The LaFontaines – Common Problem

It is fair to say that the debut album from Scottish rock band The LaFontaines was an adventure of imagination and diversity which in varying degrees captivated from start to finish. Released two years back, Class was a magnet to acclaim and a new rush of eager fans but we can tell you now it was just the appetiser to a big, bolder, and more creatively eclectic triumph in the shape of its successor, Common Problem.

As maturity has grown in their songwriting and imagination loaded sound so has a darker attitude and reflective snarl upon the world and its issues. It is a tone which lines every note and word but seems to only accentuate every imaginative twist and turn going to make one striking and increasingly addictive release. Its predecessor saw Motherwell hailing The LaFontaines break the UK Top 100 and Scottish Top 10 as well as top the UK Indie Breakers chart. As mentioned, it was a potent lure for attention, receiving over three million plays on Spotify alone, but easy to feel just the appetiser to bigger success with Common Problem.

Recorded with producer Joe Cross (The Courteeners), the album immediately invade ears with sound and lyrical bite as Explosion looms over the senses. The snarl lined attack of rapper/vocalist Kerr Okan is direct and magnetic, and swiftly matched in the brooding drama of the sounds around him. The song is soon a web of intrigue and suggestion, a tempestuous aural clamour which devours as it seduces the senses. It takes no prisoners yet is a seductive invitation which fascinates at every turn with that new invention and growth in ideation at already work.

The following Too Late makes a calmer start, electronic lures aligned with Okan’s spits as it slowly but firmly entices. The melodic vocals of bassist John Gerard perfectly court and contrast the attack of the frontman, his bass and the guitar of Darren McCaughey casting their increasingly antagonistic enterprise around a rhythmic trespass cast by drummer Jamie Keenan. As the first, it is pure temptation taking the imagination to dark corners with relish and insight before Common Problem pulls them into its warmer melodic stroll with its title track. A recent single, the song flows like a sun kissed river with more intimidating undercurrents lurking through the vocal prowess and words of Okan, a combination forging one virulently infectious proposal which soon infests body and spirit.

Next up, Torture has a crystalline like shine to its melodic sheen, various facets reflecting emotion and thoughts in its harmonic embrace with Gerard’s tones a warm caress alongside the honesty bold contemplation of Okan. As with its predecessor, it is impossible not to be swept up in its creative arms, to immerse in its atmospheric depths and McCaughey’s electronic web before the harsher rock ‘n’ roll of Hang Fire grips. With flirtatious hooks and irritable rhythms, the track instantly stirs up attitude and pleasure; the two pronged vocal temptation with Gerard especially striking, irresistible. There is creative theatre in every breath and sound of the track but all born in an instinctive aggression and emotive fire which aims at and hits its target dead centre.

Through the smouldering but lively heat and angst of Goldmine and the rousing rock ‘n’ roll of Armour the hold on ears and imagination is only tightened, the first a consumption of sound and enterprise which haunts long after its fiercely pleasing presence and the second a slice of alternative cored rock which prowls and almost menaces as electronic and melodic spicing explore its rapacious climate. Both tracks push the band’s creative boundaries and the already lofty heights of the album though they are still eclipsed by the vivacious and lively antics of Atlas. Magnetic from the off, addictive soon after, the track is a kaleidoscope of sound and adventure which becomes more contagious and seductive melody by melody, twist by twist.

Raw and angry, What Do I Know makes an equally mighty impact with its ferocious punk ‘n’ roll. The union of grumpy bass and intrusive beats with Okan’s uncompromising intent is alone an inescapable draw but add the sonic fire of the guitars and the snarling vocal presence of Gerard and a major highlight is forged which next up Total Control cannot quite match though it certainly keeps things burning brightly with its own fusion of melodic suggestion and voracious heavy rock. Every song is a web of invention and sonic enterprise dosed with an array of flavours; its own an unpredictable maze with all avenues leading to unbridled pleasure before Release The Hounds springs its own powerful and voracious fire for a glorious invasion of the senses.

The album is brought to a close by the nagging exploits of Asleep, a track which has the listener feeing like it is prey to its predatory instincts and creative hunger. With a rhythmic jungle and sonic maelstrom, the track is stunning, Okan leading its hungry tango with lyrical gusto as every member and instrument within the band colludes in one beast of a temptation ultimately talking best track honours.

As potent and exciting as Class was, it has been blown away by Common Problem; as too most releases venturing out this year. The LaFontaines have grabbed one of the reins guiding the British rock scene with their new essential and unique proposal yet you just feel they have only scratched the surface of their imagination and craft to raise the anticipation for their nest move tenfold.

