Sunday, 4 September 2011

Weekly Catch-Up - 28/08/11

So this is it I’m off on Monday to new horizons with new opportunities and a new language, and that is why this week’s Weekly Catch-Up is early. While I’m in Germany I will be doing my best to keep this blog up as it is like a child now, and perhaps maybe getting more opportunities to do more. With the added free time plans are to start reviewing gigs and interviews. So watch this space and please keep up your support while I’m away. Another great week with the likes of Wolf Gang, Yellow Ostrich and my old friend Cut Off your Hands. So here we go!

Wolf Gang – Dancing with the Devil

(Max in Nottingham's Bodega at Dot to Dot Fetsival 2010, my have they all grown up)
Wolf Gang is an incredible band that I have been avidly following for the past two years. I also feel that I have quite a personal connection with them as I first met them in Bodega at Dot to Dot Festival  in Nottingham 2010. Not only were their performance out of this world, but I and a few others had the pleasure of drinking with them afterwards for an hour or so chatting about all the things under the sun. They are a great bunch who are fun, down to earth people and they really showed me that all bands are made up of normal people, but they are just exceptionally talented everyday people. I’m not sure if they will remember us, but my fond memory is laughing with the band at my other half’s chanting ‘Matt, Matt’ all the way through their gig, not knowing his name is in fact ‘Max’.

Their new song Dancing with the Devil is a great autumnal anthem; with its nice rifts and great vocals from ‘Matt’ this is clearly Wolf Gang's year.

Arrogant Rating – 4.2/5

Yellow Ostrich – Whale

Yellow Ostrich’s Whale is the clear victor for tune of the week in my books. I can’t get enough of it and will use any excuse to replay it. I’m not sure what kind of voodoo Yellow Ostrich have been messing about with in Brooklyn but I am hooked, maybe I am a whale. The minimalistic beats from the drum, a nice tinkle from a triangle and the wonderfully delivered chanting makes an excellent addition to the ‘constantly listen to’ Playlist on anyone’s IPod. I very much appreciate the authentic whale calls in the background. Fucking Awesome!
Yellow Ostrich - "WHALE" by Afternoon Records

Arrogant Rating – 4.3/5

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Tigers

A toe-tapping number with summery up-beat guitar rifts; I love the chorus but am at a loss as to why tigers need separate rooms, perhaps to subtle for me.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Tigers by artsandcraftsmx

Arrogant Rating – 3.6/5

Izabo - Summer Shade

Arrogant Rating – 3.7/5

Chairlift – Amanaemonesia

Second song from Chairlift to feature on The Arrogant Critique it is a lot different than Bruises and has a lot more of a pop vibe. I have been perplexed by the actual definition and am also perplexed at the songs incredible composition of a smooth and funky intro an 80s electro-pop mid-section with a dark spoken-word climax resembling Siouxsie and the Banshees and still manage to blend effortlessly. Furthermore Caroline Polachek’s vocals can only be worshipped as her warbling reaches new and unknown parts of the vocal stratosphere as well as defying the odds and repeatedly singing the tongue twister that is Amanaemonesia. What a goddess!!
Amanaemonesia by Chairlift

Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5

Joan as Police Woman – The Magic, Chemmie

The two next songs come from Joan Wasser’s latest album The Deep Field which came out in the UK 25 January of this year. Best known, at least in my case for the incorrectly spelt single Christobel Joan’s two new singles are set to also become a major part in the fabric of everyday life. The Magic has in my opinion a special quality about it, and naturally as always Joan Wasser’s spine tingling voice creates an incredible track. You’ve got the Magic Joan, if you don’t agree then arrest me.  
Joan As Police Woman - The Magic by PIASBELGIUM

Arrogant Rating – 4/5
Joan As Police Woman, The Deep Field - "Chemmie" by foundations

Arrogant Rating – 3.5/5

City and Colour – Fragile Bird
Dallas Green’s somewhat husky and searching voice definitely is the star of Fragile Bird. I suppose in some ways City and Colour’s style is to give you a sense of joy and hope.

