Tiny Giant

So the saying goes that you’re never supposed to meet your heroes. Why that is the actual case or anyone presumes they will only disappoint you, seems rather far-fetched if you ask me. Then again, I’ve done a pretty good job of not really meeting any of my heroes thus far. Probably because half of them are dead. The other half I think I’d require some of sort fate-like chance encounter to even get near. Perhaps somewhat because I can come across as shy and undeniably awkward. Musicians certainly seem to have that effect on me. Due to the sheer number of bands and musicians I actually like, I could say that I have a lot of heroes I haven’t met. I only ended up meeting The Qemists because I can jump high in crowded spaces and James Rushent from Does It Offend You Yeah? because my friends pushed me over towards where he was standing. Just to give you an indicator. But what about the opposite effect? What about when your heroes accidentally end up meeting you? I can safely say overwhelming happiness and the odd inhuman sounding noise were protocol on that day. So goes how the tale of this Tiny Giant piece came into being.

tiny-giant-chloe-alper-mat-collis-2

The brainchild of former Pure Reason Revolution vocalist and current touring guitarist for Charlie XCX, Chloe Alper, and drummer, sound engineer, producer and all-round musical maestro Mat Collis, Tiny Giant’s call-to-arms is a clash between often soothing hypnotic ambience and ground-pounding instrumental punches. In short, like those floating dreams you have, only with the gods themselves hurling boulders in your direction at the same time. Most recent single Seeing Everything As Though It Is Real certainly implies as such, building momentum with a minute and a half’s worth of ethereal string-tinged cloud-gazing. Through out, glimmers and teases of an angelic refrain, invoking the spirit of Seventh Tree-era Goldfrapp, call out in the distance, showcasing one such area of the impressive vocal dexterity of Chloe if unfamiliar with her previous work. Ambience is left to form its own spellbinding drone, a little on the Eno side of affairs, leading into a moment’s cold chill of guitar right before a gigantic shift in tone. That cold chill remains a constant presence but ends up near muted, as the size and volume of cannon-force bass overlays and overpowers the previous serene setting, leaving drums that can match the ferocity and brute strength of the sound, and the soulful sirenesque demeanour of Chloe’s vocals for company. Whether the vocals sit in hushed climates, or revel in the carnage between guitar and drums, there’s no denying they are an object of versatile beauty and a phenomenal centrepiece to a truly involving composition. One titanic Tom Morello-inspired groove and final chorus later, and you’re left with a lot to digest. Tiny Giant are offering a unique take on a quiet-loud dynamic shift, forcibly smashing together dream-pop and progressive rock into an intriguing and strangely alluring sonic sculpture. The sheer potential and unpredictability of this combination, let alone the incredible talents of both musicians involved, can only ensure that Tiny Giant sit firmly on the horizon as one of the most creative and exciting projects to watch out for this year.

There is yet to be a release date for either of the two tracks, Seeing Everything As Though It Is Real and Heavy Love, which can be found on Chloe’s Soundcloud page, but there is a full-length album believed to be in progress, with a presumed 2016 release date pencilled in. Keep an eye on it. Only good can come of this.

In the mean time, you can give them a virtual hug right here:

https://www.facebook.com/TinyGiantmusic/?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/chloealper
https://twitter.com/deadlydrummer

And if you feel like giving me a virtual hug too, be it via a like, a follow, subscribing or some nice words, you can do so here:

https://www.facebook.com/IAmTheSoundshark/
https://twitter.com/The_Soundshark

 

