Sunday, November 13, 2016

Jacob Fox – ‘The Life of a Loser Kid’

I first met Jacob at the Cambridge Folk Festival. We were both part of The Hub Project for folk musicians aged 18 and under (although they didn’t know I was 22 at the time….and that I didn’t really play folk music – and listening to his new album ‘Life of a Loser Kid’ I have to say, I don’t think he does either!)

‘The Life of a Loser Kid’ is the latest album from Yorkshire musician; Jacob Fox.
And, well, it’s awesome!
It’s punky, rocky, and aggressively acoustic – and that’s just the first track.

If you need something to put on in the car while you’re tearing through the middle of town, shouting at people to get out of the way and to turn down their stupid music so you can hear your music better (and then continue to turn your music up so much that people who are walking down the street give you a look that definitely means “what a t***” – but you’re there having the time of your life head banging, wheel drumming and singing along to the repeating chorus). Well…then this is what you need!
But if that’s not enough to convince you, now’s your time to go grab a drink and sit back. Believe me. You’ll need a drink and a comfy chair.

Did I not mention this album is 18 tracks?


That’s a lot. And it’s a lot of writing, especially if you’re like me and love writing about each and every song.

Right. Have you got your tea? Comfortable?


Let’s get to it.

The first time I listened to this album, I didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t heard any of Jacob’s music before, so didn’t know if it was going to be folk, rock, pop, classical, J-pop – I had no idea. But the title – ‘The Life of a Loser Kid’ made me think it’s be a bit edgy, probably acoustic. And then I had the thought it would be recorded in his bedroom – poorly put together and a bit naff.
But I thought, what the hell. I’m about due to expand my musical interest. So I clicked play on the first track – ‘Never Take Me Alive’.
It starts with nicely compressed keys. Which instantly took me back 10 years and reminded me of ‘Glory Box’ by Portishead – and a felt a smile some on my face. Suddenly thought – it stopped. And then an orchestra of trumpets blew my head off.
I can’t express the massive smile/shock I had on my face in that moment. It was like a James Bond movie. Or the Oscars. Then the drums came in – and it all cut out to be met with vocals.
He’s almost rapping. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but you will never take me alive”.
My brain’s a bit confused right now. Glory Box, Oscars and rapping all within 12 seconds, and then he almost sings a nursery rhyme.
I have no idea what’s going on, but I love it!
After listening to it once round, I compose myself. Wipe the grin off my face, and go to listen to it a second time. I have to say, for a first track, this one is bloody awesome! It’s edgy, precise, catchy, and epic.
All the instruments are perfectly balanced and all work really well together. It’s the standard rock mix of guitar, bass, drums and keys topped with powerful vocals singing lyrics that get stuck in your head instantly, with some great Oooo’s and harmonies throughout.
Then, to complete the cycle, it finished just as it started – with beautiful sounding keys.

Okay. So that was track 1. I probably wrote waaaaaay too much for that song, but that’s what happens when I start to rant. So I’ll try to keep all the other song reviews a bit shorter, otherwise you’ll be reading this for weeks.

Track 2 is called ‘This Home’, which is a considerably less aggressive title than the previous one. But that doesn’t mean anything. ‘Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight’ by Fleetwood Mac is a much more aggressive song title than ‘Left Behind’ by Slipknot. But there’s no prize for guessing which song’s actually more aggressive.
Saying that, this one’s more relaxed than the previous one. It’s got some great grungy guitar sounds, simple drums and some brilliant 80’s style bass synth which really add to the song, helping push the guitar along.
All of that mixed with vocals makes for something very special! It’s chilled out, but still feels like a song that wouldn’t sound out of place in a stadium.

Track 3, ‘Dreaming’ is back to the loud and brash punky feel. Very punky actually – it’s sound’s a lot like Wheatus but without the feminine high voice.
I know I haven’t mentioned the lyrics in any of the songs yet – but I really enjoy the lyrics of this song! It’s about dreaming that he’s with a girl…of your dreams.
When I close my eyes, I fall asleep and dream of you. Tonight you never walked away. In the night you were so into me, if only it wasn’t a dream.”
One bit that sticks in my head with this song is the part just before that line. He sings “I’d be so lucky if I wasn’t dreamiiiiiiiiiiing!” and I love the way he holds the word – screaming as if he’s haunted by his dreams, keeping her away from his reality………
Too much?
But there’s not much more I can say about this song. It’s only 2 ½ minutes long. But it’s not actually the shortest song on the album – there’s a couple of others that are even shorter. But for now, let’s move on to track 4.

