Hamfisted

News, Reviews, Features

This weeks new releases

Thought people might like to know what new music is being released this week;

Albums;

Air – ‘Love 2’
Cerys Matthews – ‘Don’t Look Down’
Fuck Buttons – ‘Tarot Sport’
Idlewild – ‘Post Electric Blues’
Lethal Bizzle – ‘Go Hard’
Mumford And Sons – ‘Sigh No More’
The Leisure Society – ‘Sleeper & A Product Of The Ego Drain’
The Raveonettes – ‘In And Out Of Control’
The Slits – ‘Trapped Animal’

Singles;

Bad Lieutenant – ‘Sink Or Swim’
Fever Ray – ‘If I Had A Heart’
Kid Harpoon – ‘Back From Beyond’
Metronomy – ‘Not Made For Love’
No Age – ‘Losing Feeling’
Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – ‘Higher Than The Stars’
The Dirty Projectors – ‘Temecular Sunrise’
The Drums – ‘Let’s Go Surfing’
Whitney Houston – ‘Million Dollar Bill’

05/10/2009 Posted by | Music, News | Leave a comment

Editors – In This Light & On This Evening

I’ve always felt a bit sorry for Editors. They were neatly pushed into the whole indie rock thing that was big a couple of years back by the mainstream media (I’ll never understand the need to pigeonhole everything, especially in this case when it’s just plain incorrect). The difference between Editors and so many of ‘those’ bands is quite clear. They’ve always been ones to contemplate the more darker side of life and (omg feelings and shit) with heavy and clever use of synths and melodies. This of course would prompt lesser trained ears to label them Joy Division-lite, but they are clearly idiots.

With In This Light… their 3rd studio album, the use of synths is more prominent than usual and the songwriting, whilst it’s still as dark and contemplative as ever, there seems to be a universal feeling of hope pinning the songs together into an enjoyably strangely uplifting listening experience.

lead single Papillon is at first listen a straight-forward workout in building a song around a riff, but repeated listens will reveal clever little nuances which really help the song evolve into something quite lovely.

Other highlights include the slow burning opening title-track, and Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool, with it’s aggressive melodies seemingly clashing against the calmly, almost spoken, lyrics.

Whilst the band have claimed they’ve kept the album to 9 tracks to help people re-discover the lost art of listening to an album as a whole (a very admirable thing to do, it has to be said), I can’t help but feel there are a couple of fillers almost ruining what is a very brave and enjoyable album.

7/10

04/10/2009 Posted by | Music, Reviews | Leave a comment

Midweek playfist

Here;

Belle & Sebastian – I’m A Cuckoo
The XX – Basic Space
Asobi Seksu – Make Them Wait
Titus Andronicus – Titus Andronicus
The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored (2o years old, fucking hell!)
John Cale – Hanky Panky Nohow
Arab Strab – The First Big Weekend
Bombay Bicycle Club – Cancel On Me
Mastodon – Oblivion
Dillinger Escape Plan – Come To Daddy
Raging Speedhorn – Thumper
Aphex Twin – Children Talking
These New Puritans – Doppleganger
Condo Fucks – The Kid With The Replaceable Head
Intronaut – Dixie Whiskey

12/08/2009 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment

Eurogamer expo line-up announced

The Eurogamer expo, mentioned in a previous post has announced some of the line-up of playable games available. Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft will all have forthcoming games available for play at the expo’s, along with SEGA, Eidos, Capcom, Konami, 2K Games, Bethesda, Namco Bandai and Deep Silver. So expect a whole raft full of quality games testing at the events.

Some of the games included will be anticipated Christmas blockbusters Assassin’s Creed 2, Halo 3: ODST, Borderlands, Tekken 6 and Left 4 Dead 2, whilst games scheduled for 2010 will include the likes of Dante’s Inferno and Aliens vs. Predator, with many more still to be announced.

Tickets for both events are £6, and with a line-up like that, we expect it’ll sell out pretty sharpish (sales are apparently already up on last year). They’re available here;

12/08/2009 Posted by | Gaming, News | Leave a comment

Kylesa – Static Tensions

Kylesa, one of those criminally over looked and undervalued bands have, with their third full title, released the metal album of the year. Undoubtedly.

Whilst they’re certainly always worn their influences on their sleeves, with this album they’ve stepped to the plate and taken their influences and their own ideas and molded them into an absolute beast of an album.

The obvious and lazy reference and comparison would be that of fellow metallers and tour mates Mastodon, it is just that. Lazy and obvious. Ok, there are definite similarities but again, use your bloody ears and listen. Really listen. There’s an infectious and invigorating urgency to the songs on the album, as heavy distorted riffs play over screeching feedback and tight, almost tribal drumming.

The album is generally more full and complete than their previous efforts. There just isn’t a point anywhere where the quality dips or the songs begin to sound samey.

Again, this is without a doubt, the metal album of the year, and a vital kick up the arse for a scene that had grown stale. If this isn’t the album that shoots Kylesa into the big time, I’m officially giving up on the notion that the general public has any sense.

GET IT NOW.

9/10

08/08/2009 Posted by | Music, Reviews | Leave a comment

Midweek playfist

You know how it works.

