Dirt Box Disco – I don’t want anything for Christmas

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Going hand in hand with every Christmas we get overtired squabbling brats, unwanted guests, and the worst clothing since MC Hammer was causing blindness with his flashy pantaloons and their movements. The worst import in the festive season though is the Christmas single, a disease which with few, very few, exceptions turns skilled and accomplished musicians into creatively retarded festive jumper wearing disasters. There are the occasional successes which buck the trend, though right now only Jona Lewie’s Stop the Cavalry comes to mind and that is debatable if it truly qualifies. To that positive list you can now add UK punk ‘n’ rollers Dirt Box Disco and their single I don’t want anything for Christmas.

They have not totally escaped the curse it is fair to say, the song not their finest moment, but the band does what Dirt Box Disco does best with the single and that is unleash mischievously stomping rock ‘n’ roll. Whether it will be a song which remains as potent and favourably welcomed over repeated plays as it is right now, time will tell but the Burton on Trent certainly provides an evocative tease which borders on maudlin but escapes through its infectious and smile inducing revelry.

From its first breath the track is declaring its intent and almost self-pitying premise through vocals and simple but fiery riffs. The chorus opens up proceedings, a simple repetition of the song’s FRONTtitle primarily before slipping into a more relaxed stroll with the vocals of WEAB.I.AM and Spunk Volcano entwining for the track’s narrative. It is a straight forward offering of the band’s distinct sound which ignites more strikingly with the sizzling sonic enterprise unveiled by the guitars of Danny Fingers and Spunk, whilst throughout the rhythmic probing of bassist Deadbeatz Chris and drummer Maff Fazzo keeps it all compelling and contagious. It is fair to say that there is nothing out of the Dirt Box Disco ordinary going on but that alone ensures the track will surpass any other Xmas offering this year, even though they do insist in having infernal sleigh bells to accompany its end.

Accompanying I don’t want anything for Christmas the band offers Punk By Numbers, a raw and belligerent slab of old school punk with a healthy soaking of The Ramones and The Dead Boys to its riot. It is a brilliant rock ‘n’ roll threat which again is the band revelling in creative devilry proving what it is that sets them apart from the crowd with consummate ease. Even without the second song the single would be very worthy of attention but it adds the icing on the flavoursome Christmas cake.

I don’t want anything for Christmas will not dramatically change views on Christmas singles but it does make one very palatable helping which will ensure one year has a beacon of hope and a gift which you think you might not want but will greedily devour. Now just have to convince Granny that it is really Cliff Richard bursting from the speakers over the festive pudding.’

I don’t want anything for Christmas is available now via STP Records/Deadfly Recordings digitally and on CD @ http://dirtboxdisco.bigcartel.com/product/dirt-box-disco-i-don-t-want-anything-for-christmas-cd

Dirt Box Disco live dates over Christmas:

DEC 13 – The Bridge inn, Rotherham

DEC 20 – Star And Garter, Manchester

DEC 27 – ZOMBIE HUT, CORBY

DEC 28 – The Maze. Nottingham

DEC 30 – Adam & Eve, Birmingham

http://www.dirtboxdisco.co.uk

RingMaster 17/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Mike Tyler – Money Grows on Your Knees

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    Money Grows On Your Knees the new single from poet and musician Mike Tyler is a deceptive little tease, a song which left indecision during certainly its first and even second excursion through the ear  but all the while was working away and laying a hook which emerged again and again well away from its source. It is an addictive little creature which though still coated in a less than stable opinion is like a tic which is almost impossible to remove from thoughts and imagination.

Taken from his well-received album Erection of last year, the first thing to note and praise about the release is its packaging. Coming in a 7” green vinyl/CD bundle with a sleeve design complete with jigsaw front and lyric sheet back, the single takes one right back to the late seventies/early eighties when sleeve design and imagination was as rife and vibrant as the sounds they enclosed. It is an instant clutch of strong points on the board for The Art Can Not Be Damaged released single. It is also very apt for the artist from New York. Mentored in a bar by the poet Delmore Schwartz, Patti Smith, and Tom Verlaine of Television, Tyler has sculpted interest, respect, and inspiration with his words within others. World famous graffiti-smith Banksy stencilled his words “only the ridiculous survive” outside Paddington Station in London whilst Beck also was inspired by his charismatic pull when honing his song writing craft. Tyler became known as The Most Dangerous Poet in America after breaking his arm during a reading, and his poem The Most Beautiful Word in the American Language has found its place on the blogs, MySpace pages, and Facebook walls of a great many, not to mention fridge doors. He is a puzzle in many ways, an intricate confusion which the packaging of the single perfectly hints to and to further give relevance of the artwork the artist talks about his single by saying “My new single is such a lopsided seductive beast. Deep deep bass with a pop frosting and a growling lead yawp. It can be kind of sweet in places and then a dungeon-door-slamming-echoed-thud takes over; a contradiction in tones. It’s the boiled pot of the gumbo stew of black and white that is America; greed and innocence, joy and exhausted hustle. Might explain why we decided the packaging of the single would include an actual puzzle.

