A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our
New Music Monster
Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis
Artist: Black Honey
Track: “Crowded City”
Self described, self controlled, self defined, self obsessed, pride, pomp and arrogance fest; Four piece, pop-rock electro-strut swagger-and-roll, uber-cool professional independent noise/troublemakers, Black Honey are, in their own words, ‘playing the big-boys game’, with self titled new album and the super-tronic, pulp-Morricone postmodernist, “Crowded City”. After a steady string of singles, dating back to 2015 debut release, and homage to the music of Tarantino movies, surf/heroin rock and no small dose of Nancy Sinatra’s staggering, Kill Bill introducing, ‘Bang Bang – My Baby Shot Me Down’; beautifully blended with Dick Dale’s tremolo guitar enthusiast’s wet dream and awesome ‘Pulp Fiction’ title welcome, ‘Miserlou’, stop/start, American-road-movie-crack-pipe, ‘Spinning Wheel’; and 2016 EP, the understated/under-the-saturated, 4am t*tty-bar-melancholic, four track zombie swing, ‘Headspin’, Black Honey are all growed up with twelve tracks of gloriously over-driven guitars in the reverb, sat-so-right/sat-back bass and slap n crunch drums, on shuffle, the hustle and the laid-back, syncopated don’t-you-fuss-y’all. Breaks, waves and reverses build texture and tension; overlapping vocals, fuzzed, fused and distortion blunted; set shifting in layers, further enhance the stylishly worked, B-movie/straight-to-video sound design. Izzy B. Phillips mouths and chews her vocals, with femme fatale nonchalance; only to break open, and break down in heart-surging, bursts of raw emotion; lyric and delivery, an ode to the melodic pageantry and poetry-disposable of great pop music. A twelve track tour-de-force of reference, nod and wink, ‘Black Honey’ deftly walks the line between legitimate pastiche and shameless rip off; ever-teasing the second, while revelling in the first; and in doing so, creates an inspired and singular experience for the listener; that elevates the act of homage to that of the band’s own genre. Jukebox slow dance, snakeskin striptease, mustang car chase and movie theatre bl*wjob, ‘Black Honey’ plays to the popcorn sticky, cheap seats in kodak tones of tail lights and bug zappers; sizzling and satisfying, like a bacon; this album will make you salivate. It’s tasteless and tasty!
Artist: Millie Manders and the Shut Up
Track: “One That Got Away”
With glorious noise and great audacity, UK based self described, ‘cross-genre punk’ outfit and live touring animal, Millie Manders and the Shut Up, drop 15 minute slice of stomp, slam, chant and sing along, new EP Shutup; jam packed with a Rollicking gauntlet run of soul to ska, punk to pop, surf rock to shut up, the four track release burns through it’s runtime on a tear, with enough genre, idea and influence to feed a double album; resulting in a rapidfire, high contrast roller coaster ride of punch perfect, jump up and down songs, born of and built for the band’s trademark slamming live shows. Wrist tight guitar riffs, rattle and shift, exploding into pulp fiction style solo and lick; snare smacked drums, kick driven and spit off the cymbal and hi hat, toms on the verge of implosion; rhythm and change burst in well worked surges, bass and drum working as one, in swagging lurches and awesomely obnoxious struts. Brass slurs, slews and soars in great expanding, jazzy waves and sudden funk infused stops; Millie snarls, snears and screams; moving from crooner to shouter, she belows and grunts, sniggers and sings; making and breaking the rules as she goes; a punk-pop-alt-rock-superstar-machine, Madonna merged with Iggy Pop. Lyrics slung at you, word stabbed, syllable chewed physical; the social/political ranted, inequity decried, in angry pop hook. Millie Manders and the Shut Up are a band grounded in the culture and heritage of their music; hewn from concrete of high rise tower block, the graffiti of the underpass, the rush, stink and stress of the heavy city; they sweat The Specials, smack of Ian Dury and his rhythm stick; they Clash, they Bragg, they’re Madness, Skunk Anansie and never mind the b*ll*cks; against the machine they rage; a plague upon the houses of chart-friendly pop and lazy, indulgent indie rock. Shut Up!
Millie Manders and the Shut Up are currently touring throughout the UK. See their socials for details.
Artist: Katie Ellen
Track: “Let it Fly”
UK based singer songwriter Katie Ellen releases unplanned second single for 2018, stark portrait of a breakup, “Let it Fly”. The BBC Introducing endorsed Artist, having released her first single of the year in June, ‘Yours’ to stella reviews (Music Talks, describing it as ‘..how a great song should be written & heard’), had intended to follow up with a five track EP. However the rigors of holding down a fulltime job as a vocal coach, while trying to write and record, took its toll on Katie’s health. And despite the universally positive reception from critic and fan alike, the heartbreakingly beautiful, ‘Yours’ struggled to gain traction amongst the summer themed playlists and releases (made worse by Spotify adding the single to the wrong Artist’s account). In the midst of bad luck and frustration, Luxembourg based producer Tobi, completed the mix and master of “Let it Fly”. The combination of Katie’s trademark, intuitively simple songwriting and deft vocal performance, coupled with a creative and well judged sound design from Tobi, made for a stark, yet strikingly dynamic and original piano ballad ; upon hearing it for the first time, Katie was so reminded of the writing experience, she broke down; her best friend describing it as, ‘the best song Katie had ever written’. Though completed in July, the release of “Let it Fly” was held back until late September, the darkening evenings and Autumn weather a better fit for the mood and feeling of the track.
BBC Introducing premiered “Let it Fly” in early September, describing it as ‘a stand out track’.
About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!
About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.