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This will be updated throughout May 2014. For the full, extended reviews, click on the review titles.
During April 2014, I had the privilege to unleash my fury upon Avril Lavigne’s ‘Hello Kitty’, and was relieved to finally banish her from my home page. Cue a new month, and a new compilation of reviews.
Kate McGill of Meadowlark celebrates her partnership in ‘I’ve Got You’, a skipping-through-daisy-fields celebration of how she isn’t so alone anymore, especially in closing with clapping and voices reminiscent of a school choir. As grin-inducing as it is, it’s the beautiful, fragile atmosphere stemming from the isolated vocals, that favour Meadowlark’s style most, such as that in opener ‘Family Tree’.
After a sharp intake of breath and a piano chord, Kate McGill is quick to lament about her problems. The choruses are similar only in lyrics and tune, as McGill becomes accompanied by much more than the opening piano. First the distant hum of an infinitely echoing guitar, building until a full band at full force envelope her, by which time, she needs to scream her heart out to be heard. That, she certainly does. Cruelly, Three Six Five EP is, at its best when at a heartstring tugging degree of misery.
The title portrays otherworldliness. Sublime opener ‘Always In My Head’ begins with angelic choirs portray an ascent to heaven. But then, a ticking beat enters and Martin sings “I think of you… I don’t forget.” However much he wants to escape, his feet are begrudgingly stuck to the ground. For every light, mystical breath of synth, they are multiple lyrical sighs.
The sparseness of its electronic sound warrants the image of a miserable teenager, tinkering with music software. Although Coldplay stay above this, lyrics such as those of ‘Ink’ (“all I know is that I love you so”… etc.), cause dangerous wobbles on their tightrope.
There are anomalies, such as the Avicii-produced tempo-doubler ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ and the ambience of heart monitor, church bells and waves during ‘Oceans’ – a thick and choking emotional, cold mist. However, when that atmospheric mist clears, Ghost Stories remains only cold, begging for another layer.
What the fuck was Wednesday 13 thinking, when planning the Unplugged Undead tour? Acoustic horror punk. What kind of idea is that? He fronted Murderdolls. He fronted the dress-clad Frankenstein Drag Queens, onstage with a jars of hot dogs and live chickens for no good reason. He, prior to performing the fuckathon ‘I Love to Say Fuck’ tonight, loses count of how many of his songs contain ‘fuck’ in their titles.
Tonight is elegant in being a total shambles. A hilariously awkward clash of jam session and press conference, as Wednesday takes questions from the crowd (about shoes, Candy Crush and inevitably penis size), and sentimentally discussing songs before, alongside two fellow guitarist making as big a racket and growl, as one can get from an acoustic guitar.
As it turns out, throughout these two-and-a-half hours, from opener ‘Transylvania 90210’ to closer ‘Bad Things’, we have learned that this was a great idea. A fucking great idea.
“Deafness isn’t an issue. You just have to accept it at big shows like this. You’re hardcore.” According to frontman Phil Campbell, and the earsplitting force tonight, being signed to Earache Records is precisely the title that The Temperance Movement deserves. When even a medley of their few acoustic numbers is at dangerous volumes, it is no secret that they mean business.
Campbell dances like the mutant lovechild Thom Yorke and Jay Kay, wailing in the most convincing ‘Deep South’ American accent, at least to stem from Glasgow anyway. Few can tribal dance, in worship of his bandmates (who grimace at their guitars, absorbed into their music), whilst shaking maracas and harmonica.
An extended ‘Take It Back’, is the highlight, and seems to be the moment at which the audience to go nuts. There aren’t many bands that can get away with so many call-and-response ‘whooo-ooo-oo-oh!’ sections.