Tag Archives: aspen tide

We Are So Happy, Happy To…..

It’s been a slow start to the year for me gig wise. It started off well enough with Suplex The Kid bringing the noise and bursting ear drums at King Tuts on the 4th but it kinda petered out after that and i had a gig-less few weeks. To be fair i was concentrating on recording and writing new material for some music projects but i can honestly say that apart from the Penguins Kill Polar Bears on the 12th (also at King Tuts) and the  Aspen Tide gig at the Classic Grand the day after, both of which unfortunately i couldn’t make due to family commitments, nothing else had caught my eye enough to really make me wanna desperately go. Well, there was the Mogwai shows last week that i couldn’t make due to having pretty much fuck all money!

MP3: Suplex The Kid – It’s About Time You Changed

MP3: Penguins Kill Polar Bears – Lungs

MP3: Aspen Tide – Frost Forms In The Sky

MP3: Mogwai – Rano Pano

But there was a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the bewitching Withered Hand in action at Stereo once again. This was one i couldn’t miss so the penniless me bravely whipped out my credit card, bought my tickets online and sauntered on down with my friends Luisa and Shinead. Last time we caught him live it was a solo show and it was heartbreakingly magnificent. This time it was a full band effort. The songs were let loose from their “acoustic only” home. Flesh was put onto the bones of the melodies and lyrical themes of the very self aware and self condemning Dan Wilson. The extra beef on the songs only serving to maximise THAT voice. He requires, no, DEMANDS your attention with his vocals and lyrics. You, no matter who you are, will be able to relate to something he’s written in one of his many laments. That relation factor is key when it comes to his live shows. Everyone and i mean everyone (well apart from the really talkative moron down front) wants to listen, wants to hear, to relate to Wilson ( a certain female friend *cough cough* Luisa! *cough* wants to do other things too but they shall remain unspoken on here!) and his vulnerable voice. Whilst i did really really enjoy the full band experience of Withered Hand and his more than talented backing group i couldn’t help but get just that bit more spine tingley when he took to the stage himself for a number or two before being joined again by his 3 backing members. The hairs on the back of my neck just stand that bit taller when it’s just him and his guitar and that’s no disrespect to the friends who helped him out that night. They were all amazing musicians and the songs sounded awesome with that little bit more added. It just that i love how comfortably uncomforatble Dan Wilson is when performing on his own. It gives the tracks that extra meaning. But maybe that’s just me and to be honest i’ll go see Withered Hand either way. Solo or full band, it makes no difference. In the words of a certain Malcolm Middleton…..“Thank fuck for Withered Hand”.


MP3: Withered Hand – New Dawn

So after a rather quiet January on the live music front things are about to get a whole lot more busier……


The mysterious, cultish, dare i say revolutionary Wu Lyf fly on into town on their magic carpet tonight. The Manchester quartet are sure to live up to their almost shamanic reputation.

“Mostly performing at Manchester cafe/cultural hub An Outlet and St.Peters church, mysterious Manchester foursome Wu Lyf come to Glasgow for a rare appearance outside of their hometown.

An acronym for World Unite – Lucifer Youth Foundation, the band – and their fanbase – have spent the past year baffling the media with a two frustratingly disfunctional websites and a barren Myspace, all the while brewing an air of revolutionary fervour through their rampant, scattered internet messages of poetry and art. With a Facebook page that reads like quasi-cult propaganda, the band encourage listeners to ‘join the LYF’ and, with fans uploading their own images boasting flags and even a tattoo, their mysterious presence – or marketing gimmick – has been debated in publications from The Guardian to NME.

Gimmicks aside, with thrumming organ chords and vocals somewhere between a grungey, Michael Gira-esque growl and a Julian Casablancas-esque stylised rasp, their clutch of lo-fi tracks available online range from the scuzzy to the inspired, showing glimpses of the melodic indie sensibility of Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade as well as lines of distinctively Mancunian, fluid, echoing guitars, reminiscent of the best of the city’s musical glory days.”

I know as much about this band as the next person….which is not a lot. All i know is that i’m looking forward to them kickstarting a gig laden couple of months for me. I’m going to this gig on the back of hearing a handful songs, all of which are laden with the kind of mystique and presence that guarantees tonights show should be a special one.

MP3: Wu Lyf – Concrete Gold

If you wanna join “The Lyf” then look no further for your initiation than here where you can Buy $hit and join up.