Fragile Bird by cityandcolour

Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5

Lana Del Ray – Video Games
If you haven’t heard much about Lana Del Ray already, be prepared to. One of the future stars that have slightly broken through this year, Lana Del Ray’s voice leaves you paralysed and speechless, whilst her lyrics are thought provoking and subtle. Could you say she is the next Florence and the Machines? No she deserves more credit than that.
Lana Del Rey - Video Games by PurplePR

Arrogant Rating – 4/5
The Wind – Oh Hadihu
The Wind is what one would most associate as a gentle and selfless lover. Oh Hadihu is a beautiful song that whisks you to Hawaii from the very first sound and drops you smoothly back at the end.

The Wind - Oh, Hadihu by ObscureSound

Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5

Cut off Your Hands – You Should do Better
Cut Off Your Hands - You Should Do Better by Goltzman*

Arrogant Rating – 3.7/5
Atlas Genius - Trojans
Trojans by Atlas Genius
Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5

The Stanley Blacks - Everest
Everest by thestanleyblacks
Arrogant Rating – 4/5

Hanni El Khatib – Build-Destroy-Rebuild  

Build-Destroy -Rebuild is the second of the Palestinian/Filipino Hanni El Khatib’s singles to feature on my Weekly Catch-Up; the previous being the incredibly Rock’n’Roll Dead Wrong. This single shows Hanni’s incredible mastery of blending both the old and the new together. The guitar rift, rocking drums and Hanni’s voice makes the foundations of his familiar Rock’n’Roll style but there is a clear gritty Indie vein flowing through the song. Salamat Hanni El Khatib for blending my childhood genre preference with my modern day genre preference, please keep going!

Hanni El Khatib - "Build-Destroy-Rebuild" by brooklynvegan

Arrogant Rating – 3.7/5 
The Jim Jones Revue – High Horse

The Jim Jones Revue - High Horse by JimJonesRevue
Arrogant Rating – 3.9/5
Mister Heavenly – Bronx Sniper
Mister Heavenly - Bronx Sniper by subpop

Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5

Fabian – Last Flight
Fabian - Last Flight by iamFabian

Arrogant Rating – 3.9/5

New Found Land - Holes

Another great export from Sweden, the other being The Amplifetes, New Found Land’s Holes is taken from their second album The Bell. It has a great youthful and vibrant quality and Anna Roxenholt’s vocals overpower what in fact should be something sad and melancholic, judging by the lyrics, and transforms Holes  into something uplifting and quite sweet.


Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5

The Israeli band Izabo have decided to concentrate the essence of Summer, bottle it and throw it head first at the music scene. With hot guitar licks and a sleepy vocals makes you want to drift off and slowly melt like an ice cream under a tree. And if you are thinking, how is summer over already? Izabo can help you to carry on pretending.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Weekly Catch-Up - The Start of Something Special

I feel that I have not been satisfying my very few readers’ needs for Music and I feel a bit guilty as the Monthly Playlist just seems to grow higher and higher daily.

Thus, I am starting the beginning of a new Era and new form for The Arrogant Critique. It goes by the name of The Weekly Catch-Up. It will be like you have my IPod with you, although I will be one weeks ahead of you.

It’s been quite a heavy week with 20 topping the Catch-Up Playlist. Here they are;

Joe Goddard – Gabriel (feat. Valentina)

Currently one of my favourite tracks at the moment, not my general cuppa but maybe a speck of Balearic sanguine is still pumping around my system and so I have fallen. Valentina has a such a sultry but emotional voice, and Joe Goddard drops a great beat with the excellent mix of a sinister voice.
Arrogant Rating - 3.9/5

Class Actress – Keep You

As La Roux fafs about trying to do a second album she needs to watch her toes as this girl is a ‘Class’ act.
Arrogant Rating – 3.6/5

Class Actress - Keep You by honeyjam


Great heavy beats, a song to put on full volume when you’re in that ‘Fuck you’ mood!! I always have a sinister smile sweep my face when listening to this.
Arrogant Rating – 4.1/5
Woodkid - Iron   

Another song killing it with an orchestra (Chilly Gonzales being the previous person), and is tipped to be the on the Assassin’s Creed soundtrack. But to be honest I don’t give a shit about Assassins Creed really, this song is just epic.
Arrogant Rating – 4/5

Woodkid - Iron by discobiblio

Light Asylum – Dark Allies

A high charged song flowing very nicely with the previous choices, which was my desire. A sense a bit of Muse with The Klaxons’ left foot but that may just be me. Supposedly the video is good, but internet at work is fucking up so I can’t make an informed decision. Yes, I am skiving a tad.

