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The Influence of: Pixies

we’re weird enough, and we’re catchy enough.

In a dramatic twist of every event listening to a new music artist or venturing into a wormhole of an unknown indie playlist, I always sit, listen and come to the conclusion: “hey, this band sounds like Pixies.” In fact, now that I mention it, they all do.

That’s because I wouldn’t doubt that every one of these indie rock bands who are either settling into their music – or are yet to find out their sound – have their influence pinned directly into the heart of Pixies.

Culturally emphatic and era-defining in more ways than music, Pixies redefined the imagery of alternative rock and decorated into a reformed sense of a Pixie trick of underground garage. Cold and heartless where necessary but oddly satisfying on some cherry-pickers, Pixies‘ collection since their debut in ’87 has been consistently reinventing the alternative wheel with their inventiveness and their vivid colours, especially with ’89s, Doolittle, an album that is formally known to perhaps everyone who ventured into the oddity of alternative music and underground garage music.

The lengthy numbers of Debaser, Hey, Wave of Mutilation and of course, Here Comes Your Man makes it the go-to soundtrack for the ravished ’90s.

This monkey’s gone to heaven‘: Dolittle album cover ’89.

Even their most recent album release a year ago in 2020, Beneath the Eyrie just shows that they’ve still got it. The perfect four-set combo of squealing guitars, broiled vocals and brutal drum-lines is aesthetically available here too, with Beneath the Eyrie. It’s almost like they’ve been writing music for over 40 years. Oh wait, they have.

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Black Pistol Fire: Look Alive

Shake Your Money Maker: Southern Rock and Blues-Rock Fashions into a RE-BRANDING

One particular release that you may have missed this year was the sixth release from Black Pistol Fire. Raucous with their fusion of southern rock, blues and garage punk, Look Alive is a stand-out album that is emphatic in its style aswell as its music production. Fused between the boisterous concoctions of The Black Keys, Cleopatrick and the quirky expertise of Queens of the Stone Age, comes a rock-child that joins the list of ever-growing duo rockers.

Accustomed with the stigma of charcoal black already in a rock deluge, Black Pistol Fire have a certain class and persona when it comes to their tastefulness of blues-rock, which goes farther than merely immersing in the black décor. The album comes out swinging with self-titled, Look Alive and Pick Your Poison, with both indulgent songs swinging a depth into the work of Cage The Elephant and among others. Rampant throughout, the album boasts and brags with such a large pair of cajones, as we’re dazzled through the bright funky lights of of Never Enough and spat out the other side with Level.

The album is not just an aggressive boaster though, it has passive – often contemplating – slow-burners like Hope in Hell and Always On My Mind that wouldn’t be a shock to see such songs escape the song-writing booths of Pixies.

A glorious reprise for a fusion of classics – southern rock, blues and dripped in garage punkLook Alive is a fanatic favourite to swoon and enjoy within your own time, and will no doubt become a classic in it’s own time.

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If Red Hot Chilli Peppers selling their catalogue doesn’t show how broken streaming is then …

Let’s Talk …

In the most recent news to filter out of the industry, one of the most prominent bands in the quirky rock category – who dominated the charts in the ’90s – have sold the publishing for all of their music catalogue for a proposed fee of £100 million to Hipgnosis.

Now, whether it’s a way to secure a stable future for friends and family, or merely demonstrates the situation of music streaming for artists, the Peppers have joined the long-list of eclectic artists who have also sold their songwriting formats, like Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac.

As drummer Chad Smith talks about the future of the band, by looking ahead to new music, it solidifies their position in an overwhelming industry as one of those bands that have been there, done that, and signed the t-shirt. Well, signed the deal, in fact.

Either way, let me know your thoughts on this one – will more international artists join the plethora already once momentum is picked up? What does this demonstrate to us artists who are up-and-coming and don’t have a collection worth selling for millions?

Is the industry ethos of selling, changing?

More importantly, if these artists are selling their work now while it’s hot, do these music artists know something we don’t?

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The Rock List: April 2021

Fancy a dabble in new rock? Take a gander at the list I’ve compiled below for the most recent rumblings of rock over the past weeks of April.

