Hamfisted

News, Reviews, Features

Eurogamer Expo announced

Our favourite gaming website, Eurogamer, has announced they will be back with another expo, taking place in two locations (London & Leeds).

The expo begins at Leeds on 27 & 28th October before moving to London for 30th & 31st October. Tickets are priced at £6 per day.

More information and tickets can be found

18/07/2009 Posted by | Gaming, News | Leave a comment

Hamfisted Spotify playlist

In what is hopefully a weekly feature on hamfisted, we will be compiling a spotify playlist of all the stuff we’ve been listening to this week. This will be a mixture of new and old music.

With this first one, still not having quite recovered from Guilfest (report and photos will be appearing soon, we promise!) we found ourselves selecting bands that we saw over the weekend.

Enjoy.

Tracklisting;

1. Nas – Star Wars
2. John Shuttleworth – Serial, Cereal Eater
3. Black Grape – Reverend Black Grape
4. Motorhead – We Are Motorhead
5. GoodBooks – Walk With Me (Subsource Remix)
6. Surf City – Headin’ Inside
7. The Jam – Burning Sky
8. British Sea Power – Boy Vertiginous
9. The Phantom Band – Folk Song Oblivion
10. The Magnetic Fields – California Girls
11. Neon Neon – I Told Her On Alderaan
12. New Order – Touched By The Hand Of God
13. Porcupine Tree – Wedding Nails
14. Broken Records – If The News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It
15. Paul Davidson – Midnight Rider

17/07/2009 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment

Hamfisted off to Guilfest

Our team of writers and photographers are off to Guilfest this afternoon. We’ll be back on Tuesday with a full review/photos.

Thanks,

The Hamfisted Team.

09/07/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daniel Johnston UK gigs

Further to the album re-issues, Daniel Johnston has announced a small series of UK gigs. The dates are;

Brighton BC2 – 1st November
London Union Chapel – 2nd November
Manchester Town Hall – 3rd November
Edinburgh Queens – 4th November
Leeds Brudenell – 6th November
Cardiff Gate – 7th November
Bristol Trinity – 8th November

We expect tickets for these gigs will set out pretty sharpish so make sure you get them as soon as you can.

03/07/2009 Posted by | Music, News | Leave a comment

Daniel Johnston album re-issues

To prepare the world for a new Daniel Johnston album due out “sometime next year”, his previous albums are the target of a re-issue campaign due to start on August 31st.

Initially, 3 of his albums will be released with new artwork and previously unheard songs. These 3 are Welcome To My World, Yip Jump Music and Hi How Are You. 3 more of his albums are due for a re-issue at an as yet unspecified date.

Perhaps now the cult-singer will receive that world-wide recognition he so thoroughly deserves.

01/07/2009 Posted by | Music, News | Leave a comment

At The Drive-in to reform?

We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves, but let’s be honest, an ATD-I reunion is just about everything we’ve been wishing for since their infamous ‘indefinite hiatus’ back in 2001.

Ex-ATD-I main man, singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala has expressed in an interview with Drowned In Sound that a reunion is not out of the question. When asked he replied with;

“I don’t know what to say about that, really. We’ve been making amends with a lot of the members and having some really good talks with them. And we’ve been trying to get our financial business in order because a lot of people have been ripping off that band really badly…as far as the business side goes. I wouldn’t mind it. You know, it might happen, we just have to iron out a lot of personal things. A lot of it we’ve dealt with already and I’ve apologized for a lot of things I’ve said and the way it ended…we’ll see what happens.”

The band split in 2001 amid rumors of in-fighting over musical differences, recreational habits and the hype they received on the back of last album ‘Relationship Of Command’.

This famously lead to two offshoot bands, The Mars Volta & Sparta, who let’s face it, despite initial praise aren’t really up to much.

We’ll keep you posted on any developments.

29/06/2009 Posted by | Music, News | Leave a comment

Dinosaur Jr. – Farm

It’s good to know there are always somethings you can rely on. You can always rely on, for example, England to not reach further than a semi-final in any football competition. You can always rely on a bacon sandwich to mop up the hungover. I can always rely on this computer to fuck and crash trying to do the simplest of tasks. Likewise, you can rely on Dinosaur Jr. to release great album after great album.

If there was any justice in the world, Dinosaur. Jr would be huge. U2 huge. Unfortunately, there’s no accounting for the publics taste, so Bono and his band of cronies are huge thanks to their insipid shit, yet J Mascis and his band remain just under the radar for a truly mainstream audience.

