Twitter On and On

Social media is a funny thing; sometimes it works amazingly well, other times it’s like pissing in the wind. I work on the premise that if someone has decided to follow me the least I can do is check the person/band out and maybe follow if there is some common ground. In the case of musicians I am also more than happy to give them a listen and a little publicity. However, when the follow up from them is non-existent, or stops at a favorite/heart on a tweet, it’s a bit frustrating – they want publicity, I’m giving them publicity, but rather than publicize the piece you just get a “oh, thanks” – jeez if you want people to see what others are writing about you then retweet it and/or post it on your Facebook page – quite simple really! Anyway, here’s the latest batch of artists who’ve taken an interest in following me:

Walking Stone Giants
This Greek power trio sound pretty much as you might expect from their name – big! They have a heavy metal/stoner rock vibe going on and I will admit to being pleasantly surprised by their measured, technically proficient, approach of interesting riffs, low key bluesy vocal and smoking solos. Their 2013 EP is available as a free download right here: http://walkingstonegiants.com/getit.html

Tim Turner
Very slick, smooth groove, acoustic pop – Tim crafts a nice tune and has a good voice. There’s a latino air to some of the guitar playing which adds a little depth to his pleasant sound. He also has a fair few covers on his YT channel, including this nice take on Frank Ocean.

Sean Beeson
Piano composer. Relaxing, vaguely wistful, instrumental pieces composed with soundtracks in mind.

Anokato
This German rock band have the unique concept of releasing a song every 10,000 followers. Not sure it’s a great marketing technique but what the hell, I checked out ‘Heart of the Nile’, their 30k release (they now have over 40k), and at nigh on six minutes it’s good value. It is pretty well done intense brooding middleweight rock that slow boils to a fairly resounding climax. Nice.

The Droids
Damn these guys are good! This husband and wife team make what I can only describe as alternative pop; there’s a bit of everything going on – synths, guitars, dark piano, the occasional break beat and superb vocals from Sarah Anne. It’s all fairly uptempo and there are some serious hooks, I guess they’re in similar territory to Marina and the Diamonds or Florence and lose nothing by comparison. Great stuff.

Fetal Pulse
Conceptual atmospheric electronica with a serious vibe. It’s not all beats and beeps as there is plenty of instrumentation and good work with beats. It’s interesting stuff actually, occasionally bordering on ambient, that makes for a chilled out listen.

Navaka
Pleasant enough, positive vibe pop rock with an air of country, inspired by the transition from financial services work to full time musician. Not exactly pushing any boundaries, but sure to find a niche in the American market that cannot resist a catchy country rocker. Also enjoys a cover.

Vita Museum
Epic rock from the dark side, with a strong industrial/electronic feel from the heavy synths and programmed beats. It’s an interesting mix with an accomplished feel and even an air of dark pop to the well constructed atmospheric tracks. Worth a listen.

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter.

What I most like about Twitter is that it’s not Facebook; there’s a kind of quasi-anonymity to it, yet at the same time you are also totally accountable for whatever it is you tweet about. Personally speaking I use Twitter to further my interest in music, though not exclusively, as well as to promote my work as a music writer. Consequently, the number of people and bands following me is growing daily, so I think it only right to reciprocate their interest by continuing to write about any musical followers regardless of their musical leaning/ability, that way they may expand their audience (or not) and readers may discover something new that they love (or hate). So here’s the latest…

SpaceMarch
Heavily 80s influenced electronica mixing well produced covers and original material. Clearly loves New Order, Depeche Mode etc.


http://www.spacemarch.com/music/

4 Dead in 5 Seconds
Melodic Death(ish) Metallers from the Australian Gold Coast are an extremely talented band with a pretty cool progressive sound. They’re not afraid to slow it down here and there and explore time changes and arrangements, interesting stuff. Wolf Hunt is well worth a listen.

The British IBM
I recently reviewed their new album, Psychopaths Dream in Black and White, and will readily admit to thoroughly enjoying their brand of folk tinged indie. There’s some sublime Cello on the record adding a quite lovely depth to their textured sound. It’s a real end of a hard day album and well worth immersing yourself into its warm bath of comfort.