I’ll be doing a post this weekend about the upcoming gigs that i’ll be attending this spring. There are ones i already have tickets for, ones that i want to have tickets for and one’s that i’ve only just found about it and HOPE to be able to get tickets for. Be sure to check it out, you might find yourself attending a few.

S.I.T Wolf  X

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SIT WOLF: The Top 10 EPs of 2010

So, i’ve finally gotten round to compiling my other “Best of 2010” lists. Here’s what twenty ten had to offer in EP form.

Counting down from 10 to 1 we have…..

10. ASPEN TIDE – BITTERSWEET EP


Released on 1st September 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. Bittersweet *free download*
2. Baltic Numb
3. Colours

I only found out about Aspen Tide towards the end of last year when i saw them support my friends band at the 13th Note in Glasgow. Immediately after the gig i went home and and downloaded the EP from their bandcamp page. The EP is a perfect combination of  alternative punk, indie and vitriol, albeit gentle vitriol in some parts. Love lorn lyrics providing the perfect centre pieces which are then backed by an almost angelic quietness and moments of monolithic heaviness. They have the whole “quiet/loud” thing down to an art. Ably switching from intricate guitar lines to balls out riffing in nano seconds. Their influences are prominent but not over bearing.  They have everything a modern/popular band need. Thoughtful verses and very, very catchy choruses. The next step for these 4 Scottish guys could very well be a big one and if they’re picked up and given the right management then who knows what awaits.

They’re definitely a band i’d recommend catching live. They come across as really being in their element in a live setting. When i saw them at the 13th Note i turned and told my friend that i genuinely thought we could be in the presence of the next Biffy Clyro. It’s in your hands guys. Make it happen.

9. GAUNTLET HAIR – OUT, DON’T EP


Released on 13th October 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. Out, Don’t..
2. Heave *free download*

This Colorado twosome gave us a good few pieces of  joyous wonky pop last year. The “Out, Don’t” single/EP being the stand out. It’s like someone has decided to make some lo-fi soul music. There’s a certain element R’n’B element throughout the tracks as well and the title track “Out, Don’t” gathers momentum as it builds up throughout it’s 4 and a half minutes and ends with what sounds like the Beach Boys joing forces with Animal Collective. A must have of last year.

8. THE JAPANESE WAR EFFORT – SINGS OF A DEAR GREEN PLACE EP


Released on 11th October 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. The Cathcart Circle *free download*
2. I Hate Glasgow
3. Oh, Literature
4. Lets Be Fine Now
5. Fake Tanned Out Yr Tits
6. Overweight Friendship Battalion
7. Cake Face
8. Sunglasses Sucka

A little concept album all about Glasgow from an Edinburgh based, soundscape loving, (dare i say) abstractionist. Yes, at times it’s abstract yet always accessible. The EP drifts along perfectly. The quiet bedroom vocals create an intimate setting and nestle the songs into your ears. This is one for the headphones.

7. AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR – THE LETTERS EP


Released on 8th February 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. S Is For Salamander *free download*
2. D Is For Django the Bastard
3. B Is For B-Side
4. K Is For Killing Spree (An Ode To)

This is an EP with a twist. It was recorded in a time span of 4 days during a tour the band did. It’s the same ASIWYFA as always. Amazingly bone crunching riffs, an almost tribal beat and layers of noise that would put most “heavy” bands to shame. Hopefully “The Letters” is a little taster for what lies in store in the form of a new album from the Northern Irish four piece .

6. BRETON – SHARING NOTES EP


Released on 19th July 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. The Well
2. Penultimate
3. Sharing Notes
4. Episodes
5. Watertight
6. 15X *free download*

Another album with a twist. No this wasn’t recorded in 4 days, well it might have been who knows… but the twist is that this EP actually turns into a full functioning synth! A playable instrument. Amazing. When i first heard/seen Breton they were described as post-punk dubstep. Eh??? What a ridiculous “genre” to lump someone into. This is good old fashioned experimental pop at it’s best, yes, there are elements of dub throughout with the classic wonky basslines and drops that the genre is known for but this is purely music evolving. Music taking on new forms. They have the influences of bands like Foals and Minnaars which shine through in their songs but they are a band who distinctly have their own sound. Just don’t call them post punk dubstep. Call them the future.