Farm is a little rougher around the edges than previous efforts, but it’s all the better for it. The fuzzy guitar pop, laden with the trademark Dinosaur Jr. solos, are an absolute delight to listen to.

Unusually for a band who’ve been around this long, their urgency and power show no sign of decline as age catches up with them. Everything about this album is classic Dinosaur Jr., from Mascis’ sharp drawl right through to the everyman lyrics. Standout tracks include album opener Pieces, Ocean In The Way and Over It, where the trademarks are typified best.

One of the best albums i’ve heard this year so far.

8/10

25/06/2009 Posted by | Music, Reviews | Leave a comment

British Sea Power – Man Of Aran

The trouble with soundtracks is all too often, the standalone album is nothing merely but a collection of soundscapes which don’t seem quite right when taken out of the context of the film. It’s quite a surprise then, that the actual cd (the dvd of the re-soundtracked documentary comes included) is actually half listenable.

Whilst for some of the album, the tracks are long atmospheric slow burning instrumentation, it starts to pick up someway around the 6th track (Boy Vertiginous), a melodic guitar led piece which is akin to the quieter reflective works of mogwai (sorry to bring them up again).

The real highlight of the album, however, is Spearing The Sun, which clocks in 20 seconds short of 12 minutes. It’s an urgent hyperactive piece, the kind of extended distortion heavy jam British Sea Power are known for finishing their live sets with. The almost hypnotic drums in the intro carry on underneath the wall of distorted feedback.

From then on in, it’s almost as if BSP realize they can’t just get away with moody atmospherics for an album and decide to write some lovely string-laden pieces. The result is something that at times seems to approach Instrumental Post Rock.

I’ve yet to watch the re-soundtracked documentary, but it’ll be intriguing to see how the songs differ when placed in context.

7/10

01/06/2009 Posted by | Music, Reviews | Leave a comment

Amazing Baby – Rewild

As a result of some association with the band and a few similarities in their sound, Amazing Baby are apparently the new MGMT. But why does there have to be this x are the new y every year? If we’re so desperate to find a new y, that kind of suggests that the y we’ve already got were never that good in the first place, no?

The same ingredients are here – same vaguely mystical psychedelic air, same setup, same crushing mid-album sag – but Amazing Baby are missing the kind of radio friendly pop songs that helped turn Oracular Spectacular into last year’s sleeper hit. There’s plenty of ambition and melody here (the singles Bayonets and Headdress are a good indicator of both), but then there’s also a lot of vagueness throughout, and something kind of empty about it all. It’s hard to get beneath the surface of the songs, and if you managed you possibly wouldn’t find much.

I’m finding it hard to pin this album down, which is probably the idea, but there’s something about it that stops me from wanting to.

4.5/10

28/05/2009 Posted by | Music, Reviews | Leave a comment

Wayne’s albums of the week (24/5/9)

Time for another albums of the week post.

First, Yo La Tengo‘s 2006 album I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass. Aside from having one of the greatest album titles of recent years, the album is as strong and solid an album from any of the bands back-catalogue. The very fact that, this long into their career, Yo La Tengo still release albums that are capable of breaking your heart and making you smile like a loon is testament to their excellent song writing. The album is a relatively laid back affair, with slow-burning quiet songs dictating the feel of the album, until the closer and highlight, The Story Of Yo La Tengo, bursts in with it’s chaotic distorted guitars and feedback that is so typical of the band on their noisier moments.

Next, Sufjan Stevens come on feel the the illinoize, a bit of an indie scenester classic, but please, please don’t let that put you off. The album is a largely melancholy affair, again with quiet slow-burning songs dictating the majority of the album. Most of the songs are acoustica tinged, with horns and strings sometimes coming in to play to good effect.

Carrying on much in the same vein as acoustica tinged with a horn section is Beirut‘s Gulag Orkestar, where this slightly differs from Illinoize however, is that the songs sound more, for want of a better word, organic. The songs don’t particularly feel like they have a definitive beginning, middle and end, which is no bad thing (at least in some cases), specifically not here as they’re given space and time to breathe, to stretch out into something which becomes almost more than just a nice song.

Lastly Trojan Records’ Dub Box Set, a 3 disc collection of some of the defining Dub Reggae from the original Jamaican scene. As you’d expect, the likes of King Tubby, The Upsetters and The Roots Radic band all feature (some more heavily than others). This can be quite disappointing as you’re left with the slight feeling the compilers may have been slightly too lazy. That is only a small gripe however. This is an essential first purchase for anyone wishing to delve into the Dub Genre.

24/05/2009 Posted by | Music | Leave a comment