I love that this song starts with just one acoustic guitar strum, and then explodes into a full on country riff on electric accompanied by bass and drums.
The chorus of this song reminds me a lot of that Taylor Swift song. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of ‘Taytay’ (that’s right isn’t it?), so I can’t remember the song title. To be honest, I’m kind of annoyed at myself for knowing it was one of Swifty’s songs, so I’m glad I can’t remember the name of the song!
Personally, I think this is a much better song! It’s got a really fun and upbeat feel to it – mostly from the electric guitar and the vocal harmonies throughout – they really pick it up. And considering it’s a song about feeling like you’re worthless and, as the title says, ‘Nothing’ – it’s got a feel good vibe about it!
Of course that’s how I see it – it might be one of those songs that has a different meaning for different people, and by me thinking it’s about being worthless but has an upbeat feel – does that mean I feel like I’m nothing, but I don’t care about it, and would rather just dance around like a nutter and be happy with life as it is? I don’t think I feel like nothing. Although all I feel now is confusion in my own sentencing and words make sense to no-one. Wow, I must be tired.
Ok, time to wake up!

Next song! – ‘I’ll Be By Your Side’
This is my kind of song – relaxed, slow, great instrumentation, catchy lyrics, and vocals like Third Eye Blind! I think in a few more years, Jacob would have a voice just like Stephan Jenkins. If you imagine a voice like a bottle of wine. Jacob is currently 4-5 years in. Great taste, fruity, and a bit of a kick. But leave it a few more years, and it’s like Stephan Jenkins – mellow, full of flavour and goes down really easily. The same ingredients are there, but they’re more mature.
I mean, I don’t like wine, or know anything about it. But what I’m trying to say is – I really like Jacob’s voice!
“So lay down next to me, because you make everything alright, and now I can see that I’ll be by your side.”
*insert awesome guitar solo here*

Perfect. :)

Next track!
My girlfriend’s freaking me out. She always follows me around. I can’t even leave the house without her trying to track me down.”
That’s the first line of ‘Freaky Little You’.
But the thing is, it’s almost a modern day love song about his girlfriend going through changes in her life – mostly about fashion choices.
It really reminds me of Jonathan Coulton’s writing style – quirky, pop-culture and a bit weird. But it’s the kind of song you can really enjoy listening to and sing along!
The instrumentation and vocals are very punky, upbeat and energetic, filled with attitude and little details that really add to the whole song. There’s a line with a ‘phone filter’ on, so it’s a bit more electronic sounding, and it’s used perfectly! For just long enough and not over used.
There’s also a couple of key changes which take it to the next level of amazing cheesiness. Including a vocal key change to finish, along with a laugh to finish. I don’t know if the laugh and vocal run down was intentional, but I don’t care. It was great!

Movie Cliché’ is the next track – starting with simple drums, and then joined by guitar. It’s quite a repetitive strumming pattern, but as soon as the vocals come in it cuts out leaving drums and bass, alongside vocals and cool laser sounds. It kinda sounds like a tube being swung through the air, but then put through a whammy pedal. I’m sure they must have done something similar in the original Star Wars’.
And suddenly, it’s finished. This was one of the other shorter songs, but still, it’s not the shortest!
What I’ve got from this album so far is that Jacob Fox has a real talent for composing – the music is brilliant, and the lyrics are a great accompaniment – really unique song ideas and beautifully written.
But I now think it’s time for another tea break.

No really, go grab a drink. That was track number 7, so there’s 11 more to go.
I told you it was a long album, and I said that I go on a bit, so you only have yourself to blame.


Okay, let’s move on to ‘Can’t Let You Go’.
This is going back to a more relaxed, acoustic sound – which is both good and bad for me. Good because I love acoustic music, bad because I’m tired – so I’m hoping this doesn’t tip me over the edge and I wake up 6hrs later having used my forehead to type ‘ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff….’ over 487 pages throughout the night.
Although, the chorus of this song starts with “I can’t get out of bed”, which is just plain inconsiderate to those of us who can’t wait to get into bed.
Of course, this is more because he’s drunk, and is thinking of someone special who left him, who he can’t let go of.
This is actually the first song of the album which is just guitar. To me it sound's like there’s a little synth in there somewhere holding the bass notes, but I'm fairly sure it's just guitar!

You Chose Me’ sounds like it’s the sequel to the previous song, about how she chose him, so why would she leave. Of course I’m typing this before even listening to the song. So was just going from the title – but it makes sense!
I will say, a lot of his songs are about relationships, and I know that 90% of songs are about relationships, 8% about money and hoes, and then 2% about death, life, emotions, and Christmas – so it’s statistically likely that he’s write about relationships – hypothetical or not. Although I’d be surprised if he’s had 18 songs worth of bad relationships. Because I don’t even think Miss Swift has written as many songs as that for her apparent massive amount of failed relationships. However, he could be writing about 1 relationship which happened to have a lot of ups and downs.
I guess we’ll never know.