Tracklisting

The Low Anthem – Champion Angel
Sleep – Jerusalem (Part 5)
Mogwai – Angels Versus Aliens
Kaada – Spindle
Echo & The Bunnymen – Crocodiles
Dinosaur Jr. – Ocean In The Way
Secret Chiefs 3 – Barakiel
At The Drive-in – Transatlantic Foe
Butthole Surfers – You Don’t Know Me
Pavement – Brink Of The Clouds
The Stranglers – Always The Sun
Sister Nancy – Bam Bam
I’m From Barcelona – Rec & Play
King Geedorah – Fazers
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Dull Life

05/08/2009 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment

The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

If there’s one thing about albums coming out this year, it’s that I’m finding myself frequently pleasantly surprised by something I wouldn’t normally give the time of day too. I guess my attempts at being a reviewer can only be a good thing, then, as it’s a bit like I’m forcing myself to expand my tastes and horizons.

The Low Anthem and their modern country-ish balladeering. Definitely not something I’d usually purchase without hearing first but in this instance I am very glad I did.

Comparisons to other alt-country & folk rockers such as Band Of Horses and bloody Fleet Foxes are obviously inevitable within the first few listens, but upon listening more and more, you see there is something generally a bit cheery, uplifting and above all, hopeful about some of the tracks on the album (Champion Angel with it’s harmonica tinged anthemics being a prime example).

The real pay-off comes in the 2nd half of the album as delightful synthetic swoops come to play over the slow alt-country and harmonica, creating a sound that’s an absolute pleasure to listen to. Perfect for those Sunday morning come downs maybe?

It’s this hopefulness contained within the album that really carries i forward and stops it from plodding on like so many other similar bands albums. The real downside is the beginning of the album, where most bands place their strongest tracks there, The Low Anthem seem to have stuck their worst at the 2nd and 3rd tracks in. The throaty singing style doesn’t quite work (especially when he’s so good at singing ‘properly’ on the other tracks), and it unfortunately drags the otherwise deft musicianship down with it.

In all, this is actually a very beautiful record to listen to (minus those two awful ones obviously) and definitely one to help gently nurse off that hangover.

7/10

04/08/2009 Posted by | Music, Reviews | Leave a comment

Midweek (Field day special) Playfist

IT’S WEDNESDAY.

It can only be time for another spotify playfist. Since Team Hamfisted (nope, i’m not saying that again, it’s a bit gay) are off to Field Day this Saturday, so here’s 15 bands and acts we’re looking forward to watching.

1 – The Horrors – Who Can Say?
2 – Final Fantasy – He Poos Clouds
3 – Santigold – Lights Out
4 – S.C.U.M. – Visions Arise
5 – James Yorkston – Woozy With Cider
6 – The Big Pink – Stop The World
7 – Malcolm Middleton – Week Off
8 – First Aid Kid – You’re Not Coming Home Tonight
9 – Errors – Still Game
10 – Skream – Sub Island
11 – Micachu & The Shapes – Calculator
12 – Mystery Jets – Two Doors Down
13 – Four Tet – Everything Is Alright
14 – King Charles – Time Of Eternity
15 – Mogwai – Mogwai Fear Satan

29/07/2009 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment

Midweek PlayFist

Here’s our midweek spotify playfist, we’ve gone for a few classics.

Tracklisting;

1. Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove
2. Symarip – Skinhead Moonstomp
3. Booker T. & The MG’s – Green Onions
4. Mudhoney – Pump It Up
5. The Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom
6. Husker Du – Charity, Chastity, Prudence & Hope
7. Melvins – Skin Horse
8. The Boomtoom Rats – Dave
9. Yo La Tengo – I Was The Fool Beside You For Too Long
10. Primus – My Name Is Mud
11. Earl Brutus – Midland Red
12. The Bobby Fuller Four – I Fought The Law
13. Sepultura – Propaganda
14. The Who – The Seeker (BBC Session)
15. Tad – Grease Box

22/07/2009 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment

Years – Years

Years are the side project from Ohad Benchetrit of Broken Social Scene and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! fame, and their self-titled album is one of the most intriguing and pleasurable listens of the year so far. Album opener ‘Kids Toy Love Affair’ is almost misleading with it’s swooping, almost operatic, dream like structure, before Don’t Let The Blind Go Deaf kicks in with it’s structured acoustics. Just as it comes to an end you start to wonder how much of this instrumental album you can take in one sitting.

Are You Unloved? then, takes a detour off the plain acoustics as samples are played backwards, cut up and chopped around with. It’s evident the man has taken a lot from Broken Social Scene as layers of noise slowly creep in over the chopped up music (which strangely sounds like Squarepusher on his quieter moments). All this before the album really picks up and the end of the song explodes in a cry of horns over melodic guitar work and cut up beats.

There are some genuinely touching moments on the record too. The powerful guitar works of Hey Cancer… Fuck You really does sound like it should soundtrack a feel good biopic, as it’s euphoric stuff.

A special mention must also be made to the real highlight of the album, The Major Lift. Strings and horns laden over more cut up acoustics and beats, more generally uplifting work. Whilst the way I’m describing this sounds like the album can be repetitive, it can be, but when music is generally this uplifting, I’m not complaining. Much.

All in all a sterling first solo effort and a fantastic collection of mellow (and occasionally loud) uplifting songs, let down by a slight sag in the middle and a tiny amount of repetition.

7/10

22/07/2009 Posted by | Music, Reviews | Leave a comment