Arrogant Rating – 3.5/5

Yoav – We all are Dancing

Now this is Ibiza for me, incredible soft beat that progressively pounces on you; whilst Yoav carries on not being bothered with flawless vocals.

Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5
New Ivory – A Knight

Such an underrated song even I didn’t notice it on my IPod, I just thought it was always there. These do sound more like the Klaxons.
Arrogant Rating – 4/5

The Carpels – Handshake

What Indie used to sound like, pure and simple. But can someone tell me who they sound like, they ring true with another artist, Pete and the Pirates possibly? Let me know.

Arrogant Rating – 3.4/5
The Carpels - Handshakes (Single available from 21st August 2011) by One Beat Records

Friendly Fires – Blue Cassette

No real introduction needed, they have smashed it again.

Arrogant Rating – 3.9/5
Friendly Fires "Blue Cassette" by

Gypsy and the Cat – Jona Vark

This song has been lolling about on the radio for some time now but I always forget it. Here you go son have a bubble on here for a while.

Arrogant Rating – 3.6/5
Gypsy And The Cat - Jona Vark by mybigmouth

Boy – Little Numbers

An instant classic who has also been avoiding me as MotorFM (soon to be FluxFM I think) have wrongly labeled it as Big Boi – Numbers which is as far away as you can get.

Arrogant Rating – 3.7/5
BOY - Little Numbers by FLEXXTERN

Mother Mother – Baby don’t Dance

The second song on their album, not as good as The Stand, but it’s passable. Lead singer sometimes reminds me here of Mika which is slightly off-putting  

Arrogant Rating – 3.4/5
Mother Mother – Baby Dont Dance by ruizit0

Cashier No. 9 – Lost at Sea

A ‘filler’ rather than a ‘fulfiller’. Enough said.

Arrogant Rating – 3.3/5

Ocean Colour Scene – Riverboat
An exciting song about an environmentally unfriendly and unsanitary estuary.
Arrogant Rating – 3.5/5

The Kills – Heart is a Beating Drum

Second song from The Kills to be mentioned on this blog, I reckon they have gotten better.
Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5
The Kills - Heart Is A Beating Drum by MSS1306

Polock - Fireworks

I thought it was a bit of a lame song when I first heard it, my opinion hasn’t really changed but you know you have to show a variety from the spectrum. Also they only had some blokes remix, but to be honest he couldn’t put much life into it either.

Arrogant Rating – 2.8/5
Polock - Fireworks (Kostrok Remix) *FREE DOWNLOAD* by KOSTROK

The Black Rabbits – Hurry Hurry

Got this band from another Blogger whilst doing a bit of research and at first thought it was OK, but it’s starting to grow. The slightly disfigured child of The Fratellis and The Libertines.

Arrogant Rating – 3.3/5
The Black Rabbits - Hurry, Hurry by theblackrabbits

(Hanni El Khatib looking fresh)
Hanni El Khatib – Dead Wrong

I cannot get enough of this song, I’m sure I’m in for a restraining order very soon. A Palestinian and Filipino who is making 50’s music like Buddy Holly this really brings a beautiful tear to my eye, what are the odds hey? I will also add that his album will be reviewed soon and it is apart from this song very modern

Arrogant Rating – 4.2/5
Hanni El Khatib - Dead Wrong by MelihMucuk

(The Stepkids are off their cakes)
 The Stepkids – Shadow on Behalf

These Psychadelic Funky Mothers have hit it on the head with this chilled, futuristic and beautiful song. If you liked Unknown Mortal Orchestra you will very much like the Stepkids.

Arrogant Rating – 3.8/5
Shadows On Behalf by The Stepkids

Tropics – Mouves

Tropics are definitely the Pepper to The Stepkids Salt and they seem to have that upbeat kick which Pepper boasts over it condiment rival.