Next up, song number….10, is ‘Mixtape Memories’, which starts brilliantly – bass, guitar, and vocal countdown and then in with drums and the all-important r-ockenspiel! (That’s what I call a glockenspiel that I imagine is played with that unbeatable rock n’ roll passion – full on head banging and jumping around).
Just the instrumentation alone would make an awesome chart song. It’s really catchy, but the lyrics really add to that, and makes it one of my favourite songs so far!
Now, when I say it’d make an awesome chart song, I mean it’s be something that people would really enjoy listening to. Not that it’s LIKE a chart song. Because they’re pretty dreadful – this is music, something to listen to. Not something to twerk to.
I think the lyrics are about him wanting to be compacted down to the size of a cassette tape, so he can be played in a car on a mixtape….but then it’s a modern song, and he’s young. So it’s probably more like “here’s my song, put it on your iPod in your memories playlist”.

Right, we’re getting through them now!
The End of the Road’ is next up.
Starting with finger picked guitar, it’s got a really chilled out feel to it. Although I’m still alert just in case the full band come crashing through.
This feels like an encore song – something he’d play at the end of a long set, just to finish it off. Candles in the air swaying back and forth and all that jazz.
Half way through a synth organ joins in – but it doesn’t distract from the vocals or beautiful guitar, and we’re now nearing the end – so I’m guessing the band has taken a break for this song, which I appreciate. It’s breaks up the album, and allows for a breather.
If I had to tag one of the songs on the album as ‘beautiful’ then I’d chose this one….for now. Of course, it could all change in the next 7 songs – which is almost the length of a standard album left.
I admire Jacob for putting 18 songs on 1 album, because he could’ve really easily made two 9 song albums. It’d be more hassle, but probably more money and more recognition for having more albums released. But he didn’t. That means you can buy 1 album and get 2 albums worth of tracks, which is a bargain no matter who’s album it is – but with this it’s one hell of a good deal!

Right, back to the punk rock!!!
The beginning of this song. My God – yes!
“Hey kids, you’re listening to Loser Kid Radio, let’s get right into the next song. It’s Jacob Fox with ‘Just Can’t Get it Right’  Let’s go! Wooooooaaaaaaahhhhh!”
I can already tell I’m gonna like this song! ‘Just Can’t Get It Right’ – well, I can say, he definitely got it right!
It’s got so much attitude, and I love it! There’s lead guitar doing awesome solos, drums are on point, lead and backing vocals are brilliant, all beautifully stitched together into amazing instrumentation and lyrics to make a fun and bouncy song!
I think it’d go alongside songs from the late 90’s/early 00’s – ‘Goodbye Mr. A’, ‘Year 3000’, ‘All Star’, ‘Stacy’s Mom’. You know, all those cheesy songs that everyone loved and will be classics for years to come!

Never See Her Again’ is up next.
This is the rockiest song so far – it’s quite heavy, but nice and simple. I’m gonna risk it by saying the music sounds a bit like Nickelback – I know, that’s not much of a compliment. But I quite like them! It’s my guilty pleasure.
Jacob’s voice is nothing like…’that dude from Nickelback’s voice, and the music isn’t as heavy as Nickelback – there’s no double bass pedals and the guitars actually in a key that’s audible, and not so deep that you can’t hear it…, it’s not actually that much like Nickelback.
She took one look at my heart and then tore it apart, I hope I never see her again.”
Love the instrumentation in this one, it’s quite few and far between and stripped back – but it’s a really nice change from some of the previous songs, which are quite full.

The next song is ‘Lonely’.
I don’t wanna be lonely…don’t wanna be lonely tonight.”
This song reminds me a lot of ‘Can’t Let You Go’ about 6 songs ago – it’s acoustic, stripped back, and about being in bed. Although, funnily enough, this is about not wanting to be lonely!
But unlike ‘Can’t Let You Go’, this song just stays with vocals and acoustic guitar. Which is perfect for this song. It’s all it needs – anything more would take away from the feel and the lyrics.
It has stops and jabs that would fit in with a full band setup, but it’d lose its innocence.
The little riffs at the beginning and end are great – and then he strums in the main body of the song, just to give it a little pick up.

Next up, is something very different. Actually very different to anything else on the album. This is still the album isn’t it??
Yeah – this is ‘Warriors Shout’. It’s all electronic. Even the vocals have a robotic effect – and I love it!
It’s definitely the ‘club-number’ of the album (imagine if all albums had to have a club/dance track – that’s be hilarious! I’m just imagining all the recent releases – Sting, Cliff Richard, Bon Jovi, Madness, Michael Buble. That would be amazing!)
Anyway, back to the song at hand. It sounds like a remix of a song, but it’s completely original…..I think. I don’t know – I don’t tend to venture into clubs. But I really enjoy dub-step and electronic music. So this sits really nicely with me – plus it’s not too invasive. It’s not blowing me head off, and remember what I said right at the beginning about this being an album to play loud in the car? Yep – this track would work beautifully for that! It’s almost an anthem, even though it’s only 2 minutes long.
See no evil, but I saw dreams in tatters on the floor. Hear no evil but say it all. Speak no evil but hear my roar.”