Common Problem is out now via Wolf At Your Door Records, available @ http://hyperurl.co/TheLaFontainesCP

The LaFontaines UK Headline Tour:

13th November 2017 – Lending Room, Leeds

14th November 2017 – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

15th November 2017 – Sound Control, Manchester

16th November 2017 – MK11, Milton Keynes

18th November 2017 – Barrowlands, Glasgow

19th November 2017 – Northumbria Institute 2, Newcastle

20th November 2017 – O2 Academy 3, Birmingham

21st November 2017 – Boston Music Room, London

22nd November 2017 – Leadmill, Sheffield

23rd November 2017 – Rock City, Nottingham

http://www.thelafontaines.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thelafontainesmusic   https://twitter.com/TheLaFontaines

Pete RingMaster 31/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Intrigue and dark secrets: talking with Modern Day Dukes

Pic Holt’s Photography

We don’t know about you guys but there is an instinctive appetite here for music which puts the bass to the fore. There is exactly what you get with UK trio Modern Day Dukes, a two bass, one drum kit combination which creates a web of intrigue, adventure, and imagination many fully instrument loaded bands would kill for. New single Okhrana is instant proof of the band’s invention and uniqueness, a combination which hit our sweet spot. With thanks to Carl Arnfield, the man behind the new single’s great video, we settled down with the band to explore the world of Modern Day Dukes….

Hi Guys, thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

Would you please introduce the band to the readers?

We’re a 2 bass / no guitar band from Yorkshire…Pais ‘n’ Rory on bass and Jordan playing the drums. We all sing a bit.

How did you all meet and tell us about the first steps of the band.

I (Pais) met Rory and Jordan through our old guitar boy Ben Marsden. Jordan used to stand in on drums all the time when our old drummer couldn’t make a gig so when the drum stool was vacant he was naturally the guy to fill it.

We are suckers here for all bass no guitar outfits in particular MoRkObOt and Lightning Bolt. What led you down this avenue with the band?

Hadn’t heard those bands before, just checked them out and we really dig them. I’ll add them to my No Guitar / all Bass Spotify playlist.

We were a normal guitar band, but when our guitarist left, rather than replace him we decided to go for something completely different. Rory and Jordan were playing with being a bassy duo and I’d been doing some guitarless demos so we just combined them both and kept the name ‘Modern Day Dukes’ because we had a ton of unsold merch.

There are not that many bands which explore and weave only with bass and drums, a few which do but add synths too, do you think the music scene still annoyingly look down on the instrument as a lesser cousin to the guitar?

Yes. Bass is best. If you get some decent effects, you can make a wide range of sounds.  It’s weird that bass is looked down upon; it’s normally my favourite part of songs.

Did you find a readymade appetite for your set up in your hometowns of Sheffield and Leeds?

Some people get it, some people don’t. The more we do it, the more we work out what works, so it’s easier to convert people to Dukes fans. It took us a little while to find our feet.

Is Modern Day Dukes the first band for you all?

No, Pais was in Silverjet for 8 years and Rory did some shows with a band called Screaming Eagles. This is Jordan’s first rock band.

What sparked the band name?

Pais has always found posh things kinda funny. So that’s where Dukes comes from. It’s also probably subconsciously pinched from an unreleased Weezer track called Modern Dukes. Thinking about it, it’s pretty much a direct steal.

Casting ears over your Happy Now? EP, through to new single, Okhrana, your sound has not only a potent variety to it but has audibly grown release by release. How would you describe its evolution over the past couple of years or so?

We have a couple of earlier releases (These Sick Swans and PPPEP) which really don’t reflect us anymore due to changes in sound and line-up. We’re easily bored so changing things up is a way to stop things getting stale. Every release we’ve tried to come at from a different direction. When we’ve done this bass-thing for a bit we might end up trying something completely new.

Do you go out to try new things each and every time or just let things organically explore?

Photo by Carl @ Chalkman Video Studios

A bit of both, often people leaving or joining the band has significantly changed the sound because we don’t want to just try to emulate what old members did.

Tell us about the new track, for us your most unique and tenaciously mischievous song yet and the premise to its tale.

Essentially I (Jordan) was having a YouTube history binge and stumbled upon the Okhrana. It’s quite a dark theme considering what they did but for some reason it inspired.

You linked up with those great filmmakers Chalkman Video. How did that link up come about?

We know Carl of Chalkman through Rio Goldhammer from the band 1919. Rio also owns Bunnysnot Records that put out our second EP.

Tell us about the shoot and how you all came up with the idea and feel of the film with its great sinister tone and lighting?

That’s 100% Carl. We went to him not really knowing what we wanted so he did all the creative work and we love him for it. Really happy with how it came out.

Is the song typical of what we can expect in the near future from the band and what is next from Modern Day Dukes?

We’re mid-way through recording an album; the other tracks that are completed are totally different shades of Modern Day Dukes.

Tell us how the songwriting process works within the band.

Normally one of us writes 90% of a song then we work together fine-tuning it. The latest single, Okhrana was written by Jordan and in the practice room we added the middle 8 and changed up some sections a little bit.

What has the rest of the year in store for the band gig wise?

We’ve been asked to do a few acoustic with Blacklist Saints so it’s mostly that. I’d love to book a few more full-band acoustic shows; it means we get to play a mix of old and new songs with weird stripped back arrangements.

Our big thanks again, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Cheers for interviewing us Pete. Stay in school, ‘cos Jordan didn’t and now he has to play drums for Modern Day Dukes.

 

   https://www.facebook.com/moderndaydukes/    http://www.moderndaydukes.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 01/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright