Friday, 15 May 2009

Dudebox "Track Of The Spring"

Oh yes, MMT back again with another brief foray into the super-duper world of the Milton Keynes Music Scene And Their MySpaces. As we mentioned last time there’s literally hundreds of MK-based bands with MySpaces, especially if you factor in bands no longer going, so it can be a bit of a task sifting through. But hey – it’s a fun task!

And then when you stumble across something you didn’t expect to hear – like a rare “Classic Indie” sounding local band such as Final Clearance – it’s an extra-special treat! I can’t believe I haven’t come across them before – clever lyrics, sharp melodies, right up my street. They’ve even got a home-music video on their MySpace, just the ticket! Try “Lost” if you’ve only got time to listen to one track, it’s a folky-tinged stomper. But come on, who’s that busy? Listen to them all!

Plus you get those Classic MySpace DIY things, more “projects” than “bands” – f’rinstance this young lady singer-songwriter (J:TU.) clearly just records her own stuff, hopefully in a bedroom – I’m not sure if she even plays gigs, though she sounds ace! I even contacted her to ask if she wanted a Waterside slot, but she never replied – and it doesn’t look like she’s logged in to her MySpace for almost a year, so maybe she’s over it! Check out the multi-layered vocal-only track “Pick Me Up” though, or the wistful electronica of “Walking all over the world”. Very impressive indeed – though as they’re not that recent I can’t include them for this season’s Tracks. More than I have already.

So instead I moved on to Hiding In Reno who already seem to be one of the most acclaimed of the local bands “doing the circuit” at the moment. Not only are they Craufurd Arms regulars, they’re touring outside MK this summer with their sweet-edged metal-pop. Even going as far as ace seaside town Weston-super-Mare! Standout track for me is “Alone”.

Rise Inside are also doing really well, both locally and further afield – it’s not every MK band that get to headline the Pitz, especially within a year of their first gig! It’s heavy stuff, very much in “The Pitz Genre” (they’re actually managed by the main Pitz guy), but with a definite melodic edge that lifts them above many of their contemporaries. Listen to the bit about a minute in to “Born Defeated” where the thrashing and screaming stops and gives way to a gentle acoustic moment, or the aching harmonies on “Reach Further”. Light and shade. Good stuff! Definitely “ones to watch”, pop-pickers!

Cos if there’s one genre MK does well – especially if you’re a Pitz regular – it’s the deathier end of metal. Fell Silent have been around a few years now, but are doing well enough to be releasing a debut album this summer on a real life record label and playing “Metalfest III” this August in London. It’s a niche scene I suppose, but a loyal one if you’re in it. And you either dig it or you don’t, really. I do dig it, but particularly (as with Rise Inside) when the harmonious bits kick in, for example halfway through “Immerse”.

In this season’s WTF?? corner, I bring you Rebel Scum. They haven’t logged in for over a year, the site looks half-dead due to broken images, and they sound like a robot whose batteries are slowly dying mumbling over a porn bassline. Enjoy, though. If you can!

Of course now the MonKeyVision Song Contest is all done and dusted, I feel we’re allowed to big up some of the acts we had on the bill for that. The winning band, Harassing Anna have several side-projects, including solo singer-songwriter Bine The Peg who I’ve signed up for the Monkey Kettle Stage at the Great Linford Waterside next month. “My Mother’s Wishes” is the stand-out choon for me, loving the flute! They’re clearly a multi-talented bunch – and hope they’re having fun with their big red amp!

Another impressive sounding band from MonKeyVision were six-piece The Machinist, who feature Monkey Kettle acquaintance Tom Harv. They’re still a work in progress – MonKeyVision was their first gig – but judging by “Conformity” on their MySpace (which I think I might be right in saying was recorded by Tom on his own?) there’s plenty to come from them, it’s a breathtaking slab of proggy metal with an ice-cool solo!

And one more to check out – I feel a bit bad cos there were some technical difficulties at the start of his MonKeyVision set – is rock-tinged dance act Techno Sapien, who’s made good use already of the new MySpace song limit of 10 tracks! I think “Fields Of Silence” is my favourite, love the ravey synth sound. And talking of ravey synth sounds…



Okay, maybe there’s not a full version of this on their MySpace (for shame!), but the 80 seconds you do get should give you a good impression of what’s going on. Plus I bought their 4-track demo CD at MonKeyVision anyway, so I’ve got the whole thing. I dig these kids so much I even signed them up to headline the Monkey Kettle Stage on the Saturday of Waterside. I just love what the synth sound does to their particular brand of punky pop. Plus they’ve got laser beams on their guitars and they leap around all over the shop. I wish we were still young enough to leap around – my knees wouldn’t be able to cope with it. Fantastic – they make me excited about the future of music in MK!