Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Fall - Ersatz GB

The Fall - Ersatz GB (Cherry Red Records)
This time I am record reviewing the new release by Greater Manchester rock and roll band The Fall and I have had my ears syringed this morning so can listen better - The Fall were formed in 1976 by grumpy singer Mark E. Smith and some other Greater Mancunians and they are still going strong but Mark E. Smith is the only one still in the band. Ersatz GB is their 29th album but it is only the second one I have heard; I was sent Your Future, Our Clutter by Domino Recordings a while back but I never got round to reviewing it, I did listen to it at home though and liked it very much.
          The first song on the album is called Cosmos 7 and starts off with some fast punky drumming and bass before some keyboards come in played by Mark's wife Eleni Poulou and then the guitars and vocals come in. Mark's vocals are interesting because he sings in his own style and doesn't really sound like anybody else but I can't really make out what he's singing about; he does sound very angry though like he is having a row with his wife or his father. This is a good, loud and fast rock song which I think would sound very good in concert.
           Next song is called Taking Off so maybe it's about going to another country in a plane or maybe Mark is the pilot shouting at someone on a plane who is weeing in the aisle like that French bloke did recently - I'm not sure why he did that, I think he must have been drunk and couldn't make it to the toilet. I couldn't make out what the song was about really though because I couldn't make out what the words are again but I liked it a lot anyway.
            Nate Will Not Return is after this and is another loud rock song, this one is very poetic and is about a man called Nate who goes to the Tate in London with his Russian girlfriend. I've been to the Tate loads of times because I like the nice pictures there though some of them are a bit weird. I think The Fall are a bit weird too  because of Mark's way of singing but I like his singing and I think more people should sing in their own accents because it's nice to hear.
            Next song Mask Search reminds me a bit of old rockabilly songs and on this one Mark growls a lot again and says he is sick and tired of Snow Patrol, i've never heard Snow Patrol so I had a listen on Youtube and I think they are alright really but Arlo who helps me with these reviews says he thinks they are a bit dull so maybe that's why Mark doesn't like them.
            Greenway is the next song, this song might be about the guitarist who is also called Greenway. The song begins with a piano and then some growly singing comes in and then loud heavy metal guitars come in after that. I like heavy metal, especially Hey Colossus and Black Sabbath who I have reviewed before, heavy metal music is good because it is noisy fun music and I liked this song a lot because it sounds a bit like a heavy metal song. In this song Mark sings about seeing someone who looks like him on TV and also about his cat and dog - I've never seen anyone who looked like me on the TV because I only look like myself, I've also never had a cat or a dog but I'd like to get a day one day; probably an alsatian dog.
             The last song on side A is a much quieter, softer song because it is sung by Eleni and not Mark. She is a good singer and it makes a bit of a change on this record to hear a woman singing so I liked it. I think she might be talking about her marriage to Mark in the song, she must love him very much to sing a love song about him - I'd like it very much if some lady sang me a love song.
           Side B starts with Monocard which starts off with keyboard that sounds a bit like the beginning of the Doctor Who music. This one is another one that sounds like heavy metal but is a bit slower than Greenway, It also reminded me a bit of Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues which is a very excellent song so I'm glad I was reminded of it. Here is a video of The Moody Blues at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970 for people to watch:

         After Monocard is Laptop Dog which is more punky than heavy metal but is still a good song and after that is I've Seen Them Come which starts of with slow drums which speed up and then after a bit the guitar and Mark comes in talking a bit fast so i don't know what he's saying but I think he is talking about a load of places he's been to, maybe with the band or maybe not because I can't really make it out; it's good though.
        The last song is called Age Of Chang - In the song Chang is not a chinese word but is just Change spelt wrong for some reason so maybe Mark can't spell very well or just can't be bothered. This is a good song to end the record on, it's very loud and shouty and very good.
         Overall I think this was a very good record by a very good band, it is a bit weird but that's a good thing, it's funny to be weird and I like weird things. I would give this record 10 out of 10.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Jac Berrocal, David Fenech and Ghédalia Tazartès - Superdisque

