Welcome to the first of a few new features planned for Musicscramble. Here in The Roundup it’s a bit of a free form editorial area for a look back at the month with no strict format to abide by and no regular content; simply a little soapbox for us to tell you about all the wonderful things we may have encountered in the last month. That’s not to say that it’s restrictive to content released that month though. One man’s new discovery may be another man’s passion since ’73.
So for this first edition, I’d like to share with you a few songs and videos that have really floated my boat over the last 30 days. It’s a bit of a mixture really of humorous, arty-farty, fascinating, touching and in a couple of cases just plain good old rawkin’. So lets start with a bit of the fantastical, shall we.
Woodkid – Run Boy Run
I couldn’t believe just how much I enjoyed this video the first time I saw it. Little more than the over active imagination of a kid running to school, the video is simplistically brilliant. Lets face it, who hasn’t dreamt of being a Viking leading an army of hairy beast cyber-men? And it’s a pretty decent tune too, sort of like if Editors stopped being dull.
Sound City Players – Mantra
If you’ve never heard of the movie Sound City, then the band name may be a bit of a red herring. Sound City is Dave Grohl’s directorial début telling the story behind the recording studio of the same name. At least, the first half of the film is, the second half being a bit of a musical all-stars bonanza. This particular track features Dave on drums, Josh Homme on bass and the one and only Trent Reznor on keys. The end result is the hybrid you’d expect of Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age though more organic than the former and more structured than the latter.
What’s interesting about this live recorded video is the ‘human element’ that Dave refers to in the movie, seeing the players interact with each other and the final hidden instrument and star of the film, the Sound City sound desk. I’m a massive fan of Reznor and I like the tune, though admittedly it’s one of those ones you sometimes have to be ‘in the zone’ for. Relax for the next eight minutes and let it take you, then check out the movie too. It’s a gem.
Kvelertak – Bruane Brenn
Now, let’s go for out and out fun. Norwegian hardcore punk noiseters may have a name that means “chokehold”, but going by the video for “Bruane Brenn” they aren’t all about the angry and know how to have a good bit of fun. Using the tried and tested ‘kids pretending to be the band’ trick, these lads look like they’re having a tonne of fun, especially the front man. Kid. Whatever.
Kvelertak have definitely been discovery of the month. On hearing this song, I did a little investigating and within an hour had bought both albums. Sporting a sound that somewhere between The Bronx and a very pissed off AC/DC, they sing entirely in Norwegian which I think is pretty fantastic. Sometimes I find it a little strange that a band in a non-English native speaking country would produce material in English. Kvelertak prove that music is a universal language in itself.
Also, the video features the greatest use of a stuffed owl I’ve ever seen.
Deftones – Swerve City
OK, so as far as videos go, a chick on a horse isn’t exactly the most visually stunning thing you’ll ever see, but the chick is rather tasty and if you like horses, that’s probably a dead good one. The video is on this list simply because “Swerve City” is just a fucking great song and should be heard by everyone. Although album Koi No Yokan has been out for a few months now, the video has only been released this month. If Deftones have somehow escaped your attention in the past, then be sure to take a look at my Box Set article running through the catalogue.
Thirty Seconds to Mars – Up In The Air
Now I was a bit undecided about including this one. Sometimes a band comes along that makes decent music yet are so far up their own arse that you can’t help but dislike them. I think that might be the last hurdle to me really enjoying new album Love Lust Faith + Dreams despite my positive review. It’s in their videos where the bawbaggery really shines through and this is no exception. I mean, how many four minute music videos last eight minutes due to an introduction and full cast and crew credit roll? Muppets.
But whine as I do I can’t deny that I really enjoy “Up In The Air” every time I hear it and the four minutes of video that actually feature the song are stylishly good. Wrapped around it are parts of the intro and outro to the new record, so you can call it a bit of an album tease if you prefer. Me, I just like the tune.
Kodaline – High Hopes
Every so often a video comes along that utterly captivates you. Short films are difficult enough to manage (just ask the troops at our sister site Moviescramble), but to create a believable, engaging, touching, heart-string tugging, emotionally impacting film with no dialogue in a little over four minutes is an unenviable task.
Starring Liam Cunningham who you can currently see on TV in Game of Thrones alongside every British actor ever, he brings a level of gravitas to his performance of a man at the end of his tether gaining a new lease of life through the love of a good woman. This genuinely had me perched on the edge of the couch waiting to see what happens to him. It’s rare to see a music video that is a truly beautiful affecting piece of mini-cinematic joy and I love every minute of this. Kodaline release their début album in June.
Rob Zombie – Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown
You know, I don’t have much to say on this one. It’s Rob Zombie, and he rocks a bundle. A kooky video to match an equally kooky song from new album Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, it’s all black and white silly monsters and most entertaining. Look out for a guest appearance by Buckcherry front man Josh Todd right at the end too.
Empress – Deeper In Disguise
And finally, allow me to introduce you to my other favourite discovery of the month, Empress. I caught this video on TV channel Scuzz and was hooked all the way through. I think a lot of that has to do with them sounding much like the heaviest stuff from one of my favourite bands of the 2000’s, Reuben, now sadly no longer with us. By the end of the song it’s a bit closer to the heaviness of Sylosis, another band I have all the time in the world for, so I’m waiting with baited breath to hear more from these guys.
Video wise it’s not going to be winning any BAFTA awards like, but it’s a damn good song and well worth a listen. Enjoy, and give an up and coming band some love.