5. TEEN DAZE – FOUR MORE YEARS EP


Released on 27th of July 2010

TRACKLIST
1. Four More Years
2. Gone For The Summer*free download*
3. Neon
4. Around
5. No Regrets
6. Shine On, You Crazy White Cap
7. Saviour
8. Spin Around, Go Ahead

This could arguably be an album but we’ll go with it as an EP. Either way it’s the perfect example of repetitive, relaxing electronica. Woozy, tender, percussive and very melodic. Call this whatever you want. Glo-fi, chillwave, shoegaze etc. It’s a masterpiece in synth euphoria. There’s the whole tingling feeling when you hear certain sounds washing through the speakers. The laid back vocals only serve to heighten the senses even more. An album? An EP? A work of art.

4. SOLAR BEARS – INNER SUNSHINE EP


Released on 24th August 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. Trans Waterfall *free download*
2. Photo Negative Living
3. Inner Sunshine
4. Kill On
5. Crystaline (Leatherette Remix)
6. Twin Stars (Lone Remix)

This was my introduction to Solar Bears and what a first impression. It’s warm and evocative. The Irish duo specialise in cosmic, spacey sounds and on this EP that’s exactly what they serve up. It’s a quite unique blend of instruments that are used to create these sounds and every fleeting synth is partnered with a glitchy drum pattern. They’re not just synth boffins though. They love a bit of guitar (acoustic and electric) which becomes more and more prominent as the EP comes to its final destination. Add in a few remixes and you’ve got yourself a Top 5 EP of the year.

3. CIVIL CIVIC – 1 EP


Released on 8th March 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. Less Unless
2. Baghdad Breal
3. C27 *free download*
4. E8-4AH
5. Stacks ON

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again……these guys are one of my favourite finds of the last year or so. They’re everything i adore about music. They’re bursting with ideas and they strike me as the kind of guys who are not ones to hang around when it comes to putting those ideas into music form as soon as possible. And that’s the way it should be. They combine the elements of electronic music and rock music to create a mixture which, to me, should simply be described as “the Civil Civic sound”. They’ve managed to do something that a lot of bands find very hard to do by being massively original. They’re a band that i feel i can learn something from, as strange as that may sound. I was absolutely gutted that they had to cancel their Glasgow show last month but i’m sure they’ll play here soon and when they do i’ll be there to soak up all they have to offer.

2. SUPLEX THE KID – THE TRINITY TEST EP


Released on 6th December 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. Rebuild The Machines
2. All Beneath An Iron Sky
3. Duck And Cover Charlie Brown *free download*

Enigmatic and imaginative. This EP from the Glasgow outfit hits all the right instrumental post rock buttons. Intricate and chimey at stages but never veering away from the deafeningly loud formula that serves them so well. The EP is full of little climaxes and breakdowns that surge and sear their way around the epicness. Some parts are soaked in reverb and distortion, not drenched, but soaked just to the right level. Comparisons with their peers are inevitable but STK will know that and it’s only a matter of a time until they’re mentioned in the same breath as bands like Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky and 65dos.

1. BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD – MODERN DISBELIEF EP


Released 20th November 2010

TRACKLISTING
1. Modern Disbelief *free download*
2. Starlight (feat. Steffaloo)
3. Crumble Before Your Eyes
4. Fly (feat. Steffaloo)

This EP is short but sweet. It wraps you up in a musical blanket and takes you on a little journey into another world. Into the world of Mikey Sanders aka Blackbird Blackbird. Hard working and tirelessly giving us track after track through 2010, there was always the danger that we could get bored of Blackbird Blackbird. That he could’ve gotten stale. But there was never a fear of that after he continually produced little dream pop gems like the ones on display here. Yes, a lot of his material sounds similar at times but that’s because it’s HIS sound. Coincidentally Sanders has actually taken a more experimental route with some of the newer tracks he has posted on his soundcloud page recently. He’s constantly striving to bring us new music and each new track seems to offer just that little bit more into the goings on in mind of this one man music machine.

Honourable mentions go to “Shaved” by Babe Rainbow,  the Flats EP, Girls for their “Broken Dreams Club” EP, Balam Acab and the “See Birds” EP, Million Young with the “Be So True” EP and Dam Mantle’s effort “Grey” EP. I’m sorry i couldn’t fit everybody in!

S.I.T Wolf  X

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