This time I am reviewing Superdisque by the Parisian trio of trumpet player Jac Berrocal, guitar player David Fenech and singer Ghédalia Tazartès, I was sent this CD by Ed from Dense.de who sends me lots of interesting things to review so thanks to Ed. I am interested in hearing this French music because I've not heard much French music expect for Serge Gainsbourg and Charles Aznavour both of whom I like very much. The music on Superdisque sounds nothing like Serge Gainsbourg or Charles Aznavour though because it is much weirder than anything they did.
       The record starts of with deep, dark singing called throat-singing. Throat-singing is a very peculiar type of singing that they do in Tuva and Mongolia (see video below), I like this throat-singing very much and there is lots of it on this CD as well as other interesting ways of singing. As well as the funny singing on this song there is trumpet and noises like a ships funnel which I think is made with guitar, it is quite a noisy, chaotic song and fun to listen to, it doesn't really sound like anything I've ever heard before.
            The next song Human Bones is another weird and funny song with more throat-singing in it. It is called Human Bones because instead of trumpet the trumpet player plays real human bones, this is a bit comical and I think it's ok to use human bones as an instrument - some people might not like this because the bones would come from a dead person but I wouldn't mind someone playing my bones after I died because I'd already be dead so I wouldn't feel anything.  
           Next after Human Bones is Cochise and in this one the vocals sound like someone shouting and moaning a bit like someone who has died and come back to life again. There is trumpet and drums (maybe bongo drums) on this one and it would be quite a good song to play at a Halloween party if you wanted to scare people. We had a Halloween party here at the Gate and the arts group made body parts to hang from the ceiling for it and we danced to some music and had sausage rolls and crisps and stuff to eat, it was a very good party.
           The next song is called Quando and has some good accordian playing in it and also ukelele and toy piano. This song has more normal singing on it and no throat-singing but it is still very nice and good to listen to and it sounds very french to me because of the accordion but I think the words are in Italian not French because Quando is the Italian word for when.
          Next is David's Theme which again is very strange; on this one the trumpet player plays a sea shell as well as a trumpet which I think is a very clever idea. The singing on this is very interesting too; it's a bit like throat singing because it is very deep but It's not quite the same and sounds a bit like Popeye singing or sometimes like an animal, maybe a cat, crying in agony. I liked this one lots even though I've never heard anything like it before.
          After this is Ife L'Ayo which starts off with Jazzy trumpet like you used to get in old dance-halls and other sounds like people marching to war then there is some different music made of music boxes and singing which sounds a bit like people with learning disabilities singing before it goes back to the dancehall trumpet.
          Porte De Bagnolet is the next song and sounds like Indian music to me; like you might hear in a Hindu temple - it is a very curious song with more throat-singing in it and something like a flute and bongo drums and screaming like somebodies wife or daughter has died and accordion and bird-song and jungle noise all mixed up, I liked this one a lot.
          The next song is called J'attendrai and is a slow one with vocals like somebody crying and sad sounding trumpet playing, it sounds a bit like a song you would play if you were upset because somebody died or because your wife has left you.
          After this is another sad sounding song which reminds me a bit of a church service because it has noises like bells in it made by a gamelan which is an instrument a bit like a xylophone. This one has more throat-singing in it and more unhappy sounding trumpet - I think the trumpet goes very well with the throat-singing on this one.
          Powow is the next song and has a big, deep drum running through it which sounds like a Native American war-drum and singing like Red Indians on the warpath and after this is a song called Sainte which is another sad sounding song that reminded me of death again. After all this sadness though is a happier sounding song with lots of accordions in it and very joyous singing and mad drumming which made me laugh. This would have been the last song but there is an extra track on the CD of just the guitar and trumpet player playing together, it's quite a noisy track and I thought it was very nice to listen to and a good way to finish the CD.
         Overall I would say that I thought this was a very, very strange and wonderful disc. I especially liked the throat-singing and here at The Gate me and my friend Francis tried it out ourselves as can be seen in the video at the end of this review. I would give Superdisque 10 out of 10 and I hope lots of people buy it.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Dizzy Errol - Mother Lamp

