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Two Dancers is the second Wild Beasts album. Co-produced by the band and northern enigma Richard Formby in remote Norfolk earlier this year, it follows 2008’s widely celebrated debut Limbo, Panto. The result is a record of tightrope-high drama, put simply, Two Dancers finds the Wild Beasts on fire. Two Dancers is alive with its sense of possibility, a sound that shimmers and sways in the band’s own mercurial fashion. Sit back and listen with wonder at the thrill of it all.
Two Dancers inhabits its own landscape, as Tom Fleming says, it’s “a series of scenes… a big party, the street outside later on, or in a bedroom, or desperately hungry and starving to death on a distant beach.” The words ‘bedroom’, ‘desperately’ and ‘party’ perfectly capture the energies at work in Two Dancers. Equal to the euphoria and sense of expectation is a feeling of helplessness. Hedonism can produce a long night of the soul that burns on wired emotions, and on what Fleming calls “meaningless lust”. The album’s lead single Hooting And Howling, from its title down, captures this perfectly. Consisting of a staring match between guitarist Benny Little and lead vocalist Hayden Thorpe, Hooting and Howling is equal parts statement of intent, and relentless eye contact from a priapic state of mind. As with rest of the album, it feels slightly delirious, having turned itself inside out and finding a state of unique musical grace.
Two Dancers is full of references to the following: booty calls, puckered lips, bodies as perfect machines, and dim-lit streets. Lyrically Two Dancers is equally energetic and ripe. In All The King’s Men Fleming sings with purposeful intent about “Girls from Rodean, girls from Shipley, from Hounslow, girls from Whitby” as Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto soars with palpable anticipation. In this song, as on the whole of the album, Wild Beasts dare you to cut loose and be seduced, but you’ll join in on the disorientation along the way.
As Thorpe, owner of one of the most wildly emotive falsettos observes, “It’s such a cliché to be perceived as being different. We’re seen as being outsiders, and that makes us close up the ranks even more.’’ In closing up the ranks Wild Beasts have made a record of earthly pleasures that sounds thrillingly widescreen, open and in awe of life; equally intoxicated and disturbed by the possibilities of pleasure.
Malachai are a two-piece from Bristol UK, fronted by vocalist Gee, with music by Scott. That’s the easy part of the description. It’s the bit that follows that’s tough. The bit where their sound is captured in a concise fashion, and placed alongside a list of other artists, past and present, that they sort of sound like, used to validate the original description.
The truth is Malachai aren’t easily defined. If human nature dictates that we need to label, then file them under ‘Genre-Defying’. Or better still let others do the talking.
There’s certainly no repetition on Ugly Side Of Love. They claim that “We’re two minute and out men.” That’s why some of it sounds like an ADHD kid flicking through the load of used dusty vinyl. At other times, Malachai’s music sounds like the apocalypse itself. Fading World was written after watching a news report on Hurricane Katrina. “I suppose I was taken aback by just how much at the mercy of the elements we are, but mostly at the plums who run things and where their priorities lay” says Gee.
But as exciting as the record’s journey is, the road it travels on is built on solid foundations; the ability to weave seemingly incongruent influences into the most cohesive of sounds is no accident. This sound – ‘Malachai’s sound’ – is a reflection of many things. Of a complete emersion in hip-hop, 60s psych, dub and plenty of other musical forms. Years of crate-digging and creativity – before Bristol’s musical name meant something, while genres were being created, and after the dust settled – and perhaps most importantly, a need to just simply make music.
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Rocking onto the global music scene is the Australian band 'October Rage'. Hailing from the east coast, brothers Nick (vocals, guitar) and William Roberts (bass) began the project with a single minded purpose of creating hard hitting, head banging tunes, stadium rock anthems and majestic ballads to satisfy even the most avid rock fan.
After returning from L.A in late 2008 the brothers began their search for likeminded, talented musicians, and found them in the form of Rory Bratby (drums) and Tim Ciantar (guitar). With a live show that leaves the audience gasping and screaming for more, Bratby's thundering grooves have many nicknaming him a "young Bonham", whilst Ciantar's lightning fingers shred the fret board with a crazed intensity highlighting his blistering solo's and chunky guitar riffs.
Less than a year into their careers October Rage set off to Melbourne and recorded their debut single "Silver Line" with award winning producer Adrian Hannan, and mastering by Martin Pullan at Edensound Studio's (DEEP PURPLE, RITCHIE BLACKMORE).
With their ever growing fan-army of “Ragers”, this rockin’ Aussie band will be blasting heads left, right and centre as their single “Silver Line” reaches new ears around the world.
Nick Roberts (Vocals, Guitar) William Roberts (Bass) Rory Bratby (Drums) Tim Ciantar (Guitar)
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