Saturday, 29 August 2009

Dudebox "Track Of The Summer"

Reviewers: MMT & Phil.

Well, it’s been a quiet old Summer here on The Dudebox, but we’re back now – and planning on having a busy Autumn! Phil’s got tickets to plenty of national gigs, we’re hoping to get to far more local bands’ stuff, and there’ll be more reviews from under my bed too! So… what better way to kick things off than to have another of our regular looks at the best new(ish) tracks from the MySpaces of the Milton Keynes talent!

Sadly Re-Writing Destiny - who we dished out the coveted Dudebox Runner-Up Track Of The Winter gong to just a few short months ago – have split up, brilliantly citing “musical indifferences” as one of the reasons. Still, they were one of the better bands we’ve heard this year, so we listened to newish track “Coming Home” in tribute.

P: “I think they’re great.”
M: “Although we never saw them live, sadly. There’s a pattern to when bands break up, isn’t there? There’s a peak in the likelihood when I guess they’re 17, 18 and University calls, that’s the biggest peak. Then there’s probably a peak in their early 20s when they’ve all decided they don’t wanna do it any more, there’s probably another peak when people start getting married and having kids. And then if you get past all those hurdles, you’re good for life! And you can just carry on until you’re old.”
P: “My opinion of the song is clouded a bit by the fact I know it’s a bit like their swansong.”

Then we kicked on with some more local bands who haven't split up yet. Some have been on our radar a while thanks to the MonKeyVision Song Contest and/or the Monkey Kettle Stage at the Waterside Festival, some are totally new to us. Hope you might find something you like…

“HMW” by Dusque
M: “They were so great at the Waterside, that was one of the best sets of the weekend.”
P: "They were. It was an early set, so there wasn’t really anyone to watch them. But they were SO good. And I’m enjoying this now, but I preferred it live.”
M: “It’s good outdoors… festival… it’s mellow, and it’s…”
P: “They’re seasoned musicians.”
M: “This bit now is the kind of stuff I like… like ravey keyboard. I’m at a Trance Tent in Ibiza. And the sun’s rising. I’m in the Chill Zone.”

“No Place Like Rome” by Embrace The Tide
M: “Their singer is Chris Weaver who was in one of our Ludamus plays a few years ago (‘Zombies The Musical’). He’s got a few more tattoos in the meantime, of course.”
P: “Maybe if he’d never done ‘Zombies’ he’d never have ended up here.”
M: “Yeah, I did him a ‘Lead Singer Workshop’ as part of the rehearsals for that.”
P: “Some of these MySpaces look so professional…”
M: “And again, they’re really tight musically when you think of how young they still are.”

“Tap Out” by The Kranx
P: “He’s got a really good voice.”
M: “I know a lot of our mates really liked them at MonKeyVision, didn’t they? (reads from their MySpace) ‘it’d be sick to see you at one of our gigs’. I’m guessing sick means good in the young person’s vernacular…”
P: “They went down really well. A really energetic performance.”

“Recluse” (demo version) by Joshua Timmins & The Newborns
M: “What I… like about him is he seems to still embody that ‘I’ll just take my guitar and do a gig anywhere’ kind of spirit. You can imagine him with his guitar just going anywhere.”
P: “I like that, definitely. He’s got a nice easiness in front of the audience that I kind of envy. And there’s something about this song, and his songs… that he’s always REACHING for something.”
M: “There’s a crack in his voice a bit like Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes, but it’s kind of what makes what he’s singing work. And cos he’s young he’s good at all this technical stuff, look… he’s got a Twitter built into his MySpace.”

“Scar On An Empty Crusade” by Stabbed By Paranoia
M: “What really touched me about them was… not only have they got embedded YouTube footage of them practicing at school, but their Blog from July says ‘we’re still working on new material to complete our set. We have 3 songs and a 4th one nearly finished. We plan to make a 5th song after which will complete our set. so we can go book gigs!’”
P: “I like it. I like the complicated solo, they’re very technically proficient.”
M: “Fair play to ‘em. We should re-visit them when they’ve finished their 5th song.”

“Missing Helstone (Economy Groove)” by Harassing Anna
P: “I thought they played really well at MonKeyVision.”
M: “I think I like the spin-off acts (Tombstone Bullets and Bine The Peg) just as much though. But I like this track particularly, where they sound a little bit bluesy.”
P: “There’s something very retro about it. But I’d like it in a pub atmosphere, after a few pints.”

“Wolves” by Acacia Close
(during the first thirty seconds: Phil laughs in immediate response at the intensity of these 2008 Pitz Band Blitz winners, then both are silent. Then they read the advert for a new guitarist / singer. Phil decides not to apply. Then the song changes, gets less screamy, and they start enjoying it)
M: “It’s really well produced actually, innit.”
P: “It’s a real professional demo. I’m liking it now, actually. I think I’d really like them live.”
M: “There’s more levels to it than it seemed from the start. I like how from their Biog they seem keen to expand, not be ‘just’ a ‘Pitz Band’.”
P:I can hear where the new guitarist / singer would fit in there.”

“First Light After” by Altersketch
P: “I thought their song at MonKeyVision was one of the best songs of the night, and it still gets stuck in my head.”
M: “I like this one. It’s more sort of… ‘Dark Indie’.”
P: “It’s Indie but it Rocks.”

“The Disappointment” by Rozism
M: “I’m not sure we can allow this to be track of the season, though it is excellent. But cos she’s from Northampton I don’t think she can ‘count’. Shona recommended her to me, and I think she sounds really impressive.”
P: “I always… when I meet people who are really really good musicians, I just want to hear something that makes me go ‘Wow! Where did that come from?’.”
M: “I love a world where people can make this sort of stuff in their bedrooms. That all across the world, people could be making this sort of stuff in their bedrooms.”
(Phil nods enthusiastically)


“Find And Replace” by Equinox

M: “They really really impressed me at the Waterside. They’re still really young, but I think their songwriting is deceptively mature. I mean, they’re clearly influenced by, like… MuseFranz FerdinandThe Killers…”
P: “They are, but there’s more than that. Seeing them live, I thought there was a lot of different stuff going on.”
M: “Their demo CD which was being handed round at the Waterside is one of the best local demos I’ve heard in the last couple of years, for definite. And they brought the biggest audience too, that was really impressive. Made us look good.”
P: “I like this a lot.”


“Cold Baked Beans” by Project Wolverine

M: “Describes himself here as… ‘the Bargain Bucket Billy Bragg’.”
P: “I really like this an awful lot. I think it’s great. It’s funny… I like the guitar work… the vocals are really good.”
M: “I like the lyrics. I can see the Billy Bragg comparison. I’d love to see him at The Cannon on a Thursday night. I think he’d go down really well. “Pub Politics” is a good song as well.”
P: “I like the fact it’s all a little bit punky too.”
M: "Good skills. He's the winner."