Dizzy Errol - Mother Lamp (Echokammer)
This time I am reviewing Dizzy Errol's CD Mother lamp. Dizzy Errol AKA Erol Dizdar was born on a boat near Melbourne and was brought up by communists, and still lives, in Munich, Germany where he is a cultural phenomenon. He has been in lots of bands like Kamerakino and The Flynns but now he does music on his own.
          The first song on the CD is called Pride and is a very loud punky song with very loud fast bass playing and vocals which sound a bit spooky and dark and then turn to shouting. You can see a video of this song below it is a good video because he chucks himself off the stage and rolls around.
           After Pride is a song called All Around which has very good music which sounds a bit like The Cure or somebody whose name I can't quite remember from the early eighties. After this is a song called Not Like This which is funny because the voices in it sound like cartoon characters. In the song they talk about needing a cigarette - I like smoking cigarettes very much and smoke over twenty Benson and Hedges every day, other than record reviewing smoking cigarettes is my favourite thing to do and I don't really care that it's a bad habit. 
           The next song is called Fate and has acoustic guitar on it which reminds me a bit of John Lennon's War is Over, I think his voice sounds a bit like Lennon's too so I think Dizzy Errol must be a John Lennon/Beatles fan like me. After this is a song which sounds a bit like a child's skipping song so is a bit peculiar, I like it though because it is very catchy and fun.
           The Ballad of Mr. Grey is next and starts of with an electric guitar and no other instruments and sounds a bit like something from the past like folk music. This is sad song about a man drinking gin and walking around the streets on a dark, gloomy night. I've walked the streets of London on dark, gloomy nights myself when I used to live on my own independantly - I used to walk around the West End when the streets were empty in the night and I liked walking the round in the dark like that but I don't think the guy in the song does because he sounds a bit unhappy.
             Next up is a song called Motherbirds which I think sounds similar to Syd Barrett. I hadn't heard of Syd Barrett before today but we listened to some of his songs because Arlo at the Gate who helps me with these reviews thought they sounded similar and I agree. Syd used be in Pink Floyd but I only know The Wall so Arlo says I should listen to Piper at The Gates of Dawn which has Syd on it, maybe I will review it one day.
             Big Screen Affair is after Motherbirds and starts of just instrumentally for a while before the singing starts with Errol singing about machines and love, it is a sad sounding song but i still like it and it's ok to be sad sometimes.
             Construction Site is the next song and it starts off with noises from a building site like drills and hammers, this is quite a noisy song with shouted vocals about working on construction sites. I've never worked on in construction but I have worked as a messenger boy in a stockbrokers and as a kitchen porter in St. James Hotel, Park Lane, I don't work any more because I am retired and I like being retired because life is nice and easy if you don't have work.
             Last song is Disco Doll and is like a disco song from the seventies or The Pet Shop Boys but with a girl singer, it is a nice, upbeat song with a surprise bit at the end which is like a separate song with Errol playing guitar and singing for about ten seconds, this was a good way to end the record.
             Overall I liked this record, it was very good and I will listen to it again. I would give it 10 out of 10.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bill Orcutt - How The Thing Sings

Bill Orcutt - How The Thing Sings (Editions Mego)
This time I am record reviewing Bill Orcutt's new release How the Thing Sings which is another CD sent to me by Ed from Dense.de. Bill Orcutt is a strange guitar player who used to be in a noisy rock band called Harry Pussy (see very good and very noisy video below) where he played electric guitar but now he makes music on his own with an acoustic guitar. 

          The CD starts off very loud which is strange for an acoustic guitar and the playing is a bit weird too. I think Bill Orcutt must be a very strange man but that's okay because it's alright to be a bit different and at least he doesn't sound like anybody else. In an interview in the magazine The Wire that my friend Arlo showed me Bill Orcutt says that he is trying to play his own type of blues music so me and Arlo listened to some blues music together from the 1930's by Charlie Patton and I suppose it does sound similar except Charlie Patton has more vocals in it and is less wild. Charlie Patton I think was a very good blues singer and I'd like to hear more early blues music.
          The next song is called The Visible Bosom which is a funny title for a song and made me laugh, it is a bit calmer than the first track and you can make out what he is doing a bit more. There are also vocals on this one which sound a bit like a baby crying for some milk or a dog whimpering; this made me laugh too, it is a very fun track.
           After The Visible Bosom is a song called Lost They Book which probably means Lost A Book because Lost They Book doesn't make much sense. This one is another quieter one and is quite nice but does have some noisier bits.  How The Thing Sings is the next song and this one starts off softly too but then it starts off properly with louder, faster guitar and groaning in the background like someone who is hungry, there is a bit near the end where the guitar sounds a bit like water dripping which I liked a lot. I think Bill Orcutt plays very well and I wish I could play guitar like him but I think it would be very hard to play like this and I've never tried to play guitar anyway so I probably wouldn't be any good at it.
           Till I Get Satisfied is next and is more strange guitar playing with lots of groaning and other funny voices. I think it's very interesting how he makes his acoustic guitar sound like an electric guitar and how he just groans and doesn't sing any words, this reminds me a bit of Alfie and Bogdan and Wayne who I live with because they don't talk much either and make funny noises sometimes - It doesn't matter that they can't talk, they were born that way and that's all there is to it, they are still very nice guys.
             The next track is another quiet one called Heaven is Closed to Me which is an interesting title. I don't think much of this title because I think Heaven is open to everybody and that everybody will get to go to Heaven except for those who go to Hell - I suppose the Devil might send me to Hell which I think would be horrible so I hope he won't. I don't know much about religion though so I'll just see what happens when I die. I hope Bill Orcutt does get to go to Heaven.
             After this is the last song which is called A Line from Ol' Man River. Ol' Man River is an old song that was sung by Paul Robeson years back before I was born. I don't think this track sounds much like Ol' Man River but it is still very good. It is a very long song which is both noisy and quiet and fast and slow and has vocals that sound a bit like a woman singing but not really.
              Overall I would say I liked this CD very much because it is very strange and interesting and good to listen to. I think Bill Orcutt is a very good guitar player and I think people would like him if they listened to him. I would give this CD 10 out of 10.