“Earnest singer songwritery balladeering? NO!
Retro revivalists? NO!
‘Hip’, urban funkateers? NO!
‘Queen on crack’? Perhaps. Chuck in a liberal dose of Mike Patton/Mr Bungle, Todd Rundgren, Prince, Rachmaninoff interludes and metal riffs the size of skyscrapers and you’re halfway to describing the musical smorgasbord that makes up Fjokra’s music. Oh, and there’s some Latin grooves and some monstrous Dubstep chucked in as well. Five guys, two girls and a lot of facepaint.”
(Quote obtained from the band’s website)
“Summer 2011. And the nippers are still making good honest rock ’n’ roll. Take Cardiff’s Houdini Dax, who have an average age of 19. What are they doing digesting records, writing songs and rehearsing when they could be playing Xbox or texting friends from the back of the bus? Weren’t “the kids” supposed to have tired of analogous music? Wasn’t the house music craze of the late ’80s supposed to have killed rock? Heck, thinking about it, weren’t the synth bands of over 20 years ago viewed as the only way forward?
No my dear music lovers, valves are not dead, rock ’n’ roll is blossoming and “the kids are alright” (as Pete Townshend so neatly put it 46 years ago). The Noughties has seen great success for young bands. The Libertines and then Arctic Monkeys paved the way post-Brit Pop and now still barely out of the shadows come Houdini Dax, your soon to be favourite new band.
Hearing ‘The Magicians’ for the first time it’s impossible not to think of Alex Turner and his band in their early stages. Jack Butler’s edgy vocals, sharp wordplay and the stop-start, spiky New Wave tendency of the playing certainly share similarities with early Arctic Monkeys, but it’s not what defines them. A video of a live acoustic performance for Huw Stephens’ Swn Festival ‘Swn is Sound’ video series of ‘Struggling In The Sand’ show Houdini Dax playing in a stripped back setting with acoustic guitar, bass, brushed drums and harmonies to the fore. It’s tight, honed and timeless. Yes, they have major talent. They can sing splendidly, they throw in some deft bridges and could very well sound like one of those great old acts. Yet they don’t! And when quizzed about their favourite bands, ’60s touchstones (The Beatles, The Kinks, The Sonics, The Stooges) meet latter day acts (Blur and Supergrass) and new bands (The Black Keys, The Raconteurs and White Denim). Yet You Belong To Dax Darling sounds nothing like any of them. It’s the sound of teenagers discovering what they can do.
“Recording the album was amazing,” Jack reveals. “Having Rich from The Method [another of the See Monkey Do Monkey coterie] as producer was special. We’re friends, so he won’t shy away with his opinions. And he always got the best out of us.” Mentioning how the production had elements of ’60s guitar heroics, post-punk rhythms and an element of My Bloody Valentine about it, Jack beamed back at me as if their mission statement had been achieved.”I’m glad you hear those things clashing,” he eagerly states “because we love that retro ’60s style, but it’s been done so much before. It’s important for us to mix older styles with newer ones… We were aiming for a really strong debut that doesn’t really let up in energy and excitement,” closes Jack. “We tried to capture this by recording in a really live way.”
And live and exciting is the order for the day for the teenage world view of Houdini Dax. Their second album may well feature strings, ballads and mellotrons but for now let the revolution begin as these youngsters play it their own way with what they have learnt from Hendrix, Syd, Gaz and co. They should be famous! ”
(Quote obtained from the band’s official website)
“We are Brave Yesterday, a rock band from Jersey. Not the one immortalized in rock mythology by the Boss. The other Jersey, the one in the Channel. Knowing this, you could also be forgiven for thinking that we are nearly French. We’re not. We’re nearly Canadian-ish.
Our frontman Nutter’s authentic North American Rawk voice gives us our mid-Atlantic twang. Mention us in the same breath as Rival Schools, Jimmy Eat World and 30 Seconds To Mars. We’re cool with that.”
(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)
Cult With No Name:
“‘Post-punk electronic balladeers’ Cult With No Name, comprise the East London duo of Erik Stein and Jon Boux. Having been the first international signing to LA label Trakwerx in 2007 (founded by Jackson Del Rey of Californian punk legends ‘Savage Republic’), ‘Cult With No Name’s two studio albums to date – ‘Paper Wraps Rock’ and ‘Careful What You Wish For’ – have been met with considerable critical acclaim.
Leading UK music journalist Mick Mercer proclaimed the band his discovery of 2007 (with both albums sitting in his subsequent annual top ten lists), Blaine L. Reininger of genre-transcending legends ‘Tuxedomoon’ collaborated on their second album, Don Letts spun tracks on BBC6, and more recently Brett Anderson (Suede) asked ‘Cult With No Name’ to open for him for the launch of his new album.