We’re nearing the end!
….and this is a cover.
And what an interesting choice for a cover.
“Her name is Noelle, I had a dream about her. She rings my bell.”
Yep – ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Wheatus. You know, that band I said he sounded a bit like about 3000 words ago?
I must be honest though – out of all the songs so far, this is by far my least favourite. It’s a good cover – although being a drummer I immediately notice the drums are in a bit of a weird timing (and out of time), which throws the whole song – they sound like they’re being played by someone who no.1 doesn’t know how the song goes, and no.2 isn’t a drummer. Which is a shame – because on all the other songs, everything is beautifully tight, original, and make for brilliant listening material.
This would be the song on the album that I’d always skip. It could’ve been really good – his voice is great, the guitar and bass are on point, there’s even a female vocalist towards the end.
But the drums – argh! I really wanted to like this cover, so it’s a shame.
Anyway – time to turn my frown upside down, and listen to the next track.

Okay, so before listening to this, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a cover, so used trusty old Google to see if there was a song named the same thing……..
Oh, there is.
Ah, it’s the same song.
Okay – so this is another cover – ‘What Happened To Your Band’ by McBusted. You know, that band that’s made up of McFly and that band I mentioned Jacob sounded like about 2000 words ago? (For those aged over 40, that other band is Busted. Like, that’s their name. They haven’t been arrested. Well – they might have been. I don’t know, I don’t tend to check up on them.)
But it’s got me thinking – how many of his other songs (if any) are covers? It doesn’t say in brackets ‘What Happened To Your Band (Cover)’ so the only way I knew that was to Google the song title.
I must be honest though – it’s not as bad as ‘Teenage Dirtbag’!
Which is a relief – it’s actually not too bad – I haven’t listened to the original, and I’m not going to, I’ll stick with this version and pretend it’s his own song.
The instrumentation is noticeably simpler than the previous songs, the vocals are just as good as the other songs – the lyrics aren’t great – but it’s not his song, so I’m allowed to say that!
It’s got some great backing vocals shouting in the background, which are probably the same as the original – but even if they are, they sound great!
Anyway – enough covers – there’s 1 more song left!


And it’s not a proper song, it’s an instrumental piano piece. Which really doesn’t fit in with the last 2 songs, or the whole album really - but it’s actually quite refreshing. Back to something original, even if it’s only 44 seconds long.
It’s called ‘To Be Continued…’ – don’t know if that’s a nod to a possible follow on album, which is more covers, or more instrumental – or just more!
(I hope it’s not an album of covers….)
Anyway, I don’t know what else to say about this track. It’s lovely. Short and sweet, and the piano sounds very nice.

That okay?
Well – it better be, because that’s it!

Right, now time for a bit of a summary!
Right, where do I start?
Well – I haven’t mentioned this yet because I wanted to save it until the end. When Jacob asked me to write this review, he said “be kind – I had to do absolutely everything myself to make this thing”


He wrote (apart from the 2 covers), recorded, and mixed everything on this album all by himself. That’s unbelievable!

I didn’t mention it before because knowing that makes everything a lot more impressive, and also a lot more personal. If I said I didn’t think something was mixed properly, or if the guitar sounded off – then it would be directed at Jacob.
Fortunately for him, without the need to be kind – I can say it’s a brilliant album – all of his originals are great – they have brilliant instrumentation, vocals, lyrics, and are all nicely mixed!

It all sounds extremely professional, like it’s been recorded and mixed in a studio by a producer.

If you get a chance to listen to this album, do it. It’ll take a while, because it’s 18 tracks (which makes it more amazing that he recorded it all and managed to mix it all to the same level, and make it all work together as a whole!) and it’s so worth giving it a listen.
If you get a chance to buy this album – buy it, and then listen to it in your car at full blast. You won’t regret it!

You can check out Jacob Fox's Facebook page HERE - make sure to give it a Like to keep up with any news!

Thanks for reading, keep tuned for the next review! If you have any recommendations of albums I should listen to and review, let me know.
Don’t forget to check out my website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube below.
Catch you next time!

Monday, April 4, 2016

14. SINGLE - DNCE – ‘Cake by the Ocean’

I’m moving house, so don’t have time to listen to a full album and write a blog – so thought, what the hell. Let’s do another single!
This….day, I’ve been listening to ‘Cake by the Ocean’ by DNCE….which I guess is pronounced ‘dance’? Unless they just decided to make it a mouthful (of cake) and have it pronounced ‘dee en see eey’.
Either way – they have great taste in artwork. This one really cuts the cake. The photoshoot must have been a piece of cake though.


Because….it’s cake!

Not a lot of ocean though.