Arrogant Rating – 3.7/5
Tropics - Mouves (Promo) by pdis_inpartmaint

Kristin Hersh – Your Ghost

A haunting way to end this week’s Catch-Up Playlist. An exceptionally moving song but not I recommend that it is not for all occasions maybe steer from bringing this out at your next house party.

Arrogant Rating – 3.9/5

And that concludes this week’s Catch-Up Playlist. If you have any recommendations on songs for next week; or just want to let me know I am a swell guy, who’s skiving off work and the risk of being sacked is worthwhile. I would even be happy to hear from those who want me to fuck off!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Dreams of Lovers in the Crimson Sky

In the crimson sky,
The verses of two lovers breathe,
Gently, hands entwined,
At the seat of eternity.

Their song, whispers through the world
Like the scent of a rose.
The beasts of hell
Whimper at the whisper
Of their unified voice.

A dream, a sweet honeycombed dream.

Where the veils of mystery are swept away
With a single note
Of their glorified beauty.
A beauty, so vivid, so enchanting.
That a lonesome drop of its essence
Would destroy that city of Angels.

But I, whose heart was forever cracked
With the misery of this poisonous world.

Whose eternity was smeared,
With the disfigured and tarred disdain of those enemies.

I opened my eyes,
And with that speck of truthful,
Razor blade light,
Glimpsed a shimmer of that dream.

My heart blessed and soul healed.

I took up my sword,
I left this world behind,
I joined that dream,
With you in the crimson sky.

Institutionalised Prison

The place of the damned
Is but the crumbling fabric of our ageing mind.
Depleting, suffering mind.
However it extenuates,
To the harrowed grounds
Of this childhood place.

Transmuting those,
Whose bare feet are swallowed
By the overpowering green mounds,
Moulding their mind into negation.

Although its nurturing hand sculpted these words,
Its tiresome flesh rots sour with the plague of rats.
Engulfing lives
And history.

Under the arches,
The echoed slap underfoot celebrates dubiously in your ears
Whilst a myriad of
Inverted faces
Stare back
Lavishly caressing their mirrors.

Lady Fortune however
Is not faithful to those,
Whose only master is themselves.
And the cuckoldry head of reality will slip,
Treacherously bleeding their eyes
Towards Ophelia’s Lake.

Th’unseen truth
Of the house of the dead
Will surface.
Leaving a wake of bloodied victims.
Whose inverted faces will snap their necks
As the light of life draws near.

Funny how time heals

So as I was going through all my old, accumulated junk, in preparation for German migration when I come accross some poetry, which I had written about three years ago at my former school.

I couldn't believe how dark and sinister my writing was and what a heart crushing experience I went through. So I thought it was only fair to give its right on my blog. Because as we all now who we really are, are sometimes only the battles we have fought.

This detour and mild distraction from the music will only be brief.

True the shot was,
Which pierced my fortified soul,
The serene softness of her lips,
Wished on the winds of my love,
Sensual seductions searching for the rhythm of my heart.
The walls of my soul
Fell deeper
Than those of our first parents.
The sweet sound of her love flared my nostrils,
Too greedily. I drank.
As the quiescent beauty of angels
Hid my vision from demons, ravaging
For the acrid drop of my pain.

Loves lullaby.
Softly filtered melodically into the phantasm of purple caves.
So deep its caves that our breaths
And within the entwined roots of our fingers,
Our blood passed.
One celestial being.
Ascended by loves caressing hands.

Times golden coat,
The shard of light,
Illuminated our waterfall.
Its shimmering rays of nectar,
Purged and purified nightmares of the past.
Its hazy synaesthesiatic pleasure,
Enveloped my mind.
Extended its hand.
Formed subtle rainbows with its
Beauteous pearls of sweat.
To take me home.

But harder
Its pummelled vice-like…
My head cracked,
My foot stuck in the lair of its crevices,
Corroded me,
Like the other rocks.

Smoke rose high around me,
Her supple body
Suffocated by the cars.
Tasting the mud for her perfume,
Smeared visions.
I looked up through the myriad
Of faceless faces
Her hand is in his.