Jon Cruz/Heart Impaled
Heart Impaled is a kind of conceptual metal project from Jon Cruz that is actually quite badass. There’s plenty of machine gun riffing and more than a vague nod in the direction of industrial with the heavyweight sound effects, the processed vocal sound and the metallic edge to the riffing. It’s all very apocalyptic, with titles like ‘City of the Slain’ and Engines of Inferno’ but if you like your rock on the dark side then this may be just the right level of intensity for you.
https://play.google.com/store/music/artist/Heart_Impaled?id=Aswsuhxd7pkrw3isrlst2eg3kve

Dan Hull/DFH/Messor Vernula
Multi-faceted D.I.Y metal with a hard edge.To be honest I’m not sure that this band still exists but Dan has new work in the pipeline looking for crowdfunding. (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/916633371/dfh-second-album-release?ref=nav_search)


http://www.pureliquidmetal.com/

Susan Muranty
Not really my bag, but in the interest of maintaining my democratic approach to this section I am including all followers. Susan has a kinda folky, vaguely Celtic, acoustic strum soothing piano thing going on, so if you like your listening easy this may be your thing.


http://www.susanmuranty.com/

Latest Twitterings

In the current musical climate use of social media has become an imperative marketing tool for, well, pretty much everyone really (me included!), and like U.S senators the adherence of musicians to Twitter is somewhere in the region of 100%. So, since I started this site and started being much more active on Twitter, I have been getting more and more musicians following me and whenever possible I’m featuring them. So here goes the latest batch. Enjoy!

Tairrie B.
For those who don’t know, she is the voice of metal band My Ruin, one of the guest vocalists on the Teenage Time Killers project and a totally badass rapper. Also, from my contact with Tairrie so far, she seems like a really fucking cool human being – sharp, honest, intelligent and extremely courteous, oh yeah and her husband plays a mean guitar. Here’s a remix of the first track from her recently released and thoroughly enjoyable rap album ‘Vintage Curses’, a free download of which is in this link to my review. https://hardpresseded.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/tairrie-b-vintage-curses/

Blind Wives
This is another band I’ve also had the privilege of reviewing and have previously featured in an article on upcoming bands. They play a cool blend of indie, rock, punk and pop and write some fine tunes. Well worth checking out.

Gavin Mikhail
Bit of an internet sensation this talented singer songwriter. He has a fair whack of original material but also seems to like getting behind a piano, stripping down a song and putting his own spin on it, his cover of Death Cab for Cutie racking up over a million views. He’s also covered a whole slew of British artists as diverse as Bon Iver and One Direction.

Romeo Crow
Super positive singer, songwriter, producer, film maker, family man, already has a stack load of followers and is infectiously upbeat. What I listened to was blues tinged pop/rock with some fine guitar playing. Head over to his site and he’ll give you six songs; be inspired! http://romeocrow.com/about/

Neal Hoffmann/Amphibic
Neal is a singer songwriter fusing his love of indie pop and Americana into his own atmospheric sound.

Color Theory.
Not really my thing but if you like your pop music heavy on synths and melodies with easy on the ear vocals this may well be for you.

Faded Paper Figures
I will admit to starting out with the intention of checking out a couple of tracks to see how they sound, expectations were low after a long day, but six tracks in and I was still uncovering surprises. Their brand of instrumentally rich electronica heavy indie is kinda quirky and makes for interesting listening, no two tracks sound the same and they have a real ear for a hook; cool vibe.

METHEDRAS
Slightly chaotic thrash that is not afraid to experiment with song structures and tempos, with an impressively tight rhythm section and plenty of hard hitting riffage. It’s nice to hear a band put a twist on the traditional bay area sound and make it sound fresh and exciting – well worth a listen.

The Uppercuts
Good time British rock band playing an upbeat blend of punky rock n’ roll with a hint of SKA. It’s an enjoyable listen as it’s all very boisterous and good fun, live shows must be a riot!

