Thursday, 26 May 2011

Album Review: United Fruit - Fault Lines

Almost two years to the day since the release of United Fruit's debut EP Mistress, Reptile Mistress! comes the time to unleash their debut album, Fault Lines. Unleash is the right word for it, as Fault Lines is a rampaging monster of a record.

Opener Kamikaze sets the tone for a thirty something minute thrill ride, all distorted guitar, snarled vocal and pounding rhythm section. Once it has been set at frenetic the pace doesn't dip until Three, half way through. Three offers a bit of a breather, slowing things down a tad, although it is still far from gentle. From there on in the album rockets off again with Confuse Her Now, which manages to be even more ferocious than what preceded it.
The album ends with the fittingly titled Wrecking Ball, which pretty accurately sums up the destructive, take no prisoners approach of Fault Lines. Sometimes you hear a song and immediately picture yourself sweat drenched, leaping around in a packed room as the band play it live. Fault Lines has a couple of those, but none more so than Wrecking Ball.

I'm pretty sure every time United Fruit are mentioned anywhere the names And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and At the Drive-In crop up too, but they are decent reference points. Considering how much I love some of the music made by those bands being compared to them is no bad thing either. Make no mistake either, United Fruit are no second rate copyists either. The influences aren't hidden away, but serve to add a bit of extra flavour to their sound, which is all their own.

The half hour and nine tracks of Fault Lines fly by, the album short enough to keep your attention throughout, but long enough to leave you wanting more, with an increased heart rate and sweat on your brow.
Noise and distortion is all well and good, but without bringing something else to the table it gets old fast. Thankfully then United Fruit don't just know how effects pedals work, they know how songs work too. Amongst the carnage is a fine ear for melody, with riffs and hooks that stick in the mind

We're always advised to include more fruit in our diets, on the strength of Fault Lines you'd be foolish not to make sure there's a healthy chunk of United Fruit in your diet too.

Fault Lines is released on May 30th. The album is available now from HMV.

United Fruit: Facebook - Bandcamp - Twitter

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

COMPETITION: Win tickets to Ladytron

Ladytron are coming to Glasgow in a couple of weeks, for a gig at The Arches on the 9th of June, and I have a pair of tickets to give away. But first, a bit of blurb.

Using vintage analogue equipment to create a whip-smart, digitally edited electronic pop sound, Ladytron are one of the most important acts of the last decade’s synth-pop revival.
Fronted by the iconic duelling vocals of Glaswegian Helen Marnie and Bulgarian Mira Aroyo, the quartet formed in the summer of 1999 when Reuben Wu and Daniel Hunt bonded over a shared love of French electronica and Krautrock. Rebelling against the seemingly two-proonged choice of either indie-rock or house music at the time, their use of synths to create pop tracks set them apart immediately.
Having perfected the air of nonchalent art-house detachment way before it became the norm, and with a sound referencing everything from glam to disco to new wave, their underground hits Seventeen, Blue Jeans and Evil, from second album Light & Magic in 2002, saw them tacked with the trashy day-glo aesthetic of electroclash by an excited music press – a label they vehemently ignored.Third album Witching Hour in 2005 was perhaps proof of this. Adding a drummer and bassist to their (now sell-out) live shows, they focused their attention even more on sleek, sophisticated composition and a wider gamut of influences. The critics loved it; it received almost unanimous critical acclaim, and single Destroy Everything You Touch became their new trademark song.
Best of 00-10, released in March this year, is both a documentation of the evolution of both a truly pioneering quartet and a musical decade, with a companion compilation, Best Of Remixes, released digitally beforehand. Their fifth album, Gravity The Seducer, will be released at the end of the summer.
Support comes from Glasgow-based Let’s Talk About Trees. Tickets are available here.

Win Tickets: to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets for The Arches gig email the answer to this simple question to
Question: What is the name of the sequel to the film Tron?
Competition closes at 6pm on June 6th, when the winner will be picked at random from the correct entries and informed by email.
I won't keep your email address or spam you with anything, promise.

Monday, 23 May 2011

News & Bits - May 23rd

I almost got hit by a flying bin earlier today, and the wee plastic greenhouse in the garden has lost its cover. Now, on to the rest of the news.

New Releases:
Aviation For Kids - This Airplane... (EP). Available from Bandcamp.
Dead Boy Robotics/The Machine Room - Tape Singles Club #1 (Split Single). Buy from iTunes.
Mogwai - San Pedro (Single). Buy from iTunes.
Miaoux Miaoux - Hey Sound! (single). Buy from iTunes/Bandcamp. CDs available at tomorrow's launch gig, with extra tracks too.
Penguins Kill Polar Bears - Sapling (single). Buy from iTunes.
She's Hit/Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers - Shimmer Shimmer/Lemonade (split single). Buy from Bandcamp.
Zoey Van Goey - Mountain On Fire (Single). Buy from iTunes.

