Friday, 10 June 2011

Birthday Guests: Verse Metrics

Another day, another bout of gig pimping. A week today at The Flying Duck (that's June 17th if you aren't reading this on the day it was posted) I'm having a wee birthday bash. I've already introduced Black International, so today it is the turn of Verse Metrics, with The Big Nowhere to follow over the weekend.

I can't steal facts from Twitter this time round, but I do like bullet points, so here is some thing about Verse Metrics in a list type fashion.
  • There are four of them, Bob, Al, Dave and Martin.
  • If Martin had one less letter in his name there'd be a nice escalation thing going on there. He doesn't though.
  • Verse Metrics received an honourable mention from Nick Mitchell in last year's Scotsman Radar Prize.
  • Vic Galloway made them one of his tips for 2011, and they've picked up radio play from the likes of Tom Robinson and Jim Gellatly.
  • Although they fit into the stuffed alternative indie shelf, they do it (a) better than many and (b) with their own take on things, so they don't sound like a cookie cutter band.
  • Last year's debut EP VM1 was right good, and sounded like a band who had been together for far longer than a year.
  • You can snag a free download of Horoscopes from the EP here.
  • Bassist Dave does accidental sex faces during gigs. [Source: Peenko]
  • Verse Metrics have threatened a stage routine involving cock fencing [also: Peenko] but as people still book them for gigs this probably doesn't happen.
In a wee Aye Tunes exclusive (I think) I've got one half on the band's new double A-side single, Modern Sleep, to share with you. You can have a listen below, and the single is out on July 19th.

Stream: Verse Metrics - Modern Sleep

Verse Metrics also play King Tut's on the same day the single is released alongside FOUND, Cancel The Astronauts and Bermuda. You can buy tickets for the gig here, or from the Verse Metrics shop. Debut EP VM1 is also available from the shop, or digitally from Bandcamp and iTunes.

Verse Metrics: Website - Facebook - Bandcamp - Shop
Aye Tunes Birthday Bash: Facebook - Tickets

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Birthday Guests: Black International

Nope, still not shutting up about the Aye Tunes birthday gig next week.

Time to tell you a wee bit about the bands involved, I think. First up, Black International. I could yammer on about how much I enjoyed the times I've caught them live, or how good debut album In Debt is, but since I invited them to play the birthday gig it should be pretty obvious I like the band, so I'll spare you the hard sell, but buy an album here.

I already interviewed the band last November, so you can read that here. Stewart from the band also gave us a track by track rundown on In Debt here. Instead of retreading what is in those two pieces, I'm shamelessly lifting some facts about the band as posted on their Twitter account. Well, they did say they were cut out and keep, which I'm choosing to reinterpret as copy/paste and steal.

Without further ado then, some Black Facts about Stewart, Gavin and Craig:
  • Stewart once woke up on a golf course at 6am wearing a cricket jersey that didn't belong to him.
  • Craig used to own a replica Lion-O sword (from Thundercats) but it was destroyed in a fire.
  • Gavin once went into a Japanese restaurant to ask if they had any free sushi. Tight bastard.
  • Stewart own a complete set of Postcard records.
  • Bassist Gavin has 4 or 5 tattoos.
  • Drummer Craig can't grow a handlebar moustache to save himself.
  • As a youngster, Stewart knew a kid who could vomit on command.
  • Bassist Gavin is from the isle of Barra, where they don't even have a cinema!
  • Drummer Craig once had a letter published in the Nintendo fan club magazine. They misspelt his surname as Beebles.
Black International: Website - Bandcamp - Facebook
Aye Tunes Birthday Bash: Facebook - Tickets

Monday, 6 June 2011

News & Bits - June 6th

Time for the weekly news round up, always an exciting time I'm sure you'll agree.

New Releases:
A Band Called Quinn - Wolf Cries Boy (single). Buy from iTunes. There's a free launch gig at The Buff Club on Tuesday, and a video here.
Dananananaykroyd - Muscle Memory (single). Buy from Amazon, iTunes.
FOUND - Anti Climb Paint (Single). Buy from Amazon, iTunes. Read more about the single here.
GoGoBot - Do You Remember? (single). Buy from Amazon, iTunes.
Roddy Hart & Gemma Hayes - The Dylan EP. Buy from Amazon, iTunes.
Hector Bizerk - Hector Bizerk EP. Buy from iTunes.
If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home By Now - A Room Dim At Noon (album). Buy from iTunes. If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home By Now play alongside Black Jash at Nice N Sleazy on Sunday, with an early kick off time of 1:30pm. There will be cassettes apparently.
IndianRedLopez - Empty Your Lungs and Breathe (album. Buy from Bandcamp.
Pose Victorious - Beneath the Lighthouse (EP). Buy from iTunes.
Scarlet Shift - Give Up the Ghost (EP). Buy from Bandcamp.
Song Of Return - Limits (album). Buy from Bandcamp.

On This Week:
No gig guide this week, so Favourite Son gets a one time plug for his here.
Between goNorth, Rockness, The West End Festival, The Leith Festival and Doune the Rabbit Hole on top of the usual selection of gigs there is plenty to keep you occupied this week, wherever you are.
There's also the second MILK gig at Flat 0/1 on Wednesday, with Otherpeople and Bwani Junction.
I'm mostly staying at home and saving money, since the Aye Tunes bills need to be paid this week. Donations welcome.

We Have a Winner:
Congratulations to Susie McNinch who won the Ladytron tickets competition. Thanks to everyone else who entered, there were loads of you.

