Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Rock Family Trees At The Barbican

Pete Frame's wonderful Rock Family Trees series is a treasure trove of information for music nerds and lovers of pop trivia. A collection of Frame's painstakingly hand drawn work is now being shown at the Barbican Library in London, with another lot to go on display next summer. 

I wrote a preview piece on it for LeCool.com, which you can read here.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Welcome The Problems - Colossal

It's often easy to label a band based on the company they keep. You assume that if they tour with certain bands or sign to a certain label, then of course they must be of a similar style. Whilst that's true of many bands, there are always going to be a few exceptions. Colossal fall into the latter category. To call them a punk band would be far too easy. Punk is too simple a definition for exactly what their music is. The truth is, there isn't really a easy definition for Colossal. The band described themselves as a “rock, post-punk, jazz, and pop, indie rock outfit” which is about as good a description as any. There is even a hint of Math Rock to their complex rhythms and stunning technical ability, though they forgo the rigid structures of that particular niche genre for a looser, jazzier feel. But their music is something more than the sum of all those different elements. There is a melancholy soul to their album “Welcome The Problems”. Perhaps its because the band come from Elgin, illinois and my preconceptions about the place have coloured my view, but to me this album is the perfect soundtrack for walking through suburban streets in the winter.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Weak - Seaweed

My first encounter with Seaweed came about during a period in my musical taste that is by no means individual to me. Since Nirvana's Nevermind became a touchstone of modern music in 1991, it seems almost every teenager with a passing interest in rock, goes through a phase of listening primarily to grunge. Nirvana's influence is so lasting that kids that never even shared a planet with Kurt Cobain are still wearing t-shirts with his face on. I for one made sure I had all their albums and singles and any bootlegs I could get my hands on. This, of course, failed to satisfy the record collector in me and as I looked further into Nirvana's history I decided to pick up any records I could find by other bands on the Sub Pop label (Nirvana's first home). Amongst 7 inches by Gas Huffer and B-sides collections by Mudhoney, I found Seaweed's single Bill.