Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Review // Why? ~ Sod In The Seed [EP]

Opening title-track and first single from the EP is essentially irrefutable proof that Yoni Wolf is an unbelievably talented lyricist; his delivery of clever lines is slick, quick, charismatic but never so much so that you miss the words. It’s always of such a quality that for most other bands even one verse of the same standard would be considered impressive. The EP version of this track is slightly longer, with a few more lines to break up the repeats of the hook – which is where it falls down slightly. “I’ll never shirk, this first world curse” Wolf echoes, and after he’s done it a few times it begins to get on your nerves. The rest of the track I could listen to almost endlessly, and it’s perhaps more a reflection of just how unbelievably good the rest of the track is, rather than a true criticism.
But that’s pretty much the only point of the entire EP, that isn’t quite up to WHY?’s usual (very) high standard. ‘Probable Cause’ features a rather lovely piano and soft vocal hook, a little reminiscent of their Sanddolars EP. ‘Twenty Seven – For F.M.V’ features a beautifully poetic image, elegantly crafted and delivered impeccably, “pulling the first soft feathers from a new born robin fledgling, saying she loves me not, she loves me” and with the dark undertone that often shows through, giving WHY? something more of an edge.
Wolf’s incredible way with words is always going to make WHY? an enjoyable band to listen to, but it’s even better when the quality is matched by the surrounding music; which in this case it is. It’s perhaps not as totally flawless as say, their 2005 album Alopecia, but it’s still of the high quality you’d expect from the band and most definitely heightens the excitement around their forthcoming fifth album.
Read on Goldflakepaint

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Amateur Historians - New Homes/New Hopes

The trio have already received high acclaim, Jen and Ally’s BBC Introducing show on Radio 1 featured them a few days ago, and sang their praises. First single ‘These Cities Are Stealing My Soul’ has also been very popular, making the rounds on various blogs.
Comparisons with Johnny Foreigner and Los Campesinos! are somewhat inevitable (the glockenspiel on Interlude could well haunt them) but by no means are they re-treading old ground. There’s the strong hooks and melodic certainty that calls to mind bands like Tellison, as well as the messy euphoria of Johnny Foreigner’s earlier stuff (or Cap’n Jazz) and ‘These Cities Are Stealing My Soul’ opens with a gorgeous guitar riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Dananananaykroyd track.

But it would be unfair to consider Amateur Historians only in the context of other bands; they’ve got an energy and intelligence all of their own that marks them out. There are many excellent moments of euphoric-emo-pop but the contrast of those with softer track ‘Interlude / Arterial Route From Heart’ is what shows the range of their talent. The chorus seems almost designed to be shouted back by heartbroken teenagers - it’s the perfect blend of clever, emotive and widely applicable. But still with that all important sincerity.

Their lyrics weave stories of beautiful cities at night, long-distance relationships and the strains and stresses of youth, all wrapped in a glorious, rousing combination of yearning guitars. With an occasional hint of glockenspiel and a certain kind of charm achieved only by bands you know are trying to create something genuine.

Buy: bandcamp