What’s Hot In My House – October 2016

It’s been slightly weird musicwise of late. I’ve been kinda stuck, well, not exactly stuck, just dominated by Metallica, I guess. It went from revisiting ‘Master of Puppets’ to working my way through the back catalogue. Basically, with the upcoming release of ‘Hardwired…’ I’ve been writing a beginner’s guide for the good people at Already Heard, which involves gargantuan amounts of research, and I’ve also done my own top ten of Metallica covers and a piece on the big four of thrash.

https://hardpresseded.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/metallica-top-ten-covers/
https://hardpresseded.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/the-big-four-part-1-thrash/

Metallica aside, I can’t seem to put down the awesome Black Foxxes record and I keep going back to Pixies’ ‘Head Carrier’ too. It’s been like my default record and I am now convinced it’s a cracker. Anyway, what all this has meant is that the rest of my listening time had been restricted to what I have been reviewing, which has actually been of pleasingly good quality, albeit not exactly plum in the middle of my comfort zone. So, here are the mosh pit fillers and sweaty back room bangers that have been vibrating in my cans of late. Check em out.

I had the distinct pleasure of reviewing the reflective break up album ‘You Make Everything Disappear’ by Trade Wind. This is an interesting side project from members of a couple of (post) hardcore groups, Stick to Your Guns and Stray from The Path, on which singer Jesse Barnett bares his tortured soul in emphatic style. It’s a deeply atmospheric record that slips easily between the tender and the vitriolic to a musically exploratory backdrop that includes spacious piano melodies, subtle touches of electronica and hard edged riffs to stunning effect; great record.

Now here’s a record that surprised the shit outta me. Cove are essentially a hard core band, which normally would have me enjoying the odd song, but not really going back for more – it’s the constant angst filled screaming you see, gets on my tits. However, these guys incorporate some serious metal riffing and certainly know how to structure a good tune, which makes for a vibrantly energetic record with plenty of depth. So if you like a bit of barbed wire to your emotion and can take a little hard edged pummelling, this is well worth a look.

At the completely opposite end of the spectrum is the ragged beauty of the warm hug of a record that is The Lion and The Wolf‘s ‘Cardiac Hotel’, reviewed here: https://hardpresseded.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/the-lion-and-the-wolf-cardiac-hotel-review/
Simply put, this is a gorgeous album that keeps me coming back for more, sure it is wrapped in sadness and some of the tracks are like open wounds, but it also a record that offers comfort and warmth, I cannot recommend it more highly.

The Lion and The Wolf – Cardiac Hotel Review

tlatw-cover-digitalwebresThomas George is the misty voiced curator of The Lion and The Wolf and his second album The Cardiac Hotel is quite something. A whole lotta heartbreak has been poured into this record, yet its atmospheric mix of indie folk rock boasts an enviable maturity and poise that give it a warm intimacy. Although he may be dealing with difficult subjects like his father’s illness, grief and lost love, it is very accessible and something we can all relate to, as the intimate nature of the songs wrap the listener in comfort and understanding.

‘Don’t Fail Me Now’ sets the tone with an aching yet uplifting ode to love, the melancholy horns almost half heartedly tickle a wry smile onto the lips of those who’ve loved and lost. This is immediately followed by what, for me at least, is one of the album’s finest moments on ‘Heaven Forbid’. This is a darkly sublime beauty of an open wound, its layered textures of ponderous percussion and spacious guitar lines make room for an emotional vocal.

There’s plenty more feelings on display as the record progresses through the soothingly reflective ‘My Father’s Eyes’ and the melancholy ‘The Hospital Floor’, with its subtle touches of horns that punctuate the lilting piano melody. Things take a folky turn on ‘The Pinching Point’, which features a heartbreaking violin in the mid section, while ‘Walk on The Moon’ is more upbeat and offers comfortable melody.

To be honest, there’s not one song on here that doesn’t work; every single track has something to offer, whether it’s the late night sorrowful lament of ‘Barstools’, with its air of bitterness and defeat or the coolly delivered ‘Past The Point of Fair’. Then there’s the more powerful ‘December’, which sounds like something Ben Watt might do, with lyrics like “The body I have is a ghost town” and the slight drama to the percussion that builds as the song gathers an emotional urgency and Thomas delivers his most complete vocal performance; great stuff.

The bittersweet reflection of the smooth ‘Witness’, with its tumble down piano, precedes the subtle beauty of ‘Find the Time’ which eventually gathers into a rousing barrage of horns to round this fine record off in style. It is a fitting finale to an album that will endure; one that is peppered with many a moment of sublime beauty and that possesses a wonderfully human quality that speaks to us all. Sublime, beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful – like a warm hug from a good friend – immerse yourself.

9/10

‘Cardiac Hotel’ is out now on Xtra Mile Recordings.

Check out The Lion and The Wolf at https://m.facebook.com/thelionandthewolf and https://thelionandthewolf.bandcamp.com/