Money Grows on Your Knees instantly punches the air with heavy pressing beats soon joined by great expressive keys and the straight face vocals of Tyler. He is not a natural vocalist, his spoken word delivery a dulled edge to the vibrancy of the music but it soon persuades the longer the track plays with the ear. The persistence of the rhythmic seduction and equally tempting bass is near irresistible whilst the keys craft a warm engagement which holds the hand as the songs opens up its summer framed by additional vocals from a sirenesque female voice and singing from Tyler both standing behind his core gait of delivery. As one would expect the lyrics make you think without needing to spend over time evaluating their coaxing narrative whilst the brassy bellows of the synths are like small fanfares in the sultriness of the song’s skies. An encounter easily described as Jonathan Richman meets Jona Lewie whilst John Otway and Mike Doughty add their support, it has proved its dangerous contagiousness as whilst writing the review up to this point and listening to its throughout,  Money Grows on Your Knees has provided  a conclusive argument and won its case…or maybe just worn down the defences, whichever it is a devious little treat.

Accompanying the song on the single is Corny Song, a new track from Tyler. Energetic and mischievous the song was inspired by a show in the UK where he was promoting the Erection album. It like the first is not an instant draw and has yet to convince but again it lingers and teases long past its expiry time.

For quirky, unpolished, and honest indie/pop devilment the single is well worth a fun filled amble with, but be warned it will not be leaving you alone from that point on.

http://www.cutepoet.com/

7/10

RingMaster 23/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Lettie: Good Fortune, Bad Weather

Lettie might predominantly be tagged as electro pop but as her new album proves there is so much more depth and diversity to her sound and creativity. The UK artist is an imaginative and instinctive songwriter who weaves sounds and emotions with mesmeric and irresistible flourishes and skill. Unpredictable, insistently contagious, and persistently the cause of pure pleasure tingles within the senses, the new release Good Fortune, Bad Weather is a masterful and delightful feast for the heart.

To simplify a back story for an artist who has as many tales and sure to be inspiring moments to her life and career as the album, Lettie is a Suffolk girl who for the past decade has played in various bands and recorded solo material with Anthony Phillips (ex- Genesis) for Universal Publishing. It was in 2006 though that she met composer/producer David Baron and together it led to the recording of two albums in America. Things suddenly started to happen from this point with both Age Of Solo and Everyman without any real promotion gaining strong attention and acclaim. These led to a session for the BBC, special guest appearances on the tour of ex- Bauhaus frontman Pete Murphy in 2009 and also the following year, as well as guest slots with Chris Difford (Squeeze) and Roger O’Donnell (The Cure).

Personal tragedies surrounded the release of the albums for both Lettie and Baron and she returned to the UK, where she worked with a writer and producer in Oxford on her third album Other Days which never saw a completion as problems continually stood in its progress. A call from Baron led her back to America to work on a new, an invitation that has benefitted everyone given the wonderful result that has emerged in Good Fortune, Bad Weather.

From the moment opening song Swirl wraps around the ear there is a sense that something unique and special is on the horizon and the track takes no time to insist that feeling will be realised. From the brooding dark synth start with her sparking vocals on top, one is immediately drawn to an eager attention. A line mentions ‘the puppet master’ in an open swipe at a certain TV personality, television producer, entrepreneur etc, yeah him, but that term easily represents the skill with which Lettie caresses and weaves her sounds and ideas. Only difference is there is no self serving intent or dark lining to her creativity. Funny thing is if she was in front of the man you know he would not recognise the talent and pure artistry on offer.

Lucky steps up next with a beckoning graceful stomp across the ear, piano and guitar as melodically captivating as her stunning vocals. Nothing is forced, the song an organic summer upon the ear and thoughts that warms as it pleases.

The sensational Bitter actually puts what came before in the shade somewhat, great songs they are this track is simply delicious, a perfect slice of inventive, thoughtful and passionate. As with the album nothing is predictable or assumed, each note , harmony, and spiral of melody an inspiring and heart igniting joy. With a simple pulse but deep atmosphere the track explodes upon the senses like the brightest sun.

The addictive and pulsating electro Never Want To Be Alone sparkles in sound and lyrical poetry but has to make way for another of the strongest highlights on the album in the shape of 80’s electro pop flavoured Sanctuary. It brings the warm harmonies of Bat For Lashes alongside the hypnotic melodies of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark though at times it could be Thomas Dolby and Shakespeares Sister partying with Propaganda. Yes it is that mesmeric and irresistible.

There is no weakness on the album, only varying heights for the continuous peaks of wonder. The sensational Digital with its Thompson Twins spice and sneaky Jona Lewie lurking melody both radiating nothing but pleasure, and the indie jewel that is Pandora with its jangly guitar and sultry flow, further incite a stronger an accumulating affection for Good Fortune, Bad Weather with ease. They also show the eclectic nature of the album, each song distinctly varied to each other and irrepressibly enthused with multiple flavours as the folk hearted Mister Lighter, the reggae pulsed title track, and Gwen Stefani pop of Aluminium Man show impressively.

Every song on the album deserves a mention but that is for you to discover as Lettie pleasures your very soul, though we have to mention Crash And Burn, another major highlight which lights up skies with shooting aural flashes and siren borne melodies. This is admittedly our first introduction to Lettie but it will not be the last, we want much more of this sensational stuff.

http://www.lettiemusic.com

Ringmaster 15/05/2012

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