Also – eating cake by the ocean wouldn’t be that pleasant. Nothing’s worse than getting your icing sandy. However – I like this artwork simply because of how quirky it is! It’s literally just a piece of cake with a knife next to it. And it’s no M&S Finest cake advert – it’s really roughly cut, and looks a bit rough around the edges – and yet it looks delicious!
“Talk to me, baby. I’m going blind from this sweet, sweet craving. Let’s lose our minds and go fucking crazy. Ah ya ya ya ya I keep on hoping we’ll eat cake by the ocean.”
I keep thinking that’s some kind of euphemism – “eat cake by the ocean” – but any kind of contact he may or may not be referring to wouldn’t be nice on a beach. Have you ever walking along a beach in shoes and noticed that somehow, they’re filled to the brim with sand? Imagine if you roll along the beach. Yeah – you’re gonna get sand in a number of places. And in your shoes will be the least of your worries!
You’ve been warned.

Anyway! Back to the reason you’re reading this. The TV adverts!
Head over to Youtube and search for ‘cake advert’. Enjoy!

Ok – now back to the reason I’m doing this. The money...I mean music.

It starts off with a really nice guitar riff, and then joined by drums and vocals. Also – something I didn’t know, the lead vocalist is one of the Jonas brothers. You know, that duo who were going to be the next McFly? The band who catered for 12 year old girls? Yeah, them! Well, he’s now in this band and….sorry kids, but he swears!



Although I feel obliged to let him off. He is singing about cake after all – but at one point he does say “fuckin’ delicious!” in between lines. What kind of example is he setting to kids?! That it’s ok to swear when a cake tastes nice? Actually…yeah, I do that too.

The song is definitely a future club classic, it just oozes sweaty drunk teenagers dancing in a dark room along to music that’s way too loud while drinking alco-pops. But outside of a club – this is a great feel-good song!

I’m loving it!

Do you agree/disagree with anything I said? Like / dislike the review? Any constructive criticisms? Please leave a comment below! Would love to hear from you. Also, if you have any recommendations of albums I should listen to and review (as long as the artwork is awesome), let me know.

Thanks for reading, keep tuned for the next blog.
I will be reviewing another single as I’ve been busy moving house!

Don’t forget to check out my website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube below.
I’m doing these blogs alongside my better half; Fern Teather – she is listening to a new albums (doesn’t matter about the artwork, she’s trying to expand her musical knowledge and listen to new artists!). She’s also keeping a blog, and it’s nowhere near as long as this one, so go give it a read!!
Check it out here:

Catch you next time!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

13. Air – ‘Moon Safari’

Number 13! Unlucky for some – which includes me, because I’ve come down with a stinking cold!
That means, this is a perfect time to try out something new! As you may know (if you’ve read any of my previous blogs) I usually review each song separately, and it makes the post very long. Well – this time, I’m going to listen to the album, and then write a review about the whole thing all together, then mentioning separate songs in places.
It means it won’t be as long, which means it won’t take me as long to write it, and won’t take you as long to read it!

So….let’s get this party started!

I’ve been listening to ‘Moon Safari’ by Air.
The artwork for this album really stood out for me – with it’s bold colours and quirky drawing style. Also the fact there seems to be a zombie convict in the background, and that they’ve put “FRENCH BAND” next to the name – just to make sure that you don’t mistake them for being English, because god forbid if anyone did!
The blue in the background reminds me of the art movement; De Stijl, where artists painted large blocks of solid colour. But then this is a lot more abstract and untidy, and uses blues and greens whereas in De Stijl, they used mostly reds, yellows and whites (which I guess is just blank canvas). They also used straight black lines to create the blocks of colour – which now-a-days seems really simple, but in the early 1900’s was out of this world and very controversial. Today, anyone could go on Paint and recreate the exact same pieces of art. But back then, they only had real paint – not a computer program. So they had to carefully draw a perfectly straight 2m long line in black paint.
However, after educating you in what De Stijl is. I can now tell you this isn’t anything like it. If De Stijl was meant to stand for peace and order. This stands for anarchy and disorder.
Which then leads back to the zombie convict.

Anyway – enough about the cover – I want to listen to music!!
This whole album is very chilled out and laid back – the first song ‘La Femme D'Argent’ proves that instantly! With it’s very ethereal sounds from synths and bass guitars – it’s the definition of ‘chill’.
I’m getting cold listening to it…that’s how chill it is!
It’s also one of those songs that a lot of people will listen to and go “Oh….I’ve heard that somewhere before!”. Because I certainly have! No idea where though. I think it’s one of those many laid back songs that they over use in TV adverts as background music. Probably for a bank or something.
In fact I think a lot of these songs are on adverts. The next song; ‘Sexy Boy’ definitely is. I think this one is more of a perfume advert….or a car.
Like when Renault went through it’s awesome advert phase – I’m sure 80% of people reading this know what I’m talking about.
If not, go to Youtube and type in…………dammit – it’s Citroen. Ok. Go to Youtube and type in ‘Citroen robot dance’ – watch it, and then come back and keep reading.