Aye Tunes (Wants) Presents:
Not content with an Aye Tunes Presents gig in July and the return of Aye Tunes Vs Peenko in August, I'm cramming in a gig in June too. We'll be having a special birthday bash on the 17th of June at The Flying Duck to mark the blog turning three (even though I did next to nothing in the first year) and me turning quite a bit older than that. I can't tell you who is playing just yet though, mainly due to not having finalised the line-up. So, if you want to volunteer...
Tickets for the upcoming gigs are available here.

Blank Canvas have made a recording of their gig back in March at Edinburgh's Wee Red Bar available to download free here. They'll also be playing a free gig at The Wee Red Bar with Discopolis on June 18th, my actual birthday.
DanDanDan release an EP, Happy Happy Joy Joy, on June 10th, but you can pre-order it right now and get a couple of tracks straight away here. There's a few free downloads on their Bandcamp page too.
More pre-order goodness comes from Steven Flavahan with his Memories + Tragedies EP here, and Mike Nisbet with his album, Vagrant, here.
How Garbo Died will be launching their first proper EP in July with a couple of gigs around the place: 9th July - Stereo, Glasgow, with Tangles, Guanoman and Peter Cat, 10th July - Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh and 18th July - The Tunnels, Aberdeen. Have a listen to their home recorded batches on Bandcamp.
Golden Grrrls have a couple of things available on Bandcamp, choose your price.
Carnivores have made their Nights To Infinity EP available to buy from Bandcamp. CDs are still available from their BigCartel store.
The Spook School have CDs to sell you, which you can buy here for a measly £1. There's also free downloads there, which I think I mentioned before. If I didn't then I meant to.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

This Week's Gigs: 23rd - 29th May

Trying to wrestle the gig guide back into its usual scheduled Sunday slot, let's see if I can succeed?
It is a busy old week, with something I want to go to every night, and a wee something on Friday that I'll be urging you to come along to.

Exhibition Launch: Drawing Time and Attention - An Audience Member. The Arches. 6pm, free.
Just saying that Jenny Soep draws at gigs is selling her well short, so go have a look at her blog to see what I mean. This is the launch of an exhibit of her work at The Arches. If you can't make the launch make sure you drop in at some point later anyway, the exhibition runs until June 20th.
Album launch for Sparrow and the Workshop's second album. A fine album it is too. We love Le Reno Amps a wee bit more than appropriate also, so get along in time to catch them.

Blooming heck, that's a good line up. Edinburgers, go! £8 on the door, but if you hurry you can pick up a cheaper ticket on the Limbo website.
Launch gig for the new Miaoux Miaoux single. It is very good, as is the bill for the gig. Well, except for guest DJ Peenko, which lets it down a bit of course.
Black Lips, PAWS. Stereo. (Tickets)


We See Lights, Tall Tales. Sneaky Pete's.
Our friends at Pop Goes The Revolution carry on their series of fabby gigs with this one, with Young Aviators launching their new EP, False Education.
Launch gig for Poor Things new single. The single took me by surprise a bit, you can read what I thought of it here.

Pin Up Nights: Blogger's Delight. The Flying Duck.
The vested interest gig of the week. Along with the regular Pin Ups DJ's, I'll be playing some records, joined by Peenko, The Pop Cop, and members of Radar, Rokbun and Glasgow Podcart.
We've picked the bands for the night too. The Aye Tunes selection is Mondegreen, while Radar have chosen Tokamak and The Pop Cop has picked Endor. Sadly Peenko's choice, Michael Cassidy, is no longer playing.

Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers, Black Jash, Top Dollar. Nice N Sleazy.
Mitchell Museum, Fiction Faction, Friends Are Friends. Bloc. 10pm start, free before 11pm, £2 after.

Hurray For the Riff Raff, Night Noise Team, The Last Battle and David J Roch. King Tut's.
For £4 tickets get in touch with Night Noise Team's Sean at and tell him I sent you.
United Fruit, Battery Face. Bloc. 10pm start, free before 11pm, £2 after.
United Fruit celebrate both the end of their tour and the launch of their debut album. I'll be dashing along to this after the gig at Tut's. If you like good loud music I suggest you pop along too.
Supermarionation, Velvet Audio, The Future Capital and The Puppet State. Box.