Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A Mitchell Museum Freebie

Once again I'm treading on the toes of Peenko's Friday Freebie post, but hey, screw it.
In preperation for the release of their debut album Mitchell Museum - one of my tips for bands to watch this year, as you might remember - have gathered up a collection of some of their older songs, demos and b-sides and are giving them all away for free.
You can download the free We Lost 1st Prize EP over at the Mitchell Museum Bandcamp page.

<a href="">Extra Lives by mitchell museum</a>

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Oliver Stays

At the risk of repeating myself, I'm running way late with this one.
Oliver Stays are a four piece from Glasgow - or close enough at least. Their faces might be familiar to some, with band members having previously been in Drive-By Argument, Atlas Skye and Jocasta Sleeps.

Formed in November of last year, there's not a lot to listen to yet but what there is sounds promising. Interestingly the three songs featured on the band's MySpace were put together over the Internet, with band members mailing each other tracks and adding their own bits until they were fully formed. One of their demos - Temperament - is available for listening to down at the bottom.

No one in the band is actually called Oliver Stays either.

The band are heading out to play their first live dates at the end of month. Firstly supporting Doll And The Kicks at:

21 Feb Aberdeen Tunnels
24 Feb Dundee Doghouse
25 Feb Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
26 Feb Fife Greenside Hotel
27 Feb Glasgow Classic Grand
And a headline show :
28 Feb Bathgate Harley’s

Oliver Stays MySpace

Monday, 8 February 2010

Maxwell Panther: Do You feel Different Yet? - Album Review

I'm sure I got this off eMusic months ago, but it's been flagged up to my attention again just recently, so since I'm doing anything I can think of to avoid boring myself rigid by watching the Superbowl it's getting written about tonight.

Maxwell Panther comes from Sunderland, but this album is released by Song, By Toad which makes it Scottish enough for Aye Tunes, just in case you were planning on having a go at me for daring to venture outside our borders. There's plenty of other things you can have a go at me for though, if you are already angered up.

Everyone else that's written about this album has already mentioned the same thing that I'm about to, but it's a factor that pretty much has to be brought up, so let's get the elephant in the room out of the way straight off (there, now you can yell at me for saying "elephant in the room", don't say I don't work hard). This album is rough as Hell. At times it sounds like it was recorded on a mobile phone, while Mr Panther sang and played in a different room. If you don't like lo-fi recording you probably won't like this.

If you can get beyond that - and fortunately I can or this would be a very short and not very nice review - the next notable thing is that the roughness of recording doesn't really matter.
The lousy production and rough as fuck recording do bring with them a certain charm, but beyond that there's just some really good songs in here. It's essentially Maxwell and his guitar, plus whatever reverb and distortion tactics people use for these things - I've never claimed to know anything about technology - and it's really very enjoyable. The songs tend to be slice-of-life type stuff, with a healthy dose of anger and aggression, yet also, somehow, tons of charms.

When listening to the album I kept thinking of Half Man Half Biscuit and Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. No idea why, Maxwell Panther sounds nothing like either of them, but making me think of those two bands is - at least to me - a really good thing.

I doubt Maxwell Panther will be troubling the mainstream any time soon, but if I'm picking something recorded in a bedroom I'll take him over the likes of Unicorn Kid any day. Hell, I'd rather have this than some over polished stadium rock nonsense for that matter.
Oh yeah, and it is much better than the Superbowl.

The lovely people at Song, by Toad have given me permission to post a couple of tracks off the album so you can have a wee listen and decide for yourself if it's your thing or not.
My Ex-Identity
Lost Soul on a Roll (That's Me)

Do You Feel Different Yet? is out now, available at all the usual download shops, and you can buy a CD direct from Song, By Toad Records.

Maxwell Panther MySpace

Maxwell Panther BandCamp