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L’aléatoire

I have never claimed to be a journalist of any description, even if I am covering new and up-coming bands, or writing music-based reviews and such. But then again, I’ve never considered myself a detective, but I do a lot of research into subject matters I have a large interest in. Like you’re supposed to do for a degree, but you don’t get awarded a degree for being a detective in media studies. I think it’d be a better title personally. I bring this up because for a new and emerging band, I could gather all the necessary information I desire to write an informed piece by asking for a press release, like a journalist would. But instead, I am belaying that in favour of doing my own research and bringing you my findings via this piece I present to you right now, perhaps in the spirit of playing detective. It makes far more sense in the context of L’aléatoire, despite collaborating together for three years, have only starting making music together in the last year or so. Very little information about them is publicly available right now, so this is what I can tell you from research. L’aléatoire, French for random or uncertain depending on conversational use, are a two-man electro-metal project residing in London, whom appear to have an interest in occult imagery, judging by a hooded youth as a centaur I came across, but seem have taken their image in a new direction more towards that of 19th century illustrations of sharp objects and tools, which coupled with their technologically enhanced style of music, actually makes for a far more fearsome identity. Their debut single The Untreated has only been in the public domain over 24 hours at the time of writing, so it retains all the satisfaction of finding literal brand new music. And when I talk about satisfying, it certainly satisfies an itch or two. Our introduction to this song almost feels like it begins in a medical facility, the quickness and tension in those opening synth notes bringing an immediate sense of peril or threat, like being under the knife if it were. The programming brings rapid cymbal taps into the mix and a deep, warm, throbbing synth joins in underneath, starting to piece together a fuller atmosphere as unease starts to set in. Kicks and snares are next to enter, as does the occasional sample of a sitar, which actually fits into the jigsaw incredibly well, adding a slight unique, exotic twist to an otherwise cold overtone. Right up until that saw-sharp guitar tone cuts through the electronics like a… well, you know. The beat starts to form around this guitar interjection, as do the synths and ambience, morphing into a far more dangerous beast than you could have anticipated. The encounter is brief however, falling just under the three minute mark and even though the composition isn’t entirely complex, it remains absolutely gripping, purely through surgically precise production. It certainly sits as an intriguing teaser if anything, and judging by their prowess to produce live industrial mixes, there is a huge amount of promise and possibility to come soon. Illustrations aside, they have all the tools they need to make it happen.

The Untreated is available for a free download here, ahead of a debut EP release, scheduled for sometime in Spring. They’ve just released a video for the track which can be found right here on YouTube, but you can enjoy their industrial live mix right here in the mean time on their Soundcloud if this has tickled your fancy.

They’ve just started making moves with their social media, so go give them your support to get the machine up-and-running:

https://www.facebook.com/laleatoiremusic/?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/LaleatoireMusic

And if you feel like helping my social media machine at all, entirely at your choice, you can like, follow or subscribe to the blog right here:

https://www.facebook.com/IAmTheSoundshark/?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/The_Soundshark

 

High Rise

Some imagery just sticks around you for literally as long as you can remember. I’ve grown up in what’s claimed to be one of the worst places to live in this country nowadays, a place I myself have dubbed as ‘an angry, concrete tramp,’ purely based on the deteriorating collage of grey everywhere and the hotbed of hatred that could threaten to boil over at any moment. While the town is in a chrysalis of modernisation as of late, I stick by what I say and I will take my words and vision to the grave with me. I’ve been fortunate enough to live in moderate comfort my entire life, whereas they’ve been so many more who have been confined to poverty in tower blocks, an image far too common on Luton’s landscape. But where tower blocks have been around me my entire life, a similar sentiment can be said of melodic hardcore five-piece High Rise. Not only can a high rise also be called a tower block, but having been around for five years, I also feel like they’ve been around a lot longer in my life. Although their gestation to this point in time has experienced some turbulence, their life experiences have translated into adrenalin-pumping and mechanically fine-tuned anthems for the voices of disenfranchised youth. Too heavy a tone for hardcore, but with a fighting spirit large enough to hang with the metal crowd, these boys are the perfect balance for whatever you need from modern guitar music. Their Tides Will Take You EP is only four songs deep, with one short acoustic focused interlude that showcases some of the best of the clean vocals, and two of them do stray past the five minute mark but stay constantly enthralling throughout. It is their current calling card Memories however that sits atop the crown of this well constructed wrecking machine. Rocketing out of the gates, the giant bite from dual guitars with some impressively infectious melodies, a damn powerful low end beneath it, completely unstoppable drums and an inspiring vocal performance, unite to tear the house to shreds in a blistering assault on your senses. It’s just the total package. Moods elevate sky high through the tempo shifts, the faster gear shift to begin the riot to the slower melodies to give a platform to the shining vocal delivery, all down to the solo guitar into complete havok and a breakdown that will leave nothing but a smile and a bruise on your face. Memories is aptly titled really, as much like what I’ve grown up with in my lifetime, their characteristics and immediate impact on arrival are impossible to dismay you from the feeling that High Rise, are a band that are here to stay, and their prominence is going to keep growing and growing. Long may it continue.