See! Advert used to be great!
Ok, now type in ‘Renault shaking’

Ah I could do this all day!
But I won’t – but, if you took part in that exercise, you’ll see what I mean.
I also think a couple of these songs were used in films as background music, but I can’t be sure – and right now can’t be bothered to research it for a few hours. Also, it’s nice to have a bit of mystery in life every once and a while!
If I knew every film this music was in, it wouldn’t be a surprise when I watch the film and hear the music. So where’s the fun in that?!

This whole album is very 90’s sounding….which is a stupid thing to say considering it’s from the 90’s, but that’s how obvious it is!
It’s very Moby / Fatboy Slim / Groove Armada. With an almost entirely synthetic sound, with only a handful of ‘proper’ instruments – but I like it!
Music isn’t just about how well you can play an instrument or how well you can sing. It’s making beautiful sounds with what you have!
And in this case – it’s a computer and synthesizer, with the odd bass, guitar, piano, drums and other little bits.
I actually think the most acoustic sounding song is ‘Ce Matin La’, and that’s only because the whole song is pretty much just an orchestra. It starts off with a few weird submarine sounds, but is soon taken over by a flock of violins and a horn. Just 1.
The lone hornsman.
Tooting through the night.

‘New Star in the Sky’ is also mostly acoustic – and has a guitar part at the beginning which sounds strangely uncannily like ‘Space Oddity’. It even has the same ‘pings’ and windy noise! I swear it could actually go straight into the song at any point!
Ok – I think it’s actually the second part to Space Oddity. That’s the only explanation. Even so, David Bowie should’ve sued the crap out of them for it!
If Led Zepplin can be sued for 4 chords in one of the most iconic songs ever written, then Mr Bowie could’ve said “they took my song and removed the vocals, and now claim it as theirs” – none of this “THOSE ARE OUR CHORDS!” bollocks. I mean, how many nice sounding chords can you play on a guitar?
I swear it’s only like 10…

Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this song. It was nostalgic in places because I remember hearing a couple of songs somewhere before.
It’s a nice mixture of instrumental and electronic, and a really great choice of instruments at that! Saxophone, violin, bass, guitar and of course…BONGOS!
5 STARS! *****

Do you agree/disagree with anything I said? Like / dislike the review? Any constructive criticisms? Please leave a comment below! Would love to hear from you. Also, if you have any recommendations of albums I should listen to and review (as long as the artwork is awesome), let me know.

Thanks for reading, keep tuned for the next blog.
I will be reviewing another single as I’ve been busy moving house - I might also go back to my old way of reviewing...don't know, let me know what you think!

Don’t forget to check out my website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube below.
I’m doing these blogs alongside my better half; Fern Teather – she is listening to a new album (doesn’t matter about the artwork, she’s trying to expand her musical knowledge and listen to new artists!). She’s also keeping a blog, and it’s nowhere near as long as this one, so go give it a read!!
Check it out here:

Hopefully blog you all soon!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

12. Beach Fossils – ‘What a Pleasure’

Bonjour number 12!

Hope everyone’s had a pleasant time since the last blog.

I have – because I’ve been listening to a new album!
That album is….well, it’s actually a long EP, but I’m gonna call it an album! - ‘What A Pleasure’ by Beach Fossils

I chose this one to go in this blog because, just like all the others, I really like the artwork!
But unlike the others, which I think look really cool, this one is pretty boring. But I love the technical side of it! The photographer managing to capture a baseball just before it hits a window. Of course, this could be done in a number of ways instead of just throwing it at the window.
Something like this would require a couple of takes to get the timing perfect, so to risk taking just 1 shot would be…well…a risk!
I can just imagine them going around the house to different windows and trying to get the photo, but smashing every window in the process. “Damn, ok, I missed that one – next window” “No! I wasn’t ready! Ugh….ok, next.”
OR, they could be clever with it! Maybe find a house with 2 floors, with windows 1 above the other, then drop the ball from the top window. That way, if it’s captured in the right place, it will look like it’s floating in front of the window, so the viewer would assume it was hurtling towards it – but instead, if the shot didn’t come out, the ball would harmlessly fall to the ground, ready to be dropped again.
Of course, they could do it the other way round, by having someone laying on the floor and throwing the ball up, but that’s more dangerous and could end with a broken nose.
Either way, it’s a great image!

Now, on to the sweet sounds of Beach Fossils – although fossils don’t really sound very good. I wouldn’t really go and listen to some ammonites playing music. Not in a million years!

Ba dum tss!

Because, you know….they’re fossils. Which are millions of years old. Get it? :D


To kick off the album, they’ve recorded a nice little 1 minute long instrumental opening track called ‘Moments’.
It consists of guitar – which sounds like a steel guitar, and drums – which sound like normal drums, but with a bit more reverb than normal just playing round the toms.
No bass on this track – but it doesn’t need it – the drums playing a constant fill bulk it out enough.
However, there are vocals. But just ‘Aaaaa’ing, which sound like musical angels yawning. I actually yawned so much while listening to this track! It’s one of those things – you hear or see yawning and instantly yawn. Even the word yawn. Yawn.
It’s a really simple track, but it’s a nice little first track!

