Monday, 20 April 2009

Eels - Fresh Blood

Following the critically acclaimed Blinking Lights and Revelations, Mr E and his band, Eels, have returned after a four year absence and this time he has an even bigger beard.

Eels’ latest studio album, 'Hombre Lobo', will be upon us in June preceded by new single Fresh Blood.

It’s a poignant and interesting mix that starts with a haunting beat that chugs into a whisky and cigar saturated  sounding mantra. There’s a slow, creepy stomp allows you to momentarily wallow in a world of self pity ("I’m more alone than I’ve ever been”) until Mr E howls and the chorus shakes into a faster groove.

It’s immensely satisfying and with Tremendous Dynamite also making its debut across the internet, the rivers are once again filling up with a groove so simple and splendid that our slippery little friends must have something to do with it, roll on July 4.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

New Street Adventure - Ones to Watch

Smothered in sun smoked soul and cocky mod ideals, New Street Adventure touch upon bedtimes, back streets and Britain. They’re sat at the sparse bar of the Boardwalk in Sheffield and after a set as raw as a lion’s dinner then genially talking to a crowd of admirers; they’re keen to hit the road. It’s a long way back to Birmingham, Brighton for some.
They’re looking over the depressing sight of an empty venue, indicating that their trips to the North have been few and far between. They’ve been busy shaking up the south and after summer festival performances at the Isle of Wight Festival and the Lazy Sunday scooter mod revivalist rally in 2008, capped with shows in desolate but packed backrooms in London and Brighton, they are in hot demand. They were the Ben Sherman band of the month for February and March subsequent to a shit kicking performance at the Big British Sound at Birmingham Barfly, playing with the likes of Little Man Tate and Twisted Wheel.
Their songs are a compilation of pop twisted with northern soul that sets itself on a moral highroad allied by funny but sincere lyrics. Singer Nick Corbin seemingly has something to say but he’s quiet, perched on the edge of his seat calmly waiting for the opportune moment.
The lyrics are the focal part to this band; Corbin does indeed have something to say and translates it into a witty foray on everything and anything that might be on his mind.
“You have to mean it when you’re singing. You have to spit and splutter, I hate watching bands that don’t sing about anything.
“People sometimes mistake it for arrogance when it’s really just a bit tongue in cheek, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
While the music remains self assured, cock sure and mischievous, Corbin is quiet, he takes in his surroundings as he’s talking and is certainly not egotistical. The social commentary he blurts on us throughout the bands’ set teeters on sheer anger at points (“I wasn’t educated just so I could be frustrated”.)
In Class of Our Own Corbin speaks of generic blonde bints squawking outside infamously gash venues and in the chorus he spits “this is the land of fickle weather, where the girls love the boys but they boys want better.” Duly noting the picky British public and the weird obsession the weather.
New Street Adventure’s current EP; Modern Sounds in Rhythm and Blues is their latest five-song signal of intent and they went back to where they recorded their first EP, Who Beat up Jimmy Jazz?! in Birmingham’s student infested Selly Oak at Rich Bitch Studios to record it.
“We really wanted to create something that was raw. We prefer playing live and wanted to reproduce what we do on stage and with a crowd, it’s still better when you watch us live,” says Nick.
Modern Sounds in Rhythm and Blues certainly is raw and basic; it’s a progression on their first attempt that hasn’t been overwhelmed by extra instruments and overindulgent sounds that don’t belong there.
This progression follows a line-up change which saw a switch of drummers in the summer of 2008 and prompted a writing spree from Corbin. They’ve moved into a new mod inspired sound that always lay within the depths of their song writing but has developed into soul infested harmonies and something rather more grown up.
“Nick writes about what he sees; the big thing with this band is our friends and our fans,” says bass player Robin. Nick adds:
“Yeah, at first I was writing just love songs, then I met my girlfriend and kind of stopped, is that bad? I just want people to be able to relate to it and understand where we’re coming from.”
This becomes apparent in Modern Sounds in Rhythm and Blues, with songs such as Small Town Heroes, a song dedicated to what Corbin describes as the “best friends you could get” and when the song reaches its climax he croons “we’re such a tightly knit group we don’t mess around.”
With their friends firmly in-toe, New Street Adventure are heading on a mission to galvanise audiences and put anyone in their way firmly in their place.
They’re one of the brightest talents about and have pockets full of songs that will make you stomp your foot and sing a long without even really knowing the words.
Check them out before the masses have their say, it’s only a matter of time.