These gentlemen are very kindly offering a free downloadable copy of their Tides Will Take You EP for free on their Bandcamp page, or if you would like a physical copy and t-shirt of theirs, head to their website, where and or either will cost a small fee. These are some of the most hard-working and committed gentlemen I’ve ever met, so they completely deserve your hard earned money. They also have a large string of live dates until the end of this year, and are teasing something to be announced very shortly. New song? New EP? Debut album? Rub your hands with anticipation regardless.

https://www.facebook.com/highrisebandOfficial?fref=ts

Rose Kemp

Once upon a time, there were two folk musicians called Maddy and Rick, and they were in one of the most famous British folk bands of all time: Steeleye Span. Maddy and Rick married and conceived two children, one of which her name was Rose. Rose too initially was a folk musician, but she began to move in a different direction. She abandoned the traditional instruments and strove for a more electric based sound.You could view this as a fairy tale of corruption, but on behalf of the sheer talent and eclecticism that Rose Kemp shows in her songwriting, things turned out for the better. From embracing the more acoustic-focused, less-tempered roots of her parents to full-blown Sabbath-esque doom and drone dirges, her recorded output has sunk more and more into the shadows, but there has always remained a quirky, offbeat likeability to her work. Whether it’s the stirring emotional connection with the strings, or the sudden peril from stabs of organ, or even the various voice projections, from siren calls, to sultry tones, there is a large world of sounds just waiting to be explored. Saturday Night from 2008’s Unholy Majesty is a slow-burning ballad concerning the escapades of weekend living, that bursts into life near the climax, but is gorgeous only based on a few chords of the electric guitar and Rose’s sultry yet vengeful sounding tones. She’s since disappeared from a recording schedule, but her talent has given another shining hope to the already rich singer-songwriter pool, a darker hope, yet an excellent one.

Many of her recorded albums, as well as the odd collaboration such as Jeremy Smoking Jacket, can be found here and there floating around the internet and most respectable music retailers

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rose-Kemp/103984439637649?fref=ts.

International Diamond Thieves

Active for over two years, but incredibly accomplished in just that short space of time before disappearing off the face of the earth, London’s International Diamond Thieves wrote a playbook filled with rap-rock hooks, unflinching punk ideology and memorable dancefloor grooves. Their charisma, energy and in some respects eclecticism, could’ve seen them fit right at home at the top of the London live scene, and their presence was already making ripples in mainland Europe. Take How It Is for example. Sure, there isn’t an abundance of their material floating around, but this implements a bridge between rap, reggae and ska punk in such a perfectly polished, ass-shaking fashion, it makes it near unbelievable that this band was only two years old. There’s a beautiful, infectious simplicity in the guitar, a thumping drum beat you can move to and a chorus with a message that Rage Against The Machine would be proud of. Long story short, their musicianship crawls with as many earworms, as does soil in the ground and whilst short-lived, this five piece’s name feels justified, whilst lifting many individual elements, they undoubtedly shined brightly in their performance.

How It Is, as well as two other tracks, 5.5 and Strange World, are available as free downloads from the band’s Soundcloud page, as well as How It Is can be downloaded right here, just click the arrow in the top right hand corner of the Soundcloud player.

https://www.facebook.com/internationaldiamondthieves?fref=ts