(Almost) Party Time:
I'll shut up about the birthday gig soon - and immediately start annoying you with chat about another gig - but not quite yet. I mentioned last week there are a few free tickets on the go, but the list is now almost full, so if you want a freebie let me know quickly.

That other gig I'll be pestering you about is The Last Battle's EP launch, more specifically the Glasgow leg of the launch tour. The launch takes place in Stereo on July 1st, with support from The Second Hand Marching Band and Loch Awe. Tickets are available in advance for £4 here.
The Springwell EP has five tracks and will be released fully on July 18th, with advance copies available at the launch gigs.

Adam Stafford's new album Build a Harbour Immediately is available for pre-order now from Insularis Records. The album launch is at Stereo on August 20th, since me and Peenko decided we liked the album enough to badger Adam into letting is put together another AVP gig to celebrate the release. Holler for tickets.
The Party's Over, the debut album from King Post Kitsch, comes out next Monday. Ahead of the release you can grab a free download of Walking On Eggshells from the album here.
The Pineapple Chunks have made a new song available for free to tease their upcoming album. Look Back In Horror can be downloaded here, while the album A Dog Walked In follows in August.
Honey have made their debut EP available for free here.
Captain and the Kings round off the freebie selection with Restless, which you can grab here.

Wandering Off...

(I don't know where this is)

Not everything I listen to comes from Scotland. I'm not that insular, believe it or not. It is rather the point of the blog to focus on the Scottish stuff, but today we are going off on a wee wander to talk briefly about some stuff that comes from elsewhere that I've been enjoying recently.

Quite messy sounding, occasionally shouty, Mancunians, meaning by law I have to reference The Fall. I've never really liked The Fall that much though, so we'll move on quickly. I do like Monster Island though. Most recent release The Green Room EP is as lo-fi as Hell, thumping drums, guitars alternating between jangling and buzzsaw, and vocals that are spoken or shouted than sang. Albums Sunken, Public, Squares and The Anchor have a bit more variety in the songs and are probably better starting points than The Green Door. Loads of fun if you like things chaotic and noisy. I do.
You can get quite a lot of Monster Island from their Bandcamp page for free.

London based, and a bit strange. Weird Dance 2 from their debut EP Weird Dance is essentially garage rock, but draped in as many odd noises as seemingly possible to come out with a less than straightforward result. Other songs on their Soundcloud page go through as many styles as Baaneex could think of, it seems. Picnic Swan is quite gorgeous, a bit post-rock, a bit shoegaze and just really good, while Sandwich Song is shouty fun and Coool Count is just gloriously daft. I've still not quite decided what to make of this lot, but what I've heard has certainly left me interested, and entertained.
Debut EP Weird Dance is available from Odd Box Records.

Colonics are a three piece hailing from Brighton, with a fine line in instrumental post-rock, with a bit of shoegaze slung in for good measure. Debut album 1.0 is available as a name your price download from Bandcamp, and well worth a listen. The songs are mainly short and sharp, lots of noise, with good hooks and melodies mixed in, with Hessian 2.4 a particularly ferocious example. In between there are a couple of ten minute plus epics that play around with being a bit more experimental, building up sounds as they go, with the odd dash of weirdness added on top. For me the first long song Learning To Speak Microbe does this better than the second, Peresphone. Learning To Speak Microbe feels like it builds a bit more organically and sounds more interesting, while Peresphone wouldn't have suffered from being half as long, more in line with the other punchier tracks on the album. Final track Meateor is presented as a live version and shows promise, though I'm not sure the live recording does it much favours. I'd like to hear it properly recorded, so it has done it's job in getting me interested at least. Plenty good things going on on 1.0, and worth a listen if you like things loud.

Londoners, and a bit more in the instrumental post-rock style. Debut EP We Have Sound Houses Also is a bit more restrained and less messy than the other bands mentioned here so far, with the three tracks within having a more lush, cinematic feel. Opener The University Is A Factory sets the tone nicely, with strings adding flavour as the song goes for a slow build before exploding into a burst of noise, then fading away to nothing just as gradually. Exactly the kind of thing that I like, really. The rest of the EP follows a similar formula, but with plenty variety in the execution. So much so that three songs really doesn't feel like enough by the end, but being left wanting more is hardly a complaint, is it? Really quite glorious in places, and deserving of a listen.
We Have Sound Houses Also is available as a free download from Bandcamp.

Debut album Hymns For the Careless was recommended on Twitter a while back by DC of The Waiting Room, and by the swell A Sweet Unrest blog, which was more than enough to get me to listen. I gave the album a wee mention then, but since I'm venturing out of Scotland for this post it is worth bringing the band and album up again. Tiny Birds are a London five piece and on a quick listen Hymns For the Careless is a collection of short and sweet, bright and breezy folk-pop songs. A better listen reveals that the sweet jaunty pop tunes are allied with less than cheery lyrics. Folk tinged happy pop songs with sad lyrics is a wee bit of a lazy round up, but not that far off I think. The album is really quite lovely, and available as a free download from Bandcamp.

Wrote about this lot just a couple of weeks ago, but the novelty hasn't worn on yet, so all I said there still applies. In between causing trouble with Guillemots and Ellie Goulding fans on Twitter Pris are gearing up to release a single, The Bret Easton Ellis quoting "The Better You Look The More You See". The single is due out soon, and is a whole heap of fun. Half shouty, half sweet, their inspirations and references are all fairly blatant, but since the song left me with a big daft smile I'm completely ok with that. Fun punky pop that doesn't need to be analysed deeply, it just breezes by and sticks in your head. Check out the video for The Better You Look The More You See here.