Having provided the music for two blacker than black comedies at the Edinburgh festival (‘Moz and the Meal’ and ‘Bored Stiff’), it’s fitting that ‘Cult With No Name’ turned their attention to cinema for their first DVD release, ‘Lightwerx: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’. Cult With No Name’s compulsive and compelling soundtrack extends their ability to instantly create evocative moods over 51 breathtaking minutes, on a journey that takes in mystical ambience, nerve-shredding distortion, popular and unpopular song, electronica, and vast, futurist soundscapes. ”
(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)
“An electric 4 piece band who use a 60s vocabulary to craft 21st century music with a postmodern twist.
If you appreciate the jangle-meistering of the Byrds and Beatles, the harmonies of Crosby, Stills and Nash and the lyrical wit of Robyn Hitchcock, you’ll love Spygenius.”
(Quote obtained from the band’s Official Website)
Some Velvet Morning:
“Rock band start a revolution! Amazingly in only 6 weeks Some Velvet Morning raise a staggering £100K album launch budget with new model record label My Major Company UK.
Some Velvet Morning’s lead track on their forthcoming album “How To Start A Revolution” was on the international trailer for ‘Kickass’, the Matthew Vaughn Hollywood blockbuster. Their distorted basslines and pounding beats have woken up audiences around the world offering them a sound to believe in again – “You won’t fool the children of the Revolution.”
Some Velvet Morning like to do things differently. Recording live to tape, rather than computer in their large north London studio, the Fish Factory, the band have built momentum over the last three years with a series of radio friendly gems including BBC and XFM playlisted singles ‘Losing My Mind’ and ‘Propaganda’ from album “Silence Will Kill You.”
‘Losing My Mind’ took the band to the states to record a show (Fearless) for Fox TV, followed by a tour of the East Coast. It wasn’t long before the rest of the world caught on. Some Velvet Morning have taken their sound to the South of France, Russia and most recently Asia, where the band performed for 3000 fans as part of the Heineken Greenspace festival.
Some Velvet Morning’s roof top publicity stunt nearly got them arrested: With a nod to the Beatles, the band shunned council authorities by performing live on the roof of the PRS For Music in London, blasting their cries of the revolution across six blocks around Soho. Oxford Street also hosted another ‘heritage’ gig this year, when Some Velvet Morning supported the legendary Yardbirds at the 100 Club in February. Shows with The Levellers, Reef and at the British Moto Grand Prix at Silverstone followed.
Whilst learning from masters of the UK’s buoyant musical past, Some Velvet Morning continue to break new ground by veering away from the normal pop fodder of teenage crushes and heartbreak, preferring instead subjects such as religious tolerance, western political indoctrination and McCarthyism.”
(Quote obtained from the band’s facebook page)
Some Velvet Morning‘s “How To Start A Revolution” featured on the International movie trailer for Kickass:
“Electric Penguins are back to tempt you with their self-recorded and produced long player entitled “II”. The 12 track feast of psychedelic cuts slides dreamily between electronic, folk and ambient soundscapes with acoustic and club elements dispersed throughout the record. Whirly and trippy audio effects, vocoders, moogs, mellotrons, organs, deeply layered strings and naked pianos mash and mix to maximise melody. Amongst the delights featured are the folksy love song to London, “Highgate Hill” and the kraut-club inspired combo-track“Airships/Soundproof 45”.
With live supports to Devo, Annuals, Sebestian Tellier and krautrock legends Roedelius prompting gushing reviews like this…“They led the audience through a delightful soundscape, lit up superbly by angelic vocals and magical lyrics. Splicing together bits of Kraftwerk, Laurie Anderson, Sigur Ros, The Postal Service, Pink Floyd, Alison Moyet and Brian Eno with old English folk ballads the band weave a remarkably rich audio tapestry”(Hot Press)…it’s little wonder the Penguins live rep as a “must see audio visual experience” is rock solid.
In addition to widespread domestic critical acclaim, Nic Harcourt has also supported Electric Penguins on his highly influential Morning Becomes Eclectic programme on L.A’s KCRW Radio and UK trade mag Music Week featured the Penguins as a high point of Irish music scene talent on their recent sampler. Mark Cummins has formerly collaborated with Pink Floyd’s orchestral arranger Edward Shearmur and contributed to endeavours with Massive Attack cohort Gavin Wright. Paul Murphy is a Dublin based producer of various rock bands and composer of multiple tv and film projects.”
(Quote obtained from the artists’ Official Website)
Rams Pocket Radio:
“RAMS’ POCKET RADIO is Peter McCauley, a drummer, pianist, jack-of-all and songwriter from Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Unfettered personal expression is the impetus of the project, and with the timeless works of the 1950’s product designer, Dieter Rams’, in mind; purity, simplicity and longevity are the first concerns.”
(Quote obtained from the artists’ facebook page)
Age of Giants:
(No biography info available on the artists’ website)