Next up is the album track – ‘What A Pleasure’.
This is another short one – only 2 ½ minutes long – but it’s still a great feel good song!
More guitar – which still sounds like a steel guitar. But a little bit cleaner, which makes me think it’s probably an electric guitar with a nice little pedal. Either way it sounds great!
It’s joined by drums and bass, but is quickly replaced by vocals which seem familiar and yet different to anything else I’ve heard before. He actually sounds a lot like Moby….which is strange, but there’s nothing wrong with that in my eyes…or ears!
The guitar then comes back in and continues for the rest of the song playing a neat little riff. Some of the guitar does sound a bit like the samples on GarageBand – but honestly, even if they were, I’m fine with that!
Making music is about the music – not how you made it – unless you just rip someone else off of course, because that’s not right and is the least creative thing someone could do. I’m all for mashups and remixes, but only if you’re doing it in your bedroom and putting it on YouTube as a way to express yourself and your love for that persons music. Not recording it in a studio and releasing it as your own – seriously, if you can’t write original material don’t use other peoples.
But apart from that, I don’t care how your recorded it, as long as it sounds nice – just like this song!
Woken up and here I am. All to fast to understand. All the way across the sea, thinking thoughts of you and me, in my life I’ve never felt so free. You’re so far away from me.”

Fall Right In’ is next up.
This one sounds a little bit like the previous song, but just different enough to make it listenable.
The vocal are very similar – staying quite quiet and linear – I just want him to start shouting a little bit, and bringing his voice up to the next level instead of staying in the safe zone. It has some great backing vocals, which come up with some really nice harmonies to bring it up a bit.
The guitar is very upbeat and sounds like it’s happy to be played – it’s very much a summers day song to listen to while lying in a hammock sipping on an ice cold diet coke and eating an icecream.
I can’t see a thing, well it’s on your face. I’m running down my stairs and I’m heading to your place. Do you know what you have done to me?”
And all of a sudden, it’s finished. It’s 2 ½ minutes long, but it feels like it ends a lot quicker than it should.
For those of you who keep up to date with my blogs, and look daily for new ones – you do know there’s more to find on the internet, right?
Anyway – you might have realised that these blogs don’t go out at a particular time, that’s because some weeks I don’t have anything on, but other weeks I’m busy every day. So I picked a relatively short album, coming in at a total of 23 minutes. Now, that’s short. Most songs are 4-5 minutes long, so that would only be about 5 songs………..but this album has 8!
I mean, yes, the first track is only 1 minute long, but it’s still quite a number of songs for such a short album. And that’s why I picked it. That way, the review would look like a full, fleshed out review – but it takes ½ the time to listen to the album all the way through!
Ingenious, I know.

Next – ‘Out in the Way’
Ok, now this one sounds a lot like the previous songs. The same drums, similar bass and same sounding guitar and vocals – but I won’t judge just yet! They might turn it round again – and we’re already half way through the album, so there’s still hope!
In the darkness passing through. Tell me, is it really you? You don’t look the same as when I was dreaming.”
The song has got a few nice little parts where the drum does double snare hits, and there’s a couple of bits where it sounds like a different singer comes in and takes over the main vocals – but I might be mistaken – it’s not a massive change!
One thing that goes throughout the album, apart from the sounds of all the instruments sounding the same on each song, the vocals are consistent.
By that I mean they’re good throughout, but also sound very repetitive. They’ve put an effect on them which makes it sound like he’s singing with a fishbowl on his head. Reverb and a bit of a ‘watery’ feeling.
But it definitely gives them a unique sound. I can’t think of anyone that sounds like they do – which is a great thing!

Face It’ is up next.
This one, just like the previous one, is quite like the previous one to that. The guitar’s very much the same – but the drums have changed a bit, although they definitely sound like a drum machine. Which should be taken as a compliment to the drummer!
I recorded with someone recently, and they had drums on their tracks and I said what a really nice sounding drum track they’d found online, and asked what program they used.
“My brother…” they replied. It was unbelievable! Their brother had managed to keep perfect timing, and played every beat with full confidence and perfect force – it was uncanny!
That then makes me think, maybe this was just recorded on an electronic drum kit. It’s definitely not acoustic – and that’s what makes it hard to tell, because with an e-kit, it’s possible to move the individual notes in a recording software – so even if it was played out of time, or there was a couple of muck ups. They’re all editable!
Ah, technology – saving time since the 1970's!

Back to the song!
Even though it sounds a lot like the other tracks on the album, it’s still a good song! There’s 2 guitars – 1 rhythm playing the basic stuff chugging along with the rest of the song, and then 1 lead guitar playing little bits and pieces every now and then to add layers.
I’d give up the country life, I’d give up city life, I’d fall for you anytime. Anytime.”