… The sheer number of female-fronted rock bands is a sight to behold in the music scene right now …

  1. SHY AWAY – TWENTY ONE PILOTS: Exciting eccentrics for the duos’ return.
  2. SMILE – WOLF ALICE: Dark exploits for the rock-indie favourites; another album to look out for this year from them.
  3. LA DI DIE – NESSA BARRETT, JXDN: Romantic-revenge anthem drawing on both rock and hip-hop.
  4. BOILERMAKER – ROYAL BLOOD: Thumping funk-rock from the Brighton duo, altering their course for another rumpus year in music.
  5. VERTIGO – ALICE MERTON: Mystery-abound new stuff after being so quiet for two years.
  6. ORDINARY – YONAKA: What we’re used to from these lot: loud and chaotic.
  7. WEAPON – AGAINST THE CURRENT: New emphatic returning from another female-front rock collective.
  8. BAD PLACE – THE HUNNA: One of the most consistent rock tribes right now; altering sounds to a down-tempo electronic style.
  9. NERVOUS – WHILE SHE SLEEPS: Recent album release in 2021, “SLEEPS SOCIETY” sees While She Sleeps make the top-ten list favourites this week with this hungry power-house of a song, featuring Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro.
  10. NUMB – WATERPARKS: Ambitious rock-pop workers of “Stupid For You” return this year for another album release in 2021 since their 2019, FANDOM.
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The Journey of Foals: What Went Down

A fierce album with all the heart, What Went Down is the Oxford Quintet’s fourth studio work.

But how did they end up where they are now?

With their collection topping up to five studio albums – and their enormous project of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost fitting across a two-parter marathon in the late Spring of 2019 – Foals have been the frequent force behind the tales and triumphs of UK indie-rock music.

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With their jarring SPACE ROCK and TURBULENT ANTHEMS setting the pace, it made an unlikely formula to top the lot and break the charts.

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With five albums to choose from as an album to venture into (at least one first anyway) I had to seek out the storm of Foals‘ 2015 year with What Went Down.

DARK and DIRTY where it needs to be with Mountain at my Gates and Snake Oil, while being aware of itself enough to hold the gears back a bit with Birch Tree and London Thunder, it is such an impressive album – equally in production and music value – and for me, the far impressive to date.

Definitive in the band’s new approach to sound, it was also definitive in value too, with many music listeners returning to the music from Oxford quintet where they would once write them off for making music “too soft.”

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Foals: The Journey

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A band’s journey has never been so prevalent or distinguishable than these lot.

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Antidotes: 2008

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Starting with their pragmatic math-rock Antidotes in 2008, we saw the start of a band who were very much the fast and frantic in an ever-growing music scene. Old fan faves with Cassius and Balloons first gave us an idea of what kind of band we were dealing with …

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Total Life Forever: 2010

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… But when Total Life Forever came out two years later, we simply had to throw that out of the window. Far more lush and swell in the making, it really allowed Foals to flourish and really confirm, “right this is us, this is our sound.”

The fast, the funky and the off-balance with Antidotes was taken down a few pegs with Total Life Forever as a more sultry, considerate approach to taking life slower was picked. Rightly so, as this was the sound they eventually settled on.

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Holy Fire: 2013

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Much more brighter in complexity and contrast, came Holy Fire in 2013. Rolling with more tight-lipped writing, Holy Fire trail-blazed Foals’ distinguished sound and not only surpassed a mega indie anthem with My Number, but also hacked the charts overseas in America, too.

The album saw familiar favourites with airy Out of the Woods, critical rock additions with Inhaler aswell as fitting in the slow-burners with Late Night, that was so emphatically notable with the band from the prior release in 2010.

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What Went Down: 2015

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Simply picking up where they left off, What Went Down was a far more passionate desire to lay their stake in the ground – we are Foals and this is what we do.

Their now immense following were only thrilled to hear that more music was in the making.

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Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: 2019 (part I / part II)

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Despite somewhat of a project with B-list unreleased works, this would be the band’s most prestigious and busiest years in the industry – releasing two music albums in the space of the same year.

Envisioning creativity and new directions, their fifth and most recent saw them delve into sounds we hadn’t heard of before. An impossible feat to do at this stage, you’d think, but we were albeit pleasantly surprised with Syrups and Cafe D’Athens off the first part. If Part I was the palatable starter, then Part II is the tasty desert of dreams.

Far more angry and emphatic, Part II is a screechy sure-fire of the best of indie rock. The Runner Black Bull, Like Lightning. With this album, I could keep going – thump after thump.

2019: “at their creative peak.”

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In all my time listening to music and being a fan of all genres, call me dumb or merely narrow-minded, but I have never witnessed such a journey in not only creating such a diverse array of music but how they seem themselves as musicians and individuals in an industry that is already so overpopulated with pumped indie kicks.

It’s f*ckin great.

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