Leah West
Easy listening country tinged acoustic rock/pop with an atmospheric laid back vibe. Leah has a lovely voice and composes a nice straightforward tune with a penchant for romantic storytelling.

Twitter Bands

It seems that the more involved I become with all things music, the more music becomes involved with me. A quick glance through my Twitter followers will reveal a number of bands, individual artists, fan clubs, clothes stores and fellow writers; and though not all the artists are to my taste, it seems only fair to reciprocate the interest by actually listening to what’s on offer and give a little publicity. Often, these bands are very much D.I.Y and are really struggling to make a breakthrough in the industry, despite their obvious talent; in other cases they are getting there but could still use more support. So here’s the latest crop of “Margraves” (bands or singers I have discovered through Twitter); you never know, it could be the one artist you’ve been waiting for…..or not…but if you don’t listen how will you know?

Black Sonic Revolver – Hard touring Indie Rock band with a strong Manchester influence; they’ve got a robust sound with a bit of groove bubbling under the surface. They have been building a good following, so expect bigger things when the new album drops in December.

Smoker – Authors of the Monchu project (two songs a month for a year), they have a trippy indie feel to them, with a very accomplished sound – interesting stuff. Check out free downloads here: http://www.smokermusic.com/audio

(I am) Warface – Eighties influenced electro rock with an industrial edge. Still at the demo stage but sounding very promising with some great hooks and already building a strong following online. If the forthcoming album is well produced it could make a few headlines.

The Cringe – These guys are not exactly new, nor are they entirely unheard of, especially when you find out they’ve been opening for Motley Crüe, but they followed me and I’d never heard of them so had to check them out. What’s on offer from the NYC based four-piece is good quality alternative rock with a grungy rock n’ roll feel. They already have four albums behind them so there’s plenty to get your teeth into.

The Danbury Lie – Slightly leftfield experimental indie folksters with some interesting guitar work on offer.

Of Allies – I have already actually featured these guys in a separate article on British Bands that could use a break, but as they have followed me it seems only fair to give them another mention, especially as they are a band I really believe in. They have a hard edged alternative metal sound with just enough in the melody department to make them radio friendly without sounding overtly commercial. As far as alternative rock/metal goes, they are as good as anyone else currently on the scene and their recent EP, Fragments, has plenty of quality tracks which really hold up. In a fair and just world they could go on to much bigger things, but given the current musical climate they’re going to have to work put in some serious hard work. I have previously shared something from Fragments, so here is an acoustic version of an earlier track, ‘Ghosts’, which is a good indication of what they’re capable of doing. Check their website for a free download ( http://ofallies.com/listen/).

I’ve already had more follows from other artists and bands so I will be covering them in the near future, watch this space.

Margraves Part 1

The legendary DJ John Peel had a policy of listening to (and often playing on air) every demo tape he was given by a band – he loved it but also admitted that the sheer quantity drove him mad. As I am a million years away from being the most influential disc jockey in the industry, my task is somewhat easier, yet given my lack of time I have some idea of what he must have felt. At the time of writing I have little more than a handful of followers on Twitter, yet since I opened my account I’ve had bands following me and sending me their work. Here I will attempt to provide a space to showcase some of what I receive and although I cannot promise full reviews, actually I can’t even promise empty reviews, but I will endeavour to put bands out there in some way so that people can make up their own minds; obviously the more excited I am about them, the more  likely I am to go on about them – fair enough?

So, here’s the first crop of what I call ‘Margraves’ – a sideways tribute to John Peel (A.K.A Margrave of the Marshes) – featuring five newish bands, via Twitter, in order of discovery:
The Mantells – britpoppy Arctics influenced, nice clean sound – good vocal.

Lux Lisbon – slick slices of indie tinged atmospheric pop with good strong songs and a well refined sound.

We’re no Heroes – eighties groove with an upbeat sound, very likeable.

Charlywood – infectious English fronted guitar band from Austria with an air of Libertines meets Billy Bragg about them.

False Advertising – slightly mechanical indie fuzzers with some poppy hooks