Next – ‘Distance’
I tell you all the time that when I think of you it tears my heart, and pushes me back to the start.”
This one is slightly different! It’s got a nice guitar riff throughout, and the drums pick up a little bit. I mean, it’s no ‘Impossible Winner’ from The Dead Weathers album I reviewed a couple of months ago, but it’s still a nice change!
This is yet another song that I feel like I’ve heard something like it before – but no idea when or who I’m thinking of! It’s like smelling something and not being able to put your finger on what it actually is that you’re smelling. Or if you have crap eye sight and you see a blur in the distance – is it a car? A bush? A giant turtle? A party of Hobbits?
That’s what I’m like with this album. Is it Third Eye Blind? Sam Isaac? Radiohead? The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain?  I DON’T KNOW!
It’s actually driving me a bit mad, because I love comparing bands!
This song though, no matter who it sounds like, is a nice chilled out track. It’s slightly repetitive, but that might be because…well, because it’s pretty flat throughout. I mean, it’s upbeat and jolly. But it’s just the same thing throughout the whole song.

Next up – ‘Calyer’
This one changes it up a little bit – it’s mostly minor chords, so it doesn’t have the same ‘happy running down the beach’ kinda feel all the other tracks have had so far.
Don’t wanna hear about your time. Just wanna show you what’s mine.”
It’s still very similar to the rest of the songs – but it’s different enough that I’m gonna let them get away with it for once – but only this once! There’s still one more song, so there’s still time for me to take it all back!
However, for now, this song is different enough to actually talk about. It has the same sounding instruments as it has throughout the whole album. But I’m starting to think they might not have had a choice, or it’s exactly what they wanted. As I mentioned right at the start, this isn’t actually an album – it’s a long EP – that means it probably doesn’t have the same production as an album would have, and is probably just what they sound like live, but burned onto a CD.
They might have even recorded it themselves in 1 of their living rooms. That would explain why the instruments all sound the same on each song, and why there’s minimum variation in the different sounds used. They might have recorded it all in 1 afternoon, using the same instruments, and it just so happens that all their songs have a very similar feel.
Personally, I prefer variation – that way people from different tastes in music have a greater chance of liking at least 1 of the various songs on the album. It also keeps the music fresh if someone listens to the album all the way through.

Last, but no means least – ‘Adversity’
Ok, so this one is a bit different. It’s still the same sounding instruments, but they’re played differently. Not overly different – but different enough for me to carry on!
The vocals seem to get stronger as the CD goes on – starting off quite shy and weak sounding, and he’s now finding his feet! It’s still quite linear, but nowhere near as much as it was!
We put up a fight for the other side. We raise up our arms to show we’re strong. Then we break our bones, but we’ll carry on.”
There’s a few nice dynamics in the music – with a few atmospheric guitar parts. I would say the whole song was atmospheric, but it’s missing something – it’s like it’s missing the air. Now, I know that sounds weird, but hear me out!
When you’re talking about Earth’s atmosphere, air is pretty much what it is. I know it also holds out radiation and keeps in heat, but the main thing is it holds in the air we breathe. Well, if you imagine that in music terms – air is the most important part – so if an atmospheric song lacks air, it’s lacking a lot!
When I think of atmospheric music, I think of beautiful sounds which are hardly ever heard in songs. Something you can listen to and forget about the world around you. Ludovico Einaudi – now, he’s like an oxygen tank – full of beautiful air.
I feel like this album is a tank running out of air. It has the potential to be full, but needs something to help fill it. But it then needs to be the right air. If it’s pure carbon dioxide, that’s no good. It’s the wrong mix of air – it’s like taking Einaudi and adding a metal drummer. But if we take that C02 out and fill it ¾ with nitrogen, that metal drummer can be tamed and turned into one who can play a range of noisy things, but play them with subtlety and really add to the sound (as long as he can hold his breathe). You can then add the oxygen to nearly fill the tank. That’ll be the orchestra. They allow the song to breathe and to come alive (and means the drummer can stop holding his breathe). Then there’s just a few little bits to add – the argon, H20 and a dash of C02 back in there to give the song a kick when it needs it.

I bet you now either understand me, or are even more confused. I would give the same example with a cake recipe to make it easier to understand, but I’ll just make myself hungry.

Do you agree/disagree with anything I said? Like / dislike the review? Any constructive criticisms? Please leave a comment below! Would love to hear from you. Also, if you have any recommendations of albums I should listen to and review (as long as the artwork is awesome), let me know.

Thanks for reading, keep tuned for the next blog.
I will be reviewing ‘Moon Safari’ by Air

Don’t forget to check out my website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube below.
I’m doing these blogs alongside my better half; Fern Teather – she is listening to a new albums (doesn’t matter about the artwork, she’s trying to expand her musical knowledge and listen to new artists!). She’s also keeping a blog, and it’s nowhere near as long as this one, so go give it a read!!
Check it out here:

Au Revoir!