball | Buy tickets
15/4: Brontide - Undertone | Buy tickets
16/4: Jeniferever / Among Brothers - Buffalo Bar | Buy tickets
16/4: Future of the Left - Clwb Ifor Bach | Buy tickets


12/4: Pete & the Pirates - Audio | Buy tickets
15/4:Her Name Is Calla - Green Door Store | Buy tickets
16/4: Architecture In Helsinki - Concorde 2 | Buy tickets
17/4: Brontide - Druids Arms | Buy tickets


11/4: Cloud Control - Cooler | Buy tickets
12/4: Lykke Li - Trinity Centre | Buy tickets
16/4: Her Name Is Calla - Croft | Buy tickets
17/4: Jeniferever - Fleece | Buy tickets

9 April 2011

Releases: Best of the Week

This week looks pretty ace. Pretty sure a good few of these will be on quite a lot of end of year lists. Could be tough on the wallet/purse though.

Week beginning April 11:

Mazes Fat Cat album cover debut release

Mazes – A Thousand Heys (FatCat)

Mazes - Bowie Knives

Panda Bear – Tomboy (Paw Tracks)
Metronomy – English Reivere (Because)
My First Tooth – Sleet And Snow (Alcopop)
Vivian Girls – Share The Joy (Polyvinyl)
Crystal Stilts – In Love With Oblivion (Slumberland)
Hauschka – Salon Des Amateurs (Fat Cat)
Holy Ghost - Holy Ghost (Dfa)

8 April 2011


Paper Endless Summer album cover
From one genre that many will have had enough of (Deadbeat Beat's garage rock blogged yesterday), to a whole new one todayl the surf rock sound of Paper. Same rule applies - if surf's not your thing, you might not want to bother. If it is, and it arguably should be, then this is for you.

Paper are a little bit like a Los Angeles based, scruffier sounding version of North Wales' Y Niwl. It's largely summery fun surf music with long periods of instrumental (although at times also a little bit punky, see: Surfing In Mexico), executed in a highly naïve and lo-fi way. Whether out of necessity or choice, I'm not too sure, but this is good, even if done a few times before. Listen below, or grab a whole album over at bandcamp.

Paper - Into the Navy Navy Blue Blue

Paper - Temper Clinic

Paper - Summer In Mexico (cover)


7 April 2011

Deadbeat Beat

Has anyone had enough garage and 60s pop inspired lo-fi alternative rock kinda stuff yet? If not, and there’s every reason that that be the case, continue reading. If so, this isn't for you. Deadbeat Beat are from Michigan. They make music along said lines – catchy, scruffy, semi surf-ish, garage-y poppy rock, if that's not too many musical genres to include in one sentence. Comparisons to the likes of Surfer Blood and Cloud Nothings are perhaps a little predictable but fairly justified I’d say. I can imagine this being slightly cleaned up and sounding ace on a full-length.

Apparently they have an upcoming split single with Secret Twins on Sneaky Eurekas. That might mean more to you than it does to me. Listen to stuff below or grab a collection of demos for free from bandcamp.

Deadbeat Beat - See You All The Time

Deadbeat Beat - Body Shakes

Bandcamp | Facebook

6 April 2011

Bos Angeles

Bos Angeles beach band photo.
Bos Angeles are a band from Boscombe (just by Bournemouth on the south coast of England) that nobody seems to know very much about, other than that they’re from Boscombe and that the members met through making ice cream. It’s a pretty apt way for the three-piece to have met if the only recording of theirs around at the moment – Beach Slalom – is anything to go by. It’s music that deserves to be played by groups of friends pissing around on hot summer days; surf-infused post-punkyish vibes with a good helping of catchy pop. A spoonful of this will help the proverbial medicine go down – these are definitely worth keeping an eye on. Check out Beach Slalom below.

Bos Angeles - Beach Slalom


4 April 2011


Cardiff's new fuzzy pop-punk-ish duo. First they played in a kitchen, then they supported Abe Vigoda, and now they've gone and recorded some demos.

Listen below, or download all three for free over at bandcamp.

Effort - With You

Effort - Hearts and Glass

Bandcamp |

2 April 2011

Releases: Best of the Week

So some of these releases are a little bit iffy, but the week also has the odd ‘cracker’. You can’t have it all, eh?

Week beginning April 4:

Cold Cave – Cherish The Light Years (Matador)

Cold Cave - The Great Pan Is Dead

The Kills – Blood Pressures (Domino)
The Raveonettes – Raven In The Grave (Vice)
Glasvegas – EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\ (Colombia)
Young Knives – Ornaments From The Silver Arcade ([PIAS] UK)

1 April 2011

Gallops: New Single

Wrexham-based electro post-rock four-piece Gallops have stuck their upcoming single, due to be released through Holy Roar and Blood and Biscuits on May 23, up onto bandcamp for streaming.

Their self-titled debut EP was good (read me waxing lyrical about it over on The 405 here) but this new material could be another step up for the band. Listen below.

Bandcamp | Facebook | MySpace

Heavy Ghost

As much as the noisy and whirring shoegazey sound has been done to death, I still find it pretty difficult to resist. Heavy Ghost are another group opting for this musical route; heavily distorted and bending guitar sounds, a pounding and clicking drum machine, and some coo-ing synths come together to make sounds wholly unoriginal but still pretty captivating.

Check out stuff below, or grab the Chicago trio’s entire Ten Thousand Years EP over at bandcamp for free.

Heavy Ghost - Lucid

Heavy Ghost - 10,000 Years

Bandcamp | MySpace